Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Latimer Hinks to Recognise Unsung Heroes - who would you nominate?

Once again Latimer Hinks Solicitors and Horwath Clark Whitehill (accountants) are jointly sponsoring the Durham and Tees Valley Charity Awards.

This is the 2nd year of the Charity Awards with the first being extremely successful.

The Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of dedicated fundraisers throughout Durham & Tees Valley.

We’re looking for nominations for the following awards:
· Local Branch of National Charity
· Local Charity
· Volunteer of the Year
· Fundraiser of the Year
· Business Supporter of the Year
· Animal Charity
· Elderly Charity
· Children & Young People’s Charity
· Disability Charity

So, f you have a charity in mind that you would like to nominate take a look at the website Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards for guidlelines and further information. Also see our press release Local Charities to be Recognised

The charities have of course, got to be in it to win it - so thinking caps on - who would you nominate?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Johnny Wilkinson, Matthew Tait - the whole Newcastle Falcons Squad in one room - a great day out of the office!

A while back I contacted Newcastle Falcons in the hope that they could help in providing an auction prize for the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball.

I was, to say the least very excited to receive an invitation to attend a Charity Signing Day at the Falcons Stadium. The invitation extended to one other person attending so I "dragged" along Rosie (one of our solicitors with a keen interest in rugby).

The whole squad were there to sign (including the guys who played for England - Johnny Wilkinson, Matthew Tait...etc). They were all sat at tables and we had to work our way around following the t-shirt on it's way - it was such hard work - not!

It was quite hectic and I would imagine that there were around 100 people in the room waiting for signed memorabilia.

Rosie and I decided to purchase the black home shirt and proceeded to walk around the tables. The rugby shirt moved quicker than us and when we arrived for the last player's autograph our rugby shirt was nowhere to be found!

We were shocked! This was after all a Charity Signing Day to benefit charities and someone had taken not one shirt but at least 4 others. Disgraceful!

We all tracked down the staff and explained the situation. After much searching we were all provided with a different rugby shirt that had already been signed.

This rugby shirt will provide a great auction prize which of course we hope will sell for "lots of money" (i haven't a clue how much) and... it was a great day out of the office!

However, this not the only sports donation that Latimer Hinks have received.

We also have 2 signed footballs, one for Middlesbrough FC and the other Newcastle UFC and we are very grateful for all.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Women & Blogging - what would you give up?

Recently BlogHer and Compass Partners co-sponsored a US study that provides insights into women who blog and women who read blogs.

36.2 million women write and read blogs every week and of these approximately half
consider blogs reliable source of information.

I find this fact a little unsettling. Blogging is more about exchanging thoughts and opinions than about facts. You're free to say what you want to say in the way that you want to say it.

It is great to take on board others opinions, they can show a subject from a different angle - but unless you are reading a blogger with authority on a subject (see Judith's Divorce Blog) then what you are reading should not be assumed to be correct.

Here are some light hearted results from the survey - women would give something up to keep the blogs they read and/or write:
- 55% would give up alcohol
- 50% would give up their PDAs
- 42% would give up their i-Pod
- 43% would give up reading the newspaper or magazines
BUT, some things are sacred … only 20% would give up chocolate!

You'll find the full survey here and a link to the actual presentation

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Social Networking Guineapig Made the Shortlist!

Frank in a hat
Originally uploaded by mushyp

Just thought i'd let you know.... Social Networking Guineapig has been shortlisted for the North East Digital Awards. We're in the Digital Users/Marketing/Best Use of Blogging category.

Entrants were responsible for "getting votes" and social networking sites provided the opportunity to reach a wide audience in a limited period of time.

So thank you to all who "took the time" and voted! I'll let you know how we get on after the Awards Ceremony 15th May 2008.

That week will be hectic - the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball takes place the following evening, so lot's of preparing to do before hand!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Power of Social Networking - $700,000 in 4 days

Originally uploaded by Dmitry Kolchev

Social Networking can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses. It's becoming an important part of everyday life, and this is set to continue. Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo etc will have to work hard to retain their position in this fast paced industry as new Social Networking sites evolve.

I have recently used Social Networking sites to promote Judith's Divorce Blog and Social Networking Guineapig's entries into the North East Digital Awards - we should see in a months time how effective this has been.

The Latimer Hinks Charity Ball has also been promoted via this method - and it's working. Businesses have contacted Latimer Hinks to offer prizes, free services etc - and of course social media promotion will be of great benefit to the charities.

Although the above efforts have been relatively successful they pale into insignificance when you read about 19 year old Michael Treinen who is fighting for his life. He needs a $500,000 bone marrow transplant. With only a few days to raise money to cover the costs, the Treinan family turned to email, asking friends and family to donate $20 within three days and forward the email to 20 friends.

Four Days; $700,000 Social Networking Works.

This is such a powerful "spirit lifting" story that i just had to share it -you can count on friends, and friends arethe basis for the majority of Social Networking sites - this is why they are so successful!

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Breeds of Social Networkers - which are you?

According to MSN us Social Networkers have different breeds/classifications. I thought this quite interesting and wondered... Which Breed are You?
  • Alpha Socialiser
  • Attention Seeker
  • Follower
  • Faithful
  • Functional
Turns out i'm a Functional (although the majority of this group is male). I'll consider myself a Minority Functional

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Latimer Hinks Image Update - due to expansion

Latimer Hinks have been a part of Darlington life since 1872. We are 5 - 8 Priestgate in the centre of Darlington and are slowly edging our way into 4 Priestgate (which is the cream building to the left).

Due to this expansion we need to update our "shop front". Windows, fascias etc for each of the buildings are all different and we need to look at a design that will "marry" all of the buildings.

I'm having meetings next week with a few signmakers - I shall let you know how we get on!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Relaxing Donations for the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball

Anyone for a massage?
Originally uploaded by Kevin Day

We're holding an auction, a prize draw and a tombola at the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball.

I have contacted many local businesses for support and they're coming up trumps! It seems they consider that our guests are in need of relaxation and pampering, here are some of the prizes:

  • Headlam Hall - golf, lunch, swedish back and neck massage, use of spa facilities and a 2 course candle-lit dinner
  • Blackwell Grange Hotel - 1 night of pure indulgence for 2, accomodation, 3 course dinner, full english breakfast, complimentary spa treatment + use of hotel leisure facilities
  • Whinstone View Luxury Lodges - overnight stay (with outside tub) + meal in the Bistro

Numerous bottles of wine have also been donated along with magnums of champagne (we are a boozy lot!) - i'm sure they will go down well!