Stagecoach’s SEN support plus Pete’s sole-traders’ forum

Photo of John Young and Pete Thornton-Smith

John Young and Pete Thornton-Smith

It was icily cold first thing on Friday morning but sunny too: not the most pleasant conditions for driving in. But the buses were all running to schedule when Stagecoach Yorkshire’s commercial director, John Young, joined me in the Sheffield Live radio studio for my latest Business Live radio show.

John popped in because Stagecoach Yorkshire has donated resources to Bents Green Specialist Secondary School to help pupils who have been diagnosed with special educational needs develop their life skills, including communication and travel.

He told listeners about how pupils were supplied with a full driver’s uniform, cash box, tickets and a steering wheel to help facilitate the roleplays, making the situation more realistic while still being a familiar learning environment for the students. The podcast is below.

The latest show also featured an in-depth interview with Pete Thornton-Smith, an expert in business quality, management, processes and systems who has a background as a metallurgist before setting up his own consultancy in 2004.

Pete discussed “lightening the load” for SMEs and a new forum for freelance and sole-trading business owners and small businesses – the Sole Traders and Freelancers Forum – which he’s launched with Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

And thanks to his own expertise and experience working with numerous businesses Pete was able to give listeners advice about the benefits of working towards quality standards; generating clients; social media; video; and much more.

The show also features a quick run-through of the changes announced in the Chancellor’s Budget this week.

Here’s the podcast (music played on the radio removed, timings are below):


  • 0 – 1:54 introduction
  • 1:54 – 8:38 John Young
  • 8:38 – 9:55 call to have your say and get involved
  • 9:55 – 27:43 Pete Thornton-Smith: quality systems; cashflow; issues faced by sole traders and freelancers; accountability
  • 27:43 – 35:19 quick update about the budget
  • 35:19 – 46:39 Pete Thornton-Smith
  • 46:39  – 48:34 wrapping up

What next?

  • Peter’s website and the Sole Traders and Freelancers Forum.
  • Coming soon on the Business Live programme: Jillian Kowalchuk, Founder & CEO, Safe & The City Ltd; Kisha Bradley (Bright Box and #girlswithdrills) and more.
  • More about my Business Live radio show. Meanwhile if you like reading useful, practical advice – that’s also entertaining, then you’re welcome to join my free newsletter email list (if you’re not already signed up). Just pop your details in below.
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