We enjoyed Nisbets delicious bacon baps and learnt more about ‘Colleagues, Customers and our Community’ from them. This was a thread which featured through the morning.


Our two new Members – eeTEQ ltd and IDS Refrigeration Services were welcomed.


Ambition Lawrence Weston shared their work to support local residents into employment; we heard from Key4Life and their programme to support offenders back to work; and discussed the SevernNet Flyer shuttle bus.


We also managed to fit in a tour of Nisbets Access 18 Warehouse and Contact Centre, as well as having time to chat and network.


Nisbets Colleagues, Customers and our Community’


Nisbets will be celebrating 35 years in business next year, and now operates out of four main sites in Avonmouth. Their flagship megastore National Catering Equipment Centre (St. Brendan’s) will be opening later this year (the building with the wavy roof at the end of Avonmouth Way ).


They’re also celebrating the award of a highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, for International Trade, announced the day after the breakfast.


Zoe Joyner, Engagement Manager, explained the importance of ‘Our Values’ and how these are at the heart of the business.




Colleague Engagement is central to the culture of the business, supporting retention, new talent recruitment and behaviour, all reflected in the values. The programme has been driven from the responses to the 2012 and 2013 Engagement Survey and includes:

  • Building ‘The Canteen’ which can also showcase products
  • Colleague Handbook
  • History Board illustrating the companies journey
  • Free of charge Final Mile Transport, facilitating an easier journey to work and an increase in numbers of local people employed.
  • Wellbeing and sports
  • DASS Counselling (debt and income advice)
  • Learning and Development.


Nisbets in the Community was set up in 2012 to facilitate a coordinated approach to community support. Nisbets is proud that the company is talked about with great affection within the community, and colleagues feel proud to work for Nisbets.

A significant part of the budget supports covering ‘final mile transport into work’. This is one of the factors supporting an increase in employment from the local area from 15% to 35%.

Other actions include supporting a monthly pensioner’s lunch in The Canteen, the Penpole Lunch Club in L. Weston, Avonmouth annual Christmas Lunch and a Funday at Avonmouth Football Club.


Nisbets also supports Key4Life – an organisation working to get young offenders back into work (see below).


Customer Service at Nisbets. Bringing customers back to the centre of the business has been key in recent years. This starts with Nisbets Customer Promise and is a thread throughout the business’s operations beginning with Training. The programme was informed by a review of 6 months of customer feedback such as product failures. Cross departmental workshops were run to develop new approaches and enable business wide ownership of processes. The business’s KPI’s are increasingly customer-centric.

Nisbets is now in the Top 50 companies in the UK for Customer Service .


Colleague Retention is good. 200 colleagues have 10+ years of service, although retaining younger people remains a challenge. Nisbets has a long standng policy of recruiting from within, enabling colleague progression.


Nisbets presentation from the morning can be downloaded here


Ambition Lawrence Weston


Ambition Lawrence Weston (ALW) was set up by local residents to enable community development and a better future for residents. Lawrence Weston is a post-war trading estate and an area of significant disadvantage, whilst neighbouring the Avonmouth and Severnside industrial area. The community has suffered from a feeling of neglect and de-prioritisation by the City. The final straw was the withdrawal of the Further Education college a few years ago.


Change came about through the development of a resident led Community Plan and Big Local Funding. This enabled the recruitment of a Manager (Mark Pepper) and the establishment of ALW as the delivery vehicle.


Local people love living in Lawrence Weston, with its green spaces and community spirit. They are working to make it a place to be proud of and developments include the arrival of a Lidl supermarket and a Community Health and Work Hub


Joanne Clarkson provides support to help local people get back into work, including the long term unemployed, single parents and others with mental health challenges. ALW is able to run workshops together with employers looking to recruit locally, and can provide advice to employers on engaging local people.  We encourage employers to get in touch with Joanne (joanne.ambition@gmail.com;  07585 702016).


ALW is also keen to work with businesses to support them in fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility remit, and can assist with brokering projects and events with community groups and schools.





Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton Energy Group

David Tudgey from ALW introduced the ground-breaking CHEESE project which is helping local residents improve the energy efficiency of their properties through the support of thermal imaging and local energy advice and support.


ALW supported the delivery of the Lawrence Weston 4.2 MB Solar Farm which is bringing £155,000 of unrestricted funding back into the community over the lifetime of the installation. This funding will be used in many ways for the community. Importantly it will provide core funding for ALW, providing economic stability and giving confidence to stakeholders and investors in ALW’s longevity.


Community owned onshore Wind Energy Opportunity – There is an opportunity to work together with a local business(es) to develop onshore wind turbine(s) that could be owned (wholly or partly) by the community. This would deliver the host site reduced cost renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions and provide an annual contribution to help alleviate fuel poverty and disadvantage in the area. If this is of interest please could you complete the following survey which should take no more than 5-10 minutes: https://goo.gl/forms/PeFft8P856yqe7gv2.




Dave Gardner and Emma Tizzard introduced Key4Life and the work the organisation is doing to support young offenders back into work, enabling them to change their lives around.


Please have a look at their website and the work they have been doing. They are working with talented young people who may have had a poor start in life, but could be an asset to your business.


Nisbets is working with them, running a three day work taster, with opportunities for employment


You can email Emma on emma.tizzard@key4life.org.uk; 07812 996238


SevernNet Flyer Shuttle Bus Service


The SevernNet Flyer was established as a pilot service (as part of the SevernNet Working Coastal Community Fund initiative) and has been running since January 2016. The funding for this pilot service comes to an end in July 2017.


It is now essential that Employers work together with SevernNet and other stakeholders to develop an employer led service to replace this pilot service later in the summer.


The importance of the service supporting local residents getting to work and connecting those coming into the area by bus or train was stressed by those attending.


To get involved contact Kate Royston (kate.royston@severnnet.org; 07969 569 444). More about the SevernNet Flyer here.

New Members welcomed this month

Our two new Members – eeTEQ ltd and IDS Refrigeration Services were welcomed.


We encourage local businesses to become Members and support our work across the area facilitating co-operation and collaboration. Our regular newsletter including transport bulletins, Business Breakfasts, Transport Forum and supporting work, Health & Safety Peer to Peer Group, Circular Economy initiatives and more need financial support which is funded through Member contributions. A relatively small contribution from you helps fund a significant benefit for businesses across the area.


Up and Coming Events

The next Transport Forum will be on 17th May 2017. This is a valuable and informative platform bringing stakeholders together to discuss local transport challenges and opportunities.  If you’re interested in attending please email kate.royston@severnnet.org.


A date for local health and safety professionals: the next Health and Safety Peer to Peer networking group will take place on July 13th at The Bristol Port Company. If you’d like to join us please email kate.royston@severnnet.org.


Thank you for helping to make this month’s event a success. The next Business Breakfast will be hosted by Accolade Wines on May 18th. We’ll be learning more about Accolade Wines and their operations across the world, together with their plans to install a wind turbine. We look forward to seeing you there.



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