Harry Goes For Gold in Portugal

Stepping Stones for Business has been sponsoring swimmer, Harry James, for over five years. In October 2014, Harry went to Plymouth University to study photography, but also to follow his dream – to train with the Olympic swimming squad.

Last weekend, Harry competed in Lisbon, Portugal, and set personal bests in all of his breaststroke events, winning silver in the 100m breaststroke with a 1.05.3 time; bronze in the 200m breaststroke with a 2.20.8 time and gold in the men’s 4 x 100m individual medley relay, in which the team set a competition record.

Last month, Harry won the Devon County Championships 200m breaststroke in January 2015, with a 10 second lead!

Harry has also been invited to an Olympic training camp in Tenerife in September.

What a brilliant start to the year for Harry, and we continue to support him and are so very proud of all his achievements.

 

Harry’s Making Waves

FB_IMG_14222084613734107 copyStepping Stones for Business has been sponsoring swimmer, Harry James, for over five years. In October 2014, Harry went to Plymouth University to study photography, but also to follow his dream – to train with the Olympic swimming squad.

After just four months he is breaking his own personal best results, winning the Devon County Championships 200m breaststroke in January 2015, with a 10 second lead!  View Harry’s win at the Devon County Championships here.

In February Harry is off to to Lisbon, Portugal to compete, and he’s also been invited to an Olympic training camp in Tenerife in September.

What a great start to the year and we continue to support Harry and are very proud of his achievements.

 

Stepping Stones for Business to exhibit at the Clear Books Community Exhibition in February 2015

Stepping Stones for Business is delighted to announce that we have been selected as the Health & Safety exhibitor at the upcoming Clear Books Community Exhibition (CBCE), which takes place on 6th February 2015.

The CBCE (organised by cloud accounting software provider, Clear Books) is a not-for-profit event designed to help British small businesses learn more about what it takes to be successful has been announced today

The Clear Books Community Exhibition (CBCE), is supported by Microsoft and aims to provide an inspiring and informative day of presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities to help small companies learn, overcome challenges and succeed with their ambitions.

Clear Books has designed CBCE based on the feedback from its community of more than 8,000 small business customers to ensure that content is highly relevant, topical and engaging for small business owners and managers across a wide range of sectors.

On the day, delegates will have the opportunity to:
• Hear presentations from leading industry speakers across a range of topics, including finance, legal, health and safety, marketing, PR and branding
• 1-2-1 advice from experience Clear Books accountants
• Attend the exhibition and network with other attendees
• Showcase their products and services by exhibiting

“We know from our own experiences that starting and growing a business is incredibly rewarding, but equally it’s not without its challenges,” says Lizzie Fouracre, Chief Operating Officer of Clear Books. “Our aim with CBCE is to provide the opportunity for many of our existing customers, as well as other small businesses, to get information and advice which they will find really useful, including tips, techniques and strategies from small business specialists. CBCE is very much part of our ongoing strategy to support our community of small business customers.”

“Clear Books has developed a strong reputation for helping small businesses to flourish and we are very keen to support this initiative,” said Chris Rothwell, SMB Customer Channel Manager, Microsoft. “The exhibition also offers a great one off opportunity for small business owners and managers to experience how their businesses can flourish with the Microsoft mobile first, cloud first world.”

CBCE is taking place on the 6th of February 2015 at Microsoft’s London office at Cardinal Place, 80-100 Victoria Street, SW1E 5JL.

IOSH Working Safely Course, Reading, 26/02/2015

IOSH Training Courses 2015

Our next IOSH Working Safely 2015 course is taking place on 26th February 2015.

View our IOSH Course Programme 2015

IOSH Managing Safely Courses 2015

Duration: 4 days

Location Date Cost exc VAT
Abingdon 16/03/2015-19/03/2015 £599
Reading 15/06/2015-18/06/2015 £599
High Wycombe 5/10/2015-8/10/2015 £599

IOSH Working Safely Courses 2015

Duration: 1 day

Location Date Cost exc VAT
Reading 26/02/2015 £180
Reading 22/05/2015 £180
Reading 30/10/2015 £180

About IOSH Managing Safely

Managing Safely is a four-day course. It is non-industry specific and is suitable for any managers and supervisors, bringing them up-to-speed with current health and safety requirements, helping them manage their legal responsibilities and guiding them through day-to-day aspects of safety management.

About IOSH Working Safely

IOSH Working Safely is a one day course designed to give all employees a better understanding of the importance of safety in the workplace. It is highly interactive and gives delegates a good, all round understanding of their duties as employees, hazard-spotting, developing control measures and how they can contribute to the organisation’s safety performance.

IOSH Working Safely Course, Reading, 26/02/2015

IOSH Training Courses 2015

Our next IOSH Working Safely course is taking place on 26th February 2015

Further 2015 training courses will be listed shortly.

About IOSH Managing Safely

Managing Safely is a four-day course. It is non-industry specific and is suitable for any managers and supervisors, bringing them up-to-speed with current health and safety requirements, helping them manage their legal responsibilities and guiding them through day-to-day aspects of safety management.

About IOSH Working Safely

IOSH Working Safely is a one day course designed to give all employees a better understanding of the importance of safety in the workplace. It is highly interactive and gives delegates a good, all round understanding of their duties as employees, hazard-spotting, developing control measures and how they can contribute to the organisation’s safety performance.

IOSH Working Safely Course, Reading, 26/02/2015

IOSH Training Courses 2015

Our next IOSH Working Safely course is taking place on 26th February 2015

Further 2015 training courses will be listed shortly.

About IOSH Managing Safely

Managing Safely is a four-day course. It is non-industry specific and is suitable for any managers and supervisors, bringing them up-to-speed with current health and safety requirements, helping them manage their legal responsibilities and guiding them through day-to-day aspects of safety management.

About IOSH Working Safely

IOSH Working Safely is a one day course designed to give all employees a better understanding of the importance of safety in the workplace. It is highly interactive and gives delegates a good, all round understanding of their duties as employees, hazard-spotting, developing control measures and how they can contribute to the organisation’s safety performance.

A Mark of Quality

3a Warning children choking copyIt’s that time of year again! As we rush around trying to make sure that Christmas is perfect and that we haven’t forgotten anyone in our present hunt, it’s tempting to buy gifts at bargain prices to eke out the budget; but at what cost?

Just last week we were warned about counterfeit shampoos and body wash being sold at bargain prices from on-line retailers and at discount stores and markets across the country.  In November, the BBC reported that thousands of counterfeit Peppa Pig toys, loom bands and Frozen princess dolls had been intercepted at Dover Docks.

Common sense tells us that you get what you pay for, and if it’s an incredible bargain, there is a reason. An American site, The Counterfeit Report lists products that are being counterfeited and describes how to identify a fake product. With increased internet purchases, the site is a useful place to check if you have concerns, and it currently has a whole array of products listed, from Burberry Umbrellas and GlaxoSmithKline Alli Weight Loss Aids to Chanel No 5 Perfume.

Toys are always a target for the fake market. Currently there are reports of toxic paints in loom bands and eyes that fall off toys. The obvious thing is to always buy from a reputable retailer, where you can be confident of your rights as a consumer. The key thing to look out for is the European Community (CE) mark on toys. All manufacturers, manufacturers’ authorised representative distributors and importers must comply with the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 and the CE mark confirms that the item is intended to be used as a toy. The main requirements are that the toys must:

  • Satisfy the ‘essential safety requirements’ in the regulations
  • Be properly marked to ensure traceability
  • Bear the CE mark
  • Be accompanied by instructions for use, and warning where necessary.

3b CE Mark copyThe CE mark is a sign of both quality and safety. The product will have had to have passed rigorous standards, inspections and tested to have been awarded the CE mark. Products without the CE mark may not be intended to be used as a toy, but as a novelty or decoration and it’s not safe for children to use it.

If you identify a product that you think may be counterfeit then report it to Action Fraud

 

If you would like more information about current product recalls or the latest news on current counterfeit concerns, take a look at the Trading Standards website

3a approvedlionmarkretailer

 

The Drinks Are On Us!

1a Better Drinking picture copyMost companies at this time of the year throw a party. It’s a great opportunity for the senior management to show their appreciation for their staff, whether it’s drinks and nibbles in the office, dinner in a posh restaurant or an outing to the night club. A couple of glasses of wine is fairly normal as part of the festivities, but, what happens if you employ someone who is under 18?

I was asked this question by a client earlier this week. In this particular case the answer was quite straightforward, as the party will be on the company premises and the drinks will be Bucks Fizz. But care really has to be taken to ensure you, as an employer, don’t break the law.

Here are the basic rules:

It is against the law:

  • For an under 18 year old to buy, or try to buy alcohol
  • For someone to sell alcohol to someone under 18
  • For an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for someone under 18
  • For an 18 year old to drink alcohol on licenced premises (e.g. pub or restaurant)

If someone is 16 or 17 and they are accompanied by an adult they can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal. If they are on private premises then it is not against the law to drink, however, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, parents or guardians must be informed of any outcomes from risk assessments and for ANY staff at a works ‘do’, the employer still has a responsibility for their welfare.

To ensure that you don’t break the law with your under 18s:

  • Get written consent that their parents or guardians are happy for them to have a drink;
  • Make sure that there is a responsible adult monitoring the situation;
  • Ensure that ALL staff can get home safely with taxis, shared lifts by someone who hasn’t been drinking, public transport, or if necessary make particular arrangements for the under 18s.
  • Drinks on your premises make it easier to manage and monitor alcohol intake.
  • Drinks at a restaurant or corporate function are fine as long as it’s in moderation (wine, beer or cider) and with a meal, and the young person doesn’t buy the drinks.
  • Alcoholic drinks at the pub, night club or casino are absolutely off-limits unless it’s with a meal, so it’s worth reminding staff that they will be breaking the law if they buy the young person an alcoholic drink.

Click here for more information.

A Great Success – Goring and Streatley Festival 2014

goring-streatley-festival (c) Bernard NovellRebecca Russell from Stepping Stones for Business was delighted to be on the organising committee for the Goring and Streatley Festival.
The 10-day inaugural festival, which ran from the 27th June to 6th July held 52 events included art exhibitions, open-air theatre, performing arts, concerts, workshops, dance classes, bell ringing, circus skills and fringe events. The Grand Finale was a family day in Streatley Meadow, with over 2000 people enjoyed picnics in the Meadow with the Wimbledon Men’s Finals on the Big Screen, followed by the Last Night of  the Proms lead Dawn Roberts, the Goring and Streatley Concert Band and the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir.
Stepping Stones for Business carried out a total of 56 risk assessments for the festival, provided First Aid Cover for most events and organised the Last Night Concert, along with a number of other events.Overall the festival was extremely well attended and plans are already afoot for 2015.

Queen Anne’s School hosts IOSH Health and Safety Courses

Queen Anne's school logoQueen Anne’s School in Caversham recently hosted an ‘IOSH Working Safely Course’ run by Stepping Stones for Business. The delegates, who included staff from Queen Anne’s and surrounding schools, passed the end of course assessment and are now fully IOSH Working Safely qualified.

This was the first course organised as a joint venture between Stepping Stones for Business and Queen Anne’s.  Following its success a number of safety courses are being scheduled for 2014, including ‘IOSH Working Safely’, ‘IOSH Managing Safely’, ‘Manual Handling’ and ‘Asbestos Awareness’.  Queen Anne’s boasts excellent conference facilities, has fantastic transport links and ample parking for visiting delegates – making it a perfect venue for hosting training courses.

‘IOSH is a well-recognised qualification and at Queen Anne’s we strive to provide the best safety training for our staff.  We opened up the opportunity to other schools in the area and were inundated with enquiries.  Following the success of this first course we are now planning a series of courses for 2014!

Judith Tremayne, HR Advisor, Queen Anne’s School