Goodbye to Denis

Sadly we have said goodbye to our business and administration apprentice. He has decided to go off to do a degree in management and marketing at Birmingham University.

He has been wonderful to work with and an asset to the business - particularly his IT skills. Whatever Denis was asked to do he put his mind to it and produced a completed project, from setting up a twitter account to building a website.

Kidwells ALS/MND ice bucket challenge

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the American name for the condition usually referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) in the UK, where the leading organisation is the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

ALS or MND is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralysed.






Four members of staff had been nominated to go through the ice bucket challenge and chose to support this charity at work. Their videos have been posted on their own facebook and they have made their donations but we thought we would highlight this disease with pictures as well.

To see all the pictures go to the gallery.

Our fourth business networking event.

Another successful business networking event. We had a fantastic turnout even though a lot of our usual attendees were absent due to holidays.

We were very pleased to welcome some new faces to come and join us for yet again a very lively meeting.

Alex Patterson-Appleton from Cartridge World was our guest speaker and she gave a very informative chat on printers and cartridges and how they can affect the day to day running of a business. The attendees appreciated her knowledge and experience.

Alex was invited to pull out a business card from the pot and announce who would be in the spotlight next month.


We are really pleased to welcome Lee Gough from Megan Baker House based in Leominster to give the business networking group a chance to understand how the charity works. It gives invaluable support to children and families living in Herefordshire who require special educational needs.

A huge thank you to all who attended today. We look forward to seeing you next month on Thursday 25th September.


The circus is coming to town

Thursday 25th September

Burford House, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8HQ

Sparkling champagne reception followed by ringside seats at the circus

Tickets just £15 each

6.45 champagne and canapés reception
7.30 circus performance

Supporting Megan Baker House and St Michael's Hospice

The all new show… led by Ringmaster Laszlo Schlingloff, features Veselka and Nedyalko with their amazing acrobatic skills, Vader the Wonder Dog assisted by Patrick Austin, Anke and Patrick, The Easy Riders performing a spectacular motorcycle carousel, with breath-taking aerial work above fire and knife juggling and Clown Antonio bringing a smile to everyones face with his crazy antics plus much more!

Please support these two wonderful, local charities for something different!  

Tickets available from: Lee or Zoe
Telephone 01568 616179

Hereford in Bloom Results

The final judging for Hereford in Bloom took place on Monday afternoon. My garden was still looking good I am pleased to say, apart from a few problems with some of the hanging baskets. The sweet peas on the front fence have been beautiful, full of colour and wonderful smells. The centre flowerbed is overflowingl with flowers; the rain followed by sunshine had perked them up no end

Much to my complete and utter amazement I received a phone call on Monday night from Radway Bridge Nurseries & Garden Centre requesting me to attend a presentation event on behalf of Hereford in Bloom at the garden centre. I had been nominated for an award but was not given any more information than to attend on Wednesday afternoon at 4.00 for tea and cakes. Needless to say  I was on tenterhooks all day Wednesday. 

Joint winners Kath Bouston and Di Rogers with  Annabelle Pearson from Radway Garden Centre at the back.

Joint winners Kath Bouston and Di Rogers with  Annabelle Pearson from Radway Garden Centre at the back.

The staff all wished me good luck as I set off with Denis who came along to take some pictures of the presentations. On arrival at the garden centre we were met by Andrew & Annabel Pearson who are the owners of  Radway Nurseries who were kindly donating the prizes in support of  Hereford in Bloom and the wonderful tea and cakes for the occasion. We were then greeted, along with the other gardening nominees, by Trevor Swindells who organises the competition.

The results were read out in the traditional fashion in reverse order, Third place were Mr and Mrs Russell who received a voucher for £50.00, joint second place was Kath Bouston and myself, we both received a voucher for £50.00. First place was  Mrs Mary Oliver who received a £200.00 voucher and trophy - and I must say what a worthy winner.

Finally I am over the moon to have come joint second and I send my congratulations to all the other garden winners. Watch this space for next year, I have already got some ideas on what I would like to do in the garden, so thank you to all who have been following me and the progress of my garden.





Michael at the Red Bull Air Race


Michael was invited to attend on Sunday the Red Bull air race which is held over two days and as you can see from the picture, he was in his element!

Michael flew into Ascot in the helicopter and spent the afternoon watching the Red Arrows display team which included a fly past

A Chinook helicopter was also doing aerobatics which Michael says was absolutely amazing to see and obviously the best trained pilots from the RAF at the controls.

Michael felt very old as he knew the age of the pilot!!  But we think he is old anyway.

The Red Bull air race has some of the best pilots in the world which have extremely powerful aircraft' which can weave their way through inflated cones that are close to the ground at high speed pulling 9 or more ‘G’ which is very powerful!

At the race there were two British pilots competing who came in the top 10 and on the Sunday   the defending world champion Paul Bonhomme took first prize - a great achievement well done.

Thanks to the two security guards that Michael selected for the picture at the amusement of everyone one else in the area. Also, thanks go to the friends of Kidwells who invited him to go along.

For full details, pictures and video go to the website.



Jo and Nicola visit HOPE Family Centre in Bromyard

Last Week Jo Thurlow and Nicola Haines from Kidwells Family Department  were invited to a tour of the facilities at the HOPE Family Centre in Bromyard.  Nestled quietly in the outskirts of Bromyard, the centre has the benefit of a quiet location with stunning views of the countryside and Malvern Hills beyond.  This setting adds to the calmness and relaxed atmosphere that was evident.


The organisation began in 1999 as a mother and toddler group in the old magistrate’s court in the town. Centre Manager Sheenagh Davis’ vision and determination produced one of the most accessible, versatile and user friendly facilities in Herefordshire. 

Recently awarded accreditation by the National Association for Child Contact Centres, the HOPE Family Centre provides a safe, neutral and positive place for children to have contact with non-resident parents.  The centre is spread across two separate buildings allowing for collection and drop off where the parties will not come into contact with each other.  There is a purpose built family room bathed in colour and pictures, whilst outside there is an enclosed garden with play equipment.  


One particular jewel in the Hope centre’s crown is the multi-sensory room.  This room has padded seats, lights, shaped mirrors, audio facilities and a bubble machine!  It is an intimate room and is quite unlike anything locally that children can experience.

Other facilities at the centre include meeting rooms, office space for ‘hot desking’, Oscar’s café and facilities hire. 

The HOPE Family Centre is open to the public and provides a central point for education, care and family support for all ages and walks of life.

The HOPE Family Centre is a registered charity and more information can found on their website or contact

My Second Work Experience at Kidwells

Whilst at Hereford Sixth Form I was lucky enough to be offered a work experience placement at Kidwells. I thoroughly enjoyed this and found it extremely beneficial, so much so that I reapplied for a second placement three years later, once I had started my degree in Law.

My first day consisted of meeting Julie Ferguson, the Practice Manager at 9.00 am who showed me around the office and introduced me to the team. I had stated that I was interested in gaining a broad range of experience as I am unsure on what area of law I want to practice and Kidwells were very accommodating by allowing me to work in several different departments.

After completing the ever important confidentiality agreement, my first department was Family law where I read through some files and gained an overall idea of how client matters are addressed in practice. I also had the opportunity to do some work in Litigation and Employment law. I am about to begin studying an employment module at university so this was a great foundation on which to start.

I also worked with Zoe Smith from the Wills and Probate department. Zoe was a great help and discussed options after a degree including possible LPC or CILEx. A personal highlight from my placement at Kidwells was drafting my first ever will from scratch. I thoroughly enjoyed an insight into Wills and Probate law – something I had never thought of before.

I am grateful to everyone at Kidwells who made me feel so welcome and to Julie for organising my placement – it was very beneficial.

Ryan Hurds

Lauren's Race for Life on behalf of Slimming World

I have been attending Slimming World and was asked if I would like to partake and warm up the runners ready for our very own members Race for Life. We had raised so much money  for cancer research last year the organisation decided as a group we could have our own Race for Life.


The day arrived, it was a lovely sunny day and the atmosphere was brilliant, everybody had the same focus on what the race was about.

Once I had warmed up the runners ready for the race, we then had a picture taken as a team. Lining up to start the race the weather changed and it started raining; which was a bonus as it kept us all cool. 


After about 10 minutes of rain, the sun started shining again with only four laps left to go. These were the worst ones. I could feel my legs and calves aching but pushed through the pain. I raced for my Auntie Tracey who died at a young age through breast cancer. I found this a very emotional day but was so pleased and know my Auntie Tracey would have been so proud of me. 


I finished in 45 minutes and came in third place, which I was really pleased about.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day with the Slimming World members doing the race. It was for a very good cause and I have raised a £100.00 in sponsorship.


If you are interested in joining or would like to learn more about Slimming World click here.






Jesse Norman MP visit to apprentices at Kidwells

Jesse Norman with Practice manager Julie Ferguson, Lauren Cuthbertson,Holly Thomas and Denis Pytel

Jesse Norman with Practice manager Julie Ferguson, Lauren Cuthbertson,Holly Thomas and Denis Pytel

We were very pleased to receive an invitation from Riverside Training in Hereford, who work alongside Herefordshire training provider network.

Jesse Norman , MP for Hereford, had expressed an interest in how apprentices find the working environment and how they progress within the office alongside their work colleagues.

He also wanted to find out from our Practice Manager what impact apprentices have on businesses. 

Jesse arrived at the offices and chatted to the apprentices individually. He was keen to hear how they were finding working in the office. Jesse was also very impressed with the knowledge they had within their job roles.


Our third business networking event


Although the holiday season is upon us, we were very pleased to welcome a wonderful turnout for our monthly breakfast networking event.

We had new and old faces attending for coffee and croissants and general lively networking before we welcomed Kirsty Tyler from Wyefield Management  Kirsty gave us a very informative presentation on wealth management, which covers a very wide range of topics. The attendees appreciated her openness and relaxed approach. 


We then invited Kirsty to pull out a business card from the pot and announcing the business to spotlight their trade at the next event. 

We are pleased to be welcoming Alex Pattison-Appleton from Cartridge World, a very well known business in Hereford which has expanded in size over the last year. This will be a good opportunity to have an insight into the world of cartridges and printers.

A huge thank you again to all those who attended today. We look forward to seeing you at the next one on the 28th August

Hereford in bloom final blog from my garden

Well this is my final blog about my garden before the closing date tomorrow for Hereford in Bloom 


The weather has been just perfect, the watering of the flowers has been a nightly event, and as ever I have had a very patient husband. The sweet peas have been a wonderful show and I have made sure the staff and neighbours have been kept replenished with little posies of them over the last couple weeks. The tubs and wheelbarrow are also providing a very impressive display.


I hope you have enjoyed following my efforts in the garden over the last couple of months. So it's just a waiting game now to see if I have been nominated for an award.


Diane Rogers

The Big Tea event in support of St Michael's Hospice

We were very pleased to attend a Big Tea event in support of St Michael's Hospice at Kidwells House

During the days before, with recipe books at the ready, ingredients bought, staff from Kidwells got cooking. A call was put out for donations of raffle prizes and bunting to help decorate the garden

The bunting arrived was very kindly borrowed from wiggly wigglers and St Martin's Church, Ross Road followed by various raffle prizes. 

The bunting was put up, the tables were laid out with a large selection of cakes, the sun shone and the guests arrived.

Everyone had a great time and the tea and cakes went down a treat. The teapots,  used as collection points for money donations, were full.


My Work Experience at Kidwells

I chose to do work experience at Kidwells because I’m interested in law, although I’m not quite sure what aspects yet.

I started my first day of work experience at 9:00 am where Julie Ferguson showed me the building and all of the health and safety precautions.

After completing the ever important confidentiality agreement I was set up with Holly and Lauren from the legal secretaries’ team. My first task was to transcript a dictation a solicitor had made, this is when they record all their interactions with clients. I had to type up what they had said and record how many units this was (1 unit = 6 minutes). I did three different transcripts but none of these were longer than 1 unit. Units are a way of accurately recording costs, depending on how much time the team spend on a file.

My second task was from Lauren, I had to put some chronologically ordered documents into files. My third task was more of a lesson, this was when Denis taught me all about Salesforce and how it had helped Kidwells increase their sales. I have learned that this tool can be used for many different purposes, one of these is managing all of their websites effectively.  

On my second day of work experience at Kidwells I started the day learning how to make a campaign on Salesforce with Denis, this is the best way to advertise events between businesses and leads.

My second task was with Rebecca and this was all about the legal system, I learned how many different courts there were and what cases they dealt with. There are six main types of courts; County Courts, Magistrates Courts, Crown Courts, Royal Courts of Justice, Youth Courts and The Supreme Courts.

My third task was also with Rebecca. I learned the sentence guidelines that judges use to sentence criminals for different crimes, and I also learned about the aggravating factors that affect the sentence length. I felt it was very useful learning about this as it gave me more of an insight to criminal law. 

Overall my work experience at Kidwells has been very interesting, I learned a lot about the way the business operates and how much they value their clients. I feel this was a good opportunity for me to gain insights into the business environment.

Corey Bastable

Tour De France Bikeathon in support of Phoenix Bereavement

Kidwells held a sponsored bikeathon on static bikes in the Lifestyles gym in support of Phoenix Bereavement this weekend to coincide with the first day of the Tour de France.

The route, being Leeds to Harrogate, is 191kms which was to be broken down between the staff to 11.2km each. Training has been going on in earnest during the last few weeks but some members of staff are definitely more competitive than others.



On a beautiful Saturday morning  we made a start on what we thought was a major task with the bikes placed so we could watch the Tour de France while it was happening which helped spur everyone on and provided a wonderful atmosphere. The thought of a BBQ during the course of the event helped keep cyclists going. Although some bikers split their distance up and had a rest the overall distance was reached in 5 hours. We even had a last minute volunteer - Claire from Minimal Risk joined Michael on his part of the ride and stayed around to enjoy some of the BBQ.

The food had been very kindly donated by Tupsley butchers and Bookers in Hereford who were very happy to support this good cause. There was also a steady supply of water and fresh orange juice on hand and towels to mop the riders brows. 

To entertain those waiting their turn and some of the children who came to support, Becky Gore our Lifestyles Manager took a Bokwa class which was good fun and the first time some of us had done any of this style of exercise.





The times and distances were clocked up very quickly and the overall winner was Toby Everton who did a most impressive time of 28.10 minutes just pipping Michael at the post. In true Tour de France style Toby was presented with the yellow jersey,  

To see all the pictures please go to our gallery page

Hereford in Bloom 2014 Update

Monthly update on my garden

Well what a difference a month makes in the garden, the flowers are positively blooming, the hanging baskets have taken a while to get going mind, but hopefully you can see the results and I still have another month before the closing date of Hereford in Bloom.

All thanks to the beautiful weather and the rain we have had over the last couple of days, which has brought me a little light relief from me having to water the garden, my husband has also been on hand to help me with the watering and dead heading.

Well I hope you have enjoyed an insight into my efforts in the garden, over the past weeks, I will update you just before the closing date on the 31st July and then it’s with green fingers and trowels crossed for judging day.

You still have until the 31st July to enter. Just email Trevor Swindells or visit the Hereford in Bloom website.

Diane Rogers


Diane Rogers Garden - Hereford in the Bloom update
Diane Rogers - Hereford in the Bloom
Diane Rogers Hereford in the Bloom, Garden
Diane Rogers Garden - Hereford in Bloom 2014
Hereford in Bloom 2014 - Diane Rogers - White Flowers

Our second business networking event


On arrival at our popular monthly networking event attendees were given a raffle ticket but not told what it was for, much to the amusement of Michael and myself.

We were then given a really fantastic insight from Alan Ramsden of Tiger Helicopters. The audience were enthralled to hear about Alan and what he had achieved. When he had finished his presentation we asked Alan to pull out a raffle ticket and the prize was then announced. Alan had very kindly donated half an hour helicopter lesson, the winner was Simon Catley from Hoople. This was his first attendance at our networking event so he was very pleased. Watch this space for a further update.

Simon Catley from Hoople - Winner of the half hour Helicopter flight

Simon Catley from Hoople - Winner of the half hour Helicopter flight

Kirsty Tyler from Wyefield wealth management is the next business speaker for the 31st July Networking event

Kirsty Tyler from Wyefield wealth management is the next business speaker for the 31st July Networking event

Alan was invited to pull out of the pot a business card for the next business who will be promoting themselves on the 31st July. We are pleased to be welcoming Kirsty Tyler from Wyefield Wealth Management, a very knowledgeable lady in the field of her business.

Thank you to all those attended, we look forward to seeing you at the next one on the 31st July.

Diane Rogers

An evening at Hereford College of Arts

On the 17th June Hereford College of Arts held a Summer Show and networking event for the college students and local businesses. The students were showing off their art projects and art pieces to everyone who attended.

Denis and Diane from the marketing department both attended and were truly impressed with the standard of creativity, enthusiasm and skill that these young people have attained.

The event was held at the Hereford Blind College, it was professionally organised, with multiple rooms filled with some increditble artwork from textiles and photography to fine art and blacksmithing. Staff members of the college were very friendly and gave out useful information about each individual student.

All of the students were very enthusiastic and keen to talk about their work. Our small team from Kidwells visited most of the showrooms and took a few pictures to put onto our website, so please enjoy.

The college is open for public to come and visit until Saturday the 21st June, so if you are interested to see some of our local talent do not hesitate to go and have a look around. Talk to the students and find out more about the time and effort put into each project. 

BBQ and Cocktails

Last night the Kidwells team joined the Nexus Creative team from Worcestershire for a BBQ, cocktails and a lesson on making cocktails at Munstone House under their new pergola.

Chris Lane, chef at The Pinnacle Lounge at Munstone House, provided us with a wonderful BBQ while Dave from Cardiff made us various alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails and performed the art of cocktail flairing - which he has been mastering for 10 years. For those of you not in the know according to Wikepedia this is also called Flair bartending - as per Tom Cruise - and is the practice of bartenders entertaining clients with the manipulation of bar tools; for example cocktail shakers and alcohol bottles.

Four of those enjoying the demonstration last night gave it a go and thank you to Amy, Nigel, Denis and Nigel H for their entertainment. See Nigel and Denis in action on facebook

For a few more pictures go to our gallery page