drivenlower Aims to Empower Motorists After Acquiring Software Firm

Falkirk Business Hub

Scottish entrepreneur, Jamie MacSween of drivenlower is aiming to reduce the costs and frustrations experienced by motorists dealing with insurance companies after acquiring a pioneering software business.

drivenlower based within Falkirk Business Hub, has taken over Edinburgh-based Logicalware whose customer service support software helps to direct enquiries to the appropriate operator. He says the technology will improve the customer experience by removing unnecessary conversations and delays.

Jamie is merging Logicalware with drivenlower, which has developed a device for collecting data on driver behaviour. The data from the device, which is attached to a vehicle’s windscreen, is examined by insurers and enables motorists to achieve lower premiums.

Jamie, who works from the co-working lounge within the Hub in Falkirk, believes that the combined technology of the two businesses will “empower” the motorist and help insurers to better understand their customers.  “Bringing the two businesses together should make for a more interactive experience,” says  Jamie, CEO of drivenlower. “Motorists normally only ever interact with their insurer at renewal time or when they make a claim. Our technology will give them more empowerment through having regular ‘conversations’ with their insurer who also wants to develop a relationship with the customer.”

Continuing to grow, Logicalware will add approximately £500,000 in turnover to drivenlower’s £1m recorded in 2016. The eight staff at Logicalware’s Haymarket office have joined drivenlower in Falkirk, taking the total headcount to 17.

To find out more about Jamie, read his interview with the Daily Business Magazine here.

We are delighted to see the continued success of one our key tenants here at The Hub. The future looks very exciting for Jamie and both the drivenlower and Logicalware teams – we look forward to seeing where 2018 takes this innovative firm from Falkirk!

Breaking Barriers to Exercise

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David Bowmaker, Life Fit Chartered Physiotherapist

At this time of year many of us feel compelled to engage with exercise, perhaps following a break from regular physical activity through a busy end to the year.  That is not the case for everyone and some may have other barriers getting in the way of exercising.  I will discuss some of the barriers we commonly encounter at Life Fit and suggest some strategies to overcome them, however I think a good starting point is actually looking at why we might want to exercise in the first place.

Engaging with regular exercise can provide a wide range of general health benefits e.g. 35% reduced risk of heart disease, 50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, 30% reduction in early death, 83% lower rate of osteoarthritis, 30% reduction in depression and dementia to name but a few.  Sounds good doesn’t it?

It gets better….specific benefits can be gained through targeted exercise programs to improve weight management, improve sporting performance and can be used to help overcome illness or injury. Fantastic…..imagine if one medical intervention could provide all of this?

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So why wouldn’t we get started?  Why wouldn’t we just keep going?  All sounds pretty good right? If only it were that simple!  In this day and age we tend to pack our lives full which can provide time barriers to physical activity but also act as a mental barrier because we are tired so all we want to do at the end of a long busy day is chill out.  Of course, there can be other barriers such as illness or injury which can provide very specific challenges for individuals affected.  However it can be done!

If time is an issue, write things down that you need to do, including exercise (remember how important it is), allocate time required for each activity and prioritise them. Then look at a plan of a typical week and see where you might fit things in (or take things out!).

If you feel tired and think you couldn’t possibly exercise remember this: exercise gives you more energy, reduces the sense of fatigue and helps you sleep better.  Start small and feed off the energy boost that even a small amount of exercise will provide.

If you are someone who thinks “I don’t like exercise, it’s not for me” then remember that exercise doesn’t need to look (or feel) like exercise to be worthwhile.  Walking is one of the best forms of exercise we can participate in (see previous blog “Walk Before You Run”).  Park the car up a short distance from work and walk the rest. Make housework slightly more energetic by marching up the stairs, doing a couple of standing squats or knee bends between each ironing item.  Before you know it you will be significantly increasing your exercise levels and you don’t even need to put on lycra!

If you are someone who responds to encouragement from someone else, consider joining a class or if you have the means consider a personal trainer.  Having a diary appointment and making a commitment to someone else is a very good way of seeing something through.  It could, however simply be a case of writing something down and state your intentions to your nearest and dearest, or agreeing to a regular walk with a friend a couple of times per week; research shows that this alone improves peoples adherence to performing any task.

If you have a very specific barrier that may relate to your health and physical ability then seek professional support.  Life Fit Wellness is set up to provide this type of professional support through the team of Chartered Physiotherapists, Clinical Dietitian, Clinical Psychologist and Exercise Professionals.  Across the team we have vast experience in assisting people in engaging with exercise for a healthier lifestyle…it’s what we do!  There are lots of options to suit each individual ranging from 1-to-1 exercise and rehabilitation sessions to small groups classes such as Pilates, Yoga and other bespoke classes.  Our Team are always happy to discuss your exercise and health needs and assist you in your journey.

So whatever you feel the barrier is, get started, get going and keep going with Life Fit.

Find out more ways to assist in Breaking Barriers to Exercise in this presentation:

www.lifefitwellness.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Breaking-Barriers-to-Exercise.pdf

Burns Night Celebrations at Findlays

Findlays Burns 2018 (1 of 11)

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!

This year saw another fantastic Burns Supper at Findlays within Falkirk Business Hub on Thursday 25th January.  It certainly was the perfect way to warm up after the recent snow and those who were lucky enough to snap up a ticket up for this event were in for a real treat.

Findlays Burns 2018 part 2 (23 of 31)

Guests were piped into the building by Tommy Couper for a very special entrance. To celebrate Scotland’s national dish taking centre stage, the words of burns well-kent poems and an address to the Haggis was ceremonially recounted for all to hear. Having worked on a special menu, the Findlays chefs provided guests with an incredible three-course meal, starting with locally sourced haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by rich homemade steak pie served and then traditional cranachan… and of course homemade Scottish Shortbread to finish!

Entertainment was supplied by Captain Howe and Burns MC Brian Goldie with poems, songs and a mortal memory of Robert Burns. It was a fantastic night, and the food was a wonderful highlight once again.

 

Findlays Burns 2018 (16 of 19)

 

Findlays Burns 2018 (24 of 58)

 

The annual Burns Supper at Findlays was a night to be remembered and one we will definitely be looking forward to again next year. To find out everything going on at Findlays, check out their website here.

Walk Before You Run! 

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David Bowmaker, Life Fit Wellness Co-Founder

We love running but so many people start running as an exercise but don’t actually do any walking!

Yes, obviously they can walk but they don’t use walking as an exercise. So why if you don’t walk as an exercise do you think you could and should run as an exercise? Before starting a running regime it is well worth establishing a walking regime. If you do have any physical issues you may even need to do something easier before you actually start walking as an exercise. You might have to do some basic leg strengthening, walking on the spot, or even partial body weight exercise such as swimming or cycling. You might also need to lose some weight beforehand even if losing weight is the reason you want to start exercising.

Whatever exercise you start doing you need to start gradually. Long term health is achieved only by starting regimes that are sustainable long term. If you start anything too abruptly it is likely you will not continue and therefore not achieve the objectives you set out to achieve.

If you can, start walking more on a daily basis! If you can’t, for whatever reason, go and see someone such as a physiotherapist or your GP to see if you can remove that barrier.

If you are unsteady, hold onto something, like the kitchen bench, and walk on the spot. You could walk up and down your hallway, up and down stairs or outside between lampposts.

Start gradually within your limits. Get confident that you have achieved your base goals then begin to challenge! 10 steps to 12, 5 laps to 6, 2 flights to 3 continuing to add small manageable but challenging increments. Done every day, for weeks, months and years you will be amazed by what you can achieve. To take your walking to another level you could consider Nordic Walking or with a good walking base you are now ready to take on the running challenge. Perhaps do all three and give yourself variety and options for however you feel, whatever the weather and what time you have available.

If you are a runner but have been ill (such as the flu) or injured you may be able to keep active by walking. Walking is better than doing nothing and can make you return to running quicker and easier.

Move Well, Stay Well, Live Well.

Life Fit Wellness can help, find out more about our services online now.

World Famous Pilates Instructor Teaches New Course at Life Fit

Photography by Whyler Photos of Stirling www.whylerphotos.com - 01786 474340

The Life Fit team were delighted to welcome Michael King, world-renowned Pilates instructor this January to teach a brand new course.  The Kick Start 2018 Course held by Michael King at Falkirk Business Hub aims to ‘motivate and educate by bringing the latest research and techniques to enhance your Pilates method’.

Michael King is regarded as the leading presenter and trainer in both Fitness and Pilates with 2018 being his 40th year teaching Pilates. He was co-founding director of the Pilates Institute in London and now co-owner of his own training school, Michael King Pilates along with Malcolm Muirhead. Michael’s training programmes are now taught in over 30 countries worldwide and he has been instrumental in the development of national and international standards in the industry.

The Kick Start 2018 Course was taught in the custom-built pilates studio at Life Fit studio and has been devised and taught by Michael himself with the objective of motivating and educating through the latest research and Pilates techniques. 17 Pilates enthusiasts were lucky enough to attend the sold out course.

Pilates is a system of exercise created by Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the 1920’s. A full body programme with a mind/ body emphasis. Focus is placed on controlled movements performed in a fluid and balanced way to improve strength, mobility, flexibility, and coordination when practiced regularly.

David Bowmaker, co-founder of Life Fit Wellness at The Falkirk Business Hub, said: “It’s a real privilege to welcome Michael King to the Falkirk Business Hub and Life Fit Wellness. He’s an inspiration to the yoga and Pilates communities worldwide and continues to pave the way with his revolutionary courses and workshops.”

Kenith Munro, Manager for the Falkirk Business Hub, added: “This is a real coup for Life Fit Wellness and testament to their reputation as a leading physiotherapy and fitness Centre.  Michael is a world-renowned Pilates instructor recognised for his techniques and this is an extremely unique opportunity for people to meet him and learn from his teachings.”

Photography by Whyler Photos of Stirling  www.whylerphotos.com - 01786 474340

To find out more about the services offered at Life Fit, visit the website here.

 

The Falkirk Herald Business Awards 2017

Alistair Campbell - Falkirk Herald Business Awards 2017

Business Personality of the Year accolade for Alistair Campbell

Our very own Alistair Campbell has been awarded Business Personality of the Year at The Falkirk Herald Business Awards for 2017.

Aimed at acknowledging the achievements of those who have helped support Falkirk’s economic growth, Alistair received the award for his contribution to the Falkirk business community. Whilst Alistair prefers to shy away from publicity, we couldn’t let this award go un-noticed.

Whilst he has been in the press recently for unveiling a potential £50m regeneration masterplan for Falkirk Town Centre aimed at providing a new civic and arts centre, public image017.editplaza, hotel, commercial and residential development next to Grahamston railway station but his achievements go much further back.

Alistair left Falkirk High School and trained as a quantity surveyor working for Falkirk architects Wilson & Wilson before eventually joining his family’s successful plumbing firm, George Campbell & Sons in 1973. Instead of renovating flats for other people, Alistair steered the business into property investment and that’s where it all began.

Bellair (Scotland) Ltd was set up in 1976 and, 41 years later, its still going strong with Alistair very much at the helm with his son Colin Campbell and director Crawford Geddes now actively involved in taking the business forward.

Over the years, Bellair has been involved in innovative work which has included retail units and flats in Bank Street, Falkirk; Lochlands Industrial Estate, Larbert; The Hub, Grangemouth; and most recently, The Business Hub in Falkirk’s landmark former post office building. Last year, Alistair received his OBE for his services to the economy and town centre regeneration.

We would also like to say congratulations to another member of the Falkirk Business Hub, Findlays café who took the award of Best Start-Up Business. Well done to Fiona and Scott and the whole Findlays team on this fantastic award and we are sure 2018 will continue to be even bigger and better!

Fiona Henderson from Findlays said: ‘To be nominated as a finalist at the prestigious Falkirk Herald Business Awards was one thing, but to win it, wow! We would not have been able to win this amazing award without our hard working and committed team. This award is for everyone at Findlays.’

Falkirk Business Awards - Findlays Cafe

Alistair, said: “It was a real privilege to receive this award, I’d like to thank the Falkirk Herald and everyone who has supported Bellair in business and the community throughout the years. It was superb to also see Fiona and Scott win an award for Findlays, it’s testament to their passion for business and the contribution they make to the Community and Hub, they’ve built up a fantastic business which continues to grow from strength to strength.”

No Barriers to Success

Bellair (Scotland) Ltd, Falkirk

Colin Campbell, 31, is director at property investment and development company Bellair, owner of Falkirk Business Hub. Here he tells how he overcame dyslexia to achieve academic success and forge a highly successful career.

 

‘An assessment of his intellectual ability shows that he is an individual with a superior to high average intellectual ability’

This is not the opening line of a recent dyslexia assessment that I was expecting.  But why was it not?  I am a double masters graduate, director of my own property company and have acted on over £700m worth of real estate deals. The rest of the report is more along the lines of my understanding of dyslexia: significant weaknesses in short term auditory and working memories, mild but still significant difficulty with reading, weakness in fine motor coordination and the rapid procession of visual information.

This all makes sense now but back at school I couldn’t understand why my classmates were getting better results than me, even though I knew I was just as intelligent as them. Even now after having achieved what I have, I can still remember how much it hurt when my Primary 3 teacher dismissed me as “thick”. I was struggling to read, write and spell; she informed my parents that I’d be lucky to leave school with any qualifications.

Thankfully my parents and the school stepped in and pushed hard to find out what was going wrong. It turned out I had dyslexia.

At first I was extremely upset, I was different to everyone else in my class and was being sent to learning support. But this was the life changing step that happened, learning support was where I learnt how to study and overcome my dyslexia. Rather than being written off, I had learning support teachers telling me that I could achieve if I put the hard work in.

I ended up leaving school with six Highers and two advanced Highers plus a place at St Andrews University to study Medieval History. So much for leaving with nothing!

I graduated with an MA (Hons) from St Andrews but could have chosen something less challenging for someone with dyslexia; the constant volume of reading and absorption of information was difficult. I find it a lot easier to work with numbers, but I wanted to study a subject that really interested me. I truly believe the study techniques I learnt at school helped as I could break down a difficult subject and process the information.

Once I finished at St Andrews I completed a MSc in Real Estate that enabled me to get into the Real Estate industry, my long-term goal. After finishing my education I joined the graduate programme at JLL, a professional services firm specialising in property.  Working in the Capital Markets team as a Chartered Surveyor was ultimately what I wanted to do and I thrived on the challenges the role provided.  I was in an environment where I could succeed and by the time I left, I’d been involved in over £700m worth of property deals.

I can look back now and take a lot of pride in what I have achieved so far, especially when others had written me off at such a young age.  They weren’t prepared to take the time to invest in me and I’d simply been written off.  All too often dyslexia is undiagnosed for many years yet it’s not intellect that’s the barrier.  For instance, my father only recently discovered he has dyslexia, he left school with a few qualifications, never went to university, but was recently awarded an OBE for services to the economy and town centre regeneration.

My advice to anyone with dyslexia is simple: use those who have put you down to motivate you, find the right study method that suits you – this is where Dyslexia Scotland can help – and follow the degree or career that interests you, it makes the challenges a lot easier to overcome. Finally, don’t expect anyone to do the hard work for you.

People are often surprised when I say dyslexia has been a positive influence in my life, but I’m who I am today because of it.  Dyslexia gave me the drive and determination.

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Cathy Magee, Chief Executive of Dyslexia Scotland added:

“Colin’s success story is really inspiring and his words of advice are very wise. As Colin has outlined, all too often young people with dyslexia are written off at school if their teachers fail to understand what is needed to help support them to overcome their difficulties and build on their strengths.

“As tenants in Wallace House one of Bellair’s properties, Dyslexia Scotland has witnessed Colin’s considerable skills and strengths in property management.

“We provide help, advice and information to anyone with dyslexia and those who support them including teachers, parents and employers, in order to inspire and enable people of all ages to reach their potential.  For further information, you can contact our Helpline, visit our new Dyslexia Unwrapped website for dyslexic young people or, look at our new online training modules or Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit for teachers.”

 

www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk

www.bellair.co.uk