2016 review

Craft CMS Migrations

Who we worked with

Client Happiness

A few projects we’ve completed in 2016

As well as supporting our clients throughout the year, we found time to work on new projects – some for new clients, some for existing ones.

We began the year with a new website for a new client, Maestro Arts, closely followed by the launch of a revamped offering for the ISM and a new website for ISM Trust. Our summer project was definitely a major undertaking – we built a new website for Serious, migrated EFG London Jazz Festival from ExpressionEngine to Craft and did the same for a few of Serious’ other websites.

We also worked with a new client The Private Clinic, in partnership with JLS IT Consultants, to deliver a radical new look to their business with a new website and brand guidelines.

Moving into the latter part of the year, we have started work on a new identity and website for a new client, Sesame Access. If that wasn’t enough we are in the process of migrating two websites for existing clients and creating a new website for Totally Thames Trust.

December has also proved to be an exciting month. We have been commissioned by the Korean Cultural Centre to create a website for the K-music festival and in 2017 we will be working with the Royal Philharmonic Society to develop their websites.

Thoughtful team news

Josh joins the team

Joshua Martin joined Thoughtful at the end of July as a senior front-end web developer and has already proved to be a tremendous addition to the team. If your paths have not yet crossed, then they will hopefully do soon as Josh becomes more involved with all Thoughtful projects.

Simon grows a beard

Part mid-life crisis, part being fed up about shaving every day, Simon decided to make every month Movember. As fast cars are not his thing, he needed to find something else to distract him and getting a face rug was apparently that thing. Let’s hope the crisis ends soon as a Mohican haircut probably won’t suit him.

Some of you may or may not know that Simon spends his free time volunteering as a Scout Leader, which perfectly complements his joy of outdoor fun. This year, Simon challenged himself to do something new each month. He didn’t manage to cover every month, but see what he got up to…

  • February: Snowdon

    I decided to join the Invicta Mountaineering Club so I could try out winter climbing in a safe environment. Climbing any mountain when there is snow and ice should only be undertaken with the proper equipment and with other experienced climbers. Being a member of a club ensures that you have both. Even on this expedition it was surprising how many groups of people we came across who were underprepared. About half way up I donned crampons and grabbed my ice axe, making climbing a very different experience but it was brilliant and I did make it to the top!

  • March: Walked the Seven Sisters

    Nope. These are not the White Cliffs of Dover, but the white cliffs of the Seven Sister – so called as there are, you guessed it, seven of them. What better way to spend a glorious Spring day than visiting this beautiful coastline.

  • April: Land Rover off-road experience

    A glorious day spent in the estate of Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, learning to master the classic Land Rover Defender in challenging off-road terrain. No picture can do justice to the amazing steep angles we pushed this vehicle to tackle. Deep water, almost vertical descents and ascents, rocky and muddy terrain. This vehicle (as did I) handled it all!

  • May: Survival weekend

    I headed off to Cornwall for a weekend of, well, surviving. After building our shelters we learnt how to create fire using primitive techniques; prepare our food including rabbit, fish and wood pigeon; built signal fires, woodland foraging, building traps and learnt a few knife skills. It was a really great experience, however, I am in no rush to eat a fish eyeball anytime soon.

  • June: Walked of the Malvern hills

    I do a lot of camping and walking but I have never walked the Malvern hills, so this counts as a new experience and what a lovely new experience it was.

  • August – Gorge/Ghyll Scrambling

    August was a bumper month of activities I had never attempted before. First up, Gorge scrambling (also known as Ghyll scrambling). First I abseiled into the gorge from a bridge, then scrambled upstream against the fast flowing river, and, as reward, I lay on my back and travel downstream gliding along the river at a cracking pace. It is the best fun I had in ages. I still have the childish grin on my face now. 

  • August – Sea kyacking

    Next, sea kayaking in Wales. We were treated to the best weather, calm seas and a fantastic time navigating around Cardigan Bay.

  • August – Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge

    I can tell you that the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge is just that – a challenge! The goal is to climb Yorkshire’s highest three peaks in a day. I completed the challenge, solo, in 12 hours. Well I was solo for most of the way as I joined another group for safety for the last peak as the weather was not what you’d expect for August. In fact, it was the worst weather I had ever walked in. Constant heavy rain, strong winds and very low visibility made for a tough walk. In fact, we witnessed the brilliant Mountain Rescue picking up walkers who had fallen on the final peak.

  • September – Outdoor climbing

    In April, I spent a weekend learning about indoor climbing to gain a permit. Climbing is something I do on a fairly regular basis and something I am keen to share with the Scouts, however, I had never done any outdoor rock climbing. Well this was resolved in September when I took a trip to Bowles Outdoor Centre in Tunbridge Wells. What a fabulous experience. One to repeat!

  • September – bivvying

    A bivvy bag is like a waterproof jacket for a sleeping bag, and sleeping in one truly connects you to the great outdoors. Although it is waterproof, adding the tarp roof meant if it rained I would remain relatively dry. Thankfully it was a glorious night and I didn’t even notice the 1 degree overnight temperature. I am planning for another night sleeping under the stars in December when it will be truly cold!

  • October – Hill walking and scrambling

    This month’s activity was spent hillwalking and scrambling in the beautiful Peak District. We took our older Scouts and Explorers for a weekend of vigorous exercise and introduced them to scrambling – an activity where you literally scramble up boulders/rocks using both your feet and hands. You would think that two days of walking for 6 hours a day would guarantee a quiet journey home. Sadly not!

  • November: Upside down fire

    This upside down fire defies all logic, but it works brilliantly and creates excellent embers for cooking on. With the upside down fire you start with the big logs first and build a pyramid gradually reducing the size of logs until you end up with twigs. Now set it alight and sit back for a few hours whilst this fire burns.

Five years of being Thoughtful

This passed us by in a blur, but in July Thoughtful celebrated (well actually we didn’t) our 5th birthday. With some hard graft and a little luck we have managed to get this far, so having now reached this landmark we feel we must be doing something right. We are busy planning what we want to achieve in the next five years, but we know one thing for certain: whatever we do it will be done with kindness and thoughtfulness. After all, it’s the reason we named the company Thoughtful.

A big thank you to all our many loyal clients who have joined us on this journey because without you there is no us.

Five acts of kindness

In celebration of our five years, we plan to give something back. Do something kind. Make a small gesture that may have a big impact. We are still in the planning stage for some activities, but here are our initial ideas and news about our first act of kindess…

1. Five (in fact there were seven) packages for the homeless in Maidstone, Kent

On a recent visit to Maidstone town centre, we were struck by the number of homeless people living on the street. It was shocking to see so many young people, which was in sharp contrast to the stereotypical image we conjure up when thinking of the homeless. We know this isn’t a problem we can solve, however, we can support the organisations that already do so much for the homeless by donating a few food/care packages. 

In 2016, we had screen printed some Thoughtful t-shirts that we were planning to give away to clients, however, we decided to divert these to the Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter project and use the t-shirts as wrapping paper for our care parcels. Sorry clients, we hope you don’t mind! 

Should you be inspired to do the same then please visit the Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter website or find any local organisation that helps the homeless.

2. Collecting for Porchlight

It is easy to dismiss the idea of helping others because ‘it is too much effort’ or ‘it will take too much time’, but even small gestures can have a big impact. Thoughtful is based in Capital Space Business Centre, which means we are surrounded by many businesses, with many employees. It would be easy for us to canvas each business and ask for a donation, but we intend to try something different. With the permission of the fantastic management team at Capital Space Business Centre we plan to place a board in reception that had double sided sticky tape on it. With some simple instructions, visitors would be encourage to attach their spare change to complete the picture of the Porchlight logo. We’ll let you know how we get on.

Simon sticking a coin (not taking one) on the board

3, 4 and 5

Work in progress. In fact, if you have any ideas then do share them with us and if you are interested in following our progress then sign up to our (in)frequent newsletter.

Our motto for this campaign is ‘Minimal effort, maximum impact’. We want to make ripples from the small actions we make, so why don’t you join us in doing something small.

That’s it for this year. We hope you enjoy the festive break and look forward to doing this all again in 2017.