We Did It – 2018 Charity Challenge, The Plod

This year’s challenge was a 40 mile walk around Rutland. We started at around 10pm on Saturday and continued through the night, finishing at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.  This works out as 18 hours allowing for the clocks going back which was fortunate as we had another hour to walk!

The walk really was a challenge and, of the 17 who started, 11 finished the entire 40 miles.

We were walking for the majority of the time besides the two well deserved pub stops, a breakfast stop and a few 5 minute breaks.

It was an experience to say the least and I did enjoy the walk besides the dark, cold, wind, rain and taking very unnecessary detours over muddy fields!

An amazing breakfast was provided by John and Ingrid Ferry which the team at Torr Waterfield are very grateful for.

This was definitely our toughest challenge to date.

We would like to thank everybody that has supported and sponsored us. The walk has raised jut over £7,500 so far for the charity Coping With Cancer.

There is still time to donate. It would be incredible if you could show some support for the team and make a donation small or large, it’s all for a great cause. Please please visit our total giving page www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18

Thanks from all the Team.

There are lots of photos from the walk on our Facebook page but here are a few of our favourites.

 

Training has now started for the Rutland Plod

As you may well know we are planning to walk 40 miles around Rutland water and surrounding villages, starting at 10pm on Saturday 27th October and finishing hopefully at 3pm Sunday afternoon. Please read our previous blog for more info here. 

Last weekend I plotted a 15 mile practice walk around Charnwood ,including Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill and Bardon Hill.  According to Heather’s app, the actual distance was 17 and a quarter miles.

It was a lovely sunny day for walking, so of course we stopped half way in a beer garden to refuel.

The 17 (and a quarter) miles took 7 hours (including the pub stop).  So by my calculations, the 40 mile challenge will take about 16 hours… great!

I have to say, when we got back to the Bradgate Park carpark, the thought of going round again (and a bit further) sounded like a stupid idea.

But hopefully with a bit more training over the next 3 weeks, we will all get round and raise lots of money for Coping with Cancer, our charity of the year.

Please help us reach our target and sponsor us. No matter how small or large you can do so by donating on our total giving page https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18

Stuart Caney, Challenge Leader

The Rutland Plod – TW Challenge 2018

Last year the team, friends and family took part in a 2 day challenge, walking 23 miles per day along The Llyn Peninsula. This year we are challenging ourselves even further by trekking 40 miles around Rutland overnight. This means no time to rest as the team begins the challenge at 10pm on Saturday 27 October and will continue non-stop (except for a few pub breaks!) through into the late afternoon of Sunday 28 October, taking a total of 16 to 18 hours to complete.

After parking our cars Mike Waterfield and Stu Caney will lead the team along the south end of Rutland Water before walking up the west side. This will be a good starting point as it will prevent the group from getting lost in the dark as Rutland Water will be on our right hand side for a couple of hours (around 6 miles).

Shortly after midnight and a short break to recharge, we will cross over the River Gwash, pass through Braunston in Rutland and then make our way south whilst the sun rises. The clocks will have gone back by this point which means we have an early finish! Matt Smith and other members of Torr Waterfield will be meeting us once we reach Morcott at around 9am, when we will then follow the River Welland from Barrowden after breakfast for 6 miles. This will lead us to the built up village of Ketton where we can stop for a bite to eat at around 1pm before eventually getting back to the starting point for 3pm.

We will also be meeting a few others in Ketton who were not able to join us for the whole 40 miles. They will be walking the last 5 miles with us and celebrating the success of completing the challenge!

For any long distance walking challenge there is only one form of training that will ensure you perform well – walking! So in the lead up to the challenge we will be doing a number of training walks to ensure we can endure the whole 40 miles! Our first training walk was last Saturday starting from Bradgate Park and walking 15 miles which took around 6 hours.

map-the-one.png

Over the coming weeks we will be posting other blogs to keep you updated on how our training is going and once we complete the challenge we will let you know how tough it was and how much money we raised in total.

The money we raise will be donated to our charity of the year, Coping with Cancer. To find out more about them you can look at our previous blog https://torrwaterfield.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/our-charity-of-the-year-coping-with-cancer/ or visit their website https://www.c-w-c.org.uk/ 

If you would like to show support and sponsor us no matter how small or large you can do so by donating on our just giving page www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18    

Amy Fisher, Fundraising Lead – 0116 2423400

Our Charity of the year – Coping with Cancer

Each year at Torr Waterfield we choose a charity, local or national, to represent and raise money for. 

This year we have chosen to support Coping with Cancer.  The charity provided much needed emotional and physical support for a very close friend of Denise Burley who is a senior member of our team; hence the link to Coping with Cancer.  The friend has a young family and was determined to make such a difficult time as normal as possible.  She cannot praise the counselling team highly enough for their therapy sessions nor for the complementary therapies which made her feel like a person again instead of a cancer patient.  It is often the smaller charities that get overlooked but they provide practical help on your doorstep and even the smallest of donations can make a big difference.  Denise explained this to the team at Torr Waterfield and they were eager to do as much as they can to help.

Over the course of the next year we will raise money through a variety of activities such as dress down days, staff cake sales and planned events.  In May we will run our annual Torr Waterfield Karting Cup where 12 teams of 4 compete in a two hour endurance race.  September is when we have our ‘Walking challenge’ where our team, friends and family take part in an organised walk.  These aren’t just walks in the park!  We have previously walked 48 miles in two days around the Lyn peninsula in Wales & on another occasion completed the National Three Peaks in just 48 hours.

We look forward to working with Coping with Cancer over the next year and raising as much money as we can for this fantastic charity. To find out more what Coping with Cancer do and upcoming events please visit their website https://www.c-w-c.org.uk/ 

Mike Waterfield, Director 

0116 2423400 info@torrwaterfield.co.uk 

National Minimum Wage – where are we now?

Falling foul of the National Minimum Wage rules can be expensive – as well as having serious implications for employer reputation. Many firms have been named and shamed for getting it wrong – are you compliant?

Employer errors

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) keeps appearing in the headlines. Recently the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced that some 230 employers had been named and shamed for failing to pay NMW and National Living Wage (NLW). The retail, hairdressing and hospitality sectors were among the most non-compliant. Because of BEIS intervention, more than 13,000 low-paid employees were due to receive £2 million in back pay.

But the final price tag for employers who hadn’t kept the rules was much higher. Between them, they were also fined a record £1.9 million. Business Minister Margot James said there was a clear message to employers. ‘The government will come down hard on those who break the law.’

BEIS report that common employer errors include deducting money from employees to pay for uniforms, not accounting for overtime and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers. So, what is the latest on NMW and how do employers keep on the right side of the law?

NMW and NLW – the basics

NMW is the least pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law. The rate is based on a worker’s age and whether they are an apprentice. NLW applies to working people aged 25 and over. From 1 April 2017, the rate ranges from £7.50 per hour for those aged 25 and over, to £3.50 per hour for apprentices under 19, or for those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of an apprenticeship. Changes to NLW rates are in the pipeline from April 2018, so employers may need to plan for these now.

NMW/NLW rates are reviewed by the Low Pay Commission, but it is HMRC who police the system. Employers can be faced with court action if they don’t pay NMW/NLW. Penalties for non-compliance stand at 200% of the back pay due to workers. The maximum penalty per worker is £20,000. There is a provision to reduce a penalty by half if unpaid wages and penalty are both paid within 14 days.

Not everyone qualifies for the NMW/NLW. These include people who are self-employed: volunteers: company directors: family members, or people who live with an employer and carry out household tasks eg au pairs.

But most other workers are entitled to NMW/NLW, including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers. There are also rules regarding agricultural and horticultural workers, with slightly different small print for England, Scotland and Wales.

In calculating pay for minimum wage purposes, the starting point is total pay in a pay reference period – before deducting income tax and National Insurance. Some payments are not included, such as loans and pension payments.

To add to the complexity, there is also something called the Living Wage, which is an hourly pay rate, set independently by the Living Wage Foundation. This isn’t anything to do with the government, and any employer who pays this does so entirely voluntarily.

Latest guidance: social care workers

HMRC have updated their guidance to clarify how NMW applies in the social care sector for workers carrying out ‘sleepover shifts’, following confusion over whether such shifts qualified for NMW. BEIS had suggested sleepover shifts carried out before 26 July 2017 qualified for a flat rate allowance, not NMW. But the decision is that NMW does apply, and applies retrospectively.

This could have left employers with bills of up to six years in back pay and penalties. But from 26 July, enforcement activity for sleepover shift pay is suspended until November, with retrospective penalties for sleepover shifts before 26 July 2017 waived. The actual back pay is still due, unless employers can show they can’t pay. Although it is envisaged that underpayments will be pursued from this date, the government says it is committed to minimising the impact of future minimum wage enforcement in the social care sector.

If you would like to discuss any of this further then please get in touch 0116 2423400

Running a payroll can be time consuming and complicated and divert resources from the core activities of your business. We can address this by installing payroll software and training your staff. Outsourcing this activity also helps relieve the pressure and we can offer cost-effective solutions. We are able to provide the complete service, what ever the size or complexity of your business, or simply provide support when needed. If you would like a quote then please call 0116 2423400 or email info@torrwaterfield.co.uk

Charities and Fundraising – New changes

The Fundraising Regulator fundraisingregulator.org.uk was established a year ago to oversee charity fundraising in England and Wales.  There are different rules for charities registered in Scotland.

The new body assumed responsibility for this area on 7 July 2016.

So far most people are unaware of its existence, but that should change as we proceed into 2017.  Generally the Code of Fundraising Practice will affect charities and anyone involved in their management.  The general public should however be aware of the new rules and there are schemes being drawn up to protect people from over eager charities.

The biggest effect on charities is that the Fundraising Regulator will be funded by a voluntary levy.  Charities with spending of over £100,000 on fundraising will be asked to pay between £150 and £15,000 annually, this being on a sliding scale with the top end only being relevant for a small number of very large charities; exempt charities will be charged a flat rate of £1,000.

Below the £100,000 threshold, a charity may choose to register and pay just £50.

Third party fundraising agencies and similar organisations may also sign up and pay between £100 and £1,200 annually.

Although, as already stated, this is a voluntary levy, it is important for charities to consider the message they are giving out by not being registered.  It may well influence potential donors if they feel that the charity is not abiding by the Code.  The government has also retained powers within the legislation to make the levy compulsory if the voluntary approach does not work!

Finally, the Regulator is working on a Fundraising Preference Service which should be launched this year.  This will enable individuals to register and then have control over how, or whether, charities contact them for fundraising purposes.  This is expected to work in a similar fashion to the existing Telephone Preference Service and the Mail Preference Service.

There is of course much more detail behind all of this and we will be happy to help. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further 0116 2423400

Neil Ford, Technical Manager Neil Ford April 2012