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Archive for April, 2013

Bells of Lazonby event with the Chartered Institue of Marketing

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Today I went to a really good event. You know the kind where you’re not 100% sure what to expect, but it turns out to be really interesting and informative.

It was an event put on by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – I jumped at the chance to attend as it was in Cumbria and not many of the events come this far ‘Up North.’ I’m also undertaking my CPD so it was a great way to add some hours to my record to show I am continually developing my knowledge as a marketing consultant.

Anyway, I found this event so interesting. A presentation was given by Michael Bell, Director of Bells of Lazonby about how they have grown over the years, since 1946. He spoke about how they have developed, the techniques they use, how they market themselves and how they have had to grow with trends in the industry. Most notably how they identified a gap in the market and began developing Gluten free products. This is now a huge part of their business as there are not very many people who produce Gluten free cakes. It appears one of the main reasons for this is because it such a complex area of development…they even have a separate factory where the Gluten free products are made to ensure no cross contamination.

It appears that ‘Free From’ products are big business, but require a huge amount of investment. Mr Bell was very passionate about his business and continuing with the traditions that made Bells of Lazonby what it is today. I certainly picked up a few ideas and thoughts about how to think about new ways of marketing in the food industry. I certainly learnt that no business can be build without passion, dedication and drive from their owners!

Mr Bell was a very nice chap and on saying goodbye I was very impressed that from my surname he knew who my family were; my Grandad worked at Bells of Lazonby years ago and it is also where my Dad trained as a baker; with Mr Bell Snr buying my Dad his first car…not many bosses would do that!

Even better we got to take away some samples yum yum!

Stars of business awards launched for second year

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce is set to showcase local businesses once again in 2013 with the second Stars of Business awards. The awards recognise the huge commitment businesses have shown to the development and economy of the local area.

The “Stars of Business” awards ceremony, which is sponsored by Dodd and Co Chartered Accountants will take place at the Chamber’s annual dinner and will recognise the outstanding work done by all members of the business community. The awards are open to all businesses in the local area (within a 5 mile radius of Penrith) or those who operate a business in and around Penrith. Businesses do not need to be a member of the Chamber of Trade to enter the awards.

There are three categories in the “Stars of Business” awards open to the public, including Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year sponsored by Armstrong Watson and Business Person of the Year sponsored by Penrith Building Society. The Executive Committee of Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce are encouraging all businesses to get involved…

“We want to acknowledge the hard work of people in our area in such a difficult economic climate. Penrith is full of thriving businesses old and new who deserve a bit of recognition and this is our way of getting the whole business community involved and celebrating what a rich and vibrant business landscape we live and work in” comments Richard Utting, President of Penrith Chamber of Trade

A fourth award has been introduced this year in association with the Pride in Penrith Lottery, which the Chamber was involved in setting up in 2010. All the projects and good causes which the Pride in Penrith Lottery has given grants to in 2012 will be automatically entered into the special ‘Community’ award. This award is to highlight that impact local community groups and projects can also have on the economy and development of an area.

The theme of the Annual Dinner is “Best of British” celebrating the excellent food, produce, manufacturing and culture of the area. Application forms for all awards can be downloaded from Penrith Chamber of Trade’s website, with the final entries due in by the 17th May. Judging will take place by an impartial panel of judges from out of the local area and will be announced at the Black tie dinner on 14th June.

Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce was started in 1903 and is one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in the UK. The Chamber now provides more training and networking events, improved communications, member offers and acts as the voice of the business community in Penrith.

“We hope to see more businesses join the Chamber of Trade in the forthcoming year and really get involved with the awards. It is a great way to gain some publicity and marketing for your business, meet other like minded business people and promote Penrith as an excellent place in which to do business and for future investment. Now is the time to be part of the Chamber as we move forward in exciting times”

Elite fitness helps in the battle of the bulge

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Dedicated members from Elite Fitness Gym in Penrith, keen to shed some weight after Christmas celebrated as they lose over 70 pounds on the first weight loss programme hosted at the gym.

Eleven eager participants took part in the 8 week weight loss programme. The course focused on healthy eating, fat loss and achieving an active lifestyle with gym owner Steven Sharkey and Nutrition advisor Sandra Mounsey. As they came to the end of the course the members lost over 7 stone between them.

According to government statistics over 60% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese* and Elite Fitness is on a mission to help Penrith get active and have a healthy lifestyle.

Steven comments,

“Our aim is to encourage people to get fit and healthy and help them lose weight, but more importantly make small changes in their lifestyle that can have a significant impact. Losing weight and getting healthy does not have to be onerous – you do not have to spend hours in the gym or eat lettuce for weeks; it is all about doing little things that make a big difference. We don’t want people to feel it’s something they can’t do and we’ve formed a great little support network of people that all help each other together.”

The course covered various topics including advice on a healthy balanced diet, complete with shopping lists, combining current nutrition around training and exercise to obtain optimum results from activities. They also received advice on making sensible choices when eating out, how to stay motivated and how to fit a healthy diet into a busy lifestyle.

Steven took the lead in getting the group more active and guided them in gym work, including cardio and strength training. Participants also kept an exercise diary over the duration of the course.

Members of the course were encouraged to use social media to help them in their task, posting their meals online and were given feedback on their food choices. Their weight and inch loss was monitored each week with some excellent results achieved across the group. The whole group successfully lost 22 inches from their waistlines; a good sign that they have all lost body fat and made significant improvements to their health.

Sandra said, “The main focus on this course was for fat loss and educating everyone in making good food choices, eating the right foods at the right times and providing the motivation that a group working together can provide. I am delighted with the results, it shows if you are prepared to make changes to lifestyle choices it will pay off and you will reap the rewards. We see this as just the beginning of a whole new improved lifestyle – leaner, fitter and healthier.”

Penrith couple Gary and Vickie Turnbull were particularly inspirational, losing more than 3 stones in weight between them and over 10 inches from their waistlines.

Vickie commented,
“I feel fantastic after losing almost a stone and a half in only 8 weeks. It was great to have the support from other members of the group, as well as Steven and Sandra to keep you motivated and keep going. I really didn’t think I’d be able to lose so much in such a short space of time, but am delighted at the results and will certainly keep on top of my plan!”

The second Waistline management course ‘Shape up for Summer’ will start on the 9th May.

Charity begins in Cumbria for Urban Challenge

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Local charities from around Cumbria are joining the fun in the UK’s first No Ego Urban Challenge to raise money for good causes around the county.

Organisers from the 10K adventure race are encouraging teams to join forces, dress up and get ready to take on a 10K course full of gruelling obstacles, mud, water, sweat and (hopefully not too many) tears. The race is not for the feint hearted and is a test of strength and stamina; however a great opportunity for people to raise cash for local good causes and charities that matter to them.

No Ego Challenge has teamed up with local radio station CFM as their media partner, who is enlisting teams to run the challenge in aid of their charity Cash for Kids. Cash for Kids provides a helping hand to disabled and disadvantaged children in Cumbria & South West Scotland. Each year they raise thousands of pounds which enable them to deliver initiatives for sick and underprivileged children in our communities, to benefit local children and give the neediest a better and brighter future.

Di Campbell from CFM Radio’s Cash for Kids comments,

We are looking forward to getting involved in the No Ego Challenge and raising lots of money for local children. What’s raised locally, stays locally, so I’m still working on convincing the staff at CFM to put a team together, but we have lots of supporters in the area, who have raised money for our charity in the first No Ego Challenge in Penrith and I’m positive we can raise lots of money to help children in our area.”

Organisers of the race are excited that the CFM crew will be on hand on the day helping add some atmosphere to the event and race HQ as well as raising lots of money for this very worthy cause. Courage the Cat will also be on hand for welcoming weary competitors over the finish line.

As well as CFM Radio’s Cash for Kids, the No Ego Challenge team has been receiving entries from teams raising money for other charities across the county including Eden Valley Hospice and the Olivia Story Trust. Eden Valley Hospice is a charity dedicated to providing specialist care to adults from the local area and children throughout Cumbria, as well as caring for their families, friends and carers.

Olivia Story contracted meningococcal septicaemia when she was 2. Her organs failed and she was very close to death, her heart stopped and her parents thought they had lost her. 3 of her limbs turned black and were amputated to save her life. Fortunately she survived. Olivia’s trust was set up to help her family buy the very expensive limbs and equipment Olivia needs.

Brian Lee, organiser of the No Ego Challenge is originally from Cockermouth and working with local suppliers, businesses and charities is top priority for him,

I worked with a lot of charities on soccer events in the USA and found that it was so much more rewarding helping good causes that were close to home. With the No Ego Challenge we really wanted to support local charities who we could build up good relationships with, rather than large UK wide charities. By working with local charities we can actually see where all the money raised by competitors is going and know that it is helping our local community.”

Fundraising for events like this can have a significant impact on individual charities whose operating costs run into hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. The No Ego Challenge team not only want to help their partner charities, but encourage other charities, organisations, businesses and clubs to join in and get teams together to help raise lots of money. By entering a team the entry fees are reduced by up to 28% depending on the number of people per team and entry date. Competitors also receive a 50% discount on a second race in 2013.

Other races lined up for 2012 include a Mud Challenge in Preston on 14th September and the second Mud Challenge at Greystoke Castle on 26th October. Dates of a Northumbria based race are to be confirmed and competitors are advised to keep checking the No Ego Challenge website www.noegochallenge.com

Brougham Hall hosts unique Fayre & charity yoga event

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Following the success of last year’s Mind Body and Spirit event at Brougham Hall, local business woman Lindsay Wild who runs the Holistic Therapy Centre has announced a second fayre for 2013, taking place 31st May to 3rd June 2013, including an open air yoga event to raise money for charity.

The four day event aimed at those working in the industry or people looking for some relaxation and well being will take place within the unique setting of Brougham Hall. The event will give visitors the opportunity to relax and enjoy therapies, workshops and talks within the medieval walls of the historic site. The workshops will take place in an enchanting yurt which makes the event unlike any other Mind, Body and Spirit event in the area. In the workshop yurt visitors have the opportunity to sample and take part in new and unique courses, talks, guided meditations and coaching sessions, including crystal therapy, reiki, reflexology, face reading, soul signs and guided imagery.

Lindsay, who opened the Holistic Therapy Centre in June 2010, has invited renowned therapists, coaches and teachers from across the country who have the same high standards and values that she instils within the Holistic Therapy Centre; where she helps clients rediscover themselves, to achieve balance and harmony. The workshop yurtpromises to be an exciting and enjoyable experience for all and Lindsay encourages everybody to visit and join in for personal interest or professional development.

A second yurt will act as a retreat from the world outside to lose oneself within the healing and calming atmosphere created, sampling and enjoying the therapies on offer which will change every day. Some of the therapies to sample & enjoy in the therapy retreat yurtinclude reiki, reflexology, hypnotherapy, massage, bowen technique, intuitive reading and face readings.

Lindsey comments;

“We have some of the country’s top therapists visiting the Brougham Hall Mind Body and Spirit Holistic Therapy Fayre this year, building on the success of our first event, which raised £700 for charity. It is going to be a fantastic event for people who work in the health industries as they will have access to some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, as well as anyone who wants to come along for a bit of pampering and to find out more about Holistic Therapies can help them. I’m very excited about the quality of people attending and am certain this will be an event unlike any other in the area.”

Places are limited so booking is advised to avoid disappointment. There will also be opportunities to book on further courses at the holistic therapy centre throughout the year with the teachers and coaches present.

Also taking place on the Saturday evening, 1st June at 6pm will be a spectacular open air Yoga event with Sue Wood, the centre’s yoga instructor, which will raise money for the children’s hospice in Carlisle. Everyone is welcome to join in for this one off yoga session to raise money for a worthy local charity. Cost is £7 each, which goes direct to the charity. People are advised to bring their own mat.

“I initially wanted to host an event like this to help a local good cause and this is something that is particularly close to my heart, so it is a great opportunity to do something I love, show of the Therapy Centre and what we do, whilst raising money for charity!” says Lindsay

Lindsay has developed a holistic therapy business over the past two years and has recently launched an online booking system and a unique range of healing crystals. The Holistic Therapy Centre will also be launching their own range of holistic skin care containing natural and organic ingredients made locally in 2103.