Tag Archives: christmas

Opportunity Plus have escaped!

17 Dec

The Opportunity Plus team have been on our Christmas celebration. Although we stuck with a more traditional festive meal in the evening we kicked it off in Opportunity Plus style with a visit to Red House Mysteries to ‘Escape the Room’.

Red House Mysteries is based in Exeter and their new mystery room had only been open for a month, with several teams attempting to escape. The project itself was successfully funded by crowdfunding, with the campaign exceeding its target. Without a clue of what to expect we walked down to a secluded door on King Street Exeter to begin our journey. After going through the usual health and safety protocols (including removing our shoes) we were plunged into darkness, locked in and ready to commence the fun.

The aim of the game was simple, we had to solve the mystery of a detective who had been falsely framed for a murder and we needed to prove his innocence. I will not indulge too much in the story as not to ruin the plot for future investigators but it was extremely well thought out.  The room contained several clues, puzzles and keys which seemed to be of no use until you least expect it. We were forced to work as a team to beat the hour clock ticking away – using our individual skills and organisation to crack the evidence, all whilst being watched on CCTV by our host.

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Susan, Michelle, Ritchie, Jenny, Jude, Catt and Ann – a success!

Despite moments of panic and incorrect ideas we succeeded and managed to escape the room in 49 minutes! The experience was fantastic and all involved thoroughly enjoyed it. A massive thank you to everyone at Red House Mysteries, Ben was a great host. We spent the rest of the evening pretending we were detectives and looking at everything twice incase it was a clue. I think it’s safe to say we will be visiting your new room as soon as it opens!

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Thanks Ben!

The Work within Wonderland

3 Dec

There are often jobs and businesses that we don’t even think of when looking for work or business ideas, so as we are entering the Christmas season let’s take a look at a well known Christmas song, just to see how many different jobs we can find within the lyrics.

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

You need a good carpenter or two to make the sleigh from Scandinavian Ash, lumberjacks to cut down the trees and groundsman and land owners to grow them. Paint and varnish manufacturers and wholesalers for these would also be involved, plus a few delivery drivers.

The sleigh bells would be made from metal by a manufacturer, but the metal would be mined, transported and amalgamated. There would also be delivery drivers involved here too, and they may need some mechanics.

In order to listen our ears need to be working. This could involve chemists, nurses, GP’s, receptionists, hearing aid manufacturers, scientists, whole university research departments, government departments for NHS funding, admin, and of course, delivery drivers again. It’s worth mentioning that drivers need roads, so town planners, road workers, highway maintenance, police, electricity workers for lights, power plant workers, cable layers, drainage, etc.

In the lane, snow is glistening

Well, we’ve already looked at the lane and the road workers etc, but now we have snow, so there’s snow plough drivers and their managers, the trainers who teach them to drive it, the awarding body staff who issue the qualification, all the admin staff, internal and external verifiers, the postman who delivers the licence, the sorting office workers, paper mill workers to make the paper the licences come on, ink manufacturers, computer engineers, programmers, website developers, etc. There may also be gritter drivers, wholesalers, producers of sand and grit, makers of sacks for the postman and the grit, people who produce the material for the sacks, cotton growers, the people who sweep the factory floor, forklift drivers.

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight

Here our medical staff may come into play again, including opticians, lens manufacturers, glass manufacturers, receptionists, advertising agencies, designers, graphic designers.

Walking in a winter wonderland

On come all our medical staff and their support staff, plus shoe manufacturers, leather manufacturers, retailers, designers, farmers, distributers, plastic manufacturers, health and safety officials, clothes manufacturers. Clothes and shoes need to be paid for, so bank staff, card manufacturers, on line security specialists, security officers, wallet and purse manufacturers, people who work in the mint, government officials.

All of these workers need to eat, so farmers, butchers, fruit growers, importers, exporters, chefs, food production factories, packaging manufacturers, gas engineers, stove and fridge manufacturers, waiting staff, kitchen porters. Some of the workers mentioned above may have a few overnight stays, so this will involve chamber maids, hotel receptionists, bar tenders, night porters.

All of the businesses will need a building, so this will involve construction workers, architects, planners, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators, roofers, scaffolders, stone masons, quarry workers, steel workers, hard hat manufacturers, work boot manufacturers, people who make eye protection equipment and high visibility jackets, and all the people who make the materials to make these things. Logistic people.

Workers have to get to work, so there are the bus drivers, timetablers, manufacturers of bus stops, bus manufacturers, uniform manufacturers and retailers, upholsterers, ticket machine makers, ticket makers, accountants, Train drivers and all the workers involved in making train travel possible, including track layers and buffet workers.

Car manufacturers, car salesmen, driving instructors, driving test examiners, road sign manufacturers, highway code workers, car part manufacturers, in car air freshener designers.

How many others can you think of?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. (kind of )

25 Sep

Most people don’t want to be thinking about Christmas in September (except for those of you that have had a Facebook countdown since May and know how many hours until the big day). However for job seekers it’s a great time of year to start looking at Christmas temp positions for the up-coming holiday season.

Why now when Christmas is so far away?

In many industries, especially retail, Christmas is by far the busiest time of year and they want to ensure that they’re well equipped to serve as many people as possible to achieve high sales and keep customers happy.  This business means staff training has to be done in advance so that they are prepared for the swarm of shoppers or frenzied customers so employers will hire their Christmas staff early so less support and guidance is needed during the holidays.

How many new positions become available for Christmas temps?

Although we can’t put a figure on how many will be available, we know it will be a lot. As an example in 2014 Royal Mail took on an additional 19,000 workers to help them over the Christmas period! It’s an incredible amount of vacancies for one company – think of all the Christmas cards. Retailers will see a huge increase in footfall (people in their shop) so will more often than not be looking for extra helping hands.

What are the benefits of being a Christmas temp?

Some people might be put off by applying for positions that are temporary but you don’t know that there isn’t another role at the end of it. Often the recruitment process is time consuming so it’s not something to be repeated unnecessarily and if they are impressed by your work and performance over the holiday period then they may keep you on as permanent member of staff.  If you’re not kept on then you still have the skills and experience of working over the busiest period of the year and this can be taken forward to other employers. You may even get yourself some discounts in certain places and they couldn’t’ come at a more useful time of year!

Will it only be retail opportunities available?

No it’s not just shops that hire extra people over Christmas. Hotels become very busy over Christmas period with many people staying away or having corporate events so you may find a whole host of jobs such as Front of House, Cook or Waiting available. Due to the Christmas parties and holiday alcohol consumption Pubs will also become busier so check with your local bars to see if they’re looking for help. As I’ve also mentioned Royal Mail employ a large amount of staff for the period and this doesn’t mean you have to be a delivery person, you can sort mail or do data entry. Also don’t forget the more festival roles like being part of your local Santa’s Grotto or pop-up Ice Rink.

If you are looking for Christmas temp jobs then don’t forget that lots of high street stores won’t advertise on job sites so it’s worth checking their websites and good luck!

If you want help finding employment please contact us on info@opsw.co.uk or 0800 043 2440

Merry Christmas!

24 Dec

Christmas has come round so quickly this year I can hardly believe it!  I always try to buy my Christmas shopping from small, local businesses as much as possible and since getting into social media this year my Facebook news feed is full of small businesses tempting me with their lovely goodies!  Christmas shopping this year has been a breeze!

So today I’m just going to share a few of my favourite pages with you – who knows, maybe they’ll have a January sale and you could pick  up a handmade bargain in the new year!

Jimmy James Designs make wonderful wooden hearts with maps printed on them, as well as their signature acrylic reindeer.

Baxter and Snow make lovely things out of recycled wine boxes – from home furnishings to bunk beds for cats, every item is unique and beautiful.

Hats N That crochet hats and other goodies.  They made an adorable mouse ears hat for my little boy.

Bright Button is a haberdashery selling all the bits and bobs you need to craft your own treasures!

Once Upon a Dream Designs make amazing comic book shoes, definitely one to check out!

Pip’s Garden sell beautiful bedding and children’s clothes, all personalised however you want them – gorgeous.

and not forgetting the lovely Rocket & Co. who were one of my very first blog posts.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Chloe, and the whole Opportunity Plus South West team

xx

PS Whilst you’re on facebook, make sure you like our page too!