Movers and Shakers: Alex Till takes over helm at MENTA

MENTA, the Suffolk Enterprise Agency, has appointed Alex Till as chief executive.

Alex is well known in Suffolk, having worked in the county for 15 years. Most recently he has been with Suffolk County Council in senior roles connected with the economic development of the county, and before that he held posts at Business Link Suffolk, Suffolk Acre and the Suffolk Development Agency. He has also been on the Board of Prince’s Trust Suffolk for over ten years.

Jane Vincent, Chair of MENTA, said: “We are excited that Alex is able to join us; the combination of his energy, enthusiasm for enterprise and unrivalled knowledge of the Suffolk Economic Development scene should allow MENTA to grow still further from the solid platform we have worked so hard to build in recent years. We welcome him warmly.”

Alex said: “I could not be looking forward to this role more eagerly; I have worked alongside MENTA for many years, and have always been impressed at the way in which they have adapted and improved their offering in line with changing circumstances, whilst still fiercely maintaining their independence.

“I hope that I will be able to use my experience to help the existing excellent team develop MENTA even more, both in its own right and through partnerships with other agencies across the region.”

Alex will join MENTA on July 25.

DEDHAM resident, Julie Price, has set up a new business in Colchester caring for elderly people in their own homes.

Most Read

The company, Home Instead Senior Care, which will provide care services in Colchester, Stanway, Elmstead, Ardleigh, Layer de la Hay, West Mersea, Wivenhoe, Boxted and Harwich, is part of a national network.

Julie has many years’ experience working for blue chip companies in planning, training and regulatory activities but when her elderly mother’s health deteriorated in 2009, she decided to care for her full-time.

This was a life changing experience. During her mother’s illness, she experienced the good and the bad sides of care, and following her mother’s death towards the end of last year, she decided to fulfil an ambition held for many years to set up her own business.

On hearing about the opportunity to set up a care company specialising in care of the elderly with Home Instead, she jumped at the chance to be involved. “Mum was suffering with a heart condition, osteoporosis and dementia. At first, I was caring for her at weekends with help from care services during the week, then I was looking after her full time with some support and latterly she went in to a home,” she said.

“I’ve experienced a lot, learnt a lot and have a clear understanding of what the people receiving care need and, also importantly, what their families need. It’s been tough but having been through the ‘care’ situation myself, I feel I can take an empathetic and knowledgeable approach.”

“I didn’t realise how isolated and lonely you can feel trying to understand what help and support is available and I’m hoping that some of my knowledge will benefit others. When a loved one falls ill and needs help they are so vulnerable, and so are their families and I know we can help.”

Her philosophy is to provide a service which will enable older people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible while improving their quality of life.

Home Instead services include personal care such as assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and medications, home help covering all aspects of day-to-day housework, shopping, meal preparation and household duties. It also includes companionship services that can involve everything from escorting clients to appointments through to simple conversation and good company.

WILLMOTT Dixon Partnerships is investing in leadership training in the Suffolk area to produce skilled managers and ensure top quality service for local authorities’ housing services and their tenants.

The company has supported two local supervisors to gain an industry recognised qualification that will also help further their careers. They have all achieved a Level 2 certificate in team leading from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Roger Wenban and Mark Richmond took part in the training as a result of the company’s partnership with the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT).

Candidates had previously successfully completed a nine month course at Willmott Dixon’s own supervisors’ academy to gain an internally recognised qualification in team leading. However, the company identified that they had no industry-recognised formal qualifications to prove their level of supervisory competency and was keen to ensure that their skills were recognised.

Willmott Dixon Partnerships works with Suffolk County Council on a �4million contract to carry out maintenance and minor works to 734 properties which includes schools, offices, fire stations and libraries.

Roger Wenban, 34, from Kent, is a trainee manager who has worked for Willmott Dixon for five years after joining the company as a labourer without any industry recognised qualifications.

He said: “I have supervised 20 members of staff and the team leading course gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing most of the time, and guidance when there was room for improvement. It helped to show that there are different ways of thinking and how to handle a situation more strategically, instead of just ‘winging it’ and then worrying about the outcome.

“When I joined Willmott Dixon I had very poor academic skills, and didn’t have any qualifications at all. Since then the company has supported me and helped me to gain trade NVQs in plumbing to Level 3 and build up a portfolio to be proud of. I’ve been lucky and won a management trainee position through the company’s “Willmott Dixon’s Got Talent” initiative which allows people like me the chance to become the whole package - good with hands and mind too. The company has been keen to invest in my development and I want to make sure that I give double back in return.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships managing director Mick Williamson said: “Our company is committed to recruiting from the local area wherever possible and leaving a lasting legacy in the communities in which we work. Ensuring our team leaders have the skills required to teach the next generation of tradesmen is vital for the development of the individual and the long-term health of our business.

2The better equipped our supervisors are, the more we can guarantee that the level of quality we strive for is maintained and passed down to the less experienced members of the team for the benefit of our client and their customers.”

LAW firm, Birketts LLP, has announced a host of internal promotions across their regional offices, with effect from June 1.

The promotions have resulted in three lawyers being offered partner positions, three being promoted to senior associate and another three becoming associates.

The partner promotions include Catherine Johnson (employment – Ipswich), Daden Hunt (commercial litigation – Chelmsford) and Tom Wagstaff (employment – Norwich), bringing the number of partners in the firm to 54.

Lorna Spear (private client – Norwich), Greg Allan (corporate finance – Norwich) and Nathan Muskett (corporate finance – Norwich) have all been promoted to senior associates; with Simon Burnip (commercial property – Ipswich), Carol Ramsden (agriculture – Ipswich) and Emily Groom (residential development – Norwich) becoming associates.

“All are high calibre individuals and their elevation recognises the skill and commitment they have each invested in the firm,” said chief executive Alistair Lang.

ESSEX-based solicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP has expanded its relationship and business development team.

Penny Hepburn has been promoted to key account manager alongside business development manager, Glenn Carter. Her new role includes maintaining relationships with existing clients and identifying clients for whom the firm could add value in terms of their legal services. She will also be responsible for events including seminars and functions and will communicate these opportunities to business partners.

Penny, who has previously worked in the marketing team with great success, said: “FJG are an innovative and forward thinking firm and I am delighted to be part of the team responsible for developing, maintaining and strengthening client relations.”

Senior partner Tony Fisher said: “I am delighted to welcome Penny to her new role within FJG. Penny has already proved a valuable asset to the firm in the past and with her skills I’m sure that she will continue to build and maintain valuable relationships with key clients of the firm helping to build on the firms award-winning customer service and client care.”