Interviews

Help Support Promote Devon Businesses

Our primary focus is to help support promote small business owners in Devon and find innovative ways to fuel innovation and drive business growth. By generating new business through our collective community, we create jobs for local people and help the local economy. Then, we provide strategy and support to sustain that digital growth to help small businesses become bigger and more stable enterprises.


Help Support Promote Devon Businesses

Devon is world-class by nature, with an economy bigger than Bristol (valued at over £17 billion) and the second most visited county in the UK. We received over 24 million overnight visitors last year, who spent over £2.5 billion in our local economy. Yet most small businesses in Devon are behind the digital curve, we’re looking to help those businesses find customers, employees and each other through skills transfer and support. Therefore, we’re primarily focussed on serving the Devon area, but watch this space, as we grow we’ve got plans to move into the surrounding areas and help small businesses throughout the UK to unleash their potential.



Local Shopper

All this talk of Yellow Trumpet may have you wondering who we are and what we do; why should your business sign up or why, as a local shopper, should you be sharing your opinions with our online community?

The truth is, there are so many reasons why the local community benefits from Yellow Trumpet, whether you’re a local looking to support the small businesses in the area, or you’re a business trying to reach more Devon residents. We are the bridge between the two communities, and here are the key benefits you can both enjoy when you use Yellow Trumpet:


Businesses Online Presence

For today’s businesses, having an online presence is vital to success. But how can you build online authority when you have budget constraints? One of the key strategies of effective search engine optimisation (SEO) is building the amount (and quality) of links directing to your website. The more links you obtain, the higher your site is ranked in terms of its authority, and the higher you appear in Google searches.

Many, digital-savvy companies will use relevant directory sites as a way of obtaining these links for affordable prices. For example, you can join Yellow Trumpet for as little as £75 per month! The thing is, Google places a certain value on the types of links coming in; the more relevant to your business, the better! That’s why a local directory with defined categories, which is always growing in authority, will benefit your website SEO in the long-run. Directory listings will also help to associate your website with all the right keywords your customers are searching.

What’s more, with directory sites that engage users, you can gain brand awareness with the right audience. Let’s put it this way: each Yellow Trumpet user is a potential customer that you can connect with and convert.


Working From Home

Local Businesses

For any local business, reputation is essential, and Yellow Trumpet can help to develop your standing within the local community. Times have changed, and many people now turn to online platforms to get information on businesses within specific fields, and will most likely compare them. Nowadays, it’s all about credibility. Reviews help to demonstrate trust in your business, and studies show that peers will profoundly influence your customers.

Encouraging Reviews

Encouraging reviews across multiple platforms will show customers why they should opt for your business. Additionally, it demonstrates to

why your business should be listed above your competitors, therefore, helping to build the authority of your website and brand presence online. The logic also works offline too, with positive recommendations coming in, Yellow Trumpet can be a means of your word of mouth marketing. You can also use the best recommendations as part of offline and online marketing such as social media posts or posters, for example.

For customers, you have one easy-to-use platform to read through the reviews and make an informed decision about which business to go with. You can also engage with the businesses via your Yellow Trumpet reviews. Get your voice heard to showcase what you love about local businesses or highlight some areas for improvement. You can help to shape the local businesses you use every day, while also getting a chance to win prizes for your feedback!


Support Local People

Support Local People

We’ll continue to support local people with our guides, features, news and interviews. We pride ourselves on keeping our blog up-to-date with the latest and greatest local events; getting to know the local business owners; helpful marketing tips and Devon lifestyle inspiration.

The great thing about our content is that you can use it to plan for your business or personal life. You can even share our content as part of your social plans, whether you want to inform friends, family or your customers.

As a business, you have the opportunity to write blogs that we will feature on our blog. Or, if you need our help, we can write engaging copy for you. Each one serves as a way to connect, share and promote yourself to the local community.

Yellow Trumpet will provide you with dynamic, interesting and quality content that truly benefits its readers. Because that’s what they deserve!

You can sign up to use Yellow Trumpet today as a recommender or a business. Simply follow our simple registration process to get started. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us! We love to hear from you.


Add Your Business Here


 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

The world will carry on in the future, we will still be here working buying keep the faith and look forward.


12 May 2020 / by / in ,
7 Tips for Businesses During Covid19 Lockdown

The Coronavirus is affecting nearly 80% of businesses around the world and a fifth of them will go bust. It is difficult in theses time to know what to do when you are the business owner with the responsibility to keep your business going and to your staff when all this is over. An estimated two million people will be unemployed after the shutdown is finished, that is why it is so important that businesses are ready to re-start their business as soon as possible. Here are 7 Tips For Businesses During Covid19 Lockdown


7 Tips for Businesses During Covid19 Lockdown

Do Not Stop Marketing

Businesses who were doing well before the Covid19 crisis still have a good business just on pause for now. What are people doing at home right now? Playing with their kids, educating them and DIY but what are they doing once that is over? Yes, getting online. They are looking for goods, looking for your business and if you are still putting information out there you are still in their minds for when this is all over. In the last crash some businesses increased their marketing spend and benefited from that by more that 40% when the crisis was over, they had the jump on their competitors because they were not in front of their customers.


Increase Your Marketing Spend

You can easily keep on top of your social media Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn. If you already use  Google Ads the PPC is now cheaper so keep going you will reach more people for the same amount of money. Think about putting Blogs out there, that will interest your customers as long as it is engaging and interesting you will keep their attention. Think of things you have done in the past re post things that worked that had the most engagements and that sparked conversations.


Don’t Hard Sell

Don’t hard sell to your customers they will switch off. When you push people to buy, they will push back harder and will switch you off from their mind especially if they cannot buy your product their and then.

It is like dangling the carrot that the donkey cannot ever catch until it is rotten.


Use This Time at Home

Use this time at home to look at your business, think about the things that you know need doing but you have not got round to it. The big one is your web site, get its SEO Checked make sure all details are up to date and check they are the same as your details are on Google as this will harm your sites authorisation and how it is seen online. Check you still put up to date information on your site at least once a week so search engines know that you are still operating. Register with Google Analytics to keep in touch how your web site is doing in the big wide world.


Reach Out

Reach out to your customers via e-mail just to see how they are doing but don’t do the big sell. If you know something about birthdays or a holiday, they were going to go on mention it and give them the personal touch it will go a long way and will keep you in their minds.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Do Not Cut Your Prices.

Do not cut your prices, it smells of desperation and will do your business no good less profit margin in uncertain times will not help. Give more value to your product instead of a free month trial give them 2, give them a free e-book, a free advert for a week but do not cut your prices. When times are hard reducing your prices looks a good idea but if your customers are looking for your product it looks like desperation and will not do your balance sheet any good in the long run. Hold your nerve.


Think Ahead

Now is a bad time for all of us but think ahead when it returns to normal (how ever that might be) and you and your business is ready to take off again. And it will life will go on and you will go on look ahead and be positive do not get dragged down.


Add Your Business Here


 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

The world will carry on in the future, we will still be here working buying keep the faith and look forward.


14 April 2020 / by / in ,
Why are Reviews Important for Local Search?

Whether your small, local business is listed on Google, has a Facebook profile or even a website boosted with SEO tried-and-tested strategies, you may be wondering why you are not gaining the results you want or expected. If business is going well (congratulations), this guide will still be useful by showing you why review building is crucial to a strong marketing plan. Why are Reviews Important for Local Search? | Yellow Trumpet

Why are Reviews Important for Local Search? Whatever strategies you’re using as a local Devon business, we’ll show you why reviews are an essential part of your local marketing strategy and why Yellow Trumpet should be a key player within it. We’ll also cover how and where you should be looking to get reviews and how to direct your customers there to praise you (like they should!).


What is Local Search (Local SEO)?

Local search is the focus of search engines to offer solutions based on the location of a user. That’s why you’ll see top suggestions for businesses within local distances to where you are currently located.

Google is helping to send them your way (especially when you use location-specific terms, something which we will go into more detail on in another business guide for you).


Why are Reviews Important for my Local Business?

Whether you’re managing your own website and social media platforms or you are employing a third-party service to do so, you know the results from these platforms can take a while to come to fulfilment. Of course.They are vital and must be continually pursued, but the great thing about reviews is that it’s an instant validation of the value of your business, products and services, for both consumers and Google’s bots.

As more and more users turn to their smartphones as a more accessible means of searching, they can perform all the tasks they need to make a decision about you.:Such as visit your site and social media accounts, as well as see what people are saying about you.

Many consumer studies highlight how reviews drive the majority of customer purchase decisions. One example from Brightlocal shows that 93% of the customers they surveyed read reviews before committing to their purchase. While 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a loved one! To add, 73% of people said they needed positive reviews in order to trust a business. You only have to do a search online to find all the data that supports the importance of reviews for customer decision-making.

From Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factor guidelines, reviews account for roughly 10% of the ranking factors of Google rankings, which in laymen terms means reviews can help you appear higher in Google searches. Customer reviews (across a range of platforms) can equate to 13% of the driving factors of your visibility on the initial local pack i.e. the top local suggestions.

Great things about reviews

The great thing about reviews is that they can also help your website to rank well organically because customers will naturally use the key phrases within their content. For example, [Name] says, “ Yellow Trumpet is the best local review site. It helps me find out more about businesses in the area, and I always consult it before buying anything locally.” (not blowing our own trumpet or anything with this example!).This is why are reviews Important for Local Search.

Local business reviews need to be one of the main priorities in your digital marketing strategy. Why? Because they have the power to convince or put off a potential customer buying from you, and with something that is relatively out of your control. It’s worth helping in every way you can to make sure that good opinions are being voiced in the online sphere for all to see. (Note, no reviews are just as bad as negatives).


Where Should I Get Reviews?

A smart strategy when it comes to reviews is not to limit yourself to one platform, for two key reasons:

The more quality links pointing to your website, the more authority your website will gain, and the higher it will appear in searches.Gaining reviews across a range of respectable review sites help to build brand reputation by showcasing how good you are (from a user perspective and in Google’s eyes). A valid and useful point, whether you have a website or not.

Firstly, you should be looking to gain reviews on Google to help them recognise user’s recommendations of your products and services for relatable search terms. Google reviews will also appear when people search for your brand, with a star rating offering consumers a quick way to judge whether your business is, simply, good or not.

Facebook and LinkedIn recommendations will also help to cement brand reputation when people look at your social media profile for your latest updates. Because many people are on social media already, this can be a great place to capture potential clients. Recommendations are also shareable/visible with the reviewer’s friends, helping to expand your reach to a broader network.


Industry and local-specific review sites can also be a good place for you to generate reviews as this is where people will look when they know what services/products they want and need a place to compare options easily.

As a locally-based directory and review site, the format and structure of Yellow Trumpet is positioned to offer all the viable options (within Devon) for a specific search. Therefore, it will rank highly in local searches because it’s an expert website that supplies all the solutions to the user in one place. Yellow Trumpet also helps small businesses in the area by positioning itself as a local-comes-first community, rejecting submissions from large corporations operating in the region


How Do I Encourage Customers to Review my Business?

Reviews are notoriously hard to obtain, even if your customers tell you how much they love you; you, therefore, need be proactive about receiving reviews, and make it easy for your people to review you.

If you have a list of subscribers, then consider sending out an email to encourage more reviews especially after they have made a purchase with you. Or simply edit your signature strip to include the links out to your review sites so that customers can easily access them every time you have correspondence with them. You could also include links or logos for review sites on business cards, posters or other forms of print marketing. Additionally, consider leaving reviews for businesses that supply your own; chances are they will reciprocate the goodwill. Consider using Yellow Trumpet as a key platform, also. We run monthly competitions to incentivise customers by rewarding them for their opinions and helping to support local businesses like yours.

To find out more about Yellow Trumpet, take a look through our website or contact us today. Remember to share and like us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for more business guides and updates for local North Devon businesses.

Please get in touch, if there are any specific questions you want answering within our business guides or if you would like to collaborate with us.


Add Your Business Here


 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

8 April 2020 / by / in ,
The Who What Where of Yellow Trumpet “The Devon Directory”

Yellow Trumpet is “The Devon Directory” and was created to help support and promote Devon based businesses by improving brand awareness within the Devon region and beyond. We help smaller businesses promote themselves with the professionalism and reach of a national company.

Our primary focus is to help small business owners in Devon find innovative ways to fuel innovation and drive business growth. By generating new business through our collective community, we create jobs for local people and help the local economy. Then, we provide strategy and support to sustain that digital growth to help small business become bigger and more stable enterprises.




The Who What Where of Yellow Trumpet “The Devon Directory”

Who are we?

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to eat and drink, somewhere to stay or for somewhere to work, Yellow Trumpet is the Devon directory. With thousands of listings at your fingertips and easy search facilities, we’ve got what you’re looking for.


What do we do?

We’re a Devon based start-up and the only online directory providing digital strategy and support for small businesses, helping to fuel innovation and drive business growth.


When did we begin?

Our owner, Mark Turnock, launched the business in 2019 and has been a resident of Devon since 2003. Seeing the challenges facing his local community Mark has acted to help his community by sharing his experience with small business owners, communities, councils and individuals.


Where do we serve?

Devon is world class by nature, with an economy bigger than Bristol (valued at over £17 billion) and the second most visited county in the UK. We received over 24 million overnight visitors last year, who spent over £2.5 billion in our local economy. Yet most small businesses in Devon are behind the digital curve, we’re looking to help those businesses find customers, employees and each other through skills transfer and support. Therefore, we’re primarily focussed on serving the Devon area, but watch this space, as we grow we’ve got plans to move into the surrounding areas and help small businesses throughout the UK to unleash their potential.


Who do we do it for?

Our primary focus is to help small business owners in Devon find innovative ways to fuel innovation and drive business growth. By generating new business through our collective community, we create jobs for local people and help the local economy. Then, we provide strategy and support to sustain that digital growth to help small business become bigger and more stable enterprises.


Add Your Business Here


 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

The Who What Where of Yellow Trumpet "The Devon Directory"
6 April 2020 / by / in ,
How Does Furlough Work For Employers and Employees During the Covid19 Crisis (Updated April 2nd 2020)

Claiming your employees wages through the Covid19 crisis

During these unprecedented times the Government has stepped in realising that people will not be able to work. This would mean the economy would take a huge dive, people would have no money and the amount of people affected by this virus would sky rocket. So the Government have produced the Furlough Scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) for employers and employees



Claiming your employees wages through the Covid19 crisis

As the Cvid19 crisis grows the Government tries and help people as best as they can spending billions of pounds to keep families fed and businesses ready to start when the crisis is over. The last prediction for the self-employed was that in excess of 800,000 small and medium businesses will no longer trade at the end of this. That means millions of jobs will have gone and the universal credit claims have gone up by 10 fold in the last week alone. Some amazing figures of money have been said throughout the media of what the Government is spending. In truth I do not think any one knows.Most of the money will go sustaining the economy and helping families through the hardship, this is a guide to how employers can claim the furlough scheme for their employees throughout this crisis.


The so called Furlough Scheme is ” Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ” and the system has been put together quickly so the service is not open as yet, it is expected to be ready late April 2020. Employees can be Furloughed through the HMRC portal.


This scheme is open to all employees who are on PAYE before 28th February 2020, and will last at least three months from March 1st 2020 The scheme will pay 80% of the employees wage to a maximum of £2,500 per month plus National Insurance contributions plus minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage and this scheme can be used at any time within the three month period

Employees eligible for this scheme

Employees to claim the furlough scheme must be on PAYE from the 28th February 2020 and can be of any type of contract.

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Zero hour contract
  • Flexi hour contract
  • Agency contract

If you were made redundant after 28th February 2020 and the re-hired you can also claim the scheme.

If you are claiming the scheme you can not work for your employee in any way or that generates the employee an income for services etc.

Money from this scheme is still taxable and open to normal deductions.

If you are being paid from your employee you can not claim on this scheme.

The employer and employee must agree to be furloughed and must be a letter of intent written between the two sides.

Why should you be furloughed?

If you can not work safely within the guidance of the Government for the Coronavirus

Employees on unpaid leave

If you were on unpaid leave before 28th February you can not be furloughed, only after 28th February you can be furloughed.

Employees who you are on sick pay

If you are shielding then you can be put on furlough

If you are off sick or self-isolating then you will be paid sick pay and then can be furloughed after this.

If you have more than one job

If you have more than one job then you can be furloughed by one or both of the jobs the cap applies individually.

Volunteer work or training.

If you do volunteer work you still can claim furlough.

If you are doing training with your employer you must be paid from your employer as long as the employer is not making a profit at that time for your training.

If you are on maternity leave

You must abide by the Government guide lines as normal and pay as normal.

What you need to claim as an employer

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

To claim, you will need:

  • your ePAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name
  • your phone number

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

The Furlough scheme is a temporary scheme which will run for approximately 3 months starting from 1st March 2020 this will stay under review until further notice.

For more information Click https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

2 April 2020 / 3 Comments / by / in ,
Advice for the self-employed during the Covid19 Crisis (Updated 31 March 2020)

Advice for the self-employed during the Covid19 Crisis ( Updated 31 March 2020 )

In this crisis the Government have a plan to support everyone young and old, employed and unemployed. It seems that the self-employed are a bit of an anomaly all on their own. When the UK get a high unemployment rate the Government seem to encourage people to start up their own businesses with tax teasers, but now the self-employed are getting help in hand with everyone else, are they are going to pay for it later.

How the self-employed are being assisted by the Government?



Self-employment Income Support Scheme


“Self-employed people are a crucial part of the UK’s workforce who’ve understandably been looking for reassurance and support during this national emergency.”


Who Is Eligible For The Grant Scheme?

  • if you are part of a partnership or self-employed
  • you are working or not at this time
  • you have returned a self-assessment tax form for 2018-2019
  • traded in the year tax year 2019-2020
  • intend to trade next year 2021
  • trading profits are less than £50,000
  • trading profits average less that £50,000 for the years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • these profits are more than 50% of your taxable income for the same period
  • only the years that you have filed a Self-Assessment tax for will be taken into consideration.

Who Is Not Eligible For This Scheme If?

  • If you started self-employment after March 2019
  • you have not filed a self-assessment form for the year 2018-19
  • your taxable trading profit is more than £50,000 per year 2019-19
  • you have an average of £50,000 or more trading profit averaged over the last 3 years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

How Much Can You Claim?

You will receive 80% of your average trading profits for the Years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. There is a Maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. This will be assessed again in the future and will be paid direct into your bank account.

How Do I Apply For The Grant?

The payment is automatic you do not need to do anything at all, you will be notified to how much you are entitled to and the payment will be paid directly to you the earliest April 2020 ( This is the earliest and may slip to a later date to be confirmed).

WARNING!

The HMRC will not ask for any bank details.If you get a Text or e-mail asking for your details to apply for this grant it is a scam.

At the end of this crisis I hope the Government will find a way to keep the self-employed going and encourage new businesses as the people who have lost their jobs because of this Covid19 epidemic seek new opportunities in their lives.

I would not like to be in the Governments shoes they have an incredibly hard job and balancing act to do, and for one think they are doing a great job.


Gorenment link

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Businesses will change for ever.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

By Benjamin Franklin

27 March 2020 / 2 Comments / by / in ,
Business Support Through The Coronavirus Crisis

(updated 14th April 2020)

In the last few weeks the world has been turned upside down, and now it is the turn of the UK. We have a shut down of transport, social interaction work and business.Business Support Through The Coronavirus Crisis

Our aim is to assist businesses and the self employed to find the correct information and cut through the jargon to get support and find how to get the support from the Government in these very trying times.


Business Support Through The Coronavirus Crisis

Office for The National Statistics

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales


Latest business premises to close plus exemptions and guidance from Gov.uk Dated 25 March 2020

Click Link Below for official Statistics

https://bit.ly/2JgHrop


Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during Covid-19 crisis

http://shorturl.at/egotW


Coronavirus (covid-19) Foreign Secretary’s statement on support for British people abroad

https://bit.ly/39i0p8H


Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

https://bit.ly/2xn7SpO

In these challenging times businesses will change the way they trade, stock goods and how they deal with payment transactions. The whole world will change for the better, we will look at the resilience of our markets our trade and of how we recover from this with the human cost.Governments will have to redesign their ideas with a common goal of making the world a better and more resilient place to live.


Businesses will change for ever.

Businesses must look at the long term affects of this crisis ready to bounce back and be stronger more resilient for the future

25 March 2020 / by / in ,
Coronavirus and visiting the South West

We recognise it’s been a difficult few weeks for the world and a lot of people in our local community are going to need support through this time. Uncertainty and anxiety have been unwelcome guests for Britain for far too long.

With Government guide lines changing every day as this virus grows, we must listen and act together as one to fight this pandemic.


As numbers in the capital grow with infections to the virus, more and more people are travelling to the South West.

The Coronavirus is spreading throughout the UK at great speed, we should be doing as much as we can to stay at home and by social-distancing we will all beat this virus


Coronavirus Simply Explained

We in the South West of England see lots of people from London and other areas of the country coming down and enjoying our beaches and country side, we would love to see you, but now is not the right time.

Please, Please, Please stay at home. If we all do this NOW then we can beat this and we would love to see you all after this pandemic is over.

After all we do need your business.

We Miss You!


23 March 2020 / by / in ,
Interview: The Plough Director Richard Wolfenden

We recognise it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for the world and a lot of people in our local community are going to need support through this time. Uncertainty and anxiety have been unwelcome guests for Britain for far too long. Please note this was written before the outbreak of coronavirus

The latest blow comes from public health recommendations to avoid any non-essential contact. While the protective measures are necessary, they will inevitably put an unprecedented strain on businesses, CICs and charities alike. The news comes at a challenging time for The Plough Arts Centre, who have been exploring ways to secure the funding they need to feed the maintenance costs of the venue. In this interview, Richard Wolfenden – the Plough’s Director – will talk us through The Plough’s role in the community and the need to sustain it.


“A number of things have knocked us sideways” Richard explains, “and there’s no money coming in to cover…”

Now, more than ever, it’s important to support our community, including our cultural heritage seen in our Devon theatres, who will undoubtedly see a knock-on effect from recent events. If we cannot support them with visits, please reach out to support through advocacy, donations and any other way you can offer so they can weather the storm.

As one Plough supporter rightly said, “The arts are vital to us all. They are the ‘social cement’ for the whole community”.


What is The Plough Arts Centre?

The Plough Arts Centre sign.

For those who have yet to discover the jewel of Torrington, The Plough is an arts centre based in the centre of the town. The centre has been running for 45 years, bringing Devon the latest and greatest in music, comedy, film, theatre and visual arts. Creative partnerships have created many wonderful projects along the way to create a dynamic program of events, workshops and opportunities for all to delve into the arts: “to entertain, inspire, educate and challenge in equal measure.”

The Plough has continued to adapt following external pressures but also by developing to the needs shown in the community, leading the way in the industry and cementing itself as an asset for the South West.


Why Does The Plough Arts Centre Need Crowdfunding?

Public core funding has declined. While the art centre is seeing higher audiences, turnovers and new revenue streams, the financing needed for building and operational maintenance is not available to cover these short-term financial needs for this year. “Recent dramatic rise in overheads, coupled with a reduction in core funding… has created the perfect storm in… delicate finances” Richard explains.

The Plough has endeavoured to save costs where they can, which has unfortunately meant cutting staff hours, but The Plough still need financial support to survive. The Plough has turned to their community for help for this initial support.

They’ve also taken their case to the council to secure a permanent funding stream, citing that there is no other institution quite like The Plough and its loss would be irreplaceable. The board have taken the matter into further consideration following a review of reports and budgets in the recent community and resources committee meeting on March 16th.


GIVE WHAT YOU CAN TO THE PLOUGH ARTS CENTRE CROWDFUNDER:

Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated by Richard and his team at The Plough. They are around £6,000 shy of their £30,000 target on publication of this post. 420 supporters have already contributed, leaving over 150 comments, and sharing with their friends and family on social media. They still need your support. Rewards are also given to donators who offer set donations. If you can donate, please click the button below.



Richard Shares His Trumpet Story

We were grateful for Richard to sitting down with us to share The Plough’s story with us. Richard was a great interviewee, showing us around; he even shared his own Trumpet story with us!


17 March 2020 / by / in ,
Interview: Pi Society CEO Nicky Dunn
Portrait of Nicky at Pi Society, Exeter.

The month of February is often focused around the theme of love and relationships, with the famous Valentine’s Day falling on the 14th. With love all around us, we turned to Devon’s very own expert in love – Pi Society’s CEO Nicky Dunn – to give us an inside look into the business of match-making. Nicky is the proud owner of Exeter matchmaking service, Pi Society, which is in its third year of operation.

The first question we had to ask is Nicky’s philosophy of love. There are quite a few match-making options available for singletons in Devon and finding the right company for your needs is almost as difficult as navigating the dating scene itself.


“Chemistry isn’t everything” Nicky begins.

Of course, it’s part of the recipe that makes up a good match but “there’s a lot more that needs to be considered: trust, loyalty, listening and sharing”, for example, are all equally as important.

It’s no surprise then that Nicky’s go-to romantic films include Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Ghost (1990) where character lessons revolve around these vital elements of true love. 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like the movies for all of us. Finding our soulmate can often be side-lined by our careers and commitments.  Sometimes we need someone on our side, who knows what we’re looking for and can vet the choices before committing to a date. This is where Pi Society comes in: your local love gurus.


Nicky’s Top Tips for Dating:

A tick tack toe chalk board with red hearts.

Do Things Alone:

This may sound obvious but a lot of people are afraid to do things by themselves. Explore and create your own adventures!

Develop self-awareness:

What are your dreams, goals, desires and setbacks? Explore the little things that make you, YOU. What do you need to feel complete?

Meet new people:

Meeting people without the intention of love can build your confidence in the dating world. Talking to different people, stepping out of your comfort zone and seeing what people have to say can help you develop the skills and confidence to date.


How Does Pi Society Matchmaking Work?

Pi Society is all about a personalised service for each client, available under two levels of membership: a social membership (from £20 p/m) or a dating membership (starting from £550 for six months).  Keep reading for an exclusive Yellow Trumpet discount offer.


The Social Membership

The social membership revolves around organic matchmaking at events where like-minded individuals can meet in relaxed settings. The regular events ran by Pi Society span many interests to ensure there is something for everyone. Nicky coins their calendar the “perfect antidote to loneliness”. In addition to the monthly singles evening, Pi Society run several nights for specialist hobbies like wellness and wellbeing, supper nights, salsa nights, book clubs hosted by local authors, comedy nights, guided walks, cycle rides, weekends away in the UK and much more!

Nicky strongly believes that bringing people together can help to build stronger ties in the community and one way she does this is through arranging social events.

Another way is through supporting multiple charities in Exeter. For example, Pi Society gives Age UK Exeter 50p per month for every member to help the charity in their objective to tackle loneliness in the older generation.

“The emphasis is that Pi Society has focused on inclusivity and bringing like-minded people together.”

Nicky highlighted the devastating impact loneliness can have on our society for all generations and her goal was to bring people together with her social approach to matchmaking.

It’s no easy feat, with a host of events on the calendar each week, Nicky is a busy working mum balancing the work/home balance. Nonetheless, Pi Society has easily become one of the most recommended matchmaking services in the county – Nicky can’t go far in Exeter without being recognised.


The Dating Membership

The dating membership involves one-to-one work between client and agent to match clients up with potentials. This membership includes an informal two-hour consultation to fully understand who you are as a person and what you need in your significant other. Nicky and her team get to work by setting you up with the right candidates in their books, listening carefully to your feedback to customise the service. Dating members also enjoy the full benefits of the social membership to ensure they are given ample chances to meet the one and benefit from Nicky’s growing network of singletons.

Nicky prides herself on the match-making service that “brings human intelligence and a much more personalised and proven approach to matching… compatible partners” with every client supported through the stages of their dating experience. Nicky explains that the feedback they receive from their clients goes to developing their services and “makes for a powerful process designed to move quickly to deliver a happy outcome”.

“We have now matched over 44 couples* and it’s been incredible!”

*couples counted as relationships of three or more months.

Nicky and her team are also enjoying some weddings this year as the result of Pi Society matches. She is incredibly humbled to be a part of every client’s journey to love and shared one client’s story with us through this review:

“Thank you for your amazing match… I can’t begin to tell you how awesome the last two months have been… I could never have written the script so well – he is simply perfect! To say I am completely blown away is an understatement! I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that I would ever find my soul mate and one which would exceed my expectations. That is all down to you, your skill and your kindness.”

Pi Society Client.

Nicky wasn’t always a match-maker, mind you. Her career began matching people to their careers. She had been in recruitment for 18 years before realising her skillsets could translate to more “heartfelt matches”. Nicky had witnessed that Devon “was lacking in social contact… a lot of [her] friends… were going through changes in their relationships and going online and not enjoying the experience.”


Virtual vs. Actual

There are countless apps and online services available to us with ‘matches’ available at the click of a button. While digital has made many aspects of our lives easier, the same can’t be said for matters of the heart in Nicky’s opinion.

“In my experience, so many people lie about their age and their profile pictures aren’t always up-to-date. Humans are social and we need contact… there is nothing like meeting [your match] face-to-face.”

Nicky’s had several clients come to her who are done with “wast[ing their] valuable time wading through hundreds of random profiles, many of whom are just looking for the casual date rather than a long-lasting relationship.”

If you want a different approach to matchmaking that doesn’t involve swiping left, deciphering acronyms or going on bad date after bad date but, instead, focuses on real-life connections, get in touch with Pi Society today.


13 February 2020 / by / in ,