AFC Oakley Football Club

Interview with M&DH Insurances Services Ltd, Richard Hames

Firstly, we know that you are involved in supporting many sports for many years, why is sport a subject close to your heart?
Having been brought up in Derby I played football and cricket from a very early age. Derby is a huge sporting city so the emphasis to get children into sport is bigger in Derby than Bedford. We moved down to Bedford when I was a teenager and the gap in facilities, structure and professionalism was huge but I continued to participate in these sports locally and met many people on my journey. My journey involved growing as an individual, improving my people skills and becoming courteous, respectful and determined to win all key traits that  I have carried through into my professional working career running an insurance brokerage.

Tell us a bit about the other community and charity organisations that you are involved with?
We remain committed to various football clubs in the Bedford area and recently supported a new football club down in Kent. We support Bedford Blues, Bedford foodbank, St Johns Hospice Moggerhanger and the local women’s refuge to name a few ! Supporting the local community is something we take very seriously and feel we have a duty to contribute to as a local business.

M&DH continues to go from strength to strength – tell us a bit about how it’s got to where it is now?
Yes we are approaching our 20th year in 2022 and it all started in a small ‘ dungeon’ office in St Peters Street Bedford. It’s grown from just myself at the start to over 50 staff across 3 offices at the Pilgrim Centre in Bedford, a new office in Olney which opened in June 2021 and an IT presence in Macedonia !.  Despite the pandemic we continue to produce double digit growth year on year and expect to be generating over £25m of premium income by our 20th Birthday. Its been a journey full of stress, worry with tears of joy and success !  but without doubt, overall, its provided huge enjoyment and I’m looking forward to the future journey that awaits us !

M&DH has a fantastically strong culture of supporting the growth of its staff, why is this so important to you?
We firmly believe in educating and improving all our staff from day one. 98% of our current client facing staff are qualified as Chartered insurance brokers and that investment has certainly helped us achieve our growth and success in our market place. When you add ‘badges’ of success namely Top 100 Independent Insurance Brokers and Sunday times Top 100 companies to work for ( we came in the top 5 for the insurance category) its clear of our intentions to improve and grow on a daily basis.

We are obviously very appreciative of the backing that you have provided AFC Oakley over the years, what stands out to you as the strengths of the club?
The various different people involved in the club through the years have always worked tirelessly and genuinely care which is great to see. M&DH are genuinely proud to be associated with such an organised and progressive football club providing  sporting activities for the local community.

How do you think Oaks will do this season?
As I write this Oakley are 3 points off the top with 2 games in hand so it has to be Oakley all the way for the Premier Division.  Caldecote are always one to fear but I’ll take care of that result  as the Caldecote manager works for us !!!  But in all seriousness I have every faith in Dan Kelly and his coaching team to bring home the silverware come the end of the season.

Good luck !