Date: 30th August 2019

Bereaved families enjoy holiday courtesy of Curtins

Curtins have given a week’s stay in our holiday lodges to three families affected by grief and bereavement, who have been supported by Marie Curie, the terminal illness charity.

Fundraising through our Curtins Care charity initiative has been an annual commitment for a long time, but since this years’ nominated charity is Marie Curie we feel we have certain resources to help do more for patients than monetary donations alone.

As part of our employee benefits package, our staff can enjoy a week’s holiday in one of our four lodges across the UK. Lots of our staff use the lodges to spend time with the people they care about the most, and we feel this opportunity could also help families affected by terminal illness that Marie Curie are caring for.

So far, three families have each had a week’s break in our Cheddar and Windermere lodges. We also made sure there was a special welcome pack on their arrival to help them settle into their holiday.

Emily Lever, Head of Account Management at Marie Curie, said: “Having experienced the death of someone very dear to them, Curtins’ generous offer will help these families spend valuable time together and share cherished memories.

“These holidays give people supported by Marie Curie an opportunity to process their grief, and are a great example of going the extra mile to deliver personalised care to every individual family. Thank you, Curtins.”

We hope to offer more of these lodge breaks as we continue to support Marie Curie in the future. Meanwhile, we have also introduced a volunteer’s day that enables our employees to take a day’s paid leave to spend fundraising or volunteering for Curtins Care.

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Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

Date: 13th September 2019

Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

Dublin-based Senior Transport Planner Rachel Ivers has been voted onto the Executive Committee of The European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil Européen des Urbanistes (ECTP-CEU), representing the whole of Ireland.

Rachel will serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee, having been nominated by the outgoing representative and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI). The current Executive Committee comprises representatives for Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Serbia and the UK.

Rachel has been involved in the ECTP-CEU since 2011 and was on the very first Irish Young Planners workshop.

Tony Dolan, Curtins Executive for Transport planning says: “Progressing through the ranks up to the Executive Committee is a fantastic achievement. We are delighted to have such experience leading the Transport Planning specialism in Dublin.”

Chief Executive at Curtins, Rob Melling adds: “We are all very proud of Rachel’s achievement, and we will support her through the duration of her two-year term. Congratulations, Rachel!”

What is the ECTP-CEU?

The ECTP-CEU brings together 28 professional spatial planning associations and institutes from 24 European countries as well as corresponding members. It is an umbrella association providing members with a common framework to promote the visibility of planning and urban development  in Europe.

The ECTP-CEU also sets standards of education and conduct for the planning profession, engages with local, national and European governments and celebrates examples of good planning throughout Europe.

What’s next?

Rachel is attending the European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners in Plymouth on the 11th to 13th September, which coincides with her first General Assembly meeting on Friday 13th September. The event is organised in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute RTPI.

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Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

Date: 11th September 2019

Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Manchester office.

We welcome Carl Peers as the newest member of our transport planning team with over 15 years’ experience working with the private and public sectors.

Formerly at SYSTRA (JMP Consultants), Carl brings specialist knowledge and expertise in transport and development planning. He is conversant with guidance and policy and will be able to provide advice on a range of highways and transport matters that deliver cost-effective and realistic development schemes for our clients.

Carl’s experience compliments our sector specialisms, with a broad range of land uses including residential, commercial, retail and education and mixed-use developments. As part of our comprehensive service, Carl will provide advice at all stages of planning from initial feasibility to planning submission and the discharge of planning conditions. In addition, his specialist experience of urban regeneration schemes in town and city centres will be instrumental on larger masterplan schemes.

For more information on our transport planning services, please click here.

We’re pleased that the appointment will see Carl playing a key role in our Manchester office, where he will work closely with our regional heads including Alex Vogt in the North, Shazad Khan in Yorkshire and the North East, Matt Price in the Midlands and Steven Farthing in the South.

Alex Vogt, our head of transport planning north says, “I am delighted that Carl has joined us in this leading role. His skills and breadth of experience will add to our existing transport planning offer in Manchester and enable us to further service our existing and new clients with senior level input at all stages of a project.”

Tony Dolan, executive director for transport planning, added, “The appointment of Carl will enable us to build upon our established transport planning offer, alongside the full range of Curtins pre-planning services, including our civil & structural, infrastructure and geo-environmental specialisms”.

Carl Peers commented, “It’s an exciting time to have joined Curtins’ transport planning team in Manchester. Curtins has an excellent reputation having successfully delivered a large number of high-profile schemes in the Manchester region. I look forward to assisting with the growth aspirations of the business across the North West.”

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Curtins staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Date: 10th September 2019

Curtins staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge for individuals and businesses alike, and today we mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Tomorrow sees us embark on the first of our two-day Mental Health First Aid training for members of our team who have volunteered as champions.

Fighting the stigma
The first aid training is designed to tackle the stigma of mental health and provide trained staff who can offer support to any employee or person experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

Through vital training and support networks such as Mental Health First Aiders, we will be building on our wider activity to address the stigma of mental health in the workplace and support those at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Course curriculum
The Mental Health First Aid training will teach our champions to:

  • Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill-health
  • Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
  • Listen to the person non-judgementally
  • Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
  • Encourage the person to access appropriate self-help strategies, professional or internal support mechanisms
  • Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
  • Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
  • Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
  • Protect themselves while performing their role

This training programme is a key part of our on-going commitment to promoting positive mental health in our workforce, and beyond.

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Curtins partner with Mates in Mind

Date: 4th September 2019

Curtins partner with Mates in Mind

Mental health is a topic that has gained much-needed traction in the media and wider society over recent years with ever-growing importance placed on workplaces to ensure a true investment in employee’s health and wellbeing.

To further develop our commitment as a business, we are extremely pleased to announce that we have partnered with Mates in Mind, a leading UK charity, who support employers in addressing the stigma of mental health and promoting positive mental wellbeing across workplaces.

By supporting Mates in Mind, Curtins have joined a growing community of more than 270 organisations across the UK, all working to achieve the same goal of addressing the stigma of mental health that still, unfortunately, exists. Particularly within the workplace.

Chief Executive at Curtins, Rob Melling comments: “The promotion of good mental health has always been a priority for our business, and we have a robust support system in place to assist employees with nurturing their own and that of their colleagues. I am delighted that Curtins are partnering with Mates in Mind as it provides us with a refreshed opportunity to continue building awareness and championing positive change.”

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Charity fundraising in Scotland: The Bike & Boot Challenge

Date: 27th August 2019

Charity fundraising in Scotland: The Bike & Boot Challenge

Two offices, two cycle rides, one walk and one charity…

During September, Curtins’ Glasgow and Edinburgh offices will be getting their bikes out and boots on to raise vital funds for Marie Curie UK, our nominated charity of the year. A combination of cycle rides and walks will see the teams completing distances totalling over 70 miles.

What we’re doing

The first event, a bike ride, will take place on Friday 20th September. The Edinburgh and Glasgow teams will start the ride from two hospitals schemes they’re working on in their respective cities, meeting roughly in the middle at the iconic Kelpies sculptures near Falkirk. End to end the distance covered by the eight cyclists will be 62 miles, with each team cycling just over 30 miles.

The Edinburgh contingent will set off from the Western General Hospital – a current project with architects Oberlanders and HLM and with Robertson Construction, Hulley & Kirkwood and Thomson Gray to deliver a cancer bridging unit for the NHS Lothian.

The Glasgow team will start at the Golden Jubilee Hospital where they’re providing services for a new ophthalmology unit and operating theatres with Kier Regional Building, Scotland.

In addition to the cycle ride, a team of six walkers will complete a 10km route, taking in four of the office’s projects in Edinburgh.

Helping Marie Curie

All the money raised from these activities will go towards the Curtins Care charity of the year, Marie Curie who carry out invaluable work supporting and caring for families living with a terminal illness. Their Nurses provide much-needed care for people in their own homes when they need them most, whether that’s day or night.

To donate to the Scotland Bike and Boot Challenge please go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/CurtinsScotland. We’re aiming to raise £450, which will pay for 50 hours of nursing support in someone’s home through the night. That’s a small price to pay for for the kind of support that in reality is priceless to the people who receive it.

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Digital skills workshop for Agent Academy

Date: 16th August 2019

Digital skills workshop for Agent Academy

Yesterday we welcomed 16 students from Agent Academy to our Liverpool office to take part in a digital skills workshop. The group were all second-year students from University of Liverpool, studying a range of subjects from media and law to mechanical engineering and psychology. The students had a chance to experiment with some of the latest technologies being used within the construction industry and by our team, including virtual reality, 3D printing and 3D cameras that generate virtual building tours.

Agent Academy is an industry-led, leadership development programme. It was established as a solution to the issue faced by 16 – 25 year olds who find themselves, post-higher education, without the skills to begin their careers in the creative and digital industries.

The students who joined us were all ‘commuter students,’ which means they live at home or near to the university. This often means they’re more likely to remain in the region post-university, so the skills they develop through Agent Academy will have a positive impact on local business.

Thank you to Agent Academy for involving us in the programme.

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Target fundraising exceeded for Marie Curie

Date: 7th August 2019

Target fundraising exceeded for Marie Curie

We’re just over half-way through 2019 and we’re delighted to announce that we have already surpassed our target fundraising for our partnership with Marie Curie UK. Through fundraising activities, challenges and generous donations we have raised £19,114.89 so far, beating our £15,000 target for the year.

Marie Curie’s vision is for a better life for people and their families living with a terminal illness. Their Nurses care for people in their own home, when they need them most, day or night. They have nine hospices across the UK, providing round-the-clock, specialist care at the heart of communities. Last year, they provided support for more than 50,000 people across the UK.

With more fundraising activities and volunteer days planned, we hope to continue to support this wonderful charity achieve its aims.

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We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Leeds office

Date: 6th August 2019

We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Leeds office

We welcome Shazad Khan who has recently joined us as Head of Transport Planning Yorkshire and the North East.

Shazad is an experienced transport planner having spent 20 years working across the private and public sectors. He has joined us from BWB Consulting and brings specialist knowledge in providing commercially viable highways advice leading to deliverable projects.

He has gained extensive experience in guiding projects through the planning process, working from feasibility to discharging planning conditions for developments of all scales and across all sectors. He is adept at managing multi-disciplinary teams on large-scale developments.

Based in our Leeds office, Shazad will be leading our transport planning team across Yorkshire and the North East, working closely with our regional heads including Alex Vogt in the North, Matt Price in the Midlands and Steven Farthing in the South.

Shazad will be instrumental in all areas of our transport planning services which extend from the initial concept stage through to detailed design and implementation. You can view our transport planning services here.

Alex Vogt, our head of transport planning north says, “I am delighted that Shazad has joined us in this leading role from Leeds, working closely with our teams in Manchester and Liverpool. Shazad’s skills and breadth of experience will add to our existing transport planning offer in Yorkshire and the North East. Shazad’s extensive local knowledge and relationships, plus his commercial approach and expertise across a range of sectors, will enable us to provide our existing and new clients with a comprehensive service in the northern region and beyond”.

Richard Osbond, director of our Leeds office, added, “The appointment of Shazad will enable us to build upon our current offer in providing the full range of Curtins pre-planning services, alongside our civil & structural, infrastructure and geo-environmental specialisms. We aim to continue to deliver the highest quality service to the Yorkshire and North East development sector”.

Shazad Khan says, “I am delighted to join Curtins and lead their established transport planning team based in Leeds. This is a very exciting time for Yorkshire and the North East and I’m really looking forward to working with existing and new clients on projects across the region”.

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Site visit in Leeds for Woodkirk Academy

Date: 25th July 2019

Site visit in Leeds for Woodkirk Academy

On Thursday 18 July, 11 Year 8 students from Woodkirk Academy visited our Leeds office to find out what it’s like to be an engineer and about the work we have been carrying out at Wellington Place, Leeds for MEPC.
 
They were taken on a site visit where they learned more about the development from Wates and the careers available in the construction industry. This was all topped off with a visit onto site to see the progress being made on 4 Wellington Place.
 
It was great to see the students enthused by the whole experience, with many of them saying that after the day they were inspired to consider a career in the built environment.