Working through chemo wins major industry award for travel experts

Chemotherapy is a living hell for so many people with cancer yet travel expert Rachael Coyne has not only managed to work in her business throughout the treatment, she has also won a coveted industry award alongside her husband Colman.

Rachael and Colman, who own and run Jetset Not Just Travel, have won a Great British Franchisee Award from whichfranchise.com, the highest honour in the franchising world.

In October 2021 Rachael was told that her cancer had returned for a second time. She embarked on 14 weeks of gruelling chemotherapy up to February 2022. Not only did she manage to continue working but she also brought in £400,000 of business in just the first six weeks of this year.

Rachael said: “I felt very poorly during the chemotherapy treatment but being able to work on the days in between the therapy kept my mind focussed. Colman was there throughout, holding the fort and looking after me. Sometimes people only see the person who is ill and don’t recognise how difficult it is for their partner too. Colman has been brilliant, we’re a team, we live and breathe our business and we are so proud to have won this award.”

Paul Harrison, co-founder of The Travel Franchise and Not Just Travel, added “Rachael and Colman are a walking, talking example of resilience and success.”

The couple’s resilience was put to the test during the pandemic, not least when a £125,000 business trip to South Africa had to be postponed three times.

“We worked tirelessly during Covid to fight for refunds and never stopped fighting for our customers,” said Rachael.

“We also took on extra work from our franchisor company, Not Just Travel, when other franchisees left the business.”

Colman and Rachael launched their travel business in 2013. They are both ex-West Yorkshire Police employees. Colman was a detective sergeant in Bradford for many years and his wife, Rachael, was the helpdesk supervisor.

They got involved in organising trips whilst in the police – Colman was event organiser for the Bradford South Police Sports and Social Club. In that role he organised trips for thousands of police officers, staff and their families all over the world. They got the travel bug and when Colman retired there was only one new career path the couple wanted to follow.

Unusually in the travel world, Rachael and Colman give customers their personal mobile numbers and even call them back on a Sunday night if they have a query.

Colman said: “I think it’s because we both worked in the police, where you care passionately about the job that you do and you’re never really off duty in your head, that being there around the clock for our customers comes as second nature to us.”

For further information please contact Melanie Hill at Gravity PR at mel@gravitypr.co.uk or call 07527 847423.

Notes to Editors:

  • Run by husband and wife team Rachael and Colman Coyne, Jetset Not Just Travel works with over 450 leading travel providers such as Jet2, Hays & TUI, to access discounts and deals that aren’t available on the high street or online. They are ABTA bonded and ATOL protected. For further information visit the Facebook page: facebook.com/jetsetnotjusttravel or website: www.notjusttravel.com/jetset
  • The Great British Franchisee Awards are run by whichfranchise, supported by Lloyds Bank, BDO, AMO Consulting and Chantry Group. https://www.whichfranchise.com/awards/

Appointment: DFDS Seaways welcomes new director of health, safety and security

DFDS Seaways UK based in Immingham has welcomed a new member to its senior management team.

Steve Price joins the shipping giant from Norwegian oil and gas company Gassco, where he was UK operations manager for four years.

In his new role at DFDS Seaways, Steve will lead a 40 strong team and be responsible for all safety and security operations at the company’s Immingham site as well as managing health and well-being for the company’s 450 employees.

Steve, who was born and raised in Hull, said: “I am thrilled to be joining the DFDS Seaways team at an exciting time for the company. Having previously worked in a variety of industries including oil and gas, construction and major projects I have quite a diverse career background and I’m looking forward to bringing those experiences into my new role at DFDS.”

Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS Seaways UK, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve to the team. He has a wealth of experience and his expertise gained from working in a range of sectors means he will bring with him new ideas and new ways of looking at things. He joins us at an exciting time as we navigate our way through our growth plans for 2021.”

DFDS Seaways Immingham is based at a 175 acre site with 35 weekly freight sailings.

Photo caption: Left to right, Steve Price, director of health, safety and security, with managing director Andrew Byrne at DFDS Seaways UK HQ, Nordic House, Immingham.

Giving our local animals in need a treat this Christmas

The Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA is hoping the local community will help to give all the animals in its care the best Christmas ever.

The charity, which has to raise £1m every year to care for local animals in need, has launched its Christmas meal appeal, encouraging people to buy a tasty dinner, treat or toy for the 60 dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs and other small animals currently homed at its centre in Wade Street, Halifax.

Fundraising manager Lauren Moore said: “Our centre is open every day of the year and we will have animals spending Christmas with us. At Christmas we like to give the animals in our care a special treat. We hang stockings outside their kennels and pens with treats for Christmas morning and we also give them something special on Christmas Eve and throughout the festive period. If you donate to our Christmas meal appeal you are buying them a present and a really nice meal.”

Due to the pandemic, this year has brought specific challenges to the charity. Lauren said: “It’s been a difficult year for us, as it has been for all charities. Donations help us to survive as an animal centre and to continue doing the work that we do. A lot of people don’t realise that we are a separate charity from the national RSPCA. Every local branch, of which there are over 150, is individually registered and we have to raise our own funds from our surrounding community to keep our centre running.”

To find out more about the branch’s Christmas meal appeal, and how to donate, please visit: https://www.rspcahalifaxhuddersfieldbradford.org.uk/christmas-meal-appeal

You can also donate by texting XMASMEAL to 70085 to donate £1; by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/christmasmeal or by popping into the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch in Wade Street, Halifax, to buy a meal ticket.

Photo caption: Billy, aged 1, gets into the festive spirit at the RSPCA’s Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District animal centre

Holiday bookings helping Yorkshire animals in need

Photo: Left to right, Rachael Coyne of Jetset Not Just Travel and Lauren Moore, fundraising manager at the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch, with Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Angel, a current resident of the branch’s animal centre in Halifax.

Huddersfield based travel agent Jetset Not Just Travel has teamed up with its local RSPCA branch to help raise money towards the £1.5m it needs to find every year to care for animals in need in Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district.

The local RSPCA animal centre, at Wade Street in Halifax town centre, takes in between 500 and 600 animals a year from the surrounding area and has to raise its own funds to provide expert care for the animals.

When keen animal lovers Rachael and Colman Coyne, who run Jetset Not Just Travel, heard this they knew they wanted to help.

Rachael said: “We love animals and have two Golden Retrievers, Ciera and Polly. When we heard about the wonderful work the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA does to help animals in our local area, we wanted to help. The RSPCA is a national charity, but this is in relation to the inspectors who work on animal cruelty investigations. Each local branch across the country relies on donations to be able to carry out its vital work in its specific area.

“The RSPCA Animal Centre in Halifax is a wonderful place where animals who just want to be loved are rehabilitated before being placed in happy and nurturing homes.”

Under the charity partnership, when someone books a holiday through Jetset Not Just Travel and quotes ‘RSPCA’, then the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch will receive a cut of the commission.

Lauren Moore, Fundraising Manager of the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA, said: “We are really grateful to Jetset Not Just Travel. We rely on local businesses and residents to help us raise money so that we can take care of some of the most needing animals in our communities, many of whom have gone through great trauma. Gestures such as this, from Jetset Not Just Travel, help us to make sure the animals go on to lead happy and healthy lives with their forever families.”

PR consultants win brief with Yorkshire’s Daval Furniture

Huddersfield based PR consultants Melanie Hill and Alex Mason have been appointed to handle public and media relations strategy for Daval Furniture.

The pair’s brief includes increasing footfall to the company’s showroom in Slaithwaite and raising awareness of the Daval brand and its products, along with providing a press office function.

From its site in the foothills of the Pennines and adjacent to the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, Daval designs and manufactures bespoke fitted kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and home offices in line with the latest trends and technologies. Providing high quality and sustainable solutions for whatever shape or size of room is the company’s USP.

Hill and Mason, who are based at the Heritage Exchange in Lindley, have collaborated on several projects over the last 18 months. Their joint clients include Inspire North, a charity which provides support for people affected by domestic abuse and mental health issues across the North of England, and Secured Communications, the San Francisco headquartered tech company behind secure videoconferencing platform, Mercury.

Hill said: “We’re delighted to add Daval to our portfolio of clients. We’re looking forward to further increasing awareness of the company which has a proud family heritage and a strong tradition of high-quality craftmanship.”

Mason added: “Daval is a long-established business based in Huddersfield and operating across the UK with 100 retail partners. We’re really pleased to be supporting a local business that hails from Yorkshire but has positioned itself at the fore of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry.”

Daval was founded by cabinet maker David Bodsworth and his wife Alyson in July 1978. From its beginnings in a small shop in Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, the company has grown into large premises in Slaithwaite, which comprise manufacturing, offices and showroom sections, along with 70 staff and an annual turnover of £6m.

The company is now run by the couple’s three sons with Simon, 37, as managing director, Paul, 35, operations director and James, 33, design director.

Simon Bodsworth said: “Alex and Mel’s excellent knowledge of the national and regional media landscape will be instrumental in further establishing our brand and profile, positioning us as a leading manufacturer of high-quality, bespoke furniture.”

Renowned for its quality, Daval products can be found in select stores across the UK. Daval’s showroom at Spa Fields Industrial Estate, New Street, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5BB is open to the public to browse. Due to current Covid restrictions appointments should be made by calling 01484 848500 or emailing enquiries@daval-furniture.co.uk

Hill began her career working as a journalist for her hometown newspaper, The Batley News, before moving to West Yorkshire Police as Media and PR officer for the Bradford district.  She later held roles with British Transport Police and was UK Head of Communications for DB Cargo before establishing Gravity PR in 2018.

Mason worked as a brand manager for fashion retailer, TOPSHOP/TOPMAN – part of the Arcadia Group – until 2012, before holding senior marketing and PR roles at Mamas & Papas and a West Yorkshire PR agency and then founding Alex D Mason PR in 2017.

Yorkshire businesses team up to help holidaymakers prove they are fit to fly

As proof of a negative Covid-19 test result becomes essential for people travelling to an ever-growing list of countries, two Yorkshire businesses have teamed up to provide a quick and convenient solution.

Many countries now require a mandatory PCR test (showing a negative Covid-19 result) which is carried out 48-96 hours prior to departure.

Huddersfield based travel agency, Jetset Not Just Travel has partnered with Hull’s Atropa Pharmacy and Blood Clinic to provide a one-stop PCR testing and accredited certification service for its customers, who might otherwise be faced with the inconvenience of sourcing and arranging their own Covid-19 tests at very short notice.

Rachael Coyne, director of Jetset Not Just Travel, explained: “As more countries start to enforce local immigration restrictions, passengers travelling overseas face the prospect of requiring a PCR swab test and ‘fit to fly’ certificate to prove that they are Covid-19 free. This is a fast-moving situation with more countries regularly being added to the list.

“Teaming up with Atropa has allowed us to provide a quick and reliable solution to our customers who are due to travel imminently. It goes without saying that these are unprecedented times but, as a responsible travel company, we will always go the extra mile to help people enjoy their holidays safely and to be confident in the knowledge that they have the correct documentation in place.”

Atropa director Bryn Smales said: “By working with Jetset Not Just Travel to provide a bespoke PCR testing and certification service, we can help their customers look ahead to their trip safe in the knowledge that they are fit to fly.

“Our partnership with Jetset Not Just Travel will enable us to provide a one-stop PCR testing and accredited certification service for their customers. We are therefore delighted to be working alongside Jetset Not Just Travel to provide this service and help their clients enjoy a stress-free start to their holiday.”

A PCR swab test, sometimes called an antigen test, looks for signs of active virus in the body and will tell if a person is positive or negative for Coronavirus (Covid-19). The tests need to be processed between 3-5 days before the flight departure depending on the requirements of the country the person is travelling to. Atropa will offer advice to passengers regarding timings of tests in relation to flight times.

The test requires taking a swab from the throat and nose and this sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

With a fast turn-around, Atropa Pharmacy can return a PCR test result within 48 hours of receipt of the test by the laboratory. They will then issue the accredited documentation to prove if the person is Covid-19 free and fit to travel.

Under the partnership, Atropa will offer private testing from their new clinic in Hull and can also send a self-testing swab kit and instructions on how to use it to Jetset Not Just Travel clients who live further afield. It takes 24-48 hours to return the result once the laboratory receives the sample back. This result will be used to form the certification that is required to travel.

The test used is PHE (Public Health England) evaluated and shows a minimum sensitivity greater than 99% and a specificity of greater than 99% when the virus is on the swab with no cross-reactivity with other viruses.

Entry requirements for the country of travel can be found this here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

PR duo secures brief with US tech company behind Super Bowl and NASCAR comms

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Huddersfield based PR consultants Melanie Hill and Alex Mason have been appointed to handle UK public and media relations strategy for US based tech company, Secured Communications.

The brief is the duo’s first international contract together after teaming up to work on joint PR projects over the last 18 months.

The pair will direct ongoing PR strategy for the San Francisco headquartered tech company’s secure videoconferencing platform, Mercury, in the UK and across Europe, as well as acting as its  press office.

Hill, who founded Gravity PR in 2018, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Secured Communications to direct its PR strategy for Mercury in the UK and Europe. Mercury is set to revolutionise the videoconferencing market with its highly secure, encrypted video and audio-conferencing product for businesses, based on technology already trusted by many law enforcement agencies around the world.

“The technology behind the product has already been successfully used in the US during major events including the Super Bowl, NASCAR, the Stanley Cup playoffs and many more security operations.”

Mason, who founded Alex D Mason PR in 2017, said: “Melanie and I are delighted to have secured our first international client after collaborating on several PR briefs over the past 18 months.

“Our approach has proved popular with businesses looking for flexible, multi-skilled PR and media relations support without the commitment and investment often associated with agencies.”

Hill began her career working as a journalist for her hometown newspaper, The Batley News, before moving to West Yorkshire Police as Media and PR officer for the Bradford district.  She later held roles with British Transport Police and was UK Head of Communications for DB Cargo before establishing Gravity PR in 2018.

Mason worked as a brand manager for fashion retailer, TOPSHOP/TOPMAN – part of the Arcadia Group – until 2012, before holding senior marketing and PR roles at Mamas & Papas and a West Yorkshire PR agency and then founding Alex D Mason PR in 2017.

John Parkinson OBE, the UK based president of Secured Communications, said: .“We were very impressed by Melanie and Alex’s work on the PR launch for Mercury in the UK and we are delighted to welcome them on board for the longer term.

“The shift to work-from-home in the corporate world during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for secure, reliable communication. There is a great demand for a videoconferencing platform that allows users to meet securely without running the risk of disruptions or hackers obtaining sensitive data.

“Our PR activity in the UK and Europe will focus on driving home  to business leaders the need to protect their most sensitive communications and stay in control of vital information.”

Mercury allows users to host videoconference meetings privately and securely via web browser or mobile device without disruptions or leaks of sensitive information, helping businesses to minimise the risk of losses through information hacking, reputational damage and data breach.