Not one, not two, but four Moneywise Home Finance Awards 2019. This makes it the second year running that Utility Warehouse has swept the boards at the Moneywise Home Finance Awards.
In 2019 the awards they defended and earned again were:
Best Value for Money
Best Customer Service
Best for Clarity of Bills
Best Money-Saving Tips and Gadgets
Utility Warehouse is a discount club dedicated to saving you money on essential services and household purchases. They offer great value and superb customer service on services such as Telephone, Broadband, Gas, Electricity and Mobile phone. ‘Gold’ customers also receive free LED lightbulbs and gourmet society membership giving up to 50% discount on selected restaurants and cinema tickets.
When you are facing challenges in life, no matter how big or small, support means everything. Without a shoulder to cry on or someone to share the happy moments with, your journey can feel lonely and isolated.
Having a safe space – somewhere where people can feel supported and welcomed – can turn a situation around. Compassion is a big factor in support, by simply having somewhere to feel loved and looked after. This can be from anyone, but especially those who are caring for you.
Emma Ormrod, Wessex Cancer Trust Support Centre Manager in Bournemouth shares the importance of having a place to find strength, courage and just be yourself.
More Than Just A Service
“There’s a difference between fixing someone medically and taking care of them. You can’t give someone treatment and send them away, they still have a long way to go,” explains Emma.
As Emma sees it, once you have experienced something like cancer, you come out the other side as a different person. In order to help heal people fully, we help them find their new normal. In a holistic way, healing is much deeper than just having a clear medical record. Steering away from a clinical approach with white walls and disinfectant can provide that healing environment that people need.
“We pick people up from where their physical treatment ends. They don’t have any other aftercare. What we offer is a home from home, a community family which is big on connections.”
Knowing You’ve Made A Difference
“Actually coming to us is a big deal in itself. It is easy to put a face on and act like things are okay. You don’t need that mask here – you can offload, cry, anything you need.
“You can be you.”
It might sound small to some, but being yourself can be a big sigh of relief. Once you have let your guard down and spoken to someone who understand your situation, such as our volunteers, a weight is taken off of your shoulders.
At Wessex Cancer Trust, represented by Maria Tidy at Ferndown Business Network (FBN), a lot of the team has experienced cancer in some form in their lives. They won’t say anything clichéd or shy away from hard topics, so there’s no barrier to what you can and cannot say. You form a relationship with everyone and become personally invested in them getting better, just one reason why people turn to us. It is a form of care you can’t get elsewhere. You walk away uplifted, helping your mental wellbeing along with the physical.
“Cancer is a reality. People look at you differently, you can’t always work, and you might lose your hair. It comes with all these challenges, and we’re here to help you through them all.
“We act as a hug. We hold your hand, give you a shoulder to cry on and be your emotional rock throughout.”
Making Sure The Service Is Helping
The journey towards finding yourself again can be a long and painful one, but there will be a point in which you’ve found yourself again.
“As I’m in charge of that space, I feel like the mother of the ship,” Emma clarifies. “I just wanted to make more of what was already existing. There’s so many services, but so many gaps in care too.”
Wessex Cancer Trust prioritises care for each individual, it’s not a one size fits all policy. If we think another service is more tailored towards you, we’ll recommend them. It works the other way round too, so people recommend us.”
Not only does this help the people looking for an extra bit of support, but it helps us providers too. Less pressure is put on the NHS and other bigger charities to increase services and decrease waiting times. The more options available to patients, the better.
“When people are having to go to the hospital day in day out, it’s wearing. Some people can’t even drive past the hospital any more, as it’s too much for them. That routine is what we’re breaking. Having a separate supportive space is key.”
The moment you come through our door, everything is on your terms. You can say as much or as little about your experience to our staff, knowing that Wessex Cancer Trust is here for you regardless.
Emma gets to know everyone in the Centre, and they know her equally as well. Things like our coffee mornings and art groups bring people together in a way the hospitals aren’t able to, building that community. The groups become friends, and those friends see each other in their own time. It takes the pressure off of our workers, and gives the building blocks to people finding themselves again.
“We can look at people and figure out what they need, even if they don’t know what that is yet.
“It’s all about supporting yourself and others, that’s how you find your strength.”
Ever been on holiday abroad and suffered with an upset tummy?
It’s common to blame foreign bugs in either the food or the water, thinking that the local hygiene standards are not the same as ‘back home’, but in fact, this is rarely the case (unless you’ve had a really dodgy meal) because it’s largely due to the difference in the mineral content of the local water. Sure, most of us will drink bottled water, but what about the ice cubes in your drinks? Your sensitive gut tends to react with symptoms ranging from mild indigestion to chronic diarrhoea.
People who are susceptical to gut problems abroad usually take various potions with them of course – things that help put them right after the event. And that’s fine. However, there is a preventative alternative. If you build up your gut’s ‘good bacteria’ before you travel, you are far less likely to be stricken during your holiday. So, how does this work?
‘Dr Peter’s’ recommendation is a 4-week regime of PREBIOTIC (Aloe Vera drink – code 715) and PROBIOTIC (Pro-B tabs – code 610). The prebiotic creates the correct gut environment for the proliferation of all the ‘good’ bacteria, and this Probiotic contains the 6 most important & beneficial strains of friendly bacteria in a tablet form, not requiring refrigeration, which is designed to bypass the stomach and be released in the large intestine, where it does its work.
So, ‘Dr Peter’s’ prescription is this: – One week before your holiday departure, start taking a daily dose of one Pro-B tablet and 100ml of Aloe first thing in the morning and continue for 4 weeks – i.e. take them with you on your 2 week holiday, and continue for one week after your return.
You’ll need one tub of Pro-B (30 tabs) and three litre bottles of Aloe to last you for 4 weeks. Orders can be placed directly on the Wessex Aloe website shop or by calling Dr Peter on 07947 685785.”
I have had several people tell me that I will “have to keep up with the times” and that, “print advertising will go out of fashion”. Well, I beg to differ. There have been many studies on how we buy, why we buy and what we buy. Print advertising, especially of local companies and those companies wanting to be seen as family, friendly and service orientated benefit hugely from a print presence in the local community. People trust print.
Digital, online advertising can be untrustworthy and unknown. How do you know that company will still be there tomorrow when you have a problem with their service or product? Are they real? Do they have experience? Will they give you a good product?
While a good website and some social media is a must to back up any print advertising, it is often the printed advert which leads the customer to look at that website. Here at Dorset Publications we have been helping companies grow year in, year out. Each magazine has a local feel for that area and we include community data for free. This gives a voice to local, small groups that otherwise have a hard time making themselves known and heard. From this they have gained new members and support for their important causes.
Everyone wins. The advertisers gain work, that keeps the local economy thriving, the charities and small independent groups gain support and the resident has an easy guide to find exactly who they are looking for to help them. It is a win win situation all round.
Industry professionals and local business owners gathered yesterday evening for the Digital Décor Opportunity workshop, hosted by Richard Morris, Managing Director of Signs Express Bournemouth.The evening explored the revolution of bringing digital art, which was until recently only available online and in galleries, into the liveable space.
An insight to the endless opportunities around us kickstarted the evening, before attendees enjoyed a live demonstration and showcase of the technology available in branch, taking away their very own bespoke artwork printed onto specialist substrates.
The atmosphere on the evening was one of a keen desire for knowledge from an enthusiastic and interactive audience. Overall the workshop was a success with much positive feedback having been received from the audience. Deborah Jones, of Deborah Jones Design Ltd said:
‘I have nothing but praise for Richard in the visionary approach to both his products and the service he offers. He has taken time to reflect, consider and really examine his offering in order to elevate it above his market at large. He is looking to see what will give his business the edge in light of what is a saturated market. He has invested both in his people and his technology to ensure he is delivering the best product possible to his customers whilst also caring about their customer journey and experience. Last nights workshop still further demonstrated Richard’s obvious passion and commitment to his business. I very much look forward to working with this innovate company in the future on some of my interior design projects.” Deborah JonesDeborah Jones Design Ltd
Based on the success of this first training workshop, plans are currently underway to host another event at our unit based in Christchurch.
Richard Morris comments,
We are very pleased and inspired by the enthusiasm shown at our first event. We are passionate about bringing art lovers, interior designers and technology together to create and enjoy the new art forms of tomorrow. Digital printing means wallpaper can be whatever you want it to be, and to take tradition into the future is a very exciting time
There are so many readily available systems and processes for you to use when measuring, monitoring and enhancing your marketing impact. Some examples include:
• Adding a web analytics tool e.g. Google Analytics to your website to track and monitor your website performance. Are you reaching the right audience and are they engaging with your site?
• Monitoring the performance of your keywords for your website to ensure your Search Engine performance is optimised. Do you appear high enough in google so that your customers will find you?
• Using an email based system e.g. Mailchimp that allows you to monitor your email open rates, click through rates, unsubscribes etc. Do your subscribers respond to your emails or one type of email campaign compared to another?
• Monitoring your social media demographics and engagement levels. Do your followers match your target audience? Which channel is more effective for brand building vs sales generation? What posts are more effective than other posts e.g. image driven vs video based?
• Conducting Net Promotor Score (NPS) research to understand your customers loyalty to your business. Are they willing to recommend your business to their family and friends?
• Adding UTM tracking codes to your digital advertising, social media activity or email campaigns. How do the different channels drive traffic to your website? Which channel is more effective? How does one advertising media e.g. Google paid ads compared to ads you run for example on Facebook?
• Using a CRM system to record and monitor customer engagement and sales. What approaches generate the most leads and which of these turn into paying customers?
• You can use the same CRM data to explore which customers are the most important to your business? What characteristics do this customers share and how can you find more businesses or individuals who share the same characteristics to help drive forward your business?