Published: March 15, 2020 | Updated: April 14, 2020

Biz People: Silver for Haskins from Investors in People and Sandi leaves buses for a new route

Warren Haskins, Chairman, Haskins Garden Centres, and team members celebrate the Investors in People silver award.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Haskins Garden Centres awarded silver from Investors in People

A Dorset-based garden centre group has been awarded ‘We Invest In People’ silver accreditation in recognition of its dedication to putting people first.

Haskins Garden Centres has become among the 20 per cent of businesses who apply through the Investors in People scheme to receive silver.

The award acknowledges Haskins Garden Centres’ efforts to uphold impressive employment practices.

It also recognises the managers who carry out these principles of support and leadership throughout the organisation.

Paul Devoy, Chief Executive Officer of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Haskins Garden Centres.

“Receiving a silver accreditation is a remarkable effort for any organisation, and places Haskins in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people.

“We believe that the success of an organisation begins and ends with people.

“If we make work better for everyone, we make work better for every organisation.”

Julie Starmer, HR assistant at Haskins Garden Centres, said: “We pride ourselves on offering the correct development opportunities for our staff, whether they want to develop existing skills and behaviours, or learn something new, we are always keen to support everyone.

“We are very pleased to have achieved the silver accreditation, recognising the hard work we put into our business and people.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with Investors in People so that we can remain a business that values people and supports them to achieve their full potential.”

Haskins Garden Centres employs more than 800 people across four Haskins sites in the south, as well as the newly acquired Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Bird World and Garden Style businesses in Farnham.

The four sites are Longham, West End (Southampton), Roundstone and Snowhill (West Sussex).

Haskins Snowhill recently re-opened following a £15m redevelopment of the Crawley-based centre.

Haskins recruits a range of professionals including chefs, garden experts, marketing and IT technicians, to support the business as well as offering opportunities to develop in leadership and management roles.

The ‘We Invest In People’ silver accreditation recognises the company’s commitment to empower, motivate, lead and reward all employees, across the entire business.


Sandi comes off the buses to take a new route

A former staff manager with Bournemouth Transport has taken a new route with the launch of her own business.

Sandi Marshall, who worked for the bus company for more than 13 years, has launched SJM Staff Solutions.

It provides advice, guidance and practical support to businesses in all aspects of personnel management.

Sandi said: “SJM Staff Solutions has basically been born out of my passion for people and my desire to ensure that accidental managers are given the tools they need to lead and develop their teams effectively.

“Often managers are promoted through the ranks of businesses because of their industry or business knowledge, and quite rightly so.

“However, they rarely have the skills to deal with the staff that they inevitably end up in charge of and this is where I come in.

“I have had vast experience of dealing with staff welfare, non-attendance, long term sickness, probation and development reviews.

“I am also able to train managers in all areas of the disciplinary process including disciplinary investigations, hearings, appeals and grievances both in unionised and non-unionised environments.

“In addition, I am well placed to carry out these services myself for businesses if required.

“I am also extremely passionate about staff wellbeing and have become a mental health first aider through MHFA England.

“There is a common misconception that staff wellbeing needs to be soft and fluffy rather than business focused but did you know that, last year, there were 12 million working days lost to work related mental health conditions?

“I think that numbers like that should be really focusing business minds.

“There are many cost effective ways in which businesses can encourage staff wellbeing, recognise the signs of work related stress and support staff with poor mental health and this is another area that I am really keen on helping businesses address.”

“I am more than happy for anyone to contact me if they have any issues that they would like to discuss either by telephone, email or through my web page.”

Sandi can be contacted on:

Mobile: 07793 063245



  • New business or venture? It takes guts to go it alone and you need every help you can get to successfully get off the ground. That’s why we’re only too happy to publicise your new venture. Just email us at