2023 in review
The year 2023 has certainly been a busy one, which has meant that we’ve had plenty of achievements to celebrate! Now that 2024 is beckoning, we asked Sean Clark, Group Managing Director, to pick out some highlights.
The year got off to a great start when we announced our new partnership with automotive charity Ben. Ben was named as our Torque Bike scheme’s charity of the year thanks to their amazing work supporting automotive workers with their health and wellbeing. We began with a £500 donation and then pledged to give another £20 for every motorcycle trader that became a new client.
The beginning of the year also marked a significant milestone for two of our fantastic colleagues. Chris Bright from our Norwich office and Jo Grant from our Cambridge base both celebrated 20 years of service with us, which we are hugely proud of. Here’s to many more years of a great working relationship!
In May, a group of intrepid cyclists from our Cambridge and Norwich offices set out on a strenuous 70-mile ride to raise money for The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC), Papworth Trust and St Martins Housing Trust. TASC is the nominated charity for our One Broker Ambulance team, with the other charities being our chosen causes for the rest of the Group.
The riders travelled all the way from our Cambridge base to our Norwich office, raising an impressive £750 for each charity in the process. Papworth Trust have subsequently allocated their donation to their Cambridge Routeways to Work programme, which provides service users with employment skills learned from work experience in a commercial bicycle shop.
In spring, we also put our best foot forward for Cancer Research UK. Several of our team walked and jogged as part of Norwich’s Race for Life and went on to raise an incredible £2,420.
In addition to our charitable activities, we got the celebratory banners out for our colleague Sharon Harrison, who celebrated her 20th anniversary with us. Well done, Sharon and thank you for all of your hard work over the years!
As part of our new relationship with the charity Ben, we were delighted to hold our very first Wellbeing Webinar in the summer. Hosted by our very own Ben Bethell and Norfolk & Waveney Wellbeing Service’s Dan Belton, the webinar gave some fantastic tips to show employers how they can support their workers. If you missed it, you can still watch the webinar here.
During August, some of our keen footballers showed off some fancy footwork at the Premier Financial Group (PFG) charity football tournament. Over the course of the day, our team managed to battle their way into the Quarter Finals, despite some injuries! In total, the event raised £1,575.12 for Nansa, the Norfolk and Norwich SEND Association, which supports neurodiverse children in Norfolk.
Behind the scenes, we went live with our new Acturis platform. Our client work was all successfully migrated onto the platform to give us the tools we need to serve clients now and in the future. To mark the occasion, Acturis were kind enough to send us some delicious cupcakes, which were enjoyed by our team!
We were also delighted to renew our business relationship with the Independent Ambulance Association, with whom the One Broker Ambulance team have a strong partnership.
But our summer was not just filled with work highlights. We also hosted some summer socials for our team to give them some well-deserved time to socialise and unwind. Our Norwich colleagues enjoyed a summer BBQ while our team in Cambridge had fun at a summer party in a pub on the bank of the river Cam.
We celebrated some milestones for our team too. In addition to raising our glasses to Adele McCormick for her 20th work anniversary and Lisa Brock for her 10th anniversary, we also celebrated Scott Flisher achieving his Diploma in Insurance. Well done to all!
Here at One Broker, we love to show our appreciation for local clubs and organisations. We were therefore very excited to become sponsors of Cambridge Rugby Club and have enjoyed cheering on their teams at matches ever since.
In September, we announced that we had been acquired by Jensten Group, establishing a new regional centre for the Group. This was an exciting development for One Broker, and as Managing Director, I am very much looking forward to continuing to deliver strong performance in the fold of our new owners.
Some of our employees also gave our TASC fundraising total an extra bounce by taking part in the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course. After hopping, skipping and jumping their way around the 5K route, they raised an impressive £670. This brings the year’s fundraising for TASC up to £2,635 – well done team!
More amazing fundraising action was carried out by Associate Director Mark Ling. Together with a team of friends, he helped to raise £14,000 for Young Lives Vs Cancer, £150 of which was donated by One Broker. To achieve this feat, Mark and his friends cycled 560 miles over 6 days, travelling from Huntingdon to Harwich, and then cycling through Holland, Belgium and Paris to finish in Normandy. A big thank you also has to go to Hiscox, who donated £1,000 from their charitable trust.
October saw us take part in the Big Breakfast, an event designed to raise valuable funds for the Ben charity. Ben Bethell cooked up a storm in the kitchen to furnish our Norwich team with bacon butties, while both Norwich and Cambridge teams took part in a raffle to raise a little extra cash. The event was a great success, and we were able to send £170.83 to Ben.
Our charitable work didn’t stop there. We donned blue outfits on World Mental Health Day as part of Norfolk & Waveney Mind’s ‘Do Blue’ initiative, raising awareness of mental health and funds for Mind’s great work.
Another £250 was then donated to Sunflowers Care, a fantastic cause that offers care to children aged up to 18 who have complex health needs. The money will go towards their fund for landscaping their grounds and installing a new play area.
Due to our growth, we were thrilled to open a new office at Norwich Business Park. This showcases our success over the last few years and means we can take on more team members. It also provided a new home for our Uttings Insurance colleagues, who moved from their previous premises in Hingham following their acquisition by One Broker towards the end of 2022. It’s great to have them in the office and they have settled in nicely!
Our team also took the opportunity to get out and about this autumn. For instance, One Broker Ambulance’s Rob Rowley and Shane Ford whizzed off to the Emergency Services Show at the NEC in Birmingham. The pair had a fantastic time checking out the latest innovations, solutions and technologies in the industry, as well as having a good catch up with TASC and the IAA.
Staff updates included Robson Summers’ move into the One Broker Ambulance crew from our Claims team. Robson joined his new workmates as a Broking Technician, and has been busy ever since getting up to date on training. Going forward, he will be handling vehicle changes and midterm adjustments. To fill his former space in our Claims team, Nick Pirie has stepped in and has been working closely with our Senior Claims Technician, Julie Larter.
Finally, this autumn had us rolling out the bunting to celebrate Edward George’s 10th work anniversary. Keep up the good work, Ed!
This year has seen several of our colleagues take the next step in their careers with new qualifications. Max Payne passed unit IF1 (Insurance Legal and Regulatory), which has earnt him credits towards his Certification in Insurance, while Bryony Mears completed IF8 Packaged Commercial Insurance and IF10 Insurance Broking Fundamentals. This has meant that she has now achieved her Cert CII qualification – congratulations!
We were also delighted to cheer on Craig Purr, who passed unit M05 in Insurance Law. Louise Bronson also did a fantastic job to pass this unit, which earns learners essential credits towards their Diploma in Insurance.
The end of the year also shone a particular spotlight on our Lettings Team, who have had a phenomenal year. They maintained their average renewal retention of more than 92% and achieved a 90% success rate when it came to quotes being accepted from letting agent referrals. Amazing work!
Our colleagues also got into the giving spirit at Christmas by volunteering for St Martins Housing Trust, which supports homeless people. To give the charity a festive boost, several of our team hit the streets of Norwich to raise awareness and money for this great cause.
After such a fantastic 12 months, it was then only fair to get everyone together to celebrate at a Christmas party. It was certainly well deserved!
We’ve had a fantastic 2023 and are looking forward to more success in 2024!
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