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Informing business: New photo studio opens in Nicholsons

MAIDENHEAD 131942-9

A new photo studio has opened in the Nicholsons Centre. Pictured: Selen Pleace

Photographer focusing on new studio launch

The latest addition to the Nicholsons Centre has arrived just in time for the festive season.

Selen Photography opened in the Maidenhead complex on Saturday, run by Selen Pleace. It can be found next to the old Thomas Cook branch inside the shopping centre.

The Turkish former photojournalist moved to the UK in the late 1990s after studying journalism at the University of Istanbul, before specialising in wedding photography.

Open every day from 9am-5pm, the photo studio is run entirely by Selen, but she assured she will soon be receiving some help with the business.

Selen offers newborn photos, ‘cake smash’ shots and family portraits, and now, ‘Christmas mini shoots’.

There is also a corporate portfolio and outdoor family sessions away from the studio are available.

She said: “Having started my photography career as a portrait photographer for a high street chain, about seven years ago I moved into wedding photography and have photographed hundreds of weddings in venues around Berkshire, the South-east and abroad.

“While wedding photography is still very much part of the business the ever-increasing demand for portrait photo sessions meant it was time to find a new, larger studio space.

“The Nicholsons Centre offered the perfect location for my existing client base as well as providing a shop front.

“I thought it would be a good idea to open up in the centre of town.

“The space has worked out really well where clients can sit comfortably over a cup of coffee and view photos after a shoot.

“Photography is something [customers] can give to someone they love.”

She added: “I believe as with any industry [it] is important to continue your education and personal development.

“No matter what stage you are at in your career there is always something new to learn.”www.selenphotography.com


HSBC launches £325m lending fund for SMEs

INVESTMENT: HSBC has launched a £325million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Thames Valley achieve their ambitions for growth and navigate Brexit.

The Thames Valley Fund is part of a wider £14billion package for SMEs across the UK.

The HSBC UK 2019 Fund includes increased ring-fenced pots for international businesses and for the agriculture sector.

Jagdeep Rai, HSBC UK’s Regional Director for Business Banking in Thames Valley, said: “The launch of this year’s fund shows our commitment to support the growth aspirations of SMEs across Thames Valley.

“This fund is all about helping businesses to take new opportunities and grow and we want to reassure them that we’re here to support them achieve their goals.”

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, added: “This year’s fund is part of a broader range of initiatives that we have in place to support British business as they navigate Brexit in a fast-changing world.”

Visit www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/brexit for details.


Four new apprentices recruited after jobs open day

JOBS: A recruitment day by Slough Borough Council’s repairs, maintenance and investment service partner, Osborne, has led to the employment of four new apprentices.

More than 20 people attended the event at the beginning of last month, with four candidates being chosen. They are now employed as apprentices and enrolled at Langley College.

Two of the trainees will go into business administration, another will be working with the company’s electricians in domestic properties and the fourth will work with the plumbers.

A total of 10 apprentices are now on the books with Osborne as part of its vision to support local employment.

Michelle Davies, Osborne account director, said: “Osborne is providing a brilliant opportunity for Slough’s young people to get trained up in business support and trades which are needed in the borough. The young people attend college one day a week to complete their apprenticeships and we are committed to giving them experience throughout all elements of the business.”

Cllr Mohamed Nazir, cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “What a great opportunity for Slough’s young people to live, work and learn in Slough.”


ABC to Read charity given £4,138 grant

CHARITY: The Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) has awarded a grant to a reading charity to recruit and train new volunteers in Slough.

The £4,138 donation aims to help the ABC to Read charity continue its work providing volunteer mentors to work one-to-one with schoolchildren who are struggling with their reading.

The latest grant from the BCF is part of its Segro Thames Valley Community Fund which supports charities and community organisations operating in the Slough, Reading and Bracknell areas.

Marcia Rowlinson, chief executive of ABC to Read, said: “Continued provision from BCF has proven invaluable, enabling us to train and recruit more volunteers so that we can continue to support our local youngsters.

“The impact of grants such as this is life-long and we’re incredibly grateful for the funding, particularly in this case, to allow us to focus on the Slough area.”

Email abctoread@ btconnect.com for details on how to join the scheme.


Free Brexit readiness support

BREXIT: Businesses across Berkshire will be able to receive free expert and specialist advice on preparing for Brexit and beyond.

Four Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the South of England are working together, and with the Government, to help businesses prepare for the UK’s expected withdrawal from the European Union.

As part of a ramping up of the Government’s national Brexit business readiness programme, a cluster of LEPs – led by Enterprise M3 – including Thames Valley Berkshire, Coast to Capital and Solent, are collaborating to support companies.

A Brexit readiness workshop is planned in Reading on October 17.

The event is expected to feature a keynote address, interactive support and advice stands.


Pub's support for Thomas Cook staff

FOOD & DRINK: A pub is offering ex-Thomas Cook employees a free lunch in a gesture of support.

The Jolly Gardeners, in St Luke’s Road, Old Windsor, will be serving food from its Thai kitchen set-lunch menu free to those who have lost their jobs with the holiday firm.

Landlady Lisa Milton said: “Quite a few local airport staff drink in the pub so we thought we would try and offer something to ease the strain.”

The offer is available from noon to 2.30pm and ends on Friday, October 4.

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