Articles from March 2016

£17,000 donation for new hyperbaric facility fund

Employees of Old Mutual International have raised more than £8,500 towards the Friends of the Hyperbaric Chamber Isle of Man’s new facility fund.

Staff from the Onchan-based company raised £8,512.17 for the facility during 2015 and this has been doubled by Old Mutual Group’s match funding initiative, bringing the company’s total donation to more than £17,000.

Old Mutual International Communications Manager, Wendy Ranft-Gerber said:“It’s fantastic that our staff have raised the funds that will directly impact on the charity and indeed on those who will benefit from the new facility.  The funds we raised could not have been done without the efforts and support of all the staff at Old Mutual International.”

She added: “Everyone on the island can benefit from the Hyperbaric Chamber and it touches so many lives. We’re delighted to be able to play our part and help make a difference to the future of our island’s health.”

The Hyperbaric Medicine Facility on Peel Road, Douglas, has been serving the Isle of Man for more than 30 years, offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance healing for a range of injuries, disorders and conditions, as well as providing emergency recompression for divers.

While hyperbaric treatment is usually only available privately in the British Isles, it is free to Isle of Man residents at the local facility. It currently has two functioning chambers serving around 90 appointments a day, but with referrals from GPs and consultants increasing, waiting lists for certain conditions are growing.

The Friends of the Hyperbaric Chamber Isle of Man charity hopes to raise £674,000 towards investing in an additional chamber and relocating to a bigger, better unit which could accommodate up to 250 patients per day.

Hyperbaric Chamber operator and fundraiser, Debs Barron, said: “We are improving people’s lives, helping patients to get better faster, but at the moment we can’t offer treatment for certain conditions because we don’t have the capacity.

“Everybody deserves to get better. We need to get people in as soon as the injury occurs, but if we’re busy we can’t offer the space.”

Old Mutual International’s donation has enabled the organisation to pay the second half of the deposit for the new 25-manchamber, on top of £15,000 already raised by the Isle of Man public. This has now been secured and the manufacturers are currently making alterations to accommodate wheelchair users.

£2,000 from Old Mutual International’s donation will go towards paying for a new compressor and other equipment required.

Once all the required funds for the new facility are raised, the project would take five months to complete from sod-cutting to opening the doors to patients. One of the existing chambers will also be relocated to the new unit once it is operational.

Every year, Old Mutual International gives employees the opportunity to put forward a local charity that they wish to support. Over the last twelve months, staff have been involved in various fundraising initiatives for the fund including cake bakes, dress down Fridays and a casino evening, along with the company’s annual ‘Oscars’ raffle.

One employee who has personally benefitted from hyperbaric therapy is receptionist Val Crowe. She received treatment at the Hyperbaric Chamber following an operation on her shoulder in May 2014 and has since supported many of the fundraising efforts.

She said: “If it hadn’t been for the facility, I wouldn’t have been able to return to work so quickly. I feel I owe a lot to the Hyperbaric Chamber.”

Exam success for Louis

Browne Craine & Co employee Louis Schwalbert has passed the International Advanced Certificate in Compliance with the International Compliance Association (“ICA”).

“I’d like to congratulate Louison passing the Advanced Certificate,” said Basil Bielich, director at Browne Craine. “The world of compliance is becoming ever more complex and it is vital that businesses like ours can navigate our clients through the changes they are likely to experience. Louis passing these exams is important for the whole firm as we need well qualified staff who understand the complexities of compliance so that our clients can operate as efficiently as possible. Louis worked hard to achieve this and we are all very proud, well done.”

The qualification, which aims to explain the regulatory framework, regulation in practice and key compliance issues such as Financial Crime and Money Laundering, was assessed on an assignment piece and an exam.

“I was really happy when I received my results,” said Louis. “It’s a nerve-wracking time waiting for them to arrive! I’d like to thank Browne Craine for supporting me through the Advanced Certificate and I’m looking forward to studying the International Diploma in Compliance in the near future.”

“It’s really important that we train our staff not only for the development of the firm but for their own personal development which allows our employees to grow,” continued Basil.“Most of our staff have been with Browne Craine for many years which shows the benefit of investing in our people.”

Exam success for Hidden Hearing’s Suzanne Tucker

Suzanne Tucker, a Hearing Care Assistant at Hidden Hearing in Onchan is celebrating exam success after an intensive and rigorous training programme.

Throughout the six-month course Suzanne attended a dedicated training facility in Derbyshire every week. The programme, which condenses the equivalent of a university degree into this short period, is an intense and challenging experience.

As well as academic, classroom-based sessions, to ensure an in-depth knowledge of the subject, Suzanne also participated in practical, hands-on experience and worked alongside expert Audiologist Elaine Norris, her mentor at the Onchan branch of Hidden Hearing.

The final exams for the qualification highlighted the complexity of this profession, consisting of written papers on Anatomy and Physiology, Acoustics and Hearing, Hearing aid Technology, and Professional Practise/Care and Rehabilitation as well as a full day of practical tests.

Suzanne, who grew up in Laxey, passed with flying colours and is now qualified with an ‘Award in Hearing Care Assistant Competence approved by The British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists’ and registered with the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists and Health and Care Professions Counsel.

Commenting on the qualification, Suzanne said: ‘The course and exams were really hard work, but extremely rewarding and interesting. I feel really proud of this achievement and am now fully prepared to deliver the high standard of excellent service Hidden Hearing customers expect.’

Suzanne joined Hidden Hearing’s branch in Village Walk, in Onchan, in 2013 as a temporary part-time receptionist. In just a short time, Suzanne realised her passion for the job and the satisfaction from helping her clients so accepted a permanent role as Branch Coordinator. Hidden Hearing puts great value on training and development, with a dedicated campus in the UK open to all staff, and encouraged Suzanne to develop her skills and expertise.

Following the exam success Suzanne has been promoted to Hearing Care Assistant and is now responsible for client after care, including fitting, fine-tuning and servicing hearing aids, full audiometry and screening appointments and check-ups.

Suzanne continued: ‘I am enjoying every part of my new role especially seeing how the work I do really makes a difference to new and existing clients. I am really grateful to the company and Elaine for recognising my flare for this profession and giving me the opportunity and support to gain these qualifications.’

Mentor and local expert Audiologist Elaine said: ‘We are delighted with how well Suzanne has done with her exams; she’s shown a really broad and in-depth knowledge of audiology, as well as her skill and flare for the practical side of her new role. The patience and care she shows is fantastic and ensures that our clients are given a first rate service.’

Barclays supports young musicians with donation to Soundcheck

Funding from Barclays’ community investment programme has supported the appointment of a new studio engineer and the introduction of a new qualification at local music charity Soundcheck.

Barclays donated more than £9,000 to assist the charity in employing Luke Williams who will work with local solo artists and bands in the charity’s recording studioto produce CDs and make videos for YouTube to help raise their profiles in the local music scene.

Mr Williams has been a member of Soundcheck for eight yearsbut has been volunteering in the recording studio for the last four years.

Barclays’ donation will also give the charity’s members the opportunity to develop their musical skills through the Level 2 Open Awards qualification.

The awards offer broad and flexible learning across a wide range of creative disciplines. The qualifications combine practical experience with theoretical knowledge and members will have the opportunity to select specific areas of interest, such as stage management and sound recording, to help them gain specialist skills.

Soundcheck is a local charity which promotes young musicians in the islands by producing regular live events and studio recordings. It is an Isle of Man Government Department of Education and Children- run project that operates out of the Douglas Youth Arts Centre, Castletown, Ramsey and Peel Youth Centre’s.

“Soundcheck is a place for young people to express their creativity through music,” said Mr Williams.

“Since becoming a registered charity we have been able to improve our facilities which have made a big difference to our members who come to us for advice and support with organising gigs, recording and as a place to rehearse.”

“This donation from Barclays means we can provide even more support for young musicians in the island and give them the opportunity to gain relevant and valuable qualifications which is vital to help them achieve their ambitions in the music industry.”

Ian Pilley, Barclays Isle of Man, said: “Barclays is committed to helping young people reach their goals and fulfil their potential. The work that Luke will be doing as part of the training and support project at Soundcheck will be of huge benefit to young musicians in the Isle of Man so we’re very pleased to support him.”