Posted on 10th July 2019
Young Engineers Steal the Show
BHBPA Members and Friends made a visit to a new venue this week. On Tuesday morning we met for a breakfast event at Downlands Community School at 8am, and an excellent event it turned out to be.
Breakfast was very welcome, especially as the bacon rolls and Danish pastries were delicious and for me coffee is a must at that time of day. A huge amount of networking was evident in the time before we sat down for presentations, as the room was alive with the buzz of chatter. I reckoned there were 40 people in the room for the presentations by Holly-Jade Ryder of MSDC and by the Head of the school, Mark Wignall.
We heard a brief call from Nick, of MSDC, for businesses to allow their employees to submit to a free health MOT through the Wellbeing programme, before Holly told us the details of the micro business grants which MSDC have made available. There has been a good response locally as many small companies have taken up the offer. There were a number of questions after the presentation, which suggests that it is a successful move on the part of the Council.
The Head of Downlands then told us about the progress the school has made in recent years. His problem now, he said, was how to move the school from ‘outstanding’, its recent Ofsted ranking, to great. The school, which was under 900-strong for decades, has now grown to be over-subscribed at 1200. It serves a wide area which is largely rural but includes a fast growing town in Hassocks, which has seen a large number of new housing projects recently
After words from several of his key staff, Mark introduced two Year Seven girls who had been winners in a national engineering competition. They each described confidently the new gadget, they had invented, to much applause from the audience.
After the presentations, the audience was invited to have a look at the new amphitheatre which has been funded and developed for school and community use in the grounds. This is an excellent example of a thriving state community school, free to access for all in the local area, where staff always work tremendously hard and with limited resources at the present time. We are pleased to have had the chance to bring business people there for a event. Many thanks to the Head and staff at Downlands.
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""