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Olympian charges up Crawley power workers

Power workers in Crawley were given a lesson in how to recharge their energy, during a visit from a former kayaking world champion.

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UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East, hosted Anna Hemmings at its Three Bridges base.

Anna, an MBE, is best known as Britain’s most successful ever female kayaker, a two-time Olympian and six-times World Champion before retiring from her sport in 2009 to set up a high performance training consultancy, Beyond the Barriers.

UK Power Networks arranged the session with Anna, one of several scheduled across the country by the firm, as part of its Your Energy programme designed to help staff maximise their energy levels and remind them of the importance of good health and well being.

Anna co-designed the training which takes lessons from elite sport into a work environment. The Crawley session focused on energy capacity for staff and advised how exercise and movement can improve energy levels as well as help combat stress and potential fatigue.

Dawn McDonald, health and wellbeing manager at UK Power Networks, said:

“As part of our vision to be an employer of choice, we encourage staff to work together and look to improve their own health and well being as well as looking out for colleagues.

“It was fantastic to draw on Anna’s experience of top level sport. Massive pressure comes with competing at Olympics and World Championships, and it’s hugely beneficial for our staff to learn how keeping energy levels high can help not only manage the pressures and improve productivity at work, but also support how they spend their quality time at home.

“We want to ensure our employees can work safely and efficiently, providing a platform to improve resilience, reduce the risk of stress and increase peoples’ capacity to cope with life’s challenges.”

Olympian, Anna Hemmings, from Beyond the Barriers, said:

“Exercise gives us the feel-good factor but most of us are not exercising enough. Today’s session on energy capacity was about building bite-sized chunks of exercise and movement into people’s lives so they can get the benefit of exercise.

“Energy begets energy, so the more energy we use the more we will produce. Movement is our greatest stimulus for energy and it will also boost our cognitive function, improve our mental health and sleep.”

Lindelee Ross, a project delivery manager who participated , said:

“Anna’s session gave us a wide variety of exercises we can plan into our day without needing to spend an hour exercising in the gym.

“She explained how the biggest barrier to exercise is time, but some exercise is better than none at all and if we keep it simple we won’t feel so overwhelmed. It could be 10-minute slots which we can spread throughout the day.”

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Crawley businesses vote in favour of town centre initiative unlocking £2M of investment

Businesses in Crawley town centre have voted in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District (BID), unlocking more than £2million of investment over the next five years and help create a thriving town.

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68% of businesses in Crawley voted in favour of the BID, along with 73% in favour by Rateable Value.

A BID is a business-led initiative formed to improve a defined area. Crawley will now join more than 320 BIDs operating in the UK.

Commenting on the result, Chair of the Crawley Town Centre BID and a Director of Graves Jenkins, Neil Cooper, said:

“There is huge potential for Crawley to develop its own distinct offer and proposition and so we are delighted that businesses in the area have voted in favour of a BID. By working in collaboration with businesses and forming strong partnerships, the BID can make a positive difference”.

Paul Clement, director and head of place-shaping at Savills who were commissioned to support the development of the BID said:

“This successful ballot result opens up great opportunities for local businesses to act on solutions for the future of their town centre. Up and down the country BIDs are making a real difference not only to businesses that fund them, but to those who live, work and visit in BID locations. With over 320 BIDs nationally, Crawley businesses have embraced the model as the most appropriate to progress their town centre”.

Research with businesses in the area identified a number of improvements focused around crime reduction, feelings of safety, promotions and marketing, accessibility and business networking. The BID will commence delivery on 1st April 2020.

For more information on the Crawley Town Centre BID, please visit www.crawleytowncentrebid.co.uk

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