Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, as a marquee hire business operating predominantly in the events sector, we found ourselves having lost around 90% of our work within a matter of weeks. There was the immediate need to find work for our team and forge a way forward in an ever-changing world. In the immediate term, this took the form of assisting a local supplier with additional team members to help them fit out temporary mortuaries for the NHS and seeing where we could assist our community with our fleet of vehicles and team. Once we had worked through the initial phase of the pandemic, we began to plan and seek ways we could assist our clients in new ways to keep our team employed. This included partnering with a PPE supplier to offer this through our supply chain. We continue to support our clients across an assortment of sectors, with a wide range of temporary structure solutions to ensure they can return to work in a safe environment.
Excel Office Cleaning
Being established for over 50 years, 2020 has been the most unprecedented in the history of our company. With many clients open throughout lockdown to provide essential services, the need to adapt our service to the challenge presented by COVID-19 meant enhanced cleaning procedures were seen as critical in protecting against the spread of the virus and instilling confidence in our clients and their staff plus, at the same time, keeping our cleaning teams safe who, without hesitation, undertook any cleaning required to help keep these companies open. Providing full decontamination and high touch point cleaning, we are working closely to provide a bespoke and adaptable service and continue to keep all our clients, from offices, schools, gyms and clinics, open and safe during this time. To have gained this recognition for our work with this award from the Surrey Chambers of Commerce has been a real boost and a little chance to stop and feel proud of our ongoing work! Thank you, Surrey Chambers!
On the announcement of lockdown we immediately advised all our staff who could, to work from home and the rest of the team were on paid leave until the furlough scheme was announced. It was important that we helped with the local community and all the team were encouraged where possible to volunteer to help out, with whatever they felt comfortable doing. We also got involved with the NHS volunteer scheme and around 40% of our team were accepted as NHS responders and spent many days on stand by to help out. At the same time, together with our Dutch colleagues, we developed a screen system that was originally designed to get the hospitality sector back to work as quickly as possible. This system was designed, manufactured and available in the market place in less than six weeks. By the end of April 2020 we were taking online orders from hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and offices. The InBetween range was developed throughout May and we added signage and outdoor screens, all these products are still selling well and we are getting numerous amounts of positive feedback from our customers regarding this.
We are simultaneously proud of, yet humbled by, the number of awards, both national and local, that YUnique Marketing has won since its launch in March 2016. However, none have meant more to us than this year’s Surrey Chambers President’s People’s Choice Award. To be nominated and voted for by the Chambers and its members is truly heart-warming and gratifying and an unexpected honour. We have always valued our membership and involvement with the Chambers and have worked hard to support as many members as possible, including recently co-hosting their Reimagine your Business event. We are de-lighted to have hosted quite a few Surrey Chambers members at our monthly Attraction Factor boardroom strategy sessions on Zoom this year. Attendance is open to CEOs/business owners/leaders by invite only and we waive our event fee in lieu of a small voluntary donation to SATRO, a Guildford-based STEM education charity, which we support. Now, we are very excited to launch another complimentary service, open to any business owner, which is a Marketing Performance Assessment Scorecard. Take our Scorecard: www.yuniquemarketing.com/scorecard. Book onto an Attraction Factor boardroom session: www.yuniquemarketing.com/boardroom-session
Suzanne, Marketing Manager from projectfive said, “We were so proud to be awarded the ‘People’s Choice’ award at the President’s Awards. These have been such difficult times for so many people and we’ve tried to help out as much as possible. We’ve had our own challenges to deal with, with lost revenue resulting in a heavily reduced income.
We’ve had to learn to adapt to Home Working and Social Isolation, which is something we found very difficult to do – so, to help us, and share our experiences to help others, we recorded a daily ‘Covidiary’ and published it online. With tens of thousands of views, these became very popular and, we understand, were a source of comfort to many people who were going through the same challenges as us.
Also, the financial pressures meant we weren’t able to support our local community with charitable donations. But, we have quietly given our time and support to those around us, without shouting about it. After all, no-one wants to see a company using this pandemic as a cheap marketing opportunity! It’s been really good to see our team go-ing out into the community, delivering shopping, helping support those in need, and really living our true values. It must have made a difference, as the People’s Choice award is something that others have nominated us for – which makes this all the more special to receive it. Thank you.”
Guildford Shakespeare Company
This has been an incredibly tough time for the arts and theatre industries. Our sector accounts for around 300,000 jobs in the UK (70% of which are freelance), generating £7.7bn in revenue for the UK economy… all dark for over seven months, so far. It was with much relief that last month the Government’s July announcement of a £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund started to be allocated. We created new well-being and creative writing courses and continued to offer online school workshops. In August our holiday drama clubs resumed in person and in September we welcomed back our in-house classes, including the postponed mental health project for teenagers and their families, albeit all at a reduced capacity. GSC have also created 73 original live performances, including two interactive Murder Mysteries, The Wind in the Willows and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All live and via Zoom, attracting audiences from around the world. In August, over 800 people attended our open-air performances. All of which have created jobs for 68 freelance artists.
Co-Founder Matt Pinches: “We would like to express our gratitude to all the freelancers, volunteers and dedicated audiences that have continued to endorse and enable our work. We are equally indebted to our trustees and employees, who have constantly championed, adapted, created and supported us.”
Oakleaf is a Guildford-based mental health charity that has been working tirelessly since 1997 to support vulnerable adults in the Surrey community who are struggling with their mental health. During these extraordinary times with Covid-19, our creative workshops have found a new virtual platform, forming an online community for our clients. At Oakleaf, we believe that creativity and better mental health go hand in hand; we are currently running a variety of activities via Zoom, ranging from art therapy to photography, from poetry to our virtual choir. All of which serve as a space where creativity flows and participants who are struggling with feelings of isolation, anxiety or depression are able to join in without leaving the safety and com-fort of their own homes.
“The team at Oakleaf have been outstanding and have adapted to our new normal brilliantly. Their sessions have given me a much-needed focus as we always have the option to interact and engage with one another; something which I now look forward to and rely on. Oakleaf really have been the backbone of my mental health support.”
Jan, Oakleaf Client