November 2021 Meeting Shorts

November’s meeting was opened by Chairman Kevin Guthrie who welcomed members at The Everyday Champions Centre inspiring them with his quote of the day…

Work beyond study

First on stage was Kate Fell, Careers Leader from Newark Orchard School. Based in Balderton, Newark Orchard School caters for students aged from 3 to 18 with additional needs.

Kate assists the year 8-13 students find and prepare for work beyond their studies. For employers, it’s a chance to make a tremendous difference to a young person’s life.

Newark Orchard School is looking for employers who can accommodate work place visits, employer encounters, work experience opportunities, apprenticeships or supported internships. The internships are fully funded for the employers.

Newark Orchard School can help your organisation create a more inclusive environment and for further information please contact Kate Fell.

Survey gives us a snapshot of the future..

After the break, with members suitably fed by Cox Events, Chris Hobson from East Midlands Chamber updated members with the latest feeling from the business community. Although a snapshot of Q4 (responses are still being collected), it gave a good indicator of the coming months.

Initial feeling is that growth is starting to slow as we head into the festive period. 6 out of 10 businesses expect prices to rise in the coming months with the cost of raw materials being the main reason.

Business confidence remains high with turnover and profits expected to increase over the next 12 months.


Opportunity knocks with cycle scheme …

Neil Cuttell from Newark & Sherwood District Council ran through an update on the projects from the Towns Fund and also introduced the “20 Minute Town” project. With this scheme, NSDC aim to improve connectivity and access whilst reducing congestion via an affordable folding bike hire scheme.

In order to fund the scheme, NSDC are looking to raise around £50k from the private sector. Sponsorship opportunities start from £1,300.

Spotlight on HC Upholstery

When I started working for myself 2 years ago, I was only 22 and a recently qualified upholsterer. I had worked my apprenticeship learning to make newly upholstered furniture but now saw an opportunity to use my skills on a more personal level by moving into reupholstery.

From a young age, I loved crafting. I made cushions, bags, Christmas decorations, often for sale to raise money for charity. It felt natural to progress onto sewing and machining. I did my A-levels in Textiles, Art and Maths, provided a good foundation for building on my new upholstery skills and gave me the confidence to teach myself the art of reupholstery. Based from my converted garage workshop at home, I spend my time rescuing and restoring much loved family furniture. My mantra is “don’t throw it away, give it a new life instead!”. The pandemic has taught me that communication is key, and I pride myself on understanding exactly what my clients want to achieve with their furniture projects.

From a new cover through to total overhaul, each project is both different and challenging because it brings with it the clients own personal expectations and preferences. Sometimes, nostalgia arises when the odd lost item is rescued from the depths of an old sofa or armchair! Upholstery is a traditional skill that is in decline in the UK. Sustainability, however, is the buzz word and there is a growing trend to “mend and make do”. This enables me to connect with the global focus on cleaning up our planet by encouraging people to keep their furniture for longer and not to consign it to landfill. The pandemic has also encouraged people to support local businesses and HCUpholstery is growing mostly due to word of mouth.

Last year, I completed a diploma in curtain & blind making at the Nottingham Design Academy which has enabled me to further expand my offering.My friend and local entrepreneur Bill Ashley introduced me to Newark Business Club. Early morning monthly meetings over breakfast provide an ideal opportunity to network with other small local businesses.

I am also grateful for support from CBTS Upholstery, Kingsman Interiors and Furniture & Interiors Ltd. The biggest challenge for me has been navigating the neurotypical world of business and for help with that, I will be always grateful to my mother! 

Purrrr – fect panto promotion for Dick and his Cat…

Make your work Christmas party extra special this year and book a group visit to the Palace Theatre panto with up to £5 off tickets and 1 in 10 free!

After a difficult year for your staff and their families, why not give them a festive treat they can enjoy together, and one which will fuel workplace chat for weeks! Dick Whittington and His Cat is sure to have you all laughing with its side-splitting slapstick, incredible innuendos and comedic cast as you embark on a spectacular voyage from the streets of London across the seven seas to Morocco.

As a reward for the tough year our local businesses have been through, we have introduced a special offer, just for you. Groups of 10 or more will receive £3 off each ticket with groups of 50+ saving £5 on every seat. On top of this, 1 in 10 go free, so you’ll feel like the cat that got the cream this Christmas! 

To redeem the offer, simply visit the Box Office or call them on 01636 655755 (open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm) and quote ‘WORKPARTY’ as your discount code. This is valid on all performances throughout the run from Tuesday 7 to Friday 31 December excluding special offer shows where tickets are reduced to £15.

See you soon for a very Merry Christmas at our purrrrr-fect family panto!

Next Meetingput on the tinsel and wear your Christmas jumper…

We look forward to seeing you on Friday 3rd December – remember your Christmas jumper. Get Book your ticket below

Before closing the meeting, Kevin reminded the members about the joint Christmas event with Grantham Business Club on Tuesday 7th December. Booking link can be found on our Facebook page.


For sponsorship opportunities, contact