Annette’s Websites of the Week: Pinterest, Carers Week and Holidays for All

June 22, 2012 at 10:03 am | Posted in Annette's Websites of the Week | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Pinterest is a new social media outlet that focuses entirely on visual images and photographs. Having used Pinterest for a couple of weeks I have to say that I think it’s one of the most exciting social media channels on the web as it incredibly creative and really does inspire users to ‘pin’ their favourite images.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest is simple to use, once you know how. Simply sign up and wait for an e-mail invitation. Once you’ve received it (mine took a couple of days) log into Pinterest and explore the visual delights Pinterest has to offer. Users can set up individual ‘boards’ to which they ‘pin’ their favourite images much like making a digital scrapbook.

Pinterest page

Pinterest- our favourite new social media channel

Pinterest is a great place to find blogs, websites and photo galleries that feature content which matches your interests. Plus you’re likely to network with likeminded individuals who share your passions, which will make going online lots more fun.

Even America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama has Pinterest… and so does Bath-Knight!

 

Carers Week runs from 18th– 24th June 2012 and is an awareness week that prides itself on highlighting the work and commitment that carers make to look after loved ones who are old, disabled or in need of additional care.

This year’s theme ‘in sickness and in health’ hopes to heighten the awareness of the side effects that  carers experience; becoming ill, neglecting their own needs and receiving little or no help  from social services. Carers Week organisers want to help Britain’s six million unpaid carers find solutions to the problems which they face on a day to day basic.

Carers Week 2012

Support carers via this week’s Carers Week campaign

The Carers Week websites features up-to-date information on the campaign and links to the eight charities which have collaborated to bring Carers Week to life. In addition you can read fascinating facts, stories from carers themselves and find events which are taking place for Carers Week.

Holidays for All provide accessible holidays for families, couples and individuals looking to escape everyday life for a week or so. I came across Holidays for All at Naidex and was delighted to find a holiday provider who has so many contacts who can each provide fantastic getaways, whatever your needs.

Holidays for all

Holidays for All- access holidays for carers and loved ones

The Holidays for All website offers links to ten different holiday providers who each specialise in different holidays and breaks. Some are here in Britain whilst others are abroad in Europe, or even further afield to America and Australia. This site is perfect if you’re a carer planning to take a loved one away because Holidays for All can advise you on your best holiday options (making it a stress free experience for you).

I’d also advice getting in touch with the Holiday for All team if you want more information about holidays that disabled or elderly people can go on alone with the addition of a care programme which is ready upon their arrival- a great option if you’re in need of a rest from caring.

Annette’s Websites of the Week – Father’s Day Special.

June 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

As its Father’s Day on Sunday I thought I’d share some websites that will give you a helping hand in making this year’s Father’s Day extra special- for every type of dad!

Moonpig Cards – Personalised greeting cards are a lovely way to say Happy Father’s Day. If you visit an online customising site such as www.moonpig.com there is lots of variety, everything from comical cards, sentimental cards, sports themed cards and even photo cards. Each greeting card can be edited specifically for your dad to add that extra special touch.

Moonpig fathers day

Moonpig customised cards

I’ve used Moonpig in the past and was really happy with the whole experience. Picking a card is really simple- search the Father’s Day card selection (or whatever occasion you’re looking for) and edit accordingly. I like to pick cards which allow me to use lots of photographs but chose a design that suits you and your dad best.

My top tip when using Moonpig is to ensure that you spell check any text which you edit as once the card is printed it can’t be changed. Additionally save postage costs by delivering the card directly to your dad’s address- simply select this option in the delivery process.

Final delivery for Father’s Day cards from Moonpig is 2pm today!

Red Letter DaysIf you want to treat your dad to an extra special day out then head to www.redletterdays.co.uk. Here you can purchase all sorts of days out, which will be a brilliant surprise for Father’s Day.

Red Letter Days have something for everyone so if your dad’s a fan of sports why not buy a tour of Wembley Stadium or a master class golf lesson. If like my husband, Alan, your dad is a car fanatic, then check out the driving experiences where dads can drive at Silverstone in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and if your dad has a head for heights how about a Hot Air Balloon ride? The options are endless so it’s sure to be a Father’s Day gift that he won’t forget.

Red Letter Day

Red Letter Day

The best thing about a Red Letter Day gifts is that you don’t have to decide on a date when you purchase the experience. So you can give your dad his Red Letter Gift on Sunday and then organise a date to go motor facing, hot air balloon riding etc… whenever is convenient for both of you- most experiences let spectators go along and watch so you get a day out too.

Audible.co.uk –  Earlier in the week I blogged about audiobooks and how they have been revived thanks to modern technology. Now you can download audiobook onto smartphones and iPods which makes listening to stories easier than ever before.

Audible.co.uk

Audiobooks with http://www.audible.co.uk

If your dad loves to read but can’t because he’s too busy or finds reading text in a book too much of a strain then why not load your iPod or smartphone will a selection of audiobooks for Father’s Day. The website www.audible.co.uk has a huge selection of books (classics, new books and best sellers) which are affordable (around £3.99 each) and can be uploaded onto a device in seconds!

Using audiobooks as a gift is a great way of encourage dads to get back into literature, especially if he’s had to stop reading because of old age or poor eye sight. And it’s a fantastic way to get older dads to use gadgets such as iPods. I’d love to know if you like this idea so please do leave a comment below!

Grandparent forum Gransnet celebrates one year online

May 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A little over a year ago I read about a new website called Gransnet– an online forum for grandparents to discuss all sorts of issues. Interested in broadening my internet ‘favourites’ I checked out the website and was delighted with what was on offer.

gransnet 2012

Designed with internet savvy grandparents in mind Gransnet is the perfect place to find other likeminded grandparents who are online. Most importantly Gransnet is easy to use and has a discussion forum for everything- what’s happening in the news, recipes, books, films, general chit chat. Plus it hosts weekly competitions and features special guests who pop in for forums, blog posts and Q&A sessions.

Having recently joined up with aging charity Age UK to encourage more people to get online Gransnet is today celebrating one fantastic year online. Why not celebrate by joining in the Gransnet fun… www.gransnet.com

Age UK join forces with Gransnet

April 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Since starting my blog I’ve become a regular visitor of Age UK’s website because it is packed with handy information, I’ve even taken part in several of their campaigns including the annual Spread the Warmth crusade and The Big Knit.

Now Age UK has teamed up with Gransnet, a social networking site directed specifically at grandparents, together they are hosting online forums which allow users to interact with other people who are a similar age and have similar lifestyles.

Gransnet Age UK online forum

Age UK recently joined Gransnet to host online forums

The forums covers all sorts of subject areas from hobbies to family and friends, TV and film recommendations to more serious topics like healthcare and politics- there really is something for everyone.

The partnership is set to be extremely successful as both Age UK and Gransnet have loyal followings that will get a lot from each other. Plus both organisations behold the same mission of ensuring a happy and healthy life for older people.

Join the discussions with Age UK and Gransnet here.

Websites of the Week- Harry Potter Studio Tour, Pepperberry by Bravissimo and Friends Reunited

March 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Warner Bros. Studio Tour- The Making of Harry Potter- If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter films you will no doubt be excited to hear that Warner Bros. Studio- The Making of Harry Potter officially opens this weekend.

The studio tour, which is set to attract thousands of fans daily, gives visitors an insight into how the magical films were created and lets visitors explore some of the most famous sets in the Harry Potter films including Gryffindor’s Common Room, the potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office and even Hagrid’s Hut.

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley in Harry Potter Studio

Most excitingly visitors get to enter through the iconic Great Hall, which will be a magical moment for all Harry Potter fans including myself, and exit the tour with a walk along Diagon Alley where they can peer through the shop windows and even purchase their own wand.

Opening the studios to fans is something which I think will be incredibly successful and a real treat for families who have followed Harry and his friends. Having seen a photograph of the Hogwarts Castle model that is featured in the London based studio I’m looking forward to going on the tour to see how much time, effort and creativity went into making such a magnificent series of films.

Great Hall Harry Potter

Great Hall Harry Potter Studio

Warner Bros. Studio Tour- The Making of Harry Potter would be a great day out for Easter holidays but please note that all tickets must be purchased prior to your visit. Visit the official website to source tickets and general information including directions, prices etc… and browse the tour’s Facebook page for exclusive photos of what to expect from the Harry Potter Studios.

 

Pepperberry clothing by Bravissimo- Fashion is a great way of expressing yourself and I love nothing more than buying a new outfit which looks good and feels great. For me the most important part of buying new clothing is ensuring that the garment fits properly.

But this is often easier said than done, as finding clothing which fits perfectly can be a real problem for ladies. So it is with great delight that Bravissimo have introduced a new range of clothing called ‘Pepperberry’.

Pepperberry clothing is ‘designed with your boobs in mind’ so you don’t have to worry about blouses gaping at the button holes or buying a size bigger. Pepperberry have designed a range which is sized as usual size 8-18 (UK) but also incorporates room and comfort for your shape specifically.

Pepperberry clothing

Pepperberry clothing by Bravissimo

Customers pick from the additional sizes of ‘Curvy’, ‘Really Curvy’ and ‘Super Curvy’ enabling the garments to flatter your shape and fit to perfection. Speaking from experience there is nothing worse than buying a size bigger than you need which is why I believe Pepperberry’s new sizing system will be a hit amongst ladies who love fashion but hate sizing issues.

Pepperberry’s range is not only stylish but also colourful and tasteful with dresses, tops, coats and skirts meaning that there really is something for every style and every occasion. Check out your Pepperberry size and browse the range at www.bravissimo.com/pepperberry now.

 

Friends Reunited– I’ve include the all new Friends Reunited website on my weekly recommendations because I believe that it could be a fantastic website for older internet users and the perfect place for people who are just starting out online.

Friends Reunited

The new look Friends Reunited website

The site boasts a theme of nostalgia and encourages its users to document their memories of the past in a digital memory box. Users can flick through all sorts of images, videos and news clipping to help jog their thoughts, which is why I believe that Friends Reunited could be extremely beneficial to the elderly. Helping them remember the good times in a modern way.

Fingers crossed Friends Reunited will become an internet success and help older people, many of whom are reluctant to go on the internet, enjoy the World Wide Web by filling it with the things which they have enjoyed from many years ago. Remember that signing up to Friends Reunited is completely free www.friendsreunited.co.uk

Myfriends Online Week- what do you love about the internet?

March 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week Age UK are hosting Myfriends online week (19th -25th March 2012) an annual initiative that encourages older people to see the benefits of using the internet particularly focusing on how the internet can keep you socially active.

During this week Age UK will be holding Myfriends online week events across the country, helping people who don’t use the internet to take their first step in doing so and explaining the countless benefits that the internet has to offer.

To kick start Myfriends online week Age UK took to social media platform Twitter this morning, asking people why they love the internet and they have received all different sorts of answers. Some people love the internet because it’s so convenient, other like that they can shop online but most people love how they are able to keep in touch with friends and family via the web.

lady-with-laptop-

Age UK's Myfriends online week 19th-25th March 2012

I love the internet because it is so multi-functional. I use the internet in both my professional and personal life and it has become hugely important. Not only is information available at the touch of a button but so are my customers and friends and family.

Over time I’ve learnt how to use all different sorts of online platforms to keep in touch with people and I’ve benefited hugely. Like most people in business I e-mail constantly and have found Facebook to be a great area for both personal and business purposes. However, I’m most fond of using Skype’s video calling service as it completely free and a great way to see my family and friends who are dotted across the globe.

I really couldn’t recommend social platforms as Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail and Skype highly enough as they truly do enable people to become more sociable and are all free and easy to use once you know how- check out a local Myfriend online event for extra help!

But my online guilty pleasure has to BBC iPlayer which stores television programmes shown across all BBC channels and allows internet users to watch whenever they like. It’s perfect if you forget to tune into your favourite programme or forgot to press record.

Take a step and go online!

Over 60’s Online Dating

February 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As yesterday was Valentine’s Day I felt it was appropriate to comment on the recent news that over 60’s have become the fastest growing group of internet daters.

Dubbed as ‘The Goldie’s’ by The Telegraph in an article today- a combination of Glamorous and Oldies. I find the recent revelations of people aged sixty plus (sorry Goldie’s) becoming so successful in online dating wonderfully refreshing.

Their success in finding the perfect spouse via the internet is positive for two reasons. Firstly because it shows that a significant number of over 60’s are online and making good use of the resources which the internet offers. Secondly hundreds, if not thousands of people are finding happiness, love and companionship which they previously didn’t have. That can never be a negative.

online dating for over 60s

Online dating is becoming increasingly popular with over 60s

So why are over 60’s so successful at dating online? It’s said that their realistic and honest outlook on life plays a big part in their success. With good life experience many 60 plus daters aren’t interested in playing games or wasting other people times. It’s said that most people over 60 have the most honest and informative online profiles ensuring that no one is misled.

Of course some people may be worried about dating online as the notion of not physically knowing who you’re talking to can be a little off putting. So it’s worth sparing the time to find a trusted online community that specialising in services for over 60’s.

dating over 60

Online dating... modern way to find companionship?

Recommend sites include www.maturedating.com, www.datingover60.com, and www.over50.com all of which are designed with an older audience in mind, many of whom maybe looking for companionship after a loss or significant time spent alone.

I should note that it’s worth remembering online dating isn’t for everyone so don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you. The challenge of trying something different could uplift your spirits and open your mind to new opportunities.

In the Valentine’s spirit we have extended our Luxury for Less offer- this time calling the 15% discount Love Luxury for Less this February. For more information including term and conditions please visit the Bath-Knight website.

Google Zeitgeist list 2011

December 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As more of us are getting online it’s interesting to read about who and what we search the web for. Today Google, the world’s most recognised and highly thought after search engine, has released its annual Google Zeitgeist list documenting the top web searches of 2011.

The annual study, which is thought to capture the spirit of our age, offers interesting reading as alongside unsurprising top searches are a couple which are a little more obscure.

Google Zeitgeist 2011

The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton was a huge calendar event this year; I wrote about the event here on my blog and was greeted with a breath taking amount of hits. So it comes as little surprise that the Royal Wedding topped ‘Fastest rising searches in 2011’.

However, other top searches are a little more questionable. For example ‘What is scampi’ was the second top search in Google’s ‘What is…’ list and it would seem that nobody seems to know why. The sudden and bizarre interest in Scampi is a little bewildering but I think this wonderfully illustrates the freedom and ability that the internet offers- endless information to feed your curiosity whatever the subject may be.

Elsewhere on the Google Zeitgeist list 2011 are searches to find out more information about politics. ‘What is AV?’- The Alternative Vote- came high up on the list, which refreshing indicates that people in the UK took the time to research political system which could potentially affect politics here in the UK.

Politicians themselves, however, weren’t so successful. Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrat leader has taken a blow according to Google becoming the ‘Fastest falling person’ to be searched in 2011.

Google Zeitgeist 2011

Of course celebrities, movies and retailers all made it to the top. The likes of Adele, Groupon, Ed Sheeran and Asda become top searches in 2011. Fitting like a glove with this year’s music charts, bargain hunting fascination and the new online discount shopping trend.

It’s incredible to see that Google can produce such a reflective documentation of a period of time. Amazingly simple searches stormed the prestigious ‘Top UK searches’ list with Facebook, YouTube and Hotmail at the helm. All of which are extremely reflective of how and why we use the internet and that’s to communicate with each other.

Read all of the Google Zeitgeist List 2011 via The Telegraph here.

 

GO ON Give an Hour

October 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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go on give an hourSetting up my blog a year ago I wanted to inspire other people to get online by showing them how easy the internet is once you know the basics.

Within the last year I’ve kept abreast of campaigns which encourage people to get online as I understand the importance of being digital. Only last week I blogged about Age UK who are currently searching for their 2012 Internet Champion– a great feat for an individual who has gained a lot by simply using the internet.

Elsewhere the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, who has worked tirelessly to get people online, has introduced a brilliant incentive encouraging people to offer their help to friends and family.

give an hour 1

‘Give an Hour’ intends to turn ordinary people (who are able to use the internet) into Digital Champions, which sounds incredibly grand but is in fact brilliantly easy. The scheme is pretty much self-explanatory as Martha and her team are simply asking you to donate an hour of your time and in doing so helping someone into the digital world.

You’re possibly thinking ‘where am I going to find an hour of free time?’  So here comes the clever twist. On 30th October the clocks go back an hour, meaning that we all gain one hour for free. Give an Hour wants everyone to do something productive with their free hour by helping someone get online- using the time whenever is convenient for you.

I personally think that it’s an incredible idea as we don’t have the excuse of not having time or being too busy. One hour is the perfect amount of time to go through the basics and everyone is a winner- you become a Digital Champion and your loved one learns new and increasingly vital skills.

give an hour 2

On the Go-On Give an Hour website the team have created all sorts of ways to get people inspired but most importantly a ‘Digital champion pack’, which is free to download and includes everything you’ll need to transfer your skills to someone else. Including booklets for beginners, certificates and a mythbuster for anyone who isn’t convinced they’ll get anything from the internet.

It really is a wonderful idea one which I am certain will be a success. Here at Bath-Knight I’ll be encouraging the team to donate an hour of their time and hopefully be transferring my own skills to a friend in need.

 

Age UK searching for Internet Champion 2012

October 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Did you know that here in the UK 5.7 million over 65’s have never been on the internet? That sadly means that an awful lot of older people are missing out on the benefits that the internet offers.

Age-UK-Logo-WebCampaigners and internet advocates (including me) highlights these fantastic benefits because they really are tremendous; staying in touch with loved one, finding new hobbies, banking, paying bills, and finding bargains by shopping around online are all incredibly easy and instantly available via the web.

Though some over 65’s are apprehensive to try something new, others can’t wait to take on a new adventure and the internet is just that- a digital adventure which can take you to lots of new and exciting places.

So it’s great to see Age UK are once again acknowledging those people who have taken on the challenge of becoming internet savvy by searching for ‘Internet Champion 2012’; two people who have gained a lot from simply using the internet.

age uk the internet changed my life

This year the Age UK team are looking for people whose life has changed since getting online. They want you to share your personal stories about getting online including the ups and downs which you’ve encountered along the way. Explain the pleasure of the new skills you’ve learnt and how you would inspire others to get online (if you’re not doing so already).

Last year’s Internet Champions went down a storm, and since been crowned they’ve shared their victory with lots of internet users at various events throughout the year. By sharing their hints and tips they’ve helped others make the leap online.

age UK internet champions 2011

Personally I think it’s incredible to hear of how the internet has created positivity in people’s lives. As I understand how much of a lifeline the internet truly is. By using my blog alone I get to connect with people who I wouldn’t have before, along with being able to share my thoughts and opinions. It’s just one fantastic element of the online world which anyone can explore.

So if you know, or you are a King or Queen of the internet, then what are you waiting for? Age UK want to hear from you. Tell them how the internet has changed your life and you could potentially be Age UK’s Internet Champion 2012.

Apply online at Age UK.co.uk

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