Bags of festive food

DECEMBER BB4B saw another great turnout and a fantastic response to our Food Bank Appeal – the Leyland Leader van was packed and the goods were extremely gratefully received down at Food Bank HQ (St Mary’s Church, Leyland) – where people were actually queueing to receive food.
 
Thank you everyone who contributed – special mention to Christine MacLellan who regularly brings her monthly hungry boxes to BB4B – and to 17 year old Harry Longworth who also made a massive personal contribution. Top job everyone, great people, Merry Christmas.

 

Harry Longworth, Keith Bradshaw and BB4B food bank donations.

Harry Longworth, Keith Bradshaw and BB4B food bank donations.

Moving on up and out!

A LOCAL business couple, who spend their lives boosting other people’s businesses, have given their own company a major boost – and for the first time in 30 years of trading, are now commuting to work!

Ad-Options, providing branded business gifts and promotional materials, was founded as a home based operation by Stephen and Ann Ward in 1985. The Leyland business has flourished and recently re-located to brand new premises just up the road in Bamber Bridge.

Stephen explained: “The family firm has expanded, our son Ben has joined the team along with other staff members and the move out of our house became inevitable. It’s very different getting up and driving to work, but we are delighted with the extra storage and smart new offices at Momentum Place. It will enable us to look after our customers even more efficiently in future.”

Ad-Options Ltd trade under the name of several e-commerce websites including BusinessGiftUK.com, BlankKeyrings.co.uk, LoopKeyrings.co.uk and PrintedPencil .co.uk. The steady growth of the company is a real success story and a credit to the dedication of Stephen and Ann.

The firm enjoyed over twelve years’ service as Payphone Advertising contractors to BT Payphones in the North of England, as well as supplying a wide range of printed promotional items, pioneering the use of full colour laser printing and clear acrylic insert products.

Ad-Options became a Limited company in 1998. Online business gift purchasing was offered from 2001 with the launch of BusinessGiftUK.com. More promotional gift websites have followed steadily.

BusinessGiftGolf.co.uk (2003) offered promotional golf items for corporate golf events. BlankKeyRings.co.uk (2006) is as a specialist site for people wishing to create their own promotional, souvenir or fund raising products. The specialist online design Ad Loop keyring website (2008) was followed by LoopKeyRings.co.uk and BusinessGiftPens.co.uk in 2009. Following this success, a similar concept was applied to promotional pencils with PrintedPencil.co.uk.

“We now have a ‘family’ of online niche websites for bespoke branded materials. The BriteMatMouseMat.co.uk offers the UK’s best-selling rigid mouse mat. Plus, we have CurvyContourPens.co.uk and GolfGiftUK.co.uk.

“In 2015 we instigated cloud based systems for order processing, customer management and bookkeeping. Our database contains over 60,000 promotional gifts that can be tailored to the needs of most marketing campaigns and budgets.”

The latest development is to promote their own business with the move to larger premises. Here, the five strong team are ready with over 80 years combined experience in the promotional gift industry and will continue to promote everyone else’s business. The full address is 31 Momentum Place, Bamber Bridge PR5 6EF and their unit is part of another successful development by local firm Roundhouse Properties.

For more information on Ad-Options Ltd contact Steve Ward on 01772 435010.

Ad-Options premises move

Picture: 2016 team (l-r Steve Ward, Ben Ward, Nicola Derbyshire, Hannah Murphy and Ann Ward)

Flooring service is flawless

WHEN it comes to ‘flooring’ the opposition, The Flooring Firm will tell you they have got all angles covered – and now they have regional recognition to prove it!

The Flooring Firm, based at Towngate, Leyland, was recently recognised for its customer service in the north by the UK’s market leader in luxury vinyl flooring, Karndean Designflooring. Owner Michael Harwood is understandably delighted.

Karndean looks to recognise the success of its nationwide retailer network with a monthly award scheme looking at customer service and overall performance in each region.

Michael Harwood explained: “We do the very best we can for every customer, but this came out of the blue and we’re delighted to receive our award from Karndean. To be nominated the best in the region is fantastic and a real credit to everyone here.

Michael has been ‘in carpets’ all his life and what he doesn’t know about flooring probably isn’t worth knowing. He grew up in Adlington, his father was in carpets and flooring and for many years Michael worked in the family business in Chorley before setting up The Flooring Firm in Leyland in 2002.

He said: “Your floor is the base of your home life and your choice determines the look of your home and how you wish to use it. You can’t change it like you might change your furniture. The choices within Karndean Designflooring are vast and it means so much to get it right. We pride ourselves on how we guide that process from design through to the installation.

It all starts in the shop and hopefully, this award proves we have got that crucial bit right! I think personal service, friendly help and advice and customer satisfaction are very important. To be recognised on a regional level by a globally renowned company such as Karndean is just brilliant.”

For more information contact Michael Harwood at the Flooring Firm on 01772 424400.

Karndean Flooring Firm Leyland Award

Pic: Michael Harwood and The Flooring Firm shop manager Jackie Brook with the Karndean Customer Service award.

EVA Awards Shortlist for Lynn McCann

Lynn McCann of Reachout ASC (Autism specialists, teachers and consultants) has been shortlisted for the EVA awards in the Training and Coaching category. Reachout ASC provides support for students on the Autism Spectrum, in mainstream and specialist schools.

 

The EVA awards are Enterprise Vision Awards, for women in business. Lynn’s place on the shortlist means that she will be interviewed at Blackpool Football Club on 26th July. Lynn is busy preparing a five minute presentation for the interview.

 

As a shortlisted finalist, Lynn is up against five other women with very different businesses.

 

The awards evening is on 23rd September. Good luck, Lynn!

Lynn McCann Reachout ASC

Lynn McCann of Reachout ASC, hard at work!

LORA‘S DRIVING OFF WITH KNICKERBROOK

Friends of enthusiastic fundraisers Rosemere GolfersAgainst Cancer and BB4B stalwarts, Knickerbrook Cars of Chorley, have announced an exciting new sponsorship deal with RGAC patron Lora Fairclough.

Phil Weaver of Knickerbrook explained: “After a couple of meetings we have agreed to a sponsorship deal with Lancashire’s most successful golfer! Lora Fairclough popped in to finalise things and we are happy to announce that Lora will soon be driving around in a stunning Knickerbrook vehicle.

“Lora has many accolades in golf but 4 European Tour wins and a Solheim Cup appearance are things that us mere mortals can only dream of. Lora is now an outstanding Golf coach who provides lessons at Chorley Golf Club and Preston Golf Club.”

Lora added on her Facebook page: “I’m delighted and thrilled to announce a sponsorship deal with Knickerbrook Cars. Ben Collier and Phil Weaver (pictured) have been incredibly enthusiastic and generous. I’m so excited at this new partnership and chapter in my golfing journey.”

“Knickerbrook Cars are also avid supporters of Rosemere, of which I am a proud patron. My sparkly stunning Audi A3 will soon be hitting the roads of Lancashire vroom vroom!”

Sounds like a great partnership to us, good luck to everyone concerned!

Lora - Knickerbrook Sponsorship

Matt finished!

THEY think it’s all over – it is now, at least as far as Mattefinish Photography in Leyland is concerned.

After six years photographing Leyland and beyond entrepreneurial ‘snapper’ Matt Langton is closing down his hometown Mattefinish photography business and moving it over 10,000 miles to Sydney Australia.

Matt, 31, initially perfected his craft as a professional photographer with world-renowned Princess Cruises. From their base in Los Angeles, he travelled the globe, taking thousands of shots along the way. In 2010, he returned home and set up Mattefinish Photography, first on Towngate and latterly at ‘In The Zone’ on Golden Hill Lane. And now he’s packing up his kit and heading ‘Down Under.’

Matt explained: “It was a fantastic experience and a great learning curve to work on the luxury cruises and to be honest, I fell in love with Australia, the lifestyle, the climate, the light, the people and the landscapes, everything about it is exciting.

“Don’t misunderstand me, I love Leyland it’s home and always will be. It’s been a great experience running my own business here, I love meeting and working with the people. I just have this longing to try my luck with a photographic studio in Australia.”

Matt first revealed his creative camera skills at Wellfield High School, Leyland, before progressing to a diploma at Blackburn College and a photographic degree at Bradford University.

“All the jobs in this country asked for experience, but how do you get experience if you don’t have a job? That’s how I ended up at sea and it was brilliant. Sailing under Sydney Harbour Bridge is probably my highlight!”

That memory has stayed with him and from the end of this month Matt, who is a Licentiate Master Photographer with the Master Photographers Association (LMPA), will be forging a very different path on the other side of the world.

“I’m happy with what I’ve achieved here in Leyland but my heart is elsewhere and if I don’t give it a go now, I probably never will. It’s a big step into the unknown, but it’s a dream, I have to do it. I’m hoping to work with a studio initially and then set up on my own – Mattefinish Photography, Australia branch.

“A big thank you to all my customers in Leyland, without them I couldn’t be where I am now. I wish them all well, thanks for your support, I hope to keep in touch – I still have a wedding to cover here in September, so I’ll be back soon.”

 Matt Langton with Guinness and Arnie the Rabbits

Pic: Master Photographer Matt Langton with his ‘studio rabbits’ Arnie and Guinness.

HATTIE JAPES DAY

APRIL BB4B fell on April Fool’s Day and was designated ‘Hattie Japes’ Day as a mark of respect – ‘interesting’ headgear was optional but worn by several members, making for a colourful spectacle and unusual start to the day – and month! Roland ‘RT Productions’ Turner sported a head videocam and recorded the occasion for – reasons best known to himself.

Here are the edited highlights, enjoy!

Where there’s a Will…

IT’s a great BB4B collaboration  – Birchall Blackburn Law solicitors teamed up with St Catherines Hospice, boosting much needed funds by more than £5,500.

Birchall Blackburn joined up with St Catherine’s Hospice for its annual Wills Week, waiving its will-writing fees in return for a donation to the charity.

The week-long initiative saw teams from Birchall Blackburn Law’s Preston, Chorley and Leyland offices write 50 wills, raising  £5,630 for the hospice.

Cathy MacCracken, partner at Birchall Blackburn said: “St Catherine’s Hospice is a cause close to many people’s hearts and a charity we are delighted to support. Again, Wills Week was very well supported. People sorted out their Wills and supported the charity at the same time.

“All the money went directly to St Catherine’s helping the vital work to continue.”

Birchall Blackburn Law also recently launched a legal helpdesk at St Catherine’s Hospice to give visitors the opportunity to speak to expert lawyers on Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Elderly Client Services.

Lynne Whittaker, senior fundraiser and Wills Week organizer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “The commitment Birchall Blackburn Law has shown to our Wills Week in recent years has been fantastic.

“The week is a great example of how people can use their expert skills and precious time to really make a difference to local people.

Not only are the funds raised so important to St Catherine’s – helping us to continue delivering our specialised care the

initiative means there are many more people in the Central Lancashire area who now have an up to date Will. This will ensure their wishes are carried out, and helps to reduce the stress for loved ones at an already extremely difficult time.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to Birchall Blackburn Law for its significant contribution to Wills Week and on-going help with our monthly drop-in legal clinics held at The Mill in St Catherine’s Park, which provide useful advice on a whole range of issues.”

The helpdesk takes place at The Mill at St Catherine’s Park on the last Wednesday of each month. To book a free 20 minute appointment, call 01772 552298, or alternatively, drop in to The Mill on St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Lane between 2pm – 4pm.


L to R : Michelle Fairhurst, Sarah McIntyre, Rosemary Johns, Rebecca Minto, Lynne Whittaker (St Catherines), Elaine Roberts, Anna-Marie Knipe

All systems GO for Rosemere and BB4B

GO On Tour, a group of performing pensioners are grateful for the support of BB4B – but not as much as the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

The ‘Golden Oldies,’ a song and dance troupe which includes BB4B organisers Keith and Ruth Bradshaw, staged their third annual charity concert in aid of Rosemere at St Andrews Church, Leyland recently.

With admission donations on the day, the overall total raised, bringing much needed funds for our local cancer charity, was £752.37.

The afternoon of fun and fundraising included an ‘awesome’ raffle with almost 50 prizes, mostly donated by BB4B members. Some also offered money donations. It was a collective effort and a great example of the mutual support and generosity of the businesses in our group.

Amy Hilton, area fund-raising co-ordinator for Central Lancashire and the Fylde, added: “This was a magnificent total and a great afternoon was had by all. As ever, we are dependent on volunteers in the community for their support in so many different ways. Once again, at Rosemere, we are extremely grateful to the GO On Tour team and their supporters.”

Councillor Mary Green, Mayor of south Ribble, added: “We had a wonderful afternoon, I truly didn’t know what to expect but the whole show was great. I enjoyed the GOs so much, I have booked them to perform at my own charity concert in Lostock Hall next month.”

Keith Bradshaw MC GO On Tour, Amy Hilton of Rosemere CF, Councillor Mary Green Mayor of South Ribble, Mandy Stableford Artistic Director of GO On Tour, Tony Green Mayor’s Consort

Picture: L to R Keith Bradshaw MC GO On Tour, Amy Hilton of Rosemere CF, Councillor Mary Green Mayor of South Ribble, Mandy Stableford Artistic Director of GO On Tour, Tony Green Mayor’s Consort