Cotton Court Business Centre

Author: Grace Bennett

Cotton Court Supports Preston Partnership

By Comments Off on Cotton Court Supports Preston Partnership

We are proud to be a member of Preston Partnership, an independent partnership of businesses and organisations that are passionate about and committed to the city.

Preston Partnership is made up of organisations of all sizes, and across many industries with a common goal to champion the city of Preston and surrounding areas.

The partnership was created to bring together all these organisations, to bring commitment, energy and dialogue from all sides.

What is Preston Partnership?

– Members from the public, private and third sector connected to Preston joining together to establish a dialogue.

– An opportunity for businesses to actively engage in supporting the growth and development of Preston.
– A powerful network that is kept up to date about what is happening in Preston.
– A group who collaborate on projects to influence the development of Preston through ideas, involvement and resource.

Visit their website for more information or to sign up.

 

Tamsin has finished her apprenticeship!

By Comments Off on Tamsin has finished her apprenticeship!

I’ve recently finished a 12 month Business Administration Level 3 course at Cotton Court that I did through Runshaw College. The apprenticeship and coursework covered areas such as customer service, rights and responsibilities, providing administration services and understanding business environment.

I’m so pleased that I was able to complete this at Cotton Court. It’s a great place to work and everyone is like family. Having a close relationship with my colleagues and the customers makes all the difference.

Now I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I’m keen to get in to focus on the customer services, business development and marketing of the business as I love dealing with customers and I get great satisfaction when I see a customer happy with the service!

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to other school leavers and  young people. If you lack confidence and feel like you need an extra boost to help you along your path then apprenticeships are definitely for you. I learnt so much through doing mine and am fortunate enough to be able continue to develop my career at Cotton Court!

Robert is Judging at the BIBA’s!

By Comments Off on Robert is Judging at the BIBA’s!

Our Director, Rob Binns is very honoured to have been asked to judge the nominees for this year’s BIBA Awards!

The Be Inspired Business Awards is Lancashire’s largest and longest running business awards programme. Their purpose is to drive growth, cultivate excellence and fuel innovation throughout Lancashire economy, while nurturing the next generation of business leaders. That’s what makes the BIBA’s different and is the reason why everyone wants to win!

All shortlisted applicants will meet the judging panel for face to face interviews where they will get the opportunity to demonstrate what sets their business apart from the competition. This first round will begin on May 11th and run until May 22nd. The judges will then be sent ‘on tour’ from the 8th June to the 3rd July where they will meet the finalists and their workforce in their facilities.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at Blackpool Tower Ballroom where guests are treated to drama, entertainment and fun as well as a four-course meal prepared by one of the county’s top chefs with the awards ceremony kicking off at 9.45.

Good luck to all of this year’s applicants and we’re sure Robert is looking forward to meeting you all!

CompTIA Opens free IT-Ready Boot Camp At Cotton Court

By Comments Off on CompTIA Opens free IT-Ready Boot Camp At Cotton Court

We are looking forward to hosting CompTIA and it’s tech workforce charity, Creating IT Futures eight-week information technology (IT) boot camp which is the first of its kind in the UK.  Funded in partnership with the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership as part of the DCMS Digital Skills Innovation fund, IT-Ready will offer free technical support training to help adults launch their careers in IT.

“With more than 140,000 IT jobs open in the UK and the average IT salary being 56 percent higher than the national wage, employers need more tech workers and more workers need more opportunities,” said Charles Eaton, CEO, Creating IT Futures and vice president, social innovation, CompTIA. “With IT-Ready, we help more adults get the training they need to fill tech jobs, gain an upwardly mobile career, and earn family-sustaining wages.”

 “We are delighted to be working in partnership with DCMS to support the roll-out of the IT-Ready programme in Lancashire,” said Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, director of the Lancashire Skills Hub, Lancashire LEP.  

“The initiative, which is fully aligned with needs of local business, offers Lancashire residents a fantastic opportunity to develop their digital skills and improve their employment prospects,” Lawty-Jones added. “It’s also another great example of how the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, which is part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, is raising the skills of our digital workforce to boost productivity while also driving inclusive growth across the county.”

Interested adults can visit www.creatingitfutures.org/lancashire by 23rd January to enrol in the full-time, classroom-based IT-Ready boot camp classes that begin on 10th February 2020. IT – ready primarily serves:

  • Lower-income adults due to unemployment or underemployment
  • Displaced workers whose skill sets are no longer in high demand
  • Groups under-represented in the ranks of IT workers, such as women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

 

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a UK citizen or permanent resident and have 4 GCSEs (including Maths and English) or equivalent. No prior experience in tech is necessary, but a love of technology, a strong level of commitment and a drive to succeed are extremely important. 

IT-Ready students receive free tuition, learning materials, tech and soft skills training, and certification vouchers. They learn technical skills to help them successfully pass both parts of the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Plus, students receive professional development training to refine highly sought-after business skills including communication techniques, conflict management, teamworking, critical thinking and problem-solving. Graduates are prepared to apply both technical and professional skills starting day one of their first tech job. 

Creating IT Futures developed IT-Ready in 2012, and CompTIA UK Ltd staff will work with local employers to hire IT-Ready graduates in Lancashire. Within four months of graduating, 85 percent of IT-Ready students typically are working in a paid IT role with local area companies, earning £16,000 – £18,000 annually. Graduates move into help desk tech roles, building and maintaining a business’s IT environment and assisting its internal and external customers.  

Applicants should apply by 23rd January at www.creatingitfutures.org/lancashire

About Creating IT Futures
Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org.  

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 50 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.

 

Yolo wellbeing

By Comments Off on Yolo wellbeing

As our visit from Cheryle at YOLO Wellbeing was such a huge hit last year, we have decided to do it again!

Cheryle is the founder and owner of YOLO Wellbeing. She created a sensory experience that combines massage and meditation in a specially designed mobile environment that means she is able to travel to you and offer this service from your workplace. The YOLO Wellbeing experience is designed to help improve physical and mental health and is a great way to reward and boost employees morale.

We have teamed up with Cheryle in order to be able to offer this unique experience again to our clients and staff for Stress Awareness Day on the 6th April, Massage at Work Week on the 3rd June and Stress Awareness Week on the 3rd November.

The feedback that we received from staff and clients last time round was really positive with everyone commenting on how relaxed they felt and how it had set them up to continue their day with a positive mindset. With the awareness days coming up, it seemed like the perfect idea to get Cheryle back and treat our clients and staff once again!

Growth Company Offering Fully Funded Training for Lancashire Businesses

By Comments Off on Growth Company Offering Fully Funded Training for Lancashire Businesses

Cotton Court residents Growth Company are delivering the Skills Support for the Workforce programme across Lancashire. It is a fully-funded programme designed to help employers bridge skills gaps in their organisation through bespoke training. Businesses can access a range of accredited and non-accredited programmes to help them upskill their staff – helping employees to progress in their careers. Skills Support for the Workforce aims to enhance staff productivity, increase morale and improve staff retention in organisations across the county.

The Skills Support for the Workforce programme is commissioned by the ESFA and working with the Lancashire LEP, Skills Support for the Workforce offers fully-funded support to help you develop staff through a range of training programmes which are tailored to your business needs.

Growth Company offers a variety of accredited and non-accredited programmes in sectors such as Engineering & Manufacture, Hospitality, Logistics, Management, Health & Social Care, Construction, and Creative & Digital.

These qualifications are aimed at individuals who would like to develop the skills and knowledge to progress within their chosen career. They are industry-recognised qualifications, assessing both knowledge and competence that are transferable across a range of competencies.

What’s on offer:
Analysis of current skills gaps in your business and tailored learning plans to meet them
Delivery of the qualifications within the workplace and with minimal disruption

Our programmes:
Accredited full level 2 and part level 3 qualifications are available alongside tailored support for your business
Can be used to develop basic skills in IT and digital
Include specialist support for businesses going through restructures and where staff are at risk of redundancy
Benefits  for your business:
A higher skilled workforce
Fewer skills gaps
Increase staff productivity
Improved staff retention
Enhanced morale
Opportunities are available to progress onto apprenticeships or higher-level qualifications after completing this training.
For more information please visit

The Big PNE Sleepout

By Comments Off on The Big PNE Sleepout

Friday 15th November saw a team of us from Cotton Court take part in the Big PNE Sleepout. The event was organised by Preston North End in the Community, Blog Preston and BIFFA who have joined with The Foxton Centre – a Preston based charity celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Whilst we had time to prepare for this challenge, it wasn’t what we had expected and was much tougher than we initially thought.

We joined around 300 others who were also taking part, in the concourse at the stadium where we were handed a piece of cardboard that would act as our ‘bed’ for the night.

 

At first, it seems almost exciting to be able to take part in something that you wouldn’t usually find yourself doing. However, as the night goes on this challenge becomes exactly that and it is a hard one. The home comforts that we regularly take for granted like a comfy pillow and a nice mattress are missed. You may feel tired but to find that position that you are comfortable enough to sleep in without the luxuries that we are accustomed to is very difficult. The neck aches and back aches begin and it makes it somewhat impossible to sleep. On top of that you are battling with the cold!

 

When you do finally manage to drift off to sleep you are constantly tossing and turning meaning that you aren’t actually getting the sleep required in order to be able to feel satisfied.

This really highlighted for us what those that are homeless have to endure and on a much tougher scale. This helped us all stick it out despite some of us wanting to leave at points, because we knew that these people don’t have that choice.

It was a real eye opener being able to experience the sleepout and we are so very grateful to all of the organisers and everyone who supported us and donated. We were aiming as a team to raise £1000 and to date we have raised £1193 so a huge thank you to all of you. We sincerely hope that this money can contribute to making a difference in Preston where homelessness is a major issue.

The Sleep Out had a target of £50,000 to raise for The Foxton Centre’s Housing First scheme and has already exceeded this in online donations. 

You can have a look at our photos from the event here:

https://bit.ly/2O4PdVs

Natwest Events 26th November 2019

By Comments Off on Natwest Events 26th November 2019

We are excited to be hosting the Back Her Business workshop on Tuesday 26th November in partnership with NatWest and Crowdfunder. The event will teach entrepreneurs all about how crowdfunding works, and how crowdfunding in general and Back Her Business, in particular, can be an effective way to get your new business up and running.

These events are a must-attend for an idea or early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs that are serious about growth!

By joining the session you’ll learn about:

  • The importance of female entrepreneurship to society
  • The Rose Review
  • Back Her Business: how people can access it and the Bank’s role
  • What crowdfunding is, and all about Crowdfunder
  • Benefits of crowdfunding, including Back Her Business match funding
  • How to crowdfund

The event is free to attend, but registration is essential:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-her-business-preston-turning-ideas-into-businesses-free-event-tickets-74804100077

Hope to see you there!

National Stress Awareness Day with Yolo Wellbeing!

By Comments Off on National Stress Awareness Day with Yolo Wellbeing!

Last week, to mark National Stress Awareness Day, we invited Cheryle from YOLO Wellbeing down to Cotton Court.

The aim was to provide our staff and clients with the YOLO Wellbeing Experience. 

 Cheryle’s mobile unit is geared up to provide a relaxing 15 minutes out of the office with tranquil mood lighting and a short video of either water, sunset or mountains to really help you relax whilst she gives you a neck, back and shoulder massage to relieve any tension that we may get as a  result of feeling stressed.

Mental health and stress is one of the most common reasons for absence in the workplace. The 2018 Wellbeing Survey from Cigna 360 reports that 87% of employees in the UK feel stressed, yet just one in 10 work somewhere that offers them a wellbeing programme.

It was really important for us to be able to highlight Stress Awareness Day and to be able to promote wellbeing in the workplace. Not only does it improve staff morale, it also increases productivity levels and greater engagement between staff and clients.

Cotton Court Director, Robert Binns, said “YOLO Wellbeing offered a completely unique way to improve workplace wellbeing and demonstrate our investment in our peoples welfare. The feedback from our clients and the staff at Cotton Court has far exceeded my expectations and I look forward to booking additional dates.”

Cotton Court client, VJ Brand from Waterbabies Lancashire said ‘ I loved the head massage and the meditation side of things where I could just relax, close my eyes, enjoy the treatment and open my mind as well. I’m ready to go, so thank you YOLO Wellbeing for a lovely massage and hopefully, you’ll be back at Cotton Court soon!’

It was a great opportunity to be able to offer this service to our clients and staff and definitely something that we would recommend to other businesses. 

If you would like your staff or your workplace to benefit from the YOLO Wellbeing Experience then visit https://yolowellbeing.co.uk/

Cotton Court take part in the Big PNE Sleepout!

By Comments Off on Cotton Court take part in the Big PNE Sleepout!

 On Friday 15th November the Cotton Court team along with hundreds of people will be sleeping out at Preston Deepdale Stadium to raise funds for the Foxton Centre. The Foxton Centre is a Preston based charity who are committed to helping adults and young people within the local community

Helping the city’s homeless, the sleep out aims to raise £50,000 to buy a house for Preston’s rough sleepers under the charity’s Housing First initiative. You can donate to our page here 

 

Here at Cotton Court we are entering a team of around 15 people, made up of staff and customers, to sleep out and hope to raise more than £1,000 between us!

Rochelle, said: “We are very proud to be able to be a part of the Big PNE Sleepout. Homelessness is a major issue in Preston and if we can contribute to raising awareness and money to support this cause then why not be involved.”

To make a donation towards this fantastic cause please visit Cotton Court group’s fundraising page here