Members of LB Connect hook a duck for Kidsout
Members of LB Connect, Garry Higgins, Thrive Consulant and Sandra Forbes, Forever Living volunteered at Leighton Buzzard canal festival on the KidsOut “Hook a Duck” and Tombola stall. The day raised approximately £600 to help local disadvantaged children.
KidsOut are LB Connect’s nominated charity for 2015/2016 find out more on our charity page
Memories of Robert
From the moment that Robert joined the business networking group, LB Connect, in November 2014, he fitted in perfectly and soon made friends with everyone.
Members of the group shared their memories of him at a recent breakfast meeting, at which the warmth and affection with which he was regarded really shone through.
Robert was always happy and smiling and had a great sense of humour, which endeared him to everyone. From his first appearance as a quiet, shy young man just starting to develop his plumbing business, it was amazing to see how his confidence and business acumen grew from week to week. It was clear to everyone that he had knowledge beyond his years.
LB Connect has had plumbers in the group before, but as members started to book Robert for different plumbing projects, it became apparent that he was someone special. Word quickly spread that he was particularly good at his trade –being a fully qualified heating engineer as well as a plumber. Apart from these qualifications he was very responsive and punctual, very fair with his fees and quotations and frequently went the extra mile with his customer service.
Each week, it was a delight to hear Robert saying that things were getting better and better for him in his business. This kind of good news is infectious and we all willed him to even greater success.
It goes without saying that in Robert we have lost a kindred spirit. In LB Connect he will be sadly missed by the whole group.
160 Businesses Attend Leighton Buzzard Network Event
Hosted by Leighton-Linslade TC in partnership with LB Connect, FSB and Central Bedfordshire
Wednesday 20th April saw Leighton Buzzard’s Astral Park brimming with businesses for the 3rd year of the Leighton Buzzard Networking event. The packed evening was opened by Chris Davies from Sandler Training who gave us some insight into how to make the most of a networking event.
LB Connect members were kept busy welcoming attendees and making introductions and we are looking forward to greeting more guests as a result of the night.
Our congratulations is extended to Jo Martindale, Terrie Moore and the rest of the team at Leighton Linslade Town Council for another fantastic event. The feedback we received on the night was overwhelmingly positive with many looking forward to next year.
Kids In Action present LB Connect with a plaque
Our 2015 charity acknowledged LB Connect’s contribution.
Our Chairman, Bob Chandler, his wife Sue and other representatives from LB Connect attended a recent celebration at Kids In Action.
LB Connect support Leighton-Linslade Town Council
3rd Annual Business Networking Event planned
For the third year Leighton-Linslade Town will be hosting a free business networking event at Astral Park Leighton Buzzard. The aim is to get businesses of all size to meet in an informal setting and to introduce new and micro businesses to the benefits of networking. Spokesperson Jo Martindale of the Partnership Committee says
“we have been encouraged by the success of the last two years and would like to build on it. The event is put on in with help from partners, LB Connect, Central Bedfordshire Council and Federation of Small Businesses. LB Connect is a leading business network group in Leighton Buzzard and has been involved in the event since its launch. Businesses who would like to attend can register online, at
http://www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk/your-community/business/ or call 01525 613920
FSB’s Bedfordshire Business Awards
This year’s FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards will be declared open next week to entries from all companies and sole traders in the county with the theme of “changing up a gear”.
Bedfordshire’s businesses have ridden out the recession and are now ready to take advantage of the opportunities the future will bring.
Business leaders have been invited to the launch of this year’s awards on Wednesday, February 3 at Basepoint, Great Marlings, Luton.
The competition is free to enter and open to all businesses based in Bedfordshire. They do not have to be an FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) member to enter but they must be sole traders or have fewer than 250 employees at the time of entering. There will be a range of categories to consider.
Ian Cording, chairman of the Bedfordshire branch of the FSB, said: “The county’s businesses are lean and fighting fit and will be keen to shout about their achievements and plans for 2016 and beyond.
“Entering awards is the best kept secret in marketing; they can provide a fantastic return on investment so we urge everyone to get their entries rolling in.”
For more details visit http://www.bedfordshireawards.
Couples Working Together = Good Business?
or so it would seem!
If LB Connect members are anything to go by then it would seem that making-a-go-of-it with your spouse is good for business. LB Connect appears to be unique in the local business networking world for the number of husband and wife businesses represented. (unless you know differently). But is it truly good for business…
- Bob and Sue Chandler of Hascat Safety, founder members of LB Connect have just celebrated their 10th year in business,
- Ann-Marie and Mike Neary of Mett Training, also founder members have expanded to bigger offices and taken on more trainers and just won a huge new contract.
- Elaine and Ralph for Dor2Dor Aylesbury, members for 2 years and have never been busier
- Ann and Paul Ormrod from Briteclean have also never been busier and are picking up new property agent clients all the time.
- Jeanette and Chris Figg of MK Tyres are celebrating 12 years in business and have recently expanded.
- Dave and Chantelle Gosbee of The Sports Therapy Room also reporting they had a fantastic 2015.
That’s a lot of couples doing a lot of great business. The question is do couples that succeed come to LB Connect or does LB Connect help couples to succeed?
LB Connect get cuddly for KidsOut
Sue Chandler of Hascat Safety and member of LB Connect is on a one woman mission to get a KidsOut cuddly into every Leighton Buzzard hand and she is off to a good start already raising £200 and who can resist these.
If you want to get your hands on one they cost £5 and you can collect one from Sue call 01525 630676 they are now also being sold in Cherry Trees Dental Practice. To find out more about KidsOut visit our charity page.
LB Connect second calls for Hotel and Conference Facilities.
The Leighton Buzzard Business Collective (LBBC) met last week to discuss changes to Leighton Buzzard infrastructure to help the business community. LB Connect member Andrena Carden-White of Bee Local Magazine is also a member of the Collective and was in attendance.
LBBC members were delighted that Andrew Selous MP was able to come along and give his insight and support to the group; a group that he originally suggested was formed to get Leighton Buzzard’s business voice heard. Also speaking at the meeting was Sam Cauldwell from Central Bedfordshire Council who talked about opportunites for the “land South of High Street”.
As a spokesperson for LB Connect, Andrena reinforced a point raised on the agenda, that LB Connect had struggled to find suitable premises to put on a business fair in the town and although they were grateful for the facilities provided at Cedars School, it was not the right location for a business event of that scale and that conference and meeting facilities were needed in the town. Many of the large businesses in the town were in attendance including Connells, Mini Clipper, Vinci, Ultravision, Grundfos and ID Secured who equally expressed frustration about the lack of suitable hotel accommodation for visitors who invariably were sent to Milton Keynes.
Other points for discussion were lack of superfast broadband in some areas, a greater need for easy business recycling and better communication with businesses, schools and colleges to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the town rather than people travelling out of the area to jobs.
The Leighton Buzzard Business Collective was formed at the suggestion of Andrew Selous MP in association with the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce after the success of similar groups in other towns, the group was formed to look at
- Challenges and opportunities for the business community
- Updates from Central Bedfordshire Council
- Environmental issues and proposals
- The local economy and infrastructure, including any issues that the town is facing
- Local projects and good causes
The Leighton Buzzard Business Collective is not a networking group. For more details contact Paula.Devine@chamber-business.com.
LB Connect invites local businesses to join them at their regular meetings for networking, sharing best practices, inviting guest speakers, creating business development opportunities and promoting social events. If you would like to come along and see what we are all about contact one of our members or fill out the form on the contact us page.
Hascat Safety Celebrate 10 years
Bob and Sue Chandler were joined by LB Connect members to celebrate their 10th anniversary in business at Hascat Safety. They were also joined by friends, family, clients and colleagues at their training room off Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard. Hascat Safety who specialise in health & safety training and compliance are set to launch their online training portal later this month
Bob also has the “dubious honour” as he calls it, to be LB Connect’s long standing Chairman and the members were delighted to be joining him and Sue in their celebration as Bob said
When I was asked all those years ago where would I like to be in 10 years time, I replied, still in business, so we have achieved that.
Congratulations from everyone at LB Connect and heres to 10 more successful years.
LB Connect contribute to new media room at Kids In Action
LB Connect’s final act in supporting Kids In Action, their charity for 2014/2015, was to attend the opening of a new media room at the Kids In Action centre in Dunstable
The opening ceremony by Dunstable, Mayor, Liz Jones was followed by a tour of the state-of-art media equipment installed for the children (and LB Connect adults) to enjoy. The installation cost in the region of £15,000. LB Connect raised funds throughout the year adding the finishing touches to the room but the majority of the £4,140 handed over will be going towards mini-bus transportation that is sorely needed so that more children can attend the amazing centre.
LB Connect contribute a postive factor in reducing local unemployment.
LB Connect, Leighton Buzzard’s leading business networking group, has been commended for playing a positive role in helping to reduce local unemployment and for its fund-raising achievements.
South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous described LB Connect’s growth as
“one of the contributory factors that has resulted in local unemployment claimant levels plummeting by two thirds in the last five years.”
Mr Selous was speaking at a special celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the founding of the group, which has grown from a handful of businesses to a thriving 25 members from a diverse range of industry sectors.
“Having been invited to officially launch LB Connect in September 2010, I am delighted to be back and to offer my congratulations on its success,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that success continuing during the next five years.”
The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of a cheque for £4,140.50 to Kids in Action, LB Connect’s nominated local charity for the 2014/15 year. The money will be used to open an IT room for its young members.
“This is a fantastic amount of money,” said Paul Bowen-James, CEO of Kids in Action. “I’m not only very grateful to LB Connect for its fundraising, but for the fact that a couple of members are now regular volunteers with our charity, which is great.”
Other special guests at the birthday celebration, which was held at Astral Park on 2nd October 2015 and attended by present and former members, were Cllr Ray Berry, Mayor of Leighton-Linslade and Cllr Alan Brandham.
Meeting every Friday at The Hare in Linslade, LB Connect is entirely not-for-profit and since its inception has donated more than £14,000 to local charities including Buzzer Buses, Kids Out, Leighton-Linslade Homeless and PTSD Resolution.
The fifth anniversary came at a time when LB Connect is fast approaching a significant milestone: one million pounds worth of business conducted between members of the group.
Business Networking Event 2015 – (23rd April 5.30pm – 8.00pm)
Come along to the next Business Networking Event at ASTRAL PARK SPORTS & COMMUNITY CENTRE on Thursday 23rd April at 5,30pm to 8.00pm. Entrance is free but you will need to register on the Leighton-Linslade Town Council website or CLICK TO REGISTER. So come and share information, build up client and supplier contacts, promote your business and build local relationships.
At the event there will be:
* Business Card Prize Draw
* Refreshment & Canapes
* Bar Facility
* Free Business Mailing List
* Guest Speakers
Develop links within the community and see what business support is available to you and your business.
Free parking is available and come and take the opportunity to meet other local business owners and meet local networking groups. The event is open to businesses of all sizes, sectors and trades. So please come and join us to support our growing business community in our town.
Charity Bike Ride 5th July, 2014
The ‘Tour de France’ had its grand depart in Yorkshire on Saturday, 5th July with Kate and Wills cutting the ribbon……
Many miles South in Leighton Buzzard, no such luck as the LB Connect Team set off on their charity bike ride for PTSD Resolution. The riders in Yorkshire were blessed with fine sunny weather, not in Bedfordshire as two miles in the heavens opened. The rain continued for the rest of the ride 40 mile ride.
As Marcel Kittel received his yellow jersey, the LB riders at the end of their 40 wet miles arrived satisfied in the completion of this Beds & Bucks epic (no crowds waving and cheering but to an excellent cup of coffee at the Hare Inn). The really good news was that the Ride raised a total of £491.53 for PTSD Resolution.
Well done to all who took part!
Free Business Networking Event At Leighton Buzzard Golf Club – Wednesday 30th April 6pm-9pm
For all business in Leighton Buzzard, Linslade and surrounding areas, Leighton Buzzard Connect in conjunction with Leighton-Linslade Town Council are hosting a Free Business Networking Event on Wednesday 30th April at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club from 6pm to 9pm. So if you own a business in the area, just come Along and…
- Join us in growing the business community in our town.
- Meet with like-minded business people
- Share information and build client & supplier base
- Increase local business communications
- Promote your business and build relationships
- Share goals, aspirations and projects
- Develop links within the community
- See what business support is available to you
- Meet local networking groups
- Raise the business awareness and encourage new businesses to the town
To register, click here REGISTER for EVENT or visit www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk or contact Jo Martindale on 01525 631911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
LB Connect – Charity donation 2013
The profits accumulated during the last 12 months by local business networking group, LB Connect have been donated to a children’s charity.
Kids Out, a national charity with its head office based in Leighton Buzzard, was delighted to receive a cheque for nearly £2,200. Donations made from the sales of pink panther toys by the group and via collecting tins amounted to a further £354.
“This money will help us in more ways than we can say,” said Gordon Moules, chief executive of the charity. “The children that we look after include some of the most vulnerable in society with high rates of suicide, eating disorders and self harm. Your generosity will help to turn some of these young lives around.”
Gordon Moules received the cheque from the group’s chairman, Bob Chandler, at LB Connect’s weekly breakfast meeting held at The Hare in Linslade.
Since launching in 1999, Kids Out has helped more than half a million disadvantaged children by giving them positive experiences including day trips, toy boxes, family days, refuges and workshops. The organisation prides itself in ‘action rather than awareness’ and offers educational and sensory experiences that enhance the lives of young people.
LB Connect is a not for profit networking group established in 2010, currently comprising 24 local businesses. In those three years it has made major donations to Buzzer Buses and Leighton Linslade Homeless, two other very worthy local charities. The group’s charity for 2014 will be PTSD Resolution, which has its head office at The Hare Inn, Linslade.
BIGGEST BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT A SUCCESS
Hundreds of business people gathered at the Sports Hall at Cedars School, Leighton Buzzard in September for the LB Connect Business Fair, the biggest event of its kind ever seen in Leighton Buzzard.
With 64 stands representing a large and diverse selection of local businesses, visitors flocked to see the skills and expertise on offer and to take the opportunity to network.
“We came to meet the business people of Leighton Buzzard – and we did so beyond all of our expectations,” says Tony Drury, the author on the City Fiction table. “A great event. Thank you LB Connect.”
The event proved beneficial to job seekers and employers too. “I thought the event had a very positive vibe and I for one thoroughly enjoyed my time there,” said Steve Perry from Jobcentre Plus.
“This was our third Business fair and by far the busiest and buzziest,” said Bob Chandler, chair of the organisers, LB Connect, the town’s most active business networking group. “We have received many positive comments from exhibitors and visitors alike, many of whom are already talking about next year’s event.”
Five volunteers from the Leighton Buzzard-based children’s charity Kids Out were on hand to help with car parking and orientation and more than a hundred exhibitors and visitors purchased their pink panther cuddly toys, raising £200. Kids Out is LB Connect’s supported charity for 2013 and profits from the event will be donated to the organisation later this year.
Businesses represented covered a wide range of industries from vehicle supplies to double glazing, marketing, pest control, life planning and ice cream. Special guests included Andrew Selous MP and representatives from the town council, Central Beds authority, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
The LB Connect Business Fair is now in its third year and has become an important event on the regional business calendar. Profit from the Fair is being donated to Kids Out, the Leighton Buzzard-based charity that provides breaks for underprivileged children across the region.
LB Connect is a not for profit organisation that links businesses through regular meetings, networking, sharing best practices, talks by guest speakers, creating business development opportunities and promoting social events.
Lead sponsor for the event was Osborne Morris and Morgan (OMM), the local firm of solicitors and legal professionals who have become nationally recognized for outstanding service. Other sponsors included Clark Howes and Reisswolf.
A busy scene at the LB Connect Business Fair.
Business Networking Event At Mentmore Golf & Country Club – Wednesday 17th April 6pm-8pm
Calling all business in Leighton Buzzard & Linslade
Join us in growing the business community in our town.
Meet with like-minded business people
Share information and build client & supplier base
Increase local business communications
Promote your business and build relationships
Share goals, aspirations and projects
Develop links within the community
See what business support is available to you
Meet local networking groups
Raise the business awareness and encourage new businesses to the town
Three charities benefit from music night
LB Connect donated £300 to three local charities following a music night held at Brooklands School, Leighton Buzzard and organised by Mike Neary, a director of the group.
Mike’s band, Blues Before Midnight, was one of the two groups performing on the night – an evening that in total raised more than £1,800 for Keech Hospice, Willen Hospice and PTSD Resolution. The total raised was split equally between the three charities, with LB Connect’s donation coming from the proceeds of a raffle held during the evening.
Plans for major local business expo well underway
LB Connect is ell advanced with its plans to hold a major local business fair in the town this coming autumn.
The event will capitalise on the success of the LB Connect Business Fair held at Cedars School sports hall last year, featuring 60 stands, guest speakers and many visitors.
Watch this space for dates, times and how to book…
“Just what the town needs” – Andrew Selous MP
Visitors who flocked to the LB Connect Business Fair were treated to nearly 60 exhibition stands, advice for business and were given a major opportunity to network.
South West Beds MP Andrew Selous, who officially opened the event, said: “This is just what the town needs. It’s excellent to see so many businesses here.”
Organised by Leighton Buzzard’s leading networking group, LB Connect, the event was held at Cedars School sports hall, which provided ample space for the 60 businesses represented and the visitors that attended.
Among the businesses represented were florists, removals, storage, marketing, video production, leisure, building services, sports and fitness, double glazing, financial services, photography, safety training, motor servicing, double glazing, pest control and ice cream vending.
Several local organisations were present including Leighton Town Council, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bedford College and Leighton Fair Trade.
During the event, LB Connect presented a cheque for £2,073.25 to Leighton Linslade Homeless Service (LLHS). The charity also benefited from a £523 cheque from Mike Neary of local R&B group, Blues Before Midnight, and a £300 cheque from Leighton branch of Howdens Joinery.
Daryl Hughes, depot manager at Howdens, said: “When we heard that LB Connect was raising money for LLHS we wanted to do something to help. The charity does such an amazing work for those in our community that have been dealt a different hand in life.”
Alan Knowles, chairman of LLHS, said: “One of the things that keeps us going in the difficult work we do is the widespread support we enjoy from the local community. Thank you, LB Connect, for demonstrating that again.”
Two keynote speakers at the event gave incisive insights into the local and national ecomonic situation. Charles Smith, regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, stressed the importance that smaller businesses had to play in the economic recovery. Steve Cotter, who has held several senior management roles with some of the UK’s biggest retailers, gave top tips on trading in adversity.
Photographs courtesy Kate Piper, KPD PhotoDesign
LOCAL BUSINESSES ON TARGET FOR MAJOR EVENT
Plans are now complete for one of the biggest business networking events to be held on the Beds, Bucks and Herts borders in recent years.
An exhibition featuring 56 local businesses has already sold out at the Leighton Buzzard Business Fair 2012, which will feature representatives from government, local authorities, trade organisations and business gurus. Hundreds of people are expected to visit.
The Fair, organised by Leighton Buzzard’s leading networking group, LB Connect, takes place at Cedars Upper School sports hall in Linslade between 6.00pm and 8.00pm on Wednesday, 26 September.
South West Beds MP, Andrew Selous will be present, as will Leighton Linslade Town Mayor, Cllr Alan Brandham and other members of the Town Council. There will also be representatives from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Charlie Smith, chairman of Bedfordshire Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire region of the Federation of Small Businesses, will give a keynote speech on the local economy.
Stephen Cotter, who has held several national senior management posts in the retail industry and is currently councillor for St George’s Ward in Leighton Buzzard, will give the second keynote speech.
The exhibition will feature a wide variety of local businesses from accountants to web designers and electricians to utility providers. There will be a chance for visitors win a BMW Mini and everyone will be entered into a draw with prizes including £50 of fresh flowers, two 90 minute driver assessments and remedial packages, a meal for two, computer accessories and more.
Chairman of organisers LB Connect, Bob Chandler said: “This will be an excellent opportunity for anyone involved in business locally to meet, swap ideas and share experiences in a convivial and lively atmosphere.
“We held a smaller but highly successful show 18 months ago and learned a great deal from that experience. We have been planning this event ever since and are confident that it will have something of interest for every business in the area. Stand space has already sold out and the interest we are receiving from visitors continues to grow daily.”
There will also be a fund raising element to the event, with profit from the Fair being donated to Leighton Linslade Homeless Service, which has helped more than 150 homeless people in the area during the last two years.
Entry to the Fair, which includes refreshments and free draw, cost £10 each. More information on Leighton Buzzard Business Fair can be found by calling Julia on 07743 739900.
LB Connect Finalist for award
STOP PRESS: The Federation of Small Businesses has just announced that LB Connect has been chosen as a Finalist in the Networking Group of the Year category in the FSB Business Awards 2012. LB Connect is delighted to have been given this honour. The ultimate winners in Bedfordshire will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on June 13th.
Since SW Beds MP Andrew Selous officially launched LB Connect in September 2010, this business networking group has continued to grow and thrive. LB Connect is wholly independent, non-profit and community minded and raises impressive sums for local charities, while achieving direct member referrals of £350,000+ in its first 15 months.
Four exciting initiatives launched to stimulate business success
19th January 2012
Event Date: 24 FEBRUARY @ 6.45am • The Ship, Wing Road, LB
Our next Guest Speaker is Caron Kendall, Business Engagement and Marketing
Officer for Central Bedfordshire Council. Caron is also involved with business
investment & marketing and economic growth & regeneration.
Caron will give a brief overview of her responsibilities before talking in some detail about four Council initiatives:
• Business Timebank: A “bank” of mainly local professional service providers who are prepared to offer consultation, mentoring, training or coaching sessions on a range of business related areas such as financial planning, sales and marketing, cash flow forecasting, property and human resources.
• The Soft Landing Service (TimeBank Plus): Packages together highly attractive incentives and information. As with the TimeBank , this service will be provided at no cost to the end user. The service is targeted at companies that are looking at setting up or relocating to Central Bedfordshire and high growth businesses.
• Pilot 10: This involves 10 local companies with potential for high growth taking part in Central Bedfordshire’s High Growth programme. The idea is that these
businesses will help create sustainable job growth in the area.
• “Lets talk business” Newsfeed: Businesses sign up to recieve Central Bedfordshire’s business news which keeps them in touch with the latest business
opportunities on topics such as financing and funding opportunities, contracts and tenders, information on free seminars, workshops and opportunities for one to one advice, updates on key infrastructure, networking events and business news.
Don’t miss this important topic on ! Non-members can book this session for only £10 (which includes a full English or Continental breakfast) by emailing Will Lloyd: email@example.com
Hurry – spaces are limited!
DONATION GETS A BUZZ GOING!
20th October 2011
A Leighton Buzzard based charity received a welcome boost this week after being presented with a cheque for well over £1,000 from local businesses.
LB Connect, the town’s newest business networking group, raised the money through social events, raffles and from its own non-profit policy whereby surplus funds are given to a local charity.
Buzzer Buses, which operates a fleet of eight brightly coloured vehicles throughout the area for the elderly and disabled community, was LB Connect’s inaugural chosen charity for its first year.
At LB Connect’s breakfast meeting held at The Ship Inn, Wing Road, chairman Bob Chandler handed a cheque worth £1,147.63 to Tony Betley, Treasurer for Buzzer Buses.
“It has been a particularly tough year for Buzzer Buses, especially since we took on our eighth vehicle but have had no additional funding from Central Beds Council,” said Mr Betley. “Donations like this are extremely welcome and we are very grateful to LB Connect for supporting us this year.”
In addition to the cheque, Buzzer Buses was given a cash box containing £65 raised by the customers of MK Tyres.
The group’s chosen charity for its second year will be announced shortly.
On 1 September, LB Connect recorded £140,000 worth of business by direct referrals within the group since its launch a year previously. This figure does not take into account second and third generation referrals, which would greatly add to this total.
For further information about this expanding business networking group, visit the LB Connect website: www.lbconnect.co.uk