The first APS Wellbeing Week

Last Tuesday marked World Mental Health Day, a time for awareness, education, and advocacy against social stigma. We wanted to find a way to support our colleagues around the globe that would allow them time to focus on self-care and self-expression.

After much planning, the very first APS Wellbeing Week was brought to life through a lineup of free activities and events. The response we had to the initiative has been fantastic, and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part, shared their creations, and made the week a success!

The week started with sharing our motivational Spotify playlist, which compiled over an hour of songs to help uplift, soothe, and inspire your Monday morning. To listen again, scan the image below in your Spotify app or click here.

Spotify Wellbeing Week

On Monday, we also had the first of our two one hour free yoga sessions with Maria Kelly to help release any stress or tension throughout your body and encourage mindful breathing.

Next, we hosted a webinar with Marie-Clare from Sunflower Thinking, who creates hope through safe and positive mental health training. This session was based around mental health first aid and practical ways you can help to support those around you who may be struggling.

Also, throughout the week, fresh fruit hampers were delivered to our offices, and our Graphic Designer, Simon Rhodes, designed several colouring book pages so that staff could engage in a moment of mindfulness and calm.

Lastly, we also held a nature photo competition which was by far the most popular event of the week! There’s so much evidence to show that getting out in nature and being amongst green and blue spaces can positively impact both your mental and physical wellbeing, so we challenged our teams to get outside as much as possible and share the best image from their excursions! It’s safe to say, that not only do our colleagues live in some beautiful parts of the world, but they have a real talent for photography too! Take a look through the submissions below.

Congratulations to Ray Cane from our Cheadle production team who won the nature photo competition with the incredible image of a bumblebee on a sunflower featured at the top of this page.

Again, thank you to all who took part this week and made it a success!

APS expand secure print facility following significant client wins

Following significant wins in the financial and government sector, our growth continues with a £5 million investment in our cutting-edge print facility at Preston Brook, comprising an inbound and outbound centre for secure print and plastic card personalisation as well as a nationwide delivery and fulfilment centre. APS simultaneously installed a smart factory facility in a new unit next door, handling smaller runs of 3,000 packs and under.

Among the machinery added to our existing line-up is a new Ricoh colour VC60,000 and two brand new Fusion speed enclosers, capable of handling 30,000 packs an hour. An Eagle 40 inkjet spray device sprays mail marks envelopes directly at the mail sort stage, speeding up the downstream cycle time. APS are the only print company in the UK with this capability, underpinning recent contract wins.

APS Group Operations Director Stephen Goodall explains, “Having this smart factory facility next to our main centre of operations means that we truly can handle any job, no matter how large or how small. The larger site handles all our low-variety, high-volume work, while our new smart factory does exactly the opposite, covering high-variety, low-volume jobs.”

You can find out more about Preston Brook here

APS Group Growth Continues With Senior Appointments

APS Group has announced changes to bolster its creative and content agency senior leadership team.

James Lawton-Hill whose previous role was Marketing Director for the Group has now been given the additional responsibility of overseeing the creative arm as Marketing and Agency Director. Lawton-Hill will focus on leading and delivering the growth and vision for the agency on a Global basis, supported by his existing management team which has been bolstered by two new senior appointments; Rob Potter joining as Head of Strategy and Pete Gentle as Creative Solutions Director.

James Lawton-Hill has been with APS since 2020, having previously worked in a variety of in-house roles after starting life in a number of agency positions throughout the UK and Asia. He has played a role in the rebranding of the agency as well as contributing to some large wins including abrdn (previously Standard Life Aberdeen) and the Northern Rail creative production account.

Potter is an international growth strategist with over 15 years’ experience, in both agency and client-side roles for a range of global brands, across the Financial Services, Public Sector and Energy & Clean Tech sectors.  Potter brings his vast experience to unlock the full potential of brands, through a vast array of business insights and strategy. Working closely with the client senior leadership team, he has already instigated change, aiming to increase commercial growth for several existing APS clients.

Gentle returns to APS after 3 years having previously worked for the business for over 10 years as Studio Operations Director. Bringing his vast experience in leading a diverse range of agency services, including operations and project delivery within challenging environments. Gentle, will work with existing and new clients to deliver innovative market leading creative solutions, ensuring clients and their brands stay current and at the forefront of their market.

Lawton Hill explains “The two new additions to the team help build upon the existing strong management team we have here at APS with some great experience. I’m excited to take on the new expanded role as we look to continued growth across our creative and content services.”

The team will work across a wide portfolio of clients from across a range of industries from public sector, retail, financial services, and the charity.

Our Sustainability Commitment

Sustainability is at the heart of every decision we make, and we’ve consistently invested in this area for both our internal processes and that of our clients. A great example of this was when we were awarded the first ever Superdrug CSR partner of the year award for our work on transferring their loyalty cards from plastic to paper.

Since, then we have continued to work with our clients to provide alternative options, most recently producing POS items from bamboo, which is more sustainable and lightweight which in turn lowers shipment costs too. Our sustainable designs have won awards too, such as the Resourceful Design Award at the Drum Design Awards in 2021 for our packaging with the Isle of Harris Distillers, this category recognises the biggest impact with the lowest materials or resources used.

We’re guided by the three main principles of sustainable materials, circular design, and recycle/refurbish/re-use. We recognise the importance of continually improving our processes, systems, and activities to elevate our environmental performance.

We’re committed to being Carbon Net Zero by 2040 and have held the ISO14001 accreditation since 2006 for our environmental management system. We’ve also been independently assessed by EcoVadis and ranked in the top 87th percentile of companies globally in our industry.

As a commitment to sustainability and fighting climate change, we are proud supporters of the Terra Carta Initiative which provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future.

As part of the Carbon Capture Initiative with Premier Paper and the Woodland Trust, we have offset more than 8,300 tonnes of carbon, creating 101,261 m2 of new native woodland since 2019. We also regularly take part in volunteering days with the Woodland Trust, most recently helping to plant a forest of 4,000 trees at a former open cast mining site.

At APS we work with a variety of retailers to evaluate their current sustainability processes. From creating POS from recycled mobile phones through to in store displays made from bamboo, we can create bespoke solutions tailored to your needs. If you would like to talk to us about your sustainability challenges, then please get in touch,

Together, we can make more possible.