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Behavioural Support Group opens in Northants

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Come up with an idea to revive Northamptonshire’s High Streets

An East Midlands retail expert is calling on people, councils and businesses from the Northamptonshire to come up with ideas to revitalise the High Street to win £150,000 for their town.

Corin Birchall, who runs Lutterworth-based Kerching Retail, is urging entries into the Revive & Thrive Challenge, a national competition which aims to breathe new life into Britain’s under-pressure town and city centres.

Mr Birchall is a member of the partnership behind the initiative and is offering £22,000 worth of his consultancy services as part of the prize for the competition, which opened on October 1st.

The winner will get a package of prizes worth up to £150,000 and support from the contest organisers to put the idea into practice.

He said: “This is about reviving town and cities by connecting the communities with the business, typically shops and restaurants.

“This is about people taking the destiny of their town or city centre into their own hands and coming up with a sustainable idea to ensure the High Street remains a continued part of our tradition. We cannot rely exclusively on government coffers or local authorities to make change happen.”

The challenge is open to any UK councils, business improvements, communities, individuals and small-to-medium-sized companies.

Mr Birchall added: “The Revive & Thrive Challenge partnership came together because we believed it was time to do something about the state of the High Street and put our expertise, products and time on the table to demonstrate a solution.

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“I believed so strongly in the idea that I have committed prizes in excess of £22,000, which is huge for Kerching.”

Mr Birchall, who has worked in specialist retail his whole career, also runs the High Street Expert website (www.highstreetexpert.co.uk) where he is leading a campaign to save the British High Street.

The closing date for submissions is January 31st, 2014. To enter, visit: www.reviveandthrive.co.uk.

NORTHAMPTON HOSPITAL SUPPORTS ‘PLEDGE’ TO RAISE HEALTH AWARENESS

A private hospital in Northampton is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the UK’s top five preventable killers.

BMI Three Shires Hospital in Northampton is encouraging people to make an online pledge to help improve their health.

The Big Health Pledge is a nationwide campaign encouraging people across the country to look at their lifestyle choices, good and bad, and take a simple health pledge to allow them to see a change in their health.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the UK has slipped down the European health league on many indicators for ill-health. The Big Health Pledge is focused on the UK’s top five causes of preventable deaths – heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and liver disease.

Each account for more than 150,000 deaths among under-75s in England and the Department of Health estimates that 30,000 of these are entirely avoidable .

In area covered by Northamptonshire County Council between 2009 -2011 there were 272 premature deaths, ranking it 72 out of 150 local authorities in England. Wokingham in Berkshire is number one with fewest premature deaths (200) while Manchester is at 150 with 455.

Supporting the Big Health Pledge campaign, consultants, nurses and the team at BMI Three Shires are encouraging people in the region to go online and complete a health survey to identify what health pledge they could make to see long term benefits to their health.

The campaign’s five pledges are:
• Improve Diet
• Move More
• Quit Smoking
• Drink Less Alcohol
• Be Health Aware

The intention for each pledge is to give people easy to follow, manageable steps that will help them on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Dominic Bath, Executive Director at the hospital said: “All too often we can forget the simple advice given to us that can help benefit our lives.

Dominic Bath

“But the Big Health Pledge will hopefully get people thinking about how they could eat healthier, be more active, quit smoking, drink less alcohol and be more health aware – all steps to a healthier, happier life.”

For more information visit: www.bmibighealthpledge.co.uk

NORTHAMPTON HOSPITAL SUPPORTS ‘PLEDGE’ TO RAISE HEALTH AWARENESS

A private hospital in Northampton is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the UK’s top five preventable killers.

BMI Three Shires Hospital in Northampton is encouraging people to make an online pledge to help improve their health.

BMI Three Shires Hospital in Northampton is encouraging people to make an online pledge to help improve their health.

The Big Health Pledge is a nationwide campaign encouraging people across the country to look at their lifestyle choices, good and bad, and take a simple health pledge to allow them to see a change in their health.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the UK has slipped down the European health league on many indicators for ill-health. The Big Health Pledge is focused on the UK’s top five causes of preventable deaths – heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and liver disease.

Each account for more than 150,000 deaths among under-75s in England and the Department of Health estimates that 30,000 of these are entirely avoidable .

Dominic Bath

In area covered by Northamptonshire County Council between 2009 -2011 there were 272 premature deaths, ranking it 72 out of 150 local authorities in England. Wokingham in Berkshire is number one with fewest premature deaths (200) while Manchester is at 150 with 455.

Supporting the Big Health Pledge campaign, consultants, nurses and the team at BMI Three Shires are encouraging people in the region to go online and complete a health survey to identify what health pledge they could make to see long term benefits to their health.

The campaign’s five pledges are:
• Improve Diet
• Move More
• Quit Smoking
• Drink Less Alcohol
• Be Health Aware

The intention for each pledge is to give people easy to follow, manageable steps that will help them on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Dominic Bath, Executive Director at the hospital said: “All too often we can forget the simple advice given to us that can help benefit our lives.

“But the Big Health Pledge will hopefully get people thinking about how they could eat healthier, be more active, quit smoking, drink less alcohol and be more health aware – all steps to a healthier, happier life.”

For more information visit: www.bmibighealthpledge.co.uk

Raising money for Alzheimer’s has certainly been eventful

With a little help from his team and a very generous client, Mark Darnell who owns Home Instead Senior Care in Higham Ferrers has just raised £500 for his local Alzheimer’s Society, through a variety of local fundraising activities.Lauren Keen hands over the cheques to Shahera Bibi from the Alzheimer's Society

The team at Home Instead have organised a number of initiatives over the last few months including; taking up a stall at Higham Ferrers’ local market, organising a car boot sale in Irthlinborough, attending Rushden’s party in the park event and hosting an open day at their office.

Mark added, “As we specialise in providing care to older people in their own homes, we’re all too aware of the difficulties facing someone affected by dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity which is extremely close to our hearts and that’s why we were keen to really get behind them in order to raise as much money as possible for the fantastic support services they offer to older people in and around East Northants.

“Everyone has worked tirelessly to fundraise over the last few months, in particular our Recruitment Coordinator, Lauren Keen. We’ve all had great fun in the process and I’m very pleased with the amount of money we’ve raised.”

Lauren presented the £500 cheque to Shahera Bibi, manager of Northampton Alzheimer’s Society, who thanked Home Instead for all their hard work and support.

For further information about the services provided by Home Instead Senior Care East Northants please call 01933 358708 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/eastnorthants

Specialist equipment sheds light on skin cancer treatment

State-of-the-art technology donated to a leading hospital’s dermatology unit will allow skin cancer patients to be treated in a fraction of the normal time, saving the NHS money and cutting waiting lists.

Leicestershire-based Spirit Healthcare to the dermatology unit at Northampton General Hospital

Ground-breaking research into the use of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of skin cancer has prompted a national charity to donate £12,000 of specialist equipment supplied by Leicestershire-based Spirit Healthcare to the dermatology unit at Northampton General Hospital.

Spirit’s £12,000 BF-Rhodo LED PDT treatment lamp, together has been donated to NGH by Weedon-based PDT for Cancer Cure.

The charity was established in 2011 with the aim of promoting the use of PDT in skin cancer treatment and to fundraise to equip every major hospital to be able to provide a local service for patients.

Trustee Bill Loryman said: “The biggest challenge with skin cancer is that it’s invasive surgery, you have to have bits cut out, which can leave big scars and it still may not work.

“Photo-dynamic therapy has the ability to get rid of the non-melanoma skin cancer just as effectively, but without the scarring. You go into the clinic in the morning, have the treatment and go home again. Rather than having it cut out you just sit under a lamp for 10 minutes, it’s much easier.”

The equipment will be based at NGH and will be available to dermatology patients from across the county, as well as referrals from other local trusts such as Bedford and Milton Keynes.

Spirit Healthcare’s Angelina Thorne added: “The beauty of the treatment is that it’s effective and by setting up more PDT services across the country, more people are able to get treated quickly. We are keen to focus on patient quality of life while providing value to the NHS. This equipment reduces waiting times for surgery, meaning everyone benefits.”

The static lamp has much greater control to tailor treatment to individual patients. Nurses can vary the strength of the light therapy which is particularly useful when treating sensitive areas of the body, making it less painful.

Frocks add Viviana

The Viviana Collection of evening wear is now available in Frocks up to size 22

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You will love their Autumn/Winter collection all in Frocks on Thrapston High Street

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Confectionary brands putting profit before animal welfare says animal charity

FOUR PAWS urges consumers to buy confectionery brands already using cage
free eggs

FOUR PAWS is urging shoppers to check labels carefully when buying
cakes, biscuits and other confectionery to make sure any eggs used are from
birds who haven’t been confined in a cage.

Some brands on sale in British supermarkets already use cage free eggs such
as Mr Kipling cakes as do all own-brand cakes at Sainsbury’s, the
Co-operative, Waitrose and M&S.

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Many other brands, including Lyons cakes and Nestle cakes have yet to make
the pledge to move to using only cage free eggs.

Egg laying hens are one of the few types of farm animal in the UK that, on
some farms, are still kept in close-confinement cage systems for all of
their productive lives. FOUR PAWS is concerned that hens can’t carry out all
of their important natural behaviours properly in such an environment. All
laying hens should be kept in well-managed free-range or barn systems to
enable them to perform all their natural behaviours.

Cupcake from images@stock.xchng

Courtesy of images@stock.xchng

Angelique Davies, spokesperson for FOUR PAWS, says: “FOUR PAWS is
celebrating the growing choice for consumers wishing to indulge in cake
without contributing to the suffering of the millions of hens who are still
kept in battery cages. Around half of hens in the UK are still housed in
cages. If it doesn’t specify on the ingredient list that the eggs are
free-range or barn, you can assume they are likely to have come from cages.

“We’re really making headway on this issue, with growing numbers of
retailers and manufacturers pledging to use only cage-free eggs, there’s
plenty of choice for consumers to shop ethically.”

FOUR PAWS is also campaigning for the egg labelling laws to be extended to
include egg ingredient in products like cake so that companies using cage
eggs will have to make that clear on the label. A poll commissioned by FOUR
PAWS showed 69% of consumers think that all food products containing eggs
should be labelled to indicate the production system that the eggs came
from.

Hashtag Hours – Networking in your Slippers…

The introduction of #hours is the new ‘Black’ and local networking using Twitter is gaining in popularity.  Search for any locality and you’ll discover they have their own ‘#hour’ where local businesses can Tweet their services to potential customers – but is it really as easy as that?

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Helen, from Rainbow 360 Media Ltd takes a look at the rise in popularity of local hashtag hours, outlining how to use them for business, and going right back to basics…
If you’re a business and using Twitter you should be taking part in your local ‘Hashtag Hour’. The many benefits of a Hashtag Hour include:
• Raising your company profile on Twitter especially in your locality
• Gaining more followers
• Potentially finding new business and sales leads
• Interacting with like-minded people, who are local to you, who could offer advice or help
So what is a Hashtag Hour? A Hashtag is this sign # and people use this on Twitter to be able to interact with other users about a particular subject – like a TV programme for instance, such as #GBBO (Great British Bake Off) #HIGNFY (Have I Got News for You).
A Twitter user searches for the hashtag using the search box (top right of screen) and sees all the comments about that particular subject. Obviously a TV hashtag is really just for fun, but businesses can benefit hugely by using hashtags suitable for their industry or location.followus
A local Hashtag Hour will have its own designated day and time, such as #Northantshour is every Thursday 8-9pm. This is the key to it all, using #northantshour just at that particular time each week will ensure you are greeted by like-minded business people all ready for some speedy networking.
How do I Find one Local to Me? Of course you can use the Twitter search box and type in #northantshour, #ketteringhour, #leicestershirehour etc – but this then requires a degree of skill and a calendar to work out when the hour actually is.
Also what if your local ‘hour’ is spelled differently? For instance if you search for #marketharboroughhour and it’s actually #marketharborohour then Twitter won’t find what you are looking for at all.
Google Northantshour, Walsallhour, Peterboroughhour (whatever your hour is) and you should easily find your own local hour. Plus on Google you should be able to find without difficulty what day and what time it is held on Twitter.
My First Hour… Once you know when your local hour is held, the advice is to just watch for your first week. Certain hours run exceptionally fast, as lots of businesses all join in and tweets come through at an alarming rate! Other hours which are relatively new are a little slower and easier to keep up with. If you watch the hour, refreshing your Twitter feed, you will see what people say and do and how they interact.
What Do I Do during the Hour? It’s not all business. In fact it should not be all about your business at all. Join the hour and introduce yourself and your business by all means, but don’t keep tweeting your sales message every minute. Use a party analogy, the # is your invite and when you get there, you introduce yourself and join in with the conversation – which can be anything from not being able to get the kids to bed, to the lovely Rioja you’ve found, to fishing, to why has Jeremy Paxman grown a beard…. Talk/Tweet as you would in a normal everyday situation.
If someone is Tweeting to someone else about a topic close to your heart, feel free to jump into the conversation and Tweet too! It’s OK. A Hashtag Hour is not the time to be shy!
What Can’t I do? Usual etiquette rules apply as they would at a party, don’t be rude to each other, no profanities, and don’t be mean or offensive. Other than that just use common sense to suss out someone’s sense of humour before Tweeting. Oh and no hard selling, it just turns people off.
Why Bother at All? People buy from people. The Hashtag Hour is all about making contact with other businesses and getting to know each other, offer recommendations for other businesses and they will do the same for you. Of course, as you Tweet other businesses in your area, if done correctly, then all their followers will see your Tweets too – casting your net wider and wider.
It doesn’t matter if the conversation is not solely about business, letting your customers get to know you, the company ethos and personality are all just as important in the world of social media.
Just to reiteration, the benefits of using the #hour are many-fold and include;
• Raising your company profile within your local area
• Gaining targeted, local followers
• Potentially finding new business and generating sales leads
• Interacting with like-minded people who could offer advice or help

 

Are There any Tools I Can Use to Help Me?  There is a great tool called Twuffer.com which is one of the easiest tools to use to schedule tweets, however do beware of scheduling too many tweets if you are not around to respond to comments or @mentions. 

Another is Hootsuite.com that also lets you schedule Tweets but also offers the ability to manage multiple networks, track brand mentions, and analyse your social media traffic.  Tweetdeck.com is an app that lets users do a similar amount of actions.

There are many more apps and tool to be found online such as Twellow, TwiLert, Twithat, TwitterCounter, TweetReach and so on…

Why Networking in your Slippers? By now you should be able to see the benefits of using a Hashtag Hour for your business, but because many of them are evening based then a business owner can be in slippers and jim-jams sipping a glass of vino should they so wish! It’s a relaxing way to unwind after putting the kids to bed, network online with local business associates – and perhaps win some new business at the same time!

So join your local Hashtag Hour – the slippers are optional!

Rainbow 360 Media Ltd is a Public Relations company with a large contacts list in various sectors. They offer the full PR package for small or large businesses, with most budgets catered for. The Company also work alongside bloggers and are able to guide companies and help them utilise this relatively new way to market.
Rainbow 360 Media offer social media training and social media virtual assistant plus various support packages. Email Helen to find out how Rainbow 360 Media can help grow your business. Join her on Twitter @rainbowpr_helen, especially during #northantshour and #ketteringhour

 

If you maintain your local Twitter #Hour, please list your day and time below by sending us a ‘comment’

MyHermes comes to Northampton

Northampton has been selected for a new 24/7 delivery solution from myHermes that will allow local businesses and residents to send parcels in a way that suits their individual lifestyle and precise requirements whatever the time of day. myHermes Parcel Locker will be located at Morrisons, Kettering Road and complements 5 myHermes Parcel Shops that have opened in the area over the past 12 months to provide added convenience, flexibility and choice to anyone wanting to send a parcel or return unwanted online purchases.

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myHermes Parcel Locker is ideally suited for all SMEs, eBay Powersellers, Amazon Marketplace sellers, online and niche retailers that do not always have the time, availability or resources to send parcels during the day. It will also be perfect for anyone working late or unsocial hours that may not have the luxury of using alternative delivery options.
The new service will operate seamlessly alongside myHermes’ existing courier collection and ParcelShop delivery options, with customers selecting the nearest Parcel Locker via the myhermes.co.uk website and printing the appropriate label. Once an item has been dropped off at the Parcel Locker it will be delivered within two working days with full tracking available online.
Rob Edson CFO of Hermes commented: “We took the decision to launch myHermes Parcel Locker in key locations that would not only complement our existing myHermes ParcelShop network, but also support thriving online retail and Internet shopping communities. This will ensure we are able to provide the most convenient and flexible parcel delivery to our customers with the widest choice and unrivalled service.”
myHermes has initially launched more than 100 strategically located myHermes Parcel Locker sites, with plans to grow the network to around 250 by then end of the year. Each drop off point is situated at easy-to-reach and secure locations including local supermarkets, petrol stations and shopping centres.