Press Release – 6 June 2019
Paul Smith, Director of Apex Planning Consultants, has donated £1000 to the Neonatal Unit of the Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at a cheque handover with his family on Monday 3 June [pictured].
Apex Planning Consultants is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month and the Neonatal unit holds special significance for Paul and his wife, Dee. Their twins, now 7 years old, were born 11 weeks prematurely and spent 9 weeks at the unit after they were born in 2012.
Smith remembers: “The twins were very poorly when they were first born, particularly our son, whose heart stopped on day 4 and was receiving 24-hour oxygen for the first 8 months of his life, due to chronic lung disease. They were so small they fit into my hand, from crown to rump, and grew stronger because of their determination, but also that of the staff of the neonatal department.
“The staff were incredibly relaxed and accommodating of us new parents and appreciated the challenges faced by us, as well as other new parents in the ward – including some parents, like me, who were working to keep businesses going too.”
Like every new business, Apex Planning Consultants faced a number of challenges in those early years, including navigating the recession and growing a business from the ground up in a depressed market; dealing with a lockout from a previous employer, and the emergence of a number of competitors at the time.
Similarly, the company has experienced a number of highs, such as obtaining planning permission for the UK’s first indoor trampoline park in Milton Keynes in 2016; working as part of the design team that obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of the former De Montfort University site in Bedford with 152 dwellings, and obtaining planning permission within 13 weeks for the largest car supermarket in Buckinghamshire, to name just a few.
The success of Apex Planning Consultants has been achieved through extensive networking, repeat client work and referrals through client satisfaction. The firm has a solid reputation for being honest, applying strict professional integrity, and considering the objectives and budgets of clients – always looking for ways to minimise costs to them.
Smith is also a founding partner of Property Development Quarterly – a quarterly networking group that meets in locations around Beds, Bucks and Oxon and regularly attracts 120 delegates with speakers from, amongst others, SEMLEP (the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership), the National Infrastructure Commission, Bank of England, Homes England and the Department for International Trade.
Lead Nurse at the Neonatal Unit, Karen Rice, who is responsible for a team of 50, including nurses, midwives and nursery nurses, provides invaluable support to preterm and sick term babies and their families, said: “We are delighted to receive this incredible donation of £1000 from Paul Smith. This money will go towards a BiliSoft* Phototherapy System. This is used to treat neonatal jaundice and provides phototherapy to babies, but the parents can still have cuddles and feed them which will make such a difference to the unit and provide parents more contact with their baby.
“Some babies are only with us briefly, but others like Paul and Dee’s children are with us for much longer, sometimes for 13 weeks plus, so you can imagine being able to provide them with something extra special in facilities and equipment is amazing and all thanks to money raised and donated by people like Paul.”
Smith concludes: “It was quite emotional going back to the unit and meeting two of the nurses, including Karen, who were there when our children were being cared for.
“We could so easily have lost our two [children] had it not been for the amazing care provided at the hospital. We always knew that the thanks and token gesture we gave when we finally took the twins home was not enough and this 10th anniversary gives us a chance to make up for that.
“As for Apex Planning Consultants”, says Smith, “We’re looking forward to another ten successful years. We’ll be looking for continued growth in the key services we offer and in client development, supported by an increase in the number of staff.”
For further information, visit www.apexplanning.co.uk or contact Paul Smith, Director, on tel: 01908 690843.