A North East substance and alcohol misuse management company is set to roll out new education programmes for workplaces and schools with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.
Hall & Angus provides bespoke training and advice which helps management teams understand the nature and breadth of any issues in their workplaces and identify ways in which to help them and their employees tackle them.
The £30,000 investment, secured through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, will enable the Sunderland-based firm to bring its new Workplace Culture Map to market, as well as to launch a new substance misuse education programme for teachers, pupils and families.
It will also support the recruitment and training of up to four new consultants who will be required to deliver the programmes to clients across a wide range of different industries.
The Workplace Culture Map offers a detailed electronic assessment of a business’s operations across nine different areas, and uses input from staff and management to assess whether budgets are being allocated in the right areas and are having the desired impact.
Analysis of the programme data that it gathers anonymously helps to identify any priority areas for action, enables employers to both accentuate the positives in their workplaces as well as tackle the negatives, enhance the positives and gives employees a greater sense of involvement in how their environment is shaped and managed.
The schools programme, which has already been successfully trialled within the North East, uses a card-based approach to help participants learn about a wide range of drug-related issues, including the potential health and legal consequences of their use, and also aims to challenge long-held myths which could pose dangers to young people.
Hall & Angus has recently moved to larger premises within the Evolve Centre in Sunderland to ensure it has the space it expects to need as it grows, and is also currently developing a range of online training packages which will extend the range of services it can provide.
Business growth consultancy IA Growth advised Hall & Angus during the investment application process.
Trevor Hall, who set up the company with business partner Gordon Angus in 2016, says: “Our work aims to give owner/managers the accurate information they need to identify what they’re doing well, what they could be doing better and what they need to think about addressing for the future.
“If they are unaware or not fully aware of any issues within their workplace and the impact they’re having, it’s pretty much impossible for them to start tackling them.
“The workplace culture map covers policies, procedures and actions in areas including health and safety, substance & alcohol misuse, health and well-being, the impact of prescribed medications in the workplace, criminality and whistleblowing, and provides a detailed overview of the results that are being generated by the resources directed toward them.
“Involving employees and giving them the chance to express the facts about how well things work or otherwise ensures they feel fully invested in the process, know their concerns are being taken seriously and can see how their contributions result in beneficial actions for all.
“Our schools programme was extremely well received by teachers, pupils and parents during our trials, and we think there will be a real appetite for this sort of factual, unbiased explanation of the issues surrounding substance misuse and its potential consequences.
“The investment application process was uncomplicated and accessible, and gaining access to this capital will make a big difference to the pace at which we can roll out these new programmes and grow the business.”
Part of the £120m North East Fund is aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.
It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.
Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Hall & Angus has a strong track record of finding solutions to live workplace issues, and our investment will help them further extend the use that can be made of their knowledge and experience.”
The overarching North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.
NEL is also responsible for investing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.