Movers & Shakers: KSL kitchen designer Rebecca Reynolds in running for three KBSA wards

Kitchen Showroom Ltd (KSL) kitchen designer Rebecca Reynolds.

Kitchen Showroom Ltd (KSL) kitchen designer Rebecca Reynolds. - Credit: Archant

Kitchen designer Rebecca Reynolds has been nominated for three awards.

Rebecca, who works for Sudbury-based kitchen, bathroom and bedroom firm KSL, will be vying for top spot in the Kitchen Designer of the Year, Young Designer of the Year and the Kitchen Concept Award catgegories at the KBSA National Design Awards on September 23.

“The competition this year was particularly high, as the KBSA received a record number of entries”, she said. “I am thrilled by the nominations that recognise the quality work we do at KSL.”

The KBSA is a national trade association for the interiors industry, bringing together more than 300 accredited independent retailers. Founded in 1978, members of the KBSA are considered the best in their industry, having to prove and maintain the association standards of quality and service.

“We’re incredibly proud of Rebecca, who represents our ethos of treating each individual design with the respect it deserves,” said managing director Richard Hibbert. “The awards are hugely significant, coming from the only trade association in the industry. They are the pinnacle of the industry, so to be nominated for three is a considerable success.”

The awards ceremony takes place at the Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon.

: : Ipswich-based law firm Ashton KCJ has appointed Mark Whittaker and Adrian Mundell as partners.

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Mark joined the Cambridge office in early 2013 as a member of the corporate and commercial team having previously worked for a national firm in Leeds and Manchester. He has rapidly built up a local following. Adrian, a non lawyer from a banking background, has headed the firm’s Court of Protection team for more than 10 years. Ashton KCJ now has 32 partners and a total staff of around 300 across East Anglia.

This move comes shortly after the firm obtained its licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to operate an Alternative Business Structure (ABS). An ABS licence enables a business providing legal services to have non-lawyer involvement in its ownership. One of the options therefore open to the owners is to invite individuals from other disciplines to become partners in the firm.

Chief executive Edward O’Rourke said: “Some 310 organisations across the country have been awarded an ABS licence since this became an option. Some have applied because they wish to integrate other types of business with their own. We see it as an opportunity to reward, with a stake in our business, key non-lawyers who contribute to our success. Adrian Mundell is a prime example. He has been with us for over a decade and has built up a specialist Court of Protection team which is now attracting work from London and national law firms as well as locally.

“I suspect a number of other law firms in the region will be considering applying for an ABS licence if they do not already have one. Being able to give non-lawyers an ownership stake in the business is potentially an attractive part of the equation when it comes to recruiting or retaining people who will enable us to thrive rather than just survive in a highly competitive redefined legal marketplace.”

: : Workplace mediation service Acas has appointed a new regional director for London, eastern and south east England.

Fiona Neathey has been at Acas for more than eight years. Her appointment comes at a significant time for the employment relations service, which now receives all potential employment tribunal claims via its early conciliation service. Early conciliation was launched earlier this year to help reduce the cost, stress and time involved in disputes at work.

Fiona said: “I’m proud to be heading up the region that covers the place I’ve called home for many years. In my new role I’ll be joining the Acas board, and taking overall responsibility for London, eastern and south east England.

“2014 has already been a busy year for Acas, which has seen a lot of new developments and changes within employment law. For example, everyone now has the right to ask to work more flexibly. So I’m delighted to be leading such a dedicated team of workplace experts.

“We offer a diverse range of services to help improve working life and organisational success. We believe that prevention is always better than cure and I’m looking forward to working with more employers, their workforces, and representatives to improve workplace relations across my home patch.”

Fiona grew up in the West Country and worked in employment relations research and consultancy in the public, private and third sectors before joining Acas in 2006 as head of research and evaluation. In 2012, she moved to manage the Acas team providing workplace services across the East of England, based in Bury St Edmunds.

She is keen to develop her local network across the whole region to ensure Acas services continue to meet the needs of local businesses, customers and employees.

: : East Anglian accountancy firm Aston Shaw, which has offices in Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Dereham and Great Yarmouth, has welcomed David Fiddy, who will be working on a consultancy basis to the firm’s specialist VAT division.

David, who has more than 35 years of experience with both HMRC and as a tax manager for one of East Anglia’s leading accountancy firms, is keen to offer his support and expertise to both Aston Shaw’s clients and the young, upcoming apprentices within the firm.

n Helene Challot of Hitcham, near Stowmarket, has joined, a website featuring online communities for parents based in London.

Mother or two Helene joins the team as a senior buyer. Her new role will see her working closely with nursery brands across the world. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge from more than 10 years in buying during which time she worked at Mothercare and at Marks & Spencer.

She will be dedicated to ensuring the site always has exciting offers and products launching on a regular basis. She is also joined by Kiran Chug, fellow mother of two from London.

Chief executive Ivan Lopez, who founded the company with Sam Laakkonen, said: “We are delighted to welcome Helene, a devoted mother, who demonstrated excellence.”

Helene said: “Wauwaa has given me the opportunity to return to full-time work with the flexibility that every parent needs.

“It’s not about a 9-5, it’s about getting the job done. Wonderfully I am able to fit this in between the school runs and after the kids have gone to bed.”

: : Katie Hanson, who has spent the last 10 years introducing children to music, is on a mission to teach them to dance too.

Katie, who lives in Colchester with her husband and two children, is to open her own babyballet song and dance academy as a franchisee.

Babyballet is the UK’s leading pre-school song and dance academy. It was set up in Yorkshire in 2005 by mum-of-four Claire O’Connor and has won numerous awards. It has 65 franchisees (all women) across the country with more than 10,000 youngsters attending more than 1,000 classes every week.

Katie left university with a degree in music and marketing and after travelling for 12 months, worked in corporate and retail jobs for a time. After her children were born she got actively involved at their school, where she became a governor and helped set up the school choir which she stills runs.

“I have always loved ballet and my daughters are keen dancers so I decided to branch out into dance. Babyballet has a great reputation and is an incredible resource for mothers. I also believe children should be exposed to music and dance from a young age the benefits of both are enormous,” she said.

Katie, who has employed two qualified dance teachers and plans to grow the business, works from venues in Colchester town centre, Lexden, Clacton-on-Sea, Langham, East Bergholt and Wix near Manningtree.