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Rocket-fuelling growth for two deserving local organisations

The past week has been a particularly exciting one for us all here at James Legal, because we’ve had the privilege of making a difference to two truly stand-out local organisations.

As specialist business lawyers, we do our best to help businesses day in, day out, but this time we got to hand out a package of support worth a total of £45,000, which is not something that happens every day.

That’s because we announced the winners of our Business Booster competition – part of our James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign.

Pearson Electrical and Lessons 4 Life – both based in Hull – will each now be surrounded by the help they need to move what they do to the next level – from a review of their IT systems to design, online marketing, team and leadership development, accountancy and, of course, legal help.

Our judges – our own specialist commercial solicitor and litigator Simon Young and respected local businesswoman Maureen Foers OBE – were unanimous in their decision.

Pearson Electrical is a successful and growing commercial electrical company specialising in marine, hazardous area and offshore work. Having secured rare accreditations and with the backing of the Green Port Hull growth initiative, they have secured a raft of major new contracts over the past year, including electrical installation and maintenance aboard the A2SEA vessels which transport wind turbine parts manufactured by our local Siemens plant out to wind farms in the North Sea; on offshore wind farms as part of a framework agreement with RTS Wind Recruitment Ltd; aboard tourism boats operated by City Cruises York and for Whitby-based trawler manufacture and maintenance company Parkol Marine Engineering.

Managing Director Mark Pearson said: “We’re really made up to have won this prize and grateful both for the prize itself and the further recognition it brings to our company and what we are trying to achieve as a leading electrical contractor and local employer.

“I am proud to have a skilled team of really experienced and expert electricians, and this accolade is as much theirs as it is mine, because we couldn’t have achieved any of it without their commitment and hard work.

“We’ve grown fivefold in the past three years and are now at a jumping-off point where the extra help included in this prize will help us hone and streamline what we do even more, in order to hopefully continue growing at the same rate over the years to come.”

Explaining why they had chosen Pearson Electrical, our judges said: “We could just sense this company's commitment shining through and through this entry. Not only do they have ambitious plans for their company, but they are also focussed on employing people locally and offering training and development opportunities for young people, including in at-risk skills like armature winding.

“The fact that they are backed by the Green Port Hull growth initiative, and have secured such major contracts over the past 12 months, is testament to this company's outstanding level of skill, expertise and accreditation - as well as its future potential

“We are delighted to be able to support that, by awarding Pearson Electrical, based in Hull, our first prize.”

Lessons 4 Life, meanwhile, was formed earlier this year and is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to save lives by providing first aid training to ‘every single pupil in Hull which will have a huge lasting impact on the city’. Lessons 4 Life was co-founded by former paramedic Allison Middlemas and teacher Emma Devonshire, who are passionate about educating young people to help avoid some of the 1,445 preventable childhood deaths that occur in the UK each year. They are looking to work with businesses and the local Hull community to raise the funds needed to enable cash-strapped schools offer this kind of training.

Allison said: “Unfortunately, schools have a limited budget to spend on subjects that are not part of the National Curriculum. We have found that they just can’t finance first aid training for pupils due to limited budgets, leaving the children without even basic knowledge of first aid.

“Our company will be sourcing grants and company sponsorship packages, as well delivering first aid at work courses to companies, to raise the funds needed to deliver first aid training free to pupils and community groups.”

She added: “Winning the support provided by this competition gives Lessons 4 Life a stable business base and the marketing and promotion necessary to create a long lasting business able to work with pupils for many years to come. Pupils who are confident in first aid grow into adults and parents who are able to give life-saving treatment to prevent unnecessary deaths.

“By establishing a business that can deliver sessions to every pupil in Hull over many years, we will create a unique community in Hull where everyone has lifesaving first aid skills.”

The sessions provided by Lessons 4 Life will include practical skills accompanied by learning sessions linked to the National Curriculum subjects English, Maths and Science. They will enable pupils to deal with emergency situations as well as an understanding of the Ambulance Service, emotional wellbeing and the effects on the human body. Emma has many years’ experience working in schools across Hull and the East Riding. She specialises in making education accessible to children of all abilities and will be helping to create the first aid courses suitable for youngsters to understand, as well running sessions on emotive writing and dealing with thoughts and feelings at the scene of an emergency. 

The judges said of Lessons 4 Life: “It is at the other end of the spectrum, in many respects. A not-for-profit organisation set up by a former paramedic and her colleague to save lives.

“Sadly, everyone in our region has had a tragic reminder over recent months of just how vital this kind of skill is.

“This organisation is starting from the ground up but is such a worthwhile initiative, driven by clear passion, that we are delighted to offer Lessons in the kickstart it needs.”

James Legal Managing Director and Solicitor Nick Miller added: “It’s absolutely made our week to be able to offer such a fantastic prize to such absolutely amazing organisations.

“We’re particularly delighted to support both a very deserving commercial enterprise, and a not-for-profit at the other end of the scale which is committed to doing something so important for our local community.

“We wish them both well and can’t wait to get to know them better and do our bit!”

Our competition entries also included an artisan chocolate manufacturer, a party caravan company, a physiotherapy practice, a marquee provider and a digital marketing firm.

Once again a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to enter the competition, our judges were really spoilt for choice and everyone who entered should be really proud of what they’re doing.

We announced the winners at our third and final masterclass of 2017 on 27 September – Mind Over Matter, featuring a keynote presentation by internationally-renowned clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger.

The Business Booster competition has been the highlight of our James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign, which we kicked off earlier this year as our way of helping local businesses to seize the opportunity that Hull, City of Culture 2017 represents. The prizes we were able to offer in collaboration with our campaign partners included:

  • Computanet: A network and system audit and helpdesk support for one year, up to a value of £4,000, for the overall winner; and a network and system audit and strategic system planning, worth up to £1,000, for the runner up
  • Elliott’s: A full hygiene review and improvements, and ongoing strategy, worth up to £1,000 for each winner
  • Sales Lead Genie: A strategic sales and marketing review, and one day of targeted B2B telemarketing with research findings, presented as a report, worth £1,000, for each winner
  • Arrival Design: A £1,500 voucher to be used towards website development, design works, email marketing or SEO, provided by Arrival Design
  • 360 Accountants: Accountancy support worth up to £1,000 for the overall winner and an online accounts software annual subscription of £500 for the second placed business, from 360 Accountants
  • Dare Greatly leadership development: Two one-day management alignment workshops worth £1,500, focusing on business goal setting via a review of management personalities, relationships and structures
  • The Marketplace: A full business diagnostic worth £1,900, looking at critical areas including skills, supply chain, procurement and operations, from The Marketplace
  • By Tracy Fletcher Limited: A PR & Marketing audit and communications strategy worth £1,000
  • The Business Culture Hull: Free annual membership of this popular networking group, worth £300
  • Peacock Finance: An initial funding audit and guidance, followed by monthly reviews and application support, worth £3,000
  • Fifty Squid Video: A corporate video worth £100
  • Sirius: Business mentoring sessions to the value of £500
  • Hendersons Insurance Brokers: Fee-free insurance for the overall winner, and 50 per cent off fees for the second winner, together worth over £2,000
  • A&S Design Associates: A brand review and guidelines, up to a value of £1,000, to each of the two winners – to help them with developing their company marketing materials
  • James Financial: Basic pension scheme set up and key man cover (protecting a business against the impact of losing vital expertise through the death or serious illness of key players in their business) up to a total value of £1,000 for each of the two winning entrants
  • And, of course, a year’s free legal support worth £5,000 from us, including a review and re-write of policies and contracts, and unlimited access to our business legal advice service.

A huge thank you to our partner organisations for making these amazing competition prizes possible.

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