Cotton Court Business Centre


Remploy Celebrate 100,000 job successes!

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Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions, celebrated International Day of Disabled People at Waterloo.

Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions, today (3 December) celebrated International Day of Disabled People and passing the milestone of supporting 100,000 people into work since 2010.

Celebrations were held in the Preston branch here at Cotton Court.

Beth Carruthers, Remploy Chief Executive, said: “IDDP is a day to celebrate the talents and achievements of disabled people around the world.  It promotes ability and showcases what is possible in order to break down barriers through increased understanding.

“IDDP is also an opportunity to challenge ourselves and others to do more to create an inclusive society and workplaces that truly benefit from the ability of all. We are immensely proud of having supported 100,000 people into life-changing employment.

“Achieving this remarkable milestone is testament to the strong relationships we have with employers large and small, who recognise the business benefits of employing disabled people.

“But we all agree there is still so much more to do,” Mrs Carruthers said.

Referring to the Government’s Disability Confident campaign, Justin Tomlinson said: “We have to make businesses confident enough to introduce them to organisations like Remploy. We can provide the support to employers if they make the investment and they will find that it makes good business sense.

“Our commitment, personally from the Prime Minister, is that we will halve the disability employment gap and that means improving the lives of a million people.”

(courtesy of

We’d like to congratulate the Remploy Preston team, it is great so see their hard work paying off.




Back to the future

When should you repeat something you’ve already done? Or to rephrase, when should we recommend staff refresh their positive handling, physical intervention or restraint training?

First Aid At Work has for a while now been every 3 years, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is recommended now every 6 months whereas some providers of positive handling have for many years operated a refresher every 3 years. I haven’t picked up a squash racquet for 3 years I wonder if I had a go this evening, if Id be any good…

Law and legislation

There is already in place a requirement that physical skills are to be periodically refreshed on a regular basis. This is supported in Health and Safety law and the associated guidance documents, one of which is the Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999.

Regulation 13 (2) states that:

“Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training

a) on their being recruited into the employer’s undertaking; and

b) on their being exposed to new or increased risk”

For example if new working activities are to be undertaken, a new piece of machinery is installed or, a service user or pupil presents new challenges that staff haven’t experienced or, simply aren’t prepared for. Sometimes incidents, near misses or accidents can be a reason to look at a risk assessment which could then identify a requirement for a fresh training needs analysis.

 “The training referred to in paragraph (2) shall –

a) be repeated periodically where appropriate;

b) be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the health and safety of the employees concerned and

c) take place during working hours

This act of parliament also refers to staff members “capabilities”;

“Employers should take account of the employees’ capabilities and the level of their training, knowledge and experience”

A risk assessment would have been carried out initially to identify which employees require training, this demonstrates compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which states employers shall provide (in accordance with the associated risks) information, instruction, training and supervision.

Any risk assessment should be being reviewed annually as a minimum unless where there is a change identified which could affect the health, safety or well-being of staff prior to that period. So if twelve months ago this training identified staff needed training of a certain level in specific physical tasks, twelve months on can we be certain that the employees “capabilities” to perform said skills haven’t deteriorated? Even if they never use them? By that rationale, does this mean, that staff who are intervening all the time, get better through having more practice? No, not necessarily.

Practice makes permanent

Now annually, along with other CPD commitments I refresh my own instructor training in the use of force at Lilleshall national sports centre with Mark Dawes and his team at the National Federation for Personal Safety. Why do I refresh? Best practice, consistency of my delivery, to be updated on new developments in the industry and to network with like-minded professionals. In a nutshell it keeps me fresh and current. Mark did a brilliant video on consolidation and re-consolidation which inspired me to put this post out for my connections and clients explaining why we promote annual refresher training.

If staff are allowed to let their competency and ability slip through there being no positive reinforcement or constructive guidance on honing physical skills, then by repeatedly performing certain skills incorrectly, they will get very good at performing them incorrectly!

Let’s take into consideration the principle of “recall”, when someone is told,shown and they also experience something (the importance of people practising techniques and pressure testing them is of importance here) then after 3 months they are likely to recall 65% of the content.

If staff aren’t using strategies then they are likely to forget techniques far more quickly, this is why an instructional video and an accompanying manual to any physical skills course should be something employers look for when procuring training. This allows staff to re-consolidate and remind themselves of techniques between their refreshers, these are also useful for audits and to assist with debriefs. Often, positive handling or physical intervention providers are not so keen on sharing visuals, perhaps for fear of being copied, potentially held liable for the repercussions of what they have been promoting or, of being shown up on the premise that what they are teaching, which often, to put politely, should be put in a DeLorean, driven to 88mph and banished from history.


Ask your staff how often they wish to retrain

“Employers should review their employees’ capabilities to carry out their work, as necessary. If additional training, including refresher training, is needed, it should be provided.”

Health surveillance is one way of performing a review and can take the form of peer reviews, toolbox talks or questionnaires even. Ask staff members what they would like more of, how they felt the training benefited them and if there are any newly identified challenges which certain training could help them overcome, or if the training was any good at all! If training isn’t fit for purpose, doesn’t fit the needs of the staff or service users then additional or alternative training should be considered.

I didn’t know that

Sometimes when I start to quote paragraphs of statute law and refer to sections of approved codes of practice head teachers, managers, care home owners and others in positions of authority can shrug and laugh and explain that’s not their job or, they weren’t aware of that.

“Managers should be aware of relevant legislation and should be competent to manage health and safety effectively”

Ignorance of the law is not a defence. If work schedules or time constraints prohibit you or your team from keeping abreast of current and established health and safety principles then it my be time to consider procuring a professional to assist with this. There are plenty of health and safety consultants out there –competent, qualified and registered professionals who can advise you on such vital issues and make recommendations on how the law works.

This is not 1955, this is 2015 and although Lexus have, as the ultimate art imitating life gesture provided us with the hoverboard not much else has matched up to this being the year Doc and Marty were transported to in the film “Back to the future 2”. I for one certainly don’t have a flux capacitor and we can’t yet travel back through the space time continuum to right the wrongs of ineffective physical restraint systems. There are however guidelines for providing staff with easy to remember, effective and appropriate strategies, some of which I hope I have simplified in this post (it isn’t rocket science).



Have I got human rights for you

The thing about Human Rights is it protects humans. That means everybody…  not merely the people the Tories deci de are human. – Marcus Chown

The newly installed government are looking at replacing the existing Human Rights Act. You can’t avoid reading about this, it ‘s everywhere we look.

So what’s it all about? Is the HRA as the media often portrays it a “Villain’s charter” a ‘Get out of jail free card’ for the twenty tens?’  Well not really, rights of humans aren’t a new thing, the individual rights of people here in England originate back to the signing of Magna Carta some 800 years ago at Runnymede by Richard the Lion-heart. Since then we have seen the modern Human Rights legislation passed following the atrocities of the Second World War and the HRA as we know it receiving royal ascent here to allow us to try cases on UK soil in 1998.

Human rights information which often interlaces my presentations has all been gathered from reliable sources, published works and the newspapers.

Thanks has to go as far as legitimate resources are concerned to Edexcel’s brilliant qualification based learning on the Use of force, vast  input from my mentor on the subject of the use of force Mark Dawes, and my bedfellows and driving companions; Michael Mansfield QC, Professor Gary Slapperand the world renowned human rights lawyer John Wadham  (Amazon, iTunes and Waterstones receipts are entirely legitimate and tax deductible business expenses).

Answering queries on self-defence, pupil restraint, the searching of prisoners and which holds are safe to use with the infirm or vulnerable has over the years become a bit of a speciality for me.

“Do certain types of restraint amount to torture?” or, “If we do defend ourselves against an attacker and they are injured, then
have we breached his or her human rights?


Questions like these are brilliant introductions which immediately seize the attention of others in the group. This allows me a public platform (something which the new charter aims to restrict further) to convey, in a language which frontline people, management & health and safety professionals alike can understand, the ways in which the law can be interpreted. Regularly I find immense job satisfaction when I can see that by passing on this information, people are empowered in their job-roles, enlightened with the facts and more often than not along the way I find I dispel a few myths, misconceptions and well, massive untruths.

Within this short 11 minute video which I have taken from a seminar I delivered at Cheshire Police HQ earlier this year is my interpretation of the HRA in relation to restraint and the use of force in general. Absolute and qualified rights are explained and without these safeguards in place I do worry if the interests of the vulnerable will be prioritised in this new charter at all.

Surely before a complete repeal, it would make sense to weigh up the alternatives, the motives for the choices that have been made and their associated consequences? Is there actually anything wrong with the law? Wouldn’t it make sense first to consider implementing;

A better awareness of the law within counter-terror, the police and in government departments, both central and local?
Improved information sharing and communication channels between these departments?
Let’s say we don’t? We give the cold shoulder to Europe and we blank a constitution, established over centuries which has been built on the sacrifices of others. Turning on our heels we throw it all away and get the first bus home? Well for the children, elderly and vulnerable members of society, it could be a long, scary walk back to say the least.

Client Success Story – EJT Associates

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One of our newest clients, EJT Associates, are going from strength to strength having secured a number of high profile contracts including Transport for London, Babcock International, Bank of New York Mellon, Keolis Amey and the London Fire Brigade.

EJT Associates Ltd is specialist provider of resilience, health and wellbeing services to a range of organisations. Their“fitforlife” brand has been specifically designed to support your resilience, health and wellbeing by delivering a range of bespoke fitforlife events including the provision of Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists.

Russell Francis said “I am delighted to announce our new office at Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston after working from my home address for the past two years. Now in our second month of tenancy we find the building, the support and the staff to be exactly what we require in order to run our business.”

EJT are passionate in designing and providing the right event for your organisation and staff alike.
For further information on our services please visit: / or call us on 01772 508110.

3ManFactory create video to get brands thinking!

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We first spotted this in the days running up to Lancashire Business View’s Young ‘Uns Awards. Low and behold we didn’t realise the advert lead to this very clever video from the team.

Marketing on Fleek from 3ManFactory on Vimeo.

Need to connect your brand with 18-30s or teens? Want to build brand awareness, get your products or services in front of them, or attract the best and brightest talent?

3ManFactory are experienced in delivering high performance cross-platform marketing strategies and campaigns to engage and excite youth demographics.

Our sectors specialisms include: education, fashion, technology, entertainment and consumer.

So if your brand needs to be in front of Generation Y, Z, Millennials or teens, get your marketing right or rather, on fleek. Get in touch with 3ManFactory today.

Agenda 2015 debate in LBV

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The Owner of Cotton Court, Rob Binns, featured in this month’s Lancashire Business View Magazine. The article that he is in covers Downtown in Business’s‘Round Table’ discussion, which was hosted at Preston’s College in December last year.

Experts from across the sectors and across the country were asked to consider Lancashire’s place in the Northern economy.

People that were also present for the discussion, included:

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Cotton Studios wins BIG!

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We are very pleased to announce today. James at The Odd Chair Company decided the team from Cotton Studios had successfully won the contract to photography their handcrafted furniture. The Odd Chair Company are a family run business established over 40 years ago. The family run business prides themselves on making the finest furniture and offering clients an exceptional service. The furniture is made passionately by time served craftsmen at their own workshops in the north west of England.

They offer a design service for both Interior Designers and private clients, produced from your own drawings or maybe just an idea you have.  However you wish to send an idea over they can create a unique design for you.

The company also specialises in replicating fine antique upholstery by hand making a chair or sofa from an original design to make an identical pair or a set
All furniture is manufactured at the workshops based at the head office, which also houses the timber workshop and fabric library 4  32 33 41

Spotlight Daniel Fisher

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Daniel Fisher Howdan Marketing

Name: Daniel Fisher

Business: Howdan Marketing
Twitter: @danfis

  1. In one sentence what do you do? Raise awareness and drive traffic to websites
  2. What was your first job? My first ‘proper’ job was a Data Analyst at Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Technically my first job was working as a paper boy at 13.
  3. Biggest ambition? To own a castle in Scotland
  4. Proudest moment in the last year? Business wise it is being nominated for Digital Agency of the year alongside other brilliant agencies, Personally I am very family orientated so it would be my niece getting landing role to perform in a large show.
  5. Favourite quote? Always make sure the juice is worth the squeeze
  6. Tea or Coffee? Tea
  7. Favourite place to eat in Lancashire? Pond or Checcos
  8. First CD/record you bought? Savage Garden
  9. What’s your favourite TV show? Suits / Big Bang Theory / Vampire Diaries (yes that is a bit sad)
  10. If you were an animal what would you be? A dolphin as they are intelligent animals and I would swim around the world.