Category Archives: Bates Office

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.

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.

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.


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:

30 Seconds With…

…the most important member of the Bates team:


Name? Floyd, but you can call me Boss.

Job? Security of course, when I’m not asleep under the desk.

Favourite member of staff and why? Apart from the two obvious ones – Michael & Dawn (suppose I’d better give them a mention as they will see this!) they are all a good bunch and give me a warm welcome every morning. To name a few; that Leasa’s a lovely lady and keeps me well stocked up on a treat or two. Dennis is a decent chap and has been known to share his ham roll with me on the odd occasion. And Sarah, well what can I say, I always look forward to lunch with Sarah especially when lasagne is on the menu (even though it leaves me with a ginger beard but there’s nothing wrong with being ginger). And Rachel, I know she doesn’t really mind me sniffing around in her bag as she often buys me a treat. (I know she’s my Secret Santa, I have a great sense of smell and this big nose helps)

Least favourite member of staff and why? I don’t have one, they are all my pals, although Nigel would have you believe I ignore and don’t like him. It’s not true mate I think you are a good singer and I haven’t mentioned the cricket! I was there watching on the day and thought you put in a good effort. I’m not too keen on postmen, but lucky for them they don’t have to come up to the office.

signing in for the day at reception

Favourite area of Bates? You can usually find me under the desk dozing but as you can see from my snap shots I also like the meeting table and red reception chair – it’s just the right size for me. I sometimes venture into the kitchen depending on who’s in there and what they are eating.

What could they change at Bates to make things better for you? Maybe a dog walking rota? I think I should have a chair at the next board meeting to mention that, they look like they have some good grub in there too when they break for lunch but I never seem to get in to sample it. This could be my chance. But then again I like the quiet life and don’t usually like being disturbed for a walk if I’m in a deep sleep.

Do you think you get paid enough? What’s that then! Absolutely, I’m paid more than enough love & attention if that’s what you mean.

Do you think more animals should run Bates or are there enough animals running it already? I like my job so will keep quiet on this one. It’s nice to see my four legged friend Stitch from the accounts dept every now and then. I wouldn’t mind more of my kind here as long as they realise whose boss – well Chief of Security!

Now I hope I haven’t exceeded my 30 second slot, but just a word of warning – if this blog doesn’t get the most likes there will be some serious ankle biting (watch out Nigel).

Always on guard

Floydie xx


30 Seconds With…

424014_10200421830733665_500716127_nName? Sarah

Which office are you based in? Crayford

What do you do at Bates? Customer services

How long have you worked here? 16 yrs with a short break in between

What’s the best thing about working here? Floyd (the office dog) – he need’s a blog! & my colleagues of course!

And the worst? Air conditioning up too high

What’s your favourite piece of stationery? Tough this one! It’s out of a calculator or sellotape…..Gotta be sellotape , it’s got me put of a few sticky situations (I won’t give up the day job)

What do you want to be when you grow up? Sensible

What is your guilty pleasure? Elastic bands….PING 🙂

Watch Out Arnie…

Michelle joined our Crayford office a short while ago and it seems we might have found someone who can actually keep the rest of the staff in line as she recently won the Women’s Physique Round in the 2013 UK BFF Muscle Talk Championship. I thought I would take this opportunity to not only say congratulations but to also ask some questions as I am sure there are a lot of people out there, including me, who don’t know much about body building.

Hi Michelle, firstly congratulations on winning the championship, you must be very pleased? I’m over the moon. I was like a Cheshire cat for days after, as I was shocked that I had won!

How long have you been bodybuilding and how did you get into it in the first place? I’ve been getting ready to do this since August 2012. I changed the way I eat and how I trained. I joined a gym local to me which was taken over by a professional bodybuilder in October 2011 and being around him and others I thought I would see if I could challenge myself to see if I could do it.

Is this the first event you have won? Yes, it was the first time I’d ever competed. Hence why I was shocked I’d won.

What preparation do you do for a competition, and how long before the event do you start training? As this was my first show and I hadn’t put my body through the process before I started 16 weeks out from my show. This was to give my body the chance to get used to the changes in food and training. During this 16 weeks my training was about maintaining the muscle I had built before this time. My food and water consumption was reviewed and changed weekly, if needed. I also introduced low intensity cardio. At the start it was 45 minutes a day and as the weeks went on it increased to 2 hours a day.

What does your training diet consist of? Pre-contest diet consisted of the same as before but with different amounts. The type of food I ate was the same each day and consisted of white fish, chicken, eggs, steak, salmon, rice, oats and lots and lots of green veg.

How much tanning lotion do you use per competition? To get the colour needed for the stage I had two spray tans. One the day before the show and the other on the day. I couldn’t wash it off as it needed to develop as the day went on.

What’s next? Winning my show automatically gave me an invitation to the final in October, so there’s no rest for me as the final is only 15 weeks away from the show I took part in. I’ve had the last 3 weeks gaining some more muscle and then start the pre-contest diet again.

Wow, thanks Michelle and good luck in October, let us all know how you got on.

30 Seconds With…

Here’s another chance to get to know someone from Bates, and this time it’s me, Sian, the fingertips behind the blog, facebook and twitter:


What do you do at Bates? As mentioned above I look after this blog, and the Facebook and Twitter pages and will shortly be responsible for the website.

How long have you worked here? Only about 3 months but I’ve grown up with Bates as it is run by family members.

What’s the best thing about working here? I can do my job from anywhere, and at the moment that’s from my balcony in Fethiye, Turkey, where I now live.

And the worst? My bosses know my childhood nickname and aren’t afraid to use it!

What’s your favourite piece of stationery? I’ve always been partial to a nice notebook.

What do you want to be when you grow up? My cousin, Jacki (that should get me a payrise!)

What is your guilty pleasure? Young Turkish waiters 😉

Working Together? Living Together?

There are a few couples within Bates, like there are in many companies, so I thought I’d find out what it’s like to see the same face at work as you do at home…

photoSo, Rachel, both you and your husband, Andy, work at Bates – what jobs do you do? Andy works in the warehouse as a Manager and I work as Head of Procurement.

Did you meet Andy at work or elsewhere? Andy and I have known each other since primary school. When I went for the interview at Bates I didn’t actually know Andy worked there until after my interview was booked. Andy and I were very good friends before we actually went on a first date. I wasn’t sure things would work out as Andy wasn’t my usual type and was too nice!

And how long have you been married? 8 years now.

Did Bates get you a decent wedding present? Bates as always were very generous and supplied all our wedding invites. Jacki Joseph and her parents paid for my wedding cake. And various staff members gave us B&Q vouchers as we had recently purchased our first home together. Michael Edmonds even helped set up the Cricket Club on the morning of my wedding!!

What’s the best thing about working with your other half? Not having to pay for my guest at the Xmas party lol.

And the worst? We talk a lot about work at home.

Does your pillow talk centre around discussions about the latest innovations in stationery? As much as stationery excites both myself and Andy we try to leave that side of our life outside the bedroom.

Do you ever run out of sellotape at home? No not yet as I am very organised with stock in our household.

And finally, is there any advice you can give to other couples who work together? My advice would be communicate, have respect for yourself and each other, laugh with each other not at each other, don’t go to bed angry or hurt. Remember work is work it is not personal.


30 Seconds With…

Now’s your chance to get to know another staff member a little better, this time the lovely Julie from our Crewe office:

Julie HumphreysWhat do you do at Bates? Organise Print and ‘try’ to organise everyone else

How long have you worked here? 29 Years (give the girl a medal!)

What’s the best thing about working here? It’s not far from the pub at 5 o’clock

And the worst? It’s still too far!!

What’s your favourite piece of stationery? My husband Kevin – well he doesn’t move much

What do you want to be when you grow up? Thinner

What is your guilty pleasure? Reading – I can go from cover to cover in one sitting

A Close Call…

So…it was a great day, the sun was beating down, the drink was flowing, and here in a nutshell is what happened on the fateful day Bates decided to take on the youngsters…

Bates needed 11 runs to win on the last over but didn’t quite make it but it was actually a close game.

Batting stars were Dave Taylor who retired on 30 runs, as did Daniel Edmonds. Other Bates boys who batted well were Ed Taylor, Frank Gogerty and Owen Moore.

Owen dropped three easy catches (groan).

Frank dropped one!

Adam tried to impersonate Kevin Pieterson’s batting technique after 7 pints and fell over on the wicket.

Joe bowled Frank out.

Lordswood had a ’ringer’ in the form of Kevin Masters (ex professional cricketer) who whacked a few sixes around and got some wickets.

Nigel got a GOLDEN DUCK but bowled well.

Michael also bowled well and umpired the second innings.

Alan Millar was a great wicket keeper and has lots of bruises to prove it.

Mark Garside decided to impersonate a roller and rolled over and over on the wicket to flatten it (he is quite large).

Spencer stood around looking pretty.

Ross was official photographer.


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goldduckAnd I will leave the final comment to Nigel, who said: “I did not sleep on Sunday night at the thought of letting the team down with that GOLDEN DUCK (it was the best ball of the game). I do thank everyone for not going on about it (NOT). Anyway thanks for the day all and I will be in winter training ready for next year’s match….if asked.”

At A Loose End On Sunday?

Then why not come along to the Bates Office cricket match?

Time: 1.30pm

Venue: Lordswood Sports & Social Club, North Dane way, Lordswood, Chatham, Kent, ME5 8YE

A Bates team are playing a young Lordswood side consisting of mainly under 15’s. In fact, the average age of the Lordswood side is 13, the average age of the Bates side is 40. Breathing apparatus will be provided for the Bates team!

The Bates team consist of: Michael Edmonds (captain), Spencer Osborne, Daniel Edmonds, Ross Evans, Frank Gogerty, Nigel Bateson, Mark Garside, John Folkhard, Adam Martin, Alan Millar  (wicket keeper) and David Taylor

Many of the Bates players have not played cricket for years and are slightly nervous. Although when asked how they felt about the match, a level of confidence shone through:

“My team are born winners and whatever happens on the day, they will always be my heroes.” – Michael

“Form is temporary, class is permanent.” – Ross

“I’m the Kevin Pietersen type player for Bates Office i.e. the star player that isn’t liked that much by my team mates who is just turning up to improve my batting & bowling averages.” – Adam

“Firstly I am delighted to have been asked to take part in what I think will be a great day – having the mentality to be a winner + I hate losing at anything I take part in, I will be the most competitive 18 stone 45 year old on the field. After having been first at the bar to fill up on the special fuel of courage I will take to the field to teach these young boys how to play cricket, it should be push over as I only finished playing in 1984 – surely you don’t forget how to play do you!!” – Mark

Stayed tuned to the Bates Office blog to see how they got on.