It is a big week for local business women, as several Balsall Common residents are in the running for awards at the second Ladies First Business Awards.
The ceremony takes place at Nailcote Hall this Thursday, 18 October, and follows an incredibly successful event last year.
In the running for awards are Sally Morris of Positive Fitness in both the Achieves in Business and the Inspirational Woman categories. Jade Finnerty of Beautiful Nails is shortlisted in the Successful Career from Home.
Two of the four nominees in the Excellence in Science and Technology Awards are Balsall Common based, Emma Carter from Bytesize Tuition and Claire Turner of Wow! Signal Communications, who also writes for balsallcom.com and helps to manage the social media accounts.
Sue Cressman from Nailcote Hall is one of the five women shortlisted in the Venue Award/Venue Host category. She is also nominated in the Achieves for Charity category along with Judy Ledger of Balsall Common based charity Baby Lifeline.
It’s fantastic to see Balsall Common residents so strongly represented – good luck to all the finalists. We’ll let you know how they get on, look out for tweets on the night from @balsallcom or an update on here following the award ceremony.
Balsall Common Lions Club third annual celebration evening highlighted once again the amazing work they do in Balsall Common and further afield.
Over 85% of the money raised by the Lions Club is spent locally, the rest goes to national and international good causes. Members subscription fees pay for all administrative costs.
The 40 local Lions Club members are part of Lions International which has a total of 1.4 million members worldwide, operating in 206 countries. Together they work to combat hunger, sight loss and childhood cancer around the world, as well as organising disaster relief funds wherever they are needed.
Closer to home, many local clubs, societies, venues and organisations benefit from the Lions’ hard work. The annual bonfire in partnership with the Sports Association and sponsored by local businesses is a huge success. Elves from eight local organisations helped Santa’s sleigh visit Balsall Common, Berkswell, Fen End and Burton Green this year, raising £7000.
One of the highlights of the evening was the nomination of Lion Derrick Thompkins to the Melvin Jones Fellowship. Derrick is just the 6th member of Balsall Common Lions to receive the honour in the 44 years the club has been running. His name will go up on the wall in Lions International HQ in Chicago. One of the key things Derrick does for the Club is to set off the fireworks each year on Bonfire night. Over 3000 people attended the 2017 event and over the last 30 years it has raised more than £150,000. Derrick’s fireworks expertise has really helped to boost this figure.
Cheques totalling £12,500 were given out at the presentation evening. The beneficiaries were Balsall and Berkswell Hornets Football Club, Balsall Common Scouts, Berkswell and Balsall Common Rugby Club, Berkswell Cricket Club, Burton Green Residents’ Association, Berkswell Scouts, The Jubilee Centre, Fast Aid, ATC, Heart of England School hardship fund, Meriden School and Talking Newspapers.This year’s travel bursary was awarded to Amy Shadbolt of the 2nd Balsall Common Scouts to go towards her attendance at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA.
The Little Ray of Sunshine dementia cafe based in Kenilworth received £1200 raised through a 100 Club Draw with an additional £500 donated to the Cameron Grant Memorial Fund. This year’s 100 Club beneficiary will be the Friendship Project for Children.
A series of Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to local groups and organisations who help the Lions achieve as much as they do. They went to: Unity Automotive, the Heart of England Coop, C P Barbers, The Bugle, The Village Hall, Balsall Parish Council, Alan Heath & Sons, Jamieson Christie, Angela Jaynes Florist, Oakes Farm Shop and the A1 Motorshop. Carl Hemming of Ginger Property also received a certificate for his support of the annual bonfire and Santa’s sleigh. He also nominated the Cameron Grant Memorial Fund as his chosen charity to receive a donation instead of a fee for his work.
Lion President Steve Meakin said: “Once again our annual presentation night is a fantastic chance to reflect on the club’s hard work through the year, to thank all of those people who have supported us and made it possible for us to raise so much money for other local clubs and societies. Our 40 members, and many more friends, work very hard to achieve what we do. We’re always looking for more people to join us, either as a full member or for specific events. If you’d like to find out more about joining us please get in touch. Call Mark Whitfield on 07795 184745, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Facebook www.facebook.com/BalsallCommonLionsClub. Here’s to a fantastic 2018.”
Balsall Common resident Richard Murray is riding from London to Amsterdam in support of the charity Prostate Cancer UK.
He’s part of a team from business coaching company Elephants Child. Their Managing Director Martin Brown, lost his father-in-law to the disease.
In total the team has raised £7000 with four weeks to go. The 145-mile trip is backed by the English Football League and the League Managers Association with high-profile former players and managers such as Les Ferdinand, Terry Butcher and Simon Grayson taking part.
Balsall Common Lions Club are just one of many local organisations, residents and businesses to support the team. They have a long history of supporting prostate cancer awareness events. They are organising a prostate cancer screening session in Balsall Common this weekend, their 3rd such event. The screening takes place at St Peters Church Hall from 10am to 1pm.
Richard Murray explained: “This is a cause dear to my heart as my grandfather and uncle both lost their own battles with cancer. Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from this condition. I’m looking forward to getting into the saddle and raising money in support of this tremendous charity. Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far.
“I’m also desperate to raise awareness and encourage men to get themselves checked. We’re notoriously bad at visiting doctors and looking after our health. Anyone that has concerns and can’t make Saturday’s screening should book an appointment with their GP,” he added.
The trip begins on 9 June and will see around 500 riders making the two-day journey aiming to raise a total of £500,000 for the charity.
Year 4 pupils at Balsall Common Primary School had a successful day at the schools F1 challenge this week. Three teams of four took part at Princethorpe School, competing against other local primary schools.
As part of the challenge pupils have to design and build a replica F1 car which is powered by a gas cyclinder along a 100-foot track. The teams also had to source sponsorship for the car, including a very successful Dragons Den pitch at a recent SolihullHour and Best of Solihull event. They also worked incredibly hard on a presentation for the judges. The teams are once again supported by Ian Dunning from JLR who gives up his time to share industy insight.
Pupils have been very successful in reaching out to local business for support. Acclaimed Mortgage Consultancy, Solihull College and University Centre, Borroclub, PM Group and Standley & Co Solicitors all attended to support the teams. Other businesses – Wow Signal Communications, TSC Cars, Midshire Business Systems, Sainsburys, Lavender Hall Autos, Ginger Property, Signarama, Sutherpark Groundwork, FLR Flooring, Hogarths Hotel and Solihull Council – have all supported the teams and their participation in the competition.
The teams had a great day, winning best verbal presentation and achieving 2nd place overall were Sonic Speed. This means they will take part in the national final at the Ricoh Arena. Lightning Sparks were also successful and winning the fastest car prize.
A local luxury pet bed maker has received a business boost from Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. Courtney Savannah, owner of Cosy Chic Pet Boutique, tweeted Theo about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers. The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has 1700 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.
Thanks to Theo’s support, Cosy Chic Pet Boutique has received a sales boost for their luxury, handmade and bespoke dog and cat beds.
Courtney said, “Being hand picked by Theo as a winner after only being in business for 9 months gave me an incredible sense of achievement and recognition for all my hard work and ideas. SBS has been a huge boost to not only my business growth and development but also my personal confidence as a designer and business owner.”
Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK. The website and Shop #SBS will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Cosy Chic Pet Boutique every success.”
Cosy Chic Pet Boutique is one of two businesses Courtney runs in our area. Her other business, Love Cosy Chic, has a concession in Antiques in a Barn, Old Lodge Farm, Balsall Common.