Try a Park Run

BrundallparkrunPoster-page-001[1]We have news of a different kind of running activity you might like to try! Paul Taylor at Bertrams is one of the directors of his new local parkrun held at Brundall Countryside Park. He tells us more about this worldwide activity…

“Some background might be useful as not everyone has heard of parkrun so the following is from their website:

“parkrun organise free, weekly, 5 kilometre timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all.

Using the events page, select the event you are most interested in and review all the information about the course, local news items, the photo gallery and information about volunteering. Also, take a look at the extensive results page where you will find an incredible amount of information about your past performance”

The only thing I cannot see here is that the local events are all completely run & organised by volunteers.”

Paul adds in his update from earlier this week:

” We had 110 for the first run (these always tend to be bigger than normal) and 50 on Saturday [27th June – Ed].

Encouragingly we had around 10 completely new parkrunners both times and lots of really nice comments.”

This sounds like a fun, social run without the need for joining a running club. For more information and details of events near you, have a look at the parkrun UK website.

Thanks for letting know about parkrun, Paul and good luck with running future events at Brundall!

Posted in Colleague Involvement, Community Volunteering, Event Focus, Running, Sport, Volunteer Case Studies | Leave a comment

Health Week: “Mr Cycle Was a Success”

Southampton Health Week Collage

Staff tuck into the goodies on offer at Southampton

We end our round-up of Health Week activities with news from two more locations…

Malcolm Dossett tells us about Southampton‘s activities…

“Alicia [Alexander] and Steve [Shuker] offered their own support and ideas which enabled us to really back the project. Tracey Smith, Returns Supervisor here in Southampton, took on the task of obtaining and preparing the presentation.

She spent the Sunday  Strawberry picking and then made up 100 fruit kebabs for all to enjoy. (It was past midnight when she finished at home)

It wasn’t just fruit kebabs either. A whole range of freshly purchased fruit was available along with cheese and tomato sticks, yoghurt. health bars, healthy dips, celery sticks, cucumber slices, whole pineapples, crisp breads and the list goes on!

Tracey shared a comment regarding the lovely aroma in her car that morning when she brought the goods in.

After laying out the product in our canteen all the staff were invited to participate and it was received very well indeed. Tracey made a point of allocating separate supplies for the Twilight and Night shifts so all could take part.

She also visited a Gym and a surgery seeking pamphlets supporting healthy eating to lay around the tables. She had a degree of success as well. We placed some Health related magazines in the vicinity also.

Everyone who participated commented on the quality of the spread.”

Meanwhile, Bertrams organised a whole week of activities with daily email reminders which included sub-themes with ideas on lifestyle; fitness and exercise; diet and healthy eating; wellbeing; and sun safety. We have an extract from the email Matt Chaplin sent the following week thanking everyone who took part…

“Health week has been and gone, culminating in the charity raffle, in aid of the British Heart Foundation.Thank you for everyone who took part, we raised a fantastic £170.00.

The Cycle to Work scheme seems to have been very popular and I hope that many staff will utilise this fantastic opportunity, and consider cycling to work on a regular basis.

The fresh fruit was well received and with the new fresh fruit service from Food4Thought starting today [22nd June – Ed] , we hope that healthy snacking is here to stay!

Mr Cycle was also a success, with 10 staff having their cycle M-checked on site, and receiving a full breakdown of any work that needed completing to restore the cycle to full operation.We will be in contact with Mr Cycle to have this service repeated on a regular basis, given the popularity.

A big thank you to Tracy in Facilities, Fran and Joanna in HR for their support over the past week.We hope that everyone made at least one positive change as a result of the information and activities last week.”

It’s great to see some of the Health Week activities extended beyond the one week. Thanks for all your news everyone, it looks like Health Week will return next year :)

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Colleague Involvement, Fetes, Sales and Raffles, Health Week | Leave a comment

Health Week: The Pledge Tree

Rowan House Health Week Pledge tree and activities

The pledge tree and some of the resultant activities – TRX training at the gym, fresh fruit and juice, plus a midday run

We’re continuing this week with more stories and ideas from our successful Health Week!

Lynsey Bull at Rowan House set up a pledge tree – members of her team pinned apples to the tree that each represented a pledge they would make that week. As well as the pictured activities, Lynsey says:

“We had a few people have their blood pressure tested and a few people taking a little break to take a walk around the building.”

Meanwhile, Lesley Alcock reports on what happened at Worcester Sales Centre:

“A group of people had a fitness session at a local gym. We started with a Body Pump class swiftly followed by Spinning. All the team who participated have received a free pass to go and try out the gym again.”

We have a couple of more locations left to feature and plenty more ideas to come on Wednesday :)

Posted in Colleague Involvement, Health Week | Leave a comment

Three Peaks With a Difference

CRUK image

Image courtesy of Cancer Research UK

Following our support of the London launch of the Race for Life earlier this year, we have news of a very different challenge Cancer Research UK have for you. Their National Marketing Manager, Emily Smith has more…

“I wanted to let you know about another event I’m working on – London 3 Peaks.


Image courtesy of Cancer Research UK

This event takes place on 11th October, and gives just 495 lucky people the chance to do 3 tower climbs up three of London’s tallest buildings: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), Salesforce Tower London (formerly known as Heron Tower) and 200 Aldersgate, complete a 5k run between them, before abseiling off the third tower as the ultimate finale.

You can sign up for £75 and we ask that you commit to a minimum fundraising target of £600, and raise £500 of that before event day.

You can also enter as a relay team of three, taking on one tower each. It’s £150 to enter a team of three, and you’ll need to raise at least £1200.”

A copy of the event flyer is available for your perusal. Contact Laura Smith if you are interested in this event.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Endurance & Obstacle Races, Event Focus, Unusual Ideas | Leave a comment

Who’s Taking Part in the Trans Pennine Hike?

Trans Pennine Hike logoThe answer is lots of you! We have 23 participants, which is just brilliant.

So on the 18th July the following will be heading for the hills to raise pots of cash for Macmillan:

  • Simon Parker and Abby Brooks – Bertrams
  • Chris Foord and Abby Slinger – Borehamwood (aka Just the 2 of Us)
  • Poppy Bounden – Dawson Books
  • Aileen Newsome – FFSC
  • Sam Everett and Stephanie Carr – Instore  (aka Rob Starr team)
  • Leigh Watson – Lincoln
  • Daniel Ballard, Alan Witts and Robin Sandbach-Marshall – MSC Worcester
  • Gemma Dallman, Samantha New, Mark Silver, Sarah Miles and Tracey Miles (family) – Rowan House
  • Christie Stevens – Stevenage
  • Nadine Evans, Vince Tierney and Nick Scraggs – The Consortium (aka part of the Magnificent Seven plus 2 Blokes)
  • Dianne Levitt and Natasha Sewley – WMS Shrewsbury (also part of the Magnificent Seven plus 2 Blokes team)

Good luck everyone. Looking forward to hearing about all your adventures!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Flagship Fundraiser, Sport, Trans Pennine Hike, Walking | Leave a comment

Health Week: “We All Jumped at the Chance to be Involved”

Wordery Health week cartoonIn the latest of our Health Week reports, we get the lowdown from 2 more of our teams. First up is Lucy Manfield from Wordery, whose cheerful cartoon from her email doesn’t reflect what actually happened…

  • Monday – fresh fruit for all 
  • Tuesday –  a challenge issued for us to stand during every meeting for the day
  • Wednesday – Badminton tournament (singles, doubles, running around like mad things – all welcome)
  • Thursday – perfecting your posture – information on how to improve your posture and keeping your back healthy when sitting at a desk all day
  • Friday – picnic and a stroll – boots on for a walk in the countryside and having a (healthy) picnic 

Then Phil Clements told us about Tesco Field Team‘s idea after Ken Ingham’s briefing…

“We all jumped at the chance to be involved. Whilst our plans were small, they were significant.

Unfortunately changing from cars to bikes for the week is not really an option for us. However in our visits to Tesco stores around the country we all too often park as close as possible to the store to save our little legs, so in an effort to each undertake a greater number of walking steps each day we committed to parking in the furthest reaches of each car park to add a brisk walk to our health regime.

Unaccustomed as we are to manual labour (unlike those of our colleagues working in Houses) each Territory Manager also volunteered to visit a local large Tesco store during the early morning to help our Tesco News & Mags assistants to work that day’s delivery during Health Week.

Further to this, each member of the team committed to taking a healthy eating option for lunch each day – fruit or salad instead of the usual sandwich and crisps. Naturally this should also provide a financial benefit as well as a health one, so each Territory Manager also opted to use this saving by way of a donation to Ken and Mike Makinson’s ‘Conquer The Lakes’ bike ride challenge, where between 3rd and 5th July, Ken and Mike will be cycling 200km around the Lake District before climbing Scafell Pike in aid of the Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester.”

Thanks for your news Lucy and Phil! We also look forward to hearing how Ken and Mike get on in July :)

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Colleague Involvement, Cycling, Health Week, Sport | Leave a comment

Boxing Clever

Graham Carr boxing challengeWe have a completely new fundraising activity to feature today! Bertrams‘ Graham Carr reveals the challenge he’s set himself for the next few months…

“I have always wanted to do something for charity that is worthy of people donating and would also push me to the edge. So, I have decided to take part in Corporate Boxing training for the next three months where other men and women from all professions train like a real boxers for a Corporate Boxing Show on 4th-5th September.

Participants have little or no previous experience of boxing.  Tower Fitness provides 12 weeks of vigorous training, which includes; skipping, shadow boxing, technique, head and body sparring, foot work drills and fight conditioning.  Once its time to step into the ring, the contests are held over 3 rounds.

I have chosen to do this on behalf of EACH, which is a great local charity that does wonderful things for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.  My target is to raise a minimum of £500 for them. If you would like to sponsor me and raise money for this great charity, please do so via Just Giving.

Tickets for the event in September will be available to all soon, so if you want to cheer me on or just see me get a few punches to the head, please let me know.”

Good luck Graham, and do let us know how you get on!

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

Health Week: Enjoyed by All

Nottingham Health Week Poster

Nottingham’s Calendar of Events

Wow, what a great response we’ve had to our first Health Week! Lots of you took part and there were all kinds of inventive ideas, healthy treats and shared activities throughout the week.

We have several posts lined up over the next few days to showcase what happened. These also form ongoing inspiration, not only for future Health Weeks, but also as a source of fun ways of linking up with colleagues.

First up is Nottingham, who held a range of activities throughout the week, as Sam Lucas reports…

“Just wanted to send you a few snaps from our Health Week – it went down really well with the teams, we put on a different activity / freebie each day and it was enjoyed by all.

We had free fruit, free water, swingball games during break times and a ‘Guess the number of steps’ competition where staff had to guess how many steps 7 employees walked during their day at work. The closest guesser will receive a gift card for £25. Over 40 staff entered the competition and the winner was only 856 steps out across all 7 ‘steppers’, so pretty good guessing!”

Nottingham Health Week Activities Collage

Posted in Colleague Involvement, Health Week | Leave a comment

Jo’s Update: Half Way

Jo Cooke Blackpool half marathon

Jo (right) on Blackpool’s prom with appropriate T-shirt and medal!

We received an update from FSSC‘s Jo Cooke just over a week ago on her half marathon challenge. She’s on the home stretch now!

“I’m about to reach the half way point, I’ll be completing my 5th half marathon on Sunday…  [14th June – Ed] it’s the Rock n Roll one in Liverpool so there are bands around the streets of the city centre along the route so it should be a really good atmosphere…

My 4th half in Blackpool was sunny but with a strong head wind, so was really chuffed to get a PB (1:56:59) and a fantastic Blackpool Tower medal!!

I’ve still to confirm the July half  but it’s looking likely to be either Southport on the 5th July or the Windmill half on the Flyde Coast which is on 19th July…so my schedule is looking like this…

  • 5th or 19th July  – Southport or Windmill
  • 9th August  – Isle of Man
  • 13th September  – The Great North Run

Still waiting for the full listings before booking the final 2…

As ever, a big thanks to all of those that have donated so far. With your generosity and support I’m at a fantastic £1,099.10 so have gone over my target of £1,000 which is absolutely brilliant. I’m still overwhelmed with the support you’ve given so far and even more determined to get through the next 6!!”

Congratulations on reaching your fundraising target before you’re half way through Jo! Here’s to the final half of your half marathon challenge :)

Posted in Charity Fundraising

Introducing… Our First Health Week

Health Week PosterBy now many of you will have seen a new kind of poster on the block. Today we’re launching our own Health Week, to inspire you to embrace health in the workplace.

We also need your help. The poster on the right has a blank space, designed to show the activities due to take place at your location.

We’d love you to ‘fill in the blanks’ and tell us about what you’ve been getting up to for Health Week.

Look out for your news and photos coming soon in Community Link-Up!


Posted in Colleague Involvement, Health Week