• Fraser Urquhart Media

Sunshine, PPE, Colouring In And So Many Cocktails! - FU Loves Leicestershire #12

The warmth of the sun on your face always makes life better doesn’t it?

The good weather has been such good friends to us all over lockdown. Now that we can begin to see ourselves slowly coming out of our houses and back into the everyday world a clement climate will be all the more important as we socialise outdoors more. Expect your pub car parks and city squares to shrink and make way for more tables and chairs so that we can all start socialising safely and at a distance.

We’ve all had to adapt and it’s heartening to see so many small businesses have been such busy bees amend their offering for a new world with super quick timing. The fact that many of them have been doing this with a focus on helping their community is incredibly heartening. That’s why, in each newsletter, we’re going to start celebrating an Unsung Hero and highlight the difference they’ve made. You can find the first of these near the tail end of this newsletter so keep reading! If you’d like to nominate a company or an individual who you think has made a difference, then click here and let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine, stay alert, stay safe and stay positive Jon, Kevin & the #FUFighters.x


Why don’t insects get Corona Virus?

Because of their Anty Bodies

GEORGE DAVIES DONATES 2,000 SCRUBS SETS TO LEICESTER HOSPITALS CHARITY Famed Leicester-based fashion entrepreneur and philanthropist George Davies has stepped up to support staff at Leicester’s Hospitals by donating 2,000 sets of medical scrubs to help protect front line clinical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Davies was able to harness the power of his supply chain, and dedicate one of his Leicester factories to produce the clothing for staff after reaching out to a Glenfield Hospital consultant to find out what was needed during the pandemic.  The scrubs are being distributed to frontline staff caring for all patients across the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General and Glenfield Hospitals. Tens of thousands of pounds have been donated to Leicester Hospitals Charity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money raised will be used to help support clinical staff, including extra equipment for staff rooms, providing dedicated rest areas for staff to recharge, nutritional snacks and drinks, hand and body cream for staff and more. Anyone wanting to support the COVID-19 Response Fund can donate online at LHCharity.org.uk. For more information or for any enquiries about how to help the charity’s efforts and hospital staff, email LHCharity@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or call 0116 258 8709.

JOB RETENTION SCHEME EXTENDED ... AGAIN Toni Robinson, Managing Director of NucleusHR provides an urgent update for employers on the latest announcement from the government regarding the extension of the Job Retention Scheme. In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, on Tuesday 12th May, the Chancellor announced an extension to the furlough scheme until the end of October 2020. Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended for a further four months with no changes to the 80% that employees are eligible to receive. The Scheme will remain in its current form until the end of July 2020 but as the Country prepares to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government are making provisions for the scheme to be more flexible from August 2020.  From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive the 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 per month. Further details as to how the scheme will specifically work from August will be shared by the government in due course. The government have published figures that confirms that 935,000 employers have utilised the scheme, with over 7.5 million jobs being furloughed with a current claim value of over £10 billion. With cost savings dominating client conversations with NucleusHR currently, there is no doubt that this scheme has saved millions of jobs across the country, and by extending the scheme and introducing flexibility from August may well safeguard more.  If you wish to take further advice on how best to handle COVID-19 in your business, please contact NucleusHR on 07960 418494 or toni@nucleushr.com

WE’RE ALL ‘GIN’ THIS TOGETHER! M&S is putting the fun into to the summer drinks trolley with a limited edition bottle release of shining silver Prosecco (10) and a GLITTER GLOBE Elderflower Gin Liqueur (£15) – just what we need to add a little sparkle right now! Delicious summer aperitifs by themselves, they’ve also created THE cocktail of the summer: “We’re all gin this together”.  For the perfect serve, see recipe below.

BUSINESS AS (UN)USUAL: GETTING YOUR OFFICE READY FOR RETURNERS Tackling the challenging issue of how to allow staff back into workplace whilst keeping everyone safe and healthy seems something of a minefield! How can a responsible employer create procedures and solutions that satisfy the latest government advice (HM Government Guide) and align this to fit into an existing workplace environment without costly wholescale changes to deliver the required protection for its workforce? Many businesses are pondering this very question and looking for solutions to utilise within their existing estate/offices, while trying to figure out how this can be achieved to fit onto both standard and bespoke desks and counters without the need to amend the wiring set-up of an open-plan office! In understanding this problem, Darren Cotton from Cotton INK (local freelance designer) has joined forces with an existing contractor to design and manufacture PPE screens to fit onto any existing desks or counters.  So far, they have designed screens for customer facing desks for a national bank and call centres dividers, as well as solutions to fit standard desks for a number of private clients. Solutions are being produced that can be easily placed onto a desk with either no, or minimal fixings to allow for removal when required and to aid cleaning. They can even add frosting designs or branding as required. If you believe such a solution could help your business restart in these challenging times, please contact Darren at darren@cotton-ink.co.uk for further information.

LEGENDARY RECORDING ARTISTS AUCTION MEMORABILIA IN SUPPORT OF NHS CHARITIES TOGETHER  Artists old and new, as well as friends of Island Records, have donated one-of-a-kind lots for the One Love Covid-19 Relief Auction to raise funds for relief efforts. The event will be hosted by Emmy®, Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer and playwright Billy Porter and will be broadcast live from 6pm BST on May 21st.  Incredible, once in a lifetime lots include a pair of Amy Winehouse’s stilettos worn by Amy, plus all of Amy’s album releases on vinyl; beautifully handwritten lyrics to ‘Sweet Dreams’ that’s been written and signed by Annie Lennox; a rare Mr Brainwash / Bob Marley print signed by Ziggy Marley; a signed guitar from Shawn Mendes and handwritten lyrics for ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ by Bono and a signed ‘The Joshua Tree’ 30th anniversary vinyl boxset, amongst many other lots. To bid on the lots, you must register in advance with Island’s partner Omega Auctions, further information can be found via Island Records’ dedicated oneloveauction.com website.

WIN!  A £5000 PUBLICITY PACKAGE WITH FU MEDIA & DLUXE MAGAZINE Publicity specialists, FU Media, and luxury magazine, DLUXE, have joined forces to offer an exclusive competition to win a year-long publicity package – worth over £5000. To be in with a chance of winning, simply CLICK HERE. T&Cs apply.  Competition closes 31st May 2020.


Thespie showcases over 1000 theatre shows &resources from across the globe including filmed performances, livestreams, podcasts, artist talks, educational resources and is designed to help people engage with the arts across a broad spectrum of digital media while venues around the world remain closed.

Thespie basically pulls together listings of digital theatre resources in a structured, easy to navigate way which users can then filter to their favourite genres, browse for specific moods and maintain a list of things they want to save for later.

The platform features a diverse array of over 1000 resources - available either onsite, or by linking directly to a partner’s website. Users can watch livestream play performances, movie musicals, or artist talks; listen to audio dramas, musical theatre concerts, or theatre podcasts; discover theatre e-books, scripts or digital songbooks; or explore digital exhibits, student guides, or family activities related to theatre.

Check it out here

NO FLOUR OR YEAST? NO PROBLEM! With home baking seeing a massive surge in popularity since the coronavirus outbreak saw us all spending much more time indoors, supermarket shelves emptied of key ingredients, such as flour and yeast, and internet recipe searches have hit an all-time high. Available to buy online today, Roberts’ premium dough mix – the Get Baking Kit – will make sure that bakers across the land have everything they need to get started on their homemade artisan white loaves, rolls and pizza bases. Just add water and olive oil to this very versatile vegan-friendly mix – which is made with Roberts’ very own highest-quality flour – and then stir it up and knead it before putting in the oven. It’s ideal for those who are just starting out, for fun with the kids, or when time is tight, but you still want the delicious homemade baked taste. Each 1kg kit makes a large white loaf and 12 white bread rolls, a large white loaf and four pizza bases or a large white loaf, six white rolls and two pizza bases. There are loads of possibilities - it’s up to each home baker to decide on their perfect batch. And there’s no rush. Once the kit’s opened, you’ve got three months to bake it all up. The Get Baking Kits come in funky recyclable paper bags and are available online, from today, at Roberts’s new online shop for a special launch price of just £8.50.

NUFFIELD HEALTH LEICESTER HOSPITAL CONTINUES TO SUPPORT NHS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Nuffield Health Leicester Hospital is one of 30 Nuffield Health hospitals being made available to NHS trusts following discussions with NHS England and Wales about how independent hospitals can support NHS patients in its efforts against the coronavirus (Covid-19).  Nuffield Health Leicester Hospital agreed with University Hospital Trust (UHL) to provide a two-phase approach in its support. During the first phase Nuffield Health Leicester provided ventilators to UHL and took on step down medical patients and all patients have now been discharged safely. During the second phase of the partnership Nuffield Health Leicester Hospital will be extending services to Renal Access Surgery, Cardiology Services, Breast service and Urgent MRI & Radiology provisions.   Alongside making all of its hospitals available to NHS trusts across England and Wales, Nuffield Health have made its 14 nurseries available to provide free childcare to NHS and other key workers. Nuffield Health has made free content available to maintain people’s health and wellbeing. This includes free workout videos, physiotherapy advice, and wellbeing activities for all members of the family, including children. This is available at no cost at Nuffield Health’s Building a Healthier Nation at Home hub here: www.nuffieldhealth.com/at-home

GET COLOURING SOME CLASSIC ALBUM ARTWORK Sony Music UK have launched a brand-new mindfulness project based around an ultimate online colouring book for any music lover. Helping to create an atmosphere of calm and relaxation with the help of music and creativity, The Colouring Sessions, is jam-packed with templates of some of the world’s most iconic album covers to colour in. Album cover templates range from Elvis and Jimi Hendrix to Judas Priest and Jamiroquai, from George Ezra and Little Mix to Foo Fighters. The site also hosts a series of specially created playlists to complement the colouring sessions, creating the ultimate music-lover’s mindful environment. For the programme, Sony Music UK has opened their vast archive of beautiful, striking and creative album artwork from the past 70 years. The templates, which can be coloured digitally or printed at home, are available NOW via www.thecolouringsessions.com.


Wellbeing Homecare Services, of Rothley in Leicestershire, brought some special memories of VE day into the homes of many they care for last week. Homes were decorated with flags, bunting, cakes and historic paraphernalia; songs were sung, silences were held and memories were shared. Debbie Wild, one of the Carers at Wellbeing Homecare Services, and her colleagues, decorated individual’s lounges with flowers, bunting and decorations. In other homes, Wellbeing’s staff prepared Afternoon Tea for this special day.

IF WE MUST WEAR MASKS THEN LET’S MAKE ‘EM PRETTY! A range of beautiful Liberty Print face masks have been launched with the goal of raising £10,000 for NHS Charities Together. Brora has created Liberty print face masks made using two outer layers of Liberty Print cotton and a middle layer of nonwoven TNT fabric. This layer of fabric is made from Polypropylene and Viscose and is breathable, yet waterproof and helps to prevent the passing of contaminated fluids.  Retailing for £19, Brora are donating £10 from each to NHS Charities Together, the rest covers the fabric, lining, making, transport, and VAT. Available to order now at www.brora.co.uk

£3M FREE ADVERTISING FUND Mail Metro Media has joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to give small firms struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic free advertising. From now, businesses can apply for £3,000 worth of advertising to use in titles such as Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Metro and The i. FSB have created a dedicated website allowing applicants from across the UK to apply for the funding. Businesses must have been in existence longer than 6 months, have no more than 150 employees and have a turnover of less than £6 million. Applications can be made at: www.grants.fsb.org.uk

BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEMES NOT WORKING Many small and medium sized enterprises, which are keeping up to 16 million people employed in the UK, are struggling to access the Governments’ Bounce Back Loan scheme, while others are ineligible, say leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. Richard Churchill a business advisory partner at the firm said; “Whilst there have been many success stories, there are still far too many occasions where businesses are struggling to access the funding. High volumes of enquiries have led to lenders’ websites crashing and difficulty in making a submission, as well as delays in funding being received.”


TWO TURTLE DOVES OFFERS FREE SOUP TO THOSE IN NEED IN SOUTHWELL The vulnerable and isolating people in the historic cathedral town of Southwell are in good hands with Lisa and Will, business owners of The Hearty Goodfellow pub are supporting their community even when the doors are closed, with their Two Turtle Doves campaign which offers free soup, delivered to those who need it every day during lockdown. The Two Turtle Doves campaign started off the back of giving away free Christmas lunches in 2019 as part of an Everards Tiger and Amstel funded campaign. Will and Lisa got such a huge response they figured out a way to continue to offer this support to those who needed it all year round, not just at Christmas and so Two Turtle Doves was born, which sees a free meal being offered on the last Tuesday of every month to those in need, within their community and is sponsored by the pub itself and Olivia Harris Hair. Now with lockdown, they are making free deliveries of homemade soup to their turtle doves every single day and ensuring every soup is packed full of goodness to keep them strong and healthy.  They are even upping the immune boosting ingredients of onion and garlic to keep everyone’s strength up! Deliveries of soup are flying out every lunch time Monday to Saturday 12 noon till 2 pm and Sunday Supper round 5 pm till 6.30 pm. “We have plenty for everyone and time for you all.” says Landlord Will. If you are in Southwell or someone you know would like to join the Turtle Doves Soup Community, please text 07702 212 744 or call 01636 919 176 or message Lisa and Will via their Facebook page.


Whether you’ve been furloughed or perhaps you just have a bit more time on your hands at the moment, it’s important to keep those synapses sharp. 

As part of their Key Worker Nation Report, money.co.uk have put together the best online training courses to help you upskill during lockdown, and they’re all completely free. These incredible online courses offer everything you need to learn a new skill; you never know where these courses could take you: from cooking to bookkeeping, photography to digital marketing- find out more here.


Loughborough’s Fab Clinic is running an online raffle with all donations going to purchase PPE for local NHS Hospitals. For a donation of £5 you can win Champagne and Chocolate Facial, IPL for Hair Reduction, Restorative Hand Treatment, Fat Freezing, ​Diamond Dermabrasion with Ultrasonic, Full Body Oil Massage, Face and Neck Skin Tightening, Lipocavitation. Only one entry per person and if you are an NHS worker then you can enter the draw for free! The raffle will be drawn on the day the clinic reopens for appointments. To enter, visit www.fabclinics.co.uk

GET DUSTING WITH DOLLY: THE ULTIMATE HOUSEWORK PLAYLIST It’s amazing isn’t it: all this extra time and I still can’t find the hours needed to hoover my skirting boards.  The mother in law was right about me all along (hehe). Maybe I’ve been going wrong with my cleaning soundtrack? The Moody Blues whilst mopping is not conducive to cleanliness it seems. So, hurrah for Wren Kitchens who scanned Spotify’s playlist miner looking at playlists titled ‘cooking’ or ‘cleaning’ to scientifically pull together a playlist of cleaning classics for us to get down and undirty to. Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is the ultimate cleaning song, followed by Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves takes the third spot, and Ed Sheeran - for some bizarre reason - is the most popular artist! See the top twenty below.

PREMIUM COCKTAIL KITS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOOR Cocktail Porter is a new service that delivers craft cocktail boxes directly to your door. Each cocktail kit is carefully curated with individual recipes for budding bartenders to stir and shake the perfect cocktail at home. Complete with premium bottles of spirits, artisanal infusions, hand-crafted cordials, home-grown garnishes, and infused tonics – that’s one way to stay alert! Cocktail Porter’s First Collection includes a Passionfruit Margarita, Elderflower ‘Le Fizz’ spritz, Whisky Highball Collection, Cold Brew Espresso Martini and a Seville Orange Negroni. Each cocktail is available in The Petite Kit (£45, 6 serves) and The Porter (Full Size) Kit (£85, 17-20 serves) and if ordered by 3pm at cocktailporter.co.uk will be delivered the next day.  Just like the hangover. 


"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet." Stephen Hawking

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