Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough, Through The Eyes Of LincsConnect
Around me in Lincolnshire – Gainsborough near Lincoln UK. Gainsborough was once (in 1013) the capital of England. England was ruled from the Gainsborough Castle which is now the site of the Gainsborough Old Hall. The status was short lived but if ever there was a claim to fame, ‘this’ has to be a pretty good contender.
Managed by English Heritage, the Gainsborough Old Hall is closed at present but will reopen in summer 2021 (3 July). Follow @GainsOldHall on twitter for updates. Click on the picture to go straight to the English Heritage website page to book your advance tickets.
Getting To Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
Located on the banks of the River Trent, Gainsborough (capitol of England in 1013) has historically had easy access routes. Moving on, you’ll see on this map that Gainsborough is still easily accessible from the M180 to the North, the A1 to the West, the A15 to the East and the A57 from the South. These routes make Gainsborough ideally situated for your next outing to explore our rich heritage in Lincolnshire.
The Trent Bridge was completed in 1791 (there was formerly a ferry crossing) which put an end to commercial shipping as larger boats are unable to navigate under the bridge. However, rail links are very much alive and available. With two train stations (Lea Road and Gainsborough Central) rail travel is easy. Trains run direct from/to Retford, Sheffield, Doncaster and Lincoln from Lea Road. The Gainsborough Central station has direct routes to Cleethorpes and Brigg. It’s even possible for travellers to get to Gainsborough from the new capital (London) with just one change.
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire – easy access from every direction.
The Gainsborough Heritage Trail
Gainsborough Heritage have produced a free booklet which includes a 90 minutes walking route. To download the .PDF click on this map
The brochure which has been produced by Gainsborough Heritage is an easy to follow and very informative glossy paper pamphlet. As a result it will easily fold into your pocket or bag. If you’d like a copy click on the picture above to download a .PDF to print at home. If you prefer a printed paper version email your name and address firstname.lastname@example.org The .PDF is ideal for carrying on your mobile phone. For more information follow Gainsborough Heritage Association on Facebook.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough With Call Connect
Call Connect provide an affordable and convenient bus service throughout the County. Click on the picture to go to their website. You can also follow them on Twitter for regular updates @CallConnectBus
Call Connect provide a valuable bus service throughout the County. Gainsborough is well serviced by the buses so if you would like to book a journey simply register on their Call Connect website then book your journey. Obviously they are adhering to all of the Covid-19 safety measures so you’ll be required to sanitise hands and wear a face covering before your journey.
News News News
EU Settlement Scheme
Time is running out so if you or someone you know are from the EU and you wish to settle and work in the UK you need to act NOW!
For help with completing your application to settle in the UK contact South Lincs Citizens Advice NOW. Click on the picture or the blue link to email your interest.
A Note from Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire
“With just weeks to go before the EU Settlement Scheme deadline, our support helpline has seen a large increase in calls and referrals and we are working hard to help each and every client that contacts us for support with their application. Many of the enquiries were from people unsure whether they need to apply to the scheme or not, many are from people who did not yet make applications for their children and we are also seeing queries from people trying to track their applications that have not yet been concluded or are facing issues accessing their application or need to provide further evidence.
Our support team are working hard across Lincolnshire to meet the demand and we aim to help as many clients as we can in the run up to the deadline.
As well as providing telephone advice and online support, we also have drop in sessions and can offer face to face advice in different locations across Lincolnshire.”
“..EU citizens, EEA and Swiss nationals and those who hold an EEA family permit not to wait until the last minute to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).”
Where To Go For Help
Click on the picture to find the freephone number and link to download the application NOW.
Opening the blue picture above will show you the FREE 0800 448 0734 number to call for assistance and the website will also give a link to download the application. Multi lingual posters and more information are posted by@eusssupportlinc on Twitter.
If you know someone who may be wanting to stay in the UK please pass this information on
Click on the logo to go to the latest blog
Two thousand one hundred and sixty four and counting…. That’s how many Greyhounds this fantastic local charity have managed to re-home. That’s a fantastic achievement. To top it off they have a policy of guaranteeing to accept any dogs that are returned. It’s not ideal to have dogs returned but some new owners find they can’t cope with the reality of owning a dog. That said, looking at the percentages across other charities you’ll find this Gainsborough trust are performing well.
As a charity they are always looking at ways of raising funds. One of the successful fund raisers is their lottery. For just £1.00 a week you’ll be in with a chance of winning a cash prize and, with a limit of 216 members it’s pretty exclusive. Follow @LincsGreyhounds on Twitter for regular updates but if you would like to join their lottery visit the website Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust or call today:
07941 313 025
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough – Trinity Arts Centre
Actually, ‘I’ won’t be entertaining you but the fabulous people at the Trinity Arts Centre will. Pantomime tickets are already on sale so if you want to book your moment of ‘normality’ you’ll need to get a move on. Aladdin opens on 10 December 2021 with the last show on 2 January 2022. Click on the picture below to go straight to the booking page and follow them on Twitter @TrinityArtsGain for regular updates:
Panto season will soon be here so NOW is the time to book your tickets for the fun packed show. Family fun for everyone even if you aren’t taking children
Beginning life as the Church Of The Holy Trinity in 1843 this listed building has been completely renovated inside to become what we now know as the Trinity Arts Centre. Just in case you were wondering, yes it is located on Trinity Street – obviously! As expected, the Centre offers a large and diverse range of entertainment to cover most tastes. As a result this little snapshot of what you can expect is by no means exhaustive. Click on the picture to see more:
Just a taster… There’s lots more to see at the Trinity Arts Centre so click on the picture to go straight to the calendar and bookings pages.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough – Bearded Fishermen
The Bearded Fishermen are a Gainsborough based charity supporting Mental health and Suicide Prevention. If you need help give them a call NOW:
0300 365 0019
The team are always available to help and have a proven track record. If you’re suffering, don’t suffer in silence! The Bearded Fishermen are here for you and offer support by phone, in person (face to face) and via video. So if you need them, call them NOW. The picture will take you straight to their website where you can access more information so don’t delay. You can call them on 0300 365 0019 or find them on Twitter @Brdfishermen_uk and Facebook Bearded Fishermen Charity
Not all super heroes wear capes – some wear beards. Don’t suffer with poor mental health and suicidal thoughts. click on the logo to go straight to the website for help
#MandarinTherapies and @MandarinMothers provide mobile complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home across the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Call 07966 174 878 to book today. Providing bespoke treatments so every massage is as individual as you. Treatments include Aromatherapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), Antenatal and Postnatal massage.
Gainsborough has far more to offer than I can include in this blog but I hope you have enjoyed this little taster.
Something missing? Get in touch if you would like something adding to the blog. Local advertising is always welcome too of course so call me on 07966 174878 to have yours included here. The phone may go to answerphone if I’m with clients so you can also email me at email@example.com
In Case You Missed It:
Click on the pictures to go straight to the most recent blogs:
Sorry, Not sorry, Thank You
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough
That’s it for now. I’ll be doing more ‘Around Me’ blogs so get in touch if you would like me to feature your town.
Click on the picture to hear the new single and have the opportunity to buy your own copy. Every purchase will help someone local so that will make you a Lincolnshire Christmas Social Hero too!
Christmas Angel by Jake Newby
Lincolnshire Christmas Social Heroes are all around us and this charity fund raising single is a perfect example. It’s been a pretty bad year for most of us and it’s fair to assume that the local (and national) charities have been hit very hard as we tighten our belts and reign in our spending. It’s important to remember though that if we don’t have the cash to spend we might be able to use our talents and skills to help others. Jake Newby from Louth has done just that! You can click on the picture above to go straight to his website to listen to the new song ‘Christmas Angel’. If you buy a copy you’ll instantly become one of the Lincolnshire Christmas Social Heroes too!
Why? Because all proceeds will be going to help local food banks! Not only is it a lovely song by a very talented singer but it’s helping those who may be experiencing hardship right now. In addition to his website you’ll also be able to find him on FacebookJake Newby.
You can also download a copy from iTunes. Just follow the link by clicking on the picture below:
Click on the picture to download your copy from iTunes
You Can Donate To Become One Of The Lincolnshire Christmas Social Heroes
Find out more by clicking on this picture. Gemma will be really pleased to hear from you and you can become a Lincolnshire Christmas Social Hero too.
On the subject of Lincolnshire Christmas Social Heroes, meet Gemma from @vegoutlincoln on Twitter who is collecting cash donations through her Just Giving page. You can help by donating a little bit of cash of course. Just click on the picture above to donate if you can. Here’s a quote from Gemma to explain: “This Christmas we would REALLY love to be able to support our local community by building plant based food packages for the Lincoln Food Bank… As a business we will be compiling food packages ready for delivery to the food bank on 18th December.” It goes without saying of course that your donations will be funding plant based meals for those with special dietary requirements.
Local Lincolnshire Food Banks
I know the subject is Lincolnshire Christmas Social Heroes but The Lincolnshire Food Partnership is very active in our region all year. They work tirelessly to make sure as many people as possible have access to food. It’s a partnership of several different organisations who come together to coordinate and distribute food to those who need it. You can find them on twitter @food_lincoln or click on the link above/picture below to go to their website. Being in food poverty is a real problem and has been heightened during the current pandemic. If you can help them in any way please do contact them. If you’re in need of help in any way please don’t be afraid to ask. The food banks are here to help.
Click on this picture to go straight to the interactive map and locate a food bank near you. They’re there to help but will also be grateful for donations
Getting Around Lincolnshire At Christmas With The Lincoln DialaRide Social Heroes
Food is vital of course but it’s important to remember other aspects of what it takes to be a Lincolnshire social hero. I’ve been watching the ‘comings and goings’ of the Lincoln DialaRide team over the past few months and it’s fair to say they’re doing a fantastic job. “Lincoln Area DialaRide Ltd is a Registered Charity. It’s managed by a Board of Trustees that includes users of the DialaRide (DAR), Voluntary Car Scheme (VCS) & Shopmobility services.” That pretty much sums up the description don’t you think? There is still more and more, and more…. to add but the list of good deeds they do is far too big to mention it all here.
Staffed mainly by volunteers the Lincoln DialaRide has been serving the community for 30 years. Not only does it provide local transport to hospitals and shops but the service also takes people to funerals. Delivering food for the Food Bank to those unable to collect as well as being a drop off point for collections. This really is just scraping the surface of the huge amount they do for the community. Other services include providing mobility for shopping for those who are less able. If you would like to volunteer for your community you might like to contact Lincoln DialaRide. Here are the links for Twitter, Facebook and their website: Twitter @lincolndar FacebookLincoln.darwebsite www.lincolndialaride.co.uk
Domestic abuse affects women and men regardless of age, education, religion, race or sexual orientation. It’s not something we should tolerate in our society but it’s possible that some ‘victims’ may not even know that they are victims! If you would like to reach out for help End Domestic Abuse Now (EDAN) @EDANlincs is here for you. You can follow them on Twitter or check out their website : www.edanlincs.org.uk where you’ll find a handy ‘Escape From The Website’ button on the top right of the page. Take a look at this video on Facebook or YouTube:
Domestic abuse is never OK. If you’re in danger of harm call 999. EDAN Lincs is here to support you. Click on the pictures to view the video on Facebook or YouTube
Mandarin Therapies provides Covid Safe home visits across the County
Ask about the 20% discount for emergency services, NHS and Armed Forces
Christmas Presents Needed In Lincolnshire
Well, maybe not too cold if you’re indoors with the central heating on but spare a thought for the homeless. Circumstances can change quite quickly if bad luck hits; It could mean you don’t have a roof over your head! Thankfully there are several fantastic charities in our area who regularly ‘step up to the mark’ to help those in need. I don’t want to try to list them all because I’m bound to miss out someone important. The Lincoln YMCA is one of several organisations that help to get people off the streets and into housing. Would it surprise you to know that they have 175 residents currently in shelter at the moment?
The Lincoln YMCA Shoebox Campaign 2020 need our support. Be a Lincolnshire Christmas Social Hero. Just Click on the picture to go to the website for more information or find them on Twitter @YMCAlincs
If you have any spare shoe boxes please donate them to the YMCA. Better still, if you can provide any of the items listed in the picture above please feel free to include them too. Don’t forget to mark the box ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ though for certain items. Moving up to the North of our County you’ll find more projects underway with the YMCA Humber team. You can support them by organising your own fundraising events. Take a look at the picture below for more information:
Support @YMCAHumber with their project ‘Give As You Live’ by setting up your own fundraiser challenges. You too can be a ‘Lincolnshire Christmas Social Hero’ Click on the picture to find out more
A Lincolnshire Christmas Together
We may not be able to physically spend a Lincolnshire Christmas together but I’m sure we’ll do our best to to make it festive and fun.
If the Covid-19 virus restrictions allow I hope there’ll be some form of limited travel allowed. On a personal note I think I prefer to spend my time with my family at home. Yes, it’s going to be different and difficult but ‘hopefully’ it’ll be a restriction for just this year. I’ve no doubt it’s going to be lonely for many people but with a little lateral thinking and our community spirit I’m sure we’ll find a way to reach out….. Read More…
Click on the picture to read more about ‘A Lincolnshire Christmas Together’
For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas
If you’re wondering who is posting on the hashtag I suggest you have a look today. For a Lincolnshire Christmas use #LincsConnectChristmas on your tweets to reach more local people. Don’t forget to search the hashtag too because you’ll find lots of lovely gift ideas there. The hashtag isn’t just for Twitter though; There are posts on Facebook and Instagram too so go to your search bar and type in #LincsConnectChristmas to see what comes up…. Read More…
Click on the picture to read more about ‘For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnect’
That’s All For Now…
That’s it for the blog at the moment but I do intend to update this one and post several more blogs too. Get in touch with any requests by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the picture to go to the Twitter hashtag. You’ll see lots of local goodies there so give it a try for ‘Shoping made easy in Lincolnshire’
The Funny Thing Is…
Shopping in Lincolnshire with LincsConnect – use Hashtags! Do you find them confusing? Do you use them but don’t know why? The funny thing is that many people don’t really know how to use them so let me try to quickly explain; A hashtag is just a label or name given to a section in a very large database. That’s it! It’s just a database. Every time you write a post and use a hashtag your post will go to the appropriate folder in the database. If you use two hashtags your message will go to two folders in the database. Use #LincsConnect for your shopping and online shopping in Lincolnshire.
Use The Search Bar
To search for your messages just go to the search bar in your chosen social media platform and type in the name of the hashtag. If you do you’ll find your post as well as every other post with the same hashtag. However, be aware that the hashtag is specific to the social media platform you’re using so if you type a message on Twitter you won’t be able to find your post if you search for it on Facebook. The hashtags go to a huge database which is used globally so if you use the hashtag ‘Lincolnshire’ you’ll see what’s been posted for our County. If you search the hashtag ‘LincsConnect’ you’ll find all of the messages that have been using the hashtag in Lincolnshire. However, if you search the hashtag ‘ShopLocal’ and see how many countries are using that hashtag you’ll realise that it is anything but ‘local’.
Choose your hashtags wisely. If you’re trying to get the attention of your local community the #ShopLocal hashtag is no good to you but the #LincsConnect hashtag is very specific to Lincolnshire. For shopping in Lincolnshire with LincsConnect don’t forget to add the hashtag #LincsConnect
At this point you may be wondering what the hashtag has to do with Shopping Made Easy In Lincolnshire? The answer to that is quite simple of course. Using Twitter just type in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar to see what local art, craft, sculpture and photographic posts have been included over the last few weeks. You’ll find everything from needlework to paintings, cards and photography and the list is growing steadily. Not only will you find pictures but you’ll also discover links to local Etsy & Folksy shops and Facebook pages too so you really can shop on line while keeping your money in the local economy. It’s a win, win situation don’t you think? To make life even easier for you I’ve included links to the most recent artists & crafters below.
Not on Twitter? Not everyone is of course so if you’re a Facebook user don’t despair because you can still access some of the messages from the local artists by typing in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar.
If you’re a Facebook user please don’t despair because you can type in the hashtag #LincsArtCraftHour to the search bar to find everything that’s been posted there. You’ll find several blogs as well as some posts by the local artists. I haven’t tried it on Instagram yet but I can assure you it will be coming.
What’ve You Missed?
Lots of gift ideas have been posted including Christmas decorations and cards but the question really should be ‘who’ have you missed? That’s easy to remedy; You’ll find a list below which includes some contact details too.
Breakfast £3.70, Afternoon Tea £7.50 and 3 course dinners available too. What’s not to like? Why not visit The Eatery, 36 Park Street, Lincoln, Lincolnshire next time you’re in town? Please get in touch first though to book your visit. Just click on the picture to go to the Lincoln Age UK Facebook page or follow them on twitter @ageuklsl It’s all for charity and you get fed at a bargain price too!
The Local List:
Shopping in Lincolnshire with LincsConnect – This list is set to grow and grow so please do make a note to keep checking in to see who else has joined us:
Advert – Shopping In Lincolnshire With LincsConnect
Mandarin Therapies and @MandarinMothers provide a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service throughout the County of Lincolnshire and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today. Click on the picture to go straight to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page.
AgeUK Lincoln & South Lincoln are a registered charity needing your donations. However, you also have the chance to purchase an inexpensive meal here and be pleased to know that the profits will be going straight to the charity.
Let’s face it, you’re older now than when you first started reading this blog! Age creeps up on us all so it’s nice to know there is a charity here to help us when we need it. If you would like breakfast, afternoon tea or a full meal don’t forget to book your place early. Breakfast starts at 9.30am.
Please go ahead and enjoy yourself but lease also remember to stay safe. Keeping a social 2m distance, regular hand washing and wearing a mask when required will help you, your family, friends and everyone around you.
Click on this picture to go straight to the Facebook events page for this exhibition
7 September 2020 – A Very Important Date
Monday 7 September is a very important date for several reasons. The new #LincsArtCraftHour stars at 12.00pm and all Lincolnshire artists, crafters, sculptors, jewellery makers….. are invited to post their promotional messages using ‘two’ hashtags. I’ll explain more a little later but for now, let’s focus on the date. 7 September also sees the launch of the ‘Mel Langton Solo Art Exhibition’ at the Gallery of St. Martin’s in Lincoln ‘and’ it’s the launch of #LincsConnectChristmas too. Yes, I know, you’re probably thinking ‘it’s too early for Christmas’ but the reality is that NOW is the time to start planning and advertising Christmas to raise brand awareness in time for the Christmas season!
The #LincsArtCraftHour will be on Twitter from 12.00pm – 1.00pm every Monday lunchtime from 7 September. The idea behind it is to highlight the talent that we have in the County and to allow you to view what’s on offer. You’ll find everything from cards to jewellery and paintings to sculptures with everything ‘arty’ in between. While many of us are still either reluctant or unable to go shopping on the High Street this weekly hour will give you the opportunity to see what’s on offer. Those posting will be able to include links to their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, websites and online shops while at the same time showing off their huge talents. ‘Christmas’ is coming but don’t just see this as a virtual shop window for your Christmas shopping. A gift for yourself, a ‘thank you’ card, a birthday gift or even a Mothers Day gift for next year are all possibilities.
Rather than running through all of the information again I’ll let you have a look for yourselves by following this link to the relevant blog: lincsconnect.co.uk/blogs/artcrafthour You’ll also find some info on the Lincs Connect Facebook page too so please have a look to see what you think. I’m still looking for interest in other specialist hours so if you see anything on the LincsArtCraft blog that takes your fancy please let me know. I’ll also be interested to hear if you have any other ideas of course.
Click on the picture to go to the #LincsArtCraftHour blog
Search the #LincsArtCraftHour hashtag to retweet and support others and to do your own free networking either live on the day or later in the week. You can search the hashtag at any time 24/7.
Don’t ‘dump’ a load of tweets on the hashtag in the first couple of minutes (even if they are scheduled tweets) as it won’t look good on you. Make sure your tweets are spread out over the hour.
How To Search The Hashtag
Searching the hashtag may be easier than you think. Simply go to your search bar, type in #LincsArtCraftHour, click search (or enter – depending on what device you are using) then go to ‘Latest’. That’s it! It really is that easy so make sure that we make the hour a success by supporting each other. Finally, don’t forget to let your contacts know too. Obviously the more people we have using, searching and talking about the #LincsArtCraftHour the more likely you are to increase your following and make more sales.
Click on the picture to follow Fiona on Twitter or click on this link to find her on Facebook: @fidunkart
I know I’ve posted this before but it’s worth another mention. I think these painted old maps are an excellent idea. If there was ever a way to bring a map to life, this is it! Why not give Fiona a follow on Twitter or Facebook to see what other delights she has in her portfolio?
Mandarin Therapies provides ‘the’ stress buster you’ve been looking for. Bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home with full Covid-19 safety certification. Gift vouchers available. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment. Click the start button to watch the video.
Christmas Is Coming…
Like it or not, love it or hate it, celebrate it or ignore it… It’s still coming and we need to start preparing for it. Consider this scenario: You wan’t to get the spare bedroom plastered and decorated before the relatives come to stay – too late! Many of the tradespeople are already fully booked until after Christmas! That’s just one example but there must be plenty more. Unless you’ve been living on a different planet you can’t have escaped the devastation that Covid-19 has wreaked on local and national businesses. Many are suffering with lost sales since March so if you are going to recoup anything from this shocking year ‘now’ is the time to start planning it. Christmas markets are cancelled across the country and town centres may still be in restricted shopping mode for our safety. NOW is the time to plan your advertising for Christmas. If you don’t, someone else will. If you want to salvage some of your lost selling opportunities, NOW is the time to do it. From 7 September I’ll be starting the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag so lets all get on board with it and start to plan. After all, its just 124 days to go as I type this blog.
Visit the Louth Age UK website for more information about their charity shop. Your safety is in mind and fundraising for those in need is at heart. Click on the logo for details
Are you a ‘vintage’ fan? If you are I think you’ll like this room in the Louth Age UK Shop. It’s your chance to grab a bargain while supporting a local charity at the same time
Click on the YMCA logo to find out how they serve our community and discover why they need our financial support
YMCA Pop Up furniture and Brik-a-brac shop, The showroom, Tritton Rd, Lincoln. The next dates are 26-29 Aug from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Click on the picture to find them on Twitter
Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Mothers provide a bespoke mobile service throughout the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your Covid-19 safe appointment or click on the picture to go to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page for more info.
Mel has a solo art exhibition in Lincoln starting on 7 Sep at the Gallery At St Martin’s, Lincoln with lots of new original artwork. Entry is FREE and there is no need to book but please be aware that the usual Covid-19 safety rules will apply so don’t forget your mask. The art will be on sale of course and the gallery is happy to take card or cash sales. Click on the picture to find the link for more information
That’s about all for now but please don’t forget to make a note in your diary for the #LincsArtCraftHour on Monday 7 Sep from 12.00pm. Tell your friends too
The simple answer here is ‘yes’ and ‘no’! How many times have you seen posts on social media with the hashtag #ShopLocal on it? As crazy as it may sound, the hashtag really isn’t much use if you’re using it to help people find you. It’s fine as a statement of fact on your post but when you search for it you’ll find that the posts are anything but local. In fact, the posts you’ll find there are for all around the world so if you’re expecting people to find your cheese that you produced in Sleaford I strongly suggest you think again! When I set up Lincs Connect in 2012 I experimented with several hashtags and names before settling on #LincsConnect. Other examples of my trial hashtags included #ShopLocal (ironically I created this hashtag in January 2011 for use on my @MANDARINLEISURE account but scrapped it because it went global) #SupportLincolnshire #SupportLincolnshireBusiness #SupportLocal #SupportLocalBusiness with the latter being shortened to #SLBiz. However, my early research made me realise that the ‘Support…’ hashtags were just too long and people refused to use them because of the amount of space they took up on the posts. Another reason for scrapping them was because they start with the word ‘Support’. When searching social media for relevant hashtags to do with Lincolnshire you’ll find that typing the letters ‘Linc’ into the search bar will give you LincsConnect on twitter and Lincs Connect on Facebook in the top three names to visit. Compare that to typing in ‘Support’ which will give you all sorts of connotations from TwitterSupport to a whole host of other national and international business support sites. It makes sense then that the hashtag to use on your tweets needs to be #LincsConnect as it is at the top of your searches and is truly local to Lincolnshire.
How To Use A Hashtag
If you’re happily adding hashtags to your post but never searching them you’ve truly missed s trick! Here’s what to do: Type in #LincsConnect in your search bar then press enter. Don’t click on the account @LincsConnect as that’ll take you to the account only which means you’ll miss all the good information. Once your device takes you to the messages on the #LincsConnect timeline you need to look for the ‘Latest’ tab at the top of the Twitter page. If you type #LincsConnect into the search bar on Facebook you’ll need to look for the ‘Posts’ tab at the top of the page (this’ll also show you related Instagram posts). Once you’ve discovered these pages you’ll realise that there is a huge amount of information, business posts, personal posts, charity posts and requests for help etc etc that are all related to our local area. Try it now to see what you can find. It’s a fantastic way to network and find out what’s going on locally.
How do you support local? Is it as easy as going to the local shops and picking something from the shelves? In case you hadn’t considered it before, let me share some of my ideas about shopping and supporting locals:
Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
Online – Many local traders have online shops. A more cost effective way of selling may be via platforms like Etsy shops or even selling directly via social media
Don’t forget the local charity shops. Dropping off your unwanted items is absolutely crucial but don’t forget they are there to help raise funds for the many worthy causes that otherwise would’t survive without our support. Buying from the shops is absolutely essential if the charities are to survive.
Social media – In the 10 years that I’ve been running #LincsConnect I’ve noticed some big changes in how people use the various platforms. I’ve noticed a big rise in the professionally run accounts (some companies run several accounts for different clients) and I’ve also noticed the reluctance of many accounts to share anyone else messages or support others. I’ll talk more about these two subjects later.
Obviously there are many other ways to support local businesses, charities and organisation but I’ll focus on my main observations first if that’s OK?
This concept certainly isn’t new. However, during the Covid19 pandemic it has become much more important and (thankfully) much more prolific. We know how important our local CoOp, Post office, newsagent and Spar shops are. Many of them are in walking distance (for those who are able) and stock locally produced products. Perhaps, with the use of ‘people power’ they might be able to stock more local local produce to help the local economy even further. A polite request from customers or local traders may be all it takes. It’s worth a try! In addition to helping to support local traders (including the shop owners and staff) it must have also come to your attention that during the lockdown there have been less emissions, less fossil fuel burned and less litter. All of these positives are good for the planet so let’s see if we can maintain our recent good practices.
This isn’t something that I have ever considered for my own businesses before Covid19 but it is something that I have been doing during the lockdown. FaceTime and WhatsApp video calling has been a fantastic way to maintain contact with my clients while reducing my fuel usage in my truck. It’s definitely a practice that I intend to maintain. During the lockdown I’ve been busy writing blogs and searching for companies who sell online. Some are using Etsy, some use Facebook and others use Twitter. I’m sure there are other platforms that are equally as good or even better but I haven’t come across them yet. The obvious choice and probably the most popular is direct selling from websites. Many people have their own eCommerce shop on their website which is easily maintained by the trader and convenient for the customer. If, like me, you are a bit of a technophobe you’ll be able to find website designers who will be able to build a site for you or help you with your existing site. If you would like to get in touch with any designers please feel free to ask me for some suggestions. After all, that is what Lincs ‘Connect’ is for!
I often include charities in my blogs because I feel they need all the help they can get. I’ve focused on very small charities through to the very big charities and the one thing that they all have in common is their use of social media. The posts may not raise funds directly but their constant presence certainly helps to raise your awareness of them
Share The Love
Looking at the various accounts on social media I often make up my mind whether I should support them or not simply by looking at their posts. The ones who never share anyone else posts, have conversations or try in any way to support anyone else is a big red flag for me. I find myself asking the question ‘why should I support them when they don’t support others and are very unlikely to support me?’ I’m a big believer in helping others so when I find someone who shows no interest other than to post their own tweets I tend to move on to find someone who is more sociable and supportive.
Buying And Selling
I’ve noticed Fiona @OrigArtPrints on Twitter while searching the #LincsConnect hashtag and really like what she has been painting on old maps. Her main sales come from Craft Shows but obviously they haven’t been open over the last few months so, being creative she turned her attention to Facebook and Twitter for her sales. Facebook has been successful but Twitter less so. However, her Twitter account is a good platform for showcasing what she does and for directing people to her Facebook account. It is important to use more than one platform on social media if you want to increase your client base. It’ll be interesting to see if future sales turn more towards social media and less towards the craft fairs. Only time will tell. I think these paintings on old maps are fabulous. You have to admit, they do bring the map to life. Here is another example:
If you would like more information about Fionas art just click on the picture for a link to her Facebook page. I’m sure she will be happy to see you there and you’ll be Able to see selections of her cards and key rings too.
Websites, Social Media And YouTube
I’m no expert of course but it does appear to me that one of the best ways to find a website (given that you probably didn’t know the sites name or even that you wanted to make a purchase) is through social media. I’ll say that bit again just to clarify, “through ‘social’media”. Why the emphasis on ‘social’? Well, I’ve noticed far too often that many people are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show off their products and gain new customers but quite often don’t realise that they need to talk to their followers to get continued engagement and (hopefully) new sales. Put it this way, if you don’t talk to me on social media I’m not likely to notice you. On the other hand, if you do talk to me but I don’t talk back you’ll soon stop talking to me. Either way, I would be the loser so that’s why it’s always best to be ‘social’ on social media! While being pre-occupied with social media I almost forgot about YouTube. Surely I can’t be the only person who searches YouTube on a very regular basis for music and information? I do think it’s a great platform for showing your products (you’ll have seen some of my YouTube videos if you’ve been reading my other blogs), courses and skills. While the social media could drive potential customers to your website the same driving force could apply to YouTube. I feature a local band of the week each day on twitter and invariably I find the bands on Twitter or Facebook first then either follow a link to their YouTube channel or take a few seconds to search for them in the YouTube search bar. This band (Saboteurs) from Sleaford have really got my attention this week. You can follow them on Twitter @sabsbanduk for regular music posts and updates about upcoming gigs when Covid19 restrictions allow. Alternatively you can go straight to their website www.saboteursband.co.uk for lots more info and a chance to purchase their new album.
The Saboteurs YouTube channel – just click on the picture to go straight there. It’s as easy as that and if you like good Indie music I think you’ll like this too
See You Soon…
I hope you like my brief blog about using social media for selling and finding new customers. Please feel free to leave a comment below and share the post with your friends and contacts. Hopefully I’ll see you when I search the #LincsConnect hashtag again soon.
Bespoke Complementary Therapies from the comfort of your own home
There have been some lovely stories emerging about the organisations that have sprung up recently who’re providing food for those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic but we mustn’t forget the organisations that have been providing food and support for the homeless and vulnerable all year round. I can think of several and during this lockdown period I have had time to contemplate and decide what I value and what I am truly grateful for. As I look around and see more and more people doing wonderful things for the community I realise that I could and should (and will) be doing more.
I find a lot of my contacts through Twitter and several people really stand out for their kindness, selflessness and community spirit. Some of the things they do without the need for praise or recognition is truly humbling and it’s worth remembering that they don’t have to do what they do. They could have an easy life and leave the volunteering to someone else. That said, if all the volunteers stopped what they were doing to leave the help for others to do, nothing would get done and the country would really be in dire straights! Society owes the volunteers a great debt and with that in mind, I hope to write about some or all of them in my blogs to let their stories be known.
One such group is the Grimsby Food Kitchen which is run Cath and Ken with help from some of their lovely volunteers. In normal circumstances (outside of the Covid-19 restrictions) Cath and Ken provide emotional support to the homeless and vulnerable people in the area with hugs and smiles flowing freely. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be homeless and without human contact but I can imagine that the Grimsby Food Kitchen is much more than just a place to visit for Sunday lunch.
Grimsby Food Kitchen – The GFK provide so much more than just Sunday lunch. The smiles and kind eyes say so much more… Click on the picture for a link to the Facebook page
Sometimes, when you’re faced with the worry of having to move premises the answer is right on your doorstep. A very generous donation by Pete and Tricia saw the GFK move into new premises rent free for as long as they need it. Along with a donation of £4000 from the Lincolnshire Community Foundation @LincolnshireCF as well as generous donations from the Rotary International, Humberston Lions and many others including the general public of course plus outstanding support from the local press who regularly contribute on their twitter feed @GrimsbyLive and through their website GrimsbyTelegraph.co.uk Cath and Ken are able to make bulk food purchases from the cash and carry in order to cook the Sunday lunches and Wednesday hot dogs. Support is always helpful of course but when you’re volunteers providing a no cost service I’m sure you’ll agree that the support is pretty vital.
GFK Ready for service on Sunday and Wednesday lunch times
Alas, it’s not just a case of ‘turn up for work, cook, serve and leave’! There isn’t a kitchen in the centre so Cath cooks everything at home then transports it to 18 Clethorpes Road, Grimsby where she, Ken and their volunteers prepare for service from 11.30am through until around 1.30pm. The additional voluntary help is essential if everything is to run smoothly. Cath and Ken are always on hand to ‘dish out’ the smiles, hugs and support to those who need it and guide people to other agencies for additional support when required. I can imagine that the room is normally full of chatter and laughter but, with the Covid-19 outbreak they have had to adapt to a take-away service and social distancing. That must be difficult on many levels I’m sure.
I had a lovely chat with Cath yesterday and she explained how everything works. Although it’s very generous of people to turn up with a food parcel you can imagine the storage needed for small items of perishable foods – it just isn’t practical. The new Wednesday Hot Dog lunch sessions alone will need around 150 sausages each week so bulk buying is really the only practical way forward for this project.
Having chatted with Cath I can tell you now that she just isn’t the sort of person who will ask for glory, praise, recognition…… or cash! So, on her behalf, I’ll ask for her. If you can spare ‘any’ cash please get in touch via Facebook Grimsby Food Kitchen or Twitter @CathHomewood to make your own arrangements. Let’s also keep in mind that the GFK isn’t the only charity in the County that needs your financial help so if you would like to make a donation to a charity in your local area perhaps this short blog will have helped to jog your memory.
I would also like to say a special thanks to @GrimsbyLive for the use of their pictures for this blog.
“Never Betray Anyone’s Trust”
When dealing with people it’s important to be approachable and trustworthy. That applies every day of course but when you’re talking to vulnerable people it’s important that they are able to trust you. Cath told me that she won’t tolerate ‘he said, she said’ conversations where people are talking about others. It’s probably fair to say that the people who are turning up for food are like an extended family so when they need help or advice they need to know that the person they are talking to will be there for them. In Caths’ own words “never betray anyone’s trust” seems doubly important.
Bless you Cath and Ken, you’re doing a fantastic job. Keep smiling and keep cooking.
Did Someone Say Food?
This year the Louth Pie Day (#LouthPieDay) had a bit of a setback. Just about to celebrate it’s second year….. and then we had the lockdown for Covid-19. Not to be disheartened Justine and Kiat made a subtle change to the hashtag and called it #VirtualLouthPieDay. What a brilliant idea! The idea of Louth Pie Day is to encourage visitors to visit the various shops in Louth to sample and buy a variety of pies and if there is any competition going on I certainly wouldn’t like to have to select an overall winner from the many entries. What’s your idea of a pie? Is it a pork pie? What about a steak and ale pie? Vegetarian pie or vegan pie? Oh yes, and then there’s the fruit pie of course…
Click on this picture to go straight to the Facebook page
Unfortunately the shops were closed for customers this year so there were no pies to be bought. However, the #VirtualLouthPieDay was conceived and facebook and twitter followers were invited to make their own pies and share pictures of their creations on the Facebook and Twitter @LouthPieDay pages. If you would like to see what happened just type in #VirtualLouthPieDay to your search bar on twitter or Facebook to see all the pictures and comments. You might also like to follow the pages to make sure you don’t forget to enjoy the fun next year.
The #LincsConnectJobs hashtag is still live so if you have any jobs to advertise Just add in the hashtag to your advert and tweet it or post it on Facebook.
To follow @LtsaSCITT on twitter just click on this picture to go straight to their profile, click the follow button and search their tweets for more information.
If you’re considering a carer in teaching, recruitment is still going ahead for 2020 via Zoom. If you are interested email email@example.com today for a Zoom link and an appointment. Don’t let Covid-19 deter you. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Are You A Reader?
Author Lynette Creswell from Immingham
Author Lynette Creswell has several books to her name already and has now produced a book of short stories which is due to be released very soon. Being dyslexic I much prefer to read short stories so this book will be perfect for me. Do you have a preferred genre or do you just pick up a book that takes your fancy at the time? I know some people can read a whole book in a weekend (or even faster) but I’m afraid a ‘normal’ sized paperback can take me up to a year to read. It’s odd that I can enjoy writing so much and can plan a blog like this one in my head in seconds and take around half a day to research it, put it together and post it but when it comes to reading….. Well, a year to read a paperback kind of tells you what I’m like at reading!
There’s an empty space where a book should be!
I’ve been invite to the ‘Cover Reveal’ for the new book of short stories titled ‘Cat Thief’ and I’m pleased to be able to extent that invitation to you too. Don’t worry, it’s all online so we’ll all be safe and secure; Hopefully I’ll see you (virtually) there on Saturday 2 May from 11.00am to 12.30pm
Click on the picture to book your virtual place….
I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality and I’m sure everyone else is too. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with a gift voucher idea that’ll give you something to look forward to. You can buy your voucher now and look forward to enjoying a bespoke massage from the comfort of your own home later in the year. What’s not to like? If you would like to order your e-voucher just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the picture to go to the Mandarin Therapies website