On March 22 we co-hosted a breakfast event at the Dog & Fox in Wimbledon Village (in conjunction with SW19Lawyers) aimed at the area’s local retailers.

Also playing a prominent role in the event’s proceedings were Fayre & Square, our charity partners. Fayre & Square is a volunteering retail initiative, run by Merton Voluntary Service Council, based in Centre Court Shopping Centre, which provides support and retail training placements to volunteers with learning disabilities, as a stepping stone to paid employment or further volunteering.

After networking and breakfast, Kirstin O’Shea, Volunteering Co-Ordinator, and Chris, a learner who worked at the initiative for eight weeks, gave a short presentation about Fayre & Square.

Chris was undoubtedly the star of the show. Partly for his presentation explaining how the work experience at Fayre & Square has given him a better chance of permanent employment with established retail chains. But the real reason was his desire to enjoy a fry-up before he commenced his presentation duties. Unimpressed with the croissants, choc au pains and other pastries on offer, he migrated to the bar area and ordered a full English!

That order was put on hold as the presentations were brought forward 15 minutes from the original agenda. So Chris had to wow the audience on an empty stomach! He was however, much to the attendees’ delight, able to tuck into his sausages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms et al, as soon as his presenting duties were done.

 

 

The breakfast – both Chris’s and for all attendees – were provided by SW19Lawyers who host these breakfast gatherings at the Dog & Fox, in Wimbledon Village, once every quarter for local businesses.

Following Chris and Kirstin, Matthew Carlton, our marketing manager, informed attendees how they could use technology to compete with the retail giants. He touched on four areas: Click and Collect, eReceipts, MPoS and Social Media. He was joined by our managing director James Rodger on the MPoS topic, with the two of them enacting a shop transaction scenario using an MPoS device. Their fine acting skills delighted the crowd!

Attendees were encouraged to make a donation to Fayre & Square or to buy an item from the pop-up shop they had set up for the event. £230 was raised which Kirstin said would “replace some very rickety furniture in the shop and the remainder will be used to take the learners on a day out”.

Belinda Erikkson, partner at SW19Lawyers, which specialises in employment and partnership law, said:

“We were delighted to have Retail IT and Fayre and Square join us at our latest business breakfast.  Matthew’s presentation was engaging throughout and I’m sure our guests left with many ideas to consider.  Chris was the star of the show and a great testament to the work that Fayre and Square do.  We look forward to hearing how he gets on.

Any businesses wishing to join us in co-hosting a future business breakfast should contact us on 020 8947 7997.”