Author Archive for M Jacks

A Beginners Guide to Excel: Friend or Foe

What is Excel?

It’s a good question. Excel is another multipurpose tool that has made its way into both our personal and professional lives due to its wide variety of applications and powerful functions. With over 750 million users, it is one of the most popular software applications globally.

Excel is a spreadsheet program created by Microsoft and is available as part of the Microsoft Office Package. The spreadsheet is compiled of boxes called cells, which hold data organised into columns (cells going down the way) and rows (cells going across the way), creating a sheet (hence spreadsheet). It allows us to not only store data but also display and organise this data in a clear and understandable format.

Is Excel worth learning?

As a prominent workplace tool and with many employers expecting Excel as a base skill, you will likely come face to face with Excel in your career, whether this is data entry and storage for the future, or perhaps creating a dashboard from scratch. Learning the basics will allow you to confidently approach this eventuality and avoid feeling like a deer caught in the headlights.

Additionally, it is a transferable skill applicable to many industries and even your personal life! (Anyone sheepishly reading this and thinking of the 100’s of excel sheets you have dedicated to comparing products?… You’re not alone.)

What can Excel actually do?

So now that we’ve established that excel is worth learning, what can it actually do?

  1. Make tables and databases

This might be the most apparent function and, therefore, the best place to start. Data is inserted and stored in cells where it can be visually grouped and analysed. Tables allow us to distinguish and organise data into meaningful categories. Otherwise, we have a chaotic jumble of information with no discernable relationship.

Once the data is inserted into a table, we can format the table’s design, create filters to hide or search for specific information, and rows and columns can be easily added or removed.

  1. Convert data into graphs and charts

Now that the data is arranged into tables, excel has graphical features that allow us to represent this data in graphs and charts. Graphs and charts enable us to better understand the data quickly due to their more simplistic display of the information. They are especially useful for extensive data where relationships and patterns are harder to see.

  1. Functional features

Not only can we represent data in graphs and charts, but we can also perform complex calculations with the data. This is especially useful for totalling 100+ columns and manipulating large sums of data. The alternative is the painstaking process of doing everything by hand…Excel will do this for you quickly and correctly.

And that’s why Excel is your friend!

Microsoft Excel is an incredible tool that specialises in improving efficiency and saving time. It may seem like a steep learning curve but with 750 million-plus users, we can safely assume that the benefits outweigh the trepidation of getting started. It is a lot simpler to use, and with an easy goal in mind, you’ll quickly get to know the layout and the promise of a more organised existence.

Feel like you need a bit more support getting started? Check out our comprehensive Excel Introduction Course, led by a Live Trainer who will support you at every step of the way!

5 Ways That You Can Be A Better Leader

Being a good leader is difficult. Most of us, during our working lives will have many managers and supervisors. Of these, those that we might consider really good leaders might be quite a small number. Leadership, however, like anything else, is a skill that can be learned. Becoming a good leader can have a massive impact on the success of both your own team and that of your organisation. Here are some of the ways that you can improve your supervisory skills:

Connect with your team

Leading a group of people requires a mutual sense of trust and understanding between the leader and their team members. To achieve this, leaders should learn to connect with each team member individually.

Try focusing on getting to know them as a person; their personality, interests, strengths, weaknesses and their motivations. This understanding will enable a manager to help develop team members and increase their autonomy in areas where their skills are high. This in turn will increase the employee’s engagement, motivation, investment in, and trust of, you as a leader.

Encourage professional and personal growth

It is probably already part of your Job, but acting as your team’s champion is a vital part of being an effective leader. You should be completely invested in their success and growth both professionally and personally.

This makes complete sense, because, as a leader your job is to get the very best results you can out of your team. By giving employees the opportunity to learn and develop, to upskill and move into new areas, you will increase their satisfaction, work-rate and buy-in. The old adage goes that if you, as a leader, are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. Be the best leader and developer of people in the room. Let your team be the best at everything else.

Keep a positive attitude

As much as leaders wish their team’s day-to-day operations could run smoothly all the time, things will go wrong. Human error, unforeseen occurrences and outside forces can all, potentially, put things off track. Whether it is a minor miscommunication or a major incident, how you respond to the issue is key. Negative situations will have an effect on everyone, including you as a leader and on your team, but it is your job to remain calm and positive, even if you don’t necessarily feel that way at the time. This is exactly when your team will look to you to tell them what to do. You need to do that as effectively and positively as possible.

Give direct and honest feedback

It’s important as a leader that you give honest feedback. It is the best way to guide your team in the right direction. Again, it may be part of your job, but you need to ensure that you are constantly and regularly providing constructive feedback and performance reviews. Obviously, to give correct feedback to your team, you need to know exactly where the business is headed, it’s goals and how your own team fits into them. Part of feedback is making sure that your team also know what it is that your organisation is trying to do. The fact that they are not meeting goals might just be because they don’t understand this correctly. If you’re not direct, people won’t understand where they are not meeting set standards and won’t be able to improve

Remember to also highlight employee accomplishments. Celebrate if a team member does something great and let them know. Positive recognition has been shown to improve engagement and productivity.

Be open to new ideas

Good leaders have the emotional intelligence to understand and accept that change is inevitable and that their team may have a different way of doing things, a method which could be more effective than their own. Remember, you don’t have to be the best at anything, apart from being the best leader. Always actively encourage innovation and better work practices suggested by your team. That is what a good leader does.

Encouraging your team members to provide their insights and ideas will increase their engagement and commitment and make them work better and smarter. Remember that you are not judged by what you, personally, accomplish as a leader, but by what your team can achieve.

For a more in-depth look into how to develop your leadership skills to gain the most of your team, consider checking out our leadership courses for the best insight.

Global Employee Health and Fitness Month

May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, which emphasises looking after yourself, both physically and mentally. Something that will be of benefit both at work and in all other parts of our lives.


We all know that maintaining our health and fitness will improve the overall quality of our lives, but as we grow older, we can get stuck in our routines and habits, whether they are good or bad, and it’s easy to neglect our mental and physical well-being. This is one of the reasons that the Global Employee and Fitness Month was launched in 1989, to provide an opportunity for workers to reflect on their lives and inspire employers to come up with new, innovative ideas to motivate employees around the world to improve their health and fitness.

As the Global Employee Health & Fitness Month (GEHFM) says on it’s website:

“Global Employee Health & Fitness Month is an international observance of health and fitness in the workplace. The goal of GEHFM is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments.”

The role of employers is emphasised, as they are the ones who create the initiatives, to not only spread awareness of how essential good health is, but to also urge their employees to participate in projects and activities that have real physical and mental health benefits. It is not just employers who get involved in the month, however. Universities, local governments, hospitals, and health departments also play a great role in the successful celebration of this month.

How to Observe

Arrange a yoga session at your workplace: There are many forms of exercise that can help both physically and mentally. Yoga is one of the oldest and most proven. Perhaps arrange a yoga session in your work place, or,  if you work from home,  set aside half an hour for some yoga yourself. It can definitely help your body, but might also bring some peace to your hectic day.

Host an event with a variety of physical activities: If yoga isn’t your thing, persuade your employer to host an event with trials of many activities, such as swimming, running or weight lifting. The broader the options the better and the more people who are likely to get involved.

Bike to Work Scheme: Many companies have a bike to work scheme, which can benefit both employees and employers when the latter choose to cycle rather than drive to work. Whilst the health benefits to employees may be self-evident, Employers who have started such a scheme have reported less sick days amongst those who cycle, a lower carbon footprint; with the added financial incentive that  employers can save up to 13.1% in NI contributions.

Find out more about the bike to work scheme.

The Benefits of the Month

A Healthy mind is a productive mind: Living a healthier lifestyle, through a balanced diet and exercise will almost certainly mean an improvement in mental wellbeing, which can itself lead to a more productive lifestyle. Regular exercise can release dopamine, a chemical than makes us feel happier and satisfied, an important factor in regards to how hard we work.

Improving your health can make you less stressed: Sustained exercise will increase blood flow and pumps up endorphin production, the body’s natural painkillers, directly linked to reducing your stress. Being stressed can lead to de-motivation and burn-out, so adding a short exercise to your daily routine could really make a difference in both your work and home life.

Becoming energetic and motivated: Since exercise and healthy food provide energy, you are much more likely to be motivated to take on new projects and follow them through. If you need help with time management to help fit in extra time for your fitness and well-being, check out our Time Management courses.

Easy 3D Models in PowerPoint, Word and Excel

It may have escaped your attention, but it is now possible to insert 3D models into Office documents. The feature is available to Office 365 subscribers and to anyone who has the 2019 or 2021 Desktop versions of MS Office and it allows the easy insertion of 3D models into any PowerPoint, Word, or Excel file.

Key Features of 3D Models

  • 3D objects can be moved and resized in the same way as images, but can also be rotated along 3 different axes using a very simple control.
  • 3D models can be animated within PowerPoint using aminations like Turntable, Swing and Jump & Turn
  • If the same 3D object is used on consecutive slides in PowerPoint and combined with a Morph transition, the object is animated in 3D.

It is very easy to get a 3D model into your Word Document, PowerPoint Presentation or Excel Workbook. On the Ribbon at the top of any of the applications, simply click on the Insert tab and look for the Illustrations group, which is on the left-hand side of the Tab.

Although the Illustrations group is configured slightly differently, in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, this is always where you will find the 3D Model command.

Once the 3D object is inserted, manipulate the built-in tools to allow you to easily rotate, flip, spin, pan, and zoom for ideal placement.

3D Models in PowerPoint

Since you are most likely to use 3D Models in PowerPoint, we will concentrate on that, but inserting and manipulating 3D models in any of the other Office programmes will work in exactly the same way. Just follow the same steps that you would use to insert photos or videos in PowerPoint. Go to Insert → Select 3D Models and from the drop-down menu, choose how you want to insert a 3D file.

If you already have a 3D model that you have created or downloaded, then you can use the This Device option. A number of different 3D file formats can be inserted into PowerPoint slide. Just select the format that your 3D model is in.

Select the format that your 3D model is in.

If you don’t have an existing 3D Model, then you can opt for the Stock 3D Models command, where there are many options of pre-existing models. You can even search for exactly what you want.

Once the 3D model is inserted, rotate the model to the angle that you wish it to appear on the slide. This is done by clicking on the 3D model itself, which will cause a 3D rotation control to appear at the object’s centre, which can then be used to rotate the object as you wish. You can still use the normal rotation handle at the top of the object to rotate your image clockwise or counter-clockwise, but you’ll get a much better experience using the 3D rotation control.

3D Model in Various Views

Any 3D object can be moved, resized and aligned just like a normal picture, shape, icon or any object that is normally inserted into a PowerPoint slide. It isn’t yet possible to edit the 3D models themselves within PowerPoint, but if you have Paint 3D, it can be done with this programme.

When a 3D model is selected a 3D Model contextual tab appears on the Ribbon.

This includes options to reset the model, switch it to set views and arrange it relative to other objects on the slide. There are also controls for sizing the object including Pan and Zoom.

3D objects are very easily inserted into Slides and have multiple uses.

Six Ways That You Can Improve Your Communication Skills

Improving your communication skills is advantageous to you and everyone around you. Good communicators are seen as confident and trustworthy and these skills can help in both your professional and personal life.

Here are 6 ways that you can improve your communication skills:

Listening Effectively:

This is one of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of communication. It is natural to try to think of a response to the other person while they are still talking, but taking time to let them finish and trying to fully understand what they are saying can pay dividends. If you are unsure about something that has been said, ask for clarification, or for the person to repeat their point again.

And when listening, stick to one communication at a time. It’s always tempting when speaking to someone on the phone, to, perhaps, respond to an email at the same time. But it is very likely that you will miss something the other person is saying. Trying to do both things at once may mean that you end up doing neither of them particularly well.

Body language:

This is something that we all are aware of, but which, surprisingly, most of us still don’t think about when we are communicating. A few simple things in this area can make a great deal of difference in our communication with others. Don’t cross your arms, keep eye contact, sit up straight so you look professional and be as open as possible. We don’t have to be body language experts to use it effectively in communication.

Be Concise

In written and verbal communication, try to be as brief and concise as possible, whilst still conveying all the information required. Try not to ramble or go into areas of information that are just not needed.

Maintain a positive attitude and smile:

This one is simple. Smile and be positive. Smile even when speaking on the phone, because the other person will know it. Smile often and exude a positive attitude and people will respond positively to you.


Being able to understand the feelings of those around you is an integral part of being an effective communicator. Empathising means both understanding and relating to someone else’s feelings. Having high emotional intelligence and demonstrating an ability to empathise builds rapport between you and others and increases your ability to communicate.

Practice public speaking:

Public speaking may sound daunting, but there’s no better way to develop good communication skills. Good communicators are able to clearly articulate their feelings, whether speaking to a large group or talking face-to-face with one other person. Speaking in front of a group will highlight your strengths, as well as letting you know those areas that you need to improve on.

Our course in Advanced Communication Skills will show you how to apply advanced verbal and written communication techniques in your workplace.

XLOOKUP – The New Improved VLOOKUP

In Microsoft Excel, everyone has heard of the VLOOKUP function. It is one of the most used functions within Excel and the function that most people want to learn. This is not surprising, because VLOOKUP is extremely useful and can be used in a wide variety of situations. It is capable of very complex data analysis, but can also be used very simply. In essence VLOOKUP does what it says on the tin. It looks things up. So why have Microsoft, effectively, created a replacement for it?

Although VLOOKUP is used by millions of Excel users every day, it is not without faults. In fact, many Excel users use alternative formulas because of this. VLOOKUP has three main issues:

Only Left to Right

VLOOKUP only works from left to right. That is, it can only find a result value in a column to the left of the value that is being used as the look-up value. In the example below, if the Employee IDs were in a column right of the AGEs, it wouldn’t work.

The Column Number Issue

The column with the result required is designated by an index number. This means that if we want VLOOKUP to return data from the 2nd column of our data, we need to type in 2. The problem comes if another column is inserted into our data. Although our VLOOKUP will still have an index number of 2, the value we want to return may not be in the 2nd column anymore. At best, we won’t get the result we expect, at worst the VLOOKUP may stop working altogether.

VLOOKUP Defaults to an Approximate Match

LOOKUP functions in Excel can return an Exact match, meaning that they will only give a result if they can find precisely what we are looking for, or they can return an approximate match, meaning they will return the result nearest to the value we were searching for. Even though 99.9 % of the searches done with VLOOKUP are for an exact match, VLOOKUP default to an approximate match.

XLOOKUP fixes all these issues and more:

Left Lookup

VLOOKUP will not allow a left lookup to be performed. Before XLOOKUP, this could be done by using a combination of INDEX and MATCH functions, but this was quite complicated. Now a left lookup can be completed simply by using the XLOOKUP function.

The XLOOKUP function looks up the age and returns the Employee ID.

Column Number

XLOOKUP allows the returning of a value from a particular column simply by selecting it or typing its range within the formula. A column number need not be specified and so the formula can’t be broken if columns or rows are inserted or deleted.

Exact Match

By default, the XLOOKUP function in Excel 365/2021 performs an exact match, unlike VLOOKUP.

XLOOKUP is only available in Office 2021 and Office 365. VLOOKUP will remain available in Excel, but there are many more benefits in using XLOOKUP, such as being able to return values from above and below, as well as from left and right. To find out more and to learn how to use this new function fully, why not try one of our Excel courses.

Setting Up and Using OneDrive

OneDrive is the cloud storage service from Microsoft which will both store your files securely and allow you to access them from almost any device. It is one of many online storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud, but only Microsoft OneDrive is built directly into Windows 10.

Like all Cloud storage services, OneDrive acts as if it is an external drive, but because it is available through the internet folders and files can be backed up and synced in the cloud. OneDrive works across different devices and platforms. It is entirely possible to create a file on one device and continue working on it on another (PC, laptop, tablet, or phone).

Files on OneDrive can be easily shared with other people, and if you have Microsoft 365 you can collaborate with someone else, on a file, in real-time.

You don’t even need to use Windows to be able to use OneDrive, but if you have a Windows 10 device, there are even more features available, including a ‘Personal Vault’ where important and sensitive files are protected with an extra level of security.

Whatever device you are using, whether it is a Windows 10 Laptop, an Android phone, or anything else, to sign up for and use OneDrive, you will need a Microsoft Account. This is easy to set up and you can sign up for one here. The good news is that if you already have a,, or email address, or Xbox network account, you already have a Microsoft account and can use any of these.


A basic free plan for OneDrive provides 5GB of OneDrive space. You can get 100GB of storage by paying a small monthly fee, but if you already have a subscription to Microsoft 365, then you may already have a whole 1TB of OneDrive space available.

Creating a OneDrive Account

Firstly, go to the OneDrive website here. You will need to click the ‘Sign In’ button.

You will get an option to either enter the email of an existing OneDrive account or to Create a New Account.

Click the ‘Create one!’ option.

If you do already have a,, or email address, or Xbox network account, you can enter this to create your account, otherwise, click ‘Get a new email address’.

You can choose whether to have an @outlook or @hotmail address and then just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the signing-up process.

Once the OneDrive account is created, on Windows 10, OneDrive is usually automatically configured. In most cases, in Windows, the one Drive Client software will already be on your device, but if not download the OneDrive client offline installer from Microsoft and double-click the file to install it.

If you are installing on another device, like an Apple or Android phone, you will need to get the OneDrive App from the appropriate App store.

Once you have the software or app on your device, you just need to sign in. In Windows,  click the cloud icon from the notification area.

Then select the Sign in button.

Follow the directions to confirm your Microsoft account address and password. Click the Sign in button again.

You should be good to go.

View and Manage Folders and Files

In OneDrive, you can change settings for managing, syncing and sharing files. OneDrive will appear in File Explorer, like any other drive on your computer, and you can view and manage files there.

If you want to view your files online, just right-click any of the folders or files in OneDrive and choose ‘View online’ from the menu.

You can change a wide variety of options in OneDrive. Click on the cloud Icon in the Notification Area. Click on ‘Help & Settings’ and you will be presented with a dialog box where you can change whether OneDrive starts automatically with Windows, control Notifications, add other accounts and many other options.

Share Files 

Sharing files with others, whether they have OneDrive or not, is easy. You can share whole folders or individul files and this can be done from both File Explorer or from your OneDrive site. Just right-click the file or folder you wish to share and click ‘Share’ from the menu.

Before the link is sent, you can control how whether the person being sent the link will have editing rights, when the link will expire and if a password is  required.

There is much, much more to OneDrive. If you want to learn more, contact us here at Infero.

10 Reasons November Is THE Best Month

Many people dismiss November as just ‘that month between Halloween and Christmas’ when nothing much happens, but they are wrong. November was the ninth month of the year under the Roman calendar and got its name from the Latin word novem, meaning nine. Now it’s the 11th month and it might just be the best. Here are ten reasons why:

1. Back to Greenwich Meantime

The clocks go back at the end of October and we get back the hour that was cruelly stole from us in Spring. The mornings are lighter, so every day feels like a lie in. Evenings are darker and it feels like it’s properly winter.

2. Colourful Leaves

Some people would argue that trees are at their most beautiful in Autumn, when their leaves turn spectacular colours. The leaves change because of changes in the length of daylight and temperature that causes chlorophyll breakdown. Green leaves are replaced by yellows, oranges and even reds.  

3. It’s Movember

Men everywhere are suddenly sporting a moustache, whether it’s a mighty handlebar, or barely visible pencil moustache. Movember seems to get bigger every year. It is all in good fun and for a great cause. It started off in a bar in Australia and has grown into one of the biggest charities promoting men’s health in the world.

4. You can select your Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars need to be ready for the 1st of  December. With everything ranging from the ones you can pick up from Poundland to the ridiculously expensive, containing beauty products, beer, cheese, chocolate, Harry Potter and tea, and everything in between, there’s an Advent Calendar for you.

5 Bonfire Night

Remember, Remember, the fifth of November. These days the UK’s own celebration seems to take second place to Halloween. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as the event commemorates the brutal execution of someone, (even if that person was someone who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.) There are still many organised displays on, or around the 5th November for those who enjoy fireworks.

 6. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Thankfully, the scenes of fighting in shops over bargains seem to be a thing of the past, but you may still be able to get some good deals in the Black Friday sales held on the High Street and online. Or maybe you should wait until Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, when much of the buying is done online. Black Friday is said to be a better time to buy newer, big-ticket items and to visit stores physically. Cyber Monday is a better day to shop for tech deals and smaller gifts.

7. St Andrew’s Day

This happens every year on the 30th November and in Scotland is a Bank Holiday. Celebrate if you are Scottish or have Scottish connections, or just like Scotland. Break out some 15-year-old whiskey and raise a glass, listen to the Bay City Rollers or Big Country, or watch Billy Connelly.

8. Tins of Sweets

The supermarkets are full of walls of tins (alright plastic tubs) of sweets; Quality Street, Celebrations, Heroes and many more. At this point, they are so ridiculously cheap that it’s the best time to pick some up for Christmas. Pity you’ll have to buy some more next week after finishing them off watching a Marvel movie marathon.

9. Christmas Lights Go On

All up and down the country, in cities and Towns, Christmas lights are switched on in late November, many with Countdowns and, in some cases, the switching on is done by an actress that was once in Eastenders, back in the 90s. Ignore the turning on and just go and enjoy the spectacular sight of the lights in the darkness.

10. … And you can prepare for Christmas (A little)

Even though Christmas belongs in December, you can start your Christmas shopping, to avoid the rush. (Run out and buy that Christmas Pudding, definitely, because there won’t be any left on Christmas Eve!) You might need to think about sending the present that will take a while to get to its recipient and, if you really really have to, you can sneak a listen to some Christmas music. (Just a little, to give you the taste for when December begins!)

November is perfect for cosy nights in, moving to comfortable winter clothes and so much more.  Enjoy November. It’s a better month than you think! 

What is Visio?

MS Visio is, basically, software for drawing diagrams; a very, very wide variety of diagrams. Along with the flowcharts, org charts, building plans and process flow diagrams that you would normally expect in a diagramming app, there are floor plans, network diagrams, mind maps, infographics, data flow diagrams, business process modelling, swim lane diagrams, 3D maps, and many more.

Visio is part of the Microsoft Office software suite, but is not included in standard editions as Excel, Word and PowerPoint are. It is sold as a stand-alone program, which is why it is much less well known. Despite this, it integrates seamlessly with all of the other Office Applications, using the same Ribbon interface and shares functionality with MS Office Word and Excel. Visio also has a large library of templates and shapes for various types of charts and there are even whole websites that have collections of Visio templates developed by third parties.

Another feature that Visio has is pulling live information from an external source. It can, for example use data dynamically from Excel and Access, making diagrams functional and current. And along with the very wide variety of built-in shapes, objects, and stencils to work with, it is possible to create your own shapes and import these for use in Visio.

How Visio is Used

It is possible to create very professional-looking diagrams relatively easily with Visio and these can be as simple or as complicated as required. Some of the most used Diagram Types in Visio include:


Flowcharts are a visual sequence of steps and decisions for a particular process, using shapes to show the steps and arrows to show progression between steps. Flowcharts can include process flows, process maps, work flows and flow diagrams.

Organizational Charts

Organizational charts, show reporting relationships and the hierarchies within organisations. They can show the detail of who reports to who and/or the overall hierarchy of a company.

Floor Plans

Visio can create scaled diagrams like floor so that a room can be modelled using exact measurements. Tables, chairs and equipment can be moved around to find the best layout, relative to one another, within the space of a room.

Network Diagrams

A computer network diagram depicts nodes and connections in a computer network. Network diagrams use symbols to represent common network devices and diagrams can be made at the LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) level. Visio is used extensively by IT professionals to design network diagrams.

MS Visio is so popular for creating Network Diagrams that many network equipment manufacturers supply downloadable Visio network drawings on their websites. There is an extensive collection of stencils to help aid in making network diagrams at the VisioCafe website.

Gantt Charts

Used extensively in Project Management and the default view in MS Project, a Gantt chart shows individual tasks in a project, their start and end dates, the people assigned to the tasks and other information.

Mind Maps

Mind maps, also known as concept maps, are diagrams showing the connections between ideas. Related ideas can be grouped and connected to the overall topic. Mind maps are effective planning tools.

Charts & Graphs

Although more commonly used and seen in Excel, Visio also includes charts and graphs. Used to visually represent data in a way that makes the information simpler to understand. Visio can create bar charts, line charts and pie charts amongst others.

There is a lot more to Visio and Infero Training offers courses at all levels. Contact us today to find out more.

Festival of light – Diwali

November 2nd  marks the start of the 5-day Diwali celebration with the main events and celebrations taking place on the 4th dubbed the day of Diwali.

The five days are named, in order, Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Diwali, Padwa and Bhai Duj, to find out more information on the specific celebrations of each day click here.

Although there are many festivals of light , Divali is possibly the original Festival of Lights and is also a major celebration for many religions including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It involves gift giving, feasts, lights, sweets and prayers and represents new beginnings.

Central to Diwali is the lighting of oil lamps and divas/diyas, both at places of worship and in homes, alongside fireworks and candles. These represent enlightenment, wisdom and knowledge.

After Covid-19 cancelled a lot of the in person celebrations last year, it will be exciting to see communities gather for such a beautiful event.

Many major, multicultural cities around the UK, most notably London, Leicester, Birmingham, Belfast and Edinburgh, with large south Asian communities, hold major Diwali celebrations, with spectacular light displays.

Why not check for Diwali festivities near you and take part in the celebrations this year, whether you have celebrated before or are new to this festival.