As the extensive refurbishment works nears completion we were delighted to welcome the Sovereign Centre Management Team to view progress of the completed areas on the project.

This visit was one of a series organised to engage with the local community and stakeholders at various stages of the project.

This proved an informative experience for all involved as the project approaches the final stages.

Today we warmly welcome Zoe Koeberg to the organisation. Zoe joins the business as an Apprentice in Digital Marketing based in our Bristol Office.

Zoe will work with the pre-construction team supporting our Business Development & Marketing Manager carrying out market research, updating databases and writing content for the company social media sites as well as using her creative side with marketing campaigns.

Through our partnership with Bath College Zoe will continue studying to achieve a Level 3 qualification.

Welcome to the team Zoe, we have no doubt you will fit in well to the Bray & Slaughter business.

A thoroughly rewarding day welcoming young learners from Weston College to site for a tour of the Sovereign Shopping Centre.

Delivering the works for our Client North Somerset Council has been a fantastic experience and this local project has provided us with a valuable opportunity to actively engage with Weston College Construction Skills department, and a perfect way to demonstrate the project to future entrants into the industry.

There were over 30 attendees on site who spent the morning with our operations team of Jon Cooke - Operations Director, Jason Turville - Site Manager and Tyrone Davies - Safety, Health, Environment & Quality Manager, who provided construction related topics for discussion and set the learners with problem solving tasks related to various elements of the construction process.

The B&S team were enthused by the Learners positive approach, extensive knowledge and keen interest in the industry, and look forward to welcoming the group back when the project nears completion.

Weston College - HE Lead for Construction Professions - David LeFeuvre commented:

"Thank you so much for giving up your time today to let our learners come and have a look at the work you are doing at the Sovereign Centre.

I was blown away by the energy and thought that you had put into the morning to ensure that there were suitable activities for the learners to have a go at which provided engagement with the work, but also a good deal of challenge about the reality of construction projects. We often talk about "what might happen" but to have to try to consider problems and daily tasks on a 'live' site was really engaging and I know the learners will have got alot out of it".

Bray & Slaughter have been working with colleges across the region for a number of years, successfully delivering construction projects for these valuable Clients.

On 23rd March 2022 it was time for Grant Jefferies to go back to the classroom, not to train but to support the learners with their curriculum.

Heading to Weston College and their South West Skills Campus, Grant arrived to a group of enthusiastic learners and generated discussion around the construction industry enabling them to engage and ask valuable questions about the B&S business. With a company history dating back to 1900 there was plenty to talk about together with an opportunity to attract new entrants into the industry through our apprenticeship programme. The day was a huge success and a further site visit has been planned to a site in Weston-super-Mare where we are refurbishing a facility in the Sovereign Shopping Centre.

Grant Jefferies commented:

"It was fantastic to be able to connect with the next generation entering the sector and to be able to re-visit a facility that Bray & Slaughter built, developed and repurposed from industrial stock into high quality education space. Time well spent and I look forward to welcoming the students to our Sovereign Centre project in early April".

We are marking the beginning of March and St Davids Day with two exciting new appointments to Bray & Slaughter.

With over 40 years industry experience between our two new starters, we are pleased to welcome Jon Cooke who joins as Operations Director following a successful career in senior roles with several Tier 1 contractors, and Tyrone Davies who takes up the role of Health, Safety, Environmental & Quality Manager to continue our excellent track record safely delivering construction projects across the region.

Welcoming both gentlemen to the team our Managing Director, Grant Jefferies commented:

"We have been seeking to enhance the quality of service we offer to our Clients and build upon the good work we deliver across the region. Adding professionals of Jon and Tyrone's ability and experience to the business signals our commitment to continuous improvement and I am looking forward to working closely with them both going forward".

This Christmas B&S colleagues, family and friends have been collecting food parcels to support the Matthew Tree Project helping vulnerable families in crisis throughout the city of Bristol.

Below is an extract from the Matthew Tree Project which explains the inspiration behind the charity.

THE INSPIRATION

It was a Sunday morning in the summer of 2010. I drove to church through Stokes Croft and as I waited at red traffic light just outside Hamilton House, to my left side I noticed an elderly gentleman laying on the pavement motionless. He was dressed in jacket, tie and shirt. Admittedly, all had seen much better days but I felt it was an admirable attempt to retain at least some degree of dignity in the face of such humiliation. People walked by going about their day, it seemed not even noticing the man on the floor. The immense sadness of the sight struck me to the core. This is someone's son. Maybe someone's father, brother or uncle. It was all so wrong.

The light turned to green and I drove on the 300 yards or so to my church in Jamaica Street. I got out of the car and locked the doors. I went into the church with a happy to see you 'good morning' to those I passed on the way to my seat. Then, as I sat down in the chair I suddenly realised I had done the exact same thing as everyone else and just passed by the man on the floor. I felt ashamed of myself and vowed there and then to do whatever I could to help the many 'people on the floor' and not walk on by ever again. This was the moment I decided to establish a charity to tackle the problem! I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it but just felt I had to at least try.

2021 was our 5th consecutive year supporting the Matthew Tree Project and we are so proud of the achievement of so many of our people.

We look forward to exceeding 2021's collection in 2022.

Bray and Slaughter have recently been appointed as main contractor to collaborate with North Somerset Council, their project representatives and our chosen design team.

We will be working in partnership Inner Circle Consulting to provide a first class transformation of targeted areas in the Sovereign Shopping Centre which will catalyse regeneration in the wider town centre.

Funded by the Government's Getting Building Fund, four ground floor spaces in the shopping centre will be developed into a multi-use, community-focused events space. The design and build project is comprised of the remodelling and refurbishment of various areas of the centre to create new workspace, event space, meeting rooms, cafeteria, cycle hub, cycle workshop, storage and external works including new signage. This work will be part of the Council's wider placemaking ambitions for the town centre and beyond.

Celebrations on site today as our Managing Director, Grant Jefferies arrived to congratulate Daniel Turley on his 25 years service.

Daniel joined the business as an Apprentice Carpenter/Joiner in April 1996 and has been a loyal and committed member of the B&S team ever since. Daniel has shown a willingness to continue with his professional development and is currently a senior site manager delivering schemes in the education and commercial sectors of the market.

His patience and practical approach ensure we build in a safe and logical sequence and he has drawn much praise over the years for his ability to build trust amongst the teams he forms.

CUSTOMER QUOTE: "Daniel has been an absolute pleasure to deal with. He was totally committed to the project from the outset and had a willingness to provide an excellent product. An excellent quality of workmanship has been achieved without undue pressure. Clearly customer satisfaction was a very high priority to the B&S team led by Daniel."

Away from work Dan is a busy family man, but hopefully he will enjoy some quiet time watching his new QLED TV.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone at B&S Dan and for all you have achieved in your career so far. We are looking forward to sharing in more successes in the future.