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News Report Page 10 of 16
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Elegant Hospice Ball hailed massive success

THE 1st St Joseph's Hospice Midsummer Night Ball was a real triumph, according to the Hospice, raising thousands of pounds for the Thornton based charity. Some of its newest business supporters helped to launch what it regards as the most stylish and elegant event in its fundraising calendar.  The Hospice's fundraising team were so delighted with the event that they have snapped up the same venue, the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool, for next year's Midsummer Ball, which will be held, on Friday, 19 June 2020. The Hospice was overwhelmed by the support shown from so many business, along with the support of C&D Properties, who are currently supporting the Hospice as its charity of the year.  They also stood up during the evening to tell everyone why they were pledging their support to the Hospice.

The evening kicked off with a welcome speech by Hospice chief executive, Mike Parr, who introduced the Hospice and explained the important work of the charity. Later, Clinical director, Clare Waller, gave a very moving speech about her special memories of visiting her own father there when she was a child. 2 very special guests, Ann and Brian Hayes kindly gave up their evening to tell everyone about their very recent experience at the Hospice after their mum passed away there just last month. Ann shared their very moving story with guests at the Ball and spoke passionately about the importance of the Hospice and the care and dignity given to patients at the end of their life.

Norma Young, head of fundraising at St Joseph's Hospice, said:- "Our host and compere, Ronnie Ore, did a tremendous job encouraging everyone to raise as much money as possible for the Hospice."

After the raffles and auctions, Liverpool's King of Swing, Asa Murphy, took to the stage and got everyone up on their feet. Asa and his band performed a range of songs from Mack the Knife to rock and roll hits like Twistin' the Night Away. Jim Forshaw, from the North Liverpool Business Forum, was there on the night to show his support along with other business colleagues from the networking group. Jim has 1st hand experience of the Hospice as it's where his father passed away in 2011.

Jim said:- "The Ball was a fantastic success; we all had a wonderful evening and we'll definitely be back next year. The Hospice really needs the support of businesses across Merseyside as we all rely on it being there for us at our time of need. If your business is looking for a charity to support, get in touch with the Hospice as there are so many more people out there who would benefit from Hospice services."

Norma continued:- "It's always hard launching a brand new event but the hard work certainly paid off and we're delighted to be able to announce next year's Midsummer Ball already so make sure you get 19 June 2020 in the diary. We'd like to say a really big thank you to all those who came along to support our very 1st Midsummer Ball and we look forward to welcoming you all back next year."

North West firms' confidence on the rise

COMPANIES in the North West report higher confidence in their business prospects, up 6 points to 25%, and higher economic optimism, which rose 1 point to 14%. Together, this gives an overall confidence of 20%. Businesses' hiring intentions show a net balance of 4% of businesses in the Region expect to hire more staff during the next year, down 12 on last month.  Across the UK, overall confidence grew 3 points to 13% as firms' confidence in their own prospects grew 5 points to 22%, while their economic optimism also grew by 3 points to 5%. The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both Regionally and nationwide.

Martyn Kendrick, Regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:- "It's great to see that North West businesses are feeling confident in both themselves and the wider economy this month, with overall confidence polling seven points above the national average.  Although ongoing uncertainty has left some firms hesitant to increase staffing levels in the next 12 months, confidence in their own business prospects remains above the national average. Whatever the coming months may hold, we'll continue to be by the side of North West businesses and have pledged ₤1.3 billion to help them grow confidently throughout 2019 and beyond."

Across the Region, a net balance of 17% of businesses say they feel that the UK's exit from the European Union is having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, down 1 point on a month ago.

Nationally, businesses in the West Midlands show most confidence at 25%, ahead of those in London (18%.) Also those in the Yorkshire and Humber are the least confident, with an overall confidence of 5%, 8 points below the national average. Business confidence increased within the retail sector, up by 11 points to 22%. Gains were also seen in construction, up 5 points to 17%, and in the services sector, up 5 points to 12%. In contrast, confidence in the manufacturing sector fell by 11 points, bringing June's figures back in line with the low seen earlier this year.

Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:- "While overall business confidence is still below the long-term average, it is encouraging to see a rise for the third time in four months since the low in February. Firms are showing more optimism both in their trading prospects and the overall economy, with levels rising in the retail, construction and services sectors this month. Ongoing global trade tensions, however, appear to have weighed on manufacturing confidence."

Marine Conservation Society launches month long Plastic Challenge Detox

THE Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) annual:- 'Plastic Challenge' starts on Monday, 1 July 2019 and some big names are taking part.  It's a national campaign to get the public to sign up to avoid single use plastic as much as possible during the whole of July. So far, over 6,000 have signed up to give it a go, and the charity hopes that by the end of the month, 2018's record figure of 9,000 Challengers will be broken. 

MCS kicks off the 2019 Plastic Challenge at 3 events in zero waste shops in England, Wales and Scotland on Saturday, 29 June 2019. The events, at Bulk Market in Hackney, Natural Weigh in Crickhowell and the Eco Larder in Edinburgh will encourage people to sign up, offer top tips on how to get started and give Challengers spinach seeds so they can start growing the leafy green veg, generally only sold in plastic bags at most supermarkets, at home.  Celebrities concerned about single use plastic in their lives are also getting involved. 3 MCS Ocean Ambassadors have agreed to take on the July Challenge.

Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and dragon on BBC2's Dragons Den says:- "I'm really concerned about the excessive packaging that you find in supermarkets and I'll be going all out to face the Plastic Challenge head on. I know I won't be able to eradicate all single use plastic out of my life, but I'll be giving it a damn good try. I'd urge everyone to give it a go. We must act now."

Ben Garrod; Professor of Evolutionary Biology, author and TV presenter says:- "For giving us so much, we should do all we can to ensure our seas continue to flourish. I'm taking on the Plastic Challenge to show that it is possible to make an impact on our single use plastic lives. I travel a lot so I know it's going to be hard, but I'll be tweeting about my experiences and I hope it'll help others on the same journey."

Sharron Davies MBE; World, European, Commonwealth and Olympic swimmer and sports broadcaster, says:- "Water has played a huge part in my life, but it breaks my heart to see how we are abusing our seas and oceans. As a mum to a teenager, I know the Plastic Challenge will be tough, because like so many people, I often opt for convenience and that generally comes in single use plastic. But I'm determined to give it my best shot."

Britain is still heavily wedded to single use plastic; so it won't be an easy month for those taking part. Of the more than 8 million tonnes of plastic that gets dumped in our oceans every year, half of it comes from disposable plastics that are only used once before being thrown away.

MCS runs hundreds of beach cleans annually and during last year's Great British Beach Clean, 70% of the litter found on almost 500 UK beaches cleaned by MCS volunteers was made of plastic or polystyrene, posing a huge threat to wildlife and humans. Plastic bags, bottles and tiny plastic pieces are regularly found in the stomachs of turtles and other sea creatures and in some cases have caused their death from starvation or choking.

Erin O'Neill, MCS Digital Editor, is coordinating the Plastic Challenge for the charity: "Our website offers all sorts of tips and advice for those taking part during July. You can follow our social media feeds to get tips from other Challengers, share your wins, however small, or just see what lengths people are going to when trying to cut down.  However long you last; an hour, a day, a week or the whole month; we'd love to know you're out there, giving it a go."

To take part in the MCS Plastic Challenge, simply register at:- MCSUK.Org/Plastic-Challenge  and get 24/7 help with the MCS book:- "How To Live Plastic Free; a day in the life of a Plastic Detox" (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3). For details visit:- MCSUK.Org/News/MCS-Live-Plastic-Free-Book.

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