Friday, 31 May 2013

Michelle Finds a Rainbow

[caption id="attachment_5800" align="alignright" width="302"]Image supplied from the Guides website Image supplied from the Girlguiding website[/caption]

A little while ago we heard from  Bertram's Michelle Ward about her fundraising and awareness raising activities for Heartline and the pulse oximetry test. And there's more! Today, she tells us about her work with her local Rainbow unit as part of our series of Volunteer Case Studies.


I am volunteering at the 6th Norwich Rainbow group which opened in February 2013 and is for girls aged 5-7 years old. This group was opened as the other Rainbow unit was full and had a long waiting list. We currently have 10 girls in the unit and 3 adult volunteers.

The reason I got involved is I went through Brownies, Guides, Young Leaders and then a Leader, but decided to give up when I had my son. My friend decided to open up the Rainbow unit and I offered to help her run it.

While I am at the unit we run activities for the girls like cooking, crafts, games and a lot more. It is nice to see the girls come to meetings and enjoy taking part in all the activities.

Thanks Michelle - it's amazing you can find the time for this in addition to everything else you're doing. It's most inspirational :)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Quick Update From the Magnificent 7!

[caption id="attachment_5615" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ben_Nevis_-_geograph_org_uk_-_22231 Image of Ben Nevis courtesy of Graham Scott. Licensed for free re-use under Creative Commons SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

Andrew Caple reports...

... To date we have raised over £1000 for our chosen charity CLIC Sargent.

A magnificent total which you may recall is specifically being put towards the Joshua Flynn fund. This aims to raise £11,880 to provide a family room at one of CLIC Sargent's 'Home from Home's' for a year.

The Magnificent Seven are: Andrew Caple, Marcus Cotes, Andy Taylor, Brett Hanley, Alan Stone, Victoria Enebeli and Brin  Jardine.

Related links:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Fun With Wig Wednesday

We've news just in from Rowan House and LTN about last week's Wig Wednesday!

First up it's Rowan House...

[caption id="attachment_5784" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Group shot l-r is Jo Kelly, Laura Morris, Emma Allan, Jo Macpherson and Amanda Jones What could be better to cheer up a Wednesday than wigs... and cakes! Group shot left to right is Jo Kelly, Laura Morris, Emma Allan, Jo Macpherson and Amanda Jones[/caption]

Emma Allan also organised a cake sale – lots of ladies from Rowan House brought in yummy cakes and savoury goodies to sell and raise money. Nic Hewlett’s monster of a pie went down well as usual! In total just over £100 was raised for CLIC Sargent – not bad for a morning’s work!


And not content with all his efforts for the Paris Marathon, here's a photo of Eugene, LTN Distribution Manager. He raised a very respectable £12 just from sitting at his desk in his wig! He said, “Not much raised, but this event helped to raise a smile around the warehouse.”

Are there any more wigs waiting out there to be shared, Slough for example... ??? We'd love to see your pics! :)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

It's W.O.W for Jackie

[caption id="attachment_5777" align="alignleft" width="216"]The route map - click to enlarge if needed The route map - click to enlarge if needed[/caption]

On Sunday, 19th May Bertram's Operations Supervisor Jackie Shorten took part in Great Yarmouth Rotary Club's Spring Charity Walk.

She, two sisters and a friend chose the shorter route of 5.7 miles from Acle to Upton, which they completed in two hours.

Between them they raised £300 for W.O.W (Wellbeing of Women) as Jackie's sister is very much involved with this charity.

Jackie admitted she was  "struggling slightly this morning" on the Monday afterwards - here's hoping that's not the case now :)

Friday, 24 May 2013

News of the Dragons

newport boatWith just one week to go until the closing date for the Dragon Boat racing, we hear that Worcester now have competition! Yes, a team from Rowan House will be joining our intrepid crew to provide Smiths News' own 'mini regatta' with the Regatta :)

The teams are as follows:

Worcester - Get the Word Out

  • Vicky Wheeldon (Captain)

  • Lisa Pass (Drummer)

  • Wendy Cane

  • Mike Frost

  • Kay Oakes

  • Andy Wheeldon

  • Rupy Dharmi

  • Mike Falcon

  • Lesley Alcock

  • Chris Townrow

  • Charlotte Keen

  • Ross Jones

  • Rebecca Edwards

  • James Lamb

  • Jess Beard

  • James Webster

  • Derek Hampton

  • Gavin Spares

  • Alex Williams, Charlie Bradley and Laura McDonald (Reserves)

Rowan House - No Pressure

  • Laura Morris (Captain)

  • Viv Heydon (Drummer)

  • Paul Smith

  • Brett Hanley

  • Andrea Kreugel

  • Dan Giles

  • Si Sargeant

  • Mark Charlton

  • Sam Hemphill

  • Sam Marlow

  • Lauren Devine

  • Fred Pavone

  • Tim Weaver

  • Lucy Manfield

  • Lisa Coate

  • Sophie Morris

  • Mike Andrews

  • Chris Wilding and Tom Shaw (Reserves)

Anyone else fancy joining them? Have a look at the Race the Dragon Flagship Fundraiser page and contact Laura Morris now!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Message From Vicky Wheeldon

Vicky Wheeldon photoHi

Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who donated to the BHF Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. The total raised is £250. The walk was rescheduled for Sunday 19th May. Myself, Andy, mother and father-in-law, son Sam and my baby (dog) Barney completed the walk in 1hr 18mins.

Thanks to everyone.


Laura Morris says: "I was in Worcester and saw the walk going on - well done :)"

Vicky will also be featured in her local paper this week - here's the photo of her, Sam and Barney they'll be using.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Slough Get Going

Hot on the heels of yesterday's fundraising update, we have news of Slough House's plans to add to the total :)

Shefali Patel reports:

As a Community Champion for Slough House I would like you to know we have organised 3 charity events:

  1. Wig Wednesday – 22nd May 2013. Everyone will be coming in to work on the day with a wig and making a donation.

  2. Race for Life – 2nd June 2013. The ladies at Slough House will be participating in the 5km event at Windsor. [Their Just Giving page shows there's 14 ladies taking part, marvellous - Ed]

  3. Sponsored Shave – 19th June 2013. An employee who have not shaved his beard for last 30 years will be shaving it on the day for charity. 

All proceeds raised during Wig Wednesday and the Sponsored Shave will be donated to the Children’s ward at the local hospital in Slough.

Fantastic news Shefali! Looking forward to seeing those wigs tomorrow! Is anyone else out there joining in for Wig Wednesday? It would be great to feature everyone on Community Link-Up!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Gill Makes Headway

Following last week's Getting the Word Out, Group IT Director Richard Webb got in touch with news of his wife's recent run in the London Marathon. Like Worcester and Instore, she was raising money in memory of Nigel Dean (Richard's brother-in-law) and to support the charity Headway.

Here's Richard's email which was sent to colleagues just after the Marathon in April...

London Marathon Gill1My wife Gill completed the London Marathon yesterday, with Nigel’s family and our friends cheering her on.

In was an emotional day for everyone and Gill has raised £2791.61 (including Gift Aid) for the charity Headway in memory of Nigel.  A big thank you to everyone who has donated and kept her going with messages of support during her many hours of training.  We have been amazed be everyone’s generosity, including donations from people who have never met Gill.

London Marathon Gill 6For those of you who did not get a chance to make a donation, you can still do so at - even the smallest donation can make a difference to those who have suffered traumatic brain injury.  It would be great to get the total to £3000!

Thanks again,

Rich (and Gill)

Editor's note: Gill aimed to raise £1,500 and the latest from her fundraising page shows £3160.36, including Gift Aid. It's a wonderful tribute the memory of someone who was so well-regarded and loved by colleagues and family.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Michelle Tells Us About Heartline

[caption id="attachment_3029" align="alignright" width="300"]Michelle with Kieron at Bertrams' Bake and Take last year Michelle with Kieran at Bertrams' Bake and Take last year[/caption]

Betrams' Michelle Ward has been in touch to tell us about an event, charity and a petition which are all very close to her heart...

I am helping to organize an event. We have had a teddy donated by a Norwich bear shop and it will be travelling around the country with a cloth nappy on to help raise awareness of Pulse Oximetry screening and to help raise money for Heartline. The teddy will be travelling to different companies who sell cloth nappies for fundraising and to get people to sign a petition.

The 1st June will be the 1st event the teddy will take part in; we are holding an event at Drayton village hall where we will have stalls, games, refreshments, children’s entertainment (including Peppa Pig) to help raise awareness and also raise as much money as we can. If you would like more details on the events that are happening over the country please have a look at  the Awareness Bear website.

Heartline is a charity that supports parents with children with heart conditions. I have used this lots to get support when I found out my son had a heart condition. They also organize holidays for children with heart conditions  and they can go free of charge.

What is the Pulse Oximetry test?  We are helping the Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) to help raise awareness for the test and to call upon the Government to roll out Pulse Oximetry screening. This will help to discover if the baby has a heart condition so it can be treated earlier. We did not find out that my son had a heart condition until he was 10 weeks old and by then he was in heart failure.

Research shows that this quick and painless test can detect the underlying signs of a heart condition, saving lives through early detection. Please sign the CHF petition to help push for Pulse Oximetry to be added to the national screening programme for all newborns.

Please help save babies life by signing the petition at

(Please make sure you validate your email address once you have signed the petition)



Thanks Michelle - hope all goes well on June 1st (send us your pics!) and that we get you some more signatures for the petition. I saw the test featured on Breakfast News last week and it seemed such a simple and sensible thing to do. You can read more about Michelle and her son Kieran's story here.

News from Michelle, June 2013: I thought I would update you we did the event on sat and have raised £350 once everything has been taken away.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Message From Lynn Henshaw

[caption id="attachment_1280" align="alignright" width="300"]Lynn Henshaw Lynn during her Ben Nevis walk in 2011[/caption]

Most of you know my husband Ian has had kidney cancer for the past 9 years, first having one kidney removed then 9 years later September 2011 a partial kidney removed.

As some of you remember Tom Sheehy and myself walked Ben Nevis in the October for Kidney Research raising over £1000.

In November 2012 we found out Ian had cancer again - secondary kidney cancer. This time it has spread through his body.

After many tests we have had the devastating news that this time it is terminal.

Christie Hospital is a charity hospital that are looking after my husband. The work they do is just immense: They Care, They Discover, They Teach.

Mike Makinson Retail Channel Controller  approached Tom Sheehy Northern Regional Director and myself about doing the Charity Bike ride for Christies as over the last few years all 3 of us have within our family dealt with this terrible disease.

My part in this team is to raise the awareness of the event for a great hospital and to ask you all to sponsor our team to raise over a £1000.


Thank you so much for all your support.

Take care,


Editor's note: The bike ride is from Manchester to Blackpool and takes place on July 14th. As Lynn is caring for Ian she is unable to train for this event, so has taken on the role of raising awareness and is providing training support for Mike and Tom as well as their vehicle support for the day itself.  Her Just Giving page mentions her colleague Steve Benson's mother is also receiving care at Christies. There's also a separate "North-West Peddlers" Just Giving Page for Mike, Lynn and Tom's joint efforts.

We wish both Lynn and Steve's families well during these sad times. Our thoughts are particularly with Lynn today as she and Ian have an appointment with Professor Hawkins to find out if the treatment has worked.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Getting the Word Out

MSC Instore Red Nose Day 2013As you know Worcester and Instore have joined forces (aka Linked-Up) and produced some great updates on their fundraising activities so far this year (the actual reports are here and here).

It now transpires they even have a name for their activities: Get the Word Out. We're only too happy to oblige here on Community Link-Up :)

Worcester and Instore Cake and BakeRange Manager Derek Hampton recently sent out a fundraising update...

So far, we have raised a whopping…


As a reminder, Vicky is doing her British Heart Foundation walk on 19th May. If you’ve not done so already, one way you can show your support is to add to her fundraising page.

You can read about why Vicky is doing her walk here. The bad weather earlier in the year meant the original walk was cancelled, though Vicky elected to do an unofficial walk anyway. Now it's nearly time for the reorganised event - go Vicky, go!

I'm sure Derek and everyone involved won't mind if some of the content is shared from their Get the Word Out Just Giving page...

Why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Smiths News MSC and Instore have joined forces this year to support two charities, Headway - The Brain Injury Association and The British Heart Foundation, as part of our 2013 fundraising efforts. Both charities have a story behind why we're supporting them and we want to raise at least £5000 between them both.

Nigel Dean

Our close colleague and friend, Nigel Dean, passed away unfairly at the start of 2012. For those of you who did not have the pleasure of meeting the legend, he was a fun-loving family man who was passionate about darts and could put a smile on the most miserable of faces. His family and loved ones were supported through their ordeal through the kindness and professionalism of Headway, the brain injury association. It is the least we can do to raise money and awareness of Headway to repay that kindness.

British Heart Foundation

The BHF is another worthwhile charity we are supporting this year. Vicky Wheeldon had a heart attack in February 2011 and received unparalleled care and support from the organisation throughout the ordeal. They are dedicated to actively reducing cardiovascular disease in the UK and provide exceptional aftercare to those that need it. The money we raise will help them save lives.

So, there you have it. A stretch target of £5000 and some compelling reasons why their fundraising is so worthwhile. £1,072.51 is a fantastic achievement so far and we wish you every success in smashing your goal later this year!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Introducing the Smiths News WHC Ramblers

White Horse Challenge Logo

Last year The Consortium tackled the White Horse Challenge. This year it's the turn of Rowan House!

'The Smiths News WHC Ramblers' will be tackling Sunday's challenge on July 7th, starting at around 7am at Preshute Church car park, Marlborough.

The team comprises Maria Ogbourne, Nic Hewlett, Craig Duff,  Jo Kelly and Pippa. Maria explains the team's strategy:

I’ll be walking the 25 mile cross-country route from Marlborough to Devizes, via the Hackpen, Cherhill and Devizes white horses. Nic Hewlett will be walking the first 10 miles with me (Marlborough to Broad Town), Craig Duff the middle 7 miles (Broad Town to Cherhill) and Jo Kelly & Pippa the final 7 miles (Cherhill to Devizes). 

The challenge is Wiltshire Air Ambulance's main fundraising event for the year and our team of ramblers is aiming to add at least £500 to their coffers. You can help them achieve that by visiting Maria's Just Giving Page, where she's added the following update on Sunday's training:

At the Hackpen White HorseTraining progressing well. 10 mile walk along the Ridgeway today in glorious weather - that's 2/5ths of the walk distance. Once I get to about 20 miles, I'll start walking part of the route - hopefully cross-country will be softer than the Ridgeway!

Keep us updated on how it's progressing Maria!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Over the Hills... The Magnificent Seven

[caption id="attachment_5615" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Ben_Nevis_-_geograph_org_uk_-_22231 Image of Ben Nevis courtesy of Graham Scott. Licensed for free re-use under Creative Commons SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

A small team from Smiths News IT are taking on the National Three Peaks Challenge as the main department Community Week fundraising event to raise money for CLIC Sargent.

Andrew Caple explains...

"We will be climbing the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in less than 24 hours on the weekend of 22nd & 23rd June. We will be supported throughout the weekend by our support crew, Terri Baylis and Cathy Flynn.

Our challenge starts at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles at 5PM on Saturday 22nd June. A 10.5 mile route taking in the summit at 4,409 feet sees us back at the car park 5 hours later, this is followed by a 6 hour drive to the Lake District for an early morning ascent of Scafell Pike starting at 4am Sunday 23rd June via a 9.5 mile route taking in the summit at 3,209 feet.

Arrival back at the car park by 8am for a 5 hour drive to the Snowdonia National Park for our final peak starting at 1pm on , a 7 mile route taking in the summit of Snowdon at 3,560 feet. Our adventure reaches its climax in a race back to the car park for 5pm on the Sunday to make the 24 hour target.

The main driver for us taking on this team challenge is to raise much-needed funds for CLIC Sargeant.

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children. Every day 10 children and their families are told the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles away from home and can last for up to three years. This is a frightening experience and the emotional, practical and financial implications of treatment are intensely challenging for the whole family. CLIC Sargent is the only organisation to offer them all round care and support, they provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

Our Challenge is linked to the Joshua Flynn Team page [a Just Giving page which has details of all of the many fundraising activities feeding into the Joshua Flynn Fund  - Ed]:

Joshua is a 4-year-old boy, a close family friend of a colleague, and is currently undergoing treatment for a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. The Joshua Flynn fund is hoping to raise a total of £11,880 which would pay for a family room at one of CLIC Sargent’s “Home from Homes” for a year.

CLIC Sargent has eight Homes from Home in the UK and are located within a 10 minute walk of the principle treatment centres. Staying in a Home from Home allows the family to be together while their child is undergoing cancer treatment. Something small like a family sitting down and enjoying a family meal together can be a very precious moment.

Every donation, however small, will go a long way towards helping other families who find themselves in this situation.

Thank you,

Andrew Caple, Marcus Cotes, Andy Taylor, Brett Hanley, Alan Stone, Victoria Enebeli, Brin Jardine

If you would like to donate to our team challenge, we have a Just Giving page."

Wow! Good luck everyone and we look forward to hearing more about how you're getting on!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Worcester Cake and Bake

Worcester and Instore have done it again! A fab presentation of the results of their recent Cake and Bake day. Note they included a sponsored 'row' from Dover to Calais to work off all those extra calories ;)

Worcester and Instore Cake and Bake

The wording in the bottom left hand corner says:

A Word From Our Sponsor...

All of us here at Larry's™ are extremely happy that once again, the Cake Day has been a massive success. We hope that we can sponsor the event for years to come.


A total of £105.90 was raised and split between the British Heart Foundation and Headway.