Author: andypilley

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Join Fleetwood Town Community Trust in tackling the stigma of men’s mental health

On International Men’s Day next month, Fleetwood Town Community Trust will gather the local community and celebrate local men at an event which will be held at the Sea Cadet Base from 11am until 3pm.

International Men’s Day is celebrated on 19th November each year by over 70 countries, and focuses on raising awareness of discrimination and men’s health.

The event, which is sponsored by Fleetwood-based charity Men’s Shed, will showcase services on offer to men and women in the town with representatives from a number of charities and community groups including Healthier Fleetwood, Trinity Hospice, Lancashire Mind, Prince’s Trust, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and more.

The event will be opened at 11am by Fleetwood Town Chairman and local business owner Andy Pilley, and there will be guest speakers including local boxer Brian Rose (12pm), Men’s Shed founder Tony O’Neill (1pm), and Dave McPartlin, Headteacher at Flakefleet Primary School (2pm).

John Hartley, Community Sports Development Officer at the Community Trust, has played a pivotal role in organising the event, after Stuart Macrae, who is from the local area, approached him with the idea.

“I joined forces with Stuart to organise this International Men’s Day event to bring the community together and give residents the opportunity to find out about local organisations and networks they can look to for support.

“As well as celebrating men who have a positive impact on the town, it’s the perfect chance to meet new people.  By opening up and sharing experiences, we can help tackle social isolation and improve mental health across the town.”

In the lead up to the event, we would like to encourage everyone to nominate the male they think has created the greatest impact on the local community over the last year. The person with the most votes will be presented with a certificate during the event. Click here to cast your vote.

Tony O’Neill, Founder of Men’s Shed, said:

“This event is about bringing Fleetwood together as a community, and respecting the fact that men have feelings too. So many men bottle things up as there’s still a stigma surrounding men opening up and talking about how they feel, and this shouldn’t be the case.

“This is the perfect event to show men that there are others in the same boat as them. We want to nullify the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, and let them know it’s ok to ask for help.”

Men’s Shed is a charity offering peer support, help, advice and friendship to members. It provides people with a place to share their experiences and helps them open up emotionally, making a real difference to the lives of local residents.

Refreshments will be served throughout the event, and everyone who attends will receive a goody bag. Free car parking will also be available opposite the venue, on Rossall Point car park.

We hope to see you all there on Tuesday 19th November at the Sea Cadet Base, 140 Beach Road, Fleetwood, FY7 8PQ.

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Huge reduction in park’s anti-social behaviour thanks to Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town has led the transformation of East Pines Park, creating a hub for young people and reducing reports of anti-social behaviour by over 70%.

The football pitch at East Pines Park in Anchorsholme was in desperate need of a revamp, and having fond memories of the park from his childhood, Fleetwood Town Chairman Andy Pilley stepped in to help.

For the last 12 months, the grounds team from Fleetwood Town have been maintaining the pitch to ensure it’s always in tip top condition for a range of group sessions from youngsters to the older players.

Thanks to a recent grant from the Lancashire Police, the park has been able to acquire its very own qualified coaches, Paul Wilshaw and Dale Casser, who have developed programmes for FC East Pines 7-11 and 11-16 age groups.

The programmes are designed to teach young people about a range of topics including respect, bullying and anti-social behaviour, as well as helping them transition from primary to secondary school.

In the future, they want to create programmes which will teach young people business management skills, helping boost their employability and equipping them for the world of work.

Cllr Paul Galley and Cllr Tony Williams, who both represent Anchorsholme ward, are real advocates for the partnership between Fleetwood Town and East Pines Park.

“People have really started to believe in us, and I believe that’s thanks to the strong ties we now have with Fleetwood Town,” said Paul.

“The grounds team and Chairman regularly visit and have become a part of our East Pines family.

“The Club kindly donated a line machine, and after teaching us how to use it, members of our community with special needs now mark the pitches, and it’s something they love doing.

“The football teams are going from strength to strength and every Friday we have around 50 young people turning up to play, which I strongly believe has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, as they now have something to focus on.

“Last year over summer, there were 28 reports of anti-social behaviour, and this year there was just eight, which is amazing. It goes to show that what we’re doing is having a huge impact. We couldn’t have achieved this without the generosity and support from Fleetwood Town, and for that, I am so grateful.”

Next year, Paul has plans to take over Anchorsholme Park where he hopes to recreate the success he’s had at East Pines.

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Jobs boost as the BES Group expands into Manchester

The BES Group, comprising BES Utilities and BES Metering Services, is delighted to announce further expansion as they open new offices in Manchester and secure jobs for up to 30 new employees.

Following the recent demise of energy supplier Eversmart, Co-owner and Director of BES, Andy Pilley, saw the opportunity to expand BES’ workforce and offered jobs to around 30 people, who have expertise in all areas of supply and metering.

As these members of staff were previously based in Manchester, BES has opened new Trafford Park offices to save its new employees from having to relocate, and adding to its existing north west locations. The new team members will provide support to BES Metering Services as the business continues to go from strength to strength.

“As one of the first truly independent energy suppliers, I am thrilled to announce our expansion into Manchester,” said Andy. “It’s a really exciting time for BES as the business is continually growing and becoming more successful, cementing our place in this highly competitive sector.

“When we heard the sad news about Eversmart, we wanted to all we could to help those who had lost their jobs, so we immediately made contact and quickly arranged interviews. I’m delighted we have been able to offer roles to the majority of staff.

“When we heard the sad news about Eversmart, we wanted to all we could to help those who had lost their jobs, so we immediately made contact and quickly arranged interviews. I’m delighted we have been able to offer roles to the majority of staff.

“Thanks to our new metering division, we can now provide an end to end service to our customers without having to rely so heavily on external agents, so we can continue to provide unparalleled service.”

Luke Gannon, who has joined BES as an Engineer Support Lead, said: “It was a worrying time when the company I worked for went bust, so I’m over the moon to have been offered a new role with BES Metering Services. Andy Pilley came to talk to us about the BES Group and it sounds like a really exciting business to work for – I can’t wait to start.”

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to join a business which is expanding here in the UK and internationally,” added Metering Administrator Joe Chimeura. “I’m really grateful for the chance I’ve been given and I’m looking forward to my next chapter with BES Metering Services.”

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BES supports local charity through food bank donations

In their latest initiative to help the community, employees at BES Utilities will be providing food bank donations to Fleetwood-based charity, The Mustard Seed Group.

BES Utilities is committed to supporting worthy causes, and they will be joining forces with Fleetwood Town Community Trust to provide monthly donations to the charity.

Employees have been invited to leave items in a purpose-built collection box, which will be collected on the last working day of each month.

Joel Chapman, Head of Communications at BES said, “Our employees are incredibly generous and love doing their bit for worthy causes, especially ones close to home.  We are delighted to team up with the Mustard Seed Group here in Fleetwood and we’re looking forward to finding out more about how our donations are supporting the local community.”

The Mustard Seed Group is an outreach charity for those who are lonely, vulnerable, in crisis or people experiencing short term difficulties and complications to their lives. They hold a weekly session where they offer hot meals and a place for people to relax and meet others in a safe environment.

The Mustard Seed Group is an outreach charity for those who are lonely, vulnerable, in crisis or people experiencing short term difficulties and complications to their lives. They hold a weekly session where they offer hot meals and a place for people to relax and meet others in a safe environment.

“Receiving support from BES Utilities means a great deal to our charity,” said Hilary Craig, one of The Mustard Seed Group Managers. “We help people in crisis with food, household goods, and bedding, and we never turn anyone away empty handed. We provide hot meals to those in need, and it’s all prepped and served by volunteers. We rely heavily on donations of food and we’re really grateful to BES Utilities for choosing to help us.”

The charity meets on a Monday night at 6pm at St Peters Church, Lord Street, Fleetwood. Click here to find out more.

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Pitch perfect setting for BES staff briefing

This morning, almost 200 members of staff from BES Utilities gathered on the pitch to listen to business updates from company Directors, Andy and Michelle.

Andy Pilley and Michelle Davidson, Co-owners and Directors of BES, hold regular briefing sessions to keep staff up to date with what’s been happening in the business and what’s coming up.

In today’s briefing they discussed opportunities for progression within the company, the new training and development e-learning programme they’ve invested in, and they provided an update about BES Metering Services Ltd, their most recent acquisition.

“We hold regular staff briefings as I think it’s so important to keep them in the loop with all the exciting things happening within the business,” said Andy. “It really helps with staff engagement and morale across the teams and it’s something we’ll continue to do.

“The venue for the briefing changed last minute as it was such a glorious morning, so it was an extra treat for staff as the pitch is usually out of bounds during the season!”

As well as being official sponsors of Fleetwood Town Football Club, BES Utilities’ Head Office is based at their ground, and the company is proud to employ over 200 members of staff, many of whom are from the local community.

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BES Utilities and Card Saver pledge £20,000 to help tackle bullying in schools

Card Saver and BES Utilities have today donated £20,000 to support a training programme aimed at tackling bullying in schools.

The Fylde coast-based companies – set up and led by entrepreneur Andy Pilley and his sister Michelle Davidson – have joined forces with Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach Norry Ascroft to enable the roll-out of his MADD About Bullying programme to 200 schools across the North West.

This is the second time Andy, who is also chairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club, has pledged a five-figure sum to support Norry’s ground-breaking anti-bullying work.

Earlier this year League One Fleetwood Town gave £10,000 to MADD About Bullying – which stands for ‘Making A Direct Difference’.

The programme, which is presented through a series of engaging video modules, explores the foundation of human behaviour and investigates strategies to tackle negative actions which can lead to bullying.

Fleetwood-based commercial energy supplier BES Utilities and Blackpool-based payment solutions company Card Saver have both donated £10,000 to support the roll-out.

Norry said: “Andy’s generous support is truly wonderful and I can’t thank him and his teams at BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town enough.

“MADD About Bullying is designed to assist teachers, parents and students and make a real and direct difference by addressing behaviour which can lead to bullying.

“Andy’s first donation enabled us to roll-out the programme to 100 schools. This additional £20,000 from Andy and his companies will enable us to reach another 200 North West schools. This fantastic support will make a real difference.”

The MADD About Bullying training programme is funded entirely through sponsors so it can be delivered to schools free of charge.

Andy said: “Norry’s an inspirational person who is so passionate about tackling the serious and complex issue of bullying in schools.

“We are delighted to be able to follow up the earlier backing from Fleetwood Town with additional financial support from BES Utilities and Card Saver.

“We are proud to be sponsors of a programme which could make a real difference for schools and young people.”

Norry set out to help teachers, parents and children after reading about a teenage girl who had committed suicide due to cyber bullying.

Explaining how MADD About Bullying works, Norry added: “Training teachers, parents and children about the behaviour weaknesses that drive bullying is the only way we are going to make a real difference.

“We have received some amazing feedback from schools already using the training programme and getting real benefits from the modules.

“This is something we want to roll out across the UK. Through the support of Andy and our other sponsors, it’s a dream that can become a reality.”

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BES Utilities pledges support for The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign

BES Utilities is backing a campaign to help raise funds for a vital community support service. 
 

The commercial energy supplier has pledged its support to The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign which was launched to help meet the charity’s day-to-day running costs. 

The Samaritans’ Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch deals with more than 2,000 calls a month from people who require emotional support or are in distress. 
 

Although the branch has a dedicated group of 70-plus volunteers the charity relies solely on donations from the public to pay its £147 a day running costs. 

BES Utilities, which is owned by Fleetwood entrepreneur Andy Pilley, has pledged its support to ‘Pay for a Day’ after the campaign was brought to its attention by the company’s Learning and Development Trainer Alex Dodd, who is a Samaritans volunteer in her spare time. 
 

Alex said: “The work The Samaritans does is so vital, they help so many people at times of real hardship and distress. 
 

“Every day the Fylde coast branch answers, on average, 80 phone calls, emails and text messages, and is there for anyone who calls or visits for a face-to-face chat.   
 

“It really is a lifeline for so many people and I’m so delighted and proud BES Utilities is supporting such a fantastic charity in this way.”     
 

The Samaritans’ Fylde coast branch, situated on Edward Street, Blackpool, was set up in 1978 and operates 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. 
 

Branch director Angie Pascoe said she was delighted local companies like BES Utilities were supporting the ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign.  

Angie said: “At the heart of The Samaritans are our volunteers who do such amazing, selfless work. But like any charity we need funds to pay for basic things like lighting, heating, phones and rent. 

“It costs £147 to run and maintain our branch and shop each day, which includes training for all our volunteers and paying for our Freecall phone service 116 123. 

“As a charity we rely solely on the generosity of the public. Local businesses often ask us how they can help and getting involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ is perfect. 

“Im really delighted BES Utilities has decided to sponsor the branch. It means a lot and helps our volunteers to continue to provide such a vital service.” 

If you would like to get involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ or get more information about the work of The Samaritans please email blackpool.fundraising@samaritans.org 

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Cod Army pitches in to transform park for footballers young and old

A once forlorn football pitch is bringing players of all ages together thanks to a stunning transformation led by Fleetwood Town.

The pitch in East Pines Park, Anchorsholme, was in a rather sorry state until the Cod Army’s grounds team got involved.

Town chairman Andy Pilley – who grew up nearby – pledged to help revamp the facilities after he was approached by the Friends of East Pines Park.

Now, following extensive improvement work, which includes drainage and a new marked-out playing surface and goals, the pitch plays host to a variety of community football sessions for youngsters. There are also weekly walking football sessions for older players.

And the new facilities have already been credited with reducing instances of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Visiting the park to see the stunning transformation for himself, Andy said: “I grew up near the park and know it very well. It’s an important open space for local residents that sadly, until the Friends group got involved, was in a rather sorry state.

“I’m delighted that as a local lad I’ve been able to assist the great work the Friends group does. The pitch now looks fantastic – I’d hazard a guess it’s probably the best park pitch on the Fylde coast!

“What is great to see is that since the work was carried out so many groups are now using the pitch. The club is committed to helping with its upkeep and we hope this is the start of something really special for Anchorsholme residents young and old.”

(3) Anchorsholme youngsters check out the new pitch at East Pines Park.JPG

Together with the help of Fleetwood Town, the Friends group– which is made up of a dedicated band of volunteers and local councillors – has secured grants from Sport England and the Lancashire Crime Commissioner.

This has enabled the creation of coaching sessions for under-11 to under-16 age ranges. The sessions, run by Sport Blackpool in association with coaches from Blackpool and The Fylde College, involve around 50 youngsters.

Cllr Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme ward, said: “Andy and Fleetwood Town have been amazing. With their support we have been able to create a truly wonderful playing surface. It has proper drainage, is correctly marked out, goals, nets, corner flags and is something the whole community is rightly proud of.

“The impact of the pitch and coaching sessions, together with our message of respect for the park, respect for other residents and respect for the local community, has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the park massively.

“Our next step is to create several East Pines Park five-a-side teams that can play in the leagues at Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex. Again, Andy has generously agreed to help us on that journey.

“Through Andy and Fleetwood Town’s support and guidance, we are creating an amazing footballing and sports legacy which will positively shape the lives of people of our young people for a generation to come.”

Since 2015, the Friends of East Pines Park has secured funding and raised money allowing them to install £45,000 of new play equipment, erect £28,000 of new railings, plant more than 4,000 plants and open a café at Anchorsholme Library. In 2018 the park was named ‘Best Park in Blackpool’ in the Blackpool In Bloom awards.

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BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs

BES Utilities has won a major contract which will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.

ESPO – one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations – has set up a new fixed-price purchase framework that will allow public sector bodies to source gas and electricity at lower prices than they would otherwise be able to negotiate themselves.

And ESPO has confirmed it has selected BES Utilities as one of its three suppliers for the new framework.

The contract – which is worth an estimated £600m over two years – allows BES to supply a range of public sector bodies across the UK including:

  • Local authorities
  • Educational establishments (including Academies)
  • Central Government Departments and agencies
  • Police, Fire and Rescue and Coastguard emergency services
  • NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies, including Ambulance Services
  • Registered charities
  • Registered social landlords

Michelle Davidson, co-owner and director of BES Utilities, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to supply gas and electricity to ESPO’s customers through this new framework. This is a major development for BES and opens a new market to us.

“We always pride ourselves on developing innovative products which help our private sector customers drive down their energy bills. We now look forward to bringing this dedication and expertise to the public sector.

“We are committed to working with ESPO and their customers, who range from schools, councils, the emergency services and charities, to deliver unrivalled service and real value for money.”

Lancashire-based BES Utilities is joined by Corona Energy and Total Gas and Power as the framework’s suppliers.

All three were assessed during the procurement process on their financial stability, track record, experience, technical and professional ability and regulatory status.

Declan McAlister, ESPO Category Manager (Energy), said: “We are proud to bring to market our brand-new Fixed Price Energy framework which will give excellent value and service to the public sector and will provide greater budgetary certainty.

“We are delighted to have a choice of suppliers on the framework that have all been rigorously assessed during our procurement process to ensure our customers receive the highest of standards from the ESPO they know and trust.

“In particular, the suppliers impressed us with their commitment to social responsibility and transparency, a key principle of this procurement process.”

BES Utilities is committed to social responsibility and helping customers in tough trading times through the company’s ground-breaking hardship fund and its partnership with the charity Business Debtline.

In 2018 alone, the BES Fund gave assistance to customers who had collectively run up energy debts of almost £500,000. Through pro-active intervention, BES and Business Debtline were able to provide clear pathways and viable solutions for businesses allowing them to continue trading.

ESPO, which is jointly owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Peterborough City Council, has more than 30 years of experience in public sector procurement.

As a large purchaser, it can take an aggregated and risk-managed approach to negotiations and so return greater value to customers amid often volatile energy market prices.

The new framework can secure pre-agreed, fixed prices for Half Hour (HH), Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) and Unmetered Supplies (UMS). This will, in turn, provide budget certainty for customers.

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BES Utilities launches specialist metering division following acquisition of Access Install

Commercial energy supplier BES Utilities is delighted to today announce the launch of its very own specialist metering services division.

This follows the acquisition of Liverpool-based metering, asset and management company Access Install, for an undisclosed sum, with a further planned seven figure investment in the operation over the next 12 months.

The business will now trade as BES Metering Services with all 80 Access Install employees – including a nationwide network of metering engineers – transferring to the Lancashire-based BES Group with immediate effect.

BES co-founder and chairman Andy Pilley said the development is great news for customers while also securing jobs. BES is also looking to create at least 20 new jobs by expanding the number of metering engineers employed.

Andy said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of BES Metering Services which is a very important development for both the company and our customers.

“Through this acquisition we now have our very own dedicated metering installation and servicing company and the importance of this cannot be over-stated.

“By combining this new internal capability with the services of our existing trusted partners we will improve the speed and reliability of metering appointments as well as access to the latest metering technologies and that is great news for customers.

“On top of this, having our own metering business demonstrates our commitment towards meeting the Government’s smart meter rollout target.

“We are delighted to welcome a new 80-strong workforce to BES and we look forward to expanding this dedicated team very soon by increasing the number of meter engineers employed. These are truly exciting times for BES as we continue to expand our business and improve services for our customers.”

BES was formed in 2002 and supplies gas and electricity to non-domestic customers across the UK. It recently bucked the national trend by slashing electricity bills for thousands of businesses by an average of 10.28%.

The group of companies now employs around 800 staff across all its businesses which include BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town Football Club.

Founded in 2016, Access Install provides Meter Operator Provider (MoP), Meter Asset Manager (MAM) and Meter Asset Provider (MAP) services. Operations and staff will continue to be based at Liverpool International Business Park following the sale to BES.

The Government has targeted the installation of more than 53 million ‘Smart Meters’ in homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

Smart meters enable customers to receive accurate and up-to-date information about their energy consumption which can assist in helping reduce bills and improve energy efficiency.

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