AW sponsor community mining memorial

AW Repair Group is proud to sponsor a touching memorial commemorating lives lost in mining disasters near its Chesterfield Site.

Phase two of the Walking Together Trail sees eight life-size steel figures join the trail of 53 figures erected last year. Each carries a tag with the name of the miner, their job title and age who lost their life in the major mining disasters of 1937, 1938 & 1973 at the Markham Colliery.

The former colliery site was reclaimed by Henry Boot Developments and Derby County Council, which is working to create jobs for local people. In March 2015, AW Repair Group opened their fourth site at the flagship regeneration park at Markham Vale, just off junction 29A of the M1 and created 14-jobs in the area.

The 15,000 sq. ft. bodyshop was constructed by the county council’s private sector developer, Henry Boot Ltd. Since opening the site has recruited three apprentices to work in the vehicle body repair industry which add to the groups other 16 students in their Training & Apprenticeship Academy.

AW employees were pleased to attend to see the unveiling of the figure they have sponsored, remembering timber drawer Herbert Wale who lost his life aged 40.


Managing Director Andrew Walsh said he was privileged to support the Walking Together Trail.

It’s great to be able to contribute to a memorial that’s not only so important to this local community but also for visitors to reflect and interpret the site’s history, following the tragedies of the disasters at the colliery. We welcome anyone who visits our site at Markham Vale to walk over the road to the Markham Vale Environment Centre to view just a selection of the figures or indeed follow the whole trail,” said Andrew.

On 21 January 1937 an underground explosion claimed the lives of nine men, followed by a second explosion in 1938, where 79 miners lost their lives and 40 were seriously injured. The third disaster at the colliery took the lives of eighteen miners and 11 others suffered serious injuries when the mechanical brake on a lift carrying them to the coalface failed on 30 July, 1973.

Heritage Lottery Fund, Derby County Council (DCC) & the local community joined forces to create the trail symbolising a miner’s journey to the pit and back home again.

Designed by artist Stephen Broadbent, the dramatic figures have been created for visitors, workers and the local community to re-imagine and remember the lives of all miners, and in particular, those who lost their lives for their work.

“Markham’s three significant mining disasters must be remembered, but it quickly becomes clear that we must not forget the many other tragic mining deaths and significant injuries, and indeed the remarkable sacrifice all miners made to help build this nation’s prosperity. We believe the memorial also needs to convey a sense of celebration; of an important job well done; of a unique time and place; and a community’s spirit and resilience,” Stephen commented.

The memorial project won the award for ‘best volunteer project’ and the Markham Vale Heritage Group was also highly commended recognising the involvement of young people in heritage with its Story Mine project at the 2019 Derbyshire Heritage Awards.

The full trail map can be found here:
https://markhamstorymine.org/walking-together-trail-leaflet-map/

 

AW keep their customers cool

AW Repair Group updated their company slogan throughout the hot 2019 summer.

Their company slogan Keeping you moving™ expanded to Keeping you Cool while Keeping you Moving as all customers throughout August received a free reusable water bottle.

The corporate branded Blue & Orange refillable water bottles have been gifted to all customers collecting their vehicles during the heat of this year’s great British Summer.

The free gifts have come as a great delight to customers whose positive comments include: “What a great idea, with the huge push to reduce our plastic waste it’s just what I’ve been looking for” and “It fits perfectly in the car, so will make sure I’m keeping cool and hydrated whilst travelling the many miles I do.”

Employees at all eight AW sites have also been provided with an AW branded water bottle ensuring the teams stayed fully hydrated and cool during the hot period.

Added AW’s Partnerships & Communications Manager Jade Johnson: “Reducing the use of plastic and protecting our oceans is a matter close to the hearts of our directors so we took this opportunity to blend two passions together to benefit the environment, our customers and our team.”

Providing reusable water bottles also falls in line with AW’s Corporate & Social Responsibility and underpins their statements to reduce waste where practicable, keep packaging under control and safeguard the environment.

There are many benefits to reusable water bottles in favour of plastic bottles – reducing plastic pollution and waste in the oceans, the oil used to manufacture plastic bottles and greenhouse gas emissions and cost.

AW Doubles charity donations for Marie Curie

AW Repair Group has doubled the sponsorship money raised in branch for Marie Curie following the Coast 2 Coast cycle by LV= engineers last month.

Each of AW’s eight sites had a Marie Curie collection tin at reception, raising £110 which AW has doubled to £220 to donate to the Just Giving page.

This extra boost takes the total amount raised for Marie Curie to £4,565.

Thirteen cyclists in their AW branded cycle jerseys completed their 125-mile journey from Ilfracombe to Plymouth on their coast 2 coast charity ride. The cyclists included LV= Field engineers, Kevin Warren, Michael Routley, David Gold, Sean Carver, Stephen Gasson, Peter Savage and Robyn Joy, LV=’s Bristol & Huddersfield in-house engineers, Chris Tucker, Andrew Cross, Brian Kent and Steven Price along with LV= Regional Motor Network Technical Support, Gary Wheeldon and LV= Britannia Rescue Regional Network Manager, Bradley Williams.

LV= supported the event by matching charity donations up to the first £1,000 (included in the above total) whilst Enterprise Rent-A-Car supplied 3 support vehicles.

There is still time to donate by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LVEngineers

Short Film Focuses on AW’s Fast Finish Centres

AW Repair Group, listed in the ABP Top 30 Independent Boydshop Groups, has released a ‘behind the scenes’ video showcasing their Fast Finish Centres.

In celebration of their first birthday this week (15th August) the focal point of the film is AW Fast Finish Centres (Derby), which specialises in small to medium repairs.

The 6,000 sq ft advanced bodyshop is located on Longbridge Lane, Ascot Business Park, two miles from the city centre and less than one mile from Pride Park with claims triaged by AW’s Central First Response Team at their HQ in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

The state of the art repair centre utilises the latest fast repair technologies available in the body repair industry and consists of a three-way Junair Multibooth allowing repair, spray & full bake in each cabin with a sliding door to minimise vehicle movements.

Other facilities include a dedicated area for alloy wheel repair with Wheel Blast unit, plastic welding stations and cold repair system, PowerTec Miracle Pull, PPG low energy Compact system, integral Minden Dust Extraction, mid-riser lifts, 1000Lux LED lighting and eco-friendly radiant heating, all providing a quality working environment.

Managed by Wayne Oakes, who has worked with AW for more than eight years said: “Along with the rapid repair processes and five multi skilled technicians working as a team we have managed to speed up the full repair journey. Customers are delighted they are getting their vehicles back sooner and the customer satisfaction is exceeding 98%”

Added Managing Director, Andrew Walsh: “Derby was the perfect location to support our other sites in the area. Triaging repairs from our First Response team is working very well and the site is achieving a quicker throughput without compromising quality or customer satisfaction.”

View the short video on our YouTube channel:

AW director receives global business leader award

AW Repair Group’s Managing Director has received a global accolade for business leadership.

Andrew Walsh is one of just 50 worldwide business leaders to receive the 2019 Global CEO Excellence Awards by digital publishers CEO Monthly.

The title of Auto Repair MD of the Year sits alongside global winners across diverse sectors including Catering (Switzerland), Chemical Products (Brazil), Compliance Software (Australia), Digital Marketing (Dubai), Pharmaceutical (Canada), Financial Planning (USA) and Automotive Manufacturer scooped by BMW Group UK’s CEO Graeme Grieve.

“A business is only as good as its leadership, and whilst it takes many hands to make a company work, CEOs and MDs hold the majority of the responsibility and power in any organisation,” said Awards Co-ordinator Katherine Benton.

“Every ship needs a captain, someone who can plot the course and navigate the waters rough and calm. That is why CEO Monthly has chosen to honour those individuals committed to driving business growth and baring the responsibility of making crucial corporate decisions which can make or break a business entity. This is a tough challenge and our awards highlight the very best of the best from across the corporate landscape.”

Added Andrew: “I’m really delighted to accept this award from Global CEO Magazine. As Katherine has said, a business is all about teamwork but there needs to be clear and consistent directives from the business leader to secure and maintain success in any market place.”

An interview with Andrew in CEO Global’s awards review special edition magazine Andrew comments: “Here at AW Repair Group the secret of our success is our innovative nature to devise processes to embrace the car manufacturing industry developments. Turning a smaller business into a larger business is perhaps the biggest challenge I have found over the years. Managing infrastructure, processes, delegation of trust to the right people, time management and balancing priorities have been my core roles over the past two decades. Through this process I have become a more equanimous person with regards to both business matters and our people, and as a result I am happy with the outcome of this invigorating journey.”

The awards judging panel reviewed independent research centred around the evaluation of skills and services on offer whilst recognising each nominee’s wider market reputation.

“Each case file was built by investigations into public domain sources including services, products, articles, client and customer testimonials, financial performance, presence within the industry, social media, recent project completions and more,” Katherine explained. “All shortlisted parties were then presented to our judging panel for their consideration and to move successfully from nominee to winner there must be evidence of expertise within a given field, dedication to customer service and client satisfaction with an ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation.”

Global CEO, part of the digital publishing powerhouse AI Global Media, has a subscription base of 60,000 business leaders across the globe and thousands more to its sister publications including LUXlife, Global Energy News and BUILD.

Read the full interview interview with Andrew in CEO Global’s awards review special edition magazine at https://www.ceo-review.com/issues/2019-global-ceo-excellence-awards/

 

 

 

Work starts at AW’s ninth site

AW Repair Group is pleased to announce that expansion plans for the group are well underway with site nine due to open later this year.

The 9,000sq ft site is situated 30 minutes from major cities, Leeds, York and Wakefield and is only 25 miles from AW’s site in Denaby Main. The latest addition to AW group will create circa 12 jobs in the area with apprenticeship opportunities available.

Work has started this week on the modern detached building, which is just 10 minutes from the A1M and 20 minutes from the M62.

The purpose designed bodyshop utilises the latest technological advances available to maximise efficiency and will feature a 10m drive-through Junair spraybooth with QAD drying technology, Skate & Rail vehicle transfer system to minimise vehicle movements and PPG refinishing system. The site will include full Electric and Hybrid vehicle repair capabilities with all staff trained in EV’s to mirror AW’s other eight repair centres. The two-story offices will consist of AW corporate Blue and Orange branding throughout reception, admin offices and the meeting room.

The site will include integral Minden Dust Extraction, eco-friendly radiant heating and 1000 Lux LED Lighting, creating a quality working environment for the team who will be moving there from AW’s sister sites, where they have been training.

These expansion plans are announced only weeks after the opening of AW’s second LV= General Insurance sole supply site in Denaby Main.

Click below to watch AW’s Business Documentary on YouTube:

Second LV= Sole Supply site for AW

AW Repair Group is delighted to announce its second LV= sole supply site is now in operation. The exclusive arrangement with LV= General Insurance boosts the groups annualised turnover to over £17.5M.

The 5,500sq ft dual-branded site is located alongside the group’s 15,000sq ft site at Denaby Main, South Yorkshire, perfectly located for LV= GI existing customers in the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield areas.

Mirroring tried and tested fast repair technologies across AW’s other sites, this bodyshop utilises the latest technological advances available in the body repair industry to maximise efficiency. Skate & rail vehicle transfer system minimising vehicle movements, leading to a Junair side-loading 8m booth with QAD drying technology, PPG refinishing system, Junair’s Smart Air, PowerTec Miracle Pull and dedicated plastic welding stations including a cold repair system.

1000-Lux LED lighting, eco-friendly radiant heating & integral Minden dust extraction all provide a quality working environment for the team of five multi-skilled repair technicians and the group’s first female apprentice, 21-year old Summer, who was named as ‘Best Newcomer’ at ABP’s recent BRIAA’s.

Rob Mann, General Manager of the Denaby LV= site who has worked for AW for more than seven years commented: “Our multi-skilled technicians are working really well together as a team and in our first month we achieved a three-day key to key.”

Added James Dunn, Group Operations Manager: “A three-day key to key in the first month trading as an LV= sole supply site is a great achievement for the team. We’re already receiving some really positive customer feedback, currently exceeding 95%.”

AW were recently chosen as one of 12 businesses to be featured in the prestigious Telegraph Newspaper Business Club’s profiles for 2019.

Click here to watch the documentary:

 

AW support LV= Charity event for Marie Curie

AW Repair Group is delighted to sponsor a LV= Charity Cycle Race in aid of Marie Curie.

Thirteen cyclists will don their AW branded cycle shirts as they complete a cumulative 1,625 miles coast to coast route.

The team will be starting at Ilfracombe this Saturday (6th July 2019) and finishing in Plymouth.   LV= Field engineers, Kevin Warren, Michael Routley, David Gold, Sean Carver, Stephen Gasson, Peter Savage and Robyn Joy are joined by LV=’s Bristol & Huddersfield in-house engineers, Chris Tucker, Andrew Cross, Brian Kent and Steven Price along with LV= Regional Motor Network Technical Support, Gary Wheeldon and LV= Britannia Rescue Regional Network Manager, Bradley Williams and are all looking forward their 125 mile journey in the south-west of the country.

LV= are supporting the coast to coast cycle by matching charity donations up to the first £1,000 and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have supplied the riders with 3 vehicles to support the ride.

To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LVEngineers

PPG take us into the new era

Last week our Managing Director, Andrew Walsh attended the invite-only PPG Refinish UK new product launch event, held in Madrid.

PPG’s latest product, MoonWalk was showcased at the Motor & Sport Institute, Madrid and is set to revolutionise the way we mix paint in bodyshops.

MoonWalk promotes a no waste and mess, automated and accurate process of mixing paint. Reducing human error, the automated procedure increases technician productivity, with less in-can waste and 100% mixing accuracy, it’s a profitable step forward for the modern-day bodyshop.

Andrew Walsh commented, “This bodyshop solution PPG have created over the past 3 years is revolutionary. Being able to reduce or eliminate product waste is a huge step forward. 100% mixing accuracy and no manual mixing, creating greater efficiency, cost savings, increased productivity and speeding up the overall customer repair journey.”

2019 AutoRaise REAL Rally

The REAL Rally, now named The AutoRaise REAL Rally, this year took the participants up to Scotland, following previous years in Europe and last year in Wales.

The entry criteria for the charity rally stipulates that vehicles must be bought for under £1,000 and each team must raise a minimum of £500 for the charity…challenge accepted!

This is the first time AW Repair Group have joined the rally, however after seeing previous years decided we would accept the challenge and join in to raise funds for the industry charity addressing the skills shortage in the body repair industry, AutoRaise.

After entering two teams, we wanted the cars to be quirky, reliable and fun… after-all we had a 604-mile round trip to complete! Two Toyota Celica’s later and £750 spent on each car, challenge one done & our work was underway to make them rally ready.

Challenge two, raising £500 per team. A huge thank you to our sponsors, PPG Refinish UK, Perrys Motors, Car-O-Liner, Upol UK, Junair Spraybooths, AGM Services & JD Garage Equipment, we raised £2,500 for the charity!

Our apprentices who are following the multi-skilled repair technician programme, which was trailblazed by AutoRaise worked on the cars, ensuring all the mechanical aspects were spot on and prepping and painting the vehicles, under the watchful eye of their mentors. Two slightly different paint designs and two very eye-catching colours later gave us an outstanding finish (and no, they haven’t been wrapped). It was great to see the passion and enthusiasm of our apprentices who were working on the cars, as they were coming on the rally with us. As the only apprentices who were on the rally, they felt extremely proud to have been part of creating the cars great appearance and being able to enjoy the rally and experience what all of the other teams had done.

Cars complete, we set off…

Tuesday 24th June
Team one left a very wet & dreary head office in Sleaford and took off to meet team two at our site in Nottingham. Arriving in an even wetter Nottingham, we got together and headed for the M1, to begin our journey up North to pre-rally meeting point in Durham.

The journey was… interesting!

The cars were perfect, but the weather, not so much. Fog lights illuminated we carried on regardless and made the 150+ mile trip in our two 16+ year old Toyota Celica’s.

Pulling into the Ramside Hotel & Spa in Durham we felt a little like the odd ones out, in our bright Orange & Blue Celica’s.

Not wanting to miss a moment of the culture we jumped back in the cars a few hours later and headed into Durham.

 

Wednesday 25th June

Opening the curtains, I expected much the same weather as the previous day, however was pleasantly surprised when I was met with slightly better weather and just light drizzle!

Dressed in our fancy dress, two Knights due to team name AW Nottingham Knights (and our MD being named as 2018 Industry Knight by ABP Club) and two as pilots as a nod to Lincolnshire HQ’s aviation roots.

 

 

With BBC Look North filming the event our two apprentices were quickly being quizzed and filmed in their car – watch the footage on our YouTube channel, click here.

9:30am we were all on our way to the morning meeting point, Tower Knowe Visitor Centre. We entered Kielder Forster and the roads were brilliant, giving our Celica’s a chance to stretch their legs, plus the sun was shining – why had we all been so worried?!

Pulling into Tower Knowe Visitor Centre we were greeted by some stunning views and of course 70+ other rally cars!

Stopping only once at the Scottish Borders for some photos & a could not miss opportunity to add an extra sticker to the Scottish Border sign, two and a half hours later, great driving roads and glorious weather we arrived at our next stop- Edinburgh Zoo.

On arrival we were challenged to get the best selfie with an animal in the zoo, see our entry… some friendly Lemurs made our job much easier!

 

Clearly taking this challenge extremely seriously, by the time we’d exited the zoo we were about the last of the rally cars left.

Onwards for the final 3 miles we made it into Edinburgh.

The evening meet up point was SKYbar Edinburgh, the views of Edinburgh Castle in the sun were amazing & the photos really don’t do it justice.

Two awards were presented at the SKYbar, one to the best dressed team: well done to ‘Celts on Tour’ (Think we’re all still trying to get Mark Bull’s costume out of our minds) and well done to ‘Gemini Rotherham – Thailand’ for winning best dressed car.

 

Thursday 26th June
The last day of the rally…
We left Edinburgh and made our way to Leith Docks for the morning meet-up point. The sun again was shining and the views of the harbour were stunning, of course we couldn’t miss a photo op with the backdrop and got many honks & sirens by passing rallyers when we pulled off the main road to get some pics.

Onwards to Peebles for the final stop, arriving at 12.30 with lunch being served outside, again with spectacular views over the countryside before being split into our teams for an afternoon activity.

On offer was; Highland Games, Brewery Tour & Afternoon tea.

We opted for the Brewery Tour. On entering the nano brewery we met the brewer, learned about the different hops & barley’s, had a few samples & were gifted a bottle.

Following the tour we had the chance to watch the other teams participating in the Highland Games & reflect on the last few days we’d had.

Being the last night, a Gala Dinner was held and a few more awards presented.

The best selfie with an animal was awarded to me! (See entry above) thanks Lemurs!

The Epic Fail was awarded to the same team, third time in a row, ‘The Tossers’ for arriving in Peebles expecting to go back to Edinburgh and having not checked out or brought any of their luggage… back to Edinburgh they went!

The highest fundraiser within Gemini was announced as Rotherham and the highest fundraiser outside Gemini with a staggering £5,500 was ‘The Proclaimers’ Rye Street Group- well done guys!

With a few drinks down our necks the rodeo bull in the gardens looking appealing, I, of course had to have a go, whilst it felt like I was on there an eternity (after eventually making it on) it turns out I only managed 20 seconds!

 

 

It has been a brilliant trip, organised extremely well & everyone has had a grin since Tuesday, the pre-rally evening.

A huge thank you to Bob, Morag, Emelia & the support team for the AutoRaise REAL Rally for the fantastic job they have done organising such a great event. It’s not easy arranging such a sizable event (and trying to control us rowdy lot) however, everything ran so smoothly & everyone I’ve spoken to have absolutely loved it! 👏

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE BBC LOOK NORTH FOOTAGE OF THE STARTING GRID OF THE RALLY

Thanks again guys,

Jade