Saturday, 14 November 2020


There’s never been a better time to sign up for membership with a much-loved Cumbrian institution.

Joining John Watt & Son’s Coffee Club gives you access to some great tasting coffees from around the world as well as other treats and benefits.

Every month you get a 250g delivery of freshly roasted Arabica direct to your door that comes complete with tasting notes and information about its background and grower.

Each of the different coffees are ethically sourced from around the world and roasted by the Carlisle-based company with a history and reputation for quality stretching all the way back to 1865.

And if you sign up before 31 December 2020 they’ll even send you a FREE three-cup cafetiere and an extra 250g delivery for Christmas.

The coffees arrive in recyclable letter-box friendly, resealable bags and can be sent as beans or ground – whichever you prefer.

There’s also an ongoing special offer that gives you 12-months membership for the price of 10.

To find out more and become a member visit or call 01228 521545.

Why not sign up to John Watts Mailing list at the foot at their home page and enjoy 25% discount off your first order

Monday, 10 August 2020


As the old saying goes you don’t always appreciate something until it’s gone.

Among the many things we learned during lockdown, when salons were of course forced to shut, was just how important a good hairdresser is.

Hairdressers like Carlisle-based Sorella who offer everything from trims to beauty treatments and a range of cuts and styles for men, women and children.

Owned and run by Helen Barnes, the business has operated in the Denton Holme area of the city for number of years and has a long list of satisfied regular and new customers thanks to the talents of its hairdresser and proprietor Helen Barnes and beauticians.

Like all salons, Sorella is currently working with a variety of Covid safety measures in place and is even (weather permitting) taking a leaf out of the book of hairdressers in sunnier climes like California by providing outdoor barbering to help social distancing and further reduce the risk of infection.

Deals such as a £10 voucher for beauty products when you spend £30 or more and free shellac nails when spending £50 are available. You can also purchase gift cards as well which would make a great gift for a loved one; male or female. 

A full price list and details of services offered can be found on Sorella’s website You can also follow them on Facebook

For hairdressing and barber enquiries; call 01228 593213 and for the beauty treatments; call 07926492167. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Beautiful Gardens you can escape to here in Cumbria whilst also helping charities!

The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,700 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake so below is the list of gardens here in Cumbria you can currently visit during this time. Book to visit a garden on their website

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors we have donated a total of £58 million to nursing and health charities and made an annual donation of £3 million in 2019. Our core beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity – we are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. We also support charities doing amazing work in gardens and health and grant bursaries to help community gardening projects.

YEWBARROW -  Grange over sands, LA11 6BE -2nd August/6th September. A tropical paradise with exotic and rare plants and dramatic views over Morecambe Bay. Many feature including a Japanese garden with infinity pool, orangery, Italianate terraces and kitchen garden. These gardens are open -by arrangement.

LOWFELL WEST -Crosthwaite, Kendal LA8 8JG -Open every Friday/Saturday and Sunday. A woodland garden with views over the Winster valley. Unusual shrubs & trees set amongst rocky outcrops, native hedges and plant rich meadows. Hidden in the wood is a romantic gypsy caravan. Has access to many woodland walks through the adjacent Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve. These gardens are open -by arrangement.

Grange Fell Allotments -Grange over Sands LA11 6HB. Open 16th August. Impressive allotments with lots of different styles of planting/techniques etc plus communal areas with herbaceous borders and local var. Apple trees. 

Larch Cottage -Penrith CA10 2DR. 13 August & 17th September. Lots to see and buy at this wonderful nursery, lot of choice plants & trees and an extensive range of garden pots & statues etc, with access to the lower gardens and private chapel (built by the owner for his wedding). 

Woodend House -Egremont, CA22 2TA A garden packed with colourful and imaginative planting with organic potager, mini meadows, wild life pools and lots more. Mini quiz & trail for children (entry free).

National Garden Scheme,Cumbria
Tel: 01946 813017
Follow them on Facebook  Cumbria NGS Twitter @CumbriaNGS

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Help Secure A Place in Your Company for an Apprentice here in Cumbria with the 100 in 100 project!

Carlisle College has launched a new initiative to secure training for apprentices in the wake of coronavirus. The new scheme will be looking to secure training for 100 apprentices within 100 days.

It kicked off on the 1st of July and it will run to October 9. Its aim is to help potential apprentices secure meaningful employment with local businesses, as well as making it easier for employers to invest in skills development and recruitment.

Head over to for more information on this fantastic initiative and what your company will receive in return for your support. Or see it posted below. 

It is predicted that coronavirus could see more than 600,000 people under the age of 25 without employment, risking long-term damage to their career prospects.

Carlisle College is excited to be working in association with Carlisle City Council on the project as well as a number of other strategic partners.

With more than 250 new apprenticeship candidates for the 20/21 academic year, the college is hoping to secure employers' support to find candidates for positions within local organisations.

Grant Glendinning, principal of Carlisle College, said: “Carlisle College is proud to launch 100 in 100, an initiative to help boost skills and productivity growth within our region.

“As a local provider of post-16 education and training, we are keen to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on future learners by helping support and create apprenticeship opportunities.

“100 in 100 is designed to accelerate growth, productivity and employment opportunities through skills acquisition and development.”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Councillor John Mallinson, said: “We’re pleased to support the 100 in 100 Carlisle College project.

“We are doing all we can to support our local economy and would encourage businesses to sign up to the initiative.

“We are proud to have a well-established apprenticeship programme and will continue supporting the development of our employees.”

A dedicated 100 in 100 section of the Carlisle College website is set to go-live in support of the initiative.

This will provide employers with an online space to collaborate, share best practice, and celebrate training and apprenticeship success.

Carlisle College currently works with more than 700 apprentices across 350 local leading businesses and has an extensive apprenticeship provision of more than 30 programmes including adult care, business administration, construction, customer service, digital marketing, engineering, IT and motor vehicle.

Their programmes range from Level 2 through to degree level apprenticeships.

100 in 100 is designed to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on future learners by helping support the apprenticeship supply chain, securing 100 apprenticeship opportunities in 100 days.

To find out more about how you can support 100 in 100, please contact

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Capturing the Natural Moments of your Special Day!

“A photograph is a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.”

YOUR WEDDING DAY is one you’ll always want to remember and there’s no better way of keeping those memories forever than by having a skilled, experienced photographer on hand to capture it.

Rebecca Elizabeth Smith can do just that. She is an unobtrusive documentary style camera woman, who focusses on highlighting the loving connection between bride and groom as well as the different stages and rituals throughout your special day. Her style is relaxed but the images she takes are professional quality. 

“Nothing is really staged. It’s all about aiming to show those natural loving moments and connections,” she says.

And the many happy couples she’s worked with can personally vouch for the great service South Cumbria-based Rebecca provides.  

“Becky was an amazing photographer for our wedding day - she captured many beautiful moments yet felt invisible throughout the day. When we did do any shots with Becky, she was helpful and very friendly. I would definitely recommend her.”  
Laura Nuttall

Some examples of her excellent photography are available to browse below and further stunning images she’s taken can be found on her website.

She captures all the key parts of a wedding ceremony including the bride’s arrival, the confetti falling, post-wedding celebrations, kisses between the couple and even sometimes the involvement of furry members of the family! 

Rebecca E Smith Wedding Photography is also offering 20% off wedding packages for the NHS, keyworkers and emergency service personnel. (All you have to do is message her with a photo of your Work ID).

To also help as much as she can to make sure that couples get the Wedding photographs that they want, she is offering various ways to help pay for them.

From doing wedding gift certificates, where the bride and groom guests can purchase certificates so they can pay for their wedding photography Packages to wedding photography packages that can be tailor-made to suit your budget so you can just get in contact with Rebecca and ask. As well as low deposit and monthly installments available.

Example of one of the gift certificates below:

She also does other forms of photography as well as run competitions so do make sure to give her social pages a follow on Facebook Rebecca E Smith Wedding & Family Photography and Instagram  @rebeccaelizabethsmithphoto You can also contact her by calling her on 07939334619 or emailing her on or via her website

She is now taking bookings for 2021 so make sure to get in touch with her!

Thursday, 2 April 2020

How you can lend a helping hand to Eden Valley Hospice & Jigsaw from home & online

  • It is a really challenging time for the hospice, many of our fundraising activities have ceased/been cancelled, resulting in significant income loss, but the need for our care carries on, and demand is likely to increase over the coming weeks.

  • We have some new fundraising initiatives for people to get involved with:

  • Plus, there are lots of ways people can support us online, including our lottery, Amazon Smile, Ziffit and much more.

  • We recently published a video on social media around 'We are still here' - our care tea are still working to ensure local patients at end of life receive dignified care and support. Our staff are still working on the frontline of patient care. -

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

CFM Cash For Kids Appeal to support local families coping with the effects of Coronavirus

CFM launches the Cash for Kids Appeal
To support local families coping with the effects of Coronavirus

A small act of kindness that can make a huge difference to families across Cumbria and South West Scotland

In response to the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on local communities, CFM’s Cash for Kids is today launching an urgent new appeal to help those families in Cumbria and South West Scotland who need it most.

Relying on donations from radio listeners, locals and businesses, the Cash for Kids Appeal will build a fund from which grants will help families help cope, such as covering basic essentials including food & heating. 

The appeal – supported by Stagecoach, is aimed at the most vulnerable within our community who may be feeling the direct impact of the current situation most keenly. These includes families on zero hours contracts who may be facing reduced or completely cut-back hours, or no access to sick pay.

CFM’s Cash For Kids understand the impact that the closure of schools to the majority of children will have on underprivileged families. Grants from the appeal will also be made available to those that children who receive free school meals, over and above the Government’s voucher scheme.

Speaking about the new appeal, CFM’s Robbie Dee said “We have already been hearing incredible stories of generosity from our listeners, as individuals go out of their way to help others through this unprecedented situation. In donating to the Cash For Kids Appeal, you’ll be making a small act of kindness that can make a huge difference to families in need here in Cumbria and SW Scotland.”

Sally Aitchison MBE, MD of Cash for Kids said “We have all been affected by the COVID-19 situation in some way, however right now those on low incomes or who are living in or on the brink of poverty will be really feeling the pressure. With already 4 million children living in poverty in the UK, the impact of the current situation is sure to see that number increase. We want to do what we can to support these families. We are uniquely place in our communities to identify the families”

Locals can donate to the Cash for Kids Appeal right now by texting ‘CFM’ to 70910 to give £10. Texts cost the donation amount + one message* Terms and conditions apply. Or online at where local businesses can also make a donation. 100% of donations will go to help families with children that need it most.

School teachers, health professionals, social workers and small charitable groups will be able to apply for funds on behalf of the families they support. They can keep an eye on the Cash For Kids website for further details in the coming days.  The Cash for Kids Appeal is kindly supported by Stagecoach North West.

Saturday, 21 March 2020


NOOK FARM HONEY - a small scale producer of local Cumbrian honey and also sells speciality honeys. 

Their honey are available to online on their website
(as well as stockists in Cumbria - do check the list on their website but also the stockist's social media for latest opening times during this difficult time). You will see that they also have some good offers on as well at the moment. 


The Victorian Candle Co candle business was started by teenager Ru and his brother at age 17 in Carlisle last year. 
Their main focus is making great-smelling, eco-friendly and vegan products that can be enjoyed by everyone! They primarily sell 10cl candles but have recently launched tealights too. (See all of our products on our website ) 

Their candles have been handpoured by them in Carlisle and make an amazing gift. They are currently offering free shipping to anyone living in Carlisle or surrounding areas! Use code CARLISLE20 at checkout to take advantage of this. ✉️


"We are a family coffee roasters and tea merchants from Kendal. We’ve probably lost over 90% of our business due to Covid 19. We do however have a great online shop providing all our products for delivery. "- Dave Pennington

Penningtons Tea & Coffee Ltd, Unit 12 Kendal Business Park, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6ES

Follow us:



Cotehill, Carlisle, CA4 0DQ


(thank you to Luke Richardson, Social Impact Manager at Jacobs for suggesting me to share this) 

Many of the opportunities available following an incident require volunteers to be fit and active, may involve working in dirty or dusty environments, and could involve being outdoors - for example, removing damaged furniture and cleaning affected buildings, or lifting, packaging and distributing donated items. Some volunteer roles will be less physically demanding - for example, knocking on doors to check people are OK and gather information, making refreshments and helping with administration. Are you interested in opportunities:

Sunday, 1 March 2020


Social media and online marketing dominate the way businesses promote themselves nowadays but more traditional methods of reaching out to customers can still be highly effective.

The long-established route of targeting people directly via their letterbox with a leaflet is still – even in our high-tech age – one of the best ways to get your name, product or message out there.

And it’s to provide exactly this type of service that Carlisle-based Mark Thorburn launched Business 2 Door in September 2018.

The company offers cost-effective door-to-door leaflet deliveries across north Cumbria that are GPS-tracked so clients can see exactly where and when their leaflets are going out. The areas they are currently distributing to are Carlisle, Penrith, Wigton, and Rural villages and soon be expanding over the border to the DG postcode area of Gretna and Annan.

Since starting out nearly 18 months ago 49-year-old Mark, who was born and bred in Carlisle, has already built up an ever expanding list of happy, repeat customers that include car dealers, takeaways and a garden buildings company. Some of the lovely testimonials (which as read more of them on his website that he has received has been from the likes of Andrew Hurst from Synergy Home Improvements who have said "Very friendly, very efficient. Pleasure to deal with, used Mark’s service a number of times. Would definitely recommend." 

In addition to delivery, Business 2 Door have teamed up with a local design firm to help produce and print your leaflet if that’s what you require.

As a special 2020 discount a 20 per cent discount off any distribution order of 20,000 or more leaflets for the whole year is available. And the order doesn’t have to be delivered in one go – customers can spread the deliveries into chunks throughout 2020 (for example, 10,000 leaflets in March and another 10,000 in August).

Mark offers a personalised service and likes to meet customers face to face so he can find out about their business and plan tailored marketing packages that deliver exactly what they need and reach precisely who they want to find. Research shows that more than 90 per cent of people read leaflets delivered to their door – so contact Business 2 Door today.

For more information or to get a quote, you can go on their website or email Mark on You can follow all the latest on Facebook and on Instagram @business_2_door_ltd and see examples of the fantastic local Cumbrian businesses he has helped with their marketing campaign.