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News & Events

2016 Graduation with City College Norwich

Rachel Blackburn attended the City College Norwich Graduation Ceremony 2016 at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 22 October.

For the second year running Rachel was invited to the ceremony as a distinguished guest after working closely with City College Norwich Higher Education to develop and launch their Mentoring Programme. Click here to read about the programme's launch.

This year City College Norwich is also celebrating its 125th Anniversary since being founded in 1891, during which time it has grown to become one of the region's integral educational institutions.

"It was inspirational to see so many people celebrating the results of their hard work!" said Rachel.

Norfolk IoD Annual Dinner 2016

US2U Consulting attended the Norfolk Institute of Directors 2016 Annual Dinner on Friday 14 October, held at Carrow Road, home of Norwich City Football Club.

The event brought together business leaders from across the region, providing valuable networking opportunities and a great atmosphere.

The evening was also headlined by Lord Paddy Ashdown (pictured with Rachel Blackburn), who delivered a fantastic after-dinner speech - and thankfully, no hats were on the menu!

We look forward to seeing how business across Norfolk and beyond responds to opportunities in the near future.

US2U Support City College Norwich Mentoring Programme

US2U Consulting are pleased to support City College Norwich School of Higher Education's Business Management Mentoring Programme, and attended the launch at St Andrews House on 17 October.

The programme aims to support students in pursuit of business degrees, matching individuals with mentors from specific fields or sectors of interest. It also focuses on fostering greater links between organisations and individuals within the community.

Rachel Blackburn, who was heralded as instrumental in working with City College Norwich to develop the programme, spoke at the launch of her own personal mentoring experiences and of the three key benefits of the programme for both parties.

For mentees these typically include getting inspired, being able to identify and learn from a professional role model and finding a source of advice in problem-solving.

Mentors themselves can also benefit greatly from the experience, with the process reinforcing what best practice means in their line of work, challenging their assumptions of 'what is normal?' and also providing a sense of personal satisfaction. Mentoring may also lead to extra responsibilities and therefore have benefits for career progression.

Rachel was excited to meet and scope meetings with her mentee and looks forward to lending her advice over the next year!

Watch City College Norwich's video to find out more about the programme

US2U Consulting Helps Paint the Picture

Marketing Coordinator Kerwin Blackburn has produced a Jackson Pollock-styled painting for Norwich social enterprise Your Own Place CIC.

Titled "Illumination" to reflect the organisation's theme of highlighting and providing training of key skills related to independent living, with the goal of tackling youth homelessness, the painting is in their company colours of orange and green.

"People are totally wowed by it!" said founder Rebecca White. Good luck to Your Own Place CIC with their official launch on 27 September!

Chamber of Excel Secrets

US2U Consulting's IT Consultant and Microsoft expert Michael Holness once again spoke at Norfolk Chamber's Chamber Sessions on Tuesday 20 September, on how to 'Be Better at Excel for Business'.

Both Michael and his content were regarded as very good or excellent by all attendees, as he offered insights into how to get more out of Excel to maximise your organisation's productivity and make a positive difference to your company's bottom line.

"The shortcuts handout was extremely helpful."

"It was great to brush up on formulas and macros."

"I learnt some valuable Excel tips. The session was very 'punchy' and delivered everything in a short time frame."

"It was great to learn about the advanced uses for Excel - I will go back to the office and investigate further!"

"Being so new to Excel I really benefitted from this session."

For more information on how Michael and US2U Consulting can help your organisation reach its IT potential, click here.

Also, take advantage of our 'Back to School' promotion by securing an Excel group session for up to 5 people (to be delivered by the end of January 2017) for the discounted price of £675.00 when you book by the end of November!

Trading Aces with Social Enterprise East of England

Kerwin Blackburn attended the Social Enteprise East of England's annual Trading Aces conference held at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, on Wednesday 7 September.

The conference was packed with individuals from a diverse range of industries and professional backgrounds and included talks and workshops that provided insights into the growing area of social enterprise, with the aim of the day to encourage people to interact and creatively 'trade' ideas with counterparts from any sector.

In particular, this provided Kerwin with a glimpse into some of the dynamics and challenges facing those seeking to expand in the sector or move their organisation to a more socially-enterprising and sustainable business model. It was also an opportunity to consider how US2U Consulting fits into this new way of approaching business.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented in his opening address, "'tomorrow's company' looks like, or is, a social enteprise, so our focus should be on creating sustainable value from all of our business and economic transactions".

UEA School of History Ranks First!

Congratulations to US2U Consulting client UEA School of History for ranking first for overall satisfaction at the University of East Anglia in this year's National Student Survey.

What's more, however, is that the School of History also placed joint first nationally in the subject area and received 100% in overall satisfaction!

The School of History's performance tops off another year of impressive results for UEA - whose overall joint third position out of English mainstream universities cements its title as the only university to achieve top-five ranking every year since the survey began in 2005.

Reflecting on the National Student Survey results, which measured student satisfaction across a number of areas including teaching, academic support and university resources and management, Head of UEA School of History, Professor Cathie Carmichael (pictured), said, "thank you for the part US2U Consulting played in this moment of triumph!"

Keep up the good work!

Social Entrepreneurship with Generation UK-India!

US2U Consulting Marketing Coordinator Kerwin Blackburn recently spent two weeks in India, studying The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Creating Scalable and Sustainable Change as part of the British Council's Generation UK-India initiative.

Based at IILM Institute for Business & Management in Gurgaon, south of national capital Delhi, the study and cultural immersion program introduced participants to the growing area of Social Enterprise, with a particular focus on India's economic development, its rural markets and the 'bottom of the pyramid'. The course was delivered through a series of lectures and industry visits - to schools, social enterprises and non-governmental organisations.

As well as providing an opportunity to gain insights on how to enhance US2U Consulting's Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, it also provided Kerwin with professional and networking opportunities, including the opportunity to speak on stage at the British High Commission in New Delhi on behalf of the 30 participants on the trip.

"The trip was a unique experience - to get immersed in the upcoming area of Social Enterprise and to see evidence of the social impact it can achieve while also being compatible with the characteristics of the private sector in the 21st Century. I look forward to putting many of the principles learnt into practice and would encourage anyone to explore the sector for themselves!" said Kerwin.

To read about Kerwin's visit to non-profit organisation Literacy India and its offshoot social enterprise Indha Craft, click here.

Education, Empowerment and Employment in India

US2U Consulting's Kerwin Blackburn on Friday visited Indian non-profit organisation Literacy India and its offshoot social enterprise Indha Craft in Gurgaon, south of New Delhi.

Kerwin is currently spending two weeks in India studying Social Entrepreneurship at IILM Institute for Business & Management as part of a British Council visit, undertaking research for US2U Consulting's corporate social responsibility strategy.

The visit explained Indha Craft's business model as a social enterprise - manufacturing and retailing handcrafted products - as well as its purpose of supporting adjacent NPO Literacy India in its aim of providing basic education to women and children in a socio-cultural environment.

Kerwin also gained an insight into Indha Craft's effective supply chain, from on-site paper recycling department to gift shop via a team of skilled craftswomen. The visit also took in Literacy India's lively classrooms and ethos of "Education, Empowerment and Employment".

After an inspiring tour, Project Director Mr. Satya Prakash also reflected on the challenges facing the two organisations and their strategies to overcome these in line with their 5 year plan. Much to Kerwin's surprise, this includes a desire for visitors to promote Literacy India and Indha Craft in their home countries and provide the organisations with international exposure.

Such was the passionate and upbeat nature of the visit, when asked for his advice for those thinking of entering the social enterprise sector Mr. Prakash's response was, "don't do the same product as us!".

More news of Kerwin's visit to India to follow...

US2U makes a Sweet Difference

US2U Consulting were pleased to donate an assortment of sweets and confectionary, left over from a recent event, to Your Own Place CIC, a Norwich-based social enterprise committed to finding new solutions to old problems with the prevention of youth homelessness as the final outcome.

Your Own Place Director and Founder, Rebecca White, tweeted "our young people are going to love them in the training flat" - their recently-launched property in which they will provide hands-on training and experience of how to live indepently to young people.

For more information on how you can support Your Own Place or assist them in the growth of their training flat, visit www.yourownplace.org.uk, www.twitter.com/yourownplace or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..