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Monthly Archives :

September 2021

International Week of Happiness at Work

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International Week of Happiness at Work

We spend a lot of our time at work and when we are happy there, we are likely to be happier in our personal lives. Science and business have shown that happy employees are more productive, flexible, resilient, creative and work better with their colleagues.

At the end of 2017, a Dutch initiative announced that the last week in September should become International Week of Happiness at Work. It was then officially launched in September 2018.

The International Week of Happiness at Work is a do-it-yourself movement and is not owned by anyone. Companies are encouraged to put the topic onto their agenda and start to make the change to a happier workplace, with suggestions such as:

  • Invite an expert to give an inspirational talk.
  • Discuss with your colleagues what makes you happy at work.
  • Start a program to give more positive feedback.
  • Organise drinks after work with your colleagues or meet up for lunch rather than at your desk.

The International Week of Happiness at Work has started to spread all over the world, with participating countries such as Switzerland, Italy and France. In 2021 the UK launched the official website for the UK https://www.internationalweekofhappinessatwork.co.uk/.

Working together to provide employee happiness

Ellis Bates have recently been awarded Gold Accreditation in We Invest in People, signifying our commitment to placing our people at the heart of everything we do. This is an excellent achievement and adds testament to the fact that the company cares about the happiness of its employees.

In the words of our Managing Director, Michael Cope, “we believe that the success of our organisation begins and ends with people. If we make work better for everyone, we make Ellis Bates and our communities stronger, healthier and happier”.

Only 17% of organisations within We Invest in People achieve Gold and places us in the top 10% of UK organisations with this accolade.

Walled Garden Welcomes New Workshop

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Ripon Community Link celebrates opening of new workshop with thanks to volunteers, local business, and the National Lottery

A Ripon Learning Disability charity is celebrating the successful completion of a renovation project to create a workshop that will benefit its service users, staff and visitors to its popular Walled Garden.

Thanks to the enormous generosity of dedicated volunteers giving their time and skills alongside donations from 4 local business and a private donor Ripon Community Link has installed a new workshop at the Walled Garden, on the edge of the city on Palace Road.

Ripon Community Link is a leading provider of innovative day support services for people with learning difficulties, and operates from two sites within the Ripon area, St Wilfrid’s Bungalow and Ripon Walled Garden.

An enormously dedicated volunteer, supported by a team of 5 other volunteers has taken on a labour of love and fully renovated an old barn over the past 5 months, creating a safe workshop space for adults with learning disabilities. The workshop will enable service users to develop a range of skills as they learn woodwork practice. All items produced will then be sold in the Garden to raise funds for the charity.

Local business including Ellis Bates, Moduloft, Durtona Kitchens and ilke Homes have provided materials or financial support to enable the workshop renovation.

The Charity also has the support of the National Lottery who have provided funding for dedicated staff time to provide expert learning opportunities for service users.

Thanks to a comprehensive home support programme and changes to the learning spaces on site, the charity has fully supported its beneficiaries throughout the entire Covid pandemic, and since November last year, has welcomed its service users back to on-site sessions.

Victoria Ashley, Ripon Community Link Chief Executive, said: “I would like to thank all our amazing volunteers, the local businesses, and the National Lottery for their combined generosity and support of our charity. Without their support none of this would be possible.

The pandemic has posed enormous challenges for us, and this development enables us to have an additional  space on site helping us to continue to deliver our services whilst protecting service users with social distancing in place

This project will improve the range of services we offer providing even more learning opportunities for our beneficiaries. We are very excited to see what wonderful items will be created and sold in our onsite shop”

Michael Cope the Managing Director of Ellis Bates – based in Harrogate said: “I am very happy to be able to show my support for this highly thought of Ripon charity by giving to the Workshop appeal. I’ve visited the Walled Garden and it’s a wonderful community asset that benefits disabled people of all ages”

Paul Ashley of Durtona kitchens said “Durtona is proud to support Ripon Community Link, a local Charity which delivers so much to people who deserve access to high quality facilities”

Paul Thompson of Moduloft said, “it is wonderful to see the development opportunities offered to individuals, and we are proud to have Ripon Community Link as our Charity partner”

Carolyn Sands, Chair of Trustees said: “This project is a wonderful step forward for the Charity and we are extremely grateful to all of those that have been able to help us with this major development”

The charity is also fundraising for a new building at the Walled Garden site which will provide additional classroom space.

If you would like to support the work of Ripon Community Link by volunteering, please contact volunteers@riponwalledgarden.org or if you make a donation to their build fundraising campaign at https://www.justgiving.com/ripponcommlink

Further information about Ripon Community Link is available from its website, https://www.riponcommunitylink.org/

Pension Awareness Day

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Pension Awareness Day

Are you financially match fit for the future?
Its Pension Awareness Day, which started back in 2014 by the team at Pension Geeks and aims to highlight the importance of pension saving.
There are lots of free events on their website including webinars and pension clinics to help both individuals and employers understand pensions and how to achieve the retirement they want.

A strategy of decades

At Ellis Bates we start the planning young! No matter how old you are, it’s always a good time to review your pension savings and update your retirement plan. Understanding your retirement goals during each decade is key to making sure you are able to enjoy and live the lifestyle you want, and which you are working hard for, and eventually want to enjoy when you eventually decide to stop working.

With so much going on in your life – from family and work to pursuing your passions – retirement planning may not be your priority, or even on your radar yet, but it’s your pension and overall short and long term savings plan that will deliver the lifestyle you want.

Take a look at our strategy for each decade at https://www.ellisbates.com/news/retirement-planning-journey/ and we look forward to helping you get financially match fit.

Younger couple on a boat thinking about their financial future

Steps towards a better financial future

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Younger couple on a boat thinking about their financial futureSteps towards a better financial future – grow, protect and transfer your wealth

Financial planning is a step-by-step approach to ensure you meet your life goals and achieve a better financial future. Your financial plan should act as a guide as you move through life’s journey. Essentially, it should help you remain in control of your income, expenses and investments so you can manage your money and achieve your goals.

Life rarely stands still. Priorities shift, circumstances change, opportunities come and go and plans need to adapt. But regular discussion and reviews are the key to keeping on top of things. This means adapting your plans when things change, to keep you on course.

1. What are my financial goals?

Generally, people’s financial goals change as they progress through different life stages. Here are some themes which might help you  consider your own goals:

  • In your twenties, you may want to focus on saving for large purchases, such as a car, wedding or your first home
  • In your thirties, you may be planning for your family, perhaps school fees or your children’s future
  • In your forties, your focus may move to retirement planning and growing your wealth
  • In your fifties, paying off your mortgage and feeling financially free is likely to be a priority
  • In your sixties, it is usually about making sure you have enough money to retire successfully
  • In your seventies, your attention may turn to inheritance planning and later-life care

Other plans may also include starting your own business, buying a second home or travelling the world. Of course, everyone is different, so you might have a goal in mind we haven’t mentioned.

2. Are my goals short, medium or long term?

You are likely to have a mixture of short-term (less than three years), medium-term (three to ten years) and long-term (more than ten years) goals. Moving to a larger property might be a short-term goal, while saving for your children’s university fees might be a medium-term goal and retirement planning a long-term goal (depending on your life stage).

You’ll need different strategies, and different saving and investment risk levels, for each of these goals.

3. How hard is my money currently working?

If your cash is currently in a savings deposit account, the interest rate you’ll likely be receiving is probably not going to be sufficient to keep your money growing as quickly as inflation is rising over the longer term. So your savings could eventually lose buying power in real terms over the years ahead.

If you want your money to grow faster, you might want to consider allocating a portion of your savings towards  investments. This may involve more risk than a savings account, but the amount of risk involved will be dependent on you and what you are looking to achieve, so you decide. Obtaining professional advice will ensure you choose investments at a risk level that suits your preferences.

4. Have I paid off my debts?

It’s not always wise to start investing if you have debts that you need to pay off (excluding longterm debts like student loans and mortgages).
That’s because overdrafts, credit cards and other short-term debts can charge you more in interest than you could expect to gain in  investment returns. In most instances, it will benefit you more in the future to become debt-free before you start to grow your wealth.

5. Am I making the most of my tax-efficient allowances?

All UK taxpayers receive certain allowances to help with saving and investing. For example, you may already have an Individual Savings Account (ISA) and be taking advantage of your annual allowance. You also have a capital gains allowance, a dividends allowance and a pension annual allowance. All of these will help you to grow your wealth faster, if you know how to use them.

Tax allowances can be complex though, and they can change without much notice, so if you’re not careful you risk an unexpected tax charge. If in doubt, talk us to review your options.

6. What are my retirement plans?

A key factor in any financial plan is the date you plan to retire, as that typically marks a turning point from accumulation of wealth built up throughout your working life, to the reduction of wealth as you start to spend your savings and pass your assets on to loved ones. Ensuring that those two elements of your life are well balanced is an important part of the financial planning process.

Are you planning with a purpose?

Once you’ve answered these six questions for yourself, your financial plan will start to take shape. But you might still have more questions about how to reach a particular goal, how to reduce a potential tax bill, how to invest without taking on too much risk, how to pay off your debts or how much money you’ll need to retire successfully, in which case we can help. Please speak to us – we look forward to hearing from you.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change. The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.