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Celebrating the achievements of people in Peterborough

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 29.02.2016

Time: 17:27

I was fortunate enough to attend the Peterborough Civic Awards one Wednesday afternoon in February, after two of our fantastic volunteers were told they were due to receive awards at the event.

I would - of course - always say that our volunteers are the best and truly deserving of winning Civic Awards. Their hard work and dedication makes a massive difference to what we can achieve as a charity.

On the night, our volunteer Michaela won the Young Person Civic Award for the passion and initiative she has shown. In addition, Peter won an Environmental Achievement Civic Award for volunteering with our green skills share scheme Greeniversity. It was absolutely fantastic that they were honoured for the difference they make to their local community.

What was so wonderful about the night was having the chance to meet lots of other volunteers and to hear about all the other great works people are doing across the city. The awards are a great way to say thank you to the people who go out of their way to help others and to recognise all the great work that they do.

Just some of the other winners' achievements (and there's far too many to mention all of them) include organising collection points to support refugees in Calais, the significant impact made by being a teacher for more than 40 years, being an ambassador for celebrating diversity, helping the city to achieve Fairtrade City Status and many more.

It makes me feel massively proud about the achievements of people in Peterborough.

Laura Fanthorpe is Marketing and Communications Manager at Peterborough Environment City Trust.



Of Mosquitoes, Mandela and Mahatma Ghandhi

Category: Business

Date: 16.02.2016

Time: 12:53

Rob Knowles is MD at Cubet Ltd, an organisation that specialises in helping individuals, teams and organisations to evolve. Cubet Ltd is a member of Investors in the Environment, the national green accreditation scheme for businesses.

Mosquitoes are much in the news at the moment, with the Zika virus in South America. I had cause to have a conversation with somebody recently about a mosquito.

“A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark” – Dante Alighieri.

At the recent Investors in the Environment Awards night I was delighted to receive a Green Award. The event was brilliantly organized and run by Peterborough Environment City Trust. It was an excellent occasion and gave rise to a wonderful networking opportunity.

Whilst chatting with one business owner I asked him what drew him to the event. He replied that apart from the networking opportunity he felt he was “considering doing something green” with his business, but felt that he would be met with resistance, and that he was too small to make a difference.

I challenged this notion, with the adage that you’re never too small to make a difference – if you need proof, try sleeping in a tent with a mosquito. I could see from his body language that he has already resigned himself to the difficulty of this near impossible task, chortling – you don’t know the folks I work with. As tempted as I was to challenge that objection by reminding him he had hired them, I deftly quoted Nelson Mandela that ”It always seems impossible until it is done”. This aphorism had a slight effect – manifested as very slight nod and smile. I quickly followed up with wisdom from Mahatma Ghandi “You must be the change you wish the world to see.”

As for resistance he felt he might meet, he is perfectly correct. It is human nature to resist new things, but with the right amount of thinking and planning the change can be made into the norm. Change is all about the challenging the norm.

As the conversation progressed, he asked what I was doing. I replied I’m sending a tweet, with a message to show how we can challenge the norm.

I further explained that in order to be resilient and adaptable to be able to cope with change, you have to be resilient as an organisation and a person. In order for that to be in place, mindfulness has to be factored in. Before a person can be mindful, I believe that they must understand and be able to manage their own mindsets. 

This approach is often used in my own work with Cubet Ltd where I help companies get more from their employees.



Ethical Weddings

Category: General

Date: 04.02.2016

Time: 14:36

This year I’m getting married. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this - time is passing way too quickly! As we all know, weddings can be very expensive. The dress, the suit, the cake, invites, flowers, the venue, decorations… it all adds up. Most of the people at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) are very artsy and creative, so I’ve had a lot of ideas suggested since my engagement on how to save money by doing most of the work myself and I thought I would share this via my blog post in order to help anyone else with planning their wedding! So here goes:

Save the Dates and Invites

Once you have picked your special day, you may wish to send Save the Dates to your friends and family. I decided to make my own Save the Dates using an idea I found on Pinterest.

I started off with a long piece of card which I folded into thirds. I then decorated the card and added a line that said ‘Selina and Andy are tying the knot’. After this I put a hole at either end of the card and threaded some string through, so that when you pull both ends of the card the strings ties a knot in the middle. There are plenty of different ideas on the internet so take a look and give one of them a go!

 (Photo from www.belovedfoto.com)

The Venue

Picking a venue is not an easy task. One option that would support a local green community project is having your reception at The Green Backyard. The Green Backyard is a community project, based in the centre of Peterborough and is run entirely by volunteers, who transformed the once derelict site into a community garden that is open to everyone. The Green Backyard isn’t taking bookings for weddings quite at the moment, but it is something they are looking to do in the future, so keep an eye on their website!

The Dress

My dress was purchased from www.WED2B.co.uk. The shop I used was based in Leicester, but they’re all over the UK. The dresses they stock are from cancelled orders, discontinuations and unused samples. The dresses are beautiful and I can’t wait to show mine off. An alternative option would be to purchase your dress from a charity shop.

Decorations and other bits and pieces

Instead of a set meal for our guests, we’re planning afternoon tea, including sandwiches, cakes and scones. Our reception venue are sorting the food, but we are in charge of getting the cake stands, so for the past year I have been scouring the local charity shops and I have managed to purchase some great bargains, whilst supporting charities that are close to my heart. I also purchased tea cups to fill with petals and flowers to use as table decorations.

To add more of a DIY touch, you could make your own bunting and confetti. Visit www.Save-On-Crafts.com where you can find plenty of ideas.

Finally, instead of wedding favours, on our guest’s behalf we have decided to donate money to a charity that means a lot to me and my partner. If you purchase place cards from Macmillan Cancer Support you can get ones with pins or flower seeds for your guests. These wedding favours are a great way to say thank you to your guests and raise money for Macmillan. There are other charities that do similar things so, if you have a charity in mind, make sure you have a look at their website.

 (A lovely idea for a place for guests to put your wedding cards using a suitcase from a charity shop and some handmade bunting)

That’s all my tips! If you’re getting married, or if you know someone who needs some ideas for their wedding then I hope this helped!

Selina West is PECT's Office Manager and Company Administrator.