The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 49: June/July 2020 - Page 12

Alistair Cunningham & Terence Alistair Cunningham and Terence Herbert are Wiltshire Council’s Joint Chief Executives. Both have worked for Wiltshire Council for many years and took up their new roles in January this year. The council has been nominated for communicating often with local businesses trying to access funding. “Most of our staff are now working from home delivering essential services without even having to leave the house. We also have staff out delivering critical services to ensure our most vulnerable residents are kept safe. We have redeployed an additional 400 staff to support services and are really pleased with the speed at which we have refocused our efforts to support our communities and Anthony Brown businesses. We have set up the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub which has supported over 10,000 of our most vulnerable residents. It’s open seven days a week to support people who might not have any family or friends around them. “We have also worked with communities across Wiltshire to oversee the creation of local community support groups. We now have over 400 groups offering support including collecting prescriptions, picking up shopping for neighbours. We’ve developed community toolkits to offer advice and support to those groups and have a community directory which contains details of all of the groups. “A business contact centre was set up to Debbie So Anthony Brown is from OHM Clothing Ltd, based in Swindon, a family business which started in 2011 offering clothing for schools, businesses, the military and charities. It’s run by husband and wife team Anthony and Jemma, although currently Jemma is furloughed. This company has been nominated for reacting to a bad situation and making the best of it. “We had to close our two shops as soon as the government announced non-essential retail premises should shut. Orders slowly petered out as businesses across the country started to stop and slow down. We stopped all main production at the end of March, so as to keep our staff safe. All our staff have been furloughed since then. “But I have remained working and doing everything to keep things ticking along. We have been lucky and have got a job which we hope gives back as well as keeps us going – we’ve provided clothing for the Great British Campout, that not only has saved the business, it’s raised £10,000 for NHS Charities Together,” Anthony said. The Great British Campout At Home was the idea of Ian Alcorn from Nottinghamshire where keen campers or caravanners were asked to camp out at home and donate £2 for the NHS. By providing branded clothing for that initiative this small business has survived and helped raise thousands of pounds. “This experience has prompted us to launch a new business, Omega Charities, where we will host and send to supporters, branded clothing for charities at absolutely no risk or financial outlay for them, helping them create brand awareness and funds, as well as controlling their brand. It’s massively exciting. “We’ve also, we hope, helped some of our suppliers survive. We engaged with our screen printer, Hartmoor, who have printed over 2500 items of clothing in the last four weeks. Throughout we have remained ethical and transparent and not made a ‘killing’ financially, but enough to keep our heads above water and remain viable. It’s been incredible really. “We’re now restructuring. It will be hard however we have to be leaner and work smarter. We won’t be having walk-in shops any more. From now on everything will be by appointment and click and collect/delivery. “Therefore our website will be overhauled and will work keenly for us.” Not far away in Pewsey, Debb of People Business Psycholog dresser, also took up needle a nominated for her commitme ing staying up until the early h She said, “The new social distan business - hanging up my sciss along with a halt on some proje consultancy, especially those n “We realised that its not only which has become more impor others during difficult times. W short videos encouraging other themselves and focus on the sim mental health being paramoun “I came across a Facebook G Scrubs – set up by a nurse who was becoming difficult. The Fac speed that the site became imp groups were popping up with eq join all of them, grabbing whate downloaded a pattern and set t a certain weight and type – easi a local friend who offered to hel She was glad to have found a n “Within hours money was dr the locals were delighted to fun to come, so I started making m I could find for care homes des Eventually, 50 metres of fabric a non-stop ever since. “I do feel a sense of social re have the capability to help with a responsibility to do so. I feel a that I tried to do my little bit to h head-on. My main reason for se a selfish one. I need to feel usef back. I’m enjoying the challeng what I feel is right. And now I ha what else can I do with it? Perh Watch this space!”