Author: Anthony Lopez

Prepare For The Lifting of Lockdown With Remote Team Building

Building a Stronger Team For 2021

If you’re unsure of what the future holds for you and your business after lockdown, then invest in virtual team building to prepare.

Lockdown may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that the future is any more certain. To help you build a stronger, happier team to face the challenges of 2021, why not invest in remote team building for you and your co-workers?

National lockdown

The UK has been in lockdown for the past few weeks, and that has come with a number of hugely limiting restrictions. It is set to be lifted on the 2nd of December, but it won’t quite be back to normality after that. Most parts of the country will be in Tier 2 or Tier 3, both of which come with some pretty draconian rules. It’ll certainly be a December we have never seen the likes of before, that’s for sure!

Uncertainty

With so many new rules and regulations to keep track of, it’s really easy to feel uncertain about the future. Depending on where they are located in the UK, many businesses will be forced to stay closed, while others will have to open while adhering to very strict rules. With the fear of another potential lockdown in the New Year to contend with as well, it’s no wonder that so many businesses are feeling unsure of what 2021 has in store – regardless of the sector they’re in.

Team building

With so much to be concerned about as the year draws to a close, it’s never been more important to build a strong team. Remote team building events have soared in popularity this year, for obvious reasons. You can take part from the comfort and safety of your own desk, but still connect with your colleagues and strengthen your working relationships. Whether you’re just getting a small team together or you want to include multiple departments, a virtual event will work wonders.

A new kind of Christmas party

It goes without saying that the office Christmas party as we know it is off the cards this year. However, there’s no reason that a remote team building event can’t be the perfect stand-in! Yes, you won’t be letting your hair down together in person and things might not get quite as raucous, but it’s still a really good chance to catch up with and have fun with your colleagues.

Work with the best

If you are going to take part in a remote team building event, then you’ll want to work with one of the best specialists in the field. Zing Events are one of the most popular providers of team building activities in the UK, and their remote events have been the hit of 2020! With so many great activities for you to take your pick from, you are sure to find an event that’s perfect for you and your team to take part in.

Book your event today

It may be hard to predict what the rest of the year holds, let alone 2021. By investing in your team though, you’ll be able to face even the biggest challenges together. So why not arrange a virtual team building event today? It’s the perfect way to wrap up the year!

Will The Stamp Duty Holiday Be Extended?

The Property Market Could Benefit From Additional Time

Vendors and buyers are in a flurry trying to complete property transactions well in advance of the stamp duty holiday deadline – should this be extended?

When the Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his plans to kickstart the property industry, it wasn’t just homebuyers, sellers and estate agents who benefited. The stamp duty holiday as well as the Help To Buy scheme extension also had a positive impact on mortgage brokers, conveyancing firms, surveyors and of course removal companies. Further down the line, properties changing hands also require locksmiths, carpet fitters, security system installers and even renovation firms. It’s fair to say that the government have certainly managed to kickstart various aspects of the economy with the stamp duty holiday. The problem is that this will come to an end on 31st March, 2021 – so should this be extended?

Surge In New Instructions

There have been significantly increased numbers of enquiries since the stamp duty holiday was announced in early July. Taking Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward as an example, this chain of estate agents has received a 80% increase in valuation requests and a whopping 86% surge in new-vendor instructions over the past six weeks.

Limited Positivity

All signs should point to this being enormously positive for the property industry as a whole. But the problem that we’re facing in early autumn, is that really you need to be on the market now and under offer within the next few weeks. This will ensure that your sale, and subsequent purchase, will go ahead and complete in time to take advantage of the window of opportunity before the stamp duty holiday expires.

A conveyancing firm in Essex explains that processes involved in your sale or purchase, such as the ordering of searches, are taking longer than usual due to the challenges of the pandemic. Therefore, you’ll need to get moving sooner rather than later to be certain that you don’t need to pay stamp duty. This pressure may cause sales and offers to start dropping off by around Christmas as people will assume they no longer have the time to rush their transaction through. If the government did choose to extend the stamp duty holiday, this will enable more people to keep the property market and related industries afloat for longer. Without this extension, the Centre for Economic and Business Research thinktank is predicting a house price collapse of 13.8% in 2021.

First Time Buyer Difficulties

90% and 95% mortgages aimed at first-time buyers have been shelved as lenders feel the pressures of the pandemic. Those who wish to get on the property ladder will have to acquire even more of a deposit to enable them to purchase a starter home, which is prohibitive for many. The stamp duty holiday was announced relatively early post-lockdown, which has given first-time buyers little time to scrabble around and come up with the additional money required for their deposit. Without first-time buyers being able to afford to make their move at this time, this will have an incredibly negative impact on vendors who are selling at the lower end of the property ladder.

Extending the stamp duty incentive for a few more months may not currently be on the cards, but with the government having completed a u-turn on several other major decisions, there’s every hope that this could change.

Easy Ways To Improve Your Teeth Brushing Technique

Avoid Dental Problems By Upping Your Tooth Brushing Game

Think you know the best way to brush your teeth? Think again. These top tips will give you easy ideas to work into your daily dental hygiene routine.

Tens of millions of patients have not been able to receive NHS dental care in the UK since March, following the onset of Covid-19. The British Dental Association describes patient access as having ‘fallen off a cliff’ and warns of the implications of this lack of care. Whilst private dental practices are an alternative solution for those struggling to see their NHS dentist, there are also many ways that patients can help to improve their oral health. The best way to improve your dental hygiene is to concentrate on developing a proper teeth-brushing technique. Here are some tips you might not have tried before.

To Rinse or Not To Rinse

Brushing your teeth is usually followed with a vigorous swill of your mouth. However, rinsing with water can potentially undo all the great work you’ve just achieved from brushing. Your toothpaste contains fluoride which is included to strengthen your enamel, minimise the risk of decay and decrease any acid present on the teeth. An Essex dentist explains that if you rinse with water after brushing, then you could potentially be removing or at least reducing the amount of fluoride in your mouth.

Are You Brushing For Long Enough?

You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day to achieve positive oral hygiene. However, a study has found that the average person only brushes for 45 seconds, which just isn’t long enough. By extending your tooth brushing session to the recommended two minutes, you can remove up to 26% more plaque in your mouth. So, brush for longer to ultimately reduce the chances of you developing gum disease. 

Change It Up

How often are you changing your toothbrush? Around 10 million bacteria can be present on your toothbrush bristles at any one time. To promote positive oral hygiene, it is recommended that you change your toothbrush, or the head of your electric brush, at least every 2-3 months. Many people don’t manage to do so more than twice a year, which can significantly impact their chances of maintaining a good level of oral care.

Don’t Forget To Floss

We all know that flossing should be part of your daily brushing routine, but did you know that the best time to floss is before you brush? This way anything that you dislodge will be brushed away easily when you run your toothbrush over your teeth. If you’re tempted to floss after brushing to get to those areas which are harder to clean, then switch your routine around for improved results.

Brush Before Breakfast

This final point is quite hard to digest! Instead of brushing after you’ve had your breakfast, it’s better to hit the bathroom before you guzzle down your morning toast and cereal. Why? Bacteria can form overnight when you’re sleeping. So if you eat before brushing, then effectively you’ll end up consuming that bacteria along with your food.

If you’d like to improve your brushing technique, then it’s time to work these points into your daily routine. Remember though, that the most important thing is to stick to a regular twice a day schedule.

How to Know When It’s Time to Get Your Tattoo Removed

Signs That You Could Be Ready For Laser Tattoo Removal

Some people grow to realise that their tattoos just aren’t for them anymore. Here are some sure signs to look for.

A tattoo is something that can hold huge personal significance, and people go under the needle for many different reasons. However, the time can come when you just don’t love your body art any more. Here’s how to know when it’s time to say goodbye to yours, along with where to find the best tattoo removal experts London has to offer.

You always cover it up

If you are always choosing clothes that cover your tattoo up, then it could be a sign that you need to say goodbye to it. While it’s normal to cover up body art in certain instances, such as for work or formal occasions, doing it all the time means that you probably don’t have the best relationship with your ink. So take a look at your wardrobe, and see if there’s a pattern emerging with the clothes that you are buying and wearing in your day to day life.

It’s holding you back at work

Is your body art holding you back in the workplace? Although times have changed, many employers still look past candidates with tattoos in favour of those without them. If you do get your foot in the door at a company, you may find that you’re being passed over for promotions to more senior roles. Take some time to evaluate where your career is heading, and if there’s a lack of progress ask yourself if it could be down to your tattoo(s).

It’s a past lover’s name

So many people have decided to show their partner just how much they love them by having their name tattooed on their body. That’s fine, as long as you don’t break up. If you do, then your tattoo could prove to be a major stumbling block in a new relationship. If you want to show your new partner that you’re committed to them, it’s probably time to say goodbye to that tattoo of a name you would both rather forget.

It’s not representative of who you are any more

People change and grow – it’s just a part of life. If you got a tattoo when you were younger and considerably less wiser, then chances are it doesn’t really reflect who you are as a person any more. Whether it’s a pop culture reference that feels dated now, or something that’s symbolic of beliefs that you no longer hold, a tattoo can be an unfortunate reminder of your past. For a new you, why not wipe the slate clean and have the offending ink removed?

Getting yours removed

If you are going to have your tattoo removed, then you should only ever seek treatment from trusted specialists in the field. Tattoo Removal Experts are one of the leading laser tattoo removal providers in the capital, and have numerous success stories to their name. You’ll be looked after during every one of your sessions, and all of your questions will be answered honestly. Their treatment is some of the most reasonably priced that you’ll find as well.

Enquire today!

If you are interested in tattoo removal, then why delay? The sooner you arrange your first session of treatment, the sooner you will be able to reap the rewards of being a totally new you.

5 of The Most Common Tattoos That People Have Removed

Why People Fall Out of Love With Their Body Art

People have all sorts of tattoos removed, but there are five kinds that tattoo removal specialists see more than others.

Ever wondered what are some of the most common kinds of body art tattoo removal specialists come across? Here are five of the top offenders, along with where you can find the best tattoo removal London has to offer.

Eyebrow tattoos

Eyebrow tattoos are some of the most common kinds of body art, with plenty of people opting for them every year. The problem? They’re also one of the most prominent kinds of body art you can have. Whether makeup trends have changed or you just want to change your look, it’s easy to fall out of love with your eyebrow ink – no matter how much of a good idea it seemed at the time.

An ex-lover’s name

Nothing says true love like getting your lover’s name tattooed on your body. What’s not so romantic is having to live with that after a break-up. More and more people are opting for tattoos as a way of showing their commitment, but they can cause anything from anguish to the breakdown of future relationships if things turn sour.

Tramp stamps

A tattoo on the lower back, otherwise known as a ‘tramp stamp’ is a tattoo that many people have. It seems like a no-brainer: it’s easy to hide under clothes, and the large area means you can go for an impressive design. However, it’s developed a little bit of an unfortunate reputation over the past few years – resulting in that infamous nickname. Needless to say, a lot of people are ready to say goodbye to theirs.

A tattoo gone wrong

We’ve all seen pictures of tattoos gone wrong, or know someone with body art that’s been inked less than successfully. Poorly executed tattoos are first on the list to be removed for many people – even if they have lots of other body art that they plan on keeping. Whether it’s a misspelling, poor outlining or a multitude of sins, it’s easy to see why they’re such an annoyance.

Upper arm tattoos

A lot of people opt for an upper arm tattoo when they first get inked. The problem is, a tattoo in this location instantly restricts what you can wear. You may find that you have to keep your tattoo covered up at work, which can be unpleasant during the warmer months. Women may also find that dressing up is an issue, with sleeveless dresses bound to attract plenty of stares. That’s why lots of people have theirs removed.

Getting yours removed

If you want to get your tattoo removed, then it’s essential to visit the best specialists in the field. Tattoo Removal Experts are the providers of the leading laser tattoo removal in London, and will be able to help you say goodbye to your unwanted body art forever. With some of the most reasonable prices in London and plenty of success stories, it’s clear to see why they’re a firm favourite with so many.

What are you waiting for?

Whether you have one of the tattoos we have mentioned or you want to get rid of something totally different, you know where to go! With expert advice and professional treatment, you could soon feel like a whole new person!

Ensuring Your Loved One Gets The Best Possible Care From Afar

Securing The Most Suitable Dementia Care

Even if you aren’t there to look after them yourself, you can still ensure that your loved one is care for as they struggle with dementia.

If you live far away from your friend or relative and they are suffering from dementia, it can be hard to know what to do. Home care will give them the best chance of living a full, independent life for years to come. Here’s what you can expect, and where you can find the best dementia care Essex has to offer.

Dementia sufferers need support

Living far away from a loved one can be worrying, especially in these trying times. If your friend or family member has dementia though, that worry can be even bigger. Living with dementia can be incredibly isolating and scary, and the COVID-19 crisis has seen many people’s sources of support vanish overnight. Gone are community clubs and a lot of other services – which leaves you bearing the brunt emotionally. That’s where home care comes in.

Finding the right care

Finding a good care provider is essential if you are going to help your loved one who is suffering from dementia. Fambridge Care are one of the leading providers of dementia care in Essex, and have really made a difference to people’s lives. Their carers are highly skilled and have undergone the necessary training to work with people with dementia. With their help, people can continue to live full lives with as much independence as possible.

Tailored support

Home care comes in all shapes and sizes, and can be personalised to suit the needs of each individual. Dementia is a hugely complex condition, and its severity can vary from person to person. Add to the mix that dementia sufferers could have other additional health concerns, and you have people who all have very different needs. Whether someone needs a few visits a week or they would benefit from live in care, the right level of care will make all the difference.

Allows them to stay in their own homes

As anyone who has spent time with a dementia sufferer knows, change can be very hard for them to accept, and old memories are still very fresh in their mind. It makes sense then, for someone with dementia to stay in their own home for as long as they can. They will be be surrounded with memories that they can still process, and while they may struggle with short-term memory retention their home will be somewhere they feel safe and secure.

Safety is a top priority

COVID-19 has totally changed the home care landscape. It can be a worry to entrust your loved one’s care to someone that you don’t know, especially when you are worried about them catching the virus. You can rest assured that at a trusted home care provider like Fambridge Care, all the necessary steps are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Carers are taking extra care with hygiene, and they have the PPE they need to carry out their work safely.

Make the call today

Now that you can see just how much of a difference a qualified carer can make to a dementia sufferer’s life, why not ease your own worries and call Fambridge Care today? They’ll get the ball rolling right away, giving you total peace of mind.

Brits Are Not Brushing Their Teeth Twice A Day

Lockdown Causes Slips In At-Home Dental Hygiene

The pandemic has created a decline in dental patients taking their oral hygiene seriously.

Brits are not brushing their teeth twice a day according to shocking research from eco-friendly subscription box company, Floe Oral Care. Dental clinicians recommend that people brush, floss and use mouthwash twice daily as part of a positive dental hygiene routine. Yet only one in eight people have been able to stick to this regime. 44% have slipped to only brushing once daily and a worrying 18% admitted that they haven’t been brushing their teeth on a daily basis.

Why Do We Need To Brush Twice A Day?

Dentists recommend that we brush twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. When we eat food every day, the leftover food particles and bacteria accumulates in the mouth. This sticks to the teeth and is the number one way in which plaque forms. If the soft plaque isn’t cleared from the mouth with regular twice a day brushing, then this will harden and start to cause problems such as gingivitis, or gum disease. If you notice this yellow substance on your teeth, then begin brushing and flossing twice a day immediately until you can get an appointment with your dental hygienist to clear this debris.

Why Has Dental Hygiene Declined?

Lockdown is being blamed as the chief reason for a significant decline in dental hygiene. Dental surgeries were closed for a few weeks due to the pandemic, and changes to dental regulations mean that fewer appointments are now taking place. However, although it may certainly be harder to see a dentist for a general check-up or hygiene appointment, this doesn’t really justify why people have allowed their at-home dental hygiene to decline.

How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

An Essex dentist explains that there are also concerns that toothbrushes aren’t being changed as regularly as they need to be. The same survey by Floe Oral Care indicates that only 32% of people switch to a different toothbrush when their current brush is out of shape. 24% tend to do this every six months. It is recommended that you change your toothbrush approximately every three to four months, but you may need to do so more regularly if the bristles become frayed. For example, children typically brush quite vigorously, so they will often need a new toothbrush before their parents do. Electric toothbrushes will just need their heads changed, but you should keep an eye on the charge of the model to ensure that the rotating motion of the brush is still up to speed.

Changing Your Brush Following Illness

It’s also important to change brushes regularly if you have been ill, and this is essential if your brush is stored near to others. If anyone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19 then it would be best practice to immediately switch to new toothbrushes and to carefully dispose of the old ones.

During the pandemic, there have been some changes in the ways that patients can access routine dental treatments. If you wish to seek advice or make an appointment, then get in touch with your dentist by phone. However, whilst you wait for treatment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to stick to a high standard of at-home dental hygiene in order to maintain excellent oral health.

What Can Cause Hair Loss In Young Children?

Common Reasons for Thinning Hair in Kids

If you’ve noticed that your child has a thinning scalp, check out these common reasons for hair loss in children.

8 million women experience hair loss at some point during their adult lives, according to the NHS, with about half of all men also being hit by male pattern baldness by the age of 50 years old. Although hair loss is typical as we grow older, it can be shocking to notice a thinning scalp in healthy children. However, hair loss in children is reasonably common too and be caused by a variety of triggers.

Scalp Ringworm

If you notice that your child has been itching their scalp a lot, usually in one or more specific areas, then this can be a sign that they have scalp ringworm. This fungal condition is treatable when you visit a GP for guidance. As a contagious disease, ringworm that impacts the scalp can create a nasty, red rash to develop. In turn, this causes damage to the skin beneath which is why your child may experience hair loss in this area. If a doctor diagnoses ringworm, then antifungal cream is usually prescribed to treat the affected area. Once the infection has subsided, the hair should regrow as normal.

Traction Alopecia

Ponytails or hair that is worn in a tight style can cause the hair to be pulled out of the follicles on the scalp. This type of hair loss is known as traction alopecia and usually occurs when hair is worn in this way over a prolonged period of time. Hair loss will be more pronounced in areas where the most tension is created. By wearing a looser hairstyle and being careful not to overbrush, the hair should grow back in time. Hair toppers can be worn in the meantime to cover any patches which are balding.

Trichotillomania

Children who are anxious, or who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder may act by pulling their hair out as a symptom of this psychological condition. Some children will do this purposefully to gain a feeling of release, whilst others may simply twirl their hair nervously which may cause thinning to the scalp. With trichotillomania, it is essential that your child is supported by addressing the underlying cause of the problem. Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy may be useful here.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia is a well-known condition that can affect children and adults alike. It is caused by the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles and preventing hair from growing. Alopecia areata usually creates small coin-sized areas of baldness on the scalp, although some children may also lose their lashes and eyebrows too. It is typical for children with this condition to experience flare-ups followed by periods of regrowth and to continue in this stop-start pattern over a prolonged period. Unfortunately, there is not currently a successful cure for alopecia, although there are many ways to manage the symptoms and gain support for the condition.

If you or your child has noticed any bald patches on their scalp or if they appear to be shedding a larger quantity of hair than normal, then get in touch with your GP for a chat. It might be useful to dig out photos when the hair looks fuller to offer as a comparison.

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Car This Autumn

Changes Anyone Can Make at Home

If your car is in need of a little TLC or you just want more modern features, there are a number of ways you can upgrade it at home.

If you want to get the most out of your car, there are a few things you can do to give it a new lease of life. From car paint to clever gadgets, here are six smart upgrades for your car you can carry out this autumn.

Car paint

If your car is looking a little past its best, then why not treat it to a new coat of paint? Thanks to great sites like Car Colour Services, it has never been easier to paint your car yourself. You can colour match in just a few clicks, and you can also pick up things like primers, fillers, sanding blocks, and finishing products – plus some great advice! So it’s time to say goodbye to paintwork that has seen better days.

New tyres

New tyres won’t just make your car feel better on the road, they will make driving a lot safer too. First of all, check the tread on your tyres. If they have worn down to the point where the legal minimum tyre tread has worn away, it’s definitely time to upgrade them. There are a number of all weather tyres available right now, which will be able to handle everything that the Great British climate throws at you!

Bushings

Bushings sit between the suspension and frame and the chassis and engine, preventing vibrations throughout your car. However, the rubber bushings that are fitted as standard often crack and wear down. Swapping these out for more durable polyurethane bushings will greatly reduce any vibrations in your car. They last for much longer too, so this is actually a cost effective move to make.

Reversing camera

Do you struggle to parallel park or find reversing into a space incredibly stressful? Then there’s a simple upgrade that could help you out. A reversing camera will let you see what’s going on to the rear of your car, giving you greater confidence. If your car isn’t already fitted with one, you’ll find lots of cheap cameras that are easy to fit and give a clear picture. You’ll wonder how you managed without one!

GPS tracker

Unfortunately, car thefts are on the rise – so it pays to be vigilant. A GPS tracker will allow you to see where your car is in an instant, helping you out in the event of it being stolen. Many trackers now attach to cars with a powerful magnet and can go over a fortnight without needing to be charged. So once you’ve installed them, they’re not something that you need to tend to everyday, making them a real low-maintenance upgrade.

Fuel additives

Few people know about fuel additives, but they can make a big difference in terms of the performance of your car. It’s really simple to add fuel additives to your car – you just pour a bottle into your fuel tank when you fill up. The additive will keep components clean, removing any deposits from petrol or diesel. Your car will run much more smoothly as a result, making this a quick fix with real impact.

What’s first on your list?

So what are you waiting for? Whether you just opt to give your car a new lick of paint or you work your way through the whole list, your vehicle will look and feel like brand new!

Protect Your Building From The Threat of Riots

Would Your Business Recover From Large-Scale Damage?

With the threat of riots looming this summer, make sure that your commercial business is prepared for the possibility of an attack.

It’s been nine years since the UK saw widespread riots break out across the country, following the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in Tottenham, London. The riots lasted from 6th to 11th August, 2011 and caused the death of five people, with a further 205 injured. Unfortunately, a government advisor warns that riots may be on the horizon again this summer, as a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. General feeling based on inequality, the Dominic Cumming’s scandal, anger towards the police and the difficulty in enforcing lockdown restrictions could all play their part in the incidence of riots taking place in 2020.

Localised Lockdowns

Although lockdown restrictions have been largely lifted, and there is a sense that Britain is getting back to normal, it is known that the country’s R rate is still hovering just beneath 1. It has been implied that in areas where the R rate increases over this threshold, that local lockdown measures could be imposed to keep the level of infection in check. Professor Clifford Stott, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies explains that disorder could escalate rapidly in poorer areas if there is a feeling that there are tougher restrictions being dished out to poorer communities in comparison to those living in more affluent neighbourhoods. He concludes, “If the police don’t invest in building positive police-community relations now, there is a potential for serious and large public disorder to emerge this summer.”

Why Businesses Need To Prepare

When the riots took place in 2011, an estimated £200 million worth of property damaged occurred, which also significantly impacted on local economic activity. Clearly, with the UK poised to enter a deep recession, local businesses will not want to take on any further damage to their shrinking profit lines. Therefore, it pays to invest now in riot-proofing your business premises to ensure that they’re not targeted, or can withstand attacks from any disorder that breaks out this summer.

Protecting Your Exterior

During riots, protesters tend to use brute force to hack their way into commercial premises. This is why fortifying the exterior of your building is an absolute necessity. Invest in Secured by Design doors to tighten the defence of your property. SBD doors are part of a police initiative to ‘design out crime’. In order to attain the SBD accreditation, security doors, windows, guards or shutters must withstand prolonged attacks during testing stages to ensure that they don’t buckle under the pressures of an attempted intrusion.

CCTV is also essential in safeguarding your premises and assets. The latest surveillance technology is able to zoom in and provide quality HD images of faces or car licence plates which are essential in helping the police to identify perpetrators of an attack.

Check Your Insurance

Now would be a great time to check your insurance and ensure that you have enough cover to rebuild your business if it is targeted during a riot. Make sure also that you’re following the guidance of your insurance company to have certain measures in place, such as alarm systems or surveillance feeds.

No-one wants to envisage their business being under attack, but it pays to be prepared. Work out the best way to secure your premises from anything from small-scale attacks up to a full-blown riot to protect your business from a major loss.