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Ellis Bates News

Cycle to Work Day

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It was the 10th Anniversary of Cycle to Work Day on Thursday 4th August 2022, a day established by Cyclescheme.

The cycle to work scheme is an initiative under the Government’s Green Transport Plan and is an employee benefit that can save you between 26-40% on a bike and accessories.  It enables you to buy a new bike and pay through salary sacrifice and because you pay for it from your gross pay, you save tax and national insurance on the monthly payment. Ellis Bates is proud to offer this scheme as part of our company benefits.

Cycling to work is a great way to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing, as well as being environmentally friendly. With the cost-of-living crisis encouraging us all to re-evaluate our spending, commuting via bike can be cost effective and rewarding.

Angela from our Newcastle office took part in the Cycle to Work Day. She didn’t get any pictures of herself but took some shots of the lovely scenery along the way.

Visit the Cyclescheme website to learn more about the scheme.

Volunteer day at Otley Chevin

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On Thursday 30th June, a group of 6 employees from Ellis Bates volunteered at Leeds Parks and Countryside Service on Otley Chevin and carried out some invasive species control in the form of Himalayan Balsam Bashing. Himalayan balsam is a major weed problem, it grows rapidly, spreads quickly and smothers other vegetation.

Ellis Bates will support colleagues who wish to do volunteer work by providing one day a year where they can use their working day to volunteer within their communities or for charitable institutions. Charitable work supports our values of caring for our colleagues, customers and communities.

It allows colleagues to positively impact causes that are important to them and shows that the business is committed to its Social Responsibility principles. Volunteers can use the skills that they have developed at work to help the community, learn new skills, and help to improve morale, physical health, and work life balance.

They had a great day out volunteering and finished with a well-deserved drink.

Jubilee bake off

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We recently held a jubilee bake off for the Queens Platinum Jubilee to raise money for two brilliant charities, Alzheimer’s Society and Smile for Life. The delicious array of sweet and savoury snacks were judged by our very own Academy Trainer, Catherine Duncan, who needed a lie down after taste testing.

The selection of treats included cheese scones, cupcakes, savoury plaits and a variety of different flavoured cakes.

The winners were:

  • Best savoury:  Cheese and onion plait
  • Best sweet: Chocolate brownie
  • Best looking: Lime cake & icing with raspberry & blueberries
  • Most comical: Hedgehog

Thank you to everyone who got involved, whether that was by baking or donating – even the Queen made an appearance!

For more information on the fantastic charities we are raising money for please visit their websites:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

http://smileforlife.org.uk/

 

Moving forward together

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Promotions

  • Two of our Advisers have moved into Regional Manager roles
  • Ben Clapham, an Adviser and Regional Manager is now our Director of Financial Planning
  • Lauren Nickell-Lean, has moved from a Client Research Administrator to a Trainee Paraplanner
  • Lee DeRedder, has moved from a Client Servicing Administrator to a Trainee Paraplanner

Exam Passes

  • Amy Butler has passed the Pensions and Retirement Planning (R04) CII examination
  • Adam Blakey has passed the Regulation and Ethics examination (CF1)
  • Laura Craven has passed the Equity Release (ER1) exam
  • We have 11 newly qualified mental health first aiders have completed the MHFA course

New Starters

  • Rebecca Summersall joining us as a New Client Administrator
  • Jaymee Stronach joining us as Mortgage Administrator

Supporting Charities Close to our Hearts

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Many of our team members have close links to some fantastic charities. As part of our social responsibility initiative, supporting charities is one of the key areas we focus on.

One of our Financial Planners, Kim Bath, married in August 2021 and rather than requesting wedding gifts, asked guests if they would kindly donate to charity instead.

Sadly due to Covid their ceremony was postponed three times and should have taken place in June last year. Devastatingly, between these dates three people who should have attended passed away from cancer-related illnesses. So, with this charity being close to their hearts, Kim and her husband chose Cancer Research UK.

The total amount raised by guests was £400, and Ellis Bates matched this so the charity benefitted from a generous total of £800.

Cancer Research is an incredible charity looking at the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Thanks to the extensive research that has been done, the survival rate has doubled over the past 40 years.

For more information on this incredible charity, visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

Focus on your future fair

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We were delighted to support the careers fair at Lawnswood School last week, as part of our wider socially responsible programme of creating opportunities for younger people.

The school were offering a range of career ideas for 12 to 18 year olds, encouraging them to learn about different job roles and types of companies.

The pupils were full of great questions about the financial services industry and the range of job roles available. We have already offered, and are looking forward to one student joining us for a week of on-site work experience!

To keep up to date on other events and causes the Social Responsibility Team support, visit our news and insights page.

Unlimited futures for all young women

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We are always looking for ways we can enhance people’s lives as a financial services provider, an employer and as a community-based business. The Social Responsibility Team involves dedicated Ellis Bates employees who have a passion for the environment and for supporting local communities. One of our Team Leaders, Bethany Irwin, is actively involved with and recently attended an event run by The Girls’ Network:

Q. Tell us a little bit about what The Girls’ Network is all about?

The Girls Network is a national charity started in 2013 by two teachers who had a desire to empower their female students and to teach them they can achieve their goals. The charity is split across 8 regions and has recently expanded further in the North East to include Northumberland and County Durham. For more information on The Girls’ Network, please visit https://www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk/

Q. What made you want to become involved in The Girls’ Network?

I’ve always been extremely passionate about helping young people in the local community. I have led a Brownie unit for over 7 years – the same one I attended when I was younger and noticed the difference just one conversation can make to the girls’ outlook on what they can achieve.  I have previously volunteered for a non-profit called ‘This is Creative Enterprise’, a fantastic organisation that specialise in mentoring students on creative careers and providing them with real-life experiences.

I wanted others to know that there is more than just one route to a successful career. Therefore, I contacted local schools and colleges to arrange to go in and talk about my own experiences and to answer any questions about what apprenticeships are and how they work.

Q. How can people support The Girls’ Network?

There are numerous ways people can get involved. They can donate, take part in a sporting event, fundraise, become a corporate partner or become a mentor. Mentoring is the route I am currently undertaking so I can share my own experience and skills with a girl that might not benefit from this support otherwise.

Q. What does the mentoring process look like?

Once you have enrolled and are accepted onto the programme you attend training sessions and an information evening. Once you have passed a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check you can attend a matching event at the local school, where every mentor can speak with each of the girls. Once you have been matched to someone there are 10 mentoring sessions, 1 per month, and the programme concludes with a celebration event. There is the opportunity to join the Ambassador programme where you can continue to mentor on an on-going basis.

Q. What was the reason for the event you recently attended and what did you take away from it?

The event was an insightful and inspiring session comprising of talks from experienced mentors who had been through the process already.

There was one particularly moving story by a lady who talked about how much she learned from her mentee and how she had been made redundant within the last year. Instead of withdrawing from the programme entirely, she founded her own company, Positive About Inclusion, an equality, diversity and inclusion consultancy.

The rest of the session covered discussions with others at different stages of the process. There were those who loved mentoring so much they were now veterans, holding a wealth of useful information.

I think it is important for young people to not have the added pressure of worrying about what others think about them. The fact that everyone is so different is amazing and there is so much you can learn from others. If I could give any advice to my younger self the message I would express is that the most important thing is just be yourself!

Q. What is next in your journey with The Girls’ Network?

I’m currently waiting for my DBS check to come back. Once that has been completed, I can choose a school and attend a match event to meet my first mentee.

To keep up to date on other events and causes the Social Responsibility Team support, visit our news and insights page.

National Work Life Week

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The Importance of Work-Life Balance

National Work Life Week runs from 11 – 15 October and has been successfully operating for the past 10 years, courtesy of national charity Working Families. It is an opportunity for employers and employees to focus on good work-life balance and wellbeing at work.

Research carried out by Working Families for their #FlexTheUK campaign has shown 69% of working parents would choose to apply for a new job advertised as flexible over one that isn’t, and 83% want employers to do more to create flexible jobs without waiting for the government to intervene.

Covid-19 has had many unsettling effects, not only on the financial environment but also on emotional and physical wellbeing. This has forced many to reflect on their own work-life balance and personal health.

Supporting a Great Work-Life Balance

As part of our commitment to supporting employees at Ellis Bates, we have taken a variety of measures to help improve their time both at work and home, this includes:

  • Offering a combination of home and office working.
  • Providing wellbeing modules on our internal training system, Evolve.
  • Access to the Employee Assistance Programme which is available 24 hours 7 days a week, providing debt counselling, legal and financial advice and up to six sessions per year of confidential face-to-face counselling.
  • Publishing links through our internal intranet to charities and websites such as Mind, Citizen’s Advice, British Nutrition Foundation and Carers UK.
  • Access to financial wellbeing benefits such as the company sick pay scheme, health insurance and life insurance.
  • Help with the cost of a basic eye test due to working with Display Screen Equipment and a contribution towards the cost of lenses.
  • Three employee-based teams:-
    – Colleague Engagement, to help with ongoing suggestions and improvements to our work-life balance.
    – Social Responsibility, to encourage engagement and a sense of achievement in helping others with our volunteering and charitable support programmes.
    – Client Engagement, to bring life to our core mission of ‘enhancing people’s lives’ at every stage of the client’s journey.

For more information on our employee wellbeing and the company benefits we offer visit https://www.ellisbates.com/careers/

Collectively Reducing our Carbon Footprint for World Habitat Day

World Habitat Day

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Collectively reducing our carbon footprint

World Habitat Day was created by the United Nations to reflect on the state of our habitats, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. This year’s theme is “accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world”. Cities are accountable for approximately 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions through areas such as transport, buildings, energy and waste management.

World Habitat Day began in 1985 and is held on the first Monday of October every year. It explores how national, regional and local governments, communities, and all other relevant stakeholders can collectively work together for the future of the human habitat.

The United Nations have identified 17 goals to transform our world for the better, called the Sustainable Development Goals. Essentially, these goals provide a ‘to-do’ list for all governments, companies and other organisations in addressing a range of global challenges. The Race to Zero campaign is set to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Socially Responsible Investing

A step towards helping you reduce your carbon footprint could include contemplating Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). SRI is an investment strategy that seeks to consider both financial return and sustainable social/environmental good to bring about positive social change, without causing harm to current or future generations.

SRI has always been at the heart of our investment philosophy at Ellis Bates, since we launched our first SRI portfolio in 2008. We screen and choose all our funds, not just SRI portfolios, against a range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors so you can see the impact your investments are having.

If you would like to know more about Socially Responsible Investing then please do get in touch to see how we can help you to reduce your own carbon footprint.

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.