Cotton Court Business Centre

Charity

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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 info@cottoncourt.co.uk. 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.

 

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY IN SUPPORT OF BARNARDOS

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Last Friday saw the third instalment of the annual Cotton Court Christmas Party at Glovers bar. There was a great party atmosphere, with around 150 people in attendance, and it was great to see so many familiar faces.

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The team at Cotton Court would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended and made the night so enjoyable, and an even bigger thank you to everyone for the amount of gifts that were brought for the children of Barnardos, our chosen charity.

Guests enjoyed the finest Indian cuisine courtesy East Z East, photo-booth fun, live entertainment and a complimentary bar at Glovers.

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Barnardo’s works to transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and aims to enable them to fulfil their potential. 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.

It’s still not too late to donate! We are collecting presents at Cotton Court until Mon 7th December, so feel free to drop in some gifts to our reception.  Presents for teenagers are particularly valuable as is young carers and homeless units that are most in need of presents. Barnardo’s have also advised that the gifts are best not wrapped.

You can find out more about the work of Barnardos on their website www.barnardos.org.uk or by following them on Twitter @barnardos

We’re already looking forward to next year and we hope to see you all there again!

WEST LANCS SCOUTS #TAKETHELEAD

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“You can do anything if you put your mind to it” – Pip, Chorley

So what’s this all about? Take the lead was held this weekend by West Lancs Scouts to help Explorer Scouts like us learn new skills so they can take the lead in their Scouting! It was a fantastic weekend where we met new people, learnt useful new skills and got to karate chop our DESCom! Planning our own Beaver/Cub fun day has helped us grow in confidence as leaders and proved that you can do anything if you put your mind to it!

“#takethelead has been inspiring and motivational!” – Adam, Lonsdale

On the Friday night after some exciting icebreakers we talked with some of the members of West Lancs Network about what it was all about. Network is the section after Explorers and it seems like a great opportunity! We are looking forward to when we are old enough to join, and hopefully the Network refresh will make Network even more exciting than it already is!

“I learnt lots about leadership and planning which I can use in both my Explorer unit and Cub pack” – Olivia, Preston

Our first session on Saturday was led by our Assistant County Commissioner for Cubs, Ann-Marie;
and was called ‘Major event planning’. Ann-Marie started off by talking us though how she planned events and what sort of paperwork she used and what ‘skill sets’ you should look for when forming a team for an event. Then she gave us different scenarios about different events to plan. Towards the end of the session we played a game highlighting the difficulties of planning an event! It was stressful and hectic, but a great and funny experience!

“An amazing way of meeting new people and developing leadership skills” – Chris – Ormskirk

After the event planning session we had a session on leadership from our County Youth Commissioner, Ollie. It was a great chance to develop my leadership skills and we will use the points and examples Ollie talked about to do that. We also set ourselves objectives to improve our skills and put them to the test in the future! Some of the most important skills we learnt were to listen to people when leading; and to do what we can to develop the skills of those in our team too!

“Great weekend with plenty of skills learnt as well as time for making new mates”- Adam – South Ribble

In the afternoon we had a session on Youth Shaped Scouting with Ollie and Jack. The session was influential to us in making us think about what should be on the programme and how we would go about adding it into our programmes. We believe that Youth Shaped Scouting is an important step in creating a better movement, a movement that is shaped and influenced by young people. It will be good because we know what we want to see and what we’d like to do!’

“I had a great time sharing views and experiences with Leaders and Explorers from other districts” – Elise-Marie – Fylde

After the Youth Shaped sessions we split into our Districts to plan an event! Our event in Fylde is a survival camp based on TV shows like ‘I’m a celebrity’ and ‘Lost’. We spent time planning details like the budget, location and what the camp would include. We had fun planning this as it gave us the independence and skills to organise our own events that we wanted to do. We can now go back to our own units, and plan our event further to ensure it happens in the next two years .The skills we have learnt will also come in handy later in life if we ever need to run an event in the future.

“This weekend has encouraged me to take on the role of a Young Leader” – Patrick – Blackpool

On the #takethelead weekend we planned a linking event between Scouts and Explorers to try and promote Explorers to the Scouts, called Linked-in. We thoroughly enjoyed planning our very own event! Blackpool doesn’t have one like it so we think it’s worthwhile. We can’t wait to get it going, and maybe carry it on every year. Planning this event has also opened our eyes to helping plan and lead other events.

“I will feel more confident when leading a team in the future” – Emily – Wyre

So why should you go on the next #takethelead? It’s a great way to meet new people and learn new skills; it’s full of information and really helpful tips to use for the future! We will all feel more confident when leading a group or event in the future. Overall the weekend was so fun and exciting, so I recommend it to anyone who wants to Take the Lead in West Lancs!

The next Take The Lead event is expected to be held on the weekend of 26-28th February! Keep checking Facebook for more details!


 

West Lancs Explorer Scouts | West Lancs Scouts

Twitter: @OllieScouts | @JackBullon | @WLSExplorers | @WestLancsScouts

Cotton Court Annual Christmas Party 2015

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On behalf of all the businesses at Cotton Court we’d like to invite you to our annual Christmas party at Glovers Bar on Friday 27th November.

We’ll lay on a complimentary bar and buffet alongside live music from 6.30pm – late.

The event is free of charge; all we ask is that you bring a gift we can donate to our chosen charity Barnardo’s.

Barnardo’s support over 400 vulnerable young people from 0-25 years old, throughout the year across the Preston area. Presents for teenagers are particularly valuable as is young carers and homeless units that are most in need of presents.

Barnardo’s have also advised that the gifts are best not wrapped.

You can register for the event here: book your tickets!

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West Lancs Scouts Hold Successful Youth Led Event

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In mid-March West Lancs Scouts learnt that UK Youth Commissioner Hannah Kentish would be visiting the area on Wednesday 1st April & wanted to meet some young people in from the county.

Through lots of hard and efficient work in a short space of time the county planned an event that meant over 50 young people from around the county, with every district represented, met at County Hall in Preston for an event inspired by national event #YouShape, which we called #WLShape.

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In one of their four key policies in our Strategic Plan, youth shaped scouting is an important priority, and therefore #WLShape was a great opportunity. It was an opportunity for young people from all around West Lancs to come together and share their views and ideas about scouting. It was an opportunity too for us as a County to get a snapshot of what young people think about scouting in West Lancs and to hear their ideas on what we hope to do in the next few years, whilst shaping our plans. This means our plans for youth shaped scouting are youth shaped!

#WLShape got everyone excited about youth shaped scouting. The enthusiasm of the young people during and after the event was incredible. Now, through our Vision 2018 Youth Shaped plan completed in early May, through lessons learnt from experiences and by listening to young people in our county, we must maintain enthusiasm and continue to build on what we’ve started to make great things happen West Lancs. This is to enhance the scouting experience of our young people, and to ensure we can give Scouts in our county the very best start in life that they deserve.

Please find the findings here: WLShape Report

WLS successful weekend!

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A huge weekend for West Lancs Scouts! As they introduced Ollie as their very 1st Youth Commissioner! ollie will be helping young people to shape their Scouting experience working alongside the leadership team in the #youthshaped initiative. Cotton Studios were on hand early in the week to help capture all the video snippets & provide photography assistance to produce all their branding ahead of todays announcement. With ourselves supporting their social media output. We would like to wish a huge congratulations to Ollie & West Lancs Scouts we are looking forward to a continued partnership!

And the introduction video which in a few hours had been viewed over 200 times!! The content we helped put together reached over 13,000 people & has had a significant increased in their engagement for the week topping out at 1700 people. Here is a look at the video.

Here’s a few examples of the finished artwork that has been produced. We really like Ollie’s quotes!

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Cotton Court Christmas Party in Aid of Barnardos

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On Friday 5th December it was the annual Cotton Court Christmas Party held at Glovers bar. There was a great party atmosphere, with around 150 people in attendance, and it was great to see so many familiar faces.

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The team at Cotton Court would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended and made the night so enjoyable, and an even bigger thank you to everyone for the amount of gifts that were brought for the children of Barnardos, our chosen charity.

We offered guests a free bar, buffet and live music and asked them in return to bring a gift or a small donation for Barnardos.

Barnardo’s is a British charity founded by Thomas John Barnardo in 1866, to care for vulnerable children and young people. As of 2013, it spends over £191 million each year on more than 800 local services, aimed at helping these same groups. It is the UK’s largest children’s charity, in terms of charitable expenditure. Today, Barnardo’s 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. The charity works to transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and aims to enable them to fulfil their potential.

You can find out more about the work of Barnardos on their website www.barnardos.org.uk or by following them on Twitter @barnardos

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Finally, we would also like to say thank you to Jay and the team from East Z East, who provided the catering, Dani Gallagher, who kept our audience entertained; and to Chelsea and all the staff at Glovers bar for looking after us and making sure the event was a success.