Latest News and Updates

The Battle of Waterloo – Private Samuel Ackroyd

Over a year ago, the Waterloo 200 Project was born in recognition of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. This inspirational project commemorates and raises awareness of what this historic event left behind by exploring stories behind the iconic, epic battle.

We are so proud to be a part of this fantastic project by creating an online book in celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. With the acknowledgment of all 36,000 British soldiers involved, the online book allows descendants to share information and photographs of cherished memorabilia that belonged to their special ancestor. A collection of information and memories like these will become a forever lasting record for future generations to come.

The online book has received many lovely and inspirational tributes, one of the first to be made was to Private Samuel Ackroyd, who was born on 22nd April 1774 in Yorkshire and grew up to be a farmer. In 1799 he was enlisted in the 31st Regiment of Food Guards with the rank of Sergeant, which led to three years learning as a Commissioned Officer with his first Regiment. Samuel continued his journey, when he was recruited at Hyde Park into 2nd Life Guards, with the rank of Private. After he married and had children, Private Samuel Ackroyd fought at the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815. Read the full tribute of Private Samuel Ackroyd here. 

Private Samuel Ackroyd’s courageous effort in the Battle of Waterloo was rewarded with a Waterloo medal, that was still in the family in the 1990s. Though a photograph of the medal exists and is in the hands of the family, all trace has sadly been lost on the medal. If anyone has any information on where Private Samuel Ackroyd’s medal may have ended up, we would be incredibly grateful for you to contact us, as we would love to piece together the rest of the story.

If you would like to raise awareness, increase engagement for your charity or project, or honour a loved one, contact us to find out how we can create a bespoke online book for you.


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Polly BolithoThe Battle of Waterloo – Private Samuel Ackroyd

Paignton Zoo’s Goodbye Rhinos Weekend

This summer Paignton Zoo juggled rhinos… it’s not exactly how it sounds and we recommend that you don’t actually try to juggle rhinos. This is of course, one of the biggest and most exciting projects Paignton Zoo has ever run.

thumbnail_2016-08-tgbrp-mini-spikes-4-jemma-cleave-of-esw-by-tom-smithThe Great Big Rhino Project was launched in autumn 2015, aiming to dazzle members of the public with an art trail of 40 life-size painted rhinos around the parks, streets and open spaces of Exeter and the English Riviera. Rhinos have been on earth for 40 million years and while some species are threatened with extinction others are ‘Critically Endangered’. This exciting project was created in order to raise awareness and funds to help these wild rhinos.

After such popularity, by spring the project had sponsors and talented artists to get started on the  rhino masterpieces. The rhinos all had individual designs, patterns and bright colours to each other. In early July a convoy of lorries and rhinos hit the road from Exeter to Paignton, marking the project’s official launch. The rhinos were welcomed warmly by excited people who very much enjoyed the trail. Now that the trail, this weekend is Goodbye Rhinos Weekend, which will involve all of the rhinos coming together in Paithumbnail_2016-06-tgbrp-invincible-3gnton Zoo for a proper farewell, it will be quite a sight to see. After this, the rhinos will be auctioned off in the hope to raise money for the rhino conservation.

We are truly inspired by Paignton Zoo’s fantastic work with The Great Big Rhino Project. We are very proud to work with Paignton Zoo on their online Book of Remembrance, celebrating the lives of the zoo’s supporters, as well as, the animals that once inhabited the zoo with messages and photographs.

If you would like to find out how we can create bespoke online book for your organization, charity or for a loved one contact us.


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Polly BolithoPaignton Zoo’s Goodbye Rhinos Weekend

World Obesity Day

Today is World Obesity Day. Did you know, 3.28 million schoolchildren in the UK are expected to be overweight or obese by 2025?

This year, World Obesity Day aims to – “Increase knowledge and understanding of the challenge of obesity, and what can and should be done to overcome it. Encourage member associations and supporters to get involved with advocacy and campaigns on obesity-related issues. Share national experiences of campaigning to enable the spread of best practices”  

World Obesity Day was launched to stimulate and support practical solution to enable people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, in turn reversing the Obesity crisis. This year, the focus is on obesity in children that has sadly risen rapidly worldwide, which will affect the quality of life, educational attainment, and later health, obesity can lead to illness such as liver disease which is the third largest cause of death at a young age.

The British Liver Trust is the UK’s leading liver health charity that can provide support groups, helping you to manage your liver condition and put you in touch with others who have similar experiences.

“We are here for everyone affected by liver disease, whatever the cause and wherever they live” British Liver Trust

We have had the honour to work with The British Liver Trust in creating an online Book of Memories that has been created for people to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one as a way of help and support. Gifts can also be made through the book, which will help The British Liver Trust to continue the fantastic work that they do.

If you would like to raise awareness, increase engagement for your charity or project, or honour a loved one, contact us to find out how we can create a bespoke online book for you.


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Polly BolithoWorld Obesity Day

CHSW Moonlight Memory Walk

“Children’s hospices are places of wonder and happiness, filled with children and parents alike all of whom are truly inspirational” – CHSW

Children’s Hospice South West is an inspirational charity, providing care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the south-west. With three hospices in operation, including Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm in North Somerset and Little Harbour in mid-Cornwall, a tremendous amount of care such as emergency care, palliative care, respite and short breaks, and end of life care is provided.

Moonlight walks under the stars can be very beautiful, though even more beautiful when for a good cause. This weekend, the Children’s Hospice South West hosted a Moonlight Memory Walk is an evening where women of all ages took to the moonlit streets of Falmouth to walk in celebration and remembrance of loved ones. We were lucky enough to have our very own Julie, take part in the walk in this very special 5-mile walk.
“It was such a lovely atmosphere, and so well organised with plenty of marshals along the route to encourage you. It really didn’t seem like 5 miles, and when we arrived back at The Moor there was the most wonderful tasting pasty and a hot drink waiting. Only one or two showers towards the end of the walk which didn’t matter, and Kimberley Park was opened and they took up some of the lanterns to light up the pathway (which people had decorated themselves).”  – Julie Pentecost, The Online Book Company

thumbnail_lual-2016bThe event began with a beautiful candle-lighting memory ceremony accompanied by music and a special reading. Memory candles are placed inside a personalised candle bag and carefully placed around the fountain. This heartfelt ceremony allows those involved to reflect and remember loved ones.

Everyone who takes part raises money to support those that use the hospices, as well as, help the charity to continue to provide care for children and their families throughout.


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Polly BolithoCHSW Moonlight Memory Walk

Remembering Squadron Leader Harry Pears

Squadron Leader Harry Pears DFC, passed away just two months before his 93rd birthday. Harry Pears was a former World War 2 and a Royal Air Force fighter pilot after the war, as well as an Air Training Corps Civilian Instructor.

At the young age of 18, Harry began his career by volunteering for service in the Royal Air Force as aircrew which led to pilot training. After training in various places including the United States and Canada, he gained his well-earned pilot wings. He was then successfully commissioned as a Pilot Officer, becoming one of a number of newly trained RAF pilots retained for one year in America, to train and then serve as flying instructors.

Upon his return to the UK in 1943, Harry volunteered to fly the rocket-equipped Hawker Typhoon IB fighter-bomber aircraft on operations. This led to Harry becoming qualified to join the Typhoon-equipped No 175 Squadron,171 Wing, 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (2 ATAF).

Harry was proudly awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his incredible flying achievements. As the war was near its end in Europe, Harry was posted to India in late 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant and joined No 5 (Army Cooperation – AC) Squadron until disbanded in 1947. The year previous to this, he had been granted a permanent commission in the RAF, and upon his return to the UK he was appointed weapons instructor.

By the end of 1951, Harry was promoted to Squadron Leader, which continued his journey to Cyrus as Officer-in-Charge of No.2 Armament Practice School. Having completed the rest of reforming 111 Squadron 4 years later, Harry was posted to the Air Ministry as Officer-in-Charge Air Weapons Ranges. Find out more about Harry Pears’ life story here.

We have been honoured to work with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund in creating an online Book of Remembrance, in which, Harry Pears has a page created in his memory, with a lovely dedication from his Granddaughter. If you would like an online book for your organisation, charity, or personal event, contact us and find out how we can help.


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Polly BolithoRemembering Squadron Leader Harry Pears

The Re-launch of The Royal Signals Association Memorial Book

The Royal Signals Association was established in 1920 not long after the formation of the Corps from the Royal Engineers. The Association provides comfort and relief to all Signalers both past and present, during hardship and times of need. This support is achieved by the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund (RSBF).

“This is an active charity that has made life better for thousands of Signalers and their dependants.  Through the RSBF we can give something back to those who have made sacrifices for their Corps and country.”

We are so inspired by the work of The Royal Signals Association and therefore delighted to work with them on the re-launch of their online memorial book. Their online book was first created by us in 2011, providing a secure place to remember those who have passed away through the use of stories, photographs and tributes. Since the re-launch of this online memorial book, we have received new heartfelt messages for people who have passed away some time ago. As well as more messages, new celebration pages have been created for people listed in the book. Most importantly from the re-launch we have noticed people get back in touch with friends in order to share the online memorial book. Bringing people together is always something we hope to achieve.

If you would like to raise awareness, increase engagement for your charity or project, or honour a loved one, contact us to find out how we can create a bespoke online book for you.



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Polly BolithoThe Re-launch of The Royal Signals Association Memorial Book

Why Facebook is good for Charitable Fundraising

The way we communicate with each other has changed, it is more common to communicate through social media, however, it is also harder to keep attention as people can now just easily ‘switch off’. But what happens when you are a charity? How do you get across what you need to in order to get people to donate to a certain cause?

Facebook is one of the most popular social media networks and is used by an estimate of 1,100,000,000 visitors a month. Did you know, people buy from people? It is this reason why Facebook is used by many businesses, organisations and charities. Using Facebook is an effective way to connect with the people. You need people to know what your charity is all about and how they can help. It is important to connect and engage with people in order to create trust, that can then turn into a relationship, thus the theory of liking, treat someone like a friend, therefore creating the feeling of trust.

It is reported that 47 percent of charity donors give up before they have made a donation because their online journey is not intuitive or engaging enough. This is a common mistake made by many, organisations and charities. It is important to use content that will grab attention and is easy to engage with, like pictures or most successfully videos.

Give people a reason to donate. It is important to show the audience exactly what their donations can really do, people love a success story as well as the feeling that they have helped in some way.

We have been delighted to work with so many inspiring charities through the use of online books. If you want to a way to raise awareness and increase engagement for your fundraising project or charity, contact us to find out how we can create an online book for you.


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Polly BolithoWhy Facebook is good for Charitable Fundraising

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Cornwall

Arriving on a private jet, Prince William and Kate arrived in a very excited Cornwall last week for a 2-day visit. The Duke and Duchess are said to have spent the night in the stunning, 500 hundred-year-old, historical Restormal Manor, owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. On the Royal’s trip, they met up with many local organisations, businesses, charities, and inspirational Duchy of Cornwall projects, allowing them to meet local people and learn more about Cornwall.

The Royal couple started their trip with a visit to Truro Cathedral where they were met by Cornish locals and loyal fans who had waited very patiently for their arrival. There they signed a slate in support of the cathedral’s roof repairs fundraising appeal after meeting officials from the diocese of the cathedral. William and Kate went on to visit Zebs, a space designed especially for young people to spend time with their friends and enjoy different activities, as well as receive support if wished. The couple were shown a mental health photography project created by a group of young women, that William thought was very impressive.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also had the opportunity to learn about the Wave Project and how surfing is used to help children with anxiety, as well as improve their mental well-being. After this, the couple payed a visit to the Healey’s Cyder Farm, where the Duchess pulled a pint of Rattler and enjoyed sampling delicious Cornish Whisky and strawberry wine. The Royal couple were then presented with a toy tractor for George and a toy Rabbit for Charlotte, before heading off the Isle of Scilly.

We really admire the Royal Family and have worked on several different projects in celebration, including The Queen’s Online Birthday Book, that was filled with heartfelt birthday messages from all over the world. The Bishop of Truro and Rt Revd Tim Thornton also wrote a lovely message to The Queen. If you would like to use an online book for your charity, project or in honour of a loved one contact us to find out how we can create one for you.

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Polly BolithoThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Cornwall

Paignton Zoo’s giant Pokémon Hunt

What’s that rustling in the trees? When you visit a zoo, you usually expect to see Zebras, Lions and Monkeys, however, Paignton Zoo has recently become home to some more unusual animals, with thousands of hunters eager to catch them. It’s not what you might think… these unusual animals are in fact Pokémon, think Bulbasaurs, Pidgys and Pikachus.

Paignton’s largely populated Zoo hosted a Pokémon Go evening, with 18 pokéstops, three gyms and lots of exciting Pokémon hiding around the grounds, the zoo attracted more than 3,500 Pokémon hunters, many of whom had never been before. The zoo staff helped the hunters by setting off lures, at each pokéstop, creating even more Pokémon hunting fun.

Though the evening was about the new Pokémon residents many of the hunters did take the time to look up from their devices to admire the wonderful animals that actually inhabit the zoo. The evening turned out to be a spectacular success, with many happy smiling faces running around the zoo in the hope to find the next best Pokémon.

Paignton Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said: “It was an amazing success. I’ve never spent an evening like that in the zoo – thousands of people, all with their iPhones out, children, young people and adults alike, all good-natured and with a single purpose – to hunt Pokémon!”

We are lucky enough to work with Paignton Zoo in creating a very colourful online Book of Remembrance, that allows families of the supporters of Paignton Zoo who are no longer with us, to celebrate their memories. As well as this, the book allows people to remember the zoo animals and their own beloved pets through celebration pages, kind words and photographs.

If you would like to raise awareness, increase engagement and funds for your charity or project or simply honour loved ones contact us to find out how we can create an online book for you.


Paignton Zoo Tweeted: Lots of new creatures appearing at the Zoo! #PokemonGO #GottaCatchEmAll

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Polly BolithoPaignton Zoo’s giant Pokémon Hunt

The Life-Changing Work of Guide Dogs

In the year 1931, two exceptional women Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond organised the training of four of the first guide dogs. This later resulted in the world’s largest breeder and trainer of working dogs and one of the UK’s largest and most well-known charities. Today, Guide Dogs has helped more than 29,000 people to obtain life-changing independence. Over the next decade the Guide Dogs strategy is to increase the scope of their service to include a ‘Buddy Dogs’ scheme for young people, and ‘My Guide, a sighted guiding service’, aiding people who have lost their sight to get out and engage with others.

“We will not rest until people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.” – Guide Dogs

One gorgeous Guide dog in training is Clover, who appeared on ITV This Morning as a puppy. Living with her volunteer puppy walker, Clover is learning all the basics of Guide Dog behaviour and is due to start her Guide Dog school in September. Clover, as well as many other of the guide dog’s, beautiful nature, personality and high level of intelligence, means she is very keen to learn and be the best guide dog she can. To support a guide dog throughout his or her life relies solely on donations from kind supporters to continue their life-changing work.

We are so inspired by the Guide Dogs good cause that we were honoured to work with them in creating an online book. This book acts as a place where the relatives of those who have left donations to the Guide Dogs in their will, can create celebration pages and leave messages, videos and photos. As well as a book to remember the lives of people, there is a book where guide dogs and other pets can be remembered.

If you want a way to globally engage, raise awareness and funds for your charity or project contact us to find out how we can create an online book for you.

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Polly BolithoThe Life-Changing Work of Guide Dogs