Family business, multi temperature supply chain and logistics specialist, Oakland International, has appointed Eimear Scolard as the company’s new Technical Team Lead.

Tasked with heading their successful Distress Load Team, Eimear will oversee inspections, co-ordinating the team from initial contact through to load completion. With full HACCP training and a quality assurance background, trained in traceability and all aspects of food safety having previously worked at Oakland, Eimear’s prior fast-paced retail experience as an assistant manager and team leader meant she was ideally placed to re-join the company’s rapidly expanding Distress Loads Team.

Eimear commented: “It feels great to be back, with the attraction being the ability to grow a department in a role I really enjoy. We are already taking on new jobs, so it’s a very exciting time for us, and with the unpredictable nature of distress load work, we never know what’s coming in, so we need to respond immediately to incidents and contaminated loads of any nature.”

Oakland International’s pioneering Distress Load Management service is an innovative solution whereby food losses for customers, loss adjusters and hauliers on distressed loads are reduced significantly whilst offering additional environmental customer benefits. A distressed load is defined by the integrity of food safety being potentially compromised such as when pallets move in transit, incorrect temperature or clandestine infiltration. Oakland is developing an inspector training program which specialises in all aspects of food safety and clandestine infiltration.

Overseeing all inspections, as lead manager Eimear will be customer focused. Originally from Ireland, Eimear moved to the UK 2 years ago.

Added Eimear: “I have a great deal of pride in my work which reflects itself in many ways from how we work as a team to the standards of product going out the door, with my key skill being accuracy, crucial given the work we do. If you have a load issue and you’re wondering ‘is that something Oakland can deal with?’ the answer is most likely yes! It’s always worth picking up the phone and giving us a call!

“Working with distress loads can be challenging but it can also be very satisfying and rewarding when a customer needs help and within 24-hours we have sorted their issue and saved stock and have them back on the road and ready once again for delivery. I’m loving living in England and I have a wonderful career, so it’s likely I’ll never leave!”

A multi-award winner and a BRC double A accredited and EHO approved multi temperature distribution business, Oakland International specialises in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering, distribution and brand development support for to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster invited parents and staff to donate their Christmas card money in support of KEMP Hospice’s annual ‘Light Up A Life’ campaign.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Our families as always were very generous and donated their Christmas card money and helped to reduce the number of Christmas cards needing to be recycled after Christmas. Thanks to everyone’s generosity and support we have managed to raise £148 to date.”

KEMP’s ‘Light up a Life’ as an annual campaign in which people can remember loved ones in a very special way during the festive season. People are invited to write a message or special memory to a loved one on a ‘Light up a Life’ Tag and hang their tag on one of KEMP’s ‘Light up a Life’ Christmas Trees.

Added Gaynor: “People have been extremely generous, and some parents have written Christmas wishes to other families and some of our children have also written their names on their Christmas tags independently.

“It’s been a huge success and helped to raise funds for such a worthwhile local charity!”

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster took to the stage to perform this year’s jingly Christmas Concert for their families.

Joining Santa and his Reindeer on the stage were the Christmas Puddings, Glittery Baubles, Snowflakes, Mince Pies, Twinkly Lights, Pretty Angels, Shining Stars, Snowmen and many Elves! With much excitement the hall filled with Christmas wonder as the Nursery’s 61 children, ranging from as young as 2-years through to 4-years of age, paraded on to the stage to perform and sing their Christmas tale of snow, presents, Santa and the joy of giving.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “The children have been practicing their songs for many weeks as part of our usual class-time, and just before the big day, we took them to the stage to rehearse just as if their families were watching them.

“They all love dressing up and performing for others and showing their families and friends what they can do, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop their self-confidence and social skills, with this year welcoming to the stage many reindeer and elves and an appearance from of course from Santa!”

In front of parents and family members the children sang and acted out their favourite Christmas songs.

Miss Carter added: “The concert was wonderful, and many of our children had speaking parts so they needed to remember their lines.

“Not only was it lots of fun, it was wonderful to see the children grow in confidence, standing on the stage in front of a big audience, and they did brilliantly!”

Donning hats, gloves, scarves and warm coats and ready to meet Santa, the children of Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster with giggles of delight set off for a magical Christmas adventure on the Severn Valley Railway.

Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Christmas is a magical time for children, and trains are quite the favourite, so to be able to enjoy a train journey and meet Santa at the same time was a fantastic opportunity and one not to be missed!”

The children at Little Trinity, from 2-years and upwards, take regular learning walks with their outside experiences then used in creative play and craft activities back in the classroom. As the nursery is located so close to the Severn Valley Railway it was an ideal opportunity to use their trip as a learning walk to the train station before embarking on their festive return journey to Highley from Kidderminster.

Miss Carter added: “The children had a lovely time with their friends, with lots of happy chatter helping to encourage their developing communication skills as they talked about road safety and our need to be careful as we walked to and from the station, as well as what they saw through the window of the train as we went along.

“The train ride alone created lots of excitement and giggles amongst the children but then when they realised they were meeting Santa and getting a present too, well it was hard to contain their excitement and squeals of delight, it was simply wonderful and a fantastic and fun Christmas adventure.”

Reconditioning migrant affected loads for more than 15 years, multi temperature supply chain, distribution and logistics specialist Oakland International has seen a significant increase in requests to deal with contaminated loads in recent months.

Oakland Director, Robert Hardy, commented: “Whatever form of Brexit we end up with the safe movement of goods will still need to continue. All parties in the food supply chain from producers and manufacturers, hauliers, importers and retailers, they all have legal responsibilities under regulation EC178/2002 to ensure our food safety, with heavy penalties applied if these regulations are breached.”

Oakland’s HACCP accredited Distress Load Management (DLM) service minimises losses and food waste for customers, loss adjusters and hauliers on distressed loads due to movement during transit, theft or stowaway incursion. More than 5,000 trucks a day arrive in the UK from continental Europe and due to the sheer volume of traffic Border Force is only able to check around 10% of inbound trailers. During the last 12 months they have detected some 56,000 migrant attempts to gain illegal entry to the UK. Vehicles are regularly sent to Oakland when a risk to food safety has been detected, with load recovery and assessment undertaken same day or the following day in most cases.

Added Robert: “Oakland’s accredited DLM service has built a strong reputation trusted by both brands and insurers and consistently operates a recovery level of 85% of product, with nothing sent to landfill. Any residual food waste is redirected to nominated anaerobic digestion plant centres or recycling centres and used for renewable energy.

“A 5-point check includes, swab tests, thermal imaging and CO2 detection, and although we’re not particularly looking for stowaways, we will detect any contamination if this is the case. Our customers rely on us to protect their supply chain with clean cargo given a HACCP certificate of compliance to be presented on delivery, and contaminated cargo quarantined. Our thorough vehicle check and swift turnaround is making many of our customers consider making it a mandatory process for all inbound cargo.”

Free advice is available via or by calling their helpline on 0044 (0) 333 014 2850. A multi-award winner, Oakland is BRC double A accredited and EHO approved and as a multi temperature distribution business they specialise in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering and support retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Little Trinity Nursery children in support of Kidderminster Library’s festive Christmas Card Appeal have all been busy painting and colouring their Christmas cards ready for local people to enjoy.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “The children love to take part in creative activities and this seasonal pursuit enables them to use their artistic talents to make their own special Christmas card.”

Every year the nursery take part in the appeal with the children creating truly distinctive Christmas cards, which are then distributed by Kidderminster Library to the elderly and housebound in the local community at Christmastime, along with a selection of library books to read and enjoy throughout the festive season.

Using a whole host of design skills, the children now have numerous Christmas card creations.

Based within the grounds of Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre on the Birmingham Road, Little Trinity Nursery offers pre-school childcare from 2 years of age, with imaginative play at the core of nursery activities helping to assist in the children’s hand and eye co-ordination, literacy and numeracy skills, motor skills and communication development.

Miss Carter added: “This annual activity offers the children a opportunity to express themselves and it’s lots of fun, whilst also helping to support development of fine motor skills as they practice writing their name on the inside of their Christmas card.

“Supporting the Christmas Card Appeal is such as worthwhile cause. It helps spread a little joy within the local community for those who may not be able to share Christmas with family.”