Final appeal to support fundraising campaign in memory of late friend

Final appeal to support fundraising campaign in memory of late friend

FUNDRAISERS have amassed more than £115k in memory of their friend Worcestershire fruit farmer Colin Broomfield, to support a brain tumour charity established by England cricketer Ashley Giles and his wife Stine.

Members of ‘Team Colin’ are appealing for final donations for The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund before closing the fundraising campaign next month (February), which marks the second anniversary of his death.

The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund, Ashley Giles, Stine Giles, charity, Colin Broomfield
From left – Joe, Colin, Fiona and Chloe Broomfield.

Owner of Broomfield’s Farm in Holt Heath, Colin died in February 2020, aged 52, almost two years after being diagnosed with a terminal Glioblastoma brain tumour.

The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund was founded in 2015 by former England cricketer and now England’s Director of Cricket, Ashley Giles MBE and his wife Stine following her own multiple battles with the disease.

In the first year of fundraising for The Giles Trust, Team Colin have exceeded their original £70,000 target to raise lost funds due to the pandemic.

A close friend of Colin’s for more than 40 years, Ivor Allchurch, said: “Myself and another close friend of Colin’s, Jim Weston, got talking after the funeral about doing some fundraising and Colin’s wife Fiona said she would like it to benefit The Giles Trust because they knew Ashley and Stine Giles from Bromsgrove School and Stine had been helpful in supporting and giving her advice.

“The original £70,000 target was set because that is the amount the charity would have raised at the Giles Trust Gala Dinner which had to be cancelled due to lockdown.”

Jim Weston’s Broom Wagon Wobblers raised more than half of the total in a cycle challenge in May last year.

Jim said: “The Wobblers just needed a good excuse to get fitter and what was going to be four of us turned into 14. It was a good way to remember Colin, has given us all some great muddy memories and raised some funds towards the great work that the Giles’ Trust do.

“Colin was one of the good guys, great fun and a true friend. He was fit and healthy until he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund, Ashley Giles, Stine Giles, charity, Colin Broomfield

Other support included £10,000 raised from a fundraising dinner hosted by a group of Worcestershire businessmen who call themselves ‘The Fine Fourteen’ and digital support from another of Colin’s friends Steve Thomas.

Fundraising is being encouraged until the end of February in all forms, including social and sporting events – or donations here.

In 2006, Ashley Giles rushed back from Australia, where he had been part of the Ashes team, to be with his wife, Stine, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was removed successfully, but the family were devastated to learn in 2012 that more tumours had developed. In 2018, Stine was diagnosed with another tumour that required immediate treatment – and thanks to the world-class experts at QEHB, her outcome was positive.

Stine became one of the first people in the country to be treated with the
TomoTherapy machine, which had been purchased by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity just weeks before. Without it, she had few treatment options available to her.

Experiencing first-hand how important research and cutting-edge equipment was, Stine vowed that if her treatment was successful and her prognosis was good, she would endeavour to raise funds for brain tumour research.

Since then it has raised more than £800,000, some of which has funded a full-time research nurse post which is helping to transform clinical research in neuro-oncology at the University Hospitals Birmingham.

As a charity the Trust operates in the medical research sector, working closely with frontline specialists, consultants, and clinicians. This helps them to target their funding to where it is needed most, including a pioneering surgical navigation system which is translating into improved patient outcomes and more rapid recovery times.

The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund, Ashley Giles, Stine Giles, charity, Colin Broomfield
Ivor and Colin

Dr Sara Meade. Oncology Consultant at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where Colin was treated, said: “The impact from the Giles’ Trust has been incredible. The contribution from the charity has significantly impacted on the delivery of the highest standard of care in this patient group. The benefits of the Giles’ Trust donations have been felt by patients and staff.”

More information about The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund and details about how to help or donate, can be found here.

Ivor Allchurch added: “Colin was a charismatic kind and loving man and this fundraising is also our way of celebrating his life.

“Despite Colin having received fantastic treatment and fighting extremely hard, there’s still a long way to go in advancing the treatment of this disease and raising awareness.

He added: “Fiona has had to pick up the reins herself to keep the business going. This was very challenging for her as, like every other business, it was experiencing the effects on trading left by the pandemic, but two years later the business continues successfully and is supported greatly by the local community.

“Colin would be incredibly proud of what Fiona’s done and of his son Joe and daughter Chloe for the way they’ve coped.”

Alcester liqueur wins international acclaim in entertainment capital of the world

Alcester liqueur wins international acclaim in entertainment capital of the world

ARISTOCRATIC entrepreneurs from Alcester are celebrating further international success for their liqueur within the first 18 months of trading.

The Las Vegas Global Spirits Gold Award becomes the latest in a series of prestigious industry accolades for St Maur Elderflower Liqueur, produced by William and Kelsey Seymour, Earl and Countess of Yarmouth.

St Maur, Las Vegas, award
Kelsey and William Seymour

Chosen among 700 entries, the award now proudly sits alongside Best English Floral in the World Liqueur Awards, Great Taste Award 2 Star rating and an International Spirits Challenge Silver Award for the product, launched in lockdown.

William, who grew up at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and is the eldest son of the Marquess of Hertford, said: “Perhaps, winning industry awards in North America could be considered a little bit ahead of the curve for a start-up craft drinks business from the heart of England, but we have big ambitions for St Maur as a brand, and we’re not afraid to put ourselves out there.

“It’s great to win an award and to be recognised on an international level. What’s important though is this also gives us the opportunity to let people closer to home, who have not tried our drink yet, know about St Maur. ‘Gold in Vegas!’ That can’t be bad!”

St Maur, Las Vegas, award

The judges were made up of a panel of highly respected and experienced experts in the spirits industry including journalists, distillers, mixologists, consultants, educators, bartenders, importers and brand ambassadors.

St Maur is a hand-crafted premium elderflower liqueur from the Heart of England which originated in a drink produced for guests on the couple’s wedding day four years ago.

It is described as ‘versatile and perfect for both sipping and mixing. A beautiful aperitif on its own and sublime in brunch and pre-dinner cocktails, any time of the year.’

St Maur, Las Vegas, award

From the recipe, to the ideas on the label, and the name itself, St Maur brings together 1,000 years of heritage and family.

Indeed, provenance is core to the brand. The map co-ordinates on the St Maur logo lead to Ladies Wood and an elder grove in the Ragley Woodlands, now in the stewardship of Earl of Yarmouth Estates. Here and in the hedgerows on their farm, in early summer, Seymour friends and family members can be found collecting the blossoms to fulfill the next year of orders.

There’s also a red-legged partridge on the bottle, a bird successfully introduced to England in the 19th century by an ancestor Francis Seymour, the 5th Marquess, and now the brand’s mascot.

St Maur, Las Vegas, award

Kelsey added: “There is a very obvious, but golden rule if you want to build a crafts drinks business – make sure you craft a good drink! Our purpose with St Maur is to offer ‘a little drop of England’s heart’ around the world, and if we are to live up to that accolade, we must make sure we offer a drink that is worthy of it. This was another opportunity to put our drink to the test, with industry experts, in one of the hospitality capitals of the world. We were delighted to win gold.”

Visit St Maur at:

Still time to enter awards celebrating female achievers

Still time to enter awards celebrating female achievers

Ladies First Business Development Awards, Tracey McAtamney
Awards organiser Tracey McAtamney

THERE are just a few weeks left for Warwickshire businesses to enter a new-look awards dedicated to recognising growth and resilience throughout the pandemic.

The fourth Ladies First Professional Development Awards will celebrate success stories while also raising funds and awareness for two Midlands charities, St Basils and Suited For Success.

New categories introduced this year among the 25 available, are: Excellence in Health & Wellbeing, Digital Star, Man of the Year, Employer of the Year, Excellence in Education, Family Business and Service Provider of the Year.

Young people will also be under the spotlight at this year’s awards which champion Young Person in STEM, Young Entrepreneur, Rising Star in Education and Inspirational Young Achiever.

Headline sponsors are Pertemps, based in Meriden; Nicola Smyth Salons, which has sites across Warwickshire and the West Midlands; Alsters Kelley Solicitors; and Janine Edwards Wealth Management in Balsall Common.

Carmen Watson, Chair of Pertemps Network Group, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of the Ladies First Awards. Events like this are essential if we want to encourage more women to aspire to hold the most senior positions within companies across the UK.

“These awards highlight the entrepreneurship, endeavour and determination of businesswomen across the country and will act as an inspiration for hundreds of thousands of women who are doing incredible things every day.

“We must focus on supporting females in business more than ever. It is imperative women know they can progress and receive fair treatment throughout their career. Let’s focus on breaking that glass ceiling for good.”

Julie McGarrigle, Business Development Director at Alsters Kelley, which has practices in Leamington, Stratford, Coventry, Southam and Nuneaton said: “We are extremely proud to be one of the headline sponsors of the Ladies First Awards 2022. We are looking forward to being involved with the Awards which are an opportunity to celebrate everyone’s achievements and provide a great platform to support all women in business.”

Ladies First Business Development Awards, Tracey McAtamney,Suited For Success
Suited For Success CEO, Patricia White.

Benefitting from fundraising on the night are two charities that support the homeless and vulnerable in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, Suited For Success and St Basils.

Established in 2016, award-winning Suited For Success helps unemployed men and women in Warwickshire and the West Midlands prepare for a job interview by providing free coaching, employment preparation skills and interview clothing. Further information can be found here

St Basils works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to enable them to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills and increase opportunities.

Ladies First Professional Development, Tracey McAtamney, St Basils, Suited For Success
St Basils also offer employability coaches which run a five-week programme called ‘I Can.’

Established in Birmingham, the charity now has 42 accommodation projects across the West Midlands, including Leamington, Coventry, Solihull, Sandwell, Walsall, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Kidderminster. Further information can be found here

Awards organiser and Ladies First Network Leader, Tracey McAtamney from Balsall Common, said: “It’s not just about women in business, it’s about recognising all inspirational people in our communities.

Tracey said: “We are already inspired by the quality of entries we’ve received so far. But please keep nominating those special women in your life, whether it is a family member, work colleague, friend or someone who has made a difference to your life or the lives of others. We want to hear their story. It is wonderful to be celebrating the successes of so many wonderful women of all ages and backgrounds.

“The nomination form is really simple to fill in and if anyone is having any difficulties they can contact me by email directly.”

A previous year’s Ladies First Awards night.

Closing date for entries is January 7th and finalists will be selected by an independent panel at a judging event on February 7th, ahead of an awards ceremony at Coombe Abbey in Coventry on March 24th.

For further information about how to nominate, visit here

To enquire about sponsorship opportunities contact Tracey McAtamney at:

New cidery crowdfunding will enable £250k expansion

New cidery crowdfunding will enable £250k expansion

Napton Cidery, expansion, crowdfunding

A quarter-of-a million-pound expansion plans have been unveiled by the owners of a family-run Warwickshire cidery who are launching their second crowdfunding campaign within a year.

Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier are growing their award-winning Napton Cidery to help fulfil major new contracts as well as fund an extension to the production facilities and taproom.

The couple launched the latest campaign this week to build on the success of their second round of funding in January, which enabled them to create new products and jobs.

Since then the business has enjoyed 97% year on year growth, expanding the ciders into more than 50 pubs and restaurants as well as securing new contracts with Ocado, Spar and Co-op Midlands stores.

Jolyon said: “We are aiming to raise £250,000 to help Napton Cidery maintain its excellent growth throughout 2022 and beyond. Our primary goal for this investment round is to be able to increase our cider volumes so that we can fulfil all of the sizeable contracts, which include exciting new relationships with wholesalers, and continue to grow at our current rate.

“After a successful recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now looking to the future. We also plan to upgrade and streamline our cider production facilities so that we can bring more of the cider making process in house, which would cut costs in the long term and grant us greater control over our products. We will also require new logistics staff as we expand into UK supermarkets.”

Over the next 18 months Napton will also be bringing the remainder of their signature ciders onto draught as well as extending the popular taproom following sell-out success of their live comedy, music and tasting events.

A new purpose-built warehouse will enable the cidery to upgrade to digital laboratory equipment as well as further increase their sustainability credentials by investing in steel tanks.

The couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall nine years ago. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team, in Napton on the Hill, harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.

Napton Cidery, expansion, crowdfunding

They also produce limited-edition ciders and perry as well as juices, spirits and vinegars.

The cidery has also unveiled a raft of new products including a new Apple Cider Brandy, branded glasses and its cider in cans and kegs. Its Lost Apple Cider is also now available on draught in local pubs.

Until the end of January, investors in Napton Cidery are being invited to buy shares from £1,000 upwards, with the aim of seeing a return within three to five years.

Napton’s latest expansion plans have also been bolstered by a £33k Covid Recovery grant as well as Alcohol Duty reforms as announced in the recent Budget. The Chancellor’s new measures around duty bands on draught and fruit ciders as well as one year’s temporary rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties, are expected to further save the business tens of thousands of pounds a year.

Jolyon said: “The company is fortunate to be part-owned by an amazing group of shareholders who believe in our company values and our vision. As opposed to earlier in the year when we launched a round of funding to help us recover from the effects of the pandemic, this round is more to do with generating enough capital to continue the growth.

“Over the next five to ten years we’d like to increase our cider production tenfold, to manufacturing and selling one million litres nationally.”

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

Visit Napton Cidery here

The investment details can be found here

Proud day finally arrives for Coventry entrepreneur

Proud day finally arrives for Coventry entrepreneur

Woman Who Achieves, Sandra Garlick, MBE

A LEADING West Midlands business figure collected her MBE at Windsor Castle this week almost two years after it was announced – and after nearly missing out altogether.

It marked a proud milestone for professional business mentor Sandra Garlick, from Coventry, who was presented with an MBE for Services to Women In Business in the West Midlands by The Princess Royal. But it was also a day which nearly never came when she missed the deadline for accepting the award while caring for her terminally ill father.

She said: “My dad was ill so I was living at my parents helping to care for him and so had been about three weeks late sending the paperwork back to accept the nomination. The letter notifying me was sat in a pile of post unopened and as I never heard anything from them I assumed I had missed the boat. I never really thought anything of it again until Facebook exploded with people saying congratulations on December 27th  in 2019 when the Honours were announced.

“I was very proud that I was able to tell my dad before he passed away. He died the day before I was due to collect the award, on March 12th 2020. I had declined the invitation because he was so poorly and it’s a good job I did because Prince Charles was presenting it and it turned out he had Covid at that time. He went down with it just a few days afterwards!

“I then received another date in June but of course by then we were in lockdown so it was postponed again.”

Sandra was accompanied to the ceremony on Wednesday (Dec 1st) by her youngest son Mark Harris CeMAP who has been a big part of her professional as well as personal, journey.

She added: “We were made to feel special from the moment we arrived. I had a great conversation with The Princess Royal about women in business, decision making, and women representation on Boards.”

The former solicitor who now runs the successful Woman Who Achieves Academy as well as hosting awards celebrating female achievers across the UK. Earlier this year she also released the fourth book in her I Am A Woman Who series celebrating some of those inspirational stories.

Her other roles include ambassador for the Coventry charity The Luca Foundation and a non-executive director of Warwickshire-based Career Mums – a Community Interest Company that helps businesses achieve a better gender balance in the workplace.

Today she admits this success has been inspired by her own journey of overcoming huge personal and professional challenges.

Sandra struggled for several years as a single mother of two young sons following the collapse of her marriage.

She explains: “Things were extremely tough. I was exhausted. I was a single parent with no money, no income, and no direction.

“I will always remember the day I went to sign on for Income Support. I had nothing. I stood in the queue and said to myself ‘This is the last time I am coming here. I need to make a change and get a profession to give my boys the opportunity to be who they want to be.’ “

Proud day finally arrives for Coventry entrepreneur
Sandra Garlick MBE and son Mark Harris at Windsor Castle

It was after spells working in a variety of other roles, including typist, cashier, PA, and sales rep that she went on to qualify as a solicitor and establish her own law practice in Coventry. This was later to merge resulting in Sandra leaving the company and, finding herself once again, in a position of financial uncertainty.

However, after suffering a serious fall in 2016, she was forced to re-evaluate her life and her business. It was a wake-up call for Sandra who soon realised her true ambitions – and this is when the now hugely successful Woman Who brand was born.

“Breaking my ankle was one of the best things to ever happen to me. It gave me the chance to stop and reflect and really take a hard look at what I was doing. And that’s how it came about. I call the ‘Woman Who’ brand my accidental business. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t broken my ankle!

“I looked around for that support network. I found those women in business who knew exactly how I was feeling. They were there for me and helped me to get back on my feet. The mantra and determination kicked in and despite being on crutches, I brushed myself down and got on with it.”

Sandra said: “I’m incredibly proud to be awarded the MBE. It’s the one award you can’t put yourself forward for. I’m also proud of the fact that it not only recognises my achievements, but enables me to show other women what you are capable of achieving.

“I always say, be proud of your achievements and be a role model to others. Women are very modest when it comes to shouting about their successes. I want to encourage more women to step out in business and be proud of their achievements. I now create the opportunities for women in business to share their stories, to inspire others and become role models.”

Sandra Garlick, MBE, Woman Who Achieves
Sandra now runs the successful Woman Who Achieves Academy.