#LincsConnectChristmas

#LincsConnectChristmas

#EatOutToHelpOut Ends But…

The #EatOutToHelpOut scheme officially comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August and I sincerely hope it has been a great boost to our local businesses and economies.  Not all of us have been able to take advantage of course as we’ve experienced some serious income deficits during the lockdown period.  However, ‘every little helps’ so let’s hope that the restaurateurs have been able to recoup enough income for them to feel confident to spend more of their money locally.

Recession?

We’ve heard the stories about the recession and possible price rises over the coming months but there are also stories about ‘green shoots’ in the economy and the resilience of the British people to get on with their businesses to make money and pull the economy forward.  There’s much speculation with stories of ‘doom and gloom’ but I think it’s important to remember that many of the stories are literally just ‘stories’ written by journalists (trained or untrained) who may have an agenda unbeknown to us.  With that in mind, my cup is definitely half full.  Focusing on the bright side and being determined to make business work is what I do.  I truly believe that we (that’s you and I) are capable of making our businesses successful regardless of the circumstances surrounding us.  Do we need help?  Do we need to collaborate? Do we need to focus on the good things?  Absolutely!  I’m prepared to accept help and advice all day long and I believe it’s one of the keys to success.  Knowing when you’re out of your depth and needing help is crucial as is knowing when to employ an expert to do a job properly.  When we work together we can often achieve much more so let’s Keep working and talking to each other.

#LincsConnectChristmas 

Use the hashtag to promote your business, charity gift idea or event this Christmas

After a pretty dreadful summer I believe we need to look forward to a bright Christmas.  We don’t know what the future will bring with Covid-19 but we do know that Christmas is coming! Whether you like it or not, celebrate it or not, or even believe in it or not, the fact remains that it will be here on 25 December and we need to be prepared for it.  We may not be out partying as we have in previous years but we are resilient enough and creative enough to make it a good celebration.

#LincsConnectChristmas starts on 7 September to coincide with the new #LincsArtCraftHour.  Combining the two will give us the opportunity to see what our local talented and creative people have to offer.  We’ll have the opportunity to shop early and safely by avoiding the usual Christmas rush because, well, let’s face it, we really don’t know yet if there will be movement and shopping restrictions in place to avoid a second Covid-19 wave of destruction.

A Christmas Hamper

In previous years we’ve had a virtual Christmas hamper where we’ve been able to add items of our own or recommend items from other traders.  The idea seemed to work well so I think it’ll be a good idea to do it again.

It’s time to start filling the Christmas Hamper…

 

The hashtag works on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so let’s start thinking about filling it up with lots of local goodies.  Perhaps an example here might be useful.  How about these messages:

“I think the #LincsConnectChristmas hamper needs some speciality chocolates.  I highly recommend @BonBonLincoln who produce exquisite designer chocolates”

“No #LincsConnectChristmas hamper will be complete without some bespoke Christmas cards by @CardsOfGrimsby”

Adding a picture with each message will soon get the attention of local shoppers and will make the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag the place to look for local independent Christmas shopping. With your help we can get this hashtag noticed and talked about around the County and beyond to turn it into the ‘shop window’ for everyone to see.

A Christmas Meal

With no #EatOutToHelpOut scheme in place hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars will want to advertise their special meals and party events so the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag is going to be ‘the’ place for them to advertise and I’m sure they’ll appreciate our support.

Let’s Work Together

I’m sure we can make Christmas a huge success but I do think that we will have to work together to achieve it.  Am I confident? Absolutely!

Put It In Your Diary

The #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour both start on Monday 7 September at noon.  Use the hashtags, search the hashtags and tell your friends about the hashtags.  They’re here for ‘you’. 

Advert

Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies in the comfort of your own home, hotel or nursing home across the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Gift vouchers are available for that special person too.

Previous Blogs

To find out more about the #LincsArtCraftHour follow this link to the previous blog:

#LincsArtCraftHour 

Community

A message from Supt Paul Timmins of Lincolnshire Police following some sad and tragic deaths on Lincolnshire roads recently:

Click on this picture to open the video in Twitter 

Click on this picture to open the video on Facebook

We see far too many road deaths in Lincolnshire so please always ‘be aware’ and don’t become a statistic.  We love you just the way you are…. ‘alive’!

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse doesn’t have age limits. If you know someone who is suffering call the police today.  You’ll find some useful numbers here but if there is an immediate threat of harm call 999.

 

 

A Helpful App

Visit your App Store to download this free App to your device

Let’s pretend you’re out walking or have gone for a drive when you come across an accident.  You dial 999 to contact the emergency services for help but then you don’t know exactly where you are.  You know you’re in the middle of a field or on a country road but you couldn’t direct the emergency services to the incident.  I imagine you might feel completely helpless!

I saw a post on Twitter asking the public to download the App What3Words so obviously I did.  I didn’t expect to ever have to use it but thought it would be a good ‘insurance policy’ should the unexpected ever happen.  I have actually used it though.  I was able to give the three words that were displayed on my iPhone screen to the control room who directed the fire service to the field fire that I had discovered on my way home last winter.  That’s it!  It really is that easy.  All you have to do is open the App and you’re immediately given 3 unique words that identify your exact location.

When opening the App you’re given the option to share the 3 words via social media or email or send it directly to one of your contacts so it’s a great way to pass on your location to friends if you are meeting them in town.  Typing the three words into the search bar your friends are able to navigate directly to you using the App so as well as being the all important navigation tool in emergencies it’s also a brilliant tool for finding your friends.

Louth Museum

Perhaps you could try out your new What3Words App with your friends.  If you’re on your travels why not pop in to Louth Museum?  It’s open to the public again and there is no need to book.  The museum is over two floors (stair lift available for those who may need it) and you’ll be respectfully requested to wait outside if the museum is full when you arrive.  Covid-19 regulations are in place of course so don’t forget your mask.  I’ve had a look at the website www.louthmuseum.org.uk and discovered a virtual tour as well as Ruth’s Blog page.  I thought you might find this interesting; It’s a factual account of the Louth floods on 29 May 1920.  Imagine seeing a 2m wall of water heading into town…

Click on the picture to read the blog

 

Just imagine how useful What3Words would have been in this situation if it had been available then.  Technology has certainly moved on at a remarkable pace!

Stay Safe

That’s the blog done for now but if you have something that you would like me to include or would like to advertise please get in touch. Have a lovely Bank Holiday everyone.  Look after yourself and look out for your neighbours.

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour

Paint On Canvas…

What image does ‘art’ conger up in your mind?  If you’ve ever been to the National Art Gallery you’ll have seen a great many paintings from small to extremely large. However, if you’ve ever been to Tate Modern you’ll have seen something completely different.  Art really isn’t just about paint on canvas, it’s much more than that.  Of course, we can debate good and bad art until the cows come home but what it all boils down to is ‘do I like it’?

Who’s The Artist?

I can tell you straight away that it isn’t me!  If I try to draw stick men I can guarantee they won’t look right.  Thankfully we all have our own talents (art isn’t mine) so we can all be grateful for something.  I may not be able to produce anything that even resembles art but I do know what I like and I am a collector of art in its many forms.  I will buy anything from paintings on canvas through to photos, jewellery, carvings, sculptures, needlework…. You get the picture (no pun intended), I like art!  Not just any art of course, it has to be something that I like.  That may sound obvious but we all like different things.  Surely, that variety is what makes the hunt for a good piece of art so exciting?  Who is the artist then?  Well, I believe that it is the photographer, the jewellery maker, the crafter, the potter…  It’s not just about the paint on canvas but without the paint on canvas the art world would’t be complete!

How Do You Find Your Art?

There are many places to find art and in Lincolnshire we are blessed with some fantastic galleries and shops.  Social media provides a good platform for art shopping too of course.  I’ve found some fantastic pieces of art and, because it’s on social media I’ve also been able to chat to the artist too.  Not every conversation ends in a sale but that doesn’t matter.  The conversations help to build a following, the followers have friends, the friends have friends and family… If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone somewhere is going to like what the artist is doing and that can lead to sales and commissions.

Are You An Artist And Would You Like To Get Involved?

If you’re a Twitter user you’ll be familiar with the various ‘hashtag hours’ which involves everyone on the planet interacting about one subject in a frenzy of tweets and conversations.  Choose a subject and there will probably be a dedicated hour to it!  They are fantastic platforms for networking and getting messages seen  but they can be very hectic and difficult to follow.  By the time you have seen a post, reacted to it and asked a question you could have missed 30 or 40 other posts.

I want to change that ‘frenzy’ if I can.  My plan is to have a dedicated hour using the #LincsConnect hashtag on Twitter with Lincolnshire artists of all genres posting their pictures, messages, links and special offers.  The beauty of the hashtag is that anyone can search it at any time so if the #LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour is on Monday from 12.00pm – 1.00pm you can still search through it on Wednesday or Sunday of the same week, a different week or even a different month.  Once the tweet is there, it stays there until the author takes it down.  My challenge after that is to be able to transfer the idea onto Facebook so that those artists/crafters who don’t use Twitter can still make use of the idea.

Get Involved

If you’re interested please do get in touch by email so that I can get everything coordinated.  You can email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

When?

Lets set a start date:

Monday 7 September from 12.00pm – 1.00pm

How Will It Work?

Here’s the deal:

It’s FREE!

It will rely on the artists and crafters to post their messages, links, pictures and special offers which MUST include the hashtag #LincsConnect

The hashtag #LincsConnect will automatically post your message to the file for everyone to see.  However, assume no one will be looking for you on the hashtag until YOU tell them to have a look!

Post your messages with the hashtag and tag in your friends.  Ask them to help spread the message by telling their friends.  This cascade of conversation can quickly get the hashtag seen and used  locally which will mean your posts will be seen by more and more people.

Don’t worry that you aren’t available during the #LincsArtCraftHour because you can schedule your messages in advance to make sure that they hit the hashtag at the right time.

Here’s the crucial bit:  You ‘must’ search the hashtag during the week to look at the posts and do your free networking.  Be prepared to get into conversations, say something positive, share other peoples posts… The more you share for others, the more likely they are to share for you.

   Click the logo above to see how the #LincsConnect hashtag works

 

What’s In It For You?

The posts will be on twitter but I will also do a weekly arts blog.  I’ll search the hashtag to see who has been interacting with others and as a ‘thank you’ I’ll highlight  the posts in the blog.  I’ll also include links to your websites and social media pages.

What’s In It For Me?

I’ll create paid advertising slots, paid blog links and paid features.  The whole process will be time consuming for me so I will need to have some form of recompense for my work.  Will it make me a fortune? No! Will it pay my bills? Probably not!  I always enjoy helping others though and if I can manage to produce a small income from my efforts, all the better.

Click on the picture to go straight to Daves Facebook page or click on this link @DaveSpherical to find him on Twitter

Dave recently joined me on Twitter and ‘Oh Boy’! he has some stunning pictures for sale. In this day and age where photos are easy to take with our digital mobile phones and editing platforms it’s such a joy to see some truly stunning pictures of nature at its best.  This is just one picture of many that Dave has taken and is offering for sale so if you like what you see you should definitely get in touch.

Mel is widely known around the County and beyond and when you see her artwork you’ll understand why. Click on the picture to go straight to her website or click on this link @MelLangtonArt to follow her on Twitter

Mel creates some truly remarkable artwork including bespoke commissions like the one you can see above.  I’ve been quietly following Mel on Twitter and can honestly say that her artwork really needs to be seen (and purchased of course).

Click on the picture to go to Ellies Etsy shop or click on this link @ElliesTreasures to follow her on Twitter

Arts and crafts go hand in hand and I’m sure you’ll agree that this hand made key ring really is delightful.  You’ll find much more on Ellies Etsy shop page so why not pop over (click on the picture above) to discover more.  I certainly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Click on this picture to go straight to the Etsy Shop page of Twibell Arts or click on this link @TwibellArts to follow Serena on Twitter. I’ve been following Serena for several years and am always amazed at her talent and versatility. Not only did she paint the picture of this gorgeous cat (commissions welcome) but she also made the decorations in the picture too.

 

Manipulating an image (in this case ‘two’ images) to make an interesting piece of art is really special. This image of Lincoln High Street was taken by John and blended with an old image to create a piece of art that goes beyond the normal photograph. Click on this picture to go to Johns website or click on this link @jpbphoography to follow him on twitter.

Advertising

If you would like to place an advert on the Lincs Connect blogs please do get in touch.  Bloggers can also have links to their blogs here too.  Get in touch today if you would like to feature here by contacting me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

Mandarin Therapies and Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies (Covid-19 safe) including Aromatherapy massage, Antenatal, postnatal massage and injury rehabilitation. Click on the picture to go to the website or click on the links above to go to the social media pages

Social

PCC Marc Jones is looking for young people to join the Lincolnshire Commission.  It’s an opportunity for young people to help the police better understand their concerns and thoughts.

Click on the picture above to go to the website

See You Soon

That’s it for now but there will be lots more happening here so please keep the link handy and log in for a quick catchup when you get the chance.

Stay Safe

The rules have’t changed – keep washing our hands as it’s the best way to help control Covid-19

 

 

#ShopLocal?

#ShopLocal?

Hashtags – Do They Work?

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.

Supporting Local

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:

  1.  Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
  2.  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
  3.  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.
  4. 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?

Shop Local

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.

Online

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!

Charities

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.

Stay Safe 

Sponsored by:

Bespoke Complementary Therapies from the comfort of your own home

 

Coronavirus Support

Coronavirus Support

Support And Help From Around The County

The aim of this blog is to highlight some of the fantastic support that is being offered by local businesses, charities and individuals.  To access more information including contact information please click/tap on the logo/pictures below:

Lincoln Area

Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.

 

Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln. Your community needs volunteers NOW. Can you help your local community? Contact Andy by clicking on the picture to find the contact form

 

Lincoln. Browns Pie Shop are delivering to your home or work 7 days a week from 12.00pm-8.30pm within 10 miles of the shop

Lincoln. The Salted Orange are offering a ‘not for profit’ meal delivery service for the over 65s. £20.00 weekly for three meals a day delivered to your door twice weekly

 

Lincoln Veg Out Lincoln provide a delivery service for their frozen vegan meals. Click the picture to go to their website or follow them on twitter @vegoutlincoln

 

Lincolnshire Grow Your Own Veg – skip the supermarket queue by growing your own veg from seed. Not sure how? Click on the picture to go to the website for more info or follow @strawbaleukman on Twitter. There is even a book to download too. No Soil Needed….

 

ONLINE. Dance classes for all age groups online. Why not join your children and have some fun? It’ll keep you fit too!

 

Lincoln, Norton Hub are providing a volunteer led local help scheme to those in isolation

 

Lincoln Small Beer is open to the public for beer, cider, wine, soft drinks, spirits, cask ale & kegs. Call them on 01522 540431 or click the picture to visit the website.

 

Lincoln The Golden Eagle is providing home deliveries too

 

Lincoln. School closure interim provision. To book call 01522 283027

 

Lincoln – BetterWeb Space is offering FREE basic websites during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Lincoln & Lincolnshire – Octagon Technology has produced a blog for remote workers. A useful blog about VoIP and how you can use it while working from home. Click on the picture to visit the blog post

 

Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire. “Self-isolation can be difficult for even the most resilient of us. If you’re experiencing loneliness or feeling low, call the emotional support helpline 0800 001 4331. Open 24/7 for confidential support”

 

Lincolnshire & Beyond. Call Connect Bus are still working to help our community stay mobile and now providing FREE transport too. Call 03452343344 for info

 

Lincolnshire. Lincs Libraries may have the answer to self-isolation boredom with their ‘download and listen’ service. It’s FREE with your library card

 

Lincolnshire Co-Op have announced at 12.00pm 22 Mar that they have reviewed their opening times and are advertising jobs for Customer Service Assistants and Delivery Drivers. The new store opening times will be 7.00am – 8.00pm with restrictions of two units on all products. Click the logo to go to their web page.

 

East Lindsey Lincs Digital partnered with TED East Lindsey are here to help with digital connections. If you know someone who needs help connecting with Skype or FaceTime visit their website for more info. Simply click the image to go to the website.

 

Lincolnshire This is a useful blog by @CCDigitalUK which explains how to market your Hand Made Products for sale on Etsy. An ideal opportunity to use some time at home to brush up on some marketing skills. Click on the picture to go to the blog post

 

 

Lincolnshire Live are promoting Lincolnshire businesses for free on 2 April 20. Click on the picture to follow the link

 

Gelston FREE delivery on packs of lamb meat. For more info click on the picture to follow @GelstonLamb on twitter

Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501

 

 

Charity/Community Help

 

Lincoln – Bracebridge Heath, Can YOU volunteer to help your local community in Bracebridge Heath? Please contact Andy ASAP by clicking the picture to go to the website. THE COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU

 

West Lindsey Business Rate Application Form. West Lindsey still have money available and believe there are still businesses that have not claimed

 

South Holland, Spalding. South Holland are providing additional support for those in the area who are struggling financially as a result of the Coronavirus. Click on the picture to find the Linc. Also contactable on Twitter @SHollandDC

 

Lincolnshire Rural Support Network (LRSN) @lincsruralhelp provides help and support to Lincolnshire farmers and their families. Cal 0800 138 1710 or click on the picture to open the link

 

Lincoln Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.

 

Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930

 

Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications

 

North East Lincolnshire Single Point of Access (open 24/7) for your health, wellbeing, social care and mental health needs. Call 01472 256256 or click on the image to visit the website.

 

 

Lincoln. If you’re looking for volunteers please contact VCS Lincoln who will help promote your opportunities. Click on the picture to visit their website

 

Lincoln Community Larder (food bank) are in constant need of food and supplies. Can you donate something please? Click on the picture to visit their website and locate a drop off point near you

 

Lincolnshire Age UK East are continuing to provide telephone advice and support to older people in the East and West Lindsey areas as well as in North Lincolnshire. Click on the picture to visit the website

 

Lincoln/south Lincolnshire Can YOU help please? Age UK need extra volunteers NOW. You can find them on Twitter @ageuklsl or alternatively click on this picture to go to their website

 

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NEED YOUR HELP. @LincsNHS are offering paid work and flexible hours in return for your help NOW. email grace.gourley@nhs.net or call 07824 550 846

 

Boston, Grantham & Lincoln are looking for temporary staff to support catering and domestic work. Go to Twitter @ULHT_News or click on this picture to go to the website for more info

 

Lincolnshire County Council have regular video updates so please click this link for service updates and click on the picture for the regular live updates.

 

Lincoln If you need help with food, food deliveries or can lend a hand visit Lincoln Food Partnership

 

Rutland To find out what help is available in the Rutland and South Lincolnshire area visit the Rutland council website by clicking on the picture

Uffington For assistance in Uffington and the local area please contact Rev’d Fr Aran P Beesley by phone 07590 055905 or email aran.beesley@gmail.com

UK. If you haven’t visited this .Gov website yet, DO IT NOW. Click on the picture to go to the website

UK. If you haven’t visited this .NHS website yet, DO IT NOW. You can go to the website by clicking on the picture

Lincolnshire. Can you volunteer? Click on the picture to go to the website

 

Lincolnshire Police request that you click on this picture to take you to the link for help and advice both nationally and locally for Coronavirus issues

Lincolnshire Police request that you do NOT contact them for Coronavirus related advice. There are other, more well equipped agencies available with information for you. Only call 101 for police related matters. Click on the picture to go to the website for info

 

East Lindsey Fortnightly activity packs for the over 50s. If you know anyone over 50 in the area who is isolated or alone please let them know about the services on offer. Click on the picture to reach the link

#NHS From 1 Aril @NHSLincsWest @NHSLincsEast @NHS_SouthLincs @SWLincs_NHS will all come under the umbrella account of @NHSLincsCCG

Lincolnshire FionaDuncan @OrigArtPrints is offering 20 (first come, first served) FREE cards for those of you who would like to send a message to friends/family/colleagues in the NHS. Just quote #Free2NHS to take advantage of these printed cards. All you will be asked to pay is the postage.  You can also find Fiona on facebook

Click on the picture to find the link to Fiona on Facebook

 

Ease Lindsey DC now have £62m to support small business grants. Click on the picture to open the link

 

NHS Coronavirus checker. Please complete this short survey for the NHS by clicking on this picture.

 

#LincsConnectJobs

Lincolnshire Food industry Jobs. Many jobs are available within the food industry sector NOW. Click on the picture to follow the link or follow @GreaterLincsLEP on twitter

 

Martin Lewis Money Matters

Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert explains what’s available

 

Martin Lewis – Update for the Self Employed 24/3/20

 

Martin Lewis update for the Self Employed 27 Mar 20

 

Alford

Aby (Near Alford) Saturday evening wood fired oven pizza to take away (5.00pm-7.30pm). Call 01507 451366 before 4.00pm. ZERO CONTACT collection system of course.  Days/times may change according to government regulations

 

Boston

Boston Market will continue as planned but will sell food only. Please respect Social Distancing when you visit and give a friendly smile to the stall holders

 

Cleethorpes & Grimsby

 

Cleethorpes. Toven’s Cafe offering food deliveries. Call 01472 488590 or click on the picture to visit the website.

 

Cleethorpes. Spill The Beans are offering a FREE delivery service to Cleethorpes & Grimsby areas. Call 01472 601392 or click the picture to go to their website

 

Cleethorpes. Veronica’s Larder is offering a takeaway service. Call 01472 823875 or click on the picture to visit the website

 

Grimsby Age UK North East Lincs are offering a meal delivery service. Call 01472 344976 or click on the picture to go to the website

 

Gainsborough

Gainsborough The Gainsborough market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.

 

 

Grantham

Grantham. The Lunchbox delivers food around Grantham to keep your hunger at bay. Give them a call today

 

Grantham Gelston Lamb provide mail order fresh lamb direct from the farm. To place your order visit them on Twitter @GelstonLamb or on Facebook Gelston Lamb. You can order by phone too on 01400 251 501

 

Grantham The Grantham market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.

 

Louth

Louth Award winning Meridian Meats don’t just supply top quality meat! Currently baking extra bread too in order to help feed the town. Pop in but keep a social distance for the safety of everyone

 

Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930

 

Louth Market is still open for food sales during the Coronavirus crisis. Please respect the Safe Distance rule

 

 

Market Rasen

 

Market Rasen Cote Hill Cheese are now providing a MAIL ORDER service for their cheese so now is the time to replenish your stock. You can give them a call on 01673 828 481, find them on Twitter @CoteHillCheese and on Facebook Cote Hill Cheese. Click on the picture to go straight to their website

 

Spalding

 

Spalding. Is your computer in need of repair? TCS are offering FREE pickup while we go through the process of self-isolation

 

Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications

 

 

Spilsby

Hundleby (Spilsby) The Elm Tree are now providing take away afternoon tea for just £10.00. Call them to book your treat on 01790 753534 or click on this image to go to their website

 

Sleaford

Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501

 

Stamford & Rutland

Stamford. Central Cafe Stamford are providing a delivery service for those who can’t get out due to self isolation. Minimum spend £10.00

 

 

Stamford. Contact the growing network of coordinated volunteers who are ready to help wherever possible. Find them on Twitter @OurStamford or click on the picture to go straight to their website.

 

Stamford The Stamford Cheese and Wine Cellar is open for business and is also providing mail order deliveries. Click on the picture to go to their website.

 

Stamford The Copper Room is providing a home delivery service for your bar until 11.00pm. Click on the picture to go their website and follow them on twitter @CopperStamford

 

Rutland For updates on what’s available in the Rutland area please click on the picture to go to the Rutland council website

 

There’s More…

This list is by no means complete so rather than producing more and more blogs with contacts lists this one will be updated regularly.  Please save this URL to your favourites on whatever device you are using.  More headings will be added to make searching the blog easier. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell your friends about this blog.  It’s here for us all and it’s not for profit.  Spread the word and stay safe

.

Have We Become Numb?

Have We Become Numb?

Ring Any Bells?

I often channel hop when listening to my car radio between clients and recently I happened upon a programme on the BBC World Service. The general gist of the programme revolved around the psychology of giving to charity.  Obviously all charities rely on us for donations and fund raising events but the programme got me thinking;  Have we become numb to the pleading of charities?  I know that many of you will give regularly to your chosen charity, some of you may volunteer while others might be supporting the charities by shopping in the charity shops or taking part in the many events that are held each year.

Who Or What Is To Blame?

Have we become numb to the fundraising calls of the local charities?  Are we becoming numb to their pleading without even realising it?  Perhaps you may recall the horrendous pictures on our TV screens of the ‘flies in their eyes’ images of starving children in African countries who were too weak to even blink.  This is going to sound dreadful I know but perhaps those images have lost their impact now.  Charity adverts have evolved and may now include images of children in school wishing they could get a better education to have a better chance of fending for themselves in future years.  The programme considered both images and the psychological impact of each.  Both images raise funds for the charities but neither image is more effective than the other.  Rather, some people are pre-disposed to giving to one image over the other with the net result being ‘both images work’.

These are just examples of course as there are a huge number of charities working in different ways to raise funds in order to help people and animals.  How would it work though if there was just one charity in the world?  Would that charity cease to exist as a result of its own success?  Perhaps, but that’s just hypothetical of course because the reality is that there are thousands upon thousands of charities around the world.  In fact, these charities make so much ‘noise’ that perhaps we are losing touch with what they are trying to do.  By ‘noise’ I mean TV advertising, radio advertising, newspaper advertising and of course the huge bombardment that we get on social media.  That’s a “huge bombardment” of ‘everything’ and not just from the charities.  Are we in danger of suffering from information overload and therefore switching off from the issues that really matter to us?

Lincolnshire Charities

We have lots of different charities in our region but we should all be thankful that they exist.  We have the Lincoln YMCA @YMCALincs who look out for and care for many vulnerable people.  They truly deserve our attention as they help to get people off the streets, into accommodation and give them a new start in life.  If you haven’t heard of Leonie’s battle yet you need to give her a follow on twitter @chillibean2018 and follow her journey as she undergoes surgery and intensive physiotherapy to help her walk after having ben born Quad Cerebral Palsy.  Such a brave little girl and a dedicated Mum who is constantly fund raising in order to pay for her life changing surgery.  At the other end of the age scale you’ll find @AgeUKLindsey who are an independent charity offering advice and support for the over 50s.  I wonder if we all realise how lucky we are to have such a huge number of heroes in our County who spend valuable time looking after others?

What’s next?

Surely a blog of this sort in March 2020 can’t go out without mentioning Coronavirus (COVID-19).  This dreadful virus has touched everyone here.  A global pandemic which is having a huge local impact.  On a personal note I have cancelled group exercise classes and in my role at LincsConnect I’m seeing first hand how worried people are becoming.  This pandemic isn’t just affecting health (although that is a huge worry) but the disruption it is causing is having a massive negative impact on businesses both large and small.  I’ve seen a huge increase in businesses and charities posting to the #LincsConnect hashtag in order to get their messages around the County.  Some are offering support, some are informing us of changes while others are asking for help.  What can be done?

You’re Not Alone

Those of you who know me on twitter as @MANDARINLEISURE will no doubt remember that I post a positive and (hopefully) uplifting post each morning along with an excerpt from a song.  I wake each morning (that’s always a good start)! with a tune in my head.  It happens every day and I have no control over which song it will be.  That’s my ‘ear worm’ so, being a friendly sort of chap, I have to share it.  Well why should I have to suffer alone?  It’s become a daily ritual now and I know that people from around the world are looking out for it and joining in with the fun.  Here’s an example for you.  Let’s see if you can guess the song:

 

Thinking of all the charitable work that’s going on around the county perhaps ‘now’ is the time to be thinking about how we can help each other.  @LincsConnect has nearly 11,000 ‘local’ followers.  If each one of them visited the hashtag #LincsConnect a couple of times a day to see who they could support we would all benefit hugely.  It’s all very well posting your message (on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) using the hashtag #LincsConnect to tell people what you are doing, what you need or how you can help but it won’t do you any good at all if no one is bothering to look at the hashtag to see what or who they can support.  I’m sorry if that sounds abrupt but the truth is, we are in deep trouble and we need to pull together to get through this problem safely.

I’m No Expert But…

I’m not an economist.  I’m not a high flying business executive.  I’m not an ace charity worker.  I am just ‘me’ but I can see how we can start to help each other.  I’m not talking about getting bread and milk for those who are in isolation.  That has already been broadcast across social media (I’ll post my version of the form for you to print and utilise) and is certainly going to help many people.  What I’m talking about is using and looking at the #LincsConnect hashtag to see who is in need.  Trust me, when you help others you’re more likely to have that help reciprocated when you need it most.

STOP!

Perhaps if those companies who only post their own messages and never look to see how they can help others changed their habits during this period of uncertainty we could start to achieve more.  There is an old saying:  “What goes around, comes around”. NOW is the time to be supportive of others, to be charitable, to look to see what can be done for others because together we can be absolutely AWESOME!

Take a look at this video to see how you can help on Twitter: How To Search #LincsConnect  

For Those Of You Who Are Able

As promised, here is the form for you to print and utilise.  Please use it wisely.

What Next?

I’ve heard people asking “What will life be like after the virus”?  There will be no income and (according to some) no hope!  My answer to that is this:

Life after the virus will carry on.  There will be an income because we will carry on working.  I have hope and that hope is based on my belief in you.

Todays blog was a little different but I think it’s an important one.  What do you think?

You Don’t Need A Sweet Tooth To Appreciate Chocolate

You Don’t Need A Sweet Tooth To Appreciate Chocolate

Chocolate

Have I got your attention now?  I suspect there aren’t many people who don’t like chocolate but apologies in advance to those of you who either don’t like it or for medical reasons can’t heat it.  However, when we’re out shopping it seems very difficult to avoid it.  So much so perhaps that sometimes we hardly even register in our mind that the bars of sweetness are there!  If you’re like me you’ll enjoy sitting down to watch something on TV and will quite possibly end up eating more of it than you really should.  That is of course until I was educated in the art of real chocolate…

Louth Chocolate Tasters

They say ‘ignorance is bliss’ and that may be true but once you’ve been educated there is no going back.  If you’re a chocolate lover like me can you imagine my excitement when I was invited by Kathryn @KathrynLincs to join her and her group in Louth for a chocolate tasting evening?  My only concern was that my blog posts wouldn’t be set up in time to write about my experience!  As it happens I have had computer and internet issues that have delayed this blog but that’s another story.  Let’s get back to the important bit – ‘chocolate’.

The meeting was held in The Brown Cow Louth at 7.30pm on 24 Feb.  It all sounds very formal but in reality it’s just a group of very friendly people with a common love of chocolate.  I had no idea what to expect but I took my seat and waited in quiet anticipation.  Well, that’s not quite true.  We were all getting into conversations with people around us and there was a very friendly buzz in the room.


If any of you have been to a wine tasting event I suspect you have a good idea how my chocolate tasting evening was going to go.  We each had a couple of information sheets with details of the evenings chocolatiers as well as a separate page for making notes.  You’ll see my note page below with my scribbled reminders on.  It doesn’t look very pretty but then my hand writing never is!

As you can see from the heading on my note paper, the focus for the evening was Canadian chocolate.  Perhaps I should elaborate, this was some of the finest Canadian chocolate and the selection certainly surpassed my expectations.

From Canada To Lincolnshire

 

Let the tasting begin.  If you hadn’t already noticed my notes above, would you have known that you’re actually meant to suck the chocolate in order to experience the full flavours?  Being used to the standard Cadburys or ‘posh’ Belgian chocolates my instinct was to put the chocolate in my mouth, chew it and swallow.  It’s a good job Kathryn was on hand to educate me in the finer art of chocolate tasting.

One Square Or Two?

Actually, a platter was handed around the table and we each took ‘half’ a square of chocolate to smell and taste.  This may sound a little odd but the idea here is to taste the chocolate not gorge on it. We each made our own notes (in my case, ‘scribbles’) and discussed what we had found.  I’m sure my notes are very sparse compared to the regular club members.  Following the discussion around the table I soon realised that I had not noticed some of the key flavours of each of the samples.  Other members were detecting berries and other subtle flavours that I had missed but immediately recognised as soon as they were pointed out to me.  All of the samples on offer were dark chocolate and of varying percentages but it soon became apparent to me that not all dark chocolate is bitter.  The Soma Arcana is 100% and not to my taste.  I did get the flavours but it wasn’t a chocolate that I would buy.  Well, we can’t please everyone all of the time can we?  I did have a favourite though and that was the Sirene Dark Milk Guatemala at 65%.  It’s almost identical (to my amateur pallet) to the Sirene Chabil but smother and without the Cardamom.  I did say ‘almost’ identical didn’t I? I’m sure the seasoned chocolate tasters will allow me my novice opinion.

The Debris

After nine samples of half a square each and one hour forty minutes later the evening came to an end.  Needless to say, there were a few empty wrappers left over but very little chocolate.

.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening in good company and held in a private room in The Brown Cow pub, Newmarket in Louth.  Our hosts were Kathryn www.cocoaencounters.co.uk and Lindsay www.spirechocolates.co.uk and I’m truly grateful for my invitation and education.  Trust me, once you’ve experienced one of these evenings you’ll view your chocolate consumption in a completely different light.

Do It Yourself

If you would like to set up a group in your area please get in touch with Kathryn who will be more than happy to help you.  You can find her on twitter @kathrynLincs or by email at cocoaencounters@gmail.com.  You don’t need to be an expert but it’ll help if you like chocolate.

Visits

Would you like me to visit your place of work or group?  I’m sure you’ll have something very interesting to share with the County and I would really be pleased to help you spread your message.  You can contact me through the website www.lincsconnect.co.uk via Twitter @LincsConnect or through Facebook Lincs Connect.  I’ll be waiting to hear from you.