Are you happy with your current business phones?

Business PhonesWhile telecommunication and electronics companies continue to flood the market with new business phones and PBX systems each year,  many companies are not willing to upgrade and more than happy to go without the latest bells and whistles.

Some new products come with big money promotions.  Some include the latest technology, faster speeds and more security.  While others offer nothing more than a new advertising campaign.

So why would you want to upgrade your business phones to a new, more expensive solution, if the ones you have are trustworthy, reliable and in good working order?

MF Communications provide new and remanufactured phones that are no longer sold or supported by the manufacturer to companies in the UK & all over the world.  The term given to such phones is MD (manufacturer discontinued). The Siemens Optipoint range is a good example.  The Optipoint 500 range includes five very popular business phones.  The Siemens Optipoint range replaced the Optiset range over 10 years ago, and has since been superseded by the Openstage range.

The Siemens Optipoint 500 telephones are a range of digital phones that are compatible with Siemens Hipath 3000 and HiPath 4000 systems and Siemens Hicom 150H and 300H. The Siemens Optipoint 500 range includes:

Optipoint 500 Entry – an entry-level, non-display, multi line business phone with eight programmable feature keys

Optipoint 500 Economy – an easy to use, display screen, multi line business phone with twelve programmable feature keys

Optipoint 500 Basic – a basic model with display screen and twelve programmable feature keys

Optipoint 500 Standard – display screen model with twelve programmable feature keys and full duplex speaker phone

Optipoint 500 Advance – backlit display screen model, with nineteen programmable feature keys (each allowing two functions), plus full duplex speaker phone

MF Communications sell a full range of Siemens Optipoint 500 business phones and spare parts, and a wide range of legacy business telephones and PBX spare parts warehouse.  The UK-based company provide a full 1 year warranty with all their new, remanufactured and refurbished phones and parts.

For more information on the business phones MF Communications provide and sell to companies worldwide, visit

What can you do to ensure you enjoy online gambling?

The Internet is awash with online gambling sites. Websites offering a quick punt on the 3:10 at Chepstow or United to beat City to customers who want to play slot machines and bingo or visit a casino without having to leave their homes to do so.

The reason this market never appears to be fully saturated is because of the law of supply and demand.  The offer of a free bet, game or roll of the dice is enough to entice new players on a daily basis.  As long as everyone remembers, there is only one winner when it comes to who makes the most profit.

Of course, gambling can be highly addictive and in turn cause upset and destroy lives, not only to the person willing to gamble more than they can afford to lose, but to those affected by the stress, ill-health and debt that can be a result of an addiction. In recent years there has been a stronger focus on how gambling can lead to addiction and should be treated as an illness, rather than frowned upon and seen as nothing more than irresponsible behaviour.  This social awareness has been helped by marketing campaigns such as Gamble Aware and organisations promoting a message to their customers to gamble responsibly.

So what can you do to ensure you gamble responsibly?

Firstly, you should always be aware of what you can afford to lose.  Never overburden the outcome of a bet or trip to an online casino by chasing a lost bet or betting because you need to make a quick buck.  Knowing what you can afford to lose, and then losing it, should be a ‘worst case scenario’.  Any other result should bring a smile to your face.

It’s easy to get excited by a winning streak or depressed and stressed following a losing bet, especially when it appeared to be the best tip you’ve ever had!  Good advice is to set out with an amount in mind before you even fire up the website.

Secondly, with so many websites to choose from, it is imperative that you can trust the site you are about to give up your bank details to.  If it’s not a well known brand, undertake some research and be confident this website is backed by a legitimate company.  Don’t worry, there are thousands to choose from, such as

Thirdly, always know when to quit.  Whether you are winning or losing, the rollercoaster ride is part of the fun.  The excitement and the adrenalin rush is breath-taking.  But equally, the lows can feel like an empty, bottomless pit.

The positives of what online gambling and the Internet has brought us is more freedom and personal choice.  The ease and speed of which someone can now place a bet has rightly drawn attention to the downside of gambling.  But gamble responsibly and within your means, and you can experience excitement and fun without ever having to open your front door, again.

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed disappointment with the Department for Transport’s newly-published ‘Road Safety Statement’

Brake, the road safety charityBrake, the road safety charity, has expressed disappointment with the Department for Transport’s newly-published ‘Road Safety Statement’ (replacing its previous Road Safety Strategy). Despite calls by Brake and across the road safety sector for stronger leadership from government on preventing devastating road death and injuries following a recent increase in casualties, the Statement fails to include casualty reduction targets or a ‘vision zero’, which would make clear that the ultimate goal is to reduce deaths to zero. International evidence indicates that targets help to spur progress in road safety , and increasing governments and authorities (including Sweden, Scotland and London) are adopting vision zero approaches.

According to the DfT’s Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014 the number of people killed on our roads rose by 4% last year to 1,775, while those seriously injured rose by 5% to 22,807 people. Overall casualties rose by 6%, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997. As national provider of support to bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims (through a helpline and support packs part-funded by the Ministry of Justice), Brake is acutely aware of the terrible suffering caused by every casualty.

Alice Bailey, campaigns officer at Brake, says: “We know from our work supporting devastated road crash victims that every death and injury sends out shockwaves of pain and suffering. We also know from international research and experience that there is far more the government could and should do, to prevent these casualties and enable everyone to get around safely and sustainably. There is some important recognition in this Statement of what good practice in road safety looks like, and the fact that road safety is an issue central to public health and sustainability – and that by improving road safety we can make economic gains too. Yet we’re disappointed that the government has failed to include casualty reduction targets, an ambitious vision, or more decisive action on issues like young driver safety, pedestrian safety or drink driving, all of which remain desperately important.”

Brake welcomes some aspects of the Road Safety Statement, including the government’s recognition of the importance of a ‘safe systems’ approach. However, Brake believes the government could go much further in implementing evidenced policy to ensure senseless tragedies on our roads fall again, and everyone can get around safely, sustainably and healthily:

Walking and cycling – Brake welcomes the recognition that road safety is a public health and sustainability issue as well as being about casualty prevention, and the inclusion of protecting vulnerable road users as a priority. However Brake believes the government should do far more to ensure nationwide roll-out of traffic-free cycle paths, area-wide 20mph limits, and other measures to make roads more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. See Brake’s recent response to the government’s Walking and Cycling Investment Strategy and GO 20 campaign.

Mobile phones – Brake supports proposals for tougher penalties (four points and a £150 fine) for using mobile phones at the wheel of a car, but believes this does not go far enough, especially as many first time offenders will be offered educational courses instead. Brake recommends increasing fines to £1,000, to provide a stronger deterrent, and for hands free phones to be included under the ban, in line with research showing the dangers . See Brake’s Drive Smart campaign.

Young and novice drivers – Government plans to make improvements to driver learning and testing are not unwelcome, but research shows the introduction of a new system of Graduated Driver Licensing – long recommended by Brake and recognised as best practice globally – would be highly effective in reducing crashes among young and new drivers. It’s estimated it could prevent 400 deaths and serious injuries each year if implemented in the UK . See Brake’s campaign.

Drink and drug driving – Brake backs the provision of funding to support effective enforcement of the new drug driving law, but is concerned by the ongoing lack of action by Westminster to crack down on drink driving, which remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. Brake advocates a zero-tolerance drink drive limit to make clear it should be ‘none for the road’. See Brake’s not a drop, not a drag campaign.

Apprentices Expand Newcastle Property Agency

Property agency Walton Robinson has a long track record of employing apprentices in its fourteen year history and their two new recruits have been brought on board to help expand the administration and marketing departments.

Walton Robinson, who has a respected reputation for delivering first class service in sales, lettings and buy-to-let investments, teamed up with apprenticeship provider 3aaa Aspire Achieve Advance to find the perfect new additions to the company.

Seventeen year old Anna Smith is completing an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing at Walton Robinson. Anna said;

“I have always been interested in marketing and social media and since I started working at WR I am confident I want to pursue this as a career. I chose WR because it is an independent company. I like that I can take on more responsibility in the marketing team and have the chance to learn more than I would with a larger company.”

Chloe Nellist, also seventeen, is working at WR whilst completing her apprenticeship in Business Administration. Chloe said;

“I didn’t enjoy college, I prefer a work place environment. I think an apprenticeship will develop my skills and knowledge a lot more than college did or could”.

The Walton Robinson workforce has greatly expanded over recent years and the timing is perfect as the company are set to move into newly refurbished offices in the Grade II listed Bruce Building on Percy Street this month, with plenty of room to continue the growth.

Already well established as a student and professional letting agent and with many years of experience in handling buy to let sales, Walton Robinson are investing into the residential sales side of the business and expanding their range of services.

Nicola Bishop, who started her career with Walton Robinson as an apprentice in the administration department in 2010, has progressed through the company to the role of office manager and helps to recruit new apprentices to the business. Nicola said

“Walton Robinson have helped me achieve apprenticeships in business administration and customer service. As well as working towards a qualification in management I am currently helping several members of our team to complete their own apprenticeships. It’s a great opportunity for Anna and Chloe to earn money while learning and developing practical workplace skills in their chosen career.”

Alan Green, Academy Manager at 3aaa Aspire Achieve Advance, said;

“Apprenticeships rely heavily on committed employers such as Walton Robinson as they are the backbone of apprenticeships and our Joint Success. Partnerships with employers such as Walton Robinson provide life changing opportunities for young people in the North East and across England. Chloe and Anna are typical of the dedicated candidates we attract to our programmes without their dedication and hard work these opportunities would not be possible.

Alan added:

“Nicola is living proof that apprenticeships are a real alternative to other routes such as university, she has progressed and is highly successful as office Manager. The candidates and employer are a credit to the North east business community and should be congratulated on their dedication and commitment to apprenticeships.”

For more information about the Newcastle based letting agents, visit:

FSB welcomes Tesco’s improvement to payment practices

Glasgow Silverburn Extra

Commenting on Tesco’s decision to move to standard payment terms across its supply chain, John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“We are pleased to see Tesco has listened to our arguments, and made improvements to its payment practices towards its smaller suppliers. The new standardised and clearly defined payment terms should provide a far more reasonable payment framework for small firms. It will allow them to have more confidence when doing business, giving them the ability to plan ahead more effectively.

“Recent FSB research shows that late payment has resulted in a third of its members (32%) paying its own suppliers late with three in 10 saying it has affected their ability to grow. We hope today’s announcement will go some way to easing the pressure on the supply chain and that other big companies will make similar changes to their payment terms.”