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Thoughts from December 2010

Lady Gaga comes to Fruit Towers

Although Gaga recently popped into the Cross Keys in Hammersmith for a pint the other month, we just missed out on getting her in the door for a smoothie. So instead, we thought we'd take innocent to Gaga-land, through our very own Glee club. Enjoy.

new office pet

We once had an office dog (well, for about 3 hours), Fliss’ bunnies pop in every now and then and the crows on the roof come and go as they please. The car park fox never comes in but still likes the odd sleep on Mark’s car.

But we now have an official office pet.

Butterfly2


Flitting between the desks of unit 5, the office butterfly has been here for about a week now.

By day, he divides his time between Alison, Alex W and Marco. By night, he retreats to the rafters or air conditioning unit.

The squabble for who gets to take him over the Christmas holidays has already begun.

Odds are it’s Clover.

For obvious reasons.

secret santa sorted

Still need to buy a secret Santa present but want to avoid resorting to the ‘novelty’ chocolate body parts selection box?

For under a fiver, you won’t go far wrong with these hand tattoos.

Handy


Last Christmas (thanks to the puppetry genius of Designer Kat) the Hip Hop Tiger made his debut whilst this year, giraffes, zebras and sharks are all vying for the talking tattoo title.
Zebra
Guaranteed to spice up any waning Christmas party/Boxing Day buffet, you can also get monster hands, dinosaur hands and robot hands (for those all important dance moves).

We’ve got 10 packs to give away to the first ten names out the jingle bell hat. So if you think you might need a hand over the festive season, just enter below and you could be the proud owner of your own portable zoo, just in time for Santa’s annual visit.

new bear friendly cartons

We are delighted to say that from the end of this year, our big cartons will be made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified card. In May 2009 the card in our kids wedge cartons moved over to 100% FSC too, so now all of our carton family is officially tree (and therefore bear) friendly.

Treehugging

Certification ensures that the paper comes from forests that meet high environmental standards, meaning forest workers are treated fairly and the forestry company invests in ensuring the forest is there for the long term. If you want to read more about the great work of the FSC click here.

And in the meantime, save a bear, buy a carton.

a man and his goat

A couple of weeks ago Rozanne and I were in India for work, and we took the opportunity to visit one of the innocent foundation projects with our partner ADD. ADD supports organisations of disabled people to improve their livelihoods. In India, they are working primarily on improving agricultural skills and incomes.

The money provided from the innocent foundation is used to provide loans to disabled people and their families. The local Disabled People Organisation (DPO) consisting of members of the community determines who would benefit most from the loans, and supports the beneficiaries in their endeavours. The money is used for a wide variety of uses, such as buying animals, seeds or farming equipment.

We visited a number of DPO groups and beneficiaries of the loans during our visit.

ADD visit (14)

Please allow us to introduce one of the beneficiaries, Mr Siddagangaiah (on the left).

ADD visit (11)

He suffers from cerebral palsy and as such cannot do manual work. He used his loan to buy this rather fetching looking goat (on the left of Mr Siddagangaiah).

The idea is that the goat will have kids (that's what you call a baby goat) which can be sold for meat if they are boys.. (sorry guys) or for breeding if they are lucky enough to be a girl.

ADD visit (4)

Mr Siddagangaiah already has 2 kids, and he hopes to slowly build a small herd. The money raised from the goats contributes to his family income, and importantly provides him with increased social standing in his community.

Other beneficiaries are using their loans to buy silk worms, grow flowers, and grow vegetables such as potatoes and beans.

Mr Ranganatha from ADD India was lucky enough to be given some fresh beans to take home for dinner.

ADD visit (17)

It was fantastic to meet some of the people who are benefitting from these small loans, and to hear about the difference it makes in their lives. We thank them and ADD for making us so welcome and sharing their time with us.

We wish them well for lots of goat babies, and a bumper bean crop.