Following the recent episode of BBC’s Rip off Britain aired on Tuesday 13th September which featured a segment on Checkatrade, Kevin Byrne CEO and founder of Checkatrade has issued a statement.
“Checkatrade would like to sincerely apologise to Brian Lambert for the substandard work he received. Checkatrade ensure all trades joining today are interviewed face to face, vetted with 18 considerations and 14 actual checks. This results in only 1 complaint in every 200 jobs for poor workmanship but sadly a small minority of jobs don’t always go to plan. Mr Lambert’s complaint was received on 17th September 2015 and at this point the trader had 42 positive reviews from happy customers. However, after an inspection of the workmanship in question we agreed the work was of a poor nature and after numerous attempts to contact the trade, we took the decision to expel them on 27th October 2015. Checkatrade are now partnered with Trading Standards to further support monitoring and vetting systems.” Kevin Byrne CEO and Founder of Checkatrade.
The advice and training which we have received from our primary authority, Trading Standards, has been implemented and acted on and we try our utmost to ensure that our scheme is robust with only genuine traders being allowed. We are continually monitoring and adjusting our processes to try and prevent these types of instances from happening.
Checkatrade would like to take this opportunity to remind all customers that we are dedicated and committed to maintaining our reputation and do everything we can to ensure we provide only the best and most reliable tradespeople in the UK.
We have over twenty two thousand reputable tradespeople at the click of a button and although accessing them is a simple process, we can guarantee that these tradespeople have been through rigorous checks before they feature on the site.
This rigorous vetting process, which includes valid Public Liability Insurance, accreditation’s and monitoring of the company’s status, continues throughout their membership to ensure our tradespeople meet the Checkatrade standard.
This is something that Checkatrade are extremely strict on and we want to reassure all of our past, present and future customers that should we receive a negative review of a sub-standard job, we will action it immediately and the company/person in question will be investigated and their place on the site will be re-considered.
As with any company or service, sadly mistakes can and do happen but did you know that 1 in every 5 jobs in the UK carried out by tradespeople need to be put right based on a National Average. At Checkatrade we pride ourselves on being able to confidently state that on average for every 200 reviews we obtain only one is negative. From the date of this being published we have also had 2,561,965 reviews posted on the Checkatrade website.
This Friday (2nd September) two teams from Whiteboxvan.uk will begin their 2000-mile trip across Europe in cars they purchased for £250. They are hoping to raise £2000 for the Sussex Community foundation, a charity that helps fund community groups tackling deprivation and disadvantage.
Starting at Whitebox HQ in Lancing, West Sussex the two teams will be driving across Europe as economically as possible, time penalties will be added for every refuel. Using their skills to keep the fuel stops to a minimum, they will cover approx. 500 miles per day. First car back to HQ is the winner.
“It’s fantastic that companies like Whitebox are willing to give their time to help support the local community”. Miranda Kemp, Sussex Community Foundation.
The eco run will take place betw een Friday 2nd until Monday 5th September. To ensure that no one misses out on the action the whole event is to be filmed by Punchy Pictures. For more information about the Sussex Community Foundation see their website or view the interview. More information about the eco run is available via http://www.whiteboxuk.co.uk/eco-run-96-w.asp & https://localgiving.org/appeal/WhiteboxUK/
For further information, please contact [email protected]k. 07818 414758.
On Tuesday 30 August the new look Checkatrade Trophy will get underway with 64 clubs competing to reach a showpiece final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 2 April 2017.
With an innovative new competition format pitting 48 League One and League Two sides against 16 invited Category One Academy sides, the revamped and expanded Checkatrade Trophy will give some of England’s brightest young talents the opportunity to gain experience and develop their skills against EFL clubs.
Prize money for the 2016/17 Checkatrade Trophy stands at £1.95 million, an increase of over 300% from 2015/16, making this season’s rejuvenated competition the most lucrative for participating EFL clubs since its inception in the 1983/84 season.
Clubs will benefit from financial prizes as they progress through the competition which includes £10,000 per win and £5,000 per draw during the Group Stage, increasing prizes for following Knockout Stage victories and a £100,000 prize sum for the eventual winner. In addition, invited clubs will donate all or some of their share of gate receipts to a fund that will be shared equally by clubs from Sky Bet League One and Two.
Kicking off the Checkatrade Trophy, a newly introduced group stage will be regionalised with 16 groups of four teams. Each group will include at least one side from each of Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two, plus one Academy team.
In the Northern section, Bolton Wanderers will look to continue their strong start to the season against Everton at the Macron Stadium with a family friendly kick off time of 7pm. Elsewhere, Sheffield United will take on Leicester City’s young guns at Bramall Lane while Scunthorpe United and Middlesbrough will lock horns at Glanford Park.
In the Southern section, opening fixtures will see last season’s Sky Bet League Two Play-Off winners AFC Wimbledon begin their Checkatrade Trophy campaign against Swansea City, West Ham United travel to Coventry City and Charlton Athletic will host Southampton.
Ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy’s opening fixtures, Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the EFL said: “Following the changes in the competition structure and format, the introduction of an additional £1million in prize money and a new and enhanced sponsorship agreement with Checkatrade, the competition offers significant financial benefits for EFL clubs in 2016/17 when compared to previous seasons.
“Clubs will receive prize money for the games that they win or they draw in the first round group stage as well as the knockout rounds. Of the 48 EFL clubs that competed in the competition last season, 29 teams earned less than £10,000 from the competition and 37 received less than £20,000. With £10,000 on offer for each group stage victory, it is clear to see there are now tangible short term financial benefits to the Checkatrade Trophy as well as the more established longer term ones. This has not been possible previously.
“Additional revenues will be generated for EFL clubs with invited Category One clubs agreeing to donate a proportion of their allocated net gate receipts to an EFL ‘pot’. The final sum will be shared equally amongst League One and League Two clubs following the conclusion of the competition.”
He added: “Alongside the financial increases, the new format is intended to reinvigorate the competition as well as assisting with the development of the very best young players in English football. The EFL and its clubs remain committed to producing more and better home grown players which will deliver benefits to both the domestic and international game.”
- 48 clubs from Sky Bet League One & Two.
- 16 invited Category One Academy teams.
- EFL clubs – a minimum of five ‘First Team’ players in the starting 11 as defined under the competition’s existing rules.
- Invited clubs – six of the starting 11 to be U21 (as at June 30).
Prize Money and Proceeds
- £1.95 million, an increase from last season’s total of £478k (over 300% increase)
- Sponsorship income increase
- Due to an increase in games in Round One (16 to 96) it is assumed that there will be a significant increase in net receipts to clubs;
- Match proceeds split 45% home and away club, 10% to the pool account
- Invited clubs will donate a proportion of their match proceeds back into the prize pot:
- 100% in group stages,
- 44% in round Two-Four and
- 33% in Semi-Finals and Final);
|Group Stages||£10,000 per win
£5,000 per draw
|Round Two||£20,000 per win||£320,000|
|Round Three||£40,000 per win||£320,000|
|Round Four||£50,000 per win||£200,000|
The ‘pot’ will be divided equally between the 48 clubs from Sky Bet League One and Two at the end of the competition.
- 16 groups of four teams organised on a regionalised basis.
- Groups to include one invited club and at least one club from each of Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two.
- Clubs to play each other once, either home or away. Invited clubs will play one home game at the club’s first team stadium.
- Clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a drawn game (after 90 minutes), a penalty shootout will be held with the winning team earning an additional point.
- The top two teams will progress to the Knockout Stage.
- Round Two (32 teams) will remain regionalised with each group winner being drawn at home to a second placed team from a different qualifying group.
- Round Three (16 teams) and Round Four (eight teams) will be ‘free’ draws.
- Semi-Finals (four teams) will be a ‘free’ draw and will consist of single ties played at the stadium of the club drawn first in each tie.
- If scores are level after 90 minutes in Rounds Two, Three and Four, the game will be determined by the taking of penalties. The EFL will confirm arrangements for the Semi-Finals and Final in due course following further consultation.
- Group Stage
- w/c 29th August 2016
- w/c 3rd October 2016
- w/c 7th November 2016
- Round Two – w/c 5th December 2016
- Round Three – w/c 9th January 2017
- Round Four – w/c 23rd January 2017
- Semi- Final – w/c 20th February 2017
- Final – 2nd April 2017 (Wembley Stadium)
- At the summer conference 2016 clubs voted to change the format of the Checkatrade Trophy competition following a request by the Board of Directors;
- Over 60% of League One (15) and League Two (15) clubs in favour of new proposals;
- Less than 30% of League One (8) and League Two (6) clubs voted against;
- Part of the proposal was a season-long trial whereby 16 Category One academy teams would be invited to participate;
- The decision was made on the basis the competition was in ‘serious need’ of innovation to survive;
- The EFL is dedicated to supporting, through EPPP, English football’s commitment to creating more and better home grown players. The Checkatrade Trophy provides opportunities for young players to play in meaningful fixtures;
- Each invited club to be known by their usual name i.e. Swansea City;
- The final mix of clubs includes 10 Premier League sides and six from the Championship;
- Confirmed clubs are: Leicester City, Southampton, West Ham United, Stoke City, Chelsea, Everton, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Reading;
- A Wembley appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy can be worth over £400k.
Where to start? I recently spent a long weekend with family and part of it with friends, I have a huge family with 4 siblings 10 nieces and nephews along with an extended family of what feels like hundreds of Aunts, Uncles, cousins, second cousins, second cousins twice removed……….
When we were young I relished time with my family, we had similar interests, sense of humour and in the 70’s no digital games just a garden hose, jacks (someone will explain if you don’t know this) a tennis ball in a pair of my Mum’s stockings so we could play ‘my mother say’s (again ask someone)
Now as adults we all have different interests, ego’s, we live in a digital age that we all feel we must check constantly, we have our own family that are of course the best at everything in our eyes and we are happy to shoot anyone down who may think differently. Our children don’t have the same bond with their second cousins because we have all moved to different areas of the country and even different continents, this leads to stilted conversation sometimes, in particular various parts of the family have opted out of ‘normal civilisation’ and although the conversations about living off the land, being ecological and not having a carbon footprint all sound commendable the reality is limited chat, no common interest and a slight body odour emanating. We all say ‘I love my family to death but’ do we really mean this? I had a good think after and came to the resolution that I would hunt down and do bad things to anyone who hurt my family and I do love them but, I don’t want to spend too much time with them, we all gave the cordial, ‘we mustn’t leave it so long next time’ ‘let’s make a date’ but in reality I don’t feel we mean it and secretly we are all slightly relieved when we can go back to our own castles and slate everyone in private.
The next day I spent with my girlfriends, I literally spent the whole day in hysterics, belly laughing, looking at something inappropriate and knowing that they will also have clocked it and with one look doubled up without having to say a word. Finishing each other’s sentences, never tiring of talking about our past escapades and still finding them hysterical, knowing that bring a bottle always means two, that if my house isn’t spot on tidy no one is going to talk about it later and on the whole having the most brilliant day.
This leads me to the old analogy, ‘you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends’ True to a certain extent but, I am still fiercely proud of my slightly eccentric, eclectic, sometimes wholly inappropriate family and will keep in touch with them however, thankfully by good old Facebook where we can all hide behind our online persona, we can send the odd Happy Birthday or even just a smile.
Safe until the next family get together!
IRWIN®’s Ultimate Tradesperson Competition Calls on Outstanding Tradespeople to Nominate Themselves, Friends and Colleagues for the 2016 title
LONDON, UK [August 3rd, 2016] – IRWIN® Tools, innovation experts in the hand tool and power tool accessories industry for over a century, has launched its annual Nominate a Tradesperson competition to find the UK and Ireland’s Ultimate Tradesperson.
IRWIN is on the lookout for trade professionals – joiners, electricians, plumbers, metal workers and mechanics to nominate themselves or colleagues and share their stories of when they have gone above and beyond to get a job done, no matter how big or small.
Tradespeople worldwide rely on IRWIN for superior performance on the job and now IRWIN wants to celebrate the UK and Ireland’s best. The successful candidate will receive a year’s paid apprentice for 2017, £5,000 (€6,440) to help build their business and a range of IRWIN products including IRWIN’s new Pro Comfort Screwdrivers, WeldTec™ Circular Saw blades and VISE-GRIP® cutting pliers.
The winner will be announced at the Build Show on the 18th and 19th October at the NEC in Birmingham.
Ahead of the 2016 winner being crowned, between June to October a monthly winner will receive a prize package bursting with IRWIN tools to the value of £660 (€851) as well as an all-expense paid trip for two to the Build Show to the value of £850 (€1095).
The competition now in its second year gives IRWIN the opportunity to recognise the positive difference tradespeople are making to the UK and Ireland. IRWIN spokesperson Amber Popowicz, Senior Brand Activation Manager explains: “We established Nominate a Tradesperson to find tradespeople who through their skills and dedication make a real difference. This could be a tradesperson who has shown their commitment to instilling their skills in the younger generation by working with apprentices or someone who always goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional client service.”
2015 Winner, Stacey Greenwell, from Stoke-on-Trent added, “When I began my career over 15 years ago I never thought I would become the UK’s Ultimate Tradesperson. I started buying uninhabitable derelict properties and renovating them to provide affordable housing to help my local town. It’s been such an experience to have won and it’s been great to have been recognised by such a long-standing company like IRWIN.”
To nominate yourself, a friend, a colleague or family member who you think deserves the recognition of UK and Ireland’s Ultimate Tradesperson, and to find the full terms and conditions of this promotion visit: www.irwin.co.uk/nominate
Marxman leaves a lasting impression and sees all Dragons vie to invest
Jenny, 50, a special abilities school assistant and Martin Chard, 50, a self-employed building maintenance man, are a typical couple bringing their four children, two Labradors and rabbit up in the picturesque county of Hertfordshire. But last night they found themselves in the enviable, and rare, position of having 5 of the UK’s biggest and most respected business people vie to invest in their business as all dragons made them an offer in the den.
Each of the dragons immediately saw potential in Martin’s invention and were keen to get on board.
Jenny and Martin were delighted to choose Deborah Meaden to be their partner and mentor given her vast experience and previous success with similar brands in the past. They gladly accepted her £50k investment for 30% of the business even though this wasn’t the top offer they received.
Jenny commented, “We had our sight set on Deborah from the very beginning. She’s a fantastic businesswoman with a huge amount of knowledge and experience in this sector that will really help us develop our offering and expand our network.”
Marxman is a new tool addressing the common problem of being unable to clearly mark a drilling hole, something regularly encountered by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. With one push the Marxman delivers a burst of brightly coloured chalk that marks any surface ready for drilling or fixing, even at a distance from the wall.*
Deborah Meaden commented, “The best inventions come from people solving a problem that lots of us experience but don’t do anything about. Martin is exceptional in that not only did he recognise and solve the problem through his invention, but he did so in a simple, elegant and affordable way. I can see widespread use of the Marxman with it becoming an essential part of all home and professional tool kits.”
Martin Chard came up with the idea for Marxman six years ago while trying to fit a sink. He couldn’t mark the drilling position on the wall and see the marks clearly so after a few time wasting attempts he reached for a can of black spray paint in desperation and marked it with that. After several other frustrating incidents like this and lots of wasted trips up and down ladders with broken pencils and felt tips not doing the job he started the process of developing Marxman so other workers could benefit.
Once a search of the patent office came back clear in 2009, Marxman began to take shape in 2010 as the first early stage prototype was developed. The first product was sold in 2014 and in March this year the duo secured a contract with trade retailer Wickes.
It was Jenny’s son Oren who came up with the name Marxman and up until recently the family have been manufacturing every unit themselves in order to achieve the level of perfection they wanted to ensure Marxman does the job.
Jenny commented, “Being on Dragons’ Den was extremely daunting and we were very nervous, we definitely got flustered when being grilled on the numbers – that’s not our forte!
“We are the first to admit that we have very little business experience and we know we need a lot of help. We’ve been able to get this far thanks to the extraordinary support we’ve had from friends, family and the various businesses big and small we’ve asked advice from along the way. We are extremely grateful to everyone that has believed in Marxman and played a part in our journey so far.”
Jenny and Martin plan to use Deborah’s investment to increase manufacture and grow the awareness of such a useful tool.
PRESS IT! MARK IT! DRILL IT!
Find out more:
Marxman Product Information
- Marxman is available from www.marxmanpen.co.uk and www.wickes.co.uk
- It retails at £9.95 and dispenses 250 doses
- Both Standard and Deep Hole Marxman can be used to mark a reference point directly onto any surface. From tiles and pebble dash to wood and metal, whatever the surface the mark will show clearly
- The Standard Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45 mm and under
- The Deep Hole Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45mm and over
- Marxman is a British made product which uses non-toxic ingredients and has very low global warming potential
See how Marxman works – https://youtu.be/HGbtUdJgCjY
Website – Marxmanpen.co.uk
Facebook – marxmanpen
Twitter – @marxmanpen
Bognor Birdman 2016 is getting off the ground, thanks to the support of a local businessman.
Kevin Byrne, founder of Checkatrade which is based in Selsey, has decided to sponsor this year’s event.
The flight competition originated in Selsey in the 1970s, where his company’s based, before moving to Bognor seven years later.
He grew up watching brave individuals launch themselves off the pier, and tells us his decision to help out’s down to his dad:
“I can remember he was part of a committee that was putting the Birdman on when it was in Selsey, and when I heard that the event was looking for a sponsor I just thought yeah I’ll do that, there’s a good connection there.”
There were concerns the popular event wouldn’t go ahead because grant aid was refused by the town council, and in Febuary the Worthing Birdman announced it has been cancelled ‘for the time being’.
In 2003 Virgin Atlantic sponsored Birdman, and 30,000 spectators gathered to watch Sir Richard Branson take off in angel wings.
That year’s event raised in excess of £70,000 for worthwhile causes.
“We’ve never done anything like this before, this is something unique and special.
“We’re looking at putting some weight behind it and I know that Spirit FM have offered to give it some publicity, so it’s really exciting.”
The EFL has today secured a record value partnership with Checkatrade that sees the market leading trade vetting and monitoring website become the Official Title Sponsor of the EFL Trophy.
The competition has been renamed as the Checkatrade Trophy with immediate effect as clubs from Sky Bet League One and League Two get ready to compete with 16 Category 1 Academy teams from the Premier League and the Sky Bet Championship for the first time.
Kicking off week commencing 29 August, for the 2016/17 EFL season, the first stage of the Checkatrade Trophy will see 16 regionalised groups of four teams go head to head in the reinvigorated competition format. The groups include at least one side from each of Leagues One and Two, alongside one Category 1 Academy team.
Of each group, the top two teams will progress into the knockout stages of the competition, with eventual finalists going on to contest the showpiece Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium on 2 April 2017.
Shaun Harvey, the Chief Executive of the EFL said: “We are delighted to have signed up Checkatrade as title sponsor for our revamped competition – the Checkatrade Trophy. With credibility and reputation critical to the success of the Checkatrade brand, we feel there are some strong synergies between us both and look forward to developing them throughout the sponsorship period that could run for a five year period.
“With major changes heading the way of the competition in 2016/17, including the introduction of 16 Category 1 sides, this partnership is the perfect platform for Checkatrade. It will also present them with a rare opportunity to be directly associated with cup football in England and a Wembley Final.
“Like ourselves, Checkatrade recognise the huge potential in this competition and through their generous support and the changes we have made to the format, we are in a position to be able deliver additional prize money that makes participating in the Checkatrade Trophy an even more attractive prospect for our clubs.”
Kevin Byrne, Founder and CEO of Checkatrade, said: “As a football fan, it has been a long term goal to partner a well-known English football competition and as many of our listed trades are also fans, this makes our sponsorship of the new Checkatrade Trophy even more exciting.
“This considerable sponsorship is the latest step in our marketing strategy to remain firmly in the public eye. We’re delighted to be associated with so many well respected and prestigious clubs participating in the Checkatrade Trophy and we look forward to engaging with fans over the coming season.”
Photo shows: Di Levantine, Co Founder of Snowdrop and India Ede, Spirit FM
and Claire Allen, Checkatrade Fundraising Manager.
You may remember our charity Jailbreak event in May, which was a huge success, lots of fun and was all in aid of the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. They are a locally based charity that give care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families. We were delighted to visit their head office in Walburton recently and our fundraiser, Claire Allen was able to hand over a whopping cheque for £6,966!
Claire said ‘Snowdrop is a fantastic cause and we are delighted to have raised so much. We couldn’t have done it with the support of Spirit FM who promoted the event on the radio and followed teams on the day along with all the generous donations we received and the public’s help make the day so successful. A huge thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us make a huge difference’
Di Levantine, Co-Founder of ‘Snowdrop’ said ‘we are really delighted to receive this incredible amount from Checkatrade and it will make a huge difference to local families. We are going to be spending the money on Summer days out for 57 of the families we support, which will make some wonderful memories. These days are unforgettable for the children, their parents and siblings who also have to cope with so much. It’s the chance to all be together and have fun, something they all really look forward to doing.’
We are already looking forward to next year and if you’d like to get involved and enter a team, look out for more details or email [email protected].
This is a great time of the year to be getting outside and enjoying the garden, but what if your fences and garden shed are looking old and worn? You are not going to be able to settle and enjoy your time out there.
Truth is, you are going to be looking at your fences and thinking “If I don’t get them maintained and treated soon then it’s not going to be long before I’ll be having to replace them!!” The problem is, you’re also going to be asking yourself if you can afford to replace them. Fencing isn’t cheap and neither are sheds so what are the best ways to keep them in reasonable condition?
There are some really quick, easy and inexpensive ways to maintain both your garden fences and your sheds. If we use these, we will not only be making them look great but most importantly we’ll be making them last longer. Also, let’s not forget that well-kept fences and a good-looking shed can play a key role in keeping or even adding value to your home!
If you are planning on doing any maintenance work yourself, here are some helpful tips that you can follow:
- start off by scraping off any old debris and moss that will have developed over the years by using a hard brush or a wire brush. On real stubborn areas you can even use a jet spray to pressure wash off any unwanted bits
- wait for the surfaces to dry fully and then you can start treating the timber
- there are loads of great colours available now for these kind of surfaces; most of them are water-based and won’t harm your plants or animals, but please do double-check when you buy them
- there are two ways you can apply the treatments – one is with a paint brush and roller but the other smarter and more professional way to getter a better finish in a quicker time would be to apply your treatment with a paint-spraying system
- you may find that fence panels are a rougher sawn timber than the shed materials and will be a lot more porous and will require more paint. It’s okay to apply two or three coats if you want to treat them really well
- when it comes to the smoother timber on your shed you would be better off doing to two or three very fine coats of treatments, leaving each coat to dry and with a very gentle sanding between coats using a soft wire wool; this will help the coats to bond better and reduce the chance of the solutions running
Of course, if the task is a large one and you don’t have the time or tools to complete the work – or you simply don’t want to attempt to do the work yourself – you can always hire a professional. Reputable, fully-vetted tradesman capable of doing the work for you can be found via Checkatrade.com.
Either way, please don’t put off treating your fences or your shed. When it comes to maintenance, the more often you do it the easier and cheaper it becomes. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to wooden materials that are exposed all-year round to the elements that the British weather serves us!
Good luck and let’s hope you get the chance to get out there and enjoy your garden.
Surely, summer must be just around the corner!!
Guest blog by Checkatrade ambassador Craig Phillips