Fete on the Field

It’s 8am on Saturday 19 June 2021, and PSJ is sitting patiently in his loaded up car, waiting in a queue at the entrance to St George’s field in Ferndown, the venue for the return of Ferndown & Parley Rotary Club’s annual Fete on the Field event after last year’s cancellation. He sees David Allen, the other member of the 2-man FBN set-up team, who is searching for a Rotary colleague who has the site map which indicates the position of each stall. No-one can find the site map and the queue of vehicles continues to grow for the next 30 minutes. Suddenly, a large red 4 x 4 vehicle finds a gap in the fence and forces his way to the front of the queue. Everyone else notices his German licence plate and a few toot their horns in frustration. This must be the Bratwurst Hot Dog stall man! Minutes later, the site plan is found and at last all the vehicles gradually enter the field, proceed to their allotted positions and unloading of equipment begins amid much chuntering about “that red car”.

Plot B22 is conveniently third in from the public entrance gate and we start by laying out the gazebo poles & connectors on the ground, actually following the instruction plan which is in English rather than Chinese. To our surprise, everything fits where it’s supposed to as the second 2-man team of Paul Wales and Peter Read arrive and nod their approval when there are no parts on the ground that we have forgotten to fit. We even put the canvas roof on the correct way with the Velcro fasteners on the inside. Then, with one man on each corner, we lift the whole structure up to its full height and insert the legs – Bingo, we have a very attractive stand! All that remains to do is hammer a peg into the foot of each leg to prevent the whole thing flying away, clip the fasteners to the cross members and fasten the vertical back sheet to the frame to hide the car parked immediately behind but also to act as a contrasting backdrop for the pop-up banners.

The table is positioned at the front, it’s dressed with the new FBN cloth, and the pens, cards, flyers & wallets are neatly arranged on top. A second, smaller table is placed at the back for FBN members to display their own promotional material. 2 folding chairs complete the picture and we’re ready to go with half an hour to spare before the masses enter at 11am. PSJ then grabs a handful of cards & flyers and has a wander around the rows of stands looking for any who could be considered potential new FBN members as well as spotting the positions of food & drink stalls.  At the same time, Gavin Smith, Ian Pounds and Maria Tidy arrive and start setting up their own stalls alongside ours. At every event PSJ has attended with Maria, she always has her minder (her Mum) with her and they make a very good double act! Paul Wales expresses the need of some breakfast at this stage and wanders off to the English sausage stall at the end of his shift. We also say thank you & goodbye to Peter Read. David Allen & PSJ go for a well earned coffee.

Soon after returning to the stand, the next member of the team arrives. It’s Tatiana Hibberd and the conversation starts around things like “Oh, you’re taller (or shorter) than I expected” since we’ve only seen each other ‘top halves’ on Zoom screens. But it’s now 11am; the gates are opened, individuals, family groups etc., start filing in and the show starts. The team engages with anyone who comes anywhere near our stand, handing them a flyer (& the occasional free pen) and explaining that we’re a group of local traders & professionals who can be trusted to do excellent work in their respective fields.

Time flies and soon it’s 1pm when Tara Harper is due to replace Tatiana, but Tatiana is enjoying the break from her work (& family) and stays for at least another half an hour – what a nice person!

It’s been overcast, grey and unusually cold all day with rain forecasted for around 5pm when the show officially ends. None of us wants to de-rig in the rain, so we (& some of the other stall holders) start packing away soon after 4pm and by 4.30pm we’re ready to leave – it’s always surprising that packing up to leave is so much quicker than unpacking to start.

It’s definitely been a worthwhile event for FBN in terms of engaging with those who were looking for the services that we as members offer because it was a family fun day and we were talking to members of the public. We handed out many flyers. It was NOT a Trade show and therefore little potential for finding or identifying new members, although we kept our eyes & ears open.

Maria did extremely well with her ‘attraction’ of toy prizes in a locked cabinet. Pay £1 and choose 4 keys from the bag; if one of them was the correct key, it opened the cabinet and the lucky winner could pick a prize from inside. Children loved it and their parents were happy to donate £1 for a chance for their child to win.

FBN Member – My Time Young Carers

Self-care isn’t selfish: Tips to lift your Mood

We’ve seen a distinct change in the weather this week which implies that spring is on the way and we’re hoping that the longer days and warmer weather will begin to lift your spirits as we move out of a very long winter! That said, we know that the continued uncertainty of the coming months is having a toll of most of us, so we wanted to offer some practical advice for ensuring you’re taking care of your mental health. 

Focus on what you can control 

Part of why we’re feeling so uneasy at the moment is that there’s far too much in the air that we have no way of controlling. Whether it’s when we’ll get to see friends and family again, when that wedding will be able to happen or when we’ll get to travel the world again, focusing on what we can’t control will only leave us anxious.  

Make a conscious effort to put your mind towards what you can control: set a daily routine that feels good; set a to-do list that feels plausible so that it’s easy to check it off and feel accomplished; commit to exercising once per day; do a thorough spring clean (one room at a time if the whole house feels like too much of a task); check in with friends and family for chat. 

Practise gratitude 

Whether you voice your gratitude out loud or jot it down in a journal at the end of every day, the simple act of giving thanks even for the smallest things will shift your mindset. Don’t let the bad parts of your day make you feel bitter, instead celebrate the good every time it happens. Eventually you’ll start to notice the good much more and realise that life’s still great. 

Breathe 

We had a great session with Forever ambassador Kristina Rihanoff the other week to discuss the benefits of breathing and meditation. Even if you’re unable to commit half an hour to a full meditation or yoga session there are few who can’t commit to five minutes of breathing mindfully each day, and even this simple thing can do wonders for your mental health. 

Simply take yourself to a quiet part of your house (even if it’s just your bathroom!), set a timer for five minutes and get comfortable. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold for another four, breathe out for another four and hold for four more. Repeat until the timer runs out. Try to focus on the rhythm of your breathing and the beating of your heart. Take a few moments to wriggle your fingers and toes. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the here and now. All of this can really bring a sense of calm to your mind that’ll help you tackle the rest of your day head on. 

Nourish your body 

Taking good care of your body can really help to lift your mood. While it may be all too easy to default to comfort food when things feel a little doom and gloom, you’ll actually feel all the better for eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water and getting a good amount of exercise each day. Not sure where to start? 

  • When Forever tackled the C9 in January they created lots of healthy 600 calorie meals that are perfect whether you’re on the C9 or not. You can find sixteen of them righthere
  • We recently released a Flavours of Forever video detailing how to make pancakes with Forever Lite Ultra, aloe & avocado on toast featuring Aloe Vera Gel and healthy Rocky Road bites with Forever Bee Honey for when you need a pick-me-up.

All products are available from Peter Stockwell-Jones (M: 07947 695785 E: peter@wessex-aloe.com) or via his online shop at www.wessex-aloe.com

by Ferndown Business Network member Peter Stockwell-Jones (Wessex Aloe)

Looking to increase business? Join us!

At FBN we are continuing to grow! Are you looking for some friendly business support and networking? Then why not join us. We are looking for a wide range of companies to become members, who have capacity to grow, so we can begin to work with each other.

Limited to only one person per profession. Come & see how our approach to increasing business for each other can also benefit you. 

Complete our on-line enquiry form and we’ll send you the link to join our next meeting taking place on Friday mornings from 7.00AM, currently on zoom.  Our available categories include:

  • Architect
  • Bricklayer
  • Builder
  • Car body shop specialist
  • Carpet / Floor Cleaner
  • Chiropractor
  • Construction
  • Fencing
  • Fire & Security specialist
  • Florist
  • Gardener
  • Handyman
  • Mental Health & Well-being
  • Health & Safety Specialist
  • House Maker Over
  • Insolvency
  • IT Specialist
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Local Radio (Forest FM/Wave 105)
  • Locksmith
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Plaster
  • Photographer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Solicitor
  • Sports Physio
  • Telecommunications
  • Tree Specialist
  • Town Planner

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Electric Cars – What are they all about then?

It dawned on us a week or so ago at Dorset Car Leasing, after attending an online training session that there is still a great deal of confusion out there about electric cars, so here is a blog which you may find interesting.

Like it or not, we will all be driving electric cars/vehicles in the not too distant future. 2030 is only nine years away now and the Government has made it very clear to manufacturers what they need to do.

An Electric Vehicle (EV) is deemed to be a vehicle that you can charge externally. Here is a brief outline of the most common types currently available:

· Pure electric cars (known as BEV’s – battery electric vehicles) where the battery is the only power source. (An example of these are – Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Volkswagen ID3, Tesla, Jaguar i-Pace, Polestar 2, etc).

· Plug-in hybrid (known as PHEV’s – plugin hybrid electric vehicles) whereby they have a battery and internal combustion engine (ICE) with a motor and/or engine providing drive. (An example of these are – Mitsubishi Outlander, BMW 330e, Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Mercedes A250e, etc).

So, what’s the difference in cost to run compared to a conventional car?

Below are average figures to provide a rough idea of the difference in costs based on pence per mile:

· Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – 16p

· Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) – 11p

· Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – 3p

What about charging and how long does it take?

This in one of the questions we get asked the most. Many people are opting to have a home charging unit installed. In our opinion this is a great idea, especially as it is still possible to take advantage of the government grants available. Depending on what type of home charger you go for will determine the cost and how quickly it will charge the car.

For example, a 3.6kW (kilowatt) charger will cost circa £449 (inc VAT and installed) and would fully charge a Volkswagen e-Golf in under 10 hours. A 7kW charger is circa £529 and would charge the same car in under 6 hours. (Please be aware this is just an example and different cars will take different lengths of time to charge).

Some of the fast chargers available at supermarkets, shopping centres and fuel stations could charge an e-Golf to 80% of its capacity within circa 30 minutes. A client of ours who has recently taken delivery of an e-Golf has been charging his car at his local Tesco whilst he does the weekly shopping and has not needed to charge it anywhere else since taking delivery 4 months ago! And the best bit is that there is no charge to do this at Tesco!

Government grants are also available for workplace charging points and a great deal of information (for both private and businesses) can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

How can I find out where the charging points are in case I need one when I’m out and about?

There are now 6,382 more devices at 4,087 more locations than this time last year and this will continue to grow significantly over the next few years.

One of the best websites for finding out what is near to you or how you can plan a route if you are going on a journey is www.zap-map.com

It is worth taking a look, you’ll probably be surprised what is just around the corner!

So how far will an electric car travel on a full charge?

There is a phrase known as Range Anxiety – ‘the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination leaving the occupants stranded’.

This is by far the discussions we have the most with our clients and in some circumstances can mean the difference between establishing if an EV is the right vehicle to go for or not. One thing is for sure, EV’s travel a lot further now than they did just a few years ago and the rate at which the technology is moving forward is staggering.

Below are examples of some of the ranges achievable from a variety of different manufacturers:

· BMW i3 – 193 miles

· Hyundai Kona 64kWh – 299 miles

· Mercedes EQC – 259 miles

· Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+ – 239 miles

· Peugeot e-208 – 217 miles

· Tesla Model 3 (Long Range) – 348 miles

· Vauxhall Corsa-e – 209 miles

· Volkswagen e-Golf – 144 miles

· Volkswagen ID.3 – 205 miles

· Volvo XC40 Recharge – 250 miles

As you can see there is a big variation in the distances covered, but for most people, there is now an EV available which is suitable and worthy of consideration.

Many forget an EV does not need to be fully charged. Many users “top up” the charge to 80% as this is quick and gives them a sensible working daily distance.

To give you an idea of the growth in registrations of EV’s, in 2013 there were 6,000 on our roads, in 2018 this number grew to 195,000 and by 2023 it is predicted there will be over 1 million.

Are electric cars a good idea for company car drivers?

Potentially, yes, very much so.

The government is very keen to get more and more people into zero emission cars as quickly as possible. One way to encourage people is to make EV’s as tax efficient as possible, therefore, from this current tax year, the company car tax payable for a car which has zero emissions is zero. Yes, you have read that correctly, no matter whether you are a lower or higher rate taxpayer, you will not pay any tax for having a company car if it is pure electric! Even if it is a Hybrid car the tax is very low compared to a petrol or diesel engine car.

There is also a great benefit to the employer as there is no Class 1a National Insurance payable either.

You may be thinking the tax payable will go up in the future which is a fair assumption, but, the government has confirmed the tax payable will only rise to 1% (of the cars P11d value) for the next tax year, 2% for the following tax year and will remain unchanged until 2025.

We have clients of ours who have seen this low rate tax as a way of potentially giving their valued employees a pay rise (by replacing their ‘normal’ car) without actually giving them a pay rise as their net income can increase significantly per month.

What about the cost of an EV, I hear they are very expensive?

Most electric cars are still benefitting from the government grant of £3,000 off the list price and many of the EV’s we supply funded via a leasing contract are now significantly better priced than they were a couple of years ago.

You also need to factor in the fuel savings available. You will recall the client of ours I mentioned previously who has been charging his e-Golf at Tesco for free – he used to spend circa £120 per month on fuel! They also do not need to be serviced as often as a conventional car which is therefore another potential saving. Our industry calls it whole life costs, and all these factors are essential to consider before disregarding the EV option.

Many of our clients have been pleasantly surprised by how well priced EV’s are when factoring in all these considerations and the relatively low leasing payments.

Summary

Hopefully, you have learnt a bit more about electric cars having read this blog. Please be aware this has been written to provide a brief overview and there are a lot of considerations before committing to an EV, but we all need to be thinking about it whether we make the change now or in say 5 years time.

We would love to help and would welcome the opportunity to discuss any vehicle procurement requirements you may have.

We have a great deal of experience in this field and have supplied many local companies with EV’s over the past few years having spent a great deal of time ensuring they fully understand how they can work for them both now and in the future.

Even if you are just ‘dipping your toe in the water’ when it comes to EV’s, please feel free to give us a call here at Dorset Car Leasing on 01202 821354 or e-mail hello@dorsetcarleasing.uk

Green Homes Grant Scheme

Adding Smart Heating Controls to your home will help you manage your heat more effectively, save you money and make your home more energy efficient.

If you’re a homeowner or residential landlord you can now apply for a £5000 Green Homes Grant voucher (up to £10,000 for low income households) towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to your home including  heating controls such as Inspire Home Automation’s Ignite Smart Thermostats.

You can apply directly for the grant, but it needs to be performed by an accredited installer.

Primary measures
The voucher must be used to install at least 1 primary measure. This can be an insulation measure and/or a low carbon heating measure.

Insulation measures covered by the voucher

  • solid wall insulation (internal or external)
  • cavity wall insulation
  • under-floor insulation (solid floor, suspended floor)
  • loft insulation
  • flat roof insulation
  • pitched roof insulation
  • room in roof insulation
  • insulating a park home

Low carbon heating measures covered by the voucher:

  • air source heat pump
  • ground source heat pump
  • solar thermal (liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
  • biomass boiler
  • hybrid heat pump

Secondary measures

If you install at least 1 primary measure, your voucher can then be used to help cover the cost of  a secondary measure which includes heating controls.

An Inspire Home Automation Ignite Thermostat has geofencing enabled. This turns down your heating when your home is empty but then starts turning up the heat when you’re coming home. Our fully customisable system enables you to create 4 different programs for the time of year and set up schedules to suit, daily, weekdays/weekends or a different temperature setting for each day of the week.

Learn more about the Green Homes Grant Scheme

To find out more about the Green Homes Grant Scheme visit:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme

Get in touch
To discuss the Green Homes Grant Scheme and the Ignite range of Smart Thermostats and sensors please visit https://www.inspirehomeautomation.co.uk or give the team at FBN member Inspire Home Automation a call on 01202 798 390

Employment Law End of Year Update 2020

As we near the end of 2020, this is a summary of this year’s key changes to employment law relevant to SMEs:

  • All workers are now entitled to receive a written statement of terms (contract of employment) on or before the first day of employment. 
  • The abolition of the Swedish derogation relating to pay for agency workers came into force in April.
  • Businesses/agencies now need to provide agency workers with a Key Information Document setting out key facts at the start of an assignment.
  • For businesses with over 50 employees, regarding the ICE (Information and Consultation of Employees) Regulations, there has been a reduction in the percentage of employees required to make a valid request for an agreement on the sharing of information and consultation within the workplace. Previously it was at least 10% of the workforce who must put in a request before an employer is obliged to take steps to comply with this right. This percentage has now reduced to 2%. The requirement that at least 15 employees make the request has remained.
  • The holiday pay reference period increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
  • There is now the right to parental bereavement leave and pay. Employed parents now have the right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
  • At the end of the year, the free movement of EU workers is due to end.

We hope you find this update useful, please don’t hesitate to contact FBN member Rebecca Clayton from R Human Resources if you’d like further information.

How to support your IMMUNE SYSTEM in these difficult times.

If you’re vulnerable to coughs & colds, infections, even flu or worse (Covid-19), you need to do everything you can to boost your immune system – the body’s natural ‘defence army’.

In addition to the lymphocytes (white cells) in our blood, the correct balance of gut bacteria plays a very significant role too – and you can do something about this.  The following advice won’t guarantee that you will never catch one of the bugs that go around, but it will help make your immune system ‘fighting fit’ and better able to mitigate symptoms if you do catch something. So, what should you consider taking:

Forever Aloe Vera Gel Drink.  
Aloe is great for skin and is an ideal pre-biotic digestive aid, but it’s also an immune system modulator.  Available in 3 flavours: – Natural (Code 715), Berry Nectar (Code 734) and Peaches (Code 777). £22.94 per litre carton.  Recommended daily dose is 60 to 100ml and take all year round for wide-ranging health benefits.

Forever Active Pro-B.
Blends six strains of friendly bacteria to quickly help counter balance too many ‘unfriendly’ ones.  The capsules do not require refrigeration, are allergen free and suitable for vegetarians.  Code 610.  £35.71 for 30 capsules.  Recommended daily dose is one capsule, but only for one month.

Forever Immublend.  
This synergistic blend of nutrients is high in Vitamin C, D and zinc, all of which contribute to the normal function of the immune system. Code 355. £18.19 for 60 tablets.  Recommended daily dose is 2 tablets.

And don’t forget personal hygiene – you can’t go wrong using Forever Aloe Hand Soap, a gentle but effective liquid formula of Aloe with fruit extracts to leave your skin clean, soft & hydrated.  Code 523. £14.83 for 473ml pump dispenser.

And for sanitizing your hands, there’s nothing better than Forever Instant Hand Cleanser.  Powerful & refreshing, this cleanser will keep the whole family protected wherever the adventure leads.  This citrus-scented aloe-based hand cleanser is ideal in all circumstances. Code 003. £12.85 for 250ml bottle.

All these products are available from Ferndown Business Network member Peter Stockwell-Jones M: 07947 685785 E: peter@wessex-aloe.com or via his online shop at www.wessex-aloe.com

7 Major Points Why Magazine Advertising Works!

1. Target a captive audience

Our readers are incredibly proud and passionate about where they live. Our local magazines offer a sense of community and serve as an important ‘hub’ where locals can learn about their surroundings… including your products and services!

2. Make sure your ads stand out

Do not fall for the myth that ‘print’ is dead. In an age where the online space has a sea of digital ads, your local magazine has far less competition. Thus enabling you to stand out from the crowd!

3. Enable sense of security

Web surfers have become weary of clicking on banner ads. Even if they are enticing, they feel there is a lack of security online. With our print magazines the consumer has nothing to fear. This makes your audience more receptive to your message!

4. Longer shelf life 

While digital ads come and go, print ads have staying power! Our magazines are read countless times. Your advert can be strategically placed to maximise your promotion! Our magazines are placed directly in the hands of your local consumer through door to door distribution. They are also available at large retail outlets with high foot traffic!

5. Brand recognition & loyalty

Advertising in reputable local magazines like ours allows local people to become familiar with your business. In the long run this encourages brand loyalty and recommendation to others!

6. Credibility

Our local magazines are valued and respected publications that build a sense of community among local consumers. As an advertiser, you benefit from this credibility as your ads become much more than ‘just an ad’, they become recommendations from a trusted source.

7. Tactile experience

Did you know that the average reader only spends 15 seconds on a website before moving on? People interact differently with our print magazines, they take their time and linger. This means they fully interact with our content including your ad!

Interested in Promoting your business. Contact FBN member Dorset Publications to answer any other questions you have! Tel Debbie: 01202 894397

Amazing SIM only deal from Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse have just launched an amazing new sim only mobile deal that is far cheaper than any deal on the market.  

Unlimited data, minutes and texts £20 with up to three additional unlimited sims per family at just £10 each.

 If you want to know more please contact FBN member Gail on 07985 989538

‘Challenging society’s rules by living the life we design’

www.funlife.co.uk

Looking to increase business? Join us!

At FBN we are continuing to grow! Are you looking for some friendly business support and networking? Then why not join us. We are looking for a wide range of companies to become members, who have capacity to grow, so we can begin to work with each other.

Limited to only one person per profession. Come & see how our approach to increasing business for each other can also benefit you. 

Complete our on-line enquiry form and we’ll send you the link to join our next meeting taking place on Friday mornings from 7.30AM, currently on zoom.  Our available categories include:

  • Architect
  • Bricklayer
  • Builder
  • Car body shop specialist
  • Carpet / Floor Cleaner
  • Chiropractor
  • Construction
  • Fencing
  • Fire & Security specialist
  • Florist
  • Gardener
  • Handyman
  • Mental Health & Well-being
  • Health & Safety Specialist
  • House Maker Over
  • HR Specialist
  • Insolvency
  • IT Specialist
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Local Radio (Forest FM/Wave 105)
  • Locksmith
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Plaster
  • Photographer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Solicitor
  • Sports Physio
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel agent
  • Tree Specialist
  • Town Planner

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

%d bloggers like this: