Park Regis Birmingham to ‘Pound Match’ funds this Christmas for local hospice

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Park Regis Birmingham to ‘Pound Match’ funds this Christmas for local hospice

Park Regis' Mark Payne and St Mary's Hospice Birmingham's Susan Newcombe 2.jpg

Park Regis Birmingham will be pound-for-pound match funding this Christmas, to help raise vital funds for its charity partner, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice.

The four-star hotel – which is the brand’s first in Europe – is launching ‘Pound Match’, a simple fundraising initiative that asks guests to donate £1 to their bill which the hotel then matches.

Taking place between Friday 1st December and Sunday 31st December, all funds raised will go towards the Hospice, which provides vital care and support to local families living with terminal illness across Birmingham and Sandwell.

Mark Payne, general manager at Park Regis Birmingham, said: “Birmingham St Mary’s provides an incredible service to local people, which is why we partnered with the charity earlier this year.  

“With Pound Match, we’re offering our guests a simple way to support the Hospice over the festive season. Together, we hope to raise as much money as possible for the charity, so that it can continue to provide such an essential role in our community.”

Susan Newcombe, director of income generation and marketing at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Pound Match is a brilliant initiative that will help raise vital funds for our Hospice over the Christmas period.

“Every pound collected really will make a difference, helping us to continue to provide our expert care at the Hospice, in people’s homes and in the local community. All of our services are free of charge and so we rely on the generosity of local people – including Park Regis’ kind-hearted guests – to ensure that the best experience of living is available to everyone leading up to and at the end of life.

“Thank you to Park Regis for its continued support – with its help, we can continue to support even more local people living with terminal illness.”  

Park Regis Birmingham chose Birmingham St Mary’s as its corporate charity partner in April 2017. So far, the luxury establishment has hosted a number of fundraising activities throughout the year, including its ‘Fright of Flight’ challenge which saw local business professionals abseil 48 meters down the hotel or run up its 16 flight of stairs.  

To find out more about Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk.

For more information about Park Regis Birmingham, visit: www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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What happened to real radio?

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Here's what Clive said on 24th March 2016. Today BBC Director General Tony Hall announced the BBC radio evening programme will be replaced with locally-made listening. Coincidence? We think not. 


My interest in media began while I was at school and it still continues nearly a decade later (do you think anyone will buy that?) - I was fascinated with radio, particularly local radio and was very excited at the launch of our very own BRMB in 1974. I was about to be ten. Local radio was fresh, vibrant, exciting and it spoke as great radio should, directly to me. It didn’t matter if anyone else was listening or not. I got involved in hospital radio, first at BHBN where I learned to operate an ancient BBC broadcast desk, then on to Sandwell Hospital Radio where I learned to operate a modern desk, one with faders and everything. There were even cart machines for jingles.

My ever popular kids programme, which went out on Friday teatimes taught me something else too - that I wasn’t cut out for a career in radio presenting. The strain of being pleasant, upbeat and not swearing for over an hour would be too much to bear as a regular job. But the media bug has never left me.

In the intervening years, local radio in this region has had some absolute greats, with Les Ross presenting a stunning breakfast show, Ed Doolan captivating the midlands with his consumer programme to such an extent that he was even called upon to talk down a listener from a rooftop whilst live on air. The point is, local radio was local, new and people loved it. Whole communities were engaged. BRMB, now Free Radio -  and don’t start me on that rebrand - managed to get a huge number of people walking around the outer circle bus route to raise money for charity, year in, year out. What is there now? Nothing.

I have to declare that I have friends who present radio programmes and they’re a bunch of talented, entertaining individuals whose creativity seems to be stifled by the constraints of programme homogenisation. Their programmes are good, but if they were allowed free reign, they could be brilliant. I expect that the reasons they’re not given a couple of hours to do what they like to entertain their audience is purely commercial, with statistics, charts and economic budgeting informing what the listeners hear.

Probably I should ask a radio person what their opinion is, but I’m sure I’d get a solid corporate response along the lines of: “There’s no call for larking about, listeners aren’t interested, they just want music and a bit of chat.”

Well I disagree. And I’m not just picking on the commercial stations, I’m picking on the BBC too. There’s usually a reason for my rant and let me tell you what triggered this one. On Sunday, I took part in the BBC WM takeover, where listeners have been involved in presenting programmes on the Birmingham based station all week. For me, their flagship programme is a treasure hunt, which happens on Sunday mornings, where listeners solve clues to send a presenter trekking to different locations around the region, in search of a person who’ll inevitably be involved in something interesting that day.

The programme is ridiculous, engaging, a very easy listen and laden with double entendres and stuff to make you laugh out loud. It’s what local radio is all about. People participate.

I was in the studio on Sunday morning, trying to help solve clues along with my partner Pet, who’s an avid fan and another three ‘normal’ listeners. And that’s what was so refreshing - these guys were really excited to be there. This radio station was really important to them. The programme was important and they were the sort of listener that I’d imagine most other programmes and stations are neglecting. So please Mr Producer, when you’re thinking about how to improve your RAJAR (it’s how radio listener numbers are calculated), please don’t forget that radio is the medium that can bring people together as a community and communities generally stick together. Will someone have a crack at getting the radio buzz back into Birmingham please? Promise to listen!

* Real Radio and Buzz radio were stations in the past, Buzz was particularly good, but those aren’t the ones we’re talking about.

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Watch out for fakes

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Watch out for fakes

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A Birmingham jeweller is warning buyers to beware of exceptionally good quality fake Rolex watches that are being offered for sale in the city.

Rex Johnson and Sons jewellers on Corporation Street have been asked to value and buy  three imitation Rolex watches on three separate occasions in the past week.

David Johnson who runs the company said: “The quality of the reproductions is remarkable. We have seen three different models, each of them incredibly detailed copies, but each with its own particular give-away flaws. On one, with a blue face, the colour wasn’t quite strong enough. That one also had poor enamel work on part of its bezel. I suspect that the steel strap on that one was a genuine Rolex part, which is a clever trick in trying to deceive buyers.

“The quality of the fakes is really good, which makes them difficult to spot. They have been presented to us in what look like genuine boxes, which could also make them look more like the real thing to anyone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for.

“The people circulating the fakes are asking for about £6,000 for watches that should have a £7,000 second hand value, making them seem like a bargain. If these were dress watches with no particular brand, they’d probably be worth about £300, but definitely not into the thousands.

“It really is a case of buyer beware. Birmingham is a city of jewellery and jewellers and I hate to think of Brummies getting conned by people with fake watches.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Pupils bank on gifted groceries

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Pupils bank on gifted groceries

Pupils from Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield have delivered an estimated £500 worth of groceries to Lichfield foodbank following a week of collections.

The school raises funds for a variety of good causes each year and collection for the foodbank has coincided with harvest festival.

Headteacher Dr Daryl Brown said: “We are a small school with around 100 pupils, so the huge response to anything charitable from our students and their families always astonishes me.

“We understand that since commencing work in April 2014, Lichfield foodbank has been able to provide the equivalent of 200,000 meals. They tell us that whilst they appreciate this is 200,000 too many, they are thankful that they are able to help everyone who turns to them in need.

“The work of Lichfield foodbank is only made possible through continued support and donations, so we are proud that Maple Hayes has been able to give them what we guess is probably seven supermarket trollies full of basic food."

Each school year group was tasked with filling a large basket and since collections started, several tables in the dining hall have been taken up by the groceries.

Maple Hayes Dyslexia School caters for pupils with specific literacy problems. For more information, visit: dyslexia.school.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

 

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Guest’s makes top flight appointment as football graduate takes on quality manager role

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Guest’s makes top flight appointment as football graduate takes on quality manager role

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A football studies graduate with an eye for statistics and spreadsheets has been appointed Quality Manager by Guest Truck and Van, the largest IVECO dealer in the UK.

Mark Brooks, a graduate of Southampton Solent University, has been promoted in the company after spending five months working on a project to strengthen processes with one of the company's customers.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Warwickshire, will focus initially on delivering the Quality Management Standards ISO 9001:2015 across all 13 of its Guest Truck and Van and Sherwood Truck and Van locations, as well as progressing the company's commitment to vehicle type approval standards.

Guest Truck and Van’s West Bromwich-based head office and a handful of branches had already achieved the current 2008 ISO 9001 accreditation, but that will need updating before the current standard which will become obsolete in September 2018.

Now Mark, who has a background in accountancy and has also worked in back office functions in the film and video industry, will be responsible for rolling the new ISO 9001 out across the business.

"There are some key changes to the new standards, so it is important that we can meet them in good time before the 2008 version expires,” he said.

“Although each branch works with the same systems, across sales and servicing we work with IVECO and Fiat Professional, so some of our processes have to link to theirs to ensure total quality compliance right across every element of our service.

“I had no hesitation in taking the role when it was offered because over the past few months I’ve been really impressed with its operations and its ethos.”

Managing director Robert Spittle said: “We are committed to achieving high quality standards, for the mutual benefit of our team, our customers and suppliers, therefore, It’s important to keep processes and accreditations up to date. Preparing and updating Quality Management Standards is more than an academic exercise in box ticking, it gives us the opportunity to review our practices and incorporate any new processes and procedures to make sure that each of our branches across the regions works to the same high standard. I am delighted to welcome Mark to the team to further progress this fundamental area of the business.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Why the Intaklean Maxi filter can keep your boiler running this winter

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Why the Intaklean Maxi filter can keep your boiler running this winter

With winter fast approaching, facilities managers in care homes, hospitals, schools and colleges will be checking that the boiler rooms can cope with the demands of the coldest season of the year.

Keeping the heating systems in optimal condition ensures that they run efficiently and also helps to control running costs. However, it is the cost of downtime when a boiler fails that could ultimately make managers shiver.

Because boilers are a significant investment for any business, it makes sense to put in place preventative measures to stop a build-up of contaminants, which can lead to sluggish performance, blockages and breakdowns.

Failure to put sufficient practices in place could be costly - with call outs costing around £130 to deal with a commercial boiler breakdown and thousands of pounds to replace parts or even the complete system.

The IntaKlean Maxi commercial range of magnetic filters has been designed to deliver all the benefits you’ve come to expect from an Inta magnetic system filter.

Designed and manufactured by Inta, the UK’s leading supplier to the plumbing and heating sectors, the magnetic filter that protects commercial installations from magnetite buildup, preventing corrosion inside the heating system, thus keeping it free of debris that can cause clogging and breakdowns.

It’s designed and manufactured to be retro-fitted easily and quickly for maximum convenience and, of course, it can also be installed with any new boiler to keep it at peak condition for longer.

Available in 2.5" to 4", and supplied with PN16 flanges, the IntaKlean Maxi commercial magnetic filter range features four 10,000 Gauss magnet.

It also features a manual air bleed as well as a 1" drain plug. With virtually limitless product life and negligible on-going maintenance costs, the magnets can be withdrawn from the filter without the need for draining down making servicing both quick and easy.

When you consider that in schools alone, most spend around 20% of their maintenance budget on their heating systems to make sure they perform well, it pays to be proactive by installing an IntaKlean Maxi to safeguard tight budgets.

Cost savings are also crucial for the NHS. In 2016, it published the Securing Healthy Returns, which identified 35 sustainability measures, 18 of which focused on energy saving that could result in a reduction of energy costs of £21.5 million*. The report also pointed out that good building management was crucial.

Inta offers the IntaKlean Maxi with a 12 year warranty, ensuring you and your building are in good hands this winter.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Selfridges Birmingham Live + Loud festival hailed a huge success

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Selfridges Birmingham Live + Loud festival hailed a huge success

The Live + Loud festival at Selfridges Birmingham has been hailed a huge success, chalking up more than 30 incredible events that celebrated the city’s diverse contribution to the music industry.

From a carnival-style party of dancers and musicians to mark Birmingham’s Bhangra heritage to live collaborations between artists, the leading department store hosted a series of special performances over the ten-day event.

Birmingham’s Mike Skinner from The Streets staged Tonga, a three-hour DJ set with Murkage, and other highlights included Les Commandos Percu, which performed Les Interventions Mobiles as part of the Clash of Drums sessions, which snaked through the store and concluded with a pyrotechnic finale on the terrace.

SB.TV, whose YouTube channel has 10 million subscribers, collaborated with Selfridges to create 0121, an art installation/pop-up radio studio, while Beauty and the Beats was an exclusive experience for lovers of Selfridges Beauty Hall with live DJ sets and a live band.

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Our annual Live + Loud event gets better each year. Celebrating Birmingham’s musical heritage was the perfect way to showcase the huge creative talent there is in the city.

“We’re proud to have had incredibly positive feedback from customers, from those who came specially for the events that we staged, and from the artists themselves. We’re already looking forward to surprising, amazing and amusing shoppers with equally exciting plans for next year’s festival.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Guests appoints used sales executive for Coventry depot

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Guests appoints used sales executive for Coventry depot

Guest Truck and Van has appointed a used sales executive as it looks to strengthen its team in Coventry.

Paul Mason, aged 52, joins the company with more than 30 years’ experience in the commercial vehicle business, the last 10 of which was selling commercial vehicles for a private firm in Redditch.

“Iveco is a great brand and I feel very comfortable selling what is an excellent product that offers very good value for money,” he said. “Guests is a family business with a long history, which makes a massive difference to how things are run because the facilities, back up and service are second to none. I’m very pleased to be offered the opportunity to join the team.”

Welcoming Paul to Guests, Alan Phillips, Group Used Sales Manager, said: “Our customers rely on our knowledgeable staff to advise them, and Paul’s solid background in commercial vehicle retailing means he is a great addition to the Coventry depot and the business collectively.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Armstrong Bell celebrates expansion of its business

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Armstrong Bell celebrates expansion of its business

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid was among the guests of honour on Friday (29th September) to mark the expansion of local business Armstrong Bell.

The telecommunications specialist, which recorded a 15% growth in revenue in the last financial year compared to 2016, has doubled its office space again, just two years after it had to do the same to cope with demand.

And to celebrate, Armstrong Bell, based at Greenbox Office Park, Westonhall Road, hosted a Champagne reception at Grafton Manor Hotel, Bromsgrove, attended by Mr Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and more than 80 customers, suppliers and partners.

Will Copley, managing director of Armstrong Bell, which is a leading provider of business telephone systems, said its rapid growth was the result of winning new business and a strong product portfolio helping to strongly position it for future expansion.

“Increasing office space had been a project for January next year, but a growth in business suddenly made it a more urgent issue for us,” he said.

“Looking around, nothing was suitable but when we had the opportunity to take on the second floor in our building, we knew it would be ideal. Business is accelerating and we’re in a very strong position to meet our ambitions of quadrupling the business in six years, which is essentially 26% year-on-year growth.

“The last time we doubled our space, we attracted key senior figures to the business and we’re now looking for more talented people to join us. A few years ago it was hard to visualise such an expansion, but now we have a good framework to support our longer-term growth plans.”

He said over the past 24 months, the company had developed its Salesforce CRM, added three field sales executives and worked hard on lead generation and process development.

The new space, which takes its total space in Greenbox Office Park to 2,400 sq ft, will provide Armstrong Bell with a new meeting room upstairs, as well as enhanced management provision, sales desks and breakout facilities for staff. It will enable it to expand the engineering and sales facilities on its existing floor.

Sajid Javid MP said: “I'm so pleased to help mark the success of local telecoms star Armstrong Bell. It's a remarkable success story - right here in Bromsgrove. I wish William and his team all the very best.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Park Regis Birmingham appoints new general manager

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Park Regis Birmingham appoints new general manager

Mark Payne

Mark Payne

Park Regis, the deluxe Birmingham city centre hotel, has appointed a new general manager (GM) as the incumbent moves to an operations director role.

Mark Payne joins the hotel, which is located at Five Ways, from De Vere Tortworth Court, in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, where he had served as GM for just over six years. However, his involvement in the hospitality industry goes back to when he was a young boy, when he served food to customers at his parents’ pub in Herefordshire.

Mark, who lives in Gloucestershire with his wife and two teenage sons, said he was excited and honoured to take the helm at the Park Regis flagship hotel, the first to open in Europe. His appointment follows Robin Ford’s move to operations director for Fiveways Hospitality, the management company that operates the hotel.

“I’m very much looking forward to continuing the excellent work that Robin has done for the hotel since it opened in March last year and also to working alongside him and his team as they continue to establish Park Regis as the foremost luxury hotel in the city,” he said.

Mark, who has 26 years’ years experience in the hospitality sector, added: “It’s a truly exciting time for Birmingham, with the city being named the candidate city to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, HS2 rail network on the horizon and a host of ambitious developments and infrastructure schemes. I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to fly the flag for the UK’s second city.

Welcoming Mark to Park Regis Birmingham, Robin Ford said: “Park Regis Birmingham has quickly made its mark in the city, offering four-star deluxe accommodation and facilities for both leisure and business customers. With my move to operations director we need a GM who has solid experience and a great track record and I’m delighted Mark is joining us at such a pivotal time for the city.”

For more information, visit www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk

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