In its first audit, supply chain and distribution specialist Oakland International has secured a rating of ‘A’ in the British Retailers Consortium’s (BRC) quality audit for storage and distribution at its recently opened facility in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Oakland’s Business Unit Director at Corby, Lee Whiting, commented: “Gaining an BRC ‘A’ rating is fantastic news for our Corby team and for our customers, with BRC accreditation providing positive acknowledgement that Oakland works to the highest industry standards.”

Passing with flying colours, the clean audit followed a rigorous two days assessment of environmental standards, operating systems, traceability, layout and product flow and incorporates handling requirements of specified materials which offers a bench mark for best practice within the storage and distribution industry. Oakland’s proactive methods facilitate continuous improvement in all systems and processes using bespoke management systems to provide customer confidence that all products stored and distributed through Oakland International retain their inherent quality.

As well as reflecting the standard’s best practise, Oakland’s BRC accreditation demonstrates consistency and care in the supply chain operation, a key factor in the firm’s popularity as a supply chain partner of choice.

Oakland’s Quality Assurance Manager, Louise Smith, commented: “Our team’s continued dedication ensures attention to detail and our flexibility of service offer is maintained throughout, delivering positive results time after time. We are all delighted to receive such positive feedback, particularly as this was our first audit since operations began at Corby.”

Oakland customers enjoy a seamless, fully controlled quality standard which suppliers and their retail and wholesale customers have the utmost confidence in. Oakland ensure that the highest standards of quality, safety and legality are being followed through all supply chain management solutions and support services including tempering, co-packing, multi-temperature distribution, distress load management and brand development support.

A young man aiming to compete at the highest level in clay shooting is over the moon to have secured business sponsorship that will ensure he can continue training and realise his dream of one day competing at the Olympics.

With sponsorship secured from Redditch family business Oakland International covering gun cartridges, competition fees and funding for his GB kit should he be successful in selection for the Olympic team, Mitchell Brooker-Smith is now well on his way to becoming the Olympic contender he hopes to be.

Said Mitchell: “I feel extremely honoured to have the support of Oakland International and their sponsorship which means the world to me, and it has given me greater confidence knowing that there are people who care about the progression of my shooting besides my family and friends.

“My Granddad, Alan Brooker, is a huge part of my shooting. He takes me to all my training sessions and competitions and without him I would not be able to train or do as much as I do.

“Oakland International’s sponsorship will now mean I can train more for upcoming selection shoots and it also takes the financial pressure off my family, who work very hard to help and support me to get to where I want to be; shooting in the Olympics.”

After taking up shooting at the age of eleven at school, Mitchell was a natural and quickly progressed to become Bredon School’s Colt team captain, and after seeing Ben Llewelin win a silver medal at the 2016 Nicosia World Cup in Cyprus he quickly became his hero, and this was when Mitchell realised Olympic Skeet was his passion, and Ben the person Mitchell aspired to be.

Moving on to English skeet and then Olympic skeet, Mitchell was spotted by a British Shooting scout during a training session with his coach Richard Stepney and given the opportunity to try-out for GB selection through the organisation’s development programme, the Talent Pathway, for young-up and coming shooters, with Mitchell now selected and training hard as part of the Talent Pathway 2018 Team shooting Olympic Skeet.

Parents Anne-Marie Brooker and Phil Smith commented: “We’re extremely proud of everything Mitchell has achieved and so pleased that he’s made the most of every opportunity.”

This year’s 2018 British Selection shoots will decide which athletes will represent GB at the 2018 World Cups and World Championships, and if Mitchell secures his place to represent GB in 2019, he will be on his way to shooting for his place to compete at the Olympics and hopefully reach his other big goal of competing at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022.

Oakland International Chief Executive, Dean Attwell, commented: “A talented young man with great focus, determination and future potential, winning a number of competitions since taking up shooting in 2015 at the age of eleven. We are extremely delighted to sponsor Mitchell and support him, and his ambition to become a future Olympian and hopefully compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”

It’s never too early to introduce sport and encourage the love of ‘the beautiful game’ football, with children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster thoroughly enjoying tackling and having fun at their weekly football training sessions with local football club Kidderminster Harriers.

Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “We introduced football into nursery about three years ago thanks to Kidderminster Harriers Football Club and since then it has continued to prove extremely popular with our parents and children. It’s also a fantastic way to burn off energy and keep fit!”

Every week throughout term time the children have the opportunity to take part and play football with Kidderminster Harriers as part of their regular sports activities which is just one of the many physical activities the nursery encourages. Ball skills aid gross motor movement development as well as co-ordination, balance and listening skills.

Added Miss Carter: “We believe it is important to provide as many opportunities as possible to give the children chance to be taught by highly qualified and experienced people so that they can learn new skills as well as have heaps of fun whilst getting plenty of physical exercise with their friends and within the safe environment of the nursery and all under one roof!”

As part of their Early Years Physical development all children have the opportunity to take part in weekly ballet sessions, swimming and PE sessions in the gym.

Community Sports Manager at Kidderminster Harriers, Nick Griffiths, commented: “Our coaches really enjoy our sessions at Little Trinity. It’s all about the children having fun with a ball at their feet.
“The bonus is they are developing those fundamental skills of agility, balance and co-ordination.”

It’s all smiles and chuckles at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster as the children aged between 2-years and 4-years busily stick, glue and paint their Easter competition entries.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter said: “Easter is a lovely time with lots of chicks, bunnies and chocolate on the agenda, so this year we decided to ‘spring’ it up a little and make Easter crowns and wreaths as part of an Easter craft competition, an activity they could all do at home with their families.”

Based within the grounds of Holy Trinity School on the Birmingham Road provides Little Trinity with a unique nursery opportunity to involve the school’s pupils in their Easter celebrations as they parade and visit the school’s many classes, showing off their Easter crown and wreath creations prior to the end of term.

Added Miss Carter: “To help and provide a uniform starting point, every child began with a crown template to make their own imaginative designs before bringing them back into nursery for judging.

“From our youngest to the oldest they loved this activity, and not only because they received an Easter egg for taking part! Prizes were awarded for the most creative crown and wreath from each of our Green Caterpillar, Yellow Bumble Bee and Red Ladybird rooms with the children also making a range of Easter cards, Easter baskets and Easter bunnies to take home.”

Before the Easter break the children will also be treated to several Easter Egg Hunts around the nursery and in the outside play areas.

With so many questions addressed at the first in a series of dedicated Brexit Seminars held in Birmingham, interest amongst its international delegation remains high, with the second Brexit Seminar planned for Wednesday 27th June 2018.

Sectors and countries represented at February’s event encompassed food businesses and non-food importers, Embassies, logistics providers and consultants from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France and Asia.

Netherlands based food producer Conveni’s Head of Commercial UK and Ireland, Noel Reidy, commented: “Time really well spent, – Rob Hardy clearly explained how to navigate Brexit with practical, sound advice, without all of the political spin and jargon.”

Katrina McWhinnie from The McWhinnie Consultancy said: “Very positive information delivered in a clear and light-hearted manner. I will definitely be attending the next one.”

Organised jointly by multi temperature supply chain specialist Oakland International, which has depots and facilities based in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain and Oakland Invicta, specialist Customs duty planners and Brexit advisors to the Institute for Government, InterTradeIreland, InvestNI and registered experts with the EU Commission on matters relating to international trade.

Key concerns and points dealt with included how to avoid port delays, classification of goods for customs purposes, rate of duty on goods and alternative customs regimes available, with delegates leaving the seminar having a much clearer picture of what Brexit means to them and how they can begin planning now, with the majority signed up for June, the second seminar in the series.

Oakland Invicta and Brexit Lead, Robert Hardy, commented: “Our message is positive and clear and sadly all too rare at present. Our experience from the ground up includes freight and vehicle management tools to make the whole process less painful. Most UK importers and exporters rely on the media for updates as to how Brexit will eventually look, with Brexit information ebbing and flowing constantly, as you would expect from any negotiation.

“Following our first seminar we have been invited to speak at similar events across Europe and to assist delegates gain AEO approval and develop Brexit strategies. We have shown what can and must be done now to prepare for life after Brexit, and how and why you should engage with suppliers across the world to identify possible and potential savings or future trade deals. There is a series of processes and procedures that exist today, you just need to know how to line up the dots!”

Details of the Brexit Seminar series can be found at:

Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre in Kidderminster has a philosophy of promoting reading as important to lifelong learning, so this year’s World Book Day celebrations were extended to cover a two-week period and included literature inspired activities and a recipe competition.

Holy Trinity’s Teacher-Librarian, Katherine Slack, explained: “At Holy Trinity our philosophy is to embrace reading as a key to lifelong learning, essential not just in the quest for knowledge but also in the development of life skills. A good story will nurture empathy and compassion in its engaged reader, and it will teach resilience and cause the reader to question and open their minds.”

Each year Holy Trinity seeks to make World Book Day celebrations a little different and a memorable experience for their students, and so this year to reinforce the message that the joy of reading should extend beyond a single day the school organised a programme of student activities to take place over ‘World Book Fortnight’ with a baking competition theme inspired by a special World Book Day edition of ‘Bake Me a Story’ by Nadiya Hussain and the school’s catering team, MiQuill Catering, hosting a ‘Great Literature Bake Off’, challenging pupils and parents to work together to create an original recipe inspired by a fictional story.

Students from across both Prep and Senior Schools instead of dressing up as book characters were encouraged to continue with the recipe theme and invited to decorate and personalise an apron to wear on World Book Day, with the competition judged by the school’s Senior Art Department, and Illustration inspiration continued in the Prep School with pupils benefiting from the extraordinary talents of Holy Trinity parent and the founder of ‘Craft Make Play’, Mrs Claire Paveley, who worked with the children to develop and inspire their creative illustration skills.

Miss Slack added: “Our thanks to Mike Williams of MiQuill Catering and Mrs Cynthia Joyce, a HTS parent and skilled baker whose cupcakes are famous within the HTS school community, for judging and selecting our final twelve winning recipes, with the overall winning dessert replicated for our World Book Day themed lunch on World Book Day.

“In the style of ‘Bake Me a Story’, pupils from our Prep and Senior schools will now incorporate the winning recipes into their own stories and poems, which will then be compiled to form a Holy Trinity School book, courtesy of the Scholastic ‘We Are Writers’ initiative, which offers children the opportunity to see their own writing in print and published in a real book.”

Holy Trinity promotes the value of reading to children as it helps to ignite a desire to learn to read and supports children struggling to grasp their early reading tools, a reading culture embraced in both Prep and Senior schools throughout the year. Additionally, during ‘World Book Fortnight’, members of the school’s Leadership Team, Administration and Senior English Department join in and take part in reading to Prep School classes.

Miss Slack continued: “We would also like to express our gratitude to Tesco of Kidderminster who provided cooking ingredients and Morrisons of Kidderminster who have invited our Year 3 pupils to their store for a marketplace tour to support their instructional writing.

“Opportunities for celebrating reading and books will continue throughout the year, including our Holy Trinity Book Club for staff and pupils in Years 5 to 8, which serves to support pupil transition from Prep into Senior school.”

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster have been busy having their photographs taken as well as painting, sticking and gluing their special Mother’s Day creations ready for Mother’s Day this Sunday 11th March.

Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday is a chance for families to show their appreciation and a day for children to give thanks and presents to their hard-working mums.

Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Parents always love to receive gifts and presents made by their children as it makes the day extra special with Mothers’ Day a wonderful opportunity to get creative and celebrate.”

Making and painting cards, wrapping gifts and painting picture frames for their pictures to go into were all part of the creative activities involved in this year’s Mother’s Day activities.
Children from the age of 2-years took part in the craft activities which all help to stimulate the development of fine motor skills, hand and eye co-ordination and nurture interaction with others.

Miss Carter added: “The children got so excited to have their pictures taken and loved making their presents. We hope all our mums love their present and have a fabulous Mother’s Day.”

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster had a wonderful time dressing up as their favourite book character in celebration of World Book Day on Thursday 1st March.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “The children dressed as storybook characters and brought into nursery their favourite books from home to share with their friends.

“They took part in classroom activities, acting out stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Three Little Pigs and the ever popular The Gruffalo. They also used story sacks, made Gruffalo Crumble and created their very own Goldilocks and the Three Bears masks to use as part of their role play activities, which also helps to promote their literacy, communication and language skills, and simply just good fun!”

Located within the grounds of Holy Trinity School on the Birmingham Road, children from 2-years of age and up joined in the day’s literary fun activities dressing up and acting out stories, which is always popular.

Added Miss Carter: “Nursery activities have been taking place all week and included over eighty children in all, so you can imagine we all now know a number of favourite children’s stories very well indeed!”

Multi temperature supply chain operator and responsible family business Oakland International is delighted to confirm Luke Attwell as the company’s new Distribution Manager.

Second generation and son of Oakland Co-Founders, Dean and Sallie Attwell, Luke joined the family business three-days after completing his final University exams in June 2014, initially taking on the role of Operational Administrator for six-months, before moving on to utilise his Business Management degree as Project Co-ordinator. Since then he has undertaken varying roles within the business to help increase his sector knowledge, business acumen and skillset.

Luke steps into his new role to take on responsibility for Oakland’s Redditch facility, with focus on maximising current and potential transport partners efficiencies whilst facilitating the creation of fresh partner opportunities going forward.

Luke said: “This is my first team management role, so I’m looking forward to working with such a strong group; all individually good people, so we will be taking our next business steps together and continuing to help support Oakland on its distribution journey.”

A multi award winner including double Queens Awards for Enterprise, Oakland has hubs based in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain. Oakland International is a BRC double A accredited (for storage and distribution) business and a multi temperature distribution specialist providing contract packing, storage, picking, food distribution and brand development support for ambient, chilled and frozen food to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets.

Chief Executive, Co-Founder and Luke’s father, Dean Attwell, said: “I am delighted for Luke and commend his work ethic. His knowledge and understanding of the Oakland business will offer him further success as he now takes on the responsibility for introducing new and innovative consolidation routes for our customers.”

Oakland International joins fellow sponsors in congratulating this year’s shortlist in the FreeFrom Food Awards which will take place at the Royal College of Physicians in London on Tuesday 17th April.

Celebrating its second decade in fine style, the 11th annual FreeFrom Food Awards reflect the enormous growth in the FreeFrom market, with gluten-free, milk-free and allergen-free becoming a familiar site on retail shelves.

Oakland International is once again sponsoring the Retailer of the Year Award, which is open to ‘own label’ FreeFrom products from major retailers, with the award given to the retailer whose products score the highest across all award categories and having already been shortlisted, commended, highly commended or awarded in any of the other categories.

Oakland International Commercial Director, Robert Hardy, commented: “FreeFrom food is a fast-growing market and a reflection of growing consumer demand for healthier food options. We’re delighted to support this growth through our consolidation, contract packing and distribution platforms as well as by sponsoring the FreeFrom Food Retailer of the Year Award.”

An invitation only event, the awards include three new categories this year of FreeFrom Food for Export, FODMAP Friendly Food and Milk Alternatives.

This year’s shortlist includes:
• Hot Chocolate & Aubergine Fondants with Spirulina
• Fresh raviolini free of all 14 major allergens
• Gluten and milk free chocolate eclairs
• Beef and almond protein snack bars
• Gluten and milk free hot cross buns
• Milk-free smoked cashew ‘cheeses’
• Rustic sourdough loaves free of all 14 major allergens
• Nut-free marzipan
• No less than 17 gluten free beers, lagers, ales and stouts
Awards director, Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, stated: “Again this year our judges have been amazed by the range and quality of the foods they have tried! We are not surprised that the number of those choosing to eat FreeFrom keeps on growing – the food is just so good!”