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News & updates 

Regular news and updates from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here. 

Don't forget, as a member one of your many benefits is being able to submit your press releases and news for inclusion here as well as on either the members or business news emails and social media. Please submit to 

  • 21 March 2024 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    Carpenter Box accountants get digging!

    Members of staff at Carpenter Box from across their six offices swapped spreadsheets for spades to plant trees throughout Sussex to mark the firm’s 100 years in business.

    The accountancy practice celebrated its centenary last year, raising a total of £82,000 for local charities and voluntary groups. The celebrations also included tree planting at St Catherine’s Hospice in Pease Pottage, Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group in Chichester, and Field Place in Worthing.

    In Pease Pottage, a team of staff from the Gatwick office worked to plant a selection of bee-friendly trees, to grow into beautiful displays where patients and families can have a calm and restful space.

    In Chichester, the team planted over 30 trees in a newly created hedge on farmland, to enhance the space. The trees will be maintained by the local farm to ensure their enduring legacy.

    In Worthing, the Carpenter Box team worked alongside members of Adur & Worthing Councils and South Downs Leisure to plant whitebeam trees to help green the environment.

    Marketing & Communications Director, Kira McKinney, was one of the team members lending a hand in Worthing, commenting: “It was a wonderful way to conclude our centenary activities. We look forward to seeing the trees become established over the coming years for the benefit of the local residents across the Sussex region.”

  • 20 March 2024 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    Conquer the UK Three Peaks - Hike for Homelessness


    Turning Tides is partnering with Global Adventure Challenges, the challenge event company dedicated to creating life-changing challenge events for people who wish to raise funds for charity. Take on the Three Peaks Challenge and join us as we climb the highest mountains in the UK – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon!

    You’ll need a good level of fitness and be dedicated to fundraising. The money you raise will help support someone experiencing homelessness, giving them the opportunity to start their own journey, one that will change their lives forever.

    Places start from £95 with options for self funding and full fundraising. To secure your place a non-refundable deposit of £95 is required and we’ll be in touch to arrange this. 80% of your fundraising target is required 6 weeks before the event but don’t worry, will give you everything you need to get started and be on hand every step of the way to help you with your fundraising.

    What’s included –

    • Pick up from Glasgow, travel in between mountains and drop off in Chester. (All travel between mountains is in private buses).
    • Meals – dinner in Fort William Day 1, breakfast at accommodation at Fort William Day 2, lunch in Llanberis Day 3
    • Complimentary energy bars, fruit, tea and coffee (and drinking water) at the foot of each mountain.
    • Global Adventure Challenges Event Crew and mountain guides, with you every step of the way.
    • Global Adventure Challenges medical kit for the group.
    • Challenge Medal.

    What’s not included –

    • Travel insurance
    • Cost of travel to Glasgow
    • Cost of Travel home from Chester
    • Tips and gratuities
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Personal trekking kit (trekking boots, poles, etc)
    • *Please note that for bespoke challenges, inclusions and exclusions may differ*

    Did you know that for every person you see rough sleeping, there are at least another 20 hidden homeless? And those numbers are on the rise. Want to do something about this and love hiking?

    If that’s you simply register interest or send Sophie an email on or call 07842 443584 to hear more.

    Please ensure you have read and agreed to our terms and conditions before booking your place.

  • 14 March 2024 12:38 PM | Anonymous

    Join Andy's Angels in Random Hairdo Day!

    Fancy planning a fun day in the office and raise money for a local charity at the same time?

    Andy's Angels invites you to join in their brand new Fundraising Campaign for 2024.

    All we invite you to do is:

    • Choose a day between 22nd and 28th April 2024
    • Email to order your fundraising pack
    • Invite your colleagues or team to come into work/school or to the office with the most Random Hairdo they can come up with (using our event poster supplied in our Fundraising Pack) in exchange for a donation to Andy's Angels.
    • Take photos of your fun day and share on your social media tagging Andy's Angels and we'll share on our socials as well.

    Contact Andy's Angels, arrange a very welcome visit to our Grief Play Café (last Sunday of the month in Worthing) to present your donation or arrange us to collect your Fundraising collection.

    How can individuals donate during the campaign?

    Either individuals can pay by PayPal or cash collected on the day or businesses/organisations can collect the money then transfer by Bacs. There is also a QR code on the Fundraising Pack envelope as well.

    We can't wait to see the photos

  • 14 March 2024 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    George Square Financial Management in Conjunction With Albemarle Street Partners.

    Financial Market Commentary

    Global equities reach new heights.

    Global stock markets hit record highs in February, as European, Japanese and US equity markets rallied. The revival in risk appetite is being fuelled by a trifecta of improving company earnings, easing inflation, and growing confidence that any recession will be shallow rather than severe. 

    While those sectors most vulnerable to the ebb and flow of the economy may yet face headwinds, the broad-based recovery in equity markets is a welcome development for investors.

    Tech titans lead the charge

    The rapid growth of the AI-powered internet has become an arms race, with NVIDIA emerging as the world leader. The Silicon Valley company has seen its revenues quadruple in just two years, while profits have surged eightfold. The entrenched giants of the digital world – Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Meta – are all racing to bolster their AI capabilities, with NVIDIA and a select group of other firms emerging as the key beneficiaries of this spending spree. Investors have taken notice, with disciplined exposure to US equities providing a conduit to participate in this paradigm shift.

    Central banks poised to pivot

    The question is no longer if central banks will begin to loosen monetary policy, but when. While the precise timing of rate cuts will depend on incoming economic data and is likely to be gradual at first, policymakers around the world are positioning to ease financial conditions in 2024. 

    China, Europe, and the UK, all facing economic fragility, may have the greatest impetus to act. Emerging markets appear best positioned to commence rate cutting cycles in the near term, with announcements anticipated in the coming months. Markets now expect the Federal Reserve to begin trimming rates by mid-year, with 3-4 cuts pencilled in for 2024.

    Portfolios continue to move in the right direction

    Portfolios were up again in February, marking a strong start to the year.  Returns have improved in recent months, and we anticipate continued progress in 2024.  

    Investment grade corporate bonds rallied sharply at the end of 2023 and offer limited additional yield relative to government bonds. High yield bonds offer a greater opportunity for investors although they tend to be more volatile. The asset class could benefit if a shallow US recession comes to pass. As always, we remain mindful of incoming economic data and are prepared to act if the data warrants a shift in allocations.

    © 2023 George Square Financial Management Ltd. All Rights Reserved. The content of this material is a marketing communication, and not independent investment research. As such, the legal and regulatory requirements in relation to independent investment research do not apply to this material and it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of its dissemination. The material is for general information purposes only (whether or not it states any opinions). It does not consider your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) legal, financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by Albemarle Street Partners or George Square Financial Management Ltd that any particular investment, security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Although the information set out in this marketing communication is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Albemarle Street Partners or George Square Financial Management Ltd. makes no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither Albemarle Street Partners or George Square Financial Management Ltd. shall be responsible for any loss that you may incur, either directly or indirectly, arising from any investment based on any information contained herein. Albemarle Street Partners is a trading name of Atlantic House Fund Management LLP (AHI). Issued by AHI who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: 135 Bishopsgate, 8th Floor, London, EC2M 3TP. George Square Financial Management Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

  • 12 March 2024 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    Nick celebrates remarkable success in accountancy exams

    Nick Downton, Audit Senior at Sussex and South East accountancy firm Carpenter Box, is celebrating a remarkable achievement in his accountancy career, recently passing all 15 ICAEW ACA exams at the first attempt.

    Nick, from Crawley, joined Carpenter Box in 2019 after gaining a degree from Sussex University in Maths and Economics. His numerical and analytical skills made accountancy a natural career choice and he is now a key member of the Assurance & Advisory Group at the firm’s Crawley office. In this role, he undertakes audits for medium-sized companies across a variety of business sectors, as well as managing a number of trainees.

    Nick commented: “Following university, I was keen to join a medium-sized accountancy firm with a good reputation, and in Carpenter Box I found a practice able to provide me with a brilliant opportunity to gain experience across a number of departments.”

    Nick is now planning to complete his ACA training file over the next three months, which will enable him to fulfil his goal of becoming a fully qualified chartered accountant.

    Carpenter Box Managing Partner, Alan Edwards, commented: “Nick should be very proud of his impressive exam results. They not only demonstrate a high degree of commitment to his chosen profession, but also show other young people considering their career options what can be achieved with determination and the support of an employer such as Carpenter Box.”

    For current sixth form and college students interested in following in Nick’s footsteps, Carpenter Box is holding a Trainee Scheme Open Evening on Tuesday 27th February between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at their offices in Crescent Road, Worthing.

    At the event, some of the Carpenter Box partners, qualified staff and current trainees will explain the different pathways on offer to help new recruits become an accountant, tax specialist or business adviser.

    For further information and to register for a free place, go to

  • 12 March 2024 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    George Square Financial Management in Conjunction with Albemarle Street Partners Budget 2024 Commentary

    Jeremy Hunt’s Pre-Election Budget: Modest changes designed to re-build a reputation of economic credibility.

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had a mandate in this budget to recover the Conservatives’ position in the polls. Only the week before his party fell to just 20% in an IPSOS Mori poll, the lowest ever seen.

    His response was a classic Conservative approach from a chancellor who believes in his heart that low taxes are the best election winning strategy.

    The centrepiece of the announcements was a plan to cut employees’ national insurance by 2p; backed the following day by the strong suggestion that the Conservatives’ election manifesto will promise to abolish the remaining 8% rate altogether.

    A key goal here is to encourage people back to work, particularly because some 900,000 vacancies exist for jobs in the UK which is holding back the economy. Marginal changes to tax can, if targeted well, result in significant changes to people’s willingness to work if they tilt the numbers in their favour.

    This bet, though, comes with an unfortunate backdrop. Overall, the independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) was clear that the tax burden is still growing to the highest ever level. This is principally because the tax bands which dictate whether individuals pay basic or higher levels of income tax have been frozen for years ahead. As time goes by, this bites hard into household incomes in a period of inflation but was viewed as essential to bring down the national debt burden following the loss of confidence in the UK bond market that occurred after the Liz Truss premiership.

    In contrast to Truss’s brief period of leadership, this budget was strenuously sensible. It was designed in close collaboration with the OBR (who Kwarteng famously chose to ignore). The level of co-ordination here is unusual and is designed to show the financial markets that the failures of that time are behind us.

    By working closely with the OBR Hunt was able to persuade them to endorse his belief that some tax cuts actually save the government money because they encourage people to create economic growth. Economists call this phenomenon the ‘Laffer’ curve. Hunt’s joke that both the Treasury and the OBR had discovered their ‘inner Laffer curve’ is probably not a catchphrase that will work on the side of an election bus, but he was proud of it nonetheless. It is genuinely very unusual for the OBR to accept this argument and represents a considerable political accomplishment for him. It remains to be seen, of course, whether his core belief - that it is tax cuts which the British people crave - will prove correct, or whether at a time of very high waiting lists for public services the Labour focus will appeal more.

    The economics

    The budget comes accompanied by updated forecasts for the UK economy and there was little good news here. The economy is predicted to grow at 0.8% this year, rising to 1.9% in 2025. This is lacklustre at best. Accompanied by this there was acknowledgement that Britain’s bounce back from the pandemic has been weak, only getting back to where we started next year. At the heart of the problem here is productivity; the growth in the amount of output per person has not been seen at anywhere near the rates that governments target.

    The proposals Child benefit

    Aside from the flagship national insurance cut, the biggest surprise in this budget was raising the threshold at which parents lose child benefit from £50,000 to £60,000. He is also consulting on plans to better support single parents who, if they fall just above the cap in earnings, can be disadvantaged against two parent families who could earn £49,999 each and still keep the benefit. This has long been understood by all political parties as an obvious unfairness, but has proved administratively complex to change. Hunt may have gambled that the problem will be technically harder to solve than is possible on a quick timeframe, but that signalling his intent does enough to win votes.

    Non-Dom tax

    The concept of non-dom tax status, where people live in the United Kingdom but technically ‘domicile’ themselves overseas, has been tricky for the Conservatives for many years. However, it became more so when it was discovered that the then chancellor Rishi Sunak’s own wife was non-dom whilst living in the flat above Downing Street. The argument has always gone that getting some tax from the very wealthy rather than none is better for the economy and that scrapping the regime would not actually raise any money. Whether this is true or not, it has widely been understood as unfair and all major parties now agree on abolishing the 200-year old system for one based upon residence alone. Those moving to the UK will, under the new proposals, enjoy a four-year period of not paying tax on non-UK income but from year five will be subject to the same tax regime as everyone else.

    British ISAs

    The chancellor has announced a new option to add a further £5,000 into an ISA if that money is invested in UK shares. This offers a clear benefit to investors but does of course pose some broader questions: How has the UK stock market moved from being the envy of the world 10 years ago to a position where ordinary retail investors must be coaxed into owning the shares through tax breaks?

    The answer of course is that London is now proving a far less attractive location for listing new companies during the period that it has sought to find its feet after Brexit. The government is searching for ways to rejuvenate the market by making it easier to list big global companies in London. In the meantime, though, smaller and medium-sized companies need all the help they can get to secure the capital to grow in the United Kingdom and the index of medium-sized UK companies, which is likely to experience the biggest boost from the policy, rose 1.4% on the news.

    Property tax

    The chancellor has removed the favourable tax regime for those who let out fully furnished holiday lets. This is in the hope that rural communities, particularly in holiday hotspots like Cornwall, will see more renting options come on the market for longer periods of time for local residents. Politically, this is a key issue in constituencies in the South West in which the Conservatives are locked in tight battles. The overall capital gains tax rate for residential property owners was however cut from 28% to 24%.

    What was not in the budget?

    The Conservatives’ right-wing faction has long argued that abolishing inheritance tax could be the key to electoral success. Jacob Rees-Mogg famously suggested canning transport spending in the North of England to fund it. Hunt however has not made this decision, concluding perhaps that it would alienate as many people as it would please. More moderate Conservative voices may argue, though, that even if it is not abolished, the threshold at which people pay inheritance tax of £325,000, which has not grown for 15 years, could have been moved.

    Final word

    This was a modest budget designed to demonstrate fiscal credibility and position the Conservatives as a low-tax party despite the obvious challenge that the overall tax burden is still rising. Whilst this is certainly the last budget before the general election, it is possible that there will be another ‘fiscal event’ in the form of an Autumn statement. If the Conservatives do plan to call an election at the end of this year, then they may well be hoping that they have a least one or two rabbits left in their hat for that stage. The likely direction of this has been signalled in the form of the possible abolition of national insurance, but only time will tell what actually happens.

  • 12 March 2024 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Carpenter Box announces latest promotions and addition to Audit team

    Sussex and South East accountancy firm Carpenter Box has appointed two new Client Service Directors within their Audit Team. This coincides with the addition of a new Associate Director through the recent merger with Jones Avens.

    Kristina Perry, from Worthing, joined Carpenter Box in 2012 and has been promoted from Associate to Client Service Director with responsibility for overseeing audits, while leading a technical team focused on accounting and auditing standards.

    She manages a portfolio of clients in a variety of sectors including the retail, manufacturing, construction and not-for-profit sectors, and will split her time between the firm’s Worthing and Crawley offices.

    Kristina commented: “I’m really looking forward to continuing to contribute to the growth and success of our fantastic team at Carpenter Box. This is a really exciting time to be part of such a dynamic team and I am keen to see what we can achieve together in the future.”

    Alex Chidwick, also from Worthing, joins Kristina as a new Client Service Director in the Audit Team. He joined Carpenter Box in 2011 as a trainee and worked his way up to Associate prior to his recent promotion. In his new role, he will oversee group financial reporting, including audit work for international clients, with a focus on healthcare, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, retail, and creative and media.

    Alex commented: “I’m excited to take on new challenges and to play a part in helping the firm deliver its ambitious plans for the future.”

    Jordan Abbott, from West Wittering, West Sussex, has joined the Carpenter Box audit department from Jones Avens, based in their Chichester office. As Associate Director, he brings a significant client-facing experience and expertise in his role overseeing external audits.

    Jordan joined Jones Avens as a trainee in 2013, and is now responsible for overseeing audits for many housing association clients, as well as charities, not-for-profit and commercial clients. He enjoys the variety of engagement with clients in different industries and thrives on working on complex issues within the Audit Team.

    Says Jordan: “I’m delighted to be part of an organisation with ambitious growth plans and very much look forward to contributing positively to the future success of Carpenter Box Jones Avens.  I’m excited to be part of such a forward looking firm.”

    All three individuals are qualified as Responsible Individuals (RI), which allows them to sign-off audit reports in their own names on behalf of the firm.

    Carpenter Box Managing Partner, Alan Edwards, commented: “Alex and Kristina are highly skilled members of our team and applying this knowledge and technical expertise in their new roles will enable them to enhance value for the clients they serve. And Jordan is a great asset to the Carpenter Box team, bringing over a decade of experience to the department.

    “I wish them all every success over the coming years as they continue to build successful careers with Carpenter Box.”

    (Photo L-R: Jordan Abbott, Kristina Perry and Alex Chidwick)

  • 21 February 2024 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Carpenter Box Joins Sumer Group

    Sussex and South East accountants Carpenter Box has announced that it has joined Sumer, the UK’s fastest growing accountancy and professional services group.

    The firm, with offices in Worthing, Brighton, Chichester, Crawley, Portsmouth and London, now forms part of the rapidly expanding Sumer network, which focuses on serving small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    Sumer has become a top 15 UK accountancy practice in just 12 months, having established hubs nationwide led by eight leading regional firms. Carpenter Box operates the South hub and sees being part of Sumer as an important step in delivering its ambitious expansion plans. Separately, the firm recently reached an agreement with Jones Avens accountants to merge the Chichester and Portsmouth practice into its south coast operations.

    Alan Edwards, Managing Partner of Carpenter Box said: “We are delighted to be joining Sumer Group, which shares our vision and values and will play a valuable role in helping us achieve our plans for the future. As such, this decision represents a significant milestone in the Carpenter Box journey because it will enable us to enhance the value-adding services we offer to our clients, invest in new technologies, grow our geographic reach, and offer our people new and enhanced opportunities.”

    Sumer’s mission is to champion the vital role that SMEs play in the UK economy. The Sumer Group of firms employs more than 1,000 colleagues across over 40 offices, with further ‘hub’ announcements imminent. The Group’s operating rationale is to bring together the best in business services by uniting like-minded accountancy practices embedded in their local communities to harness the power of collaboration for the benefit of SMEs.

    Carpenter Box is an award-winning firm of chartered accountants, tax specialists, business advisers and independent financial advisers with a reputation for innovation and excellence. The practice, with a team of 240 people, continues to expand across the south and in London, helping businesses grow in a profitable, sustainable and tax-efficient way.

  • 06 February 2024 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    George Square Monthly Market Commentary In Conjunction With Albemarle Street Partners - February 2024

    Global growth losing steam, but recession may skirt US

    Economic growth has slowed across the world with the UK and much of Europe experiencing recessionary conditions. US growth has surprised positively, bolstered by consumers spending excess savings. The strength of labour markets has been a key difference versus prior cycles as unemployment rates have remained at pre-pandemic lows. This contributes to economic resilience and improves the likelihood of a shallow recession in the developed world. Inflation on both sides of the Atlantic continues to fall, with major further drops anticipated in UK inflation in the coming months. This backdrop has enabled central banks to consider rate cuts in the second half of 2024. The Federal Reserve and Bank of England both kept their respective benchmark interest rates unchanged at policy meetings. Both central banks removed language about the need for further tightening, signalling a turning point while noting restrictive policy still needs to be maintained for some time. Like most market participants, we anticipate rate cuts to start mid-year. China remains a notable negative for global growth in 2024. The bankruptcy of Evergrande last week is testimony to the ongoing unwind of China's growth miracle. China's central bank announced some measures to allow more lending into the troubled property sector, but investors anticipate a limited impact.                                           

    Markets pause as risks circle post-2023 rally

    The sharp rally in bond and equity markets in the final months of last year took a breather as we entered 2024.  Lacklustre economic data from Europe, rising geo-political risks and the lack of a decisive response from Chinese authorities thwarted the positive sentiment heading into fourth-quarter earnings. A quarter of US companies have reported earnings, with financials and technology producing the strongest growth and energy and materials the weakest. Earnings are tracking down 1.4% but analysts expect profit growth to resume in 2024. In recent days, developed market equities are within touching distance of all-time highs with US, Japanese and European equities leading the charge. Asian equities remain under pressure as China's property sector continues to impact sentiment. The UK market has failed to make headway after a disappointing 2023.  

    Portfolios consolidate after buoyant 2023

    One-year returns have improved in recent months, and we anticipate continued progress in 2024 when interest rates are lowered in response to falling inflation. We expect bond markets to rally as central banks begin cutting rates. Government bond and investment-grade corporate bond exposures provide a ballast to portfolios from which to recover. The inclusion of higher-yield bonds to portfolios in 2023 helped returns. Equity allocations within portfolios have favoured larger companies. This has allowed portfolios to benefit from the outperformance of larger company stocks. We are mindful of the risk to cyclical companies as economic growth slows but appreciate the depressed valuations on offer in some areas such as smaller companies. We will look to take advantage of these opportunities in a risk-controlled way throughout 2024.

    The content of this material is a marketing communication, and not independent investment research. As such, the legal and regulatory requirements in relation to independent investment research do not apply to this material and it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of its dissemination. The material is for general information purposes only (whether or not it states any opinions). It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) legal, financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by George Square Financial Management Ltd that any particular investment, security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Although the information set out in this marketing communication is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, George Square Financial Management Ltd. makes no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. George Square Financial Management Ltd. shall not be responsible for any loss that you may incur, either directly or indirectly, arising from any investment based on any information contained herein. This material may include charts displaying financial instruments’ past performance as well as estimates and forecasts. Any information relating to past performance of an investment does not necessarily guarantee future performance. George Square Financial Management Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

  • 06 February 2024 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    How a Virtual Coffee Morning is Enhancing the Lives of Analysts and Programmers

    A Monthly Dose of Camaraderie in the IT World

    In today’s digital era, where remote work has become the norm for many, the value of human connection and interaction cannot be understated. Recognizing this, a novel initiative has taken shape within The Institution of Analysts and Programmers: a virtual coffee morning, held on the first Thursday of every month. This gathering, far from being a mere casual catch-up, serves as a lifeline of camaraderie and exchange in the often-isolated world of IT professionals.

    The event, birthed from the need to break the monotony and isolation of home-based work, offers a unique platform for professionals to connect, share insights, and discuss various topics predominantly revolving around software and IT. It's not just a conversation; it's a community being woven together, one virtual cup at a time.

    Informal gatherings like these play a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging and community. They offer a reprieve from the structured, often rigid world of programming and data analysis. In these virtual meetings, ideas are brewed alongside coffee, providing an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish.

    The coffee mornings have become a hub for knowledge exchange. Participants share their latest findings, discuss emerging technologies, and sometimes troubleshoot problems together. This sharing of knowledge not only enhances individual skills but also contributes to the collective growth of the profession.

    One of the most significant impacts of this initiative has been on the mental health and well-being of its participants. The sense of community and connection, often missing in remote work settings, is a vital component in combating feelings of isolation and burnout. These meetings offer a safe, informal space for professionals to unwind and connect on a personal level, reminding them that they're part of a larger, supportive community.

    The positive effects of this virtual coffee morning go beyond the participants. Ideas and solutions born from these discussions often find their way into real-world applications, benefiting a wider spectrum of the tech industry. Additionally, the success of this initiative serves as a model for other organizations, highlighting the importance of creating spaces for informal interaction, especially in remote work environments.

    As we continue to navigate the complexities of a world increasingly reliant on remote work, initiatives like the virtual coffee morning are more important than ever. They remind us of the value of community and connection, even in the most technology-driven professions. By simply logging in and sharing a cup of coffee, participants are not just exchanging knowledge; they're reinforcing the human element that remains at the heart of the tech industry.

    Whether working for yourself, or within a small company or something larger, home working has its benefits and challenges, loneliness should not be one of them. Perhaps the virtual coffee morning could work for you.


    John Ellis FIAP Cmpn, FRSA, MBCS

    Wellis Technology

    John is senior partner of Wellis Technology, and works locally with domestic clients and small businesses providing technical IT support and consultancy, specialising in business continuity planning. He also works with organisations like The Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP) providing their admin and technical support. Through these, he has worked on projects with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), Cabinet Office, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), The UK Cyber Security Council, Cyber Security Alliance, The Trustworthy Software Foundation (TSF), British Standards Institute (BSI), International Standards Organisation (ISO). The latter two, where John is considered an expert on trustworthy software. 

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