From a global perspective, the past 12 months have been turbulent. From Brexit back in June, Trump’s inauguration in January and terror attacks across the world – including both London and Manchester, it’s been a tough year both professionally and personally. Although easy to remember the negatives from the past 12 months, it is important to remember the positives. In the last 12 months, Tim Peake safely returned home from space, Tiger numbers rose for the first time in a century and we’ve seen just how amazingly resilient England is in response to true adversity.
Through all of this, The Samuel Grant Group has remained strong and increasingly busy. With so much going on in the news and with business booming, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and not acknowledge our group’s personal achievements, which is why we’ve created this recap of a year in the life of The Samuel Grant Group.
Back in October, the Leeds branch celebrated it’s one year anniversary in the Orion Way offices. This is an anniversary that the Sheffield branch look forward to next year, as the new Sheffield offices have just been built - meaning Julia and the team are finally out of their portacabin and have reclaimed the carpark!
We’ve seen quite a few new arrivals to the Group, with Matthew and Stacey Wood (Leeds) celebrating Phoebe Madison’s 1st birthday this May, Suzanne Durnian (Leeds) became a Grandma for the first time to Amelia Elizabeth, and Kate and Craig Stewart (Marmax) welcomed Elliott Alexander into the world back in March.
As well as welcoming new children into the world, the Group has also welcomed some new staff through its doors. Back in 2016, Lisa Nigi, Abigail Payne, Simon Charlesworth and Scott Mathieson joined the Group. Ray Holt and Cheryl Croft have joined the business as External Packaging Specialists, Simon Wrathmall joined the group as an HGV driver and Karen Haines has joined the Leeds team as a sales coordinator. Mark Andrews, Dave Sandford and Robert Jones all joined us as Warehouse Operatives and Callum Clarke has moved from the warehouse to become a packaging buyer. Lewis Owen and Gary Pollard joined the Group as mechanical engineers, and Darren Laidler and Wayne Johnson have both joined the Marmax sales team. We hope that all our staff enjoy a long and happy career with us.
Unfortunately, whilst welcoming the new, we must say goodbye to Keith Brown who has retired from the North-East offices. Keith has been a great help in moving the Jarrow branch forward over the years, and will be greatly missed by the whole team. We wish him all the best in his retirement.
It’s important to acknowledge those who have been with the Group for many years. 2017 sees Martin Allonby, Michael Dyer, Nathan West, Emma Brown and David Mills having worked for the company for 10 years, Andrew Grant will have worked for the company for 25 years, and Lorraine Lapping will have worked at the Group for a truly impressive 40 years. Showing this level of dedication to The Samuel Grant Group is amazing, this commitment and the ongoing support from all our staff is what makes the Group a family.
Back in June 2016 we donned our dancing shoes and celebrated 125 years since Samuel Grant started the company. During the daytime, there was a range of entertainment - from bouncy castles and magicians, to manicures and interbranch football matches. In the evening, the whole group dressed up to enjoy a champagne reception, casino and a delicious sit-down meal. At the end of the night, everybody in the company received a commemorative gift – either a bottle of Grant’s whisky with an engraved hipflask, or a bottle of champagne with engraved flutes to really memorialise the occasion. In 125 years, the group has expanded in so many amazing ways, making 2016/17 the most successful year across the board.
Marmax Recycled Products has had a particularly successful year, becoming Global Bronze Winner at the Green World Awards 2016 for New and Recycled Products. During 2016, the Buddy Bench (arguably one of Marmax’s most innovative products), won National Bronze Winner in the Products and Recycled Products category in the Green Apple awards, as well as becoming finalists in the Plastic Industry Awards for Best Recycled Product of the Year. In the first few months of 2017, Marmax have already been shortlisted for Team of the Year and Best Recycled Product at the MRW National Recycling Awards. It’s amazing to see the innovation, craftsmanship and teamwork being recognised by so many prestigious organisations.
At the Samuel Grant Group, we're not just pretty faces. Asides from our expertise in the Packing and Recycled Plastic Furniture industries, we have an array of talents. Tim’s (Leeds) badminton team (Kippax Templars) have won the Castleford Division 1 title again for the second year running. Matthew Wood (Leeds) has achieved his orange belt in Kick Boxing and Andrew Sandford’s football team (South Seacroft) have won the Leeds Combination League Division 2 title.
Overall, the Samuel Grant Group has really flourished over the past year, with November being the Leeds branch’s best ever month for turnover, and the group’s turnover, as a whole, reaching over £27 million. The group has continued to grow – landing new contracts and developing new ideas in the packing industry. Here's to the next 12 months being even better than the last, and the continuous thriving of the whole Samuel Grant Group.