While the start of a new year is traditionally seen as a time for looking forward, it can be easy to quickly forget everything that has been achieved over the last 12 months, especially having just lived through a year like 2020! Which is why here at Ashdown Phillips, we like to take the opportunity to pause and look back over some of our key achievements over the last 12 months and reflect on how we can build on our successes to become even stronger as a team and as a company.
We started off 2020 full of enthusiasm, preparing for the start of a new chapter in the Ashdown Phillips story following our 15th anniversary with the release of our first ever brand video, which showcased our brilliant people and celebrated some of the company’s achievements so far.
We all know that the world began to change in ways we could never have predicted as we moved into March. Yet across all our departments, in teams based all over the UK, our colleagues leapt into action to ensure that properties were safe and occupiers were kept well-informed about any changes taking place. This year more than ever, we recognised the importance of good communication, of sharing information and of being generous with knowledge; Associate Director Gary Metcalf shared his feelings about starting a new role during lockdown, Director Sophie Weinmann looked at the impact of the pandemic on surveying, our shopping centre managers reflected on how they were designated as frontline key workers overnight and the parents of Ashdown Phillips revealed their experiences of parenting during lockdown in a video interview. We also made sure we provided chances for fun and connection for occupiers and on-site partners, such as delivering some chocolatey treats to say thank you over Easter and holding a photography competition for World Photo Day
Despite spending most of the year apart, in many ways we felt more connected than ever, making the most of technology to keep in touch and check in with each other (and of course, to take part in several quizzes!). To encourage people to keep sharing their thoughts, feelings and worries, we launched our Mental Health Ambassador Scheme, with ten employees receiving training to help them in supporting their colleagues. 2020 was also the year that we launched our Sustainability Pledge, setting out our commitment to employee and occupier wellbeing, supporting our local communities, procuring affordable and clean energy for all properties, responsible consumption across our sites and taking the lead on working with our partners to achieve these goals.
2020 was also an amazing year for award nominations for the Ashdown Phillips team, including wins at the SCEPTRE, IWFM, Estates Gazette and Green Apple Awards for Octagon Retail Park in Hanley and The Hub in Glasgow. Another of our proudest moments was raising over £4,000 for LandAid’s Steptober Appeal, with teams clocking up a mind-boggling 8,191,142 steps between them as they walked, ran, or in some cases paced around their living room while in isolation, to raise money for the charity. We were then delighted to end the year by announcing that we would become a LandAid Foundation Partner, continuing our support of their fantastic work into 2021.
Wishing you a happy new year, from all at Ashdown Phillips & Partners.