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John White Awarded MBE

We are happy to congratulate a construction-industry stalwart and LSCC member, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

John White is the manager of Southwark Construction Skills Centre, which has provided training to 8,000 people since it was founded three-and-a-half years ago and joined the Chamber at the same time. The Centre is a partnership between another member, Lendlease, which is sponsoring the Awards and Southwark Council, one of the programme’s organisers.

John received the confidential news of his award a few weeks before the formal announcement on January 1.

“It was a surprise, very shocking,” he said. “I was digging the garden and someone said ‘you have a letter here, do you want to open this, it looks very official’ and I did, then I went back to digging as I couldn’t quite believe it.”

The Skills Centre, located in Lendlease’s Elephant Park, works closely with employers and residents, to provide employees with the skills required by businesses.

John said: “We work within our community, within South London. We are going to employers, finding out what they want. If they are going to employ people, what jobs are on offer? What are the skills they need? What kind of person are they looking for? Then, we run the training.”

“My big push is to make sure the training is open to everyone. There are barriers to training, maybe age, previous qualifications, and we want there to be no barriers. If you are 16 or 74, no matter where you come from in the community, the opportunity is open. If you’re the right person, you’re the right person.”

The centre trains ex-offenders, ex-military and ex-gang members, people referred from the job centre, or those who just drop in – for no appointment is necessary – such as mums with children in tow. The training includes new skills as well as upskilling, for example, of retired members of the construction industry coming back to work in a less labour-intensive, more plant-dominated environment. John also reached out to the local Latin American community in Elephant Park, with more than 200 people turning up to his initial presentation.

Apprentices are also important and John is “keen that they go into the community to work rather than just into our yard or classroom”.

The many and varied projects apprentices have become involved in include Southwark Peace Gardens in Walworth Road, dedicated to reducing knife crime and providing support to community members affected by it.

The Diversity Garden in King James Street and Surrey Docks Farm in Rotherhithe are also beneficiaries.

In 2020, the Centre will be expanding to Brixton and to Stratford in partnership with Transport for London. John will also be attending Buckingham Palace to receive his medal.

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Company of the Month – January 2020

We offer the next level of Home away from Home. Only celebrated our 5th Birthday this year, we have 93 Studio and one-bedroom suites, all with fully equipped kitchens and welcoming amenities. Our aim is to make every guest feel like a VIP and become part of the StaybridgeFamily.

A comfortable central London hotel offering suites for short and longer stays with kitchens, free Wi-Fi and a daily buffet breakfast included. We are in a quiet and leafy street, only five minutes’ walk from Vauxhall’s bus and Tube stations, with fast connections all over the city. You can walk to Westminster within 20 minutes, where Big Ben and the London Eye can be explored. Albert Embankment and Tate Britain are just next door as well.

You can hold meetings on-site in The Den, a smart space for up to 14. A 52-inch TV with a wireless connection helps take the stress out of presentations. Major exhibition and sports venues like Olympia and The Oval are less than five miles away.

Enjoy our fitness centre or stock up on groceries from The Pantry, open 24 hours, and prepare dinner in your suite’s fully equipped kitchen. If you’re up late, the free laundry is also open 24 hours. Don’t miss the midweek Manager’s Social, with free drinks and the chance to network with your neighbours.

Chamber News – November 2019

The chamber has seen many new developments in recent times due to our chamber events as well as cooperation between members that has resulted in opportunities coming to light which would would not be possible without such inter-connectivity. 

A good example of what cooperation between members can achieve comes from furniture design and production company Graniti, International Members of LSCC, who have recently been awarded an EU grant of 500,000 euros to install state of the art painting and cutting equipment. This was obtained through a proposal put together by another of our members – Michael English of Crozier International Ltd.

Another notable achievement in cooperation is underway between the international IT company Seavus and our most recent company of the month, CoPear, who are currently in discussions regarding a UK suite of projects that involve: Research & Development; Collaboration of new products and a UK Sales Partnership. CoPear will be meeting with Seavus at their European Head Office within the next few weeks.

Future possibilities are constantly being pursued by the chamber, and a critical part to that is developing relationships with other chambers internationally. From 19th to 23rd November Mr Parim Bajrami, Secretary General of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, will visit London and will be the Chamber’s guest at a special dinner on the evening of 20th November. Earlier this year LSCC signed an M.O.U. with the Kosovo Chamber. This sets out the assistance that members of each Chamber can receive when visiting Kosovo from the UK or vice versa.

Additionally, in the course of our Trade Visit to Sofia last month, we signed an M.O.U. with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. Any member visiting Bulgaria for business or tourism can obtain business contacts and some very attractive hotel rates as a result of the terms of co-operation agreed.

Talks have also been taking place with Uzbekistan business leaders with a view to establishing trade and technology links and platforms in at least one of the country’s major cities. It is hoped that the Business School of LSCC members, South Bank University, will act as the project’s educational partners. We wish to further this relationship with them in our second trade visit to Uzbekistan during June 2020 (exact dates to be confirmed).

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Company of the Month – July 2019

At Seavus, we strive to create future-proof solutions that rethink industries, enterprises and technologies. The AI-powered products and services we develop empower organizations and deliver efficient outcomes in the Banking, Finance, Telecom and iGaming industries.

We fill the engineering capacity gap with nearshoring teams that take advantage of the geographical proximity, cultural similarity and legislation to maximize their potential. Having available resources at hand makes Seavus a flexible and cost-effective solution, with compact and stable outsourcing teams that would drastically increase trust-levels, improve productivity, and build long-lasting relationships.

Our competencies cover but are not limited to Software services, Managed and Infrastructure services, DoAI (Artificial Intelligence with cognitive capabilities), Gaming development services, Business Intelligence and much more. Seavus enables companies focus on their core business, while we take care of their solution architecture, business analysis, testing, database development, UA and UX testing and deployment, system integration and implementation or, in other words – the whole technical aspects plus project management.

Founded in 1999, Seavus is a software development and consulting company with a proven track-record in providing world-class business solutions and services from several offices in the world. We serve over 4,000 customers worldwide, with the experience and expertise of over 900 ICT experts.

For more info visit:


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Company of the Month – June 2019

Net72 is a full service online and offline marketing agency that specialises in helping organisations improve their communications with visitors, staff and clients.

Our specialism is in designing and building websites. Our services include, but are not limited to; virtual marketing department or director, design, copy-writing, creating brochures and mailers, writing newsletters, running email marketing campaigns, building exhibition displays, filming and organising print. We are not just a website design company!

We will take you from concept, through development of the design to the final release at each step, checking back to the brief to make sure we are hitting the mark.

To visit the net72 website please follow –

LSCC Members Website Offer

Free Hosting for the first year.

As a member of the LSCC we can offer free hosting in year 1 – Saving you £360 +VAT.
With an option to finance the website build over 3 years. Get in touch or call +44 20 7940 5503.

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Website Launch & French Wine Tasting Event

The next event in the calendar is to celebrate the website launch and allow Net72 to show our members how the website works and how you can use it for maximum gain.
Net72 will also be talking us through their exclusive website promotion to all LSCC members.

The evening will double up with a French themed wine tasting where you will have a chance to try a sparkling rose on arrival, followed by 4 southern French wines.


(if there is sufficient interest, we will run an extra night).


Members’ Area

There is a lot of useful functionality within the Members’ Area, designed to make your life easier and intended to keep you informed of what is happening in and around our business community.

In the Members’ Area, you will be able to: view upcoming events, reflect on past event reports, private message fellow members, and communicate with the LSCC community via forums.


Upcoming Events will appear within the events section with details including dates, timings, venues, organiser and cost of the event. For breakfasts & lunches we also include menus. These events can easily be added to your personal calendars via the calendar button at the bottom of each event.

Past Events and reports can be viewed by clicking previous events on the Events page.


View Active member’s details on the website, add chamber members as friends to get in touch via a private messaging tool.


Join Groups of likeminded individuals that you may have an interest in such as IT, Insurance, Marketing etc.


Start and get involved in topics of interest via the Forums section of the website, you can also view and reply to topics started by other members.


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The Palace of Westminster

This event was hosted by The Lord Kennedy of Southwark on behalf of London Southside Chamber of Commerce and Southwark Chamber of Commerce

Forty-five members of London Southside, Southwark and South East London Chambers enjoyed a fascinating guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and were able to experience the rich culture and history of the Palace of Westminster.

The tour lasted just over one hour and was conducted by Lord Kennedy himself. It was followed by drinks on the Terrace of the House of Lords, which provided an opportunity for members of the three Chambers to network while enjoying some pleasant early summer weather overlooking the River Thames.

Letter of Appreciation – Pamela Price

Dear Lord Kennedy,

I am not sure if this is the proper form of address but whatever it should be this is a heartfelt thanks for your tour yesterday with the two South London Chambers. It was a joy and a privilege to be taken round the  Houses and to see them going about their business and for us to see some of the rich history which has made such democracy as we have. Thank you.

I could have spent far longer particularly in the library corridor which was not so full of dry titles as I had imagined and looking at all the pictures and fitting them in with such history as I remember and finding out about the ones I don’t know, who was Montrose, why did Lord and Lady Russel part? I am sure you know and I shall find out, so thank you again for arranging such an evening and then for drinks on the terrace where I could check out the wards and windows that I had stayed in at St Thomas’s opposite and meeting and chatting with new acquaintances. A very enjoyable way to spend a Wednesday evening so again Thank you.

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Stress in the Workplace & Mindfulness Business Lunch

Tuesday 19th March 2019, 8:30am to 10:00am

Anthony Gold Solicitors, The Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QN

“Stress in the Workplace” & “Mindfulness”

This event was organised and run in association with Southwark Chamber of Commerce

This Breakfast Briefing event focussed on work-related stress, maintaining good mental health in the workplace and minimising sickness related absence. It considered the difference between Pressure and Stress, provided tips on handling stress factors and signposted to some useful resources

The speakers were Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Place & Wellbeing at Southwark Council; also Janice White, a yoga therapist and mindfulness instructor. She explained how mind-body practices such as yoga and mindfulness can help manage work-related stress.

Here are some slides from the Lunch you may fins useful, click to download:



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Uzbekistan & The Silk

Unaiza Malik (IT sector)

Meticulous planning and great attention to detail ensured a memorable trip
Our group was very diverse and demanding representing a range of sectors. Will explore the possibility of doing business with the country and hope to return there

Tony Waters (Security sector)

Very much enjoyed the trip to Uzbekistan with the London South Chamber of Commerce. The tour company was very professional and I had outstanding service from them. My Security business takes me all over the world but I had not previously visited Uzbekistan. This trip provided an insight into the business opportunities there and I hope to return and develop the contacts made.
Akhtar Hussain (Property sector) Thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Uzbekistan.I have travelled all over the world and I have never seen a clean country like Uzbekistan anywhere else.

The people are so polite and helpful. The Country has so many historical and beautiful places to see in Tashkent, Khiva, Bokhara and Samarkand. There must be some other places as well which we have not seen. The country is full of Architectural wonders going back to centuries old. I have recommended my son to visit this country. He is an Architect.

Gerry MacDonagh (Chamber of Commerce)

The group was a very mixed one with people from diverse sectors. It was an eye-opener and members of the group are now much more aware of the business opportunities in the country. We will return to explore these further.

Jean Comley (Catering & Hospitality Sector)

I have a friend who runs a very well know language school here in Margate with students from all over the world including arabic and asian countries. I think he speaks Russian as well. I would like to give him contact details regarding maybe being able to offer his services. He would be very interested in taking students from Uzbekistan and will attend any follow-up meeting organised.

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March Business Lunch

Café Rouge in Hays Galleria are members of the Chamber. Situated on the bank of the River Thames close to HMS Belfast they offer a fine selection of French bistro cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere. The lunch was attended by 19 LSCC members, who enjoyed the following menu:


First Course

Soupe a l’oignon (French onion soup with sourdough croutons and Emmental cheese, served with baguette) OR

Camenbert (Warm breaded camembert with redcurrant and cranberry sauce) OR

Paté (Potted smooth chicken liver paté, shallot and raisin chutney, with chargrilled sourdough bread)

Second Course

Poisson frites (Battered crisp haddock served with frites and tartare sauce) OR

Demi poulet (Half roast chicken marinated in garlic and herbs with thyme jus thyme and black pepper. Served with frites or house salad) OR

5 oz “minute” rump (5 oz Black Angus “minute” rump served with frites or house salad; garlic butter available on request) OR

Moroccan vegetable tagine (Roasted courgette, carrots, butternut squash, baby spinach and chickpeas with toasted almonds and coriander chutney. Served with spiced coriander couscous) OR

Boeuf Bourguignon (Slow cooked beef in a red wine sauce with bacon lardons, caramelised shallots and mushrooms with herb mash)

Third Course

Crème brûlée (Caramelised vanilla crème with an almond tuile) OR   

Tarte au citron (Lemon tart with crème fraiche) OR     

Crèmes glacėes (Two scoops of: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or salted caramel ice cream)

Cost was £21 per head for two courses or £25 for three; this included a glass of wine or soft drink and service