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Archive for October, 2013

New qualifications for Furniture Warehouse placement team

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

12 people, who attend the Right2Work Furniture Warehouse on Dockray Hall in Kendal, are celebrating gaining some vital new qualifications.

The team undertook a Customer Service Skills course run by the Cumbria Adult Education Service earlier this year.  Everyone passed the course and now have an Open College Network qualification and has just received their certificates showing the successful achievements they attained.

The Right2Work project offers people the opportunity to get real work experience in South Lakeland. They exist to support disabled and disadvantaged people to gain employment through training and work experience with the scheme.  Right2Work is also somewhere where people can gain self confidence, a feeling of being valued and vital skills they need in the society.

Right2Work was set up in August 2011 by parent organisation and charity The Oaklea Trust.  Oaklea Trust were successful in securing a seven year contract with South Lakeland District Council to operate and manage the collection of bulky household items such as wardrobes, beds, mattresses and chairs from residents in the area.  Items that are collected are reused, fixed and resold or broken down and the component parts are recycled.   The service not only provides a collection service to people in the area, but also promotes recycling and has diverted over 101 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The team who all have learning difficulties have been able to achieve these Customer Service qualifications on top of the work skills they are already gaining at Right2Work as well as the social interaction enjoyed by all. The group on day placement assist with the collection and delivery of furniture, help to serve customers in the furniture warehouse and dismantle unusable furniture items to divert waste from landfill.

The Furniture Warehouse will collect donations of saleable furniture free of charge and are always looking for volunteers to support the work they do.

Cumbrian couple launch new aerial venture

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

With the help from Enterprise Answers, Penrith couple Darran and Tracy Luck have set up ‘Lakeland Aerials’, a new business specialising in aerial and satellite installation and repair services.

After working for SKY TV for over 8 years, Darran saw a business opportunity to help people across the county with their TV installation requirements.  After doing a lot of research Darran realised there wasn’t a huge amount of competition across Cumbria and had made many contacts that would ensure he was able to start his business on a good footing.

Darran and Tracy live in Penrith with their six children aged 2 to 16, so they are always kept busy and aim to involve their whole family in the business in the future.  Business also runs in the family as Darran’s parents are Directors of Cumbira X Press Ltd, so he is well prepared for everything that running your own business can throw at you.

Darran comments,

“We took a huge leap of faith by setting up Lakeland Aerials; leaving the security of a job that I had done for years and ensuring I could still take care of the family.  Luckily we have lots of support and I have been able to build up a good reputation throughout the county, which has stood me in good stead to ensure this venture works.  If the first three months is anything to go by then we’ve found a niche in the market.”

Initially, Darran and his wife Tracy started looking into raising funds to realise their business aspirations.  They did a basic search online for Government grants or start up schemes and that’s how they discovered Enterprise Answers, Cumbria’s only Community Development Finance Institution.  With the assistance and guidance from the team at Enterprise Answers ‘Lakeland Aerials’ was able to get up and running.

Since starting the business three months ago Darran has been out on the job every day; helping domestic customers and businesses from Kendal to Carlisle with their digital, aerial and satellite queries.   Lakeland Aerials covers all aspects of installation from aerials, satellite systems, TV wall mounting and telephone line extensions, to checking broadband and phone connections and wiring.  For more services you can visit their website –

Entrepreneurial dentist set to get Cumbria smiling

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Satya Patel moved to Cumbria a year ago from his home in West Yorkshire to pursue his dream of owning his own dental practice.

Satya decided to move to Cumbria as he had been looking to buy a well established family practice for a couple of years and Stricklandgate Dental, in Penrith was ideal.  It had a good reputation locally and was built on a high standard of dentistry with excellent patient care.

Satya bought Stricklandgate Dental Practice in December 2012 and is the sole Director.  It is different to other practices in the area as it has been built on an excellent foundation of private dentistry over the last 30 years by the previous owners.  He now aims to take the practice into a new era; specialising in cosmetic dentistry.

“I enjoy building relationships and trust with my patients and then delivering the best care. I love creating a smile that my patients can be proud of and seeing the impact it has on their life. Ultimately I want my patients to be happy with the treatment they receive and smile with confidence.”

Satya says he’s always had a “scientific brain” and initially wanted to become a doctor. After undertaking work experience in Chicago when he was 17 he realised that he preferred the more hands on nature of dentistry which also required artistry.

Following his dream of becoming a dentist Satya graduated from Bristol University in 2003 with a BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2003.  He was awarded an MSc in Implantology with Distinction as well as the MJDF RCS Eng and Dip Rest RCS eng.  He has continued studying over the past ten years and with a vast array of qualifications and experience has enabled him to become a clinical mentor for the British Academy of Implant and Restorative Dentistry, helping to train other dentists in implantology.  He has most recently appointed MJDF Examiner for the Royal College.  Satya has also been a clinical panel member for the Dental Complaints Service since 2006 and Sponsorship Secretary for the Leeds and District British Dental Association; all this and he is only 33!

Before coming to Penrith Satya worked as a  self employed advanced restorative dentist working   in practices across the country including Yorkshire and Ashby de la Zouch where he has built up an enviable reputation.

Since moving to Penrith, Satya has embraced local life and feels part of the family already; he has found the Cumbrian people to be very friendly and approachable and is set to be one to watch and he pursues his dream of getting Cumbria smiling.

Free parking announced for Penrith Winter Festival

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce is delighted to announce that Eden District Council has kindly given a boost to Christmas shopping for the town by providing FREE Car parking on the Saturdays leading up to Christmas.

The Festival, which is in its second year, runs from 30th November to 31st December and is a way of attracting more visitors to the town and giving businesses a platform to promote themselves.  The Chamber’s aim is to encourage people to come to Penrith to do their Christmas shopping and spend their money here instead of heading to larger towns and cities.

Saturdays – there will be FREE Parking from 10.30am on each Saturday of the Festival i.e. 30th November, 7th, 14th and 21st December.

Fridays – there will also be “FREE after 3” parking on the following Fridays i.e.6th, 13th and 20th Dec

After various meetings and a period of consultation, Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce is developing a “Festive Friday” initiative which will complement the “Free after 3” parking scheme.  They hope shops and other businesses will get behind the initiative and remain open until 7pm, making the town really festive on Friday evenings and complementing the evening trade in town over Christmas.

As well as “Festive Fridays” there will be something going on each weekend in the run up to Christmas:

Saturday 30th November – The Winter Droving event (from 12 to 7pm)
Saturday 7th December – Gifted, Arts, Crafts and Gifts Market (In Great Dockray from 11am to 4pm)
Saturday 14th December – Brunswick Yard Christmas Fayre
Saturday 21st December – Festive family fun, with Churches Together and community groups.

Organisers of the Winter Festival are encouraging businesses to really get on board with the initiative not only to make it great for the town, but also for each individual business.  Opportunities to get involved include the Window Dressing Competition, Christmas tree packages and sponsorship opportunities.  To be included in the Winter Festival programme businesses are encouraged to submit information about their own events, activities and Christmas offers by the 11th October – the deadline is tight, but the event begins in only 9 weeks time!

If you are interested in registering for any of the above please contact Lisa Coates on or visit  A new Winter Festival website will be launched in the next week.