Stop Ebola – an Update from Yaima

The Stop Ebola Stall at the Winter Market in Norwich

Yaima Ballester has been in touch with the latest on her efforts to raise funds and awareness of the work of Norfolk Stop Ebola. After our last blog post about it, everyone at Dawson Books and Bertrams got behind what she’s doing. As well as money, they made a generous donation of around 200 books for Stop Ebola’s stall at the Winter Fair held in Norwich recently. This helped them to raise a fantastic £1, 435 over the two days.

The efforts of the medical teams in Liberia and Sierra Leone are being featured regularly in news bulletins this week, so here is Norfolk Stop Ebola’s  Virgin Money Giving Page, if you feel moved to donate to the cause.

Beatriz De La Iglesia wrote to Head of Bibliographic’s Angela Belham on behalf of Norfolk Stop Ebola to thank everyone for their help:

“On behalf of the Norfolk Stop Ebola team we wanted to send a message to Bertrams for the invaluable contribution that your company has made to our  fund-raising efforts.

The Ebola crisis has been quite devastating in West Africa, killing thousands of people and having enormous negative effects on the health system and economies of countries that have a precarious infrastructure already because of war and poverty.

We felt compelled to help and we started on various fund-raising initiatives, selling secondhand books, cakes, and others to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF have been a leading organization in this crisis.

They are also extremely efficient with the use of the money donated, spending 89 percent of donations in medical projects and just three percent on administration and staff costs with the rest going to further fund-raising. We are extremely proud of the work they do.

One of our leading team members, Yaima Ballester, works for your company and so she took the initiative to approach you for a possible donation.  Not only did your company donate money but also you were so generous as to donate close to 200 copies of brand new and beautiful children books which sold instantly.

The books also enabled us to attract people to the stall and spread the awareness about the impact of Ebola in West Africa.  We therefore would like to thank Bertrams for showing a high level of corporate responsibility and providing us with the means to raise money.

Furthermore, we will like to thank each and every employee that got behind this, sorted books, authorized the donation, created posters or just donated some money.  Together we have shown that Norfolk cares. Our team has so far raised about £5,000 and this would equate to many lives saved.

On behalf of all our team, a heart felt thank you for taking our cause on board and
helping us so greatly to achieve the important milestone of £5,000.”

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Fetes, Sales and Raffles | Leave a comment

Christmas Jumper Day – Part Two

Instore's Christmas Jumpers 2014

Ta dah!

Christmas Jumper photoOur second look at this year’s Christmas Jumper Day takes us to Instore! Sophie Morris gives us the lowdown on Friday’s fun…

“It’s been a great effort here at Instore as you can see from the above photo. Everybody has donated for Save the Children and even though some of the Senior Team were out of the office today, they continued to show their support out in the field (see picture of General Manager Mike Frost)!

Money raised is a grand total of £25, and no doubt the festive spirits here in the office will continue tonight at the Christmas dinner :)”

And here’s a little something Bertrams and Dawson Books shared on Twitter- love those antlers :)

Christmas JUmper Day at Bertrams and Dawson

Last, but not least here's The Consortium!

Here’s The Consortium, some of whom I see are now without their Mos…

... and Wordery!

… and here’s Wordery!

And we see Wordery (and BLS) got in on the act too, along with The Consortium.

Thanks for making this our best Christmas Jumper Day yet! I think you’ll agree they’ve been pretty spectacular ;)

The overall total raised so far is £313.43 and counting…

We haven’t quite finished with our round-up of festive jumpers for this year – look out for some very special photos from Newport and Slough next week!

Posted in Appearance, Charity Fundraising, Charity Fundraising Follow-up, Dress Up/Down Days | Leave a comment

A Half Marathon in the Wet

Will Layton with medal

Will Layton looking a bit drenched!

It seems the running season isn’t quite over yet! The last Sunday in November saw the Norwich half marathon take place, with Bertrams‘ Will Layton, Graham Dix and Mark Cage in the running.  Community Champion Frances Plant said:

“They all did really well, especially as it was extremely wet!  It rained, heavily none stop throughout.”

Will Layton takes up the story:

“Last Sunday along with Graham, I ran the Norwich Half Marathon.  Conditions were challenging although more so for the spectators as at least we were on the move!

My friends and family have sponsored me, in order to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  I know Christmas is around the corner but if you would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page!  It would be much appreciated :-)”

So far Will has raised £330.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | Leave a comment

Christmas Jumper Day – Part One

Festive Jumpers

Borehamwood, FSSC and Wednesbury get in the festive jumper mood!

Christmas Jumper day at Rowan House

At Rowan House

We’ve had a fantastic response to Christmas Jumper Day!

Thank you for your photos, it’s been a real treat to go through them.

We’ve had lots more locations and people taking part this year with some amazing creations on show. Phillip Hancher said:

“Here’s the Wednesbury CS crew – they forced me to pose on the floor.”

So far the total raised is £73… and rising!

We have more to come… so there’s still time to send your photos in if you haven’t already.

Posted in Appearance, Charity Fundraising, Christmas, Dress Up/Down Days | Leave a comment

Linking-up Across the Airways

DMDtuktukDMD Business Director Kevin Birchmore teamed up with his colleagues at The Consortium to provide educational supplies for a charity project with British Airways recently.

The Tuk-Tuk Challenge is an 11 day trek across Sri Lanka in a ‘Tuk-Tuk’ – a three-wheeled traditional mode of Indian transport. Up to 20 teams take part as they make their way through local communities and villages, contributing to meaningful projects as they go along.

Through Kevin’s close working relationship with British Airways, he supplied BA’s ‘Flying Start’ project team with exercise books and stationery items from The Consortium, which were then donated to children as they travelled.

Richard D’Cruze, Inflight Entertainment and Technology Manager at BA was grateful for the donations:

“The items were much-needed by the schools and went down a storm – it can be quite humbling when you see young children get so excited about something simple as stationery, which we take for granted.”

This is a fantastic example of colleagues ‘linking-up’ to call on each other’s resources, and donate them to where they are really needed.

Posted in Colleague Link-Up, Team Events | 1 Comment

Maria Helps Wishes4Kids

Under police escort

This may not look very promising, but it’s the start of a very special day…

Maria (left) on the London Eye

Maria (left) on the London Eye

Last month, DMD‘s Maria Hieke made good use of her Volunteer Time for one of her regular stints with Wishes4kids – you can read about her previous experiences here and here.

She was member of the team taking some very ill children for a trip to London for the day. As you can see they went under police escort, which helped to make the journey a much smoother one and the children very excited!

As well as the opportunity for the children to get up close and personal with the bikes later, the day included visits to Hamleys and Harrods, plus a ride on the London Eye. Maria says:

“Again it was an amazing day, very humbling. It was great to see the big smiles on all the Children. Puts life into perspective.”

Wishes4Kids Collage

Lots of happy, smiling faces!

And that’s not all! Here is an extract from the letter Maria and the other day’s volunteers received from the charity afterwards:

“I know we said it so many times but we could not have achieved such a magical day without all your amazing support. It was not only the getting us all to the right place at the right time but the warmth, care and involvement by you all with the children.

The hardest task for us is how to put into words our thanks for all your wonderful help and support but over the weekend I was contacted by one of the parents whose words say it all:

My son has Down’s Syndrome. My husband and I split up as he could not handle the constant needs of my son. Each day when I wake him I look into his eyes and just wish I could be ‘in his world’. Friday morning was no different except we were up much earlier than usual to come on the London trip which made him a little grouchy.

When we got on our coach I thought how friendly and kind people seemed and looking around I could tell all the other parents felt the same. As the day progressed I was overawed by the care and warmth given to us all. My son had a constant smile throughout the day.

For the first time ever there was a time when, thanks to all the excitement and involvement of so many wonderful people, my son and I ‘came together in the same place – his world’. I will never be able to thank you all for such an amazing time – you are all so so special.

Thank you for each being one of these special people.”

And here’s another letter from one of the parents:


Posted in Community Volunteering, Volunteer Case Studies, Volunteer Time | 3 Comments

The Consortium Find Their Mo

Three guys and their Mo: Glenn Leach, Jan Steenburg and Matt Palmer

Three guys and their Mo: Glenn Leech, Jan Steenburg and Matt Palmer

Last week’s Movember update has led to some more ‘Movember Madness’ coming to our attention!

As well as our Dawson trio, the Exec Team at The Consortium also had a ‘Movember Moment’, with three of the team brave enough to show us the results. So far they’ve raised around £2,000 - not bad for all that top lip!

Posted in Appearance, Charity Fundraising, Hair, Movember | 1 Comment

Introducing the…

CLU Awards logo 2014

It’s time for this year’s Community Link-Up Awards!

It’s been another fantastic year, with so many of you organising fundraising events or getting involved in local community projects.

It’s this energy and commitment that makes our programme so successful – so we would like to recognise those who have gone above and beyond this year.

Once again we will be presenting a number of awards to celebrate these achievements, and we’d like you to be involved in this process.

The Categories

Our categories are broadly similar to last year, with a couple of tweaks to reflect how the Link-up programme has developed during 2014. They are:

  • Most innovative fundraising idea (individual or team)
  • Most determined individual
  • Fundraiser of the Year (individual or team)
  • Volunteer of the Year (individual or team)
  • Make a Difference Award
  • The Values Award (open category)

You’ll find lots more information about the Awards and the criteria for each category in the Awards Brochure.

Get nominating!

These awards are also our way of saying ‘thank you’ – anyone can be nominated for an award in any category, so start thinking about who has made a difference in your location. There are no restrictions on the number of nominations, so you can make as many as you like!

Here is the all-important Nomination Form.

If you have questions about the Awards, contact your Community Champion. Nomination forms should be sent to Laura Smith at any time up to the closing date.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 9 January – happy nominating!

Posted in Awards, Community Week Awards | 1 Comment

Making a Dash for Santa

Prospect Hospice Santa DashHo ho ho – Anthony Alderton has news of one of the Marketing team’s seasonal activities!

“On Wednesday 10th  December the Marketing team will be taking part in the Prospect Hospice’s annual Santa Dash. The dash involves racing as a team from the hospice to 6 of their charity shops all under your own steam – by walking, running, cycling etc. whilst wearing Prospect Santa outfits. Collecting a token from each shop all the way, once all 6 tokens have been collected, it’s then back to the hospice as an entire team. The round trip is approximately 15km, dependent on the route that you take.

Half the team will be taking part in the dash and the rest of the team will be in Rowan House promoting what the others are up to, in Santa themed attire and holding a collection for the hospice. Cakes will be offered for all donations. Our fundraising target is £320.

We’ve chosen this event as the Prospect Hospice is such a worthwhile local cause which offers an amazing service to the people of Swindon and has no doubt touched some of you around the company in one way or another. Each year the hospice is dependent on fundraising to achieve 75% of their annual running costs so every penny really does count. Please can you help us to reach our target!

If you’d like to support the team out on the dash you can do so by visiting our JustGiving page. This method allows you to Gift Aid your donation, which increases your pledge by 25%. Or you can contribute to the collection buckets that the team in Rowan house will be circulating on the day.”

Looking forward to seeing the photos of you and the rest of the team in your Santa outfits Anthony!

Posted in Appearance, Charity Fundraising, Dress Up/Down Days, Running, Sport, Team Events | Leave a comment

It’s Secret Santa – Part Deux!

Lisa with the presents

Lisa Lyn with last year’s haul of presents for Secret Santa

Remember Lisa Lyn’s Secret Santa with a twist in 2013? Well, it’s all going to happen again at Rowan House this year, with local charity Hop, Skip and Jump set to benefit.

This charity provides immediate respite care and support to disadvantaged and special education needs (SEN) children and young adults in Swindon.

Christmas can be a particularly tough time for these families, so Lisa has joined forces with Laura Smith this year to organise a donation of Christmas presents for the children’s Christmas party later this month.

Would you like to donate a gift? We are asking staff if they would like buy a small gift for a child at the centre and bring it in to Rowan House no later than Wednesday 10 December.

All presents will be taken to the children’s Christmas party on Saturday 13 December, where they will also see Father Christmas.

Secret Santa is at the heart of office life in December, but quite often we end up with a gift we might not need. So why not spend the money and help make a child smile this Christmas?

Key information

  • Gifts for 30-40 children are needed
  • Children are aged between 7-13 years old
  • Gifts must be wrapped
  • NO EDIBLE ITEMS due to dietary requirements

More information
If you would like a buy a present for a child, please contact Laura Smith in Group Communications or Lisa Lynn in SAP Support.

Posted in Christmas | Leave a comment