Community News

KC trio takes on London Marathon to raise money for Sparks

(l-r) Gary Young, John Hakner and Tony Cross

(l-r) Gary Young, John Hakner and Tony Cross

Three KC employees will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best athletes in the world at the London Marathon next weekend to raise money for Sparks.

KC’s managing director Gary Young will be joined by colleagues Tony Cross and John Hakner to raise cash for the national medical charity, which funds research into a range of conditions affecting babies, children and mums-to-be.

Corporate Partnership Manager at Sparks, Madeleine Buckley, said: “Each year in the UK more than 3,000 babies die before their first birthday and one in 30 are born with a condition that may affect them for life.

“The 26.2 mile run is not for the faint hearted, but the money that the KC team will raise will help us develop research that will save lives. We wish them the best of luck.”

On the day, the trio will be sharing the tarmac with many of the world’s greatest distance runners, including Britain’s double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah and marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang.

Mr Young said: “It’s an honour to be in the same race as these athletes, although I won’t be anywhere near them. The real aim is to finish in one piece and we’re hoping to smash our £8,000 fundraising target for Sparks. We are all proud to be supporting such a fantastic cause.”

KC’s parent company, KCOM Group, has supported Sparks as its charity partner since 2012. People from across KCOM Group have taken part in fundraising activities including scaling the UK’s highest mountains and swimming the River Humber to raise more than £130,000 for the charity.

Community News

Old computers get a new lease of life through recycling scheme

KC's Sue Helmont

KC's Sue Helmont

Employees at KC are taking part in a national campaign to give unwanted PCs and laptops a new future.

KC has teamed up with reusemypc.com, one of the UK’s leading IT re-use and recycling companies, to run a PC recycling campaign at its Hull offices during Responsible Business Week.

In return for each old PC, laptop, tablet or Smartphone they donate to the scheme, KC employees will receive a £10 Amazon voucher and will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad.

The unwanted equipment will be wiped of all data by certified data erasure firm Blancco before being used to help charities, community groups and families who are not online at home get connected to the internet.

Sue Helmont, KC’s director of consumer services, said: “More than 10 million computers are disposed of every year in the UK and lots of them end up in landfill with data still on them.

“Yet for many of the 11 million people not online at home, the cost of buying a PC is one of the biggest barriers to getting connected.

“We’ve been working with reusemypc.com for some time to help local households get online, and it’s good to know that by taking part in this scheme we’re helping more people make the most of all that the internet has to offer.”

All of the computers donated by KC employees will be donated, re-used or re-sold, with every useable machine being used to help people throughout the UK get online for the first time. Computers that are too old to be re-sold or donated  are stripped down and used in training at reusemypc.com to help apprentices and staff gain good computing qualifications.

David Williams, managing director of reusemypc.com, said: “While millions of households throughout the UK have replaced their PCs and laptops in recent years, many don’t donate their old equipment to a good cause simply because they don’t feel confident of being able to clear it of personal data and information.

“So old PCs and laptops sit gathering dust in attics and cupboards instead of being put to good use in charities, schools and disadvantaged communities. The ‘reusemypc.com’ scheme takes the headache of worrying about data away, and every donor receives a certificate from Blancco to certify that their PC or laptop has been entirely erased.

“Since we launched the scheme earlier this year, more than 1,000 PCs and laptops have already been given a new home, and we’re delighted that KC employees will be boosting that number further by taking part in the scheme.” 

Community News

KC confirms support for city’s favourite corporate challenge

Runners in the 2013 KC Hull 10K Corporate Challenge

On your marks, get set, go – that’s the message to business people across the region as communications company KC confirmed it will be again supporting the Hull 10K Corporate Challenge.

It will be the second successive year that the Hull-based firm has sponsored the challenge, which forms part of Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All Hull 10K taking place on Sunday 8thJune.

Last year over 400 employees of local businesses took on the 6.2 mile course in a bid to lift the fastest firm crown and raise money for good causes.

KC’s communications manager Kay Stevenson said: “We very much enjoyed our involvement with last year’s corporate challenge and are delighted to again offer our support for 2014.

“The challenge is a great way to encourage team building and raise money for some very worthy causes. It’s also a great way to encourage employees to become fitter and healthier.”

Charlie Tatman, of Run For All, said: “We very much appreciate KC’s support for the Hull 10K Corporate Challenge. The friendly rivalry and spirit of competition it encourages between companies adds an extra dimension to the 10K.

“The challenge was very well supported last year and we are sure it will prove even more popular for 2014.”

Teams taking part enjoy corporate hospitality on race day and are also invited to a pre-event quiz evening, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate they have quick minds as well as quick feet.

The challenge is open to teams of five or more. The times of the first three team members home are added together and averaged out, with the quickest team carrying off the prizes and the bragging rights.

For more information, and to enter, visit www.runforall.com

The Hull 10K on 8th June forms part of the Jane Tomlinson Run For All 10K series which also includes the Pennine Lancashire 10K on 22nd June, the Leeds 10K on  20th July and the York 10K on 3rd August.

Community News

Mock interviews give Sirius Academy students an insight to the world of work

Sirius Academy student Jordan Furniss is interviewed by Louise Corry of Randstad Education

(l-r) Sirius Academy student Jordan Furniss is interviewed by Louise Corry of Randstad Education

More than 150 students at Sirius Academy took part in mock job interviews with KC and other local employers recently as part of careers days organised in conjunction with the Humber Education Business Partnership (EBP).

Employees from local firms Cemex, CR Reynolds Ltd, Esteem, Graham and Rosen Solicitors, Cobus Communications, Hull City Council, the NHS, HLC, The Level Scheme and Randstad Recruitment spent a day at the school to give the Year 11 students some real-life interview experience to help prepare them for the world of work.

Students applied for a range of entry-level positions before being interviewed about their aspirations, strengths and interests.

Keith Cook, business co-ordinator director of citizenship and careers at the academy in Anlaby Park Road South, said: “We wanted to give students the opportunity to get some interview experience in a realistic but supportive environment. This was a great way to do it, and I was both pleased and re-assured by the level of support and the commitment we received from the local business community.

“Job interviews can be a daunting experience at any age, and this exercise gave the students a chance to get a feel for the type of questions that might be asked in an interview, as well as gain confidence in talking about themselves to a potential employer. I’m sure the feedback they received from the interviewers will help them when they start applying for real jobs.”

Louise Corry, education business manager at recruitment specialists Randstad Education, interviewed 12 students over the course of the day. She said: “I was very impressed by the maturity and attitude of the students I met – they took the experience seriously and gave a good account of both themselves and the academy.

"If the school I had attended had done something like this for me; it would have been invaluable, so all credit to Sirius Academy and Humber EBP for running the session.”

KC communications manager KC, who also took part in the careers day, said: "We recruit the vast majority of our employees from the local area, which is why one of the main aims of our KC in the Community programme is to support schools in preparing young people for the world of work. It was inspiring to hear them talk about their ambitions for the future and about what they're doing now to give themselves the best chance of achieving their goals."

Last week Sirius Academy appeared in the Telegraph’s list of England’s top 100 most improved state schools since 2010 based on last summer’s GCSE results. The percentage of pupils gaining five GCSEs including English and Maths increased over the period from 40 per cent in 2010 to 65 per cent in 2013.

Community News

KC employees donate hundreds of items to homeless charity appeal

(l-r) from l-r) Helen McGill of Emmaus Hull sorts donations with volunteers Jane Jeffers, Tahnia Ashraf, and Gill Stevens

KC employees have donated hundreds of toiletry items, hats, scarves and gloves to homeless charity Emmaus Hull in response to an appeal it launched before Christmas.

The donated items will be distributed to homeless people in the city through local charities including the Hull Resettlement Project, Hull Homeless and Rootless Project and Doorstep of Hull.

Emmaus Hull launched its appeal in December by dressing one of KC’s iconic cream kiosks in a giant woolly hat made by a knitting group that meets weekly at Vintage Café on Chanterlands Avenue in west Hull.

The hat was stolen from the kiosk soon after, but it didn’t stop keen knitters across the city producing dozens more (standard-sized) hats to donate to the appeal.

Emmaus Hull project director Helen McGill said: “We’d like to thank the hundreds of people who donated essential toiletries, gloves and scarves, as well as many beautifully knitted hats.

“A special thank you for their donations goes to employees at KC and at Hull City Council’s human resources department, customers of our Newland Avenue shop, the owners and customers of Vintage Café and members of Hull’s Co-operative Women’s Guild."

KC communications manager Kay Stevenson said: "We organise a charity collection across our Hull offices each January and our people always give generously. This year was no exception, and we were delighted to deliver the hundreds of items donated to Emmaus Hull for distribution to people who need them."

Across the UK, Emmaus communities offer homeless people housing, work, and a chance to rebuild their lives in a supportive environment.

Emmaus Hull is working with Chevin Housing to build accommodation on land to the west of Lockwood Street in central Hull for local people who have been homeless. The development will also house community facilities including a coffee shop with internet access, a shop selling second-hand donated goods and a recycling point.

Community News

Hat’s the spirit! Local charity launches appeal for warm clothing

Lexi Young with K6 phone kiosk

Vintage Cafe's Lexi Young gives a classic K6 kiosk off Chanterlands Avenue a new look with a woolly hat

KC has teamed up with Vintage Café on Chanterlands Avenue to help a local charity launch its annual appeal for essentials for homeless people.

Last year homeless charity Emmaus Hull distributed more than 250 shoeboxes of hats, gloves, scarves and essential toiletries donated by members of the public to 16 organisations that help homeless people in the city.

This year it is hoping to collect even more, and drew attention to its appeal by dressing one of KC’s iconic cream kiosks in a colourful woolly hat made by a knitting group that meets weekly at Vintage Café.

Across the UK, Emmaus communities offer homeless people housing, work, and a chance to rebuild their lives in a supportive environment.

Emmaus Hull is working with Chevin Housing to build accommodation on land to the west of Lockwood Street in central Hull for local people who have been homeless. The development will also house community facilities including a coffee shop with internet access, a shop selling second-hand donated goods and a recycling point.

Emmaus Hull project director Helen McGill said: “Last year the generosity of local people and businesses meant we were able to give warm clothing and toiletries to hundreds of people who are in greatest need.

“This year we’re focusing on collecting hats, because covering your head is one of the best ways to keep warm, but we’d also love donations of scarves, gloves and the usual toiletry items that most people consider essential but can seem a luxury to people using the homeless facilities our appeal will support.”

The donated items will be distributed through charities including the Hull Resettlement Project, Hull Homeless and Rootless Project and Doorstep of Hull.

Vintage Café has been accepting donations for homeless charities since it opened.

Co-owner Lexi Young said: “In the past our customers have been generous in donating items for Doorstep of Hull and other organisations that help homeless people and we’re delighted to be part of Emmaus Hull’s appeal.

“I’m sure members of our weekly knitting group will also be supporting the appeal by knitting smaller versions of the giant hat they’ve created for its launch.”

Donations of individual items or shoeboxes of goods can be made at Emmaus Hull’s shop at 193 Newland Avenue, at KC’s customer service centre in Carr Lane in Hull or at Vintage Café at 209 Chanterlands Avenue. Empty shoeboxes can be collected from Emmaus Hull.

Community News

‘A town that lets you write’

Philip Larkin

“A place cannot produce poems, it can only not prevent them, and Hull is good at that.”

These are the opening words of the film produced to support Hull’s bid to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2017.

They’re powerful and poetic. And that’s not surprising, because they were written by one of the UK’s favourite poets, Philip Larkin.

They’re from a foreword written by Larkin for A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull, an anthology of poems published in 1982.

You can see some of the text at Paragon Station in a stone set into the wall that marks the start of the Larkin trail.  The complete foreword by Larkin is below.

Poetry, like prose, happens anywhere. Hull got its clearance on this from Andrew Marvell many years ago, and if that singular Member of Parliament would have little in common with today’s ancient and modern city lodged unexpectedly in the triangle of flat country between the Humber and the North Sea it is still as good a place to write in as any.

Better, in fact, than some. For a place cannot produce poems, it can only not prevent them, and Hull is good at that. It neither impresses nor insists. When your train comes to rest in Paragon Station against a row of docile buffers, you alight with an end-of-the-line sense of freedom. Outside is a working city, yet one neither clenched in the blackened grip of the industrial revolution nor hiding behind a cathedral to pretend it is York or Canterbury. Unpretentious, recent, full of shops and special offers like a television commercial, it might be Australia or America, until you come upon Trinity House or the Dock Offices. For Hull has its own unexpected elegances.

People are slow to leave it, quick to return. And there are others who come, as they think, for a year or two, and stay a lifetime, sensing that they have found a city that is in the world, yet sufficiently on the edge of it to have a different resonance. Behind Hull is the plain of Holderness, lonelier and lonelier, and after that the birds and lights of Spurn Head, and then the sea. One can go ten years without seeing these things, yet they are always there, giving Hull the air of having its face half-turned towards distance and silence, and what lies beyond them.

These poems are not about Hull, yet it is unseen in all of them, the permission of a town that lets you write.

PHILIP LARKIN

Community News

60 Second Interview – Phil Benson, co-owner of Xing Smoothies

Every month one of our community partners tells us about their project or event they are involved in

From left: KC’s Kay Stevenson with Simon and Phil from Xing, awards host Keeley Donovan

From left: KC’s Kay Stevenson with Simon and Phil from Xing, awards host Keeley Donovan

Congratulations on winning the Hull Daily Mail Pride of East Yorkshire Award, sponosred by KC – were you shocked to win?

Thank you very much. Award was certainly a fantastic surprise for us. We don't do what we do to win awards but it was an amazing honour to be recognised.

You won the award because giving back to the community is at the core of everything you do – tell us a bit about Xing Smoothies?

The Xing Smoothies education part of the organsiation encourages the next generation by raising aspirations and offering practical opportunities. We regularly do talks in schools on employability and entrepreneurship as well as hands on enterprise workshops and setting up the flagship student run smoothie bars in schools programme. This gives students the opportunity to run their own smoothie bar business in school, get paid and the school keep the profits for other potential student run ventures.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

We have recently set up our 15th pupil run smoothie bar in a school so this is a very exciting time for us.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs starting out?

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Seek out an experienced business mentor if possible. Be prepared to adapt and change your initial business model or strategy if necessary. Failure is not the end of world but something, which if learnt from, will make you stronger and more successful in the future, so just go for it! Above all be resilient and prepared to work hard. As Edison quoted, it's 1% inspiration 99% perspiration.

To find out more about Xing Education, please click here.

Community News

Community grant from KC helps boost kids’ learning

Funding buys new iPad for Hull-based charity

Downright Special receive ipads from KC and Sargent Electrical.

Downright Special receive ipads from KC and Sargent Electrical.

Thanks to funding from a KC Community grant, kids attending a support group for children with Down’s Syndrome now have a new ipad to help boost their learning. The charity secured the grant to buy an additional iPad to add to three donated by Sargent Electrical in Beverley.

 

Hull-based charity Downright Special was set up in 2007 by a group of local parents who wanted to support each other and any other new parents with children who have Down’s Syndrome. The charity quickly developed into an organised group of trained volunteers that give emotional, practical and educational support to families. After trialling an iPad recently, workers at the charity found it helped children with Down’s Syndrome to learn and develop when used alongside other teaching methods.

 

Gillian Bowlas, Trustee of Downright Special said: “Children with Down’s Syndrome learn more from looking than from listening. We’ve found that using iPads as a teaching tool increases the children’s concentration and helps them to achieve tasks that would normally be very difficult for them to do on paper. The children often have relatively poor motor skills too, which makes writing difficult. The iPads ultimately support the learning process and encourage confidence.”

 

Gillian continued: “The iPads will have a massive impact on their learning and will help them to keep pace with their peers' technology skills as they enter mainstream schools.  If information is presented to them in a visual way whether that’s pictures or written words, they are more likely to remember new things. The iPads are easy to interact with, they allow a young child to choose a picture answer instead of answering a question verbally, meaning they can easily demonstrate their understanding of new words and concepts.”

  

KC’s community relations manager, Anna Millar, said: “We’re always inspired by the ways in which our community grants are used, and this story is a great example of how technology can be used to stimulate an interest in learning. After seeing the young people using the iPads its clear to see how much of a benefit they will be.”

 

The charity works closely with The Smile Foundation, which supports small local charities to become sustainable. Smile Foundation Charity Manager Andy Barber said: “We’re delighted that Downright Special have received these very special donations. Downright Special has been a wonderful organisation to work with and are an excellent example of a third sector organisation that has a huge impact on our community and a charity that our region should be very proud of.”

 

Every three months, our KC Community Grants scheme gives three grants of £500 each to local charities, projects, schools or events. If you’re involved with a community group, charity or school that would benefit from a KC community grant, click here for an application form.

 

To find out more about Downright Special please visit www.downrightspecial.co.uk

 

Community News

KC wins national awards for customer

KC beats national and global brands to win award

Neil Skehel, Managing Director of Awards International, with Emma, Amanda, Katie and Sally from the KC Customer Experience team

Neil Skehel, Managing Director of Awards International, with Emma, Amanda, Katie and Sally from the KC Customer Experience team

KC has scooped two top prizes at the UK Customer Experience Awards in recognition of its focus on listening to customers and meeting customers' needs. 

The awards celebrate and promote excellence in customer experience across a wide range of industries. 

At a ceremony in London last week KC won not just the IT and Telecommunications category but also the overall prize for customer experience across all sectors, seeing off national and global brands including Sky, BT, Easyjet and Disney Store. 

KC was recognised for its success in increasing customer satisfaction, which it has achieved by encouraging more feedback from customers and using it to improve its products and service levels. 

During the last year KC has held regular face-to-face customer forums on a wide range of topics including broadband speeds, new products and billing. 

KC also captured the views of thousands of customers through more than 80 online and telephone surveys. 

Gary Young, KC’s director of business and consumer services, said: “Everyone at KC is absolutely thrilled to be recognised for our efforts to give our customers a great experience, regardless of the type of interaction they have with us. 

“What's most important to us is what our customers think about our service, and we want to thank every customer who took the time to complete a survey, attend one of our forums, or contact us with a comment, a compliment or a complaint. 

“It’s this feedback that’s led to us making more than a hundred improvements during the last year alone, to our products, our processes and the way we interact with customers. 

"The improved customer satisfaction results we’ve seen during this time and the awards we've just received give us great confidence that we’re on the right track to consistently meet our customers' needs. 

"However, we won't rest there. There's always more we can do, and we'll keep listening to customers and making the improvements they want to see." 

To take part in one of KC’s regular customer forums or online surveys email kc.customerexperience@kcom.com

Community News

Buzz created for Hull’s Bee Lady thanks to KC

Iconic KC telephone box transformed in honour of the bee lady

Jean 'Busy Bee' Bishop checks out her bee themed telephone box as KC's Anna Millar looks on

Jean 'Busy Bee' Bishop checks out her bee themed telephone box as KC's Anna Millar looks on

Since Hull’s Bee Lady Jean Bishop won her Fundraiser of the Year Award at the Pride of Britain ceremony last week, the city has been buzzing with excitement that Jean has finally got the recognition she deserves. 

To mark Jean’s fundraising achievements, which reached £100,000 thanks to attendees at the awards, communications provider KC has given one of their icon cream telephone boxes a stripy make over in her honour. 

KC’s community relations manager Anna Millar explains: “We first transformed a telephone box when Luke Campbell won gold at last year’s Olympics. More recently we’ve painted another purple to mark Purple Flag Week. One of our Twitter followers suggested we honour Jean’s achievements with her own telephone box so we met with one of our print suppliers who took on the stripy challenge.” 

Jean officially opened her telephone box this afternoon (Tuesday 16 October). Dressed in her much loved bee costume, Jean cut the ribbon on the black and yellow classic K6 telephone boxoutside KC’s Carr Lane office in Hull city centre. 

KC’s Anna Millar continues: “Our cream telephone boxes are unique to our city and are instantly recognisable. Giving them a makeover is a great way to draw attention to someone’s achievements or an important event. At 91, Jean is a great example of a dedicated and determined fundraiser. She’s got a fantastic spirit and sense of humour and is a great ambassador for our city. We wish her all the best in raising even more money for her chosen charity Age UK.” 

People can come and see Jean’s kiosk for the next month.

To add to Jean's fundraising total click here to visit her JustGiving page.

Community News

Iconic phone box to get a new look as city celebrates Purp-Hull Flag Week

KC supports Purple Flag Week.

The purple KC kiosk

The purple KC kiosk

One of Hull’s iconic cream telephone boxes is to be given a bright new make-over as part of the city’s celebrations of Purple Flag Week.  

The make-over, along with various other activities, have been organised by the various partners who last year collaborated to achieve Purple Flag status, which recognises Hull as a city with a safe and vibrant night life. 

Kathryn Shillito, HullBID City Centre Manager, said: “We worked with Humberside Police, Hull City Council, Neighbourhood Network and the NHS in the city to achieve Purple Flag status because we wanted people to recognise the quality of the evening economy in our city centre and we want to improve it further. 

“All the evidence is that the work of the partners has brought more benefits with more people enjoying themselves in the city centre, with alcohol-related crime reduced and with fewer injuries to people as a result. 

“That’s something to celebrate so we plan to make the most of Hull’s first ever Purple Flag Week as we work towards retaining the status in the future.”  

Purple Flag is an accreditation scheme, which recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night, setting standards for managing successful evening economies, benchmarking performance and providing significant recognition for partnerships who deliver key services and initiatives associated with the night-time economy. 

Hull was awarded the accolade in November 2012, after assessors from the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) visited the area on the night of the Freedom Festival, to find out what Hull had to offer to residents, visitors and workers ‘after hours.’ 

Humberside Police’s Operations Superintendent for Hull, Mark Johansson, said: “The Purple Flag status of the city is one which we are all very proud of and it has brought immense pride to our city. 

“Since we were given the award last year, we have been working hard with our partner agencies to build on this success and create an even safer and welcoming atmosphere for Hull’s visitors, workers and residents. 

“Without a doubt, the Purple Flag achievement has been a catalyst to improve the offering of our diverse Night Time Economy, with safety being a key attribute. The Police will continue addressing any issues in the city centre, so that the area can thrive and be a destination of choice for people near and far.” 

Councillor Bayes, Portfolio Holder for visitor destination said: “The image of Hull has changed dramatically over the last year. The city’s profile has been raised through sporting successes and being shortlisted for the City of Culture 2017 title. 

“The Purple Flag status invites visitors to the city centre to experience the many historical and cultural attractions that the city has to offer. Purple Flag week is a great time to celebrate our safe and vibrant city.” 

 KC’s Community Relations Manager, Anna Millar, said: “People know and love our distinctive phone kiosks so it’s great to be able to give one of them a makeover to draw attention to Hull’s success in gaining Purple Flag status.  

“Paining our kiosks a different colour isn’t something we do lightly but we believe this is an achievement that’s well worth celebrating.” 

Other key events in Purple Hull Flag Week include: 

  • From Wednesday September 18: Purple Flag Week banner displayed at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre, Hull. 
  • Thursday September 19: Lamp posts will be decorated with purple ribbons. 
  • Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22: Hull Trinity Festival in Trinity Square, Hull. 
  • Thursday September 26: Action 4 Change and Humberside Police are holding an Alcohol Awareness Day in Queen Victoria Square, Hull, between 10.30am and 6pm. 
  • Friday September 27: GOBO launch at University of Hull of GOBO – a projector which will illuminate the wall next to the students’ union with information including crime reduction messages.

Community News

Community blog - Top Five Tips to encourage employee volunteering

Our first community blog looks at how to support your volunteers

KC employees take part in a day of volunteering

KC employees take part in a day of volunteering

The recession has clearly impacted many community organisations, groups and charities. They are experiencing a huge increase in demand for their services and at the same time are being faced with cuts in public sector funding. Ultimately this has left them struggling to continue to provide their much-needed services.

The business community can play an important part in providing support to charities and community groups during these difficult times by encouraging employee volunteering. 

The benefits to businesses are varied and include improved employee satisfaction levels and increased skills amongst employees. 

Employee volunteering doesn’t happen by magic though, so here are my top 5 tips to encourage it whatever the economic climate.

 

Manager buy in

When deadlines are looming and targets need to be reached it’s easy to understand why some managers are reluctant for a valuable member of their team to head off to share their business skills with a community group or charity. But this may be slightly short-sighted when you consider the long term gain.

Business in the Community (BITC) asked people taking part in the UK’s biggest day of employee volunteering, Give and Gain Day, how participating made them feel. 87% reported an improved perception of their employer, 82% said they felt more committed to their employer and 70% of volunteers reported developing their time management, communication, influencing, decision-making and leadership skills. 

Because the first hurdle for an enthusiastic potential volunteer is line manager approval, ensuring that all managers are aware of the benefits of community engagement and volunteering will help them make an informed decision when that member of their team wants to volunteer. Having a chief executive who gets involved in community activities, as ours does regularly, is another great way to show managers that volunteering is a good thing for the business. 

Of course, there will be times when it’s just not possible to give an employee time away from the office to volunteer. In these cases its important the line managers say no in the right way so that the volunteer isn’t put off from asking again in the future.

 

Variety is the spice of volunteering

I always set myself the target of having 100% of our people volunteering. Unrealistic? Yes. Optimistic? Most definitely, and that’s why I set myself the goal. To engage as many of our people as possible in our community programme, KC in the Community, we offer a wide range of volunteering options and having a target of 100% keeps me thinking of fresh new ideas.   

Some people will never leave the office to help build a fence at a community riding centre (although 32 of our employees did), and some of our employees would rather do anything than stand up in front of 292 pupils to share their career journey (although I keep hoping someone other than me will volunteer to do this soon). 

But lots of people are happy to donate food, toiletries, warm clothing and Christmas presents to our four annual charity collections. We count each donation as one hour’s volunteering and some of our people make a donation every time we do a collection. We support our people to become reading volunteers in their lunch hour at two schools in walking distance of our city centre offices, which some like because it means they don’t have to take time off in the working day. 

It’s important to remember your community goals and aims when coming up with volunteering opportunities. Community activities that suit your business and your employees will always be more successful than those that don’t. 

 

Stop, look and listen

As well as being a road safety slogan from when I was a kid, this is a great mantra to remember when developing a volunteering programme. When we launched KC in the Community we focused our volunteering activities on projects that addressed the needs of our local community. 

Looking back, the biggest opportunity we missed was not asking our people what they’d like to get involved in and finding out who already volunteers in their own time. But we haven’t made the same mistake since. Now we constantly take feedback and ideas from employees to improve our volunteering programme.

 

Read all about it

As someone who’s worked in PR for many years it’s probably no surprise that I think communication is important when it comes to volunteering. Your people need to understand why you want to support the community and believe in your aims to want to get involved in it. 

Promoting volunteering opportunities sounds really obvious but there are lots of different ways to do this. We recruit volunteers by cascading information down through our management team. We also encourage volunteers to talk about their experiences at team meetings and to their peers. Our monthly community news roundup puts our activity into a bite size email for people to act upon if they wish to.  

 

Shout about success stories

People love reading about people. When someone has volunteered I ask them three questions: What did you get out of it personally? What did you get out of it professionally? and Has it changed your opinion of the work we do in the community? I get great answers to these questions, including quotes that can be used in PR, when encouraging others to volunteer and when we need to produce reports or write award entries.

 

Some of our volunteering opportunities aren’t always successful and there may be better ways to encourage, and involve our people so it would be great to hear from you and your business about your volunteering programmes. Drop me an email: anna.millar@kcom.comor call me for a chat 01482 602831

Community News

KC Wi-Fi hotspots keeping festival-goers connected

KC provides Wi-Fi at 2013 Freedom Festival

KC provides free Wi-Fi at 2013 Freedom Festival

KC provides free Wi-Fi at 2013 Freedom Festival

Visitors to Freedom Festival this weekend can enjoy free, high speed WiFi throughout the event, courtesy of supporter and festival business partner KC. Key locations throughout the festival – at Humber Dock Street, Humber Street, Wellington Street and Queen Street – will be KC WiFi hotspots, enabling festival-goers to stay connected to friends and family at the event, plus send messages, photos and video footage to those further afield not lucky enough to be in attendance!

The service is unlimited to all Freedom visitors across the weekend. Users just need to search for ‘KC WiFi’ and connect to obtain the free service – no passwords or log-in required.

Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager, KC said: “We’ve been a proud supporter of Freedom Festival for the last four years, and we’re incredibly passionate about the event, which is such a strong showcase for the city as we head towards the City of Culture bid submission.

“We want visitors to be able to stay connected throughout the weekend, whether they’re arranging to meet friends at the Pier Stage to see The 1975 or are using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to show the rest of the world just what a phenomenal event – and city – we have here.”

The line-up for this year’s Freedom Festival include up-and-coming Manchester guitar band The 1975, Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, Pappy’s, The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey, a spectacular torchlight procession through the city’s old town and a UK-exclusive from French theatre pioneers Transe Express. More information can be found at www.freedomfestival.co.uk, with up-to-the-minute news on social media channels: Facebook www.facebook.com/FreedomFestivalHulland Twitter and Instagram @FreedomFestHull.

Jenny Coombes, Freedom Festival Development Manager said: “We’re thrilled to have KC on board as a business partner. They’re committed to supporting us in delivering a fantastic weekend for the city; one we hope visitors will tell the world about and that will continue putting Hull on the map as we bid to become UK City of Culture.”

Freedom Festival is funded by Hull City Council, Arts Council England and James Reckitt Library Trust, as well as private sector sponsorship.

Anyone seeking further information on supporting Freedom can contact Jenny Coombes, Freedom Festival Development Manager on 01482 481 881 / jenny@freedomfestival.co.uk

Community News

Win Freedom Festival tickets

To mark our sponsorship of Hull's annual festival, we have tickets to give away

Last years Freedom Festival in action

Last years Freedom Festival in action

For the fourth year running KC is proud to be supporting the Freedom Festival. The weekend, Friday 6 to Sunday 8 September, will see the much-loved festival return to Hull’s Fruit Market. The festival celebrates, through artistic and cultural expression, Hull’s independent spirit and historic contribution to the cause of freedom. To check out the vast programme of events click here

Whilst the majority of the festival is free, there are a handful of events that are ticketed. To mark our sponsorship we’ll be running a daily draw to win tickets for different events. To find out more about the ticketed events please click here

Below are the details of today’s draw and how to be in with a chance to win.

From everyone at KC, we hope you have a fantastic time at this year’s festival and good luck.  

Monday's ticket offer:  Today we have three pairs of tickets to take part in the 600-strong torchlight procession which will officially open this year’s festival. Reflecting upon the ethos behind the Freedom Festival and commemorating Martin Luther King’s historic speech, this will be a unique experience for all participants. You will be part of a procession illuminating the streets from Hull’s historic and beautiful Old Town to the festival hub at the Fruit Market. There will be fire and music, which together, will create a magical atmosphere to celebrate the opening of this year’s Hull Freedom Festival.  The procession will culminate in an inspirational performance of Lemn Sissay delivering Martin Luther King’s I HAVE A DREAM speech. To find out more about the procession please click here to visit the Freedom Festival website.

The winners will need to meet event organisers at 6:45pm outside the Hull College building on Friday 6 September.

To put your name forward for this amazing opportunity please Follow and RT one of our Twitter accounts: 

@communitykc

@KCcolourpages

@_KCHome

@KC_Business

 

T&C's apply.

Community News

CatZero graduate swaps his sea legs for superfast broadband

Partnership pays off for engineering apprentice

From left, KC's Nathan Pinkney, Peter Tighe from Cat Zero and KC's Director of Network and Engineering Andy Whale on-board the Cat Zero

From left, KC's Nathan Pinkney, Peter Tighe from Cat Zero and KC's Director of Network and Engineering Andy Whale on-board the Cat Zero

When 24 year old Nathan Pinkney from west Hull heard about an engineering apprenticeship at local communications provider KC he knew it was an opportunity not to be missed. 

Nathan heard about the opportunity through CatZero, the not for profit organisation that delivers innovative youth development training in Hull and East Yorkshire. Nathan had completed a 10 week course with the CatZero team. 

Nathan started his apprenticeship working as part of a team reducing faults, and is now working on a project to support business customers. 

He said: “I found out about CatZero from through my JobCentre Plus advisor. I’d previously done various roles with a temp agency which included working at a manufacturing plant. 

“When I heard about the apprenticeship at KC I was really excited about the opportunity. The scope of the role, the skills needed and working for a big company like KC really appealed. It’s more than an apprenticeship, it’s the start of a career in engineering. Doing an apprenticeship gives me more qualifications to add to my CV and increase my future prospects, which hopefully involve progressing at KC. 

“The best thing about my job is knowing that I am helping people and improving the service they receive from KC. I get to learn from senior members of the engineering team and meet new people every day.” 

John Wardle, Head of Engineering Operations at KC said: “The apprentices we have in engineering have played a huge part in driving down our fault volumes over recent months and have now moved into various teams across Engineering to develop specific technical and customer facing skills. Nathan has moved into our Smartcomms team and is learning how we support many of our business customers through delivery of VOIP (voice over IP) services.”   

CatZero Progression Manager Sandra Strachan said: “We work with business partners, including KC, to ensure the young people on the programme are aware of opportunities within their businesses. As we work closely with the young people, we knew who would best suit the apprenticeship opportunity and Nathan was one of those people. 

“We ensure that the young people who complete our programme are ready for the world of work. We work with them to ensure they have a CV, and that they are equipped with interview skills that will help them move on into the world of work, education or training.” 

Nathan beat off stiff competition from more than 50 applicants to be accepted on KC’s apprenticeship programme, which will last two years.  KC has taken on 20 apprentices since 2010 across various areas of the business including engineering and marketing, sales and customer service. Nine of them have already completed apprenticeships and are employed by the company. 

As well as delivering a motivational programme to young people, the CatZero team also offers a range of sailing opportunities for businesses, which includes team building challenges. 

To find out more about CatZero please call (01482) 333303 or visit www.catzero.org

Community News

60 Second Interview - Hull Folk Festival

Every month one of our community partners tells us about their project or event

Polly (centre) and local musician Jody McKenna, (right) and the Hillbilly Troupe

Polly (centre) and local musician Jody McKenna, (right) and the Hillbilly Troupe

 

Polly, Festival Organiser from Sowden & Sowden tells us about the Hull Folk Festival and why it’s important that businesses support cultural events.  

Tell us about the Folk Festival, where did the idea come from?

The festival is the first in the city to be purely focused on folk music and will celebrate folk culture, its traditional values and varied styles, on our doorstep and from around the world, with events for all the family. Folk is all about music for the people, by the people, so we wanted to create an event that appeals to both children and grandparents, and everyone in-between.  

 

Describe what people can expect to see and get involved in at the festival?

The event is taking place around the Marina and Humber Street on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August and we've got over 60 live acts performing across five free stages, plus two ticketed concerts with headline acts each night. As well as the music there's loads of workshops and other activities taking place for people to get involved in, not to mention morris dancing and our maypole. The highlight for families will be the KC Family Folk Den, where children can get involved in arts and crafts, instrument making and listen to folk tales in our Jackanory Corner.

 

How important is the business community’s support of events like the Folk Festival?

The festival is funded by Hull City Council, but that money only goes so far, so it's essential we get support from local businesses to maximise the potential of the event, whether that's through funding or through offering services and products for free. All of the businesses in the old Fruit Market area have fully embraced the festival and are getting involved in their own way - from antiques dealers to breweries and galleries - they'll all be open to showcase their offer during the event.

 

The festival forms part of the city’s cultural events calendar, how important do you think it is for us to secure City of Culture 2017?

Hull has always been a truly unique place when it comes to culture, whether that's artist or musical talent - there are so many people across the city who live and breathe 'culture' every day - it's what we do. The City of Culture bid just brings this to light on a wider scale and would be a fantastic boost for the city. It's about time people across the world saw how cultural Hull is and what a great place it is to visit.

 

To find out more about the Hull Folk Festival click here.

Community News

Woodland partnership branches out with new website thanks to KC

Woodland partnership gets support from KC

KC’s Anita Pace with HEYwoods partnership manager Stephen Robinson

KC’s Anita Pace with HEYwoods partnership manager Stephen Robinson

A partnership which makes it easier for communities, businesses and developers to support woodlands in Hull and East Yorkshire has launched a new website with the help of KC. 

The HEYwoods partnership aims to increase woodland cover and improve the management of existing trees, woods and associated habitats in Hull and the East Riding, which has a woodland coverage of 2.6 per cent, compared to the national average of 8.4 per cent. 

HEYwoods offers support to projects by providing specialist advice and design guidance, and by identifying potential sources of funding.  It also works with a range of organisations, community groups and members of the public. 

Stephen Robinson Heywoods Partnership Manager, said: “We’re approached by lots of different people to see if we can advise them on how to manage and increase woodlands in our region. This includes schools who want to engage their pupils in tree planting, developers who need to include a green aspect to their planning proposals and individuals who want to give their time to help plant trees. 

“Our previous website has served us well but was in need of updating. KC’s support has been fantastic. They’ve designed and built us a user friendly website that we hope will encourage more people to work with us.” 

Anita Pace KC’s Director of Information Services and Contact Centres said: “We started to work with HEYwoods to look at how we could be greener as a business. When they said they needed a new website we knew we had the skills in our business to support them. We’ve created websites for a number of external clients including Hull Children’s University and Dorset Public Sector Network. 

”There are lots of ways that businesses can work with the partnership and the website is a great place to start to see how you can play your part in making the region greener.” 

Visit the new website at http://www.heywoods.org.uk/

To find out how you can work with the partnership please call Stephen Robinson on (01482) 393726 or emailinfo@heywoods.org.uk.

Community News

Teenagers take pole position at TeenTech Humber 2013

Event to get young people excited about science, technology and engineering another huge success

Young people take part in the KC activity at TeenTech 2013

Young people take part in the KC activity at TeenTech 2013

KC volunteers have helped young people see the fun side of the internet at the annual TeenTech event at the KC Stadium.

The educational event, which is run by the Humber Education Business Partnership (EBP), brings together more than 30 businesses to show teenagers the diverse range of science, technology and engineering careers.

The lively one-day event was created by science broadcaster Maggie Philbin.

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager, explains KC’s involvement, she said: “We’ve been involved in TeenTech since it first arrived in our region in 2011. This year we decide to host an activity in the Insight Zone, which gives the young people the chance to take part in a 15 minute, hands-on activity.

“As the internet isn’t a physical thing we can see and touch, we wanted a way to show the young people how much they use the internet and how it can not only be informative but fun too. The young people took part in a game of Mario Kart, playing over the internet with volunteers based at our Carr Lane office. We had a fantastic response and the activity generated lots of questions about how the internet works.”

The event was first held in the Thames Valley area in 2008 and Hull was chosen as the second location in 2011. This year TeenTech events will be held in locations across the UK including Hampshire, the Midlands, Teesside, Sheffield, and London.

Sandra Cooper, General Manager of the Humber EBP said: “This year we had 30 schools take part with over 300 year 8 and 9 pupils attending. The event is a powerful intervention just before students make GCSE subject choices, dispelling gender stereotypes and shifting perceptions of careers teenagers may have considered difficult, geeky or boring.

“The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our business partners which this year included East Riding of Yorkshire Council, University of Hull, Yorhub, Platform Expos, TIR, Croda, JVC, IT@Spectrum, Dakeyne Photography, Savilles, William Jackson Food Group, BP, BBC, Birse, Samsung, Express Group, Perkins, Jackson Civils, Novartis and Hobson and Porter.”

TeenTech Humber 2014 will be held at the KC Stadium on Thursday 10 July. To find out how your business can get involved in next year’s TeenTech call Sandra Cooper at Humber EBP on 01482 391630 or email Sandra.Cooper@eastriding.gov.uk

Community News

Family Fun in the KC Family Folk Den

KC supports Hull Folk Festival

KC's Anna Millar at the launch of the Folk Festival

KC's Anna Millar at the launch of the Folk Festival

This year’s Hull Folk Festival has been given extra support by KC, who has kindly sponsored the now aptly named KC Family Folk Den. The original folk den was to have just one or two workshops in, but with the cash injection that comes along with sponsorship, the KC Family Folk Den has now become the central hub for family activities at the festival.

Situated down Humber Street and running throughout the festival on Saturday 31st August, the KC Family Folk Den will be alive with the sound of, well, music and more. 

KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Hull Folk Festival through our KC in the Community programme. The KC Family Folk Den will give families visiting the festival a chance to get involved and ‘hands on’ with the festival, whilst educating them about the heritage of folk music and our great city. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our cultural offering, especiallyas we’re shortlisted for the City of Culture 2017, attract people to this part of the city and give children an experience to remember.” 

The Den has been created to celebrate folk culture and to educate families – not just kids - on traditional values of the folk world. 

In Jackanory Corner children will experience the world of folklore, with our guest storyteller amazing painting a vivid picture that brings the stories to life. There’ll also be a chance to learn how to story-tell yourself, with helpful tips and guidance for all those that want to learn a new craft. 

The fun doesn’t stop there, with arts and crafts for the kids to get involved with, including badge making, instrument making and knitting workshops to dive right in to. Although the KC Family Folk Den is a part of the festival for the day, we wanted to give children and parents the chance to take away a new art, a new craft and a lasting symbol that they were a part of the very first Hull Folk Festival. 

The two-day festival, which is funded by Hull City Council, takes place on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August in and around the Humber Street, Hull Marina and Victoria Pier area. 

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Terry Geraghty, added: “It’s great to have a partnership with KC for the festival and it’s great to involve them in a project that is for the whole community. With our bid for City of Culture coming to fruition, the KC Family Folk Den will give Hull yet again, something to celebrate especially with the heritage and culture that the whole festival represents.” 

Based inside an unused warehouse and transformed into the KC Family Folk Den, activities will run from 11.30am to 5.30pm to give families visiting the festival a chance to get ‘hands on’ with everything that is going on. 

The aim is for the festival to leave a lasting impression for year’s to come, with plans for the scale of it to grow each year. KC can say that they were there from the start, can you? If you’d like to sponsor any of our activities please get in touch at hello@hull-folk.co.uk

For regular updates and announcements, follow Hull Folk Festival on Twitter @hullfolk or like us on Facebook /hullfolk.

Community News

Pupils really do Make £5 Blossom

Primary school joins KC for enterprise project to Make £5 Blossom

KC's Anna Millar (centre) with the pupils from St Richards Primary School

KC's Anna Millar (centre) with the pupils from St Richards Primary School

Pupils from St Richards’s Primary School in Hull have taken part in a classroom-based enterprise project and grown it into a successful enterprise.   

The Make £5 Blossom project gives businesses the opportunity to support business and entrepreneurship education in local schools by investing £150 in a class of young people – £5 per head for a class of 30. The pupils decide how they are going to invest their loan to make a profit, with the school keeping the profits once the £150 investment is repaid. 

Year five pupils from St Richards’s came up with the idea of investing their loan from KC to make garden ornaments, calling their business ‘Garden Creations’. They designed glass lanterns, fairy doors, wooden plaques, ornamental animals and wire sculptures, sourcing all the supplies and working in teams to make the items to sell at the school’s summer fair. 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar worked with the school as a business mentor. She said: “This is the second time I have worked with St Richards on the Make £5 Blossom project and they continue to impress me. The children are really enthusiastic about the project and always work well together. 

“Make £5 Blossom is a fantastic way for businesses to support and encourage young people to develop enterprise skills. The skills, which include effective communication and organisation and planning, are life skills that the young people can continue to use whether they become the next Lord Sugar or not.”       

The Make £5 Blossom project runs twice a year. Other schools taking part this time included Stoneferry, Paisley, Parkstone, Foredyke, Newland St Johns, Collingwood, Gillshill and Wold primary schools. Businesses taking part included the Spencer Group, RMC Digital, NPS, Xuro, Hull FC, St Stephens, Connexin and Esteem. 

The schools and businesses came together to celebrate their success at the Guildhall on Thursday 18 July. 

Mike Notarantonio, Youth Enterprise Project Officer said: “The support from the schools and businesses has been brilliant once again. The schools that took part in this round of Make £5 Blossom did various money-making activities like holding movie nights, making and selling garden ornaments, hosting breakfast clubs and running a community café.  

“You can see the change in the young people from when we first met them and introduced them to their business partners to the celebration at the end. They’ve grown in confidence and knowledge and in the process made over £3,000 profit for their schools.”  

To find out how you can get involved in the project contact Hull Ready Project Officer Mike Notarantonio by calling 07748 436263 or email michael.notarantonio@hullcc.gov.uk

Community News

KC employees kick start new financial year with donation to Dove House Hospice Love You 2 Appeal

Continued support for appeal aiming to raise £2.5 million towards the redevelopment of Dove House Hospice

Pauline Speed, Love You 2 Appeal Manager with KC's John Wardle

Pauline Speed, Love You 2 Appeal Manager with KC's John Wardle

A week long programme of internal events to mark KC’s new financial year raised over £1,000 for the Dove House Hospice Love You 2 Appeal. 

When KC held it’s KC Kick Start Week, a programme of more than 20 events designed to share the businesses plans for the new financial year as well as giving employees new skills for their own personal development, it committed to donate £1 for every session employees attended to the local charity. 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “We’ve supported the Love You 2 Appeal since it launched.

“This is the first Kick Start Week we’ve held and we thought it was great to tie in our commitment to the local community with events that aim to give something back to our people.” 

The donation was presented to Love You 2 Appeal Manager Pauline Speed by John Wardle, KC’s Head of Engineering Operations, who delivered one of the sessions in the week. He said: “Kick Start Week was a great way to empower KC employees with new skills on topics including social media, nutrition, personal branding and making an impact. 

“It was a privilege to share experiences of my relationship with work over the last 25 years with my colleagues and to present our donation to Pauline and the Love You 2 Appeal team.” 

The Love You 2 Appeal was set up to raise £2.5 million towards the redevelopment of Dove House Hospice on Chamberlain Road in Hull by October 2013. To date £1,368,602 has been raised. 

Pauline Speed, Appeal Manager said “KC gives tremendous on-going support to Dove House Hospice and the Love You 2 Appeal which is very much appreciated. This latest donation is very welcome as we still have a lot of money to raise if we are to meet our appeal target by October this year.” 

For more information on the Love You 2 Appeal please visit www.loveyou2appeal.co.uk/

Community News

CAN you help your community?

KC joins forces with local businesses to support community

Volunteers from CAN members Arco help pupils with one on one reading

Volunteers from CAN members Arco help pupils with one on one reading

Ideas. Resources. Inspiration. Motivation. These are all things that can be difficult to muster as individuals, but in partnership with others are far easier to realise.

Which is why a dynamic group of local businesses that want to give something back to the community formed the Community Action Network (CAN) last summer. 

CAN is an open forum for local businesses to share the work they are doing in the community, invite other businesses to join in their activities where appropriate and to join forces to work together on initiatives. The network also creates links between businesses and the people and organisations most in need of support.

Arco is one of the businesses involved, as Gillian White, Arco’s Marketing Manager explained: “The Community Action Network is doing a brilliant job of pairing up business resources with community groups that have a specific support requirement. It isn’t just about money and fundraising, although that is important. It’s also about bringing people together to tackle projects through volunteering and also helping charities to access other specific skill sets that businesses can support them with such as marketing resource and IT advice.

“We have some wonderful businesses and people here in the region that are willing to move mountains for the benefit of the local community and CAN is helping to make that happen.”

CAN organises four charity collections a year as well as a joint day of volunteering and an annual Christmas party for 100 children from disadvantaged communities.

Gillian continues: “Arco gives all its employees two days paid leave to get involved in community volunteering. We are working with CAN to help us to engage with the right groups, by bringing teams of people together to make a very big difference. I would definitely encourage more businesses to get involved with CAN and to use this opportunity to give something back to the community.”

Other organisations involved in the network include KC, Hull City Council, Hull FC, Hull KR, Hull & East Yorkshire Community Foundation, Humber Education Business Partnership, , PwC, Smile Foundation, St Stephen’s and Yorkshire Bank.

If you’d like to get involved, or to access support from CAN, please contact KC's Community Relations Manager Anna Millar at anna.millar@kcom.com

Community News

Launching Lifestyle 2013 into cyberspace

KC supports Humberside Police Lifestyle initiative

2012 winners the Daisy Chains unveil the 2013 Lifestyle t-shirt

2012 winners the Daisy Chains unveil the 2013 Lifestyle t-shirt

Occupying energetic 10-16 year olds during the long school summer holidays is a challenge for every parent. Doing so in a constructive way is even more difficult but even the most capable iPad user or sporty teenager needs a new challenge to stave off boredom until school returns. So, why shouldn’t that energy and creativity be used for the good of the local community? 

Humberside Police’s Lifestyle project has inspired thousands of young people over the last 25 years to do exactly that. It encourages them to team up with their friends and do something to make a real difference to the areas where they live. 

KC supports the event through its ‘cyber challenge’ scheme, which encourages young people to use their online skills to enhance their Lifestyle project through building websites or online research. Past efforts include helping older people get online, creating an online fitness video for care homes and running a ‘connect and stay safe’ campaign for other young people that raises awareness of potential issues when using the internet. 

Lisa Whitton of the Humberside Police Lifestyle team said: “Over the last 25 years, Lifestyle has attracted a staggering 151,000 participants donating in excess of 2.5 million hours to make a difference to their local communities and help others during the summer holidays. KC’s cyber challenge is absolutely ideal for 2013 as it teams up technology, which all teenagers love, with a bit of creativity and a community focus.” 

Dave Walker, Account Director at KC, said: “KC is delighted to support Lifestyle again in its celebratory 25thyear. The Lifestyle project inspires thousands of young people in the region to carry out fantastic work in their local communities and they always rise to the challenge with enthusiasm, care and commitment. It’s a brilliant example of how young people can make a positive contribution to their community and we’re proud to be able to support and encourage this through our cyber challenge activity.”

Community News

Students go to the top of the class in East Yorkshire’s biggest corporate challenge

Team KC win third place in Hull 10K KC Corporate Challenge

Team KC pick up the award for third place in the Hull 10K KC Corporate Challenge

Team KC pick up the award for third place in the Hull 10K KC Corporate Challenge

Hull College Students have been crowned the fastest corporate team in the East Riding – after finishing in first place at this year’s KC Hull 10K Corporate Challenge. 

The team booked their place at the top of the league table after clocking up the fastest three individual times in the competition, staged as part of the Asda Foundation Hull 10K last month. 

Second place in the hotly-contested challenge went to the Lord Mayor of Hull’s Charity Appeal, while KC’s Team 1 took the third place spot. 

The fastest individual corporate runner was Andrew Cross from Hull College who put in a time of31mins 31secs, finishing in 5thplace in the event overall. The fastest corporate female was Hannah Peachey from the Lord Mayor’s Appeal who finished in 39mins 45secs, coming in 297thin the overall field of more than 3,000 runners. 

More than 425 businessmen and women signed up for the popular annual event from journalists to engineers and solicitors to building supplies merchants. 

Gary Young, Business and Consumer Director at the event’s title sponsors KC, said: “We’re thrilled to have come in third out of 44 teams, its credit to the hard work our team put into their training. 

“For the fourth year running, the Hull 10K turned out to be another fantastic event for all involved. I’d like to thank all the teams that took part in the Corporate Challenge and not only achieved personal goals, but raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities. 

“The event wouldn’t be the success it is today without the dedication of Mike Tomlinson and all his team at Run For All. On behalf of all those who took part in the Corporate Challenge I’d like to thank you, I’m already looking forward to the Hull 2014 10K.” 

KC Hull 10K Corporate Challenge Event Lead Charlie Tatman said: “The KC Corporate Challenge was a great success from the networking evening the week before to the day itself. 

“We’re really pleased to have had the great support of KC for what has been one of most successful corporate events to date. We’re already looking forward to next year and I know there are lots of teams who want to have another go at the title of fastest firm in Hull!”

 

As well as proving a great business challenge, the KC Hull 10K Corporate Challenge is expected to have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Community News

KC volunteers recognised for reading support

Reading volunteers go beyond one term commitment to help over eight young people

KC's Joanne Kennedy and Jeff Smith (right) with Head teacher Brian Roberts (centre) and pupils (l-r) Bradley Parkinson (11) Bethany Brocklesby (11) and Connor Parkinson (11).

KC's Joanne Kennedy and Jeff Smith (right) with Head teacher Brian Roberts (centre) and pupils (l-r) Bradley (11) Bethany (11) and Connor (11)

Two KC employees have been recognised at the company’s annual employee recognition event for their efforts to improve the reading skills of primary school pupils. 

Joanne Kennedy and Jeff Smith started helping pupils at Adelaide Primary School with one on one reading skills in January 2012. Their dedication has seen them continue to volunteer for an hour a week for more than a year, helping to improve the skills of more than eight pupils. 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “Each year we hold an event to recognise the monthly winners of our employee recognition scheme, called People To Be Proud of. As part of the event we also recognise people who’ve made an outstanding contribution to our community programme, KC in the Community. 

“Joanne and Jeff have not only helped the pupils to improve their reading skills, they have also helped improve their confidence and acted as positive role models form the world of work. They are the perfect example of how employees from local businesses can are skills and time to the benefit of the community.” 

The volunteers were surprised by Brian Roberts, Head Teacher of Adelaide Primary School, who came to present the volunteers with their community contribution award along with KC Chief Executive Kevin Walsh. 

Mr Roberts said: “We select the young people that Joanne and Jeff hear read really carefully to ensure that those that need maximum support get to spend time with them. We have seen fantastic improvements not only in the young people’s reading ability but in the knock on effect this has on all their subjects. We can’t thank them enough for the time they give the school and its great KC has recognised their commitment.“ 

To help the pupils at Adelaide Primary School continue to improve their reading skills, KC presented Headteacher Brian Roberts with a £200 book voucher. 

One on one reading is just one of the ways in which KC employees volunteer in the community. Other employees have worked with local schools and community groups to increase employability skills, help people get online and help young people to stay safe online.

Community News

Speed merchants cut a dash in maritime city’s much-loved run

Thousands raised for charity as runner pound the pavement in Hull 10K

Start line at the Hull 10K 2013

Start line at the Hull 10K 2013

The streets of Hull were transformed into a sea of colour on Sunday 19th May 2013 as thousands of runners took part in the Asda Foundation Hull 10K. 

Elite athletes, fun runners and charity fundraisers all took to the city’s streets for the fourth annual event, staged by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All. 

The run – one of the region’s biggest fundraisers – is expected to bring in many tens of thousands of pounds for charity, with lots of runners donning fancy dress for the event, part of the fundraising legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE. 

Starting and finishing in Alfred Gelder Street, the route, which regrettably had to be shortened to around 9km following the mechanical failure of lock gates at Hull Marina, took runners past some of the city’s best-loved landmarks. 

The winner of the individual event with a time of 29mins 51secs was Dean Jerome, followed by Andrew Norton in 30mins 9secs and Thomas McKee came in third with 30mins 17secs. The first woman across the finish line was Katie Meredith who put in a time of 32mins 41secs. Second was Cheryl Oakshott in 35mins 6secs, while third placed was Claire Spencer in 35mins 51 secs. 

Among those taking part in today’s event was Hull City footballer Andy Dawson who led a team of 20 runners as part of a fundraising drive for his testimonial year celebrations. 

Andy, who helped to start the race, holds the unusual distinction of being the only player in England to have played for the same team in all four divisions of the Football League. 

He ran with wife Lisa as well as Hull supporters and members of the Tigers Trust to raise money to support the Daisy Appeal. Andy finished in a time of 41mins 56 secs, while Lisa ran in 59mins 49secs. 

Andy said: “I had a great time today. It’s just a brilliant event which raises a lot of money for charities. A lot of that money stays local, too, which is really important.” 

Other runners included a large group supporting the Kerry Key Foundation – a lasting tribute to Hull mum-of-two Kerry who took part in last year’s Hull 10K after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She sadly lost her battle with the illness earlier this year. Her friends and family are now raising money for several charities in her name. 

Among the 3,500 runners who signed up for today’s event were around 425 businessmen and women taking part in the KC Hull 10K Corporate Challenge. 

Event lead Emma Griffiths said: “We’re always given an incredibly warm welcome in Hull and this year has been no different. 

“We’ve seen some weird and wonderful costumes, witnessed some great individual efforts and heard a lot of really inspirational stories. 

“It’s all these things that unite to make the event so special.” 

The Lord Mayor of Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Coun Danny Brown, joined the starting party, along with Andy Dawson and Miss Hull, Sammy Dixon. 

Coun Brown, who also helped present the winners’ prizes, said: "The runners, and spectators who cheer on those taking part, create an electric atmosphere in the city centre whilst helping to raise money for charity.” 

Run For All’s 10K series is sponsored by the Asda Foundation. Asda Managing Director (IPL) Nick Scrase was among Team Asda who fielded dozens of competitors. Nick finished in a time of 41mins 23secs. 

Nick said: “It was fantastic to be a part of today’s event. The feeling as you cross the line with the crowds shouting your name is incomparable. 

“The Asda Foundation is really proud to be supporting the Hull 10K because it brings the whole city and region together. 

“We’re really pleased that so many people not only took part this year, but also turned out to support the runners and get involved. 

“Our own colleagues were right behind the Hull 10K, not only taking part but by volunteering, too.” 

The KC Corporate Challenge, in which more than 40 companies took part, is sponsored by Hull-based KC. 

Gary Young, Business and Consumer Director at KC, said: “For the fourth year running, the Hull 10K turned out to be another fantastic event for all involved. I’d like to thank the 44 teams that took part in the Corporate Challenge and not only achieved personal goals, but raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities. 

“The event wouldn’t be the success it is today without the dedication of Mike Tomlinson and all his team at Run for All. On behalf of all those who took part in the Corporate Challenge I’d like to thank you, I’m already looking forward to the Hull 2014 10K.” 

Entrants ran for a personal challenge, for fun or for charity. They were encouraged to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts, but  especially one of the event’s official partner charities: Dove House Hospice; Her Breast Friends; Echoes Foundation; CLIC Sargent; Martin House Children’s Hospice; Macmillan Cancer Support; Candlelighters; Yorkshire Cancer Research, Hull Children’s University and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. 

The event is sponsored by the Asda Foundation, Hull City Council, KC, Mail News and Media, BBC Humberside and MKM Building Supplies.

Community News

Theatre company brings e-safety to life thanks to support from KC

Spin Off Productions works with KC to deliver module to East Riding schools

Actors Gerald Fox and Gemma Banks are joined on stage by pupils from Hedon Primary School with Honor Pallant (Spin Off Productions), Tim Evison and Lotty McWilliam (EON Media) and Anna Millar (KC)

Actors Gerald Fox and Gemma Banks are joined on stage by pupils from Hedon Primary School with Honor Pallant (Spin Off Productions), Tim Evison and Lo

An interactive form of theatre is being used to bring e-safety to life for primary school pupils in Hull and East Yorkshire, thanks to support from KC. 

Professional theatre company, Spin Off Productions, which specialises in working with young people, is using forum theatre to tackle the topic of e-safety in a new production funded through KC in the Community. 

Forum theatre is a great way to work with young people as it enables them to stop a scene when they think there is something the characters have done wrong. The young people then get the opportunity to change the outcome of the performance. 

Honor Pallant from Spin Off Productions said: “We were approached by a number of schools who wanted a new and engaging way to deliver online safety messages to their pupils. The format of forum theatre is a perfect way to get e-safety messages across.” 

As well as the live performance, Spin Off has also created a workshop that they then deliver to smaller groups of pupils to further reinforce the messages highlighted in the performance. 

Julie Ellis, Headteacher of Thorngumbald Primary School said: “The children loved being able to ‘rewind’ the action to decide for themselves what they could have done to help the characters stay safe, especially when were invited to engage with the actors themselves by taking part in the performance. 

“They enjoyed exploring these themes in depth during the workshops and it was clear from the contributions they made to the discussion that they had thought very carefully about the issues raised. As a result, they had very definite ideas as to how to avoid the risks, while at the same time enjoying the benefits offered by the internet. By the end of the day all agreed that our e-safety curriculum had received a massive boost from the day’s experiences.” 

KC’s funding has enabled 10 schools to enjoy the e-safety theatre production. 

Meanwhile local media production agency Eon Visual Media has contributed its time and expertise to produce a video of the performance so that KC employees can share it with more local schools. 

KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “As an internet provider, empowering young people and parents to make the right decisions to keep themselves and their children safe online is an important goal for us. We offer an e-safety education module for young people aged from five to 15 years old which we’ve delivered to over 3,000 young people so far. 

“The Spin Off production is engaging and entertaining but it also delivers a serious message in a way that resonates with young people. The contribution from Eon Visual Media means that even more young people can learn about this topic.” 

Humberside Police also provided valuable input to the production by giving advice on the issues surrounding hate crime and cyber bullying. 

To find out more about Spin Off Productions visit www.spinoffproductions.org.uk or call (01482) 210935. 

For more information about other education modules offered by KC call Anna Millar on (01482) 602831 or email: anna.millar@kcom.com

Community News

It’s a devil of a showdown between communication experts

KC challenges The One Point to a Devil’s Kitchen re-match

The KC team get ready for the Devil's Kitchen

The KC team get ready for the Devil's Kitchen

Back in 2010, KC went head to head with communications provider The One Point in a culinary cook off, raising vital funds for charity at the same time. It was a close match - so close in fact that a draw had to be called. 

Ever since, the businesses have been waiting for a rematch, and earlier this month eight volunteers from each business met again at the Holiday Inn Marina to see who would take home the crown. 

Despite an amazing team effort from the KC volunteers, victory went to The One Point with a final score of 28.39 V 28. 

Martin Lauer, Managing Director of The One Point said: “We’re proud to take the Devil’s Kitchen crown but will more than happily defend it again in the future as once again it was a very, very tight contest. We had a wonderful day - the Holiday Inn staff were absolutely brilliant and both teams really supported each other in the kitchen and front of house.” 

Both businesses agree that the real winner of the evening was the Smile Foundation, with more than £2,500 raised to help with its work in supporting other charities to become sustainable. 

Andy Barber, Charity Manager at the Smile Foundation says: “Devil’s Kitchen has helped to raise more than £300,000 in the last two years. So far, 60 businesses have taken up the challenge, serving around 1,600 guests. The funds raised have had a huge impact on local communities, helping to provide and deliver a wide range of services including health and education services.” 

The Devil’s Kitchen events have proven so popular that they are now being rolled out nationally through the Holiday Inn chain to generate further funds and awareness for local charities. The Smile Foundation is also extending the event to schools, challenging young people to prepare, cook and serve a meal to their parents at the end of the school day. 

KC’s Business Sales Director, Alan Worthing, said: “We had a great time and it was a really fun event. We all picked up new skills and it was great to give our customers, friends and family an insight into the community work we do. The Devil’s Kitchen experience is definitely one to remember and I’d recommend any company to get involved.” 

To find out more about the Smile Foundation call (01482) 590270

Community News

KC supports Adult Learners Week

KC provides introduction to the internet session to help more people get online

To celebrate Adult Learners' Week, Hull Training and Adult Education are running a number of free taster sessions so that people can try out the courses on offer across the city. 

Adult Learners Week takes place from Saturday 18 to Friday 24 May and will be an opportunity for people to celebrate the benefits of lifelong learning. 

Gary Parkinson from Hull Training and Adult Education said: “Whether you are an individual looking at improving your current job prospects or learning just for fun, then this week is the perfect time to try a session and find out more. 

“We are also encouraging businesses to come along to find out how they can support staff with lifelong learning.” 

Sessions taking place really are diverse, ranging from family history to joinery to computer courses to pottery and sculpting. 

KC is supporting the week by offering an internet basics and safety session. Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager at KC, said: “There are lots of free opportunities across Hull and East Yorkshire to learn to use the internet. We hope the taster session we’re running as part of Adult Learners Week will help those with little or no experience of using computers and the internet to reap the benefits.” 

The session is being held at the BBC Information Centre on Friday 24 May, 1pm to 3pm. To book your free place call 01482 318280.

Details of all of the sessions can be found at www.hullcc.gov.uk/adulteducationor by calling 318280.

Community News

KC helps keep young performers safe online

1,500 young people take part in e-safety session

KC’s Anna Millar (centre) with pupils from Biggin Hill Primary School who completed the e-safety module

KC’s Anna Millar (centre) with pupils from Biggin Hill Primary School who completed the e-safety module

Young people taking part in this year’s Humberside Police Rock Challenge are being given hints and tips about how to stay safe online, thanks to KC. 

For the second year running KC’s community team is delivered safety sessions to over 1500 young people at the Junior Rock Challenge events. 

Rock Challenge is a popular competition where schools and youth groups engage with pupils though performing arts. It gives young people the opportunity to develop essential life skills like teamwork, responsibility and communication, while tackling some key social issues such as smoking, drugs and alcohol. 

There are two elements of the competition, a junior event aimed at primary school pupils aged between seven and 11 years old, and a senior for secondary school and college students aged between 11 and 18 years old. 

As part of the junior event, KC has put together an interactive session about e-safety that makes learning about this topic interesting and engaging. The sessions guide youngsters through the social media safety maze looking at areas such as sharing personal information and how to stay safe when connecting online. 

Humberside Police brought Rock Challenge to the region 16 years ago. Lisa Whitton, who is part of the Humberside Police Youth Engagement Team, said: “KC’s e-safety sessions are an integral part of Rock Challenge. The workshops are really well received by the young people because Anna delivers a very sensitive and topical subject in an interactive way which opens up the youngsters minds and raises their awareness.” 

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager said: “The best way for young people to learn is through engaging with them in a fun way. Rock Challenge offers the ideal route to do this. There’s a real buzz around the entire day and the kids really connect to it. E-safety is a vital topic that everyone should understand, so we’re pleased to have reached over 3,000 children in our region.” 

Humberside Police also provided valuable input to the production by giving advice on the issues surrounding hate crime and cyber bullying.

Congratulations to all schools from our region that entered this year’s Rock Challenge. Kelvin Hall School and Oldfleet Primary school from Hull were crowned Humberside Police’s Rock Challenge champions at their heats along with East Riding schools Headlands School, Hornsea Junior and Holme Upon Spalding Moor Primary School, who will all go forward to finals in Grimsby in June. To find out more about Rock Challenge and how your business can help contact the Humberside Police Youth Engagement Team on 01482 220701.

Community News

Runners gearing up to win KC prize at Beverley 10K

KC sponsors prizes for fastest male and female runners

KC’s Anna Millar with Hall Construction Managing Director Martin Hall

KC’s Anna Millar with Hall Construction Managing Director ,Martin Hall

Fourteen hundred runners are gearing up for the annual Beverley 10k run which is being held  on Sunday, 12 May.

The event, organised by Beverley Athletics Club, is in its 20th year and is attracting runners from far and wide.

Among the field is a 13 strong team from  the event's sponsors, Hull based Hall Construction Group, led by Chairman Martin Hall - an accomplished extreme distance runner.

Martin, who has completed 250km events across the Atacama Desert in Chile and the Gobi Desert in China, has been taking part in the Beverley 10k for 14 years. He is already looking forward to his next Ultra Race in Iceland later in the year and will use the Beverley 10k as part of his build up.

"This is a brilliant community event and we are pleased to have been able to help it develop into the wonderful spectacle that it is today," said Martin.

"We first started sponsoring the event in 2009 and the money has been well spent in inspiring local people to take up running and also in helping to raise the profile of this historic and beautiful part of East Yorkshire."

KC is sponsoring the fastest male and female runners with each receiving a £200 prize.

The route starts at 11.15am from Beverley Minster, passing through North Bar and across Beverley Westwood, through Walkington before finishing in Beverley's Market Place.

Rob Reid, Chairman of Beverley Athletic Club, said:" We are once again delighted to have Hall Construction as our main sponsor for this fantastic event and look forward to attracting some top class runners, in addition to helping get the community to get fit.”

Community News

KC injects a dose of extra fun (and fruit) into National Play Day

Latest round of KC's community grants supports three community organisations

Young people enjoy a previous National Play Day

Young people enjoy a previous National Play Day

Hull Creative Play Network, Green Fingers and KIDS Hull are the latest recipients of KC’s community grants scheme.

The grant scheme, which has been running since 2006, awards three grants of up to £500 four times a year. The grants are decided by the KC Community Panel, a team of nine people from KC who consider all the requests for support the communications provider receives.

The Hull Creative Play Network works with children’s groups and organisations across the city to provide free and safe play activities for children of all abilities. The play activities run alongside educational workshops and health and lifestyle advice for families.

This year the network approached KC for support with a new nutritional initiative to help inform children about the benefits of choosing healthy snacks at the National Play Day event in Queen’s Gardens.

Jane Stafford, Managing Director of Child Dynamix and Voluntary Sector Representative for the 8-13 age group in Hull said: “Many families look forward to the National Play Day and plan their summer holiday activities around the event. We’re delighted to receive KC’s support and we will be using the grant to buy fruit for all children that attend.

“We will also be giving advice to families about the benefits of good nutrition and eating ‘five a day.’ We know that this will make a big difference to many of the children that attend the play day.”

The Queen’s Gardens event attracts around 8,000 children and their families each year, making it the largest play day outside of London for the last four years.

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager says: “We’re supporting some really exciting initiatives with this round of KC community grants. Green Fingers, a group from the Hull Youth Service, has received a grant to expand their garden to grow vegetables. We think this is a really creative, hands-on way to teach young people about the value of healthy and nutritious food.

“We’re also providing funding to help the disabled children’s charity, KIDS, run its Thursday youth group for a year. The youth group is giving practical and emotional support to teenagers and young adults to help them achieve their future goals.”

National Play Day will be held in Queens Gardens, Hull, on Wednesday 7 August 2013. If you would like to find out more or get involved contact Jane: jstafford@childdynamix.co.uk

The submission deadline for the next round of community grants is Friday 7 June. To find out more visit www.kc.oc.uk/communtiy

Community News

Local businesses get a boost from free negotiation masterclass

Latest KC Invest Boost your Business Breakfast delivers negotiation skills masterclass

KC's Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce

KC's Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce

A negotiation expert will be the guest speaker at the sixth KC Invest Boost your Business breakfast on Tuesday (26.03.13). 

‘Negotiation Skills’will take place on Tuesday 26 March at the KC Stadium and is the sixth Boost your Business Breakfast organised by the communications company. 

International speaker, author, business coach and adviser Derek Arden will be showing businesses how to develop their negotiationskills so they’re better able to handle people, hand conflict and get the best possible deal for their bottom line.

Sean Royce, KC’s Finance and Commercial Director, said: “Being able to successfully negotiate when you own your own business is a vital skill and one small business owners have told us they would really like to master.

“Derek has an impressive track record of supporting business people to improve their negotiation techniques and results, helping to increase their profits and confidence and improve relationships.”

The series of events follows the launch of KC Invest last autumn. The investment fund of £600,000 provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors. 

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and will finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

Secret knitters dress up KC phone box

KC phone box gets Comic Relief makeover

The St Columba Knitwits (l-r) Liz Pacey, Elaine Galloway, Marie Brown, Mary Jackson, Eve Walker and Shirley Birch

The St Columba Knitwits (l-r) Liz Pacey, Elaine Galloway, Marie Brown, Mary Jackson, Eve Walker and Shirley Birch

On a quiet street in Hull city centre, an unassuming KC cream phone box has receive a bright red Comic Relief makeover.

The cream phone box on Paragon Street is one of the city’s many iconic kc phone boxes, but today (27.02.13) a group of knitters have dressed it up for Red Nose Day in a giant woollen cosy.

Local group The Knitwits has been knitting the cosy in secret since before Christmas, even sneaking out under the cover of darkness, armed with measuring tapes and torches, to ensure the red cosy is a snug fit.

Liz Pacey from The Knitwits says, “We got a few strange looks when measuring up the phone box but I think people decided that since we’re of a mature age we can’t be causing too much trouble. I can't believe it is finally up. I was panicking it would be too big but it looks perfect."

Dressing up red is just one of the many ways people can do something funny for money this Red Nose Day, which is back on Friday 15 March.

Fifteen Knitwits got their knitting needles out to knit their bit of the cosy, with all the wool required donated by Yorkshire business A Woolly Tail.

For more fundraising information and ideas visit www.rednoseday.com

Community News

KC Support’s Safer Internet Day

New area of Karoo.co.uk helps keep young people safe online

KC has marked Safer Internet Day 2013 with the launch of a new area of Karoo.co.uk which offers advice to parents and young people about how to stay safe online. 

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world. Each year the day has a specific theme, ‘Connect with respect’is the topic for year, which is the tenth anniversary of the day. 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “The internet is a fantastic resource; we use it to surf, chat, shop and much more, as we increasingly live our lives online. Whilst the internet is fun and exciting, there are some potential risks that we’d like to make our customers aware of so that they can have the most enjoyable online experience possible.” 

The new area of Karoo mainly focuses on advice to parents and carers, including products and software available and how to protect computers and other devices safe from virus’s, as well as keeping young people safe whilst using them. 

There is also an easy to remember set of guidelines for young people thanks to the ‘Karoo Kool Rules’. 

Anna continues: “As everyone uses the internet differently and for different reasons, there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to online safety. The new area of Karoo aims to offer resources and sign posts to various pieces of information that people may find useful.” 

Throughout Safer Internet Day KC will be tweeting advice about how to stay Safe online. 

To take a look at the safety advice, visit Karoo.co.uk and click on ‘Help & Support’.

Community News

KC pensioners gain insight into lightning-fast technology

Members of KC Pensions Scheme get behind the scenes tour of new technology

KC's Andy Whale, right, with those on the KC Lighthouse tour

KC's Andy Whale, right, with those on the KC Lighthouse tour

With technology changing on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that when a group of retired KC employees took a tour of KC’s new fibre broadband training centre, they saw many new developments since their time at the company. 

KC’s Network and Engineering Director, Andy Whale, explains: “At our annual lunch for members of our Pension Scheme, we gave an update on our KC Lightstream services. A few people asked if they could learn more so we invited those who attended the lunch on a tour of the KC Lighthouse to give them an understanding on how fibre broadband works. 

“It was great to hear all the old stories especially from one of the former engineers who proudly followed a tradition of leaving his name inside a telephone junction box, a tradition we have continued in our fibre network.” 

The ‘KC Lighthouse’ is a training facility for engineers and showcases KC Lightstream fibre services. It brings to life how fibre broadband works, from the equipment at telephone exchanges all the way to the connection in the customer’s home or business, in a realistic environment. 

There’s also a demonstration that lets visitors see the difference between a 2Mbps broadband experience and the KCLightstream fibre service with unrestricted speed control, which through an independent speed checker returns a download speed greater than 900Mbps. 

When many of those on the tour started work at KC the internet didn’t even exist; now we’re living our lives online and the technology has advanced significantly. 

Bill Edwards, a retired KC Business Systems Installation Controller who worked at KC for 28 years said: “The KC Lighthouse tour was absolutely fascinating. 

“The process of installing fibre broadband is similar to copper broadband. But now we’re talking about just one piece of glass that travels hundreds of miles transmitting so much traffic – it’s unbelievable.” 

Over 220 members of the KC Pension Scheme attended the lunch which was held at the KC Stadium last July.

Community News

Business rivals prepare to do battle in region’s biggest corporate challenge

KC launch sponsorship of Hull 10K KC Corporate Challenge

KC’s Gary Young with Kate Carroll from SPS Group, Run For All Events Director Sara Birkinshaw and Lee Stephenson from SPS Group

KC’s Gary Young with Kate Carroll from SPS Group, Run For All Events Director Sara Birkinshaw and Lee Stephenson from SPS Group

Scores of businessmen and women from across East Yorkshire are preparing to do battle – but this time, it’s on the streets, and not in the boardroom, where the best of the best will claim bragging rights.

The businessmen and women are gearing up to take part in this year’s KC hotly-contested Hull 10K Corporate Challenge.

The competition – part of the popular Asda Foundation Run For All  Hull 10K - is one of the biggest corporate challenges in the region, each year attracting scores of businessmen and women who pit both their wits and physical prowess against each other.

Teams who sign up to take part, will not only challenge each other to be first past the finishing post in this year’s Hull 10K on May 19, they will also use their brain and brawns to be crowned winners of a Cryptic Quest event at a special pre-race networking night.

Entries for the KC Corporate Challenge were officially opened today at an event in Hull city centre hosted by KC – sponsors of the 2013 challenge – Run For All and representatives from SPS Group Services, one of the firms which has already signed up to this year’s contest.

Gary Young, KC’s Business and Consumer Director: “We’re excited to be sponsoring the Hull 10K Corporate Challenge and to be working with Mike and his team. We’ve entered a team into the Corporate Challenge for the last three years and our employees have really enjoyed it.

 “The Corporate Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all sizes to get involved in one of the city’s best events. It’s a great team building opportunity and a way to engage in some friendly competition with other companies away from the usual business environment. The event is also a great way to raise money for charity, either one you feel passionately about or one of the Hull 10K official charities.”

Run For All Events Director Sara Birkinshaw said: “The KC Corporate Challenge is a great fun event that is great for team-building and firing up colleagues’ competitive spirits!

“’We’re thrilled that after entering the competition each year in the past, that KC have enjoyed it so much that they have decided to sponsor the event. It is great to have them on board for what we are certain will be another very successful year.”

SPS Group Services will be entering a team for the first time in 2013’s KC Corporate Challenge.

The facilities management services company will enter a team of five from its head office in Neptune Street, Hull.

Marketing manager Kate Carroll said: “This will be the first time we have entered the Corporate Challenge and we are really looking forward to it.

“It’s a great opportunity for a bit of team building as well as raising some money for a good cause. I hope lots of other companies come and join in the fun.”

A corporate team entry for 10 costs £550, while smaller firms can enter a team of five for £275. The price includes the networking evening. To enter or for more information go to www.runforall.com

General entries are also now open for the 2013 Hull 10K to be held on Sunday, May 19. Those up for an extra challenge can register for the Yorkshire Season Ticket and take on all three of our 10K events in Hull, Leeds and York. Visit www.runforall.com for more details.

Community News

Advanced social media for small businesses the topic for next KC Invest breakfast

Opportunity for small businesses to gain expert social media advice to help their business grow

Fourth breakfast - KC's Sean Royce and speaker Will Kintish with his trusted friend

Fourth breakfast - KC's Sean Royce and speaker Will Kintish with his trusted friend

An expert in social media for businesses will share his knowledge of how small firms can make the most of social media at the next free breakfast event held by KC.

The event will take place on Tuesday 29 January at the KC Stadium and is the latest Boost your Business event organised by the communications company to give small businesses practical marketing, sales and PR advice.

Social media guru Michael Ham will give guidance to attendees who want to use Twitter and other social media outlets to sell more, increase customer loyalty and generate positive reviews for their products and services.

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager, said: “Our ‘Social Media for Beginners’ session last year helped small businesses set up social media accounts and gave them advice on how to get started on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

“Michael will guide attendees through the next steps of using social media and how to make the most of it in a business context.”

The Boost your Business breakfast events have proven popular with local businesses, typically attracting more than 100 attendees. They follow the launch of KC Invest in September 2011. The investment fund of £600,000 provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors.

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

Ainthorpe Primary School pupil sparkles as Hull City Mascot

KC donates mascot prize for pupil who sparkled the most

Charlie Radmore from Ainthorpe Primary School with Hull City Mascot, Roary the Tiger

Charlie Radmore from Ainthorpe Primary School with Hull City Mascot, Roary the Tiger

When primary schools across Hull and East Yorkshire were asked to add a little extra sparkle to their Christmas preparations to raise funds for national research charity Sparks, one pupil outshone the others. 

The charity encouraged schools to add a little extra sparkle to their Christmas party and asked for a £1 donation from everyone who took part. 

All the schools that participated were entered into a prize draw to win a Hull City Mascot Experience, donated by KC, for one of their pupils, and six year old Charlie Radmore from Ainthorpe Primary School was the lucky winner. 

Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager at KC said: “We’ve adopted Sparks as our charity partner across the KCOM Group until March 2014 because of the vital research it’s doing into medical conditions affecting babies, children and mums-to-be. 

“We knew the schools across Hull and East Yorkshire would really get behind the competition. Congratulations to Charlie - we hope he enjoyed meeting his heroes.” 

Jenny Pearce, Community Partnerships Manager at Sparks said: “We were delighted when the KCOM Group choose us as it’s charity partner. Thanks to all the schools who took part and we hope Charlie had a great time.” 

Charlie was the mascot for the Hull City v Leeds United game on Saturday 29 December at the KC Stadium.

Community News

Hull Children’s University’s new website goes live thanks to KC

Communications provider donates new website

Eve Clark from HCU, KC’s Aubrey Morrell and HCU’s John Buttrick

Eve Clark from HCU, KC’s Aubrey Morrell and HCU’s John Buttrick

Educational charity Hull Children's University (HCU) has unveiled a new website thanks to KC. 

The leading communications provider, which has supported the charity since it was launched 16 years ago, has donated the website, which was created by employees working in its design team. 

The charity offers experience days for children to gain first-hand knowledge of the world of work. 

John Buttrick, Director at Hull Children's University, said: “Our old website was out of date and it was hard to add new information. When KC offered the generous donation of the time of it’s website developers and designers it was an amazing gift. 

“The website has been live a couple of weeks and the feedback we’re getting is absolutely fantastic. We can’t thank the team enough, especially Aubrey who led on the development of the site and has supported us throughout the whole process.” 

Aubrey Morrell, Senior Designer at KC said: “The main aim of the website was to make it easier for people to support the charity, not only financially but with their time too. The behind the scenes of the website was just as important, as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for the HCU team to be able to add information about news and events to keep the site up to date.” 

KC’s support of the charity has included the donation of a city centre classroom, the KC Learning Zone and the creation of two KC experiences. KC also supports its employees to act as mentors for the charity to support the young people on their learning experiences.

Community News

Archbishop Sentamu Academy pupils recreate UK’s fastest fibre network

KC gets young people excited about science, technology and engineering

Pupils of Archbishop Sentamu Academy and the KC team

Pupils of Archbishop Sentamu Academy and the KC team

When it comes to science, technology and engineering, young people can be a tough audience to excite. But a new educational module developed by KC is doing just that. 

The KC Internet Inventor module takes young people on a journey showing them the history of communications and how the internet works. They also get to develop and design their own website before building their own scale mode of KC’s Lightstream fibre broadband network. 

Andy Whale, KC’s Director of Engineering, explains: “As part of our community programme, KC in the Community, we deliver a range of educational sessions in schools. When we launched KC Lightstream we saw an opportunity to engage and excite young people about science, technology and engineering. 

“Our region is benefiting from some of the fastest speeds in Europe, with Beverley becoming the UK’s broadband capital according to leading broadband speed test site Netindex.com. The opportunities that fibre is bringing to the region are positively impact young people now and will continue to do so as they enter the world of work. This is why we think it’s important to share the technology and opportunities we have right here in Hull and East Yorkshire with them.” 

KC is delivering the educational sessions in the areas where it is rolling out KC Lightstream to homes and businesses. 

Katrina Johnson, Head of Business & Enterprise at Archbishop Sentamu Academy said: “When KC came to see us about the module we could see how pupils from across the school could benefit. We invited 30 pupils from year 10 to take part and it was an absolutely fantastic day. The young people were engaged from start to finish. 

“We work with a number of businesses to show our young people how their school subjects are used in the real world and to give them an insight into the world of work. KC’s internet module does exactly that in a fun, engaging and hands on way.” 

The Internet Inventor module has been developed in partnership with Humber Engineering Training Association (HETA). Niki Bardsley, HETA Education Link Administrator said: “KC came to us with an idea for their module and straight away we could see it working in schools to get young people excited about subjects many of them think are boring or difficult. 

“It’s really important that businesses share their skills and knowledge with young people if we are to get them to think about taking the subjects at GCSE level and beyond. Who knows, we could have a future Martha Lane-Fox or Professor Brian Cox in our region.” 

To find out more about KC in the Community and the programme of modules available to schools, please KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar by calling (01482) 602831 or email: anna.millar@kcom.com

Community News

Businesses join forces to help spread Christmas cheer

100 children enjoy party organised by businesses

Father Christmas and business volunteers help 100 children celebrate Christmas

Father Christmas and business volunteers help 100 children celebrate Christmas

CHILDREN from disadvantaged communities celebrated Christmas at the KC Stadium on Saturday with an action packed party thanks to eight local businesses. 

Employees from KC, PwC, St Stephen’s and Yorkshire Bank co-ordinated the annual party for more than 100 children aged three to 12. 

Children were entertained by DJ Scottie from start to finish with music and party games, while face painters and a visit from Airlie Bird, Roary the Tiger and Rufus the Robin helped to create a party atmosphere. 

And it didn’t end there. The children and young people had an extra special treat when Father Christmas made a surprise appearance with a gift for each child. 

The presents for the party were donated by employees from organisations including ABP, Arco, Hull Churches Home from Hospital Service, Hull & East Yorkshire Community Foundation, KC, PwC, St Stephen’s and Yorkshire Bank. Hull City, Hull FC and Hull KR supported the party by asking their mascots to make a special appearance. 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “Businesses and organisations have got involved in the party in various ways and their support has meant it was a big success. 

“Shoebox presents are a great way to engage employees and despite the economic climate, organisations found that their people wanted to get involved and donated generously.” 

Ruth Truelove from St Stephen’s said: “A team of four of us started to organise the party before most people even start to think about Christmas. It’s hard work but very rewarding for all involved and it’s a real team effort between the businesses. It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to support the children within the local community we serve, and provide them with an exciting start to the festive season.” 

The businesses involved in the party are all part of the Community Action Network (CAN). The network brings together likeminded businesses who want to give something back to the communities they serve in Hull and East Riding. To find out more about the network, please call KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar on (01482) 602831 or email anna.millar@kcom.com

Community News

Hull City star surprises competition winners

Christmas card design winners get early Christmas present from Hull City star

Big Red House and KC team joined by Hull City star Sone Aluko and competition winners

Big Red House and KC team joined by Hull City star Sone Aluko and competition winners

Pupils from Brough Primary School received an early Christmas present this week when Hull City’s top scorer surprised them to announce the winners of a Christmas card competition. 

Sone Aluko joined the team from local estate and letting agent, Big Red House, to present the winners of their Christmas card competition, organised in partnership with KC

Pupils from primary schools from across Hull and East Riding were invited to take part in the competition to see their festive designs turned into the Christmas card that will be sent to hundreds of Big Red House customers and suppliers. 

Carl Agar from Big Red House said: “When our team started to talk about Christmas and our plans, we wanted to do something a little different this year with our Christmas card and we knew that getting young people involved with all their creative ideas was the way to go. We invited schools to take part from across East Yorkshire and we have some brilliant designs from the young people who took part, which made the judging really hard. 

“Having Sone present the young people with their prizes was just fantastic, and hopefully has made the festive season extra special for them.” 

Ten year old Brough Primary School Rebecca Collier was the overall winner with her fun design of Father Christmas and Rudolph. Rebecca won a £50 Toys R Us voucher and a £200 book voucher for her school. KC also donated a fun and interactive training session with Hull FC for Rebecca and her class mates. 

The judges were so overwhelmed by the designs they received that they also awarded three runners up prizes. Nine year old Lily Todd from Foredyke Primary School, 10 year old Jemma Cottam and four year old Joe Stuckey,both from Brough Primary School, all received a goodie bag filled with treats and cinema tickets. 

To see the winning designs visit the Big Red House Facebook page by clicking here

Community News

Charity’s future rides on KC team building day

Team from KC spend day supporting North Ferriby Riding for the Disabled

The KC team, joined by Cumberland Comms in North Ferriby

The KC team, joined by Cumberland Comms in North Ferriby

When a team from KCdecided to ditch the PowerPoint to spend their time giving something back to the community they found the perfect team build opportunity with an East Riding charity. 

A 30-strong team from KC’s commercial and finance department spent a day at North Ferriby Riding for the Disabled. The riding centre provides animal therapy to local children affected by conditions including Down’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis and behavioural problems. 

The charity’s facilities were in desperate need of some maintenance work but they didn’t have the time, people or money they needed to build a new fence or renovate the stables for the 12 horses on the site. 

Debra Pea, who runs the centre, said: “Our services are in great demand, but times are tough for all charities and, as we are completely self-funded, we were literally at the point of having to make a choice between using our limited money to buy food for the horses or pay for critical maintenance work on our facilities. 

“KC’s support was absolutely vital. They all got stuck in and despite the dreadful weather they didn’t stop for a moment to ensure they got the job done by the end of the day. We’re extremely grateful that they gave their time, enthusiasm and energy to help improve our facilities and enable us to continue helping local disabled children.” 

Sean Royce, KC’s Commercial and Finance Director explained: “It was an inspired idea and a great day. Not only did it make a positive contribution to a brilliant local charity, but it was also a superb way to build team spirit and improve working relationships.” 

The day was supported by Cumberland Comms who helped the KC team by digging the fence holes with their equipment. 

For more information, or to support North Ferriby Riding for the Disabled visitwww.givehey.co.uk/

Community News

Successful networking the topic for next KC Invest breakfast

Opportunity for small businesses to gain expert advice to help their business grow

KC's Sean Royce with speakers at third event, Blair Jacobs and Nick Glaves

KC's Sean Royce with speakers at third event, Blair Jacobs and Nick Glaves

A national networking expert will share the ‘10 outstanding habits of successful networkers’ at the next free breakfast event held byKC to give small businesses practical marketing, sales and PR advice.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 27 November at the KC Stadium and is the fourth Boost your Business Breakfast organised by the communications company.

Networking expert Will Kintish will help attendees become confident and effective networkers, sharing the secrets of the best networkers and help them to be in complete control when they network.

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager, said: “Networking is a great way to meet like-minded business people, share ideas and potentially gain new customers. Yet it can be one of the most daunting experiences for many business people.

“Will comes highly recommended for his positive approach to networking and his willingness to share his skills and knowledge, so I’m sure local business people will leave the event ready to make the most of every networking opportunity.”

The Boost your Business Breakfast event have proven popular with local businesses, with more than 100 people attending each event so far.  They follow the launch of KC Invest last autumn. The investment fund of £600,000 provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors. 

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

KC announced biggest corporate fundraiser in 2012 Hull 10K

Team from the communication provider beat other busiensses to the charity post

Team KC before the race

Team KC before the race

Local charities have reaped the rewards thanks to the efforts of KC staff who have been announced as this year’s biggest fundraisers in the Yorkshire Bank Hull 10K Corporate Challenge.

The team of 33 runners raised over £6,500 for over a dozen charities, including the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the organisation’s charity partner, Sparks.

Thousands of people took to the city’s streets at the fourth annual 10K event on 3rdJune raising thousands for their chosen causes. 

One of the two KC teams completed the 6.2mile course in a collective time of 2:55:00, securing an overall second place finish for the communication providers.

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager, said: “We’re over the moon to have raised the most money for charity for the second year running. Our team put a lot of time and effort not only into training for the event but also getting family, friends and colleagues to support their chosen charity.

“Our people supported either a charity close to their heart or our Group Charity Partner, Sparks. In total they raised money for 13 national and local charities. The Hull 10K is a fantastic event for the city and those that take part but most importantly for the charities that benefit. We‘re really looking forward to next year’s event and we can hopefully smash the total again.”

David Smith, Managing Partner of Yorkshire Bank's Hull & Humber Financial Solutions Centre, said: “This year’s Yorkshire Bank Corporate Challenge was a great success raising a fantastic amount of money for very worthwhile causes. Companies from across the region took part, with KC leading the way in the fundraising efforts.

“It was difficult to imagine that this year’s race could top the success of last year’s, but the competitors and spectators rose to the challenge, and I am delighted that Yorkshire Bank was able to support this fantastic event for a third year running.”

Entries are now open for the 2013 Hull 10K to be held on Sunday 19thMay. Those up for an extra challenge can register for the Yorkshire Season Ticket and take on all three of our 10K events in Hull, Leeds and York. Visit www.runforall.com for more details.

Community News

KC Business team sails the high seas on unique team building day

KC joins forces with local charity for once in a life time opportunity

The KC team with the CatZero in Hull Marina

The KC Team with the The KC team with the CatZero in Hull Marina

What comes to mind when you think of team building days? Building rafts from oil drums, paintballing and a whole range of trust exercises that usually involve catching someone as they fall. 

But not all team building days are as predictable, as a team of nine KC employees found out when they took part in a once in a lifetime opportunity with Hull based sailing charity, CatZero. 

CatZero is a not for profit organisation which delivers innovative youth development training in Hull and East Yorkshire. The young people who take part are NEET’s, not in employment, education or training and need help to make progress towards the world of work. The charity does this through challenging educational and personal development programmes which use sailing as a focal point. 

As well as delivering a motivational programme to young people, the CatZero team have also developed a Corporate Challenge and Development programme, which includes team building opportunities. 

KC’s Director of Business Gary Young, was part of the KC team who took part in the challenge. He said: “We asked our Learning and Development Team if they could find us a team building opportunity, and they offered us the fantastic experience with the CatZero team. We have some new team members, and we wanted to build stronger relationships within the team and include cross functional members such as HR. 

“The majority of the crew had never set foot on a dinghy before, let alone a 72ft sailing yacht. I can speak for everyone when I say that the experience, personally and as a team, was one that we will all remember for a very long time,. I would highly recommend the experience to other businesses. Not only is it a brilliant team build opportunity, but you're also supporting a worthwhile charity at the same time.“ 

Danny Watson, Skipper of the CatZero yacht, which is used in both the training of the young people and the team building, said: “The KC team were brilliant - they really got stuck in and took on all the challenges the day threw at them. 

“Our team building experiences, which range from a few hours to a whole day, have been running for a couple of years now. Each team that takes part in one comes back with a more positive attitude. A business not only gets a once in a lifetime opportunity for its people, but they help a local charity at the same time, so it’s a win-win for both parties.” 

To find out more about the team building opportunities available through Cat Zero, please call Danny Watson on (01482) 333303 or email danny@catzero.org

Community News

PR for Beginners the topic for the next KC Invest breakfast

Opportunity for small businesses to gain expert advice to help their business grow

KC's Sean Royce speaking at the 'Social Media Top Tips' event

KC's Sean Royce speaking at the 'Social Media Top Tips' event

Two PR experts will deliver the third free breakfast in a series launched byKC to give small businesses practical marketing, sales and PR advice.

‘PR for Beginners’will take place on Tuesday 18 September at the KC Stadium and is the third Boost your Business Breakfast organised by the communications company.

PR expert and former journalist Nick Glaves will join media trainer and broadcaster Blair Jacobs to give small businesses PR and communications insights that will help them promote themselves and win business.

Sean Royce, KC’s Finance and Commercial Director, said: “Our recent breakfast event, was attended by more than 120 business people, who now know their tweets from their hash tags.

“With our next event we hope to give businesses tips for working with the media and communicating effectively so that those businesses can reach their target audience, grab their attention, convert them to customers and grow.”

The series of events follows the launch of KC Invest last autumn. The investment fund of £600,000 provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors. 

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

Hull City stars in COSMO Cup

KC support event set up in memory of local DJ

Cosmo Cup Trophy

Cosmo Cup Trophy

The COSMO Cup is back for 2012 and this year it promises to be bigger and better with star appearances from Hull City legends Dean Windass and Ian Ashbee, live match commentary from Burnsy and a whole host of musical entertainment in the evening, in the word of the late Jack ‘COSMO’ Williamson - Realpropergood. 

The annual COSMO Cup is being held on Sunday 19 August from 2pm at Dene Park, Dunswell when reigning champions AFC Fruit challenge their rivals Newland Vets FC, in honour of popular local DJ Jack ‘COSMO’ Williamson who died suddenly in March 2011 from a brain aneurysm at only 21 years of age. 

Since Jack sadly passed away his friends and family have held a variety of events and fundraising activities in his memory and have launched the CLUB COSMO Foundation with the mission to ‘raise funds for inspirational music and football projects (two of Jack’s biggest passions) to enhance the lives of the local community’. 

The last 16 months have seen the launch of red and blue COSMO trucker caps, COSMO mugs and the ‘realpropergood’ Ale, often a guest ale at Pave where Jack worked behind the bar for many years - the COSMO PINT is known in the trade as a 'rolling, regular guest ale' brewed by Roosters of Knaresborough. The charity has also held a whole host of events, most recently the Humber Street Sesh, which raised over £400 for the foundation. 

Jack was a keen footballer and played all his life, he was a good friend of AFC Fruit who will face the Newland Vets team, which is made up of some of the ‘older’ guys who Jack used to play with as a young lad. The COSMO Cup was formed last year to celebrate his life and love for football. 

Mal Williamson, Jack’s dad, is looking forward to this year’s event, he commented: “Jack’s spirit lives on through the Club COSMO Foundation and I’m amazed that so many people have got involved in events throughout the past year and a half and would like to say a massive thank you to them all. 

“This year’s COSMO Cup is set to be a great day – we’ve got something for everyone. I can’t wait see Deano and Ashbee – two of the city’s legends, and Burnsy of course! The entertainment will continue until late, and I hope as many people come down as possible – you’re all welcome!” 

This year’s event promises to be a realpropergood day out for all the family, with appearances from Roary the Tiger and Airlie Bird alongside Deano and Ashbee, a big Zumba warm up with Liesel Cobby and the world’s first Slampionship! Yes – the wonderful game of slam (AKA walley) we all played against a wall is back in style with the world’s first official rules. 

In the evening, the teams and spectators will retire to the Club House where the entertainment continues with live music from; DJ Prefix, Myth!, Harry Hainstock & Lyn Acton, endoflevelbaddie and The Neat. 

Entry to the match and live music is £3, with proceeds going towards the Club COSMO Foundation. 

KC has supported the event with funding through their community programme. Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager, commented: “The Cosmo Cup is a fantastic community event that’s funding a sustainable programme of football and arts projects to engage the community, all in the name of a young man who meant so much to so many. We’re proud to be involved and wish the competitors and volunteers behind the event all the best.”

Programme of events:

Gates open - 2pm

Kick off  - 3.00pm

Match finishes - 4.45pm

Penalty shoot out  - 4.55 – 5.10pm approx

Slampionship   - Tournament entry open until 3pm

Club House  - 5.00pm

Slampionship Final - 5.30pm

Presentation  - 6pm

DJs & live music - 6.30pm – 2am

 Find out more about the Club COSMO Foundation and upcoming events on Facebook.com/realpropergood

Community News

Bridlington voluntary organisation receives funding from KC

Group which supports children and young people recieve start up grant

ERVAS hand over a cheque to Oasis, from left to right, Lisa Harding, Sue Green, Paul Hamlett, Denise Baines and Janice Quinn

ERVAS hand over a cheque to Oasis, from left to right, Lisa Harding, Sue Green, Paul Hamlett, Denise Baines and Janice Quinn

A voluntary organisation based in Bridlington which supports children and young people affected by bereavement or terminal illness has received a start-up grant of £400 from KC, in partnership with East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS). 

Oasis, which is based at the New Pastures Lane Community Centre provides relief for children who have suffered a significant bereavement or who have a close relative who is terminally ill. 

Paul Hamlett, ERVAS Development Officer said "This is the second voluntary organisation we have helped support with a start-up grant and there are many more in the pipeline. With many voluntary organisations unable to get their ideas off the ground due to initial funding being unavailable, it emphasises the importance of support like this for new community groups.” 

Denise Baines from Oasis said "We offer a unique service that is not available anywhere else in the region. Perceptions of children and the way they cope with bereavement can often be misjudged. Children react differently and it's important that we help them in every way possible. Thanks to KC and ERVAS we are now able to do this." 

The support for ERVAS was approved by KC’s Community Panel, a team of eight people from across KC who meet monthly to consider applications for community support. 

KC Community Panel member Sarah Jenkins said: "Oasis is a group offering an amazing support service. We will continue to support ERVAS in its efforts to help and provide a foundation for other charities across East Yorkshire." 

To find out more about the start-up grants from ERVAS call Paul on (01482)871077 or email paul@ervas.org.uk

Community News

Young entrepreneur launches hair raising business

Personal experiences gives new direction to young hairdresser

Amy Taylor is ready for business

Amy Taylor is ready for business

A 20-year-old entrepreneur has launched a business that will provide specialist support to people suffering hair loss as a result of cancer treatment or conditions such as alopecia.

Amy Taylor from Keyingham first came up with the idea for her business, Hair by Amy, five months ago. Amy is a fully qualified hairdresser and has been working in salons for four years and in that time has supported a number of cancer patients. She saw a gap in the market for business offering bespoke services to people who need wigs following hair loss.

Her new business will provide a range of services including sourcing and styling of wigs, supporting customers when their hair grows back and providing general hairdressing services.

Amy secured funding from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank (JCEYB), which offers practical support and grants of up to £1,000 for 13 to 21-year-olds who need finance to set up or develop their businesses.

She said: “I’ve seen family and friends go through cancer treatment and lose their hair. By speaking to them and by doing my own research I’ve found that for a lot of people who are losing their hair, going to a normal salon isn’t a great experience for them. Those that do offer private consultations are really expensive. I want to put my customers at ease and make them feel comfortable and where better to do that than in their own home.

“With the grant from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank I am now able to fulfil my dreams and set up my business. The support they continue to give me has been fantastic and I would recommend that other young people who have a business idea to speak to them.”

The bank is funded through a range of donations from entrepreneurs, together with Hull City Council’s training service. It is also closely linked to the Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, which aims to encourage young people to become more enterprising and contribute to Hull City Council's target of creating 1,200 new businesses.

Last year the bank received a funding boost from KC, which has donated £60,000 over three years. The communications provider chose to back the JCYEB to support the wealth of entrepreneurial spirit in our region, which if encouraged and supported and will help to drive the regional economy forward.

KC Commercial and Finance Director Sean Royce said: “Amy is exactly the reason we are supporting the Youth Enterprise Bank. She is a determined and thoughtful young lady that has not only developed a great business plan, but is also giving a fantastic service to a group of people in our community when they need it most. I wish Amy the best of luck with her business.”

As well as financial support, Amy will undertake the International Association of Bookkeepers Level 1 Award in Computerised Accounting for Business QCF offered by Golding Computer Services Ltd. Di Garbera, Golding’s General Manager said: “We’re delighted to support the Youth Enterprise Bank by providing training to local young entrepreneurs.  Accounting knowledge is a must for all businesses and young start-ups are no exception.”

Community News

Community grant gets kids cooking

Pupils from Parks Primary School secure grant to get cooking

From left, Leah Puckering (11) staff member Katrina Cawkwelll, Coby Handley (6), Abbie Montague (7) and staff member Carol Howell

From left, Leah Puckering (11) staff member Katrina Cawkwelll, Coby Handley (6), Abbie Montague (7) and staff member Carol Howell

Since 2006, KC has awarded more than £20,000 of grants to community groups, schools, charities and organisations across East Yorkshire. One of the latest recipients of a £500 grant was Parks Primary School in Hull, which needed funding to run after-school cooking classes. 

Lunchtime Supervisor Carol Howell explains: “Cooking is a fabulous way to get children of all abilities to learn lots of new skills, but running after-school classes costs money as we need ingredients, aprons, pans… the list goes on. 

“We applied to KC as we felt that they would understand and support what we’re trying to achieve. The benefits of the classes are enormous. We get the older pupils to help the younger ones and so while they’re having fun, they are also learning literacy, numeracy and social skills. And the children and their families are often trying new foods for the first time, which broadens their diets.” 

She concluded: “The money from KC is actually going further than we thought, so we’re delighted that the classes will carry on throughout the autumn term.” Other recent recipients of KC Community Grants include a Freddie’s Friends, a charity which supports disabled children and their families, who were given funding for a trip to the pantomime. 

Two local schools also received grants: pupils at Malet Lambert School will use the £500 it received to help launch its community newspaper, while Andrew Marvell School will use its grant to buy gardening equipment for its special education pupils.

If you’d like to apply for a grant, visit www.kc.co.uk/community or call 01482 602831 for an application form. The deadline for the next round of grants is Friday 7 September.

Community News

Charity reaches new heights thanks to KC start-up grant

First community group receive support from ERVAS and KC partnership

Altitude Adventures join forces with ERVAS and KC

Altitude Adventures join forces with ERVAS and KC

A charity that provides outdoor adventure activities for disabled young people and adults throughout Hull and the East Riding is ready to scale new heights thanks to a start-up grant from KC. 

Altitude Adventures is the first organisation to receive a £400 start-up grant from KC in partnership with East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS). 

ERVAS approached KC earlier this year to see if its KC in the Community programme could support community groups and organisations who are trying to establish themselves. 

Paul Hamlett, ERVAS Development Officer explains: “We support the voluntary and community sector with a wide variety of services. For a long time there has been a need for funding to help people get their community organisations up and running, to cover costs such as first aid training and CRB checks. The support from KC is fantastic; it’s enabling us to meet the needs of the community and support more people. The effects of this support will last a lifetime.” 

Altitude Adventures offers activities including climbing, walking and scuba diving for disabled people. Helen Caldwell, who set the charity up, said: “The support from ERVAS and KC has been fantastic. When you’re starting a community group you want other people to believe in what you are doing and they did exactly that. We’ve had some great success since we started out and are going from strength to strength.” 

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager said: “ERVAS has a great track record of supporting the needs of the communities it serves. The grant funding KC is providing through ERVAS means we can help support some local charities and community organisations when they need it most. 

“The people at Altitude Adventures are firmly focused on the needs of disabled young people and adults, as well as those of their family and friends. I wish them lots of success.” 

To find out more about the start-up grants from ERVAS call Paul on (01482) 871077 or email paul@ervas.org.uk

Community News

Social media top tips for small businesses

KC launches second breakfast event to support small businesses

KC's Commercial and Finance Director Sean Royce speaks at first event

KC's Commercial and Finance Director Sean Royce speaks at first event

The second in a series of free breakfast events has been launched by KC to give small businesses top tips on using social media.

‘Social Media Top Tips’ will take place on Tuesday 31 July at the KC Stadium and is the second Boost your Business Breakfast event organised by the communications company.

Social media experts Verity Hudson and John Meehan will be on hand to share their beginners’ top tips for using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to support small businesses.

Sean Royce, KC’s Finance and Commercial Director, said: “More than 100 small businesses attended our first breakfast event, ‘Successful Marketing on a Shoestring’.  When we asked those businesses what other sales, marketing and PR topics they wanted to hear about, social media came out on top.

“It’s really important that in the current climate larger businesses support new start-ups and smaller businesses, which is the aim of our breakfast events. If the region is to continue to weather the financial storm and come out of the other side stronger then we all need to work together.”

The series of events follow the launch of KC Invest last autumn. The investment fund worth £600,000 provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors. 

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

Tomorrow’s World? Teens get techie at KC Stadium

Pupils given inspiration to be the next Bill Gates or Martha Lane Fox at TeenTech event

Young people get hands on at TeenTech 2012

Young people get hands on at TeenTech 2012

What do you get if you mix 300 pupils with 40 teachers and 150 people from hi-tech businesses? Answer: One of the biggest, most exciting, science, technology and engineering experiments ever.

Actually, calling TeenTech 2012 an experiment isn’t even close to doing it justice – it’s now one of the most popular education events in the country. Designed and hosted by former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin, the event helps teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in science, engineering and technology. 

Maggie explained: “We want to show teenagers the exciting side of technology and open their eyes to the opportunities that technology can bring, no matter what their interests. From building virtual bob sleds, to building and engineering apprenticeships and even looking at the science behind hair and beauty products - there really is something for everyone.” 

So it’s not surprising that Hull’s TeenTech event attracted 26 local schools to take part on 12 July, with many having already booked again for next year.

Helen Wilson, from the event organisers Humber Education Business Partnership (Humber EBP) said: “The KC Stadium was absolutely buzzing for the whole day and we got some amazing feedback. We couldn’t do it without the massive support we get from local businesses and schools though, and KC is a key partner in the event.” 

Sean Royce, KC’s Commercial and Finance Director explained: “We didn’t hesitate to support TeenTech for the second year in a row. It’s such a diverse and interactive event which immerses the pupils in technology. If we want talented young people to consider careers in science, technology and engineering, it’s vital we and other businesses

Community News

Our City initiative opens young eyes to the world around them thanks to KC

Withernsea Primary School pupils build their own city with KC volunteers

Withernsea Primary School  pupils Alex, Josh, Kayleigh, Lydia and Ellie

Withernsea Primary School pupils Alex, Josh, Kayleigh, Lydia and Ellie

60 primary school pupils got to act as town planners, restaurant owners and journalists for a day as part of an enterprise project run by Young Enterprise, supported by KC. 

The Young Enterprise ‘Our City’ initiative takes students on an exciting urban journey exploring the people, jobs and businesses that make up a modern vibrant city. 

Two classes of nine and 10 year old pupils from Withernsea Primary School spent the day learning about how a city operates. The children got involved in lots of different activities including planning and building a city by making a large scale map, as well as making model buildings of businesses. They even had to decide where to put the sports stadium and what to call it. The day was delivered by volunteers from KC. 

Melinda O’Reilly at Young Enterprise said: “KC has been a long term supporter of our Company Programme which supports young people starting their own enterprises. Their involvement in ‘Our City’ in Withernsea was ideal as they’re a local employer helping people to communicate at home and at work. They’re also a large employer in the region so it’s great for the young people to hear about the careers available.” 

Deputy Head Teacher at Withernsea Primary School Ian Sutherland said: “The kids had a fabulous day. It was a really interactive way to learn about business and the wider world. Crucially, the ‘Our City’ scheme has also been designed to match the national curriculum. So there were lots of educational benefits as well as it being a lot of fun. They all went home smiling and proudly showing off their certificates for completing the programme.” 

KC’s Community Relations Manger Anna Millar was one of the volunteers who delivered the session, she said: “It’s great to get the young people engaged in a project that shows them how our businesses is involved in city life and has been for over 100 years. I really enjoyed delivering the session, all the volunteers had a great day and we came away exhausted from the children’s energy but with some new skills.”

Community News

KC comes second in Hull 10K Corporate Challenge

Team of 31 take part for third year running

Start of the 2011 Hull 10K

Start of the 2011 Hull 10K

A team of 31 runners from KC are celebrating after finishing second in the Jane Tomlinson Hull 10K Yorkshire Bank Corporate Challenge.

Team KC was one of 26 teams which took up the Corporate Challenge, bringing together businesses from across the region to compete against each other and be part of the main event. Other businesses taking part included Sewell, MKM Building Supplies and PwC.

The 10K run takes place around the Hull city centre and is now in its third successful year.

Not only did the team come second, with a time of 2hours 55 minutes, they also had the third fastest corporate Challenge male runner in their team, KC Technical Support Manager Chris Philpott. Chris had an impressive time of 40 minutes and 15 seconds. 

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager and Hull 10K Team Manager said: “I think it’s a fabulous event. It helps raise a lot of money for a worthwhile cause and it’s great to be a part of it.”

Following the victory of winning the award for raising the most money for charity in 2011, the teams  fundraising is going strong after the Hull 10K with the funds currently standing at £6407.

Community News

Pupils celebrate Diamond Jubilee with trip of a lifetime

Pupils mark Jubilee with a very special trip

Pupils from Thorpepark Primary School show off their London inspired artwork

Pupils from Thorpepark Primary School show off their London inspired artwork

Communities celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in many different ways, from garden and street parties to village fetes. But for one group of young people from north Hull, they celebrated the occasion with the trip of a lifetime thanks to KC. 

The communications provider was approached by one of their community partners, Hull Children’s University (HCU), to see if they could help make the Diamond Jubilee a memorable experience for a group of pupils from Thorpepark Primary School. 

HCU Founder and Director Dr John Buttrick explains how the trip came about, he said: “We work really closely with KC and when we met to discuss developing a new KC module, I mentioned that I would love to take a group of pupils to London to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The school I had in mind had saved for a number of months to pay for coaches to take part in one of our city centre modules, so I knew a trip to London would be out of their reach. 

“The whole experience was absolutely magical; most of the children walked around all day with eyes as big as saucers. The fact that it was the Jubilee weekend made the experience even more special for them. In fact, one of the children said to me that ‘it was the best day of my life’, so you couldn’t ask for a better reaction than that.” 

Some of the children taking part in the trip had never been on a train before, so the journey alone was memorable, and once in London, they went to places that they had only ever seen before on the TV. From the London Eye to Big Ben; Downing Street to Nelson’s Column and Buckingham Palace to the Millennium Bridge. They even got to walk straight down The Mall, which was closed for the Jubilee celebrations, to see the stage ready for the Jubilee concert. 

KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “We’ve supported HCU for a number of years. When we heard that John wanted to give the pupils from Thorpepark Primary School on a trip they would never forget, we knew we had to be involved. The experience we’ve supported will stay with the young people for a long time.” 

Having fun and learning away from the classroom and local community are high on Hull Children’s University’s agenda.  They provide children learning experiences that are out of the main national curriculum with the aim of raising aspirations and ambitions, and in turn hope their expectations will led them to a better and more fulfilled life. 

Community News

KC community activities recognised with regional business award

KC in the Community named Pride of Yorkshire

Ian Briggs, Yorkshire editor of TheBusinessDesk.com, KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar and Greg Markham from awards sponsors Henderson Insurance

Ian Briggs, Yorkshire editor of TheBusinessDesk.com, KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar and Greg Markham from sponsors Henderson Insurance

The community activities of local communications provider KC were recognised with an award win at TheBusinessDesk.com’s Business Masters awards in Leeds last week. 

The KC in the Community programme won the Yorkshire Pride Award, which celebrates the most meaningful philanthropic initiative by a business, organisation or leader. 

Since KC’s community programme was established two years ago it has supported more than 150 community groups, charities and schools by donating employee time, business resources and financial support.  

Employees are encouraged to volunteer, with the result that KC people have spent more than 4,200 hours on community activities since 2010. 

A panel of judges shortlisted three enterers in each of the six award category’s, which were then voted for by TheBusinessDesk.com’s readers. 

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager, said: “It’s right that a business of our size gives back to the local community.  Through KC in the Community we get involved in a range of projects, events and activities that make our region a better place to live and do business. 

“Our community programme is always developing – for example, we’re currently working on a training programme for our people so they can support local schools with events like careers days and science and technology education. “ 

“Winning this award is great recognition for the commitment of employees from every part of our business to supporting local communities.”

Community News

Volunteers Give & Gain at Alderman Cogan School

Business volunteers transform nature garden

Volunteers at Alderman Cogan Primary School

Volunteers at Alderman Cogan Primary School

While volunteers are typically selfless people who simply want to help their chosen cause, they generally find they are rewarded many times over for their efforts. And that is the ethos for Business in the Community’s (BITC) national day of volunteering: Give & Gain Day.  

Earlier this month (May) volunteers from KC and other local businesses  took part in Give & Gain day to transform the outdoor space at Alderman Cogan’s Church of England Primary School in east Hull. KC worked in partnership with PwC to team lead the challenge, along with Yorkshire Bank, St Stephens and Wilkin Chapman. 

Louise Hobson, Finance Administrator at Alderman Cogan School said: “We wanted to improve our outdoor space so that children could learn outside, but funding was a problem so we approached KC for support. However, it was soon clear that our aspirations required more than just a cash donation; we needed manpower too. 

“Thankfully KC helped us to get involved in BITC’s Give & Gain Day and we soon had 15 volunteers arranged to help us make our ideas a reality.” 

Adam Watson from Yorkshire Bank was one of those volunteers. He explained why taking part meant so much to him: “I used to go to Alderman Cogan so I couldn’t resist getting involved and taking the chance to give something back to the school that had given me so much. Throughout the day we transformed the nature garden at the school by creating a sensory garden. It was incredibly rewarding. I got an amazing sense of achievement from it.” 

Louise concluded: “The school’s outdoor area is now far more child friendly and a much more useful space. I am incredibly grateful to KC for arranging it and to all of the volunteers for rolling up their sleeves and making it happen.”

Community News

Boost your business over breakfast with KC

KC launch free breakfast events for small businesses

KC’s Sean Royce with Peter Sykes and Alan Gordon-Freeman who manage the KC Invest fund that supports digital and technology start ups

KC’s Sean Royce with Peter Sykes and Alan Gordon-Freeman who manage the KC Invest fund that supports digital and technology start ups

Small businesses are invited to a free event hosted by KC aimed at helping them to boost their business. 

‘Successful Marketing on a Shoestring’ will take place on Tuesday 29 May at the KC Stadium. 

Marketing expert Gordon Jones will share the secrets of how to get a big return on a small marketing budget. 

As well as hearing his top tips, attendees willalso receive a free copy of Gordon’s book, Successful Marketing on a Shoestring.

The event is the first of a series KC is holding to support small businesses. It follows the launch of KC Invest last autumn, an investment fund of £600,000 which provides start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors. 

Sean Royce, KC’s Finance and Commercial Director, said: “The recession has made it incredibly hard for new and growing businesses to develop, at a time when the economy needs them more than ever to help stimulate growth. Our Boost your Business Breakfast events will give free and practical marketing, sales and PR advice to help make small budgets go further. 

“As one of the largest companies based in the region we have a real stake in its success and one of the ways we can support local economic growth is through events like these.” 

The event will start at 7:30am for networking and breakfast, and finish at 9am. To book your free place and to be kept up to date with future events email anna.millar@kcom.com

If you’d like to find out more about how KC’s supporting businesses in the digital and technology sector through the KC Invest fund visit www.kc.co.uk/community

Community News

Pupils really do make £5 blossom

Pupils turn £150 loan into £300 profit

Anna Millar from KC with pupils from St Richards Primary School

Anna Millar from KC with pupils from St Richards Primary School

Pupils from St Richards’s Primary School in Hull have taken a classroom-based entrepreneurism project and grown it into a successful enterprise.   

The Make £5 Blossom project gives businesses the opportunity to support business and entrepreneurship education in local schools by investing £150 in a class of young people – £5 per head for a class of 30. The pupils decide how they are going to invest their loan to make a profit, with the school keeping the profits once the £150 investment is repaid. 

Year five pupils came up with their idea of investing their loan from KC to design Mother’s Day and Easter plant pots. They have sourced their own plants, compost and terracotta pots and have involved the whole school community to design and paint the pots. They designed order forms which went home with each pupil, and orders have been flooding in. 

Year five teacher Alison Bentley said: “The young people came up with the idea of making the personalised pots and the idea has been more successful than we could ever imagine. They worked out they needed to sell 40 pots to break even and so far we have had over 200 orders. The young people have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with pupils from across the school. 

“The project has shown the pupils how they need to work as a team, mange their time and finances and how they need to think outside of the box. They’ve take challenges along the way in their stride and adapted their project as needed. The skills they have learnt working with KC will be transferable in their future education and employment.” 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar is working with school as a business mentor. She said: “The pupils have really impressed me – they came up with a fantastic idea, and worked out all their costs and their breakeven point. 

“The number of orders they’ve received shows that they have a really great idea, which is what all good businesses are based on. It’s been a pleasure to work with the young people, who are a credit to the school and their families." 

The Make £5 Blossom project runs twice a year. Other schools taking part this time include Neasden Primary School, Westcott Primary School, Paisley Primary School and Mountbatten Primary School. Businesses include St Stephens Shopping Centre and the, University of Hull. 

All of the schools and businesses will come together to celebrate their success on Wednesday 25 April at The Guildhall. 

To find out how you can get involved in the project contact Hull Ready Project Officer Mike Notarantonio by calling 07748 436263 or email Michael.Notarantonio@hullcc.gov.uk

Community News

KC supports TeenTech Humber 2012

Event that aims to encourage future technology experts returns to region

KC's Sean Royce and event creator Maggie Philbin

KC's Sean Royce and event creator Maggie Philbin

The region’s leading communications provider has confirmed its sponsorship of TeenTech Humber 2012, as the event comes to the city for the second time.

The TeenTech event,organised by the Humber Education Business Partnership (EBP), was founded by science broadcaster Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson, Chairman of the Institute of Directors (South). Hosted by Maggie Philbin the event helps teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in science, engineering and technology.

Sean Royce, KC’s Commercial and Finance Director, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the TeenTech experience for the second year running. The event engages young people and shows them the exciting side to science, technology and engineering. If we want talented young people to consider careers in these subjects, it’s vital we and other businesses support events like TeenTech.”

The event was first held in the Thames Valley area in 2010 and Hull was chosen as the second location last year. In 2012 TeenTech events will be held in locations across the UK including Hampshire, The Midlands, Teesside, Sheffield, and London.

Other event sponsors for this year’s event in Hull include [Hull City Council, BT, CPC, University of Hull and YORbuild], and organisers are appealing for more businesses to get involved. Sandra Cooper, General Manager of the Humber EBP said: “Last year over 300 students aged 12 and 13 from 30 schools across Hull and the Humber took part in the event. The event is a unique collaboration between lots of different organisations to create a very special experience for young people. We have various opportunities for businesses to get involved and would urge them to contact us to find out more.”

TeenTech Humber will be held at the KC Stadium on Thursday 12 July.

To find out how your business can get involved call Helen Wilson at Humber EBP on 01482 391626 or email helen.wilson@eastriding.gov.uk

Community News

Young entrepreneurs encouraged to apply for start up funding

Grant funding available from Youth Enterprise Bank

Maureen Foers OBE, Sean Royce and Charles Cracknell

Maureen Foers OBE, Sean Royce and Charles Cracknell

Young entrepreneurs are being urged to apply for funding from The Youth Enterprise Bank to help make their business dreams become reality. 

The John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank offers practical support and grants of up to £1,000 for local young people aged 13 to 21 who need finance to help set up or develop their businesses. Since it was established in 2003 it has helped more than 150 young entrepreneurs in a wide range of business sectors. 

The bank is funded through a range of donations from entrepreneurs together with Hull Training and is closely linked to the Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, which aims to encourage young people to become more enterprising and contribute to Hull City Council's target of creating 1,200 new businesses. 

KC recently boosted the bank's funding with a £60,000 donation over three years. The donation follows the recent launch of the KC Invest Fund, an investment fund worth up to £600,000 to the local area, which supports start-ups and expanding businesses in the digital and technology sectors across the region. 

Maureen Foers OBE, Chair of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank, said: “Hull has a long history of producing some very entrepreneurial young people and while we don’t think their ideas or drive have slowed down, we think there's a lack of awareness that funding is available. Thanks to our supporters and our recent partnership with KC we’re on hand to not only offer financial support, but also practical help with developing business ideas.” 

Sean Royce, Commercial and Finance Director at KC, said: “The Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership has supported hundreds of young people to start their own businesses - they have a fantastic track record. In tough economic times it’s important that entrepreneurs are supported to help our economy recover, grow and develop.” 

The funding KC has provided to the bank is available to young people who live in Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire. 

To find out more about The Youth Enterprise Bank or to apply for funding contact Charles Cracknell on (01482) 612983 or at charles.cracknell@hullcc.gov.uk

Community News

KC joins forces with Hull University Business School to transform community centre

Students and employees work side by side for community

Volunteers get stuck in at the Ings Resource Centre

Volunteers get stuck in at the Ings Resource Centre

Hull & Humber KC Cares partners, KC and the Hull University Business Schoolhave joined forces to transform the communal areas of a community centre. 

The Ings Resource Centre is home to VIP Child Care who offer child care and after school and holiday clubs for children aged six months to 13 years who live in the area in a friendly, safe and fun environment. The Ings Resource Centre has gone through a number of changes recently and the communal areas needed a spruce up to make them appealing to more community groups. 

17 volunteers took part from KC andthe Hull University Business School to complete challenge which was led by students George Rispin and Patrick Berry.  They managed the process from start to finish including carrying out site visits, completing risk assessments, sourcing equipment and supplies from local companies and most importantly keeping all the volunteers motivated on the day. 

Dr Joanne Cook, Senior Lecturer at Hull University Business School said: “I run our Corporate Social Responsibility course at the university and we’re committed to helping our local communities.  It was brilliant to see the commitment from our students who volunteered, they wanted to give something back and to see them work well with KC employees was great.” 

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager said: “It’s been fantastic working in partnership with Joe and her students. Patrick and George took on the challenge without hesitation and managed the process from start to finish very professionally. More and more businesses are supporting their local communities so for the business school to recognise this and give their students an opportunity to give something back is brilliant.”   

To find out more about how to get involved in Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Michelle Dickinson, Business & Community Manager on (0114) 2013223 or email michelle.dickinson@bitc.org.uk.

Community News

Award winning East Park secures first official sponsor

KC sponsor the park's Animal Education Centre

KC's Kevin Walsh, Cllr Terry Geraghty and Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council

KC's Kevin Walsh, Cllr Terry Geraghty and Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council

The region's leading communications provider has joined forces with Hull City Council to become the first official sponsor of East Park. 

It will be the first time since the Grade II listed park opened in 1887 that it has been supported by a commercial partner. The partnership will see KC sponsor the park's Animal Education Centre, which is home to a wide range of animals from alpacas to East Park's famous family of wallabies. 

Hull City Council Leader Councillor Stephen Brady is Chair of the East Park Redevelopment Steering Group. He said: "At 130 acres, East Park is one of Hull’s best loved green spaces. We approached KC because they have been part of our city for over a hundred years and have an active community programme. I'd like to thank them for their support, which will help us to ensure the continued development of the park and hopefully encourage other private sector partners to see the potential of working with us." 

East Park was officially opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. In recent years the park has benefited from a council assisted lottery grant totalling £10 million and has been transformed into a vibrant green space where the public can enjoy modern attractions and discover historic treasures. 

Since 2008 East Park, which welcomes over half a million visitors each year,  has won many prestigious awards including the Green Flag award and the title of Yorkshire's Best Park. 

Kevin Walsh, KC’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Hull City Council and the East Park team. It’s a beautiful open space and a superb community resource with fantastic facilities. 

“KC has a strong commitment to supporting education in the region and the park’s Animal Education Centre has an impressive track record of working with every primary school in the city. And as a free family attraction, it’s particularly valuable in the current economic climate.”  

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Hull City Council's Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, has welcomed the partnership. He said: "We're delighted that KC shares our passion for East Park. It's an important community space that brings together people not only from the city but from across the wider region. In supporting the park, KC is recognising the value of the city's green spaces, and helping to promote this local asset." 

To find out how you can work in partnership with Hull City Council please contact the East Park Team on 01482 300 300 or email eastpark@hullcc.gov.uk

Bespoke corporate sponsorship is available to businesses that want to increase their brand awareness and reinforce their commitment to the environment. Packages can designed to suit business needs, from exclusive entertaining to bespoke employee and community events. 

Community News

KC tee up to partner with East Riding Union of Golf Clubs

Communications provider joins forces with golf organisation

KC's Sean Royce (centre) with members of the East Riding Union of Golf Clubs

KC's Sean Royce (centre) with members of the East Riding Union of Golf Clubs

Communications provider, KC, has signed a three year partnership to work with one of the region’s sporting bodies to encourage young people to take up Golf. 

The three year partnership with the East Riding Union of Golf Clubs (ERUGC) will see KC sponsor members from across the region. 

Union President David Hodgson said: “This is tremendous news for the Union, allowing us to continue promoting and expanding golf in East Yorkshire. Through our established coaching schemes bringing on young players plus ensuring our representative teams, both at senior and under-18, continue to impact on the Yorkshire Scene.” 

Sean Royce, Commercial and Finance Director at KC said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the East Riding Union of Golf Clubs (ERUGC). The ERUGC brings together more than 20 golf clubs from right across the region, who in turn have thousands of members. We hope that through our support we can help the ERUGC to continue its work to promote excellence in the sport and encourage young people to develop their talent and ambition.”

Community News

KC and YHATA rub shoulders with royalty at apprenticeship organisation launch

KC apprentice shares success story with The Duke of York

KC engineering apprentice Jessica Paddison,  KC HR Director Helen Roberts, YHATA Operations Manager Jakki Lovewell chatting to The Duke of York

KC engineering apprentice Jessica Paddison, KC HR Director Helen Roberts, YHATA Operations Manager Jakki Lovewell chatting to The Duke of York

Apprentice recruitment agency, YHATA, enjoyed a successful start to National Apprenticeship Week on Monday 6 February, when the organisationjoined forces with KC to meet with His Royal Highness The Duke of York at the launch of the Confederation of Apprenticeship Training Agencies (COATA).

HRH The Duke of York gave his backing to the new organisation to boost the growth and development of Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs), which recruit, employ and train young people while they are working with a host employer.

He said: “Too often employers want to employ young people with a minimum of three years’ experience. How are young people going to get this experience if they don’t get a chance to be employed in the first place?

“COATA is looking to overthrow that by encouraging young people to come through their doors, take the employment risk for a period of time and enable young people to get on that ladder of experience.”

In support of YHATA’s attendance, representatives and apprentices from Blenkin Products and The Odyssey Centre joined the organisation for the day, along with Helen Roberts, HR Director at KC and KC engineering apprentice, Jessica Paddison, who were chosen to speak about their experiences with YHATA following the arrival of The Duke of York and a speech by COATA chairman, Peter Pledger.

A wealth of new opportunities opened up for 23 year-old Jessica Paddison from Hull when she discovered a telecoms apprenticeship vacancy on YHATA’s website. After applying, she achieved a place on a two-year telecoms engineering apprenticeship with KC.

Jessica, who’s the only female engineer at KC, and has been offered a full-time job with the company from April, said: “Apprenticeships are the way forward. There are not that many jobs out there and training is the best way to ensure getting a job.”

Having been asked about her experience on the day, she said: “Attending the COATA launch was an incredible experience, and I couldn’t believe it when the Duke of York came over to speak to us! He was very supportive and positive about the event, and about how important apprenticeships are for helping young people into work.”

Helen Roberts, HR Director at KC, said: “Jessica is an asset to the company and a role model to other young women who might be considering a career as an engineer. I was very pleased to have her with me at the event, as her experience is such a fantastic example of what apprenticeships can achieve for young people. Apprentices can add so much value to a business, and we hope in time thatwe will be taking on additional apprentices.” 

Including YHATA, COATA currently consists of 11 ATAs from around the UK.  An ATA directly employs a young person, taking on the risks and administration normally involved in taking on a new member of staff. To date, COATA members have employed more than 2,500 apprentices.

COATA’s members currently employ more than 1,000 young people who are helping 800 businesses. Apprentices who complete their apprenticeships have an 80 to 90 per cent chance of getting a full-time job with the company they are placed with.

Jakki Lovewell, Operations Manager at YHATA, said: “The COATA launch was a fantastic event and we were really pleased to have such strong support from a number of the companies and apprentices we’ve worked with. The day was a real celebration of what so many businesses and young people have achieved and how far we’ve all come in establishing apprenticeships as a credible route to employment.  As such an important representative of the business community, we couldn’t have asked for a better patron than the Duke of York, and we were delighted to see his support at the confederation.”

YHATA is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and is part of the Hull College Group. YHATA is a tried and tested apprentice recruitment initiative which now operates on a national level, following a successful pilot scheme.

www.yhata.org     

 

Community News

Hull’s special schools come together to launch orchestra, thanks to KC

All four special schools form percussion orchestra

Musician John Murray with pupils from Ganton Special School

Musician John Murray with pupils from Ganton Special School

Youngsters with learning difficulties and physical disabilities from Hull are to form an orchestra which will see them perform with professional musicians. 

40 pupils, aged 12 to 18, from Tweendykes Special School, Northcott School, Frederick Holmes School and Ganton Special School will perform alongside percussionist Gary Hammond of Beautiful South fame and pro-guitarist Steve Cassidy at Hull Truck Theatre in June. 

The project was the idea of Spinoff Productions who have delivered successful projects over the last 20 years and the project is being sponsored by communications providers, KC. 

Honor Pallant of Spinoff Productions came up with the idea for the project in partnership with the City Arts team from Hull City Council. She said: “Over the last 20 years we’ve run various projects and initiatives and we try to involve all members of the community. The orchestra project is a great way to give the young people an opportunity to come together and perform, something they didn’t get to do before now.” 

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager said: “The project is a fantastic opportunity for us to support the teachers and pupils at Hull’s special schools to create an orchestra that will see many of the young people perform in public for the first time. Through KC in the Community we want to help young people achieve their full potential, which is exactly what this project is doing.”  

 

KC’s support paid for Hull Musician John Murray to go into the school. John said: “Some of the children are clearly thriving because they have had the opportunity to do this.  We hope the teachers at these schools will carry on the project once our part has finished.  It gives the children confidence and they learn to empathise with each other as they have to work together as a team.”

 

To apply for funding like Spinoff Productions please visit the community pages of our website www.kc.co.uk or contact our Community Relations Manger Anna Millar by calling (01482) 602831 or email: anna.millar@kcom.com

Community News

KC apprentice gets online to communicate about once in a lifetime opportunity

Blogs from KC apprentice give fantastic insight into life onboard the One Hull yacht

KC apprentice Lee Wahlers

KC apprentice Lee Wahlers

When KC’s eight apprentices were given the opportunity of a lifetime by CatZero for one of them to take part in the third leg of the North Atlantic Challenge they all jumped at the chance. The lucky apprentice that got chosen was 20 year old KC Systems and Data apprentice Lee Wahlers. To find out about the trip of a lifetime click here

Lee has been keeping in touch with family, friends and colleagues from onboard the One Hull yacht via a blog. It charts the highs of the trip and the challenges he is facing, which we wanted to share with you.

 

Blog One - 08/01/12

It has been five days now on board the amazing vessel that is One Hull. I arrived in St Lucia which as I expected I was greeted by the warm Caribbean air. I spent most of the flight very nervous trying to spot possible other members of the crew, as the plane landed I noticed on the opposite side of the plane a long haired man with a CatZero branded T-shirt on, I later found out this was one of my skippers Danny. After collecting my bags, I met with the rest of the crew and we were all introduced.

As our taxi from the airport set off to Rodney Bay and climbed the numerous winding roads I had already made my mind up as to how to describe St Lucia so far ‘Wales dipped in a bottle of Malibu’.

We arrived in Rodney Harbour and were greeted with rum punch by the rest of the crew who were already on board apart from Francesco who arrived a couple of days later. The crew consists of Danny and Tim our skippers, Nigel and Sam an apprentice of CatZero who has already sailed across the Atlantic and is training to be a Skipper at just 18, it quite inspiring really and I have a lot of admiration for the lad. Debs is assistant watch leader. The rest of the crew who were here for the amazing experience just like me were: Richard, Levi, Chris, Hillary, Ven and Francesco. After been shown around the boat which was surprisingly spacious we went out and had a meal and a few drinks to get to know each other, the crew range in ages and personalities and we all got on well. I spent my first night on board and it was like sleeping in a sauna, my bunk which is very hammock like is surprisingly comfy and I have a personal fan that did nothing but rattle the first night, I’ve got used to it now.

Our second day on board we spent learning about the boat and practicing winching, Danny the Skipper had told us we were to be quizzed at the end and asked us if we could identify the ‘Spur lash’, we later learned this was one of his many jokes.

This was also the day we had to get supplies for the journey, we went to the local supermarket and each of us were given a trolley and a short list of items that we had to find, the interesting thing was it turned into supermarket sweep as one of my items was 60 litres of milk. The girl at the checkout looked on in horror as we each turned up with our trolleys filled to the top with large amounts of what you would normally buy one of. The bag packer’s face was even better.

After supermarket sweep we stored it in the boat and went and had a ‘sundowner’ at the local beach which was swimming in the warm sea and watching the sun go down into it. It has been hard. This was followed by another meal out and then drinks back at the dock bar. I have my sunburn already and my feet are a feast for the bugs.

The next day we had a ‘happy house’ morning we cleaned the boat and made sure all repairs had been done, I helped pop the door back on the wet locker and cleaned the toilets ‘heads’. We then had some time to ourselves to relax and do our own thing, most of us headed off to the harbour pool.  I saw a spider the size of a rat that afternoon, couldn’t quite relax after that. Francesco our crew member from Italy arrived that night and it was his birthday so we went out for another meal and drinks.

On Friday 6th January we made all final preparations to the boat and learned more about how to put up the sails and sheets. We had all been issued our trendy thermals and waterproof oilies but haven’t had to use them so far. We all gathered in the saloon (dining room) and had a team brief delivered to us about the journey. We were told which watch we would each be on, we were also shown the duties and the cooking rota’s. It was all confusing at first but we have got used to it. Tim then told us about the first voyage we would make, I thought we would sail straight to the Azores but the skippers thought a trip to Antigua might be a good first taster, I grinned like a cheshire cat.

Our life jackets were on and we set sail which was really exciting, we sailed out of Rodney Harbour and began hoisting the sails. Tim our second skipper had us practicing man over board drills which were interesting as it showed just how important teamwork is on the boat. Once we had finished getting used to the maneuvers of the boat we headed to Antigua, we were told it would be an overnight voyage. My watch was first and so I was on cleaner duty which meant I had to nip down and clean the heads and galley (kitchen), I then got to be at the helm. I was actually steering the boat and it was an amazing feeling. I found myself in a state of stark realisation of what I was actually doing and where I was with disbelief, it’s hard to describe the feelings really. Although the sea sickness I endured through the rest of the night was HORRIBLE. My four hour watch finished and we swapped over with the other group, the watches at night lasted three hours each and so sleep was grabbed when possible, although it wasn’t easy sleeping feeling awful. But as much as I hated the sicky feeling I love the experience. Chris bless her also had sea sickness, hers was worse than mine.

The voyage to Antigua was great, we even had to do a hat and glasses search and rescue and we amazingly found both. The other watch managed to spot dolphins through the night. We are currently docked in English Harbour at the Nelson Dock Marina and I have to admit it is even more amazing than St Lucia. It is steeped in history and millionaire super boats are everywhere, we are spending a couple of nights here and Tonight (Sunday) we are going to the world famous Shirley Heights.

I have managed to get some time to write this blog/novel and sorry it is so long but thought if I’d let you know as much as possible as every little thing is amazing. I will try to write another soon.

 

Blog Two - 13/01/12

And so the real voyage to the Azores begins. Antigua was amazing and we had a great time there preparing the boat, I was also the number one local mosquito target on the menu. We watched the sun go down at the famous Shirley Heights which was accompanied by a steel band.

Our first few hours at sea have felt rougher than usual, moderate waves to the 6ft 4 skipper but massive waves to little hobbit me, whilst on deck last night I was thinking what to put in my next blog and it hit me... A BIG WAVE HIT ME, right in the kisser. So that’s what can go in this blog.

I saw dolphins about 15 minutes ago and flying fish as the sun came up. Only another 13 estimated days of sun, sea and sailing to go until the Azores.

Everyone is loving it and hopes all is well.

 

Blog Three - 17/01/12

Its 9:30pm on day five of the voyage to the Azores. We have travelled 885 miles so far and each day has given me a new experience and memory to keep. Today has been the first day I have put my full waterproofs and oilies on along with the very trendy wellys. Good job really as it has been wet and wild and the sea rather rough along with the winds.
Tonight has been one of the biggest adrenaline rushes for me, the wind was howling, the main sheet was rattling and the boat was on a 70⁰tilt, we were doing about 10knotswhich doesn’t feel fast if it’s calm but felt like 70mph tonight with the wind blowing a gale. It was like a white knuckle log flume. I also then had to go and pump the grey tank (sewage) about 500pumps left me feeling ill, but at least the water will drain in the heads again now. On a lighter note, today we surprised Ven with a cake and a card to celebrate his 30th birthday, he loved it.

Today has taken a turn for the more wild but previous days have been the opposite.  Sam caught a fish one afternoon which became dinner. Last night I had an astronomy session whilst on watch with Francesco, the sky was filled with the stars and shooting stars too. Yesterday I decided to sacrifice my four hours midday sleep to do a bit of sunbathing on deck while the sun was out and the sea was calm. I was joined by a few others and we ended up even having the music on, a bit of ‘don’t worry be happy’, ‘everybody’s free to feel good’, and ‘oh heaven is a place on earth’ and other ironing songs. The outcome of which I now have lobster legs and Debs has started calling me Hot-legs.  We also saw some more dolphins.

Can’t wait to see what else this experience holds in the up and coming days. Hopefully no more sunburn. Hope everyone is well and will see you all soon.

  

Blog Four - 18/01/12

Well I ended my last blog with "Can’t wait to see what else this experience holds in the up and coming days” I think I spoke to soon as what we experienced last night was something even Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street) couldn't have imagined.  I climbed out on deck to pitch black and thrashing waves with crazily strong winds of up to 43knots that had the deck rocking wilder than ever, everyone on deck had to change the Stay Sail up near the bow to the Storm Jib (stronger sail).

After the sail was changed and the other watch went down I spent the next three hours freezing and scared to let go of the bar as the deck was rocking so much and with the wind and spray it was hard to see even if I wanted to, I asked if I wanted to go below deck warm up and change clothes but I made the decision to 'man up' and see it through. I was glued to my bar when I was offered to helm by Nigel (I would usually shoot up to the helm on any other day).  I said "think I'll skip this one", I think he caught my drift that I wasn't budging.

Today has been slightly better as we are able to see. Franco and I kept singing Nessun Dorma out loud for a laugh; skipper Danny popped his head up thinking we had cats on board. The waves have been crazily high on watch, some up to 10meters, impressive and exciting, but the One Hull ripped through.

I thought I could hear the click of dolphins this morning, so I was excitedly looking about the waves, about ten minutes later I realised it was the flag flapping in the wind. I felt that feeling you get when you're waiting for something to arrive and the doorbell rings, you rush to the door and it's a salesman.

By the sounds of it tonight is going to be another rough one. I'm determined to give the helm a go tonight, I'll let you know how I get on.

 

Blog Five - 19/01/12

Day 8 at sea and the 1000 mile barrier has been broken. There is rumour of a half way party on board to celebrate all the hard work so far or as Deb seems to think "there would be nothing to look forward to in life if we didn't go to the party”.  If this party is happening I'm going in my Caribbean shirt (it's rather loud).

The Sea is calm this morning and the lull of the waves is making it hard to wake up. The sun rose behind a screen of clouds that allowed a small horizontal strip to seep through, look like the sun was wearing a balaclava.

The experience has been amazing so far and I want to thank KC again and all  those that helped make this possible. I really can't believe Mr Cameron thinks the CatZero programme is crazy, me thinks he needs to get onboard... literally.

I also have to say to my manager Steve and Phys-ninja-master-chef (Philpott), you were both right about the whole toilet experience. It was fine when the dress code was shorts and T-shirt but now I have my normal clothes, thermal layers, waterproof layers and a life jacket, the task of  going to the toilet is similar to Hannibal Lector in his straightjacket  needing to itch his nose.

I have also, after my time at sea, found muscles I never knew I had, this is due to the amount of clenching I have done to keep me from falling off my perch on deck. Debs named them my 'Boat-hooks' which isn't far from their common name. Think I have a six pack on each cheek.

Finally, as I seem to be finding more time to write these blogs now, Danny  the Skipper has taken to calling me the BLOG-MAN, he has changed the words  of the famous Beatles song 'I am the walrus' to "I am the  blog-man, I am the blog-man,  I am the walrus...koo koo kaa choo!!"  I have a feeling this will tickle my dad when he reads this.

That's all from the Blog man.

 

Blog Six - 20/01/12

When Lee took the place on the North Atlantic Challenge he did so knowing his would miss his brother’s wedding, a decision supported by his brother and family. Below is a blog Lee has written for the wedding, which took place on Saturday.

Choices shape our lives
I may not be there tomorrow but I would still like for this to be read or heard by the bride and groom on their special day or today.

I’d like to start by saying how beautiful Emma looks, I know I cannot see you but you look wonderful on every other day, so I can only imagine that you will look truly breathtaking when you walk down the aisle.

I’d like to thank the parents of the bride for all they have done in the preparation of this special day. I am sure you have made Vincent and Emma’s day truly memorable. I would like to second that thank you to my own parents as they will have been up sorting the venue for you all to enjoy. Mum will defiantly be giving the directions on this one.

Both Vincent and Emma mean a great deal to me and I know my absence may not seem to enforce that but they understand why I had to make the choice I did. I think the choice is very much like the choice Vincent will make. He has the choice and opportunity of a life time, to marry a truly amazing woman in his life and one that will indeed remain special to all of us in the family.

Vinnie, I couldn’t have wished for a finer eldest brother to look up to. Very few older brothers growing up would happily take their youngest brother and include them in their friendship circles. This made starting secondary school a great experience as I had a lot of older kids in high places. On many occasions I have sought advice and help from you and I’ve never been let down, although everyone who knows you will understand when I say I always had to ask twice as you didn’t listen the first time!

Emma, you have already been a sister to me for too long and this day will only make it more official than it already is. You have always loved Vincent and have already given him two wonderful children and there is likely to be more, yet another choice you have to make in the future.

I wish you both the most heartfelt congratulations and the best life together; I love you both very much and will see you both soon.

P.S. Emma this doesn’t mean you get special big sister bullying rights.


P.P.S. Over to you Steve, make them laugh brother and remember don’t mention
the time when Vinnie

 

Blog Seven - 23/01/12

We have 329 miles to Horta, I can’t believe we have been at sea nearly two weeks. Jack Kerouac may have been ‘on the road’ but we have defiantly been ‘on the wind’ as we have sailed against the wind for nearly two weeks now.

We are hoping in these last couple of days, the wind will finally shift so that we can experience some downwind sailing into The Azores.
Life on board has been a barrel of laughs, simple things like saying “boil the Kettle” results in a shout five minutes later “kettles boiled”, 20 minutes later and Nigel still waits for his cuppa.


Richard (Kryton, Smee, Captain Clarkson, Smoking Wigwam, Ricardo, Skinny Latte, and Bilge Boy) has without a doubt achieved the record for the most nicknames on board. The spot on fella that he is has told more stories than a primary school teacher, all resulting in tears of laughter rolling down our faces.


I have decided that I am going to try and achieve a qualification on board, Competent Crew, think if the opportunity is there I might as well take it.
I have been practicing my knots like mad and when I reach Horta I will have to row a dingy under oars….. How hard can it be??

I hope my brother and Sister in-law had a wonderful day and everyone enjoyed themselves, look forward to getting some signal on my phone to ring home for the news.

Our time at sea is nearly up but what a great time it’s been.

 

Blog Eight - 25/01/12

The last blog and testament from Lee and Hils aka Blog-Man and Blog-Girl. We are almost there but not there until we cross the final line, anything can happen. Skipper has confirmed that we are all Competent Crew, although would like to have seen Captain Clarkson (aka...You know the rest) out of the galley and on deck more often. Franco thinks us English drink copious amount of hot drinks and last night had dreamt of being surrounded by Kettles.

We all think that the skippers have played a great role in helping to support us in all of our endeavours. Debs has been there for all of us, offering her knowledge of the Galley and keeping the watches fun and bubbly with her easy going and cheeky ways. Thanks also to the ‘batman and Robin’ duo that is Nigel and Sam our watch leaders, slim chance of another group like us.

Hold on to your seats Horta, here comes One Hull!!!!

Blog-Man and Blog-Girl fighting to get into internet cafes for your next update

 

Homeward Bound

Lee has now left the Azores and is heading back home to Hull. Whilst onboard Lee gained his Competent Crew qualification which means he can steer a yacht, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy, he knows his nautical terms, he can tie knots and assist in all the day to day duties on board.

Congratulations to Lee on completing the North Atlantic Challenge Experience and his new qualification.

Community News

CatZero gives KC apprentice a once in a lifetime opportunity

Lee Wahlers and Sean Cahill

KC apprentice Lee Wahlers (left) and CatZero's Sean Cahill

While most of us are spending January trying to stay motivated and on track with our New Year’s resolutions, one of KC’s apprentices will be starting the year with a life changing experience that will provide years of motivation.

KC Systems and Data apprentice Lee Wahlers was selected from KC’s eight apprentices to join the ONE Hull yacht on the third leg of the North Atlantic Challenge yacht race.

The CatZero programme delivers specialist training to hard-to-reach young people in Hull and the charity has entered a number of high-profile sailing challenges to raise funds to allow it to continue its work transforming the lives of local young people who are not in education, employment or training. KC has been a community partner of CatZero for two years and was offered a place on the race as a thank you for its continued support in helping young people to find a future.

Jim Dick, CatZero Chairman, said: “We have a fantastic success rate of helping the young people we work with move on to education, employment or training and for this to continue we have an ongoing programme of fundraising activity. This includes taking part in sailing challenges, as well as working with our dedicated partners from the business community, such as KC.”

The North Atlantic Challenge is a four stage, four month race. The ONE Hull yacht set off from Hull in late October 2011 to take in The Canary Islands, St Lucia and the Azores before heading back to Hull in mid February via the Thames Estuary. KC apprentice Lee has joined Skipper Danny Watson and the ONE Hull crew in St Lucia and will receive onboard training before he heads off across the Atlantic leg of the race, which could see him at sea for over 20 days.

Lee said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out about the North Atlantic Challenge opportunity, and to be selected was even more of a shock – I still can’t believe it. I think the challenge will allow me to learn a lot about myself and with all the experience has to offer, I truly can’t think of a better way to embrace 2012. I’d like to thank CatZero for the opportunity to join the ONE Hull crew and to everyone at KC who made it possible too.”

The KC apprentices, aged between 18 and 24, work in a range of roles in the business, from engineering to marketing, and are a year in to their apprenticeships. The sailing opportunity was offered to them as a thank you for their hard work and commitment.

Helen Roberts, KC HR Director said: “Our apprentices have been an invaluable addition to KC. They are incredibly passionate and hard working young people, so picking just one of them to go on the challenge wasn’t easy. We asked each of them to explain to us why they wanted to go and what they would get out of it.

“We partnered with CatZero two years ago as part of our KC in the Community programme, and we’ve seen firsthand the fantastic work they do. By showing young people their full potential and giving them access to various services and support, they are genuinely turning lives around.”  

The KC apprentices were recruited in partnership with YHATA (Yorkshire and Humber Apprentice Training Agency), part of the Hull College Group. YHATA Operations Manager Jakki Lovewell said: “Our team have worked with KC for over a year, recruiting, training and managing their apprentices, so we know the young people really well. Lee will have such an amazing time and I have no doubt that he will return to his role with even more commitment and enthusiasm than when he left.”

To find out more about how to support CatZero or take part in one of their sailing challenges call Clare on 01482 333303, email clare@catzero.orgor visit http://www.catzero.org/

For more information about apprenticeships please contact YHATA on (01482) 343470, email yhata@hull-college.ac.uk or visit http://www.yhata.org/

 

About CatZero

CatZero is a registered charity designed to develop and deliver specialist programmes to meet the needs of children, young people, their families and the local community. CatZero works with the most hard to reach young people within the city of Hull that are categorised as NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) through the delivery of innovative youth development training, allowing them to make progress towards the world of work through challenging educational and personal development programmes. The experience is motivational and designed to bring about attitudinal change to employment.  CatZero specialise in developing programmes to meet specific needs, this is undertaken by working with and in partnership with funding bodies, delivery partners including statutory services, local businesses and the young people themselves as well as the local community.

About YHATA

YHATA is an apprentice recruitment agency. Working in partnership with businesses, YHATA engages, selects and short-lists suitable candidates, saving the host employer time and resources in the selection process.

YHATA is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and is part of the Hull College Group. YHATA is a tried and tested apprentice recruitment initiative which now operates on a national level, following a successful pilot scheme.

Community News

Business volunteering programme gains a pair of safe hands

UK’s leading safety company joins Hull & Humber KC Cares

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager Tessa Wray and Neil Jowsey, Arco Director and Chair of Arco’s Charity Committee

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager Tessa Wray and Neil Jowsey, Arco Director and Chair of Arco’s Charity Committee

Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, has joined Business in the Community’s (BITC) national volunteering programme. 

Caresis BITC’snational campaign to engage employees in their communities through volunteering. There are over 350 business involved in city-based and regional Cares partnerships across the UK. Arco joins current Hull & Humber KC Cares members Hull FC, Hull KR, KC, Yorkshire Bank, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, PwC, St Stephens Shopping Centre, Wilkin Chapman Grange. 

Neil Jowsey, Arco'ssales and marketing director and chair of the Arco Charity Committee, said: “Arco has always been committed to investing in its people and supporting the communities we serve. We want to be involved in projects, initiatives and charities that matter to our people. Each member of staff can take two working days each year to engage with community projects that they are passionate about,  and we hope that our partnership with Hull & Humber KC Cares will increase the scope of opportunities and in turn the number of our people who volunteer.” 

Founded in 1884 and with a heritage spanning 4 generations, Arco integrates traditional family values with pioneering innovation to offer a world-class range of over 22,000 quality assured, branded and own brand products, including personal protective equipment, clothing, footwear, gloves, workplace safety and hygiene products.  Headquartered in Hull, Arco reaches its customers through its extensive product catalogue, interactive website and 40 strong local branch network. The fourth generation family owned business won the J P Morgan Family Business Award in 2009.

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager, Tessa Wray said: “We are delighted to welcome Arco to Hull & Humber KC Cares. They have a fantastic community ethos already and, our aim is to work with them to help build on their employee engagement success to date, providing volunteering opportunities that give more of their people the chance to use their volunteering days.” 

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, Business Manager on (01482) 638610 or email:  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Hull & Humber KC Cares businesses enter the Den to help inspire young people

Pupils from Hessle High School go up against Hull's dragons

Hull's answer to the Dragons Den takes place at Hessle High School thanks to Hull & Humber KC Cares

Hull's answer to the Dragons Den takes place at Hessle High School thanks to Hull & Humber KC Cares

Some of the most exciting and innovative new business ideas and inventions during the last few years have come out of the BBC’s hit TV programme the Dragons Den. And when a team of dragons from Hull businesses visited Hessle Sixth Form College on 7 December and asked pupils to enter the den, they were just as impressed by the ideas they saw. 

The session, organised by Hull & Humber KC Cares, brought together professionals from Hull FC, KC, St Stephens’s shopping centre and Cooper Wilkin Chapman Solicitors to listen to pitches from sixth form students who are working towards theirA Level Business Studies qualification. 

11 students took part in the session which saw business ideas from Website Design to Bespoke Fashion Bags being presented. After each student had pitched, the four dragons evaluated the presentation, asked questions, gave feedback then decided if they would invest in the proposed business. 

Vince Groak from Hessle Sixth Form said: “The Dragons Den session is a great way to bring our pupils’ learning to life. They get to meet business people and hear their feedback on their ideas, while practising their presentations skills. It’s been an invaluable experience that isn’t available in the normal school environment.” 

Jim Harris, St Stephen’s shopping centre manager was one of the dragons on the day. He said: “I’m so impressed by the young people we met. They came up with some great ideas and presented really well - I don’t know if I would have been able to do what they did at their age. These young people are our business leaders of the future and it’s vital that we give them experiences like this and share our knowledge to help them to be the best they can.”

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager Tessa Wray said: “The Dragons Den sessions gives businesses the chance to inspire pupils and help to raise their aspirations by promoting a culture of enterprise amongst their future workforce. Dragons’ Den gives the opportunity for experts to demonstrate business knowledge and expertise in a different environment while developing their communication and coaching skills that can be taken back into the workplace.” 

To find out more about Hull & Humber KC Cares please call Tessa on (01482) 638610 or email: tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Hull & Humber KC Cares spreads Christmas cheer

Businesses join forces to help make Christmas special

Business volunteers, part goers and Father Christmas

Business volunteers, part goers and Father Christmas

Children from disadvantaged communities celebrated Christmas at the KC Stadium on Saturday with an action packed party thanks to Hull & Humber KC Cares’ business partners. 

Employees from KC and St Stephen’s shopping centre worked in partnership with Hull & Humber KC Cares to organise the annual party for over 100 children aged 4 to 12. 

Children were entertained by DJ Scottie from start to finish, with music and party games. Acrobatic children’s entertainer Dangerous Steve put on a fantastic show, while face painters and a visit from all four of the city’s mascots, Airlie Bird, Roary the Tiger, Rufus the Robin and Steve the Stingray helped to create a party atmosphere. 

And it didn’t end there. The children and young people were in for an extra special treat when Father Christmas made a surprise appearance, giving each child a gift. 

The presents for the party were all donated by the employees of Hull & Humber KC Cares’ business partners. Tessa Wray, Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager explains: “Funds have been limited for everyone again this year, but it hasn’t prevented local organisations from getting involved. 

“The response this year has been fantastic. Our business partners have rallied round to fill shoeboxes with some brilliant presents. Shoebox donations are a really great way to engage employees and despite the economic climate, organisations found that their people wanted to get involved and believe it’s good to give something back to their local communities.” 

Other Hull & Humber KC Cares business partners who supported the event included PwC, Yorkshire Bank, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Hull FC & Hull KR and Associated British Ports (ABP). 

Anna Millar from KC said: “A team of three of us started to organise the party in February with help from all the KC Cares business partners. It’s hard work but very rewarding for all involved and it’s a real team effort between the businesses. It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to support the children within the local community we serve, and provide them with a great start to the festive season.” 

Hull & Humber KC Cares is Business in the Community’s national employee volunteering programme. KC Cares engages companies and their employees in their communities, through a diverse range of volunteering opportunities, to address varying social issues with a focus on education, employability, economic renewal and the environment. 

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, KC Cares Business Manager on  (01482) 638610 or email:  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Fantastic ‘app’ titude secures prize for creative minds

Pupils win opportunity to develop app thanks to KC

Pupils from Oasis Academy Immingham, with representatives from Humber EBP, theappleofmyi and KC

Pupils from Oasis Academy Immingham, with representatives from Humber EBP, theappleofmyi and KC

Pupils from the Oasis Academy in Immingham have designed their very own app, after winning the top prize at a science education event held in Hull.

TeenTech, organised by the Humber Education Business Partnership (EBP), gave 300 school students aged 12 and 13 from 30 schools across Hull and the Humber the opportunity to conduct experiments, handle leading-edge technology and meet the engineers, technicians and scientists from the world of big business. 

The lively one day event at the KC Stadium helps teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in science, engineering and technology. It was created by science broadcaster Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson, Chairman of the Institute of Directors (South) and is run by the Education Business Partnership. The event in Hull was the first time TeenTech had been run outside of the Thames Valley. 

Maggie Philbin said: “Teenagers dream about owning the latest gadgets but few consider they could be shaping the future themselves. There’s a real need to make them aware of the rich opportunities that exist in these areas.” 

One of the highlights of the day was the ‘Design an App’ workshop, which was run by application designers Dave Addey and Alyson Fielding. They challenged each school team to create an app which was innovative and marketable. The teams had to pitch their idea to the other schools and designers in 45 seconds, and the designers were overwhelmed by the quality of the ideas, finding it a struggle to choose the winning apps. 

Prizes for Best Pitch, Best Icon, Most Marketable App, Most Innovative App and Best Teamwork were presented. Oasis Academy Immingham won the grand prize, Best App Overall, with an app that let the user try on different make-up looks and clothes outfits to find out what suits or fits them before they buy. 

The pupils taking part won a day with the team from local application developers theappleofmyi, who helped them develop their app idea, how it should be marketed and how it would look.

The prize was sponsored by KC, whose Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce, said: “As a communications company, we want to help show young people that the science, engineering and technology lessons they’re involved in every day at school lead to exciting career opportunities, so that more young people might then choose that career path. The app competition really captured everyone’s imagination, and our congratulations go to the winning team from Oasis Academy Immingham."

Sandra Cooper, General Manager of the Humber EBP said: “TeenTech is a great opportunity for students to find out first-hand about careers in engineering, technology and science.  We know that there will be a very real demand for people with specialist skills in this region and it’s important to make sure that our young people are in a position to benefit from these opportunities."

Community News

KC Community Grant supports road safety campaign

Leaflets given out to spread road safety messages at accident hotspot

PC Keith Ward, Road Safety Officer Sue Boyeson and KC’s Anna Millar

PC Keith Ward, Road Safety Officer Sue Boyeson and KC’s Anna Millar

A KC Community Grant has been used to educate pedestrians on how to cross the road safely at one of the city’s accident hotspots.   

The grant funded a new safety leaflet which was given out to pedestrians at the crossings on Ferensway in front of St Stephens Shopping Centre and the Transport Interchange, which has seen 16 serious accidents in the past four years. The aim is to highlight the importance of using crossings correctly. 

The leaflet will be used to as part of an ongoing pedestrian road safety campaign that is jointly run by the Road Safety Team at Hull City Council and Humberside Police. 

PC Keith Ward, Humberside Police Casualty Reduction Officer for Hull said: "Pedestrian casualties in Hull are causing some concern. Alarmingly it involves adult pedestrians as well as child pedestrians. Education plays a big part in getting the road safety message across to people. I would encourage everyone to use a designated crossing when one is available and abide by the rules when using it. A 'Red Man' means stop and wait." 

The Road Safety Team and Humberside Police were joined at the crossing hotspot by a red and green man to highlight to pedestrians that they are risking their lives by crossing the road when the red man is showing. 

Sue Boyeson Road Safety Officer said: "We’re constantly striving to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Hull but we still have a high proportion of pedestrians who are ignoring their own, and others safety by crossing on the Red Man.” 

Anna Millar, KC Community Relations Manager “The road safety leaflets are a great way for KC to partner with Hull City Council and Humberside Police to help them spread their life saving message. I saw firsthand the actions of adults not using the crossings properly, and it sets a bad example for our young people as well as them risking their own safety.”

Community News

Pupils shown insight into the world of work thanks to Hull & Humber KC Cares

Career Kids event shows young people endless possibilities

KC engineer Ian Rees with St James Primary School pupils

KC engineer Ian Rees with St James Primary School pupils

Professionals from the world of banking, communications and rugby have given pupils at St James Primary School an inspiring insight into their careers and the world of work. 

40 pupils from years five and six took part in the Career Kids event run by the Hull & Humber KC Cares, Business in the Community’s (BITC) employee volunteering Programme. The aim of Career Kids is to show young people that there are endless possibilities for them in the world of work if they want to strive for them. 

Pupils took part in hands-on activities and challenges to learn more about the wide variety of careers at Hull FC, KC and Yorkshire Bank. 

St James Headteacher Jane Daniels said: "We want all of our pupils to be inspired to achieve the very best they can, and real life role models from the world of work are a very good way to do this. It is important to engage with businesses so that our pupils get to see a variety of jobs. The commitment from the business community gives a clear message to our pupils that they are important to the future of our city."  

Hull FC Foundation Officer Courtney Branagan and Marketing Executive Matt Adams were joined by Airlie Bird, Hull FC’s mascot, to show the pupils the careers opportunities at the Super League Club in a session called Running Hull FC. Members of the Yorkshire Bank Business Team ran The Bank Factor and KC ran a hands on session called Engineering your Future. 

KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar delivered one of the sessions. She said: “One of our engineers Ian came down to the school with his van and all of his equipment to show the young people what an engineer’s job entails. It’s a great way to show them that the lessons they’re involved in every day are key to their future success. The young people who took part are a credit to their school.” 

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager, Tessa Wray said: “Career Kids is a fantastic project that gives our business partners the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with the next generation. They are the future workforce of our region and with the right skills, will help our economy to thrive. Unfortunately some young people don’t have role models from the world of work, so the time our business volunteers give is priceless to ensuring our young people are motivated and inspired.” 

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, Business Manager on (01482) 638610 or email  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Unique communication chain spans across the Humber

Event highlights importance of NHS Speech and Language Therapy Services

Giving Voice volunteers at the Humber Bridge

Giving Voice volunteers at the Humber Bridge

How many of us take speech for granted? Being able to ask for what you want, explain how you feel and use the power of communication to get things done. To demonstrate just how vital communication is, over 250 people took part in a unique event to form a human communication chain across the Humber Bridge. 

Organised by NHS Speech and Language Therapy Services and sponsored by KC, the aim of the chain was to pass on the message ‘Communication is Key’ from person to person, in as many ways as possible. The chain spanned from one side of the bridge to the other, and the message was passed on using gestures, messages in bottles and even Morse Code. 

Speech and Language Therapist Sarah Wood, a member of The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists said: “Problems with speech and language imprison individuals and severely limit their ability to participate in family life, education, work and the community.

The Giving Voice campaign aims to raise awareness and educate people to the benefits of speech and language therapy services. We were thrilled that so many staff, members of the public and their families joined us to show their support. 

“We’re really happy that KC sponsored the event. As a local communications company they were our ideal partner for the campaign and we are delighted they supported us.” 

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager, said: “Speech is something that we take for granted, yet around 2.5 million people in the UK have speech, language or communication needs. As the region’s leading communications provider this event fitted perfectly with our business and community goals, so we were delighted to lend our support.”

Community News

KC donate £60,000 to boost Youth Enterprise in Hull

Funding boost to help young people turn their business dreams into reality

Maureen Foers OBE, Sean Royce and Charles Cracknell

Maureen Foers OBE, Sean Royce and Charles Cracknell

LOCAL communications provider KC will donate £60,000 to Hull’s Youth Enterprise Bank over the next three years to help support young entrepreneurs to realise their business dreams. 

The John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank offers practical support and grants of up to £1,000 for young people who need finance to help set up or develop their businesses. Since it was established in 2003 it has helped more than 150 young entrepreneurs in a wide range of business sectors. 

The bank is funded through a range of donations from young entrepreneurs together with Hull Training and is closely linked to the Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, which aims to encourage young people to become more enterprising and contribute to Hull’s target of creating 1,200 new businesses. 

The donation from KC means more enterprising young people from Hull and East Yorkshire who are aged from 13 to 21, can receive funding to buy the business equipment and services they need to get started. 

Sean Royce, Commercial and Finance Director at KC, said: “We’re delighted to support an organisation that does such important work in nurturing entrepreneurial spirit amongst the region’s young people. “Today’s enterprising young people today are tomorrow’s employers and it’s vital for their future success that they get the practical and financial support they need in the early days of their business careers. 

“As a local responsible business we have a role to play in supporting the region’s economy and stimulating business growth and this is a way of doing that while also inspiring young people to make their careers in business.”

Amongst the businesses the Youth Enterprise Bank has supported are Hessle florist Amanda’s Blue Orchid and health food and smoothie firm Xing Health. 

Maureen Foers OBE, Chair of the Youth Enterprise Bank, said: “The donation from KC means we can help more of the region’s young people make their business dreams come true and start them on the path to business success. 

The donation also means that for the first time we can offer grants to young people not just in Hull but across the wider East Yorkshire region.” 

KC’s donation follows the recent launch of the KC Invest, an investment fund worth up to £600,000 to the local area, which will support start-ups and expanding businesses in the digital and technology sectors across the region. 

The Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership recently launched Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, which takes place from 14-18 November. During the week children and young people across the region will take part in events to stimulate their interest in business, with guest speakers including The Apprentice stars Ruth Badger and Claire Young. 

Ruth Badger, Patron of Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership Said: “I wish to thank KC for agreeing to invest £20,000 a year for the next three years in Hull and East Ridings young people through the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank. There is no doubt that the area has a reputation to be proud of supporting its enterprising young people and this investment shows that KC has bought into that success.”

 Sponsors of Global Entrepreneurship Week include KC, Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, the Co-operative, HWS Hosting, NPS Humber, St Stephens, Jobcentre Plus, Hull Training, Hull FC, Hull City AFC, Mail News and Media, Hull College, University of Hull, William Jacksons, City Works, Golding Computer Services and Arco. Businesses who want to get involved should call Charles Cracknell, Youth Enterprise Manager at Hull City Council on (01482) 612983 or visit www.youthenterprise.co.uk

Community News

KC races ahead of the Jane Tomlinson Hull 10K corporate pack

Team KC win Hull 10K charity award

Team KC before the Hull 10K

Team KC before the Hull 10K

THE team of 24 runners from KC that took part in the Jane Tomlinson Hull 10K Corporate Challenge earlier this year has been presented with theaward for raising the most money for charity. 

The team raised £5,812, with £2,775 going to Hull Children’s University and £3,037 to the Dove House Hospice Love You 2 Appeal.

 KC was one of 35 teams that took part in the Corporate Challenge,which brought together over 400 people from businesses across East Yorkshire. The Corporate Challenge provides businesses with opportunities to network and pitch themselves against other organisations to be crowned the fastest team and the biggest fundraisers. 

The Jane Tomlinson Hull 10K, organised by Mike Tomlinson, widower of the late Jane Tomlinson said: “To get 24 runners in the Corporate Team is a fantastic effort but in the middle of a global recession to raise £5,812 is truly astonishing, and credit to KC and their staff.” 

KC’s Community Relations Manager Anna Millar was the Team Leader for the KC runners. She said: “Team KC is over the moon at being crowned the biggest fundraisers of the Hull 10K. We encourage our employees to get involved in various community and charity activities and the Hull 10K is a great example – it brings people together who might not work together and it’s a chance to improve their health and fitness, but the ultimate winners are local charities. 

“The Love You 2 Appeal and Hull Children’s University are two fantastic local charities who we have a great relationship with already. The Hull 10K is just another way that we’ve been able to support them both.” 

Next year’s event takes place on Sunday 3 June, click here to register for the Hull 10k in 2012 

Community News

KC employees give Olympic cyclists a ride for their gold medals

KC employees take part in Hull Sky Ride

The KC Sky Ride Team

The KC Sky Ride Team

KC employees gave Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Mark Cavendish a ride for their gold medals when they took part in the Hull city centre Sky Ride. 

Sky Ride events are a joint venture between British Cycling and Sky. The events aim to get a million people cycling by 2013 and people of all abilities took part in the first-ever Hull Sky Ride held in the summer. 

KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “We thought it would be fun for our employees to get together for the event to have a good time and encourage them to take up cycling.  Some of the people who took part cycle to work and others have never cycled in the city centre before. The Sky Ride was a perfect event and I hope it has encouraged novices to get on two wheels more often.” 

The KC employees had a special addition to their team – a bespoke KC bicycle designed and made by Hull Art and Design student Majeda Begum. As part of her degree course, Majeda had to find an old bicycle, restore it and then use it as the base to advertise a local business. 

Majeda explains: “I chose KC because of its long history in the city. The company is unique to the area with a logo instantly recognisable, made up of coloured dots. Making the resemblance to bubbles, the logo inspired me to incorporate a bubble machine into the design to captivate children and therefore encourage them to use a cleaner and much healthier way of transport at an early age and continue to do so later in life. 

“It was great to be welcomed into the KC team and for the company to support a positive cause. The atmosphere along the Sky Ride route was great, really communityfocused with people of all ages, and I hoped my creation entertained a few people.” 

For more information on Sky Ride events, visit their website by clicking here

Community News

KC in the Community scores award shortlisting double whammy

KC's community programme keeping everything crossed for award success

KC volunteers work with community partner Bransholme Community Allotment and Woodland

KC volunteers work with community partner Bransholme Community Allotment and Woodland

Local communications provider KC has received two award shortlistings for its community programme. 

It has been shortlisted in the Business Community Award category of the Yorkshire Post annual Excellence in Business Awards and the KC community newsletter Right Here is one of four finalists in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) regional PRide Awardsin the External Newspaper or Magazine category. 

The Business Community Award category of the Yorkshire Post awards is a major new category for this year. It recognises businesses that are actively working in the community to enhance education and skills development. The awards, now in their sixth year, have become one of the leading business events in Yorkshire and celebrate the most inspirational examples of innovation and enterprise across the region. 

The CIPR awards category is also new for this year’s awards, which recognise excellence and reward achievement in public relations and communications. 

Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager, said: “Since we established our community programme 18 months ago, we’ve donated over 2,800 volunteering hours and supported over 130 community groups and organisations. These award nominations are testament to the hard work and enthusiasm that our people and partners have put into the programme, we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.” 

The winners of the Yorkshire Post Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Leeds on Thursday 13 October, and the winners of the CIPR PRide Awards will be announced in Leeds on Thursday 17 November.

Community News

Introducing the ‘E’ team!

Businesses transform Hull pupils into Eco Kids

Hull FC take part in the first Eco Day in Hull

Hull FC take part in the first Eco Day in Hull

The first ‘Eco Kids’ event has been delivered in Hull, thanks to support from local business volunteers from Hull FC, PwC, St Stephen’s and Yorkshire Bank. Eco Kids is a fun and informal way to convey serious environmental messages to children using hands-on games and role-play. 

Eco Kids, a Business in the Community (BITC) initiative, already operates in south and west Yorkshire and after its success there, Hull & Humber KC Cares (BITC’s local employee volunteering programme) introduced it to Hull.On Tuesday 17 May, business volunteers visited St George’s Primary School to help pupils learn about sustainable behaviour. The children were split into four small groups and invited to visit each activity delivered by the businesses taking part. Activities were playful and interactive, allowing the pupils to experience rather than just be told about each environmental issue explored. 

Claire Gallafant, Manager at PwC said: “Eco Kids is a brilliant way for businesses to make a real impact on the attitudes and behaviours of young people about environmental issues. It works so well because it engages young people and helps them to understand that if they all make little changes it will have a positive impact on the whole planet.” 

Tessa Wray, Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Managersaid: “We’re hoping to deliver many more Eco Kids sessions through Hull & Humber KC Cares – it’s a great way to encourage more environmentally friendly behaviour and schools and young people alike absolutely love it!” 

Eco Kids supports the Sustainable Schools government framework. 

For more information contact Tessa Wray atHull & Humber KC Cares on01482 638610 or at tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

KC launches start-up finance fund to boost local economy

KC has launched an investment fund of £300,000 to provide start-up and growth financing for business

(L-R) Sean Royce, Peter Sykes and Alan Gordon-Freeman

(L-R) Sean Royce, Peter Sykes and Alan Gordon-Freeman

KC has launched an investment fund of £300,000 to provide start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors.

Through the fund, called KC Invest, KC hopes to stimulate business growth in the Hull and East Yorkshire economy and help create new, sustainable jobs for local people.

The KC fund will be administered by two local enterprise agencies, the Acorn Fund and Sirius. They will each receive £150,000 from KC to distribute as loan financing to business start-ups and expanding businesses in the sectors KC is focusing its support on.

Both the Acorn Fund and Sirius are Community Development Finance Institutions that are able to deliver loans through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Because the financing provided by KC will be matched by ERDF, the total cash available to local businesses will be £600,000. 

People who apply for KC Invest funding through the Acorn Fund or Sirius will also have access to mentoring and support to make sure their fledgling business has the best possible chance of long-term success. Feasibility grants will also be available to fully explore business ideas where more market research is needed before financing is agreed.

 KC has launched the fund in the wake of the economic crisis and banks’ resulting reluctance to provide affordable financing for small businesses.

Sean Royce, KC’s Finance and Commercial Director, said: “The ‘perfect storm’ caused by the banking crisis and public sector cuts mean that not only is the job market depressed, but it’s also harder than ever for people to obtain finance to set up their own businesses and create work for themselves and others.

“Yet we need those new businesses more than ever now to stimulate growth and help the country’s economic recovery.

“Through the KC Invest fund we want to give practical support to new business start-ups to help support the local economy and create new jobs.

“While we have the desire and resources to do this, we’re not experts in small business support, which is why we’re partnering with the Acorn Fund and Sirius, who both have excellent and long track records in supporting new business start-ups.”

Peter Sykes, Fund Manager at the Acorn Fund, said: “KC’s commitment to the local enterprise economy is to be commended. We cannot have enough of this type of financial and hands-on support for new start-ups. It is to be hoped that the KC Invest fund can set an example of other leading local employers to get involved in the local community in a way that can help breathe new life into our economy.”

Alan Gordon-Freeman, Managing Director of Sirius, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for those involved in technology to develop and grow their own businesses. The funding can help to attract other forms of finance as well as bring other specialist support such as business management and marketing.

“KC should be applauded for this innovative community support; it will certainly go a long way in helping to create new businesses, new jobs, local wealth and more career choices in the future.”

KC hopes that KC Invest is the start of a surge of private sector investment in the region, with other large local businesses providing funding for start-ups within their sectors using the blueprint it has established. It is hosting a seminar on Friday 9 September at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby where local businesses and business support agencies can find out more about how KC Invest is set up and how it operates. The seminar will be opened by the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP. To register to attend email invest@kcom.com or call 01482 602396.

More information about KC Invest can be found on our website here. People who are interested in applying for KC Invest finance can contact the Acorn Fund on 01482 324976 or Sirius at 01482 890146.

Community News

Humber students have a fantastic ‘app’ titude at TeenTech event

Hull and the Humber school pupils come face to face with technology experts at TeenTech event

KC’s Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce and TeenTech Creator Maggie Philbin

KC’s Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce and TeenTech Creator Maggie Philbin

Teenagers from 30 schools across Hull and the Humber filled the KC Stadium recently to meet the people behind some of the gadgets that drive their 21stcentury lives.

TeenTech, organised by the Humber Education Business Partnership (EBP), gave 300 school students aged 12 and 13 the opportunity to conduct experiments, handle leading-edge technology and meet the engineers, technicians and scientists from the world of big business. 

TeenTech is a lively, one day event which helps young teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in science, engineering and technology. It was created by science broadcaster Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson, Chairman of the Institute of Directors (South) and is run by the Education Business Partnerships. The event in Hull was the first time TeenTech had been run outside of the Thames Valley. 

Maggie Philbin, science broadcaster and TeenTech creator said: “Teenagers dream about owning the latest gadgets but few consider they could be shaping the future themselves. There’s a real need to make them aware of the rich opportunities that exist in these areas.” 

One of the highlights of the day was the ‘Design an App’ workshop, which was run by application designers Dave Addey and Alyson Fielding. They challenged each school team to create an app which was innovative and marketable. The teams had to pitch their idea to the other schools and designers in 45 seconds, and the designers were overwhelmed by the quality of the ideas, finding it a struggle to choose the winning apps. 

Prizes for Best Pitch, Best Icon, Most Marketable App, Most Innovative App and Best Teamwork were presented. The winners of the grand prize, Best App Overall, were Oasis Academy Immingham. Their app lets the usertry on different make-up looks and clothes outfits, to find out what suits or fits them before they buy. 

The school won a day with the team from theappleofmyi, who will show them how their app could be developed and marketed. The prize was sponsored by KC. 

KC’s Commercial and Finance Director, Sean Royce, said: “The KC stadium was buzzing with energy during the event, which was exactly the aim. As a communications company, we understand the need to make science, engineering and technology exciting so it appeals to more young people who might then choose it as a career path. Support from businesses within the industry is so important, and we were delighted to provide volunteers and sponsorship to the event.” 

Sandra Cooper, General Manager of the Humber EBP said: “TeenTech is a great opportunity for the students to find out first-hand about careers in engineering, technology and science.  We know that there will be a very real demand for people with specialist skills in this region and it’s important to make sure that our young people are in a position to benefit from these opportunities".

Community News

KC employee gets on his bike for Love You 2 Appeal

KC employee gets on his bike for Love You 2 Appeal

Richard Moore before his epic charity cycle

Richard Moore before his epic charity cycle

A member of KC’s Colour Pages team has completed a 250 mile bike ride from London to Paris to raise over £2,000 for the Dove House Hospice Love You 2 Appeal.

 

KC Colour Pages Sales Development Manager Richard Moore started his journey in Twickenham and on day one of the three day challenge covered more than 70 miles to reach his ferry crossing in Portsmouth. Day two saw him and his team of fundraisers covered around 60 miles to the French town of Bernay. The final and toughest test was a 100-plus mile push to the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris on day three.

 

KC’s parent company, the KCOM Group PLC, adopted UK hospice charity Help the Hospices as its Charity Partner of the Year for 2011/12. All the money raised by employees in the Hull offices of the communications provider will go to the Dove House Hospice Love You 2 Appeal. Richard completed the challenge as part of a team of over 25 riders, all raising money for Help the Hospices.

Keen cyclist Richard said: “When I saw the Help the Hospices Paris cycle challenge I knew that it was something I would enjoy, while raising money for a fantastic local cause. I cycle pretty much seven days a week, so the course wasn’t too demanding, especially with the cause spurring us all on.”

Community News

KC is Freedom’s latest BFF!

Freedom organisers are pleased to announce latest Business Friend of Freedom is KC!

KC’s Commercial and Finance Director Sean Royce, Cllr Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Hull City Council and Anna Lamb, Conference Sales Manager, VHEY

KC’s Sean Royce, Cllr Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Hull City Council and VHEY’s Anna Lamb, Conference Sales Manager.

Communications firm, KC, have generously sponsored Freedom 2011 through the BFF scheme-aninitiative to attract private sector sponsorship for the city’s flagship festival- by pledging £12,000.  This contribution will be used to enrich the festival City Hall programme which will provide a splendid variety of cabaret, music and many comedy acts- full line up will be announced soon. 

City Hall also features Hull’s Freedom Chorus which will bring the community together under the directorship of Em Whitfield Brooks to sing songs from Beethoven to Queen.Many more acts are soon to be announced and details of Freedom 2011can be found at www.freedomfestival.co.uk

KC’s sponsorship brings the current total secured from private sector sponsorship to £38,000; other BFFs include Princes Quay, The Deep, Wykeland Group and The Insurance Partnership. The BFF scheme will be used in addition to the funding given by core funders Hull City Council, Arts Council England and Visit Hull and East Yorkshire to enhance the festival programme and create a unique and diverse event. Freedom also gained invaluable in kind support from KC, who will be providing the hosting for this year’s festival website. 

Sean Royce, KC Commercial and Finance Director said: “Freedom has become a highlight for the city and the region and we are delighted to be a sponsor for the second year running. Businesses have an essential role to play in supporting such important cultural events, especially following the public sector cuts. Public events boost the day and night time economy, increase visitor numbers and create a fantastic feel good vibe for residents and visitors alike. Last year the festival generated more than £5 million for the city's economy and attracted 150,000 people, making it an event that deserves the backing of the business community.” 

Businesses that want to become a friend of Freedom and get their business in the spotlight, can contact Anna Lamb on 01482 486600 or email anna.lamb@vhey.co.uk

Freedom – Hull’s annual celebration of the arts- takes place on the evenings of Thursday the 1st, Friday the 2nd and daytime into evening of 3rd September. It will include an exciting and unusual mix of interactive events, family activities, music stages, street performance, world dance and comedy. Whilst Freedom’s emphasis this year is on creating a mixed cultural festival lead by the arts, not headline music acts, festival organisers remain thankful to all parties that have helped establish the event’s success so far. 

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said:"KC’s generous support of this new element for Freedom at Hull City Hall will further enhance the experience at this year’s festival. It is fantastic to see this level of private sector support and would be great to continue to see this level of support in the future."

Janet Reuben, Chief Executive of Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, said: ‘‘To have continuing support from the private sector is wonderful news. It will help us to deliver a richer programme for City Hall that will amaze and excite the crowds at Freedom this year.’’

Community News

KC celebrates community cohesion with Hull Pride

15,000 expected to attend tenth Hull Pride

Hull Pride

Hull Pride

The tenth Hull Pride festival will take place in Hull’s West Park on Saturday 30 July, and after securing communications provider KC as a key sponsor of the event, organisers are now hoping more businesses will get involved  to make Pride 2011 bigger and better than ever before.

Hull Pride is the greatest celebration of community cohesion of its kind in the city. Last year it attracted nearly 10,000 people and this year, organisers are preparing for a record-breaking 15,000 visitors. The event’s popularity means more resources are needed to ensure the event can safely accommodate the extra people attending.

Andy Train, Director at Pride said: “We’re delighted with how far the event has come since the first Hull Pride 10 years ago. KC’s fantastic support is enabling us to equip the event with all the facilities we need to make the day enjoyable and accessible to everyone. We’ve also been granted a license for the first time this year and the revenue generated from the bars will be split between local charities and the costs of keeping Hull Pride running.”

Hull Pride is a mainstream event that is open to all members of the community and caters for all groups. As well as music acts throughout the day, there will also be fairground rides, crowd entertainers and face-painting for children. There will also be disabled access areas and sign interpreters for the deaf community.

This year Hull Pride will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Hull. Several local organisations have already pledged their support and some familiar faces will be performing, plus Hull Pride’s biggest ever headline act – soon to be announced – which is sure to draw the crowds.

Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager at KC said: “Supporting the community is important to KC. Hull Pride is a great celebration of diversity and inclusion and that’s why we’re delighted to get involved and help the event cater for even more people this year.”

Andy said: “Support from business is very welcome and we’re over the moon that KC will be our main stage sponsor. This year is the first year we’re not receiving any specific local authority funding and so we’re relying on help from the local business community. Businesses can lend their support through a range of sponsorship opportunities or through taking a stand at the event.

“We like to think of the event as Hull and East Riding’s personal freedom festival, celebrating individuality and diversity and providing a welcoming and accessible fun-packed day that the entire community can enjoy.”

 For more information about sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact Simon Woolston, Financial Director, on 07970031042 or email pride@simonwoolston.co.uk

To buy tickets (£5) and for more details about Hull Pride 2011 go to www.pridehull.co.uk

Community News

Business volunteers show charity they care with office make over

Business volunteers transform charity facilities at Hull Crown Court

From left, Ruth Truelove from Stephens, Sarah McAllister from Hull FC, Anna Millar from KC and Tessa Wray from KC Cares

From left, Ruth Truelove from Stephens, Sarah McAllister from Hull FC, Anna Millar from KC and Tessa Wray from KC Cares

Volunteers from Hull FC, St Stephens Shopping Centre and KC have given facilities used by a local charity a new lease of life.

Four volunteers helped to decorate two waiting rooms, an office and a kitchen used by The Witness Service at Hull Crown Court which were badly in need of updating.

The Witness Service is a part of Victim Support which is a national charity and provides free and confidential help and support to victims and witnesses of crime, ( both Prosecution and defence) and other people affected, such as the families and friends of victims, who attend either the Crown Court or Magistrates Court.

The businesses who gave their employees time to volunteer are all members of Business in the Community’s (BITC) volunteering programme, Hull & Humber KC Cares.

In the last two years, over 400 volunteers have taken part in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme, resulting in over 2500 hours of support for more than 60 community groups.

Brian Howe, the Crown Court Witness Service Manager said: “We support hundreds of people each year, helping and guiding them through the court process, which can be extremely stressful and daunting. Our safe and secure areas within the court provide a haven for our service users and the transformation has made the rooms more welcoming and up to date.

“I can’t believe it only took the volunteers one day to paint all the rooms. I’d like to thank the businesses who gave their employees the time to help us and of course the volunteers themselves.”

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager, Tessa Wray said: “This collaborative challenge between Hull FC, St Stephens Shopping Centre and KC demonstrates perfectly that when businesses join their time and people resources together they can make a massive impact to a fantastic resource that works with so many members of the community.

“There are so many community organisations that need support, and we can help businesses engage with these organisations, and with other likeminded businesses, to help make a positive impact.”

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, Business Manager on (01482) 638610 or email:  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Hull Children’s University inspires 30,000 children

Charity looks back at success as they celebrate 15th birthday

HCU Founder and Director John Buttrick with pupils from St James CE Primary School

HCU Founder and Director John Buttrick with pupils from St James CE Primary School

30,000 and counting – that’s the number of Hull’s school children who have been through the inspirational Hull Children’s University (HCU) programme since it was created 15 years ago.

2011 marks the fifteenth year for the education charity that has seen 60 schools take part in 200 modules, supported by 3000 mentors from over 200 businesses.

Dr John Buttrick, Founder and Director of HCU said: “Wow, whoever would have thought when we started HCU at Francis Askew Primary School when I was deputy head, that we would have had such an impact on the young people of our city. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of all the schools and businesses and most importantly the young people who inspired me to start the HCU. Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond.”

The charity is able to offer its inspirational additional learning opportunities thanks to the generosity of businesses who donate financial support and the time of their employees who act as mentors on the modules.

Once such business is KC, which has supported the charity from the very beginning and recently donated the KC Learning Zone, a city centre classroom where learning modules are regularly held. KC Community Relations Manager Anna Millar said: “The success of HCU stems from the passion, dedication and belief that John evokes in the young people and business supporters alike. We are proud to be able to be part of the work John, his team and other businesses are doing to help ensure our young people achieve their career and life ambitions.”

John continues: “I am indebted to so many individuals, organisations and businesses that have made HCU the success it is. We work with children from so many diverse backgrounds and circumstances, and to enable us to continue for another 15 years we are constantly seeking new partners as the need to support our young people is growing. The support can range from a just a few hours of time to financial assistance which will help to help deliver one of our learning modules. Businesses can even be supported and guided by the HCU team to design their own module, like Humberside Airport and Arco have done.”

To find out more about HCU and how you can get involved please contact Kate Carroll on 01482 466045 or email k.carroll@hull.ac.uk

Community News

KC supports SMEs based at The Deep Business Centre with new partnership

Renewed partnership supports The Deep Business Centre

Director of Business Services at KC Mark Conway and Colin Brown, Chief Executive of The Deep

Director of Business Services at KC Mark Conway and Colin Brown, Chief Executive of The Deep

Businesses based at The Deep Business Centre will be supported with phone and internet connectivity from KC for the next three years thanks to a renewed partnership between Europe’s only submarium and the communications provider.  

The Business Centre is home to businesses including See My Baby, Wigster and The Design Community 

Young people visiting the bespoke Learning Centre at The Deep will also benefit from the partnership thanks to the donation of 22 new laptops, the first equipment upgrade that has taken place since The Deep opened 10 years ago. 

As well as supporting the Business Centre and the Learning Centre, KC is also sponsoring Discovery Corner, a popular interactive zone for visitors young and old. 

Colin Brown, Chief Executive of The Deep said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with KC, and would like to thank them for supporting the Business Centre as well as helping us to provide fantastic IT services in our Learning Centre Their commitment to providing top class education facilities for young people in Hull is a real testament to them. 

“As a charity, we’re extremely grateful for the support of local businesses like KC, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them.”  

Each year more than 30,000 primary and high school pupils walk through the doors of the Learning Centre to enjoy fun and educational workshops, presentations and hands-on activities which are delivered by qualified teachers. The young people learn a broad range of subjects raising awareness of the marine environment. All sessions are closely referenced to the National Curriculum. 

Mark Conway, Director of Business Services at KC said: “The Deep is one of our region’s success stories and we are proud to be continuing our partnership with them for another two years. The Deep has something for everyone, from supporting young people at the Learning Centre to helping businesses develop in the Business Centre. We look forward to working with them and continuing our great partnership.” 

And it’s not the young people visiting The Deep that will benefit from the updated equipment. The old PC equipment from the Learning Centre is being donated to charity including the former computer storage units which are being given to children’s charity Barnardos.

Community News

KC extends partnership with The Deep

School pupils to benefit from new partnership between The Deep and KC.

Pupils from Hessle St Mount School mark launch of renewed partnership between The Deep and KC.

Pupils from Hessle St Mount School mark launch of renewed partnership between The Deep and KC.

Young people visiting the Learning Centre at The Deep will benefit from brand new PC equipment thanks to The Deep’s partnership with KC. 

KC has renewed its sponsorship of The Deep’s Learning Centre for another three years. As part of the partnership KC has donated 22 new laptops to the Learning Centre, the first equipment upgrade that has taken place since The Deep opened 10 years ago. 

As well as providing new laptops, KC is also sponsoring Discovery Corner, a popular interactive zone for visitors young and old, and the Business Centre, which provides office and laboratory space for small to medium sized businesses. 

Susan Hornby, our Head of Education at The Deep: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with KC, and would like to thank them for sponsoring Discovery Corner and the Business Centre as well as helping us to provide fantastic IT services in our Learning Centre Their support in providing top class education facilities for young people in Hull is a testament to their commitment to the community. 

“As a charity, we’re extremely grateful for the support of local businesses like KC, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them.”  

Each year more than 30,000 primary and high school pupils use the Learning Centre to enjoy fun and educational workshops, presentations and hands-on activities, which are delivered by qualified teachers. The young people learn a broad range of subjects raising awareness of the marine environment. All sessions are closely referenced to the National Curriculum. 

Anna Millar, Community Relations Manager at KC said: “The Deep is one of our region’s success stories and we are proud to be continuing our partnership with them for another two years. The Learning Centre offers young people a unique and inspiring learning experience in first class facilities, which now includes brand new IT equipment that will support their learning further. The Deep has something for everyone, from supporting young people at the Learning Centre to helping businesses develop in the Business Centre. We look forward to working with them and continuing our great partnership.” 

And it’s not the young people visiting The Deep that will benefit from the updated equipment. The old PC equipment from the Learning Centre is being donated to charity including the former computer storage units which are being given to children’s charity Barnardos.

Community News

Hull KR joins Hull & Humber KC Cares

Hull KR is the latest business to join business volunteering programme

From left to right, Hull KR player Rhys Lovegrove, Tessa Wray from Hull & Humber KC Cares, Sarah Smith and Chris Tomlinson from Hull KR

From left to right, Hull KR player Rhys Lovegrove, Tessa Wray from Hull & Humber KC Cares, Sarah Smith and Chris Tomlinson from Hull KR

Hull KR is tackling community issues head on thanks to a new partnership with Business in the Community’s (BITC) volunteering programme, Hull & Humber KC Cares. 

Hull KR has joined current members Hull FC, KC, PwC, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, St Stephens Shopping Centre, Wilkin Chapman Solicitors and Yorkshire Bank, to help address community issues and support disadvantaged communities. 

Hull & Humber KC Cares engages businesses in their communities through volunteering. In the last two years, over 400 volunteers have taken part in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme, resulting in over 2500 hours of volunteering supporting over 60 community groups. 

Chris Tomlinson, Head of Community Engagement at Hull KR said: “The volunteering opportunities and the direct contact with the community that the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme provides supports the work of the Hull Kingston Rovers Education and Sport Trust. Being able to volunteer in our communities will be a visible demonstration of our commitment and allow us to meet the people who support the club and make a positive contribution to them.” 

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager, Tessa Wray said: “Hull KR has a fantastic community programme and the club spends a lot of time working with people of all ages, using rugby to forge relationships. Volunteering with like-minded businesses will enable the club to work with a wider variety of organisations and communities and see firsthand the power of volunteering. We are delighted to have them on board.” 

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, Business Manager on (01482) 638610 or email:  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

St Stephens employees help school pupils

Employees give time to help young people improve reading skills

Ruth Truelove with (l-r) Alisha Selby, Callum Gallagher, Callum Currie and Karolina Later all aged 8

Ruth Truelove with (l-r) Alisha Selby, Callum Gallagher, Callum Currie and Karolina Later all aged 8

Pupils at Stepney Primary School are receiving one on one support with their reading thanks to business volunteers from Hull & Humber KC Cares. 

Two volunteers from Hull & Humber KC Cares business partner St Stephens Shopping Centre are taking part in Right to Read, a reading scheme aimed at improving the literacy rates of pupils. 

Volunteers donate one hour a week over a 12 week period to a school taking part in the project, which typically improves a child’s reading age by a minimum of six months. 

Ruth Truelove, Finance and Administration Manager and Deborah Lee, Centre Receptionist and Administrator of St Stephen's Shopping Centre visit the school once a week to hear pupils read. 

Ruth said: “We have a small management team at the centre and the Right to Read project allows Deborah and I to take it in turns to visit the school, ensuring our volunteering has a minimum impact on our business operations, and a maximum effect on the young people. The flexibility of the programme provides us both with the opportunity to get involved in our community and make a positive difference, and we enjoy working with the school immensely.” 

Stepney Primary School Headteacher, Paul Browning, said: “Ruth and Debbie came to us initially for 12 weeks and we are delighted that they have continued with the programme beyond their initial commitment. Support from businesses, through partnerships such as Hull & Humber KC Cares, is key to the success of any school. We can see the partnership with St Stephen's is already delivering results.” 

Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager, Tessa Wray said: “The volunteering opportunities we have provided for St Stephens not only fit around their business operations, but are also in keeping with their corporate values, which is an important consideration for many businesses when choosing their community engagement activity. 

“The benefits the Right to Read programme delivers are unquestionable. The programme gives children the undivided attention of an adult who is not a teacher or family member, and the children get the chance to discuss topics on a one to one basis, which also improves their communications skills. Finally, they get to meet a positive role model from the world of work, which is important when working with a school in an area of high unemployment.” 

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, KC Cares Business Manager on (01482) 638610 or email  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

KC directors muck in for the community

KC senior management team volunteer with Bransholme Enterprises

KC senior management team dig in at Bransholme Enterprises

KC senior management team dig in at Bransholme Enterprises

Some businesses give money to charity, others give employees time off to do community work, but it’s rare to see the head honchos rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. 

But that’s exactly what members of KC’s senior management team did when they took part in a Hull & Humber KC Cares challenge at the Bransholme Community Allotment and Woodland, run by Bransholme Enterprises. 

Bransholme Enterprises is a social enterprise based in the North Carr area of Bransholme. It’s work centres on the themes of environment, community and health and at its community allotment and woodland sites on Noddle Hill Way it offers accredited basic horticultural courses. 

KC’s senior management team is passionate about the local community and its members were determined to do their bit and show they’re not afraid of getting stuck in. 

As they work closely together every day, the visit to Bransholme Community Allotment and Woodland gave them some time away from the office to develop their teamwork and communication skills, as well as giving something back to a valuable community initiative. 

The Bransholme Enterprises team had them digging and planting a new garden throughout the day in order to continue the good work that was started when seven KC employees spent a day there in November 2010. 

Helen Roberts, KC’s HR Director, explained: “Community leadership is about being involved at every level and everyone at KC is committed to playing a part in the communities we serve. Job titles mean nothing when it comes to our community work, so that means everyone, from the directors right through to our apprentices, is keen to be involved.”

Bransholme Enterprises enterprise manager Kaye Sullivan said: “This is the second time that KC has supported us with volunteers, and to have the people who lead the company with us was fantastic. We got to share with them our plans for the future and quiz them about how we can become more sustainable. I’d like to thank the volunteers for all their hard work and continued support.”

Community News

Community power to KC’s people

KC launches new way of allocating support to community projects.

KC Community Panel

KC Community Panel

KC has launched a new way of allocating support to community projects, by handing the decision making process to its people. 

The individuals, organisations and projects that the business considers for support through its community contribution programme, KC in the Community, will now be decided by the KC Community Panel.

The team of nine people, from across KC nominated themselves to be part of the panel and meet once a month to assess each request for support. 

Anna Millar, KC’s Community Relations Manager, said: “We encourage our people to play a role in our community contributions, and there isn’t a bigger role than making the decisions that directly benefit the communities we serve, and that shape our programme. 

“The response we had from our people was overwhelming.  When assessing each request for support, for financial or business support, they bring their own life experiences and knowledge of their communities to the table. After only two meetings they have already shown great understanding of our community priorities and aims.” 

Once a quarter the panel also allocates KC Community Grants to local causes and projects. In the last round of grants they awarded £500 to Special Smiles, a charity that organises day trips for children with life limiting illnesses. They also awarded £250 to the Hallgate Primary School Judo Club, run by judo World Champion Karen Briggs, and £200 to St Georges Primary School to enable the school to buy outdoor play equipment. 

To apply for a grant of up to £500 please complete our grant applciation form or to seek business services or financial support above £500 please complete our community support form. If you have any questions please contact Anna Millar on (01482) 602831 or email anna.millar@kcom.com.

Community News

KC supports future Olympic stars

KC joins forces with SportsAid to support two future sports stars from Hull and the East Riding

Rob Clarke from SportsAid, Holly Harrison, Zachary Field  and KC’s Director of Business Services Mark Conway

Rob Clarke from SportsAid, Holly Harrison, Zachary Field and KC’s Director of Business Services Mark Conway

Local phone and broadband provider KC has joined forces with SportsAid to support two future Olympians from Hull and the East Riding. 

Seventeen year old judo champion Holly Harrison from Hull and fifteen year old orienteering star Zachary Fieldfrom Beverley have each received £500 from KC to help them with their training and competition costs.

SportsAid helps promising young athletes prepare for competitions by matching them with businesses that provide financial support.  Young people aged 12 to 18 are put forward for funding consideration to SportsAid by their sports’ governing bodies. SportsAid typically helps young people who are at the start of their journey, when, more often than not, their families are the solitary sponsor and independent recognition and financial assistance can make a huge difference. 

Holly and Zachary recently visited KC’s Hull office to meet with members of staff who wanted to wish them luck with their training and progress. 

Mark Conway, Business Services Director at KC, said: “We have lots of talented young people in our region, and as a business we feel it is important to support them to give them the best possible chance of reaching their full potential in their chosen field. 

“It was great to meet Holly and Zachary– they are both driven and enthusiastic young people and it wouldn’t surprise me if they took part in future Olympic games.” 

Holly said: “I went to my first judo class when I was 8 years old and got hooked straight away. It can be really expensive travelling to competitions and paying for my weekly training sessions, as well as my equipment costs, so the support from KC is fantastic.” 

In Yorkshire alone SportsAid has supported some of the greats of British sport including Olympic Bronze Medallist Joanne Jackson, Ashes star Tim Bresnan and World Champion Heptathlete Jessica Ennis. 

Rob ClarkeSportsAid Regional Development Manager said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with KC to support Holly and Zachary, this kind of support can give the athletes the boost they need at such a crucial stage on their journey. Both athletes have the potential to pull on a GB vest over the next few years so we’ll be following their progress with considerable interest.” 

SportsAid was founded in 1976 to help the next generation of young British sportsmen and women to succeed by raising funds from the private sector to provide financial assistance. Since 1976, SportsAid has distributed around £30 million and now gives 3,000 awards per year. 

KC is supporting the young athletes as part of its KC in the Community programme, which aims to inspire the region’s young people to achieve their full potential and support the community activities that matter most to local people.

Community News

Hull & Humber KC Cares spreads Christmas cheer to children in Hull

Businesses host Christmas party for children in Hull

Father Christmas at the KC Cares Christmas party

Father Christmas at the KC Cares Christmas party

Children from disadvantaged communities celebrated Christmas at the KC Stadium with an action packed party thanks to Hull & Humber KC Cares’ business partners. 

Employees from KC, PWC and St Stephens worked in partnership with KC Cares to organise the annual party for 100 children. 

Children were entertained by DJ Scottie from start to finish, with music and party games. Bobby Bubbles the children’s entertainer, face painters and a visit from all three of the city’s mascots, Airlie Bird, Roary the Tiger and Rufus the Robin helped to create a party atmosphere. 

And it didn’t end there. The children and young people were in for an extra special treat when Father Christmas made a surprise appearance, giving each child a gift.

The presents for the party were all donated by the employees of Hull & Humber KC Cares’ business partners. Tessa Wray, Hull & Humber KC Cares Business Manager explains: “Funds have been limited for everyone this year, but it hasn’t prevented local organisations from getting involved.

“The response this year has been fantastic. Our business partners have rallied round to fill shoeboxes with some brilliant presents. Shoebox donations are a really great way to engage employees and keep costs low. Despite the current climate, organisations are finding that their employees want to get involved and believe it’s good to give something back to their local communities.”

Hull & Humber KC Cares business partners who supported the event included KC, PwC, Chem-Dry UK, Yorkshire Bank and Associated British Ports (ABP).

Anna Millar from KC said: “A team of four of us started to organise the party in February, it’s hard work but very rewarding for all involved. It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to support the children within the local community we serve, and provide them with a great start to the festive season.”

Hull & Humber KC Cares is Business in the Community’s national employee volunteering programme. KC Cares engages companies and its employees in their communities, through a diverse range of volunteering opportunities, to address varying social issues, with a focus on education, employability, economic renewal and the environment.

To find out more about how to get involved in the Hull & Humber KC Cares programme please call Tessa Wray, KC Cares Business Manager on  (01482) 638610 or email:  tessa.wray@bitc.org.uk

Community News

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP officially opens KC Learning Zone

City centre learning base opens its doors

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP prepares to unveil the KC Learning Zone with Kevin Walsh and John Buttrick

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP prepares to unveil the KC Learning Zone with Kevin Walsh and John Buttrick

A tired training room that has been transformed into a bespoke classroom for Hull Children’s University (HCU) has today been officially opened by the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP.

Mr Johnson joined pupils from Griffin Primary School and The Green Way Primary School to unveil the KC Learning Zone, which is based at KC’s Carr Lane offices.

The donation of the KC Learning Zone is just the latest commitment from KC to educational charity HCU. As one of KC in the Community’s three major partnerships, KC has also provided funding for a full-time HCU employee and designed a bespoke communications module to enhance the HCU programme. In addition, KC employees act as mentors to help deliver the HCU programme.

The Learning Zone will provide HCU with the opportunity to bring many of the young people on its programme into the centre of Hull for the very first time.

John Buttrick, HCU Founder and Director, said: “Alan has been a supporter of HCU for a number of years and I couldn’t think of anyone better to open the HCU KC Learning Zone. The young people taking part in the KC Ambassadors for Hull module were delighted to be able to share their learning experiences with him and be part of a historic moment for HCU.

“KC’s continued support is enabling us to reach more children, develop our programme of modules and for the first time in our history, have a city centre base that is designed around the needs of our young people. I can’t thank Kevin and the entire KC team enough for their effort and enthusiasm.”

The Learning Zone is kitted out with state of the art PCs and presentation equipment and is large enough to accommodate a whole class of children. The space will not only be used to deliver the KC module, but provides a space for the HCU team to work directly with teachers and provide training.

Kevin Walsh, KC Chief Executive said: “The work that Hull Children’s University does to inspire and engage young people is vital in raising the learning and personal aspirations of our region’s next generation. KC is incredibly proud to be working with the Hull Children’s University, enabling many more children to benefit from this inspirational programme.”

Kevin continues: “We’ve had a fantastic response from across KC with people wanting to get involved in both mentoring and working behind the scenes to ensure the dedicated KC Hull Children’s University Learning Zone meets the needs of the young people. We are very excited about the partnership.”

The project would not have been possible without the time, expertise and generosity of the KC Learning Zone team and a number of other local suppliers who gave their work to the project at a reduced rate.

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KC Community GrantsKC Community Grants

Every three months we allocate three KC Community Grants of £500 to local causes and projects in the Hull and East Riding area.

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KC InvestKC Invest

The KC Invest Fund has been established to provide start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors.

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KC Community PanelKC Community Panel

Through our KC in the Community programme we offer a range of support to various organisations throughout East Yorkshire.

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