Kamazoy Virtual IT Department has promoted Barry Wilson to the post of Senior Engineer, signalling its enduring commitment to invest in its people and clients.

Barry commented: “I’m delighted to be promoted to Senior Engineer. The training at Kamazoy is excellent, and I learn new things each day, whether it’s a client’s particular infrastructure and software setup or a new technology to implement or encountering a particular issue that I have never come across before.

“There is always support from other members of the team and open opportunities to go on Hardware vendor training courses or software courses that help bolster my knowledge so that I can better support our customers and pass on my expertise.”

Barry joined Kamazoy in September 2016 as a Line Support Engineer, and whilst working with business clients, continued to train and develop his IT skillset and knowledge. Kamazoy’s world of simplicity and IT efficiency, and for providing clients with clear and concise information, has built it a strong and trusted reputation within its sector, from the self-employed through to Fortune 500 businesses.

With no typical Kamazoy day, each day offers a unique set of challenges for the growing technical team; different issues as well as new learning opportunities. Kamazoy’s service offer encompasses managed solutions, hosted exchange email, online backup, education and the everyday IT support issues.

Barry added: “Project work can be the main challenge, understanding the requirements of the customer through correct questioning, designing and quoting the absolute best solution, the task is always minimised by the open team discussions we have and our vendor support, it never feels like I have to tackle any challenge alone.
“Working for Kamazoy is a pleasure, coming to the company after working in a large organisation for a number of years, the feeling of being a valued member of the team rather than just another employee is refreshing.”
Barry is already working towards his next qualification which will further help expand his existing and wide-reaching array of IT disciplines.

Staff at KEMP Hospice entertained shoppers passing their Coventry Street store by modelling some of the many stunning outfits to be featured in their upcoming Fashion Show at the Kidderminster Town Hall on Wednesday 1st November, from 7:30pm.

Coventry Street shop Manager, Marilyn Motteram, said: “People walking past the shop did a double take and stopped in their tracks when they saw the shop window mannequins move. It was great for the models to see their reactions!”

KEMP Hospice has been an invaluable part of the local community for over 50 years and exists for everyone in the Wyre Forest and is the only Day Hospice to have a nurse in the area able to offer support and essential care to patients, families and carers dealing with life limiting illness and bereavement.

Every year the event raises thousands of pounds to support the work of the Hospice with local people and this year promises to be another amazing success.

Lilian Griffiths, who organises the annual event added: “Each year we need to come up with new and exciting ideas as many of our audience come year after year, so their expectations are high!

“Each section of the show has a theme, with the Donations Centre Team starting to collect stock for our next year’s show straight after our last show. Please, if you haven’t been before do come along as it’s always a great evening with an amazing fun atmosphere, and after the show there’s the opportunity to select and buy yourself a new fabulous outfit or two!”

KEMP services are provided free of charge but need local support to raise £700,000 each year to meet the continuing needs of the community. To find out more about KEMP Hospice’s services please visit: www.kemphospice.org.uk or call the Hospice on 01562 756000.

A value for money ticket only show, tickets can be purchased from all KEMP shops, KEMP Hospice and from Kidderminster Town Hall for £7.50 which also includes a glass of wine within the price!

UK and Ireland multi temperature supply chain operator and responsible family business Oakland International has appointed Shaun Foley as the company’s new Operations Director.

Bringing with him 35 years of Industry experience covering retail, food and FMCG sectors, Shaun has operated at the highest levels and held several senior positions within large logistic companies both in the UK and in mainland Europe.

A multi award winner, Oakland International is a BRC 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.

With depots and facilities based in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain, Shaun’s focus as Operations Director will be customer excellence, its people and sustainable growth.

Oakland International Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Dean Attwell said: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Shaun’s calibre and experience to the Oakland team.

“His knowledge and sector experience, together with his operational know-how of the ever changing and developing landscape of the global and UK markets, will ensure we continue to deliver value added services and help drive and support our customers’ success.”

Commenting on his appointment Shaun said: “I am very pleased to join a fantastic team of people with my focus firmly on customer excellence, our people and delivering sustainable profit.”

A Kidderminster school will be holding a very special and exciting fundraising concert on Saturday 21st October at 3pm at St. George’s Church in Kidderminster.

Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre teacher, Mrs Sarah Roberts commented: “The concert is to raise funds to purchase new digital pianos for the school’s Music Department.

“We are extremely grateful to AIG International who have promised to match all funds raised from the concert and the school’s PTA has also offered their support. The children themselves are extremely keen to help as much as they can and will be providing refreshments throughout the afternoon.”

Artists and professional musicians taking part in the event have all donated their time free of charge. Performances will also feature senior students at Holy Trinity and the school choir, with the programme promising to be an eclectic mix to suit a range of musical tastes.

Added Mrs Roberts: “Teaching music to children from Reception Class through to Year 9 students, I have found through many years of experience that all students gravitate towards the keyboard when creating and composing music and the keyboard is also a great kinaesthetic and visual way to teach music theory.

“So many of our students have expressed that they wish to learn the keyboard from scratch or desire to improve their existing skills, so the addition to the music department of new digital keyboards will be a tremendous help and support to the music provision offered at Holy Trinity.”

Ticket prices for the event are £5 adults, £4 senior citizen and £2.50 for children aged 5-13years. For more details and how to buy tickets, please email: office@holytrinity.co.uk or call 01562 822929.

Held at Oakland International’s Redditch facility, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Forum, in association with the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), attracted a host of businesses from across the region on Thursday 21st September.

The forum offered delegates the opportunity to view behind the scenes and learn more about how Oakland International has built a strong reputation of sustainable growth within its industry sector, and how, through a process of rolling investment in energy efficient technologies and green initiatives, they have drastically reduced their energy consumption and carbon footprint whilst succeeding in providing associated customer and partner network benefits.

Steve Stones from Pro Enviro Ltd commented: “The Sustainable Business Forum hosted by Oakland International was a great opportunity for local companies to learn first-hand about the potential benefits associated with the implementation of a long term and sustainable improvement plan. Many businesses are making good progress with environmental and energy issues but few have taken the vision of sustainability as far as Oakland.

“The discussions and site tour offered a good opportunity for companies to learn about a wide range of initiatives and technologies that might be appropriate to their businesses. To be truly sustainable all businesses need to have a strong vision of what is possible, with the event providing that insight to the large number of organisations who attended.”

The Business Energy Efficiency Programme is part-financed by the England European Regional Development Fund Programme as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Oakland International Strategic Development Manager, Pete Vaughan, stated: “Oakland’s focus of growth through sustainable innovation has been acknowledged, recently receiving the Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development and International Trade, the highest accolade of success UK businesses can receive.

“We were delighted to host the Chamber’s Sustainability Forum and to have the opportunity to share our experience of growth through sustainable change.”

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster are full of excitement and wonder as they explore the many functions and games of their new interactive screen.
Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “We decided to provide the children with a new 32” interactive screen, as it’s so large that 3 or 4 children can easily sit together and play.

“Everyone has the opportunity to use it throughout the nursery day, with the screen designed to help encourage communication skills and promote interaction between the children, whilst quietly developing their negotiating skills as they have to work together as a group.”

The interactive screen is designed to support collaborative play, whilst promoting and nurturing the early development of IT skills, and as the children become more accomplished, additional applications support and benefit learning in maths and literacy work. Early Years personal, social and emotional development activities are encouraged at Little Trinity Nursery with all children supported as they investigate through touch, smell and taste.

Added Miss Carter: “Little Trinity recognises that technology is key for this generation of children and so to ensure we have the right resources available we decided to encompass interactive play for groups of children by providing a large 32″ screen, which the children, and staff, simply love to use!”

The Nursery’s new interactive screen helps to perfect the children’s drawing and mark-making skills through games such as Peppa Pig, and for the younger children there is a large selection of sensory applications to choose from.

Multi temperature supply chain specialist and family business, Oakland International, was honoured to welcome The Lord Lieutenant, Lt. Col. Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE to celebrate receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade and Sustainable Development at a reception held on Tuesday 12th September.

Oakland International CEO and Co-Founder, Dean Attwell, stated: “We were delighted to once again welcome The Lord Lieutenant to Oakland International and we are extremely honoured to be Queen’s Award winners; Oakland being one of only five UK companies to receive two Queen’s Awards this year.”

Invited guests included the Chair of Bromsgrove District Council Cllr Helen Jones, the Chairman of Chamber of Commerce Jim McBride, Oakland Foundation Trustees and representatives from Ipsley RSA Academy and Trinity High School and from the Redditch Boxing Academy, all supported by the Oakland Foundation charity.

Oakland won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth for its support of overseas customers entering the UK market, doubling overseas sales growth and for their strategy and new market research.

Winning the award for Sustainable Development, Oakland’s goals regarding sustainable development and ten-year strategy to become the first carbon-neutral business within its sector were acknowledged together with their commitment to building strong communities through their registered charity the Oakland Foundation, which supports local disadvantaged young people, and of their support for overseas communities via Aquaid.

Dean added: “Our team is passionate about our core values; growth through sustainable innovation, delivering value offerings and for our strong ethical stance and social conscience. It is these values which nourish, invigorate and contribute to our enduring ability to grow in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

“The Queen’s Awards for International Trade and Sustainable Development is the uppermost compliment and formal acknowledgement of success any UK business can receive.”

Crazy? she might be, but local teacher Sarah Roberts from Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre in Kidderminster will take on her biggest cycling challenge for charity to date, as training takes a gear up ready for Vélo Birmingham on Sunday 24th September.

Having only recently taken-up cycling as a way to avoid running injuries, Sarah is now smitten and a member of Stourbridge Cycling Club. She cycles regularly, even riding to and from home in Kinver to Holy Trinity and back, whatever the weather.

Music teacher Sarah explained: “I have always loved a sporting challenge and ran the London Marathon for charity way back in 1985 whilst still a teenager!

“Having bought my first ever bike exactly a year ago, I have found a whole new world. New friends, amazing countryside, new pubs and cafes, and even new muscles! Taking part in this 100-mile challenge through gorgeous countryside, including through my own beloved village of Kinver, will be amazing and having received confirmation this week that I would be riding on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, I am absolutely delighted, if slightly daunted!”

Riding for the Alzheimer’s charity, many of Sarah’s friends’ parents suffer with the disease and live daily with the effects and impact dementia has on their family units.

The closed road route starts on Broad Street, Birmingham and will take the 15,000 riders out from the city and through picturesque counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire before returning to the finish line on Broad Street.

Added Sarah: “So far I’ve raised £90 of the £400 target I am required to raise, so I need all the help and support I can get. I have a JustGiving page, so please, please, please if you can, support me and donate, no matter how small. By doing so, you are helping and supporting the wonderful work of the Alzheimer’s Society.”

Please support Sarah and donate via: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sarah-Roberts92

The Redditch Escargots Cycling Collective will take to their bikes on Saturday 2nd September with the aim of raising a whopping £3,000 for local children’s charity, the Oakland Foundation.

Redditch Escargots CC member, Martin Penver, explains: “As a Redditch-based cycling group, a lot of our members already take part in cycling events organised by large charities, and they wanted instead to focus on a local charity for local people.

 

“Twenty-four of our members have signed up to take part in the event, with other members who can’t join us due to previous commitments kindly agreeing to donate and sponsor us, which is fantastic.”

Setting off at 7.30am from their base at Bramley Cottage, the ‘snails’ will challenge themselves to complete one, or all three, set routes around Redditch. Each cyclist hopes to raise a minimum of £1 per mile, potentially cycling over 100 miles during the day.

After the second circuit, the riders will stop for ‘brunch’, sponsored by Gardner Denver Limited, where all riders will be invited to donate their lunch money towards the groups fundraising target of £3,000, before they once again take to the saddle for the closing circuit and back to base for the day’s final tally.

Oakland Foundation Trustee Luke Attwell, commented: “Our sincere thanks to the members of the Redditch Escargots for their generosity and for choosing the Oakland Foundation as their nominated charity for this event, which is much appreciated.

“The proceeds from this event will help support and provide educational programmes for children living in, and around, the Redditch area.”

The Oakland Foundation supports children, young people and their families living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area, by providing help and support through educational projects and activities based on Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

You can offer your support and donate via the Redditch Escargots’ fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/escargots

As dawn breaks on Sunday 24th September 2017, businessman Daniel Dainty will get on his bike to undertake a personal and epic cycling challenge, joining 15,000 other cyclists as part of the inaugural Vélo Birmingham.

The closed 100 mile road route will take riders on an unforgettable adventure from the city to countryside, with Daniel riding with cyclists connected to young people’s charity ‘Worth Unlimited’ and bicycle social enterprise ‘Gear Up’ – the team will pass through the picturesque counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire before returning to the finish line on Broad Street in Birmingham.

Daniel, founder and director of Kamazoy Virtual IT Department, which has offices in Worcester and Birmingham explains why he decided to take part: “I’ve always been a keen cyclist but have spent too many years working on my computer, which isn’t always the best for my health.

“When I launched Kamazoy 11 years ago I was determined to address my own health issues and to promote a healthier attitude to my team through incentives such as offering discounted fitness trackers, gym memberships, half-price bicycles, free health checks, and health food cashback incentives via Kamazoy partners.

“Taking part in the Vélo Birmingham event is a great opportunity to get out on my bike and to have fun. In May I attended the Birmingham Bikeathon which helped raise money for blood cancer charities. That was 26 miles, and I was astounded to secure fourth place overall, particularly as it was my first event. That then gave me the courage, with support from the Gear Up team, to take part in the Worcester Classic 60-mile event, which we did, and I’m still standing!”

Training with friends, Daniel has been regularly clocking-up at least 20 miles a week, with training now going up a gear in August ready for September to ensure he’s cycle-ready for the full 100 miles.

Added Daniel: “Riding with Tim Evans, the CEO of the young people’s charity Worth Unlimited, and the Rector for Hodge Hill, Al Barrett, who looks after the Bromford Estate in East Birmingham, I will be raising money to support their work with young people and help unlock the potential in the community, and showcase the talents and strengths of young people who are, essentially, my neighbours!

“For just the price of a coffee or a pint, all donations will directly help to improve the life prospects of a young person.”

The Firs and Bromford is within the 3% most deprived in England according to the Indices of Deprivation 2015, with particular deprivation in employment, income and education, with the Hodge Hill constituency having the highest level of unemployment for young people aged 18-25 (8.8%) and specifically in Firs and Bromford the rate is as high as 22.5%.

Worth Unlimited is a Christian youth work organisation that works to build hope, unlock potential and realise worth in young people facing a future with a poverty of resources such as access to jobs, poor education and low income, helping to build confidence, self-esteem and provide positive role models.

Gear Up’s Manager, Dan Sandford-Smith, stated: “Gear Up was launched off the back of a Worth Unlimited training programme working with NEET young people about 5 years ago and continues to go from strength to strength. We have a vision to support local young people into training and or employment, whilst also offering a professional service to our loyal customers.

“Sponsorship and support from companies like Kamazoy ensure we are able to continue our work with marginalised young people in Birmingham and provide them with opportunities to broaden their horizons and reach their full potential.”

You can make a donation via Daniel’s Virgin Money Giving page: www.virginmoneygiving.com/ddainty