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Random Acts Of Kindness

Random Acts Of Kindness

A new focus on rewarding kindness as we enter an even kinder more caring year

Colleagues from all across the Timpson Group have embraced the Random Act of Kindness scheme with such exceptional care and enthusiasm, we have decided to bring your kindness and compassion into even sharper focus in 2020.

We know from your stories uploaded to Barney’s Dashboard that people from all walks of life – whether they be customers or simply strangers in the street – often find themselves in a right pickle or predicament and sometimes sadly, a state of tearful distress. We are extremely proud to have colleagues working in the business who truly, genuinely care for people who by fate or misfortune find themselves at the wrong end of a situation. 

Monthly Awards

So we have decided to major on kindness by devoting a monthly award for five of the kindness random acts each month.

The five monthly awards, each with a £50 prize attached, will completely replace the Good to Great ‘How I Amazed My Customer’ scheme, which has now been removed from Barney’s Dashboard. In addition, all the Group’s Area Managers will reward colleagues on their Area weekly with prizes announced in their respective Area newsletter. 

James and Janet have read all of your submissions and are constantly overwhelmed by how far back you will bend to help someone out of a fix or simply, and just as importantly, offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Honestly, some of the stories we read are heartbreaking, but your response is so often heartwarming. From offering homeless man shoes and walking to work in just socks to weeping with a mother grieving for the loss of her child to rescuing a toddler locked in a car or buying a hot cup of coffee for an impoverished street sleeper, your random acts of kindness restores faith in humanity day in day out. 

So please continue to bring kindness into your work every single day and let James know what you’ve done to help someone out in a small but meaningful way.

We look forward to you making 2020 the Timpson Group’s kindest year yet.

Janet Leighton
Director of Happiness

How to enter

Simply go on Barney’s Dashboard and click RAK tile and use the story page. Your random act will be read by James and Director of Happiness, Janet Leighton, who will reward five winners with £50 each, every month. 

Aiden’s Story

Aiden brings a customer to tears with well-timed, well-placed rivet

“Today a gentleman came in with a body brace belonging to his daughter. The rivet had broken on it and I could see how important it was to him and he mentioned he can’t get a hospital appointment for her until after Christmas. This made me determined to sort something for him, and with the shape of the brace it wasn’t easy, but I managed to put a new rivet into it. 

He asked how much it was and of course, I said because it was so important it was free of charge. The customer was so pleased he burst into tears, which made me well up. Being a dad I know how important these things can be and I was delighted I was able to help him and his family out.”

Aiden Martin
Timpson 2133 Kendal

Thank you also to all of these kind colleagues!

Angela Hay – Thornton Cleveleys M                                     Leanne – Lincoln Waitrose J
Mark Merritt – Blandford Forum Tesco                               Mark Greenway – Blackwood
Michelle Burns – Stockton Max                                               Alexander Eccles – Rawtenstall Asda M
Hal Osborne – Crystal Peaks                                                    Harry Sharp – Sidcup Pod
Aaron Weinowski – Manchester Halle                                A Howard – East Prescott Road SA Pod
Roy Cross – Redditch Tesco                                                       Dan Turnbull – Tynemouth Morrisons
Catherine McNamara – Southport                                       Sharon Hallam – Norwich Tesco J
Maria Davis – Hastings SA                                                          Sean Perry – Longridge SA
David Allen – Sefton Park Asda Pod                                      Petrisor Craciunoiu – Thurrock
Anna – Sudbury TP                                                                           Christine Waterfield – Wolverhampton
Angie Harrison – Bishop Aukland Asda Pod                     David Owen – Watford MT
Laura Lister – Norwich Longwater SA                                 Stefan Luke – Inverness Tesco
Pamela Gourley – Sterling Dry Cleaning Hub                   Sam Wood – Reading Friar St
Liam Vickers – Stockton                                                                Rob Cremor – Macclesfield Tesco Pod
Stephen Elliot – Sandiacre J                                                         Aileen Copland – Straiton Sainsbury J

Printing from online to self-service kiosks

Self-service photo kiosk

In what is believed to be a world-first our customers can now print their photos for collection at self-service photo machines throughout the UK.  For many years the websites of our photo brands have allowed customers to have their photos printed within an hour of ordering online to over 600 UK locations of the brands Max Spielmann, Snappy Snaps and Tesco Photo.  But now this service has been extended to include our network of stand-alone kiosks in locations where we do not have a fully-staffed photo centre.

Self-service photo kiosk

How does it work?

Customers select their photos from their device or Google Photos and then opt for click and collect in checkout where the selection of pick-up locations is now greatly enhanced by our nationwide network of self-service kiosks.  Within an hour of checking out online customers simply enter their name and order number at their chosen kiosk location where their photos will be printed in front of them.

Kevin Martin, Director of Online for Timpson Group, commented that “This innovative new service extends this quick and convenient way for customers to print their photos to many more parts of the UK – particularly rural locations where we have less photo shops.  Most of our kiosks are in 24-hour supermarkets making this a great service for those who cannot get to a shop during normal opening hours.”

The green stars in this map show just how much this service is extending choice to more communities in, for example, the South-West of England where our four photo centres are now complemented by many more kiosk locations.

Cobblers staff chase off sledgehammer gang

Balaclava-clad men who smashed their way into a jewellery store using sledgehammers were chased off by staff working at the cobblers next door.

Adam Spiers, director of Michael Spiers jewellers in Taunton said Timpson’s staff had been “fantastic”.

The men got away with five watches and drove off. But police chased the car, which eventually crashed about 70 miles away near junction 15 on the M4.

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Two other people were treated for minor injuries in the crash, which involved four vehicles, including a police car.

The jewellers was attacked on Wednesday morning by men who pulled up outside in a car and tried to smash their way in using sledgehammers.

Mr Spiers told BBC Points West: “Our neighbours next door, Timpsons, unbelievably all rushed in, frightened them all, they all ran off. They are fantastic, all credit to them.”

Martin Hill, from Timpson, told the programme they had “just kind of heard the noise, rushed in, saw the women in distress. Just acted.. it was all good.”

The car is thought to have headed up the M5 and was chased by police as it got on the M4 heading east, eventually crashing near junction 15 at around 1130 GMT.

The collision closed two lanes of the M4 near junction 15.


UK-based Timpson launches brick and mortar identity store

In the UK, High Street is where the pharmacy, dry cleaner and shoe repair shops are located, the U.S. equivalent of Main Street. A staple on High Streets across the country is Timpson, a shoe repair chain that also does watch repairs, dry cleaning and key cutting.

The services Timpson offer cannot take place in the virtual world, people need to come in drop off their shoes or laundry and then comeback and pick them up. It’s the very opposite of an online business but that isn’t stopping Timpson from making an online play.

Timpson has launched ArkHive, a brick and mortar store that one day will offer online identities. For now, consumers can come into the ArkHive store and open an account that will enable individuals to store scanned and verified versions of their driver license passports and other documents. From the account/app the consumer can choose to share that information with others.

The ArkHive account is free, including storage of verified documents. Eventually, the company hopes that consumers will be able to use ArkHive account to carry out other transactions online, such as proving your identity to open a new bank account.

ArkHive is offering individuals employee screening services, passport application assistance and assistance with database checks. The shop also enables individual to print photos have have photos taken for other credentials, such as passports.

For businesses ArkHive is also offering different services. The shop will do landlord tenant background checks, anti-money laundering checks and employment pre-screening. They will also print business cards and leaflets.

While some of these services might seem rudimentary, ArkHive knows that changes are coming to digital identity in the UK with the Verify project and they are preparing for it, according to Internet of Me.

“We were having conversations saying Verify is such a fantastic idea that we absolutely agree with, but not everybody is going to be able to get through that process online, so we started thinking about where those individuals might go,” asks Will Lankston, ArkHive’s head of retail. “If they can’t be verified online because they’re ‘thin file’, or haven’t got digital skills or can’t access a computer, smartphone or tablet they can’t just fall out of the system. They still need to be able to access these services. So we thought, why don’t we verify these people in person? Allow them to come into a place on the High Street and have their identity verified and be sent home with a new digital ID or be supported in store to access those services online.”

Last November the first ArkHive shop opened in Henley-on-Thames, next door to a branch of Timpson. If there is enough interest, the plan is to open more shops or offer ArkHive facilities within the Group’s other stores.

– See more at:

Meet the ex-convict who is now the manager… thanks to pioneering prison scheme

Sarah Baker was sentenced to five years in jail. But was given a second chance by Manchester firm Timpsons

An ex-offender has revealed how a Manchester key-cutting firm has helped her unlock the potential to a happy life after prison.

Sarah Baker hit rock bottom after being sentenced to five years behind bars for stabbing a man who attacked her.

But working at Timpson’s Bury branch has helped her turn her life around – and she has now been hailed as one of the firm’s most promising workers.

The key and shoe firm, which is based in Wythenshawe and is still owned by the Timpson family, also operates the Max Spielmann and Snappy Snaps brands.

Sarah, 34, who is originally from Nottingham, got her chance to apply for a position after a representative from the Wythenshawe firm when a representative came to visit her jail to offere potential recruits a chance.

Sarah jumped at the chance and, while under release on licence, worked at the store for six months, going full-time since 2011.

She said: “When I was released from prison I had no family to help me and not very many friends.

“I was so glad to be released, but it felt like such a daunting prospect – I didn’t know where to start. I had nowhere to live and no one to turn to.

“My store manager let me live with her until I was able to transfer to a shop in Bury, where I knew a friend lived.

“I worked really hard and became manager there, but had to take time off because of post-traumatic stress disorder over my attack.

“They were really patient and understanding, and let me return to work in a less stressful position.

“I’ve been with them since 2010 and am so grateful for the support they’ve given me – they really helped me turn my life around and I’m supporting myself now.”

Bosses at the family-owned firm say they are proud to work with the Prison Service to give potential candidates a second chance. They now have 10pc of its workforce recruited directly from custodial sentences. Chief executive James Timpson, also chairs the Employers Forum for Reducing Reoffending.

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd, said: “The transition from prison to normal life is enormous.

“Without proper support, ex-offenders can easily find themselves turning back to a life of crime because they are struggling to find employment or adapt to life on the outside.

“Thanks to Timpson’s support, Sarah has worked hard to get back on her feet and restart her life. It’s an impressive achievement for which both Sarah and Timpson should be proud.”

Newport cobbler has cut one million keys, repaired 150,000 shoes and made a shoe for a duck in his 45 years at Timpson

Newport Cobbler

A NEWPORT cobbler who has cut one million keys and repaired 150,000 pairs of shoes is celebrating 45 years at his first and only job.

Kelvin Reddicliffe, who will turn 60 next month, celebrated his 45th anniversary of working at Timpson Shoe Repairs in Newport city centre on January 18.

Mr Reddicliffe, who manages the store on Austin Friars, said he has “loved every minute of it”.

He has now been invited up to a long service lunch hosted by Timpson some time later in the year.

“I have had a blast,” he said. “I joined at 15, it was my first and only job.”

Highlights for Mr Reddicliffe include being nominated for the retail awards in 2003 by head honcho John Timpson.

Mr Reddicliffe said: “I was nominated as store manager of the year, up against Hugo Boss.

“He flew us back from holiday for us to be at the ceremony, we were in Tenerife at the time.”

The store manager was featured in the Argus and then across national news in 2009 when he repaired a shoe for a Newport woman’s duckling.

Lucky the duckling had broken her leg but when it healed, her foot was pointing in the wrong direction making it difficult for her to walk.

Owner Allison Morgan took Lucky to see Mr Reddicliffe who fashioned a tiny sandal out of rubber resin, measured perfectly for the duck’s foot.

Mr Reddicliffe is also well known around Newport for his charity work, fundraising for both St David’s and St Anne’s hospice.

He collects pop and rock memorabilia which he then gets signed and gives to the charities to be auctioned.

In 2014 he produced a piece of art work which depicted a key part of the city’s former Chartist Mural to raise money for St Anne’s

The keen piano and organ player also wrote a special piece of music for the 100th anniversary of the Newport Transporter Bridge, entitled ‘a bridge not far from our hearts’.
He has now been invited up to Timpson headquarters for a long service lunch some time later in the year.

He added: “I haven’t got any plans to retire any time soon. I plan to just go on for as long as I can.”


Gender pay gap reporting is not just more red tape

Q The Government is proposing compulsory gender pay gap reporting for organisations with more than 250 employees. Is it another bit of red tape or does it have any value?

A Hidden behind the proposed legislation is a real opportunity for companies to make more money, but there is a big danger that it is treated as extra red tape, with the gender pay gap becoming a national target, without us recognising how it can help, rather than hinder, management.

The exercise will no doubt prompt everyone to check that they comply with equal pay guidelines, but the gender pay gap should not be confused with equal pay. There may be many good reasons why the average earnings of the women in an organisation differ from the average for men. But the gap could indicate a real opportunity.

Great businesses are almost always full of great people and it makes a big difference if you have a culture that attracts the best people – men and women – and make sure that their talents are used to the full.

There may be nothing wrong in having a gender pay gap, in fact it would be a surprise if the average pay of all the women in an organisation is exactly the same as the men. But can you explain why the gap exists?

You could create a better business by answering some simple but vital questions:

1) Does your company have a lads’ culture that is unattractive to women?

2) Do you have a flexible approach so that men and women can fit work alongside their family commitments or do you expect everyone to work from 9am to 5pm every day?

3) Have you any examples of managers who have taken a career break and regained their original place?

4) Are you aware what arrangements your staff make for child care?

All these questions are asked with one objective: to attract the very best people.

There is a danger that initiatives such as more women on boards and the gender pay gap are seen as feminist issues, with women campaigning for a better deal. They may be surprised to discover that plenty of men, like me, already recognise that, to get the best team, you need to attract the best women as well as the best men.

Thirty years from now, women will play a much more significant role, not particularly due to KPIs and quotas, but because senior managers, most of them men, will work out it is an important part of creating a better business.

QA colleague drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, and eats about 10 sausage rolls a day. I’m very fond of her and want her to live a long, healthy life. Should I have a word?

A I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like it if someone else told you to change your lifestyle, so don’t be surprised if your well-meant advice gets a frosty response.

We don’t dictate to anyone about their diet. Some of our colleagues are too fat, others are too thin, but they almost certainly don’t need us to tell them the facts they face in the mirror every day.

If your friend makes a resolution to change her habits and asks for some moral support, then help by sponsoring her weight loss in aid of your company charity, or contributing to the cost of a slimming club.