12 months of Zebra – a look back on 2023
(Posted on 05/12/23)
2023 has been a busy year and we have been thrilled to be involved in co-ordinating, developing and assisting with so many of our clients’ one-off and ongoing projects, including new websites, PR, social media development, events, awards, exhibitions, films, animations, rebrands, online webinars, conferences, AGMs, newsletters, surveys, books and much more!
Here’s a selection of some of our favourite achievements from our clients, both old and new, over the last 12 months:
We began 2023 with something fresh. Vox Magazine – a separate project developed by director, Clara Hughes with her business partner Vicky Heathfield – hosted its first quarterly networking event of the year at Cleopatra’s Bistro in Holt. Serving up some great networking opportunities as well as plenty of tasty pizzas, the evening was a great way to start 2023.
We were delighted to bring a new website online for NWD Architects, a chartered RIBA practice based in Kelsall. Promoting its services, including Passivhaus/low energy design, the new website also proudly showcases its latest new build, renovation and restoration projects across rural estates, private homes, residential, schools, retail, veterinary surgeries and commercial properties.
The red carpet was also laid out for The Forshaw Group, with a special showing of ‘Our road to Everest’, a film by managing director of The Forshaw Group, Liam Hanlon, after he and the Tri-4-Life team reached the summit of Mount Everest in May 2022, following four years of preparation.
It’s certainly not all work and no play here at Zebra, and we were pleased to welcome Ace Play Ltd to our growing list of clients. Ace Play specialises in the design, manufacture, supply, installation and maintenance of quality indoor and outdoor play and fitness equipment, suitable for all ages. We helped the company with developing its website and socials to further promote its amazing projects in schools, public parks, play centres and leisure parks throughout the UK.
Whilst the UK was battling the cold, managing director of The Forshaw Group, Liam Hanlon, was braving arctic blasts as part of the 6633 Arctic Ultra race in Yukon, Canada. Regarded by many as the toughest, coldest, windiest race on Earth by foot, the 6633 Arctic Ultra takes competitors through the frozen landscape of the Canadian Arctic. Liam Hanlon said about the experience: “The conditions were brutal, but what an experience to be out in the wilds under the Northern lights. We were pleased we completed the 120 miles in under 72 hours.” Well done Liam and his team!
This month saw The Survey Association (TSA) host its AGM at Anfield football stadium, home of Liverpool FC, which saw its best attendance to date. This was a real testament to the vibrant programme of speakers, superb venue and opportunities to connect its members.
Zebra had a great time supporting Ace Play whilst filming with S4C’s popular Welsh television show, ‘Prosiect Pum Mil’. The TV show was renovating an old sailing club in Pwllheli, Wales, which was not at all fit for purpose, into a space for children with disabilities and learning difficulties. The Ace Play team provided and installed the specialist rubber flooring and a round swing. It can be daunting having cameras present, but Zebra’s very own Clare Lea was on hand to help.
Our coaching client Barnhill Consulting continued with its series of workshops this month at the beautiful Pant-yr-Ochain. Titled ‘Challenge 22: Coaching for Leaders workshops’, these workshops are designed to help successful leaders acquire a suite of skills and tools to not only be good, but great leaders.
We like to get out and about at Zebra, and our very own Maggie Austen was thrilled to visit the site of our self-build developer client CB Homes’ first mixed-use development in April. Located on the high street of the picturesque village of Tarporley, this new development combines residential and retail.
As part of its 21st birthday celebrations, 152 golfers took part in our client Stick ‘n’ Step’s annual golf day on Monday 1 May at Pryors Hayes Golf Club in Cheshire. Sporting stars including footballing legends Derek Mountfield, Arthur Albiston, Stuart Pearson, Alex Stepney, Frank Stapleton and Alan McInally took part, while the winning team was led by Paul Rawlinson. Sky Sports commentator Rob Palmer organised the day once more in his role as Stick ‘n’ Step’s ambassador. We were proud to promote this amazing event, and over £26,000 was raised for the cerebral palsy charity.
June saw a very exciting move for Zebra, literally, as we decamped for pastures new and set off for our new office – just down the road! We can now be found at The Old Bank on Station Road in Rossett, Wrexham. We look forward to continuing to welcome friends and clients to our new base and wish to thank everyone for supporting our 13 years in business and counting!
We were delighted to announce the news that our rural property surveyor and valuer Forge Property Consultants was further growing its business with the opening of a new office in Wrexham. Located at 41 King Street, in the heart of Wrexham’s vibrant and inclusive business community, this exciting business expansion takes Forge’s network of regional offices up to four.
We love assisting with the development of new websites, from the look and feel right down to the essential content. We were pleased to support our long-standing client and film partners Knew Productions with the creation and launch of its new website. The new site showcases the company’s high-impact videos and promotional films, helping its clients to transform marketing communications, create awareness and drive sales.
In August, we helped celebrate our outplacement, career management and coaching client Career Evolution's appointment of a new Principal Consultant within the business. Margery MacKellar, one of the company’s highly experienced and long-standing Consultants, has taken on the role to further support Director and Consultant Sue Thomas. Sue Thomas, Director at Career Evolution commented on Margery’s appointment: “Margery is an integral part of the Career Evolution team, and I am looking forward to working more closely with her as we welcome new Clients to Career Evolution.”
We were absolutely delighted that CB Homes was shortlisted for TWO Build It Awards 2023, in the categories ‘Best Turnkey Home’ and ‘Best Brick Home’, for its stunning Rosefield development. Rosefield is a replacement dwelling in the pretty little village of Aston juxta Mondrum in Cheshire. Congratulations to the whole team involved with Rosefield, what a fantastic result.
Vox was very excited to welcome a special guest speaker to its networking event at Artezzan in Chester. Former BBC presenter, endurance athlete, writer and podcaster, Louise Minchin joined Clara and Vicky for a fun and insightful evening.
Our content manager Kathryn Walsh and her husband Nic also celebrated their daughter’s first birthday with a special giraffe themed party, as it’s their little girl’s favourite animal!
Our geospatial surveying client, Powers, celebrated a significant milestone this year, with the business marking 50 years. Clara conducted a special interview with director Matt Powers, looking back on the company’s 50-year history of surveying.
This month also saw a familiar face back at Zebra, as Kathryn returned after her maternity leave. We’re thrilled to have her back!
November proved a particularly busy month for Zebra.
The Forshaw Group hosted a Health and Wellbeing Day on Friday 3 November at its office in Knowsley, as part of its celebrations for a remarkable 75 years in business. Special guests included The Lord Lieutenant, the High Sherrif, and the Worshipful Mayor of Knowsley.
Zebra attended two events for The Survey Association, including its annual conference at the Warwick Motor Museum, which proved to be ‘out of this world’, with a special talk from astronaut Tim Peake! We also supported The Survey Association’s attendance at the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland event ‘RIASLive – Beyond the Bothy’, held in Glasgow. The Survey Association was pleased to be one of the sponsors of this prestigious event.
We were thrilled to provide PR to announce Stick ‘n’ Step’s partnership with The Kentown Wizard Foundation to launch a new early intervention programme for babies from six months of age, whose parents may be concerned about their physical development. This could include, for example, not reaching their expected milestones. The first classes will begin in January 2024 at the Stick ‘n’ Step centres in Wallasey and Runcorn.
Our director Clara was very proud to be involved with the inaugural Wrexham Business & Community Awards. As one of its founding members, Clara participated in the creation and running of this amazing event, designed to highlight Wrexham as a thriving hub for business and celebrate this vibrant community. The glittering event was a huge success, held at founding sponsor, Net World Sports’ brand-new, purpose-built head office on Wrexham Industrial Estate. Plans are already underway for WBCA 2024!
Clara was delighted to assist and attend our client Barnhill Consulting’s ‘The retreat that means business’ in the beautifully rural setting of the Chainbridge Hotel, Llangollen. Delegates were able to benefit from spending time on their personal and business challenges and experience a boost to their wellbeing.
Our client Abbey England, a market leading wholesale supplier of premium materials and tools to businesses around the world, celebrated up and coming talent through its annual Abbey England Scholarship in November. Now in its sixth year, the company called for budding saddlers and leatherworkers at the outset of their careers to submit a photo of themselves and a leather project they had created, alongside a completed form detailing more about their chosen craft. The winner and other entrants were also invited to a special workshop by the talented leather crafter Nigel Armitage. We were pleased to announce the winner to the press as talented leatherworker Laura Broxton.
And, here we are, in December already! We are now finishing off our 2023 projects and formalising our plans for 2024. The team has celebrated ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ together, with a delicious meal at The Lemon Tree in Wrexham. So, it seems like a good time to wish all our clients, partners, suppliers and friends a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Team Zebra looks forward to seeing you all again next year!