November, 2016

Business raises an ‘oar-some’ amount for local charity Brathay Trust

TWENTY-TWO staff from a global surveillance business rowed an ‘oar-some’ 38km – the length of three Lake District lakes in under 12hrs to raise £6,150.72 for local charity Brathay Trust.

The Synectics employees from offices in UK and Munich started their challenge on Ullswater, by paddling 12.2km in open canoes. At Coniston the team took to 10 man voyager canoes to travel 8.3km down Coniston Water. Their final leg, the 18.08km length of Windermere, saw them row whalers, traditional wooden rowing gigs, to the finish at Brathay Hall’s boathouse.

This is the third year that a team from Synectics has tackled the three lakes challenge in support of Brathay’s work with vulnerable young people. They have now raised nearly £20,000. This year’s event was held in memory of Nigel Poultney, Synectics’ Company Secretary, who took part in their first 2012 challenge.

Chris Bishop, International Business Development Director at Synectics said: “The work Brathay does for young people is invaluable and we are proud to be raising money to support this worthy cause.

“Here at Synectics we like a challenge and this is the hardest one we’ve undertaken yet. It’s been a great exercise in bringing us together as a team. We trained and worked hard together to raise funds. This year was especially poignant for us as we undertook it in memory of Nigel.”

Scott Umpleby, Brathay’s Head of Fundraising said: “Synectics staff are helping us to help young people and we can’t thank them enough. Their fundraising has allowed us to support young offenders, help improve employability chances for those not in education or employment and provided essential support for young people affected by sexual exploitation.

“This year’s donation means we can deliver critical programmes supporting 10-16 years old coping with bereavement, young people leaving care and those with a parent with drug or alcohol problems.”

In the run up to the challenge, which took place in September, staff at Synectics’ offices held a series of fundraising events including dress down days, car washing, bake sales and coffee mornings.
Attached image shows: the Synectics team who raised an ‘oar-some’ amount for local charity Brathay Trust in their 3 lakes challenge

Notes to Editors
Synectics is a global integrated surveillance specialist with over thirty years’ experience providing solutions in the world’s most demanding environments across sectors including; gaming, marine, critical infrastructure, public spaces and oil and gas. For more information on Synectics, visit

For press information, please contact: Fiona Berry, Marketing Manager, Synectics, T: +44 (0) 114 2552509 E: OR Claire Evans, PR Director, Intelligent Conversation, T: +44 (0) 161 212 1613 E:

Wall hanging to record Kendal’s community flood stories – information session Mon 12 Dec, Kendal

bridget-guest-manager-of-the-quaker-tapestry-museumPEOPLE affected by last year’s December floods are invited to create a wall hanging to capture its impact on the community for current and future generations.
Anyone can get involved, not just those who can stitch and create, says Bridget Guest project champion.

“Maybe you were flooded? Or perhaps you helped others, put them up for the night or got involved in the aftermath” she said.

The curator of one of the world’s largest modern community embroideries, Bridget says hearing first-hand accounts of Storm Desmond will be key to shaping the textile as will any photographs showing how people coped during the floods.
And, she says, her experience of the Quaker Tapestry embroideries is that it brought people together and resulted in a captivating legacy.

As Bridget Guest explained:
“The idea of coming together to capture in textile form significant events that have shaped and will continue to shape us is not new – we only need to consider the Bayeux Tapestry.

“For prosperity it is important to record the voices of those who were affected by the flood and to celebrate the remarkable resilience of our community when faced with disaster.

“We hope there is enough interest to record this as a large-scale textile wall hanging.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to take part in workshops early next year which we will bring to groups, schools and community centres.

“Run by expert textile artist Donna Campbell, they will be very informal and fun. There will be lots of encouragement and help to enable everyone to contribute regardless of their crafting or artistic ability. It should be a hopeful, uplifting and rewarding experience.

“It would also be wonderful to hear from anyone who can help us record the stories and workshops for an accompanying audio guide and film” she added.

At the end of the project all the individual components will be brought together by Donna Campbell and a small band of volunteers to make one big wall hanging. Its home will be the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal but, like the 77 embroideries already housed there, it will travel to other venues.

Anyone interested in finding out more is warmly invited to an information session on Monday 12th Dec, from 3pm until 6pm at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in the Friends Meeting House on Stramongate, Kendal. The session provides an opportunity to: meet the artist Donna Campbell, learn how individuals, schools, youth groups, churches, community organisations or other groups can get involved; have a look round the Quaker Tapestry which provides the inspiration for the project ( free of charge as part of this project).

Anyone who can’t attend the session and wanting to express interest in the project, or find out more can contact Bridget Guest by email at or by phoning 01539 722975.


Attached image shows: Bridget Guest from the Quaker Tapestry Museum who is inviting people to help create a wall hanging to record Kendal’s community flood stories.

Butchery business bounces back – bigger, better and stronger – post Storm Desmond

A butchery business hit hard by 2015’s Storm Desmond is reporting an increase in trade after opening two new premises and offering state of the art meat maturation facilities and an artisan smoke house.

When the floods hit Cumbria last December Lakes Speciality Foods (LSF), who serviced their trade clients from Staveley, lost 20% of their business. The message that Cumbria was closed for business plus infrastructure challenges were to blame says company director Dan Weston. He said it made them realise they needed to be closer to their customers, and there were opportunities to supply premium products and do business outside of the county.

Four months later, Lakes Speciality Foods opened the Ulverston Meat Company to provide quality meat at wholesale prices to the trade and public through a modern factory shop outlet. It supplies the rest of the group with locally-sourced lamb purchased at the town’s auction mart, in some weeks buying as many as 50 lambs. This hub is also home to a new and expanding aspect of the business – Lakeland’s only salt house. Set in the walls of the salt house maturation fridge are over 1,500 Himalayan pink rock salt bricks. Here premium beef, lamb, pork and venison are matured to meet a growing demand from chefs looking to offer something new.

That investment is beginning to pay off says Dan Weston. There are orders from local restaurants and hotels as well as deliveries to Manchester and Liverpool.

At the same time as setting up the Ulverston Meat Company, Lakes Speciality Foods joined forces with two new specialist directors to open the Eden Valley Meat Company. Operating from Plumpton near Penrith, and servicing the north Lakes, this hub procures locally sourced venison and game birds for the company and operates a smokehouse.
As Dan Weston explained:

“The floods revealed some business vulnerabilities which we believe we’ve turned into strengths. People want security of supply as much as they want high quality meat with a strong local provenance. We are now based within the communities we serve, staffed with locals, and providing true accountability. As part of a larger business we can pass on efficiencies of scale to our customers, both trade and the public, whilst assuring them of the meat’s provenance and quality.

“Storm Desmond demonstrated that infrastructure is key. When we couldn’t get deliveries to our customers that had quite an impact on us. We’ve responded by setting up these hubs to service the north and south Lakes and we’ve extended our customer base beyond Cumbria by producing a premium product.

“As a result of that we are bigger, better and stronger. Within the two new businesses eight new jobs have been created the changes are safeguarding the jobs of the group’s other 50 employees.

“2017 looks like being a good year for us as we work hard to secure more clients, attract more people to our Ulverston and Kendal shops and take our products to Keswick, Kendal and Ulverston markets using a fleet of new vans.”

Lakes Speciality Foods was set up in 2004 by four local business men with backgrounds in the meat industry. The firm’s annual turnover is £10million.


Charity PR Cumbria – Endurance Runner

South Lakes Endurance runner honoured with a community award for going the distance for charity

THE superhuman efforts of runner Paul Dewar, to fundraise for local charities have been recognised with a community Citizen of the Year Award 2016.

Over the last 16 years publicans Paul and wife Trudi have raised around £70,000 for good causes across the area. Starting out with pub quiz fundraisers at the Kendal Arms, Paul then embarked on multiple marathons for the Ambleside based youth charity Brathay Trust.

And then in May the 51-year-old set himself his biggest challenge yet – a 21 day Herculean ‘To Hell and Back’ ultra-triathlon. With the help of Trudi, their staff at the Stan Laurel Inn Ulverston and supporters he raised £20,000 for Brathay by cycling 1,350 miles, swimming the length of Windermere and running 10 marathons in 10 days.

Completely taken aback by his award, Paul said it was definitely a group effort and that he was glad to be able to raise awareness of and funds for a local charity who did amazing work with young people.

As Paul explained: “We hear so many bad stories about the world we live in, it’s been heart-warming to find that people are incredibly generous and communities rally around in support of each other. I also got to do something I enjoy, well perhaps not at the time but certainly afterwards.”

As for his next challenge, Paul has his sights set on two triathlons, an overseas ‘Ironman’ and ‘The Lakesman Triathlon’.


For further information please contact Paul at the pub on 01229 582814 or on his mobile 07855481553.
Attached image shows Paul Dewar who was honoured this month with a Citizen of the Year award for going the distance for charity.