Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

There’s definitely a place in your business communications for the written word. Engaging content, well-written, spelt properly, grammatically correct and SEO optimised to make Google love it. And when that need arises in your business please do remember that, with AA Editorial Services, your words are my work. 

That said, vlogging (video blogging), infographics and animations have an important role to play. Human beings are visual creatures. As this article points out, 65 percent of us are visual learners. It’s easy to see then why engaging visuals are superheroes when it comes to transferring knowledge and skills. This blog from Eight Interactive, using both videos and words, explains the key benefits that e-learning  brings to both the learner and the business providing them with the learning. 

Based in Swindon but serving the UK via the wonders of technology, Eight Interactive are UK leaders in e-learning video production and animated videos for businesses. 

Eight Interactive elearning and animated video

You don’t need elearning courses or software demos?

No problem! How about an animated video celebrating your personal and business highlights? One like this: https://youtu.be/1VVgw-QO9PA

Well, not one exactly like that #obvs. But something similar. And if you want words to go with it you know who to call huh? 

Find out more about getting a 2108 highlights animated video from Eight Interactive here.

Festive offer from Eight Interactive

Normally a video like this costs £150 + VAT.

Our festive offer for this video is £99 + VAT

So there’s something to rock your stocking.

Find Eight Interactive on social media

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The moment you take on people as employees and create that contractual relationship – even if only one employee – you have HR responsibilities.  Add employees and the dynamics begin. From ensuring you pay them accurately and on time – perhaps the most important thing you should be doing – to the variety of representations of your duty of care to employees.  Whether mental health, diversity, office relationships, banter, disputes etc, they are all aspects that can detract from your core business and that you may not want to deal with yourself.

That’s a lot of HR issues for a small business to handle. But there’s more to think about than that – as if all that weren’t enough. As this article from Forbes about the benefits of HR outsourcing points out, ‘With today’s emphasis on company culture and loyalty, the role of human resources management and the types of benefits a company offers has become increasingly important for a business’s future.’

But what if you’re a small or medium-sized business? How on earth can you be competitive in these areas? That’s a big ask. As a small company it’s not likely you’ll have the budget to have the requisite personnel on your own payroll. And, even if you do, HR issues are often a minefield. Minefields, as we know, are things fraught with danger. They need experts to traverse them without causing an epic explosion. And anyway, having your own in-house HR department might not be the best use of company funds. Wouldn’t you be better off investing the cost of a HR department on your businesses core activities? An investment that will, over time, fuel your business success.

As for the HR – Outsourcing is your saviour

Human Resources

According to the CIPD, the main HR function that businesses outsource is payroll. Hot on payroll’s heels is the provision of complex advice, including case management.

The CIPD cite the benefits of outsourcing as including increased efficiency and access to expertise. To return to Forbes: ‘some mistakes in HR management will not only hurt employee loyalty, but can lead to fines.’  It’s not sound business sense to trust HR responsibilities to an employee who either:

  • Deals with these issues on a part-time basis only
  • And/or has not had enough training in HR matters

Any mistakes made could turn out to be expensive indeed, and in more ways than one.

Better by far to bolster areas of weakness with an outsourced HR solution that is both cost-effective and expertise-effective.

Note that the CIPD voice a note of caution about HR outsourcing. They say ‘it can also present challenges, such as loss of local knowledge and processes and fragmentation of the service provided.’

That’s a fair point. But you can address it by finding, where it’s possible, your HR outsourcing support in your locality.

Should you be a Swindon or Wiltshire business in need of experienced HR outsourcing support then look no further than Paul Himple, who is Go-Legal HR.

About Go-Legal HR

Go Legal HR offer a comprehensive service focusing on all aspects of the legal compliance that goes hand-in-hand with employing people. 

Bringing 32 years of experience to the job in hand, Paul works with small to medium sized businesses providing with their HR solutions. These are businesses that employ staff but neither have nor need a full-time, in-house HR advisor or manager. He also supports internal HR personnel lacking the necessary expertise in employment law.

The Go-Legal expert advice and hands-on help covers four key areas:

  1. Employment contracts, and policies and procedures
  2. Employee relations including dispute resolution and mediation
  3. Employment tribunal preparation and support
  4. Recruitment and selection

Go-Legal on Social Media

Go-Legal social media

Why not check him out on social media and give him a call for your all your HR solutions?

Blaylock’s Shoe Shop – Old Town

Blaylock’s Shoe Shop – Old Town

Blaylock's Shoe Shop

Old Town - Swindon

It’s a mildly curious thing that Swindon’s Old Town has, within a few yards of one another, three long-established family businesses. On Wood Street there’s Deacon’s Jewellers,  founded in 1848 and now in its sixth generation as a family business. Then there’s Gilbert’s furniture store on Newport Street. I’ll cover that one in another post, so for now suffice to say that. this business was established in 1886, becoming a fixture on its present location from the early 1870s.

Then there’s the subject of this blog post: Blaylock’s shoe shop on the corner of Bath Road. This business is a youngster compared to the other two, being started in 1920 when the senior Blaylock – Robert – opened a shoe repair business in Swindon’s Gorse Hill. This brilliant business remains one of the south of England’s leading independent shoe businesses, with a wide range of brands for adults and children.

I lOVE this shop and I do buy most of my footwear from it. It’s what I call a proper shoe shop – with shelves in the shop itself stacked with boxes and boxes of shoes. Going in there is a great nostalgia trip – with some good old fashioned service.

The business is now directed by Robert’s grandson David, and managed by David’s son Mark. In this 2014 feature in the Wiltshire Business Online News, David said:

‘In terms of how we run the business, we have tried to maintain the same principles. We believe people come to us because of our stock, our staff and the service we offer.

We still endeavour to give personal service and carry a range of stock you wouldn’t find in a normal High Street store.”

NB: When Robert Blaylock’s business moved to Old Town in 1928, it was first situated in what is now Pizza Express in Bath Road before it later moved to where it stands today.

Now – with a nod to Mark Childs, author of The Swindon Book from where (well – actually The Swindon Book Companion) I sourced this material – though it’s in my own words – is a potted history of this wonderful Swindon business:

Established by Robert Blaylock (1896-1955 – from Bowness, on Windermere in Westmoreland), this Old Town shoe store is four generations old.

When a youngster, young Blaylock contracted rheumatic fever. The condition left him with heart problems and medical warnings that he should do nothing manual. Warnings that he appeared not to heed given that the age of 15 saw him apprenticed to a local boot and shoe repairer.

WWI brought Robert to Swindon and a billet at the Chiseldon Camp where he repaired army boots. Come the end of the war, he remained in Swindon and opened a boot repair workshop at 254 Cricklade Road. In his spare time Robert was an active lay preacher at Florence Street Mission Hall. There he met Lilian Skinner, whose father, Daniel Skinner, ran the mission. The couple wed in 1921, moved into 158 Cricklade Road and produced seven children. One wonders if they were the worst shod …. ?

By 1928 Robert moved his business to No 5 Bath Road, Old Town where, at the rear of the premises, the operated a shoe repair business.

The landlord of No 5 refused to give Robert Blaylock a lease, though Randolph Pollard, gent’s outfitter next door at No 3, had a long lease. When No 5’s landlord decided to sell, Pollard bought it, moved his business in and transferred his lease at No 3 to Robert Blaylock.

By 1949, Robert Blaylock had failing health and not one son willing to take on the business. Yet, his son Robert Arthur resigned from his position in the National Provincial Bank to take it on. Shades of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ there methinks!

Thus, when the property came up for sale, Robert Arthur bought it and the adjacent property on the corner of Devizes Road, along with a little lock-up called the Corner Cabinet which sold antique glassware. In so doing, he expanded the business.

Robert Arthur’s son, David John Blaylock, was also not inclined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Yet, like his father, he too relinquished his clerical work with Swindon council to keep the business going. (More George Bailey heroism!) He ran it from 1988, and in 1997 his son, Mark Adam Blaylock joined him.

As well as shoes, Blaylock’s also sells handbags, polishes, shoe trees and laces.

Phone: 01793 534271

See also: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8790518.Muriel_retires_from_shoe_shop_after_50_years/

 

 

 

 

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Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’

in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment

Press release:

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Latest news from Vision Maker Press

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book

NAZ ASHUN, Vision Maker Press

Wiltshire author and publisher Naz Ahsun has contributed to a new book, published this month, which aims to inspire readers to live more fulfilling lives.

Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, is filled with inspirational tales from people of all ages, nationalities and professions, covering topics from career goals to parenting. It’s the latest book from award-winning authors Ariel and Shya Kane, from New Jersey USA, and will be available from Monday (November 12).

Naz, who is co-founder of publishing firm Vision Maker Press and is known to many as the presenter of The Outer Limits show on Swindon 105.5, says a series of coincidences led to her involvement in this book. In her story she talks about how she’s transformed her relationship with her body image, food and nutrition.

“Way back in 2011, I was heading for Spain for an Easter break. At the airport, I wanted to get a light, easy read to take on holiday with me. That’s when I spotted Men, Money and Chocolateby Menna Van Praag.  On my first night in Barcelona, I opened the book and didn’t put it down until I finished it at dawn. I knew when I finished that I just had to meet the author, who touched me so deeply.

“However, it wasn’t until 2013 this became a reality when I spotted a social media post by the same author. She was holding a writing workshop in London. I immediately signed up and was not disappointed. I also got more than I bargained for as I also met my, now, fiancé who had been facilitating the workshop with Menna Van Praag!”

Naz discovered the author and her fiancé were part of a growing movement known as the ‘Transformation Community’ which holds seminars all over the world where she met fellow authors Ariel and Shya Kane.

In 2016, members of the community were invited to contribute to Being Here…Too, sharing their experience of transformation in their day-to-day lives.

Naz, who earlier this year published her own second book, The Little Book of Animal Wisdom, said: “I was thrilled my story was chosen as one of the ones to appear. My chapter is called Frolicking with Frittatas and it shares my story of how I experienced instantaneous transformation about my body image and diet – all it required was a little help from ruby red peppers, succulent egg, spongy courgettes and a dash of transformative fairy dust.”

The book’s publication will be celebrated locally on November 12 at an event called How to Access Enlightenment in a Busy Modern World, when Naz will read her chapter to the audience at The Henge Shop, Avebury from 7-9pm and entry is £5.

Details are available directly from The Henge Shop on 01672 539229.

 

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Press release: Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Press release: Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Chris Dawes nominated for award to find the UK’s favourite motorsports commentator

Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Swindon businessman Chris Dawes has been nominated for a national award to find the UK’s favourite motorsports commentator.

Chris is a professional commentator, who also runs Open Dawes Training, providing public speaking and presentation training, as well as media training for sports people. He’s in the running for Commentator of the Year in the annual awards run by Motorsport Media, which broadcasts Motorsport Radio.

Chris is a regular commentator at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe circuit where his commentating career started.

He’s just completed his seventh professional year of commentating and is one of the most sought-after, with only one weekend away from the microphone between March and November. He commentates and presents at events held at circuits across the world, with UK venues also including Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Snetterton, Oulton Park, and Cadwell Park.

“I am completely blown away to have been nominated,” said Chris. “I’m a huge motorsports fan and to have been able to turn my hobby into a career as a commentator is a real honour.”

Chris first fell in love with motorsports as a child, when he visited the races at Castle Combe with his father. He was encouraged by his wife, Claire, to apply for a commentator’s role eight years ago, and has never looked back. In fact, he’s now a member of the Board of Castle Combe Racing Club.

Chris is up against nine other finalists. These include the likes of BTCC, DTM, and Formula 3 commentator Chris Hartley, ITV’s British Touring Car Championship commentators David Addison and Paul O’Neill, TV’s Superbike commentator and former rider James Whitham, and highly respected national and international commentator Mark Werrell. The winner will be announced on December 9, during a live show on Motorsport Radio.

Chris added: “The winner is based on online voting. I think it will be rather a large ask to win, considering the other, fantastic commentators in the running, many of whom I have always looked up to. I am so fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with and being mentored by many of them too. I am just so chuffed to have been nominated.”

To vote for Chris, visit https://motorsportawards.com/commentator-of-the-year/. For information about Chris’s commentating visit https://chrisdawescomms.co.uk/, or for Open Dawes Training, visit https://www.opendawestraining.co.uk/.

 

Latest Swindon Ramblings

I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.

A word about our sponsors

When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.

Blog Categories

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Deacon’s Jewellers

Deacon’s Jewellers

September 2018

Deacon’s Jewellers

Well listeners, you can hardly have failed to notice that this summer saw the publication of my first book, Secret Swindon.  So now it’s onto the next project: Swindon in 50 Buildings. To that end I’ve compiled a list of suggested buildings for the edification of the publisher, Amberley Books.

The buildings I’ve selected for my next project aren’t necessarily there because they’re fabulous architecture, or old or listed – though sometimes that’s part of it – but because they have a part in Swindon’s story. Many, many buildings do that of course – and far more than fifty of them too.

One that I might include in my next project is Deacon’s jewellers on Wood Street in Old Town.

The business is still family-owned – now in its sixth generation – that’s rather cool isn’t it? Besides that though, the business has a rich history – one that’s wrapped up in Swindon’s railway past.

Given that his year is their 170th anniversary (Established 1848), it seems fitting to give them a mention on this blog.

Their website has their history on it so here’s a couple of extracts:

‘ … The catalyst for bringing the name of Deacon to Swindon was undoubtedly the arrival of the Great Western Railway. As an ambitious 26 year old George Deacon, having moved from his home town of Westbury, realised the need for time-keeping in a fast growing town of the industrial revolution. The business was able to expand, winning one of the timing contracts for the Great Western Railway on the line between Paddington and Swansea from the early 1850s until 1893 … 

The Regulator clock which stands to this day in the jewellery, clock and watch department was made by Deacon & Son Ltd around 1865 when the company held one of the timing contracts for the Great Western Railway on the line between Paddington and Swansea. Before radio and the telephone gave universally available timing, accurate time keeping had to be maintained locally and this was usually done by the means of the regulator clock.

The dead beat escapement in this movement causes less friction and dampens vibration, giving greater accuracy. The self regulating mercury pendulum, which changes volume equally with the changes in temperature, keeps the clock on a constant steady beat giving better time keeping. This clock was used extensively in our workshops for clock timing and regulation for many years, until its retirement in the 1960s. In 2011 the same task is performed by radio controlled timing from the nuclear caesium clock at the National Physics Laboratory at Rugby.’

 

Deacons on Wood Street

Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deaconsjewellers/

These boots are made for walking

Of course, Deacon’s is not the only long-standing, family-owned business in Old Town. I’m really rather fond of Blaylock’s – the shoe shop on the corner of Bath Road and Devizes Rd.

Blaylocks Old Town

Blaylock’s is what I call a ‘proper’ shoe shop – though you’d need to be of a certain again to even know what I mean by that. And what I mean by that, is that the shoes are stacked in boxes on shelves in the shop itself. There’s no going out the back somewhere with an iPad and a headset on. Pfft. It’s friendly service and I love it. Not quite as old as Deacon’s they’ve been around for somewhere in the region of 100 years. Still, to my knowledge, this is a family-run business and an independent shoe shop. Fabulous.

Gilberts

Having bought your super comfy carpet slippers in Blaylocks – where better for your actual carpet than Gilbert’s on Newport Street,  Gilbert’s have been in Old Town since 1866 so must have furnished a few Swindon homes in the intervening 152 years. What an astonishing thought.