Recovery and Resilience Grants reopening for Expressions of Interest

The Recovery and Resilience Grant scheme is reopening for Expressions of Interest from 10 am, 4th October – 10 am, 18th October.

The Recovery and Resilience Grant scheme offers match funding to businesses to invest in new technologies, plant equipment, or machinery to help businesses create employment opportunities.

The minimum grant amount that can applied for is £5000, and the maximum grant available is £50,000. The grants are designed to build resilience for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19 by supporting investment projects that will create a significant, positive impact on the business’s future.

Find out more at the SEMLEP Growth Hub website.

Northants charity celebrates 20 years

Leading grant-making charity Northamptonshire Community Foundation is celebrating its 20th birthday.

Over the last two decades, NCF have supported some of the most vulnerable communities in Northamptonshire by linking those in need with those who can give.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation is proud to have delivered vital support to local communities, distributing nearly £17 million to over 4,000 projects, charities and community organisations across Northamptonshire in that time.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support of a wide network of donors and fund holders who work closely with the Foundation to ensure their time and donations make a sustainable impact on local needs.

Watch their new video below to see the impact that 20 years of support can make.


Local charity launches social enterprise fund

Northamptonshire Community Foundation has launched a new fund to support social enterprise initiatives that will help with the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Social enterprises based in the county can apply for up to £5,000 to help support decent work and economic growth within local communities.

The activities must benefit local residents, especially those that may be disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Groups can apply via with a closing date for applications of Friday 15 October.

Rachel McGrath, Deputy CEO and Grants Director of Northamptonshire Community Foundation said: “We have seen how the pandemic has massively impacted the economic and financial wellbeing of our local communities and so we are delighted to be able to launch a funding programme that will go some way to help support and contribute to local economic wellbeing and give a boost to new and existing social enterprise activity locally.”

Last chance for clubs funding – closes 30th September

Made by Sport #ClubsInCrisis – Apply Now

Northamptonshire Community Foundation is pleased to be awarding the Made By Sport – Clubs In Crisis fund, which can help support young people as they start to recover from the effects of the latest lockdown.

They will be administering the fund on behalf of Made By Sport and awarding grants of up to £2,021 to clubs who match the criteria. The fund is looking for applications from clubs and community organisations using sport to improve young people’s lives through one or more of the following means:

  • Developing life skills
  • Building strong communities
  • Improving mental health
  • Developing employability skills
  • Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour

The fund is open for applications on a rolling basis. To apply online via Northamptonshire Community Foundation go to: MBS #ClubsInCrisis

To find out more about applying to the fund please contact Programmes Officer Alex Rex:

Please note this fund closes on 30 September.

Time is our biggest constraint

As business owners we often talk about growing our business, we develop plans, we create ideas, but rarely do we find the time to realise them.   For many small business owners, the introduction of a Virtual Assistant can release them from the burden of day-to-day administration, freeing up valuable time and space to focus on what is really important.  The introduction of a Virtual Assistant is often a signification step on the pathway for growth, offering a flexible cost efficient solution to our biggest constraint, that of time. Continue reading

The Importance of Accurate Bookkeeping

Accurate bookkeeping is vital for every business and with the development of online cloud based software, it is now possible to achieve a level of automation and real time reporting to improve the efficiency of your business.  Nevertheless, our research shows that a number of business owners lack the discipline to keep accurate records, resulting in lengthy reconciliations and additional accountancy fees.    This brief blog will highlight the benefits of keeping accurate books, as well as some hints and tips which will save you time and reduce end of year accountancy fees. Continue reading

Business Goals

How to achieve your goals through creating new habits

John C Maxwell, a No 1 New York Times best selling author and business coach, was once quoted as saying: “If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.”

Here at Bright Trees, we couldn’t agree more!

When we work with clients and help them to work towards their goals, starting with their ‘end game’, their ultimate goal and then looking at what changes and decisions need to be made in the short, medium and long-term.

Lots of business owners come to us because they’ve realised they need support, guidance and accountability. They are often looking for change and have ambitions to take their business to the next level. Part of this work is stopping the behaviours that have been self-sabotaging or have slowed growth and replacing these with new habits that will make an impact.

According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes, on average, 66 days for a new behaviour or habit to become automatic. Many successful entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders put their success down to following a particular routine or discipline.

We’ve put together a list of Ten Habits That Will Help You to Achieve Your Goals.


  1. Be curious and never stop learning
    Successful people never stop learning. To enable growth, we must continuously feed our curiosity and in today’s digital economy there has never been a greater opportunity to learn. From traditional methods of learning, such as reading books or attending a course, to listening to podcasts and participating in an online masterclass – there is a wealth of resources available to help you develop your skills and knowledge.


  1. Develop your network and build relationships
    Developing your network is critical to achieving your goals, as growth and success is very difficult to achieve on your own. Build and develop value-based relationships where you actively put in more than you take out. Seek to create collaborations and partnerships that align with your core values and purpose, enabling you to accelerate your growth and make a greater impact.


  1. If you dream it, set it and achieve it!
    A goal without a plan is just a dream, a wish. If you want to achieve it, break it down into manageable time-based goals and frequently measure your success. Try not to focus on the outcome, but what is important. What does success feel like? What do you want out of life? What legacy do you want to leave?


  1. Where focus goes, energy flows
    We strongly believe that where focus goes, energy flows, so don’t be afraid of an obsession. Take time to write down your goals, make them measurable and become obsessed with monitoring your performance.


  1. Stay active and schedule daily exercise
    You need to ensure that you look after yourself, both in terms of physical and mental exercise. Start your day with at least 30 minutes of exercise. Just 30 minutes of daily physical or mental exercise will deliver positive energy resulting increased productivity and positivity.


  1. Invest in yourself, appoint a coach and a mentor
    There’s no such thing as self-made success. True success is usually a team effort and is rarely achieved on its own. There’s a reason why every great sports professional has a coach and world leaders are surrounded by advisers. A coach will help with implementation and clarity, whereas a mentor has previously ‘walked the path’ and will be ahead of you in their journey.


  1. The early bird catches the worm!
    Some of us are night owls, some of us our early birds. Find a time where you have no distractions and can focus on your business as opposed to in your business. Focus on what is important, as opposed to the urgent. Allow this to be your ‘creative space’.


  1. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket
    Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket and grow your customer base across multiple sectors and, where possible, secure multiple streams of income.


  1. Time is finite, don’t waste it!
    It’s sad, but true, time is finite, but our impact is infinite, so make it count and stop wasting time. Learn to say no and lead by example. Don’t waste your time attending meetings or appointments that don’t have a clear purpose, agenda and desired outcome.


  1. Don’t let perfection get in the way of good
    Start now and achieve perfection later. Don’t allow perfection to get in the way of ‘good enough’. We all need to keep on moving. Stepping forward is better than standing still. Focus on one specific task you want to achieve and complete it. Learn by doing!


We offer several free resources to support you in developing a growth plan for your business. We can also be your accountability partner.

If you would like to learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook.

Click here to arrange a free consultation and start to achieve your growth aspirations.

Northamptonshire Logistics Awards 2021

The Northamptonshire Logistics Awards 2021 are now open for entry – with 12 categories to celebrate success and recognise achievements across the sector.
Nominate a colleague, enter your team! Free to enter – full details can be found on – with our awards dinner to be held on Friday 10th September in Northampton. More details to follow in the coming weeks – the deadline for entries is the end of June.
The truth about low carb diets

Low Carb Diets – The Truth Behind This New Trend….

Whether you’re in the supermarket, a restaurant, online, or just watching the commercials on TV you are bombarded with ads and special menus singing the praises of the virtues of the low carb diets and Ketosis diet.

This low carb foods craze has virtually swept the nation and has dieters everywhere seeking out low carb this and low carb that with many reporting weight loss as a result!!!

This is great news right? Finally, an easy diet plan that makes you lose weight and you can eat lots of food as long as they have almost no carbs in them!!!

But, have we really struck gold, or have we simply struck fools gold?

Is the idea of eating a low carb diet for weight loss really a good idea or are there any side effects that may come with these diets that adversely affect our health?

All too often carbs are demonised when they don’t need to be, especially when it comes to weight loss. Because cutting carbs…well it leads to pretty instant “results” on the scale.

It’s what we call “fake weight loss” because you haven’t actually lost any fat, yet the scale number will go down pretty quickly.

So if this weight loss isn’t “real,” what are we losing instantly with a low carb diet?

When you change to a low carb diet, two things happen:

You deplete your glycogen stores, which results in weight loss.

You lose water weight.

Neither one of these things is necessarily bad, BUT they are why the scales can fluctuate so much and you may find the second you “cheat,” or have a higher carb meal, all of the weight comes right back.

Because for every gram of glycogen your body stores (which glycogen storage isn’t necessarily a bad thing!), comes with it about 3-4 grams of water.

Basically you can go on a low carb diet and deplete your glycogen stores to lose 6.6lbs or about 3kg pretty instantly.

So going lower carb can be a way to see very fast, albeit not necessarily “true,” results.

But exactly how many carbs you need to consume will be impacted by any health issues you may have, your goals and even your training and overall activity level.

Carbs are NOT evil and actually eating too few, while it may have initially helped, may be hindering you from making further progress.

Many people want something for nothing and this way of thinking also applies to those looking to lose weight but unfortunately there is no miracle substitute to good sound nutritional practices.

Our society is one that values “quick fixes” which is why the low carb diet plan is a perfect for this society’s way of thinking. This is what makes it so appealing.

When choosing a low carb diet, the body will rely on free fatty acids for fuel when muscle glycogen is depleted, but the body will rely much more on amino acids (protein) from the breakdown of lean (muscle) tissue as well, so, while you may burn fat, you will also burn more muscle as well and remember, your heart is also a muscle!

In addition to this, those on a carb-restricted diet have lower energy levels and shorter time to fatigue during physical activity which means any activity will likely be in shorter durations.

Simply put you need carbohydrates for your brain, heart, and muscles as well as other vital organs.

The main fuel of the brain and central nervous system is glucose, which is obtained most easily from carbohydrates. If carbohydrates remain unavailable for several days the body tries to conserve protein by producing an alternate fuel source known as ketones from the partial burning of fatty acids. As this breakdown continues, these ketones build in the blood causing a condition known as ketosis.

As mentioned above, initial weight loss is not from fat but from water from the kidneys trying to rid the body of excess ketones. Low carb diets make the blood more acidic, causing potentially serious and unwanted side effects like headaches, bad breath, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. Also, when carbohydrate stores are depleted in the body, the rate at which fat is metabolised is reduced. Therefore carbohydrates are necessary for the ability to metabolise fat effectively.

Carbohydrates do not make you fat, calories in general make you fat, so the most effective weight loss plan is simply to adjust your calorie intake to be in the right range for your own individual needs with the proper balance of nutrients.

Just because you seem to notice a loss of overall body weight in the initial stages of a low carb diet doesn’t mean it is a good solid safe means of going about embarking on a weight loss venture. There is no substitute, and there will never be a good substitute to a good sound nutritional plan coupled with a moderate exercise plan and making this a lifetime venture.

For more information about our healthy eating, weight loss courses and dietary analysis, pop over to our website