Blue Sky Thinking

Blue sky and sunshine greeted us as we made our way to the July meeting of Newark Business Club at the YMCA for a 6.45 am start.

After the welcome from the chairman, Simon Gabbitas, the roving mic was passed around the room, giving around 80 businesspeople the opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses.


20/20 – Table Challenge set

Today’s meeting was sponsored by the Children’s Bereavement Centre, the only charity in this area dedicated to helping children cope with the loss of a loved one. Rachel Wilson, the charity’s fundraising and marketing manager, said, “Although the Children’s Bereavement Centre is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the birthday celebrations are bittersweet because demand for our services has never been higher, with over 1,000 children aged between 3 and 18 being supported in the past year.”

The vast majority of the Children’s Bereavement Centre’s funding comes from donations from local people and businesses. An example of local business support is that from Scott Wrigley, owner of local business Wrigleprint, who is completing 20 challenges to raise £20,000 for the Children’s Bereavement Centre in 2023. It is going very well, with Scott having just completed his 12th challenge. If you would like to support Scott, go to his Just Giving page.

An emotional video included one of the first children supported by the charity 20 years ago. He is now an adult and spoke of how the Children’s Bereavement Centre helped him to get through a very difficult time after his father died and how their help in dealing with his grief prevented future issues.

The Children’s Bereavement Centre introduced their new campaign – The Accumulator. Based on the TV series, The Apprentice, it aims to sign up 20 companies, give them £100 each, and challenge them to turn that money into at least £1,000, with a target total donation of £20,000 to celebrate the charity’s 20th year. Among those taking part in this challenge are a group of young entrepreneurs – primary schoolchildren Jude, Seth and Elliott, who set up a tuck shop selling delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies and sweets at the end of meeting, with the proceeds being donated to the Children’s Bereavement Centre.

CBC Video Presentation

Business Award winners

This year, the trophies for Newark Business Awards were designed by joinery and air and space students at Newark College, with the frames being provided by Framin’ ‘Ell – another example of collaboration between local organisations and businesses. The Club were delighted that so many winners could join us and show off their trophies.

Several people present were congratulated on winning awards at the recent final of the Newark Business Awards, including Thomas Shaw of Shaw Spark Electrical and Property Services, who won the Best Start-Up award; Melanie Slack of Sweatpea Flowers by Design, the winner of Independent Retailer of the Year, which recently celebrated its fifth year in business; and Kevin Guthrie of Not My Money, who won the award for business innovation. The team at the local hospice Beaumond House won team of the year, honouring not only their dedicated staff but also their dedicated team of over 150 volunteers.

Member Spotlight

Framin’ ‘Ell is a local and independent framing business based in Fernwood, Newark.

Philip Stephenson, the Proprietor, of Framin’ ‘Ell is a Guild Commended / Certified Framer and has been framing since 2003, since leaving the forces.

During this time the business has gained many accolades for their high standard of work.

Framin’ ‘Ell is a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild and is a strong advocate of its Code of Ethics. We are also members of the Professional Picture Framers Association.

Although the business is located in Newark, the client base stretches far and wide with customers not only in the UK but also worldwide.

Customer service is, without hesitation, the most important feature of Framin’ ‘Ell – we will give you all the time and service you need to help with your projects.

We stock a large range of mouldings, mountboards, glass and fittings in order to give our customers the widest possible choice available.

Ready to discuss your framing project? Call us on 01636 679603 or send an email to

Round table discussion

A round table discussion followed. The questions for discussion were: What opportunities are your businesses seeing at the moment? What challenges are your businesses facing right now? Each table wrote down their responses, recording an overview of the opportunities and challenges of businesses in Newark.

Charity of the Quarter

Daniel Otton of Buttercross Estates introduced the Charity of the Quarter Initiative under which three charities are invited to present at the next meeting of the business club, with everyone present voting for their favourite charity and the winner receiving a donation of £250 from the club plus £250 from Newark Round Table. The three charities that will present at the August meeting are Headway, Framework and Mary Elizabeth Siebel Charity. There was a call for other charities not already on the list to be nominated for future inclusion

Its A knock – Out

We heard from Kevin Guthrie on how his team of 10 – The Independents – raised over £7,000 by taking part in the It’s a Knockout Competition at the YMCA in June. A fun and laughter-filled day was enjoyed by contestants and spectators alike, as shown on the video. For those inspired to take part next year, the competition will be held again on 23rd June 2024.

Congratulations to Penny

A special announcement followed – Penny Taylor, head of Newark College and the Air and Space Institute, has been awarded an MBE for her services to education and employment, making a difference to the lives of the young people she guides through further education in Newark.

Anna Eason – Highfields School

New Marketing Manager for Highfields School Newark was this months lucky Winner of the Business Card Draw

Highfields Independent School and Day Nursery is a co-educational independent school for boys and girls age 2-11. At Highfields we are proud of the many things we do to help your child feel welcome, valued and encouraged as an individual..

Highfields Nursery is open five days a week during school term time and offers a full day from 7.30am until 6.00pm accepting children from the age of 2.

Highfields main school starts with Reception for children turning five and goes up to year 6. We prepare children for common entrance or 11+ entry to senior school at the age of 11.

At Highfields our aim is for every child to attain their potential, which we achieve with small class sizes, specialist teaching and dedicated learning support.

For More details visit or call 01636 704103

Book of the Month

Who Gives a Book? The book chosen to be given away was Love and Work by Marcus Buckingham, which was recommended by Simon Allen of Access Accounts. The winner of a copy of this book was Simon Shaw of Duncan and Toplis. If you would like to recommend a business book or podcast, email or visit the business club’s Facebook page.

Write up Roz Andrews, RA Writers For Hire

Thank you to Our Patrons & Sponsors

We are delighted to announce the following Patrons for 2023: Gusto Group|Funding Round|Reflect Recruitment|Barcode Warehouse|Motorfinity|PeachyEvents

Next Meeting – YMCA Village August 4th 2023 6.45am

The YMCA catering team offer a range of delicious breakfasts which are available to purchase.

Please Book your tickets online

YMCA Community and Activity Village
Lord Hawke Way
Nottinghamshire NG24 4FH

For sponsorship opportunities, contact