Three Jempsons employees took to the skies in September to raise money for the mental health charity Mind. Friends and family gathered at Headcorn Aerodrome on September 8 to watch loved ones Jessica Tallis, Ashlei Burgess and Dean Mitchell, who all work in the general traffic office at Robertsbridge, throw themselves out of an aeroplane from 12,000ft.
Jessica says, “We chose Mind because many people will suffer from mental illness at some stage in their lives and we were surprised to find out how poorly funded and stigmatised mental health is. We also wanted to raise awareness within the company that it’s okay to not be okay and there is always someone who will listen. We at Jempsons sadly lost one of our much-loved colleagues in 2016 when he took his own life, so we also wanted to raise the money in his memory.”
Jessica Tallis, Dean Mitchell and Ashlei Burgess and
The trio had an initial target of £1,200 but were amazed to have raised a whopping £3,672.89 at the last count. What’s more, the fundraiser was featured in the Rye & Battle Observer and they received a message from JustGiving to say that, out of the 88,412 fundraising events that they had running in September, their page finished in the top one per cent for total money raised.
Jessica adds, “Ashlei and Dean loved the jump so much that when we landed they wanted to go back up and complete another! I, on the other hand, was pleased to have survived the petrifying experience and I don’t intended to be hurtling towards the ground at 160mph again any time soon!”
Meanwhile, our candidates who won the selection process for the British Gypsum Driver Of The Year competition, Bryan Walker and Stephen Nwaefuna, spent a gruelling day in Burton On Trent on October 16 trying to prove their mettle in a series of heats. While Bryan, who reached the final of Driver Of The Year, and Stephen, who was up for Most Improved Driver, didn’t win, they were delighted to take part and be recognised for their efforts.
We are looking for HGV drivers to join the team on our prestigious distribution contract, based in East Sussex. Looking for both day and night away drivers. Call 01580 881777 and speak to Steve/Dave/Jess to arrange an interview.
This month, HGV fitter Mick Dixon, 72, tell us about how times have changed during his long career with Jempsons…
Tell us about life when you started with the company…
I started in 1961. Mr Jempson Snr was in charge when I started. The good thing about him was that you could hear him coming because he always had a cough. So if you were doing something you shouldn’t, you knew you had to stop!
What did your job entail then and how has it changed?
I used to do all the breakdowns. The biggest one I can remember is when an engine failed at the Mont Blanc Tunnel and I had to go out there, repair the engine and bring the lorry back home. I was on call 24/7 so used to be sitting on the side of the bed at 1, 2, 3am, talking the drivers through their breakdowns to see if they could get themselves going. I used to be able to go back to sleep, but my wife couldn’t! Now we’ve got newer lorries, it doesn’t happen so much. In the old days, you took things to bits and repaired them, but these days they’re run by a computer and you fit new parts. We were called fitters and mechanics in those days, but they’re called technicians now. Now I’m part-time and in the workshop, doing a bit of driving and helping out with servicing.
Any plans to slow down a bit?!
I should be retired but I always say you need something to do. I mean, I play golf, but you can’t play golf seven days a week! I will carry on as long as my head is in gear and there’s work.
The Robertsbridge team celebrate the launch
The search for British Gypsum Driver Of The Year has begun and the team at Robertsbridge decided to mark the launch in style.
Jess Tallis and Ashlei Burgess organised a fun-filled event which saw drivers popping in for coffee and home-baked treats, picking up info packs, taking part in quizzes and even posing for some snaps, complete with props!
The observation period for the contest, which concludes in September, sees the drivers assessed via vehicle telematics, driving infringements and accident stats. Good luck to the team and watch this space!
This month, employees Shirley Bailey and Christine Cummings fill us in on life on the payroll team…
When did you start working at Jempsons?
S: I joined in December 1999. They started me off doing self-billing for British Gypsum and I thought, ‘If I have to do this again, I am leaving!’
C: September 2016. I came in because they needed an extra pair of hands.
How has your job changed since you started?
S: I used to check the tachographs against payroll when they were the old wax discs. Technology and legislation have changed the way we work hugely.
C: We have now centralised all personnel records and they are filed in one office, to keep information safe and up to date with Data Protection regulations.
What do you like most about working for Jempsons?
S: The office is extremely friendly and we have a laugh.
C: Yes, for me, it’s the people. I miss work if I am away. I also like the role because it’s varied and very black or white. Everything has to balance and it’s all very logical. I am not a grey area person!
Are there any anecdotes from your time in the office?
Both: What happens in the payroll department has to stay in the payroll department!