The Impact Sessions Podcast
The Impact Sessions 58 - Mobilising Business Leaders as Stewards of Society

The Impact Sessions 58 - Mobilising Business Leaders as Stewards of Society

May 31, 2022

Bianca Robinson is CEO of UK Charity, CEO Sleepout as well as a Lecturer at Teesside University specialising in "The Sustainable Organisation" and she is on a mission.......

In this episode of The Impact Sessions Podcast, Bianca shares her insights into how the work her Charity does (and the Teesside University MBA Programme) can help to achieve genuine change;

  • A change in attitudes
  • A change in focus and, 
  • A change to the lives of many affected by sleeping rough and a whole host of other associated situations.       

She is passionate, she is driven and she is an inspiration.

CEO Sleepout is a Grant Giving Charity, raising £millions and then distributing the funds to local charities after organising local senior executive and senior team sleepouts to raise awareness of those sleeping rough and also raise money to allow them to grant give.  All monies raised locally are distributed in the areas where the sleepouts take place to make that local difference that matters.

We discuss how her mission to get business leaders to become "Stewards of Society" is progressing, why it is important and why there is an absolute need for this to happen.

We discuss her Keynote Speaking engagements, her recent award as a "Northern Power Women - One to Watch" and her passion for spreading the message.

We also share details of the forthcoming Big Summer Sleepout to be held overnight on Thursday 30th June 2022 and how ANYONE - Children, Students, Work Teams, Friends, Families, Social Groups, literally ANYONE can get involved, raise £100.00 and really make a difference.

Details of how to get involved are here;

This is a truly inspiring Podcast episode with a guest who has travelled around the world to be making a genuine difference in your local area.

Enjoy! Feedback, as always is most welcome.

Contact Details

Bianca Robonson


CEO Sleepout

Tel +44 (0) 7901 977259

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn -


The Impact Sessions 57 - Building a Brand, A Value Set & Business Momentum as a New MD

The Impact Sessions 57 - Building a Brand, A Value Set & Business Momentum as a New MD

April 19, 2022

In this excellent episode of The Impact Sessions Podcast, we meet Rachel Hudson, the relatively new Managing Director of YB Fixings.

We have entitled this episode - Building a Brand, A Value Set & Business Momentum as a New Managing Director. It's another cracking listen or watch - guaranteed.

Rachel has had a very interesting and perhaps unorthodox journey into the role of MD, but her story, her passion and her vision for the business shine through as she shares her story - and perhaps some lessons for others in our relaxed discussions.

  • How did Rachel get here?
  • What was one of her first (perhaps surprising) priorities, and why?
  • Where do her values and culture ambitions fit into her plans?
  • What advantages does her disciplined financial background create?
  • Why is she investing in the business right now?
  • Why is learning & development important to her?
  • How is being a woman in a heavily male-dominated sector working out?
  • and much more.........

This is a genuinely insightful episode that we are sure you will enjoy.

Feedback as ever is most welcome, and don't forget to like and subscribe to receive your future Impact Sessions Podcasts on your favourite platforms automatically.

Contact Details

Rachel Hudson

Managing Director YB Fixings Ltd

Tel - +44 (0) 1793 838400

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn -


The Impact Sessions 56 - Changing Your Life, One Jar of Jam or Chutney at a Time…..

The Impact Sessions 56 - Changing Your Life, One Jar of Jam or Chutney at a Time…..

April 5, 2022

After taking redundancy in the early days of the pandemic and lockdown 1, what could our guest this week, Martin Bennett conceivably do to put food on his table - quite literally.

This is a REET good episode of the Impact Sessions Podcast in which we meet Martin Bennett, Managing Director of Reet Yorkshire Food, a relatively new business building a strong brand, presence and following in the jams, chutneys and pickles market.

But this is not just an episode for foodies, it has some great business lessons in here too.

Martin shares how and why he set up the business, the thinking behind the name and brand, his vision for the business, how his many years in food manufacturing operations has allowed him to grow the brand and business and how he has overcome any number of challenges to stand on the edge of significant growth as we enter Q2 2022.

He also discusses scaling up, keeping his products simple, but well packaged, building a following on various markets around the region - and much more.....

Martin might describe himself as a "typical" Yorkshireman - straight forward, direct, plain-spoken and uncomplicated. So how do these traits serve him as he goes through his product and brand development journey?

He has some reet good tales to tell and they are all in this episode. One not to be missed......

Feedback, as always is most welcome and don't forget to like, rate and importantly, subscribe, to get your weekly fix of the Impact Sessions Podcast directly to your favourite podcast platform.

Contact Details

Martin Bennett

Managing Director, Reet Yorkshire Food Ltd

Tel - +44 (0) 7545 893839

Email –

Web –

LinkedIn - 


The Impact Sessions 55 - What The Hell is PMO & Why Might I Want to Adopt It?

The Impact Sessions 55 - What The Hell is PMO & Why Might I Want to Adopt It?

March 29, 2022

If you and your business have a vision, a mission or a set of values that you are trying to embed, if you need to shift the dial on developing and delivering any type of change, if you operate on a project management, operational or organisational programme basis, if you are a process led or process driven business, (basically most businesses in most sectors), then this is an Impact Sessions Podcast episode for you.

  • Construction
  • Financial Services
  • FMCG
  • Utilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Public Sector
  • NHS
  • Retail
  • Logistics
  • Supply Chain

And many more.....  and let's not forget those ambitious, growth hungry SMEs too. They have the same challenges, and they could all do with a little insight into PMO from an expert.

We have entitled this episode "What The Hell Is PMO & Why Might I Want To Adopt It" and to explore this landscape we are delighted to introduce and meet Ruth Geddes, CEO & Co-Founder of Prospect Change who is also a PMO Associate for the HiveMind Network.

  • What are the principles of PMO?
  • How does a PMO driven project work?
  • Why would you consider adopting PMO principles on your projects?
  • Where to start?
  • How to embed PMO into your current and future change management ambitions?
  • What are the commercial, operational and financial advantages of PMO?

Ruth shares her insights in such an upbeat, positive and engaging manner that it is impossible not to be hooked in and explore change management & PMO for you, your team and your business.

We hope that you will really enjoy this episode and as ever, we welcome your feedback.

Contact Details

Ruth Geddes

CEO & Co-Founder, Prospect Change

Tel - +44 (0) 7375 114040

Email - 

Web -

LinkedIn - 


The Impact Sessions 54 - Okay, Throw Something Else at Me Why Don’t You…..

The Impact Sessions 54 - Okay, Throw Something Else at Me Why Don’t You…..

March 21, 2022

This is a Podcast steeped in great leadership, an unswerving focus on improving the customer experience and resilience of the highest order.  One not to be missed.

Derren Gittins is Managing Director at Verplas, a UK based business, managing all of the same challenges as many over recent years, such as supply chain, transport costs, raw materials availability, the ups and downs of the pandemic, and much more.

But that is only the half of it......

Having taken on the role in October 2020, travelling from the Midlands to the South Coast of England and staying over for 4 days a week to get things going, he quickly found that he had a big culture shift to implement if he was to be successful with his vision and ambitions for the business.

The starting point was not brilliant, but you have to start somewhere.

He was looking to build a successful, competitive business that truly put the customer at the heart of the experience, driving change through staff engagement and setting new standards across the team, all especially important in early challenging circumstances caused by the pandemic.

But culture takes time......

Then BANG, just as he is re-structuring his team, implementing improvements to IT, assessing and re-thinking the customer journey through the Investors in Customers programme, and still managing day-to-day pandemic challenges, another THUNDERBOLT hits.

We won't spoil the reveal, but it is safe to say that Derren must have felt like he had run over at least two or three black cats and broken several mirrors for him to be dealt the particular cards that came his way in 2021.

This is another inspiring podcast episode of leadership, resilience, trust in his team, focus, re-thinking EVERYTHING and getting the job done.

We challenge you not to be inspired by Derren's sheer force of nature and drive to succeed in the face of genuine adversity.

Have a listen or watch and as ever, feedback is always welcome.

Contact Details

Derren Gittins

Managing Director, Verplas Ltd

Tel - +44 (0) 1202 825898

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn -



The Impact Sessions 53 - Building a Growing, Successful Business in a Pandemic

The Impact Sessions 53 - Building a Growing, Successful Business in a Pandemic

March 15, 2022

James Steptoe is Global Sales Director at Puretech Process Systems Ltd.

Sounds like a great role, plenty of travel to exotic destinations (and some not so exotic ones), developing relationships with customers and distributors across the world, attending exhibitions, networking, carrying out negotiations, and building an international sales funnel.

So, you start the job as Global Sales Manager in Q3 2019 and get ready to go.......

You have your strategy, your plan, your passport and your inoculations, and probably much more up your sleeve too.

But oh wait, we have a global pandemic to contend with less than 6 months into the role and all bets are off.......

But the role still needs you to deliver global sales growth - but now, without leaving your chair.

This is a great podcast episode, offering insights into how James adapted his approach, developed his role in new ways and new directions and still delivered on the aspirations he had for the business when he took on the job of Global Sales Manager pre-pandemic.

He must have done something right because he is now Global Sales Director and Puretech Process Systems continues to go from strength to strength, growing existing customer business, adopting new territories, with new customers and distributors and a building growing team to support them.

What's more, James has recently been back on a plane - so the world is good again.

This is a great episode covering change, resilience, adaptation, creativity, risk management, successful relationship building, global sales success and much more.....

One not to be missed. Feedback as always is most welcome.

Contact Details

James Steptoe, Global Sales Director, Puretech Process Systems Ltd

Tel - +44 (0) 7971 743484

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn - 



QUICKBLOCK Podcast - Sustainability, Environmental Impact & COP26

QUICKBLOCK Podcast - Sustainability, Environmental Impact & COP26

November 14, 2021

An insightful Podcast hosted by Nick Bramley, featuring Chris Shanks, Head of Sales & Andrew Vincent, CEO of QUICKBLOCK, a Glasgow based business that helps clients to create temporary, semi-permanent and permanent structures using the QUICKBLOCK product range.

Sectors embracing this sustainable, environmentally friendly, 100% recycled and recyclable building material include;

- Landscaping

- Agriculture & Land Management

- Light Construction

- Events

- Hospitality

- Civil Engineering

- Many More.......

If you can imagine it, you can build it, and rebuild it if necessary, make a permanent structure with QUICKBLOCK.

From a temporary storage unit or shed, to a smoking shelter, from event and hospitality furniture - lecterns, registration desks, stage areas etc, to landscape features, retaining walls and the like, this really is an amazing product.

In the Podcast, we also discuss COP26, hosted in Glasgow and focusing on many of the conversations that QUICKBLOCK are having with their own fast-growing customer base.

A really interesting listen or watch.

Hope you enjoy........

Contact Details

Chris Shanks Head of Sales

Email -

Tel - +44 (0) 7553 911207

Andrew Vincent CEO

Email -

Tel - +44 (0) 7870 840011

Web - 

The Impact Sessions 52 - The (Almost) Accidental Entrepreneur

The Impact Sessions 52 - The (Almost) Accidental Entrepreneur

May 18, 2021

This is Episode 52 of The Impact Sessions Podcast and we are about to take a break. So, how do you leave (for now) on a high with an awesome mid-season finale?

Simple - you invite on a truly inspirational, engaging and irrepressible guest who will 100% inspire your audience.

Meet Miriam Dervan, Executive Chair of MD Group, founding Trustee of a new Education Foundation supporting mental health in schools and Author of "To Be An Entrepreneur - Just Get On With It" - Amazon details in the notes below.

Miriam is a genuine Entrepreneur, although had something of an accidental start to her entrepreneurial career.

Whilst she is likely to have been successful at whatever she turned her hand and her passion to, her career in and around the sector in which she now thrives all started with her taking an initial 2 week temporary office job at the National Pharmacology Institute in Dublin (only after great persistence from a recruiter).

Her now, hugely successful business, MD Group now employs over 160 staff in 6 global offices, serving many of the world’s leading Pharmaceutical and Life Science businesses with a range of innovative services.

  • How did she start?
  • What was it like taking on her first staff members
  • Why does she want to inspire other women business owners & entrepreneurs?
  • Where does her passion for the Foundation come from?
  • Were they ever any doubts?


These and other topics are covered in a really high-paced episode.

In recent years Miriam has also established an Educational Foundation to fund the appointment of mental health professionals into schools across the UK & Ireland - big plans for a big subject.

She is a truly inspiring and inspirational guest with the unique storytelling skill of a fabulous Irishwoman. Miriam is great value and a great listen or watch....

We hope that you will love this episode and that it is a fitting mid-season finale for you to enjoy.

Why not take this opportunity to give The Impact Sessions Podcast a nice 5* Review too - that would be greatly appreciated.

Contact Details

Miriam Dervan, Executive Chair

MD Group

Tel +44 (0) 7811 167848

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn -

Book - 

The Impact Sessions 51 - Exploring Both Sides of the Business Buying & Selling Equation

The Impact Sessions 51 - Exploring Both Sides of the Business Buying & Selling Equation

May 11, 2021

So, you start a business, you grow your business, you expand your customer base and you continue on a successful path and upward trajectory, but what's next?

Well, at some stage, you might want to consider selling the business as an exit strategy, but this can be complex, fraught with stress and there are a myriad of options to confuse and potentially confound too.

Which option might be right for you, and how do you know?

Amongst the many potential pitfalls could be the absolute loss of the culture you have previously invested life, soul, blood, sweat and tears into, or the stripping of some of the assets, the decimating of your former employee team, or the swallowing of the business into a much bigger organisation who cannot wait to absorb the brand......

So what CAN it be like and what IS IT like to be the "acquired" and indeed the "acquirer"?

To explore both sides of the "Business Buying & Business Selling Equation", we meet Peter Rowlands, Senior VP of Indutrade UK who have a positive and on-going business acquisition programme, as Indutrade, having acquired over 200 businesses globally in over 30 years of trading, and Paul Connor, Managing Director of Ellard, acquired by Indutrade UK over 3 years ago.

Whether interested in buying and selling businesses or not, this is a fascinating episode that covers discussions around areas such as;

  • Running a Successful, Attractive Business
  • Culture, Vision, Values
  • Collaboration
  • Investment for Growth
  • Effective Business Management
  • Financials
  • And much more....

Two great guests sharing their take on what it is like to be in the mix when offers are made and a sale is a great option. What happens before, during and crucially, afterwards......

The discussion might just surprise you.

Another great episode of The Impact Sessions Podcast. As always, feedback is most welcome.

Contact Details

Peter Rowlands Senior VP, Indutrade UK

Tel +44 (0) 161 241 1820

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn -


Contact Details

Paul Connor

Managing Director

Ellard Ltd

Tel +44 (0) 7968 254610

Email -

Web -

LinkedIn - 

The Impact Sessions 50 - Let’s Celebrate Our 50th Podcast With a Beer…….

The Impact Sessions 50 - Let’s Celebrate Our 50th Podcast With a Beer…….

May 5, 2021

The Impact Sessions Podcast Reaches a Milestone Today - Our 50th Episode......

Thanks to all of my previous excellent guests, those that are regular and supportive subscribers, getting their fix every Tuesday and also to the occasional listener or viewer. Your collective support is, and remains most welcome and appreciated.

So, to celebrate our special episode, what better way to do it than with a beer - or more accurately, by meeting a legend in the world of brewing in Yorkshire - Kate Balchin, Director of Sales, Marketing & Export at Wold Top Brewery.

Wold Top was one of the first, most successful (and popular) breweries that was spawned out of farming diversification just after the turn of the millennium. On this celebratory episode, we discuss areas such as;

  • How & why brewing came about at Wold Top Farm?
  • Why the natural resources at the Farm made this something of a no-brainer decision?
  • Growing from a micro-brewery servicing local hostelries to a brand beloved in places like Italy.
  • Scaling up and diversifying into a bottle-led future - helping the business during the COVID crisis.
  • Choosing names for the beers - is it scientific or something else, and who chooses?
  • Surprisingly quick production - from raw ingredients to the cask, keg or bottle
  • The future of Wold Top as a destination & hospitality venue in its own right.
  • And more........

Why not get a bottle of Wold Gold, Wold Top Bitter, Scarborough Fair IPA, Helo Velo, Headland Red or even a Marmalade Porter, sit back, crack the bottle open and listen or watch this special episode of The Impact Sessions Podcast - Wold Top beers are available in many local supermarkets, Farm Shops, Restaurants, many Yorkshire pubs (on draft) or from the Wold Top website - details below.....

You will not be disappointed. You do not grow to be a successful brewery in a very competitive market if you don't brew excellent beers!

Also, if you like a Beer Festival, why not check out the Wold Top Big Sky Beer Festival at the end of August - 

Enjoy this episode and thanks Kate for being a brilliant guest for this 50th Podcast Special.

Contact Details

Kate Balchin, Director of Sales, Marketing & Export

Wold Top Brewery

Tel +44 (0) 1723 892222

Email - 

Website -

LinkedIn -


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