Specialist multi temperature supply chain operator and responsible family business Oakland International has appointed Bob Richards to the post of General Manager at its Redditch facility.

Previously holding senior and director roles at several blue-chip organisations including PHS, Bidvest Logistics, Christian Salvesen, TDG, Palletways and David Hathaway Transport, Bob has 30 years of management experience and a proven track record in continual improvement, man-management and process management.

Commenting he said: “I’m really excited about joining Oakland International which is a great business with real growth potential in a challenging market place. Seeing the business in peak trading will assist me as I look at the structure, working patterns and the team and help formulate and support the design of the business strategy going forward.”

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, tempering and supports retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Oakland International Managing Director, Shaun Foley, said: “I am delighted to welcome Bob to the team. His knowledge and extensive sector experience will be a significant asset to our Redditch operations.”

The latest recruit at a Kidderminster school may be a little shorter than most pupils, and certainly more-hairy, but has already made a big impact on both pupils and staff.

School dog ‘Fern’ joined Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre at the start of this academic year at the tender age of 3-months. Over the last 4-months she has been acclimatising to her new environment and getting to know her new friends, and although still only a puppy her natural ability to interact with children from 5-years to sixth formers has meant that she has very quickly adapted to being in school and loving the attention she receives.

Headteacher, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright stated: “There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from all members of the school community and already the impact of having Fern in school is tangible. Regardless of age, there seems to be a need that can be fulfilled by interacting with Fern, who seems to be having a powerful impact on the emotional well-being within school.”

Although a school dog, Fern is very much part of a family and belongs to Mrs Leek-Wright, who had the idea of introducing a dog into school in the light of increasing concerns over mental health and the levels of stress that young people encounter in the modern-day education system. It has taken two years of planning, research and seeking advice to get to the reality of having a dog in school.

Added Mrs Leek-Wright: “Having enjoyed her first term, Fern is now very familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of her ‘work place’ and having settled exceptionally well she is now at an age to concentrate on specific training with her Dog Trainer so that she can start to join in classes over the coming term.”

Once fully trained, Fern will be used to support the school’s well-being programme and working alongside the school counsellor, will be a regular visitor to the school’s libraries, encouraging pupils to read to her, promoting confidence and independence in a skill that underpins all learning.

Receiving a letter personally addressed to one of their pupils, Little Trinity Nursery duly passed it on to 3-year old Alba Edwards parents when they came to collect her that day.

To everyone’s delight and surprise the letter was from a local lady who’d received Alba’s Christmas card as part of Kidderminster Library’s Christmas Card Appeal.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Every year the children take part creating personal Christmas cards which are then distributed by Kidderminster Library to the elderly and housebound in the local community.

“It was such a lovely surprise for Alba to receive a ‘thank you’ message for what is, for all of us, a very special activity in our nursery calendar and such a good way to reach out to the housebound and elderly in our community, whilst helping to teach the children to think of others.”

Alba’s parents, Mark Edwards and Katie Stone, commented on how thoughtful and how delighted they were that Alba had received a letter of thanks and that they were going to put it in her special memory box so that she could see it when she’s older.

Celebrating their fifth birthday later this year, Little Trinity Nursery, based within the grounds of Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre on the Birmingham Road, caters for pre-school childcare from 2 years of age.