Bristol

TFT Brightwell Triple team raise £4k for Bristol MS therapy centre

Paul Spaven (far left), TFT Partner and Chair of the Brightwell, at the cheque presentation last week with the Brightwell Triple team and staff from the centre.

In August, three of TFT Bristol’s most enthusiastic and keen ‘sports’ decided to raise money for one of the Bristol office’s local charities: The Brightwell, a local therapy centre with a state of the art oxygen tank for people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.

The trio – Vanessa Rothon, Mark Day and Simon Parker – felt that the charity deserved their support due to its small-scale network and the life-changing work it does, having learned that so many people depend on the centre’s help and support, both physically and psychologically.  To help raise much-needed funds for a new cafe in the centre, the trio designed the Brightwell Triple: a 2-day fundraiser which saw them cycling and hiking 70km from Bristol to Swindon with a daring 10,000ft skydive to finish!

With Gift Aid, the team raised just shy of £4k in the end and we are so proud of their efforts.

Simon Parker, an M&E engineer who during the working day you’ll find inspecting infrastructure, plant and machinery, heating and ventilation and so forth, has reflected on the experience as one he and the team are proud to have taken on:

This was certainly one of the tougher charity fundraisers I have taken part in, but it was one I will remember with a big smile with the knowledge of how valuable donations like these are to the Centre. Without businesses supporting our communities, they would not be able to help people who have such complex needs that, if not assisted appropriately, prevent them doing so many basic things in their daily lives that I know we all take for granted.

The challenge was given even more meaning when we were able to see these facilities put into action. I think having a charity that you can maintain regular contact with by visiting, calling and emailing helps drive you and bring you a better understanding of how you can help them! We are lucky at TFT that we can do that every year with our local communities.

Cycle
Distance: 28.57mi/46km
Duration: 3hrs:13mins
Average speed: 8.9mph

Hike
Distance: 13.67mi/22km
Elevation: 29,586 steps
Duration: 4hrs:32mins
Average speed: 3.03mph

Skydive
Exit altitude: 9,640 ft
Freefall time: 35 secs
Max speed: 147mph
Max G force: 4.06 G
Canopy time: 4 min:52 secs
Average speed: 10mph

If you would like to find out more about what The Brightwell does and how you can support the centre, or you think you may benefit from its services, click here.

TFT votes to support local causes

In January, we were happy to ring in the New Year by giving everybody at TFT an extra day of leave to help a charity of their choice. Now, we are deepening our commitment to the local communities of each office around the country, with each office voting on local charities close to their homes and hearts, to support beyond the day job.

Each of our 7 offices in the UK (Bristol, Cardiff, Guildford, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh) have chosen their two local charities in hope to give back to the communities they value the most. Typically, local charities are often in need of extra feet on the ground, so we hope this will also encourage more volunteering opportunities for each office.

While local charities benefit from personal involvement of local people, our teams will also see the impact of their contributions first hand.  

We want to be part of the bigger picture, helping to improve local environments and economies. Not only do local charities employ locally, encouraging personal interactions, but they also contribute to the growth and improvement of the direct community around us. As this community around us grows, we see significant and visible results enhancing overall wellbeing (Guardian, 2014).

Chris Keates-Lewis, Head of HR, said:

“This is an exciting direction for us, bringing our offices together in a TFT global effort to improve the lives of those closest to us, and the environment in which we enjoy our lives.”

The chosen charities include:

London: Bankside Open Spaces and Coram’s Fields

Guildford: Challengers and Macmillan Surrey

Bristol: St Peter’s Hospice and The West of England MS Therapy Centre

Cardiff: The Wallich and Ty Hafan

Birmingham: Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and Zoe’s Place

Manchester: Wood Street Mission and 42nd Street

Edinburgh: The Cystic Fibrosis trust and Staffie Smiles.

TFT will also continue to support LionHeart and LandAid as their chosen national charities.

Japanese knotweed: a new statutory concern for dilapidations

Japanese knotweed is a concern to our clients when dealing with dilapidations and investing in property: it’s important that its presence is identified due to the potential damage it can cause from rhizomes (roots) penetrating masonry, foundations and paving and the potentially high cost of remedial works.

On top of the well known financial imperative, there is a further legal aspect which has recently come to light.

Japanese Knotweed – By MdE (page at dewiki | page at commons) – own photo, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3506559

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 remain the overarching legislation that control the growth and correct disposal of Japanese Knotweed in the UK; with the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Northern Ireland) Act 2011 and the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2012 applicable to the respective regions, alongside the relevant disposal regulations.

However, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduces a further facet to what can become a problematic issue. A recent prosecution case by Bristol County Council demonstrates that local authorities are using the legislation available to them, taking action against those who fail to control invasive plants on their land. Under the Act, local authorities can serve a Community Protection Notice (CPN) on individuals or bodies acting in a way that has a detrimental effect on quality of life of those in the local area. Bristol County Council subsequently fined MB Estates Ltd £18,000 for failing to control the weed’s growth.

So landlords, tenants and professional advisers beware. It is important for property professionals and clients to be aware of the risks associated with Japanese Knotweed and that lease obligations relating to its presence and recovery of costs are carefully considered. Leases tend not to cover invasive species very well and linking its presence, and an obligation to remove, to a breach of covenant can be difficult.

For further information and advice specific to your property, please get in touch with Jay Ridings, Associate at TFT.