February, 2015

Charity creates new strategic operations post to support consultancy growth

Caroline Caple

An expert in providing global IT services has taken on a newly created role at the Ambleside head office of the charity Brathay Trust.
Reporting directly to Brathay’s CEO Godfrey Owen, Caroline Caple is charged with providing strategic advice and leading the operations of the professional development arm of the business.

Brathay’s new head of operations, who lives in Ambleside, has spent the last 10 years working for a large global organisation in the IT professional services industry. Caroline, 45, joins ten staff plus a larger group of associate trainers that make up Brathay’s professional development team. Business with corporate clients has grown by 27% in 2014 and Caroline has been recruited to ensure quality is sustained as the growth in sales is delivered.

“My job is to drive continuous improvement and to ensure all our internal processes and systems are effective and as cost efficient as possible,” said Caroline. She is also tasked with managing and developing Brathay’s ability to demonstrate professionalism and service excellence.

“We work with top executives, senior and middle managers to drive business success, focusing on personal behaviours and qualities, strategic direction setting and employee engagement” said Caroline.

“We deliver this to clients near and far – from the front lawn of Brathay Hall to government offices in Oman.

“In the short time I’ve been here it’s been fantastic to see at first hand the positive impact our programmes have on individuals and teams both for adults and young people. Brathay values of ‘Inspire, Share and Support’ are clearly evident in the way people work with each other and with their clients” added Caroline.

When not working, Caroline enjoys hill walking with her husband who is a member of the Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue. She cites this as the main reason for relocating to the area four years ago from the South East of England.

Image shows: Caroline Caple

Notes to editors:
Brathay Trust, set up in 1946, employs over 100 people in Cumbria. All profits from the professional development part of the business fund its nationwide charitable work with children and young people. Toyota, John Lewis, Balfour Beatty, DHL, Waitrose, JCB and Unilever are just some of the 100 regular users of professional and organisational development training at Brathay.

Georgian life in Ambleside revealed – book launch: Brathay Hall Saturday 28 February (2-4pm)

Maurice Dybeck

Georgian life in Ambleside is revealed in a new book based on the journals and sketches of the Hardens of Brathay Hall. Their social circle included Wordsworth, Coleridge and Constable.

Compiled by renowned local historian Maurice Dybeck – who has written other social history books and is a co-author of Longman’s ‘Study Geography’ series which sold almost a million copies worldwide – it took a year to research and edit.

“The words and letters of Jessy Harden present a fascinating picture of life in the upper echelons of local society” explained Mr Dybeck.

“John Harden was no mean artist, particularly when it comes to recording all their daily doings. Putting together his pictures and her comments give us unique window into the social life of those times.

“For the Hardens, who lived at Brathay Hall on the northern shore of Windermere in the first quarter of the 19th century, life was a busy round of sketching, social visits, having fun, managing the estate, playing cards, making music and looking after their five children.

“Their social circle included Wordsworth, Coleridge and Constable and their shared love of art and literature is encapsulated in Jessy’s journals and through John’s sketches. My job was to bring these two unique sources together.”

The 200 page ‘Jessy’s Journal’ is an anthology of Jessy’s letters, extracted from 70,000 words transcribed by Dr Sue Owen from Kendal, and a selection of 150 out of 500 of John’s pictures held in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal.

The result is an appealing collection of witty tales and surprisingly frank commentary on 19th century life which finds many reflections in today’s world.

From Kirkby Lonsdale, the 85 year old author, has a long association with Brathay Hall and the 69 year old charity Brathay Trust whose head office is based there. Mr Dybeck said:

“You can’t live in a well-preserved old house without speculating on its past. Like many who stay at Brathay today, the Hardens were townspeople, but they were captivated with the prospect of living in the country and in such splendid surroundings. Friends visited from far and wide and Jessy Harden delighted in recording it all in great detail in letters to her sister in India. Her comments are acute and often outspoken. ‘Mr Poore was such a bore! He does not choose to comply with the rules of good breeding’ and ‘Her spouse is a poor looking fellow…but £10,000 a year has many charms’.”

The colourful, soft-back book should appeal to lovers of the Lake District and to anyone interested in the social activities of the time. Priced at £20, the author is donating all profits to Brathay Trust for its work with young people.

At the Brathay Hall book launch on Saturday 28 February (2-4pm), where the book will be on sale, visitors will be able to meet the editor, gain an insight into Jessy’s world through mini performances and find features of the Hall captured in John’s sketches.

A popular fudge, local artisan food and gift shop is for sale in a Lake District village famed for its links to Ruskin, Ransome, Potter and Campbell

Phil and Helen Glennon

A couple who have been running a popular fudge, local artisan food and gift shop in Coniston are putting it on the market so they can concentrate on their fudge making business.

Inspired by their own family holidays in the Lake District as children, Phil Glennon and his wife Helen moved to Coniston with their two boys in 2002. A village famed for its links to John Ruskin, Arthur Ransome, Beatrix Potter and Donald Campbell, it also appeals to climbers, walkers and those who love to be on, or near, water.

Using their savings they bought the Victorian slate fronted shop in the middle of the village. It has direct views to the summit of Coniston Old Man rising dramatically over the village and the huge expanse of Coniston Water. The six bed living accommodation above the shop became their home and, for a period, provided additional income as a holiday let.

Now, with their youngest son soon to fly the nest, Phil and Helen want to focus on their highly successful ‘Coniston Fudge’ making business which they set up in 2004. During the season they can sell as much as four and half tonnes of fudge, in as many as 25 flavours, from their Yewdale Road ‘Coniston Artisan’ shop and their other shop and production unit on Lake Road.

Phil says being the only venue in the village with a free cash machine, attracting as many as 300 people a day into the shop, makes the shop a popular destination. Their offer to visitors to try fudge samples has a positive impact on sales as do customers returning year after year for more supplies.

“We now want to concentrate on fudge production and sales through our other shop, a sort of down-sizing,” said Phil.

“Every day we remind ourselves that we made a deliberate decision to start a new life in the Lakes. It’s important to us that we continue to enjoy all the things that we love about the area whilst earning a good income.”

Explaining why they quit their home in West Yorkshire 13 years ago Phil said:

“We both had great holidays in the Lakes and loved the area. I had been made redundant a few times and we wanted things to change. We decided to invest our savings and my redundancy money into a business with Helen initially carrying on with her job as a housing manager. I had always worked in sales and so this business, which at the time included the Post Office, seemed an obvious choice. Strangely enough my first job after university, where I had studied Italian and English Literature, was selling chocolate for the Swiss chocolatiers Lindt – perhaps a sign of things to come.”

With an average turnover circa £120,000 pa, the firmly established artisan confectionary and gifts retail business is on the market with Carter Jonas. It includes six bed living accommodation on two floors above the shop, a garden and a basement.

“There are lots of options with this property” said Stephen Holland from Carter Jonas. “It could appeal to an investor, someone looking for a second home, or a couple like Phil and Helen who want to run their own business and escape the rat race.”

The guide price for the property at 6 Yewdale Road, Coniston, is £350,000 for the apartment and, £425,000 including the shop.
Photograph shows Phil and Helen Glennon

Notes to editors:
About the property:
The building is part of a terrace of properties that was built by a firm local builders, the Usher family in 1903. Originally the shop was split in two. One half sold wool and knitting patterns, and the other half was the village Post Office. The two came together sometime in the sixties, and gift items were gradually added to the shop. In 2013 the Post Office closed and the couple concentrated on the local food and gift offering. A brochure is available on request.
About Coniston:
Coniston grew as both a farming village, and to serve local copper and slate mines. It became popular as a tourist destination during the Victorian era, thanks partially to the arrival of the railway.
The eminent Victorian writer John Ruskin lived in Coniston and is buried in the village church. The famous children’s story, ‘Swallows and the Amazons’ by Arthur Ransome, is set around Coniston Water which is also known as the place where Donald Campbell died attempting to break the world water speed record for the eighth time in 1967. Famous people who visited the area included the poet Tennyson, who spent his honeymoon here in 1848, and the painter Turner.
Today whitewashed and grey, slate-roofed buildings make up the village, once home to the workers of the nearby copper and slate mines. Rising dramatically behind the houses is Coniston Old Man, who towers over the valleys, and the huge expanse of Coniston Water.
The combination of forest, lakes, and mountains makes Coniston ideal for climbers and walkers. Coniston is also the perfect spot to ‘mess about in boats’.

Ten Marathons in 10 days for two Milton Keynes runners

Paul Sutherland David Bayley finishing at his last 10in10 in 2013

Two men from Milton Keynes, who’ve already notched up an impressive 340 marathons between them, have pledged to run 10 more in 10 consecutive days to fundraise for a national charity that helps young people.

David Bayley, a marathon event organiser, and Paul Sutherland, a Network Rail manager, start their monumental challenge in the Lake District on Friday (8 May) and finish on Sunday 17 May.

Along with 14 other people from around the country, they will run the same 26.2 miles each day, an anti-clockwise route circumnavigating England’s longest lake, Windermere. Described by adventurer and extreme survival expert Bear Grylls as “an epic challenge that will require an epic strength of mind”, only 79 people have completed it since it started in 2007.

And one of those is 42 year old David who is hoping to complete the challenge for the sixth time making him the only person in the world to achieve this feat. However it will be 48 year old Paul’s first attempt.

The pair, who belong to two different clubs, meet at running events and share banter about their sport and the football teams they support.
David said he was returning to the event for a sixth time for a number of reasons. He said: “It’s a very special event and the Brathay Trust is a fantastic charity. Over half of the £25,000 I’ve raised since I’ve been running has gone towards the work Brathay does and I am hoping to raise even more this time. And I want to complete my 60th official marathon round Windermere in memory of my father who was a keen sportsman and who passed away 11 years ago from cancer just before his 60th birthday. I want to get to 60 for him.”

Whilst the event is a first for Paul he is no stranger to the course. He has already run the one day Windermere Marathon twice in 2012 and 2014.

Paul said: “The more I looked into what the charity achieved, the more I wanted to do this event. I am an adoptive parent and a trained foster carer so I understand the real need in the community to help our children. Since 1989, when I was very ill and nearly died, I have raised money for various charities – usually to support cancer or children. I often run with a special race number and usually in my beloved Liverpool top, which reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive and stops me feeling sorry for myself when I get tired. So it’s a great honour to be able to help and I just hope I can inspire others to do something amazing.”

Over the coming weeks David, who ran his first marathon in 2005, will be running his 204th in Tokyo, and his 205th in Little Rock, Arkansas. He then plans to run 100 miles along the length of the North Carolina Coast for the ‘Graveyard 100’.

Paul who set out to run 100 marathons in two years, completing the challenge last May in Milton Keynes, hopes to reach 200 by 2016. Shortly after the Brathay 10in10 Paul will attempt a 100 mile 24 hour race across North West England.

Scott Umpleby, Head of Fundraising at Brathay Trust, says the charity appreciates all that the runners do, including putting their lives on hold to prepare for the event and to fundraise. Scott describes is at one of the most scenic, and challenging, marathons in Europe and said: “It requires an amazing strength of mind and is surely proof that ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things. It’s an ethos that inspires our work with young people.”

Local people and businesses have already helped the pair raise over £6,000 towards their combined target of £11,000. They both hope the support will continue with people donating to their JustGiving pages.

To sponsor David Bayley please visit:
To sponsor Paul Sutherland please visit:
Blogs and video updates charting the pair’s progress will be posted here: and tweeted at #10in10
To contact David “Foxy” Bayley phone 07763 838194
To contact Paul Sutherland phone 07799336071

Images show David Bayley and Paul Sutherland