Author: andypilley

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Work experience proves to be a fortnight to remember for Dylan

Millfield Science and Performing Arts College student Dylan Merrick spent two weeks at Fleetwood Town as part of his work experience.

Dylan, a huge Fleetwood Town fan and keen sportsman, contacted the club to see whether he could complete his work experience at Highbury.

The 15-year-old worked in the ticket office, club shop and the administration office with the commercial team throughout the week, before finishing it off with Wayne Bibby, the club’s Supporters Liaison Officer.

As a reward for all his hard work, Dylan was given the chance to meet Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton before the Peterborough United match, as well as access to the dressing room to meet his idols.

“I really enjoyed my work experience at Fleetwood Town,” said Dylan. “It was an amazing opportunity that I’m really grateful for, and I’ve benefited from it hugely. I’m so much more confident speaking to people I don’t know, and going to different places on my own, working independently.

“After spending two weeks behind the scenes at Highbury, there is now no doubt in my mind that I want to work in sport, whether it’s coaching or refereeing.”

Fleetwood Town Chairman Andy Pilley, said: “It’s been fantastic to see four such conscientious and confident young people carrying out their work experience at Fleetwood Town. Myself and everyone at the club have been impressed by their work ethic and maturity, and we may even have identified some future staff!

“I’d like to wish Dylan all the best with the remainder of their studies and thank him for his hard work over the last two weeks.”

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Matchday experience transformed through innovative payment technology

Fleetwood Town have revolutionised their fan experience by teaming up with Card Saver to install innovative point of sale technology throughout Highbury Stadium and Poolfoot Farm.

Card Saver, one of the UK’s fastest-growing card payment processing providers and the club’s official Back of Shirt Sponsor, recently partnered with Bleep UK PLC, so they can provide their customers with unrivalled choice and the latest in payment technology. 

After receiving positive feedback from customers using the new Bleep technology, Card Saver thought it would be a great opportunity for Fleetwood Town to update their payment technology and improve their customer experience, and they have project managed and delivered the install from start to finish. 

Bleep UK PLC are the EPOS experts when it comes to stadia and entertainment environments, with a proven track record deploying easy to use, intuitive and reliable EPOS solutions that really make a difference. 

Card Saver has installed Bleep’s award-winning EPOS systems across the entire retail, catering and hospitality areas, and as well as increasing speed of service, reducing queues and improving the match day transactional experience, the terminals display customer facing videos on which the club can run special offers, news and engaging content at the point of sale. 

Card Saver have provided Fleetwood Town with a payment solution for use during hospitality in the Parkside Suite. Designed to be carried by waiting staff at all times, bills can be produced immediately, printed and fully itemised for the customer to view at the table, as well as having the ability to process the card payment there and then.

The club will also benefit from an advanced cloud-based back office software, Web Back Office (W-BO), which enables real-time sales reporting and stock control. W-BO allows for fast and efficient price and product changes and the ability to view in-depth metrics and analytics, with a full suite of reporting, in addition to the matchday stock control function and cash offices features. 

The club shop’s EPOS system has been linked with the eCommerce store, which means that all online sales and stock levels for the club shop report into W-BO, giving management a full, clear and accurate picture of exactly what’s going on at all times. 

Andy Pilley, Chairman and owner of Fleetwood Town, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our service, and the new technology installed by Card Saver has transformed the match day experience.  It’s really pleasing that the feedback from both customers and staff has been fantastic.” 

“The turnaround was so quick at the last home game,” commented Phil Davies, Facilities and Operations Director at the club, who is highly impressed with the new technology. 

“Often there can be lengthy queues at the kiosks within the concourse area, but I’ve never seen them so low, and I’m sure it’s down to the transaction speed of the new tills.” 

Gordon Bolton, Managing Director of Bleep UK PLC, said: “One of the biggest frustrations for football fans up and down the country is queuing for food and beverages on a matchday – something Bleep’s innovative point of sale technology is already helping to reduce at Highbury.

“Our stadium solution also improves service and increases spend per head, whilst driving revenue across concourse, hospitality and retail areas. 

“We are delighted to be working with this ambitious, forward thinking club and this is just the beginning of an exciting partnership between Fleetwood Town FC and Bleep.”

If you’re interested in transforming your business through the latest payment technology, click here

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School skills boost thanks to new partnership with Cod Army Chairman

Fylde coast entrepreneur and Chairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club, Andy Pilley, has pledged his support for local special school, Highfurlong, through the launch of an exciting new partnership. 

After seeing the staff and students of Highfurlong in action during a recent visit to the school, Andy spotted the opportunity for his various businesses to help out in a number of ways, such as providing the unique chance for students to boost their knowledge and employability skills.   

Andy and his team will also be providing bespoke sport and fitness sessions at the club’s state of the art training and community facility, Poolfoot Farm, plus offering support with design and marketing of the Highfurlong gift shop and other fundraising activities.   

Highfurlong School, which is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, delivers education and care to children and young people with a wide range of physical, medical and neurological conditions aged between two and 19 years old. 

Andy wanted to not only provide students with fun experiences, but also the chance to learn key skills they can transfer to the workplace, which is crucial especially as they reach the end of their school careers.   

They will have the opportunity to experience the world of work through placements at Poolfoot Farm and BES Utilities, and members of staff from a range of departments at BES have already shown a keen interest in delivering careers talks at the school. 

Students will also be able to take part in workshops during their enterprise class, such as logo design with the Marketing Team at Card Saver, where they can get their creative thinking caps on and contribute to the design of a new logo for their on-site shop, The Gift Box. 

In addition, the whole school will be invited to take part in an exciting competition to raise awareness of energy efficiency. 

“I was hugely impressed by the facilities at Highfurlong, but what struck me most of all was the warm welcome we received from the students and staff,” said Andy. 

“I’m delighted to launch our partnership, which will enable my various businesses, including the football club, to get involved and support this fantastic school and the amazing pupils.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone more over the coming months.”    

Neill Oldham, Headteacher of Highfurlong, said: 

“We are really excited to welcome Andy and his team, and have genuinely been blown away with all the opportunities they are able to offer our pupils. 

“It has been our pleasure to welcome key members of Andy’s team into the school and to receive their positive input. This collaboration has opened the door to many new opportunities for our learners, including a brand new football team kit for our newly formed team, the use of the amazing facilities at Poolfoot and at Highbury, and most importantly the access to a wide range of work experience activities.” 

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Green Team receive VIP treatment at Fleetwood Town

The Green Team from East Pines Park had a fabulous time cheering on the Cod Army from VIP seats at last night’s match.

A group of adults with learning disabilities, ‘The Green Team’ are responsible for keeping East Pines Park in Anchorsholme clean and tidy, creating a space everyone in the community can enjoy.

The football pitch at East Pines Park 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.

After leading the transformation of the park, the club invited the Green Team, along with Cllr Paul Galley – who represents Anchorsholme ward – down to Highbury to enjoy the game.

For many of the team, it was the first time they had experienced a league one football match, and it’s safe to say, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know the team from East Pines Park over the last year or so as part of our ongoing partnership, and we were delighted to be able to welcome them to their first Fleetwood Town match last night,” said Andy Pilley.

He added: “They’ve been really keen to learn what goes on behind the scenes at the club and last night was the perfect opportunity for us to show them.

“It was great to see their faces when they saw what was in store for them when they arrived. As well as treating them to seats on the VIP balcony, we also arranged for them to meet the players beforehand.”

Cllr Paul Galley said: “It means so much for us to be invited to the club. It completes the link between an amazing football club and a great park, with the special bond between the two going from strength to strength.

“We’re truly grateful for the experience, and so proud of this partnership which the whole community benefits from.”

Green Team member Shaun Simpson loved the whole experience and can’t wait to visit again.

“It was my first time at Fleetwood Town and I had an amazing time. The staff were all so nice to us and I loved getting to meet the players.”

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BES helps businesses go green with new renewable electricity

In a bid to tackle climate change and help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, BES Utilities is thrilled to launch its new renewable electricity product.

Renewable electricity is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, namely the sun, water or wind, and using green energy has huge health and environmental benefits.

BES’ renewable electricity is affordable and available to everyone, whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer, you can switch at any time. Customers will even receive a personalised certificate which can be used to verify their green energy credentials and commitment to sustainable values.

Andy Pilley, Owner and Director of BES, said:

“We’re delighted to launch BES’ renewable electricity product, which provides our new and existing business customers an affordable way to buy their energy from totally green sources.  The impact of climate change has never been more topical, and we are committed to helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint.”

Click here for more information about BES’ renewable electricity.

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Cod Army Chairman backs Conservative campaign

Chairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club, Andy Pilley, has thrown his support behind the Conservative Party in the upcoming general election, as he welcomed the Tory candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Louise Thistlethwaite, to Highbury stadium.   

Andy, who owns Fleetwood-based energy supplier and the Cod Army’s main club sponsor, BES Utilities, took the decision to voice his support for the Conservatives due to his concerns over Labour’s plans for the energy market, should they take control following the December election. 

Louise was treated to a tour of Fleetwood Town’s state-of-the-art training and community facility, Poolfoot Farm, followed by a visit to Highbury Stadium, which is also home to BES’ headquarters. 

Taking time to meet with Andy and key individuals from his team, Louise was keen to learn more about the companies and the vital role they fulfil by providing employment to over 900 people, as well as local community investment.    

“It was great to welcome Louise to BES and the football club and I’m confident she went away with a flavour of how crucial we are to the town of Fleetwood and the wider Fylde coast region,” said Andy.

“Since the demise of the fishing trade, the local area has suffered from a range of social and economic problems. We are hugely proud of the part we have played in re-building Fleetwood’s fortunes, both by providing people with real career opportunities and also investing massively in Fleetwood Town Football Club and its community facility, giving the people of Fleetwood something to be proud of and improving health and wellbeing through sport. 

“I can’t stress enough how concerned we are about the impact Labour’s policies would have on our business, and I don’t think it’s going too far to say the closure of BES would become a very real prospect – meaning the football club would also be likely to lose its Football League status, resulting in a further significant loss of jobs.”

“We wish Louise every success with her election campaign, and we look forward to welcoming her back to Fleetwood Town very soon.”

Louise, who was recently selected as candidate for the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency, said:

“BES Utilities is one of the largest employers in Fleetwood and is vital to the local economy as well as the community. It was so uplifting to hear about their dedication to helping the local community and their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

“Poolfoot Farm is an awe-inspiring facility with such a community feel to it. It’s a fantastic asset to the local area, and there is so much going on that everyone can get involved in.” 

“I also enjoyed my visit to Highbury Stadium, the home of Fleetwood Town Football Club and BES Utilities, which together play a pivotal role in the community, both in terms of employment, boosting the economy and in bringing the feel-good factor back to Fleetwood.”

“As a conservative party candidate, I’m so inspired to support the business community, and in return, they’re choosing to support us.

“Businesses drive the economy, and Andy is such an inspiring businessman as he knows exactly what the community needs. I feel so honoured that he’s supporting me and backing my campaign. Let’s get Brexit out of the way so we can see some of the incredible work that Andy, and other local businesses, are doing.”

Louise is already planning to get involved in a number of community activities, including the forthcoming Love Fleetwood meeting which will be held at Fleetwood Town Football Club on Thursday 14th November at 7pm.

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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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