Thanks for local NHS staff

Thanks for local NHS staff

Local NHS staff have been treated to a cruise thanks to the people of Brixham.

The lucky Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust staff – who were involved in the organisation’s Covid-19 response – were thanked for their efforts with a cruise around Torbay.

The classic Brixham trawler Vigilance embarked on two separate cruises exclusively for staff members and also enjoyed lunch on board.

The boat is run entirely by volunteers, many of whom live in Brixham, and this has been a way for local people to say thank you for their incredible response over the past year.

Taking an especially keen interest in the cruises was Jon Welch, non-executive director of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. Jon is also a skipper of Vigilance, and he was at the helm for the two cruises.

Ray Longhurst, chair of the charitable trust which runs Vigilance, said: “We are delighted to offer these cruises to Brixham NHS and care staff who have done so much for the town during a very difficult period.

“We depend on volunteers, there are no paid staff, and as many of our volunteers live in Brixham we thought it a great way to say a sincere ‘thank you’.

“There is no commercial organisation involved, nor any politicians; it’s the people of Brixham acting from their heart, pure and simple.

“We hope our NHS guests had a wonderful day cruising with Vigilance which is part of the Heritage Fleet.”

Liz Davenport, chief executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very grateful for the generosity of The Vigilance Trust and all those who have made this trip possible for our people.

“This unique experience will certainly bring joy to our staff who have ensured that people in our community were able to receive the care they needed throughout the pandemic.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all of the businesses and members of the public who have sent cards, gifts and donations which have given staff a much-appreciated morale boost.

“Your generosity and compassion is truly appreciated, and your kindness will be remembered for a very long time.” 

Peter Pugh, staff nurse at Brixham Hospital who went on the trip, said: “We had a fantastic time out on the Vigilance, the crew were friendly and welcoming.

“After what has been a challenging year for the team, it was nice to be able to see some of them outside of work in a relaxed environment.

“It was also great being able to see a different view of Torbay. A big thank you to the crew of the Vigilance for facilitating this day.”

Original story by Nikki Belso on Torbay Weekly

TBCN Zoom – 15th June

TBCN Zoom – 15th June

The next open meeting of the TBCN will take place on Tuesday 15th June from 4pm. This is a live panel event with representatives from the three Torbay Chambers and the Torbay Business Forum.

This meeting is open to all. It features discussion of local business topics, plus breakout rooms so you can contribute and network with other members online.

This is a Zoom Meeting, a video conferencing meeting that’s hosted using Zoom. You can join these meetings via a webcam or phone. If this is your first use of Zoom, you may need to download the Zoom client or app.

To register:

Free Webinar: Engaging and Retaining Your New Customers

Free Webinar: Engaging and Retaining Your New Customers

Building back better presents a challenge: you have a new audience, but how can you retain them post-Covid, getting them to become an ambassador for your business and coming back time and again?

Hear from the experts in the fields of behavioural science, industry trend research, visitor journey mapping and marketing disrupters to learn more.

Date and time:Tuesday, June 15, 2021 11:00 am
GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)
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Duration:1 hour 30 minutes
Description:Building back better presents a challenge, you have a new audience, but how can you retain them post Covid, getting them to become an ambassador for your business and coming back time and again? This session provides access to experts in the fields of behavioural science; industry trend research; visitor journey mapping and marketing disrupters.
ERBID2 Final Business Plan

ERBID2 Final Business Plan

View/download the full plan here
Download the plan summary here
Postal Ballot Opens 27th May and Closes 24th June

A letter from Tim Godfrey, Chair, English Riviera Bid Company Ltd

My sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed in preparing this Final English Riviera Business Improvement District (ERBID2) Business Plan. It is this document that you are now being asked to vote for and support in the forthcoming postal ballot starting on May 27th 2021. £3 million for promoting the resort over the next 5 years is at stake.

Back in early February we produced the ERBID2 Consultation Draft Business Plan. This was sent to all eligible businesses inviting your views regarding continuing with the English Riviera Business
Improvement District (ERBID) for a further 5 years. A renewal ballot is legally required to allow this to happen.

Over 250 of you kindly shared your ideas, giving up your time to join the ERBID2 Zoom Consultation Workshops. Your feedback has been invaluable and I want to assure you that we have listened to you carefully, with amendments made to the Final Plan that take on board the recommendations you shared including:

  • You said that these are challenging financial times so we are keeping the minimum Levy paymentat £150 pa for the next 5 years.
  • You asked us to invest more money in introducing new Shoulder Season Events so we have increased the ERBID2 Events Budget to £100,000 per year from 2022.
  • You said peoples’ TV viewing patterns have changed through lockdown and asked that ERBID2 looks to invest more in Digital Marketing and Digital TV channels rather than traditional terrestrial TV.
  • You told us you want to extend the season based around lifestyle, wellbeing, outdoors and eco-tourism. As a result, ERBID2 will invest more time and money into promoting the Great Outdoors and related activities: cycling, kayaking and swimming, aligning to the Naturally Inspiring branding more prominently.
  • You told us you want to bring back Business Tourism and to achieve this ERBID2 will work closely with MeetEnglishRiviera and MeetDevon in a new partnership to attract both national and international business back to the resort.

All of these activities will be possible if a majority YES vote is secured in the forthcoming ballot which will generate over £500,000 per annum but, will end on December 31st 2021 if a majority YES Vote is not secured. We are at a T-Junction in terms of future plans to promote the resort.

In the wake of COVID-19, our business environments will be ever more fragile and I believe that continuing to work in partnership, supporting one another as we have throughout three very painful lockdowns remains absolutely vital. As a leading UK resort we are stronger working together, and being a Business Improvement District and retaining that status for a further 5 years with ERBID2 puts us in the strongest position.

I am very proud of all that the English Riviera BID Company has achieved to date particularly the £75:£1 ROI that we have achieved on your behalf levering in significant additional funding to supplement the Levy to invest in Destination Marketing. I feel strongly that we are the right organisation to continue to lead on Destination Marketing and to provide a joined-up voice for our critically important Visitor Economy.

Now is the Time to Vote YES.

I thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Tim Godfrey
Chair, English Riviera BID Company Ltd.

The business impact of Covid

The business impact of Covid

Torbay businesses have revealed the real impact of Covid both in financial and people terms.

A special survey carried out by TDA and promoted by the Torbay Business Forum and the three town chambers of commerce across the Bay was carried out.

Responses came from sectors across the economy especially accommodation and food as the tourism and hospitality industry took a real battering from the pandemic lockdowns. Other sectors surveyed included wholesale/ retail, finance and insurance, professional/ scientific/ technical, administrative, education and arts/ entertainment/ recreation.

Between 2019 and 2020 employee numbers decreased for 31 per cent of those surveyed, 64 per cent stayed the same and five per cent increased numbers.

Ten per cent of those surveyed expect staff numbers to decrease in the future; 21 per cent expect numbers to increase; 69 per cent said they will stay the same. 

89 per cent of firms said they have adapted to working differently and successfully during the pandemic. 88 per cent of businesses received a Covid-19 related business grant. 

Areas of Business Support highlighted were Reaching new customers / markets – 50 per cent; Digital marketing skills – 31 per cent; Becoming a greener business – 21 per cent; Customer service – 22 per cent. 

The firms were asked if Brexit had impacted on their business.  The results were: 36 per cent – Negative impact; five per cent – Positive impact; 59 per cent – No difference. 

They were also asked what would help them in 2021? Answers included place marketing and advertising; Investment in place; a tourism boom; digital support and opportunities; financial help including an extension to VAT and business rate relief; easing of Covid restrictions to enable reopening; and a clarity and consistency from Government

Lingering doubts the future were still evident. 22 per cent said they are ‘very optimistic’ but 16 per cent were ‘not at all optimistic’ and 62 per cent were unsure.

Original story on Torbay Weekly