HHDBA ConferenceTickets are now on sale HERE for the HHDBA Conference on Friday March 7th 2014 between 9am and 1pm at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath.

Earlybird tickets for HHDBA members are £15,  £25 for non-members. and are available up to the 31st January, after which the price rises to £25 for HHDBA members and £30 for non-members. So don’t delay!

The conference will focus on the themes of People, Money, Operations and Marketing with two Keynote presentations.

We are looking for speakers and sponsors for the event.

If you’d like to be a speaker them please submit a presentation title, an abstract of 500 words and a 300 word biography here.

If you’d like to be a sponsor then please apply here.



The MewsStaff at the Mewes Vets, Haywards Heath hosted a Christmas Party last Saturday. Dogs were welcomed for a Christmas themed Fancy Dress Competition, won by miniature Monty dressed as Rudolf with his own Santa sleigh.
All the pets were beautifully behaved as their owners enjoyed a glass of mulled wine and home-made cakes. A group of children performed an impromptu Christmas sing-a-long, then staff offered guided tours behind the scenes in small groups.
Judging the fancy dress was difficult as there were so many entries, but everyone agreed that the clear winner was Monty the pup, whose loving owners had hand-made him a Santa sleigh to match his Rudolf onesie.
Julia Mewes, Principal Vet at the Mewes Veterinary Clinic, said “It was our first ever Christmas Party at the Mewes, and we were delighted to see so many old friends as well as new. Everyone had taken so much trouble with their doggy costumes. Some had even been to the groomers for a smarten-up before donning their outfits!”
Debbie Swales, a client, said “It was a brilliant idea. My dog Lucy doesn’t mind wearing a little outfit and joining in, and it is so good for her to come the Clinic and not have anything unpleasant happen. We also met some lovely people – all dog mad of course! Lucy had a lovely time at the Christmas Party. Happy Christmas to all at the Mewes.
To see more images from the party or find out about the pet mad staff at the Mewes Vets, go to www.themewesvets.co.uk


Steven J Humpherson On our 25th Anniversary, Weald IT is investing in its people, strengthening our expertise and resource to ensure that we deliver a service that exceeds our client expectations.

Our Helpdesk now boasts five full time employees which includes a new Helpdesk Manager, Steven J Humpherson. Steven joins us with 15 years of experience in IT services.

An IBM man for 7 years, followed by Europ Assistance, Gearbulk and Sussex Coast College – Steven brings an encyclopedic knowledge of ITIL standards http://www.itil-officialsite.com/ and an enthusiasm to progress our helpdesk to become the best in Sussex.

Steven RixonDue to increased demand from existing and new clients, we needed more capacity to install.  We simply could not keep up with the demand for new servers.

The capacity comes in the shape of Steven Rixon – another Senior Network Engineer.  He joins us with 10+ years of field experience with other dealers – the most notable being TMB Group.

Hazel MorrisAnd last, but not least, we have a new Office Administrator allowing Hazel Morris to move into a Customer Support role.   Laura comes to us having worked in Administration and Office Management for 14 years. Most recently, Laura was working for The Royal British Legion as a Welfare Officer looking after Surrey and Sussex assisting ex-service people and their families with financial help during times of need. Laura is enjoying the challenge of being an administrator at Weald and has taken on the task of assisting our current client’s with their hardware and software needs.

Weald’s structure now looks like this.



SavannahOn Sunday 8th December 2013, Savannah Cafe & Bar in Haywards Heath put on a Christmas spectacular to raise money for Chestnut Tree House Hospice.

As children picked prizes from the lucky dip and danced under the snow machine, local musicians took to the stage to play some loved Christmas music interspersed with other classics to entertain the families. One local 8 year old girl got up on stage and sang along to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with event organiser, Jen Mudd.

“It was a really lovely afternoon. We raised a total of £136 for Chestnut Tree House Hospice which is fantastic” said Jen. “This is the second charity event I’ve run with Savannah’s and it’s amazing that they are so keen to get involved to help raise money for national and local charities.” The event rounded off with a number of classic carols which were led by Carol Mactaggart, Head of Music from Oathall Community College. “One of the nicest things I will be taking away from this event is how the local community came together for such a great cause.”

On the day there was a raffle prize draw which included a VIP Entry pass to Ministry of Paintball for 32 people valued at over £800. This prize was donated back to the event for auction due to the value. The prize includes free entry, all equipment and lunch at your chosen venue all around the country. Tickets must be booked by March 2014 and the winner must purchase the paintballs. There are centres in Brighton and Crawley and would make a fantastic birthday party, stag do or day out with your friends! If you are interested in putting an offer down on this fantastic prize please contact Amanda at Savannah’s directly on 01444 458181.

Looking forward to January 2014! We will be offering new and exciting events including a Bollywood night, a casino night, a comedy night, more live music nights and much much more… Don’t forget all HHBDA members get 25% off during January and February on anything on our menu and the kitchen is open till 10pm, 7 days a week.


The-Big-Give-Christmas-Challenge-2013St Peter & St James Hospice are delighted to announce we reached, and exceeded, our Big Give Christmas Challenge 2013 target! 

Thanks to our pledge donors and everyone who donated throughout the event, we will receive the maximum amount from our Big Give Charity Champion, the Reed Foundation.  This means St Peter & St James supporters will have raised a magnificent total sum of £41,181.76, plus Gift Aid of a further £2,919.67!  Thank you to all.


CarmenMayo Wynne Baxter has now expanded its international department to provide a better and more specialised service to its clients.

For a while now, the firm has been dealing with international property transactions or disputes abroad, in particular in Spain.

Dual-qualified Carmen Calvo-Couto who is a solicitor in England and Wales, as well as an abogado in Spain has recently been appointed.

The aim is to be able to deal with Spanish law matters and in particular to expand our international commercial/corporate department assisting UK companies who are planning their expansion and operations in Spain.

Together with the language capabilities and an understanding of both UK and Spanish jurisdictions, our lawyers also have a broad network of international contacts which allows them to tailor their advices in a more effective way.

For more information, visit: http://www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk or email Carmen at ccalvocouto@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk


Extech TunisiaAward winning extech expands overseas to open Tunisian arm

Expansion has reaped unexpected rewards for an enterprising IT company, while highlighting an offshore sector skills opportunity.

Sussex-based extech, which specialises in delivering IT outsourced solutions, recently acquired ISO9001 accredited Electronic Workplace Solutions (EWS), the latest of three corporate buy-outs it has completed in the last two years.

London-based EWS also ran a branch in Tunisia, leading to further overseas growth prospects for extech, founded in 1988 before its acquisition by IT entrepreneurs Andrew Hookway and Paul Estep in 2008.

Since then, the pair have grown the business 25% pa but the expansion has thrown up a challenge for them, reveals director Andrew Hookway. “We had been looking overseas for some time for qualified technicians to supplement our UK workforce. We need our employees to be committed and highly qualified to meet the needs of our growing customer base.”

Hookway and fellow director Estep both command many years’ experience of outsourced technology and back-office administration activities and offshoring to India when they worked at Fidelity Investments and Colt Telecom, so understand the benefits of utilising overseas staff.

“But,” says Estep, “we wanted to work with a country closer to home so started looking in Spain, which is when we came across EWS and its Tunisian branch.”

Tunisia is a highly educated country, children learn English from an early age, along with Arabic and French, Estep explains. “Majority of Tunisians are educated to at least a degree standard if not MA or even a PHD qualification”

Hookway adds:  “Their attitude and ethos really impressed us. They are hard-working, reliable and committed, as well as highly qualified – just what we were looking for.”

Extech acquired EWS in August with expert guidance from M&A specialist Malcolm Coomber a partner at Clarkson Hyde.

Since acquiring the Tunisian base with its six employees, extech have taken on an additional 9 staff to complement the 25 workforce in the UK, who now have the opportunity to work in the overseas office.

The primary function of the Tunisian office is working on background tasks such as software upgrades, migrations, commissioning new IT equipment; along with proactive maintenance activities such as checking the integrity of backups and responding to IT warnings and alerts.

”However, we are already identifying many other functions that can be performed effectively from our Tunisian base, such as back-office finance administration and software development.” said Hookway.

With the help of UKTI’s Michael Axelrod, he introduced the pair to the British Embassy in Tunisia and arranged meetings, workshops and seminars; “He even highlighted a gap in the Tunisian market for our software product called ‘NetRoster’, which is a fully managed 24/7 Security Guard Rostering system controlled from our Tunisia office,” said Hookway.  “The Embassy are in the process of organising a trade show where extech can showcase the product to western organisations who reside in Tunisia.”

Adds Estep: “The acquisition of ISO9001 accredited EWS enables us to scale our business both on and offshore, without compromising on quality and service delivery.  We hope to grow further and are always interested in new acquisition opportunities.”

For more information on extech’s products and services please visit www.extech.co.uk or call 01444 443200.


1st Central won “Insurance IT DeInsurance IT Department of the Yearpartment of the Year” at the Insurance Technology Awards event in London.  They were awarded this based on their web journey optimisation. 1st Central drew special praise from the judges for demonstrating how it is not only rooted in its e-business capabilities, but understands a great website experience is key to converting web visitors.


Warden ParkWarden Park Academy in Cuckfield takes part in Young Enterprise each year, and is seeking more volunteer business advisors and mentors for its students.

Working with a Link Teacher for an hour-and-a-half a week, the business volunteer helps students set up and run a real firm for a year, getting vital practical experience of the joys and pitfalls of creating a business.

Students do everything from raising the initial share capital through to designing and making their product or service to selling directly to customers at specially organised trade fairs and ultimately winding up the firm and paying their taxes!

Classic Creations, one of our eight companies this year, won Best Mid Sussex Business Plan in November, and we are looking to build our successful team of advisors who could boost their own skills while enhancing the self-confidence and capabilities of young business-people of tomorrow.

As well as the unique satisfaction that comes from developing the next generation of enterprising professionals through your own experience, you could improve your networking and recruitment potential by engaging with the emerging creative workforce, as well as contribute towards CPD requirements of professional bodies including the CIMA, ICSA, IFS and CPS.

For further information, please go to http://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/support-us/volunteer/what-volunteering-involves/ .

To register interest in becoming a business advisor, please email Howard Collins, Link Teacher, at hcollins16@wardenpark.co.uk or 01444 457881.


Tracey EvansTracey Evans, business owner and financial planner at Bolney based Juno Wealth Management has been voted as one of the top 200 Rated Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) in the UK by her clients and her achievement was announced in The Times.

Comments Tracey: “There are over 20,000 Independent Financial Advisers in the UK so I’m thrilled to be in the VouchedFor.co.uk Top 200. What makes it even more special is that I’ve been selected thanks to my clients. It means a lot that they’ve gone out of their way to support me and I’d like to thank them all.”

Continues Tracey: “I’m passionate about independent financial advice. While talking about how to look after your money isn’t ‘sexy’ with a growing pension and savings gap planning your financial future is more important than ever. In a nutshell that’s what financial advice is all about – making sure you make the most out of your hard earned cash and aren’t left short of funds in retirement or on a rainy day.”

Tracey Evans was selected as a result of local clients reviewing and rating her services on consumer ratings website VouchedFor.co.uk. The site, which enables people looking for financial advice to find a recommended IFA, works like TripAdvisor. You can search for an adviser free of charge based on location and services provided. Advisers are then listed based on client reviews giving those seeking advice confidence that the adviser can be trusted.


Tuesday 7th January 2014 – Networking Drinks  17:45 – 19:30

Venue: Idlewild, The Broadway, Haywards Heath

Cost: Free.

Register: HERE

Tuesday 14th January 2014 – Professional Services Group 17:45 – 19:45 

Venue: United Services Club, Wivelsfield Road, Haywards Heath

Cost:  £5 for HHDBA members, £10 for non-members but FREE to first-time guests AND the member who brings them along! (a light buffet included and very attractive bar prices)

Please click HERE to book. This is a ticket only event. 

Thursday 23rd January 2014 – Expert Seminar: Marketing Theory & Practice: Make things people want or make people want things?

Presenter: Neil Thomlinson.

Venue: Cafe RougeThe Broadway, Haywards Heath

Price: HHDBA members £12. Non members £17. This includes a meal and drink. Download the menu HERE

Please click HERE to book. This is a ticket only event.

NEW MEMBERSWelcome to our new members

No new members this month, so let’s extend our welcome to last month’s newest members:

Judy Sharp – Efective Psychometrics

WebsiteSend email

Hazel Harris – Inspire People Development

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Peter Parr – Peter Parr Associates

WebsiteSend email

Gary Johnston – Tamite Ltd

WebsiteSend email



Day Release Degree

The Day Release Degree in Business Studies from the University of Chichester is an exciting, innovative and flexible way for students to gain a full honours degree in Business Studies, whilst in work.

We are currently, successfully delivering the 2013-2017 Day Release Degree programme to a range of students from a wide spectrum of employers in the hospitality, travel, construction, engineering leisure, retail, marketing and social enterprise sectors.

The University of Chichester is inviting existing employees  who want to develop their potential by gaining a degree that is directly relevant to their work to contact us. We are also looking for highly motivated and talented students in their final year of college to consider this programme.

What’s in it for Employers?

The Day Release Degree is the best opportunity for you and your organisation to develop your own existing talent in a way that is focussed on your organisation and organisational goals, whilst allowing your employee the opportunity to get a recognised qualification. It is aimed both at existing employees and new entrants.

  • Attracting highly skilled, motivated people – offering a job within your organisation that allows a person to attend the Day Release Degree programme will help you to attract the high calibre recruits that can really help to drive your business forward.
  • Direct business impact – your business will benefit directly from work-related projects focused on your business objectives and enables the students to make a real difference while they are learning.
  • Increased loyalty – you gain loyalty from your employees as supporting development is widely proven to have a positive effect on staff motivation and retention.
  • Innovation – your organisation benefits from innovation and impact as the student brings the latest research and approaches to the work related projects that they will be doing.
  • Talent Management – grow your own employees who will become your high performers of the future.

How does it work?

The University of Chichester identifies employers who want to be part of this innovative programme. Businesses want to partner with us because they can see the benefits of developing their existing staff members as well as attracting new entrants and the long term benefit that this can bring to the organisation.

  • Students will study at the University of Chichester one day a week over three ten week terms for the first three years. The fourth year comprises primarily a tutor supported management project studied over two semesters i.e. September to May
  • Study is a mix of generic business and skills based modules. The majority of assignments are work related projects agreed in advance with the employer. Subjects covered include, finance, management, marketing, HR and operations.
  • Students are supported by both an academic tutor and a work based mentor.
  • Employers typically fund 50% of the course fees with some participants getting access to student loans.

What’s in it for the Day Release Degree student?

You may be an existing employee and want to develop your potential within the company to enhance your career and move to more senior roles. The Day Release Degree is perfect for developing and progressing your existing career and because you will be working on practical projects you make a very direct impact on your business.

Alternatively, you may have completed your BTEC or your A Levels and want to get a degree, but may not want to go to university full time in which case the Day Release Degree is for you.  It is an excellent opportunity to achieve a recognised degree, whilst gaining valuable work experience.

As the degree is done while you are in work, there is every chance that you will have much reduced student debt from the fees. You can still apply for student loans.

Here are some comments from our current employer partners and students:

“It’s about investing in the young today to give you the managers of tomorrow. We are really pleased with our student, Anna-Marie; she has exceeded expectations and is already making an impact. We definitely plan to recruit two more for this year’s programme” Nick Munday, Managing director, Classic Collection Holidays Ltd.

“Working directly with a corporation allows you to get vital work experience for future career progression”. Jay – Trainee, Butlins Leisure

“With the coursework being based around the company’s own core principles and internal training policies I feel I am getting the best education from both sides”. Simon – Manager, Bombardier Engineering

The Day Release Degree is an amazing experience. It gives you the vital experience that employers look for alongside your qualification” Anna Marie Hillard, Day Release Degree student, Classic Collection Holidays Ltd.

How do I find out more?

Call Andrew Adams at the University of Chichester on 07796 655247,email a.adams@chi.ac.uk



The Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions has been published on the Bank’s external website. If you would like to access this report please do so by clicking HERE: