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Showcase Christmas Conference 2023 | Spreading Joy in the Streets of London

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Our recent Christmas conference brought together the vibrant spirits of Showcase, Showcase PSR, and Renovo in a conference that transcended the ordinary. From morning to night, we celebrated our year’s successes, shared laughter, and embarked on a heartfelt mission to spread joy beyond the walls of the workplace! 

The day kicked off as managers from each team took to the stage, telling of their triumphs, highlighting collective achievements of the past year, and sharing the aims for the coming year. But it wasn’t all serious business – jokes and laughter flowed, setting the tone for the day ahead. 

Team building took a hilarious turn with activities such as guessing the employees whose faces were morphed together. The competition was on, as teams tried to unravel the comical combinations before them.  

The highlight of each year is undoubtedly the charity portion, and this was our most ambitious yet!  Working closely with The Cardinal Hume Centre, a wonderful organisation devoted to helping families and young people overcome poverty and homelessness, we gave our teams several challenges to complete. 

A super team were gathered to embark on a ‘Revitalise and Build’ mission at The Cardinal Hume Centre. This challenged the group to transform the centre’s dated counselling rooms into welcoming and comfortable spaces. The garden received a makeover, lit with twinkling lights and a newly built playhouse assembled by the group. A Christmas tree stood tall, decorated with care by our hard-working elves. 

Meanwhile, other teams were sent on a scavenger hunt around the streets of London, collecting items to assemble Welcome Packs and Hostel Move Packs. From saucepans to slippers, the essentials were gathered to create a sense of home for those transitioning to The Cardinal Hume Centre’s accommodations. The competition was in full swing, with certain teams causing a stir as they raced to the stores, clearing the shelves ahead of the others.  

The final group remained at the conference venue, packing school backpacks to the brim with essentials and goodies for the young children at The Cardinal Hume Centre.  

Once all teams had returned, it was all-hands-on-deck for our teams to pack the vans to the brim with all the kits, which were delivered directly to Cardinal Hume Centre for immediate use. 

After a day of hard work, success, and giving, we shifted gears to the approaching evening. With a black-tie dress code, the team did not fail to impress. We reconvened for a Christmas dinner and an evening filled with festive spirit!  

Our Christmas conference was not just an event; it was a testament to the power of collaboration, consideration wrapped in laughter, and joy that comes from making a positive impact in the lives of others. Here is to our incredible this festive season! 

Planet Mark Year 2 Business Certification

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Through relentless research, review, and challenging convention, we are proud to announce that Showcase has achieved Planet Mark Year 2 Business Certification.

The Planet Mark Business Certification is an internationally recognised sustainability accreditation that acknowledges continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals.

Our Planet Mark journey has been eye-opening and inspiring in equal measure. Over the past year, we have invested in educating our teams and adopting a more sustainable approach to all aspects of our business, including:

• Reduced waste emissions by approximately 90% by creating more waste weights and disposal routes, resulting in no waste to landfill over the past year.

• Reduced emissions associated with water by 42% and paper by 41%.

• Reduced emissions associated with commuting by approximately 20% and increasing the number of our employees travelling via bicycle by an impressive 118%.

Whilst we are exceptionally proud of our collective efforts, by no means are we stopping there. For 2023-2024, we are aiming for a further 5% decrease in our Carbon Reduction Target, as well as our Carbon Reduction per Employee.

In this crucial #DecadeofAction, measuring our own carbon footprint has been a critical step in reducing our impact on the planet and society.

Our involvement with Planet Mark has also helped protect an area of endangered rainforest thanks to Cool Earth; a charity working alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation. Our pledge goes directly towards supporting the Asháninka community in Central Peru.

Through our commitment to Planet Mark, we’re also helping the Eden Project – an environmental educational charity building relationships with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work together towards a better future.

We thank everyone who has contributed to our Planet Mark award, and those who continue to play an important role in our sustainability commitment.

We strive to have a responsible, positive impact through our community. Please join us in this movement for change. Together, we are a collective force for good.

The ‘Power’ of Giving | The Museum of Power

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The Client

The Museum of Power is a transformed Water Pumping Station, spanning seven acres and is situated Langford, Essex.

The museum exhibits an impressive array of mechanisms which have powered Britain’s finest autos and locomotives throughout history. It promises an immersive experience, inviting visitors to step back into the history of Britain’s finest Mechanical Engineering, free of charge, and to witness its progress from experimental beginnings to its exceedingly impressive breakthroughs over time. The museum runs educational visits for more than 30 local primary schools a year and hosts various community-based events.

Project Overview

In early 2023, the museum secured a bid with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to commence its ‘Powering Forward’ project. The bid allocated funds to the museum, allowing them to make improvements to the building structure. This required the museum’s closure for a set period, with extensive building works promising a vastly improved visitor experience.

Both Showcase and Renovo were approached with the request to plan the museum’s interior office space on a voluntary basis. This workspace was comprised of Administration and Management Suites. Attracted by the charitable aspect and the opportunity for both companies to collaborate again, willingly offering their services without cost to the client.

Services

Showcase utilised their Design Team to create a variety of options for the client, with each choice varying in visual aesthetic, but refusing to compromise on the maximisation of space planning. Meetings took place with the client throughout the design phase to clarify finishing details before final sign off. This focused the coordination of furniture delivery to coincide with the completion of the building works.

Sustainability was at the forefront of every decision made throughout the planning stages, using a re-use strategy was implemented to source furniture. Renovo utilised legacy furniture donations, quickly and efficiently, from clients, themselves eager to responsibly get further use from their unwanted furniture.

As like all projects, The Museum of Power was planned and handled with precise due diligence. A comprehensive survey of the site was performed before the Renovo team were ‘all hands on deck’ for delivery and installation. Throughout each stage, organised communications were upheld with the client from all parties.

The project was completed on-time, allowing for the museum to triumphantly re-open to the public in October as planned. The client’s workforce smoothly transitioned into their new and improved offices.

Showcase and Renovo were delighted to receive praise ahead of the museum’s re-opening, including the client’s gratitude of the furniture donations and the efficiency of the project’s implementation.

Both Showcase’s Emma Boreham and Renovo’s Danny Rutter jointly express their gratitude for the opportunity to help a local cause: “Showcase and Renovo are grateful for the privilege to, once again, aid a local beneficiary. It’s wonderful to engage and help people in the local community with our services. We are looking forward to visiting the museum in the near future with our team. As always, we are on the lookout for similar local projects to support moving forward.”

Showcase Scores Big with Local Fire Services

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In keeping with our growing commitments to developing our social values, we are pleased to announce that Showcase, alongside Showcase PSR and Renovo, are proud sponsors of our local Emergency Services Football Teams, including: 

 

  • Essex Fire Service Open Age Football Team 
  • Essex Fire Service Veterans Football Team 
  • Cambridgeshire Fire Service Football Team 
  • Hampshire Fire Service Football Team 

 

It is a joy to see our branding emblazoned on the stellar teams’ kits, worn by exceptional players, both on the pitch and in their respective workplaces. This sponsorship serves as a testament to the Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Hampshire Fire Services for the unhindered support they show our local communities, which we are extremely thankful for.
 

Many thanks to Ongar Fire and Rescue services for kindly inviting us for an action-packed visit to meet the crew and gain insights from inside their station (and fire engine!). Though our team may look like naturals in their fireman’s gear, rest assured they will not be quitting their day jobs!   

 

Showcase, Showcase PSR, and Renovo highly anticipate the seasons of triumph that lay ahead. Our teams look forward to attending future matches together and sharing our unwavering support.  

85 individuals in smart-casual attire on grass terrace, smiles, river in the background, celebratory drinks.

Porto 2023 – Our record-breaking conference!

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Earlier this month, the Showcase group embarked on an incredible journey to Porto from the 15th – 17th June, to attend our highly anticipated annual Summer Conference. The two days spent in the vibrant city were nothing short of exceptional, leaving us all with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. The conference itself proved to be a resounding success, not only in highlighting the progress made in the first half of the year but also in celebrating the remarkable achievements of our fabulous teams.

Behind the scenes, the organisers worked tirelessly to ensure that the Summer Conference would be a rewarding experience for our hard-working teams. It was considered a rejuvenating celebration at the year’s midpoint before we resumed our efforts for the remainder of the year. It is no secret that the key to our success is our motivated and engaged team. So, no effort would be spared in creating an experience that would have a lasting and gratifying impact on our members.

The picturesque city of Porto provided the perfect backdrop for this transformative journey. As soon as our teams arrived, they were greeted with a warm welcome and an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. The conference agenda was carefully crafted to include a variety of activities and sessions that would not only inspire and educate but also foster a strong sense of camaraderie among our employees.

In addition to the conference sessions, our team members had the opportunity to participate in thrilling team-building activities. From exhilarating go-karting races to tuk-tuk tours exploring the vibrant streets of Porto, and even e-biking adventures throughout the picturesque city. These activities were not only fun but also served as a catalyst for building and strengthening relationships within our teams. The shared experiences and moments of laughter created an even stronger strong bond among employees, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment in which relationships, both new and pre-existing, would flourish.

Beyond the professional development and team-building aspects, this remarkable expedition provided a well-deserved break for all members of our teams at Showcase Interiors, Showcase PSR Portsdown, and Renovo. Taking a step back from the daily routine and immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture and beauty of Porto allowed us to recharge. It was an opportunity to reflect on our achievements, celebrate the milestones we’ve reached, and come together to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As we return to our respective roles with renewed energy and a sense of purpose, we are eager to continue working alongside our valued clients to deliver exceptional results. The connections and relationships formed during the conference will undoubtedly contribute to our collective success.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those in attendance who made this trip to Porto a truly remarkable experience. Each and every person played a crucial role in making this event unforgettable.

As we bid farewell to Porto, we carry with us the memories, lessons, and newfound inspiration to excel in the months ahead. The Summer Conference of 2023 will forever hold a special place in our hearts and will serve as a reminder of the remarkable things we can achieve when we come together as a team.

Until next year…!

CDW – Discover ‘alternative’ facts about the amazing Clerkenwell…

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Now, we know that you are no stranger to the amazing and creative experience that Clerkenwell Design Week brings to visitors. It is often described as the most concentrated place on Earth for designers and architects alike, being home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, a fact that can often be heard.

 

So, here at Showcase Interiors, as often is the case with every project we encounter, we searched for ‘alternative’ facts about Clerkenwell – those little-known details that often shed light, educating and enlightening in equal parts… read on to find what we discovered.

 

Famous former residents include; Gillian Anderson (American Actress), Charles Dickens, Michael Fagan (Buckingham Palace intruder), Anthony Horowitz (novelist) Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), William Hogarth (1697-1764), Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) and of course Janet Street Porter!

 

  1. The River Fleet still flows through Clerkenwell but now runs underground. It can be heard in front of The Coach pub through a grating on Ray Street.
  2. Well Court is located on Farringdon Lane. The name ‘Clerkenwell’ derives from ‘Clerks’ Well’, a spring around which sacred plays were performed by clerics in the Middle Ages. A cleric was commonly referred to as a clerk, and the plural form was ‘clerken.’ Clerks’ Well was lost until its rediscovery by builders in 1924. It is now incorporated into a building called Well Court on Farringdon Lane and can still be seen through one of the ground floor windows and from the street level of Farringdon Lane.
  3. Clerkenwell Green is known for its historical significance. Lenin resided on Percy Circus, located half a mile north of Clerkenwell Green, and he would often enjoy a pint in The Crown and Anchor Pub on the Green (now known as The Crown Tavern). Rumour has it that Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin had their first meeting at The Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell. Additionally, Clerkenwell Green is where Fagin and the Artful Dodger induct Oliver Twist into pickpocketing in Charles Dickens’s novel, Oliver Twist.
  4. The Holy Tavern is the oldest pub in the area. You will find it halfway down Britton Street. While on Britton Street, look up and to the right, and you will see the restored 1901 façade from the former Booth’s distillery on Turnmill Street.
  5. While zipping through the alley down the side of the Holy Tavern, you will arrive at St John’s Square. This historic square is home to St John Gate and some of London’s most ancient hostelries. The Clerkenwell Priory, which served as the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers during the Crusades, dates back to that time. Its modern incarnation is St John Ambulance.
  6. While walking south on St. John’s Lane, you will reach Smithfield Meat Market. The market has existed for over 800 years and is famous for its listed façade and roof. It is also where William Wallace, Scotland’s ‘Braveheart,’ was hung, drawn, and quartered in 1305. The market will soon become the home of our new Showcase Group Office. We will inform you when it is ready!
  7. Moving east, you will find Charterhouse Square, once home to a monastery and a Plague Pit dating back to 1348. It is thought to be London’s largest Black Death mass grave site, discovered during the excavation for Crossrail.
  8. The Castle, located on the corner of Cowcross Street and Turnmill Street, has three golden balls hanging next to the pub sign. This is the sign of a pawnbroker. Inside, there is a large picture showing an unscheduled visit by George IV. Having gambled all his money away at a local cockfight, he needed more funds and visited the pub to pawn his watch at the bar. As a reward, he granted the landlord a pawnbroker’s licence, which is still held to this day.
  9. Clerkenwell is famous for many film locations. On St John’s Street, Vic Naylors Bar gained fame for being featured in ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels!’

If you have any outstanding, unusual and intriguing facts why not get in touch and join the conversation…,

Celebrating Success | Little Havens Quiz Night

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We are delighted to share the remarkable achievements of our Charity Quiz Night, which took place in collaboration with Icons of Denmark earlier this year. It is with great pleasure that we announce the grand total of £2,096.00 raised for Little Havens, an incredibly worthwhile cause which cares for children and young people up to the age of 25 from Essex and the surrounding boroughs who have been diagnosed with a complex or incurable condition.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to the resounding success of this event, with special mention to the night’s attendees from HLW, Shaw Studios, TP Bennett, Spacelab, Hassell, Rider Levett Bucknall, and Gardiner & Theobald. Your unwavering dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to making a positive impact in our community are truly commendable.

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to our fantastic suppliers and partners, whose unwavering generosity and support made this event even more special. Your contribution to fantastic prizes added immense value to the evening, and we are profoundly grateful for your generosity.

Finally, of course, a special thank you to the team at Icons of Denmark for their exceptional hospitality and meticulous efforts in setting up the showroom to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for all participating teams.

Now, let us hear from some of our esteemed employees who attended the event:

🔹 “The collaboration between Showcase Interiors and Icons of Denmark resulted in an outstanding fundraising event. Icons of Denmark exceeded all expectations with their exceptional hospitality, while the Showcase Team gathered a diverse range of prizes, which helped to raise significant donations for a truly worthwhile cause.”

🔹 “We had the pleasure of attending a remarkable evening graciously hosted by Icons of Denmark, where the showroom was flawlessly arranged to accommodate our teams. The generosity exhibited by our suppliers and partners, who graciously donated prizes, as well as our clients, who dug deep into their pockets to support Little Havens, left me blown away. The atmosphere in the room was fantastic, lots of alcohol flowed, and my highlight of the evening was the power the microphone gave Joe and me.”

🔹 “The seamless collaboration with Icons of Denmark to organise an evening of fun and games was a testament to the remarkable teamwork displayed. We were delighted by the enthusiastic turnout of some of our most valued clients, who joined us in contributing to this noble cause. Personally, the highlight of the evening was securing the Anthony Joshua glove, and it was a pleasure to witness the ladies from Shaw Studios winning the majority of the prizes.”

Once again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who contributed to the overwhelming success of our Charity Quiz Night. Your unwavering support and commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others truly exemplify our company’s values.

As we move forward, let us continue our relentless pursuit of excellence together and strive to create a lasting impact on the world around us.

A force for good: Showcase

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Showcase is an independent furniture dealer that recognises the significance and value of corporate social responsibility policies and practices. In all their endeavours, the team aim to demonstrate a strong dedication to protecting the integrity and diversity of individuals, communities, and the environment. Participation in furniture donation initiatives to local schools, committing to projects in Mexico and Cambodia along with a reforestation project in Cumbria are examples of the company’s expanding social pursuits that have been integrated into its daily operations.

Last year, Showcase announced plans to measure and reduce its carbon footprint. The furniture specialists are now Carbon Neutral in accordance with PAS2060, with due credit to its partnership with environmental experts, Planet Mark.

Working with Planet Mark has propelled Showcase’s sustainability efforts. Recent Carbon Offset projects have included planting a forest in Cumbria, increasing the share of renewable energy in Mexico’s grid through wind farming, supporting steam generation using renewable biomass in India, and protecting the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia.

Showcase’s portfolio also demonstrates a dedication to its social beliefs throughout its projects. Showcase was commissioned by Freshfields, a worldwide law company, to provide its furniture consultancy and procurement service for its new head office in Bishopsgate, London. The building, which spanned 11 floors, underwent a fit-out to facilitate well-being and community values. Initiated with a briefing and interaction with environmental consultants Twin & Earth, the sustainable precedent was set from the very start. Showcase created an environmental questionnaire and issued it to 285 suppliers to shortlist those who could meet the rigid sustainability objectives.

Freshfields assigned Showcase to work alongside construction specialists ISG and Architects IDSR. During the project, ISG led an initiative with ‘Trees for Cities’, a charity that aims to improve lives and communities by planting trees in local and international neighbourhoods – with 700 trees planted in woodland space as a result. Upon the project’s completion, it was evident that sustainability targets had been met for both the finished product and throughout the installation process. The environmental assessors, RICS, gave Showcase an unequivocal seal of approval as its efforts contributed towards the project’s ‘SKA Gold’ award.

The drive for Showcase’s social beliefs can be found in the company’s very core. Owners Nigel and Emma Boreham recognise the significance of their responsibilities by supporting local charities and giving back to their surrounding communities. In the past year, Showcase has donated laptops to local schools to aid early years IT learning, and furniture items such as chairs and beanbags to learning facilities in London and beyond.

The company’s A&D Team also worked alongside Gensler to donate furniture items to First Love Foundation’s Docklands HQ, tackling poverty in Tower Hamlets, London.

As another year begins, Showcase looks forward to continuing efforts and finding new ways to support causes that matter, for the benefit of individuals, surrounding communities, and the environment.

Showcase Christmas Conference 2022

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The Showcase Christmas staff gathering finally arrived on the 9th of December after months of planning and anticipation. With the addition of our newly acquired Portsdown team, the number of attendees skyrocketed compared to previous years, resulting in all the more Christmas spirit!

Teams from Showcase, Portsdown PSR, Renovo, and Showcase AVI gathered at the stately Hanbury Manor in Ware to enjoy a day of celebrations; sharing each company’s accomplishments throughout the year at the annual Showcase Christmas Conference; competing against their peers in tumultuous team challenges; and, of course, enjoying fantastic entertainment and the excellent company of colleagues during the evening meal.

Throughout the conference, participants were divided into teams to engage in various interactive tasks. To start, teams were challenged to complete a puzzle of our projects throughout the year, using communication skills to guide a blindfolded team member to place the pieces in the correct place.

During the second intermission, teams were challenged to compose jingles for each of the businesses using a variety of musical instruments. These would later be performed in front of all attendees, unveiling some hidden talents amongst our teams!

We chose to revisit the ‘o3e Charity Bike Build,’ a staff favourite from previous years, to conclude the day’s activities. This requires teams to compete against one another to construct a bicycle in the shortest amount of time. At the end of the activity, all completed bicycles were donated to charities chosen by Showcase.

After much consideration, we have decided to donate to two worthy organisations this year: Carers in Herts, which provides support and advice to unpaid young carers in Hertfordshire, and ‘Teens Unite,’ which creates inclusive and non-judgmental communities for young cancer fighters and survivors.

Upon finishing the conference, it was time to celebrate at the Masquerade Ball. Fantastic food and entertainment was had by all.

Why I Almost Bought a Forest: navigating sustainability in the furniture industry

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The environment has always been front of mind for Showcase, which has been ISO 14001:2015 certified since 2013. We were always conscious of the potential environmental impacts of our activities as a company, but what we didn’t know was how difficult it is to calculate our carbon footprint, and how confusing the world of sustainability was going to be. Now more than ever, it’s vital to be aware of where wood and wooden products are sourced from, and that we work with manufacturers that have the same ethos as Showcase – in terms of doing the right thing for our planet.

We partnered with Planet Mark as we considered them to be a knowledgeable and insightful group, present at COP26, who could clearly advise us about all things sustainable – and how we could quickly get to be where we wanted to be in reducing carbon levels.

So far, they have delivered: guiding us through our certification, verifying our waste streams, energy and water consumption measurements, looking at the various freight and modes of transportation of products and staff and verifying our carbon footprint. We now (at last) have a starting point to enable us to create an achievable and worthwhile carbon reduction strategy.

My first thoughts were how I could directly and immediately do something good which would offset our carbon and move us towards our initial carbon neutral target. When I heard about a small woodland that was on the market close to home – I thought, always secretly aspiring to own my own woodland: “That’s it! We’ll buy a forest!”

Surely that would be directly offsetting our carbon and contributing to the environment in a positive way? But it turns out that we couldn’t use it as a method of balancing our footprint, and it had to be a verified project to be considered as an offset.

We have now realised that it’s a journey that will take much longer than initially anticipated. We don’t want to do it quickly and hastily. We want to be thorough, and to exhaust every possible way to move the company in the right direction towards our carbon net zero destination.

We have been through a huge learning curve and continue to learn about the world of sustainability. Of course, there is still a long way to go on this journey, and we will do it in the right way as a team, investing in carbon positive products, finding manufacturers with a paralleled passion as us for doing the right thing, and contributing to the circular economy with products that we can be proud of.

How we reach net zero, and what we choose to be the best and right way to get there remains to be seen and won’t be a quick fix as we initially, maybe naively thought. We are on the journey, and until we reach our eventual Carbon Net Zero goal, we will remain Carbon Neutral as we are today.

Showcase Interiors Head Office:
Paslow Hall Farm Estate
King Street
High Ongar
Essex CM5 9QZ

T: 08458 336 515
F: 08458 336 516
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