On Friday the 19th of October we took part in Wear It Pink, one of the biggest fundraisers in the country, and our staff wore a variety of pink clothing to support Breast Cancer Now. Some of our staff baked some lovely pink cakes too to help raise some more money for this great cause.
Every Year, Breast Cancer Now holds Wear It Pink to raise awareness and money for the UK’s largest Breast Cancer Charity. Taking place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of people wear it pink in their communities and workplaces every year to support the charity. This year, we were proud to be some of the 17,907 people who signed up to take part.
We’re happy to support Breast Cancer Now, and have done for many years by raising money on Pink Friday. Everyone from our upholsterers and machinists, to our office staff took part and dressed up for the occasion. This year, we raised £192.44! It was great to see everyone wearing pink whilst supporting a great cause, and we’ll be doing it again next year, too!
We were recently invited to the Santander Breakthrough Finding Talent and Expertise event, with two of our staff being asked to be guest speakers. They spoke to representatives from 30 other companies about how the Santander Internship Programme has benefitted both them and Forest.
The day included networking, guest speaking and a question and answer session. Nissi, who was one of our guest speakers at the event, came through the Santander Internship Programme and is now our Marketing Manager-proving how beneficial the scheme has been-and can be-for SMEs when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.
Nissi spoke about his experience whilst on the scheme, detailing how important gaining work experience and being involved in a marketing environment was. He went on to say that it proved valuable when it came to doing his Masters whilst working at the same time, as it gave him more experiences and knowledge to draw from.
It’s these experiences that also proved useful for him, as he then went on to get a full time job as a Digital Marketing Assistant with us and eventually moved on to becoming the Marketing Manager. This demonstrates the advantages of hiring interns, as we believe developing them is mutually beneficial-the same goes for our apprentices.
Nick was our other speaker at the event, and he explained the advantages of the programme to businesses. The programme helps fund SMEs when they want to hire interns, so it helps save initial costs, and gives companies the opportunity to offer the intern a full time role afterwards, which is what we did with Nissi. The scheme gives SMEs like us to have greater access to talent, and it has been especially beneficial in this case.
Forest Sofa Wins Growth Award
Forest Sofa recently received an award for “Outstanding achievement and highest growth” at the Resilience for Sustainable High Growth Symposium and Awards, recognising the changes and development of the company during recent times.
This comes after Ryan, our Managing Director, attended The Greater Manchester High Growth Network programme at Manchester Metropolitan University. We believe we won this award as recognition of our vision “To turn houses into homes, and buildings into venues”. This means that we are proud of what we produce because we understand how important a sofa is in any room. It can be the centre piece of a living room, a go-to option for relaxation or family time, or a piece to bring the whole room together. We know how imperative this is, and we think about this every time we make a piece of furniture.
The course, delivered at MMU’s Centre for Enterprise, included companies based in Greater Manchester who were aiming for high growth. The sessions included peer growth group sessions to give us a chance to network and speak to other companies about their experiences. The award was received at Emirates Old Trafford, where the companies involved could celebrate their achievements. The fact that we received this award acknowledges our tremendous growth in recent times, and reinforces our core values which have led to this growth.
We’re happy to receive the growth award, and we hope to continue our recent growth into the near future and beyond.
Christmas Jumper day
Today, our staff have been celebrating Christmas Jumper Day! There has been a massive variety of jumpers, hats and accessories on show-there’s even a onesie!
We’ve picked the best ones and awarded them some prizes. Nissi gets first place with his homemade Christmas jumper, and he can be seen below showing it off.
Ryan comes in second with his onesie (which is shown in the group photo) and his colourful Christmas shirt.
In the factory, Gary and Matt get prizes for their fantastic jumpers. They both look pleased with their chocolate!
Overall, it was a great effort from the staff, and there were too many good ones to mention, but I’m sure you’ll be able to see them in the group photos.
Keep an eye on our social media pages for the full albums!
This yearly tradition also marks the start of our countdown to Christmas! There isn’t long before we close for the holidays, but check our social pages soon for our opening times for over Christmas period.
Forest sofa is proud to be able to provide a commercial and competitive range of upholstered seating solutions with our full range manufactured in Manchester, England.
Whilst proud to employ over 50 local staff, we are challenged by the apparent lack of skilled workers in the field of Upholstery Sewing / Machinist as well as Deep Buttoned Upholsterers.
Upholstery Manufacture in the North of England was a significant contributor to the UK’s Manufacturing output as recently as 20 years ago. Increasingly UK Manufacturers have switched their own production from sites in the UK to the Middle East or Eastern Europe, or have been forced out of Manufacturing all together. Some UK manufacturers have adopted a mix mode approach, offering a limited range from their UK factory, but producing the majority of the range overseas, at the expense of local workings. Workers in Preston were affected significantly in recent years by one well known manufacturer moving it’s production to maintain margin and remain competitive.
Forest Sofa Ltd is pleased to be one of the few UK Manufacturers that are able to grow in this challenging economic climate, and can do so by offering a good quality UK sofa at a fair price. “It’s no about being the cheapest when times are hard, it’s value that families are looking for.” Whilst Forest 2012 sales continue to impress and exceed expectations, the business is challenged in it’s growth by the apparent lack of skilled upholstery workers in the Manchester area. The downturn in local skills in manufacturing in general is as a result of the change in the manufacturing landscape in the UK and the North of England, a consequence of the effects of increased imports.
Chesterfield Sofas are a true British product that requires craft, skill and guile, the traits often past down through families from generation to generation is slowly being eroded through a period of short time working and years of disillusion. Getting skilled staff back into UK manufacturing is a challenge for Forest Sofa, but also many other UK manufacturers attempting to grow their business. The reach and search for the recruitment for the positions of Upholstery Machinist and Deep Buttoned Upholsterers is becoming wider, with adverts currently placed in the Bolton, Bury, Accrington and Macclesfield press.
Agencies propose a solution to the shortage, regrettably however often with workers based outside the UK.