Category: News

10 Top tips on recruiting and retaining young volunteers

Stephen Tutin has volunteered with various organisations since age 13. His first experience of volunteering was helping to run online groups, some of which included people who had difficulties such as autism, social isolation, or difficulties controlling anger. These problems made it hard for them to socialise face-to-face but socialising online helps them develop their 10 Top tips on recruiting and retaining young volunteers

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Why those charity shop cast-offs are diamonds in the rough

Giving to and buying from charity shops is a cheap way to dress well – and one expert today explains why it also helps support people thousands of miles away. There they were sitting on a shelf in a Shrewsbury charity shop – four brand new shirts all in my size and all in their wrappings, writes Mike Haynes. I knew they retailed at £25 each but they were asking £4.99 each. I took the plunge into the world of charity shop clothes buying. I bought three and left the fourth for someone else. I am not that greedy. Why those charity shop cast-offs are diamonds in the rough

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Fundraising for Stafford fire family reaches £20000 in a day


More than £20,000 has been raised for the family of four children killed in a house fire in Stafford. The fire broke out just before 3am on Tuesday morning at a house on the Highfields estate. The children’s mum, her partner and a baby boy were able to escape. The Crowdfunding page was set up by Stephen Glover who says it is incredible how people have come together to show support. It’s such a tragic thing that has happened, I’m a father myself and I just can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child. The community has really pulled together to support this family at such a horrible time. Fundraising for Stafford fire family reaches £20000 in a day

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Charity shops’ profits grow to almost £300m


Profits from UK charity shops grew to an estimated £295m in the last financial year, up from £278m the previous year, according to new research. The Charity Retail Association (CRA)’s latest research programme found that in the year to March 2018, an estimated 327,000 tonnes of textiles were donated to charity shops, up from 323,000 the year before. Donated goods made up an estimated 82.3 per cent of charity retailers’ total 2017/18 income, up from 81.8 per cent the previous year. Bought-in goods, meanwhile, made up an estimated 6.3 per cent of charity retailers’ income, down from 6.9 per cent the year before. Gift Aid reclaims made up 5.1 per cent of charity retailers income, a similar proportion to the previous year, while 4.0 percent was from sales to recycling merchants, up from 3.7 per cent the previous year. The CRA said there are approximately 11,200 charity shops in the UK, as was estimated the previous year. Charity shops’ profits grow to almost £300m

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Over half of the UK’s workforce want more help from employers with financial planning

• Over a third (34 per cent) of employees have a month or less salary saved
• 55 per cent of employees say they want more financial help from employers
• Pensions, insurance and savings are among employees’ most valuable benefits
• Neyber is urging businesses to help employees plan for financial shocks

Over half of Britain’s workforce (55 per cent) want employers to help with financial planning, new research from Neyber has found.

Younger staff in particular are keen to get more support from the businesses they work for. Over 72 per cent of 18-34 year olds said they would value financial planning information and help. By contrast, just 25 per cent of those who were 65 and older wanted help.

Heidi Allan, head of employee wellbeing at Neyber, said: “In the past, many businesses have been reluctant to get involved with financial education for employees – due to concerns this could be seen as intrusive or unwelcome. What our research clearly shows is that most people want more help. Employers need to stop thinking of employees’ finances as a taboo subject and look at new ways to guide them – whether that’s providing information, education, or products and services which help staff manage their finances.”

Helping employees better manage their finances is a win-win for businesses. When employees worry about money it can lead to stress, mental health issues and extended absences from work. In fact, financial stress costs UK businesses £120.7 billion ever year.

And workers’ financial situations are more precarious than ever. Over a third (34 per cent) of employees have less than a month’s salary set aside. Of those – 14 per cent have no savings whatsoever. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) are not saving any of their monthly salary.

Allan said: “With so little money to fall back on, something as simple as a car repair could leave employees struggling to cope.

“Businesses must support their staff and help them on the savings journey, or risk a workforce that suffers from financial stress, leading to high levels of absences and lower productivity. It’s not just the right thing to help employees manage their finances, it is critical for business success too.”

As well as providing support and education, businesses should consider offering benefits programmes which allow staff to manage their finances.

Only 4 per cent of people are currently saving in a workplace ISA. The same percentage use an employer-sponsored savings account.

But 39 per cent of those surveyed said that they would value savings benefits if they were provided.

In fact, financial benefits are among those most valued by employees. The most valuable benefit to provide is a pension (72 per cent) and almost half (47 per cent) said they value insurance policies. Support and guidance (47 per cent), share plans (38 per cent) and financial education (36 per cent) were also welcome.

By contrast, just 34 per cent valued the ability to buy or sell holiday and only 28 per cent appreciated childcare support.

Allan concluded: “As the primary source of income, employers are in a great position to reinforce the importance of regular saving, through financial education and providing support to help employees choose the right products for their needs.

“Clear communication and easy access to financial advice and products play a huge part in achieving engagement. This allows employees to make smart, well informed decisions about what is right for them and their loved ones.”

Neyber’s full report – the DNA of financial wellbeing – can be found here.

£15,000 of funding available for local schools!

Are your children at a school that’s struggling to fund projects and activities? Do you work at a school that has a lack of resources and equipment? Have you got friends at a school in an underprivileged area or supporting children with disabilities?

Our Schools Challenge could be just for you!

We’ll be selecting 20 schools from across West Yorkshire who’ll be given 4 weeks to fundraise for themselves. The school that raises the most will win a prize of £5,000 on top of the amount they raise.

Runner up prizes of £2,000 will also be awarded to the schools that come 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place.  Every school that takes part will receive a grant back of every penny they raise for their school.

Please forward this email on to anyone who you think may be interested in this opportunity.

Register NOW at – registration closes on Thursday 7th February at 11.59pm. All applications will be judged on how the school aims to make a difference to disadvantaged or disabled children under 18 in their community.

Every child deserves the best education!

Brits take more care with their pet’s health than their eye health

Issues with purchasing glasses online.

Brits take more care with their pet’s health than their eye health research highlights the UK’s disregard for eye health.

• 55% of Brits would buy prescription glasses online, compared with only 35% who would use the internet to purchase pet medication.

• The Association of British Dispensing Opticians provides advice on how to improve our eye care health.

New research conducted by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians has identified a worrying lack of concern from the British public when it comes to eye care. The study of over 2,000 UK respondents, found that over half (55%) of those asked were willing to purchase prescription glasses online, compared with only 35% who would consider purchasing pet medication on the internet. This suggests Brits don’t take their eye health as seriously as they should, valuing their pet’s health over their own eye health.

While online shopping can seem like a time saver, it is important to raise awareness of the problems that can occur from ordering your specs online. Online glasses sellers are unable to offer a professional, customised fitting service for purchases leaving customers potentially at risk of ill fitting, uncomfortable glasses. Buying glasses online also increases the risk of ordering the incorrect prescription or receiving lenses that are incorrectly centered for your eyes, leading to blurred or poor vision and even headaches.

Clive Marchant FBDO, President of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, explained the dangers of buying glasses online: “While buying specs online can appear attractive, it’s not that simple. The quality of the frames and lenses you purchase can vary tremendously, the frame not only has to be a style you like, it also has to fit your face. How and where it sits on your nose is important for both comfort and vision. If the frame sits too close or far away from your eyes the best visual correction won’t be obtained. Likewise, if it sits too high or low and the curvature and angle of the front are wrong this can affect your vision.

“The size of the frame is also so important and has to be suitable for your prescription. Too large or irregular shaped frames can mean your lenses are excessively thick and heavy.
The lenses also have to be positioned correctly in the frame. When ordering glasses online you are only required to input your PD (pupillary distance) this is just one of several measurements a dispensing optician will take. Lenses then have to be selected and tailored to your lifestyle and prescription. The huge variety of materials and lens options means an expert’s advice is required.”

It’s not only the type, style and quality of the frame and lenses that are important, but also ensuring they fit correctly for the wearer. Every person’s head shape varies, so having the frames fitted by an expert can make a major difference. Clive explains: “When your spectacles arrive they will also need fitting. Yes, your local optical practice can do this for you but don’t expect this for free. You may find a frame chosen online simply won’t fit however much it is adjusted!

“A Dispensing Optician studies for three years and is qualified to degree level, enabling them to interpret your prescription, understand your visual needs and produce a custom made pair of spectacles that fits well, is comfortable, provides the best vision and also looks fantastic.”

The research also highlighted how many UK adults are choosing not to wear glasses, even when they know they need them. A quarter of Brits (25%) have prescription glasses but admit to not wearing them as much as they should, while 17% of respondents have been told by a professional they need glasses, but don’t have them.

While this is worrying in itself, some of the justifications given by respondents for not wearing glasses were even more concerning, with one in five (20%) not believing glasses look good on them, 13% feeling embarrassed to wear them and over one in ten (12%) not wearing their glasses because they are ill fitting.

Always seek advice from a registered dispensing optician when purchasing glasses and always make your optician your first port of call for any eye issues.

The World’s First Dating Show Live

The World’s First Dating Show Live

The World’s First Dating Show Live

Angela Watson the show’s creator announced this morning that “National Holidays” and other coach companies will but putting on fleets of “Love buses” all over the country to ferry thousands of UK singletons to The Dating Show Live were lots of experts and celebrities will be there to make the day special JD Williams are putting on a fashion show, how to look great on your date. First Dates Cafe will be there, Melinda Messenger is popping along to launch the show as she recently found love on First Dates herself, Gary Cockeril the UK’s leading makeup genius will be magically transforming competition winners , Mr Tinder and dating guru Lara Asprey will be there and the fabulous Nancy Sorrell will be live matching at the event with the Dating Show Cupid.

Even Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are getting excited about the “The Dating Show Live” giving it a shout out on their new Sunday Show
“Do The Right Thing” Channel 5.

So far the pickup places are below but they have said if the demand gets any higher they will have to add more to the list!…

The areas so far for pick up are as below:

Angela is over the moon with the response she is getting to the show and her dream of bringing back some good old fashioned values to dating like integrity and respect is fast becoming a reality !

So don’t delay book your tickets today for The Greatest Dating show in the UK and the only one in the world !!!

Revealed: What We Actually Do with Our Unwanted Gifts

Regifting and Selling on Ebay: What We ACTUALLY Do With our Unwanted Gifts

1 in 5 cheeky Brits sticks their unwanted gifts on Ebay without the giver ever knowing.

That’s according to a new study from (, which surveyed 2,005 over 16s in the UK.

The same study reveals that many of us will pretend to like the gifts we’re given no matter how disappointed we may be. Just 8% of us have ever told someone we’re disappointed with a gift, while over a third of us have lied and the told the giver we like it when we really don’t.

But what are we actually doing with those unwanted presents?

– 1 in 5 Brits (rising to 1 in 4 if we look just at answers from female respondents) Ebays their gifts without the seller ever knowing.

– 1 in 3 of us simply keeps the gift and leaves it sitting in a cupboard unused/unworn

– Just short of 1 in 4 (23%) has rewrapped a gift and given it to someone else!

– 1 in 5 has returned or exchanged a gift without the giver ever knowing

And there’s a special mention to the (entrepreneurial?) 7% of the population that admits to having sold an unwanted gift on for more than it was worth.

Daniel Chabert Pfefferkorn, founder of, comments:

“The fact 1 in 5 Brits sells unwanted gifts on Ebay without the giver knowing is brilliant. And the fact that some even sell on for more than it’s worth is even better. Where are those people? I want to hire them!”

Avoiding Disappointment in the First Place – What Men and Women Really Want for Christmas

Of course, if you don’t want your gifts ending up on Ebay, then a bit of insight about what men and women really want for Christmas could be useful.’s survey identified that the most popular gifts amongst women (when asked, from a multiple choice list, which they would be happy to receive from their partner or spouse at Christmas) are the traditional ones:

– Jewellery tops the list (55% of women saying they’d be happy to receive it)

– Clothing is second with 48% approval

– A weekend break or holiday was a close third with 41%

– Chocolate got 42% of the vote

Men answered slightly differently:

– Clothing topped the list for men (40%)

– Footwear polled second (32%)

– Chocolate came in third (27%)

– Books came in 4th (23.70%)

For both men and women, traditional gifts trumped technology.

– Fewer than 9% of both men and women said they’d be happy to receive an ebook, a movie or TV download or a music download

– 28% of women and 24% of men would like to receive physical books

– 20% of adults in the UK would like to receive CDs

– 21% of women and 22% of men would like to receive DVDs

What We’re Spending
The survey also identified that Brits will give an average of 11 gifts each Christmas and will receive 7 in return.

And we’re spending varied amounts of different members of our family:

– We spend an average of £96.64 on gifts for our spouse or partner

– £24.56 on our best friend

– £49.30 on our Mum

– £40.65 on Dad

– £64.21 on an adult son

– £64.27 on an adult daughter

– £23.60 on Grandparents

About the Data
The data was acquired through Censuswide. We polled 2,005 people in the UK aged 16 and over between 1st and 4th October 2018.

You can find more detail at

A data spreadsheet is available at… and the raw data from Censuswide is available on request. Age, regional and gender breakdown for all questions available.

If you have any further requirements for comment, imagery or data, please contact or call 01457 873 426.

Special Offers update 30th November 2018


Up to 40% Off Lingerie exp 03/12/2018


3 FOR 2 CHRISTMAS GIFTS exp 24/12/2018


Receive a free Decleor Anti-Ageing Expert Kit worth £73 when you spend £50 on Decleor 


£75 off marked price on all range cookers over £750 exp 04/12/2018

Shop Clearance at LED Hut


Save 25% Canon PIXMA TS3150 Colour Inkjet Printer exp 09/12/2018


25% Off Everything exp 02/12/2018


10% Off School Supplies



10% Off Ren Clean Skincare, Wella, Natural World, Revlon, Heathcote & Ivory, Style & Grace, Woodwick exp 10/12/2018

10% off and Free Delivery on your First order

Get 15% off orders online with  discount code.


50% off selected diamonds


Channel your creativity this Christmas and let your imagination run wild. Give a gift which keeps on giving and provide hours of endless fun that gets their grey matter going. Arts and crafts, designing and building or playing music are wonderful ways to keep both big and small ones entertained during the holidays and allow for true self-expression through both an exciting and educational approach. It’s also a fabulous way to spend quality time together as a family and get them away from screens and technology.

It’s a long-established fact that participating in art of any form makes us all happier. The Teapot Trust children’s charity promotes a ‘Do Art’ campaign and uses art therapy as a way of helping young people cope with long term medical conditions. Laura Young, founder of The Teapot Trust said, “Creating art allows children to relax and focus their minds on a positive and rewarding task, relieving them of stresses and anxiety that they may be having to deal with on a daily basis”.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a gift guide to help you make the most out of your creative streak and help you choose the right items for you. High Street retailer Ryman Stationery offer a huge range of creative products to allow you to truly express yourself. Whether you’re an aspiring architect, potty about painting or a singing sensation, we’ve got the perfect present for you and your loved ones. The sky’s the limit.

Resident Artists

For a beautiful present that they will treasure for years to come, this Ryman Luxury Art Set 106 Piece (£19.99 reduced to half price £9.99) will make a wonderful keepsake to open on Christmas morning. Ideal for those with a passion for painting, it includes pastels, pencils and watercolours so you can treasure their works of art forever.

Encourage their artistic flair with this Tikk Tokk Euro Adjustable Art Easel (£41.99). Featuring a chalkboard, whiteboard, magnetic board and drawing board, your mini Monet can draw, write or paint to their heart’s content.

Bring a classic back this Christmas with The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set (£27.99). Create unique shapes and designs and let your design skills run wild.

Let’s Build

For budding engineers, the Knex Beginner Fun Building Set Assorted (£6.99 available online) is a perfect present to introduce little ones to designing and building. Suitable for ages 5-10, this set includes 10 different designs to alight the imagination and let their inner architect come out to play.

Suitable for both those new to the iconic little bricks or equally suitable for adding to an existing collection, the LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase (£14.99 available online) is the ideal parcel for placing under the tree. With an assortment of colours, shapes and sizes included, let your imagination soar and create a variety of objects. The handy carry case means little ones can take their LEGO creations with them wherever they venture, ideal for families on the move during the holidays.

The Connex Amazing Drawer Kit (£9.99 reduced to £6.99) allows children to build and create simultaneously. Put the machine together and once constructed, create a selection of 64 detailed spiral patterns to make your artwork pop.

Tangible Fun

For fun that you can literally get your hands on! The Elmers Make Your Own Slime Starter Pack (£14.99) is a child-friendly kit that includes everything required to make your own slime. Make with your very own goo-monsters and enjoy hours of squishy, slippery, slimy fun together.

If you prefer to keep the mess to a minimum, the Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty Illusion Super Scarab Mini Tin (£2.99) makes a fabulous stocking filler for the putty lover in your life. This holographic version comes in a shimmering metallic colour so will not only keep your hands entertained, but your eyes too! Create shapes, figurines or just enjoy the feeling of the putty between your fingers – perfect for little ones or even as a stress reliever for bigger kids!

Science Chic

Hawking hero-worshippers and aspiring astrologists will love unwrapping the Connex Space Roller Kit (£9.99 reduced to £6.99). Build a never-ending space circuit for hours of entertainment whilst simultaneously learning about the physics of black holes.

Passionate about the prehistoric? This Dinosaur Giant Activity Book (£3.99) is a gorgeous gift for little ones to encourages creativity, dexterity and coordination and is also packed with fun-facts, puzzles and activities, all focused on our reptile ancestors.

Musical Mania

Karaoke kings and queens will just love this Mi-Mic Karaoke Microphone Speaker (£29.99 reduced to £14.99 until November 30). Let them be the star of the show and encourage their singing skills in chorus. In a colour range of gold, grey and pink, there’s a shade to suit everyone and with 48 LED flashing lights, the spotlight is guaranteed to shine on you. Who knows where it might lead.

For aspiring musicians, give the gift of music this Christmas. Never again will piano practice be boring again with this Academy of Music Electric Keyboard 54 Key (£29.99 reduced to £14.99) and it’s a perfect way to introduce youngsters to the keyboard as it is designed with small hands in mind. With the ability to record and playback their musical creations, children can keep a record of their progress and tap into their talent. Roll over Beethoven!