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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.

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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

Charlotte Dujardin Wins Gold

As Great Britain is wowing at the Rio Olympics we can’t help but think about how proud we are, not only of our athletes across the disciplines but of our latest project The Queen’s Birthday Book, which received birthday messages from some of Britain’s top athletes.

Charlotte Dujardin, the woman of the moment, has just retained her Gold Medal in the individual dressage with the stunning Valegro. In addition Charlotte along with her trainer, Carl Hester were part of the Silver Medal winning dressage team, who only narrowly missed out on gold. We were delighted to receive birthday messages and social media support from both of these world-renowned riders in The Queen’s Birthday Book. As a much respected and famed equestrian, we know Her Majesty was equally delighted to receive these dedicated heartfelt birthday wishes.

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But it’s not just current athletes who left well wishes to The Queen on this special occasion. Dame Kelly Holmes, also left a wonderful birthday message to Her Majesty, as well as social media support.

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As well as messages from a host of other famous faces, The Queen’s Birthday Book received thousands of personal birthday messages to The Queen as she celebrated her 90th birthday. Not only from across Great Britain, but the commonwealth and the rest of the world, people rejoiced, celebrating this milestone like never before.

As a result, The Queen will soon receive a birthday book full of messages from her loyal subjects and supporters from 111 countries across the globe, which will last forever. While we raised money for her patron charities with the option for all of those who left a message to buy a specially crafted commemorative medal. A lovely birthday treat for those supporting charities.

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.

 
Contact Us – personal Online Book enquiry form.

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Polly BolithoCharlotte Dujardin Wins Gold

The Fire Fighters Charity

To be a firefighter takes bravery, passion and a multitude of skills. Firefighters have the courage to sacrifice their own lives to save others.

 Despite their outstanding abilities and bravery, thousands of firefighters are injured every year. The Fire Fighters Charity exists to support those firefighters who are affected. The award-winning charity that is situated in three locations across the UK offers a range of therapy and recuperation services. Their new Beneficiary Support Services provide solutions to real life problems as well as offering local and remote assistance to people in need across the nation.

The Fire Fighters Charity is an incredibly inspirational charity, providing support for the heroes of this world. We have had the honour to work with the charity in creating a co-branded website that allows people who have lost a loved one to create their own dedication. The website also allows additional tribute pages to be added, featuring anecdotes, stories and personal words that can be shared with others as a celebration of a loved ones life through memories.

This heartfelt dedication is written by a friend of a gentleman who sadly passed away in 2009;

2 days ago I had a dream and Paul popped up into it (only for a few seconds) so I woke up thinking I wonder what ever happened to Paul Fletcher! So last night when I had a few mins I Googled “Paul Fletcher Isle of Wight”….I started to read what popped up and thought that this must be the wrong Paul Fletcher. I then clicked onto the article and saw the photo and I burst into tears!! It was him. I can not believe it” continue reading

This touching dedication shows just how precious memories are, as well as how successful this website is in making re-connections, and how we can help and reach out to people wherever they are in the world.

If you would like to make your own dedication or find out more, you can do so here

 

IW Fire and Rescue present smoke alarms to Chernobyl children. Showing off her skills as a firefighter is Natalia Nesterovich, 14, with firefighter Paul Fletcher

IW Fire and Rescue present smoke alarms to Chernobyl children. Showing off her skills as a firefighter is Natalia Nesterovich, 14, with firefighter Paul Fletcher

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Polly BolithoThe Fire Fighters Charity

St David’s Hospice Care E-Commerce

It takes passion and kindness to be able to care for others, and that is what is truly present in this story.

Starting with just six patients, St David’s has grown to become the UK’s largest provider of hospice at home care, now caring for more than 3,300 patients and their families annually. St David’s Hospice Care actually originated from Heulwen Egerton, a nurse tutor at Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital in 1979. Originally named ‘Gwent Hospice Project Group’, it was made up of caring people who were worried about the lack of care available to people of Gwent.

St David’s provide their patients and their families with care particularly dedicated to their needs, along with support through difficult times. St David’s believe that their patients always have a choice about the care they receive no matter what, as well as maintaining their dignity throughout.

We strongly admire the work that St David’s Hospice care do for others. We are delighted to have worked with them to create a fully integrated E-commerce site for the cause. This special site allows family and friends to make donations towards the ‘Light up a Life’ appeal at any time they wish wherever they are in the world. The beauty of this book is that for those who cannot make an event or appeal then they can still be involved from afar. This is a way to celebrate a loved one by ‘lighting a candle’ and donating to the Hospice, allowing the kind hearted staff to continue on caring for patients and their families.

The E-commerce site allows supporters to have an idea of what great things their donations will actually do for the Hospice while making it quick and easy to make a payment. This is a fantastic way to engage with supporters of the cause and to increase the fundraising for the appeal.

If you would like to be involved in ‘Light up a Life’, find out more here 

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Polly BolithoSt David’s Hospice Care E-Commerce

The Erskine Online Book of Remembrance

It is said that we as people don’t always remember the days, but that we remember the moments. It is those moments that make life so special.

Founded in 1916, Erskine provided care for sailors and soldiers after their return from World War One. Exactly a century later care and support remains continuous for around 1,000 ex-service men, women and their families each year. Erskine still provides nursing, specialist dementia care, medical care and residential respite. Erskine’s aim is to enhance quality of life through their outstanding services that include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and numerous outings and activities. As long as there is need, Erskine will always care.

This is such a kind hearted and inspirational cause that means a lot to us, therefore we teamed up with Erskine and recently launched an online book designed primarily to pay tribute and remember all of the those who have fought for our country. This online book reaches out to all involved, providing comfort through personal memories of lost ones. This online book is a celebration of life.

Erskine remembers ‘A Century of Care’ through The Centenary Garden that has been recently created on the Erskine Estate in Bishopton, a truly tranquil place, offering stunning surroundings for residents, their families, visitors, staff and the rest of the community.

This beautiful Garden features a paved memorial walkway that winds through breath-taking woodland of trees and an abundance of wildflowers. This peacefully set out garden allows veterans to enjoy time with family and friends while encouraging physical activity.

This is a place where people can remember their loved one through memorial plaques, bought through our E-Commerce site, that can be made for anyone, whether they have served or not. This is a lovely way to honour them. As well as a memorial plaque the name of the person being remembered and the brief heart-felt message written on the plaque will be added to the Erskine online Book of Remembrance for all to see and pay their respects.

If you would like to create a plaque for a loved one, find out more here.

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Click here to see the Erskine Book of Remembrance

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Polly BolithoThe Erskine Online Book of Remembrance