Monthly Archives: June 2012

ERIC’s STOP the Issue Ballooning Campaign

Celebrity Support for ERIC’s STOP the Issue Ballooning Campaign

Star of Calendar Girls and Loose Women, Lynda Bellingham and TV’s Dr Ranj, a regular on the BBC’s The One Show and CBBC Newsround, are supporting a national children’s charity campaign to raise awareness of childhood continence problems.

The STOP the Issue Ballooning campaign from ERIC encourages families to get help for childhood wetting and soiling problems early on, rather than waiting in the hope it will go away.

Lynda Bellingham, a mother of two grown up sons, has supported ERIC’s work since recording the charity’s Radio 4 Appeal last year. Speaking about the campaign, Lynda said; “Wetting and soiling problems cause stress and misery to thousands of children, but the problem needn’t turn into a big issue. By contacting ERIC, families can stop childhood bedwetting becoming a big thing that takes over their lives. Call ERIC’s Helpline or go online and Stop the Issue Ballooning today!”



Dr Ranj said; “ERIC’s STOP the Issue Ballooning campaign is all about getting help early on for childhood continence problems. 1 in 12 UK children are affected, but because it can be hard to talk about, many continue to suffer alone. Why wait? Contact ERIC ( ) for help and support – with their help you can overcome or manage the problem.”

Over 1,000 families were surveyed in May 2012, revealing 60% of families waited over a year, before seeking any help for their child’s wetting or soiling problem. Of this; 18% of families waited over a year, 11% between one and two years and 27% over two years. The survey also revealed that 82% of families wished they found out about the help available from ERIC earlier.

The campaign will see the launch of the world’s biggest e-balloon race to raise awareness and funds. Supporters are invited to purchase a virtual balloon for £2 which will compete against others to win the race. For more details visit

Campaign information postcards and posters will be distributed nationwide and the campaign will take over ERIC’s Twitter and Facebook pages throughout June.

The Tree of Light

Harry Potter and Dr Who treatment for The Tree of Light

‘live’ sound and light design for spectacular events

As tickets go on sale for the first time, more is being revealed about the Thames Valley’s mighty ‘Tree of Light’, which celebrates the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Revered electronic musician Matthew Herbert (who is creative director of the New Radiophonic Workshop – inspired by the BBC sound lab which originally created the Dr Who theme music) and sound designer James Mather (who has worked on blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter, Clash of the Titans and Sherlock Holmes) will be providing extraordinary live sound effects on the night of the performances.

Says James of the project, “This is really exciting, and a huge challenge. We’re making a big contribution to the performance, adding to the music and dance, and bringing the Tree alive. Most events of this scale will use a pre-recorded soundtrack but we’re adding to the atmosphere by building effects in advance and then ‘layering’ it live on the night as things happen. The sound effects will work like an orchestra, in very much the same way as the instrumental one.’

He continues; ‘With a film like Harry Potter, the effects are incredible, but you’re working to a pre-prepared film. Here we’re recording sounds and mixing them into the performance as it unfolds. That’s going to make it very special indeed. It’s great working with the Tree of Light creative team (artistic director, Charlie Morrissey, composer Orlando Gough and Stewart Collins) on this unique project.”

The special sound effects will trigger light shows within the gigantic and spectacular tree and will act as a living, breathing soundtrack throughout. Matthew and James are undertaking the work on behalf of the New Radiophonic Workshop, set up this year as part of the new flagship Arts Council initiative, to explore and create new sounds for music, internet and broadcast purposes.

Says Matthew; ‘Working on The Tree of Light project is a great opportunity for us to think about sound in a live context in ways it isn’t normally used in our day jobs. The challenge is to not try and make it like a movie experience but to use the sound to enhance the visceral thrill of the evening.’

The Tree of Light’s finale, featuring over 1000 performers, is at Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames on 21st July and a performance will also take place in South Park, Oxford on 9th July as part of the Torch Relay celebrations. The project is funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. Tickets are available from The Tree of Light’s website at  The performance in Oxford is free as part of the Torch Relay. The full finale performance at Stonor costs just £10 (£8 concessions).

UK’s First Biscuit Wrapper Recycling Scheme

United Biscuits and TerraCycle Launch the UK’s First Biscuit Wrapper Recycling Scheme

New environmentally friendly scheme saves waste biscuit wrappers from landfill whilst raising money for charities

United Biscuits, the manufacturer of McVitie’s, the UK’s leading biscuit brand, has teamed up with recycling experts TerraCycle UK to launch the McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Brigade. This industry first recycling fundraising scheme is open to every biscuit consumer across the UK and incentivises consumers to save waste biscuit wrappers from landfill to be recycled in return for raising money for the charity of their choice.

Innovative new scheme

Over the last 12 months, 487,000 tonnes of biscuits with a retail value of £2.3 billion were sold in the UK[i]. Biscuit wrappers are recyclable, but very little mixed plastic recycling is carried out by local council kerb side collections, which results in billions of biscuit wrappers being sent to landfill. McVitie’s and TerraCycle have joined together to launch this innovative new scheme that encourages consumers to help end this enormous waste of resources by sending in any brand of used biscuit wrappers to be recycled into everyday products such as watering cans, garden benches and waste bins.

Raising money for charity

The McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Brigade is open to consumers across the UK who can get involved for free at  Once registered, they can download pre-paid Royal Mail labels which means sending in old wrappers is completely free. All consumers have to do is simply collect any brand of biscuit wrapper, put them in a box or envelope, print the free postage label from the website and then stick it onto the package and post it. TerraCycle and McVitie’s rewards consumers with TerraCycle points for every biscuit wrapper sent in, with each point redeemable as a 1 pence contribution to the charity of the senders’ choice.

Making a difference

Vicki Gregory, Marketing Controller for McVitie’s, comments: “United Biscuit’s is delighted to be able to offer consumers a solution that allows them, for the first time in the UK, to recycle biscuit wrappers. This innovative scheme not only ensures that biscuit wrappers are reused, it also helps to protect the environment whilst helping the public to raise money for their favourite charity.

“We are encouraging consumers and retailers across the UK, who love biscuits, to set up a collection point and help us to save as many biscuit wrappers from landfill as possible, making a difference to their local environment whilst raising money for worthy causes.”

Chris Baker, General Manager of TerraCycle UK added: “We are delighted that such an iconic brand as McVitie’s is partnering with us to take ownership of what happens to used biscuit wrappers in the UK. With McVitie’s support we are confident that we can reach people across the UK and encourage them to work with us to make a real difference by saving as many biscuit wrappers from landfill as possible!”

Nursery Brigade and Collection Contest to recycle used baby food pouches

Ella’s Kitchen and TerraCycle launch Nursery Brigade and Collection Contest to recycle used baby food pouches

Winning nursery to receive £1,000 worth of sensorial toys

13 June 2012: Ella’s Kitchen and TerraCycle today launch the Ella’s Kitchen Nursery Brigade and Collection Contest. The Brigade and contest are open to nurseries across the UK and enable nurseries to collect difficult to recycle used baby food pouches that would otherwise go to landfill, raising money in the process for nurseries, schools or charities. The Brigade also teaches children and parents the importance of recycling in a practical way.

To join the Ella’s Kitchen Nursery Brigade, nurseries simply sign up for free at  and begin collecting and returning any brand of used baby food pouches. Two pence is earned for the weight of each pouch that is returned for the nursery, school or charity of the sending nurseries choice. The free programme even covers all postage costs, with participants able to download free Royal Mail labels from the website to return the pouches!

The waste baby food pouches will be recycled by TerraCycle into affordable, eco-friendly new products such as watering cans, waste bins and garden benches. This process of directly reusing baby food pouch materials, that would otherwise have a very short lifecycle, to make more durable longer-lasting products means that a smaller volume of raw materials then need to be extracted from the earth to produce the new products.

The Brigade is part of the Ella’s Kitchen Feed our Senses nursery campaign – a free resource Ella’s Kitchen provide to nurseries offering them resources and activities that help nurseries develop healthy eating habits with the little ones in their setting. To support the launch of this new Brigade Ella’s Kitchen are offering every nursery who sends in 100 pouches the chance to win £1,000 worth of sensorial toys from TTS Group. For more information and to register for the Ella’s Kitchen Feed our Senses nursery campaign visit:

Chris Jenkins, from the Giving Stuff Back team at Ella’s Kitchen commented: “We love to give stuff back at Ella’s Kitchen and so we’re really excited to launch the Ella’s Kitchen Nursery Brigade and Collection Contest. Both not only help to make our planet tidier by diverting thousands of pouches from rubbish bins but will also help to raise money for nurseries and charities across the UK. Plus kids and parents will be educated and inspired by this easy, fun new way to recycle.”

It’s easy to join the fun and give stuff back:

To find out more about the Ella’s Kitchen Nursery Brigade or for a nursery to sign up visit . For full details of the Ella’s Kitchen Nursery Collection Contest see .

UK’s Youngest Budding Picassos Revealed by Tiny Artist Comp

The winners of a ‘Tiny Artist of the Year’ competition from a leading photo book website have been unveiled, revealing some of the UK’s youngest budding Picassos in two age categories; those aged 5 and under, and those aged 6-8 years old.

The results are in from a competition that aimed to find the UK’s ‘Tiny Artist of the Year,’ unveiling the artistic talents that lie within children aged 8 and under up and down the country.

The ‘Tiny Artist of the Year’ competition was run by  a leading photo book website, and aimed to encourage parents to bring their little ones’ artistic creations down off the fridge for the world to see. With two age categories for little ones to enter (5 and under, 6 – 8 years) parents simply had to upload their children’s masterpieces onto the Facebook page to enter.

With two professional artists judging the entries competition was fierce, but two winners were picked for their artistic flair. Evie Thomas was crowned winner of the age 6-8 category for her portrait ‘Mummy’, whilst William Hunkin clinched the top spot for the 5 and under category for his abstract painting that he entitled ‘The Bear’s House and Two Red Dragons.’

The age 6-8 category was judged by world-renowned beach artist Andy Coutanche, whose sand creations have featured in international publications. Andy was impressed by Evie’s drawing’s ‘rawness’, explaining, “It’s a portrait from the heart. I think the unconditional love it portrays is so sweet and heartfelt.”

Evie was thrilled about winning her ‘Tiny Artist of the Year’ crown, explaining:

“When I grow up I want to be a real artist and have my own gallery.”

Entries for the ‘5 and under’ age category were judged by mixed media artist Jill Tovey, a published artist and mother of three, who loved William Hunkin’s ‘expressive’ painting. She had the following to say about her choice of winner:

“Well done budding artist William for not mixing all the colours together on the paper to create a brown mess (much more complicated than it looks!), instead making such an expressive and colourful abstract painting.”

William’s father Alan Hunkin was also excited about his budding young Picasso, explaining that many had felt the full force of his artistic flair:

“William is a pretty prolific painter at the moment and always seems to fill every square inch with colour. The walls, carpet and dog have all suffered for his art.”

Rebecca Huggler, Co-Founder of which ran the Tiny Artist of the Year competition, said the following about the winning entries:

“The entries we had were incredible, and it’s so exciting to see so many tiny artists out there! It’s such a shame that so many masterpieces drawn by little ones remain hidden on fridge doors, so we wanted to encourage parents to bring them alive and share them with the world. Congratulations to Evie and William for their brilliant creations, and to all those who entered. The art world soon won’t know what’s hit it with some of the talent we’ve seen coming up through the ranks!”