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SWR Balustrade News

Students Learn About Health & Safety at SWR

We take health and safety very seriously at SWR. Which is why it’s important to us that young people (some of which could very well be the next generation of SWR apprentices) are clued up on it as early as possible. Recently, students from Astley Cooper School visited our offices for an introduction to this most essential of topics.
The students were greeted and given an SWR study pack. They were then taken to our meeting room for a health and safety workshop. We aimed for the session to be as interactive as possible, something that Work-Based Learning Student, Jake Ashpole, appreciated.
Jake said: “I found the workshop really interesting and helpful. I learnt to always be aware of my surroundings in order to keep everyone safe in the workplace”.
Following the hour-long session, the students were shown around our production facilities by SWR’s Quality & Training Officer: Julie Hold. The aim was to give a quick overview of our production team in action and see them adhere to the health and safety principles learnt in the workshop.
This was the second year SWR have worked with Astley Cooper School to help young people and we’re delighted with the positive feedback. Erica Hodges, Work-Based Learning Co-ordinator at Astley Cooper, admits health and safety isn’t given much thought by the vast majority of students, making company visits even more important.
She said: “It is always a bit of a challenge helping young people to understand the relevance of health and safety in the workplace, not just to themselves but their colleagues as well.
“It was a very useful session and the tour of the premises, where they see the policies we have been discussing in action, is a great way to reinforce the message”.
“The Health and Safety workshop that SWR hosted was great. It increased my knowledge and awareness about the importance of being safe and responsible in the work place.” - George Elson - Work-Based Learning Student

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SWR at the Dacorum Schools Careers Fair

Recently, over 1200 students visited the Dacorum Schools Careers Fair at Shendish Manor in Hemel Hempstead. The event attracted a lot of local businesses (including SWR) who were keen to showcase their jobs and apprenticeships for school leavers.
SWR’s Quality Training Officer, Julie Hold, was one of the attendees and spent the day talking to students and giving advice on potential career paths. She had this to say about the event:
What were the main topics of conversation with the students at the Careers Fair?
We gave a brief overview of the company, our products how and where they are used. We discussed how we approach apprenticeships and the various levels that would be achievable dependent on skill sets and company requirements. We found that most students weren’t sure what they wanted to do as a future career, so we advised based on their interests and GCSE’s they were planning to sit.
Did you find that the students were interested in the fair and what we were saying?
A lot of the students were interested in what was being said and interacted well. They asked a lot of questions about apprenticeships, our products and the company as a whole.
What would you say the highlights were?
Astley Cooper School – they were the first school in and they knew why they were there and what the fair was all about. They all seemed very clued up and knew where they wanted to go, Amy (SWR’s Supply Chain Co-ordinator) was very good at explaining that not everyone was University material and used herself as an example as someone who decided not to go and pursue a career instead. The students seemed to acknowledge similarities in their thought processes.
Overall, how do you think the day went?
The quizzes on our stand were a good ice breaker with the students and other stand holders as it was a bit of fun. There was a lot of companies that attended and a broad range of sectors which gave the students an insight in to the vast amount of opportunities available. The day was a success for the organisers as the timings and venue were perfect. The day was a success for the students who were interested and for us as a company. We were not looking to employ but there were some students we would have considered. Overall, it was a really good experience for all of us and would recommend we did it again. I felt that the students went away with some great advice.

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SWR Take On Tough Mudder

They came, they saw and then got completely caked in mud for a very good cause. On 22nd September a brave team from SWR put aside their fears (and common sense) to take part in the infamous Tough Mudder challenge-a gruelling 5 mile hike through pools of mud and over a range of intimidating obstacles.
They weren’t taking part for the sake of it though but to raise money for Mind in Mid Herts: a local charity who promote mental wellbeing and support individuals affected by mental health. In total, 10 people from SWR signed up for Tough Mudder plus a couple of workmates went along to take pictures and cheer them on.
When our intrepid team set out for the long journey down to East Sussex on Saturday morning, the signs were not good. Torrential rain meant the obstacle course would be even muddier than usual (if that was possible). However, the incentive to complete the course and raise money meant they were determined to get the job done.
Alisha East, one of the participants and Finance Assistant at SWR, admitted everyone had to help each other out and work together in order to complete the challenge.
She said: “We all stayed together throughout the trek and encouraged each other to complete the obstacles. Personally the hardest part of the course for me was a wall obstacle that required help from your team to get over. It was very difficult! Also, part of the course had a lot of mud which made it hard to run or walk in without sliding”.
The SWR team managed to complete Tough Mudder in around 2.5 hours. Not bad for a bunch of part timers! Everyone got a t-shirt, headband and a well-earned pint of cider for finishing the course. However, it was the £1000 raised for Mind in Mid Herts that was the greatest reward.
Jason Lee, SWR’s Managing Director, said the Tough Mudder team can be “very proud” of their achievements and raising funds for such a worthy cause.
He said: "Well done to everyone Involved. All the bumps and bruises were worth it in the end. Let’s see if we can get even more people to take part next year!”
Started in March 2007, Mind in Mid Herts was set up to provide services across the mid Hertfordshire area. They work tirelessly to promote social inclusion and wellbeing for those who suffer from mental distress.
Mind in Mid Herts are fully accredited and run by caring professionals who specialise in counselling, group therapy, public awareness and more. They couldn’t function without volunteers however so have a full training programme for those wishing to help.
If you’d like to know more or want to make a donation, please visit their website: https://mindinmidherts.org.uk

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Case Study - Brick Barn

Extensive renovation has transformed Brick Barn into a luxury modern property worth upwards of £1,000,000. The interior is light and airy throughout with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. This coupled with unique details such as vintage industrial lighting, exposed timbers and underfloor heating makes Brick Barn a truly desirable family home. The challenging task of renovating the two staircases was given to Truline Stairs, a leading manufacturer and installer of handmade staircases operating out of Dunmow. As part of the process, SWR Balustrade were chosen to supply a glass channel system to enhance the design agreed by Truline and the Conservation Officer.

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Ideal Home Show 2018

Head down to the Ideal Home Show at the London Olympia between 7th March and 2nd April 2018 to see some great SWR Balustrade products.
First up, there’s the Liv-in Beach Hut by Hudson Architects which uses both our glass channel and vertical wire infill systems to help create the ultimate holiday home. We also provided wire rope tension kits for maximum safety and fall precaution.
Next is the show-stopping Innovation Home fitted with the NEW Skyforce Balcony System. Its Victorian aesthetic creates a place perfect for contemporary living – check out the image!

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Investors in People Silver Award!

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development, leadership skills, as well as recognition and reward.
It’s incredibly rare for a company to obtain an award on their first attempt with Investors in People, so we are extremely proud of our achievement. To achieve the Silver Standard Award, employees of SWR completed an online survey and members of the team were randomly selected for interviews with the assessor, in which they were asked how they felt about working at SWR and the company’s vision and values.
Only 24% of all IIP accredited companies achieve Silver or Gold standard, and most take years to reach this level. This award truly recognises the commitment to our people and dedication in making SWR a great place to work.
Our IIP practitioner Richard Budd, saw the motivation and enthusiasm of SWR shine through saying “Congratulations again on achieving the Silver IIP standard. This is a massive achievement for a company going through the assessment for the first time, and not one many manage to achieve first time around, so the team at SWR should be very proud!”
Jason Lee, our Managing Director was also proud of the award when saying:
“We were delighted to be awarded Silver at the first time of asking which less than a quarter of IIP companies ever achieve. This recognises the hard work and dedication from everyone at SWR over a long period. We seek to create an environment that is challenging and allows our people the freedom to develop and truly influence the business. As a result our people are increasingly driving the business forward, embracing change and contributing to achieving our aim of making SWR a great place to work. We are immensely proud of all of the SWR family for this achievement, and are looking forward to implementing the recommendations to take things to the next level”

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OnLevel Partnership

SWR are proud to have partnered up with innovative Balustrade Manufacture Onlevel who specialise in high quality glass channel profiles for all applications. The SWR Balustrade sales team recently visited OnLevels sparkling new head office in Emmerich, Germany for a tour of the facilities and some in-depth training of the various Onlevel systems. “As a team we are really excited about partnering up with Onlevel and offering their innovative product range to our current and future customers. Not only do their systems look aesthetically stunning, but they have really thought about the installation process – these products tick all the boxes and we can’t wait to see them installed” enthuses Joel Williams SWR Supply Chain Manager.
For more information on OnLevel Channel system you can view the product range here – or call our sales team on: 01442 359878.

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UK Construction Week 2017

SWR Balustrade will be exhibiting at this year’s UK Construction Week at the NEC Birmingham between 10th & 12th October – stand No. B511. Not only will we have our current range of systems on show, but we will also be showcasing the exciting new systems from our new Balustrade partner Onlevel who’s innovative and precision engineered products and systems are taking the industry by storm.
Come along for a demo of the innovative new range of Glass Channel and Juliet Balcony products that all offer improved aesthetics and ease of installation. To find out more before the show please follow our social media channels. Attending the show is FREE so why not register for your free ticket here, we look forward to telling you more at the show.
For more information about the UK Construction Week follow this link http://www.ukconstructionweek.com/

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Balustrade Ecommerce

With the largest Balustrade stock holding in the region we wanted to make purchasing Balustrade components and kits a fast and pain free experience, so we are proud to launch the SWR Balustrade ecommerce store.
Our in house web development team have designed and developed a fully integrated mobile friendly platform so our customers can order components with the click of a few buttons. “It’s simple - a lot of our customer’s just want to order parts, and this website will ensure our customers’ expectations are met. We are offering fast next day delivery and a clear discount structure that works for everyone. We also plan to introduce various Balustrade systems in kit form for the home DIY enthusiasts” explained Thomas Bennett - Head of Ecommerce.
To view our new ecommerce store visit – shop.swr-balustrade.co.uk

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SWR Are Expanding

To allow for future growth we have recently expanded our Head Office based in Hemel Hempstead. The additional 10,000ft of space will allow us to increase our office, production and storage capacity to support our ambitious growth goals.
“Last year alone we grew more than 20% so we are constantly looking for additional space to support that. We have also recently invested a substantial amount of money in infrastructure and new production machinery to ensure we can keep up with demand” proudly mentioned Aaron Lewis – Production Manager.

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Astley Cooper School

Our local community is very important here at SWR, as such we always look at ways we can get involved with local schools. One of the schemes we are involved with is the Enterprise Advisor Partnership with Astley Cooper School based in Hemel Hempstead. We organise visits for their students to come and have hands on experience at Production Facility.
On the last occasion we had 10 resistant materials students and 2 teachers who were welcomed by the SWR team. After some training they were able to make their own wire rope assemblies in our warehouse. The students left with goodie bags, pockets full of sweets and most importantly to us, smiles on their faces. The teachers were extremely impressed with our approach and grateful that we have given them the opportunity to bring their students in to our working environment.

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Ideal Home Show 2017

SWR Balustrade systems were on show at London Olympia as part of the renowned Ideal Home Show exhibition. We supplied a combination of our Glass Channel and Glass Modular systems for the showcase ‘Property Ladder Apartment’ building that was constructed within London Olympia.
The Property Ladder Apartments were designed and styled by students from Chichester College’s Architecture and Interior Design studio and demanded lots of attention from the 240,000 visitors that passed through the exhibition.
“We were proud to supply our systems for such a prestigious build and event. The modular building design and quick construction time meant we had to work with the build contractors to ensure our systems would simply slot into place onsite. It was an interesting and exciting project that took centre stage at the show alongside George Clarke and Will Hardie’s (from Amazing Spaces) stunning rotating home concept. We love working with all types of clients and projects and this really was one to remember” explained Joel Williams – Project Manager.

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