Active Digital – A Year in Review
As we stride positively into 2022 and say farewell to 2021, it has been another unique year for the business. Not only did most of our team go permanently hybrid, but many also thrust themselves into adopting a modern way of working with ease.
The future most certainly looks bright for Active Digital as we continue our journey to help thousands of businesses around the UK and Ireland to transform their digital business. We are excited to see how our customers will enjoy our vast range of hybrid-focused solutions with can truly transform how they work. For now, here are some highlights of 2021 we wanted to share: –
January – March
In 2021, we kickstarted our annual employee wellbeing programme with Simon Reynolds of Formula to Perform. This has been a real success story and tremendously boosted our team wellbeing, overall fitness, and mental wellness. Over the course of the year, Simon has worked with our employees, and it has been a fantastic experience for all involved.
After two years of trials, we are now ready to take our Get Active Digital app to market! A ground-breaking application to convey scientific content related to wellbeing in the workplace. The programme will be available to any company looking to enhance wellbeing in the workplace and long-term engagement from their employees. Office workers and leaders in business will be motivated and learn from Formula One Driver Performance Coaches; an elite athlete Sports Nutritionist; celebrities and multiple specialists every week!
> Improve nutrition in the workplace
> Improve movement in the workplace
> Improve mindset in the workplace
> Improve posture and ergonomics
> Learn about the body
> Learn how to optimise recovery
> Learn how to prepare for sleep
> Insights from Formula One & elite sport
> Learn from celebrities & elite athletes
Thank you Simon for a brilliant 2021 and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
In other news, Active Digital signed a two-year technology partnership with The Mintridge Foundation. A registered charity which is dedicated to enhancing life skills in young people through sport. They harness the power of sporting role models to help and influence young people by increasing sports participation, nurturing talent, and enhancing life skills (including confidence and resilience). Equally, the work they do greatly increases awareness of the importance of mental and physical wellbeing. Their team of ambassadors are a mix of Olympians, Paralympians, and other professional sports stars from over twenty sports, both team and individual. They work with young people in schools, clubs, and academies across the UK.
The Mintridge Foundation demonstrates the incredible power of sport along with enabling children of all abilities to find confidence and happiness through participation. Announcing the new partnership, Alex Wallace, Managing Director of Mintridge Foundation said “We are delighted to join forces with the fantastic team at Active Digital; not only do they offer an exceptional service and help with the running of our charity behind the scenes, but they share such similar values to our Foundation. This really is a partnership that is looking to help each other grow and support our beneficiaries. We look forward to supporting them in 2022 and beyond!
In March 2021, MidKent College, an existing customer of Active Digital contacted us to see if we could work together to support some of their students with technology enablement. We have been delighted to support two hundred disadvantaged students at MidKent College by providing them with Wi-Fi units, allowing them to have online learning access in their homes. In these times, many take technology for granted but there are thousands of homes across the UK who have no connectivity at all. Active Digital has provided data services to students free of charge for a limited period and MidKent College have expressed how grateful they are for this support during these trying times. Chris Hare of behalf of MidKent College said: “A massive thank you to our partners at Active Digital. We’re so grateful for your support in helping our students access online learning from home during the current lockdown – superstars!”
April – June
As part of our giving back programme, we partnered with The Malling School in Kent to donate essential items that support children with anxiety, autism, ADHD and communication difficulties. Samantha from The Malling School said: “Thank you very much for your kind donation. These will be great for our students. The earphones will allow the students to complete screeners for dyslexia and access arrangements in exams.”
In April 2021, O2 Business announced the winners of its Partner of the Year Awards 2021 at a virtual award ceremony. The annual awards recognise and reward Partners’ capability to provide consistently first-class support and service to small and medium-sized business customers, combined with a high level of digital knowledge and expertise. The awards were attended by over 100 guests who all tuned in and were hosted by Gary Hill, Head of Partners with guests including Gareth Turpin, Sales Director, Maria Fernandez, Director of SMB and Kate Mulligan-Brown, Director of SMB Marketing.
As part of the event, O2 Business also announced the winners of its Customer Excellence Award, whereby partners are recognised for their capability to provide leading customer service. The focus on the customer experience means that when a customer chooses to work with an accredited O2 Partner they can be assured they will receive brilliant digital products and services combined with the partner’s expertise from a trusted representative of the O2 brand.
Active Digital was delighted to win the Customer Excellence Award for the sixth year in a row confirms our position as one of O2’s leading Partners. Here’s to another successful year of partnering with Telefonica O2 and all the strength of collaboration we bring together.
In May 2021, Active Digital launched its ‘walking for wellbeing’ campaign, encouraging team members to explore the benefits of being in nature. The Covid-19 pandemic brought us additional levels of stress triggers in our lives and we have since learnt that walking has significant benefits. It gets your heart rate up, brings your stress level down, and can reduce your chances of developing several illnesses, such as a stroke.
Throughout these challenging times, walking has continued to be an important time for representing liberty and health, both physical and mental. Walking workouts have become popular with the majority of the Active Digital team getting outside more now, than ever before.
June 2021 marked a huge milestone of the UK’s favourite mobile network operator and the UK’s fastest major broadband provider will join forces. This is exciting news for our O2 customers. Virgin Media and O2 will be one of the biggest businesses in the UK, with 46 million+ broadband, mobile, phone and home subscribers and 18,700 employees. It is welcome statement of positivity for customers, communities, and businesses all over the country.
We also launched our very own Active Digital App. Free for all customers to download straight away. Through the app, customers can contact the team as well as link through to the Active Digital store where you will be able to order new handsets and see all our latest offers, read blogs and download the podcast! Furthermore, to enhance our brilliantly loved brand, we teamed up with a number of incredible individuals who are as passionate about Active Digital as we are! As Brand Ambassadors, they are the faces of our brand and all the values that we stand for. Our Ambassadors, include Jade Jones MBE, Bianca Walkden, Lutalo Muhammad, Jodie Kidd, Dean Macey and Eboni Usoro-Brown. These inspiring individuals join our line up and compliment our long term Company Ambassadors, Steve Backley OBE and Richard Wigglesworth. I mean, what an incredible line up of Ambassadors hurdling us forward to gold standards in 2022!
And finally, this quarter, Managing Director, Richard Groves hosted a charity event at his fisheries in memory of his good friend Kenny Collins, who lost his life in January 2021. Kenny was a loyal customer of Active Digital for over 20 years. A huge ambassador for the Active Digital team. It was an exceptionally tough time for all that knew him to come to terms with. Richard organised this event to help raise money for all the NHS staff at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, who helped Kenny in his final days. Richard and all involved in the event raised over £3,600 for charity.
July to September
July welcomed the launch of the new ‘All Blue’ Partner Programme. An exclusive new Partner engagement programme which offers a range of benefits and tools designed to support O2 Partners to further grow their business. O2 have a long history of working with talented partners. The O2 network see the strength and value that partners bring to customers as we work together to be a trusted provider of digital experiences for businesses across the UK. Active Digital was escalated straight up into the highest tier of the ‘All Blue’ Partner Programme called ‘excel’, demonstrating our strength and agility as a loyal O2 Partner.
In customer news, Active Digital welcomed Middlesex Cricket as a new client to the Active Digital community. As part of our partnership, Active Digital has provided Middlesex Cricket with a fleet of iPhone 12 devices as well as the ILG Sports app. We are looking forward to working closely with Middlesex cricket ensuring they are at the forefront of technology and supporting them on their journey.
September finally saw the return of one of our favourite events in the calendar – Goodwood Revival. The event blasted back in style after the pandemic caused the event to be placed on hold in 2020. In 2021, Active Digital was back at Goodwood Revival, sponsored by Virgin Media O2 to have our marquee back on show for the vintage event.
The Active Digital team was on hand all weekend (in vintage style of course) to welcome all visitors to the marquee. Our team showed off some of the newest Apple iPhone devices on O2 as well as displaying ‘the evolution of the mobile’ with our large selection of telephones and mobile phones dating back decades! The display was a big hit and was the true highlight of the marquee for sure!
October to December
November marked a special month in the Active Digital calendar as we celebrated the company’s 25th birthday. We have come a long way over the years, so we wanted to celebrate this on our blog. Officially on 29th November 1996, Active Digital was registered in the United Kingdom as a private limited company. It is hard to think of an industry that moves as quickly as the technology industry. In such a fast-paced environment, only the strong survive. We have seen so much change over the last twenty years, it has been a truly remarkable journey.
We wrapped up the year by quietly celebrating our 25-year work anniversary with colleagues as well as reflecting on the highs and lows of 2021. We completed series one of the Active Digital podcast with our final guest of the year, Ant Morse of Virgin Media O2.
In summary, 2021 has remained a rollercoaster for some, but the right solutions and a dedicated team will get us through any turbulent tunnels. These ‘new ways of working’ are starting to feel more familiar and more comfortable – offering flexibility, opportunities to improve work-life balance, and cushioning the blow of what might still feel like constant change.
Another guaranteed constant is our award-winning team. Our amazing people are always on hand to support you through any highs or temporary challenges. We’d also like to extend a huge thank you to our customers, company, and company/brand ambassadors for your continued support this year.
Let’s raise a glass to 2021 and we look forward to seeing you in 2022 – be it virtually or in person. Happy New Year one and all! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.