Primary school kids round off 270-mile ‘Antarctic’ walk, with husky in tow

Dundee primary school children will create a live Christmas card when they create a traffic-stopping scene on Tuesday 22nd December as they complete a 270-mile ‘Antarctic’ walk.
The 65 students from Rosebank Primary School will be walking the last mile in a long-distance challenge that has seen them match the furthest distance Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson reached from Discovery on their first trip to Antarctica.
The children’s wintery walk, which will be accompanied by a husky, will culminate at Captain Scott’s ship, RRS Discovery, now docked at Discovery Point in Dundee.
The pupils set themselves the challenge after becoming ‘school-in-residence’ to Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates RRS Discovery, now an award-winning visitor attraction. The school works closely with the Trust on projects related to the RRS Discovery and Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic voyage.
Jill Sim, author of Shiver Me Timbers! and learning support teacher at Rosebank Primary School, has close links to Dundee Heritage Trust. She has been a volunteer tour guide at RRS Discovery for six years and penned the educational children’s book, which depicts the famous Antarctic expedition and lets the historic ship tell the story of its journey. Jill, set to accompany the students on the last leg of their walk, is currently working on a sequel to her book.
Also taking part in the walk is Ali Gellatly, education officer at Dundee Heritage Trust, and his husky dog Shadow.

Ali Gellatly said:
“It’s been heartwarming to see the pupils of Rosebank Primary rise to this challenge. We’ve been covering the distance during playtimes and lunch hours, and have been racking up the miles since August. The motto of Rosebank Primary School in Dundee is ‘Aim high’. But perhaps students should add ‘Aim far’ to that too! It seems appropriate that our Antarctic challenge should culminate in a wintery walk to the very ship that inspired it, RRS Discovery, now docked in Dundee.”
The historic RRS Discovery recently entered a nine-month restoration phase in which the ship’s masts and rigging were removed for essential cleaning and repair. The work was partly paid for by a public crowdfunding appeal which beat its target of £40,000.
Rosebank Primary School students were among the groups and individuals who donated to the appeal. They held two sellout bake sales, raising £30 for their favourite ship.
Shiver Me Timbers! can be bought from the gift shop at Discovery Point and Jill is currently busy working on a sequel.
For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

Balhousie Moyness Care Home unveils new country-home themed refurbishment

Dundee-based Balhousie Moyness Care Home has unveiled the results of their refurbishment programme, which has seen them work together with residents and their families to create a cosy, country themed home.

The refurbishment of the 29-bed care home began early this year and the final touches finished just in time for Christmas. Newly decorated areas include the entrance, a new sitting room, complete with fireplace and woollen furniture, the dining room and the corridors.

Residents were involved with designing and creating many of the artefacts that now adorn the walls of the home, helping decorate crockery and wall art to hang in communal areas, so that the décor reflects the history of the residents and the home.

Other new additions include some cosy seating areas, fondly named ‘Highland Hideaway’ and ‘Woodland View’ by residents and staff as well as some of the residents’ old pictures of Broughty Ferry in frames on the walls, completing those personalised touches.

Fiona Jamieson, Home Manager at Balhousie Moyness, commented:

“Everybody at Moyness is absolutely delighted with the results from our recent refurbishment. I’d like to say a special thank you to all of the team at Moyness, the residents and their families who have worked patiently with us throughout the project. We wanted to create a unique environment for our residents, with little personal touches for them to enjoy. There’s a long-standing joke here at Moyness about the difference between soup spoons and dessert spoons, so staff and residents created some special artwork for the wall as a reminder. We’ve definitely had a lot of fun and it’s great to be able to enjoy the finished result.”

Louise Barnett, Operations Manager at Balhousie Care Group, added:

“At Balhousie Care Group, we’ve put a real focus on working together as part of our Together We’re Great initiative and this refurbishment has been a real collaborative effort between the staff, residents and relatives. The impact that the refurbishment has had on the atmosphere is clear to see and everybody is really proud of what they have created. The finished result is just incredible and it’s great to see the residents enjoying their lovely new home.”

It’s the thought that counts: why firms need to be wary of being generous at Christmas

Local solicitors, Miller Hendry, have this week issued a timely warning to firms who are planning to splash out on some festive generosity to ensure they don’t fall foul of the Bribery Act.

The Bribery Act ushered in a stricter anti-corruption regime when it came into force in 2011 and although Christmas gifts and hospitality are not banned, it’s important that companies don’t splash out too much as they may end up in deep water with over-generous Christmas gifts

If you’re worried there are too many bottles of wine bearing “Happy Christmas” messages from your suppliers, it’s worth checking out the facts and making sure staff know the right and wrong way to go about corporate gifting.

The Bribery Act came into force in 2011, simplifying and consolidating existing law on corruption and creating a new crime of failing to prevent bribery.  When it became law, many commentators thought it might end all corporate hospitality. That wasn’t the case, with the Ministry of Justice’s later guidance saying: “hospitality is not prohibited by the Act”, but any gifts must be reasonable and proportionate. So companies who splash out and are over-generous in their gifting could find themselves breaking the rules and getting both themselves and the recipient into deep water.

In simple terms, bribery is defined as giving or offering a person a financial or other advantage with the intention of inducing them to act improperly. It is also a crime to ask for or to receive an inducement in return for acting improperly.

Alan Matthew, Partner with Miller Hendry solicitors commented:

“When it comes to gifts or any form of hospitality, the simplest thing is to have a clear threshold that’s appropriate to the sector you’re operating in, whether giving or receiving.  Then, if anything offered has a value beyond that, employees must obtain permission.  It’s also sensible to make sure everything, however small, is logged in a central register.”

As well as looking at the price ticket on gifts or hospitality, companies also need to demonstrate that they are doing it with the right intentions.  A gift given at Christmas-time is less likely to be problematic than something offered during contract negotiations or when an extra invoice has been submitted.  Similarly, hospitality that doesn’t involve any opportunity for business development on the part of the giver is likely to raise questions.

Alan added:

“Entertaining your customers at a Christmas party, or providing a modest bottle of wine, is unlikely to cause problems.  But if you offer a pair of theatre tickets and a dinner reservation for two at a posh restaurant to a key contact and their spouse, that is much less likely to pass the “reasonable and proportionate” test.   Where there’s a clear opportunity to promote the company supplying the hospitality, it’s more likely to be regarded as reasonable business development.

“Preventing bribery is important for any business, whatever their size, and every company must demonstrate they are taking it seriously.  That includes undertaking risk assessments, making sure staff know the procedure, and setting everything out in writing.”

Since the introduction of the Bribery Act, the Serious Fraud Office has shown a tough attitude to enforcement and seeking out corruption. In one recent high profile case, construction and professional services company Sweett Group PLC was ordered to pay £2.25 million as a result of a conviction arising from a failure to prevent bribery taking place.  A subsidiary company in the United Arab Emirates had made corrupt payments to an individual with the intention of influencing the awarding of a building contract in Abu Dhabi.

For further information or legal advice visit www.millerhendrysolicitors.co.uk

The Famous Grouse Experience offers visitors a new winter warming experience

Hot on the heels of giving visitors the #BestScottishWelcome, The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery will welcome visitors with a #WarmScottishWelcome this winter, with the introduction of the Hot Toddy Experience.

Beginning on Monday 12th December and running until the end of March, the new distillery experience welcomes visitors to The Famous Grouse Experience with an inviting hot toddy, followed by a 30 minute tour of Scotland’s oldest working distillery.

The hot toddy is a traditional warm drink made of whisky, honey and lemon and dates back to 1786, some ten years after Crieff-based Glenturret Distillery first began producing whisky in 1775.

Stuart Cassells, General Manager of The Famous Grouse Experience, commented:

“In Scotland, we’re know for our warm welcome so we thought what better way to welcome visitors to The Famous Grouse Experience this winter than with a truly Scottish warm welcome in the form of a hot toddy! We thought this is the perfect way to showcase our special hand crafted whisky and to make sure we make our visitors feel cosy and welcomed this winter season.”

The Hot Toddy Experience begins with a hot toddy or non-alcoholic punch on arrival, a tour of the distillery and the chance to sample two tastes from The Glenturret whisky range in a new tasting area in The Famous Shop.

For more information and to book online, visit: https://shop.thefamousgrouse.com/distillery-tours/the-distillery-experience.

The Enchanted Forest charities receive four figure donations

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire’s multi-award winning sound and light show, presented each of the three 2016 charities with £5,000, following their successful charity evening opening night from this year’s show shimmer.

Three charities: Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, Kidney Kids Scotland and British Heart Foundation were all selected to benefit from this year’s show through ticket sales for the event’s opening night, which took place on Thursday 29th September. They each received a cheque for £5,000, bringing the total charitable donation from the 2016 show £15,000.

Karen Aycan, Trustee of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, presented the cheques. She commented:

“Not only does The Enchanted Forest light up Faskally Wood every October, boosting tourist trade in the quieter months, but it also lights up the lives of the Scottish community through our charity donations. We’re delighted to open the show each year with a special charity night, directing proceeds towards three highly important organisations in Scotland. As we grow, so does our ability to help different charities, which is extremely heartening.”

Receiving the cheque on behalf of Kidney Kids Scotland, Karen MacFarlane, Community Fundraiser, said:

“Kidney Kids Scotland were absolutely thrilled to be chosen as one of The Enchanted Forest charities for 2016 and are extremely grateful for their generous donation. The money raised will help children and their families from across the country suffering from renal and urological illness both directly and through our support for the paediatric renal services in Scottish hospitals.”

Murray Easton, Area Fundraising Manager for Scotland at British Heart Foundation commented:

“This is a fantastic donation from The Enchanted Forest and one which will go towards helping save lives in Scotland. Sadly, heart disease touches many families and it was wonderful to know that the families who came to enjoy the charity night were helping raise money for our life saving research.”

Fiona Dennis, Community Fundraiser at Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, said:

“SCAA is extremely grateful for this support and for a donation that could mean the difference between life and death for someone in desperate need of an air ambulance when speed and urgent medical attention are critical factors in their chance of survival.”

The Enchanted Forest, which was recently crowned Best Cultural Event at the UK Event Awards, was once more headed up by the multi-award-winning creative team of Derek Allan as producer and creative director, Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes as lighting designers, and RJ McConnell and Jon Beales providing sound design and composition. Additional creative expertise was provided by leading creative companies including NL Productions, Squid Soup, 59 Productions and Vision Mechanics.

The 2016 show, shimmer, marked The Enchanted Forest’s 15th year and has been widely hailed by visitors as the best event to date with many visitors taking to social media channels to express their delight at the spectacle. Just over 70,000 visitors attended this year’s show, a 13% increase on the previous record-breaking year.

It is estimated that the event’s impact on the local tourism economy is expected to exceed £3 million per annum with around 50% of all visitors to the event choosing to stay overnight in the area on their visit and over 90% citing the event as their main reason for visiting the area this Autumn.

More information on The Enchanted Forest is available on www.enchantedforest.org.uk

What can we learn about experiential marketing from Scottish farm shops?

After a client meeting, I found myself drawn up the farm track (almost magnetically) towards the impressive Balgove Larder just outside of St. Andrews.

Located so close to one of the most iconic Scottish spots, you could say Balgove offers tourists an even more authentic Scottish experience than the obvious – like a stroll over Swilican Bridge on the Old Course.

In a growing trend, brands are attempting to be more genuine and authentic whilst delivering unique and memorable experiences for shoppers in order to increase sales.

David Moth, Social Media Manager of Econsultancy, tells us: “The premise of experiential marketing is to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.”

Scottish farm shops have flourished in the past decade with more and more  visitors increasing spending on everyday items. Whilst some would argue that supporting local businesses and an increased focus on provenance have driven the shift in consumer interest, I believe there’s more to it than that. I would argue that honesty, transparency and trust have driven this change…remember that nasty horsemeat scandal?

While the cafes and restaurants in these farms serve top quality nosh in increasingly impressive surroundings, it is their direct influence on the retail part of the business that interests me. As I type (and haphazardly attempt to eat my Balgove black pudding roll) almost every customer in the cafe leaves with something from the shop…job done!

For me the coffee shops and cafes serve as a “frame-of-mind adjustor” or, more crudely, they get us drunk on the idea of provenance, quality, taste and sustainability to the point that we impulse buy a week’s shop at about three times the cost of our normal supermarket trip.

In that sense I cannot think of a more effective influential marketing tool than the farm shop cafe. To all the big city marketers looking for a case study in how experiential marketing should be done: take a trip to you local farm shop.

They’re utterly authentic, uncompromisingly proud and delightfully un-salesy.

Fraser, Head of Publicity

The Enchanted Forest secures place as one of the nation’s top tourism events as it’s named Best Cultural Event in the U.K.

Scotland’s premier sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, secured its place as one of the U.K.’s top tourism events after winning Best Cultural Event at the U.K. Event Awards.

The Pitlochry based show, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record 70,000 visitors, beat off stiff competition at The Drum awards, including the Magical Lantern Festival London and Diwali Festival of Lights, at Thursday night’s ceremony in London.

The win, for The Enchanted Forest’s 2015 show FLUX, is the latest in a long line of awards for the Perthshire event, which recently swept the board at the Scottish Event Awards, picking up no less than three titles.

The Enchanted Forest has grown from a 3-night run and 1500 visitors when it launched to becoming an event that attracts visitors and media attention from across the globe. Each October the show turns Pitlochry’s Faskally Wood into an other-worldly experience, funds local community grants and boosts the local economy to the tune of more than £2 million. Last year’s FLUX show funded 27 community grants for local initiatives, as well as donating money to three chosen charities.

The Enchanted Forest has built up a strong, ever-growing audience by changing theme each year and bringing together the cream of the crop of the U.K. arts scene. FLUX combined the creative talents of producer and creative director Derek Allan, lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, and composers and sound designers RJ McConnell and Jon Beales

This year’s show, shimmer, sold out six days after opening and more than 90% of visitors recently cited The Enchanted Forest as their main reason for visiting the Pitlochry area.

Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust that runs The Enchanted Forest, commented:

“We’re absolutely thrilled by this accolade. Being named the U.K.’s Best Cultural Event underscores all the hard work that goes into not only putting on The Enchanted Forest, but keeping it fresh each year. People travel from all over the world for the show and it generates lots of positive press for Highland Perthshire. We’re proud to be driving tourists ‘into the woods’ of Pitlochry at what has always been a traditionally quiet time of year.

“A huge thanks must go to the hard-working and talented team behind the show, from technicians, stewards and volunteers to the producers and creatives, and also our marketing agency Volpa.”

The Enchanted Forest picked up three titles at the annual Scottish Event Awards ceremony in October: Best Large Event; the prestigious Chairman’s Award; and Best Marketing & PR Strategy for its marketing agency Volpa.

For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk.

Perth Museum & Art Gallery shortlisted for innovative gaming exhibition

Perth Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlisted for a national award for an interactive exhibition that traced 30 years of videogaming.

The museum is on the short leet for Enterprising Museum in the 30th annual Arts & Business Scotland Awards for its exhibition Player: Videogame Interaction from Atari to Toys for Life.

The innovative exhibition, featuring videogames from 1988’s Spectrum to today’s PS4, ran from July to September 2016. It allowed visitors to pick up consoles and try the exhibits out for themselves to see up close how video gaming has changed through the last three decades.

The Player exhibition was run by Culture Perth and Kinross in conjunction with the University of Abertay. It drew record crowds of gamers and pop culture buffs of all ages to Perth Museum & Art Gallery after a formal launch by Chris van der Kuyl, Chairman of Dundee based 4J Studios, which developed Minecraft: Console Edition.

Culture Perth and Kinross is the charitable trust set up earlier this year to take responsibility for the delivery of museum and library services in Perth & Kinross.

Helen Smout, Chief Executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, said:

“When we launched our interactive Player exhibition we knew it would capture the imagination of people locally and across the country and it did, drawing great crowds to Perth Museum & Art Gallery. We’re proud that it also got the attention of Arts & Business Scotland with this awards shortlisting.

“This shortlisting is testament to all the hard work that’s going by Culture Perth and Kinross to bring museum and library services to the people of Perth & Kinross in an innovative, exciting way.”

The Arts & Business Scotland awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 23rd March at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

For more information visit www.culturepk.org.uk