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Issue:- 19 April  2012

Retro fundraisers in Liverpool urged to get their thinking caps on ahead of this year's Red Cross Week

VINTAGE fever is in the air as people are being asked to organise retro events to help raise funds during this year's Red Cross Week.

Anyone in Liverpool who's interested in helping the British Red Cross in its vital work in the UK and abroad can sign up now ahead of the annual fundraising extravaganza from 6-12 May 2012.  Participants could collect wearing an outfit from another era, or bring a retro theme to a fundraising event by getting people to wear fancy dress from another decade.

Why not hold a 1940s tea dance, go to school in your parents' 1970s gear, run a 1980s; inspired aerobics class in your office, or throw a 1990s disco? Or volunteer to grab a bucket and help with collections. 

You too could be one of our 'one-in-a-million' fundraiser; like Barry Holmes, from Liverpool.  The 48 year old, from the Kensington area of Liverpool, first started volunteering for the Red Cross in 2005, when he was a first aider at events such as the Grand National.  But then he started to volunteer as a fundraiser, and hasn't looked back since. He is a firm fixture collecting at supermarkets around Merseyside, from Allerton and Speke, to Southport and St Helens.

Barry added:- "You get such a buzz out of collecting, knowing that the money is going to make a real difference to people's lives. It's great to get out and meet people, and the public are so generous that when there is a big disaster like in Haiti, it is overwhelming how much people want to help."  "I really like Red Cross Week; it's busy and everyone gets involved. This year's vintage theme will mean there are a lot of fun and different events happening."

Money raised funds the British Red Cross' work, which includes services in the Merseyside area such as refugee projects and homeless first aid training.

British Red Cross Liverpool fundraiser Alexis Fairclough said:- "During Red Cross Week we rely on our fantastic volunteers giving their time to collect money in aid of the Red Cross in one of a million ways. We couldn't do it without them, but the more people take part, the more money we can raise.  This year's theme is retro, so there will be some fantastic, fun events being organised, with a vintage theme. If you can spare an hour to hold a donations bucket for us this May, you'll be one in a million. Why not ask a friend too?."

To find out more about organising an event, contact Alexis via calling:- 0151 702 5061.

Southport Access For Everyone Update!

THE next meeting of the 'Southport Access For Everyone' forum will be held at Victoria Methodist Church, Sussex Road, Southport PR8 6DG, on Monday, 23 April 2012, at 7.00 pm. This is a free public meeting. The premises are fully accessible for wheelchair users, with adequate car parking facilities, and light refreshments will be served before the meeting commences.  SAFE say that:- "Anyone with an interest in disability issues is welcome.  More information can be found online and our meetings will usually be held on the fourth Monday of each month. Further enquiries about SAFE can be made to :- Val Carr, our acting chairman by calling:- 01704 567046"

Missing From Home - Melissa Stringer

MERSEYSIDE Police have told the media that they are becoming increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of 20 year old female, who has been missing from her home in Orrell Park, since Wednesday, 11 April 2012. Melissa Stringer is described as being white, 5ft 5ins tall of stocky build with dark brown shoulder length hair. She has brown eyes with a fresh complexion. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark pink t-shirt black leggings and was carrying a small bag. Melissa is known to frequent Liverpool city centre and the Breck Road area. Officers from Merseyside Police believe Melissa may have travelled to London with a friend. Officers would urge Melissa or anyone who has seen her since 11 April 2012, is being requested to contact them via:- 0151 777 4429 or the Missing Persons Bureau via calling:- 0500 700 700.

Forum of Private Business campaign urges entrepreneurs to pass on the secrets of their success

THE Forum of Private Business is calling for success stories from business owners flying high despite the global economic turmoil as part of its Get Britain Trading campaign to make 2012 the year of small businesses.

The Forum hopes that learning about how to succeed in a tough climate will inspire other entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses, spread positivity and boost confidence throughout the wider business community.

Get Britain Trading 2012 was launched earlier this year at an event in Westminster attended by approximately 60 business owners and the Business Minister, Mark Prisk, who joined Phil Orford, the Forum's Chief Executive, in celebrating the key role of small businesses in driving economic growth.

"Our business is to help small firms succeed by providing them with the tools to achieve their goals and campaigning for the commercial landscape that encourages them to thrive; which is so important for the economy as a whole. As a leading membership organisation one thing we can do is share the advice, guidance and experiences of successful entrepreneurs with our community of small business owners. We are calling on all small business owners to get in touch and pass on the secrets of their success so that, in turn, other entrepreneurs can benefit and so we can spread some much-needed positivity at the same time."  said Mr Orford.

According to figures from the department of Business, Innovation and Skills there were 4.5 million private sector enterprises in the UK at the start of 2011, 99.2% of all businesses in the UK are classified as small (0 to 49 employees) and small firms account for 46.2% of private sector employment and 24.9% of the UK's annual turnover.

The Get Britain Trading event, which took place in the House of Commons, followed Forum research showing that many entrepreneurs are confident about their prospects for 2012 despite difficult economic conditions.

In all, 55% of supporters of the Forum's Get Britain Trading campaign, anticipated growth or strong growth in the coming year and 95% said they were already exploring ways of developing their businesses.  Further, 60% of respondents hoped to innovate in 2012 and, while 74% of small firms were looking to target customers in the UK, 17% were focusing on overseas markets.

However, the not-for-profit employer organisation's Get Britain Trading survey also suggests that, while businesses are seeing opportunities for growth, 58% have been unable or unwilling to take advantage of them. Just 13% believe there will be any growth opportunities in the public sector.

Despite their positivity, many firms still face numerous obstacles to growth. For example, with mounting business costs a major issue, 29% of respondents to the Forum's survey are seeking to cut costs further.

The Get Britain Trading campaign aims to identify and address such barriers and, as part of this process, the Forum wants to share the information, guidance and advice gleaned from successful entrepreneurs.

Survey respondents provided information on a range of issues, including tax, red tape, finance and employment. For the full survey results visit:-

During the summer of 2011, in an initiative backed by Mr Prisk, the Forum placed approximately 100 MPs, MSPs and Members of the Welsh Assembly on 'Business Buddy' visits to small firms in their constituencies, where they learned about the realities of running a business. The scheme is running again this summer.

In addition, the Forum is keeping MPs updated via a new monthly e-newsletter containing small business success stories and is committed to promoting any initiatives aimed at supporting small firms. MPs will be able to submit stories from their constituencies for the e-newsletter.

The Forum is urging all business owners to support Get Britain Trading and pass on their stories by email, tweet us using #britaintrading or get involved in the discussions taking place at The Forum of Private Business LinkedIn group.

For more information about the campaign visit:-  or call the Forum on:- 0845 130 1722.


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