Evidence post

Interviews for assignment 1:

Jo Smedley, founder and managing director of Red herring games.

“11 years of running a small business, third year with small business Saturday.

They do such a fab job, they really raise the bar and get small business up at the front. There is an awful lot of focus on big businesses, even with Brexit the focus is always how it will impact big businesses. But the team here are strong advocates of small businesses and provide help throughout the year, not just on the first Saturday in December. It is a big support network that is really useful

We are based in Grimsby and do murder mysteries, dinner parties, events, custom writing.”

Tom Flynn, director of operations of Small Business Saturday

“It is a campaign to promote and support the UKs 5,5 million small businesses.”

Why is it important?

“I do not know where to start. Small businesses make the community really. They employ and pump money back into the local economy, they offer something different. Often when you walk down a high street in the UK it is just the same shops, everywhere. So it is nice to find something different.

They often have slightly better service, because it is that persons business, it is their reputation, they have chosen the products they sell themselves. Someone who only works at a bigger store might not feel the same loyalty.

We do events all year around with workshops, but everything comes to a peak the first Saturday in December. The buses main purpose is to promote this, it is like a massive, mobile billboard. In the bus we have mentoring sessions with the businesses, free of charge, and outside a selection of local businesses get the chance to exhibit their products.

A lot of them are just online, operating from their livingroom, so it is nice for them to get a chance to chat to the public, especially in a a busy place like this.

We have gotten fantastic response with thousands of requests for us to visit certain places. It is nice to feel so welcomed. There is a lot of support for small businesses, but in a lot of cases it is hard to know where to find it. And there is also not a lot of opportunities where it is free.”

In Leeds: 9 businesses exhibiting, six booked in for mentoring sessions.

What are your expectations for this year?

“All signs are pointing towards growing even further. More and more businesses are enrolling, more and more local autorithies gaining attention. It should be a big year.”

Interviews for assignment 2:

“Hi Alice,

Thank you for your email and for being interested in Purple Tuesday!

Please find below answers to your questions:

Why is Purple Tuesday important?

Purple Tuesday was established by disability organisation Purple to raise awareness of the barriers disabled people can face when they go shopping or try to access services. All supporting organisations are asked to make at least one commitment to change or introduce an initiative which will improve the accessibility of their services. Purple Tuesday is all about instigating change to make UK high streets and shopping centres more inclusive.

What do you want to accomplish with the campaign?

We are looking for support from retailers across the UK, for them to action their commitments over the next 364 days, and to build on what was achieved this year for Purple Tuesday 2019.  We hope to see a real change in the attitude and approach towards disabled customers.

What response have you gotten from the campaign?

We have had over 650 registrations of interest so far, with events taking across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. On the 13 November, it really felt as if the UK had turned slightly purple and we were on the brink of seeing real change across the country.

Best wishes, Kristine”

“Hi, 

Thanks for these questions, I have copied them into the email with answers below. 

Would you like to tell me about your disability and how it affects your daily life?

I have an eye condition called Lebers Congenital amaurosis, a rare inherited form of blindness. I am almost totally blind, with only light perception remaining. I travel using a guide dog, read braille and access technology using a screenreader. This means I rely heavily on accessible information as I can’t read print. 

Why is Purple Tuesday important, both to you and in general?

I believe purple Tuesday is important because whilst disabled people often talk about the importance of equal access today we were all raising our voices at once. I feel like this made it harder for people to ignore us or say that they aren’t aware of the barriers we face. It is important to me because I spend a lot of my time talking to individuals and businesses about how they can become more inclusive, particularly in regards to digital accessibility, so it was nice to see many other people also speaking about this. 

What do you think about the campaign? Do you think it will make a difference? If no, what would it take to make a difference?

I think the campaign is valuable but it won’t suddenly make businesses accessible. This will take time, further advocacy efforts and unfortunately in some cases legal action. I do believe it has value though because today I have spoken with several individuals who work in customer facing roles. They have asked me how they can personally ensure they give blind and visually impaired customers the access they need. As individuals they may not be able to change an entire company, but the more people who are aware the more likely we are to see a change regarding how businesses treat disabled people. 

I hope one day we won’t need an event like purple Tuesday, it’s also vital that businesses recognise that we need access every day, but as activists we can use the momentum of today to start conversations and contribute to a movement that has captured the attention of the media. 

I hope this was useful, let me know if you would like to know anything else. 

Holly”

Interviews for assignment 3:

Mailys Auffret, Erasmus student studying a Masters in marketing and supply chain management:

The best thing about going on exchange has been to meet new people, discover new places, speak a lot of English and just learn more. I think that’s one of the best things: that you learn more about yourself. You come here without knowing anyone so you are forced to learn how to be alone, which I think is important.

Since coming here, I have improved my English so much, now I can speak three languages fluently which is really good for me. So I really don’t regret to come here. And actually, it was like a test for my relationship as well. I was really afraid to see what happened when I left my boyfriend at home, but now I know we can do it which is a big relief.

I chose the UK because I wanted to go to an English speaking country, and Leeds was then the only choice on my course.

Personally, I don’t like Brexit. It’s not one of the best things happening, and it will be complicated for English people. I think they will lose both money and people coming here. I think it’s gonna be both harder and more expensive for exchange students to come here.

Luke Lambert, spokesperson for Universities UK:

 

Hi Alice,

Thanks for getting in touch. An interesting subject and one we have worked a lot on.

I can guide you to our calls for a new student visa for international students, which is our most recent update on the matter. That can be found here, including quotes and statistics.

For information on how exiting the European Union may impact on international students, see here. Please note these lines were last updated four months ago.

Additionally, see the attached image for the economic impact of international students, with more information here in our latest patterns and trends breakdown (international students p14).

Hope this helps and best of luck with your studies,

Thanks, Luke

Hi Alice,

No problem. The best I can offer you on this score is the information found here on International facts and figures. Pages 6-11 focus on international students in the UK, with pages 17-19 looking at international staff in the UK. The first part of the analysis looks at where international students study and how many international students the UK receives, among other things.

I hope this helps,

Luke

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