Category Archives: News

Charity looks to secure its future by leasing premises from Powys County Council

Cae Post, an innovative charity and social enterprise, has submitted a bid to Powys County Council to take over its premises in Trewern, Welshpool, through a Community Asset Transfer.

Sue PackerCae Post is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is looking to the future with its bid to take over the Trewern premises so it can carry on providing employment and training opportunities to local people for years to come.

Speaking about the bid, Sue Packer, General Manager at Cae Post, said: “Cae Post exists to help people take part in economic and community life and we actively develop links with the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. These are two of the main aims of a Community Asset Transfer, according to Powys County Council, and so Cae Post clearly meets the criteria for this bid to be accepted.”

For 30 years it has delivered services that ultimately provide people who have a range of disabilities, or who are disadvantaged in the labour market, with the same opportunities as anyone else for contributing to their community through work. Currently, Cae Post offers waste management and recycling to businesses and households across mid-Wales.

Added Sue: “Recently, Powys County Council decided not to extend our contract to deliver kerbside recycling, bringsite collections of plastic and cans and the operation of the materials recovery facility – services we have successfully operated for well over a decade. We accept, of course, that the County Council has the right to bring the service in-house – but it will impact significantly on our clients who benefit so much from working at Cae Post each week.

“The important thing for us now is to be secure in our premises, so that we can plan for the future and develop new income streams that allow us to continue our work with some of the county’s most deserving people.”

Cae Post will be contacting all of Powys’s councillors to remind them of the important work the social enterprise does in giving people who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to get jobs, offering people the chance to improve their lives and contribute to society. Cae Post will of course be asking councillors to support the Community Asset Transfer.

Cae Post is unique within Powys in the way it has pioneered a model of working that empowers people who otherwise might find it difficult to secure work and training opportunities.

Cae Post’s future plans for the building in Trewern will see it increasing the opportunity for young people to access work-based learning, improving access to work for people with learning disabilities and encouraging more people to volunteer.

Said Sue Packer: “If we are successful with our bid to Powys County Council, ownership or a long lease of the building will enable us to seek investment to develop new businesses. This will mean we can provide increased job and volunteering opportunities, reduce poverty and assist in the economic and environmental well-being of not only Powys but the rest of Wales well into the future.”

If you would like to find out more about Cae Post, please visit www.caepost.co.uk.

Share your memories of Cae Post to celebrate their 30th birthday

Cae Post 30th logoCae Post, the Welshpool based social enterprise which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, is looking for people to share their memories to mark this important milestone.

Cae Post provides employment to disabled and disadvantaged people in and around Welshpool through the delivery of waste management and recycling services across Mid Wales and North Shropshire. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Cae Post is putting together a ‘memory book’ to bring together the thoughts and impressions of the people who have been involved with the organisation over the years.

“Maybe you used to work or volunteer at Cae Post, or maybe you know someone who did,” suggests John Harrington, Chair of Trustees at Cae Post. “Perhaps Cae Post helped you get into employment for the first time and you went on to do other jobs elsewhere. Did you help us get off the ground in the early days or have you benefited from our services in other ways? Whatever, the reason, we would love to hear from you.”

Cae Post started out in 1986 as a small ‘not for profit’ community business set up by a group of parents, professionals and supporters, to help create work for people with learning disabilities. It has now become a highly successful social enterprise providing work opportunities to many people who are disadvantaged in the labour market.

“In the beginning, we operated a residential and employment project for young people with learning disabilities at a cottage called ‘Cae-Post’ in Pool Quay (hence our name!) providing real work and ‘ordinary life’ experiences,” explains John.

Cae Post sorting line“Cae Post began recycling plastic bottles collected from the bring sites of north Powys in March 1996 and, within a year, we were providing 12 days’ work a week to people with learning disabilities at our sorting depot in Trewern, a former council workshop. We now recycle thousands of tonnes of materials each year.”

As a social enterprise, the income generated from Cae Post’s business is used to fulfil its objectives to give more people a chance to be part of the working world.

John says: “There are nowhere near enough places in Shropshire and Mid Wales where people who find it difficult to get work can get training and meaningful employment. We believe Cae Post is an asset to the local community, which is why we thought it would be a nice idea to create a memory book to show how much we mean to people – both now and into the future.”

If you would like to share your memories, please email info@caepost.co.uk, with your thoughts about what Cae Post means to you.

Click here to find out more about Cae Post and their achievements over the last 30 years.

Centre for Alternative Technology Revisited

In his latest blog Sean looks back at visits to the Centre for Alternative Technology

It must be about 16 years since I was last at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)  near Machynlleth in Mid Wales.

For those that don’t know of it, it’s a pioneering education charity based in a former slate quarry, which has used the site to trial a number of alternative technologies over the years, and today it is using many of them still to power the site.

When I visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in the early days of Ethos public relations it was to discuss an ethical online web portal, which one of our clients was involved in. Times have certainly changed as far as the internet is concerned and, no doubt, that’s true in the field of alternative energy technologies too.

View from water balanced cliff railway at Centre for Alternative TechnologyI remember arriving at the site of CAT the first time, after a beautiful train journey from Manchester, and being impressed by the water-balanced cliff railway which takes you from road level up to the visitor centre.

As with many of the technologies showcased at CAT, the cliff railway works using the simplest of technologies, namely gravity. The two carriages are linked by a steel rope and when one goes down due to the combined weight of its passengers and water tank, the other carriage travels up the cliff face, with some stunning views.

On my recent visit, another ancient technology was being displayed, though with a modern twist. Burning wood for cooking and heating can hardly be described as an alternative technology, given that millions of people around the world rely on it day in and day out, but at CAT there is an innovative display of boilers that use wood pellets to produce both electricity and heat. Obviously, managed properly wood is a sustainable fuel and so provides an alternative to fossil fuels. If we want to work towards a zero carbon economy, then this might be part of the solution.

For many years, I have thought that solar panels for domestic and industrial premises should be fitted as a matter of course instead of roofing tiles, rather than on top of an existing roof. At CAT, that’s what they have on the café.

Solar panel roof at Centre for Alternative Technology

Over the past 16 years many things have changed dramatically in the field of low carbon energy generation, whether that is the growth of offshore wind energy generation or the increasing number of homes with photovoltaic cells on their roofs, but what we still have not seen is a widespread belief in using alternative technologies from the start of a project rather than as an add on.

But there still seems to be a lot of antipathy to wind and solar, in spite of their obvious benefits. Ethos public relations has worked with community biodiesel and community wind energy operators in the past and have, in a very small way, helped get the message out about the benefits of reducing carbon dependency. There is still much to be done.

So keep up the good work CAT, keep promoting the alternatives and helping to put sustainability into practice…

Preston man aims to reboot memory of POW grandfather

James Housden from Preston is running a half marathon to raise awareness of the plight of Far East prisoners of war in World War Two. Monday 15th August sees the anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ Day) and is an important date to James as that was the day his grandfather became a free man again.

James Housden

James Housden

James Housden is taking part in the Great North Run in September to raise money for national charity, COFEPOW, which manages the Far East Prisoners of War Memorial Building at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and works to preserve the memory of the Far East Prisoners of War.

The charity is fundraising to replace the computer equipment at the FEPOW Memorial Building. The Memorial Building has many computer generated displays to enhance the visitor experience, but most of the equipment is now 11 years old and desperately needs replacing.

James is the son of COFEPOW trustee Paul Housden and last year completed the Coast-to-Coast cycle ride with his Dad to raise money to help COFEPOW commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan finally surrendered, brining an end to the Second World War.

More than 200,000 Allied civilians and service personnel were taken prisoner by the Japanese in February 1942. By VJ Day on 15 August 1945, some 50,000 of these people had died.

James said: “My Grandfather was one of the lucky ones who returned after being a prisoner of war. The story of all the captives is told at the National Memorial Arboretum and, by raising funds to help replace the outdated computer equipment at the Far East POW Memorial Building, I can help keep alive the memory of what my Granddad and his fellow captives went through. It is really important that future generations remember what happened during the Second World War.”

If you would like to sponsor James, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-housden2 and to find out more about the Far East Prisoners of War visit www.cofepow.org.uk.

Surge in facial skin treatments for men in Bolton

Laserase Bolton logoA record number of men in Bolton are choosing to get non-surgical facial treatments according to Laserase Bolton and men now make up 16% of customers having these treatments.

Laserase Bolton on the Royal Bolton Hospital site reports that there has been a surge in men getting treatments such as muscle relaxing injections and dermal fillers, which have risen from 6% to 16% of treatments carried out – an increase of 10% in 12 months.

Celebrities such as Peter Andre, Rylan Clark and Simon Cowell are all reported to have had a bit of Botox now and then, to keep them young looking, and more and more men are following in their footsteps.

And it’s not just Botox. New research reported in The Harley Street Journal shows that a quarter of men are now having dermal fillers.

The survey results showed that 18% of the UK population would consider using dermal fillers for a number of reasons such as to stay youthful, remain competitive at work and to complement weight loss.

Until now, 90 per cent of all aesthetic procedures have been carried out on women; however, the research found that UK men are bucking the trend with 1 in 4 of male survey respondents having dermal fillers.

“We’ve seen a big increase in interest from men for facial skin treatments over the last year,” explains Clinic Manager Julie Kershaw. “It seems to be part of a growing trend, led by celebrities, for men to do more to keep their skin wrinkle free and young looking, which in turn helps to boost confidence in social and business situations.”

Statistics indicate that nearly a third of UK adults have received an aesthetic treatment for a change in job or career, underlining that youthfulness still equates to success in the workplace for many people.

To find out more about the range of skin care treatments available and to book a free no-obligation consultation contact Laserase Bolton on 01204 570900 or email: admin@laserase-bolton.co.uk.

Shropshire losing out on millions from foreign tourism

A Shropshire based tour operator which brings foreign tourists into the county believes Shropshire is losing out on millions of pounds from foreign tourism.

Janet Redler

Janet Redler

According to calculations by Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, if just 10% of the 4.15 million visitors who currently visit the Brecon Beacons National Park came to visit the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this could result in extra income of £8.23 million to the local economy.

The Brecon Beacons, just over the border in Powys, is one of Britain’s most popular National Parks, with over 4 million visitors a year. If 10% of these visitors made the 25 mile journey up the road to the Shropshire Hills, they would be bringing over £8 million pound a year more into the Shropshire economy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, if some of the other tourists passing through the county visited one of Shropshire’s many beautiful, but often overlooked, attractions.

Shrewsbury-based Janet Redler Travel & Tourism specialises in bringing groups from overseas to Britain and is doing its bit to boost tourism in Shropshire.

Chief Executive Janet Redler says: “Our calculations are a very conservative estimate of how much money the Shropshire economy is missing out on from tourism. If a fraction of the visitors to some of the country’s other major tourist destinations chose Shropshire instead, we would see millions of pounds more flowing into the local economy.

“Just next week Janet Redler Travel & Tourism is bringing a group of visitors from France to the Shropshire Hills for a seven day walking tour. This tour in itself will bring in over £10,000 to the local economy, which has to be good in terms of local jobs, but we are also very happy that we are giving more people an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent Shropshire countryside.”

The French walkers will take in many of the gems of the Shropshire Hills, including the town of Clun, made famous by the poet A.E. Housmann, the Stiperstones (Mary Webb country) and Stokesay Castle, considered to be the finest fortified manor house in Britain.

Janet Redler adds: “We know from the feedback we get that foreign visitors to Shropshire are pleasantly surprised by what they find when they get here and are often puzzled as to why they don’t know more about the area. As a tourist destination, Shropshire needs to do much more to shout about itself, not only to boost tourism but to benefit the wider economy of the area.”

No more red noses for Father’s Day

Laserase Bolton logoA growing number of Dads are turning to thread vein removal to help get rid of their red nose, according to Laserase Bolton, to help boost their confidence in social and business situations.

A lot of men develop a red nose when they get to a certain age, and this can be caused by thread veins, which develop as we age thanks to a combination of factors, such as sun and wind exposure from playing sport or cycling, alcohol, smoking, and a medical condition called rosacea.

Julie Kershaw, Clinic Manager at Laserase Bolton, says: “We are seeing a record number of men coming in for thread vein treatment these days. It used to be just women who came in to have thread veins treated – predominantly on their legs and faces – but now men make up 30% of the people we treat.

“There are many factors which can lead to thread veins on and around the nose in men, including the effects of exposure to the elements from playing sport outside. Whatever the reason, we know from many of the men who come to us for treatment, that a red nose can have a big effect on their confidence in social and business situations.”

Laserase Bolton offers laser treatment to help clear thread veins on the face, which works by breaking down the thread veins into tiny particles that the body then destroys.

“The effects of laser treatment are usually evident within seven to ten days,” adds Julie Kershaw. “However, a number of treatments may be required, depending on the size and depth of the thread veins, and we advise on this during the free preliminary consultation.”

So if your Dad suffers from a red nose and you’re looking for a slightly different present this Father’s Day, why not book him in for a free consultation at Laserase Bolton and then, if he decides to go ahead, you could help out with treatment costs, which start at £75 a treatment. (Your Dad would need a full consultation with one of our doctors or nurses, before treatment takes place, to take his medical history and to decide if he is suitable for treatment.)

To find out more and to book a consultation contact Laserase Bolton on 01204 570900 or email: admin@laserase-bolton.co.uk.

Shropshire schools encouraged to increase recycling

Schools across Shropshire are being encouraged to follow the example of Oxon C of E Primary School in Shrewsbury and increase the amount of their waste that is recycled – whilst at the same time helping a charity get local people into work.

Oxon C of E Primary School Cae Post

Photo shows (from left to right): Cllr Peter Adams (also a School Governor); School Head, Mark Rogers; Cllr Nick Bardsley, Trustee of Cae Post and Glyn Lewis, Cae Post vehicle driver.

Waste from Oxon C of E Primary School in Racecourse Lane, Shrewsbury, is collected weekly by Cae Post, a local social enterprise based in Trewern, near Welshpool, which exists to encourage recycling and help disadvantaged people into work.

Mark Rogers, Head at Oxon Primary School, said: “As a school with a caring ethos at its heart, we are proud to be working with Cae Post, as it helps them provide meaningful employment to disadvantaged people.

“Since working with Cae Post we have collected nearly seven tonnes of waste from the school which Cae Post has recycled – and at the same time helped people who are struggling to get work find useful employment.”

Cae Post is an innovative social enterprise based in Powys, providing waste management and recycling services across mid-Wales and North Shropshire.

As a social enterprise, the income generated from its business is used to fulfil its objectives to give more people a chance to be part of the working world.

Nick Bardsley, a Shropshire Councillor and Trustee of Cae Post, said: “Cae Post has been involved in providing opportunities to disadvantaged people and promoting environmental awareness for over 30 years.

“There are nowhere near enough places in Shropshire and Mid Wales where people who find it difficult to get work can get training and meaningful employment. Cae Post is an asset to Shropshire as well as Powys.

“By working with Cae Post, Oxon Primary School is keeping recyclable waste out of landfill or incineration – and helping local people find work at the same time.”

Cae Post is keen to encourage more schools in Shropshire to get in touch and arrange a visit to their plant to give pupils a better understanding of the importance of recycling and waste management.

Photo shows (from left to right): Cllr Peter Adams (also a School Governor); School Head, Mark Rogers; Cllr Nick Bardsley, Trustee of Cae Post and Glyn Lewis, Cae Post vehicle driver.

Cae Post receives Green Compass Award

Cae Post, the Welshpool based recycling and waste management social enterprise, has won its fourth Green Compass Scheme award.

Green Compass Award

Sue Packer with the Green Compass Award

Cae Post has been successfully accredited to PAS402:2013 through the Green Compass Scheme, which recognises waste management organisations that have made a commitment to improved efficiency and performance reporting as well as achieving a significant environmental credential.

Says Sue Packer, General Manager at Cae Post in Trewern, near Welshpool: “As a business with a social agenda, we are proud to have been inspected under the Green Compass Scheme and to have been awarded membership of the scheme.

“Our commitment to recycling, waste management and the people who work with us, defines how we do business and this recognition is for everyone at Cae Post.”

The Green Compass Scheme was developed by Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW), and in conjunction with UKAS accredited inspection bodies provides independent verification of the performance data reported by waste management organisations against PAS402:2013 (Waste resource management – Specification for performance reporting). PAS 402:2013 requires a waste resource management organisation to report how it conducts its waste management activities and the landfill diversion and materials recovery rates it achieves. The Green Compass Scheme verifies this data.

The Green Compass Scheme is applicable to all waste management organisations in Wales that process construction, industrial, commercial or household waste.

Speaking about the award to Cae Post, Paul Jennings, CEW’s Construction Waste Programme Director, said: “Construction and demolition waste remains a problem in Wales, but with organisations like Cae Post joining our successful Green Compass scheme, we are continuing to educate and inform the entire industry from site workers and their bosses through to major customers and the public.

“The best starting point is the actual handling of the waste itself and it is great that Cae Post is going to work alongside the network of Green Compass companies throughout Wales”.

Cae Post currently collects kerbside in North Powys as well as offering recycling and trade waste services to a wide range of businesses, schools and other organisations in Shropshire and Powys.

To find out more, visit www.caepost.co.uk. More information on the Green Compass Scheme is available at www.greencompass.org.

Happy birthday to Ethos public relations

We are 18 – again.

Ethos public relations ChampagneEthos public relations is celebrating 18 years in business today. Over the past 18 years, we have worked with a huge range of businesses, charities, individuals and others to help them get their message out to a wide variety of audiences.

We have helped our clients launch new products; deal with a number of crises; produce videos, magazine and leaflets; create new websites; manage social media; prepare for newspaper, TV and radio interviews and engage with their employees.

The list of clients we have worked with over the years is a long one and the number of passionate individuals even longer. With hardly an exception it’s been fun, fulfilling and worthwhile.

We have helped raise awareness of issues as diverse as knife crime, disability, co-operation, Fairtrade, products made in the UK, tourism, credit unions, social enterprise, vegetarianism, local food, recycling, social housing and the closure of pubs.

Each of these issues required differing approaches but we hope we dealt with them all with the same commitment both to the subject, and as importantly, to the ethics with which we were founded back in 1998.

Our ‘ethical’ approach was adopted to try and counter some of the perceived negativity towards the public relations industry. Our approach was based on honesty and having an open dialogue with clients and the media. At times this was tested and back in 1998 we couldn’t have imagined how it would be the media itself that would become the focus of unethical practice. It seems both sides of our industry have work still to do.

We have written before about how things have changed, almost unrecognisably, since we first started trading. Posting out press releases and photos being replaced by email, faxes now defunct, far fewer local (and a couple of national) newspapers, not to mention the rise of bloggers and social media – the PR landscape is very different now.

However, our honest and ethical approach to the way we undertake PR has remained the same, and is so much part of who we are that it will remain. As we get near to the end our teenage years, we are wiser and a very different ‘person’ to the Ethos public relations of 1998, but hopefully our friends and colleagues will still recognise us.

So thanks to all our previous and current employees, clients and suppliers. We’ve had a great first 18 years. Time to crack open the fizzy wine – Fairtrade of course.