An expanding family law firm has appointed another solicitor to help meet increasing demand. Worthington’s Family Law, based in West Swindon, was only set up only a year ago. And now founder Natalee Worthington has taken on solicitor Ruby Reynolds.
Based at Rombourne serviced offices the company had already moved into a larger office suite when legal secretary Annette Janman, joined Natalee. A second move within Rombourne could be in the offing as the firm takes more people on.
Ruby has joined Worthingtons from Wiltshire Council. There she worked in the childcare team, dealing with public law.
“We’re delighted that Ruby has joined us, she will be a great addition to our team,” said Natalee. “There was a great deal of safeguarding in the work she did in her old job. The very complex cases she handled gave her a lot of valuable experience that she brings with her.’
Ruby said: “The cases here will be private client, rather than public, but there is quite a bit of overlap. I am also looking forward to working in more general family law, which has always been an area of interest for me.”
Natalee hopes that, as the company gets busier, the team may grow further. This following on an already very successful first year.
Increase in child and family-related cases
Natalee said: “Currently, the biggest area of new enquiries we have are child related. In the main these are Covid-fuelled,with estranged couples seeking legal advice on childcare arrangements.
“Children can move between the households of their separated parents. There’s government guidance around this. But we also have people contacting us about enforcing existing child arrangement orders. People have different concerns about risk of Covid, so we must navigate all this.’
Natalee anticipates an increase in enquiries from couples, once the Covid restrictions ease. “We have received many enquiries from individuals who wish to separate. But they’re delaying the process for the time being because they don’t want to add to the stress of the lockdown. We discuss with our clients whether there’s any scope for a reconciliation. We’ve noticed that some clients are feeling uncertain about their next steps. Some people are feeling trapped at home in the current climate. They’re missing the social support network that they may usually have. This place extra strain on their relationships. We are able to signpost people to relationship counselling services where required.”
Worthingtons have also experienced an increase in enquiries from individuals seeking initial information on their rights and entitlements. They’re doing that before making a decision about the future of their relationship during these difficult times.
Rombourne Serviced Offices, Kingston House West Swindon
Danielle Mottram, Centre Manager at Rombourne in Swindon, said: “It’s been wonderful to watch how Natalee’s business has grown since she moved into our building. We’re thrilled that she has now taken on her first solicitor colleague to help. Ruby is a great addition to the team and we love having them here.”
Two charities are better off to the tune of £3,000 thanks to the support of Swindon’s Optimum Professional Services – OPS. And they’ve selected another to support during 2021. In this way Optimum team boost charities’ coffers.
Fundraising efforts – including a quiz (held in February last year, before the first lockdown) – topped £3,000. Optimum will split that in equal measure between the two good causes:
The team also raised money via: 1.Swindon Half Marathon sponsorship, 2. bake-offs and 3. dress-down days.
Besides that, all donations made to the firm’s legal team for witnessing documents went into the pot.
Optimum team boost charities’ coffers – Swindon Foodbank
Locally, OPS helped Swindon Foodbank in the run up to Christmas, by collecting enough donations to fill eight crates. They also support many national fundraising events, like Christmas Jumper Day.
During 2021, they will be raising funds for the Youth Adventure Trust (YAT), based in Wiltshire. They use outdoor activity to change the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children aged 11 to 15.
“We’re proud our team take time to support a different charity each year, and also help other good causes along the way,” said Rob Stokes, head of Audit & Accounts at the firm. “Even during the pandemic, despite having to cancel many of our fundraising plans, we’ve tried to help as much as possible.”
Philippa Cox, Corporate Partnerships Manager at YAT, said: “We’re delighted to work with OPS and their staff. Together we can bring positive transformaton to vulnerable young people who live and go to school within a three mile radius of their office.”
Rob added: “We are looking forward to working with and helping YAT and are now seeing what fundraising ideas we can come up with. We may even put on our walking shoes and take part in YAT’s 10 Peaks Challenge in July!”
Former Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher supports independent candidate standing for role of Wiltshire Police & Crime Commissioner
Steve Fulcher supports Independent PCC Candidate Former Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher is best known as the man who left the Wiltshire Police force over the investigation into killer, Christopher Halliwell. Why do I mention this? Because Fulcher is supporting ex-detective Mike Rees in his bid to become Wiltshire’s next P&C commissioner.
Steve said: “Mike and I worked together during my years in Wiltshire. I knew him to be an officer of real passion, dedication and integrity. He was a very talented and innovative detective and a great leader of teams.”
“On hearing he was willing to stand as an independent PCC candidate, I was very encouraged and willing to lend my backing. Fulfilling the office of PCC is a significant commitment as policing faces challenges in both national and local arenas.
“Mike has spent his life serving the people of Wiltshire. He’s determined to ensure the police service is the best it can be. One in which he and the community can take pride. His willingness to sacrifice his own interests and commit himself to serving in this way is commendable.
“Mike has a wide network of policing, management and leadership expertise he can call on. With this he’ll examine and develop the fundamentals of an effective police service. He has inexhaustible energy and vast experience. Besides that, he knows what to prioritise within various constraints.
Steve Fulcher – supports Independent PCC Candidate
Steve Fulcher left Wiltshire Police in 2014. His resignation followed his becoming subject to an investigation over decisions he made when questioning Swindon killer Christopher Halliwell. Haliwell abducted and murdered Sian O’Callaghan. Halliwell also admitted to the killing of Becky Godden. He offered to show Steve where he’d buried her body. Halliwell is currently serving a full-life sentence for the murder of the two women. Steve stands by the decisions he made in the fast-moving situation of a high-pressure murder case. Mike has always supported Steve around making a moral choice in an extraordinary situation.
Mike said: “I’m pleased and grateful to have Steve’s support. I’m relishing the prospect of working with him again in the policing arena. Steve has genuine concern for people. And that’s whether they’re staff or members of the public or crime victims. I know like me, he’s passionate about delivering a quality service to the public.
“Being an independent candidate means I don’t follow a political party line. For me it’s all about the task and getting what needs doing done, in best way possible. Steve and I have knowledge of what officers and staff face daily.”
Steve, who joined the police aged 21, ascended through the ranks to detective superintendent in 2007. That’s the highest rank for a hands-on police officer. His service yielded him three crown court recommendations and one chief constable’s commendation.
Following his 2014 resignation, Steve worked across the world. First as an adviser to the south Australia CIB – the National Australian Criminal Investigation Bureau.
He’s served as a consultant project manager in Libya and worked on reforming the Somali national police force.
This best seller allowed Steve to tell the story of the Halliwell case in his own words. Two years later, ‘A Confession’, a six-part ITV drama starring Martin Freeman aired on TV. Steve was an executive co-producer.
Steve holds a Masters’ degree from Cambridge University in Criminology. He’s led over 50 major and serious crime cases and critical incidents. Many being high profile, high risk, time-critical and involved managing organisational reputation.
Mike spent 30 years within Wiltshire police and he retire d in 2014 as a Detective Inspector. Mike went on to set up his own business.
TECHNOLOGY COMPANY NTEGRA STEPS UP TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE IN SWINDON DURING 2021
Ntegra Support for Swindon’s Young People Innovative technology company Ntegra have partnered with the youth enterprise The Platform Project. The aim being to support more young people into work during 2021.
The company, based in The Workshed in Swindon, have come alongside The Platform Project. The latter supports young people, aged 13 to 21. In the main those who are struggling to find their way into a career, in mainstream education or those whom lockdown and the effects of Covid19 have disadvantaged.
Andy Langley, CEO of Ntegra, said: “We are a heart-centred business with a growing team and we work with globally-recognised brands. But in all that we do we never forget the people behind every company. In 2021, we have pledged to support a project in our own community of Swindon to give back. The Platform Project is an ideal partner for us.
The Platform project supports and champions a wide range of needs:
Those who’ve struggled at school
Or those with difficult family circumstances or come from low income families ..
… or those how face challenges around disability.
And this is a fantastic opportunity for us and our team to support them.
The next few months of Ntegra Supportfor Swindon’s Young People
Over the coming months, Ntegra will develop the IT infrastructure for The Platform Project. Andy Langley has become a Board member. And Ntegra staff will also volunteer at the project to help mentor young people with an interest in IT and technology.
Sadie Sharp, founder of The Platform Project, said: “We are so fortunate to have Ntegra as our corporate partner this year. Andy’s expertise on the Board has already proved to be invaluable. His team’s knowledge will enable us to operate smartly with a fit-for-the-future IT infrastructure. Then,when we can, we will welcome members of the Ntegra team to the project to support our young people face to face.”
Ntegra has been a technology gem in the Swindon business community for 18 years.
Created in 2003 by freelance IT consultants Andy Jefferies and Bill Hart, the company has worked with big brands including Vodafone, Waitrose and WPP.
The team are now more than 40 strong in Swindon itself with specialist IT associates worldwide. For more information visit https://ntegra.com
Trio of entrepreneurs see businesses expand through Covid
Trio of entrepreneurs expand businesses through Covid
Three entrepreneurs who jumped to support each other when the pandemic struck have all gone on to grow their enterprises.
Yola O’Hara, of Visually Explained, Pam Jones, of Eight Interactive, and Reshma Field, who runs separate will writing and personal styling businesses, banded together in March last year vowing to support each other through the first lockdown.
The moral support, encouragement and business advice they shared helped all three to push their organisations forward.
Online is the new offline
All based in Wiltshire, the businesswomen moved services online and even each launched a new website.
Visually Explained is a social business consultancy in Royal Wootton Basset specialising in social media for business. It underwent a rebrand and unveiled new services, including a corporate consultancy.
Eight Interactive in Swindon, creators of video and digital content for businesses, developed a new website, and took video training online. While Reshma, also based in Swindon, has a new website for her styling business, Ishbel’s Wardrobe. She now offers her services – colour analysis, styling and personal shopping – online.
When we went into the first lockdown in March, my first feelings were that this was NOT going to break me. I felt determined to stay positive and embrace the change, deciding to do extensive networking,” said Yola. “We went into lockdown on Friday, I started networking on the Monday and within two weeks had a new client from it.”
Coupled with the online networking, Yola said the support she received from Pam and Reshma was invaluable.
‘We were friends anyway. So we set up a What’s App group and met on Zoom on a regular basis. That gave us the chance to talk through how were feeling. And have a good moan if we wanted to – as well as support and advise each other on our businesses,’ said Yola.
‘For me, it made me feel less isolated. The three of us getting together, having a similar outlook, facing the same issues, and helping pick each other up, was so important.’
They already used one another’s services. Yola and Pam have both undergone Reshma’s style services. Yola has taken Pam’s video training course and Pam has used Yola’s social media library creation service. In fact, Yola has now appointed another member of the VE team – Reshma’s daughter Sofia!
Further, Yola has set up a new enterprise. She’s collaborating with David Lattimer, of Redro, to stage an online expo – 5554 Virtual Expo. That’s planned for February 25.
Pam agreed that the support has helped keep her focused.
Lockdown induced tailspin
When lockdown first kicked off it was all a bit ‘OMG, what’s happening?’ So the three of us, as we are friends, decided to have a regular catchup and it grew from there,” she said. “We wanted to support each other and keep in touch. We talk about business stuff, family stuff – how we are coping. It was fab having that place to talk to someone other than the people that you live with, in a safe, confidential environment. And knowing there are others in the same boat.’
Reshma added: ‘We are all very similar, so when one person says something the other two know exactly what she means. And we know that any solution one of us uses, will work for us all. We’re all very driven and self-motivated, and we’re in tune with one another.’
Find out more
For more information about Visually Explained (VE) and social business (or social media for business), as well as the outsourcing, training, audit and content creation services, visit https://visuallyexplained.co.uk/
Business owners keen to harness the power of video blogging in their marketing can now access online, on-demand training. Eight Interactive, creators of video and digital content for businesses, has taken its Video Implementation Programme (VIP) online. Thus business owners can now get video savvy with Eight Interactive.
“I ran the first Video Implementation Programme face-to-face in March – shortly before lockdown,” said Pam Jones, Managing Director of Eight Interactive, based in Swindon.
“The feedback was great and I was planning another two programmes for 2020. But of course I had to put all plans to do face-to-face training on hold.” Pam spent several weeks turning VIP into an online resource, with all the material based around video training. #obvs
The programme comprises 19 lessons. They vary in length from a few minutes to a little under half-an-hour. There’s further supporting material for many lessons such as worksheets, templates, checklists, tips and lots of how to’s.
The lessons cover such topics as: 1. How to avoid making hundreds of takes 2. Essential equipment 3 Writing a script that sells and … 4. … getting camera confident.
There are three distinct sections – planning, filming and editing. By the end of the course each delegate will have completed the planning for at least 12 videos. And have filmed and edited one or more.
‘The course releases the material over a three week period. Although some people may want to complete the course in less time, while others may want to take longer. After completion the delegates have lifetime access to the material,’ said Pam.
‘It’s aimed at business owners and entrepreneurs looking to make regular video blogs targeted around keywords for posting on their website and key social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Like a blog but in video format.’
Statistics reveal the power of video as a marketing tool. Some 93% of brands say they get a new customer because of a video on social media, while video is 50% more likely to get organic ranks in Google than text results.
Pam added: ‘It’s important to remember that poorly made video can actually harm your brand. So it it’s essential to get it right. On social media poor quality video may be acceptable but on your website, not so much! You wouldn’t send a professional letter on a scrappy piece of paper so why would you do the same with your videos on your website?’
For more information on how to get video savvy with Eight Interactive
For more information about the Video Implementation Programme, which costs £297, visit: