Cotton Court Business Centre


Vibe Tickets family expands with new recruit Emily

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Clients Vibe Tickets have a new member of team who is going to be managing our Social Media and PR side of things.

Emily comes from a Marketing and PR background, focusing on mainly fashion (so look out for the Pinterest fashion tips: Best festival outfits!) and has worked with different companies including luxury fashion brands and recruitment companies, but has more recently been working with Vibe on an overall marketing approach for the business. Emily has got some exciting new ideas and plans for the Vibe community including more competitions, blogger takeovers and partnering with some well-known brands to bring the Vibe users some great collaborations.


Emily joined Vibe because she is passionate about making a change in this industry- she has seen how ticket touts have slowly become more and more aggressive in their approach throughout the music industry and wants to help the fans get access to what they deserve:

‘Through working with Vibe, I have seen an overwhelming amount of truly passionate and avid fans of so many different music types and artists, that actually cant go and see their favourite artist because tickets are so hard to get hold of, and a lot of the time, hugely expensive. I want to shout about Vibe, and get the recognition it deserves which in turn will help the fans and the secondary ticket market”

She will be the #VoiceofVibe on all our social media channels, so make sure you are following for the latest news, updates and competitions that Vibe will be putting on throughout the year! We have a variety of new, exciting social platforms coming in 2016 such as Pinterest, which has just launched and Periscope which will be coming soon. Also, make sure you download the Vibe Tickets app, as we will have some new exciting and exclusive content on there soon! ‪ 


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.




Last Friday saw the third instalment of the annual Cotton Court Christmas Party at Glovers bar. There was a great party atmosphere, with around 150 people in attendance, and it was great to see so many familiar faces.

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The team at Cotton Court would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended and made the night so enjoyable, and an even bigger thank you to everyone for the amount of gifts that were brought for the children of Barnardos, our chosen charity.

Guests enjoyed the finest Indian cuisine courtesy East Z East, photo-booth fun, live entertainment and a complimentary bar at Glovers.


Barnardo’s works to transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and aims to enable them to fulfil their potential. The charity provides a comprehensive range of local support, counselling, fostering, adoption, education, residential and training services for more than 100,000 children, young people and their families.

It’s still not too late to donate! We are collecting presents at Cotton Court until Mon 7th December, so feel free to drop in some gifts to our reception.  Presents for teenagers are particularly valuable as is young carers and homeless units that are most in need of presents. Barnardo’s have also advised that the gifts are best not wrapped.

You can find out more about the work of Barnardos on their website or by following them on Twitter @barnardos

We’re already looking forward to next year and we hope to see you all there again!

Vibe Tickets Launch on Android App

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Vibe Tickets have announced the launch of their software for the Android market, the Lancashire based ethical ticket exchange expects their customer base to double within the first 4 weeks.

Vibe Tickets was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur, Luke Massie, who wanted to give real fans the chance to not only buy and sell tickets, but also make new, likeminded friends at the hottest events.

The launch on android follows shortly after the successful launch on Apple, the app already has thousands of users buying and selling live event tickets at face value.


Managing director Luke Massie said the expansion followed a £200,000 investment by technology entrepreneur Matt Newing. Luke said; “Vibe is operating a freemium business model, the service is free to use and the app is free to download. We are accelerating the growth of Vibe’s active user base while continually enhancing and developing the app. Our short term goals are to reach critical mass and enter new markets; the US and Europe. On top of directors capital we have raised £200,000 at a SEED round from Matt Newing and Elite Comms Group and we will be opening a new round of funding in the New Year.

The business model is based on peer to peer communication, growing this with a secure payments platform in the future. Everyone should have fair access to tickets and that is why we are strict about face value sales.

When the time is right Vibe will launch premium features and monetise at that stage, I am aiming forVibe Tickets to become the most disruptive presence in the secondary ticket market.”

Matt’s Newing, investor in Vibe and successful Tech Entrepreneur said;

“I share Luke’s passion about the business and the ticketing industry. Real fans are suffering at the expense of the secondary market, the real issue is that primary market are now buying secondary ticket sites and artificially manipulating the market. Ultimately, the power is in the people’s hands as the business model currently stands, but we are certainly looking to develop this.

Consumers have been crying out for a service like Vibe, I’d encourage everyone to join the cause and permanently change the market for the greater good”

The launch comes at a time when attention on the secondary market and touts has intensified.

Last week POP legend Prince (13/11) declared war on ticket touts by delaying sales of tickets for his forthcoming UK tour. Prince’s official Twitter feed became filled with references to online and secondary ticket websites, where tickets that have been bought can be officially resold.

Prince’s protest came as consumer watchdog Which? released a damning report on secondary ticket websites calling for action to stop them ‘reselling at inflated prices.’

Which? spent eight weeks monitoring four of the biggest secondary ticketing websites and found evidence that consumers were being cheated.

It isn’t illegal to resell tickets for profit, but Which? is concerned that many secondary ticket sites are denying fans the chance of buying tickets at face value and breaching consumer rights legislation.

The Vibe Tickets app which can be found on the following links:

Apple – Vibe Tickets

Android – Vibe Tickets



Weights & measures

Before my accident a couple of weeks ago, I hit the gym. I know what you’re thinking. No, it didn’t need cleaning already.

You would be partially right though as I wasn’t there training, my visit was to perform an experiment which I will be publishing the results of later this month. I wrote a post back in May about training systems that are peddled by many trainers and training organisations as “least restrictive”, “therapeutic” and “non- harmful” and the point I wanted to get across from performing this experiment is that often, they “non-work” and they’re the “least effective”.

Reasonable force

Now I’m not saying that we need to fight fire with fire and that massive levels of force should be applied unnecessarily to those in our care. What I am promoting however, is that staff should have the correct training and the necessary risk reduction measures to protect themselves and those in their care. From their Ivory towers managers, directors, school leaders and training providers can sometimes cast bold statements dismissing the need for physical skills training:

“It never gets to that stage”

“Well it just wouldn’t, we don’t need to teach them anything more than managing challenging behaviours”

“If staff do their job right they wont be needing restraint or self-defence”


Pedlars of death and injury

Then in my opinion, we have the worst offenders. The misguided, often unqualified trainers themselves who are out there delivering strategies that just wouldn’t work in reality. Often these are dressed up with a link to an institute’s badge or, which use fluffy language to sell their products (therapeutic, non-violent, positive, least restrictive or non-harmful) they make it sound as if staff aren’t allowed to ever cause injury. For example to leave a mark, use pain or cause discomfort to an attacker in a genuine emergency is often labelled as excessive or that to do so would be brutal in some way, or even unlawful. I have spoken to members of staff who when techniques have failed and resulted in injury (to either party) the blame has been directly put on them;

“We didn’t mean do it like THAT”

“It was YOU who did the technique wrong”

Often techniques are too long winded, too complicated, depend on fine motor skills or are simply ineffective due to their mechanics or logistics. In regard to using force there is no such thing as a legal or illegal technique. The teaching of principles, the provision of an overview of the law and to give staff an effective toolbox of techniques they will actually remember is a far more audit-able and effective approach to the delivery of any physical skills course.

My search for super-humans

Now for a while since my post on basket holds and the post I did discussingstrategies that don’t work, I promised to further investigate these strategies, so I decided to get in touch with Happy Valley productions and shoot some video footage on the subject.

Often I utilise my other trainers or participants on the course who I will attack and then invite them to release my grip or control, hold safely or escort me to pressure test and demonstrate that despite my size and strength the techniques are still effective.

Talking with a friend of mine who prior to becoming a qualified trainer was trained in several other so called “accredited” systems. In accordance with their own “code of practice”, these systems do not allow techniques to cause an attacker any pain – even if someone is trying to cause you serious harm. Yes, that would be a direct violation of their human rights.

To see if the techniques taught by these providers to carers, teachers, hospital staff & others actually work when used against people who may be stronger than them, I needed to pressure test them.

So, I obtained three of these “magical” manuals from different providers and spoke to trainers who helped me understand how they are to be performed. I then needed to find people who were stronger than me and get them to attack me whilst I then attempt to defend myself and “breakaway” using these “non violent methods of crisis intervention”. This would then simulate a similar difference in strength for example of a teacher, carer or door supervisor who then attempted these techniques in an emergency.

Thanks go to Steve Todd at Sculptures gym in Lancashire for the use of his fully equipped gymnasium, to personal trainer & Marcus Harrison of Goliath training systems and professional body-builder James Flemming.

Just to clarify, this wasn’t some penchant for auto-erotic asphyxiation! Final thanks goes to Curtis Young who was our paramedic for the day who remained on standby in case I hadn’t managed to “tap out” in time.


Cotton Court Annual Christmas Party 2015

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On behalf of all the businesses at Cotton Court we’d like to invite you to our annual Christmas party at Glovers Bar on Friday 27th November.

We’ll lay on a complimentary bar and buffet alongside live music from 6.30pm – late.

The event is free of charge; all we ask is that you bring a gift we can donate to our chosen charity Barnardo’s.

Barnardo’s support over 400 vulnerable young people from 0-25 years old, throughout the year across the Preston area. Presents for teenagers are particularly valuable as is young carers and homeless units that are most in need of presents.

Barnardo’s have also advised that the gifts are best not wrapped.

You can register for the event here: book your tickets!

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Client News: Vibe Tickets Launch App!

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Feel the vibe? Vibe Tickets for iOS is launches today and sounds great!

Get ready to feel those good vibes. Or, as we should rather say, #GoodVibes. Because Vibe Tickets, an in-development application for iOS and Android, promises to take the pain out of ticketing once it finally launches on our mobile devices.

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Little, at the minute, is known about Vibe Tickets, save for a few details. First, the app is in beta, and is being tested by a private selection of iOS and Android users. It also promises to be “the most disruptive app to hit the ticketing space” once it finally does launch, and folks interested in learning more can register their interest at the app’s website.

At the same website, the philosophy behind Vibe Tickets is outlined. There, the app’s developer explains:

Tickets for events are becoming harder to get your hands on because people snap them up and then they appear on secondary ticketing sites for vastly inflated prices. #BadVibes. We believe there is a better way.
We believe buying and selling tickets is a social thing. Live event enthusiasts love meeting people with the same passion as them. We want to allow real fans get to the events they love and to meet their next new best friend.


It seems, then, that Vibe Tickets is going to offer iOS device owners a chance to buy and sell tickets to music concerts and other events using an iPhone (or iPad). Perhaps it’ll make purchasing tickets easier to do; if the app’s website is anything to go by, this is certainly a major concern of Vibe Tickets. That, and making the process of purchasing tickets fairer.

In the meantime, call by Vibe Tickets’ website for further news.



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).

Forthcoming events at Cotton Court

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It’s going to be busy in the next few weeks at Cotton Court, as we have some new, exciting events being hosted here!

On the 3rd and 4th of October, No Frills Wellbeing are hosting an intensive 2 day course about Mindfulness and Self-Empowerment. If you come along to this workshop, you will learn about the neuropsychological, emotional and social mechanisms of wellbeing, which will help you understand the limits in your emotional intelligence. Included at this course, is lunch and refreshments. For more info visit or give Haley a call on 07482 456313.

Our customers, 123 Drive, are introducing a driving theory course which helps learner drivers to pass their theory test easily. It is a one day course that covers everything you need to know to pass your written driving test. The next date that this will be held is on Saturday 26th September. For further dates, or if you have any other questions, contact them on 01772 508113.


Also, on the 14th September, Ideas Lancashire held an informative, informal meeting for adults with autism or Aspergers. At this meeting, there was more information on their current project at the moment, which is to set up social and support groups for people with autism. If you’re interested, why don’t you attend the next meeting? It starts at 6:30pm until 8pm on the 18th November.

Project Export will be holding some events for their surgeries here too. They will be held on Monday 28th September and Monday 30th November from 2pm-6pm. If you want to know more you can either go to meet someone for a half hour one-to-one at one, or you can book a 20 minute Skype or FaceTime session with them. You can give them a call on 07947 495259 or just go to

Welcome Minerva Business Women to the building

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Cotton Court is happy to welcome Miranda from Minerva Business Women to the building!

Minerva Business Women, is a business growth club launching in the North West which focuses on helping women to create success on their own terms and works through connection, collaboration and taking business learning into personalised action.

We are looking forward to having Minerva Business Women run some events at Cotton Court in the future.