A Bond of friendship
As befits a Northamptonshire firm, JR Gammidge and Co of Wellingborough started out as a footwear manufacturer. Over the years the company grew and diversified into stationery and property. “Somewhere along the line”, says Liz, her father Peter Gammidge and his cousin John Minney came across the Bond, and saw its potential not just for themselves but also as a means to incentivise their co-directors and colleagues. “My father and John both made full use of the Bond,” says Liz, “but having this ‘carrot’ to dangle as part of a remuneration and benefits package has certainly been instrumental in recruiting and retaining key members of staff.”
Liz, who lives in Gt Doddington, cheerfully admits she has “no idea” exactly how long Gammidge’s have held their corporate Bond, nor how many Holiday Points it is worth on an annual basis. “It’s just sort-of always been there,” she says. “Part of the family; or in this case, company. My partner, Alan, and I have enjoyed holidays at Duloe Manor in Cornwall, Barnham Broom in Norfolk, Viehhofen in Austria – and other lovely locations the names of which I can’t put my finger on just now!”
“We used to holiday more with the children,” Liz continues. “But as they’ve grown up, they perhaps don’t tend to come away with us quite so often.” Eldest daughter Lucy, 23, is out in the world of work, running her own mobile beauty salon; son Jamie, 20, is away at university; and youngest daughter Betsy, 17, is set to follow in her brother’s footsteps. “I’m sure, though, that as they get older they’ll start using the Bond more themselves,” she adds. “And if and when they have kids of their own – hmm, perhaps I’d better check just how many Holiday Points we do have access to!”
For now, though, Liz is delighted to be able to take holidays more or less when and where she wants – with whomever she chooses, in this case her two best friends : Lynne Graham, a GP from Kettering, and Michelle Mills, owner of a hair salon. The location: La Reserva de Biniorella, in Majorca.
“My new favourite site!” gushes Liz. “The weather was perfect; the atmosphere was totally laid back and chilled; and the staff were lovely – there when you needed them, but not ‘in-your-face’. And the location is a slice of heaven. Alan would have loved it.
“Mind you, I’m not sure he’d have been keen on the idea of spending too much time with us three!” she laughs. “It was very much a girls’-only holiday; lots of chat, lots of laughs, lots of relaxation – and, actually, lots of nothing in particular, just spending lazy days in the sunshine with one’s best mates.
“All in all the Bond has been a good company investment,” she muses. “In a good company. For enjoying holidays in good company!”
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