5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
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Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

Astute Recruitment separate the fact and the fiction about St George's Day











Think of St George and you’re probably picturing a heroic knight, slaying a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon! As the country’s patron saint, today, the 23rd April 2020 St George’s story is as iconic as his white and red flag.

However, like many early saints, the exact details of his life remain a mystery. Here, we separate the facts from the fiction, establishing the truth behind the legend of St George.



St George might be hailed as a national hero, but he was actually born – in the 3rd century AD – more than 2,000 miles away from England in Cappadocia (modern-day Turkey).

He is thought to have died in Lydda (modern-day Israel) in the Roman province of Palestine in AD 303. It is believed that his tomb was in a place called ‘Lod’, a centre of Christian pilgrimage.



Often portrayed as a knight in shining armour, the truth is less fanciful.

Whilst St George was depicted from the 11th century as a heroic knight or a warrior on horseback, it is more likely that he was a humble officer in the Roman army.



Like many saints, St George was described as a martyr after he died for his Christian faith. It is believed that during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century, St George was punished by execution, for refusing to make a sacrifice in honour of the pagan gods at that time.



Yep, St George never actually visited England. However his reputation for virtue and holiness spread across Europe and his feast day – the 23rd April – was celebrated in England from the 9th century onwards.

He became popular with English kings. Edward I (1272-1307) had banners bearing the emblem of St George (a red cross on a white background) and Edward III (1327-77) had a strong interest in the saint and owned a ‘phial’ or ‘relic’ of his blood. It was not until the reign of Henry VIII, that the cross of St George was used to represent England.



The story goes that St George rode into Silene (Libya) to free the city from a dragon who had a taste for humans, but it’s a story that post-dates the real George by several centuries!

Images of George and the dragon survive from the 9th century – 500 years after his death. Originally these may simply have been symbolising the battle between Good and Evil. In the Middle Ages, the story was developed and popularised in a compendium of stories about saints’ lives called ‘The Golden Legend’.



St George was canonised in AD 494 by Pope Gelasius, who claimed he was one of those ‘whose names are justly revered among men but whose acts are known only to God’.

A feast day of St George has been celebrated in England for hundreds of years on 23 April, which was possibly the date of his martyrdom. Following the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, St George’s Day became one of the most important feast days in the English calendar.



St George is truly an international saint and England is not the only country or region to claim him as its patron. Something that in todays multi-cultural England, ought to be celebrated!

England shares St George with Venice, Genoa, Portugal, Ethiopia and Catalonia among others as their patron saint and many of these places have their own celebrations and ceremonies in his honour.



During the Middle Ages, people believed that St George was one of the ‘Fourteen Holy Helpers’ – a group of saints who could help during epidemic diseases. St George’s protection was invoked against several nasty diseases, many fatal and with infectious causes, including the Plague and leprosy. It is a shame we cannot invoke his name to defeat the Coronavirus!

From around 1100, St George’s help was also sought to protect the English army. In William Shakespeare’s Henry V, the monarch calls on the saint during his battle cry at the Battle of Harfleur in the famous, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends” speech, crying “God for Harry! England, and St. George!”

Five hundred years later – during the First World War – a ghostly apparition of St George is said to have aided British troops during their retreat from Mons, and the naval commander of the Zeebrugge Raid, cited the saint as inspiration!



The Order of the Garter (founded by Edward III in 1348) is the very highest order of chivalry in the country, with Queen Elizabeth II at the helm as ‘Sovereign of the Garter’.

To this day, St George’s cross still appears on the Garter badge and his image is the pendant of the Garter chain.

In 1940 King George VI created a new award for acts of the greatest heroism, bravery or courage in the face of extreme danger. The George Cross, named after the king, bears the image of St George vanquishing the dragon. The image of St George also adorns many of the memorials built to honour those killed during World War One.


Poignantly, perhaps in 2020, we should use this legendary award for bravery to honour the frontline workers and NHS staff working so valiantly to help those affected by the Coronavirus and COVID-19.


Leigh Timmis with the Astute Recruitment team
Leigh Timmis with the Astute Recruitment team
The 18th October, just 3 weeks after Leigh Timmis smashed the Guinness World Record for the fastest cycle across Europe –
16 days 10 hours 45 minutes; over eight days faster than the previous record!

All of us were delighted to have Leigh talk about how to deliver a world-class performance. His powerful presentation covered many evocative and emotional issues including mental health, team performance and a myriad of wonderful anecdotes that I know I’ll take away with me.

Leigh said after the morning “I took 70 business owners and senior managers behind the scenes of my record-breaking fastest cycle across Europe, explaining how I completed the 4000-mile challenge in 16 days 10 hours 45 minutes; over eight days faster than the previous record!”

He spoke honestly and passionately about his own, personal demons that he had to overcome on the record attempt, admitting that actually ‘the how I got there’ was much more rewarding to him than breaking the actual record. It was refreshing to hear someone speak so honestly and so openly of their personal setbacks – and hear how they overcame them.

Poignantly with just a road team of 4 including Leigh on his journey – loneliness was a major problem. 4,000 miles with just three people for company is a long way to travel. It is even more lonely as every single one of those 4,000 miles was made by Leigh on his own on his bike. Yes, he had his support team of three – but he had to bear up to every one of those thousands of miles physically and on his own. Psychologically, to listen to Leigh and how he and his support team coped, was one of the most inspirational parts of his presentation.

Another fascinating part of the morning highlighted why we all need to embrace our “WHY?”. Leigh described a tremendous technique to re-focus on goals is to bring your mind back to the “Why am I doing this?” and reminding yourself of not just the goal – but what you actually want to achieve along the way. Often people become absorbed in the process and the reason why they are attempting to do something is lost on the way.

Leigh himself said “My talk outlined the importance of setting goals that don’t limit you and establishing an environment that nourishes growth before exploring the decisive factors that shaped our project. With the focus on mental health and team-work, I highlighted the importance of a communication and management strategy to drive a team towards a shared goal, and what psychological interventions we implemented to ensure that I remained focused and determined.”

The audience left with anecdotes and tips about building mental resilience. They were imparted with the knowledge of how to create a positive mindset and an understanding of how Leigh was able to keep going through the most difficult challenges, and how they could apply these lessons to their personal and business goals.”


Leigh Timmis talking about the power of positive thinking and mental health
Leigh Timmis talking about the power of positive thinking and mental health



Engaging talk by Leigh Timmis
Engaging talk by Leigh Timmis

We had a brilliant audience of local professional business people from SME companies and larger firms across Derbyshire and the East Midlands. I’d like to share some of the great comments and photos from some of the people who came to watch Leigh and what they learned and took away from this inspiring morning……


Jon Ward | Senior Interim Accountant:

“I could draw similarities personally and professionally in what Leigh was saying and what I do. As an interim, you come with ideas and quite often have to ‘re-motivate’ and ‘re-energise’ a team already in situ, whereas he could build his own team. He was able to get everyone aiming at the same goals and understand “what’s their why”. I have to convince and cajole the team along to get them off their pathway and onto mine. I come in as requested as a professional interim and my “why” quite often hasn’t been shared. Plus, the expectation that I’m going to move on and leave them with my replacement (who may have a different understanding of “why”).

Leigh showed his passion retelling his story and the messages – his correlation to the audience for business, motivation, teams and leadership – were spot on. I’ve got several great takeaways out of this event and will be recommending Leigh to contacts as a speaker. An interesting, inspiring character and to do what he did by himself on a bike was exceptional!

Thanks again and for what it’s worth your team were friendly and supportive. A great team you should be proud of.”

Duncan Longson | Group Financial Controller:

“We very much enjoyed Leigh’s presentation, I think there was something in there for everyone to take away as food for thought! Thanks again for hosting the event.”


Alan Bunn FCA MBA Grad Dip CSP | Head of Finance & Business Services:

Leigh’s talk was very inspirational, and I took away a few insights; written in your handy notebook 😊

Ian Sackree | Chief Executive

Thank you (and from Nadia too) very much for the invite; an inspirational start to the day.”

Amanda Strong | MD | Mercia Image Print

I spent a long time speaking to Leigh and I agree he is so inspirational and even more so coming back from suffering from mental health himself.

It was a great morning.  This successful event will be remembered and create awareness of the professional Astute Recruitment name.


Iain McBride | Assistant Programme Manager

Thank you ever so much for hosting the business breakfast. Leigh is an inspirational figure – with many stories to tell – and I am sure that he will engage and captivate everyone that he talks to – his journey through the last 12 months is one of sheer drive and determination and I will take away may things to try to change aspects of myself too.

Thank you also for the card draw, never been drawn out for anything other than a networking speech – so very surprised and overwhelmed!


Lisa Richards | Partner | Dains

Thanks, I thought it was a really great event, he was a great speaker with a really interesting story, thanks for the invite.”


Joe Butler | Head Of Accounts

It was really interesting. Leigh’s drive is very contagious


Feedback posted on social media: –

“An amazing presentation this morning from @leightimmis ‘Don’t be limited by your goals”
“I had a fantastic morning hearing all about @leightimmis #worldrecordbreaking ride across Europe.”
“An inspirational and engaging speaker and some great lessons learned”


Leigh Timmis with the Astute Recruitment team
Leigh Timmis with the Astute Recruitment team

Leigh Timmis is available for motivational talks, after dinner speeches, keynote speaking engagements at corporate events, schools and higher education talks and workshops. To learn more and to book him for your event, visit Leigh’s website here: https://www.leightimmis.com/speaking-engagements/

Find out what’s next and keep up to date with Leigh’s latest challenges on his WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn

As MDs of Astute Recruitment Ltd – Sarah Stevenson and I were delighted to put this event on for local business professionals and will go on to host more events in the New Year.

Keep an eye on our Events Page



Article by Mary Maguire

MD – Astute Recruitment Ltd


Congratulations Leigh Timmis on your new Guiness World Record
Congratulations Leigh Timmis on your new official Guinness World Record!


We can’t believe its only 2 days until our Business Breakfast with Leigh Timmis. Leigh today received the fantastic news from the people at Guinness World Records that his cycle across Europe is officially being entered into the record books.

While Leigh is over the moon with today’s acknowledgment, for him it was how he did the journey and what got him to the end that is truly inspirational. Hear Leigh talk about how he built a world-class team for his European World Record feat and much more around Mental Health, how to achieve your goals and exceed expectations.


To view more details for Thursday’s event and confirm attendance – please click HERE.

There are only a few spaces left so you will have to be quick!




Leigh Timmis round the world cyclist and adventurer will be speaking at Astute Recruitment's Business Breakfast on 18th Oct 2018 at Derby's iconic 3AAA County Ground
Leigh Timmis round the world cyclist and adventurer

Leigh Timmis is a remarkable fellow. Having cycled around the world over 7 years his latest adventure sees him fly to Carbo da Roca in Portugal in just a couple of weeks to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for cycling across Europe in the fastest time!


  • Over 10 countries.
  • From Portugal to Russia
  • Some three thousand nine hundred and fifty miles.
  • In less than 20 days. (a staggering 9 days less than the current World Record!)


Leigh and his carefully recruited team, will attempt a world first and put another Derbyshire person in the spotlight after Adam Peaty’s exploits at the European Championships.

On Leigh’s hopefully triumphant return to the UK from Ufa in Russia, he will have some much deserved rest. Then his first engagement will be at Astute Recruitment’s Business Breakfast at the home of cycling in Derby’s iconic 3AAA County Ground on the 18th October from 7.30am.

Local business people will join Astute to hear Leigh pass on some great tips and anecdotes around how he created a world-class performance. You will learn about how crucial mental health is in achieving goals, mental resilience and how to overcome pitfalls along the way.  Leigh will also talk about how important it is to have the right team around you – a key issue for many SME businesses at the moment.

You can follow Leigh’s journey via the BBC Worldwide and on Leigh’s website https://www.leightimmis.com/ and support his charity Transforming Mental Health.

All of us at Astute are delighted to have Leigh as our guest speaker and to book tickets for what promises to be an unforgettable morning please click on the Eventbrite link HERE to secure your place.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Exclusive Mental Resilience In The Workplace Business Breakfast Hosted By Astute Recruitment With John Dabrowski at Branston Country Golf Club 15th February 2018

Here at Astute everyone is looking forward to our next exclusive business breakfast on Mental Resilience with John Dabrowski in 3 weeks time.

There are only a few places left so watch John’s short video HERE describing the event! If you would like to come along – please contact [email protected] for an exclusive invitation and full details or alternatively please call us on 01332 346 100 to find out more and reserve your place!

Incidentally – our thanks go to John Dabrowski for putting together this short video and also to Archer Hampson in Derby – who have helped us with the finishing touches!

Watch our video to find out what you can learn in our latest Business Breakfast on Mental Resilience!
Watch our video to find out what you can learn in our latest Business Breakfast on Mental Resilience!

Managing Director Sarah Stevenson at Astute Recruitment has been shortlisted for another prestigious business award by the East Midlands Chamber!

Sarah has been named as a finalist for the East Midlands Chamber 2017 Business Awards under the category of Business Woman of the Year for her work establishing and continuing to grow Astute Recruitment.

After facing redundancy, Sarah and Mary Maguire set up Astute Recruitment in 2009 with nearly 20 years’ experience in recruitment each. Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, growing to a team of nine across two offices in Derby and Nottingham.

Co Owner of Astute, Mary Maguire, said: “Sarah and I have become great business partners and friends, and it’s been amazing to work alongside her as we continue to grow our business.

“Right from the outset, Sarah’s dedication to Astute and the team has been infectious. She has worked hard to create a workplace culture that makes Astute a great place to work – from introducing flexible working to initiating a new bonus scheme for staff to helping team members map out personal development plans.

“Sarah has also been vital in helping Astute develop its brand, working with our non-executive director to establish our new logo, plus a total re-haul of our website and social media presence.

“We are delighted that she has been recognised through these awards and the whole team has their fingers crossed ahead of the big night!”

Sarah said: “I’m honored to have been shortlisted. Setting up Astute has been a real step out of my comfort zone, both personally and professionally but it has been a fantastic journey so far.

“Being Managing Director of your own business is a challenge, but I’m proud of the team we’ve built and excited for what the future holds for Astute.”

The judging day for finalists took place 17 July at the East Midlands Chamber’s Chesterfield offices and since then Sarah has been announced as one of 5 finalists for the awards evening on Friday 8th September. The awards evening is being held at Derbyshire Cricket Club’s 3aaa County Ground. All of the team here are looking forward to the night and will be keeping our fingers crossed for Sarah!

It was great to host our second event on ‘Emotional Intelligence For Business Success’ at Alfreton Golf Club. With over 30 local professional businessmen and women in attendance it proved to be a great morning. Here are some of the photos… Our thanks to Lisa Spencer-Arnell, and to everyone who attended on St Patricks Day!


It’s important to all of us here that our events are useful, engaging and enjoyable so we took feedback from everyone who came. …. Some of their comments are below…

“I found the event very informative and gave me some good ideas to use with my current team”

Very interesting topic. Thanks for the invite!”

A very relaxed and interactive session – I found it to be quite inspiring”

“It was a great event with a really interesting speaker”

Our next event will be on 21st July at Pride Park with guest speaker Neale Lewis, business scale up expert, high growth business coach, leadership trainer and international strategic planning consultant. Neale will be talking about how to scale up your business and career for financial success. We will announce more details on this event in the next few days.


Neale Lewis, International Business Coach, Trainer and Speaker






Astute Recruitment hosting second event on Emotional Intelligence for business success
Astute Recruitment hosting 2nd event on Emotional Intelligence for business success

Due to popular demand, Astute Recruitment are delighted to announce our second event with guest speaker Lisa  Spencer-Arnell. Our first event at the end of last year in Branston on Emotional Intelligence was so popular amongst attendees with those who couldn’t make it saying that they would definitely attend another event if it was to the north of Derby closer to Junction 28 of the M1. So we are all delighted to announce we have booked Lisa again!

Our event will be held at Alfreton Golf Club, Wingfield Road, Oakerthorpe, Alfreton, DE55 7LH on Friday 17th March 2017 and will commence from 7.30am with complimentary teas/ coffees and breakfast cobs. Emotional intelligence and wellness  at work have become key topics of importance to business professionals.


  • What is more important to your financial success? IQ or Emotional Intelligence (EI)? 
  • What has the biggest impact on   achieving extraordinary results, building great relationships and being   fulfilled in life? 

Over recent years Emotional Intelligence and mindfulness have become recognised and acknowledged as key elements of business and personal success, outstanding performance, happiness and good  health.

In this interactive session, you’ll hear about and experience the positive difference EI can make in your  business and team, including: –
·        What EI really is and the role it plays in work & leadership.
·        What the research tells us about IQ & EI.
·        How our amazing brain works and what we can learn from neuroscience to get the best out of ourselves and others?
·        How you can increase your self-awareness through EI.
·        Mindfulness and the impact on your focus, clarity, and effectiveness.
·        The most important question you can ask yourself.
·        3 ways to raise your game and impact your results.

Lisa Spencer-Arnell is ideally placed to explain Emotional Intelligence and Wellness at work through her highly successful career as an International Consultant & Coach – Inspirational Speaker and Published Author. Her work on Emotional Intelligence has been widely praised and recognised.
This is the third breakfast business event hosted by Astute Recruitment and follows on from the great success of our previous events: –
Emotional Intelligence For Business Success with Lisa Spencer-Arnell” at Branston Golf Club
Strategies to win in business” at Geldards on Pride Park with Neil Back MBE.

Again we only have a limited number of spaces to attend our forthcoming breakfast on emotional intelligence so please register HERE to register and confirm your place on our dedicated Eventbrite Page.


Lisa Spencer-Arnell speaking at Astute Recruitment's first business breakfast event on Emotional Intelligence at Branston Golf Club
Lisa Spencer-Arnell speaking at Astute Recruitment’s first business breakfast event on Emotional Intelligence at Branston Golf Club

Lisa Spencer-Arnell: – Treasure Seeker, Leadership Consultant & Coach, Author, Speaker

Programme: –
7:30             Registration, complimentary tea / coffee and breakfast
7:45             Introduction
7:50             Lisa Spencer-Arnell
8:45             Opportunity for Q & A/ Networking
9:00             Close

Free car parking is available and if you have any special dietary requirements please contact Mary Maguire by email: – [email protected]