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Bracknell BID ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ Business Breakfast – Arco – Thursday 20th July


On Thursday 20th July, Bracknell BID organised a ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ Business Breakfast event for BID area businesses at Arco, Bracknell Safety Centre, Brook House, Cain Road, in the Western Business Area

Close to 50 attendees enjoyed a complimentary light breakfast with tea and coffee and time to network with other businesses.

Sean Griffin, the Bracknell BID Manager, gave a brief update on the BID’s current and future projects, before introducing Ricky Davis, Safety Centre Manager and Andy Large, Technical Sales Consultant from Arco to give a talk about their business and history in Bracknell.

Andy Large, Technical Sales Consultant, gave an interesting presentation about Arco as the UK’s only integrated services and safety products business, and the UK’s leading supplier of safety equipment, workwear, safety boots and shoes, gloves and maintenance supplies. Andy gave a thorough insight into Arco’s 138-year history as a fifth-generation family-run business, establishing in 1884 originally as Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Company, before changing their name in 1898 to Asbestos & Rubber Company Ltd and relocating their Head Office to Hull. Andy stated how Arco have established themselves as experts in safety, providing consultancy, training, services and equipment for the most complex and high-risk, high hazard scenarios as well as generalised risk in the workplace for offices, retail and a wide array of industries.

Andy detailed how Bracknell Safety Centre opened up in November 2022 following a £2 million investment, their first Safety Centre in the South and their largest centre to date, due to the strategic location to London and excellent travel links for delegates to access their training facility. Andy stated the Bracknell Safety Centre offers practical learning environments, including a 20-metre external tower for working at height training, confined space training facilities, respiratory protection and maintenance workshops, classrooms and meeting rooms, alongside an integrated retail store on-site.

Mike Clayton, Equipment Department Manager for Arco, gave an enthralling presentation about his role as a Surface Controller in the Tham Luang Cave Rescue, as part of the rescue team that helped save 12 schoolboys and their football coach after they became trapped in a complex of caves in Thailand. Mike detailed how the events unfolded over the 18 day rescue, with two of the world’s most accomplished cave-divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, both from the British Cave Rescue Council, leading the cave complex rescue through strong currents and poor visibility, eventually finding the boys and the coach safe and well in the underground cavern. Mike, who is Chairman of Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation and National Equipment Officer for the British Cave Rescue Council, detailed how he received the call to go out to Thailand within hours of this discovery and gave a behind-the-scenes of the logistics camp and cave rescue preparation.

Mike gave a thrilling talk on his role providing support at the surface to the British divers and the Navy SEALs, and gave an overview of the cave operations with the Wild Boar football team trapped around 2.3km from the entrance, with 1.5km of diving and swimming involved. As the crisis unfolded, several different methods were explored to save the team, with the threat of heavy rain, dropping oxygen and impossibility of drilling an escape passage. Mike stated how a plan was created to sedate those trapped with anaesthetic and outfitted with full face masks and diving equipment, and given ‘top-up’ injections every 45 minutes to be able to take them out the cave fully-unconscious over the 4-hour journey. Despite this plan never being attempted before, the 18 divers successfully rescued all 12 schoolboys and their coach out of the narrow cave complex, garnering widespread attention across the world for the unprecedented events and the circumstances involved.

Following the presentations, attendees were given an option of a tour of Arco Safety Centre with Safety Centre Manager Ricky Davis, showcasing the 20-metre external tower for working at height training, confined space training facility, maintenance workshops, classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as their retail store on-site.

Attendees were given a brochure about Arco’s Bracknell Safety Centre, which can also be accessed here. To learn more about Arco’s Bracknell Safety Centre, visit their website here.

Our monthly business breakfasts are a chance for businesses to meet, network, develop relationships and to understand what other Bracknell businesses have to offer to each other. You can view our previous monthly Business Breakfast events here.

If you are a business within the BID area and interested in hosting a Business Breakfast please contact a member of the BID team at enquiries@bracknellbid.co.uk.

Attendees enjoyed a light breakfast as well as networking opportunities with local businesses
Attendees enjoyed an update from BID Manager Sean Griffin
Andy Large, Technical Sales Consultant, gave an interesting presentation about Arco as the UK’s only integrated services and safety products business
Mike Clayton, Equipment Department Manager for Arco, gave an enthralling presentation about his role as a Surface Controller in the Tham Luang Cave Rescue
Mike gave a thrilling talk on his role providing support at the surface to the British divers and the Navy SEALs
Attendees were given an option of a tour of Arco Safety Centre with Safety Centre Manager Ricky Davis, showcasing the 20-metre external tower for working at height training

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