September 2021: President’s address

forge magazine cover september 2021

“We are delighted to be able to bring you our Focus event at the end of October. Announcing it was on…then off…and on again was awkward – the result of shifting sands on the part the showground – likely to have involved a number of factors including its revenues, Covid-19 and maybe even HS2.

Suffice to say, once we got the go ahead, it has been all systems go. The Executive Committee – Ben, Abby, Sarah-Mary, Phoebe, Huw, Phillip and Sam – is working hard to bring you the best event that we can. Holly Flack, our immensely capable administrator, together with Claire Brown, are making everything happen and I honestly don’t know where we‘d be without them.

Of course, we are still in the midst of the pandemic and we must all be mindful of the Government’s guidance on staying safe and well. We ask you to pre-register, not only so that we can have your goody bag ready, but because we can avoid queues at the registration desk and get you into the event swiftly. Lectures (see page 29) will start at 9am and you won’t want to miss hearing what our speakers have to say.

With the whole event being under one roof – with exceptional ventilation – in Blackdown Halls at Stoneleigh Park, there will be the opportunity to visit the stands in the marketplace, watch the competition or meet up with colleagues – a refreshing change.

In this issue of Forge, we bring you a new course to make life better. If you ever feel as though you are juggling too many things, are stressed or know that your work-life is unbalanced, ‘Thrive at work’ is for you. Launching the course on Facebook has led to interest and we invite you to sign up as soon as you can. Needless to say, it is another opportunity to gain CPD.

We are also bringing you a mediation service that aims to resolve disagreements and misunderstandings of all sorts. The process is time- and cost-effective and has a high success rate. BFBA members can take advantage of a free half-hour consultation, as well as a 10% discount on the fee.

Client confidentiality is an issue we face frequently, even on a daily basis for some of us. Our legal partners, Morrish Solicitors, have provided advice on dealing with real-life scenarios. This sound advice can be found starting on page 8.

A new cohort of apprentices started at college this week and I would like to welcome them to the Association. BFBA membership is free to apprentices, so if you are an ATF, please make sure your apprentices benefit from this opportunity.

On the topic of apprentices, we look forward to welcoming as many as possible at Focus where we very much hope they will take the opportunity to compete – either individually or as part of a team. With entry fees at £25 per apprentice, we hope they will want to take part.

I look forward to seeing you – either at our Lead Spreaders event on 25 September or at Focus on 30 and 31 October.”


Craig D’Arcy.