EO Day 2022

By Catherine Player

On the 24th June 2022, the Castlefield team celebrated the 10th Annual EO day. EO Day is an annual celebration organised by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) where employee-owned businesses collectively celebrate and promote Employee Ownership (EO).

Employee-owned businesses are either partly or wholly owned by their employees. Castlefield is proud to be employee owned and believes that EO feeds through positively into a culture of shared accountability and encourages a longer-term outlook. All Castlefield employees who pass probation, become ‘Co-owners’.

Castlefield has a hybrid form of EO, meaning that it’s partly owned by an Employee Share Ownership Trust (Piccadilly Trust), which holds shares on behalf of Co-owners. Alongside this, Co-owners are also able to hold their own shares, either directly or through a Share Incentive Plan.

In previous years, the team celebrated EO Day with social events and by taking part in a range of activities, from exciting baking challenges to constructing towers made of straws. In recent years, in-person events had been made impossible due to Covid restrictions, but the team were still able to celebrate by taking part in online activities.

The theme for this year’s EO Day was ‘#GrowEO’ with the mission to showcase, and spread the news of, the achievements of the employee-owned sector. The EOA also highlighted the growth of the sector stating that it ‘has more than doubled in the past few years’.[1]

The Castlefield team celebrated with a range of online teamworking activities and will also have a get-together in July. Smaller teams took part in a quiz, with themes varying from EO to Manchester landmarks. The scores were close, but victory was taken by Thom Nixon and his team. This was followed up by an online escape room, where the team was virtually placed upon a pirate ship and tasked with solving the mystery of the missing crew. Castlefield also took part in the EOA’s social media ‘thunderclap’ where employee-owned companies and Co-owners collectively shared the #GrowEO message at the same time on social media platforms to increase awareness.

In addition, Castlefield held its biannual ‘How Are We Doing’ (HAWD) presentation on the 23rd June. This is a session where John Eckersley, Founder & Senior Partner, along with representatives from other areas of the business, come together and give an overview of how the business has been doing over the period since the last HAWD. The presentation consists of an overview of the company and our goals, latest financials and company ownership information, as well as a summary of our recent achievements and upcoming or current opportunities and challenges. This provides clear and transparent communication to the Co-owners and is also a platform on which they can ask questions directly to senior members of the company.

During the HAWD meeting, the Co-owners heard from Michael Richardson, Co-owner Representative of Piccadilly Trustee Limited (PTL), the corporate trustee of the Piccadilly Trust (Castlefield’s Employee Share Ownership Trust). Michael gave a summary of the progress made in employee ownership  during his 3 year term, along with future EO related plans and news. Furthermore, Michael announced that he had reached the conclusion of his three year term and that Ewelina Niziolek-Wilson, Head of People & Training, will replace him.

As you can imagine, the day is a welcome event in Co-owners’ calendars as the team benefit from an open forum delivered through the HAWD presentation whilst socialising and having a bit of fun! Though the year so far has been challenging, the team look forward to seeing how the employee-owned sector evolves and what EO Day 2023 has in store.


[1] https://employeeownership.co.uk/events/eo-day-2022/