Monthly Archives: July 2015

BBC garden expert welcomes Swedish garden enthusiasts to North Wales

Swedish visitors at Plas Brondanw

Swedish visitors at Plas Brondanw with garden expert Tony Russell (far left) and head gardener John Rippin (far right).

BBC garden writer and broadcaster Tony Russell welcomed a delegation of Swedish visitors to Plas Brondanw in Gwynedd, on their recent tour of the gardens of Wales.

The well known expert was on hand at the Clough Williams-Ellis Estate near Portmeirion to meet and welcome the group of Swedish travellers, who were visiting the gardens of Wales as part of a new tour developed by Janet Redler Travel and Tourism in Montgomery, to help bring more overseas visitors to Wales.

The seven day itinerary took in many of the most spectacular gardens in Wales, from Bodnant in the north to Aberglasny in the south, as well as including a number of intimate private gardens.

Tony Russell said: “I was delighted to welcome the group from Sweden as part of their tour of the gardens of Wales. Wales really does have some of the most wonderful gardens and so I am pleased to able to support Janet Redler Travel and Tourism in their efforts to bring more overseas visitors to our beautiful corner of the world.”

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel and Tourism, said: “We are so pleased that Tony Russell could join us to welcome our inaugural garden tour from Sweden. The tour was extremely well-received and we are already planning a follow up next year. We hope this will be the start of a long and successful relationship between the garden enthusiasts of Sweden and the picture perfect gardens of Wales.”

Esther Roberts, Managing Director of North Wales Tourism, was also happy with the tour and is looking forward to welcoming more visitors from Sweden. “North Wales has many fabulous gardens, from the well-known Bodnant to hidden gems such as Plas Cadnant and Brynbella. We are keen to encourage many more people from around the world to come and see just how beautiful these places are and to experience the warmth and hospitality of a trip to Wales.”

Book launch to raise funds for COFEPOW

Benedict's Brother Launch PosterA new book about the experiences of a Far East Prisoner of War is being launched in London on Tuesday 28 July, with 30% of the proceeds going to national charity COFEPOW.

The launch of Benedict’s Brother and the Benedict’s Appeal takes place on Tuesday 28 July in London, in conjunction with COFEPOW, at Foyles bookshop and the Victory Services Club. The charity’s supporters and all those interested are invited to go along.

The acclaimed “Book of the Year” novel by Tricia Walker is based on the story of her great uncle who was a Far East Prisoner of War and Tricia has kindly agreed to donate 30% of the book and film proceeds to COFEPOW (Children and Families of Far East Prisoners of War).

COFEPOW is a national charity dedicated to to keeping alive the memory of Far East Prisoners of War and raising awareness of the suffering they endured.

The event takes place from 9.30am to 1.30pm at Foyles on Charing Cross Road, and then from 3.30pm to 5.30pm at the Victory Services Club on Seymour Street.

American visitors explore their Welsh roots

David Melding AM welcomes visitors from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

David Melding AM welcomes visitors from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

David Melding AM, Deputy Presiding Officer at the National Assembly of Wales, welcomed visitors from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania to the Senedd during their recent tour of Wales.

Bryn Mawr College is a women’s arts college in the town of Bryn Mawr near Philadelphia in the United States. The town of Bryn Mawr takes its name from a house near Dolgellau which was owned by Rowland Ellis, a Quaker who emigrated to America in1686 as a result of religious persecution. Bryn Mawr College itself was founded by Quakers in 1885.

The group travelled all over Wales on a 10 day tour organised on behalf of Academic Arrangements Abroad by Janet Redler Travel and Tourism in Montgomery. As well as the National Assembly and Cardiff, the group visited Swansea, Snowdonia, the Conwy Valley, Llangollen and of course the Bryn Mawr Estate near Dolgellau.

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel and Tourism, said: “We are seeing increasing interest from visitors across the world in coming to Wales. In this case, Bryn Mawr has a deep association with Wales and a history going back over 300 years. It was a pleasure to help bring these tourists over from America to find out more about Wales and their Welsh heritage.”

Visit Wales, the body set up to encourage more tourism to Wales, has offices in the US and works closely with tour operators like Janet Redler Travel and Tourism to bring visitors to Wales to experience the culture, language and historic towns that the country has to offer.

David Melding AM said: “I was delighted to welcome this American delegation to the Senedd and to show them the hospitality that Wales is renowned for across the world.”

Five Star Fairbanking Mark for London Capital Credit Union

The Fairbanking Foundation – the not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well-being of their customers – has awarded its first Mark certifications to credit unions, with London Capital Credit Union receiving 5 stars for its personal loan products.

London Capital Credit Union had to demonstrate that its personal loan customers have experienced a tangible positive impact on their financial wellbeing from using their products.

Martin Groombridge

Martin Groombridge, Chief executive of London Capital Credit Union

Speaking about the award of the 5 star mark, Martin Groombridge, CEO, London Capital Credit Union, said: “Our focus is always on our members, which is why 76% of our personal loan customers interviewed by the Foundation said that they had one or more other products with us. It is not just about offering competitive and transparent products, but also a range of features and services that help people manage their money better.

“Many in the financial services industry are too obsessed with getting into best-buy tables, but to do this transparency can often be lost with many products offering short term “teaser rates” that can quickly get expensive. People with these products can end up worse off than if they chose another product that takes a more holistic approach to helping customers with their money.”

Fairbanking’s assessment also reviews the provider’s complaints procedures and experience for the product in question. Antony Elliott, Chief Executive of Fairbanking Foundation said: “Our quality mark programme is an important step in helping customers to identify products that have been rigorously tested for the financial well-being they can deliver. Crucially, it also provides a powerful incentive for financial institutions of all sizes to compete through continual improvement of their products in ways that will truly benefit their customers.”

Over the last ten years, London Capital Credit Union has seen a 1,400% increase in members’ savings from £436,000 to over £6 million. And as co-operative, London Capital Credit Union is owned and controlled by its members – not outside shareholders.

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Study shows worrying number of Boltonians risk skin cancer by getting sunburned

A survey of customers at Laserase Bolton shows that over a third of people suffered sunburn in the last year, risking skin cancer and other skin problems.

This follows a recent study by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of 2,000 UK adults which found that many people are confused by the labels on sunscreens, with 20% of people unaware that the SPF rating does not mean protection against all sun damage – only that from UVB rays.

The Laserase Bolton survey revealed that although most people are aware of the increased risk of skin cancer from getting sunburned, it didn’t stop over 35% of people getting burned in the last year. And almost half of people (48%) admitted to only using sunscreen when they are on holiday or actually sunbathing, even though experts agree that you should protect your skin whenever you are exposed to the summer sun.

Julie Kershaw, Clinic Manager at Laserase Bolton, said: “Our survey showed that 92% of people are aware of the increased risk of skin cancer associated with over exposure to the sun, so this message is clearly getting through to people. However, a worrying number of Boltonians are choosing to ignore the evidence and risk not protecting their skin and getting sunburned.”

According to Cancer Research UK, measures including using shade, clothing and sunscreen, together offer the best protection against overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. However, the Laserase Bolton survey showed that only a fifth of people would actually cover up and wear protective clothing in the sun. And while most people would wear sunglasses, only 58% would consider wearing a hat. Less than half of respondents said they would avoid the sun when it was most intense.

Julie added: “Despite all the publicity about the need to wear sunscreen, one in 10 people in our survey never do and 18% only apply sunscreen once a day. As well as the increased risk of skin cancer, these people risk a range of other skin health problems including premature lines and wrinkles, blotches and blemishes and accelerated ageing of the skin.

“At Laserase Bolton, our doctors and nurses recommend a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 30 or more, although the higher the SPF, the greater the protection from UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied liberally to all exposed areas before going into the sun and reapplied at two hourly intervals, or more often if it is washed or rubbed off.”

According to the latest figures from Cancer Research UK, there are over 13,000 new cases of malignant melanoma every year in the UK.

Laserase Bolton offers a range of skin treatments including hair reduction and removal, laser skin peels, acne and acne scarring, thread vein treatments, tattoo removal, pixel laser skin rejuvenation, dermal fillers and muscle relaxing injections. For more information call Laserase Bolton on 01204 570900, email or visit the website