It was back to school for Newport-based Your Conveyancing Services’s Director of IT when he returned to his old school in Pontypool to donate 40 much-needed laptops.
Joe Norris, who attended St Alban’s RC School, was delighted to meet children and some of his old teachers when he returned to make the donation of the reconditioned Chromebooks to aid learning development at the school.
He said: “It was great to be back and meet some of my old teachers, headmaster Stephen Lord and a number of the current teachers and pupils.”
He added: “We need to continually update our equipment at Your Conveyancing Services because of the nature of our business as an online conveyancing practice. We were keen to donate some of the Chromebooks our staff use which are still in excellent condition to somewhere which would really benefit.
“We already had links with the school and we contacted them to offer the Chromebooks which we have wiped and cleaned ready for the pupils to use. I was delighted to go along and officially donate them on behalf of Your Conveyancing Services.”
Headteacher Stephen Lord said: “We are really grateful for this generous donation. We will be sharing these Chromebooks with some of our most vulnerable pupils to help them access their studies and I know they will make a real difference and be very beneficial to them.
“It was also a pleasure for me and for the pupils to meet Joe, a former pupil, and see how well he is doing. It is always an inspiration for current pupils to see what pupils have gone on to achieve after leaving St Alban’s.”
Your Conveyancing Services Managing Director Lloyd Davies said: “We are always keen to ensure that computer equipment is recycled where it can be to aid our local communities. We have previously donated laptops to a youth centre in South Wales so this is our second recent donation.
“I am delighted they are going to be used by pupils who really need them to help their education.”
Earlier this year, The Conveyancing Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable arm of the Convey Group, helped to raise £25,000 for a new health and wellbeing suite at St Alban’s after a group trek by the ‘Mindstep Trekkers’ along Offa’s Dyke national trail.
Headteacher Mr Lord added: “The continued support of Your Conveyancing Services to St Alban’s is very humbling and very much appreciated.”
The Mindstep Foundation has been working closely with nationwide men’s mental health charity ‘Andy’s Man Club’ to set up a new talking group for men in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, which has now officially opened its doors.
Andy’s Man Club was founded in 2016 by the family of Andy Roberts, who died by suicide aged 23, to offer free talking groups for men to come together and discuss issues and concerns they have faced or are facing in a safe and supportive environment.
There are now an incredible 69 clubs around the UK which take place every Monday from 7pm to 9pm.
The Abergavenny club is the fourth Andy’s Man Club to open in Wales following clubs in Porthcawl, the Rhondda Valley and Wrexham.
Tracey Davies, co-founder of the Mindstep Foundation, said:
“We are so pleased to have worked with Andy’s Man Club to set up a new talking group in Abergavenny. Our local area has been hugely affected by suicide in the past few years, and we wanted to help create a safe space for men to talk openly and free of judgement.
“These clubs have been hugely successful in supporting men throughout the UK and it was a pleasure to work with Andy’s Man Club charity to see this come to fruition.”
James Smith, from the Mindstep Foundation, who facilitates the Andy’s Man Club in Abergavenny, said: “In the first month, we have already seen a strong turnout at the club each week, which shows the demand in the local and wider community.
“It is a warm, welcoming environment where everyone feels free to speak openly and support others in need. I now look forward to attending every Monday evening. Please do come along and have a chat with us if you feel you need to.”
Andy Greenway, Andy’s Man Club Project Development Champion, commented: “We are thrilled to have another club open in the South Wales area to work alongside the clubs already operating in Porthcawl and the Rhondda Valley.
“The turnout we have seen in Abergavenny and the support from local organisations has been great to see. To know that men now have a place to go to share their issues is massive and we are very proud to have another AMC running and helping those men.”
The club runs every Monday 7-9pm, except Bank Holidays, at the Tithe Barn, Monk Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5ND. Follow the club’s Facebook Page here for updates.
THE CONVEYANCING Foundation’s Ukraine Appeal has topped £30,000 after a group of charity trekkers helped to raise funds by taking on the notoriously tough terrain of Hadrian’s Wall.
The Mindstep Trekkers, led by Conveyancing Foundation chairman Lloyd Davies, hiked over 90 miles in five days along the historic Roman ramparts in northern England.
Funds raised will now boost the total of the recently-launched appeal to over £30,000 in only a matter of weeks since it was launched.
All the funds raised by the Appeal will be donated to the official DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to those fleeing the terrible conflict in Ukraine and desperately in need of help.
The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. By pooling resources to work as one, the DEC is pivotal in coordinating the UK public’s response to overseas disasters.
Thanking the “exceptional achievement” of his fellow trekkers, Lloyd Davies said:
“I cannot thank everyone enough for what they have achieved by taking on this very tough coast to coast walk. There have been some injuries along the way but we have all survived. I am very proud to have been of this challenge for such an incredibly important and urgent cause.”
Nicola Lancaster from the Conveyancing Foundation said: “We are all extremely humbled that the trekkers took time out from their lives to take on such an epic challenge for our Ukraine Appeal.”
The appeal has also been boosted by donations from new property industry sponsors PEXA and Groundsure who have both donated £1000.
Heather Crichton, General Manager, Industry Readiness, PEXA commented:
“Our purpose at PEXA is to transform property experiences for everyone – and that truly means everyone, including those who don’t have a safe place to call home.
“We are passionate about solving the homelessness crisis both locally and abroad, and we been devastated to watch the events unfolding in the Ukraine, with many displaced as a result of shocking events.
“We are pleased to support the Conveyancing Foundation’s Ukrainian Appeal Charity Lotto and encourage others in the industry to do the same.”
Gary Miller, Sales Director at Groundsure said: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting the Conveyancing Foundation with the ‘DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal’ during this unbelievably tough time for all of those connected to the Ukraine.
“The challenges which we are seeing in Ukraine are extremely close to many people’s hearts at Groundsure and we hope that our donation goes towards helping those that need it most.”
Thanking them for their support, Nicola Lancaster said:
“We would also like to thank PEXA and Groundsure for coming on board as sponsors. Their contribution is greatly appreciated. If you would like to sponsor the appeal with a financial contribution, that would be fantastic.
“Companies that pledge £1000 or over to the Appeal will be marketed on the Foundation Appeal webpage and all publications in conjunction with this Appeal. We will work with you to produce a dual branded video that you can share amongst your contacts to raise awareness and promote your involvement further to your clients.”
During the Foundation’s Ukraine Appeal, for a minimum donation of £10, anyone can take part in the Charity Lotto with a possible chance to win £500.
Everyone involved in the conveyancing industry is asked to help – Estate Agents, Conveyancers, Mortgage Brokers, Lenders and all Companies and individuals that would like to help to engage their staff members, clients, friends and family to take part and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Nicola Lancaster explained: “By participating in the Conveyancing Foundation Charity Lotto you will be raising funds that will help DEC charities in Ukraine and neighbouring countries meet the needs of all refugees and displaced people.
“To put it in context, £30 could provide hygiene supplies for three people for one month, £50 could provide blankets for four families and £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month.”
Laura Burkinshaw started out on her ’31 in March’ running challenge to raise funds for the charity Refuge, which opened the world’s first refuge in Chiswick, West London, in 1971.
Refuge is now the country’s largest single provider of specialist accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence and abuse. On any given day Refuge supports more than 6,000 women, children and men.
Laura decided to pledge 50 miles instead of the 20-mile minimum initially in March and Your Conveyancing Services donated £1,000.00 to Refuge to support Laura with her running and fundraising. Once completed, Laura then took on the challenge of running another 50 miles in April, bringing her total to 100 miles! Your Conveyancing Services donated another £1,000 for her incredible efforts.
Laura has now completed her challenge and has raised £2,170.00 for Refuge!
A new health and wellbeing suite has been officially opened at a Welsh school after an intrepid challenge organised by mental health charity The Mindstep Foundation.
Walking on behalf of the Conveyancing Foundation, a group of 18, the self-styled ‘Mindstep Trekkers’, took on the tough 177 mile sponsored hike down the Welsh-English border along the famous Offa’s Dyke national trail.
Funds raised enabled St Alban’s RC School in Pontypool to complete a dream project to open a state of the art facility dedicated to a former Head of Sixth Form and PE teacher Frances Margerison, and to a young man who died in 2018 after volunteering at the school, Max Davies.
Max, aged 22, was the eldest son of Lloyd Davies, one of the founders and trustee of the Mindstep Foundation, which was established to fund mental health research, awareness and support after Max died following a short battle with clinical depression.
St Alban’s Headmaster Stephen Lloyd said: “The Mindstep Foundation was the key charity behind the funding of this fantastic resource for the St Alban’s community. The source has sad origins in the untimely loss of Max Davies, who had completed work experience at the school, in the hope of pursuing a career in a similar setting.
“His demise led to the determination of his family and their friends to raise money to support the school where he had made his own contribution. There is a plaque commemorating Max above the door to the suite, which lends it real meaning.
“The health and wellbeing suite is also dedicated to a very special former member of staff, Frances Margerison who devoted herself to the pupils of St Albans for many years. Sadly, Frances passed away in January 2019 at the age of 54. She would be beaming with pride not only at the excellent facility we now have but also, as a former Welsh rugby player herself, at the achievements of former pupil, Sisilia Tuipulotu, who made her debut in the Women’s Six Nations for Wales against Ireland last month.
“A life that inspires others goes on forever”. The facility represents the legacy of these two wonderful people, both of whom would have been very pleased to meet the past students who kindly gave their time to support the opening event: Will Gregory who represented the championship-winning Newport Dragons U18 team, Thea Rogers, who represents GB Archery and Joe Cowell and Ben Moa who have both earned caps for Wales Under 20s internationals this season and have great careers ahead of them.”
He added: “I can’t thank Lloyd and the Mindstep Foundation enough because of the impact this will have on the lives of current pupils and also on the future generations of pupils to come to St Alban’s.
“This is so significant for the wellbeing of our pupils. It’s phenomenal for their mental wellbeing. The difference a facility like this makes is incredible. They can come in here and socialise and be active. We have also already seen the difference between pupils and staff – it has really gelled the community spirit together.”
Lloyd, Managing Director of Your Conveyancing Services in Newport, joined other donors and the school’s leadership team and Governors to cut the ribbon of the new facility.
Father of four Lloyd said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be involved with this project which we hope will make a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of young people who attend the school.
“Max spent a couple of happy weeks volunteering here in 2018, working with the teaching team alongside my great friend and a teacher at the school Richard McLennan. It is a fantastic school with wonderful pastoral care. Richard inspired us to fundraise for the gym during our pilgrimage along Offa’s Dyke and he was a mainstay in the team, injuring his ankle badly during the trek. We trekked nearly 200 miles and climbed I don’t know how many peaks for this wonderful initiative – it just shows you what can be achieved when we all work together.”
Max was a third year student at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent when he died, a talented rugby player and a former pupil at Monmouth School for Boys in Wales.
Lloyd said: “The Mindstep Foundation was established following Max’s passing to fund research into the causes of suicide and support those who have been bereaved or who are at risk of suicide. As Max’s family, our mission is to take steps, however small, towards ensuring that no-one suffers the loss of a loved one to suicide.”
The Foundation has so far raised thousands of pounds for mental health research and support and is committed to raising £100,000 over the next two years to help fund landmark work at the University of Glasgow into the causes of suicide. Thank you for the donations made by Your Conveyancing Services clients via the Conveyancing Foundation Charity Lotto which made the fundraising for the St Alban’s wellbeing centre a reality.
Convey Law has promoted its experienced IT Manager, Joe Norris, to become its first Group IT Director to oversee all IT including bespoke software development for the Convey Group of companies.
Joe joined Convey Law as IT Support Manager only 18 months ago before being promoted to IT Manager and has since built and developed the department into a cohesive unit of 10 which he is continuing to grow.
As well as overseeing all day-to-day IT needs for the online conveyancing specialist, Joe is also playing a key part in the development and planned launch to market later this year of Convey365IT’s ground-breaking IT case management system for the conveyancing industry. Joe Norris said:
“I am proud and delighted to be promoted to this senior role as Group IT Director. I joined the business to coordinate the company’s IT needs and bring together all the IT operatives into one thriving department.
“As well as working hard to continually grow the department, I am also focusing on the development of the conveyancing case management, accounts and online portal system. This has been in place at Convey Law for over three years and is functioning extremely well and I am looking forward to playing a part in bringing that to market.”
Joe joined Convey Law from business software solutions firm Alphalogix in Chepstow, one of the largest providers of Sage software in the UK. He continued:
“I joined Convey as we were heading into the pandemic so I am really proud of the work we have done as a department to develop such innovative systems which are playing and will play such a vital part in the ongoing success of Convey Law and its affiliates and will support the growth of the company.
“My focus is on developing these systems and bringing onboard more talented developers to work with us and to take on the challenge. It is an exciting time to join us.”
Managing Director of Convey Law, Lloyd Davies, praised Joe’s dedication to developing the group’s IT, commenting:
“Joe has fully embraced his role and built a great IT team to assist him who are enjoying working together on the exciting projects that we are pioneering. It is an exciting time for us as we take our new products to market as we have spent years implementing our knowledge and expertise into our case management and IT onboarding, case tracking and management portals, which can now help others in the industry to achieve their potential.
“The system is quite brilliant and the management tools are excellent for managing all aspects of a conveyancing business. I know from first-hand experience that our systems will make conveyancing quicker, easier and safer – for clients, Conveyancers and introducers of business.
“We are constantly building and enhancing our IT platforms with our expert and specialist team of developers and Joe is absolutely the right person to lead us forward onto the next chapter.”