Business community rallies round flood victims

One of the advantages of publishing a monthly magazine is that you are often in a position to take a more considered look at events rather than having to rush to judgement.

On the flip side major news stories can have been and gone between editions, leaving us with a decision whether to revisit what some may consider old news.

The recent floods, which have affected businesses in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster – as we all as private properties – are a case in point. We all would have been shocked to see the devastation left behind by the flood waters and the damage caused.

However, unless you have been directly involved then the world moves on. Christmas is just around the corner, there’s a general election to get through, and plans quickly turn to what 2020 will bring both personally and professionally.

I get the sense, though, that victims of the floods won’t be easily forgotten though. And nor should they be.

The damage caused by flood water is long-lasting and can take months – sometimes years – to be completely sorted out.

It was heartening to see the way the Sheffield city region community rallied around those who suffered. Offers of help and support weren’t in short supply whether it was providing warehouse space or even mops, buckets and cleaning equipment to those most in need.

South Yorkshire Community Foundation has seen donations to the fund it set up exceed £300,000 with provision to provide grants of more than the basic £100 in exceptional circumstances of hardship.

For businesses the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing funding for a Business Recovery Grant which gives up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

Lastly a word for the emergency services and local authorities who really do come into their own during situations such as this.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were regularly given a round of applause during their work in some of the region’s hardest hit areas. And there has been great support from the various borough councils and parish councils.

Hopefully the worst will be over by Christmas and people can have a relaxing festive period.

Why wait until New Year’s Eve to make changes?

When do you start to think about your New Year resolutions?

It’s probably closer to December 31 than it is to December 1 with most resolutions tested to the max by January 12 – that little statistical gem is courtesy of fitness social network Strava.

Do you really need to wait until the dawning of a new year to change things? From personal experience I have been on what may be called a ‘journey’ if I was being auditioned to go on X Factor, or something like that.

Late in August after a particularly busy summer of work, running the kids here there and everywhere and generally not looking after myself physically or mentally I saw a link on Instagram which took me to fitness specialists One Body Athletic.

I was skeptical at first. We all know how to lose weight – burn more calories than you’re putting into your body. It’s not rocket science but most of us have neither the time nor inclination to do anything about it.

However, when I summoned up the courage to attend the One Body Athletic HQ on Meadowhall Industrial Estate I realised all I needed was a little push to get me going. If not now, then when?

The programme I signed up to was called Hybrid 42 – a six week scheme that provided me with the tools I needed to lose weight and generally get my arse into gear.

Husband and wife owners Josh and Alice Coburn provided me with an eating plan plus access to workouts, and Ben, an ‘accountability coach’, who checked in with me regularly to ensure I was ‘doing the necessary’.

The rest was up to me.

Six weeks later I’d shed 20 pounds from my starting weight of 13 stone. But not only that – which I was pretty pleased with anyway – I’d changed how I live my life.

Early gym sessions ensured I was up for 6am and in the office by 8am. I missed the madness of the Parkway traffic and arrived fresh and ready for work. I have more energy, look better (so I’m told) and have more confidence.

I really don’t want this to be an article that is too ‘look at me’. The reason for writing is that sometimes it only takes a small step to make a change for the better.

New year’s resolutions are great, but you can make them any time. If there’s something you want to do, a change you want to make, just get on with it. The old classic line is only regretting the things you don’t do. It’s true.

My thanks to the guys at One Body Athletic. Look them up on social media to see what programmes they have on over the next couple of months.

More bus, less fuss… Hopefully!

You may have read in our November issue about South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s ‘Little Big Changes’ campaign to get us out of our cars.

It’s about helping people to make a change to their travel habits and as a result realising various personal and wider societal benefits.

Even a change to one trip can have a major impact. It’s the 3-5 mile trips that we do on a regular basis that can be – for many – easily changed…with the right support.

Well, in the interests of practicing what we preach, I’ve been lucky enough to secure a 28 day pass for South Yorkshire to see if my travel habits change.

I will report back in our January issue.