Posted by Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

Mon 10th, Dec

You’d probably think that an owner of a successful IT support company would be firmly made up on this business-critical decision – outsourcing must be the way to go, right?

Actually, what is most important of all, is that individual business owners make the right decision for them, one that takes account of their unique needs and circumstances, their size and the market they’re in, and the expectations of their customers.

For some SMEs, having an IT person in the building is very reassuring. They’re on tap, they know the business, its systems and users inside out, they know the pressure points and they’re often dedicated and knowledgeable all-rounders.

For other businesses though, the advantages of outsourcing are much more appealing. The benefits that carry most weight during these discussions are:

  1. Cost – a good IT engineer will cost at least £28k a year plus all the usual additional employee-related costs, while a comprehensive outsourced support package covering the needs of, say, 50 users, with back-up and security, will typically cost less than half of that. And the supplier will invest in the latest technology and expert, trained staff, meaning you don’t have to.
  2. Expertise – a good IT engineer may be an allrounder, but a single person can’t be an expert at everything whereas a specialist IT service provider will employ a number of staff with the full range of skill sets required.
  3. Availability – an outsourced supplier will always have staff on hand during the contracted hours, while an employee may not be available outside core hours, may leave at short notice and will get sick occasionally. And what happens when your system goes down while they are on holiday?
  4. Consistency – through service level agreements, businesses can select the level of support that’s best for them, with defined standards and predictable costs.
  5. Simplicity – with a single contract and a single supplier taking overall responsibility for IT; people management requirements are reduced.
  6. Advice – An outsourced supplier will have experienced senior management that can provide independent, best practice guidance on how IT can make a positive contribution to a business. In-house engineers rarely possess the necessary business acumen along with technical knowledge to be able to do this effectively.
  7. Continuity – a good supplier will quickly acquire a detailed understanding of your business requirements, demonstrate expertise and commitment, and become an integral part of the in-house team, albeit operating remotely, acquiring trusted partner status.

And let's not forget that for some larger businesses, a combination of an in-house IT manager and an outsourced IT company can be a real benefit.   In this instance,  an IT company would ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day IT management and the IT manager would dedicate their time to getting maximum benefit from enterprise systems.

Even when an SME is convinced that outsourcing is the route for them, it is important to stress the need to find the right partner, one that’s the right fit for them. When recruiting it’s important to ask lots of questions and be clear about your expectations. Talk about your business requirements rather than your tech requirements – your tech is simply an enabler.  

At The PC Support Group, we are so convinced of the importance of this that we devised a simple guide with 20 key questions to help you choose the right IT support provider for you. Please download your FREE copy here.

If you’d like to outsource your IT support just speak to our sales team at The PC Support Group on 03300 886 116 or leave us a message here or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

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Posted by Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

Mon 03rd, Dec

Don’t you think it’s amazing that today’s copper telephone lines in premises are the same as 150 years ago?

But all good things come to an end sometime, I guess. And that sometime is now! Big changes are gathering pace as the telecoms industry ditches its expensive and unwieldy legacy infrastructure to take full advantage of the tremendous benefits of cloud-based telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

Have you heard that in 2020 BT will begin phasing out its old-style landlines and will then switch them off altogether in 2025? I was explaining this to one of our clients the other day and the reaction was “that’s OK, we’ve got plenty of time then”. Wrong.

The thing is, in business planning terms, 2020 is just around the corner. So, if you’re one of the millions of UK organisations still using ISDN, for example, believe me, now’s the time to make the move to the cloud.

Because even without the news from BT, the advantages of VoIP telephony are so game-changing for SMEs that it’s a no-brainer! VoIP allows you to make voice and video calls anywhere in the world, from any device – all you need is an internet connection.

Cloud-based telephony will transform your business communications. With VoIP you’ll get:

  • significant reductions in business phone line and contract bills
  • next generation technology that’s simple to transition to and easy to use and maintain
  • flexibility to use your own devices, keep the same number across all devices, add and remove users at speed and work from any location
  • access to the latest versions, updates and mobile working features
  • integration with your other business systems
  • a great phone system to boost productivity and agility, without ANY capital investment

I’m often struck by how many people I talk to who are nervous about making the move – and I’m always pleased to be able to put their minds at rest. There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.  The only things you need to do is check your current contract (don’t accidentally fall into renewal) and then find a qualified supplier with VoIP experience.  I would strongly recommend one that doesn’t tie you in for any length of time so you can easily change if your provider doesn’t deliver the service you need.

At The PC Support Group we deal with many of our clients’ combined IT and telephony needs so if you’d like to discuss your options, the benefits you can expect, and how we can help you to make it happen, call our team on 03300 886116, contact us here or email them on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

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Danny Houghton, Partner at MHA Moore and Smalley has had a Q&A session with Paul Cherpeau, Chief Executive of the Liverpool Chamber, on what he thinks of the economy in Liverpool today. Keep reading…

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Mon 03rd, Dec

1. Tell me about the economy in Liverpool at the moment, do you think it is becoming one of the strongest in the UK?

The Liverpool economy is improving consistently and has built positively upon the catalyst of the cultural and visitor economy boom of the previous ten years. There is still some way to go to establish ourselves as a genuinely outstanding economic area but the potential is there and beginning to be realised.

2. What do you think is the key to success for businesses in Liverpool?

Resilience, adaptability and investment are the key elements for successful businesses in Liverpool.

3. How can businesses in Liverpool make an impact by embracing innovation?

Investing in innovation through technology, processes or product can be a costly exercise but is imperative to attaining competitive advantage. The speed of technological change is creating immense challenges for businesses to adapt and deliver internal productivity and external customer value. Automation, virtual reality and augmented reality are the ‘big ticket’ changes to the workplace over the coming decade, yet people, product and process can all be positively impacted by businesses who embrace innovation and investment.

4. What do you think Liverpool’s strengths are in regard to trading?

The Port provides the city region with an enormous asset for trade passing through. The accessibility to the Atlantic trade and Ireland through the Port of Liverpool could add further value, particularly as post-Brexit trade shifts to markets beyond the EU.

5. What are some of the key issues that businesses in Liverpool are facing today?

Businesses tell us that they are struggling to consistently attract the right talent, access strong leadership, management and mentoring expertise and seek greater opportunities to attract investment for speculative business development. Macro-economic challenges impacting upon our businesses is Brexit uncertainty, transport and digital infrastructure and accessibility and talent attraction and development

6. In what ways do you think Liverpool has experienced transformation over the last 10 years?

The City’s visitor and cultural offer has been transformed since 2008 with the catalyst of Capital of Culture, the building of the Arena & Convention Centre and the opening of Liverpool ONE creating and sustaining a vibrant city centre with an outstanding offer for all. The sustainability of this transformation has enabled the city’s other economic strengths and competencies to develop and be built upon, specifically the knowledge quarter developments, health and life sciences competencies and clusters of advanced manufacturing excellence.

7. How do you think the trade in Liverpool differs from other cities?

Liverpool is a very close business network with a strong collective identity that is not perhaps replicated elsewhere in the UK. The uniqueness of the Liverpool brand gives a different dynamic to trade and investment.

8. Do you think the perception of Liverpool has changed over the years. If so, how?

Perceptions are changing for those visiting Liverpool, either for leisure or business purposes. Our challenge is attracting visitors to the city to enable such perceptions to be overcome on a wider scale. Liverpool is seen in an increasingly positive light as a destination for business as reflected in the north-shoring decisions of companies establishing offices in the city.

9. What do you envision the future to be like for businesses in Liverpool?

Challenging but with a strong opportunity for growth and sustainability. The ongoing repurposing of Liverpool as a multi-sector business destination must be pursued in conjunction with a determination to enact a vision that cultivates talent retention, business investment for creation and growth and the establishment of a brand that promotes Liverpool as a world-class business destination. The Chamber believes that Liverpool should be the best place to start, locate or operate a business in the UK.

10. Finally, describe your view of the business industry in Liverpool in three words.

Ready for growth.

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Posted by Neil Ashbridge

Mon 03rd, Dec

The news is a pretty glum affair at the moment with a different soundbite seemingly driving the headlines every day and political commentators jostling to put their own particular spin on the day's events, generally a negative one. The ongoing debate around Brexit has only amplified the paucity of informative and objective news content which appears to have been replaced instead by speculation and conjecture - the only certainty appears to be uncertainty. Those of us not engaged in Westminster spin or without aspirations to be the next PM, can only look on with disbelief.

Even more frustrating is the fact that little else appears to be happening to address the fundamental issues which drive our economy and social wellbeing, create employment opportunities and investment and support longer term growth. A stark example of this is the level of investment in transport infrastructure, particularly in our region, which remains the key concern for businesses across the North especially as the latest government figures suggest that whilst transport spending per person has risen significantly in the North West in the last year, it remains approximately twice as high in London as in the North as a whole.

Transport for the North is pressing forward with its strategic transport plan to deliver improvements across the whole of our transport system including road, rail, sea and air, but without any devolved funding this remains more of a long term vision, despite progress in some areas. Business needs to get behind the proposals to provide a strong business case for more investment in the North, including support for our freight and logistics sector as well as reducing commuting times to broaden access to both jobs and opportunities.  The announcement that rail fares are to rise by 3.1% on average from 1 January is a further blow to those who rely on rail to commute - where is the value for money? 

A recent report by the Urban Transport Group reinforced the importance of transport in these areas, particularly in post industrial urban centres. It also highlighted the need for a more co-ordinated programme of transport capital and revenue investment and support, as isolated capital interventions in transport infrastructure are insufficient in themselves. The launch of the Strategic Investment Fund by Steve Rotherham provides an excellent opportunity to do just that at a local level and potentially gives local businesses more of a say in where investment should be prioritised. There will be around half a billion pounds available to support projects in areas such as transport infrastructure, economic development, business growth, skills, culture and housing and we look forward to working with the Metro Mayor's team to support delivery of the Fund.

Despite the national headlines therefore, the local news is much more upbeat, as businesses simply get on with it. My Chamber colleagues and I have attended a number of events and round table discussions over the past few weeks and the general level of optimism about the future for the Liverpool city region is particularly heartening and is reflected in the number of positive news stories from our members. The willingness of local politicians, not only to listen to the voice of business, but to actively seek it out, should also be applauded. Perhaps we could apply some of that political pragmatism to the national debate on Brexit - just a thought!
 

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Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s Major Roads Director, explains why we need a Major Roads Network for the North and how the network has been mapped out.

Posted by Peter Molyneux

Transport for the North’s Major Roads Director

Fri 30th, Nov

We all know that roads are absolutely vital for getting us from A to B. Whether you’re commuting, travelling for business, running errands or making the most of your leisure time, it’s likely that your journey relies on at least a short stretch of the North’s 53,000+ miles of road.

By identifying which of the North’s roads are most important to getting people and goods to their destinations on time, we can prioritise investment on those routes to make them more efficient and reliable. This doesn’t mean that every road we identify will need an upgrade – many of them are doing their job well. But it does mean that we can make the argument to Government for investment in those areas where poor road links holding the economy back.

We all know the strategic roads like the M6, M62 or the M1 motorways and major dual carriageways form the backbone of our road network. But only 2% of the roads in the north are strategic routes, managed by Highways England, and it’s often the local roads which determine whether you get somewhere on time.

It’s not just as simple as finding out which roads have the most traffic on them. Some routes which may seem relatively quiet could be the vital link to a port, airport, enterprise zone or university. And it’s also not just about the roads that are most important now.

Transport for the North wants to transform the northern economy to rebalance the whole economy of the UK – this will need economic growth to happen across our region. We will need to improve our links between our economic assets (like ports, factories, research centres, power stations and universities) as well as our fantastic towns and cities. Our Strategic Transport Plan is for the next thirty years and needs to consider the places which will need better connections over that time period.

So how did we decide which are the North’s major roads? Well, we started with the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review (NPIER). Commissioned by Transport for the North, the NPIER represented a unique collaboration with our Partners, the LEPs and central government. As the first pan-Northern economic assessment, it established both the four prime capabilities and the long-term economic projections that quantified the impact of growing the North’s capabilities to help to close the productivity gap between the North and the rest of the UK.

These capabilities are Advanced Manufacturing, Digital, Energy and Health Innovation and the NPIER also mapped locations across the North where they are present – giving us a base map of locations that need to be linked.

We checked this base map with our local partners to ensure it covered all important locations, like major towns and cities, sea ports, airports, enterprise zones, universities and key freight hubs. This also included links to train stations to enable more multi-modal journeys. And then we future proofed the locations by using in local Strategic Economic Plans and Local City Region Strategies to ensure that future growth centres were also reflected.

We then looked at the roads which were vital to connect these locations. We wanted to make sure that all important economic centres were connected to the strategic road network and that, for bigger cities, we had identified all the major routes leading in and out of the city which take the strain at busy times. It was also vital to ensure that we didn’t have cul-de-sacs, locations from which you could only travel in one direction.

The resulting network represents around 7% of the roads in the North, including the strategic road network. It differs from the roads which the central government considers major roads, as it is based on ensuring connectivity not purely on existing traffic flow and it also allows for future growth.

Our Major Road Network map was agreed with all of our nineteen local and combined authority partners last year. It formed the centre of the Major Roads Report, which was published as part of our draft Strategic Transport Plan consultation.

Our Major Roads Network is now informing the recommendations we make about investment in our existing road network. Having a clearly defined and evidenced network has already helped us provide information to the Department for Transport and Highways England about short-term priorities for investment in our road network.

The Government recently carried out a public consultation about the Major Roads Network which they are currently developing for the whole of England. Transport for the North and its partners recommended that the Government should use our well-evidenced network to define the major roads in the North of England. We also joined with other developing Sub-national Transport Bodies (Midlands Connect, England’s Economic Heartland and Transport for the South East) to call for the Government to empower greater local regional influence in defining priorities for road investment. We look forward to seeing the Government’s response to this consultation soon.

Read more about the Major Road Network and Strategic Road Studies.

View the origional blog post here.

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Ian Pollitt, Assistant Project Director - Liverpool Waters

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Thu 29th, Nov

What does a typical working day look like?

My day starts at around 6.30am with a good breakfast, before I drive to work from Southport. My office is located within Princes Dock at Liverpool Waters and I usually arrive around 8.30am after calling into some of the live projects on the way to work.

For me, every day at work is different, which is one of the things that I enjoy most about my role. I could have a day full of meetings with developers, councillors and local authority representatives, or I could be meeting with The City of Liverpool College to discuss our recent partnership which supports skills in our region, through the Liverpool Waters project.

Another example is supporting the management of the Liverpool Waters project, from chairing our ‘collective meetings’, which bring together developers and a number of other organisations such as Historic England, Liverpool City Council, Environment Agency and Natural England who are involved in the project. To meeting with our internal and external marketing teams to discuss our strategy for communicating the Liverpool Waters project.

Community is incredibly important for me as an individual and for Liverpool Waters. A significant part of my role involves spending time engaging with local communities in North Liverpool and working on neighbouring projects like Ten Streets.

I am a Patron of The Liverpool Biennial and have been a Governor of the City of Liverpool College for over five years. I am engaged in several local projects that range from finding new ways to grow seaweed, farming fish, the water sports centre at Collingwood Dock, Friends of Allenby canoeing club, the Heritage Trail, Creamfields Steel Yard, and the lighting project for heritage assets within Liverpool Waters, whilst also working very closely with Everton in the Community.

Where would we find you on your day off?

As an Everton fan, I can often be found at Goodison Park on a match day, or at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall watching all types of live music.

I live near the Sea in Southport and enjoy nothing more than a good long walk along the beach with my wife, family and friends.

Who or what inspires you?

Without doubt it must be my parents. They were both incredibly hardworking, honest people, who put family before everything, this is something I am trying to pass onto my children.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I was born and bred in The Liverpool City Region and have worked around the country in other cities and have travelled the world with my job, but I always knew that I would come back to Liverpool to settle and have a family.

Over the last 10 years, the city region has changed beyond recognition. I am proud of the fact that it is famous around the world – whether it’s for our music, football, or fantastic architecture.

From a developer’s point of view, it’s a brilliant place with great connectivity to the capital. We have two great airports within an hour’s drive and a very successful operational port. This in addition to the fact that labour costs and the housing market are more affordable, makes coming to the region a good choice.

In relation to North Liverpool, there is still more change to come. The projects that we are working on now through Liverpool Waters will benefit North Liverpool, which is one of the most deprived areas in the country, not just the region. It is an area that has been promised a lot over the years, without much being delivered, but with the various projects either delivered over the past five years or coming up, it is set to become an exciting place to be. With Harcourt’s regeneration of Stanley Dock, Ten Streets, road improvement works, Project Jennifer and Liverpool Waters which includes Everton’s proposed exciting plans to build a new football stadium within Bramley Moore Dock, the future looks bright for North Liverpool.

 

Ian was the winner of one of the Local Hero Awards (sponsored by Proton Partners International) at our recent Annaul Dinner and Awards 2018.

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 23rd, Nov

This week I added the Chamber’s support for the proposals for Everton Football Club’s new stadium at the Bramley-Moore Dock.

The past two decades have witnessed several ambitious schemes that were considered either risky, challenging or undeliverable. Yet the subsequent impact of Liverpool ONE, the Arena & Convention Centre, Liverpool 2 were such that we now cannot imagine a 21st century Liverpool without them.

In this spirit, Everton’s new stadium would represent an outstanding addition to our asset base, strengthening with tangible bricks and mortar the requirement that our city remains an epicentre of football excellence. The subsequent job creation, regeneration and overall economic impact would be plentiful as would the impact of the Goodison Legacy project, an initiative that should not be overlooked amidst the focus on a shiny new stadium.

I hope that the development of the new stadium will enable great supply chain opportunities for our local businesses, both during the construction phase and once operational, and will be sympathetic with the world heritage status that our waterfront possesses. In this instance, both are mutually compatible.

I hope readers share the sentiments that are expressed in the jointly-signed letter and the development of the Everton FC development becomes a reality in the near future.

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Terry Shelbourne, Owner and Principal Advisor, Choice Benefits

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 23rd, Nov

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

Terry Shelbourne, Owner and Principal Advisor, Choice Benefits.

Choice Benefits is an independent insurance broker, specialising in health and wellbeing cover, because that’s where our key experiences rests. After 35 years of dealing with health like I have, you get a real sense of empathy towards people - strangers or otherwise - and couple that with my years at BUPA and heading up SME business at another brokerage, I could tell there was opportunity for a tailor-made brokerage within health and protection insurance.

The great thing about working for a company that you built yourself is that you can set the tone, and make the rules around how you work. And that’s what I love, because I like to be able to bend over backwards for our clients and give them the deal that works for them. Flexibility is really important to us. Not a lot of people know this, but if a key leader within a small business falls seriously ill, statistically, the business will fail within 6 months. Our flexibility means that we can help clients move fast to make short-and-medium term decisions to keep that business trading. And it’s that flexibility that I love offering.

What changes would you like to be leading in your market?

I touched on it a little earlier but our ability to mould our services to suit clients both old and new is something I would love to be reflected in the industry. It’s important that when an individual or business comes to us, they get the best deal they can get, with the cover that they need, which is sometimes not what they think it is. There’s some businesses in the market who are a little more rigid in how they work with SMEs, but our policy couldn’t be further away from ‘one size fits all’, and we’d love this attitude to become the norm in our industry, but until then, Choice Benefits see it as our core USP.

What does your typical working day look like?

The great thing about this business is that while the day may look typical on the surface, in reality it’s really very varied. My three key priorities are client troubleshooting, winning new business and keeping up-to-date with trends and new learning within healthcare and protection in general. Without these things, we can’t be at our peak.

I love speaking to my current clients and new because I’m a people person, and without actually talking to these folk you’re working on behalf of, you can’t get a gist for them and what they value. It seems really simple but talking and listening and taking in what your customers are saying is the best thing you can do as a service provider.

What do you do on your day off?

Although I’ve always got to keep my head somewhat in the game, I’m a big advocate for actually taking time away and having a few hours of peace and quiet. I love outdoor sports, so if I can spend a morning walking or cycling with my kids then that’s quite alright with me! Often though that’s just not possible, so staying a little closer to home and taking in some live music is the next thing I try and do. I’m a Liverpool-born lad and it’s great to see more live tours coming to the city. If anyone has any recommendations, drop me a line!

What advice would you give your teenage self?

My favourite piece of advice actually came to me when I was a teenager, from the father of a good friend. I’ve used it ever since “If the circumstances don’t suit you. Change them” This applies to everything I do, and I have even used it in business for the benefit of all my clients. It sounds so simple yet people often do nothing when something is less than ideal for them or their clients.

Who is your role model in business?

There is a whole bunch of people that I look up to in business, all for different reasons. I respect anyone with the get-up-and-go to make something for themselves, for a starter. The more small businesses we can see growing to reflect decent people making decent decisions the better.

In terms of specifics, I really like Lawrence Kenwright. Lawrence is a Liverpool hotel/property operator and director that I’m always interested to hear about. He’s a local guy who has become really successful but still made time to build his business in what I believe to be the right way.  He’s just a decent person who hasn’t forgotten his respect for others, be them more or less fortunate.

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Posted by Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

Tue 20th, Nov

I’m always struck by how serious the after effects of cybercrime can be, for businesses and individuals alike. Just one successful phishing attack, or an innocent-sounding conversation with a conman, and the result of years of hard work and sacrifice can all be undone in a few minutes.

When I hear these stories, I reflect on what the consequences could be for my business, my family, my colleagues and our clients too. Data theft is growing rapidly in volume and sophistication, with hackers increasingly adept at creating believable phishing emails and impersonating trusted organisations like banks (called social engineering), to trick people into revealing email addresses, usernames and passwords. And with the growth in cloud-based applications, once criminals have these electronic keys, they can access systems and cause havoc at will, from anywhere in the world.

But by taking some simple, extra precautions, we can all make it harder for the villains and easier to keep the things and people we value safe. There’s one defence that I strongly recommend you apply as widely as possible – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).  You’re probably using MFA already. When you log in to your online bank, enter your email or username and password, you're then asked for another code – that’s MFA. It adds an extra security layer, or ‘factor’, on top of usernames and passwords (which, as we know, are often not strong enough), before any access to data is allowed.

Also known as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), MFA provides a unique, time-limited code via a hand-held device, such as PINsentry from Barclays, SMS or app, that is almost impossible for hackers to intercept. Even if the criminal has a stolen email address, username and password, MFA keeps the data safe.

This is a bit of a personal crusade for me. Every day I speak to SME owner/managers who, just like me and my colleagues, have worked their socks off to make a success of their businesses – and it’s satisfying to play a small part in helping to protect their hard-earned achievements.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started on MFA:

  • Make a list of everything you and your business accesses using an email address, username and password
  • In particular, identify those systems or services that are cloud or web-based – as they are the ones most at risk of being hacked
  • Check with the providers of these systems (or ask your IT support company) to see if MFA can be applied and then do so immediately

If your current provider hasn’t mentioned MFA to you yet, then I would be a bit worried about that! We regard this kind of advice and guidance as part and parcel of our proactive support service that keeps our clients’ businesses as safe as possible, and delivers reliable, smoothly-running IT.

If you’d like to find out more about MFA, your options and how we can help, speak to our friendly team  here at The PC Support Group on 03300 886 116 or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Best wishes

Phil Bird, Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Sue Johnston, Adult Service Manager, Liverpool Bereavement Service

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Thu 15th, Nov

Established 20 years ago, Liverpool Bereavement Service provides 1:1 counselling for adults and children throughout Merseyside.  Sue has been with Liverpool Bereavement Service since 2009 and began as a trustee. As a qualified counsellor, she took on the position of Adult Service Manager in 2011.

Sue was one of our very worthy Local Hero nominees at this year’s Liverpool & Sefton Chamber Annual Awards. The LBS Board said “Sue is highly skilled and widely regarded, and she could probably be described as the heart of our service as she seems to produce two hours of work each hour. Her work ensures that clients receive the support they require and is a valuable contribution to our counsellors and Liverpool Bereavement Service’.

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

Sustainable long term funding! More awareness!

More awareness around the impact bereavement can have on people’s lives and of those around them. We look to highlight the support people need on an individual basis but also within the workplace.

With the workplace being such an important part of life employers should be encouraged to be more aware of the effects of bereavement and work in partnership with us for the care of their staff.

As part of the charity sector, funding is always an issue and to have sustainable long term funding for the work we is essential. I am eternally grateful for the continuous support from private funders, fundraisers and client donations without which we would not be able to provide such a valuable service. We strive to keep our waiting list down and everyone is supported regardless of circumstances.

What does a typical working day look like?

Every day is different but hopefully I start with checking any messages and emails and prioritising them. I then make sure all the rooms are in order for the day.

I initially assess 100% of people who come to us by either self- referral or from GPs and other associated services. As a result of the assessments I can allocate each client to a specific counsellor to suit their needs. Often I will follow up on clients who have finished their counselling and also taking care of the welfare and emotional needs of the counsellors which is an important aspect of my role.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Take care of yourself – your mental wellbeing is important too.

Follow your dream to be the best at whatever you chose to do.

Where would we find you on your day off?

With my sister, Tina, my husband and three grown up children who are all supportive of my role at LBS.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

My first job was in a Solicitor’s office and the senior partner said to me, ‘don’t ever change who you are and always be yourself,’ so I stuck to that.

I often tell clients that yesterday is over, and you can’t change the past, but we can change how we think about it and how we feel.

Who or what inspire you?

Liverpool Bereavement Service inspires me every day. I see the good and the effect it has on people’s lives. The student counsellors inspire me as I watch them grow and develop into great counsellors. The clients inspire me as they show their resilience in difficult circumstances and they put their trust in Liverpool Bereavement Service.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I was born in Huyton, I live in Liverpool. I want to do the best I can for the area I love, I want to make sure that everyone in Liverpool and its regions are supported so they too can always be themselves and the best version of themselves.  

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Will we still be saying “Cheers” after Brexit?

Mon 14th, Jan

This is the second of a series of articles from the Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, focussing on contemporary issues for local businesses.

How to prepare your business for sale

Mon 14th, Jan

Corporate solicitor James Pressley from Kirwans law firm looks at the key points to consider when thinking about selling your business.

5 minutes with...

Fri 11th, Jan

Wayne Blair – Senior Project Manager at Kier Construction North West

5 minutes with...

Fri 14th, Dec

Jake Mills, Founder and CEO of Chasing the Stigma

WoMEN in Tech

Fri 14th, Dec

5 minutes with...

Mon 10th, Dec

Robbie Spear, Specialist Insurance Manager at Novo Incident Management