Where there’s a Will, there’s a way… The Will Way

A lot of people can probably agree that will writing is something that they put off for fear of not wanting to face it – it seems like such a scary and daunting process – but when you think about it, it’s something that HAS to be done.

That’s why we’re so thrilled to announce we now have a will writing company in our immense array of members, please welcome Jodie Lawton to the family!

By offering a comfortable, friendly and open service, Jodie can really make you feel at ease during a process that can usually be confusing and for some, upsetting. No matter what you talk about, it will always be kept in the strictest confidence and nothing will be set in stone until you are 100% satisfied that everything you need has been sorted.

“I became a will writer because I know first-hand how important wills can be,” Jodie explains.

“Without them, grieving partners, children and families may be left with all kinds of legal administrations.

“In some cases. families may not be legally allowed to unlock assets at all! That simply isn’t right – and all honestly, I believe there is a lot of confusion surrounding wills. Your will doesn’t have to be something you think about at the last minute. What’s more, writing your will doesn’t have to be scary, or rigid, or complex.”

Jodie understands the problems that people may face if there is no will in place, for example families and parents already struggling with grief will find themselves with mounds of paperwork and costs they may not be able to afford if there is not the correct will in place to help.

With years of experience behind her as a professional will writer, Jodie will be able to answer any queries with the utmost consideration and empathy for all situations.

“A will that isn’t written with care and attention can make lives very difficult. I want to help people avoid this kind of difficulty.

“As an experienced will writer and qualified accountant I’m in a great position to offer genuine empathy and support throughout the whole process.

“I’ll give you the time you need to make your final decisions and write your will for you. I work with people of all ages and from all backgrounds – it’s so important to protect what’s yours, and what belongs with your family.”

2022 is the year of We Are Wakefield…

Our biggest change this year is the appointment of our new Managing Director, Claire Sutherley.

With over 20 years of experience in the business sector, Claire has the knowledge, skills and know-how to making a business work.

Having lived and worked in the Wakefield and Five Towns District for many years, she understands the local economy and how to help SME’s, alongside large national companies and global brands.

Claire is taking the front seat in the We Are Wakefield wheels, to drive the company to huge successes. She has already implemented and executed so many objectives in her first week, with her yearly plans set to spear-head the market.

Her inbox is always open for new and existing members to talk about anything they need, and she means anything. Struggling to get clients? Want to know where you can find support? Just need someone to chat to? Get in touch with Claire and claire.sutherley@wearewakefield.co.uk!

“I am here to discuss with everyone what their vision is and how we can help you get there.
” I’m going to create a valuable, engaging network of support for businesses in the Wakefield District, a way of connecting businesses and building a community environment.”

Our Social Media Executive is now a permanent member of the We Are Wakefield team!

Having started with company back in July, Megan was appointed on a temporary contract, but has since shown her skills and talents and we are now thrilled to have her as part of our permanent team.

Many of the existing members will already have chatted to Megan, whether it has been through email, video chat, or at one of our events. Although in the background, she plays a vital part of the We Are Wakefield team, and makes sure that all staff, trustees, and board members and our network and connected.

Megan is here to promote your business in any way she can. With years of experience in the marketing industry, she can roll with any idea you give her or come up with an original proposal for you.

Need some social media support? She can help with that too. Together with you, she can help you plan posts and get the most out of social media to make the most out of the current market.

“I’ve got so many skills from design to marketing to social media to creative writing, I can help large and small businesses get the most out of what’s on the current market.
“Media and marketing is an ever and fast-changing industry, so I make sure to keep on top of trends which some people might not have the time to, that’s why I can help people.”

Make sure to get your ticket to our 2022 Vision Networking Event this February…

Not a member but want to come along to see what we’re about? All non-members get the chance to visit one of our events for free!

Follow this link to grab your ticket now: We Are Wakefield’s 2022 Vision Networking Event Tickets, Fri 4 Feb 2022 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

We’ve got your signage needs covered!

Are you needing some help with your signage needs? But do you want to help out a local business at the same time? Let us introduce Printforms…

Being local leaders in the market for printing, branding merchandise, fulfilment & distribution, document printing and direct mailing, Printforms really does have you covered over a range of different aspects.

During the COVID-19 pandemic many businesses, locally, nationally and globally, were pushed to the very limits – which crushed and dissolved so many companies. However, Printforms celebrated. During this time, they celebrated their 25th year of trading and continue to carry on as strong as ever.

Operating in the heart of Wakefield from their HQ, their base is ideally located and well-equipped to handle all print, promotional and mailing requirements for both small enterprises and multinational operations.

One of the companies large clients includes the NHS during the pandemic, Mick from the Business Development department explains:

“We have been proud  suppliers to the NHS and have produced many printed  items for IU in a number of hospitals.

“We have been deemed as essential suppliers throughout the pandemic.

“Also we are aware of the importance of  live events, local arts and their impact on the city, and we continue to be strong supporters of Theatre Royal Wakefield.”

A very important part of the business is the strong links they have across the globe. By having established links in Asia and in other corners of the globe, it ensures that Printforms can obtain great products, unusual items, all whilst keeping the price competitive.

When talking about why Printforms is a We Are Wakefield member, Mick told us:

“Why not? From the beginning of the pandemic it has been a tremendously helpful and supportive team, from getting grants through to advice and general encouragement in scary times.

“Personally I can point out Victoria Fox who was there right from the start with a positive attitude and a willingness to help any way.”

Have you heard? Our new Managing Director…

Following the successful re-launch of We Are Wakefield, we are now proud to present our newest appointment…

Managing Director – Claire Sutherley!

Since the company has been going from strength to strength, we are now in a position where growth within the company is vital to continue connecting local businesses in the area and helping them within their own growth, and so appointing Claire to the role given her extensive experience within the sector is a great acquirement for us.

Formerly the Business Engagement Officer within Wakefield Council’s Wakefield First, Claire had helped to support thousands of businesses in the district over the last 18 months in her role, and she can now continue to do so, all whilst growing the We Are Wakefield businesses!

“I am extremely excited to be joining the We are Wakefield team as Managing Director in January,” explains Claire.

“I will be looking to build on the great relationships that already exist between Wakefield businesses and provide a firm footing for a business community that engages, has value, and inspires.

“I realise the importance of a support network when running a business as it can be a very lonely place indeed, I look forward to being part of that network and working districtwide to help our businesses thrive.”

Everyone at the We Are Wakefield HQ are excited to welcome Claire on-board, her skills, expertise and knowledge of the industry, along with the contacts and experience she has can only strength the company leaps and bounds.

Chair, Craig Shepherd, is no exception. He said: “In line with our strategy for growth, we have recruited a Managing Director who will be able to drive the business forward and provide the members of We Are Wakefield with consistency.

“Our ‘GrowIN’ strand is now on track to launch in 2022 and with Claire’s considerable experience of supporting key leaders to grow their businesses and develop we have a clear opportunity to make a difference across the district.

Everyone you speak to has nothing but superlatives to say about Claire and we are very lucky to have her onboard. Roll on January!”

Claire is all set to start her new role after the festive season on January 4 – and we can’t wait to welcome her with open arms.

Fancy having a chat with her to talk about how she can help your business through We Are Wakefield? Drop her an email at claire.sutherley@wearewakefield.co.uk.

Looking for laundry? Elis can help you out…

November’s Meet Our Members are global brand Elis!

With their Wakefield factory based on Portobello Road, this worldwide company which has some fantastic opportunities, is accessible locally.

So, what do they do? Well, maybe the question is what don’t they do…

The Elis brand offers a wide range of laundry and hygiene services to number of different sectors, to name but a few they offer cleanroom services, flat linen, floor protection, surgical solutions, washroom and work wear to small to large companies across the globe.

After hosting one of our events, our members were treated to a tour of the Elis facility which they were shown what the company can do for small, local businesses, as well as the larger, nationwide companies.

We caught up with General Manager at Elis, Jonny Parkinson, who explained what the main focus of the company is.

“At Elis we pride ourselves on our core values of Respect, Integrity, Responsibility and Exemplarity, these are at the forefront of our business model and a focus of all our customer partnerships,” he explains.

“Elis are a multiservice provider offering Workwear, Floorcare, Washroom and Wipers on industrial scale, serviced from one location and one supplier.

We have a wide knowledge base and scope to offer bespoke commercial packages to suit individual needs, these can range from local, independent businesses through to large national or European organisations.”

Elis have been members of We Are Wakefield for some time now, and Jonny tells us how it has helped the company in a local capacity:

“Our site has operated in the same location over many decades, employing local people but has never had a real presence in the community.

We want to work with local organisations to share best practise, become aware of how we can support the community of Wakefield businesses commercially and operationally by building strong relationships and connections.

This is out first year and already we have made some good connections, utilising fellow WAW members services to support our organisation.

As a business Elis UK have now entered the washroom market offering washroom and hygiene solutions across the Yorkshire region from it’s plant in Wakefield.

We have invested in our service delivery capability, products and services and have capacity to work with organisations to find a fit for purpose solution.

If you are interested in a no obligation site survey our team are contactable on (01924) 240250 – Quoting FreeWashroomSurvey.”

Did you miss out on the We Are Wakefield networking event at Elis and wondering what you missed? Take a look at this video that Elis have recently recorded for more information on what they do:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnc1vX9p_7k

Meet Our Members – Project Group

We all need signs promoting our businesses – let’s give you a couple of examples…

You’ve built the brand, got a good client base, now you’re finally moving in to your own office… maybe a shared working space, or maybe even your own building. People need to know who you are, how do you do that? With a sign!

Or, like so many others, you’ve adapted so well to working from home that you’ve decided to stay remote and have finally turned a corner of your house into a fully-functioning office space. You’ll still be taking part in remote meetings over Zoom or Teams, so what better way to look professional and promote yourself than by having your company logo in lights above your working space!

It just so happens that one of our members, Project Group, are a Wakefield-based, market leading company within the signage industry!

From the second you enquire, the team at Project will consult with you right from the very start, helping you and guiding you through the signage process from installation all the way through to maintenance.

We Are Wakefield caught up with Managing Director at Project, Liam Fletcher, he said:

“We are a full turnkey solution to anything signage related, offering the design, supply, installation and aftercare of signage and graphics to a wide range of businesses and sectors.”

Despite being a nationwide firm and having worked across the country, Liam is wanting to help businesses in the local area with their signage needs.

“I am part of the We Are Wakefield network to try and gain more local custom, as a lot of our clients are based further afield, it would be nice to showcase what we can offer more locally,” he explains.

“We are expanding yet again with the creation of another two positions in our installation teams and a growing list of existing and new customers.”

Why not get your signage needs sorted through a local and trusted company like Project.

A JourneyThrough Elis – A We Are Wakefield Event

Members of We Are Wakefield were treated to a delightful tour and talk within the Elis factory, located on Portobello Road in Wakefield.

General Manager of the laundry cleaning facility, Jonny Parkinson, gave members an exclusive insight into the world on cleaning and how the company is so successful, by having numerous facilities across the globe.

Despite being a worldwide company, there were many benefits that were on offer to We Are Wakefield members, showing that the company not only cares about global growth, but local relationships too.

Breakfast butties, tea, coffee, juice and pastries were served up for all attendees and were a lovely treat for everyone there! Everyone was then seated and shown a presentation, explaining how this global company can help small, local businesses.

Following the Q&A, everyone was offered the chance to take at tour of the factory facility – which of course, no one declined. Highly knowledgeable members of staff walked the group through the site and gave immense detail into every section of the cleaning process, which was an eye-opener to see how this process works.

Feedback from all attendees was amazing and we would just like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Jonny, and the entire Elis team who gave us a warm welcome, and an amazing day!

Have you heard about a journey through Elis?

Following the roaring success of our first roadshow launch events, we are absolutely delighted to have secured a limited-space tour of a local Wakefield factory facility.

Our members over at Elis have kindly agreed to give a limited number of our members a tour of their local facility located on Portobello Road. With the chance to not only have an exclusive visit, there will also be chance for you to get to know fellow members and have a chat about how you can all work together.

After seeing the amazing turn out and been given some brilliant feedback from out attendees, we have taken everything on board, and are we are so thrilled to offer you the chance to come to this event.

Starting at the factory doors at 9.30am, there will be chance to grab a cup of tea or coffee to get the day started, meeting with fellow We Are Wakefield members and having a chat to one another.

We will then be treated to a speech from our Chair, Craig Shepherd, who many of you will have already had the pleasure of meeting through our other events. General Manager at Elis, Jonny, will then be presenting to us, letting us know what Elis does and what their plans for future growth look like.  A Q&A will follow, making sure that all questions will be answered for all members.

At around 10.40am, the site tour will begin, taking around 20 minutes, which will then be followed by more networking opportunities. This will be the prefect chance for you to have a chat with Jonny and discuss how your business can work with Elis – or other fellow members to see how you can grow your businesses together!

Elis is a pan European textile and hygiene service provider in the Hospitality, Healthcare and ICS (Industry, Commerce and Service) sectors. The Wakefield plant is one of only nine in the UK, which employs more than 100 people and provides workwear, laundry and mat and washroom services to around 1,500 on a weekly basis.

This is a truly unique opportunity that we have been given and due to the fact the tour will be on a working site, we have had to cap numbers on this event and they are very limited – so make sure to get your tickets soon!

As the site is an industrial laundry facility, we do need to make it aware that all attendees will be asked to wear steel toe shoes/boots for anyone wanting to participate on the full tour. If you have your own, please do feel free to bring them along, if not don’t worry as they will be provided.

Wanting to book your ticket now? Just follow this link: A Journey Through Elis Tickets, Fri 15 Oct 2021 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

Meet Our Members, Tribe HR & Recruitment Services

It is no surprise that HR & Recruitment go hand-in-hand. But have you ever found a company that can take care of both to the highest possible standard? Usually hybrid companies excel in one aspect and fall in another, so when you realise that Tribe go above and beyond in both services – it is quite hard to believe! But they really do…

Tribe HR & Recruitment Services prides themselves on their ability to provide SME’s with expert and affordable HR services. After realising that quality HR was something that few small companies could afford, often with owner-managed businesses falling foul to an arena out of their expertise, it lead them to seek pricey outsourced work which they could neither afford, nor wanted.

Whilst there are plenty of HR agencies on the market at the moment, Tribe is one of the few that offers their customers with fully bespoke services. Hate dealing with call centres and scripted people on the other end of the line? Well, Tribe doesn’t work like that – and instead all customers are assigned their own personal HR Manager who will act as their very own port of call for all their needs.

“We believe that working with Tribe is the closest a business can access to having their own HR Manager without the internal costs,” explains CEO of Tribe, Vicky Huthart.

“Being based a few miles from Wakefield and being personally committed to supporting local businesses, we felt that our services were something that could enhance and support the employment and employability of Wakefield.”

Tribe is currently working with developers to create an all-new employee management system which will soon be available for all clients! Alongside this, they also off a price-match promise on all like for like HR or Recruitment services, so why not get in touch with them to see what they can do for you!

Second Success – Third Pending

If you were lucky enough to get tickets to our SOLD OUT Wakefield City Centre Roadshow Launch Event, then you will understand this headline.

There was no other term of phrase to describe our event at The Art House as a resounding success; drinks flowed, people chatted, networking galore.

Mike Denby opened the event and thanked all members and non-members for coming, then followed his beautifully worded and heart-warming speech by showcasing our brand-new re-launch video. Applause filled the room. He then welcomed on to stage the our guest of honour, all the way from London, Head of Marketing for Tileyard, Lucy Macieira. She treated us all to an insightful about Tileyard’s plans and how their plans for the north are booming.

After everyone was uplifted and in good spirits thanks to our two amazing speakers, everyone networked and chatted away, exchanging business cards and discussing how they can help each other’s businesses – a sure delight to watch and be a part of.

Behind the scene we have been dealing with the generic issues that come with a worldwide global pandemic; How can we be safe? What happens if someone tests positive? How can we use the pandemic to our advantage? We have had to deal with it all!

Late and sleepless nights, last-minute pull togethers, endless fidgeting thinking that we have forgotten something – our team have had to endure it all. But we can honestly say that when everything finally comes together and we get to see the joyous occasion of a networking event after over a year out, it really does make all of the hard work worth it – so thank you to our past, present and future attendees for making our first two events such a success.

We still have two more events taking place next week:

Monday 20th September 2021 @ 10am at Junction 32 Outlet

Wednesday 22nd September 2021 @ 10am at Ossett Town Hall

And remember, you don’t have to be a We Are Wakefield member to attend!

See you there…