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Bracknell BID’s ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ Festive Business Lunch at The Lightbox


On Wednesday 6th December, Bracknell BID organised a ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ Festive Business Lunch for BID area businesses at The Lightbox on Willoughby Road.

This was a special lunchtime event , departing from the usual Business Breakfast format, to celebrate festivities within the business community. Close to 50 delegates from the local business community attended the event to meet, network and develop relationships.

Sing Healthy Choir, a local community choir dedicated to raising money for local charities through singing, welcomed delegates to the event on arrival with Christmas Carols, whilst businesses networked over a buffet lunch.

Sean Griffin, the Bracknell BID Manager, gave a brief update on the BID’s current and future projects by showcasing the BID’s new promotional video, before introducing Paul Rowe, Product Manager, from Spectralink to give a talk about their business and history in Bracknell.

Paul gave a fascinating presentation about Spectralink, a leading global provider of enterprise mobility solutions founded in 1990, empowering businesses with seamless communication and collaboration in the digital age. Paul gave a captivating insight into their history of award-winning innovation and patents, detailing how Spectralink invented voice over Wi-Fi and pioneered the wireless communication industry, transforming how organisations connect and collaborate. Paul mentioned that Spectralink, originally a United States-based company, extended its operations to the UK and established residency at The Lightbox. Furthermore, Paul underscored Spectralink’s commitment to innovation, particularly in addressing the needs of workers in high-risk environments. He introduced Spectralink SAFE, a safety technology designed to enhance worker well-being; this technology utilises motion detection sensors and alarms integrated into phones to automatically detect instances where a worker may have fallen, triggering alerts for timely assistance.

Paul detailed how Spectralink have deployed millions of devices worldwide across the retail, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors – providing workers with the industry’s most efficient, in-building communications. Paul showcased the partnerships Spectralink has developed, with their phone devices used by large retailers such as EE, as well as becoming Microsoft’s dedicated partner for employee phones and Microsoft Teams integration within Spectralink’s devices. Paul identified how Spectralink continually evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of modern businesses with a laser focus on what the mobile worker needs on the job, such as utilising artificial intelligence for noise cancelling within their devices in loud settings to provide world-leading audio requirements. 

Following the talk from Spectralink, Matthew Dear, Trust Fundraising Manager from DEBRA, gave a touching presentation on the charity’s  work as helping to support people with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a painful genetic skin blistering condition, and how it can affect people and their families. Matthew stated how 5,000 people in the UK live with intense pain from EB, described by doctors as one of the cruellest conditions children can have, and there is no cure. Matthew detailed DEBRA’s new Life Free of Pain Campaign, with an aim for raising £5 million overall, with £3 million dedicated towards drug repurposing, £1 million for life changing treatments such as eye lubricants, oral sprays, and topical treatments for wound management, and £1 million for community support and healthcare.

Anne Avarne, Corporate Partnerships Manager at DEBRA, gave an insightful presentation on DEBRA’s charitable achievements since their previous BID talk in May, with Graeme Souness, Football legend and TV pundit, swimming the English Channel for DEBRA and successfully raising £1.1 million for the charity. Anne showcased a video displaying the work DEBRA does in supporting families financially, as well as emotional and outreach support in the run up to Christmas. Anne also detailed how local businesses can support DEBRA and the EB community this Christmas and beyond.

Following DEBRA, Ann Shaw and Ann Stainton, from Sing Healthy Choir Bracknell, delivered a brief talk about their community choir. Ann detailed their recent fundraising through live events and concerts for ARC, Berkshire Maestros, Bracknell Foodbank, First Days Children’s Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, Pilgrim Hearts Trust and, most recently, South Central Ambulance Charity.

Following the talks, attendees were given an opportunity to tour The Lightbox. The Lightbox currently has available space which can be configured to suit start-ups, SMEs, and big businesses. If you would like a tour of the available office-space, please email the Building Manager Louise Welland.

Our monthly Meet Your Neighbour events 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 Meet Your Neighbours events here.

Sing Healthy Choir welcomed delegates to the event on arrival with Christmas Carols
Sean Griffin, the Bracknell BID Manager, gave a brief update on the BID’s current and future projects
Paul Rowe, Product Manager, gave a fascinating presentation about Spectralink
Matthew Dear, Trust Fundraising Manager, and Anne Avarne, Corporate Partnerships Manager, from DEBRA gave an insightful presentation about the charity
Ann Shaw and Ann Stainton, from Sing Healthy Choir Bracknell, delivered a brief talk about their community choir
Following the talks, attendees were given an opportunity to tour The Lightbox

The Lightbox is a landmark office building at the Southern Gateway to Bracknell, occupied by thirteen tenants across various sectors, including IT services, tech, recruitment, science, health and business services. Some of Bracknell’s most dynamic start-up, small businesses and national headquarters are located within The Lightbox’s office building.

Spectralink delivers secure, cost-effective mobile communication solutions that empower enterprises to streamline operations, increase their revenues and deliver a positive customer experience – each and every time. Since 1990, Spectralink has deployed millions of devices worldwide across the retail, healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing sectors – providing workers with the industry’s most efficient, in-building communications.

DEBRA is the national charity that funds research and healthcare to support individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – a painful genetic skin blistering condition which, in the worst cases, can be fatal. DEBRA was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Hilton whose daughter Debra had EB – the charity was the world’s first EB patient support group.


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