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Issue:- 28 October 2010


THE Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), based at NCB, is delighted to announce the winners of the Anti-Bullying Week 2010 school competition. Carolyn Fraser,10, from New Brighton Primary School, Wallasey, was the key stage 2 winner and Hannah Stanger,13, from Thornhill School, Sunderland, won the key stage 3 competition.

Children and young people were asked to design a screensaver based on this year’s theme ‘Taking action together’. The competition was designed to get pupils thinking about the issues ahead of the week, which takes place 15 November to 19 November 2010 and was judged by a panel including members of Young ABA.

Carolyn and Hannah’s winning designs have now been turned into lively screensavers and desktop wallpapers that are available for schools and youth groups to download from the ABA website.

Sue Steel, National Manager of ABA, said:- “We’re delighted to have received more than 1,200 entries for the competition, which displayed huge creativity and originality. Anti-Bullying Week 2010 offers a great opportunity to encourage children and young people, teachers, parents and our communities to work together to stop bullying.”

Carolyn Fraser, aged 10, said:- ‘'I am really happy I have won this competition and I hope it helps children who are being bullied.'

When she was told that she had won, Hannah Stanger, aged 13, said:- “My heart was pounding and I felt nervous and happy at the same time. I am so excited that my picture was chosen”

WICKED the musical, a long standing supporter of ABA and of Anti-Bullying Week each year, has kindly offered Carolyn and Hannah and their families tickets to see the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London. Carolyn and Hannah’s schools will also receive a prize, a special pack of 50 Anti-Bullying Week hologram rulers, 100 Anti-Bullying Week pencils, 5 awareness raising posters and 500 stickers.

To order your Anti-Bullying Week 2010 hologram rulers, pencils, poster and sticker sets and ABA badges to help spread the message that together we can take action against bullying, the shop at online or phone:- 0845 458 9910.

Forward Press is joining forces to support our troops

WITH Remembrance Sunday fast approaching on the 14 November 2010, now is the time to send us your poems to support our troops, both past and present. For every entry we receive we will be donating 10p to the Royal British Legion. Selected poems will be featured in a special anthology, which will be sent to a selection of military bases and museums across the UK.  Whether you want to remember the veterans who fought in WWI and WWII, tell your tales of living through a war, send messages to our current servicemen/women or protest to bring them home, then you can, by simply writing a poem in any theme or style and of any length (within reason!). Open to all ages!  Entering is easy, simply upload your entry directly to us at or via email, including your name, postal address, and age if under 18. Make sure you include ‘Joining Forces’ in the subject line. Alternatively, send your entry along with your name, address and age if under 18 to:-

FREEPOST RLTS-TLTX-YYSK; Joining Forces; Forward Press; Remus House; Woodston; Peterborough; PE2 9JX; UK

All entries must be in by the 19 November 2010.  

Small businesses drive local recovery

THE Barclays Business Regional Impact Index in conjunction with Kingston University, reveals that the North West is benefiting from the contribution of its SMEs, and their optimism for the coming year.

The figures, based on an in-depth study of 1,000 owner managers combined with qualitative analysis by Kingston University's Small Business Research Centre, shows owner managers of small businesses in the region have a broadly positive view of next year, with 53% of firms in the North West expecting to grow.

Small businesses in North West England obtain 63 % of their supplies from within the region, providing strong support for other businesses in the area.

These firms are also contributing to the region's economy by selling 32% of the goods and services produced outside of the region, bringing additional revenue to the area. However, over 66% of sales by these businesses are to customers in the North West, higher than in any other region in Great Britain.  In addition, small businesses in the North West are actively engaged in innovation, with 69% of firms bringing new products to the industry, within the past 3 years. This has the potential to further increase exports outside of the region in the future.

20% of SMEs in the North West are set to make investments in training next year, suggesting a move to increase employee skills and training to increase productivity. In addition, nearly a fifth of firms are seeking to increase employee salaries in 2011 too, perhaps to retain skilled talent.

Firms in the North West look set to make important contributions to the graduate employment market with 10% of firms looking to create full-time jobs. This suggests that SMEs in the North West value the skills and knowledge of their employees, and are investing in training for the local workforce.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Robert Blackburn, Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University who developed the Index said:- "Within the UK, 99.7% of all firms employ less than 250 people and their importance to local and regional economies as well as the national economy cannot be overstated.  Overall the analysis shows that small businesses make a major contribution to their local and regional economies, particularly in the North West where links to local customers and suppliers are strong. However, whilst this localism is crucial to providing opportunities for consolidation and growth, it is also important for these businesses to look for customers and markets further afield if they are to move to a next stage of development."

Ian Aitchison, Head of Local Business in the North West believes the research provides further evidence that the contribution off small businesses to the overall economy has never been greater.

Ian Aitchison said:- "We hear a lot of rhetoric around the importance of small businesses, but this analysis illustrates just what that means the North West. Businesses in this region are focused on using local suppliers and selling to local customers, and have also been instrumental in creating local jobs.  Small businesses have contributed, and continue to contribute to the resilience of local regions amid unstable economic conditions, the credit crunch and public sector cutbacks. They are without question the ones driving growth and creating jobs in every city, town and village in the UK.  The UK's small businesses are demonstrating both a resilience that is inspiring and an entrepreneurial drive to succeed even in challenging conditions."

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