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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 200

Date:- 09 May 2005

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TO mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, The Royal British Legion has launched a campaign to say a 'Big Thank You' to all those men and women from Merseyside and across the country who fought for the nation's freedom 60 years ago. 

"The Nation's Biggest Thank You"
campaign will give people across the country an opportunity to express their gratitude to the men and women who played a part in Britain's heroic war effort. The money raised from the campaign will help The Royal British Legion to continue providing financial, social and emotional support to veterans of all conflicts and
their dependants.

Residents of Merseyside will be able to say "Thank You" to locals like William Fulton. William, now 85, from Birkenhead, joined the Army when he was only 14. A man of action, he found his ordinary Army position 'boring' and volunteered for the Paratroopers in the 4th battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. At the famous Battle of Arnhem in Holland,
William was the first man on Arnhem Bridge. 

William has been heavily involved with The Royal British Legion until recently, when impaired sight forced him to resign as treasurer of his local branch. The Legion has provided him with CCTV to help with his eyesight. "I'm very grateful for the help I have received from the Legion. It's an excellent organisation that provides invaluable help to ex-Service people like myself," he says.

Jeff Harrison from The Royal British Legion in Cheshire says:- "In 1945, the 8th of May (Victory in Europe Day) and 15th of August (Victory in Japan Day) marked the end of World War II. 60 years on this is the last big occasion to celebrate, remember and express our gratitude to every member of our local community who took part in Britain's heroic war effort. Please help us to say 'Thank You' by taking part in our campaign."

There are various ways to help say 'Thank You' to people like William Fulton. These include:- throwing a 'Victory Thanks' party with a Legion party pack, inspired by the street parties which happened spontaneously all over the country as Victory in Europe was announced; or wearing a Victory Thanks lapel badge, which will be available from major retailers and pub chains; or writing a message of Thanks on the back of a Victory Thanks bunting flag and sending this back to the Legion with a donation. Each of these individual messages will be made up into lengths of bunting and displayed in London's Trafalgar Square for the celebrations held on 10 July, WWII National Commemoration Day.

To find out more about how you can take part in "The Nation's Biggest Thank You" visit:-

DRC Breakfast briefings on retaining talent in the workplace

THE NORTH West accounting, legal and banking professionals offering advice to small businesses are being urged by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) to take full advantage of free breakfast briefing sessions in May and June on new employment laws.

The briefings will provide professionals with an understanding of new employment duties that small employers have under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and provide information about good management of disability and health issues in the workplace. 

Since October 2004, every employer, large or small, is required to make reasonable adjustments to enable the recruitment and retention of disabled people, including those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, depression and chronic heart disease. 

The sessions will be hosted by Regional Development Agencies and supported by the DRC.

A recent DRC survey of 1,000 small employers found that the majority, 85%, of small employers would be flexible about working conditions if the employee had the right skills and enthusiasm. But the message is not getting across to their employees with over 25% of British workers in the DRC survey believing their boss would be unlikely to help them keep their job if they become disabled. 

The briefing sessions aim to help small business advisors help small businesses to comply with the law.

Bert Massie, Chair of the DRC said:- "Research shows that many small businesses look to their trusted advisers for expertise on a range of business matters, including employment law and good practice. These events will give business advisors the information and knowledge to support business needs and to fulfil their duties under the DDA.

Smart businesses realise that providing support to workers rather than showing them the door makes good business sense. But it also makes sense, cost-wise, to make small improvements that have minimal outlay rather than incur the increased expense of redundancy and recruitment."

The events will provide an opportunity to learn about inclusive and effective recruitment, retention and management practices, how to attract disabled applicants to posts that may be difficult to full, and what support is available in the region from voluntary and statutory organizations.
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