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ABOUT the gibsons gang

101 YEARS IN THE MAKING...

2019 marked 100 years since our founder, Harry Percy Gibson formed H. P. Gibson & Sons Limited.  Now into our fourth generation with Harry’s great-granddaughter at the helm, we are proud of our British heritage and are still providing fun family pastimes for all ages 101 years on.
Our team and product offering have grown a lot over the last ten decades, however our values remain the same. ‘Bringing people together’ underpins everything we do: from encouraging people to play games, and creating a happy working culture, to supporting a local children’s charity and valuing the relationships with our suppliers and customers.

THE JOURNEY

Celebrating 100 years of Gibsons

  • ‘H.P. Gibson & Sons Limited’ was formed in 1919 and we originally sold popular indoor games, such as ‘L’Attaque’ and ‘Dover Patrol’

  • Sadly our offices, manufacturing equipment and literature was destroyed during The Blitz in 1940. Therefore, manufacturing on ourown premises was no longer possible.

  • Sons of the founder, Harry Aisbitt and Robert Gibson re-established trading from Barrett Street in London’s West End.

  • Michael Gibson became Managing Director in 1973. In the late 70s we shortened our name to ‘Gibsons Games’ and introduced classic games, such as ‘221b Baker Street.’ We launched our first jigsaw range in 1986 and our blue boxed puzzles arrived several years later in 2002, which redefined the Gibsons brand.

  • By the 21st century we had over 250 titles in our jigsaw collection, as well as best-selling games and playing cards. We also made the decision to shorten our company name to ‘Gibsons’ to reflect the diversity of our product range.

  • In 2016, Harry Percy’s great granddaughters, Kate and Nicki, became Managing Director and Sales Director. Supporting them is a strong team, some of whom have been a part of Gibsons for many years, including Business Development Director, Geoff Lee.

  • As we look to the next century, we will continue to produce innovative games and puzzles for all generations. ‘Bringing people together’ underpins everything we do: from encouraging people to play games, and creating a happy working culture, to supporting a local children’s charity and valuing the relationships with our suppliers and customers.

THE GIBSONS WAY

WELLBEING

People are very much at the heart of everything we do at Gibsons. To build on our passion for making Gibsons a great place to work, we’ve developed a wellbeing strategy. This ensures that we provide training and development, flexible working and a health and wellness scheme.

We also believe in the power of taking a break. So, if you were to pop by Gibsons HQ, you may find us doing Pilates, meditating or holding a coffee morning ...whilst being more productive than we’ve ever been. Culture is a widely used word, but it defines us here. We focus on each other’s strengths and believe in a continual cycle of learning and development.

COMMUNITY

Being a family business defines us in many ways. One of those being a responsibility to give something back to the community that we are part of.

Jigsaw4U help young people and families in London and Surrey put the pieces back together by providing services such as essential bereavement counselling and supporting those affected by crime and domestic abuse. We’ve taken part in events such as a Puzzleathon and a Triathlon as well as providing Christmas gifts for the children supported by Jigsaw4U.

We also provide work experience to those who really need the opportunity. We’ve worked with Sutton Youth Offending Scheme and Jigsaw4U and are delighted to give adults and young people the chance to work as part of a team and to develop key skills that can help them get back into the work place.

OUR GREEN GAME PLAN

We have been very busy at HQ investigating how we can improve our environmental footprint. We’ve set up our very own in-house ‘Green Gang’ and our mission is to improve our sustainability across all ranges.

The Perfect Puzzle Project - One of our main goals is to reduce single use plastic and we thrilled to announce that our Little Gibsons jigsaw puzzles no longer come with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. What’s more, by the end of 2020, all of our lovely blue puzzle boxes will be smaller (a whole 29% smaller on average) and no longer wrapped in cellophane. This will save 521,096m of plastic per year (the same as the length of 4300 football pitches!), and the smaller boxes mean that we need less room to transport our products – also reducing our carbon footprint. The next step is to source a compostable bag to hold the puzzle pieces inside the box - which will make our puzzles 100% recyclable. Currently, the plastic bag can be recycled by some councils, so it’s worth enquiring as to whether you can recycle flexible plastic in your local area. Our goal is to completely remove single-use plastic from all our products by the end of 2020 and we will continue searching for an alternative way to keep your pieces safe!

Changes at Gibsons HQ - Going greener also means making small changes within our office too which includes installing solar panels, switching plastic bottles of milk to glass ones, encouraging the team to walk to work rather than driving, and recycling a whopping 75% of our office waste thanks to working with Successful Sutton.

The Future - We still have lots more plans in the pipeline and will continue to change our methods to make them more environmentally responsible. Thank you for your continued support and please do get in touch if you think there is more that we can do!

OUR VALUES

Caring
We recognise that we are all unique pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Each one of us has different ‘sticky-outy’ bits; the quirky bits that make us who we are, but you can’t complete the Gibsons puzzle without every one of us. We understand you need to be valued for who you are, and that who you are is more than just your job.

Enthusiasm
We have 100 years of experience and are proud of our heritage, but we are excited about our changing future. In our team, you’ll find passion, excitement and a determination to bring joy with our puzzles and games to our customers across the world.

Commitment
Being part of the Gibsons Gang means working hard and facing the challenges; we keep shuffling the cards until we find an ace solution.

Collaboration
"Bringing people together" is at the heart of Gibsons. We’d probably argue that you can’t even play Solitaire well on your own. Making time to help someone else matters to us. Sharing our skills and knowledge makes us stronger and keeps us in learning mode.

Trust and fair play
We know a fair bit about playing by the rules, but we also rely a lot on our gut; that voice inside you that tells you what’s right. The old saying ‘treat people as you would like to be treated’ means a lot to us and we love to work with people who are open and honest.

Community
We understand that profit on its own just isn’t enough. We are committed to making a positive change within our community, whether that’s supporting local charities, ensuring we prioritise workers’ rights, or improving our environmental footprint through our Green Game Plan, we are determined to make a difference.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DOING A JIGSAW PUZZLE

Jigsaws aren’t just a fun family pastime – completing them generates an array of benefits, both mentally and physically:

Improves problem solving skills: There is one task when puzzling – to join the pieces up to create the image. Although there are many different options, there is only one correct solution which motivates all to see the challenge through.

Meditative benefits – Completing a jigsaw has a similar affect to meditation as it generates a sense calmness and peace. Because our minds are focused, we find ourselves concentrating on the puzzle alone which empties our brains of the stresses and anxieties that we face every day. Puzzling reduces stress by occupying and engaging the mind to create a sense of calm and serenity (SPBH.org, 2017). As a puzzle is pieced together, external worries and stress decreases as the mind focuses on an activity that is both meditative and satisfying.

Improves your attention: Jigsaw puzzles are known for the addictive affect they have on those who try to complete them. Once you start, you simply can’t stop! The varying colours, shapes and sizes of the pieces hold the attention of even the most impatient of people.

Fine motor skills: Jigsaw puzzles are fantastic when improving fine motor skills which is why they are often completed by toddlers and young children. Yet this is still relevant for adults as the small pieces require people to work carefully to slot the pieces together.

Harnesses brain power: completing a jigsaw works both sides of your brain, the left hand-side that thinks logically and the right; the creative, intuitive and emotional side. So, when you piece together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both brainpowers.

Memory improvement: Jigsaws have been proven to sharpen our memories as puzzlers must remember where a certain piece fits within the wider picture, which can be tricky if you have had a break for a week or two. Completing a jigsaw puzzle not only reduces the risk of developing dementia but is also beneficial for those who have already been diagnosed with the condition. The charity, Unforgettable Foundation report that in a Cochrane Review of different studies, scientists looked at 718 men and women with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The results revealed that mental stimulation such as completing a jigsaw, improved scores on memory and thinking tests, which is the equivalent to a 6-9 month delay in worsening of symptoms. Some of the studies also found that those with living with dementia who engaged in such activities had increased feelings of well-being and a better quality of life, including improved communication and interactions with those around them.

Social skills: completing a jigsaw with a friend or family member promotes discussion and interaction as team work is essential for finishing a tricky puzzle!

Independence: completing a jigsaw puzzle is also a fantastic solo pastime, especially for those who live alone. The hobby is so absorbing that hours can whizz by without you realising!

Perseverance and resilience: Jigsaw puzzles are hard to complete and the satisfaction one feels after slotting in the final piece of a frustrating jigsaw is second to know. Completing a jigsaw requires persistence and is an important lesson for all ages. Traditional fun: In 2019, we are swamped by technology and there are now very few hobbies that don’t require an app, TV or element of digital technology to enhance them. Completing a jigsaw puzzle is a fun and entertaining pastime that enjoyed without any kind of electronic involvement. It can completely segregate you from the digital world which, in a world dominated by tweets, trends and snapchat stories, can be essential to our mental well-being.

Why choose gibsons?

  • Our puzzles are made from the thickest board on the market.

  • We produce games and puzzles that entertain all generations.

  • We use 100% recycled board for our entire jigsaw range and work with the best artists from all around the world.

  • Our games are made from reforested hardwoods.

  • In the UK, we have sold over a million units of our game, Pass the Bomb.

  • Our puzzles sell 1.2x faster than other puzzle brands (*Based on value velocity in the UK, June 2019-June 2020 sales. Official figures from the NPD Group UK)

THE GIBSONS GANG

Hello! We are the Gibsons gang. Hover over our photos to find out more about our team.

  • Michael Chairman
    I have lived & breathed the company for over 50 years. The best bit is that feeling you get working with a team, who don't have your family involvement, but have that same enthusiasm & commitment.

  • Kate Managing Director
    Queen of the juggle, mum to the office dog and the one with a permanent supply of hand gel.

  • Geoff Business Development Director
    Pork Pie loving Chinese guy with a strange Mancunian accent.

  • Nicki Sales Director
    I love rhubarb gin, a good book & sitting in the sun – sometimes I manage all 3 at once. I also enjoy a good run round the netball court & occasionally I even contribute to the game!

  • Adam Head of Finance
    The numbers bloke. Occasional cyclist. Enjoys a good board game (and beer) with other primary school dads. Often found ferrying his children to swimming!

  • Amanda Head of Business Development
    My happy place is with a hot cup of tea and a bar of Dairy Milk watching a highbrow documentary… oh ok Love Island.

  • Mark Head of Operations
    Often seen eating, making up bad puns or directing traffic in the Gibsons car park!

  • Alice International Sales Manager
    I like a glass of good red wine, stilton, rock’n roll dance, having good laughs and I am glad to bring un je ne sais quoi de French to the Gibsons team.

  • Sam Marketing & PR Manager
    Often seen wearing lairy footwear, drinking hot water and eating knock-off Mini Cheddars.

  • Emily Product Development Manager
    Half-pint sized, hockey playing, competitive nightmare, with a penchant for Harry Potter. If nothing else, you can rely on me for enthusiasm…by the bucket load!

  • Becky Marketing Assistant
    The official Gibsons hand model.

  • Kim National Account Manager
    My skills include: catching, reverse parking, laughing until I cry in the office and excellence at the 221B Baker Street game.

  • Rishi Operations Coordinator
    If work isn’t fun, you’re not playing on the right team.’

  • Carrie Sales Administrator
    Juggling mum who loves music and dancing. Has travelled and fav country is Bali. Fav biscuit: Jammy Dodger!! Believes that positivity is the key, glow through what you go through.

  • Anne Executive Assistant
    Office mum and the one who looks after all the plants

  • Kat Sales Coordinator
    A British Ukrainian with Kiwi links. Loves reading, yoga and "Dinner Date". Believes coffee, cake and patience are the solution to everything.

  • Wendy Sales Administrator
    I am very good at accents – work hard play hard – life should be fun.

  • Helen Customer Services
    I’m travel mad, I have a phobia of fluffy jumpers, I used to play the piano badly, I love bright colours and I’ve usually bought all my Christmas presents by July!

  • Ellie Accounts Assistant
    A coffee fuelled pretend-adult who has her mind stuck in the clouds.

  • Leah New Accounts Administrator
    Usually found walking the dog and occasionally indulging in a Malibu and Diet Coke!

  • Helen Freelance Designer
    Pony-mad motorcyclist, hillwalker & mother of kittens! Usually found doing something muddy in Scotland or eating peanut butter straight from the jar!

  • Savannah Customer Service, Website & Social Media Executive
    Another Kiwi in London, who likes Pimm's in the sun and devouring crisps by the barrel

  • Zoe Junior International Account Manager
    Irish in London who loves a glass of white wine and an unheathy obession with Real Housewives of New York!

  • Ravinder Operations Manager
    I take my pet cat for a walk and I cannot park straight into a parking spot….only reverse park!

  • Avina Assistant Accountant
    Full Time Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Chess and Poetry lover & Part time Salsa-Bachata enthusiast

  • Emma Product Developer

  • Nora Office puppy
    Puzzle destroyer extraordinaire!

A WORD FROM KATE, OUR MANAGING DIRECTOR

 It is an honour and a privilege to continue what my great grandfather started back in 1919. Every day is different and there are times when running the family business brings challenges to overcome, but primarily there is pride and excitement at being part of something very special.

Working at Gibsons means being open to adapting and learning new things wherever we can, ensuring that we move forward and get better at what we do. Games, puzzles, people and play just about sums up what we do here, but the most important of these is people.

The Gibsons Gang are at the heart of our company, their passion driving us forward. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 years bring…

AWARDS

We’re going to need a new trophy shelf at this rate!

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