We’re running the London Marathon for VICTA!

The Highfield team will be running the London Marathon again this year to raise money for VICTA.

And Highfield MD Chris Sprenger will be running the entire distance (we hope!) dressed as a ZombieGerm! 

To find out more, click on the video below. Or if you’d like to donate, go to Team ZombieGerm’s Virgin Money Giving page.

VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action) works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information. It has been Highfield’s chosen charity since 2013, with tens of thousands of pounds raised to date.  

For more information on VICTA click here.

Highfield Christmas closing dates 2017

‘He’s making a list and checking it twice; Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice‘…yes, it’s nearly Christmas, which means the tree is up, the festive jumpers are on and the mince pies are doing the rounds in the Highfield office (so many mince pies…!). 
 
But that also means we’re nearly upon our annual shutdown for the Christmas period. We’ll be closing at 5.30 pm on Thursday 21 December 2017, and reopening on Tuesday 2 January 2018. Unfortunately that also means any enquiries we receive between these dates won’t be responded to until the office reopens. 
 
If you have orders that are urgent and you require before Christmas, please make them before 1 pm on Wednesday 20 December 2017. These orders will be dispatched on a next-delivery.
 
If your order isn’t that urgent but you still need it delivered over the Christmas period, be sure to place it before 2 pm on Thursday 21 December 2017. Any orders placed after this won’t be dispatched until the New Year. 

As always, we’d like to thank you for your continued support over the last 12 months, in which we’ve been recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) for apprenticeships, and took one of the top prizes at the Learning Technologies Awards in November for our e-learning. The awards are one the biggest in Europe, and open to some of the most famous digital names in the world, but the Highfield team beat them all to take the gold in the ‘Best use of learning technologies to ensure compliance’ category.

We also raised many more thousands of pounds for our chosen charity, Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA), and the important work they do. If you’d like to find out more or maybe make a donation yourself, go to www.victa.org.uk 

So finally, on behalf of the entire Highfield team, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

90th birthday marks royal recognition for Highfield

Highfield will be helping HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her 90th birthday this year after winning the UK’s most prestigious business accolade, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The Highfield Group, one of the UK’s leading education organisations, was announced as the winner of the award as part of the national celebrations to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday on 21 April.

Queen's Award winnersQueen’s Award winners are chosen by a panel that includes the Prime Minister and leading figures from government and industry, making it one of the most sought after accolades for British businesses.

Highfield is one of the UK and Middle East’s leading suppliers of compliance, apprenticeship and work-based learning qualifications, training materials and e-learning. It is one of the UK’s largest exam boards, and is actively involved in the development of the UK workforce and productivity, as well as contributing to government plans for three million apprenticeships by 2020 and the switchover to apprenticeship trailblazers.

The organisation, which has its headquarters in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, works with some of the biggest names in international business to help develop their staff, including PepsiCo, Nestle, Marks & Spencer and Superdrug, and each year supports over 2 million learners across the globe to achieve their educational aspirations.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of this fantastic achievement, which is a testament to our exceptional team and their dedication to our core values of quality, value, service and integrity. It is proving to be an amazing 12 months for Highfield.  We are continuing to expand domestically and internationally, with offices recently opening in Sheffield, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, plus a new international headquarters planned for Doncaster later in 2016, and have numerous other blue chip companies that have committed to working with us going forward’.

Representatives from Highfield will receive the award in person from Her Majesty at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 14 July 2016.  A further ceremony with the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe, will take place at Highfield’s offices later in the year.
For more information on Highfield, go to www.highfieldqualifications.com

For more on the Queen’s Award, go to www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise/overview

Highfield’s marathon challenge for VICTA

Three of Highfield’s staff put on their running shoes and took on one of the world’s toughest challenges for charity this spring – the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Chris Sprenger, Managing Director, Ben Cressey, Director of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships, and Dominic Binks, Director of Business Development completed the gruelling 26 miles and 385 yards to raise money for Highfield’s chosen charity – Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA).

Marathon Runners

Chris (left), and Dominic (right).

Held on 26 April 2015, the Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the biggest mass participation sports events in the world. And for Chris and Ben, it was the second time they had completed the marathon for VICTA, having taken part in 2014.

Reform Club

After the marathon – Dominic (left), Chris (centre) and Ben (right).

As well as raising thousands over £3000 for the charity – which works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information – there were personal bests for the runners.

Chris completed the course in just three hours 29 minutes, with Dominic and Ben coming in at four hours and six minutes and four hours and 28 minutes respectively.

Medal

Chris’s Virgin Money London Marathon Medal

To date, Highfield has raised over £13,000 for VICTA. However, the team is not resting on its laurels, and has already signed up for next year’s marathon on 25 April 2016.

Highfield will be holding a number of events through 2015 and 2016 to raise money for VICTA, including a skydive. If you would like to contribute, please click Virgin Money Giving

World Cup winner caps successful result for Highfield

Doncaster-based education firm the Highfield Group welcomed England legend and World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst MBE back to Wembley as the company celebrated its own success off the field.

The former striker, hero of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad and still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, dropped in to meet guests as Highfield hosted a reception at the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on 1 March 2015.

Highfield Wembley League Cup Final 2015 LR-01839The Group, which publishes training books, materials and e-learning programmes, and develops vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, recently moved into the top five in the table of the UK’s leading education organisations. It offers hundreds of publications and titles with over 2 million sales per annum, plus over 200 different qualifications covering a wide range of subjects and industries.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield’s Chief Executive, said, ‘It was a huge honour to welcome Sir Geoff Hurst to our reception at Wembley and to talk to him about his achievements, including that famous 4-2 win against West Germany. He is a great inspiration on and off the field, and to have him here with us capped an incredible couple of years for us as an organisation where we have been able to grow our business and create jobs for Doncaster’.

Based in Lakeside, Highfield has three sites across Doncaster, with a further office in Dubai, employing nearly 250 staff and over 400 consultants. It provides qualifications and resources to 15,000 customers in 110 countries and counts amongst its clients names such as the NHS, Nestle, PepsiCo, Shell, Serco, G4S, MITIE, John Lewis, Health Education England, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Heinz, Marriott, Ministry of Defence, ASDA, Harrods and Aunt Bessie’s.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. The Highfield Group (‘Highfield’) includes Highfield.co.uk Ltd, Highfield E-Learning Ltd and its awarding organisation arm, Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance Ltd (‘HABC’).

What you missed at the HABC Customer Open Day…

8 May 2014 saw HABC hold the latest in its series of Customer Open Days, where we open our doors to the world and show why we are the Awarding Organisation that listens and responds.

Marj (resized)Through these events, training providers, Centres and educators from right across the country can come and see first-hand how we work, meet members of our team and get an insight into every aspect of what we do – from how we put products together, our range of publications and why our customers tell us we are number one for customer service.

Leaflet overshoulder shotIt was also an opportunity for visitors to ask us questions on everything from changes to the training system and future developments to more practical issues such as funding and Direct Claim Status.

Aimee (resized)

And most importantly, a chance to get the answers they need for their business.

Chris (resized)For Centres not already working with us, it was an opportunity to see the full range of what we can offer, and how HABC – the sixth largest Awarding Organisation in the UK – can support them and their learners.

Ryan (resized)And for some it was the opportunity to put names to faces, meeting their account managers and getting to know the staff at HABC – from the Managing Director to the Customer Service Team – who are always on hand to help them with their queries and questions.

 

Highfield’s rally star sets new racing challenge

BC RallyHighfield’s very own rally star Ben Cressey has got the 2014 BTRDA Gravel Championship off to a racing start after taking second place overall in the B13 class after just two races.

And then he’ll be setting himself a new kind of racing challenge this April as he runs in the London Marathon for charity. 

Ben, who drives a Subaru Impreza (pictured) with co-driver Mark Swallow, has been mixing it with some of the big names of rally driving, but two impressive displays have seen him pick up vital points. 

He said, ‘If someone said to me before the start of the season we would be second in B13 class I would have laughed, but it’s become reality and puts us in a different position for the remainder of the season.   The amount of money invested in some of the cars surrounding us is phenomenal and for us to be up there mixing it with them in our first year of 4wd is very exciting!’

Ben now has a break in the championship, but isn’t resting on his laurels, as he’ll be running in the London Marathon on 13 April to raise money for VICTA, a charity which supports blind and visually impaired children and young people. 

Said Ben, ‘The money raised will go towards helping VICTA in its work to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally.  They also provide parents with a vital network of support and information, so it’s a really worthwhile cause’. 

He added, ‘It’s great to be in second place in class in the BRTDA Gravel Championship, but I think second in the marathon might be a little optimistic!’ 

To contribute to the charity, go to Virgin Money Giving and search for ‘VICTA’.

The next rally for Ben and Mark will be the SJR sponsored Plains Rally this May in Welshpool.

Staff set the pace for blind charity

(l-r front): Ben Cressey, Diana Hill, Chris Sprenger

(l-r front): Ben Cressey, Diana Hill, Chris Sprenger

Staff from Highfield put themselves through the paces as they completed a 10k run around Doncaster Lakeside on Sunday 9 March 2014 to raise money for VICTA, which supports blind and partially sighted people under the age of 29.

And for three of the runners it was a dry run for an even greater challenge, as they will be competing in the London Marathon on 13 April to raise even more money for the charity.

Chris Sprenger, Highfield Group Managing Director, said, ‘It was a great effort by all the team and I am really pleased that we were able to raise more money on the day, which goes towards the £2000 we have already raised so far.  The money will go towards helping VICTA in its work to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information.Myself, Ben Cressey (Director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning) and Diana Hill (Corporate Business Development Manager) will be running the London Marathon in April, and with £2000 already raised, we’re on track to reach our target of £3750’.

The event, which saw 43 members of staff running on the day, also included a barbeque afterwards for friends and family to raise further funds for the charity. 

To contribute t0 the charity, go to Virgin Money Giving and search for VICTA.

 

HABC’s Mary takes centre stage

Mary playing the trombone on stage with Lesley Garrett and the Bel Canto Choir.

Mary playing the trombone on stage with Lesley Garrett and the Bel Canto Choir.

HABC’s Mary Golder got the opportunity of a lifetime recently as she appeared on stage with international soprano singer Lesley Garrett.

The quality assurance auditor accompanied the acclaimed singing star as part of the celebrations to mark 50 years of the Dore Male Voice Choir at Sheffield City Hall on 8 March 2014 in front of a packed house.

Mary accompanied Lesley Garret – also known as the ‘Doncaster Diva’ due to her South Yorkshire roots – on trombone, which she plays as part of the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band. 

 ‘Appearing on stage with one of the world’s most famous soprano singers was amazing,’ said Mary, ‘and a bit different to my day to day role of providing support and guidance on quality assurance and best practice to our centres.  Lesley Garrett was really nice and friendly, and an incredibly down to earth person.  It was a fantastic experience and a great way to help celebrate the Dore Mail Voice Choir’s 50th birthday’. 

Mary will also be playing with Leeds-based indie band Chumbawamba later this year as part of a touring show, Coal, as well as getting the opportunity to perform alongside Jarvis Cocker – someone the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band first encountered in 2013.

Mary said, ‘The band recorded a live score for Jarvis Cocker’s BBC4 documentary The Big Melt – which tells the story of Sheffield, the steel industry and the people who worked in it – on the opening night of Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2013 at the Crucible Theatre, but there weren’t any trombones required that evening so we go the night off.  This time however I am hoping to get my chance to perform alongside Jarvis!’

The Sheffield City Hall performance with Lesley Garrett will be broadcast on Songs of Praise on BBC1 this May.