Movers & Shakers: Corporate Vision Executive Award for ExploringU founder Glenda Roberts

Glenda Roberts and other members of the ExploringU team celebrating its latest award.

Glenda Roberts and other members of the ExploringU team celebrating its latest award. - Credit: Archant

The founder of a Sudbury-based counselling service has scooped a national award. Glenda Roberts, founder of ExploringU Counselling, received an Executive Award from the Corporate Vision Magazine.

Awards co-ordinator Jonathan Hicks said: “With these awards, we look to recognise the outstanding individuals who are pulling the strings behind major companies, and through their innovative leadership skills, guide their firm further along the path to success. We congratulate Glenda on her award, which is very well deserved.”

ExploringU was established by Ms Roberts in 2008 and its main centre is in Station Road, Sudbury. The company also has practices in Colchester, Saffron Walden, Harold Wood and Hatfield Peverel, and will soon be opening two new satellite centres in Bury St Edmunds and Northampton. It offers a range of counselling, psychotherapy, acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation respite and training services.

Ms Roberts said: “I am very proud to have received this award, as each nomination has to go through a rigorous analysis and it is not an easy award to win.

“I feel receiving this award is testament to the professional, reliable and results driven way we run the business and provide services.

“Of course, this award is not just for me but for the whole team at ExploringU. We have a dedicated team of professionals which strive to provide only the very highest standard of service.”

: : Rhys Richardson, development chef for Bury St Edmunds-based Servest Catering, has been awarded the coveted title of Blue Arrow Chef of the Year 2015.

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The competition was open to all ambitious and promising culinary professionals, offering a chance to showcase their talent to industry experts, and attracted more than 30 applicants.

The four competitors had previously battled through the challenging semi-finals held in London and Edinburgh to win a sought-after place in the final.

Cooking alongside Rhys were Michal Wlodarczyk from The King’s Head House in Eastington, Gloucestershire, and BaxterStorey’s Jonathan Taylor and Rian Devaney.

The contestants had just three hours to cook a four-course meal, consisting of their signature dishes, under the watchful eye of an expert panel of judges. There was even an extra challenge in the form of the fish course, for which all four contestants had to prepare a dish using set ingredients, including hand-dived scallops..

The judging panel comprised of Richard Skinner, executive chef for Artizian Catering and Blue Arrow’s first Chef of the Year 2013, Sudha Saha, executive head chef at the Saffron Group, and Mark Sargeant, renowned Michelin Star chef. They were tasked with judging the originality, skill and flavour combinations, as well as the visual presentation, use of seasonal ingredients and the complexity of each dish.

Rhys was unanimously declared the winner

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “A lot of hard work and planning has gone in to creating my dishes and I’m chuffed that each dish looked and tasted the way I wanted. I couldn’t have done much more, so I’m elated with the feedback the judges gave me. I couldn’t have asked for better praise.”

In addition to being named Blue Arrow Chef of the Year, he was awarded a personalised chef’s jacket and luxury 5-Star gourmet weekend break to Rome with £1,500 spending money.

Toni Richards from Blue Arrow said: “It was amazing to see such talent at work. We would like to thank all those who entered, and the support we received from our judges and clients has been phenomenal. A huge congratulations from everyone at Blue Arrow to Rhys and Servest on this fantastic achievement.”

: : Manager Cherril Westmoreland has retired from Fox’s Marine & Country at Fox’s Marina, Ipswich, after 35 years’ loyal service to the firm.

She is succeeded Tom Stewart, who joined in November. Tom has been a keen sailor since childhood, cruising and racing larger yachts and racing dinghies. An accomplished helmsman, he has won nine national championships and is the current National 12 UK champion.

Tom started his career in the marine industry as a sailmaker, before moving on to marine retailing and he joins Fox’s after serving as manager of a large UK chandlery. Tom brings a wealth of dinghy racing and cruising experience to the team, which will ensure Fox’s customers continue to enjoy high levels of expertise and advice when shopping in store and online.

Tom grew up on the east coast on the Shotley Peninsula where he still has family and friends so, in many ways for Tom, his new appointement will be like returning home.

Tom, whose wife and two young children are all competitive sailors, said: “I am delighted to be returning to Suffolk, with my family, to run such a long-established and well respected marine and country business.

“With my interest in competitive dinghy sailing, I look forward to bringing a new dimension to the store and being able to share my racing and cruising knowledge with Fox’s Marine & Country customers.”

Fox’s Marine & Country paid tribute to Cherril. “We are sure that our staff and many of our suppliers and customers share the respect and affection we have for Cherril Westmoreland. With her hand on the tiller, Fox’s retail business has grown from being a very small shop in the corner of the Fox’s workshop to being one of the largest and most successful stores of its kind in the UK. We wish Cherril a long and very happy retirement,” the firm said.

: : East of England timber and builders merchant Ridgeons has announced a number of changes to its management team across its network of branches.

Six sites in the region are welcoming new branch managers and assistant managers, including four new appointments, three moves and one promotion.

At Lowestoft, Stephen Howes has recently been appointed branch manager, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in the merchant sector to the team, having previously worked for Jewson managing the Fakenham, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth branches during his career.

The Thetford branch will now be headed by Jon Farmer, who has previously worked at Jewson and Tesco in management roles.

Karli Millard is taking up a position as new branch manager at Newmarket, having worked her way up the Ridgeons career ladder since joining the sales office in 2008. Supporting her and the team will be Lynn McGhee, who has previously worked for Screwfix as operations manager at the Royal Mail and will be taking on the role of assistant branch manager at Newmarket.

Andy Dawson will be replacing Karli at the St Neots branch and brings with him extensive knowledge in DIY retailing.

Adam Thompson, from Littleport, who will be taking the role of branch manager in St Ives, has been with Ridgeons for more than 10 years. Lee Cowles will be joining Adam in St Ives as assistant branch manager. He has more than eight years’ experience as branch manager for Screwfix.

Nick Sims, managing director of merchants at Ridgeons, said: “We’ve got a really strong team of branch managers across the region that we can be hugely proud of. We have welcomed new talent as well as offered the chance for progression and growth within our existing team. By offering the chance to take on different challenges at new branches our team remains enthusiastic, engaged and able to provide in-depth knowledge to our customers.

“There have been a number of developments across the Ridgeon Group, including the launch of the new dedicated heating and plumbing brand PlumbStock and work starting at the new-look Saffron Walden site, so we’re in a fantastic position for the New Year.”

: : Colchester-based trampoline park Jump Street has appointed a new general manager.

Tony Hudson joins the team this month from Fusion Lifestyle where he was responsible for five leisure facilities. He has a strong background in the leisure industry and a proven track record of managing, leading and developing teams, and will bring valuable experience to the role.

A spokesperson for Jump Street said: “By bringing Tony Hudson into the management team, we’re looking to maintain momentum, to adapt, develop and improve our offering so we can delight our customers every time they visit.

“We also want to capitalise on his experience to help us to inspire, support and motivate our staff to learn and develop with us so that everyone enjoys being at Jump Street whether they are staff or customers.”

Tony said: “Jump Street has such a great atmosphere both on the floor and behind the scenes, and that’s a testament to the team. The management team’s vision for the business is exciting and their focus on customer satisfaction and safety is extremely reassuring. Exciting times ahead.”