We are pleased to announce our partnership with Ben, the independent charity which is dedicated to providing life-changing care and support services to the people working in the automotive industry. Not only can this support you, but your family dependents also.
What Ben do Ben provides information, advice, guidance and managed referrals (where appropriate) to their partner organisations which include debt advisors and mental health charities. Funding may also be provided for counselling, home adaptions or short breaks for families dealing with life-limiting or terminal illness and immediate help for those in crisis.
What is Ben
Ben is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their family dependents. The charity focus on the four main pillars of peoples’ health and wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and social.
Who Ben help
Everyone who currently works or has in the past worked in the automotive industry can access their confidential, free support services for themselves and their family dependents. Their depth of knowledge and holistic approach helps protect the automotive industry’s most valuable asset – its people.
Most recently we supported ‘HatsOn4Ben’ where we put on some fancy hats to raise the profile of the charity.
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AW Repair Group has released a dynamic video of highlights from their recent Apprentice Showcase.
The company welcomed more than 100 people who enjoyed a fully immersive and hands on experience of a modern high tech bodyshop.
Hopeful apprentices, including four young women, tried their hand at paint spraying, filler application, virtual welding, spot welding and sanding.
“It was a superbly successful event,” said Managing Director Andrew Walsh. “We have already progressed 14 young people to the next stage of one-to-one interviews. It was great to see our current year one apprentices demonstrating their skills and I was so impressed with how they articulately shared their enthusiasm for their job and the industry with our visitors.”
The showcase, supported by AutoRaise, BEN, LV=GI, Emtec College and numerous supply partners, was held at the group’s latest site in Derby with some keen youngsters travelling from the furthest site in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
Bob Linwood, CEO of AutoRaise, said: “This is a unique way to show how the modern bodyshop operates. This particular event has been well organised and the young people are engaged and focussed and see the benefits of an apprenticeship, earning while they learn, and can see the bodyshop industry is a career for life.”
Added James Dunn, Group Operations Manager: “Hopefuls had pre-registered for either the morning or afternoon session and rotated through the demonstrations and experiences but by lunchtime they were so enthused by what was on offer the morning attendees wanted to stay for longer!
“Each group was chaperoned by AW volunteers from across the whole group and a variety of job roles to ensure everyone’s questions were answered fully.”
Jade Johnson, AW Business Relations: “We can’t thank all the supply partners enough for their support – PPG, LKQ, Upol, Accident Exchange, Soper of Lincoln, Car-o-Liner, PowerTec, Stanners – the demonstrations were informative, hands on and really engaged the young people. The smiles on their faces say it all – the whole place was buzzing.”
AW Repair Group is delighted to announce the opening of site number eight in an exclusive arrangement with LV= General Insurance (LV= GI), taking the company’s annualised turnover to £17m.
The 12,000sq ft facility is located in Derby on the Ascot Business Park adjacent to the group’s recently opened Derby Fast Finish Centre.
Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with LV= GI as a solus site covering Derby and the surrounding areas. While this is a new style of venture for AW Repair Group we have a long relationship with LV= GI and a new team who are excited to be working together to achieve excellent results.”
The site, formerly occupied by an electronics company, has been refurbished & branded to create a state of the art environment with efficiency at its heart including another 10m drive-through Junair booth with skate and rail system, QADs and full downdraught to eliminate cross contamination when painting multiple vehicles using PPG refinishing system.
Chris Payne, Networks and Engineering Manager at LV= GI added: “We’re delighted to appoint AW Derby as a solus site, having worked with Andrew and his team for nearly 10 years. Our companies’ ethos and philosophies are well aligned and Andrew is always keen to push the boundaries to improve ways of working.”
Manager of the site Wayne Oakes has worked for AW Repair Group for over 7 years in three previous sites in procurement, as a production manager and previously as a VDA – where he worked under James Dunn who is now AW’s Group Operations Manager.
“I really enjoy being part of AW as the company continues to evolve and taking on the first solus site is a great privilege,” said Wayne. “I have a great team here, many joining us from other AW branches, who are all very focussed and dedicated to quality repair and customer experience.”
The Derby site is also equipped with Car-O-Liner jig and Car-O-Tronic measuring system, mid-riser lifts, Nitrogen plastic welding, PowerTec Miracle Pull system, 12 module integral Minden dust extraction with three phase, eco-friendly radiant heating and 1000 LUX LED lighting throughout.
AW would like to thank everyone involved and to the dedicated team of usual contractors who brought the project in on time once again.
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Jackie Buckthorpe, with 18 years experience in the retail sector, has joined AW Repair Group and is excited to bring a host of new personnel activities.
“In my previous role I have been responsible for talent spotting, upskilling and working with individuals to maximise their personal development and career progress,” said Jackie. “I am very much looking forward to working with apprentices and developing their career path as well as boosting the skill set of individuals seeking new opportunities with AW Repair Group as the company continues to grow.”
Jackie will also be developing schemes to strengthen retention, succession and has a keen interest in behavioural science.
Jackie will be taking over from Kim who will be returning to the accounts department full time as Payroll Manager including pensions and benefits.
Jackie will be based at the Sleaford head office but will visit all branches within the group regularly.
Monday (6th August) marked the opening of AW Repair Group’s second Fast Finish Centre.
AW Fast Finish Centres (Derby) is a state of the art repair centre specialising in triaged small to medium repairs and cosmetic damage supported by the group’s accident repair centres in the area.
The 6,000 sq ft advanced bodyshop is located on Longbridge Lane, Ascot Business Park, Derby, two miles from the City Centre and less than one mile from Pride Park.
Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “Our Fast Finish concept is attracting much interest for direct work steams as well as a triage process to minimise cycle times. We are very much looking forward to working with the new Junair three-way multibooth. This is the next step on from the tried and tested skate and rail double length booth which we have already had great success with at our Nottingham site.”
Along with other rapid repair processes and multi skilled technicians working as a team the Fast Finish Centre will provide the fastest possible cycle time for minor damage triaged by AW’s Central First Response team.
Other facilities include a dedicated area for alloy wheel repair with Wheel Blast Unit and Wheel Lathe, Nitrogen Plastic welding technology, PowerTec Miracle Pull Repair Systems, PPG low energy Compact system, integral Minden Dust Extraction, mid-riser lifts, 1,000Lux LED lighting and radiant heating providing a quality working environment.
The site will also employ an onsite VDA and Customer Liaison Advisor.
AW Repair Group was last month listed in the London Stock Exchange 2018 directory of 1,000 companies to Inspire Britain and its Nottingham site has been shortlisted in the final three of Bodyshop Magazine’s Medium Bodyshop of the Year.
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AW Repair Group is delighted its 18 month old Nottingham site has reached the finals of Medium Bodyshop of the Year.
In addition Lincolnshire HQ panel technician Terry McNamara is finalist in the skill awards.
“To be finalists in two categories is fantastic,” said Group Operations Manager James Dunn. “Terry is highly skilled and we are so happy for him to reach the finals after an on-line exam and two days testing at the Thatcham Research Centre. To be selected as one of the top four panel technicians in the country is a huge achievement whatever happens on the night.”
Added Ben Hissitt, manager of the Nottingham site: “The team here are absolutely thrilled. From day one everyone gelled together with one mindset and we smashed through all our targets in the first three months. We are very proud of reaching the final three in the country and continually strive to provide an outstanding performance in all areas of the business.”
The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony next month (September) and follows AW Repair Group’s recent acknowledgement by London Stock Exchange as one of 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain.
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AW Repair Group is honoured to have been named as one of 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain.
The prestigious directory, compiled by the London Stock Exchange Group, lists the top 1,000 businesses considered to be the most inspiring, dynamic and fastest growing companies.
With 40 industry sectors covered, AW Repair Group is the only bodyshop group named in the 20 companies presented within the Automotive sector.
Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “This has come as a complete surprise. We did not enter a competition or put ourselves forward. The company has been selected by some of the most highly respected financial establishments. It is an absolute honour to be recognised as an inspiring company.”
Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May, writes in her foreword to the glossy publication: “All businesses, especially SMEs, are inspiring: taking the spark of an innovative idea and shaping it into a life –changing reality. New technology and new thinking brings better jobs for more people. The 1,000 innovative companies recognised in this report are at the forefront of doing just that.”
To be selected for the list businesses must have demonstrated not only positive growth in revenue over the last three years (between £6m and £250m) but also outperform their sector peers.
The CEO of London Stock Exchange Nikhil Rathi explained the 5th annual publication: “Our goal in producing the report is to highlight, to as wide an audience as possible, the importance of fast-growing businesses to the future of the UK economy. We believe these companies have enormous potential for innovation, growth and job creation.”
AW Repair Group has opened a new repair centre for three consecutive years and employs more than 125 personnel.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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