Promoting employee ownership in the workplace

Promoting employee ownership in the workplace

Register
NEW COMPANY TACKLES SUBSTANCE MISUSE

NEW COMPANY TACKLES SUBSTANCE MISUSE

A North East based company has been created to provide employers with innovative & pragmatic approaches to managing substance & alcohol misuse in the workplace.

Hall & Angus was founded by Gordon Angus and Trevor Hall to fill a clear gap in the market. The company helps employers manage the specialist subject of substance misuse (both illegal and legal) including alcohol misuse.

The company provides a variety of CPD accredited training courses dedicated to helping companies mitigate the negative impact and risk exposure of substance and alcohol misuse and provides guidance and support to programmes that help managers & employees.

Co-founder Gordon Angus said “Substance and alcohol misuse is an issue across the whole of society, the risk increases when its brought into the workplace”

Gordon who formally worked for the energy efficiency company Eaga said, “Our programmes are developed to be both proactive and reactive. When writing policies, there are a variety of civil & criminal legislations to be considered as well as what is best for the company and their employees”.

Hall & Angus was formed with support from the eaga Trust, set up to help former Eaga employees, such as Gordon.

Trust Ambassador Shirley Blacklock said “We were very impressed with Gordon’s business idea; they have clearly found a gap in the market and will bring their expertise to bear in helping businesses develop and implement policies in this important area. We were delighted to help with an eaga Trust business loan”

The Trust offers its members a range of benefits including funding for training, business start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own, employee-owned businesses.

For further information about Hall & Angus, call 0191 432 4264 or visit www.hallandangus.com.

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Trust membership should register at www.eagatrust.com.

Newcastle Italian food business is launched with help from owner's former employer

Newcastle Italian food business is launched with help from owner's former employer

An aspiring businesswoman has won help from her former employer as she set up her first company.

Victoria Barone, from Newcastle , spent two years working in the renewables department at North East-based Eaga before leaving to pursue other ambitions.

Now, five years after she left the company, the eaga Trust – which was set up to support former employees – has given her the backing she needs to start The Sghetti Monster, a mobile unit selling Ms Barone’s wide range of pasta dishes.

“I’ve wanted to own my own business since my teens,” she said.

“The ideas went from Italian deli, to cafe, to bookshop cafe – I was always thinking about what and how, but was never in the financial position to do anything about it.”

However, because Ms Barone had worked for Eaga she was able to apply for help from the eaga Trust, which offers its members a range of benefits including business start-up loans, skill-builder training grants, self-improvement courses and guidance for those planning to launch their own businesses.

Through the trust, Ms Barone accessed a business funding loan.

She said: “I used it to buy lots of things. “It bought the trailer and enabled us to brand it, bought lots of the essential equipment, some stock, storage – I couldn’t have done it without the help from the Trust.”

The Sghetti Van is now becoming a familiar sight at Newcastle markets, events, business parks and fairs, selling freshly cooked pasta dishes with a variety of toppings to take-away customers.

Richard Marr, chief operating officer at the eaga Trust, said: “Victoria is exactly the sort of person the Trust was set up to support. “We’re delighted to have been able to help her get her new business off the ground and wish her every success for the future.”

BOYHOOD BUDDIES GO INTO BUSINESS

BOYHOOD BUDDIES GO INTO BUSINESS

TWO school friends, who went on to work for the same company, have strengthened their bond even further – by starting their own business.

Robert Blake and Shaun Tryner, from Launceston, Cornwall, who became firm friends while at Launceston College, both went on to join energy efficiency company Eaga.

And now, the pals have set up their own company, with help from a Trust set up by their former employer.

The eaga Trust was formed to promote employment, employee ownership and engagement in the workplace and, with the Trust’s support, the pair have created Plan View Assessment Solutions.

Drawing on their joint experience of the industry, they now carry out energy efficiency surveys and assessments for domestic and commercial property owners throughout the area.

The eaga Trust offers support to some 5,600 registered members, who, like Shaun and Robert, worked for Eaga from 11 January 2000 until 21 April 2011, when it was acquired by Carillion plc.

It offers its members a range of benefits including self-development courses, business start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own, employee-owned businesses.

As members of the Trust, Shaun and Robert were each able to access Skill-builder; a £1000 training grant, which they used to fund their training to become Green Deal advisers.

They also applied for an interest free business funding loan from the Trust, which funded commercial energy, SAP assessment training, Green Deal accreditation costs and the purchase of a computer.

“The help we’ve had from the Trust has been really important to us,” said Shaun. “Without it we could not have gained the necessary qualifications as quickly and consequently it would have taken a lot longer to get the company off the ground.

“It has been invaluable to us and I would really urge anyone else who may be eligible, to register their membership and get in touch with the Trust about the benefits on offer.”

Richard Marr, Chief Operating Officer at the eaga Trust, said: “Robert and Shaun are exactly the sort of people the Trust wants to help.

“There are many more like them who are eligible for membership of the Trust and we would love to hear from them.”

For information on Plan View Assessment Solutions Ltd, call 07730424395, email

shaun@planviewsolutions.co.uk or visit www.planviewsolutions.co.uk.

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Trust membership should register at www.eagatrust.com.

Great News!

Great News!

Congratulations to Keith Hitchen who used his Skill-builder to complete his PASMA-mobile access towers (for users) training.

This is a one-day course in how to erect scaffolding and has provided Keith with a 5 year ticket.

Skill-builder is a work-related training fund of £1,000 available to all members. The funding can be used to help with the cost of training or development, relating to current or future work or career aspirations.

If you are interested in Skill-builder, please register as an eaga Trust member or log in using the links below

SECRETARY CHANGES HORSES

SECRETARY CHANGES HORSES

A woman with a lifelong passion for horses has turned her hobby into a career, with help from a Trust set up by her former employer.

Joanne Fieldhouse, 37, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, spent three years as an administrative assistant for North East-based energy efficiency company Eaga plc, working with field managers and liaising with customers.

And, when she was made redundant in 2008, a trust set up to support former employees helped her to, quite literally, change horses.

With a Business funding loan from the eaga Trust , Joanne was able to pursue her interest in equestrianism and in particular Equine Touch, a holistic form of bodywork which gives comfort to horses of all shapes and sizes and promotes healing.

The eaga Trust was set up to promote employment, employee ownership and engagement in the workplace and now offers support to some 5,600 registered members, who worked for Eaga from 11 January 2000 until 21 April 2011, when it was sold to Carillion plc.

The Trust offers its members a range of benefits, including self-development courses, business start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own, employee-owned businesses.

Now, after three years of study, Joanne is a fully qualified and insured Equine Touch Practitioner and has set up her own business, The Equine Advisor.

“Equine Touch involves using my hands to place very simple but unique moves over the horse’s body before concentrate on specific areas,” said Jo.

“It provides a deep state of relaxation to release tensions, realigns muscle fibres to optimise recovery and performance, encourages lymphatic drainage to remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages circulation to feed the cells of the body.”

Along with Equine Touch, Jo provides nutritional advice, feeding plans and forage testing; worm control advice and testing, fitness plans and advice on environmental management.

“Working with horses and running my own business just mean so much to me,” said Jo, “and, without the help of the eaga Trust, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to continue learning at such a pace and it would have been a much slower start for my business.

“The £1,000 I was able to access through the Skill-builder fund was a huge help towards the cost of my training, while the Business funding loan I was given went a long way to helping set up the business.

“I am truly thankful to all involved and believe more members should look into the Business funding loans offered by the Trust as it really can help.”

Richard Marr, Chief Operating Officer at the eaga Trust, said: “We haven’t just helped Jo start a new business; we’ve helped her fulfil her vocation.

“The work she is doing with horses is of vast importance and the Trust is delighted to have played a part in that – we wish her every success for the future.”

 

FLEET MANAGER’S CAREER MOVES INTO TOP GEAR....

FLEET MANAGER’S CAREER MOVES INTO TOP GEAR....

A former fleet manager for one of the region’s biggest energy efficiency companies has seen his career shift up a gear after starting his own company.

Alan Leightley worked for North East-based Eaga for two years, managing and coordinating its transport requirements.

And, when the 52-year-old, from Wideopen, decided to strike out on his own, The eaga Trust, that was set up to help former employees of eaga was only to happy to help.

The eaga Trust supports those who worked for the company between 2000 and 2011 to further their career prospects, either through re-training or in setting up their own company.

It offers its members a range of benefits, including self-development courses and start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own, employee-owned businesses.

Now, with help from the eaga Trust, Alan has founded Birtley-based Global Fleet Solutions; providing and maintaining vehicles and plant for companies across the region.

“We’ve just reached the end of our first trading quarter,” said Alan, “and the business has really taken off.

“Not only have we secured a couple of sizeable contracts but our clients are recommending us – which gives us great confidence that we are providing a necessary service to the right price and standard.

“The Trust’s help was invaluable,” he added. “I was able to access a business funding Loan but, equally invaluable, were the practical advice and support they gave me.”

Richard Marr, chief operating officer at the eaga Trust, said: “Alan’s is a genuine success story.

“Global Fleet Solutions is going from strength to strength thanks to his experience and skill and the Trust is delighted to have played a part in that – we wish every success for the future.”

Further information about Global Fleet Solutions can be obtained at www.global-fleetsolutions.com and anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Trust membership should register at www.eagatrust.com.

FROM BEST FRIENDS TO BUSINESS BOSSES...

FROM BEST FRIENDS TO BUSINESS BOSSES...

Two workmates at a top energy efficiency company have set up their own business – with the support of their former employer.

Thomas Callaghan and John Bromley have been friends for almost a decade after starting work at Eaga plc at the same time in 2006.

The pair, from Wigan, Lancashire, joined the company as heating engineers and worked closely together until they were both made redundant by Eaga’s successor, Carillion plc, in December 2011.

Now, 46-year-old Thomas, and John 52, have started their own plumbing company with a loan from a Trust, set up to help former Eaga employees.

The eaga Trust supports those who worked for the company between 2000 and 2011 to further their career prospects, either through re-training or in setting up their own company.

It offers its members a range of benefits, including self-development courses, start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own, employee-owned businesses.

A Business funding loan from the eaga Trust enabled Thomas and John to purchase a van for their new business TJ Plumbing North West Ltd, which provides domestic and commercial plumbing and heating services throughout Lancashire.

“The financial help and practical support we received from the eaga Trust was invaluable,” said Thomas.

“A van is crucial in our line of work and enabled the business to hit the ground running.”

Richard Marr, Chief Operating Officer at the eaga Trust, said: “Thomas and John are incredibly capable and hard-working and it’s been a pleasure helping them achieve their goal of setting up their own business.

 

 

IT’S A M.A.D, M.A.D, M.A.D, M.A.D WORLD FOR A FORMER EAGA EMPLOYEE

IT’S A M.A.D, M.A.D, M.A.D, M.A.D WORLD FOR A FORMER EAGA EMPLOYEE

A YOUNG North East woman whose career started in a call centre, has taken communication to a whole new level – by starting her own PR company.

English graduate Amy Armstrong, from Newcastle, joined energy efficiency company Eaga in 2009 – but was forced to re-think her career plans after being made redundant .

With help from the eaga Trust, Amy went back to university and has now launched her own business – helping raise the profile of a variety of young companies in the region.

The eaga Trust was set up to promote employment, employee ownership and engagement in the workplace and now offers support to some 5,600registered members who worked for eaga from January 11th 2000 until April 21st 2011, when it was sold to Carillion plc

The Trust offers its members a range of benefits, including self-development courses, Business start-up loans and guidance for those planning to start their own employee-owned businesses.

Through its Skill-builder fund, which offers registered members a £1000 grantfor work-related training, Amy was able to study for a Masters degree in PR at the University of Sunderland.

While there, she met fellow student Marie Donnelly, 25 and, after graduating, the pair launched Sunderland-based M.A.D Communications.

“The Trust’s help has been invaluable” said Amy, “because, along with the £1000 Skill-builder, they gave me a Business funding loan towards computers and office equipment to help me set up my new office”

“Without that financial support it would have taken Marie and I a lot longer to get the equipment we needed.

“Having just celebrated our first year in business, we have a strong and varied client base and we are going from strength to strength.”

Richard Marr, Chief Operating Officer at theeaga Trust, said: “It has been a genuine pleasure to help Amy”.

“Not only has she shown a clear sense of direction but she has put our support to excellent use and now has an embryo business of which she can be very proud.”

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Trust membership should register at www.eagatrust.com.

 

HGV DRIVER HITS THE ROAD....

HGV DRIVER HITS THE ROAD....

An employee whose career hit the hard shoulder is back on the road, with help from  the eaga Trust.

Grant assessor Phil Burdon, 40, from Preston, was made redundant from his job at energy saving firm Eaga in 2010.

However, thanks to a fund set up by the eaga Trust to help former employees of Eaga, he was able to retrain as an HGV driver and his life has taken a new direction.

“The grant was a huge help to me,” said Phil, who now has full time job with a logistics firm, “and I think it’s amazing that the eaga Trust is prepared to help their members in such a pro-active way.

“The money went a long way to paying for my training and not only do I now have an HGV Class 1 licence, but I have the most enjoyable job I’ve had in a long time.”

FROM BEDROOM TO BOARDROOM FOR A RENEWABLES START UP

FROM BEDROOM TO BOARDROOM FOR A RENEWABLES START UP

A RENEWABLES company founded in a bedroom just two years ago has become a boardroom success.

Former Eaga employee Gurdeep Lall started 2 RED Ltd, in 2012 from his Nottingham home, with a Business funding loan from the eaga Trust

Now, not only does he have an eight strong workforce, but the company, which he now co-runs with his brother Manjit, looks set to turnover £1.5m this year and operates from a suite of offices in Chesterfield with a warehouse on the same site.

Gurdeep, 37, drew on his experience as Regional Sales Manager and Business Development Manager at Eaga plc – latterly Carillion Plc – to set up the business, installing loft, cavity wall and also solid wall insulation.

The expanding company is now moving into domestic and commercial solar and also domestic gas central heating system installations.

“The business loan from the Trust was crucial, however,” he said, “because it enabled the business to invest in a CRM system and lead generation.”

To cope with the rapid rise in demand from both the private and rental sectors, Gurdeep has taken on sales and installation teams – six members of which are also former Eaga employees.

The business was a recent runner up in Nottingham’s New Business of the Year awards and Gurdeep said: “We have focused very hard this year to enhance the credibility of the business and recently received the ISO 9001 accreditation.

“I had always wanted to have my own business and, with the help I received from the eaga Trust, I was able to make my dream a reality.”

GROWTH IS A GAS FOR MIDLANDS ENERGY FIRM…

GROWTH IS A GAS FOR MIDLANDS ENERGY FIRM…

Coventry-based Synergy Gas Services was founded in 2013 by former Eaga technical surveyor Matt Williams to install gas boilers and central heating systems across the East and West Midlands.

Now, it not only has two main gas contracts, providing installations in the private and social housing markets, but it is currently in negotiation with a number of other energy providers with a view to increasing its order books still further.

To cope with the rapid rise in demand, managing director Matt, 32, now employs an additional eight engineers and four labourers and, with further large contracts in the pipeline, hopes to double his existing workforce within the next six months.

“Setting up on my own wasn’t a decision I took lightly,” said Matt “but I knew that the time was right for me and, because I used to work for Eaga, there was a huge amount of help available to me through the eaga Trust.”

“I heard through a friend that the eaga Trust was offering skill builder grants to help ex-employees with re training,” said Matt, “so I contacted them for help with re-taking my gas qualifications as I let them lapse while I was doing management roles.

“Then with the help of the Trust’s Business funding initiative I was able to put a deposit down on a van, build up tools and also cover other costs like insurances and registrations.

“That’s only part of the story, though, because without the practical and management experience I gained at Eaga, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he added. “I have a very great deal to thank them for.”

For further information about Synergy Gas Services, or to enquire about job vacancies, call 07834 598853, email Matt.Williams@Synergy-Gas.co.uk or visit www.Synergy-Gas.co.uk.

Energy business goes from strength to strength

Energy business goes from strength to strength

Boldon-based Heating and Gas Solutions was founded in 2011 by former Eaga employee Graham Dodd to install gas boilers in homes across Durham and the North East.

However, becoming an accredited installer for the Government’s Affordable Warmth and Green Deal schemes meant he not only had to diversify his services but also increase his manpower. Now, with the help of three, fully-qualified engineers and two apprentices he is installing a full range of renewables, such as solar panels and air and ground source heat pumps to help eradicate fuel poverty in the region.

“The company really hit the ground running in terms of orders and contracts,” said Graham.

“However, as with any start-up company, there were considerable overheads, which I had to absorb in order to grow the business. Thankfully, because I used to work for Eaga there was a huge amount of help available to me through the eaga Trust.”

Graham successfully applied for a business funding loan which enabled him to purchase a much-needed van, and he has now come “off the tools” in order to concentrate on expanding the business.

Shirley Batty, ambassador at the eaga Trust, said: “We were very happy to be able to help Graham, as he is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, determination and skill.”

North East friends enjoy the sweet taste of success...

North East friends enjoy the sweet taste of success...

Two North East colleagues are enjoying the sweet taste of success after the eaga Trust helped them start their own business.

Steven Hayles, 34 and 37-year-old Michael Dobson, both from Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, faced a bleak future after being made redundant from their jobs with an energy company last year – until they heard that the eaga Trust , set up by their former employer was offering business funding for start ups.

Now, the friends, who met seven years ago when they both worked for energy efficiency company eaga, are supplying American confectionery to sweet-toothed consumers across the world via their new business United Sweets of America Ltd.

Both Steven and Michael had worked for eaga prior to its takeover by Carillion plc and, as former employees, were eligible to apply for a business loan from The eaga Trust to help them start their own business.

“We heard on the grapevine about the eaga Trust and decided to put a business plan together. In America you can get sweets and chocolate bars that you can’t get anywhere else – such as peanut butter flavoured Snickers and Twix bars – and, although you can buy them on-line, they are very expensive.

“However, with help from the eaga Trust we have been able to set up United Sweets of America offering the widest range at the lowest prices.”

“It’s early days for us,” said Steven, “but already the response has been incredible. So many people holiday in America now and when they come home they are keen to recapture the excitement and fun of their trip with some of the unique sweets they tasted there. Besides which, the confectionery really does taste fantastic.”

Female lawyer is welded to a new career...

Female lawyer is welded to a new career...

A North East lawyer has turned her back on the legal profession to begin a new career – as a welder.

Blanche Debenham, 52, from Newcastle, made the dramatic job switch after being made redundant from her job as an in-house lawyer for national energy efficiency company eaga, following its takeover by Carillion plc.  Now, with help from the eaga Trust, she has recently completed her NVQ Level 2 exam in TIG welding and seen off competition from her all-male classmates to scoop the Gateshead College welding prize.

“I worked for eaga for four years and, when I lost my job, in June 2011, I decided it was time to do something completely different,” said Blanche.
“I’ve always enjoyed making things and I love metalwork so welding seemed like a really good choice and I was hugely fortunate in securing at place at Gateshead Engineering College, which has a superb reputation in this field.

“When I heard that the eaga Trust helped former employees who wanted to learn a new skill I decided to contact them and the support, both financial and moral, that they’ve given me has been wonderful.”

A gas engineer is turning in his tools to fulfil a long-held dream of becoming a tattooist

A gas engineer is turning in his tools to fulfil a long-held dream of becoming a tattooist

Steve Collins, 39, from Castleford, is such a fan of the art he is slowly covering his body in colourful images – and now he is about to learn the skill for himself thanks to The eaga Trust.

It has awarded former eaga employee Steve £1,000 to complete the series of training courses, which will enable him to turn his passion into a career.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” said Steve, who has several tattoos, including daughter Aleisha’s name on his right arm amid an elaborate ink depiction of Alice in Wonderland.

“That one’s not quite finished,” he said. “So far I’ve only got Alice, the giant caterpillar and some roses and toadstools – I’ve still got to get the Mad Hatter and I plan to do my left arm with some Marvel superheroes.”

Steve’s passion has inspired his family too, with 16-year-old Aleisha currently studying art and design with the aim of also becoming a tattooist.

Steve’s grant was made through The eaga Trust’s skill-builder fund, which was set up to enhance members’ training, skills and education with a view to helping improve their employment prospects.