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Learning to speak again at 37…seven years later and I’m back in work

Seven years ago Andy Martin, 44, from Mawnan Smith near Falmouth, had two strokes and a cardiac arrest which left him hospitalised for five months and with lifelong speech and sight impairments.

Andy, who had previously been an Operations Manager at a book factory, was initially unable to speak and didn’t think he would ever get back into paid work.

Fast forward to 2014 and Andy is celebrating his first paid job as a Café Assistant at the family run Cornish Maid Café in Mawnan Smith. He is a likeable, hardworking and highly respected member of the team and the local community.

Andy told us “I was in hospital for five months. I had to learn to speak again from scratch. I ended up going home to live with my Mum and Step-Dad here in Mawnan Smith.

Calculating holiday pay

In addition to current legislation, a number of recent court judgments should be considered when calculating holiday pay. This may mean that the rules employers and workers follow to calculate their own holiday pay will need to be updated. ACAS are updating their information.

The Government Exchange

A one-day event matching small businesses with buyers from government departments and large government suppliers looking for small business contractors.

Government (local and central) spends £230bn per year on products and services. Government has set a goal that 25% of this spend should be with small businesses by 2015. Attend this event  on 8th December 2014 to understand the opportunities available to your company to sell to government or their largest suppliers.

The Accessible Britain Challenge Awards 2015

The Accessible Britain Challenge encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. That means working with disabled people to remove the barriers that stop them participating fully in their community.

The UK’s 12.2 million disabled people make a positive contribution to employment and local economies. The Accessible Britain Challenge wants to share great examples of this so others can learn from them.

Who it’s for?

The Accessible Britain Challenge is for members of the community, eg:

  • local businesses
  • local councils
  • voluntary and community groups
  • disabled people’s groups

Supporting information

To support the challenge and share good practice, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has produced:

It is 42 years since the first email was sent - how email marketing has changed

 Elizabeth Carter, eCommunications Manager, gives a summary of the evolution of email marketing in previous years, right up to the present. This is an interesting read, and brings up the features to remember when sending emails today.

Tax reliefs can help social firms save money

Tax reliefs can help businesses save money

Do you know that there are a range of tax reliefs/allowances that you may be able to claim that could help save your business money?

Some may not be immediately relevant to your business, but knowing about them can help you plan for the future.

Whether you are thinking of investing or buying assets for your business, or simply thinking of employing someone, there may be a tax relief or allowance that you are entitled to.

See what reliefs/allowances you or your business could benefit from and whether you can claim by checking out the information on the BIS GREAT website.

Realise Futures responds to Lord Freud’s comments on the disabled and the minimum wage

Realise Futures, one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England with over 40% of its workforce being disabled or disadvantaged, has today responded to comments made by Lord Freud, the Welfare Minister, on the value of disabled workers in relation to payment of the minimum wage.

Realise Futures Chief Executive, Sarah Sharlott said: “We are pleased to hear that Lord Freud has made a full and unreserved apology for his misguided comments. Our own experience shows that disabled workers make a significant contribution to the workplace, and there is no doubt that they should be paid a real wage for real work.

“Social enterprises such as Realise Futures have many outstanding examples of how this valuable group of employees can not only gain confidence and self-worth from employment but also how employers benefit hugely from their contribution.

547 job applications, unemployed and depressed…now I have turned my life around.

Robin tells his story for World Mental Health Day

Robin Boness, a 60 year old Security Officer from Torquay, is a successful, motivated and respected employee working for Frontline Total Security Ltd.

However, rewind one year and it was a completely different story. Isolated and in the very depths of despair, Robin was fighting a battle with severe depression due to long-term unemployment.

Friday 10th October is World Mental Health day. One in four people in the UK every year will experience a mental health issue which can include conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Robin is telling his story to raise awareness of the vital role work had to play in his recovery to mental wellbeing.

Secretary of State for Transport visits Social Firm RBLI

The Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, was treated to a guided tour of Royal British Legion Industries’ new, high-tech road and rail signs printing and graphics area this week. The picture shows him with Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford and Neil Roberts, RBLI's Graphics Team Leader.

The visit to Aylesford marks the completion of the first phase of a modernisation programme and an investment of over £350,000 in new, leading-edge printer technology and a fully climate-controlled printing and graphics room.

The visit enabled Mr McLoughlin to see first-hand where new, state-of-the-art heritage and tourism signs are made. The vibrant and colourful signs, which are slowly replacing existing brown ones, often depict iconic images associated with their area, such as the historic Chatham Dockyard. RBLI is one of only four organisations in the country with the advanced technology able to produce the new style of sign.

Trading on the Internet

 Are you missing out on the £91 billion online selling revolution? Could your organisation build its sustainable income by selling products and services online?

Whether you sell a physical product, training or events, or have intellectual property that you want to develop into an online course or programme, this session covers the key steps to success and the mistakes to avoid.

The session costs £50+VAT. To book, please contact Marija on 0121 771 1411 or

See flyer below for more details