June / July 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
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DESIGN Quality and detailed design One of the oldest clubs in golf, Muirfield in Scotland, has recently completed a major redevelopment. Part of the redevelopment process was the creation of the new Muirfield Room, which was carried out by Barnstaple-based Bobblehat. “This was tremendously exciting for us and is testament to our attention to detail and quality of workmanship,” says sales director John Courtney. “As the building dates back to 1891, every detail was scrutinised and signed off by their heritage committee who were great to work with.” This is the second major golf-based refit undertaken by Bobblehat, who two years ago designed and fitted out the Centurion Club pro-shop near St Albans. ■■Details 01271 328003 or bobblehat.co Co-founder on UK jewellery power list Katie Nickell, co-founder and creative director of Barnstaple-based Kit Heath, has been named Brand Champion on Professional Jeweller’s Power List 2019. Professional Jeweller honours leaders across the UK jewellery trade and recognises Katie for bringing innovation back to the forefront of the business. The listing places Katie among prestigious business leaders from De Beers, Tiffany and Swarovski. This advert can be yours for £125 a year. Call 07970 671192 Katie and brother Kit Heath founded the design partnership in 1984, taking inspiration from the beauty of their North Devon home and timeless British style. Kit had melted down the family candlesticks to create sterling silver jewellery that he sold to friends and family. He also sold to gift and jewellery shops from his VW camper van while Katie collaborated and led the creative side until both took non-executive roles in 2000. Professional Jewellery recognises Katie’s achievements since returning to the business full-time in 2014. This includes winning Fashion Jewellery Brand of the Year at the PJ Awards and, in 2018, moving away from a US distributor to dealing direct with US retailers. It says the firm is now doing well in a tough market and Katie has brought innovation back into the business. ■■Details 01271 312029 or kitheath.com 20 business action | June / July2019 | business-action.co.uk
In his Blind Man Roy blog, Roy Imeson describes living with Retina Pigmentosa and his year of fund raising with his children: (from left) Ollie, Laura and Roy Imeson Blind Man Roy set to scale three peaks Eye tests are a routine for many of us, but for Roy Imeson of Ilfracombe they brought to light deterioration in his peripheral vision, leading to a diagnosis of Retina Pigmentosa (RP), which the RNIB defines as “a group of inherited eye conditions that affect the retina at the back of the eye” causing permanent changes to vision. The diagnosis came as a shock to Roy, who is a father, Exmoor Explorers Scout leader and strategic partnership adviser covering the Heart of the South West for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). “I was lost for reasons and worried about going forward and supporting my family,” says Roy. “I made a call to the RNIB helpline and was overwhelmed by all the support that followed. The help included a home visit from a couple of supportive people. After time, I received white cane training, support with finding further support such as a ‘Blue Badge’ and discounted bus journeys.” With support from his employer and the government’s Access to Work scheme, Roy continues to work across Devon and in London. Instead of driving himself, Roy is provided with a chauffeur through Access to Work, CITB and Ilfracombe and District Community Transport. “I couldn’t have asked for a better employer,” adds Roy. “They give me scope to be who I am and have provided me with high-tech tools.” These include a microphone designed to pick up Roy’s voice and cancel out background noise as well as dictation tools. With this support, Roy is working with as many small rural construction companies as possible to attract, train and retain new talent. “I’m still talking to people and giving presentations, although I don’t see the audience and am learning new skills to get feedback.” Remarkably, Roy is one of only two people registered blind in the UK construction industry and is working to improve access: “It has to increase. People need to be aware that deaf and blind people still need to work.” Roy is also working to increase awareness of RP and raise funds for the RNIB, which is funded solely by donations. In 2019, he and daughter Laura and son Ollie are taking part in a year of fund raising, which includes an expedition in July to scale the three highest peaks in the United Support Roy’s Go Fund Me campaign at gf.me/u/sxhxwz Kingdom – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdonia – plus walks along the Once Brewed section of Hadrian’s Wall and the English National Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales. Roy is very grateful to Ilfracombe and District Lions Club for offering to pay for fuel for the trip and he welcomes any further sponsorship or support for the expedition. He explains: “I also wish to promote mental wellbeing via my challenges and attitude towards life, and support other families with this rare genetic problem. There are some tough decisions and it can feel very frustrating and lonely. Please feel free to contact me to ask questions or offer support.” While RP has a major impact on his life, he is able to discuss it with humour and discusses how he manages the challenges in his Blind Man Roy blog. ■■Details blindmanroy.com Call 01271 326694. firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.boomboommedia.co.uk @businessactionm | June / July2019 | business action 21