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Bell Group Chairman, George Bell awarded OBE

The award recognises George’s contribution to the painting and decorating industry through Bell Decorating Group’s work to support communities; his notable involvement with the Scottish Decorators Federation, Painting and Decorating Association, Scottish Enterprise and CITB ConstructionSkills to actively promote apprenticeships within the painting industry; and his contributions to the industry as a part of the advisory panel for Scottish Parliament.

What a wonderful feeling it is to be appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in Her Majesty’s birthday 2019 honours list.
To receive my OBE gives tremendous encouragement not just to me but to those around me, incentive to keep improving along with a huge desire to succeed in what we do in our daily lives and the communities that we work

George Bell OBE

Craig Bell, CEO said ‘As a business, and as a family, we could not be prouder of George and his achievements. Starting his career as an apprentice in a small town who was given a chance, he recognises the potential that exists in the UK outside traditional academic channels. George has helped to start, develop and inspire the career of thousands of people around the UK from all economic and social backgrounds.’

Scottish Secretary, David Mundell commented “George Bell’s OBE recognises the enormous contribution he has made to the lives of young people. Through his successful property maintenance company, the Bell Group, he has trained more than 1,000 apprentices, giving those young people skills and confidence and setting them on the course for prosperous and successful futures.”

George is expected to collect his award at an Investiture later this year.

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ISO 45001

As you know we are a company that strives for success, to be innovative and remain at the forefront of our industry- we are always looking at ways to improve our service delivery.

I am pleased to tell you that we have achieved the internationally recognised ISO 45001 accreditation for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

This accreditation is a big achievement and one that not many companies have at this early point. A great deal of thanks to Richard Wilks, Tracy Brescia, Sarah Newman, Julie Wilks, Linda Goode, Paul Aitkin and the full Newcastle team, Mike Neile, Christine Wilson, Andy Sykes, Andy Wilson, Ross Tinkler and Sam Wilson in Carlisle for their invaluable input and help in achieving this.

ISO 45001 adds to the requirements of OHAS18001 with an increased focus on risk management and how the health and safety of a company’s workforce may be compromised.

As an International Standard it ensures senior management are actively involved in H&S management, setting targets, monitoring and evaluating H&S performance to provide continuous improvement in the workplace.

We believe this new standard demonstrates our commitment to reducing risks, protecting our workforce and retaining a safe working environment for all, sitting alongside and supporting our existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 systems. 

Retention of ISO 45001 is critical meaning we need to keep up the good work. Our health and safety efforts are good, but they can be better- we want you to embrace this throughout the business with the support of Richard and his team. To keep this commitment, we ask you to:

Over the coming weeks Bell Safety Services will be visiting branches to support compliance. They will seek to highlight best practices and/or areas for improvement, which will be monitored in line with a clear action plan.

As a business it’s important for our commitment to be recognised, but on a personal level we want to come to work in a clean, safe environment surrounded by likeminded individuals. We can only achieve this if we are aligned. Achieving this accreditation is just the beginning- maintaining, learning and improving from its principles will help ensure that health and safety has the strategic attention, leadership and resources it deserves.

Craig Bell, CEO

Bell Group Goes Football Crazy at Newcastle United Football Club

On Wednesday 22nd August, Bell Group teamed up with Byker Community Trust and Newcastle United Foundation to offer a group of young Byker residents the opportunity of a lifetime as they travelled to Newcastle United’s Training Ground for an incredible dream day out.

The event was donated by Newcastle United and Newcastle United Foundation at Footballer Christian Atsu’s Black Star Dinner, in aid of Christian’s charity ‘Arms Around the Child’. Bell Group purchased the prize on the night and were delighted to donate it to Byker Community Trust.

Bell Group has worked in collaboration with Byker Community Trust on an abundance of projects over the last 10 years, and dived at the opportunity to take the Byker Premier League Kicks participants to this this unique event at Newcastle FC. Premier League (PL) Kicks started in 2006 and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.

The day kicked off with meeting Newcastle United’s Manager, Rafa Benitez, and the first team squad – amazing!

Representatives from Bell Group, Byker Community Trust and Newcastle United Foundation worked with the young people who took part to demonstrate the roles they played and the influences they have had within their community. The group discussed their aims and aspirations for social inclusion, improved environmental standards and increasing employment opportunities – all their objectives for making Byker a better place to live and work. The participants chatted about the positive impact they can have on shaping the future of Byker through getting involved in community activities.

The group then got a chance to take to the pitch themselves, taking part in a training session on the same pitch as their heroes before being joined by Atsu.

After posing for photos and answering questions, Christian Atsu explained how he overcame difficulties in his home country of Ghana. He spoke about how he established himself as a premier league footballer and how he was using his personal achievements to make positive changes back home, and hoped that he could inspire the group to do the same. Christian then worked alongside Newcastle United Foundation coaches to deliver a coaching session to the participants.

To finish off the day, a mock press conference was squeezed in before full time! This featured the young people who sat in the Manager’s press conference chair and shared their experience of the day.

Paul Aitkin, Branch Manager at Bell Group Newcastle, said: “Bell Group is committed to helping young people raise their aspirations and reach their full potential.  This was a brilliant opportunity for us to engage with young people from Byker, reward them for their commitment to the community activity programme through Byker Community Trust and their dedication to attending Byker Kicks with Newcastle United Foundation.

 It was great for the young people to meet such an inspiring role model in Christian Atsu and to hear about all the great work he does to support his community in Ghana through Arms Around the Child.  If we can encourage and inspire these young people to be just as proud of their community and to realise that they can make a difference I think that is really positive.”

Philip Pollard, Director of Operations at Byker Community Trust, added: “I would like to thank Bell Group for the fantastic opportunity these young people from Byker have had today.

 It is something that they will remember forever.  They really deserved to have a fantastic time after engaging so positively in community activities, such as The Big Bike Revival, a World War 1 remembrance event, volunteering at Stepney Bank Stables and Byker Kicks.”

Bell Group is honoured to be involved in Byker Community Trust & Newcastle United Foundation’s Kicks Programme and we are very proud to have helped in providing such a unique opportunity for the young people of Byker. The event was built around inspiring and educating young people, about respecting their neighbourhood and community and above all, empowering them to recognise and unlock their potential to achieve their goals in life.

National Health & Wellbeing Programme

This autumn will see the launch of our new national health and wellbeing programme. Formalising the tools we have in place to support our continued commitment to creating an engaging workplace and our staff in their personal and professional lives.

The aim of our Health and Wellbeing Strategy is to identify issues that our staff may face, what can be done to address them, and what outcomes we want to achieve.

Our strategy encourages individuals to work together to:

We want our staff to feel valued and involved, as such we have appropriate tools and occupational health support to tackle absence, stress, early identification of issues and how to manage common problems such as mental health and musculoskeletal disorders at all levels.

Over 140 million working days are lost each year to sickness absence in the UK at a cost to employers of £9 billion a year and a cost to the state of £13 billion a year. In addition to these 1.3 million workers suffer from work-related ill-health; workplace ill-health accounts for 13,000 deaths each year. In 2016/17 stress, depression and anxiety overtook musculoskeletal disorders as the most commonly reported work-related illness. Poor health, whether or not caused or influenced by work, impacts an individual, their family, their employer and the state.

Paul Steedman, Managing Director, said; Health and Safety is a priority on all our projects, but as business it’s important to promote, encourage and remind all our staff of the support that we have in place if they need it. We believe that health and wellbeing will continue to emerge as not only a risk to be managed, but also an opportunity to boost productivity through a healthy and engaged workforce.

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