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Members' Articles

Love is in the air

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

28th January 2016

Post Type: New Member Article

Love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we approach the time of year when couples traditionally exchange gifts as tokens of their affection for one another.  Whether you’re in the business of selling chocolates, flowers or even jewellery, we at GWD Ltd can come up with romantic packaging solutions for your product which will set young lovers’ hearts racing. This is our thirtieth year of creating  innovative and beautiful packaging, and among the projects of which we are proud are some of our designs for chocolates and flower bouquets or arrangements,

Heart shaped chocolate box covered in red suedel

Heart shaped chocolate box covered in red suedel

We worked with The Secret Truffletier (if that’s not giving too much away!) to come up with this beautifully luxurious heart-shaped chocolate box to give the best and most romantic presentation possible to their delicious confectionery. Covered in red suede, it’s wonderfully tactile, and helped to make their chocolates the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Range of 6 sizes of heart shaped chocolate boxes

Range of 6 sizes of heart shaped chocolate boxes

We are also very proud of our work with multiple Academy Of Chocolate and International Chocolate Awards winners, Rococo Chocolates, for whom we made this range of luxury presentation boxes. They come in six sizes, from the tiny three chocolate box to the decadent 1kg version.

‘Hat’ boxes for flowers

‘Hat’ boxes for flowers

And of course, it’s not just chocolates. We have designed a range of hat boxes, both with and without lids, which are perfect for gifts of flowers, as well as these gift boxes with ribbon handles (below) to perfectly showcase a floral arrangement.

Gift boxes for flowers

Gift boxes for flowers

If you’d prefer something bespoke to something off-the-shelf, we can either work from a specific design which you have in mind, or we can put our heads together and come up with something entirely new and unique based upon your own concept. We are not a wholesaler, we design and make the majority of our boxes here in the UK, meaning we have no minimum order requirement and total control over lead times. We are also happy to offer face to face meetings as required to discuss your requirements and can offer quotes by email or telephone. Manufacturing in the UK means we can also handle short notice arrangements when possible.

No matter what your Valentine’s Day packaging needs we can make the boxes for you. We relish a challenge, and are proud to have made boxes for customers all over Great Britain and beyond. Get in touch so we can discuss your perfect Valentine’s Day packaging.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website:

Tina Dulieu wins International Coaching Award

by Tina Dulieu from Coaching Dynamics: Tina Dulieu, B.Ed., Dip CEC

25th January 2016

Post Type: Other
Tina Dulieu wins International Coaching Award

Tina Dulieu, of Coaching Dynamics, was delighted to be named winner of The International Coaching Awards 2015 as The Small Business Coach of the Year at a glittering ceremony in December 2015. 

Tina said 'It was a real honour to be recognised by my own industry's professional bodies both in the UK and internationally for my work in helping businesses grow and be more successful.  I couldn't ask for a better accolade and accepted the Award with pride.  My family were there to see me win, it was wonderful!'

Details attached and also at

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Digital Learning - What You Need To Know

by Blake Henegan from Optimus Sourcing

11th December 2015

Post Type: New Member Article

Digital Learning – What You Need To Know

“….any instructional practice that uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.”

First of all let’s get rid of the prefixes. Forget ‘e-learning’, ‘blended learning’ or ‘mobile learning’. Your staff and your management don’t care what the learning is called, as long as training and development are achieved. The prefixes primarily exist for L&D professionals and for trainers to gain some kind of descriptive purchase. As Steve Wheeler said in Interface Magazine “Learning will happen if the conditions are right, and it will happen whether teachers and technology are present or not.

That said, with on-going technical advances the number and variety of digital learning solutions have increased exponentially. According to Toward Maturity recent report 90% of companies are now using e-learning. Only 55% of training programmes are entirely face to face, this figure seems likely to become more popular with some serious implications for learners and L&D professional in the future.

Some of the noted benefits of Digital learning are:
• Easy accessibility – Online training can be accessed anywhere and at anytime. Staff needn’t travel to out-of-the-way training centres and can learn in the office or at home.
• Autonomy of Learning – A very popular aspect is that staff do not feel pressured to keep up with other trainees nor do they feel ‘held-back’ by slower learners.
• Social Elements – Online learning often include forums, social learning and group collaboration elements.
• Convenience –They are usually designed to make it simple and straightforward for the employees to expand their knowledge base and improve upon their skill sets
• Immersive and Interactive – Digital learning often include scenarios, games and other interactive elements in which to hone the training and offering them a safety net that they can use to master skills and acquire knowledge in a secure environment.

It seems a bit of a ‘no-brainer’, doesn’t it? However, before you change all of your training over to digital, there are a few other points that you should be considering:

• Does the topic lead itself to being taught digitally? – Or is a visual/hands-on approach preferable for the subject?
• Will the lack of a ‘formal setting’ be detrimental to learning? – Some students learn better in a classroom environment and the change in style to digital learning can be difficult.
• Technical Issues – Does the learner (or the company, if digital learning will be office-based) have the necessary technology requirements?
• Computer Literacy – Not all of your staff are as ‘savvy’ as others. The supposed ‘millennial’ generation have grown up with technology but older members of staff may find this form of learning more difficult and need longer to become accustomed to it.
• Time Management – Online learning can require a lot of time and intensive investment of energy. Most staff have a lot of commitments outside of work and may struggle to manage their time effectively.
• Motivation – Always a difficult issue. Good intentions can often fade and self-motivation can be problematic for many learners, especially if they feel that they are working in isolation.

So, as you can see, an awful lot of factors need to be considered before instructing employees to use digital learning solutions. The ‘negatives’ above can, of course, be countered by good management and background knowledge. That said, it does put a burden on the shoulders of the Learning and Development professional who sources and books the training in the first place.

This is where a professional Managed Learning service provider can be worth his or her weight in gold. A company such as Optimus Sourcing, for example will have in-depth knowledge of the courses available and their requirements. Most Managed Learning companies have a wealth of experience in this field and will be happy to help you to decide what digital learning is right for you, review how it fits in with your current learning and create a blended learning solution for your organization

If you would like to chat more about digital learning or your learning needs contact us for a chat.
t – 0845 519 7408

Specialist Presentation Packaging for Candle Makers

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

09th December 2015

Post Type: New Member Article

At GWD Ltd we have been making specialist presentation packaging for nearly thirty years. We have  covered everything from corporate and promotional packs to boxes for flowers, chocolates or gifts. With the festive season so soon to be upon us, gifts are obviously at the forefront of a great many people’s minds and what better helps to capture that Christmas magic than candles? That flickering light, the scent of cinnamon or pine, all combine to create that special feeling we’ve all known and loved since childhood. With our specialist presentation packaging, either chosen by you to fit your specifications or designed and created by us based on your own concept, that experience and atmosphere can begin before the lucky recipient has even opened the box!

Candle boxes for Stennah and Hope
Candle boxes for Stennah and Hope

As we are sure you’re aware, beautiful products need beautiful packaging, and your candles deserve only the best to highlight and accentuate the promise of their wonderful aroma.

Amor et Psyche box for the Dorchester
Amor et Psyche box for the Dorchester

And your candles would be in very good company- GWD Ltd have designed candle boxes for prestigious/world famous hotels, like this beautiful box for Amor et Psyche supplied to the Dorchester for a coffee scented candle. For Amor et Psyche (who hand-pour all their own candles) we created a box that promised that dark, smooth scent and enhanced the beauty of the candle itself.

Candle boxes for No 22, own brand and personalised (a service GWD can offer)
Candle boxes for No 22, own brand and personalised
(a service GWD can offer)

Whatever your needs, whether you have a firm design in mind already or would like us to work with you to create the best specialist presentation packaging solution for your candles, we can guarantee you a box people will love to give or receive. If you prefer, our designers can work with your own graphic artists to come up with something that will fit your existing brand strategy, or we would be just as happy for you to give us a basic concept to work from and leave the rest to us.

Candle box for Laurence Christel with ribbon lid lift
Candle box for Laurence Christel with ribbon lid lift

Of course, Christmas can also be a very stressful time due to the time-pressure involved. As we are not only the designers and creators of our packaging, but also the manufacturers, we have direct control over lead times. This makes us ideally-placed to deliver a first-class service for even your ‘rush’ jobs. Although we are proud to do our manufacturing in Britain, if volumes and lead times allow we also have the option of a Far East production facility.

Let your customers have an extra taste of the magic of Christmas with a GWD Ltd presentation box for their festive candles.

Amor et Psyche own brand Candle and Diffuser boxes (see their website to buy direct)
Amor et Psyche own brand Candle and Diffuser boxes
(see their website to buy direct)

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website:

Why use a Managed Learning Service Provider for your training and learning needs? Why Outsource?

by Blake Henegan from Optimus Sourcing

02nd December 2015

Post Type: Ten Minutes Announcement
Why use a Managed Learning Service Provider for your training and learning needs? Why Outsource?

At Optimus Sourcing we understand that the role of a Learning and Development professional can be extremely demanding. When companies tighten their financial belts it’s often the L&D departments that feel the pinch first. Often they are the last departments to get extra funding in times of expansion.

Many L&D professionals feel that they are time-poor, that there are simply not enough hours in the day to successfully manage their responsibilities to their company or establishment. Those responsibilities may include ensuring the delivery of the Learning and Development plan, ensuring the coordination of the plan, booking courses, speaking to line managers and individual staff to ensure understanding or requirements, undertaking training needs analysis and collating and reviewing all evaluations of learning. They may also have upgrade training systems, ensure fit purpose, prepare appraisals and advise management on learning opportunities available to them.

The list can be seemingly endless.


Imagine how much time could be saved, how much simpler and efficient the role could be, if one major element was removed from that onerous list of responsibilities?

By employing an independent managed learning service provider such as Optimus Sourcing Ltd to source trainers, administer bookings, evaluate training and produce comprehensive management reports (according to your criteria) you, as an L&D professional, will free up more time to concentrate on other, pivotal aspects of your job.

If you have found that time spent on training administration prevents you from doing tasks that are more valuable to your Company then perhaps you should consider an outsourced managed learning service to help you with the training you need? Managed learning services can help with booking your training and the myriad of attendant jobs that go along with it. Potentially, this would allow you to focus your time and energy on understanding your company’s learning needs to reveal the true potential of your staff.


Group deskOf course, the primary concern is ‘how will I control and manage the relationship and the quality? How do I know that the managed learning service will do as good (or better) a job than I do myself?’

At Optimus Sourcing we have many years of experience in the field (you can see a number our case studies here). Our customers have reported that they save an average of 4 hours for every training request we handle and 96.4% of all learners surveyed in the last 12 months would recommend their learning to others. Additionally, our clients save on average 21% on the cost of training against standard prices. Our primary concern is to ensure that we work with you, that our processes match yours while allowing you ultimately remain in control. You will also be appointed a dedicated training manager who will understand your training needs, learning requirements and company culture to get the most for you and your employees.


To conclude, we will guarantee an improved quality of learning for your employees, to maximise your training budget and save you valuable time so you can really concentrate your efforts where you need to.

If you feel we can help you with any learning and training needs then please contact us for a chat. It may save you a LOT of time and make your role more manageable.

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