Thursday, 20 December 2007

A Merry "PC" Christmas to you ALL

Originally uploaded by Ma1974

It's my last day in the office for 2007. I will be returning to work and to blogging in January 2008.

I'm really looking forward to the break and the festivities that surrounds Christmas. We do however, live in a society where the true meaning of Christmas can be lost. Christmas has not only become commercialised but traditions taken for granted and passed down from generation to generation are being replaced with a 'politically correct' version or stopped altogether.

Here are a few examples of Christmas Political Correctness gone mad: · In 2006 the Royal Mail removed any Christian references from it’s Christmas stamps

  • · In 2005 some places banned children from sitting on Santa’s lap
  • · The Red Cross banned Christmas nativity decorations from it’s UK charity shops in case they offended people of other religions
  • · A church was told it could not advertise it’s Christmas services on a community notice board as it could offend other religions
  • · In 2005 Lambeth in South London named it’s Christmas lights, Winter lights Simply "daft".

How much time and expense has been spent on becoming Politically Correct - and in some cases - is it worth it?

The Commission for Racial Equality, it seems, has a sense of humour when it comes to Christmas. Their card which was sent out in 2006 shows the usual nativity scene as a draft with a series of suggestions and notes—I wonder if they send a similar card for 2007?

If you wish to make a Politically Correct seasonal greeting, here's one I found earlier:

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all; (Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit)

Whatever your religion, have a good one!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Benefitting the Local Community

Here at Latimer Hinks we like to "do our bit" for the local community and in turn help to reduce our carbon footprint.

We've recently donated £1000 to The Tees Forest so that 2000 trees can be planted.

The Tees Forest is part of the North East Community Forests group that is working in a newly-created woodland area of Darlington - aimed at improving the environment and encouraging more people to use the outdoors for education and enjoyment. The wood will be called Scouts' Wood and will improve the local community for many years to come. Latimer Hinks Branches out with Charity Support

Latimer Hinks has undergone a computer makeover. Lovely, slim, aesthetic monitors have replaced the CRT dinosaurs (still in working order) and as part of our ongoing commitment to recycling we have donated the old computers to charity. You can read all about it - Latimer Hinks Encourages Recycling

Gone are the days of "make do and mend". Items become obselete in such a short space of time and can easily be replaced. It's well worth doing a little research to see if anyone, or any organisation can benefit from what you're throwing away.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Success Happens Here - Judith's Divorce Blog

Success Happens Here
Originally uploaded by *Fly*

For those of you who have read my blog Social Networking Guineapig from the start, you will know that the reason for blogging in the first place was to promote the family law department within Latimer Hinks Solicitors.

The department, headed by Judith Middleton was in need of a promotional "push". Family law is a difficult service to "sell" as most Clients prefer to have a divorce lawyer recommended, that way the service has been "tried and tested" by someone you trust.

I decided to implement Web 2 in the quest and introduced Judith (and myself) to the concept of blogging, bookmarking and RSS feeds. We had to learn from scratch!

I'm now going to report on the success of the blog via a method which we did not initially consider - online newspapers!

Judith's Blog appears on The Northern Echo Readers Blog page and The Journal Live Blogs (Judith's is listed in the right hand beige column) Readers of these newspapers are local to us.

  • Through them:
    we reach a wider audience within our cachment area
    we are promoted to a wider age range
    we present and accessible, expert service/advice

Basically, blogs are GOOD! They are a great promotional tool which used correctly can generate online traffic as well as traffic through the front door.

You can read through our trial and error process on this blog.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas Party Pitfalls

Around 80% of British bosses will not organise an office party this Christmas, in part due to legal hangovers from fighting and flirting at past events.
You could say Christmas is cancelled!

Nick Poole, a partner at Latimer Hinks has put together a guide to avoiding common legal pitfalls. Avoiding the Legal Hangover of the Office Party

As Nick mentions, new media and social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace provide the opportunity for members to make comments/gossip/post pictures. Employees should be warned in advance that this type of networking with regard to the Christmas Party will be frowned upon.

So my additional advice is...

be on the watch for colleagues who take lots of pictures and encourage you to do silly things like pull faces, pose in awkward positions and dance with your arms wrapped around your boss’s neck. The subsequent circulation of such images via internet sites such as Flickr and Facebook might leave you extremely embarrassed.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christmas, Divorce and Grandparents

Originally uploaded by p2a2

When it comes to divorce/separation it's often the extended family that lose out

With more and more parents working, grandparents have increasingly been pressed into service as childcarers. They play a substantial and vital role and according to a recent survey, 64% of families with working parents rely on grandparents for at least some of their childcare, of which for most there is no charge.

But what happens when their child faces divorce/separation?

A grandparent may have provided daycare for the children 5 days a week, but will have no right to apply for contact in the event parents separate. This will undoubtedly have an effect on their relationship with their Grandchildren.

Judith Middleton explains the available options - Keeping In Touch with Grandchildren After Divorce

Further information for Grandparents is listed below:

Grandparents Rights - To encourage the Government to grant legal rights to grandparents in family law to benefit child welfare.

Grandparents Apart - campaign for greater respect of Grandparents and older people in Scotland

Grandparents Association Website - resources and advice for Grandparents