AW Group wins LV= Community Award

AW Repair Group is honoured to have received the LV= Insurance Community Award in recognition of work with charitable organisations throughout the past year.

From painting village bicycles yellow, to opening up collection points for fire victims and helping the homeless, the past year has seen AW’s helping hand spread up and down the country.

Michael Golding, Network Manager of the national insurance company LV= commented: “It’s great to see AW get the recognition for this award and all the team should be very proud.”

Added Andrew Walsh, Managing Director, AW Repair Group: “Winning the LV= Community award was a great boost for the team. As a company we interact as much as possible with our local communities and recognition from a prestigious insurer as LV= is the icing on the cake for us!”

The award noted the various charitable events throughout the year including the sponsorship of lycra shirts for 24 cyclists collectively clocking up nearly 3,000 miles to raise money for sick children in memory of toddler Naomi Fardell. Cycling from Great Ormond Street, London, to Grantham, Lincolnshire, The Naomi Trust cyclists’ sponsorship benefited Grantham Hospital Children’s Ward, Glenfield Intensive Care Unit and Great Ormond Street – all hospitals which helped Naomi during her short life.

From amateur cyclists to the Tour of Britain in August which, for the first time, passed through Nottinghamshire. The county’s villages en route were keen to join in with Edingley hitting the headlines as they decorated the streets with yellow bikes – painted by AW Repair Group’s Newark, Nottinghamshire site.

The award judges were also moved by AW Repair Group joining those across the country in solidarity with the victims of the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster. Being in the Midlands and away from the focal point of London, staff and members of the community felt helpless until AW Repair Group decided to open the five sites across the East Midlands as drop-off points for donations of soft furnishings.

The branches were inundated with hundreds of donations of bedding and curtains and although it soon became apparent that the overwhelming support in London meant that the donations were being turned away the company continued to accept while looking for another charity in need.

As the year end approached and with the thought of homeless spending Christmas on the streets AW Repair Group chose Christian homelessness charity The Nomad Trust as the worthy beneficiary.

Hundreds of bags, boxes and crates were loaded into the Nissan Leaf electric courtesy cars (saving the world too!) and delivered to the trust where volunteers were overwhelmed by the generosity. The donations provided immediate resource for the homeless and items to sell in the charity’s shops.

These events have been held alongside sponsoring the AutoRaise Summer Ball, RoundTable OktoberFest and branches partaking in the annual Children In Need activities and Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.

Added Jade Johnson, AW Repair Group, Marketing & Communications: “We believe our community spirit supports those in need and unites our personnel as well as supporting our company ethos that our customers should be able to know and trust us even before becoming a customer.”

Due to the adverse weather, AW were unable to attend the LV= Claims Awards in Bournemouth but are looking forward to taking receipt of the award in due course.

 

AW Support National Apprenticeship Week

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we thought we’d introduce you to our 7 apprentices. Each has their own slant on why they chose an apprenticeship and what they enjoy most about it.

 

Name: Will

Site: Sleaford

Apprenticeship type: Multi-skilled

Joined AW: February 2018

Favourite skill learnt: I have enjoyed learning how to weld the most so far, but looking forward to all the other skills I’m going to learn.

Why an apprenticeship: It’s a good way to train on the job, so I can pick up practical experience skills while the learning is still interesting.

Why AW: I wanted to work for a reputable company that I knew would make a life-long career. I enjoy that the course and qualifications have been designed for AW. Every day is different and each day I’m learning more and can only get better.

 

 

Name: Josh

Site: Newark

Apprenticeship type: Multi-skilled

Joined AW: November 2017

Favourite part of apprenticeship: I have really enjoyed the working atmosphere and learning new skills and seeing lots of different vehicles.

Why an apprenticeship: I didn’t want to go into further education. I wanted to learn a trade that I could turn into a career and enjoy.

Why AW: I enjoy working for AW because I am learning new skills and developing myself with the help of the team every day. I am always kept busy and enjoy the different variety of vehicles I work with and the different skills I’m learning. AW have provided me with support and also the equipment I need to succeed.

 

 

Name: Jack

Site: Denaby Main

Apprenticeship type: Multi-skilled

Joined AW: July 2017

Favourite Car: Lamborghini Aventador

Why an apprenticeship: I felt that the best way to develop my skill set was to go down the apprenticeship route, to ensure I progressed to where I want to be.

Why AW: AW are great, the team at Denaby are like a big family. There’s always someone happy to help or offer advice and support when it’s needed.

 

 


Name: Ryan

Site: Denaby Main

Apprenticeship type: Multi-skilled

Joined AW: April 2017

Best part of what you’ve learnt: Currently, I enjoy the panel aspect of the whole repair process. However, I’ve just started learning prep/paint and really enjoying it.

Why an apprenticeship: In honesty, I like learning whilst earning!

Why AW: I love how much effort and support AW put into me to make me better at my job., It’s really encouraging.

 

 

Name: Leon

Site: Markham Vale

Apprenticeship type: Multi-skilled

Joined AW: December 2017

Favourite Car: Ford Mustang

Why an apprenticeship: : I’ve always been interested in cars, I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do.

Why AW: AW is a great company, the workshops are clean and modern. I also like being part of a growing company which will help to secure my future. Thank you to AW for my opportunity.

 

Charlie & Harvey, our two apprentices at our Nottingham site filmed a day in the life of being an apprentice. Watch below to see what they get up to in a typical day and their thoughts on apprenticeships.

AW opens first Fast Finish centre

AW Repair Group’s first dedicated Fast Finish Centre is now in full swing and is the latest expansion project for the growing group.

Equipped and branded towards the end of last year, AW Fast Finish Centres (Denaby Main) utilises multi skilled technicians, smart techniques and tooling to achieve a one to two day turnround for small to medium repairs.

AW’s insurer partners have supported the concept and seen the benefit of vehicles being centrally triaged and proceeded through a separate, faster process, further reducing the overall cycle time and key to key, while still closely supported by the group’s main sites when necessary.

Andrew Walsh, Managing Director commented: “An opportunity arose for AW to open an alternative to the main stream Accident Repair Centres, and we have been encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm from our work provider partners and would like to thank them for their support in backing this project. Our strategy for the future includes opening more Fast Finish Centres to assist our main sites and future growth.”

Repairs are triaged by AW’s Central First Response team at the outset, with both Denaby Main and Markham Vale sites feeding further jobs once assessed. An average 13hr job, none welded panels and minimum replacement parts ensures the Fast Finish team are able to meet and exceed targets, currently repairing 17 vehicles on average per week.

The 5,000sq ft site is located at Denaby Main, South Yorkshire, perfectly located for existing customers already served in the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Chesterfield and Sheffield areas. The new centre supports the main bodyshop at Denaby Main and the Markham Vale site being 20 miles away. The LED-lit open reception encompasses the company’s striking blue and orange corporate branding.

Nottingham site exceeds all expectations!

A year has already passed since AW opened its Nottingham site and what a year it’s been!

January 2017 saw AW Repair Group grow its turnover and geographical coverage again following the Nottingham site opening, being just three miles from the city centre, on the tram route and just 20 minutes to the M1 for easy access to Derby and Leicester.

Within its first month of opening the site had gained the BSI accreditation and had tripled its budgeted first month turnover, with this successful trend mirrored throughout the year to follow.

The 13,300sq ft site thrives with efficiency: SmartAir, a highly effective skate and rail system, Junair’s double-length downdraught booth with QUAD drying technology and PPG refinishing systems all help towards painting a minimum 13 vehicles per day.

The site is now managed by Ben Hissitt, who took the reins from James Dunn who was promoted to Group Operations Manager in March.

The experienced hand-picked team work together effectively and cohesively and  the branch is also delighted to now have on board two multi-skilled apprentices who are following the AutoRaise path and training at EMTEC in Nottingham along with four other apprentices in the group.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “The Nottingham site simply took off straight away. There was clearly a need for a quality bodyshop in this area and I’m very proud of the way the team have all worked together to make this site a success. Ben is extremely forward thinking and everyone has embraced new equipment and processes designed to maximise throughput which has succeeded. Some of the new processes we trialled at this site have already been rolled out across the group further improving group efficiency and capacity and we look forward to introducing these from the outset at our forthcoming sites soon to be announced in 2018.”

AW convoy Tower donations to homeless Trust

After opening their doors as a collection point for donations following the devastating Grenfell Tower tragedy, AW Repair Group have this week transported three vehicle loads to The Nomad Trust.

The overwhelming national support for Grenfell survivors meant that AW’s collections could be diverted to another needy charity.

“We had a fantastic response from the communities local to our 5 sites with donations of curtains & bedding,” said Jade Johnson, AW Repair Group Business Development & Marketing.

“But as Grenfell was overcome with donations we waited for further instructions from charities on the ground trying to deal with the massive influx and then had to decide what to do when donations were being turned away.”

AW Repair Group had limited donations to soft furnishings so that in the event of not being required for Grenfell could be sold by weight to material recyclers.

“But we since approached several other charities and The Nomad Trust, which provides welfare services for the homeless, will now receive the items in time to help those in need this Christmastime.”

The Nomad Trust is a Christian based registered charity initially Launched in 1984 as a day centre offering food and basic shelter. With the help of national lottery funding it now offers 21 beds a night and has supported more than 5000 people with basic necessities and companionship. 

 

    

You’re hired!

SIX new apprentices are geared up and ready to launch their new career with AW Repair Group this month.

In partnership with AutoRaise and Emtec Training, the engaging and inspired youngsters will be donning their corporate blue and orange uniform across the group’s five sites.

Harvey, Charlie, Jack, Ryan, Joshua and Leon follow in the footsteps of Georgie, Kane and Joe who are now Year Two and Three apprentices with AW Repair Group.

The 16-19 year olds will be training in a variety of panel, paint and MET roles as well as the new multi-skilled apprenticeship trailblazed by AutoRaise and now government approved.

AutoRaise are a charity dedicated to improving the industry skills shortage and have a single, focused purpose: to promote the industry as a sustainable, attractive and rewarding place to work. They aim to bring new blood into the industry, specifically engaging young people aged between 13 and 24, and to help employers nurture their Apprentices into qualified talent – the future owners, managers and leaders in our industry.

Bob Linwood, CEO of AutoRaise, said “Andrew, James, Jade and the AW team have really grabbed hold of the whole apprenticeship opportunity and it feels great that AutoRaise helped stimulate some of this initiative. We all felt that an Autumn Showcase Event would be good but as it turns out, AW have been able to create a fresh cohort of motivated young people to join the group as apprentices. It’s the latest indication of the impact AutoRaise are having on the industry’s skills shortage”.

The apprentices will receive a branded roll cabinet and top box starter pack including essential beginner tools, certification folder, personnel handbook, USB drive and an AW notepad within a satchel during their induction at AW.

Following a minimum 4 weeks employment, an Emtec assessor will visit the site and meet the manager and apprentice ahead of college training dates being confirmed.

Jade Johnson, AW Repair Group’s Business Development, Marketing and Communications said: “We have formed relationships with schools and colleges across the regions ready for next year’s intake with a growing list of interested young people.

“As we have already filled our available places this year we will be working with AutoRaise to hold an event in March 2018.”

AW Training & Apprenticeship Academy

Seven young apprentices joining AW Repair Group’s Training & Apprenticeship Academy this month recently enjoyed a welcome & introduction day.

Along with their supportive parents, the group of trainee technicians visited the group’s newest site in Beeston, Nottingham, to get to know each other, a tour of the premises and equipment and an introductory presentation & slideshow by Managing Director Andrew Walsh.

Andrew explained the company history, ethos, employee and customer care, expected work ethic and  potential career paths.

Encouraging dads led the way on the workshop tour, eagle-eyed at the panel repair demonstration and mums were first in line at the mixing room surprised to learn almost all the car colours in the world could be mixed with the paint in that room!

After an enjoyable morning tour, talking to staff and management the day continued with a buffet lunch and then a visit to EMTEC technical training College Nottingham, where the apprentices looked around the workshop space and classrooms where they will be training together on block courses in the months ahead.

BMW/MINI appoint AW’s Prestige Site to Approval Programme

AW Repair Group is delighted to formally announce its appointment to the BMW/MINI Approved Bodyshop Programme.

Working in partnership with Soper of Lincoln, AW’s prestige repair centre at Sleaford, Lincolnshire, will be the only fully compliant independent BMW & MINI approved repairer in the county having invested in the brand’s paint colour system.

The addition of BMW and MINI brand approval takes the site’s prestige manufacturer portfolio to seven joining Jaguar, Land Rover, VW, Audi and Lexus as well as structural aluminium accreditation.

AW Repair Group’s Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “Having a recommendation from such a long standing and reputable franchised dealer like Soper is a great accolade for AW, in the local community and the wider crash repair industry.”

The additional approvals were a strategic move for AW Repair Group.

“And the relationship is strong from both sides,” added Andrew. “BMW and MINI car sales were among the best throughout 2016, selling 170,000 cars in the UK and representing a record 9.6% of the UK car park.”

Andrew Tullie, Managing Director, Soper of Lincoln commented: “I’m very pleased to be working with AW Repair Group in this mutually proactive relationship. BMW/MINI is a leader in advanced technologies and we need a trusted skilled and responsive bodyshop to ensure our customers are fully reassured in the event of an accident.

Steve Hoe, AW’s Group Manager of Manufacturer Approvals, and Jade Johnson, Business Development, Marketing & Communication have been actively managing the pre-audit process to ensure personnel across the whole business are involved and prepared.

Added Steve: “Our aim is to ensure the business can repair modern day vehicles of all technologies and our technicians have already completed many of the BMW/MINI compliancy training programmes which are extremely comprehensive and advanced including BMW/MINI Steering & Chassis Technology Training, BMW/MINI Bodyshop Electrical Principles, BMW/MINI Bodyshop Passive Active Safety Systems, Advanced Vehicle Construction & Repair Training.”