Woods Hardwick’s first Company Away Day

Woods Hardwick

This month we held our first Company Away Day. Bringing together almost 90 people from our Bedford and Birmingham offices, we held the event at Whittlebury Hall – a great half way point between our two offices – and the perfect setting for a mix of presentations and some (rather competitive) team building activities!

The event kicked off with Director, Tom Francis, introducing the day. The focus was on celebrating the success and growth of Woods Hardwick and to share the vision of the business. Over the last 12 months, 21 new staff have joined the company. And with the refreshed brand identity by Urban Graphics, championing our ‘One Family’ multidisciplinary offer to our clients, this was a celebration and ultimately a thank you to our fantastic team.

A round up of the presentations:

  • Planning Director, Russell Gray, talking about the state of play in Planning, explaining how OxCam Arc and HS2 will be pivotal to the business as we increase our work with clients seeking to capitalise on these huge investments in UK infrastructure.
  • Calum Wilson, Head of Commercial Architecture, gave an talk on the work the retail team continues to do for world renowned brand, Harrods, as well as case studies of our work across care homes, logistics and office developments. He explained that Woods Hardwick, with our Birmingham and Bedford offices are perfectly placed to support clients across the ‘Golden Triangle’, an area of the East Midlands renowned for high density distribution and home to some of the biggest names in retail.
  • Roy Hammond, Head of the Birmingham Planning team, shared case studies illustrating the way in which teams are working collaboratively – with the planning, architecture, engineering and surveying teams coming together to deliver an increasing number of projects for our clients, including for Grand Union Housing, Linden Homes and Hayfield Homes.
  • Head of the Birmingham office and Engineer, Matt Ford, introduced the Birmingham team, giving an overview of how the office has grown since its inception just two years ago. He also explained how exciting the Midlands – and in particular Birmingham city centre – is at the moment, with developments such as the Mailbox, the Bullring, Grand Central Station and Curzon Street… plus an obvious passion for Birmingham City football club resonated throughout!
  • And there’s no doubting we’re a sociable company – as testified by Mark Percival, an Associate in our Architecture team, who sits on the Woods Hardwick social committee. With football tournaments, curry nights, Christmas and summer parties and more, we are a company that values our staff. Getting to know people on a more personal level away from the office has – and will continue to be – tremendously valuable!

Following lunch, and after a gloriously sunny morning, it was time for the team building activities – and of course the heavens opened! What better way than a bit of axe throwing, clay pigeon shooting and archery in the pouring rain to help everyone to get to know each other a bit better! We found out some special skillsets with Roy Hammond and Chloe Kores impressing everyone with their Robin Hood-style skills.

All in all, it was a very successful day and rewarding for everyone. As our company has grown in size and client base over the last few years, it has been hugely important to retain our family ethos – yes, we offer all the skills and services of a growing corporate multidisciplinary practice, but we aren’t super-corporate. It is our people who have made us what we are today – and it is this philosophy that we want to maintain as we move forward. Here’s to our 2020 Away Day!