A Future Cricket Star…

Did you know that Bates has a rising star in it’s midst?

Jacki, our Finance Director, has a 14 year old son who has recently been chosen to play for the Kent County Cricket Summer Squad 2015.

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We felt it only right that we share this exciting news with you, and if you don’t already know Ed, here’s some questions he answered for us:

So Ed, when did you start playing cricket? When I was 8.

Why did you start playing cricket? Because all my family plays and my PE teacher said I was quite talented so I went to training and got chosen for the team that week. It was very exciting.

Where did you start playing? I have always played for Lordswood Cricket Club, but my first cricket experience was at school.

What’s your favourite position on the team? I prefer batting but I really like wicket keeping and some matches I also bowl.

Who is your favourite cricketer? Chris Gayle, he plays for the West Indies.

What has been your highest ever score? My highest score was 109 runs last season.

And how proud is your mum of you? Don’t even go there!

Anything else you want to tell us about? In 2014 I won batsman of the season for the Medway League Under 13’s and Under 16’s, and also Bowler of the Season for the under 13’s.

Quite a talented lad then! Thank you for your time Ed. Good luck with the upcoming season and let us know how you get on.

It’s All About The Cricket…

 

On 3rd August Bates played Lordswood in two 20/20 cricket matches. It was a brilliant day and here’s a brief match summary ….

Nigel Bateson got a duck but did take a wicket with his first ball.

Performance of the day was from Tom Kirton who retired on 30 runs and took a few wickets, Michael French and Mark Ruddy for Lordswood also retired on 30 runs.

Ed Taylor got a golden duck in the second innings but did bowl Richard Cross out!

Joe Joseph bowled Tom Kirton out, but this was revenge for Tom taking his wicket in the first innings. Last minute wicket keeper for Bates, Ed Hensman, was solid behind the stumps and also batted well.

Alan Millar sustained a hamstring injury in the first three overs and had to sit and drink wine for the rest of the day.

Adam Martin didn’t fall over this time and managed to get about 7 runs.

Bates performed well against a strong Lordswood side and although Bates lost, it was close.

Here are some expertly taken photos of the day…

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Running the Marathon for the League Of Friends Of Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre Because They Helped Save My Wife’s Life

Read the moving story of why Bates employee Ben chose to run the Brighton Marathon…

The Marathon? I must be nuts!!! Well once you have read why you will understand. I made a deal you see. I was told by a neurosurgeon that in order for my wife to survive a huge bleed on her brain I needed a miracle. The deal was if I got the miracle I would run the marathon and so the story begins…

On 2nd January 2013 the alarm went off at 5am. I got up for work ready for the new year and I knew it would be a busy one hence the early start. I did my best not to wake Debs as she was 31 weeks pregnant and hated early mornings. I left the house around 6am with my head spinning with work stuff that needed to be done. I made it to Maidstone when I got a call from Benji, Debs son, to say that his mum was suffering with a really bad headache and he felt I needed to come straight home. My reaction was GREAT, Debs has a headache and needs me home, she knows how busy I am but no doubt I will be back by midday no problem. So having just driven 70 miles I drove straight back cursing, thinking how late I would have to work to catch up. However, little did I know that it was much more than a headache and Benji had in fact contacted the hospital as Debs had passed out and was being sick. I panicked a little as she was pregnant and wondered if there was an issue with the baby. I got to A&E and found Debs. She was lifeless, there was no response. The doctors asked me not to panic and that tests were ongoing. Two hours went by with more and more doctors arriving at Debs’ bedside. There was lots of talking going on that they clearly wanted to avoid me hearing until I was asked into a sideroom with the Doctor. He sat me down and explained the extent of Debs’ condition. The scans had shown that there had been a massive bleed on her brain and the chances were Debs would not see out the rest of the day. My whole body went numb. They said that they would transfer Debs to a neuro specialist hospital in Haywards Heath who would be able to care for her better as they had a specialist intensive care unit. I got in the car and I cried the whole way. How was I going to cope managing a family, the kids, a house, a business, myself? So much crap was running around in my head and I was generally a mess. We got to Hurstwood Park and Debs was still with us. She was unconcious throughout and I moved to the relatives room whilst they made her stable. I got to know lots of the relatives there as unfortunately everyone that ended up here was in a particularly bad way.

Thankfully Debs stabilised through drugs and was able to speak. She had lost the ability to walk so was totally bed bound. The specialist again took me away to discuss how things would move forward from here. At this point they explained what their plan of attack was, including delivering Emily, who I had totally forgotten about, 9 weeks early. The sum of this was that Debs had a giant subarachnoid hemorrhage smack in the middle of her brain that had ruptured. Based on the fact that she was young and had 3 children and one on the way they would attempt to operate. They said however that the drugs they would be using meant they would have to deliver Emily 9 weeks early by C section. The second part was that in the Chief Surgeon’s view we would “need a miracle” for Debs to survive the birth let alone the potential of a 10 hour brain operation the following day. 3 times in total I got told she would not survive yet she showed the courage, desire and damn right stubbourness to stay with us.

On the Wednesday Emily was born and immediately rushed to special care where she stayed for 4 weeks. Initially she was on a ventilator and fed through a tube. Thankfully she inherited her mother’s grit and she pulled through beautifully and I brought her home at 36 weeks. This was horrible for Debs because she was desperate to hold and feed her baby. I could see in her eyes not just the physical but the emotional pain. Even this did not stop her from smiling every time I went to see her. I stayed with her all that night as we feared it would be our last. I did not sleep for three days and I knew I was starting to look and feel it. There was no way I was leaving her side though.

On Thursday the doctors assesed her and said they were going to try the operation but with all the will in the world we were pushing even the most advanced levels of medicine. For 10 hours I paced the corridors of Hurstwood Park. The surgeons and nurses and doctors were magnificent. Many of which came in from their day off, if not to treat Debs, then just to see she was ok. She was becoming a bit of a celebrity on the ward.

The next part I will remember until the day I die.

The surgeon who had been operating on Debs came out of theatre, looked at me and looked straight at the floor. I remember the sinking feeling and my body just collapsed. I feared the worse and thankfully my brother was there to catch me. The doctor came over all apologetic and smiled “you got your miracle” I couldn’t believe it! All my Christmas’ had come at once. However this was just the beginning. Little did I know how hard the next 8 months would be. She came out of the operation and had lost her ability to walk, talk, see, swallow or even touch her face. The following months would be horrific for her, as if the operation had not been bad enough. However in true Debs style she sucked it up and toughed it out ALWAYS SMILING!

Almost 13 weeks in total Debs spent in hospital between ITC and the rehab unit where she learnt how to walk again, see again and everything else we all take for granted. 8 months on and she is doing amazingly well. The doctors and physios are always saying that she is a medical marvel and her odds of survival were beyond a miracle. However she continues to amaze us all.

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So, anyway, running the marathon was my way of giving back to all the people that went way beyond the call of duty. Nurses, doctors, anesthetists, surgeons, physios, volunteers. Hurstwood Park truly is a centre of excellence. Throughout nearly 13 weeks we had not a single bad experience. All of the staff that work there are passionate about the people they care for.

On the actual race day Benji & I left from Brighton around 7am and typically the train was cancelled! God knows how much nervous energy I wasted there. We got there in plenty of time to ensure we would not be rushed and proceeded with our pre-race meals and drinks to ensure we would not run out of energy. In hindsight, to think we would not run out of energy was stupid as I was starting to feel it by about half way. The first 13 miles went exactly to plan in around 2 hours. However at mile 14 my right bum cheek felt like somebody have knifed me! The pain was horrific. 4 weeks prior I had a problem with my Gluteus Maximum (bum muscle) and my osteopath suggested I pull out. Stupidly or stubbornly I decided to ignore her advice, mainly because of the vast sums of money people had given and the fact that this would be just a fraction of what my wife had gone through. The last 4 hours took almost twice as long but I eventually dragged myself across the line. The pain was quickly overcome with emotion and I felt that I had paid my dues for the fantastic work the hospital and staff had offered for Debs. I don’t think I will be rushing out to do it again!

If you’d like to donate to Ben’s cause please go to: http://www.justgiving.com/ben-hensby

New Frontiers…

Below is a picture of our newly opened site in Chippenham. A 4,000 sq foot office and distribution centre servicing the South West UK and South Wales.

This allows us to extend our desk top delivery service and enhance service levels – part of the plan to be the multi-local supplier of choice in the UK.

If you haven’t already, sign up to the Bates Blog to hear about other exciting new ventures first.

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30 Years Ago Today…

…Julie from the Crewe office joined the Bates family and I have a special message for her from all her friends at Bates:

“From everyone within the group we would like to congratulate you, Julie, on a commendable achievement and for being such a loyal member of the team, even today you still remain as dedicated & passionate as the day you joined the company. From all you dearest friends, well done”

Then

Then

Now

And Now

In the beginning…

I thought I’d have a little natter with Michael, Managing Director of Bates, about how and when the Bates dream began and this is what I found out…

When did Bates start trading? 1940

How many staff were there? 2

Where were their first offices? In the heart of the City of London

Who was the founder? George Henry Bates

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What was the Bates business originally? A typewriter repair business

Who was their first client? Winston Churchill’s Government

How did Bates move forward? George Henry Bates was an invalid and couldn’t fight in the second world war. War-torn London was desperate for typewriter engineers and GH Bates Typewriters was founded. In the 1950’s my father, Peter Edmonds, joined as an apprentice and George Henry hung up his screwdrivers in 1962 and it was left to my father to keep the business going.

When did it start to evolve into what it is now? The 1980’s saw the demise of the typewriter but along came the thermal paper roll fax machine! The market was evolving at a very fast pace and the business set up an office products division (me!). There was a management buyout in 1997 by myself, Jacki (Finance Director) and Spencer (Executive Director).

How old were you when you first got involved in Bates, and why did you get involved? I joined the family business 31 years ago straight from school and why did I get involved? Well, every day I keep asking myself that question! “Work hard, my boy, and you will be successful” was my grandfather’s childhood advice to me. Seriously, it’s the people you meet along the way and knowing that we are true solution providers.

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How many staff and offices are there now? We have approximately 130 dedicated and loyal staff that operate from our 5 hubs across the UK.

What is your dream for the future of Bates? That may seem like a straightforward question on the surface but one I always struggle answering. You know, I don’t have a specific plan in relation to turnover, GP or locations as each year so much can change.

 

 

30 Seconds With…

Come and say hello to another member of our staff:

IMG-20131217-WA0004Name: Ross

Which office are you based in? Crayford

How long have you worked for Bates? 17 or 18 years (it’s all become a bit of a blur)

What do you do at Bates? Senior Account Manager

What’s the best thing about working here? I never make my own coffee

And the worst? Not trading 7 days a week

What’s your favourite piece of stationery? My ruler

What do you want to be when you grow up? Ferris Bueller

What is your guilty pleasure? Welsh Rugby and working weekends

30 Seconds With…

IMG_5813Name? Bev

Which office are you based in? Crewe

What do you do at Bates? I’m the dreaded debt collector and help Jacki with the accounts

How long have you worked here? 3 years

What’s the best thing about working here? I live close by (although I have no excuse for being late) and I enjoy the company of the other staff

And the worst? Ordering bacon sandwiches in when I’m on a diet

What’s your favourite piece of stationery? A pencil – you can rub it out and start again

What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t want to grow up any more – I am one of the oldest in the office so would like to be 21 again!

What is your guilty pleasure? I love watching my grandson playing plus there’s another on the way. I also love holidays and eating out, hence the reason I’m always on a diet.

It’s Only A Game, Right?

Jake from our Crewe office is a lover of the Beautiful Game so we decided to have a little chat about it… 

Jake in action, in black & white

Jake in action, in black & white

I hear you are a keen footballer, who do you play for? I play on both Saturday and Sunday. On a Saturday I play for Alsager Town FC and on a Sunday I play for AFC Alsager.

How long have you been playing? I’ve been playing for a team since I was 10.

What position do you play? Well, I play all over the place really, through my career I’ve played in every position possible. But recently mainly I play Centre Back or Right Back :)

What’s the highest goal count your team has achieved in one match? In child football my team won 17-1 which was good but a bit harsh on the other team. (I scored 4 of the 17). And in adult football the most my team won was 6-1.

And the lowest? Haha bit of a sore subject, we recently lost 10-0 for my Sunday team. In our defence we only had 10 men & a few were still under the influence from the night before.

Have you ever dreamed of making football your full time career? Of course, what boy/man doesn’t?

If so, who would you want to play for? Be silly if I didn’t say the best team in England… Man Utd.

Who would be your perfect WAG and why? Michelle Keegan. Just WOW.

Thank you Jake, and good luck with the rest of the season.

 

I’m Exhausted Just Reading This…

I thought it was time we found out a little more about what people do outside of work, so here’s an interview with the very energetic Bob from our Crewe office:

What do you do when you aren’t working? I am a Fitness Instructor and have taught Spinning for over 20 years.

I hear you’ve just done a great job of raising money for charity, tell us more about it: Myself and two other instructors have just raised over £2000 for two local charities. We did a 6 hour class called SPUMBASIZE. We enlisted the help of normal class members and challenged them to do all three two hour classes, and to collect sponsor money.

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Erm, what is SPUMBASIZE? It’s a made up word consisting of two hours Spinning followed by two hours of Kettlesize, followed by two hours of Zumba.

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But that’s not all you’ve done is it? No, we have just done a pink night at a local hotel, The Tollgate Hotel and Leisure, who kindly allowed us to host a Pink Night in aid of breast cancer, Fortunately the Hotel was also hosting a group of 60 Norwegians who had come over to watch Stoke City FC, Although being prolific drinkers they were equally generous, and we were able to raise £330 on the night which will be sent to Breast Cancer Research.

Any other fundraising events coming up? We will be planning our next charity scheme in the new year but next for me is a holiday at the end of November in Lanzarote with 10 other members from the gym, Woooohoooo!!!

Thanks Bob, and keep up the good work while I go and have a sit down with a cuppa and a biscuit.