Category Archives: Events

Come for coffee and cake with Laserase Bolton!

Come for coffee and cak227167_194866970560144_2319809_ne with Laserase Bolton and help raise vital funds
for Macmillan Cancer Support!

Laserase Bolton, which is in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital, is holding a Macmillan coffee morning on Saturday 20 September, from 11am to 2pm. As well as coffee, tea and cakes, there will be live music, a cake decorating competition, a raffle, stalls, manicures, facials, face painting and consultation drop-in.

The cake decorating competition is open to all, with prizes including specialist skin care and more. The theme of the competition for adults is “friendship” and for children is “bake my face – decorate a cake to look like your favourite celebrity”. All proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

To find out more about the coffee morning and to enter the cake decorating competition contact Laserase Bolton by email or phone 01204 570900.

When: Saturday 20 September 2014, 11am – 2pm

Where: Laserase Bolton, Royal Bolton Hospital, Redgate Way, Farnworth BL4 0JL

Sea Shanty Festival in Ellesmere Port

The fourth National Sea Shanty Festival takes place at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port over the Easter weekend (18-20 April 2014).

Canal boat at Sea Shanty FestivalOver 3, 000 visitors are expected to visit the Festival during the weekend, and visitors will be able to explore the National Waterways Museum, listen to the shanty singers during the day and find out more about the seafaring traditions of the North West.

Coinciding with the Annual Boat Gathering at the museum, the Shanty UK festival brings together nearly 100 performers in seven different venues within the museum for three exciting days of singing, concerts, boat trips, museum tours, nautical poetry, puppet-making, face painting and much more.

According to Julia Batters of Shanty UK, the Festival is designed as a fun event for the whole family. Julia said: “The UK has a long tradition of sea shanties and maritime singing and our annual Festival is helping to keep this tradition alive for future generations.”
The highlight of the Festival is two concerts taking place within the museum on Friday and Saturday nights, which feature a number of acts from across the UK and Europe.

Entrance to the National Waterways Museum for the Sea Shanty Festival and Annual Boat Gathering costs £6.50 for all three days (10am – 5pm). Tickets for the evening concerts are £10 each night and can be reserved online at

MPs put their money where their mouth is

Parliamentary LMCU logostaff, including MPs, can pay into a credit union via payroll deduction, thanks to a new service launched on Monday 25th November.

Agreements with the Parliamentary authorities mean that anyone working in the Palace of Westminster can now join London Mutual Credit Union and save or repay loans direct from their wages.

The initiative was launched at an event in Parliament hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions and London Mutual Credit Union. Money saving expert Martin Lewis spoke at the launch and also became a member of the credit union.

Credit union partnerships are a cost effective way for employers to enhance the financial well being of employees and payroll deduction makes saving and borrowing easy and convenient. The Parliamentary authorities are the latest in a long list of employers to offer this benefit to their employees. Staff working for the police force, public transport employers, British Airways and the NHS are just some of the people who already enjoy the convenience of payroll deduction.

Martin Lewis said: “With the growth scourge of payday lending across the UK – credit unions are a viable, cheaper, non-profit local alternative and should be encouraged. Therefore today I hope to be excited at the launch event to see senior MPs and even Government Ministers giving the London Mutual their backing by joining up and making use of the deduction facility. It’ll be interesting to see who puts their money where their mouth is.

“This extra income for the credit union can then be lent back out to the community as affordable loans, stopping the need for many to resort to the use of high-cost credit and demonstrating the benefit to both sides of the financial equation of becoming a member.”

Damian Hinds MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, said: “I am delighted to see London Mutual Credit Union extend its services to all of those working in and around Parliament. Partnering with employers and payroll deduction arrangements can have enormous benefits for credit union development while providing a valuable financial service to workers and employers.”

Lord Kennedy of Southwark, a Vice Chair of the APPG on Credit Unions, said: “In extending to Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff, London Mutual will ensure that even more people can benefit from their excellent, affordable and ethical services both in Parliament and in the wider community. And I hope that in making personal use of London Mutual, many more MPs will be persuaded of the great value that credit unions generate for their members and society.”

Lucky Chandrasekera, London Mutual Credit Union chief executive, said: “It is fantastic to be launching our Parliamentary service today which is a goal we set ourselves some years ago. We hope by launching this service for Parliament that we can demonstrate the value of credit union membership on a daily basis to MPs and the wider Parliamentary staff. We have a range of competitive products and services for Parliament to take advantage of.”

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “The value of payroll deduction is not to be underestimated for all parties concerned. This high profile addition to employers offering this service is very welcome. The vast majority of large employers in the US – including the White House, Congress and Senate – offer this facility to their staff and I hope that many more will follow this example and talk to their local credit union about how they can help their employees access convenient financial services through payroll.”

Credit unions are financial co-operatives, owned by their members, which provide safe savings, affordable loans and a range of other financial services to over a million people in Britain.

London Mutual Credit Union is the largest community credit union in London. It serves over 20,000 members in the London Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden. Members have access to a range of savings and loan products, including the Credit Union Current Account and a cash ISA offering 3% AER.

Supporting the Connect2013 conference

John Swinney MSP

John Swinney MSP speaking at the Connect2013 conference in Dumfries

At Ethos public relations we were very pleased to be able to help Third Sector First with their recent Connect2013 conference in Dumfries.

As well as attending on the day and helping to tweet updates from the conference, we managed the production of a printed programme for the event and media relations in advance.

Over 200 people came along to the conference – probably the largest gathering of the third sector that there has ever been in Dumfries and Galloway.

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, gave the keynote speech and explained that he wanted to see a broader range of social enterprises in the Scottish economy.

Organised by Third Sector First in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Connect2013 brought third sector organisations in Dumfries and Galloway together with the public sector and provided a forum for voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to influence public policy. Connect conferences are set to become an annual event in the Third Sector First calendar.

We wish Third Sector First well for future conferences.

Brochure for Connect2013 now available

The brochure wPhoto of Connect2013 programme brochuree have been working on for our client, Third Sector First, which will be used to promote the Connect2013 conference in Dumfries next week, is now available.

The brochure contains the Connect2013 programme as well as full details of all the workshops for the event and will be printed and handed out to delegates on the day. Highlights of the conference will include a keynote address from John Swinney MSP and guest speaker Calum Irving, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Scotland. Information about the exhibitors taking part in the Funding Providers’ Village is also included in the brochure.

Connect2013 takes place on Friday 8 November at the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries and over 200 people are expected to attend. It is being organised by our client Third Sector First, Dumfries and Galloway’s third sector interface.

A copy of the Connect2013 brochure can be downloaded from our publications page.


Connect2013 puts third sector first

Photo of John Swinney MSP

John Swinney MSP to speak at Connect2013

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Communities, is to give the keynote speech at the first annual Connect2013 conference on Friday 8 November to promote and develop the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway.

Organised by Third Sector First in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Connect2013 will bring third sector organisations together with the public sector. The event will provide a forum for voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to influence public policy.

David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First, said: “Across Dumfries and Galloway there are literally thousands of community organisations. Until now these organisations haven’t had as strong a voice as they should have and Connect2013 is all about changing that.

“Connect2013 will provide the community sector in Dumfries and Galloway with a valuable opportunity to meet with and influence decision makers from across the public sector.”

Connect2013 is aimed at all third sector organisations operating in Dumfries and Galloway, their employees and volunteers, as well as members and employees of public sector bodies.

Subjects to be covered in a series of workshops include: welfare reform, community shares, care for older people and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

Connect2013 takes place on Friday 8 November at the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries. Visit for more information and to book a place.

Calling all Voluntary Organisations in Dumfries and Galloway

Third Sector First, the Dumfries and Galloway wide organisation set up to promote charities, voluntary organisations and community-led groups, is holding two training sessions in Castle Douglas.

Third Sector First logo

Third Sector First supports the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway

Volunteers play an important role in many organisations and these workshops will give local organisations help in developing programmes and policies for the involvement of volunteers in their organisation.

Speaking about the courses, David Coulter, Chief Executive at Third Sector First, said: “There are hundreds of voluntary organisations locally which are doing some fantastic work with local volunteers. Many organisations that help to make Dumfries and Galloway the place it is rely on volunteers and it is only right that they receive the best support possible.”

These two workshops are designed to help those organisations consider the important role volunteers play. Topics to be covered include: who volunteers and why; what motivates volunteers; recruiting & selecting volunteers; supporting volunteers and equal opportunities & diversity.

Added David: “Without volunteers our communities would be so much poorer in terms of charity and social cohesion. That’s why we are helping to give local organisations the skills and practical support to help them work with their volunteers.”

The courses run at Castle Douglas Fire Station on Thursday 31 October 2013 and Thursday 5 December 2013, from 9.30am to 4pm.

To find out more or to book contact Third Sector First on 0300 303 8558. Alternatively the workshops can be booked online at

Official opening of new Third Sector First centre in Dumfries

Third Sector First logo

Third Sector First is officially opening its brand new centre in Dumfries on Friday 27 September, providing a unique space for charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and individual volunteers to work and meet.

The centre at 16 Queensberry Street will give voluntary and community organisations across Dumfries and Galloway a modern office location in which they can meet and network with other similar organisations. Within ground floor premises, the new centre has a high profile shop front and excellent provision for disabled access.

Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector. The third sector is made up of organisations that have a social purpose and exist to improve the lives of people and communities. This includes community groups, charities, social enterprises and cooperatives and everyone who works or volunteers for them.

Across Dumfries and Galloway there are literally thousands of people working or volunteering for third sector organisations. Until now these organisations haven’t had as strong a voice as they should and Third Sector First is all about changing that.

Third Sector First is holding an Open Day at its brand new centre and all are welcome to come along.

When: Friday 27 September, 10am – 3pm
Where: Third Sector First, 16 Queensberry Street, Dumfries DG1 1EX