Agency welcomes new recruit

Southwold design and advertising agency Spring has boosted its team with the recruitment of a new account manager.

Elizabeth Hirst was previously production assistant at Urban Outfitters and web editor at designer costume jeweller Lola Rose.

Managing director Erika Clegg said: “We’ve always searched for skilled people in the area – Lizzie’s a Southwold girl and with a great CV that meant we just had to snap her up.”

Ms Hirst said: “I am thrilled to be working with Spring. Coming back to Southwold from London, it was like finding a little bit of the capital city in my home town.”

East Anglian independent care provider Healthcare Homes has strengthened its management team at Hillcroft House in Stowmarket with the promotion of Lauren Cahill to care manager.

Ms Cahill, 23, was formerly senior carer at the home in Finborough Road. She has been in the caring profession all her working life, with previous experience in dementia care and two years’ nursing training under her belt.

“I’m really excited about my new position – I’ll be running the care teams here at Hillcroft and making sure everything goes smoothly. I’m looking forward to working closely with the home manager, Heather Choat, who has been extremely supportive,” she said.

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Chief executive Richard Clough said: “I have no doubt that she will prove to be an excellent addition to the Hillcroft House management team.”

Hillcroft House has a “good” rating from the Care Quality Commission. Healthcare Homes has a further 21 homes, Manorcourt Homecare and daycare centres under its management, all of which are rated “good” or “excellent”.

Suffolk-based affordable homes provider Havebury Housing Partnership has welcomed Philip Sullivan as its new director of operations and deputy chief executive.

He has an extensive background in housing, having spent several years working in housing management for a London borough before joining the Guinness Trust in 1998 as area manager for East Anglia. Most recently he was director of customer service for Guinness Midsummer.

Mr Sullivan, who is a chartered surveyor and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “Throughout my time at Guinness, I was responsible for both housing management and maintenance services, working with customers to help create communities where everyone is proud to live.

“I have a real passion for delivering excellent customer service so I’m looking forward to doing the same at Havebury.”

Chief executive Karen Mayhew welcomed him to the team.

“With such an extensive and successful work history, I am sure that Philip will be an asset to us here at Havebury, both to his colleagues and the residents he will support,” she said.

SHIRLEY Pickford, a lecturer from Anglia Ruskin University who teaches students on a fully online work-based degree, is celebrating after she was shortlisted for an award.

Ms Pickford, a remote working employee, was nominated for the Microsoft Remote Worker Award after she was singled out for her remote working strategies.

Although the university campuses are at Chelmsford and Cambridge, Ms Pickford is based at her home at Oakenholt, Flint, in Wales.

Her students are mostly in full-time work, so an online degree is often the only way for them to study. She shares their experiences of distance learning, and helps to create genuine collaboration between people who have never met each other.

Working from home has allowed her to move anywhere without changing her job and to have more flexibility when she needs it providing her with the opportunity for a better work/life balance.

It also means that she can work anywhere with her laptop – including motorway service stations, a conference in Manila, working visits to Italy or at friends’ homes.

“Rather than overcoming adversity, I first moved into remote working because I wanted a change and a challenge after nearly 20 years based in schools as a classroom teacher,” she said.

“Because nobody knows your age online, people often assume that remote workers are young – but along with her team, we are mostly mature (in age) having held senior positions before deciding that the internet is where we belong.”

Ms Pickford said she has enjoyed working remotely as a lecturer, keeping in touch with students through online discussions and using everything from blogs to wikis to publish journeys in learning.

“I can set up an office anywhere by opening my laptop. Everybody wins in managing projects – me, my students, colleagues and my employer,” she said.

Remote Employment and BT Business were on a national hunt to find remote working champions who could demonstrate how remote working and home working has made a beneficial impact on their business and home life in The Remote Worker Awards. There are currently 3.5m people working from home.

CHELSEA Firman is celebrating after passing her Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification.

The 21-year-old joined the team at Sudbury-based accountants and business advisers Paul Donno & Co Ltd in July and is enjoying her new job and the experience of working in a busy accountancy practice.

“I was working in the accounts department at a company in Cambridge but had always wanted to work in an accountancy practice. I felt the time had come to realise my ambitions and so I contacted Paul Donno & Co to see if they had a vacancy. I guess my timing was right because Paul said yes,” she aid.

Ms Donno has been studying for the AAT course on a day release basis at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds for the last three years.

“When the exams came around I was really nervous because I wanted to pass so much – I had just landed my ideal job and the last thing I wanted to do was fail,” she said.

“I was absolutely over the moon to have passed”

Ms Firman has been selected to receive the Finance Cup for outstanding performance on the AAT course by West Suffolk College.

Paul Donno said: “We are all really proud of Chelsea, passing her AAT qualification is a great achievement and to receive an award for outstanding performance from West Suffolk College is just the icing on the cake – well done Chelsea.”

A YOUNG mechanic showed his mettle after making it on to the shortlist in Nationwide Autocentre’s Apprentice of the Year competition.

The competition saw the most talented apprentices taken from within the company’s training scheme and given a number of tasks at the Delphi assessment centre in Warwick.

Josh Cobbold, who is an apprentice at the Bury St Edmunds centre in Cotton Lane, and is in his second year of training, was put forward for the assessment as a result of his high standard of work.

Just 21 apprentices were identified as being of a high enough standard to take part in the assessment.

Bill Collins, training manager for Nationwide Autocentre, said: “Our apprentices are all of a high standard, so to be shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year is an achievement in itself.”

Mr Cobbold said: “I’m really enjoying my training with Nationwide Autocentre and to find out that I am one of the best candidates and be put forward to compete for this was a real surprise. It was quite nerve-racking as you have to complete all of the tasks within a certain time, and you’re also watched over the whole time so you’re very conscious of the assessor and it adds to the pressure.”

Chief executive Duncan Wilkes said: “Nationwide Autocentre has a high standard of training and we’re proud to have such skilled individuals within the organisation. Josh should be very proud to have been taken through to this stage and it is a great testament to his ability.

“We strive to make our people the best they can be and the enthusiasm and dedication shown by our apprentices is a testament to the scheme’s success.”