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Thoughts from category: friends

conversations on the coast

Back in June 2009, you might remember our friend Nick Hand got on his bike and spent 3 months pedalling over 6000 miles round the coast of the British Isles.

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On the way, he interviewed all sorts of artists and craftspeople about their work, took their photographs and made little soundscape videos of them as part of his project, Slowcoast.

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From to cheese makers, boat builders through to A list Hollywood actors (clue: she was the pasty one with the big carriage in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and a stickmaker called Bill, Nick met all sorts on his travels.

We kept him fuelled with smoothies and veg pots and lots of you sent him top places to go for cake

Cake

Well, Nick has now published a beautiful book filled with brilliant photos and stories of the folk he met called Conversations on the Coast and he's very kindly given us a copy to give away.

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All you have to do to win it is tell us the best cake you'd offer Nick if he cycled up to your door and Nick will pick his favourite next week.

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a big thank you to our knitting Mums

Now that Kat's left innocent, the race is on to see whose parents can raise the highest number of hats for the Big Knit 2011. Charlie's Mum is doing a sterling job as ever, and this year George's Mum has stepped into the running, promoting the Big Knit with her local Age UK and The Spinning Wheel in Clevedon, and even encouraging her customers to join in too. She's shown a cracking bit of entrepreneuralism, running a raffle where everyone who enters 5 hats gets a ticket. Here's the lovely Angela with 350 hats so far.

George's Mum

If you live near Clevedon, North Somerset, you can join in her efforts by taking your hats to the Londis and West End Post Office.

Remember, you've got another 4 weeks to get your hats in to us, so get your knit on.

Ballred

India bound...

Every year, innocent gives one or two lucky employees the opportunity to go and work with one of the charities we support through our foundation, using some of our work skills. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while may remember tales from Andrew in Malawi, JT in Kenya, or our Emilie in Ethopia.

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Emilie in Ethiopia showing the bees who was boss

On Friday, I'll be following in their illustrious footsteps, lugging my camera and a notebook with me, as I head to India to work with disability charity ADD gathering materials for their fundraising and training needs. I'll be penning a few posts while I'm away but it sees only right that I do some introductions first...

ADD supports disabled people in 11 different countries across Africa and Asia to challenge disability discrimination. Their vision is to create a world where disabled people can enjoy their rights and participate in society as fully as they choose to, and we've been supporting the work that they do in India since April 2009.

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Three quarters of the disabled population in India live in rural communities, and less than 2% receive any form of vocational training. ADD India works to educate people in the skills they need to earn a livelihood, and offers financial support through microloans- these are frequently used to boost incomes in India, but disabled people are generally excluded from these schemes.

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The project that we're funding has so far delivered loans to over 200 people, enabling them to gain independence through their livelihood, and to participate more fully in the communities in which they live. Over the next few weeks, I'll be meeting a few of the people who have benefited from these loans, and be able to see first hand the impact that it has had not only on their lives, but on the lives of their families, who are often marginalised as well.

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So there you are. Introductions done. I'd definitely recommend that you get to know them a bit better here, but if not, I'll be in touch shortly with some more info from the other side of the world.

good for nothing - feeling helpful?

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Our friends at Good for Nothing are running a rapid response event this weekend, to try to raise money and awareness for the famine crisis in east Africa, where one child is dying every six minutes and, according to the UN, 3.2 million Somalians are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance in the worse drought in over 60 years. The fundraising efforts are struggling to keep up to fund the relief effort.

They started last week with this http://good.byideas.co.uk/ where anyone can upload a potential web based money raising idea, which they will then prototype and build during the event this weekend - information on the weekend's events right here.

Get involved.

your words made t-shirt

Dry cleaning, picking the cat up from the vet, eating your 5-a-day - all things we know we need to do but more than often forget.

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Thankfully, the excellent folk at howies are putting an end to all that. Or at least one of them.

Their T-shirt of the Month competition this month is to pen some words to remind you to eat your 5-a-day (or at least some green stuff as well as the beige).

The favourite 5 entries will be put to the people on Facebook, with the most 'liked' entries designed into a T-shirt of the Month for all and sundry to buy.

The lucky winner will also receive a copy of our new family recipe book Hungry? and 5 tasty howies t-shirts with their design on.

To enter and help thousands remember to eat their reds, greens and yellows, just click here