Survival

United Family

To all the United family,

You are the backbone of United Education. For over 5 years I have been humbled by the pride you all take in working for United Education. It’s not just about me or what my team does; it is because every single one of our employees brings their own unique skill set to make sure each programme runs smoothly and looks amazing. It is the people across our business, and the hundreds of people who have worked with us over the years, that make this company so special. They tell their families, their friends, and even complete strangers why United Education is such a special business. Over the last month much has been said about me, the head office team and our brand. I know how much you all care about your work, your venues, and most of all each other, so I thought it was important for you all to know the actual facts.

Over the five years I have been in business (2 of which during COVID), this is the most challenging time we have ever faced. It is hard to find the words to convey what a devastating impact the current financial economy, employment shortfall and the continual issues from the pandemic are having. From a business perspective, the damage is unprecedented and the length of the disruption remains worryingly unknown.

Much has been said about United’s employees being paid late this last season. This was a decision made out of necessity to save as many jobs as possible – it was not because of greed. The challenge we face righ now is that we have a number of large invoices and payments outstanding for our summer provision which have not yet been received, leaving United Education with very little in the bank and still bills to pay. Together with our Head Office team, I am working day and night to look after our people and protect as many jobs as possible. We are a service provider in a hard hit sector and are doing all we can to keep the business that we love afloat. I am so thankful to all of you who have continued to work so hard, and I apologise to anyone who experienced financial or personal difficulties during these difficult times. 

Today, as outstanding invoices are cleared over the next 48 hours this cash is being paid straight out to staff. 

I’ve seen a couple of comments about my income – To be transparent, this year, 6 out of the 12 months I have not drawn a salary, I am the lowest paid member of the head office team and significant profits have never been taken out of United Education. My aim is to reinvest everything I can in building a business that improves people’s lives and creates opportunities, jobs and experiences for young people. 

I am so proud of the United Head office team who have worked so hard and sacrificed a lot to support the company and it’s employees, and the many employees who are currently working. Their spirit is so heart-warming and inspiring, and I couldn’t be prouder of our amazing people (it deserves saying twice!) I am also deeply moved by the thousands of messages of support from our incredible people at the United family. They mean so much to me – thank you all. I’m aware that not every past or present employee feels such admiration for United Education, there is already enough hatred in the world I hope that we can part ways showing kindness to one another rather than contempt. I personally wish you all the best in all your future endeavours and I hope our paths cross again. 

The United family started with one person and 5 activity leaders just over 5 years ago. Over those years it has created real competition, which must remain fierce for the benefit of our wonderful customers and the public at large. To those of you who have been with us from the start, I am honoured to be working with all of you building this company as we continue to create competition and choice for consumers across the holiday childcare industry. Our company has created hundreds of seasonal jobs and we will continue to do what we do best: support each other, support our communities, and tackle tough problems through hard work and innovation.

We’ve endured a lot this year, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know we will come out stronger and kinder to each other as a result. Once again, thank you to all of you, you continue to inspire me every day. 

With Gratitude,

Nicholas Coulson