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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.”

Business

Over £2m given to Crawley Council for discretionary business grants

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Eligible Crawley businesses can now apply for discretionary business grants.

The government has given the council £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that have been affected by the lockdown but are not legally required to close.

This funding lasts until March 2022 and is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town.

Eligible businesses are those who:

  • Are not entitled to Local Restriction Support Grants, and
  • Were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed (Wednesday 4 November), and
  • Are now required to close under national restrictions or, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions.

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant can now be made at grantapproval.co.uk

There are different types of grants based on the rateable value of property/property costs or business type.

Businesses can check if they’re eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant by visiting gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

There is further guidance and a copy of the West Sussex countywide policy on the council’s website. The scheme will close on Sunday 13 December and the aim is to make payments as soon as possible after that.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“While we haven’t been allocated enough funding to help every local business, we will do everything we can to support as many Crawley businesses as possible.

“If you need support please get in touch via the council’s dedicated webpage.”

Applications for the Local Restriction Support Grant opened on 17 November. Businesses forced to close by the second lockdown can apply for this grant at grantapproval.co.uk For more details on help available for businesses visit crawley.gov.uk/emergency/coronavirus-information/businesses-and-employers

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