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Archive for August, 2013

Charity begins in Preston for Mud Challenge

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Local charities from around Lancashire are joining the fun in the Preston’s first No Ego Urban Challenge on 14th September at Brockholes, 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 several charities in and around Preston who are enlisting teams to run the challenge to raise greatly needed funds.

Charities include:
•    Katy Homes Trust, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of paediatric brain tumours in memory of 10 year old Katy Holmes.  The charity is currently funding a 3 year project into paediatric brain tumours at the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, looking at relatively new medicines and how they switch on and off DNA in the brain stem.  Research is VERY expensive and very much in need so they intend to keep fundraising because the more they raise the more they can fund the research.

•    Derian House who provide children’s palliative and respite care, and currently support more than 300 families who have a child with a life shortening illness, and a further 200 who are receiving bereavement support. The cost of providing this high level of care and support will be in excess of £2.9 million this year.  In the absence of any significant statutory funding, most of that money will come from the generosity of our friends and supporters in the community and through our own fundraising efforts, such as running the No Ego Challenge.

•    Reuben’s Retreat, a charity in memory of a little boy who sadly passed away in August 2012 after a short battle with a rare and aggressive cancerous brain tumour.  The support the family encountered, the families they met and the staff that cared for him along the way inspired them to launch a charity in Reuben’s memory.  The primary goal of the charity is to open a countryside retreat in the North West of England, where families who have a child suffering with a life limiting or life threatening illness can take respite breaks.  The retreat will also serve as a bereavement, counselling and support centre for parents and siblings that have lost a child.   The charity is aiming to raise £1 million by July 2014 and is currently well on the way; hopefully by running the No Ego Challenge they can raise even more to go towards this good cause.

•    St Catherine’s Hospice, a charity which exists to help patients and their families in Central Lancashire enjoy the best possible quality of life in the face of a life-limiting illness.  Community and fundraising events like the No Ego Challenge help them raise more than 70 per cent of the £5m it costs to run the hospice for a year.

•    The multi-sensory room at Preston’s SPACE Centre; which offers a flexible environment for families, carers, therapists and teachers.  SPACE caters for people with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Profound Multiple Disabilities, Autism and brain injuries.  Unfortunately the future of SPACE hangs in the balance after it thought it had secured £800,000 in grants, only to find out they never existed.

Brian Lee, organiser of the No Ego Challenge comments,
“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 can find out more and enter online through the No Ego Challenge website

Country Puddings receive their 8th Great Taste Award

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

A Syrup Sponge Pudding produced by Penrith based Country Puddings will be proudly displaying a coveted Great Taste 2013 logo after being judged as one of the nation’s greatest tasting foods.

Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for speciality food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world and quite simply the Great Taste logo is the sign you can trust when buying food and drink in your local, quality retailer.

Country Puddings, run by Lynne Mallinson is one of the leading manufacturers of traditional homemade puddings in the UK.   Country Puddings offers the highest quality puddings, made with the finest ingredients, by a small team in their dedicated pudding kitchen.  Over the years the puddings have become renowned in the industry with many winning Great Taste Awards including the Tangy Lemon Pudding, Bread and Butter Pudding, Summer Pudding, Creamy Vanilla Custard and the Syrup Sponge Pudding also won in the Cumbria Life awards 2011/12.

The Country Puddings’ story began almost 12 years ago when Lynne started making traditional puddings from her farmhouse kitchen in Dacre. She started making puddings as an extra source of income with two young children at home and as Foot and Mouth struck the area.  Lynne used and tweaked recipes that had been family favourites that her grandmother had taught her when she was a small child.

Word soon spread about the puddings and a barn on the family farm had to be converted into a dedicated pudding kitchen to enable the business to grow.   After five years, this proved to be too small for Country Puddings and today the pudding team operate from a new kitchen on the North Lakes Business Park. By expanding on to an out of town site has provided Country Puddings the opportunity to offer a larger product range, while sticking to their core values.

Country Puddings has invested heavily in the businesses & sales have increased by over 20% year on year over the past two years.

“It is fantastic that we have won another Great Taste award and that our range of puddings has been voted some of the best in the UK.  Our business has grown dramatically over the past 12 years and continues to flourish as people demand good quality, locally produced products.” Comments, Lynne Mallinson, Managing Director of Country Puddings.

Country Pudding’s handmade treats are available from a vast range of outlets across the UK and abroad ensuring everyone gets to taste these award winning puddings direct from the Lake District.

Penrith Winter Festival gets the go ahead

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce has announced it will host the Penrith Winter Festival once again in 2013 after securing vital funding from the Penrith Business Improvement District and the Pride in Penrith Lottery.

The Festival was introduced in 2012 as a way of attracting more visitors to the town and giving businesses a platform for promotion over this key trading time.  The Chamber’s aim is to encourage people to come to Penrith to do their Christmas shopping instead of heading to larger towns and cities, but to also come back time and time again throughout the year.  The Chamber has received positive feedback about the Festival.  People thought it was a big improvement on previous years; however the key message came out that traders need to really get behind this event and be more involved in planning of it to make it really effective.

Richard Utting, President, Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, comments
“It is fantastic we have received funding for the Penrith Winter Festival again in 2013.  It was a steep learning curve in the first year, but we hope to go forward with improvements and new ideas.  We have already started talking to various organisations about pulling the main events together for the Festival, which will include the Droving event, gifts market and lots of family fun.  However, we urge businesses to get involved again; we do this for them and the benefits of joined up thinking and joint marketing could have a significant impact on our town and encourage more and more people to visit Penrith.”

There will be four main events taking place in the weekends running up to Christmas in addition to the many activities individual businesses will host.  The headline event will once again be The Winter Droving, produced by Eden Arts, which will take place on the 30th November.  This event has also secured funding from BID, the Pride in Penrith Lottery and also Eden District Council.

It was unknown how the event would be received last year, as it was something totally new for the town and people didn’t know what to expect.  However over 4,000 people turned out for the event and feedback received has also been encouraging, some of the comments received included:

“Superb, classy and shone the right sort of light on Penrith as a town and its heritage”

“This was such a lovely evening, such an enjoyable change to the traditional ‘Lights night’ and the feeling of community spirit was great! Well done all involved!!

“Absolutely fantastic! Thank you sooo much to everyone for making Penrith a magical place with The Winter Droving.”

“It was brilliant! So proud of Penrith tonight; a fantastic spectacle, lovely to see all ages taking part in a real community event. A lot of hard work has gone in to this, thanks to the organisers. Looking forward to the 2013 Droving.”

Eden Arts, who are producing the Winter Droving are once again encouraging artists, musicians, community groups and schools to come together to join in with the event.  They are particularly keen to hear from farmers, agricultural businesses, Young Farmers groups or people who may have been involved in the Droving of animals in years gone by.

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts comments,
“We want The Winter Droving to be bigger and better than in 2012 and to put Penrith on the map as being somewhere fantastic to visit and a place to see something extraordinary!  We encourage everyone to think about how they can be involved, from coming down on the day wearing a mask, dressing up or joining the procession carrying your own fire torch.  We want more community groups to come forward, get involved and be part of this spectacular event.  It is an event for the town to embrace and we encourage people to get in touch and work with us to make it even more special”

The fire procession, with burning torches, giant lanterns, light effects and music will be the focal element of the Winter Droving again this year, however there will be more to see and do and a few surprises in store.

Further announcements are due to be made about the Festival in the coming months, with information on how businesses and community groups can get involved.  There will be a series of open meetings and focus groups in September in the planning of the event.  To find out more keep visit

Voodoo launches with a little potion from Enterprise Answers

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A new fashion boutique and print & design studio has launched in Cockermouth thanks to the entrepreneurial flair of Charlie Carlin who opened Voodoo in Market Place on Monday.

Charlie brings a fresh and vibrant aspect to fashion with a range of designs aimed at both men and women of all ages and if it’s not on the shelf, he will design it for you. The shop is equipped with the latest technology in design and imagery and Charlie is able to print virtually any design on to most fabrics ranging from t-shirts to jute bags and baseball caps.

Voodoo sees the release of a passion and vision Charlie has held for some time and with the premises becoming vacant he seized the opportunity and with financial backing from Enterprise Answers, he released his potential.

Opening on Monday, Charlie said “We’ve only been open for a few days and the initial response has been a bit overwhelming. It seems like the whole of Cockermouth has already popped in for a look!”

With support from Michelle Moore at Enterprise Answers, Charlie was able to quickly pull his business proposition together and despite the premises needing extensive repairs, he was soon open for business.

Michelle says “Charlie is bringing a new concept to Cockermouth and the local area offering bespoke clothing design and printing, from outfits that can be worn everyday to those with specific purpose such as events and special occasions. It has been great working with Charlie, seeing the progress he has made with the business and now seeing the boutique trading. I look forward to watching the business grow and gain the reputation it rightly deserves.”

Voodoo carries a good range of stock and can custom brand most items at short notice or Charlie can create the designs for you, whether it be for personal or business use.

Voodoo can be found online at and  or by visiting the premises in Cockermouth where a warm greeting awaits from Charlie, with no spells cast!