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About Us

Morson Ambassadors

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STANDING TALL WITH MORSONAndy's story has inspired those at Morson and beyond, and as our official ambassador watch the video to find out how he will now work to help other ex-forces members transition into a civilian life with the help of our expert recruiters >

From athlete's to army veterans the Morson Ambassadors programme partners with inspiring individuals who can motivate and educate our clients, candidates and employee's. 

Our ambassadors are from different backgrounds with a range of life experiences, but they all share a drive, determination and integrity which is why they are part of the Morson family. 

From breaking down barriers with mental health and raising autism awareness to championing women in the workplace and resettlement, our ambassadors bring new perspectives and positive influence.

Current Morson Ambassadors include:

SPOTLIGHT ON...

Andy Reid | Afghanistan army veteran and author of 'Andy Reid - Standing Tall'

Corporal Andy Reid lost both his legs and right arm after stepping on an IED plate whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009. After spending only 2 weeks in hospital before returning home after his injury, Andy is a testament to overcoming adversity with a positive mindset.

Andy was chosen as a Morson Ambassador as his determination and optimism means that he is a role model, not only for the forces, but for the wider community. 

The partnership between Morson and Andy aims to get more ex-forces personnel into employment by using his knowledge of the forces community in conjunction with Morson's recruitment expertise.

Andy explains:

I hope to develop the relationship with Morson by helping to recruit more armed forces personnel. There’s a lot of guys out their who’ve got great skills and when they leave the armed forces some of those skills aren’t used anymore. I can see where within Morson Group those skills can be used. There’s a lot that the armed forces can offer when they leave service and Morson is an ideal place for them to explore that.

We hope this partnership will develop and grow, making a real difference to the resettlement of forces personnel.    

Adrian Head, Morson client development manager, who knows Andy well explains why Andy Reid is such an inspiration and a great ambassador for Morson…

Andy’s been through a lot of adversity himself, but he doesn’t lose sight of people who are less fortunate than he is. He’s able to connect with these people. He understands that coming out of a period of the navy, army or airforce and trying to transition across into civvy street can be difficult.

Morson have a demonstrable track record of putting ex-forces people into work, assignments and permanent employment and we want to build on this. We want to put that something back and Andy is going to be able to help us do that.

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Get #MoreFromMorson

For more from our Morson Ambassadors and to keep up to date with the latest content follow @MorsonGroup and get behind #TeamMorson. Not socially savvy? Check out our Candidate Hub to get our social streams, blogs and videos all in one place. 

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    Callum Smith Backs World Autism Awareness Day | Read About His Personal Journey

    Callum Smith has taken time out from his preparations for his forthcoming world title fight with George Groves to lend his support to World Autism Awareness Day. The aim of the World Autism Awareness Day is to highlight the hurdles that people with autism face daily. There are around 700,000 people living with the condition in the UK and efforts are being made to raise awareness, educate and help make the world a friendlier place for autistic people. It’s a cause close to the hearts of the fighting Smith brothers from Liverpool – their sister Holly is autistic. “She’s 17 and was diagnosed when she was two,” Callum explained. “She’s non-verbal and it’s had a big impact on the family. It became a 24/7 job for my mum and dad. She needs care all the time so it’s tough, but she’s a diamond of a kid. She has good and bad days, but she’s fun to be around. “When she was first diagnosed we had no idea what it [autism] was. There is more and more awareness about it now.” Each Smith – Paul, Stephen, Liam and Callum – fight with the word ‘Autism’ emblazoned across the back of their shorts. It’s a simple idea but one that’s proved effective. “People come up and ask, ‘what’s autism?’ You explain it and it’s another person that understands,” said Callum. “We’ve got a big platform and with social media and stuff, we just try and get it out there as much as we can. “What’s hard to understand about autism is that you could have five autistic people and every on of them could be completely different. The spectrum is so big. “When we’d go out for meals when Holly was a kid, she’d see a drink on someone’s table and she’d pick it up. We’d have to explain that she didn’t know any different. Nowadays, I think more people would realise she’s autistic and know how to handle her.” The Smith brothers have used their profile to go into schools and talk to children about autism. They’re also involved with their old amateur boxing club, The Rotunda, which has an autistic class every fortnight. “Kids come into the gym and they can do whatever they want. It’s growing all the time with more and more people coming. They love it and the feedback we’re getting is really good.” Along with helping to raise awareness about autism, Callum is currently preparing for the biggest fight of his career. He takes on George Groves in the final of the World Boxing Super Series with the latter’s WBA super-middleweight title also on the line. The date is yet to be finalised but is expected to take place in July.

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    Boxer Ben Sheedy | ‘It’s a juggling act between training and working to pay the mortgage’

    Boxer Ben Sheedy has become the latest to join #TeamMorson, joining our impressive roster of fighters. Training with Ensley Bingham at Moss Side Boxing, Ben wakes up at the break of dawn every day to keep fit while simultaneously working as a self-employed bricklayer. We caught up with Ben after an afternoon session at the gym to talk to him about his boxing career, working life and how doing an apprenticeship has shaped the kind of person he is. “My Dad’s friend used to box, and took me boxing and then I just carried on from there and it snowballed. I fell in love. I wanted to compete, I didn’t just want to use it for self defence.” Having to balance working life with his fighting career is something that sets Ben apart from boxers who are further along their paths. Ben works every day while fitting time in for training which, despite something that has proven tricky over the years. “I boxed for a few years and then when the recession hit and work wasn’t as readily available in Manchester so I was doing a lot of travelling to get to work so I couldn’t get to the gym. I was going to the Lake District, Wales and down south, all sorts of places. I had a few years out and then the minute the work picked up and I could be back in Manchester I was straight back in the gym. It’s a juggling act at the minute between training and working to pay the mortgage. I’ve worked my way up the ladder in that sense as well. I work mainly in Manchester subcontracting on sites doing new build houses. “ Ben has built himself up from leaving school with minimum qualifications to being self-employed, and the route he took towards this was through an apprenticeship. “I didn’t particularly like class work. I didn’t get very good GCSE’s, so I went and did aptitude tests at colleges all around Manchester. I ended up getting in at Carillion in Salford and served a two and a half year apprenticeship with them. I spent the first few months in the centre and then a few months on site. I got put with a bricklayer and had to work hard. I was 16, and learnt my trade. That lasted a few years before I went self-employed. I’m massively for apprenticeships. If you’ve got the work ethic I think it’s a great thing to do in any trade. I think it’s a very understated thing now. Not as many people are doing apprenticeships as there should be.” The parallels between his early career as a fighter and his formative days working on site during his apprenticeship are something Ben is keen to highlight, and sees this as a great strength. “In a sense, apprenticeships, you start, you go to college, you do work experience and that’s almost like your first ten fights as a pro. It’s your apprenticeship stage. I feel like I’m in a better place because I’ve been a bricklayer and I’ve done an apprenticeship and served my time.” Ultimately, Ben recognises that if he is to be a success as a professional boxer, there will come a time when he has to make a very important decision. “The sooner I can put my trowel down and not actually have to go and work the better for me. To go to training and then go to work and lay bricks it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but being part of #TeamMorson now is a massive help and a step towards it.”

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    Paul Nicholls Gives Us The Lowdown On His Horses | Find Out Who’ll Be Racing At Cheltenham

    At our exclusive press day earlier in the year, champion horse trainer, Paul Nicholls, gave us his opinion on some of his favourite horses. Check out which ones will be racing at Cheltenham > CASKO D’AIRY (FR) 2012 bay gelding by Voix du Nord (Fr) ex Quaska D’Airy (Fr) (Cachet Noir (USA)) Owners: G Mason, Sir A Ferguson, J Kyle Paul says: “Although showing huge amounts of promise with us at home sadly Casko D’airy has not yet had the chance to perform on the track due to two separate tendon injuries. A big horse who is clearly extremely fragile we will look to start his training off once again in July with the aim of getting him to the track next autumn.” CHAMERON (FR) 2013 bay gelding by Laveron (GB) ex Chamanka (Fr) (Cadoudal (Fr)) Owners: Done, Ferguson, Fogg & Mason Paul says: “A tall, backward five year old French bred who showed a good level of form in his native country before joining us last winter. Chameron made an encouraging British debut at Exeter in November for us jumping well and finishing second to the useful Briery Queen, I haven’t rushed him and he will continue to improve as he develops and will make a nice staying chaser in time.” GIVE ME A COPPER (IRE) 2010 chesnut gelding by Presenting (GB) ex Copper Supreme (Ire) (Supreme Leader (GB) Owners: Done, Ferguson, Kyle, Mason & Wood Paul says: “When completing his races he boasts an incredibly high win record, suffering only one defeat in his career, he made a taking chasing debut at Kempton while receiving high praise from his jockey Harry Cobden. He picked up a tendon injury afterwards which has ruled him out of this season but will resume next year a high class chaser. He could be a possible for next season’s Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury. ” TOMMY SILVER (FR) 2012 bay gelding by Silver Cross (Fr) ex Sainte Mante (Fr) (Saint Des Saints (Fr)) Owners: Done, Ferguson, Mason & Wood Paul says: “Already the winner of four races including the Sussex champion hurdle Tommy Silver boasts some excellent form over hurdles and fences, his slick jumping a hallmark of his success. I can’t wait to run him on good ground this spring and in the right conditions he is a high class young chaser who will run in handicaps at either Cheltenham or Aintree, the Grand Annual at Cheltenham is a possible.” CLAN DES OBEAUX (FR) 2012 bay gelding by Kapgarde (Fr) ex Nausicaa Des Obeaux (Fr) (April Night (Fr)) Owners: Mr & Mrs P K Barber, G Mason, Sir A Ferguson Paul says: “Since he arrived with us I have always held Clan des Obeaux in the highest regard. A rangey horse who has already performed to a very high level over fences, winning a Grade 2 Novice Chase last season. No doubt the best is yet to come with him and he could make a Cheltenham Gold Cup horse in the future.” DENSFIRTH (IRE) 2013 bay gelding by Flemensfirth (USA) ex Denwoman (Ire) (Witness Box (USA)) Owners: G Mason, Sir A Ferguson, Mr & Mrs P K Barber Paul says: “A strong son of the excellent sire Flemensfirth, Densfirth made a pleasing start to his career with us when finishing fourth a strong looking Exeter bumper, a race where the winner has won again since. Very much a future staying chaser he will have another run or two in bumper this season before going over timber next year, a nice horse who is very much one to look forward to over the coming seasons.” UNNAMED 2014 bay gelding by Gold Well ex Five Star Present (Ire) Owners: G.Mason, Sir A Ferguson, Mr & Mrs P. K. Barber Paul says: “A unraced, well built and good looking national hunt model, this 4yo son of Gold Well is currently undergoing his education at Will Biddick’s pre-training yard. He does everything right at this tender stage in his career and looks to have all the qualities one would look for in a future staying chaser, something he will be trained to be. Already jumps very well and will start his career in a bumper when he is ready.” KING OF THE RING (GB) 2016 brown colt by Sepoy (Aus) ex Anosti (GB) (Act One (GB)) Owners: G Mason, Sir A Ferguson, J Bolton, A Gibson Paul says: “The first two-year-old Ged has had in training with us. King of the Ring is a smart looking Sepoy colt bought as a yearling in the autumn. He does everything right at this stage and will be one of the first two-year-olds a I have run in my career as a trainer, A nice horse and he will hopefully play a big part in what is an exciting new project.”

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    Proud to Announce Andy Reid As Our First Morson Ambassador

    We are proud to announce that forces veteran Andy Reid is to become our first Morson Ambassador. Corporal Andy Reid lost both his legs and right arm after stepping on an IED plate whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009. After spending only 2 weeks in hospital before returning home after his injury, Andy is a testament to overcoming adversity with a positive mindset. Andy was chosen as a Morson Ambassador as his determination, optimism and integrity means that he is a role model, not only for the ex-forces, but for the wider community. We are sure he will be an inspiration for our candidates, clients and staff. We chatted with Andy about his involvement with Morson and how he aims to use this to get more ex-forces personnel into employment. After speaking at Morson’s half yearly conference in Gleneagles last summer and thought it would be a great opportunity to be an ambassador for Morson Group as they employ a lot of veterans and do a lot of work with the ex-forces. Within Morson, their standards and values are high and fall in line with what I was taught in the armed forces. They really related across to me. Andy Reid joined Ged Mason, Simon Orange and 100 veterans at Sale Sharks to sign the Armed Forces covenant at a ceremony before the Sale v Saracens game last Friday. We asked him about his experience … Being alongside (Morson CEO) Ged and the other members of the armed forces at Sale Sharks to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, was absolutely fantastic. It was great for a club like Sale to get involved and get behind the armed forces. I would encourage any company to get behind the armed forces and sign the covenant to help support guys like myself and other veterans who are trying to move their lives forward. Andy also joined Morson representatives at the CTP event, hosted at the AJ Bell Stadium last week. The CTP helps ex-service personnel find a new civilian career and help employers recruit the best talent. We asked Andy about the ex-forces people he spoke to at the event and what their challenges were in the job market … At the CTP, the main thing I found from the veterans was the language barrier. We have military speak, where we know what we’re talking about to each other but the civilian worlds speak differently. I think it was useful for me to be a buffer on the other side of the desk for the veterans to have a quick chat with about their background and then pass them onto the Morson recruitment specialist who can offer them career advice. Morson are just at the start of exploring the Ambassador programme and we asked Andy how he hopes the relationship with Morson will develop and grow over the coming years… I hope to develop the relationship with Morson by meeting more of the employee’s. Hopefully helping to recruit more armed forces personnel. There’s a lot of guys out their who’ve got great skills and when they leave the armed forces some of those skills aren’t used anymore. I can see where within Morson Group those skills can be used. There’s a lot that the armed forces can offer when they leave service and Morson is an ideal place for them to explore that. Adrian Head, Morson client development manager, who knows Andy well explains why Andy Reid is such an inspiration and a great ambassador for Morson… Andy’s been through a lot of adversity himself, but he doesn’t lose sight of people who are less fortunate than he is. He’s able to connect with these people. He understands that coming out of a period of the navy, army or airforce and trying to transition across into civvy street can be difficult. Morson have a demonstrable track record of putting ex-forces people into work, assignments and permanent employment and we want to build on this. We want to put that something back and Andy is going to be able to help us do that. If you’re a veteran looking for employment get in touch with pat.mcmullan@morson.com or for more information go to our dedicated ex-forces employment page To search relevant jobs click here

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    Morson Ambassador, Bryony Frost, Places An Impressive 5th At The Grand National | As The Wait For A Female Winner Goes On

    “I live and breathe for my horses. If you love it, you put up with the bad days and it makes you more hungry for the better days.” While the wait for a female-ridden winner of the Grand National continues, Team Morson ambassador Bryony Frost raced brilliantly on Milansbar and placed 5th. Horse and rider raced prominently throughout the steeplechase but found the competition at the business end too strong. We spoke to Bryony, daughter of 1989 Grand National winner Jimmy Frost, last year as she continues to be a rising star in the sport that she loves. Awarded the Stobart Jockey of the Month prize for November, a month which included wins on Paul Nicholls’ Black Corton at Cheltenham and her father’s Triple Chief in Taunton, and now highly praised for her performance at the National, 22-year old Frost has made a name for herself in the sport it always seemed inevitable she would pursue. “It’s in my blood, racing. It’s not just from my Dad either. It’s my grandparents and further back. My earliest memory would be difficult to say because it’s sort of always been my life. Since I could sit up I had this toy donkey. They [her parents] plonked me on him and I wasn’t allowed off him or else I wasn’t allowed back on. So I stayed on him all day!” While it was arguably a given that the family passion would soon become her own passion, the infant Bryony certainly didn’t need any persuasion. “I had my first ride on a racehorse with Dad on my 9th birthday. I asked him when I was about 5 if I could ride out with him and he said no because I was too little. I said ‘OK then, when I’m 9 can I?’. I plucked that age out the sky! He thought I would never remember, so said ‘yeah, yeah of course. I’ll take you on your 9th birthday.’ Cut to a scene of me jumping up and down on his bed at 5:30 in the morning on my 9th birthday!” Frost grew up and went from ponies to hunting, to show-jumping and then on into racing. She turned professional in July 2017, with her first ride being on her father’s horse Grissom at Southwell. We asked her about how she feels as a young woman making it in the sport. “It’s a very male dominated sport, and sometimes it’s a case of ‘if a girl messes up, it’s because she’s a girl.’ It’s nothing to do with the logistics of whether the horse got tired or it was beaten by a better horse – no. But I made sure that was never going to be an occurrence. I pushed the body hard with weights and physical training, harder than you would if you were a boy.” Did the fact that the sport she loves is so male-dominated ever deter her in her formative years? “No, it angered me. I wanted to prove a point, break the mould and the perception that’s there.” We talk about the stereotype of a lot of young girls being into horses at a very young age, but only a small number looking to pursue it as a career and a passion. “In any walk of life, going from hobby to career is a big step-up and it’s tough. You’ve got to go and grab it and know there’s probably going to be a lot of tears. Or you don’t do it and you pursue something that’s maybe a little easier and not quite so dependent on ‘you might not make it.’ Frost acknowledges that she’s privileged to have the family background that she does and that this has been a considerable aid during the tougher times. “I admire people who have come through all walks of life where they haven’t had a leg-up from family or friends – those that have done something completely off their own wing and said ‘I want to go down that road’, this random stretch of tarmac.”

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    Natasha Jonas | Being A Female Role Model

    In Joe Gallagher’s sweltering Bolton gym, surrounded by training fighters like Anthony Crolla, Paul Butler and Callum Smith, we sit down with Miss GB Natasha Jonas, Great Britain’s female boxing ambassador and #TeamMorson athlete to discuss being a female role model, getting more women into the sport and how her two year old daughter knows when it’s fight night. “As a new mum and a first time mum, there’s so many things that you get told. You’re trying to do what’s best for them and not spoil them – give them what you can but not too much. You struggle with that for the first year or so. But once my daughter was in her routine I was left with a lot of time and thought, what I am going to do? So I decided to come back to boxing and it all fell into place!” Tash’s journey back to boxing, this time as a professional, after the birth of her daughter Mela couldn’t have gone much better so far. Since her comeback fight against Monika Antonik in June 2017, she has fought a further five times, all bouts resulting in comfortable wins. This has elevated herself to a new level within the sport. Tash recognises the importance of attracting more women into male dominated sports, and is only too aware of the platform from which she can now do this. “The opportunity is there for us now. We knew once the Olympic thing was over that people would get behind it and enjoy women’s boxing once they saw it at its elite level. It’s going to grow, and it’s good to be a pioneer in starting that. I don’t want it to be easy, I want it to be tough because then it means more and if it makes it easier for the women that are coming behind me then I’d rather it be tough. It’s good to be able to speak honestly and truthfully about the sport I’m involved in and try and make it better for the women coming through. I’d rather take it on my shoulders and do the graft and the hard work and break down a couple of barriers.” Being a female role model isn’t something that Jonas anticipated would happen, but it’s clear in her popularity that this is exactly what she has become. “I do get people on social media wishing me well and saying that I’ve inspired them. – coming to the gym just to take photos. It’s a lovely feeling and it’s not something I ever thought would be. It’s an honour and pleasure to be someones idol and be looked up to. I didn’t really think of myself as a role model until after the Olympics, when I looked back and thought, ‘wow we really did something great there and I was part of something’. In the moment, I didn’t think like that. To me I was just a boxer doing what I do and trying to do my best.” Her two year old daughter is also quickly becoming her biggest fan, too, and Tash is pleased to be one of her early “She’s got her routine and I’ve got mine! Obviously she sees me on the TV. I went home with my traditional two braids and she said “mummy’s boxing” – so she knows that my braids mean it’s fight night! I’m just happy that she can see me doing stuff that’s not conventional. If you’ve got a dream and you believe yourself and work hard and try your best, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

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    Paul Nicholls Press Day | Cheltenham Festival 2018

    Morson Group are the proud sponsors of champion horse trainer Paul Nicholls’ stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, along with jockeys Bryony Frost, Megan Nicholls and Harry Cobden. In February 2018, we organised an exclusive open day for the press and our clients at the stables, ahead of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival. Guests included the Racing Post, the Press Association, and other local and national press. During the event, guests were invited to the gallops, to a parade of Cheltenham runners and to take part in a Q&A event at the Manor House Inn – watch the action below. During the Q&A session, journalists and clients were invited to ask questions to the panel, which included Paul Nicholls, jockey Bryony Frost and assistant trainer Tom Jonason. Initial questions centred around the squad of horses Paul has at his disposal for 2018. Paul Nicholls: Like any football team, you’re only as good as the players you’ve got and it always changes year in and year out. We’ve got a lot of progressive young horses that are coming on through and there will be more so in the future. We’re probably a bit weak at the top end but it’s just about running those horses in the races they can win and having eight winners [the previous weekend] we did that well. You’ve just got to really race the horses in the right races. Horses like Frodon, Black Corton will keep on winning races and that’s what it’s all about. We’ve just got to keep looking for those new stars all the time. Paul was also keen to underline the importance of sponsorship, and paid particular praise to event hosts Morson. Paul Nicholls: I can’t say enough thank you’s to Ged [Mason, CEO] and Morson for sponsoring the yard this year, it’s really taken sponsorship to a new level. All the owners appreciate it immensely and it’s a great relationship. Thanks [for also sponsoring] Bryony, my daughter Megan and Harry Cobden, they’ve been riding great winners and it’s been great publicity. It’s great to have a relationship going into Cheltenham. The Cheltenham Festival was naturally the focus of much of the discussion at the event, with both Paul and Tom discussing both the present and the future. Tom Jonason: Going into Cheltenham we have some good hopes, like Black Corton in the RSA. I’m off to France tonight and then Ireland after that! Every time you buy a horse it’s for two years down the line, it’s not about next week. It’s 18 months before you see the best of them and it’s at least two years before you know if they’re championship class. Paul Nicholls: Out of my horses, this year we have Tommy Silver. He’s done consistently well during the season and we’ve been waiting for the spring and better ground and I’ve always thought he’d be one to go to Cheltenham with a good chance if I run him in the right race. There will obviously be other ones too. Romain de Senam hasn’t been running all winter, loves good ground, loves Cheltenham and he’s another one who could be a bit of a surprise package. A lot of publicity in the last few months has centred around jockey Bryony Frost after she became only the second woman ever to win a Grade One race. When asked about how much pressure this newfound publicity put on her, she was quick to play it down. Bryony Frost: I’ve got a funny head on me. I don’t see it as my work, its our work. It’s a team, and my job is like the last piece of the puzzle if you like, and I have to make sure it fits. It’s been months down the line of getting the horse in from the field and making sure he’s happy and getting his training. All the team work behind him, all the preparation and the passion behind the horse to get him to even be at the racecourse let alone win. For a jockey our job is pretty simple. We know what we’ve got to do, the trainer knows the horse and knows how he wants this horse to be run so you ride them to the best of your ability. My world has been a massive whirlwind but it’s the life you want to be in and it’s a world you love. I’ve been in it since I opened my eyes so why would I want to change it? Paul Nicholls: It doesn’t matter whether they’re male or female, if they’re good enough they get opportunities. Saturday at Chepstow in the Handicap Hurdle the winner was ridden by Bryony, the second by Lizzy Kelly and the third by Bridget Andrews – there are some good girls riding but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, it’s a tough game but the ones that are coming through are doing really well. One question from the room concerned which horses the panel would like to train or ride that are owned by other stables. Bryony Frost: Buveur D’Air. Who would deny that horse? All he’s got to do is jump and his mechanics stay safe and he’ll win. So for me that’s your best chance of a festival winner, even though it is for Henderson! Paul Nicholls: I’ll say Altior. Anyone would want to train him, he looks a superstar doesn’t he? For more #TeamMorson content in the world of boxing, horse racing, rugby, golf and more, follow us on Twitter @MorsonGroup and found out how to achieve your #CareerGoals Subscribe to the Blog If you enjoy our content, fill out the form below and you will kept up to date with our latest blogs! Name* Email Address* Which topics do you enjoy reading on the blog? jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 13) {} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} ); jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [13, 1]) } );

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    Mundo’s Time To Shine | At Home With Callum Smith

    Callum Smith is sat in his smart semi-detached on a new estate in Bootle. The house has just been decorated but that’s not deterring Freddie – his charcoal grey French Pug puppy – who’s tearing around the place trying to chew on anything his little fangs will attach to. It’s Callum’s day off – a rarity despite the fact he still doesn’t have a confirmed date for his eagerly anticipated world title clash with George Groves in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (Groves v Smith). The fight is expected to take place in July following surgery on Groves’s right shoulder. The youngest of the fighting Smith brothers reclines on his sofa, decked out in his navy Hugo Boss tracksuit and fluffy slippers. He’s comfortably relaxed – so laid back it’s hard to imagine he’d be ruffled by any knockback the sport of boxing could hand him. “I’ve not heard anything official off the World Boxing Super Series,” Callum said. “Until I hear it off them, I can’t afford to take my foot off the gas. I can’t think it’s going to be in the middle of July and then they spring it on me that it’s in June with me running a little bit behind. There won’t be any chance of that. I’m always in the gym ticking over.” It’s been a month since Callum had his arm raised in Nuremberg following a unanimous victory over relative novice Nicky Holzken – a very late replacement for the seasoned Juergen Braehmer. It was a thankless task given the circumstances. “I went over there to make a statement, but the minute the opponent got changed, any chance of making a statement was gone,” Callum explained. “If I’d knocked Holzken out in one round, I’d have been criticised for [fighting] a bad opponent. I went to points with him and got criticised for going the distance with a bad opponent. The objective had changed. It was just a case of booking my place in the final. “Watching the fight back since, I thought I boxed well to be honest! If anything, it was just a bit too comfortable. If it was a sparring session, I’d have thought I sparred well, but it wasn’t, it was a fight and there were a few times I think I could’ve upped it a little bit more. But what I was doing was working and I had it all my own way. Job done.” So on to the final. The venue as well as the date is still to be decided, but whether it’s held in London or Manchester, it will be Groves v Smith and Callum will be the underdog. The shoulder injury suffered by Groves in the Eubank semi-final is expected to delay the fight by at least a month with the original date of June 2 considered highly unlikely. A new date ensures the WBA champion’s involvement in the final following initial talk of a substitute being drafted in. “I said straight after the [Eubank jnr] fight that I’d rather wait a little bit longer to fight him [Groves] than him be replaced,” said Callum. “I’ve been a professional for 24 fights now and I’ve been a massive favourite in every one of them, most of them deservedly so, but some of them not so much. The bookies have always had me a massive favourite – i.e. the Skoglund fight and he was a 26 and 0 light heavyweight, ranked in the top ten with all four governing bodies. I was never going to get any credit beating him. The Fielding fight, the Rabrasse fight – all the same. I wasn’t given any credit. At the time, they were all good wins. “The Groves fight is the opposite. It’ll be the first time in my career that when I do win, people will sit back and say, ‘that was a good win’. It takes all the pressure off me, not that I feel much pressure anyway. It’ll be nice to have a lot of people picking me to lose! Trying to prove people wrong will be good. “George Groves is a massive fight for me and one that I’ll have to perform in to get the win. When you’ve got that pressure where you feel you need to perform, I feel it always brings out the best in me. “I believe he’s in good form at the minute. A new coach [Shane McGuigan], he’s won a world title, his tail’s up, he’s buzzing, he’s in a good place. The Eubank fight impressed me. He boxed well and stuck to his tactics – Eubank didn’t. It was probably the best win of his career – recently anyway. “I prefer it that way. I wouldn’t want to beat George Groves and people say, ‘he was finished, he was over-the-hill. He’s world champion and as of now, he’s the best in the division. It’s a massive challenge but one I’m confident of coming through. I believe I can beat him and beat him well.” It won’t be the first time ‘Groves v Smith’ is up in lights. Callum’s older brother Paul was stopped by Groves when the pair fought in November 2011. Regardless, family revenge isn’t a motivating factor for the younger Smith. “Whether he’d boxed Paul or not, it’s still a must-win fight for me. More importantly, it’s a world title fight,” said Callum. “I turned pro to become a world champion and I want to take that belt off him. Everything that comes with it is a bonus, but the bottom line is becoming a world champion.” The plan is simple. Beat Groves and look to unify the belts as quickly as possible. “You can be a world champion and not be the best in the world. Groves is ranked number one by the Ring Magazine, so I think beating him makes me the best in the world. I’d then like to prove I’m the best by beating the other champions. “If you asked 100 people who the best middleweight in the world is, 100 people would say Golovkin. There aren’t many divisions where you have that. In a year’s time, if asked who the best super-middleweight in the world is, I’d like 100 people to say ‘Callum Smith’. No questions. That’s the ultimate goal,” Callum added. A curious caveat to ‘Mundo’s’ rise as a global force in the 12stone division, is just how does somebody who stands six foot three make the weight? “I’m very big at the weight, but I’ve always done the weight quite comfortably. My brothers all dislike me because I do the weight far easier that all of them! It’s getting a little bit tougher each fight as I’m maturing. I’m 27 and I’m bigger now than when I turned pro at 22. “I’d like to become a two-weight champion and see if I can do it at light-heavy, but first and foremost, as I do the weight ok, the aim is to be a world champion at super-middleweight. “There are easier ways to make a living. If I can achieve what I want to and leave, I know my mum will be a lot happier! But I’m enjoying boxing and as long as I’m enjoying it, I’ll continue to do it. “My mum’s always said that the minute the last one [Smith brother] retires, it’ll be the happiest day of her life. I think it’ll get worse for her before it gets better. The level we’re all at now, they’re all tough fights. The next few years could be tough for her. “ Mrs Smith will have to endure a couple of very big nights in the very near future. Before Callum takes on Groves (Groves v Smith) in his world title night of destiny, sibling Liam has a crack at winning back the WBO super-welterweight title he lost to Saul Alvarez, when he faces Sadam Ali in upstate New York in May. “Ali is a good fighter but it’s definitely a winnable fight for him [Liam],” Callum reasoned. “If I can win this tournament {World Boxing Super Series] we could have two brothers world champions at the same time, which is something beyond anything we ever dreamed of when we were younger. We’re so close to making it a reality now. It was the same with the British titles; until we did it, it wasn’t something we ever thought about. When you’re a kid, world titles seem so far away and now we’re both in touching distance and it’d be a massive achievement for the family and for the both of us.” What is clear is that whatever happens in the future, Callum won’t suffer withdrawal symptoms from boxing when the time comes to hang up the gloves. Some fighters are simply unable to leave behind the lure of the ring – the attention, the bright lights, the glory. Not Callum. The Morson Ambassador is already thinking ahead to a life without boxing. “What I do all depends on how successful I am financially. I’d like to set up a business or buy property. When I do finish boxing, I’d like to work for myself. You see a lot of boxers – talented boxers – having to go and work on taxis or become personal trainers and stuff. I’d like to be in a position where I can do what I want. I’m doing quite well at the minute and I’m lucky and hopefully I’ll be able to retire on my terms. I won’t be hanging around, fighting into my late thirties, chasing something that isn’t there. “The minute I leave the gym, I come home and I switch off. I sit with my girlfriend (Kim) who doesn’t like or understand boxing. That gives me chance to switch off. “I don’t think I’ll struggle away from boxing! The minute you turn professional, it becomes a job and it’s hard. It’s a brutal sport. I’m not one who lives for boxing, who’s obsessed with it. It’s not the only thing that can keep me happy and occupied.” As he waits for a confirmed date for Groves v Smith, his big night in the final of the World Boxing Super Series, Callum’s decided to put his time to good use. He’s off for a week in the Maldives with Kim – proof that there is more to life than boxing! For more Morson Sport content, follow us on Twitter @MorsonGroup Subscribe to the Blog If you enjoy our content, fill out the form below and you will kept up to date with our latest blogs! Name* Email Address* Which topics do you enjoy reading on the blog? jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 13) {} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} ); jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [13, 1]) } );

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    ‘I’m fine’, ‘man up’, ‘grow a pair’ … Balls to That, let’s talk

    Sale Sharks Community Trust delivers powerful mental health event for Morson employees and clients #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek We were delighted to host Sale Sharks Community Trust this week as they delivered their inspiring ‘Balls to That – Mental Health Awareness’ session to over 40 Morson employees and clients at our head office. Designed to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and coping techniques, the talk was led by army veteran and deaf rugby star Craig Monaghan who uses his powerful, personal journey to educate others on how to tackle mental health head-on. We were thrilled that veteran and Morson Ambassador, Andy Reid, opened the event, giving a brief overview of his own mental health struggles after losing limbs in an IED blast whilst on tour in Afghanistan. Handing over to Craig, he finished his introduction by highlighting the importance of communication, advising the audience to get out of the habit of answering ‘how are you?’ with a standard ‘I’m fine’ if there is an issue. The rest of the session was led by Sale Sharks Community Rugby Coach, Jack Leech and Craig Monaghan. Craig’s army career came to an abrupt end when his battalion was attacked by the Taliban in one of the worst attacks on British soldiers in Afghan. 8 of his comrades died in the attack and Craig was left with brain damage, deafness and severe physical wounds. His challenges with mental health started here. PTSD and social isolation – techniques to cope Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social isolation, Craig spoke passionately about how he suffered from the guilt of being left alive while his friends died and the loss of his army career, leading to three failed suicide attempts. After a medical discharge, Craig struggled with everyday tasks and became angry at the world, lashing out at the people who were trying to help him. ‘In the army, you’re a warrior – therefore, you don’t feel like you can admit that you have a problem, you have to be strong. My friends had been killed so I felt like there was no one left who would understand what I’d been through. I was scared to admit that I was struggling’. Consequently, despite there being mental health resources for ex-forces personnel, it took him several years to become receptive to the idea of getting support. ‘Don’t get me wrong, the help was there but I used to sit in the councillor’s office, and not talk. I had the mentality that it was everyone else’s problem, not mine, I wasn’t ready to admit or accept that I needed help’. Craig explained that the change in him happened like a switch, ‘one day I just said, no I’m not fine, I can’t shake this feeling – and that put me on the road to recovery’. With the support of the people around him, he started to open up and talk about his experiences. One of the main techniques he uses is setting a goal each week, ‘just getting out of bed used to be a challenge so I’d set that as my goal, then went onto things like running to the end of the street, training for 5 minutes longer per day’. Small goal setting was key giving him focus and ensured he didn’t get de-motivated. How sport became my voice His road to recovery is ongoing but through regular professional mental health help and getting back into rugby, Craig has conquered the seemingly impossible. His list of achievements since medical discharge is extensive, including being the first Afghanistan veteran to become a full-time athlete, para-triathlons, and competing in the Warrior Games. After being told he would never play rugby again he has battled to get back into the sport he loves, playing internationally for England Deaf Rugby (6 caps). ‘In fact, I’m actually delivering this session with a broken leg. I broke a record 10 days ago by playing rugby for 29 hours and 30 minutes, broke my leg in the process’ The impact on us Jack Leech (Community Rugby Coach and founder of Balls to That) attributed to the techniques which helped Craig to manage his mental health issues such as open communication, an active lifestyle and setting small achievable goals rather than large challenges can be effective coping mechanisms. Craig’s story highlights that while his issues with anxiety and sleep deprivation stem from his time in the army, mental health is universal. ‘I have friends who suffer from anxiety and they’ve never been to war. Mental health is something that affects many of us and it’s about finding techniques to cope with it – for me sport was a huge part of the recovery process because I’m naturally competitive. For other’s it’ll be different, it’s about finding your drivers, being confident enough to work out what makes a positive change in you’. Jack started the programme having suffered with his own mental health issues after a shoulder injury. He founded Balls to That as an impactful way to raise awareness and to get companies thinking about how to create positive environments. After the session attendees felt more equipped to talk about mental health and deal with everyday challenges and most importantly, they were more confident to help others with their mental health issues. One attendee commented, ‘Superb presentation, it has really helped me. Much more aware of my current mental health state.’ This event highlighted that while Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic initiative, the conversation needs to extend beyond just 7 days and instead be a part of our everyday lives. Tackling mental health doesn’t start by forcing people to face their problems, it’s about creating environments where people feel comfortable to share their experiences, their feelings and fears. It’s about recognising the signs and symptoms in yourself and in others and being there when you are needed. So, let’s do the little things that make a difference, let’s say ‘balls to that’ to cliché phrases, let’s be open to conversation and let’s look after each other that little bit more. Watch the video to see Craig and Jack chat about 'Balls to That' and the outcomes of the programme. To get the latest updates follow @MorsonGroup on Twitter or to find out more about the programme contact jack.leech@salesharks.com >

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    Mental Health Awareness Event ‘Balls to That’ | What We Learnt

    Last week Morson were delighted to host Sale Sharks Community Trust where they delivered their emotive and inspiring mental health awareness session called ‘Balls to That’ to over 40 Morson employees and clients. The session was designed to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and coping techniques, led by army veteran and deaf rugby star Craig Monaghan who uses his powerful, personal journey to educate others on how to tackle mental health head-on. To read the full round-up of the event and watch the video, click here. To refresh, below is a list of signs and symptoms of someone struggling with mental health issues and the key messages taken from ‘Balls to That’ to help you assist a colleague, friend or family member. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS Feeling overwhelmed Out of character Confused thinking Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability) Extreme emotions EG, highs and lows, anger Excessive fears, worries and anxieties Social withdrawal Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits Strange thoughts (delusions) Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations) Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities Suicidal thoughts Numerous unexplained physical ailments Substance use INFORMAL HELP Ask somebody ‘How are you?’ Talk to people Build a support network (EG Sports teams) Refocussing Set small goals Provide opportunities for people Similarly, please see below links that you might find useful should you need them, some of which were mentioned during the talk. https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrtOKqo3J2QIVrRXTCh2o8AfBEAAYASAAEgIY9_D_BwE https://hubofhope.co.uk/ www.mind.org.uk http://www.sane.org.uk/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/ ​If you would like more information about Balls to That or any of the other work done by the community trust please email Jack.Leech@salesharks.com

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    Natasha Jonas on boxing, motherhood and women in sport #TeamMorson

    Morson caught up with professional boxing star and #TeamMorson ambassador Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas on a rare day off. Tash spoke openly about her career ambitions and her most important and challenging role, being a mum. Only in her early 30’s Natasha has already had an impressive amateur boxing career and an entry in the record books, becoming the first female British boxer to fight in the Olympic Games in 2012. After turning professional she has had massive success, sensationally beating Taoussy L'Hadji earlier this year at the Echo Arena in her hometown of Liverpool. But, in true Tash style, she’s hungry for more. “I’d box anywhere as long as it’s a good place, I wouldn’t mind boxing in Madison Square Gardens! The plan has always been the same as it was when I was an amateur, just to be the best boxer that I possibly can be. I think I’ve proved that I’m world-class level so I want go for the world titles and I want to get them as quickly as I can do.” As part of the BBC Get Inspired programme, Tash, is part of a movement which actively promotes sport and boxing for women. She believes that there has been a shift and less focus is placed on sexualising women in sport, consequently, she enthuses that “it’s a great time for boxing and to be a part of the Matchroom set up to be honest.” As a working mum, Tash has been very open about how sport has helped her confidence and it’s these traits that she is keen to pass down to her daughter. “Like my mum did, I just think I will encourage her to be active because I think that there are lots of other things you can learn from that, other than the skill of boxing or the skill of football. You know, I learnt how to work in a team, I learnt how to communicate, I had confidence and I was physically active.” In a final statement, Tash said: “I want to make a mark and let them know I was there.” Watch the video to see the full interview. To keep up-to-date with the latest sporting news from our #TeamMorson ambassadors, follow our twitter page @MorsonGroup and Instagram @weare_morson

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    Veteran Hero Inspires Rail Team | Armed Forces

    In October 2009, Corporal Andy Reid, was blown up by a Taliban IED while on patrol with the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan. Despite being injured so badly that he lost both legs and his right arm, the inspirational hero defied the odds and within one month, was meeting up with members of his patrol once again. What Andy has achieved since then is little short of unbelievable. The triple-amputee is a father, husband, skydiver, cyclist, charity fundraiser and now an ambassador of the Morson Group, providing a stronger voice for the excellent work that we do in supporting ex-armed forces personnel to transition and reintegrate into successful civilian careers. Currently, we have more than 500 ex-military personnel working on client projects throughout the UK and overseas. Describing himself as a survivor, not a victim, Andy’s attitude to overcoming adversity and not letting the severity of his injuries prevent him from moving forward has enabled him to become an inspirational motivational speaker. As a Morson Group ambassador, Andy delivered a powerful talk around the power of goal setting and self-belief at our half-yearly event, which was followed by a further evening talk at Lillie Bridge Depot in London with our LUL track gangs working on the Track Delivery Unit. Andy said: “The Morson Group work in a tough industry with lots of pressure to reach targets. Through my own story, I was able to share the importance of goal setting and that by working hard, anything is achievable." “When on site, I talked about the importance of PPE. In Afghan, the body armour that we wear is extremely heavy but having that meant that I suffered no internal injuries during the blast. Some of my patrol lost their eyesight because they didn’t wear their glasses and the shrapnel hit their eyes." “I hope that my story and sharing the challenges that I have and continue to face gave the inspiration needed to push that extra 10 per cent in their daily lives.” Graham Timbers, rail operations director at Morson’s London division, added: “From the moment Andy started talking, we were hooked. He’s an incredible person that’s faced huge challenges. His messages around prioritising tasks and the importance of teamwork, by knowing all your mates have your back, was so powerful and judging by all the pictures and handshakes afterwards, showed how captivating he was." “The nighttime LUL talk was also attended by our clients and even our competitors, to share this experience with the wider rail workforce. It was a night to remember and hopefully, everyone will learn from Andy’s own experiences to inspire an even greater culture towards collaboration and health and safety.” Andy also recently completed the Warrior Challenge, which involved a 400-mile cycle and 125-mile kayak over 14 days in memory of six soldiers killed in an explosion of their Warrior vehicle in Afghanistan in 2012. The Warrior Challenge began in Lytham St Anne’s, where Andy was joined by Morson Group CEO, Ged Mason, for the first leg of the cycle to Huddersfield. ​ If you’re a veteran looking for employment get in touch with pat.mcmullan@morson.com or for more information go to our dedicated ex-forces page. To search for relevant jobs click here.

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