Arktek are proud to have a partnership with local boxer, Kiaran Macdonald, who will be competing in the Commonwealth Games this week with the aim of representing Team GB in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris!
Arktek have had an active partnership with Kiaran for over five years, and we are proud to promote local talent. We are dedicated to being active members of our local community, and work with numerous North East individuals, organisations, and charities.
Kiaran began his training at the Sunderland Amateur Boxing Club. He received two national titles in 2016 and 2017, competed in the 2021 World Championships, and recently won silver in the European Championships 2022!
In an interview with ITV news, Kiaran said, “I feel a real sense of pride and honour and I can’t wait to go and represent my country at the Commonwealth Games. It’s massive.
“I’ve done World Championships and European Championships which are sole boxing events, but the Commonwealth Games are a multi-sport event and I really hope all the athletes get the same backing as the athletes did for the London 2012 Olympics.”
Two other North East boxers, Joe Tyers and Savannah Stubley, will also compete in the Commonwealth Games this year. The team of 14 athletes are part of the World Class Programme (WCP) for Boxing and the GB boxing squad that trains at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Watch Kiaran and the team compete in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games by registering on this link. The boxing will take place at Birmingham’s NEC venue from Friday 29 July through to Sunday 7 August.
The ECO scheme has been delivered in the UK since 2013. Its aim is to ensure energy suppliers improve the energy efficiency of British homes by providing funding towards the cost of home energy improvements including the installation of different types of insulation and heating systems.
ECO4 is the fourth phase of the ECO scheme and it follows the highly successful third phase of the scheme (ECO3) which ended in March 2022. While the overall aim of ECO4 remains similar to that of ECO3, there are some noteworthy changes to the eligibility requirements and the way services are delivered under the scheme.
Changes to eligible benefits under ECO4
TO VIEW THE FULL LIST OF ECO4 ELIGIBLE BENEFITS AND TO SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR FUNDING, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
The following benefits did not qualify in ECO3, however they are now eligible in ECO4:
Pension Credit Savings Credit
The benefits below were eligible under ECO3 but they are no longer eligible in ECO4:
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Severe Disablement Allowance
War Pensions Mobility Supplement
Changes to scheme delivery
Unlike in ECO3, the ECO4 scheme promotes a fabric first approach to home energy improvements. This involves assessing a property’s current energy efficiency band with the aim of increasing this by as many bands as possible with the installation of various insulation and heating measures.
To qualify for ECO4, properties must be in bands D – G; this rating is shown on a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The minimum requirements for ECO4 state that:
Existing EPC bands of F or G must now be increased to at least a D rating
Existing EPC bands of D or E must now be increased to at least a C rating
Changes to funding for private rented tenants
While there have not been significant changes to the criteria for private rented sector tenants, the guidance in ECO4 suggests that a project may only be carried out on a rented property if the existing energy efficiency band is an E, F or G. Additionally, the property must be eligible for either First Time Central Heating or Solid Wall Insulation to qualify for other insulation or heating measures.
Limits to ECO4 boiler installations
In ECO4, the number of boiler grants that are available have been capped to 5,000 (across all suppliers). In comparison, almost 134,000 boilers were installed under ECO3. The rules about types of boilers that qualify under the scheme have also been tightened, including removal of LPG or oil boilers.
LA Flex changes under ECO4
The Local Authority Flexible Energy scheme (LA Flex) allows local authorities to offer funding for home energy improvements to individuals who are not in receipt of an ECO4 qualifying benefit.
In ECO4, suppliers can now deliver up to 50% of their obligation through LA Flex, which has increased from 25% under ECO3.
The Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (LA Flex) criteria for each local authority varies, so contact Arktek who will be able to advise if you qualify via this route.
We had a wonderful visit to Tanfield Lea Community Primary School today to deliver High Viz vests for children who will be taking part in the schools Anti-Bullying Champions campaign. The vests are supplied and branded for 3 Schools: Tanfield Lea, Brandon Primary School and Langley Moor Primary School. As with our previous support with Fatfield Academy, this is to help the Anti-Bullying Champions stand out in style as they help at playtime.
We were lucky to have such wonderful models! – a big thank you to the children taking part.
Children from Tanfield Lea Community Primary School Modelling the Anti Bullying Champions Vests
Further to our compliance with GDPR in 2018, Arktek are pleased to announce that we have gone one step further and have now been accredited with ISO 27001:2013.
ISO 27001 is the international standard that describes best practice for an ISMS (information security management system). An ISMS is a systematic approach consisting of processes, technology and people that helps us protect and manage all of our stored information through effective risk management.
The Difference between ISO 27001 and GDPR ISO 27001 mandates that organisations conduct a thorough risk assessment by identifying threats and vulnerabilities that can affect an organisation’s information assets, and to take steps to assure the confidentiality, availability and integrity (CIA) of that data.
GDPR specifically requires a risk assessment to ensure an organisation has identified risks that can impact personal data.
Business continuity ISO 27001 addresses the importance of business continuity management, whereby it provides a set of controls that will assist the organisation to protect the availability of information in case of an incident and protect critical business processes from the effects of major disasters to ensure their timely resumption.
ISO 27001 compliance means that Arktek is constantly reviewing and updating our ISMS in line with changes to the threat environment and business developments.
The Benefits of ISO 27001 Compliance include:
Increased reliability and security of our systems and information
Improved customer and business partner confidence
Increased business resilience
Alignment with our customer requirements
Further improvement of our management processes and integration with corporate risk strategies
Carbon monoxide is one guest you don’t want to invite into your home this Christmas season. It’s silent and deadly.
Carbon Monoxide symptoms can be hard to spot because they resemble flu-like symptoms. The six main symptoms to look out for are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, commonly referred to as CO, is an invisible, odourless, colourless, toxic gas.
How is it produced?
Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of common fuels such as gas, coal, natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene and methane, or any other combustible material such as wood, cloth or paper. Fuels burn incompletely when there isn’t an adequate supply of oxygen.
What are the potential sources?
Potential sources found in your home and garage include:
Clogged chimney flues
Gas space heaters
Wood and gas stoves
Charcoal grills and barbecues
Vehicle exhaust fumes
Vehicle exhaust, especially from attached garages or vehicles parked close to ventilation intakes
How can I prevent it?
The risk of poisoning reductions significantly when appliances are frequently maintained and correctly ventilated.
Fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves and fireplaces, as well as chimneys and vents should be cleaned and inspected every year before cold weather sets in.
Vents for fuel-burning appliances should always be clear of debris.
Gas and charcoal barbecues should be used outside, away from all building openings.
Portable fuel-burning generators should be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from building openings. Portable fuel-burning heaters should be vented properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Other ways to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
Never using the stove or oven to heat your home.
Open the flue for adequate ventilation before using a fireplace.
Never run a vehicle or other fuelled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open.
Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Where can I purchase a Carbon Monoxide alarm?
Modern CO alarms are similar in design to smoke alarms (which do not detect CO) and can be purchased from around £15.00 at most major retail outlets including DIY stores and supermarkets.
What should I do if the alarm goes off?
Follow the steps below if you or anyone in your home is suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Get everyone out of the home immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
Do not return to your home until an official advises that it is safe to do so.
If your alarm sounds and no one is suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing or the alarm has reached its end-of-life before calling 911.
How do I test and replace the alarm?
Alarms should be tested monthly by pressing the test button.
Replace batteries every year.
Replace alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What should I do if I suspect CO poisoning?
Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
Remember, the risk of poisoning reductions significantly when appliances are frequently maintained, contact Arktek today on 0191 516 6911 to arrange a Gas Safety Check to protect your home against Carbon Monoxide.
We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2018, taking place 17– 23 September.
Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly with no warning, as you cannot see it, taste it or smell it.
By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.
Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas pipework, appliances and flues supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange a gas safety check of the appliances and flues every 12 months and give you a record of the check.
Check any gas appliances you own every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at co.uk.
Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and the Gas Safe Register website.
Check for warning signs that your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
For gas safety advice and to find or check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
Arktek would like to introduce our new mascot – Archie
Archie is the product of a competition held by Arktek staff to come up with the idea for a mascot that would help communicate our core values and relate to our brand, and yes if we are truthful, help soften our brand a little.
Out of many different ideas for animals (and other items!) we collectively felt that our owl – which our staff have named “Archie” best reflected our brand.
Arktek staff and a number of our customer have certainly taken to Archie – we hope you too! – He is after all, a very friendly little chap!
We are sure you will be seeing a lot more of him in the future!