‘Best IFA in East of England’ supports “vital” fundraiser for disabled students in Suffolk

Matthew Douglas Ltd is proud to sponsor an emerging artist as part of ‘Painting For Change’ - a student-led exhibition which will raise funds for a dedicated special educational needs space at a local Suffolk college. Harry Badman explains how we’re lending support to this worthy cause.

We’re pleased to announce that Matthew Douglas is sponsoring the talented emerging artist Lolly Watts in the upcoming ‘Painting For Change’ art exhibition.

Created by the East Anglian law firm, Ellisons Solicitors, the exhibition will showcase inspiring and evocative works by 20 art students from the One Sixth Form College, carefully selected from over 60 entrants.

The ‘Painting For Change’ exhibition will raise vital funds for the local college, which aims to introduce a dedicated SEND (special educational needs) outdoor learning space. This is critical when you consider that roughly 10% of young people in Suffolk under the age of 25 are disabled, with 7000 young people in the area on an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and 12,000 getting SEN support from their school, according to  Suffolk County Council.

Proud to uplift local educational needs

Russell Brett, Director of Matthew Douglas, said: “Matthew Douglas is proud to be supporting this important initiative to raise funds for these essential educational improvements for SEND students in Suffolk.

“We’re sponsoring the artist Lolly Watts, who I invite you to read more about below; she’s a vibrant emerging artist from the area who has a keen understanding of colour and composition.

“As the best IFA in the East of England with an award-winning diverse workforce, we’re a firm believer in investing in our local communities to inspire positive change, so we’re genuinely thrilled to lend our support to Lolly and the ‘Painting for Change’ fundraising exhibition.”

A sneak peek: Lolly Watts

Above is a special preview of Lolly’s (as yet unfinished) artwork, which will be displayed at the Gala Exhibition at Ipswich Town Hall on Tuesday 25th June and again in the Tendring Show Art & Lifestyle Pavilion on Friday 12th July.

Speaking about her piece, Lolly said: “My chosen theme is ‘womanhood’ and this will link to connections, because I want to show the connections women have in the world. This can be all things including the connections between other women, mother nature, women’s representation in media, and how women are perceived. Within this painting, I wanted to demonstrate the connection between women and the expression of femininity.”

Lloyd Evans, Head of Visual Arts Department at One Sixth Form College, said: “The ‘Painting for Change’ initiative is a fantastic project which the Visual Arts department at One Sixth Form College is excited to be part of. Whilst raising vital funds for Supported Learning students it also presents our young artists with an amazing platform to showcase their fantastic work. We thank Ellisons for all their support in leading this project, and we look forward to working together towards the final exhibition in June.”

The ‘Painting For Change’ Exhibition Gala is free to attend and will take place at Ipswich Town Hall on Tuesday 25th June and again in the Tendring Show Art & Lifestyle Pavilion on Friday 12th July.

Matthew Douglas would like to thank our fellow sponsors Ellisons Solicitors, Connexions 159, Becketts Financial Services, Mersea Homes, Ingleton Wood, Tollgate Partnership, Pound Gates, Huntingfields Estate Agents, John Grose, CSH Environmental, Andrew Thompson Associates, Prime Appointments, Vohkus/SCC, One Advanced, Evolve and Office IS.


Piggy bank money

Christmas fundraising raises £6,700 for Suffolk Mind

money bank

Thank you so much to our generous clients who have chosen to give the value of their Christmas hampers to this worthwhile cause.

Over the past few years, in the spirit of giving and celebration in the wonderful festive season, we like to extend a token of our appreciation to our wealth clients by gifting them a wonderful Christmas hamper - filled with delicious, locally-sourced seasonal treats.

As well as the option of receiving this hamper, we also provide our clients with an alternative choice to support a meaningful, impactful cause close to our hearts - mental health charity, Suffolk Mind

Rather than receiving their traditional Christmas hamper, they have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those who need it most by donating the value of their hamper to this amazing organisation.

Once all clients had been contacted, we were then able to make a donation to contribute towards the charities’ invaluable work in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our local community members that are in need.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that, as a result of our clients’ generosity, we have managed to raise a fantastic £3,350 for Suffolk Mind. Additionally, thanks to Suffolk Mind’s doubling event as part of ‘The Big Give’, this was able to double to a total of £6,700!

Julie Long, Fundraising Manager at Suffolk Mind, said:

“Firstly, I’d like to say how thrilled we are with the support from Matthew Douglas Ltd. This will make a huge difference - thank you so much to all of you, and your clients too.

“We decided that the generous amount raised would be paid into our annual ‘match giving’ campaign, The Big Give. This is a national initiative open to charities in the UK, giving us the opportunity to pledge a pot of funds for ‘double donations week’ - between 28th November to 5th December.

“What we raise stays 100% in Suffolk to support the fantastic community we live in. Our target this year was to raise £14,000 to support fully-funded mental health education and training for schools in Suffolk - which we have already managed to achieve!”

Our Managing Director, Matthew Pescott Frost, said:

“On behalf of Matthew Douglas, I’m delighted to offer our support to the local charity, Suffolk Mind, who are devoted to supporting the mental wellbeing of the people of Suffolk, providing support and information for those in crisis.

“As an independent local charity, it is reassuring to know that all of the money we have raised will be used in our county, and is making a difference to the lives of those who need it the most.

To find out more about the incredible work of Suffolk Mind, visit their website.


Wealthtime Graphic

Novia is now Wealthtime

At Matthew Douglas, we regularly use Novia as part of our services and clients appreciate its clarity and simplicity.

From Monday 20th November however, Novia is rebranding to Wealthtime. With a refreshed platform and website, the service will also have a new look and feel.

Novia is rebranding to Wealthtime

Improved service, new name

Patrick Mill, Group CEO of Novia/Wealthtime said:

“I’m delighted to tell you that we will become Wealthtime from Monday 20 November. 

“We’re making some final changes to the platform and website in readiness for launch. Not only will you see a new look, but we’ve been working hard on our service and technology to make sure that our new brand delivers even better outcomes for you and your clients.”

It’s nearly time for Wealthtime

While things may look different in the new Wealthtime system, the company assures users that everything can be accessed as it would have before and we’ll be able to use it in the same way. This means that nothing should change from your perspective beyond some useful improvements to the Novia/Wealthtime service.

In fact, some elements will remain completely unchanged, even retaining the Novia brand name for a period of time.

As your financial adviser, we always take great care in selecting and reviewing the companies we work with so you can be confident that your wealth is in safe hands.You can read more about the changeover here and your Matthew Douglas adviser will be able to answer any questions you may have.


Update on typewriter

Important update on abrdn (formerly Standard Life) Wrap SIPP and Onshore Bonds

Update

The Wrap SIPP and Onshore Bond products available on abrdn Wrap are currently provided by Standard Life Assurance Ltd (SLAL). However, abrdn previously communicated that the firm plans to take ownership of the products from SLAL to Phoenix Life Limited (PLL), another company within the group.

These proposed changes have now been approved by the High Court in England and the Court of Session in Scotland, meaning that the SLAL business will transfer to PLL on 27th October 2023.

How will this affect my investments?

While changes such as these can be inconvenient, it’s important to know that this change of provider will not impact how these products operate on the abrdn platform. There will be no changes to any contact details and all investment choices, fund values, charges and current benefits will remain unchanged.

Phoenix has created a web support function, which contains the full details of the transfer process - click here to find out more.

You will start to see the updated Wrap SIPP and Onshore Bond product information with the new provider details from 30th October.

Here at Matthew Douglas, we’re here to help you. If you have any questions about this recent update, please reach out to our friendly team.


Money Age 2023 Awards

Matthew Douglas wins MoneyAge Diversity Award

Matthew Douglas Ltd fought off fierce competition from well-known industry names to take home the MoneyAge Diversity Award 2023. Russell Brett explains why the win is so important.

Growing from ‘literally nothing’ to a nationally recognised company supporting a diverse range of talented staff with heritage across the UK, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

I’m thrilled to share with you that Matthew Douglas Ltd has won a nationally recognised award, highlighting the importance of diversity within the workforce.

Our team won the MoneyAge Diversity Award earlier this month, beating competition from well-known companies including Zurich, Succession Wealth, The Verve Foundation, Fisher Investments UK and BTJ Mortgages.

We’re truly honoured to win the MoneyAge Diversity Award, especially as we’ve been championing corporate diversity long before it became a box to tick on a hiring sheet. 

While we are based in the heart of rural Suffolk, a county with a majority white population of 93% compared to the English national average of just 81%, there are 17 members of our team whose heritage comes from four different continents: Africa, Asia, North America (the Caribbean) and Europe.

What’s more, in an industry that historically has a low percentage of female staff, we also have five women represented at all levels within the company from the senior management team, to senior advisers and customer service members.

We also employ a Syrian refugee and provide practical and financial support for his family whilst we continue to help them integrate and navigate the cultural and financial differences they experience. Since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, we have also provided a home to a lady and her cat from Odessa, who live in an annexe behind our office.

As you know, we don’t believe in working in an echo chamber; we’re incredibly inclusive because we are unapologetically reflective of the diverse community we serve. We thrive within a culture of acceptance, tolerance and mutual support.

Within Matthew Douglas Limited, we have also created the PROSPER programme, which stands for Positive, Responsible, Ownership, Supportive, Pragmatic, Empathetic and Respectful actions. We consider these values to be the guiding principles that govern our day-to-day actions and interactions, with emphasis on taking personal responsibility and empowering every individual to own the work that they do without fear or judgement. 

Our founder, Matthew Pescott Frost, accepted the MoneyAge Diversity Award at the awards ceremony, which took place at the prestigious Waldorf Hilton London hotel on Thursday 12th October 2023.

Matthew Pescott Frost adds: “In 20 years of business, this company has grown from literally nothing into a successful local business, employing and uniting 17 immeasurably diverse individuals. 

“We support around 700 families - providing advice and investing assets of £300M and generating a turnover approaching £2.5M. This could never have happened without recognising the importance of diversity and building it into every facet of our business.”