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Fundraising week at Bradley Stoke business raises over £3,000 for local hospital

Posted on Thursday 23rd November 2017 at 9:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of charity cheque presentation at Paragon Customer Communications, Bradley Stoke.

A recent week of fun and competitive activities by employees of Bradley Stoke business Paragon Customer Communications has raised over £3,000 for two local hospital charities.

The two chosen charities support Bristol Children’s Hospital – The Grand Appeal, which raises funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Michael’s Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit; and Above & Beyond, the fundraising organisation for city centre hospitals within the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. They were chosen by the Paragon Customer Communications ‘employee of the year’ Andre Buckley, who made the choice following the excellent care his daughter received at the hospital after breaking her ankle in a netball accident.

Over five consecutive days in September, 220 employees split in to four teams to organise and take part in a wide range of events including raffles, netball matches, cake sales, silent auctions, car washes and chess matches, competing against each other to raise as much cash as possible by the end of the week. By the final day, the efforts of all involved had paid off, and a grand total of £3,455 was presented to the charities who came on-site to receive the funds.

Speaking of the event, managing director of Paragon Customer Communications Chris Walton said:

“This was our biggest fundraising drive to date, so to make such a great amount for these important local charities is really heartening. What’s more, I’m proud they were chosen by our employee of the year, and that our dedicated team rallied behind his chosen causes – we all had fun, but it’s our workforce that made the total possible.”

Paragon Customer Communications are an established local business providing multichannel customer communications for clients both in the UK and Europe, and have UK sites in cities including London, Nottingham and Manchester. As part of the wider Paragon Group, an international organisation present in 12 countries and employing close to 5,000 employees, Paragon Customer Communications in Bradley Stoke today employs 220 people, having more than doubled the size of its workforce since the site was first opened 20 years ago.

Photo (l-r): Catherine Harris (Above & Beyond), Helen Haskell (The Grand Appeal), Susan Evren (Paragon) and Andre Buckley (Paragon)

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 41). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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New-look Toby Carvery pledges support for local hospice

Posted on Tuesday 21st November 2017 at 9:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Andy Ward cutting the ribbon to reopen the Toby Carvery, watched by members of staff and volunteers from St Peter's Hospice.

The Toby Carvery in Bradley Stoke is pledging its support to local charity St Peter’s Hospice after the restaurant reopened on Saturday 28th October following an extensive remodel. The carvery and its staff are planning a host of fundraising events and activities in the upcoming months, and are aiming to raise money and awareness for a great cause.

The Toby Carvery celebrated its local community and charity commitments by inviting the mayor of Bradley Stoke, Cllr Andy Ward, and two volunteers from St Peter’s Hospice, Barbara and Derek Whitchurch, to officially reopen the new-look restaurant, making them guests of honour at the ceremonial ribbon cutting. This comes after a successful 12 months of charity work by the Toby Carvery team, who have raised over £1,000 for the local hospice through various events and activities.

Located on Woodlands Lane, the refreshed Toby Carvery resumed serving roasts to diners after an extensive two-week refurbishment. Following a significant investment in the restaurant, five new jobs have been created for the local area.

Edd Smith, St Peter’s Hospice corporate fundraiser and lottery manager, said:

“We’re thrilled to have been given the honour of officially reopening the restaurant and we’re so delighted to have received the support from the team at Toby Carvery.”

“They have raised over £1,000 so far, an incredible amount which goes on to provide so much care for those people in our community living with life-limiting illnesses. Every day we need to raise £20,000 to provide this care, so every donation means a lot to us. We thank the whole team at Toby Carvery for their support.”

More: "Hospice’s work to help local people is brilliant to see" »

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How colourful rocks are spreading kindness all around the Stokes

Posted on Monday 20th November 2017 at 9:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Ellie Carr displays some of her favourite "rocks".

Brightly decorated pebbles have been appearing at random locations all over Bradley Stoke in recent weeks, a sure sign that a worldwide phenomenon known as the Kindness Rocks Project has reached our area.

The craze, which is particularly popular amongst families with young children, involves using paint, glitter and other materials to decorate rocks or pebbles with colourful images and then leaving them lying around in public places, sometimes partially hidden, for others to discover and enjoy.

The ‘rocks’ are usually labelled with a hashtag, which identifies the creator, and people are encouraged to post photos of their ‘finds’ on local Facebook groups (ours is called ‘The Stokes Rocks’), quoting the hashtag. Once recorded, the ‘rock’ is often moved to a new location, exposing it to a wider audience.

Around the Stokes, pebbles can often be spotted on top of street name signs, dotted around play parks and on bridges and posts in the Three Brooks nature reserve. Popular spots are around the local primary schools and on the pathways leading to the Willow Brook Centre.

While it is possible to use pebbles found in the garden, many people have been buying bags of stones from garden centres, as these have a regular size and consistent colour. Acrylic paint and Sharpie pens are often used for the decoration, which is then weatherproofed using clear nail varnish, spray lacquer or yacht varnish.

One enthusiastic member of The Stokes Rocks, Adrienne Wheeler, estimates that her family has decorated and placed more than 60 pebbles over the past few weeks. Adrienne says rock painting is a craft activity that children of different ages can easily get into. Apart from the creative aspects, they also enjoy ‘treasure hunting’ – discovering pebbles hidden by others.

Find out more about The Stokes Rocks group on Facebook »

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Bradley Stoke plays its part in cream tea world record attempt

Posted on Sunday 19th November 2017 at 7:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the cream tea world record attempt in progress at the Willow Brook Centre.

Shoppers visiting Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre on Friday 29th September were invited to take part in an attempt to break the world record for the number of people taking part in a cream tea.

The event was one of 26 similar events taking place simultaneously in larger Tesco stores across the West of England.

No charge was made for partaking in the cream tea, but guests were asked to make a donation in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

In order to qualify for the record, the cream teas needed to consist of precise measurements of jam and cream and everyone had to be seated at precisely 11am, ready to be served.

Bradley Stoke Tesco community champion Dawn Richards, who organised the local event, said:

“It was lovely how everyone came together to support the record attempt.”

“I would particularly like to thank the Willow Brook Centre, for providing tables and chairs, along with space in the mall to set them all up.”

“It was a real team effort, with staff at all levels ‘mucking in’.”

Eighty-six people attended the Bradley Stoke event, contributing to a total of around 680 across the 26 Tesco stores that were taking part in the record attempt. Whether or not the record has been broken will only be known once all the evidence has been submitted to Guinness World Records and been verified.

More: Bradley Stoke event raised over £200 for Macmillan »

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