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News Report Page 6 of 9
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Dobbies teams up with Teenage Cancer Trust to thank local heroes in Liverpool and Merseyside this Christmas
Photo courtesy of Teenage Cancer Trust...

DOBBIES, the UK's leading garden centre retailer, has teamed up with Teenage Cancer Trust to give local heroes across Liverpool and Merseyside a Christmas to remember. Dobbies and its National Charity Partner are looking to say a special thank you to:- 'not your average people' who have gone above and beyond for their local community this year. Whether it is someone who has collected an essential shop for a neighbour, a teacher who has delivered additional support or a family friend who has taken on the role as the honorary Zoom quiz master, Dobbies want to hear from you. Nominations can be made via the Dobbies website, with a host of gifts to be shared. The campaign comes as Dobbies launches it's Christmas campaign, The Joy of Dobbies, which aims to bring to life the magical experience of a trip to Dobbies during the festive period and the retailer's new positioning, Not Your Average Garden Centre.

In addition, recent research commissioned by Dobbies and undertaken by Censuswide, asked people across the UK what made them feel most joy at Christmas, with the most popular answer being 'giving gifts' from 36% of the respondents. Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said:- "With everything from gifts and decorations to trees and festive food, we're not your average garden centre when it comes to Christmas. It's a magical time of the year at Dobbies and, together with Teenage Cancer Trust, we want to celebrate the people who have been spreading joy all year long by giving them gifts they'll love."

Dobbies will be giving away a host of gifts with everything from in-store Christmas experiences, festive decorations, gardening items and more. There will be up to 50 gifts each worth ₤100, thanking those who really deserve a Christmas treat. Laura Pearce, Head of Partnership Management at Teenage Cancer Trust, said:- "It's been a turbulent and isolating year for all of us, so we're delighted to come together with Dobbies to celebrate some of the local heroes who've helped make 2020 a little brighter. This Christmas will be especially difficult for young people with cancer, many of whom are still particularly at risk from Coronavirus. Dobbies ongoing support for Teenage Cancer Trust is helping us make sure that young people don't face cancer alone, this Christmas or in the future."

Teenage Cancer Trust provide world class cancer services for young people across the UK, including Rachael. Rachael was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma just before Christmas last year, aged 23. That Christmas was tough, she couldn't face being around a lot of people and didn't want anyone to feel sorry for her. But she had a lot on her mind, and her Teenage Cancer Trust nurse, Kerrie, was there to talk through her worries and concerns over the festive period. When Coronavirus hit, and she wasn't able to have her parents with her at her treatments, Kerrie was able to be there for her to offer crucial support. Rachael has now finished treatment and is looking forward to a great Christmas, as well as marrying her fiancé next year. To make a nomination, visit the Dobbies website and complete a simple form. All nominations will be reviewed by Dobbies and Teenage Cancer Trust, with gifts awarded to people from across the UK.

Stena Line charts 25 years of success in Belfast

ON 12 November 2020, Stena Line was celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its ferry operations between Great Britain and Belfast, a ¼ of a century that has seen the ferry company carry in excess of 33 million passengers, 7 million cars and almost 7 million freight units on its Belfast routes. When Stena Line established its Belfast operation on 12 November 1995, it operated just 3 ferries to 1 port within Scotland. Nowadays that service has significantly expanded to include 7 vessels operating year round services to Cairnryan (Scotland), Birkenhead (Liverpool) and Heysham with a mix of freight and leisure traffic. In fact, if all vehicles that have travelled with Stena Line to and from Belfast were laid end to end, they would circle the globe 3 times. Throughout the past 25 years, Stena Line; the biggest ferry company on the Irish Sea; has invested significantly in its Belfast operations and now the Belfast Harbour hub is Stena Line's largest port operation outside its home port, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea), said:- "The last 25 years have been quite a journey for us. Each year we have managed to grow and develop our business which vindicates our initial decision to move our ferry operations from Larne to Belfast all those years ago. I have had the privilege to be with the company for all of those years and witness the many transformations that have helped to create the successful business model we have established today. While there have been numerous milestones along the way a few standout moments for me include the introduction of the HSS Stena Voyager, in 1996, the most advanced ferry in the world at that time; the opening of our new Belfast VT4 Terminal in 2008; the opening of our new purpose built Loch Ryan Port (Cairnryan) with the accompanying introduction of the state of the art Superfast VII and VIII vessels in 2011, and most recently (March 2020), the introduction of our new build Stena Edda onto our Belfast to Liverpool service, with sister ship Stena Embla, due to be introduced onto the same route early 2021."

Paul Grant added:- "No amount of planning could have foretold the devastating impact of the Covid19 Pandemic but I am proud of the key role that Stena Line and my colleagues have played in helping to keep vital food and medical supply lines between Great Britain and Northern Ireland open throughout this crisis. We have worked hard to keep our guests and colleagues safe throughout this challenging time and are confident that the ferry industry will be 1 of the 1st sectors of the tourism industry to see a return to pre-Covid19 trading, when it is deemed safe to do so. As for the next 25 years, we have set a firm course on becoming the most sustainable global ferry operator, and I'm confident we have the vision and talent to achieve this ambition."

Joe O'Neill, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour, said:- "Stena Line has been a hugely important part of Belfast Harbour's story for the last 25 years. This special anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the milestone achievements that have taken place since the arrival of Stena Line's 1st vessel in Belfast in 1995. Our close working partnership has been evident since day 1 and Belfast Harbour's programme of significant investment in port facilities during the period has helped to facilitate Stena Line's remarkable growth story in Belfast. Our ongoing investment programme is instrumental in progressing our ambition to be the World's Best Regional Port and to achieve that ambition we need great partners. We have 1 in Stena Line. From the 1st development of Ballast Quay in 1995 which brought Stena Line to the City, both companies have consistently invested for growth. As Stena Line has heavily invested in new ships since its arrival in Belfast similarly, we have significantly invested in the requisite port facilities. In 2008 we invested ₤38m in Victoria Terminal 4 from where the Belfast to Cairnryan service operates today. Most recently, in the last 2 years we have invested over ₤20m in facilities at Victoria Terminals 1 and 2 including providing a new ramp to accommodate Stena Line's next generation vessels, the Stena Edda and the soon to arrive Stena Embla for the Belfast to Birkenhead route. We are extremely proud of the quality of offering that Stena Line and Belfast Harbour have created over the past 25 years. Today we are 1 of the largest hubs in Stena Line's European network and as we celebrate the strong foundations laid by Stena Line's 1st 25 years in the City, we look forward to the next chapter of continued partnership working."

Stena Line's newest addition to its Irish Sea fleet, Stena Embla, has successfully completed a comprehensive range of sea trials in advance of going into service on the Belfast to Liverpool route, in early 2021. At 215 metres in length with a freight capacity of 3 100 lane meters, Stena Embla will join sister ship Stena Edda providing a combined increase in freight tonnage on the Belfast to Liverpool route of 20 per cent, and each ship also has the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes. As well as a freight only route from Dublin to Heysham. A total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with 3 return crossings a week.

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