The BlueSKY bulletin: all the latest news from the BlueSKY team

Welcome to the latest edition of the BlueSKY Bulletin.

First up this quarter, we have some exciting news to share with you about the future of BlueSKY.

We also prepare to say goodbye to a much-loved member of staff and look at other stories from the team.

BlueSKY is on the move

Nearly 25 years ago, our founder Mark, signed a lease on 3 Chalfont Court. The office and location have served us well over the years but in recent times it has become obvious that the current premises no longer meet the needs of BlueSKY in 2024.

Our current office is too small for our expanding team, and it has become increasingly difficult to find meeting space as BlueSKY grows.

Moving office has been on the agenda for several years now but it has taken a while to find a place that we can put down roots and hopefully be our home for the next 25 years.

I am pleased to announce that the search is over and in May we signed a lease on our new home – Hatch Gate Farm, Sindlesham. It was never our intention to move far from our roots in Lower Earley and our new office is situated about seven minutes’ drive away from our current location.

The new office is a beautifully converted historic barn. The previous occupants moved out during Covid-19 in 2020 and, as we speak, our contractors are busily laying cables, installing partitions and making it look great, ready for us to be fully operational and able to welcome our clients from 1 July.

We are excited about moving as the new office is significantly larger than our current premises, has twice as many meeting rooms, a lovely outdoor space as you enter from the front, and lots of parking.

Below is a sneak peek of our new staff office to give you a flavour of what it looks like inside – and don’t worry, it will look much prettier than this when you visit!

A new logo for a new era

It’s all change at BlueSKY, as along with a new office, we will also be rolling out a new logo over the coming months.

The office move represents a good opportunity to refresh our branding, and we will roll this out on documents, emails, and our brand-new website, which we will introduce later in 2024.

Our current logo (like our current office) has been with us for over 20 years, and we felt that the office move represented a good opportunity to update our branding.

It’s fair to say that the new logo is an “evolution” and not a “revolution” but reflects a more modern look with a fresh colour palette.

See for yourself.

Further exam success for Natasha

We are pleased to announce that Natasha has passed her RO6 exam.

This is the most challenging RO exam and consists of an essay based on the practical application of technical knowledge in a financial planning context.

With only the RO3 tax exam remaining (which she hopes to pass this month), Natasha is just a short step away from achieving her diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

We’re all very proud of Natasha and the dedication and excellence she brings to her role every day.

BlueSKY donates a defibrillator to the local community

Over the Christmas break, one of our colleagues suffered a major health event and was rushed to hospital after collapsing on a cycle ride near the Loddon brewery, just outside Caversham.

After two weeks of excellent care at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, our colleague was discharged and slowly started to return to work after a period of rest and rehabilitation.

The Loddon brewery is in a remote location and is popular with walkers and cyclists.

To say thank you to the staff at the brewery, and knowing how a defibrillator could have helped in this situation, BlueSKY has donated a defibrillator to the venue.

We hope the device will never be used but, if it is required, it may prove to be crucial in saving someone’s life.

Wishing Jan a happy retirement

At the end of June, Jan, our long-standing and much-loved client relationship manager, will be taking a permanent sojourn from BlueSKY as she starts a very well-deserved retirement.

Jan has worked with us in two batches totalling 12 years. She has been a real asset to the BlueSKY team and the very definition of professional.

Many of you have likely had interactions with Jan over the years and you’ll no doubt agree, she always puts the needs of our clients first.

She will be sorely missed, and we wish her and her husband Richard all the best as they embark on an exciting phase of their life.

Staff company day

Every quarter, we close the office for a day and have an off-site meeting involving all staff.

We use the day for training, to reflect on the previous quarter, and to discuss ways we can improve our service for our clients.

These days typically start with an icebreaker activity. In our April meeting, we were split into teams and asked to build bridges using dried spaghetti and marshmallows only. The winning bridge was able to hold the weight of 24 £1 coins!

Aside from the fun, company days are vitally important to help us learn and grow as a business.

One of the things that we are most proud of at BlueSKY is our culture of openness and honesty, and all staff members make great contributions during these sessions.

It’s not all work, work, work at BlueSKY

Outside of the office, the BlueSKY team has had another busy quarter.

As a thank you from the parents of the basketball team that Neil coaches, they presented him with a Virgin gift card at the last game of the season.

Neil could have put it towards a museum or theatre visit, but instead decided to kill zombies in a virtual reality world (in Thatcham).

Ahoy mateys

In early May, Rob participated in the Spring Cup sailing event in Medemblik in the Netherlands and came a very credible 19th out of 42 sailors.

Next up for Rob is the Phantom Championships in the UK in mid-June.

Immy had a long weekend in Copenhagen where she managed to clock up 100,000 steps in three days.

Jan took a trip to the beautiful Suffolk coast, and Ralph celebrated his 60th birthday at an amazing barn in the Cotswolds, complete with disco and games room!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what BlueSKY staff have been up to this quarter, and look out for the next update in September.