Alison Kennedy, Head Librarian at  St George’s School, Ascot, has been shortlisted for the School Library Association’s School Librarian of the Year Award. This prestigious honour recognises the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day and highlights the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

Alison's role at the independent boarding and day school for girls 11-18 reaches far beyond the bookshelves of her library; her residential and pastoral roles add great value to the sense of the library and librarian as a friendly, welcoming space to everyone, and as Head of House, Form Tutor, Extended Project Qualification Coordinator and, living on site, she is truly embedded in the school.

Read more: St.George's School Librarian Shortlisted for Award

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Photo by Penny Vizoso

Ossie Ardiles thrilled the guests at the Berystede Ascot on Saturday evening happily signing shirts, footballs, pics of guests with the trophy, as he watched the private live screening of the England v Spain game.

Ossie was interviewed by the Daily Mirror (pictured above) in the hotel and the interview appears today in the paper on line, with details of how to purchase the Escape to Victory/Spurs/Argentine signed shirts that he signed at the hotel.



On Thursday 4th October, Charters School’s jazz band performed at the Grand Opening of Gracewell Healthcare’s new care home - Gracewell of Ascot, which has recently been built near to the racecourse in Ascot.

The students, ranging in age from 14 to 17, performed two sets of 1950’s inspired music, which set the scene for the drinks and canapes. Both staff and guests commented on the students’ musical abilities and the fact that it was clear just how much they enjoyed performing.

Mr Andrew Hoare, who organises the jazz band at the school said, “it was a fantastic opportunity to perform in such an unusual setting and the students created a wonderful atmosphere for Gracewell’s special day.”

Charters School website can be seen at 

Gracewell Ascot

Gracewell Healthcare  | A new luxury care home in Ascot |

Gracewell of Ascot, a luxury care home in Berkshire, opens its doors in October 2018, providing exceptional senior, residential, nursing and dementia care in the local area.

The Home will offer 80 stylish bedrooms with en-suite wet rooms, bright and spacious lounges to relax and unwind, a hair and beauty salon and a Hollywood inspired cinema showing films and sporting events. There will also be a café to catch up with friends and family, a beautiful wheelchair-friendly sensory garden, and Wi-Fi enabled communal areas.

 The chefs at Gracewell of Ascot will design delicious, healthy meals to meet the unique nutritional needs of residents and those visiting, using freshly prepared, tasty ingredients and a wide range of innovative recipes.


On Tuesday 4th September, the new intake of Year 7 students began their first academic term at Charters School in Sunningdale. With students in other years starting term the following day, the Year 11 Prefect Mentors were able to show the younger students around the school site and answer any of their questions.

The school runs a vast array of extra-curricular clubs and during the afternoon the students were able to find out about the exciting variety of activities on offer at the Freshers Fayre.

Alongside the obvious PE and Sports clubs were the less obvious, such as fencing, trampolining, and squash.  In addition, students could join Robotics, Science, Music & Film Clubs to name but a few.

Headteacher Mr Richard Pilgrim said, “One of the things we are most proud about at Charters is the extensive range of extra-curricular activities we offer our students.  Participating in the wider life of the school is crucial to a rich and rounded education and it is often through these activities that we see our pupils maturing and developing as young people which has a significant knock-on effect for their progress in lessons.”

All the pupils had a fantastic time and were spoiled for choice with the clubs available.  Most children signed up for a club and were very excited to be at Charters School.

Charters School website can be seen at 


Pictured Above: Amy Roche (Vanessa Gardner's assistant) receiving the Gold Award from Anne Walker MBE and a judge of the competition - Terry Etheridge  Vanessa Gardner  07786 620478 or 01276 856131

The Academy raised  £70 for Macmillian Cancer care with the September 2018 Coffee campaign , thanks to their Dancing Coffee Morning!

Vanessa Gardner Academy of Dance, who this summer celebrated 35 years in Ascot, has won Gold in the 2018 Dance School of the Year Awards.

Vanessa Gardner, who founded the Academy said: “We offer a caring and nurturing training of toddlers, children and adults of all ages and abilities in ballet, tap and modern dance. Our aim is to encourage all our pupils to develop a love and understanding of dance and music and to achieve their own personal best.”

“We have students who have attended Cecchetti Ballet Associates and Scholars, London Junior and Senior Ballet, and Royal Ballet Associates. Pupils have won numerous awards at competitions, and many students have successfully auditioned for further training colleges. While four ex-students now send their own children to the Academy.”

This year has seen expanded age groups from Melody Bear classes for children of 18 months upwards to adult ballet, tap and modern classes for all abilities, which are proving very popular.

Read more: Local Dance School Celebrates 35 Years and Wins Prestigious Award

Lunch time. Get your chef on!

Does the idea of having a place where you can store, prepare and enjoy a healthy lunch appeal to you? Are you sitting down? Imagine a comfortable place, a short burst away from your desk. As winter and the cold descends upon us, too many eat lunch at their desk to avoid the rain outside and skip the essential breaks needed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable space at work to quietly prepare a nutritious lunch or chat to others on a break?

Recent findings in a survey called ‘Take Back the Lunch Break’ found that staff who take their allocated lunchtime break are actually more engaged at work. The survey report adds ‘employees who take regular lunch breaks report being more satisfied with their jobs than those who don’t.’ This satisfaction increases where employees come together and interact with each other in social zones, enjoying some culinary comfort and quality time together.


Sacla kitchen and dining

Sacla’s kitchen and boardroom dining room culinary concept

Of course, if you’re running a business connected to food, it makes sense to make lunch breaks at work a chance to shine. Sacla, leading Italian pesto and pasta sauce brand, recently had their staff kitchen redesigned by us in suitably ‘italian’ themed colours.

This stunning, contemporary designed space is now used by staff to cook their lunches, and once a month cook for the whole workforce, transforming the boardroom into a dining room for all to share a big, hearty meal. The kitchen is also used for clients who would like a cookery demonstration of their products, and suppliers who’d like to pitch a new product to Sacla.


Getting granular about coffee in the kitchen

workspace coffee spaces

Coffee in the workplace is a huge opportunity to increase group interaction and productivity. Did you know investing in a quality coffee machine, (think Jacobs Douwe Egberts or similar) is a small outlay with a potential big return? If people choose to stay on-site they are more likely to collaborate, catch-up – and enjoy the coffee! There is a way to entice your staff back from the high street!

Coffee at work is the fourth most regular place to drink this elixir of productivity after high streets, cafes or department stores. Quality coffee is a brain booster valued by 80% of the workplace who see it as a functional must-have.

Did you know the average worker has 6 cups of coffee a week and is more likely to drink it if the beverage is of high quality and super quick to make? With latte and cappuccinos consumed by 39% of coffee drinkers the ability to make a fancy coffee at work leads to a happy workforce indeed.


Wellness and productivity

The simple act of taking a lunch break in a space away from the desk provides the energy to fuel creativity and employee engagement for the rest of the day. Not only this, a dedicated and equipped space to whip up a culinary delight also encourages employees to eat a more balanced diet rather than reaching for convenience foods. Allowing workers to feel valued when doing something as simple as having their lunch break or enjoying a coffee together encourages collaborative working and positive feelings towards the workplace and their employers.

What brings it all together is the design and flow of your workspaces. In this, we are able to guide you towards a place that suits your people, the way they work, and your unique organisational culture. To transform staff kitchens and general spaces into inspirational, happy places, please get in touch with us for a first meeting to discuss your ideas.


Coffee stats courtesy of Allegra 2018, Allegra Café Project 2018, Office of National Statistics, Great Place to Work 2017.

CBS |If your company is thinking about an office design or relocation, please call us on 01344 290290 or email

Kings Ride Court, Kings Ride, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JR

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