From #BeKind to Burton Joyce FC – how we gave it back in 2021

13th December 2021

The last two years have changed perspectives beyond all recognition, and so, with Christmas and a New Year approaching fast, here at NG we’ve taken stock and reflected on a year when we decided to give something back.

The pandemic has changed the way we all work, none more so than here at NG when we relocated earlier this year to out-of-town premises and moved to a hybrid way of working to ensure we get the best out of our people. But this period has also defined how we think about others – and that’s why, during 2021, we made a conscious effort to step up the work we do to try and spread the success we’ve enjoyed.

This began right at the start of the year, when Jude Weston was promoted to director after a stellar two years with us. As our MD Richard Sutton pointed out at the time:

“Jude fully deserves her promotion, which is recognition of not only the role she played during the very tough conditions the sector found it itself in last year due to Covid-19, but the way she has brought a whole new ethos to the NG team.”

This way of thinking has spurred others on to not only work in different ways, but also to think about the way we represent society as a whole.

In March, Richard wrote a piece in which he outlined nine ways outlining how we’d emerge from the pandemic in greater shape than ever. One of the key tenets of this philosophy was Kindness.

Richard said:

“The #Bekind movement has been more important than ever during the last 12 months as work and home life has crossed over more than ever before. Our team has had to juggle the stress of constant bad news, working from home and (in some cases) administering homeschooling while continuing to keep their focus on what NG needed to deliver. That has, understandably, caused issues, but we’ve learned being kind to each other is now not a nice-to-have – it’s absolutely essential if we’re all going to work to our potential.”

Small local businesses have found the last two years incredibly tough. Lockdowns have meant they have had to compete with the online giants for a piece of the pie. NG tried to do our bit to highlight one fantastic local company in April when we teamed up with Ruddy Fine Gin to produce our own branded NGin, which we then gave away as gifts to loyal clients and contacts.

The next month we marked Mental Health Awareness Week director James McArthur, attended an ACAS webinar on managing staff mental health in the current climate. As James pointed out at the time:

“The last year has been tough for all of us as we’ve had to juggle working remotely while dealing with domestic challenges, a general sense of uncertainty about what the future holds and the inability to be with close friends and family.”

NG considers the mental health and wellbeing of our staff every single day – and this will continue to be of the highest importance to us as we enter 2022.

NG’s staff is made up of more females than males, but not everyone is so quick to smash the glass ceiling. In June, Jude highlighted that times have to change if the boardrooms of the future are going to be gender-balanced.

She said:

“Our structure has women at all levels of the business – and it brings so much strength and balance to the team. From myself at Director level, involved with the more strategic running of the business to Charlotte Steggles, our Graduate Surveyor, working hard towards becoming Chartered, whilst having increasing responsibilities within the team, to Ellis Cullen, our undergraduate Surveyor who is studying as well as being an important asset to the Agency team.

“We have no gender inequality, it’s all down to how good you are as a person, and how good you are at your job and to be blunt, after that the sky’s the limit

“Businesses should be, and more importantly want to be, reflective of the World we live in. Those hiring and promoting employees for their talent, regardless of their age sex, race, are the ones breaking through that ceiling.

“Let’s bring it down and make some noise whilst in the process.”

Onto August, and Richard delved deep into the back of the wardrobe to bring his running shoes out of retirement to take part in the Robin Hood Nottingham Half Marathon for the Every Cloud charity.

The charity was co-founded by Jude – and this year NG managed to raise around £4,000 so that it could continue its vital work providing treats to men and women experiencing treatment for breast cancer, in the Derbyshire and Staffordshire areas.

We didn’t stop there. As the new football season kicked off, we realised that the COVID-19 epidemic had a huge impact and all levels of football have suffered, causing unprecedented damage.

NG made the decision to support grassroots football after announcing a sponsorship package with a local Under 8s team.

NG are now the shirt sponsors of Burton Joyce FC Under 8s Blues as the team embarks on a season in the highly competitive YEL league.

Head of commercial property management, James McArthur, said:

“The last 18 months has been really tough on kids of all ages. Being in lockdown has had a massive detrimental impact, as children have not been able to get out and play with their friends and enjoy the beautiful game. My son became a member of Burton Joyce Football Club just before the first Lockdown and when training was allowed, he really flourished and grew in confidence. The set-up there is amazing from coaches to facilities and when Kate Hardisty, Coach of Burton Joyce Under 8s Blues, sent out an email looking for support, there was no hesitation in NG getting involved.

“Over the summer, the England team made the nation proud in the Euros. Players like Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling are using their football skills to raise awareness of issues outside football, such as racism and child poverty. These are more than footballers and it is amazing to see; they are people I am proud young football fans can look up to and aspire to be like.”

We didn’t stop there. Our surveyor Charlotte Steggles stars for Nottingham Forest Women every weekend – and we recognise that the women’s game doesn’t get anywhere near the funding the men’s game does. That’s why we sponsored Charlotte, which helps Forest Women towards kit, equipment and facilities expended – imperative for them to succeed.

Charlotte said:

“This is now my third season playing at Nottingham Forest Women. The past two seasons have both been interrupted due to the pandemic but I am hoping this one we can see through to the end.

“As the new season approached (and I continued to come into the office moaning about my aches and pains) Richard approached me to say that NG wanted to be my player sponsor for the season. The NG team knows how much I love playing football and to have them supporting me through both football and work is a credit to them.

“As we are all aware the women’s game doesn’t get as much funding as the men’s game so to have the support of local companies really does make such a difference, the money is reinvested directly into the women’s programme and helps contribute towards facilities, kit and equipment. Everyone who is a part of the women’s programme is grateful for our individual sponsors, without companies like NG we wouldn’t be able to go out there and do what we love week in and week out.

“I really am so grateful to NG for supporting me both on and off the pitch and it highlights the work they are doing to support the wider community through what has been a difficult few years.”

As much as we revel in sealing an important property deal, landing a big management instruction or simply giving out the best real estate advice in the region, the last two years have taught us to step back and see the bigger picture. This Christmas, everyone at NG can look back and be proud of what they’ve achieved – not just for our company, but, perhaps more importantly, for those who have been affected way more than we have because of the events of the last two years. What’s more – we’ll be redoubling our efforts in 2022 as we enter what we hope will be a brighter period ahead.

To find out more, feel free to contact us, give us a call on 0115 958 8599 or email [email protected].