Dogs for the Disabled- Big Dogs Breakfast Thank You letter!

June 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Charity | Leave a comment
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Earlier this month we held a ‘Big Dogs Breakfast’ fundraising event in aid of one of my favourite charity’s, Dogs for the Disabled. The event was a triumph as we managed to collect £100.00 for Dogs for the Disabled who train puppies that will later become assistant dogs.

Today we’ve received a lovely letter thanking Bath-Knight for our generous donation and explaining more about the work which Dogs for the Disabled do to help train puppies become assistant dogs who are a lifeline to disabled children and adults across Britain.

dogs for diabled letter

Dogs for the Disabled are a fantastic charity that needs lots of support to continue their outstanding work. If you’d like to hold your own Big Dogs Breakfast then see the official website for more information.

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Carers Week 2012

June 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With over six million carers in the UK it is paramount that their tireless work is appreciated and that they are recognised as individuals, which is why I support Carers Week. An annual awareness campaign brought together by a coalition of charities including Age UK, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers Trust.

This year’s campaign centres around the theme ‘In sickness and in health’ and hopes to educate carers on looking after their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the loved one who they care for.

Carers Week 2012

Carers Week 18th – 24th June 2012

In a recent study it’s been reported that nearly 40% of carers put their own health in jeopardy because of their caring commitments. Some carers don’t feel that they have the time or support to seek medical attention for themselves, whilst others are so tightly wrapped up in the welfare of their loved one that their personal needs get overlooked.

Government cuts and tightly squeezed local authorities unfortunately mean that many unpaid carers are receiving little help from the state. Sadly more and more carers are being forced to give up work to care full time, subsequently meaning that their lives revolve solely around caring. It comes as little surprise that a majority of health issues affecting carers are due to the heavy strain of being a primary carer.

carers week young carer

Support carers of all ages this Carers Week

As well as encouraging carers to seek the necessary help and advice in all areas of their caring life- health, well-being and financial support- Carers Week also encourages carers to find time for themselves with a host of events been held up and down the country this week.

Events range from workshops in arts and crafts to tai chi and yoga which aim to help carers de-stress. For people who’d prefer a simple chat over a cup of tea and biscuits, social gatherings and coffee mornings are also on the agenda; perfect if you’re looking to make friends with other carers, which can be extremely beneficial if you care full time.

Carers make life so much more fulfilling for elderly, poorly and disabled people, which is why I think Carers Week is a campaign that is worth supporting; visit www.carersweek.org for more information.

Dogs for the Disabled – Big Dogs Breakfast

June 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Earlier in the year I received a letter from Dogs for the Disabled that explained their latest fundraising campaign, Big Dogs Breakfast. The idea behind BDB’s is to host a breakfast party for family, friends or colleagues and raise lots of money for Dogs for the Disabled in the process.

As a dog lover and supporter of Dogs for the Disabled, a charity organisation, who train pups to become assistant dogs that help enhance the lives of disabled men, women and children. I thought it would be a nice idea to host a Big Dog’s Breakfast morning here at Bath-Knight. To coincide with the Diamond Jubilee we decided that Friday 1st June would be an appropriate date for our BDB breakfast.

big dogs breakfast

Big Dog’s Breakfasts can be anything from a gourmet fry up, bacon sandwiches or simply tea and toast. However, facilities within the office are restricted so we opted for a cake and biscuit breakfast with members of staff each bringing in homemade goodies from donuts, biscuits, muffins, cookies and cakes.

Our Big Dog’s Breakfast went down a storm as everyone in the office indulged in the array of scrumptious treats and dug deep to into their pockets making generous donations to Dogs for the Disabled. To boast donations staff also dressed down for the day at the cost of £1.

Big Dogs Breakfast Bath-Kngiht

Bath-Knight’s Big Dog’s Breakfast raised a total of £97.55 which will be topped up to £100.00. The donation will go directly to Dogs for the Disabled who will use the funds to train and support assistant dogs and dog owners. After such positive feedback and plentiful donations I’m looking forward to hosting another breakfast fundraiser next year and would recommend a Big Dog’s Breakfast fundraiser to everyone.

If you’re thinking about hosting a Big Dog’s Breakfast check out the Dogs for Disabled website which contains tips and advice on how to organise and host your breakfast event including ready-made Big Dog’s Breakfast invitations, posters, menu cards and recipe ideas.

Soccer Aid 2012

May 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This Sunday a charity football match organised by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, who are both from Bath-Knight’s home town Stoke-on-Trent, will take place at Old Trafford in Manchester. But this isn’t any ordinary football match, it’s Soccer Aid 2012.

Soccer Aid – a charity football tournament created by Robbie and Jonathan- all started in 2006 when the pair realised that together, and with the help of their celebrity friends, they could help raise a lot of money by playing football.

Each year they draft in a bunch of their celebrity and footballing friends who make up two teams- England and The Rest of the World. Like any other football game Soccer Aid is incredibly competitive, so only the sportiest celebrities make the starting line-up.

Soccer_Aid_2012_

This year’s England team, captained by Robbie Williams, includes the likes of John Bishop, Ben Shephard, Olly Murs, Mark Owen and members of JLS plus football ‘legends’ David Seaman and Teddy Sheringham. They will be managed by Sam Allardyce.

2012’s Rest of the World Team includes movie stars Michael Sheen (captain), Mike Myers, James McAvoy and Gerard Butler plus TV chef Gordon Ramsay. They will be joined by footballers Roy Keane and Freddie Ljunberg plus more international players who make up the 11 sided team – click here for full line up of both teams.

Proceeds from Soccer Aid go towards UNICEF who works with children across the world. The leading children’s charity has received a staggering £7.5 million since the event began and I’m sure that figure will rise after this weekend’s match.

Although I wouldn’t usually watch football I think that this charity match is a great opportunity to enjoy the game and see how well our favourite celebrities play.  Watch Soccer Aid 2012 on ITV Sunday 27th May from 6pm.

London Marathon- Good Luck Emma!

April 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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good luck emmaBefore the weekend begins I’d like to take the chance to say good luck to Bath-Knight’s call centre manager Emma, who is running the Virgin London Marathon this weekend.

After months of training race day is finally here and as a seasoned marathon runner I’m confident that Emma will complete the marathon successfully, and fingers crossed in one of her personal best times.

Emma is running Sunday’s London Marathon for charity TeamPB and has a JustGiving page which is welcome to any generous donations. All the very best to Emma and everyone else running on Sunday.

GOOD LUCK!

Parkinson’s Awareness Week 16th –22nd April 2012

April 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today marks the beginning of Parkinson’s Awareness Week ran by Parkinson’s UK, the leading research and support charity for Parkinson’s here in the United Kingdom.

Throughout this week the charity hopes to help more people understand what Parkinson’s disease entails and how the progressive neurological condition affects 130,000 sufferers and their family, friends and carers in the UK.  But more specifically, Parkinson’s UK would like to find a cure, and in turn raise crucial funds to enable on-going research.

Parkinson's UK

Parkinson's UK hosting Parkinson's Awareness Week

To kick start Parkinson’s Awareness Week, Parkinson’s UK has launched a ground breaking research project called ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’. The research project is set to become the world biggest in-depth study into people who have Parkinson’s and aims speed up the process of finding a cure for the disease.

Running over a 5 year period Tracking Parkinson’s will be headed by Dr Donald Grosset at the University of Glasgow, and funded entirely by Parkinson’s UK. The project will work with over 3,000 volunteers who will have their condition monitored in greater detail than ever before.

For research purposes volunteers have to be under the age of 50 or recently diagnosed and willing to have a blood test taken plus attend visits with their consultant every six months. And that’s it, there’s no scary operating tables or scans just a small insight into your condition which could help change the way that Parkinson’s is treated forever.

Find a Cure

'What would a cure mean to you' message board

Along with the launch of Tracking Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s Awareness Week is host to numerous awareness events across the country- find one near you here. And a new message board called, ‘What would a cure mean you’, which is encouraging suffers, family and carers to share their thoughts and experiences with one another. Having read some of the posts this morning I think that the message board is a fantastic place to start understanding why development into a cure or more advanced treatment is so important to those who are affected by Parkinson’s disease.  

Support Parkinson Awareness Week today by visiting Parkinson’s UK website and read an additional BBC article on Tracking Parkinson’s here.

Websites of the Week- Sport Relief Special

March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Sport Relief is finally here as thousands of people will be pounding the pavements this weekend to run their Sport Relief mile. But before all that running we get to enjoy a Sport Relief telethon on BBC One this evening from 7pm.

With this in mind I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s website of the week to www.sportrelief.com  and document some of the Sport Relief challenges which have caught my eye in recent weeks and months.

John Bishop’s Week of Hell- Only a couple of weeks ago we saw comedian John Bishop cycle, row and run from Paris to London for Sport Relief. I followed John’s challenge via both the Sport Relief website and Radio One– I even wrote about John Bishop’s Week of Hell here on my blog.

Astonished by the endurance which John showed throughout and the amount of public support which he received I was keen to tune into BBC One’s documentary “John Bishop’s Sport Relief Hell” last night which televised his challenge in full. After watching the programme I realised just how hellish John’s Week of Hell was.

john bishop finish line

John Bishop for Sport Relief

Despite being completely exhausted, both mentally and physically, John’s determination to make the finish line in Trafalgar Square never wavered and I think that this is the reason why he succeed. John’s challenge was a pleasure to watch and a remarkable achievement which has encouraged thousands of others to take part in the Sport Relief mile.

Can you believe that John covered 295 miles and burned 39,872 calories? For more information on John Bishop’s Week of Hell check out his Sport Relief webpage which has video, photos and a donation link- Enjoy!

Helen Skelton’s Polar Challenge- Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is fearless and no stranger to Sport Relief challenges. So this year she was determined to push herself to the limit by skiing, bike riding and kiting 500 miles across the Antarctic to the South Pole.

Helen faced extraordinary conditions with freezing temperatures of-48 ˚C and terrain which proved difficult to travel across. Despite such she managed to trek the 500 miles, pulling a sledge of essentials weighing 82kg behind her, successfully reaching the South Pole in only 18 days.

Helen Skelton polar challenge

Helen Skelton in the South Pole

I was eager to keep track of Helen’s challenge because she had set herself such an ambitious task. No one has ever used a bike to travel across the Antarctic before and this method was met with some hesitation from experts. I was also keen to see how she would keep herself on track in such an isolated place. Luckily for us Helen kept an online blog which documented her journey and was a real pleasure to read.

Helen’s Polar Challenge is detailed in full on her webpage on www.sportrelief.com which also includes more information on the World Record that Helen broke during her trek to the South Pole.

David Walliams Vs. The Thames- Another celebrity who is no stranger to Sport Relief is comedian David Walliams who has pervious swam the English Channel for Sport Relief. In September 2011 he took on the dangerous and gruelling task of swimming the River Thames.

After swimming in unpredictable water which was not only dirty but laden with traffic its came as little surprise that David become poorly during his swim. Nevertheless he successfully swam day after day for 8 days, racking up a phenomenal 140 miles and breathtakingly 111352 strokes- ouch!

David Walliams the thames

David Walliams for Sport Relief

David’s commitment to Sport Relief proves what a worthy charity Sport Relief is, helping both families abroad and here in the UK, some of whom will be featured on the Sport Relief telethon this evening.

Like John and Helen, David has a Sport Relief webpage which documents his challenge including photographs, his River Thames route and funny videos which really are worth watching especially if you’re a fan of David Walliams comedy- him dancing to Abba’s Dancing Queen is a definite highlight.

Sport Relief is on BBC One from 7pm tonight and Sport Relief Mile events are taking place across the UK on Sunday for more information visit the Sport Relief website.

The Boy Scout who slept in a tent for an entire year!

March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Scouts logo This morning I caught the story of 13 year old Boy Scout, Will Grange, on Daybreak

The teenager spent an entire year sleeping in a tent in his back garden to raise money for a new Scout Hut. Will braved all sorts of weather conditions during his yearlong stay in the tent including heavy rain, steaming sunshine and even freezing temperatures of minus nine.

The story is charming and I’m sure Will’s family and friends are so proud of his achievements. It’s lovely to see a young person persist within something so charitable so a big well done!

Annette’s Websites of the Week 13th- 17th February 2012

February 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

www.caninepartners.org.uk – Last week I shared with you my admiration for a charity called Canine Partners. The charity works with dogs and disabled individuals to create a partnership where dogs truly do become a man’s best friend.

After my feature here on the blog about Bryon, a beautiful Labrador who helps owner Kate with everyday tasks, I was delighted to see the pair on the BBC’s ‘The One Show’. Their television debut was brilliant and has hopefully help raised the profile of Canine Partners as a charity.

Bryon and Kate

Bryon and Kate

Canine Partners work tirelessly to set up suitable partnerships which enable disabled people to regain independence. Most recently Canine Partners paired up with Help for Heroes helping injured service personnel get their life back on track.

However Canine Partners rely solely on generous donations giving to them from public supports, unlike other charities they don’t receive government funding. As a dog lover myself, and having witnessed the wonderful work which Canine Partners offer, I really hope that showcasing the charity here on my blog will boost a little more support.

Prince Harry with Canine Partners

Prince Harry with Canine Partners

If you love dogs or think that you could volunteer check out the Canine Partners website that contains all relevant information plus captivating success stories and the most adorable pictures.

www.thebookpeople.co.uk – This week the Duchess of Cornwall has revealed that she loves to read. Like her I’m an avid reader and recently I’ve embarked on digital method of reading with a Kindle. But the truth is I’ll never stray too far away from reading and purchasing paperback books.

I often find that books in high street stores are expensively priced especially when you can stumble across a best seller in a local charity only a couple of months later. Recently I’ve been shopping at The Book People; a dream website for those who enjoy reading as it stocks all of the latest releases for a fraction of the price.

The Book People

The Book People - Home Page

I couldn’t resist The Fabulous Baker Brothers cookery book which is currently half price on the site- I was so disappointed to see their new series come to an end on Channel 4 recently. And I’ve got my eye on a collection of Raymond Blanc cookery books after falling in love with his French cuisine on his new BBC Two show Raymond Blanc: The Very Hungry Frenchman.

My ultimate tip when shopping at The Book People, specifically if you’re buying novels is to look out for ‘collections’ as they seem to sell books series in a bundle at very responsible price (for example buy 16 Charles Dickens books together for only £26). Also keep an eye out for free delivery!

www.virginlondonmarathon.com – I’m delighted to say that Bath-Knight’s Call Centre Manager Emma is running this year’s Virgin London Marathon in aid of TeamPB – a combination of The Prostate Cancer Charity and Breast Cancer Care.

I can only imagine that getting motivated for a marathon is a little daunting but Virgin London Marathon has come up with some encouraging and unique ways to get runners motivated. Everything from training plans, advice from running experts and even a music programme which is designed to motivate runners to keep upbeat.

London Marathon 2012

Virgin London Marathon 2012

However their most successful technique has to be the spoof videos they’ve customised to each runner- a news bulletin citing said runner as the favourite to win. The videos are brilliantly funny and a little light relief from hard training and preparing ahead of the marathon in April.

I wish Emma all the very best- if you’d like to sponsor Emma please visit her Just Giving page.

Scouts Honour for Duchess of Cambridge

January 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today it has been announced that the Duchess of Cambridge is to become the Royal Patron of four UK charities as she extends her royal duties branching out with personal projects.

Much like the charity work of her husband, Prince William and his late mother Princess Diana, Kate’s charity work centres mainly on young people and children. Kate is said to have handpicked her chosen charities each carefully reflecting her personal interests such as art and sports.

Duchess of Cambridge centrepoint

Action on Addiction work to help young people with drug and alcohol abuse, EACH is an East Anglian hospice dedicated to caring for terminally ill youngsters whilst The Art Room implements art therapy to emotional distressed and disruptive school children. The most well know the National Portrait Gallery showcases some of the finest art in the world, a topic which Kate is certainly fond of having studied art during her time at St. Andrews University.

The selection is rather impressive as the charities range from extremely well known organisations to smaller charities whose profiles will most certainly be boosted by the Duchesses involvement. Plus each of Kate’s charities sits alongside the charity work of Princes William so wonderfully.

Duchess of Cambridge hospice visit

In addition to her new Royal Patron roles it has also been revealed that Kate will now spend some of her spare time volunteering with the Scouts Association, swapping her famous style for the official Scouts uniform- neckerchief included.

As a former Brownie I’m sure her work with the Scouts involving camping trips, overseeing sporting activities and helping out with Beavers in North Wales, will bring back fond early memories, and hopefully encourage others to volunteer too. Like anyone else the Duchess is said to have been screened with a CRB check ensuring that she is an appropriate choice further endorsing that she will be treated like any other volunteer.

Duchess of Cambridge Scouts

Today’s announcement comes as little surprise as we’re yet to have seen the Duchess do any solo engagements. The New Year seems like the perfect chance for her to do so and I’m very much looking forward to it. Undoubtedly she will do a superb job and I can’t wait to see her transform into, what I’m sure will be, a rather royal Scout Leader.

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