nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: January 2018

Building Business Continues Expansion with New Team Members

Rapid growth at Building Business has seen the company expand with the appointment of three new members of staff.

Building Business team

Back row, from left to right: Nicky Eldridge and Nicola Baker-Jones.
Front row, from left to right: Annie Hawkins, Ruth Roan and Karen Birch.

Nicky Eldridge, Karen Birch and Annie Hawkins have all joined Building Business in recent weeks to support the delivery of two contracts that support growth, create jobs and identify new market opportunities for businesses in the South East Midlands.

Ruth Roan, owner of Building Business, said: “Building Business has been operating since 2006 as an owner-managed business consultancy, working with large global corporate companies right through to small not-for-profit charities and community groups, helping them to grow through planning, learning and training.

“Since winning two large contracts last year – Ready2Grow and Building Better Opportunities – both of which provide fully funded support for start-up and growing businesses across the county and wider SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) area, I realised that I needed support and was able to put together a fantastic team who are already doing an amazing job.”

Nicky Eldridge, Business Adviser for the Ready2Grow project, will be offering one to one advice and business focused training to start-up and growing businesses as part of the Ready2Grow programme, which is run by the Northamptonshire Growth Hub. She will be supported by Project Coordinator Karen Birch.

Annie Hawkins joins the team as Project Coordinator for the Building Better Opportunities/Enterprising People project, a National Lottery funded project that helps disadvantaged people become self-employed or start their own business. Annie is responsible for the project and will support individuals on their journey.

Ruth adds: “I was delighted to win these contracts and by expanding the team, Building Business has gained further knowledge and skills that we can pass on to our clients to deliver those contracts to the highest standards and genuinely support the next wave of entrepreneurs and start-ups in our local area. I have a great team that is a real asset to the business, and will be key to our continued growth and success.”

For further information about Building Business, visit


Nene Local finds out about Northamptonshire Law Society’s ‘Small Law Firm of the Year 2017’, VSH Law

Today Nene Local sat down with Rhona Rowland, Managing Partner and Solicitor at VSH Law, Thrapston.

About the Company

VSH Law is a small, family firm that provides niche areas of law such as intellectual property alongside more traditional, high street services to its clients. Although the only solicitors within a ten-mile radius, competition is ever present online, meaning the firm needs to provide top quality and easily accessible services to keep up with the ever-evolving virtual world. They are forward-thinking when it comes to using technology to streamline processes, whilst staying true to their traditional approach of providing an individual service to their clients. Rhona described the firm as  ‘London services based in Thrapston, at Northants prices’, meaning that the services provided are some of the best you can get locally.

Customer relations are important, as it is vital to understand exactly what the client needs so that the best possible outcome can be achieved. The fact that 75% of the firm’s business is from previous clients shows how high the customer satisfaction is. A lot of clients also come from personal and professional referrals, which too speaks volumes of the reputation of the company.

VSH Law endeavour to provide clear fee quotes upfront, so there are no nasty surprises further along the line.

About the Employees

I asked Rhona why she choose this particular career path- she got into law because of encouragement from a close friend, who was a solicitor themselves, and she found law, as a subject, interesting. After completing a three-year degree, she then went on to do a two-year part time practise course, before then training for another two years with a large firm in Liverpool. She says that the most rewarding and satisfying part of the job was knowing that you’re making a difference and helping people.

All solicitors must pass an exam to become trainees. Routes other than university are available, like apprenticeships, so that trainees can learn on the job as well as studying. Training can take from six years if you study full time, or up to nine if you choose to study part time.

VSH Law provides a variety of services, from conveyancing for residential properties, to giving advice for new businesses and helping people write their wills. For more information, contact:

Montague House, 1 Chancery Ln, Thrapston, Kettering NN14 4LN

 01832 732161

vsh logo | nene local

Care Boss Says ‘You Can Care’

Local care boss, Ray Warburton, has launched a campaign, ‘You Can Care’, to address the local shortage of care workers.

Ray, who co-owns and runs the Northampton office of at home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, will be raising awareness, banishing pre-conceived ideas about what caring is all about, as well as informing people about just how rewarding working in care can be.

According to Skills for Care, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England, there are approximately 90,000 vacancies in the social care sector at any given time.

Our ageing population has created a huge requirement for care services and Ray reports that the national picture is reflected in the local area. Home Instead, who specialise in care for older people in their own homes, is hoping to fill 50 jobs in 2018 in order to keep pace with demand.

Denise Hill, Theresa Pocklington, Cassy Buzzard, Kelly Mennim, Jo Warburton, Bianca Bounds

Denise Hill, Theresa Pocklington, Cassy Buzzard, Kelly Mennim, Jo Warburton, Bianca Bounds

Speaking about the campaign launch, Ray said, “We want to show people the human stories, the fantastic relationships and the real side of caring, as it should be. Being a caregiver can be a wonderfully rewarding career for compassionate people and the new ‘You Can Care’ campaign will champion all the positive aspects of care.

“We have many amazing caregivers delivering care to the elderly in our community. Although they are all unique individuals they possess common traits – patience, kindness empathy, attentiveness, dependability and integrity.”

The hashtag #youcancare has been created to support the campaign. As well as sharing positive stories, the company will also be offering tips, advice and support for the hundreds of people caring for family members in the local area.

For more information about Home Instead, call 01604 211190 or visit You can also find information on the campaign if you search #youcancare on Facebook and Twitter.

Dedicated Thrapston Employee Retires after 50 years’ Service

An employee with a Thrapston company will be shutting his work toolbox for the final time as he retires after nearly 50 years with the company.

Barry Croot

Barry Croot

Barry Croot has remained loyal to Scotts of Thrapston, a manufacturer of specialist timber products, for nearly five decades after starting as a 16-year-old who was keen to work with a local firm.


The company praised Barry, a Buildings Assembler, for his dedication as fellow workers wished him a fond farewell as he began his retirement.


David Scott, chairman of Scotts of Thrapston, said: “We cannot thank Barry enough for the dedication he has shown as he has devoted his career to our business and he has been a well-respected member of the team.


“Nearly fifty years with one company is an amazing achievement and it is testament to the atmosphere and great working environment we offer here. Barry will be missed by his colleagues and we wish him a very happy retirement.”


From left: David Scott Chairman of Scotts of Thrapston, Barry Croot Buildings Assembler and James Scott Managing Director of Scotts of Thrapston

Barry, who has lived in Thrapston all his life, said he would certainly miss everyone, adding: “Scotts was the first place I applied for a job as it was a local company with a great reputation. I had friends who worked at Scotts too and I wanted to work with them, as any lad would.”


Established in 1920, Scotts of Thrapston has a reputation for manufacturing high quality, specialist timber products including summerhouses, stables, pavilions, outbuildings, timber doors, windows, bespoke joinery, roof trusses and education buildings.


Barry added: “My first role was as a labourer helping to move the company from its old factory to a new one. I have mostly been involved in the Buildings Division over the years, including working on the saw and in the manufacture of dog kennels, rabbit hutches, summerhouses and stables.


“Scotts of Thrapston has been a very good company to work for, and I have never felt the need to move on. I have really enjoyed working here, and my most enjoyable time was developing and manufacturing the variety of summerhouses we have produced over the years – plus the factory is only 10 minutes away from my home.



“I am looking forward to my retirement. I have given myself three months off to take it easy, and will enjoy walking my dog around the local lakes. Then I will work out what I want to do with my retirement, although I do have a lot of decorating to do which will keep me busy for some time.”


Scotts of Thrapston employs more than 100 people at its Bridge Street, Thrapston, Northamptonshire headquarters and prides itself on continually looking to recruit bright, young professionals and craftsmen to assist with their continued business growth.


For more information, visit