Has Spring finally sprung? Did St Patrick 'turn the stone' and will it bring us some much needed good weather?? Who knows but at least the clocks will go forward by one hour on Sunday 25 March as British Summer Time begins for another year. Remember the official time changes at 1.00 am, moving forward to 2.00 am across the UK.
As we think of Spring I'm reminded of Wordsworth's "Golden Daffodils"
"I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills,When, all at once, I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils,Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze. "Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the milky way,They stretched in never-ending line along the margin of a bay.Ten thousand saw I at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance."
The gardens have begun to come back to life and the daffodils are a bright and timely reminder that the warmer days of Summer are on their way.
TWN has also developed a new lease of life with such a lot happening since Christmas not least has been the brilliant members nights held in January and March.
March saw our 'Spring Clean' event in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast. 40 people attended this event and thanks are due to Julie Fitzsimmons the Sales Manager at the Ramada for hosting this event and to the partners involved from the Omni Spa, Phil Turn Hairdressing and LA Fitness. Many women had relaxing head and neck massages and were able to obtain advice and guidance on all aspects of their well-being.
Nicola Reilly spoke of the importance of work/life balance and Chen Clarke reminded us of the power of positive thinking.
The Extending Positive Relations Project supported by the European Union's PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB); recently held an OCR Certificate Presentation Ceremony where some of the recipients of the OCR Level 2 & 3 Certificates were presented by Howard Keery, Director of JTS, SEUPB.
Training & Development
The most recent group of participants on the ilm Endorsed Award Train the Trainer have just completed and we await their certificates.
Some comments from participants were:
"Very useful background info on memory, the brain etc and practical activities and excellent feedback"
"Tutors very informative, knowledgeable, experienced and relaxed"
"Very enjoyable, relaxed and non-pressurised"
"I have learnt so much, I loved it and Lesley and Alice were brilliant"
Dates have been set for Train the Trainer running again in May which are as follows: 25 May, 1 & 8 June 2012 - £280 p.p – 6 places are available, already some places have gone.
We currently have 24 people undertaking the ilm Level 3 Certificate in Workplace Mentoring in two different locations. This is scheduled to run again in TWN on Thursday 10 May, 24 May, 07 June, 21 June, with the 5th day to be slotted in for onsite observations.
We are almost half way through the delivery to a group of ilm Level 5 Award in Management participants, these participants have bonded really well and are very supportive of each other as this is a small group.
The ilm higher level qualifications are changing and I will update you all on the changes to those next month.
Application forms and further information can be obtained from our website www.twnonline.com
Budget 2012 – what does it mean for all of us??
TWN's Finance Manager, Kathleen Magennis highlights the highs and lows of the budget, who are the winners and losers and what are the implications.
The tax free personal allowance will increase to £8,105 from April of this year and to £9,205 from April 2013 and from April 2013 the Basic Rate limit will decrease to £32,245.
Unfortunately the 3p fuel duty will increase from August 2012; car tax will increase from April in line with inflation.
The minimum wage will increase to £6.19 for over 21's to try and boost job recruitment.
Corporation Tax will decrease next month to 24% and will be reduced by 1% for the following two years.
For those who smoke another 37p on a pack of 20 cigarettes already applies from last night and although alcohol was not directly increased a 2% duty above inflation will apply from the 26th March.
Employment Law changes – April 2012
The most significant change will be to the qualifying period for unfair dismissal. This means that staff employed from 6 April 2012 must serve two years before they can claim unfair dismissal from their employers. Obviously there are many.
Other key changes are as follows:
1 April Standard rates for statutory maternity, paternity, and adoption pay will also increase from £128.73 per week to £135.45.
6 April Statutory sick pay increases from £81.60 a week to £85.85 per week.
TAKEOvarian cancer actionNOW
How many of us are actually aware that March is Ovarian Cancer Month; which is more common than cervical cancer. If caught in the early stages, this disease is treatable. Visit www.ovarian.org.uk for symptom information, help and support.