Thursday, 22 January 2009

Camilla's charity bash

Britain's Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, has opened her Clarence House home to supporters of the War Memorials Trust.

The Duchess - who is married to Prince Charles - held the event in aid of the little-known conservation charity, of which she is patron. British Army officer Andrew Dobson - who is running the London Marathon in aid of the trust - spoke to the Duchess at the function.

He said: "She asked how often I'm running and how many miles I'm up to. It's fantastic to be running for fallen soldiers as opposed to those still serving.

"It's nice not to forget those who are no longer alive. It remembers people that have done their service and the freedom that our forefathers have given us.

"I'm doing as much as I can to help them. I hope to raise the equivalent of two runners, possibly three runners."

The War Memorials Trust protects and conserves the UK's 100,000 war memorials.

Other charities of which The Duchess is patron include the Animal Care Trust and the Cornwall Community Foundation.

Royal Watch News

Thousands raised for charity

Over the past three months, Peters Food has raised around £17,000 for the charity - which provides support to children and their families with Cancer. To raise the money six senior staff members volunteered to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge. The challenge - which took place in September - involved the team of six climbing three of the toughest mountains in Britain in just three days.

John McAughtrie, national account manager and event organiser for Peters said: "The challenge has raised money for a very worthy children's charity and we want to thank everyone who sponsored us and donated to the cause. We're already thinking about what we can do next to raise even more for charity."

The first mountain the team climbed was Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The team then went on to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, the last and most difficult was Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.

Peter's held a charity auction on Saturday in hope of raising even more money for the children's charity. The evening included an auction - with the 2008 Glam Slam winning jersey going for £280. Guests attending the event got to see Chris Banting - from the children's charity CLIC Sergeant - presented with the cheque by the Peter's staff who completed the Three peaks climb.

The team - who spent weeks training for the challenge - included National Account Manager John McAughtrie, Food Service Director Justin Griffiths and Regional Sales Manager Ken Blackman all based at the Caerphilly Head Office. Joining them was Van Sales Directors Vince Edes and John Llewellyn as well as Tony Thompson a Regional Sales Manager.

For further information on the Three Peaks Challenge visit the Peter's website on and take a look at the Three Peaks blog to see how the team prepared for the challenge.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Rewarding corporate responsibilty and green policies

THE nebusiness awards 2008 showcase the strength and depth of business excellence in North East England, with 12 categories and many entrants competing for honours. This year the awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and Environment have been combined, making the new category of Corporate Responsibility and Environment a stern test for judges and entrants alike.

In 2007, SCA Hygiene Products UK won the Environment award with the Gentoo Group taking the Corporate Social Responsibility prize. The 2008 winners of the combined category will need to display their exemplary behaviour towards the environment, local community, their staff and supply chain.

Environmental development and corporate responsibility is high on the agenda of North East businesses and it is important that in challenging economic times we do not lose sight of the need to protect our communities and the environment.

Business Link, associate sponsors of the nebusiness awards 2008, have a full programme of advice and support that can help any business, regardless of size or sector, improve its corporate responsibility and environmental policies and set them on the path towards being a nebusiness awards winner.

Go to for more information about how Business Link can help your business improve its corporate responsibility and environmental policy or call 0845 600-9006.

Follow the advice below from Business Link’s Suzanne McCreedy, for an insight into the guidance Business Link can provide.

“Building a reputation as a responsible business sets you apart. Many consumers prefer to buy from ethical businesses and companies often favour suppliers who demonstrate responsible policies as this helps them to minimise the risk of any damage to their own reputations.

“Some customers don’t just prefer to deal with responsible companies, but insist on it. Sales of environmentally friendly products continue to grow – and these products often sell at a premium price.

“Many businesses could cut energy costs by over 10%, according to Carbon Trust estimates, with the total average annual saving for a small business maximising its reductions around £250, increasing to as much as £5,000 for larger employers.

“Examples of simple ways you can help the environment and your business by cutting costs, include getting staff to turn off equipment when not in use, switching to energy-efficient bulbs – a measure that can reduce lighting bills by up to 75% – and discussing options with your energy supplier about the products they have available to boost energy efficiency. If you work from home, insulating your property is one of the most effective ways to cut costs and could pay for itself in less than two years.

“Working with your local community brings a wide range of business benefits. For many businesses, local customers are an important source of sales. By improving your reputation, you may find it easier to recruit employees. A good relationship with local authorities can also make your business life much easier as local authorities may prefer to award contracts to businesses with a record of community involvement.

“There are many ways to get involved in your community. Some businesses choose to support a local charity, school or sports team, or sponsor a local event.

“It makes commercial sense to pursue activity related to your product and can be a productive way to generate publicity. This lets you use your expertise as well as showing the human face of your business. For example, some restaurants provide food to local homeless groups, while builders may give free labour and materials to community projects.

“Making provision for staff welfare and training is good for productivity and morale. A good reputation also makes it easier to recruit employees, who are then more likely to stay longer, reducing the costs and disruption of recruitment and retraining.

“A formal development review process is the best way to keep track of the skills and training possessed by staff at all levels in your business and putting procedures in place to help employees deal with stress is an important means of responding to problems such as smoking and increased alcohol consumption during busy periods.

“Good management can reduce work-related stress. Setting realistic targets and providing employees with training and opportunities for promotion can help to boost employee morale. You can’t eliminate stress altogether so it’s important that you learn to spot the symptoms and encourage employees to raise issues that are bothering them.

“Choosing your suppliers carefully can be an important part of your approach to corporate social responsibility. For example, you might try to use local suppliers as much as possible. This helps you support your community and also reduces the energy wasted in deliveries.

“Treat your suppliers fairly, particularly smaller businesses that rely on you. For example, being paid on time can make a big difference to them. Similarly, you should not abuse your position by taking advantage of a business that is relying on you to deal with them in an honest and fair way. While you might make a short-term gain at your supplier’s expense, your relationship will suffer. Squeezing too hard might even put your supplier out of business, leaving you both worse off.”

Business Link and the nebusiness awards 2008 recognise the importance of corporate and environmental responsibility, which is crucial to the development of the region’s businesses and communities. The measures outlined above cut across all aspects of commercial activity and can benefit business as much as the people they help. Business Link can provide impartial advice and support to North East businesses who want make a positive difference and take the first step towards becoming and a winner.

From Nebusiness

Monday, 19 January 2009

Action for Children launches second-ever TV ad

LONDON - Action for Children has launched the second phase of its 'As long as it takes' activity to boost awareness of the need to support young people.

This stage of the campaign includes the charity's second-ever TV work, as well as national print ads.

The work features autistic teenager, Dan, who reveals that his middle years were crucial in terms of identifying and tackling his problems. It follows the charity's first TV ad, which featured a girl called Nicola, who spent her formulative years caring for her mother with MS.

In addition, 60,000 postcards featuring artwork from the ad and key facts from campaign research are being distributed more than 40 locations across the UK. They are intended to drive traffic to the Action for Children website and encourage the public to fill in their details and return completed cards via Freepost. The cards will then be used to support the charity's work pressuring UK governments into providing more support for six to 13 year olds.

Action for Children works in partnership to run nearly 450 services for more than 170,000 of the UK's most vulnerable children, young people and their families.

From Marketing News

Putin painting fetches £750,000 in charity auction

He has a black belt in judo, goes fishing with his T-shirt off, and even owns a pet Siberian tiger. But Vladimir Putin's answer to action man – demonstrated his previously unknown artistic side over the weekend when one of his paintings sold for more than £750,000.

Putin's deft canvas, titled Pattern, fetched 37 million roubles at a charity auction in St Petersburg – 32 million more than its reserve price. The work was sold together with paintings by other Russian celebrities to raise money for children with cancer. The sale price is thought to be a record for the sale of a painting in Russia.

The former president and current prime minister's contribution shows a festive view from inside a log cabin. While not exactly a Picasso, the colourful scene seems surprisingly competent for a beginner.

Putin allegedly dashed off it on 26 December, just days before Russia's bitter gas row with Ukraine erupted, which saw Putin turn off Europe's gas. Ironically, the two frost-covered windows in the painting look out on to a Ukrainian landscape, with snow falling.

Natalya Kurnikova, the Moscow gallery owner who bought the artwork, said she had done so because it could be the first and last painting of its kind.

Politicians were careful to praise the work. In Russia these days, there is no such thing as being too loyal. St Petersburg's ultra-loyal governor, Valentina Matviyenko, admitted that Putin was a bit of an artistic beginner. But his canvas was nonetheless "excellent", she said.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Charity call for unwanted Christmas presents

A LEADING children's charity is urgently seeking unwanted Christmas presents for its two shops in the Capital.
Save the Children needs new stock for its shops on Dalry Road and South Bridge.

The shops are currently raising money to help with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as well as running appeals for Zimbabwe and the Congo.

The South Bridge shop is now accepting electrical goods.

The charity is also appealing for volunteers.

Those interested can contact Iain Cave on 0131 527 8216 or e-mail:

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