Cotton Court Business Centre


Two Lancs Businesses Secure 330 Pledges from Local Companies to Help Vulnerable Children in County!

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Cotton Court business centre and Bird Design and Marketing pledged to sign up 150 new Lancashire companies to support Barnardo’s in its 150th anniversary year, but have managed to more than double their target only a few weeks into the campaign.

Bird and Cotton Court came together to encourage businesses across Lancashire to pledge their support to children’s charity Barnardo’s by donating their time, skills and services, money or products to help vulnerable children in the region.

Following the official ‘150 and Always’ campaign launch at Preston train station on 21 October, the initiative has so far received more than 330 pledges and raised more than £1800, with fundraising still ongoing.

Some of the pledges made range from opportunities for young people to switch on the Christmas lights with celebrities in Preston, to work placements and apprenticeships, as well as poetry sessions and visits from Santa and his elves.

Cotton Court and Bird enlisted the support of other local businesses to assist them in signing up the new businesses by building a campaign website at , producing promotional videos and providing materials for the event.

Virgin Rail hosted the launch event at Preston train station, which was then followed by 150 hours of activity as volunteers and staff from Barnardo’s spoke with commuters and encouraged them to give their support by signing giant pledge cards.

Barnardo’s runs a number of services in Lancashire including supporting families and children with disabilities, young carers and young people who are at risk of homelessness.

Rachel Simpson, of Bird Design and Marketing, said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the response we’ve had from companies across Lancashire and to reach our target so quickly has been simply amazing, it speaks volumes of the generosity of organisations across this county.”


Rob Binns, owner of Cotton Court, added: “What’s been really great about the pledges of support we’ve received is that they are so vastly different and give access to offer fantastic opportunities for young people in the region, ranging from offers of driving lessons, to apprenticeships in restaurant kitchens and work placements in environmental charities.

“We are also expecting the pile of presents in our annual Christmas present appeal for Barnardo’s to be stacked high this year, with lots of pledges made to also donate toys and gifts. I would like to thank everyone that has been involved for all their support for this great cause.”

Paul Wilcox, Assistant Director for Children’s Services at Barnardo’s in Lancashire, said: “We have had some simply amazing pledges made so far, and I cannot convey how much of an impact all of these generous offers will make to the lives of the children that we work with here in Lancashire.

“We are immensely grateful to Bird and Cotton Court, and to all those that have supported them in this campaign and we would ask that for anyone else that sees this and wishes to get involved by making a pledge, it’s not too late so please visit the 150 website and help us to do even more great things for the children and young people that need our help the most.”

Pledges can be made by visiting or to find out ideas about what you can pledge.

Launch of Barnardo’s 150 years campaign!

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Friday marked the start of the fantastic week long celebrations for Barnardo’s 150 year anniversary campaign!

The team at Cotton Court and Bird have pledged to find 150 businesses to pledge their support to Barnardo’s. We are be running the campaign with support from Paul Wilcox and the Barnardo’s team.

During the 150 hours we’ll be aiming to spread the word across our region, encourage pledging and celebrate all of the businesses that have pledged support so far.

Our launch event took place at Preston train station on Friday and went off without a hitch! We were able to reach out to commuters and many of them pledged their support on behalf of their company!

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All this week will be working around the clock to get as many pledges as we can! If you would like any infomation on how to pledge or need help choosing a pledge pop us an email to or check out our website to get some ideas from companies that have already pledged!

Guest Blog: Client Ali Jama – Kennedy Ross tells all ahead of launch!

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Customer of Cotton Court Ali Jama of Kennedy Ross, is preparing to launch his brand new book “Sellology: Simplifying The Science of Selling”. The team have taken time out of their busy schedule to write us a guest blog about the book! Ali, director of Kennedy Ross,  has been involved in delivering sales workshops for businesses for many years and decided to tell the world the simple tactics to up your selling!

Collaboration is the secret ingredient of Innovation

How busy have you been this summer, were you working…or enjoying the sunshine?

There has been a lot going on in the worlds of politics with Brexit and sport with both the European Football Tournament and the Olympics in Rio

But we have been too busy completing one of our long term projects to get involved with much else.

This summer has seen the culmination of a huge team effort and we are ready to share it with you now.

For the last two years we at Kennedy Ross have been working on something special.

Something that takes the work we have been doing over the last 20 years with some of the biggest corporations in the UK and crystalizes it into something that is useful for businesses of any size.

That special thing is our new book “Sellology: Simplifying The Science of Selling” which we will be launching on 15th September at Glovers Bar in Preston.

Our book is designed to help businesses of any size improve their sales performance simply and quickly….and if you follow our system we guarantee results.

Like anything that is worth doing it is a team effort, both with the great people in the Kennedy Ross Team and with amazing people and organisations we are lucky enough to work with regularly.

One of the organisations we owe our deep thanks to is Cotton Court Business Centre.

Rob and his team have been instrumental in the creation of our book by providing the space for our team to explore our ideas and formulate them into a system applicable to any business of any size.

Having a venue with the right technology and enough space to spread out in has made a massive difference in the quality of our book and the team at Cotton Court have been so attentive during the process that they are real collaborators in our book.



“We believe that having the right place to do business

is the best start to doing the right business”

  • Rob Binns, CEO Cotton Court Business Centre

Rob has also been kind enough to involve us in his innovative project with Barnardo’s helping turn the young people they work with into the leaders of tomorrow.

Leyla and Alistaire's Barnardos Pledge Photo

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Barnardo’s Cotton Court’s pledge is to find 150 businesses to work with them to help improve the opportunities for young people.

To help this happen we will be giving a weekend every quarter to run workshops on communication skills with the children of Barnardo’s.

Our programme activity will include;

  • Advancing employability amongst young persons.
  • Improving communication skills amongst (predominantly) 14-19 year olds offering them the skills to communicate during emotionally challenging situations.
  • Building confidence when communicating.
  • Improving interview technique.
  • Helping young people talk with passion and clarity on any subject of their choosing.

You can find out more about how your business can get involved in the Barnardo’s project by clicking HERE

Thank you for reading

Ailstaire Jama


Clients Podio Magazine hold successful Launch Event with us!

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Last night we hosted and attended the Podio PR1 Magazine launch party. The event organised by client Andy Neal went off without a hitch and was attended by many high profile people in the Preston area including Peter Rankin leader of Preston City Council and BID leader Kevin Barrett.

During the event Andy spoke to the wide ranges of business and individuals about his reasons for setting up the magazine and promoted the company ICS who he spent 6 months volunteering in Nicaragua with. He also spoke of the companies and people that have helped him along the way including his partner Luke Parker and charities such as Preston Pride and Heartbeat.

Podio Magazine are dedicated to celebrating the good in our city; the good promotions and services your business has to offer, the good charitable organisations that thrive here and as many of the good people doing good things across the PR1 area as possible.

We are pleased to be an official distributor of the magazine and you can pick up the latest issue in reception!

We can’t wait for the next one in September to come out!



Cotton Court and Bird Pledge their support to Barnardo’s

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Ourselves and Bird, have joined forces to create a campaign to find 150 businesses across the Lancashire region to make a pledge and support the work of national charity Barnardo’s.

Founded in London in 1866, Barnardo’s raises and spends around £200 million each year running local services for the care of vulnerable children and young people throughout the UK. Beccy Irving Director of Bird said “The 150 and always campaign will not only raise awareness of the important work Barnardo’s do across our region, it will give us the opportunity to help provide the charity with important resources, support and funding they need to continue this work.”

The campaign will be celebrated over 150 hours, beginning on Friday 14th October with fundraising and awareness events planned across the region.

barnardos pic amy and ella

Our own Rob Binns said: “We really want local businesses to get on board and support this campaign. It’s not just about donating money, we want people to be creative about what they pledge, businesses could pledge their time, their professional skills or hold fundraising events, even donating unwanted clothes and household items to one of the local stores helps support us.”

The new Barnardo’s 150 years website, designed by Blush Digital, will be launched in September. For more details on the campaign or for information on how to get involved contact

For more details about Barnardo’s, go to


Barnados: The Big Cycle Ride

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Our good friend and assistant director of Barnados is planning to undertake a huge challenge all in the aid of supporting children! Paul is wanting to undertake a huge bike ride. The ride isn’t just a standard path it’s the path the Dr Thomas Barnado travelled when he arrived from Holyhead to East London in 1866.

This is a big opportunity to support children.

Paul looking for 1 or 2 key sponsors who would sponsor me to ride the path Dr Thomas Barnardo travelled when he arrived from Holyhead to East London in 1866.

He is also looking for 1 or 2 companies to sponsor me for a £1,000 each or £2,000 total.

This money will go to the work of Barnardo’s in Lancashire. It will enable Paul to ride to 362 miles in 5 days. For your involvement you will get:

  • Sponsorship of the cycle ride
  • Media coverage
  • Leading sponsorship recognition
  • The knowledge that your money will have made a real difference in children’s lives
  • Enable an aging assistant director to complete the once in a lifetime challenge
  • You should feel praised to ‘make a difference’

About the person you would sponsor

Paul Wilcox has been working with children and young people for 40 years. He has devoted my working life to helping young people and families less fortunate than himself.

He’s am passionate about the great work Barnardo’s does to help vulnerable children.

This would be a great way of showing your support to the work of Barnardo’s. It will enable Paul to complete this historical 150th anniversary journey.


Barnados 150th Anniversary at Buckingham Palace

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Last week Rob, Amy and Jon attended a garden party to remember at Buckingham Palace all in honour of Barnados 150th anniversary.

Barnados welcomed 5000 volunteers, supporters, and young people that they support into the queens gardens for a spectacular party. Cotton Court was invited to Buckingham Palace as supporters of Barnados. We’ve supported Barnados in many ways such as raising money for them at various events, giving presents to them to support their young people at Christmas, and most importantly trying to find 150 businesses to sign up and pledge something to help young people.


At the event we were treated to fabulous music from the Gurkha Brigade and scrumptious afternoon tea fit for a royal! We even had time for a little celebrity spotting with people such as Warwick Davis, Nicola Roberts and of course Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall.


Andy from Billboard PR1 – Big Fast for a Big Cause

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One of our great customers Andy Neale is taking part in a Zimbabwean style fast this week to raise money for a charity that is close to his heart- Progressio.

Andy has just returned from spending six whole months in Nicaragua living off rice and beans helping a remote community adapt to Climate Change. The fast is part of a project called ZimFast. ZimFast is a fundraising challenge to raise vital funds for Progressio’s work alongside people living in poverty. The challenge allow you to stand in solidarity with communities in poor and fragile countries like Zimbabwe, and take a glimpse into the lack of choice that extreme poverty brings.

Andy is just wanting £3 from 11 people to reach his target with his partner and friend. So if you haven’t done your ‘good dead of the day’ do it now!

You can read more here and donate here!

We are supporting Barnardos will you?

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We are delighted to be supporting Barnardo’s in celebrating their 150th anniversary.


2016 marks 150 years of Barnardo’s work, supporting hundreds of thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable children. The charity provides a comprehensive range of local support, counselling, fostering, adoption, education, residential and training services for more than 100,000 children, young people and their families.

Barnardo’s need 150 businesses across Lancashire to sign up and pledge to support their work in some way; either in the form of donations, gifts in kind, volunteering or fundraising.


  • Equipment donation
  • Prize donations
  • Use of facilities and services (could be a parking space, venue, catering)
  • Fundraising events
  • Members of staff volunteering
  • Expertise (could be legal, marketing, strategic)
  • Offering work experience or apprenticeships for young people

To register your interest, email us at If you’re not sure what to pledge, don’t worry we’ve got loads of great ideas so get in touch!

What Happens Next?

  • We will contact you to share your pledge
  • You will be invited to a launch event
  • Barnardo’s will ask you for a business card. All 150 business cards will be made into a piece of artwork

So we’ve pledged, what do we get from this?

  • Be part of the 150th Anniversary
  • Contribute to Barnardo’s work, making a difference in children’s’ lives
  • Media coverage
  • Fulfil social responsibility
  • Provide charity giving responsibility for staff via fundraising/donations

We hope you can join us in supporting Barnardo’s in some way and be part of their 150th Anniversary.


Scouts now bigger than ever in Lancashire!!

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West Lancashire Scouts are celebrating becoming bigger than they have ever been, after enjoying their 12th consecutive year of growth. After becoming the 8th largest Scout County in the UK in 2015, West Lancashire Scouts have continued to grow and now number 12,769 members in total, making them become bigger than at any point in a history which spans more than 100 years.

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The recently released census data shows that West Lancashire Scouts have grown in every one of their youth sections for girls and boys aged 6-25 years old. Over 9,500 young people are benefitting from Scouting in 154 Scout groups across West Lancashire which provide a varied programme of fun, challenge and adventure to support young people develop their social skills, make friends and enjoy new experiences together, with activities ranging from archery and camping to rock climbing and kayaking. The growth of Scouting is also benefiting communities across West Lancashire as Scouting has experienced nearly 10% growth in its teenage provision through Explorer Scouts and has recruited 183 new Young Leaders, aged 14-18, who volunteer their own time to have a positive impact on their communities as well as enjoying the Explorer Scouting programme.

Growth isn’t just about numbers though, and West Lancashire Scouts are celebrating becoming a more diverse organisation as female membership has grown by 9% and this is a success story seen across the country as female members now make up 25% of the movement nationally. Ellie Baker, 17 from Chorley, said, “Scouting has helped me so much by building my confidence. There is so much on offer for girls and boys. On my visit to the World Scout Jamboree in Japan in 2015 my friends and I met people from all over the world, and worked together learning more about each other as well as how to look after ourselves and each other.”

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And its not just young people that are enjoying the fun, challenge and adventure of Scouting as adult membership has grown across all eight districts in the Scout County, showing that Scouting has something to offer for everyone. Carl Hankinson, Lead Volunteer for West Lancashire Scouts, said, “I am proud to be part of a successful organisation which is growing. Scouting is making itself more accessible in many parts of Lancashire and aims to grow further by welcoming more adults and young people, and becoming as diverse as the communities it serves.”


Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

“I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, and achieving personal rewards through Scouting in the UK.  I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK, especially the numbers of girls.

What I’m most pleased about is that Scouts across the UK are putting their time in to helping their local communities. Through our A Million Hands campaign we are pledging one million hands to supporting four of the biggest social issues currently facing the UK and the wider world, but we can’t do it on our own. We want all young people to come and give Scouting a try and to get involved. This is how we can all play a vital role in shaping tomorrow’s world for the better.