Podcast specialist begins delivery of incredible business stories from Gloucestershire

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 29 July 2020 8:02

A former BBC journalist has today launched a new business telling the stories of Gloucestershire companies – with the first episode unearthing a fantastic tale of hope and success. 

Serena Gay, launched Made4U Podcasts with an interview with Chris Hickey, the boss of Charlton HR, and the 20-minute interview - plus five minutes of analysis from Gill Smith of The Business Kitchen - delivers some great insight into the county’s economy. 

While there is no doubt in the mind of the experienced Mr Hickey how tough the pandemic is making 2020 for most, he also reveals that one of his client's in particular has seen their business go into quite astonishing overdrive during lockdown.

“I think they have three to five years gains in the last three to five months,” said Mr Hickey, whose own business is based in Cheltenham. 

After he spills the beans Mrs Gay asks the question everyone wants to ask – just why are sales for the company, a specialist in welding equipment, going through the roof during lockdown? 

The answer describes a business which was well-positioned to benefit from UK plc’s rush to online and one intent on not dropping the ball under pressure. 

“They were already an online provider, but in their market online was the least preferred option for buying welding machines. People would go out to the shop and try them out,” said Mr Hickey, whose own business looks after clients across Gloucestershire. 

Which explains how the company was able to capitalise on the increase in demand, but not entirely where that demand came from. 

“There is a pile of people in lockdown who bought a classic car a year ago – six years ago – and it's been in the garage and they have not had time to do it. Suddenly they have time to do it,” he explained. 

The rest of the Podcast, put together like a feature worthy of BBC Radio 4 - and entertaining to boot - is worth a listen and lays down what will become the format for the business’s show - ‘Business Revival – in Gloucestershire’.

The business will also offer everything from teaching companies how to put together their own podcasts or podcast series to one off recordings for events or round-ups from conferences or trade fairs.

Ms Gay, whose speaking voice has all the poise, charm and perfect delivery you would expect from someone schooled in teh ways of the BBC, decided to launch Made4U Podcasts after returning from Germany with her husband and settling in Gloucestershire.  

“When I first came back I worked voicing audio books, but realised I needed to work with people and when I looked at all the skills I had learned I had acquired all the technical knowledge and skills necessary to launch my own business doing this,” said Ms Gay, who also worked in Berlin for the English service of Germany’s public international broadcaster, DW TV, on news, documentaries and promotions. Her voice can also be heard in museums all over the world. 

“I want the podcasts to become a resource as well. There are lots of amazing stories out there of businesses adapting and finding ways of making what is a difficult situation work,” said Mrs Gay, who now lives in Cheltenham. 

If Ofcom’s latest figures are anything to go by then she could well be onto something. The regulator for the communications services sector estimates 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. 

“That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24 per cent over the past year – and more than double over the past five years,” said the regulator. Half of listeners joined the podcast wave in the last two years. 

To find the podcast on social media use #businessrevivalGlos or to listen now click one of the following links...