Four things you should know about moving to the countryside

Everybody knows everybody

You probably don’t know the lady that smiled at you in the butchers, or the man that said ‘Morning!’ as you were walking your dog but that’s just the English countryside. As soon as you move here you’ll feel like your social circle has grown tenfold. If you need to nab some milk when you first move in then you can ask your neighbour with no hesitation. The family vibe that comes from quaint English villages is totally unbeatable.

Night times are so much clearer and calmer

The best vantage point to see the stars is from the most remote country location. Minimal light pollution and cloud coverage can give you the most spectacular sky views. If that’s not enough to convince you that you belong in a farmhouse in the countryside then we don’t know what is! Combine your newly-discovered starry nights with some friends, a campfire and food for a classic countryside get together.

You won’t go a day without seeing some wildlife

From Skylarks to horses and everything in between don’t be surprised if your morning commute is disrupted by a herd of sheep. The countryside is the home to thousands of cattle, birds and dogs so don’t worry about taking your pooch to the pub for a few either, they’re probably welcome with open arms. Cocker Spaniels and sheepdogs are a firm favourite out in the sticks so if you really want to get in with the locals we recommend carrying around some dog treats!

The air is crisp, clean and healing

The UK countryside has some of the cleanest air in the UK with extremely low pollution levels. Thanks to all the green pastures, plants and foliage the air is completely different to the stifling, warm air of inner cities. You can start off your mornings with a walk to get you awake, alert and ready for the day!

The Top 5 Expat Destinations Around The World

HSBC’s Expat Explorer Report for 2015 has ranked countries and territories on the opinions of expats based on questions about economics, their family life and their overall expat experience. 39 countries from Brazil to Bahrain have had their expats quizzed on these three categories, with the scores being totalled to give the final ranking. Which of the following makes you want to move overseas?

1. Singapore

Singapore is a tiny island nation just off the coast of Malaysia with a high population of expats and a fantastic array of cultures. Known as the Lion City, Singapore is a hit with expats due to its tropical climate, strong economy and the fact that English is one of 4 official languages. This location is also renowned for its very environmentally friendly ‘Green Policy’ and its extreme low tolerance to crime, making it one of the safest expat destinations you could relocate too.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular choice among Brits, with expats favouring how easy it is to integrate into the ‘Kiwi’ culture and finding that settling down is extremely easy. With a strong economy and links to British sporting events like Rugby Union and Cricket, Brits typically feel right at home. Another important item the Expat Explorer Report noted was that those who move here live a more healthy lifestyle, being encouraged to be active by the weather and the general mindset of resident New Zealanders. Considering emigrating? Find out how we can help.

3. Sweden

In the 2015 HSBC Expat Explorer report Sweden came first in the ‘family’ category with the education system, government attitudes towards family policies and the quality of life all contributing to this. Sweden offers parents of newborns 480 days of leave which can be split between the mother and father, making it a very attractive place to start a family. With free healthcare and a wealth of cultural highlights, this economic powerhouse is unsurprisingly the 3rd best place for expats to live.

4. Bahrain

Bahrain is a country which offers higher average salaries, a warm welcome to expats and a ‘straightforward financial landscape’ meaning that adapting to different tax practices is easy. When asked expats did note that living costs are relatively high, with the average spend on this being 53% of their salary however 68% of those asked said they had a higher disposable income than they did previously. Combine the extensive opportunity to take in the Middle Eastern culture with the tropical climate of this island in the Persian Gulf and you’ve got a fantastic expat destination.

5. Germany

Expat residents of Germany benefit massively from this economic superpower with 49% of those asked saying that their career has advanced more quickly since moving. Job security and a healthy work/life balance are other contributing factors to Germany clinching the 5th spot on the Expat Explorer report. Other contributing factors include Germany’s long history of culture, the embedded folk traditions at Christmas time and Germany’s fashion scene. Fancy settling down in time for the festive season? Moving to Europe is easier than ever with our services,

Office trends and tips: how to optimise your in-office time

Office spaces are almost as important as who is actually in the office because it can affect productivity, creativity and the health of your employees. So finding the right balance between work and play is pivotal. The office needs to be functional more than anything. It may look great to have all ‘stand-up’ desks, but employees will eventually get tired of standing and lose the creativity you’re trying to inspire. However introducing stand-up meeting rooms for 20-minutes-or-less meetings only is likely to provoke fresh, engaging ideas and give employees mini-breaks from sitting down.

When you’re designing an office space it’s good to consult your employees. Ask them what they do and don’t want, what would be best for them and for how they work. Involving new employees in design is also a great way to spark future collaborations. If employees work together to create their own workspace, they’ll have something in common already.

Shared areas are the best way to encourage teamwork. A square office with a round ‘coffee hub’ in the middle, complete with worktops and plug sockets, is a sure fire way to get people engaged and talking. It also gets employees moving. Sitting in one spot for 4 hours can suck the creativity out of some people, so let employees wander and change their workspace frequently. Why work at a desk from 9 to 5 when you could work in a cosy pod for 2 hours, stand for 30 minutes and then set up shop in a repurposed storage container? Why work inside when it’s sunny and you’ve got a roof garden? It’s all re-energising, re-invigorating and different!

Not only does layout of an area affect employees’ productivity and efficiency there are plenty of other factors to consider. Light, colours, plants and spatial design can all be points for change and while you don’t have to think of everything but it’s good to cover the most important bases. Let’s take light for example. Do you work better in a dark, dingy room or an open room with a high-ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows? The correct amount of light can be the difference between creative genius and stagnant ideas.

The style and colour of an office is also conducive to good work, especially when there’s a playful element. The kind of ‘wow, have you seen this?’ conversation that any employees can spark up with each other encourages creativity through group bonding and an eventual lack of self-consciousness, freeing people up to volunteering new ideas.

Combining styles such as industrial rooms featuring exposed brickwork with neon, textured wall installations can be a fab way to inject a fun, youthful feel into a workspace. It works with just about any style! Try combining kitsch or vintage meetings tables with modern chairs to accentuate and highlight the differences in both, it’s a cool talking point too. If you’re not sold on that, try angular, geometric patterns on every wall and place contrasting rounded desks and chairs near by.

The easiest way to re-create your office workspace is to stick with pale coloured walls and go crazy for colours of desks, chairs, posters, and even pens, post-it notes and coffee cups! The contrasting colours will bring fresh, vibrant air and a new motivation 

Saving for your first home is simpler with a Help To Buy ISA

A Help To Buy ISA, not to be confused with the Help To Buy Scheme, is a savings product that is rewarded with tax-free bonuses for money that is saved towards a deposit on a new home. Aimed at first time buyers only, the government will pay a ‘bonus’ of £50 for every £200 saved.

As well as receiving tax-free interest (available on all ISA products), with the maximum government bonus of £3,000 available, this savings plan will mean a 25% boost for anyone who has never previously owned their own home.  In addition, if two first-time buyers are making a purchase together, they are able to save into two separate ISAs, offering up to an extra £6,000.

The government bonus is claimed via your solicitor during the purchase of your property, so whilst the savings made in a Help To Buy ISA do not have to be used to buya house, if you decide not to proceed with a property purchase, you will not receive this additional money.

To qualify you will need to have saved at least £1,600 within your Help To Buy ISA.  This will then entitle you to an initial £400 reward. The maximum property value in London eligible to be purchased using a Help To Buy ISA is £450,000, and for the rest of the country the maximum property value will be £250,000.

Further terms & conditions apply and to find out more and check if you are eligible, visit the Help to Buy website. However, we do advise that you talk to an Independent Mortgage Advisor for expert help on buying your first property.

Things to do during the fortnight before you move house

It’s only when you begin to put the entire content of your house into boxes that you realise how much stuff you actually have to move! If you’re packing your own things then we recommend that you start packing around two weeks before your move so that you won’t have to rush it during the days before the move.

2 weeks may sound a little early but when you’re packing you always start with the stuff that you use least. So if there’s a cupboard in the spare room for example, start with that! Emptying these ‘storage cupboards’ that house old photos, christmas decorations and things like that which you don’t use on a daily basis is efficient and can allow you time for a bit of a clear-out. A declutter can make the move easier and probably cheaper. Plus you’ll be doing something nice for any charities and foundations you donate too – we’ve listed some places that take unwanted items here.

Labelling is super important. Moving 20+ cardboard boxes is bad but moving 20 identical brown boxes that are sealed is not a pain that you want to bring upon yourself. Clearly write the room name on each box and you can save yourself so much time and effort when it comes to moving in as well as unpacking!

You don’t want to be missing out on any of your bank statements, local newspapers and birthday cards so letting everyone know of your change of address is critical. Especially because you don’t want any confidential details going to the new owners of your home! Below is a basic list of things you’ll need to update:

  • Your bank details
  • Your internet, television and phone provider
  • Your insurance providers, especially car and home insurance
  • DVLA records (up to a £1,000 fine if your address is wrong)
  • Redirect your mail via Royal Mail
  • TV Licensing

Hopefully our ‘2 weeks before the move’ guide is going to help make your move smooth and streamlined. Don’t forget you’re welcome to give us a call for advice or view our full guide for more in depth help!

Welcoming the fourth generation of Hackworthy family members

Hackworthy and Sons has been a family run business for over 40

years. Taking on second and third generation Hackworthy family members is an intrinsic part of how we run our business so the arrival of our fourth generation family member is great news for the team and the family!

Tom Hackworthy is our newest recruit and apprentice. He is the son of Vicky Hackworthy, granddaughter to the founder of Hackworthy&Sons, Ron Hackworthy. At just 16 years old Tom’s taking to the family business early and is making an excellent start.

His apprenticeship in Commercial Moving will see him work full time, learning our refined trade, and undertaking 10 study modules including health and safety, customer care, regulations, logistics and key problem solving skills.

The Hackworthy family can’t wait for Tom to develop and grow into a fantastic employee and to inspire the next generation of Hackworthy family members.

Join the Hackworthy family – We’re Recruiting!

We’ve been professional removers for over 40 years, with family at the heart of what we do. With that in mind, we’re looking for experienced removal crew members to join our Hackworthy family and build even more on the great Hackworthy brand.

We’re seeking both porters and drivers so a driving qualification isn’t essential but would be desired for both roles. General duties will include packing commercial and business items safely, liaising with clients to fulfil their needs and working as part of an experienced team to deliver the best service to our customers.

With the ability to work well in a team, we’re hoping that you’ll have a polite and well-mannered disposition, great communication skills, and a drive to succeed and meet deadlines. We’re also hoping you’ll be physically fit in order to be able to lift heavy items with due care and attention!

For more information on the jobs available contact one of our team or email your CV to enquiries@hackworthy.co.uk

Tips when moving offices

Friday 19th June 2015
Tips when moving offices

Here at Hackworthy we help businesses move offices all the time so we know the pressures and understand that it’s fairly difficult to make sure everything’s in order. There’s so much more to consider than when you’re moving house because for starters, there’s usually more of you! We know just how to help your day run as smoothly as possible and how to have you back to normal ASAP so we’ve compiled a simple, and hopefully helpful, list of tips to get you through your office move without a hitch!

  • Knowing the floor plan of your new office space is key. This way you can decide if you need to store any extra desks you don’t need for now and you can plan which items goes into the van first and last. It’s a way more efficient way of unpacking!
  • Use the office move as an excuse to sort through old files and paperwork. You can shred all the bits you don’t need, cutting on costs, legwork and moving time. Our sister company, Plymouth Self Storage, can even shred it for you! Start your new lease clutter free and ready to be productive.
  • Don’t leave your employees in the dark. If they’re not clued up on all the details of the move, then they can’t be as efficient as possible. Hold a team meeting to ensure questions are answered and you could even delegate so employees know what they can do to help.
  • If you’re moving computers and unplugging leads it’s so easy for work to be lost if you haven’t made sure things are shut down properly. Make sure you back up all of your folders onto a hard drive prior to moving, just in case.
  • Secure any personal files you have on clients or employees, to be confident that you’re not in breach of the data protection act by allowing third parties access to these files.
  • Organisation is key in a big move, especially with a business relocation so make sure that you label boxes, organise your files and categorise everything. Allocating boxes for employee information, company documents and client files will help you more efficiently unpack and get business back to normal.
  • Call your utility suppliers in advance and change addresses to get your services redirected. By calling ahead of your move you’ll avoid things such as Internet downtime.
  • Make sure you tell your customers you’re moving! There’s nothing worse than your clients turning up at your old office and thinking you’ve gone bust. It’s bad for business via word of mouth and your clients may just take their business elsewhere. It may also be true of new clients looking to talk to a team member so make sure your materials and online presence are up to date.

If you’re thinking about your office move, give one of our team members a call for a chat.

We’re sponsoring the PAPPA Charity Golf Event!

PAPPA Golf Day takes place this year on Friday 19th June and Hackworthy are once again sponsoring this great event. For the fourth year in a row Hackworthy will be the main sponsor for this worthy cause, Horizons. The Plymouth Area Property Professionals Association charity golf event aims to raise money for this brilliant charity as they help disadvantaged and disabled children from communities in Plymouth improve self-confidence and social skills through water-based activities.

The event includes a full round of golf and an evening meal followed by entertainment. Some of the entertainment is in the form of games!

Every year Horizons helps hundreds of young children in around 3,000 sessions so it’s an honour to us to be able to support these disadvantaged young adults in building confidence, social and practical skill sets.

Find out how you can help Horizons or contact a member of our team for more information.

A Hackworthy History: 4 generations, 3 companies, 1 family

Hackworthy & Sons is one of the leading, and largest, removal companies in the South West, covering most of Devon and Cornwall. We began our empire in 1972, establishing ourselves as a trustworthy, family-owned business and founded by former RAF pilot Ron Hackworthy. Ron’s son Reg and his wife Ruth now run Hackworthy alongside third generation Hackworthy’s; their son Kevin and their daughter Vicky with the 4th generation also set to join the family business.

We weren’t always a removal company though, we started out as a parcel courier firm but identified that we needed to diversify in order to flourish in the market. We began moving new furniture that then turned into carrying out removals up and down Devon. This was the real turning point, in 1976, in which we started seeing massive growth and potential for more and just four years after Hackworthy was founded the business quickly took off and we began leasing a warehouse in Prince Rock, which we later purchased.

When Reg and Ruth took over Hackworthy in 1991, they began winning multiple national and local removal and distribution contracts and 15 years ago expanded Hackworthy into the self-storage industry. Although the self-storage aspect of our business grew slowly from only a handful of our warehouse units, we eventually saw the potential that the self-storage element had as an individual company. Plymouth Self Storage was born which now operates from 2 sites in Plymouth.

Reg and Ruth together accumulated many awards and accreditations including, in 1999, the BSEN12552 in Domestic Removals. This is a stamp of quality and standards, showcasing a businesses commitment to deliver high-class service and we became one of the very first companies in the UK to achieve this.

Then in 2004 Hackworthy spotted another gap in the market and we decided to expand our current business. SP Cocks Removals of St Austell was our next step and we acquired them just four years before we expanded our Plymouth Self Storage business by leasing a second warehouse.

Hackworthy, Plymouth Self Storage and SP Cocks are all thriving businesses which continue to grow every year. We hope that our history really shows the dedication, drive and enthusiasm that we have for delivering such a high quality removals and storage service.

Which? Trusted Trader Status

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Which? Trusted Trader Status

Hackworthy and Sons is proud to announce that we have become the first removal company in Plymouth to be given the Which? Trusted Traders.

The accredited status is an absolute privilege as we are the first in Plymouth and we had to complete a full complaints audit as well as an onsite visit. Which? are consumer champions so to be recognised as the trustworthy and client-friendly company that we are is something we’re extremely proud of.

This is another achievement and recognition for us in a long line of accreditations from other organisations. You may remember that in 2011 we were awarded the British Standards for Domestic Removals badge after passing an inspection every year for 10 years with flying colours. As well as this we were finalists in the competition organised by the British Association of Removers to find the ‘Domestic Mover of the Year’.

Our Managing Director Vicky Hackworthy is delighted to achieve the coveted accreditation from Which? as she said: “They have been synonymous with championing the needs of the consumer for such a long time, people trust the Which? brand.”

The title comes just as we enter our 43rd year of being one of the leading and now the most trusted removal company in Plymouth.

Find out more about Which? and see our Trusted Trader listing here.

A Special Load – On behalf of the Lenkiewicz Foundation

We have just completed the delivery of a large number of Lenkiewicz’s painting to Leipzig, Germany on behalf of the Lenkiewicz Foundation.

It is the first exhibition in Germany of paintings by British artist Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) to be held at Spinnerei, Leipzig between 23 June and 21 July.

It’s fair to say this is not the kind of job we complete every-day and there was a fair amount of nail-biting in the office but the guys did a great job;

“Our Leipzig adventure is going well so far, thanks in large part to your drivers Jay & Jason. They were very helpful, we enjoyed working with them. They are pictured beside our largest painting Plymouth Building it’s Future.”

JP Somerville, Lenkiewicz Foundation

We wish the Lenkiewicz Foundation every success with their exhibit. For more information on the exhibit please click here

Supporting climbing 5 mountains for Orchid Charity

Good Deed No; 5

Gareth O’Brein is fundraising with the aim of climbing 5 mountains after being in remission for 5 years. He is currently in Peru about to rembark on the first of the five peaks; Machu Picchu in Peru.

Gareth is climbing in support of Orchid, the male cancer charity which exists to save men’s lives from testicular, prostate and penile cancers through pioneering research and promoting awareness. He has already raised over £4000 and people can donate on his Just Giving Page.

We have been able to help by donating some equipment and wish him all the best.

You can follow his progress in his Facebook page.

Pelican Childrens Centre – Garden Project.

Good Deed No; 4

There will be lots of busy green fingers this year at the Pelican Centre Centre this summer.

They have installed raised beds for the children to learn about gardening and to explore the outside environment. We have been able to donate new equipment so the children can get hands on.

The Pelican Childrens Centre opened its doors in September 1997 to provide parents who wanted to return to work or further their education with affordable childcare. They have gone from strength to strength and have been awarded “Outstanding” by OFSTED which is the  highest grade in childcare standards.

FREE INSURANCE COVER TO CELEBRATE 40 YEARS

Good Deed No : 3

One good reason to say thank you, 40,000 reasons to fell assured.

We would like to say thanks to all our customers this year by giving them £40,000 of free removal insurance.

Ensuring your goods are fully protected against damage during the removal process is vital to your peace of mind. The industry standard is to provide a limited liability cover within the basic removal cost and charge to provide full insurance cover.

Throughout this year we will be providing cover to the value of £40,000* just as a thanks for putting your trust in us during this stressful time.

Just book your removal with us in 2013 and we’ll do the rest.

Moving soon and need a quote? Fill out our on-line full quotationor give us an call on and  01752 228815 and we will arrange for one of our estimators to call and complete a survey.

*Excludes Marine Cover

Transport for Western College Players

Monday 4th February 2013
Transport for Western College Players

Good Deed No; 2

Western College Players are Plymouths oldest amateur theatre group they perform number of shows each year, past productions have included The Graduate, Kes and Little Women.

In January we were able to provide free transport for their equipment and props for their performance of The Railway Children in the Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal. Lots of hard work is put into these great performances and we were pleased to be able to offer our help.

Check out their webpage for upcoming performances; http://www.westerncollegeplayers.com/index.html

Free Storage for Gambian Project

Wednesday 30th January 2013
Free Storage for Gambian Project

Good Deed No: 1

Ex –teacher Debbie Williams and all her helpers have been working tirelessly to collect donated items from local schools and individuals to ship to The Gambia for use in the local school and community of Madiana.

Since 2008 Debbie has helped improve lives of children in Madiana through education and skills training. Check out the photos of the local children painting for the first time items. We are really pleased that we are able to provide storage for all the donated until they are ready to be shipped.

Did you know just £25 will pay for a child to attend school for the year! Check out their facebook page for ways to help, donate or to just find out more; https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gambian-Projects/109785972388767?fref=ts

Inspection

Wednesday 12th October 2011
Inspection

We are very pleased to announce that we have recently passed a British Standards for Domestic Removals Inspection conducted by Quality Service Standards Limited. The inpection has been conducted on an annual basis since 2001 and we have passed it every year. We were the first company in the South West to pass this inspection.

These are some comments from this years report;

“The company is obviously well managed and operates to a hight standard,”

“The client is recommended for continued certification to this standard.”

We are thrilled with this result and look to continue this high standard of service offered to our customers.

Local firm pledges to assist Shekinah

Plymouth based removal company Hackworthy & Sons have agreed to offer their ongoing support to local charity Shekinah. As run as running a Drop-In Centre In Bath Street, Shekinah also run a Hostel in the city as well as delivering a number of key rehabilitation courses for substance mis-users.

Hackworthy & Sons are looking to encourage their customers to donate any unwanted clothes, blankets and electrical items, these items can either be given directly to the homeless, used with their hostel or sold to raise much needed funds via their shop at Union Street. Company Director Vicky Hackworthy explained; “When people move house it is a natural time to de-clutter. Very often people decide to discard perfectly good items, just because they no longer personally need them. We will be asking our customers to allow us to pass on these items to Shekinah, having seen their work at first hand we know that they will point any items to really good use”.

Local businesses can play a significant part in sustaining the future of Shekinah ; “Smart, creative, long term partnerships like these can really change the lives, aspirations, achievements and skills of local, vulnerable people,” says John Hamblin, chief executive, Shekinah.  “Long term corporate support from the business community is essential for our charity to thrive and has a positive impact on all sides.  With Hackworthy and Son’s help, we can drive up donations and continue to move Shekinah forward,” he adds.

Hackworthy & Sons shows its support for Kingsbridge RFC

Devon based removal company Hackworthy & Sons are the latest high profile sponsor to support Kingsbridge Rugby Club. The blue and whites will be sporting a brand new away kit which is a reverse of the current home strip and features Hackworthy & Sons as main sponsor.

Hackworthy & Sons are one of Devon’s largest removal companies. Established in 1973, they have built an enviable reputation for quality and service and specialise in local, national and international relocations.

Geoff Robins the Sponsorship Manager for Kingsbridge Rugby commented; “We are delighted to welcome Hackworthy & Sons on board as a sponsor. They have a first class reputation within the area, they are precisely the kind of company who we are looking to support us. I am looking forward to developing a long-term relationship that benefits the club and sponsor alike”.

Vicky Hackworthy, Director of Hackworthy & Sons said; “We are delighted to support Kingsbridge Rugby, they are a very successful club which has a real family environment, as a family run business ourselves we know that this can be a very important component towards developing success. Kingsbridge and the South Hams are very important areas for our business so we are delighted to show our support for the club and for the area”.
As well as supporting the first XV Hackworthy & Sons will also be supporting the junior rugby within the club.