Archive for the ‘Sykes Charity Work’ Category

Happy Halloween from an Oddly Orange Sykes Cottages!

Friday, October 31st, 2014
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MWA HA HA HA HA! Happy Halloween from Sykes Cottages! We hope your day’s been as zombie-filled, cobweb laden and jack o’ lantern lit as ours. Over the past week, the staff at Sykes HQ have carved their way through a veritable pile of pumpkins as part of Chester’s Zoo latest Act for Wildlife campaign, Go Orange for Orangutans.

Halloween Blog - Orangutan

Via Flickr

Go Orange for Orangutans is a project raising money for the heavily endangered Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans, whose numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate. The drop in orangutan numbers is a result of habitat loss, with over 80% of the animal’s rainforest home destroyed.

It’s thought there are no more than 7,300 orangutans remaining in the wild, and they could become extinct within our lifetime. Along with its partners, Chester Zoo aims to raise awareness and funds for these majestic creatures before it’s too late. Here at Sykes, we were more than happy to do our bit for this worthy cause, and thought the theme ‘Go Orange’ could tie quite nicely into this year’s Halloween celebrations.

Whether its clothing, face paint or pumpkins, the ‘Go Orange’ campaign asked businesses and organisations to pick one day in October to get their orange-on and raise some cash for orangutans. And what better way to do so than with a pumpkin carving championship! Over fifty staff members signed-up to take part in the event, each donating £2 to enter their sculpted squash in the competition. Here’s a handful of some of the petrifying pumpkins we came up with.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins 2

Alas, like all contests, there could only be one winner and after much deliberation from our independent adjudicator, this wondrous pumpkin – carved by Claire Davies – was declared winner:

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We’re yet to tot-up the money raised for the zoo’s campaign, but we’ll be sure to let you know just how much was raised by our orange-antics on Facebook & Twitter.

Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

2014 Chester Duck Race

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Laughter filled the streets of Chester this Saturday as the 2014 Chester Duck Race kicked off on the River Dee. Hundreds of people turned up in support of the Babygrow Appeal ready to watch the 5,000 rubber ducks and 70 corporate ducks take to the water!

The Sykes team turned out in force to cheer on our star racer, Nigel the Duck. Although Nigel didn’t win he was really pleased with his performance saying that all his hard work and training had definitely paid off. The winner of this year’s corporate duck race was Frank the Boiler Repair Man, a fantastic duck who had the lead on his competition right from the off.

Along with the corporate duck race there was also 5,000 mini ducks released to race down the river, a number of baked goods, knitted crafts on sale and some wonderful choir performances by  the children of St Werburgh and St Columba’s who really sang their hearts out.

The day was a big success and a lot of fun. The team here at Sykes Cottages would like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to Lesley, Janet, Angie and all the volunteers involved in making the event happen; they have worked really hard and raised almost £20,000 for the Babygrow Appeal.

We’ve attached some of our favourite pictures from Saturday below for you to browse through and remember, you can make a donation to the Babygrow Appeal at any time by simply visiting their just giving page.

The corporate ducks on display before the big race.

The corporate ducks on display before the big race.

Some of the fantastic volunteers who gave up their Saturday for a great cause.

Some of the fantastic volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help out with the event

The corporate ducks getting ready to make a splash

The corporate ducks getting ready to make a splash

Corporate ducks making their way down the river. Can you spot Nigel?

Corporate ducks making their way down the river. Can you spot Nigel?

There he is, giving us a wave as he heads towards the finish line

There he is, giving us a wave as he heads towards the finish line

This little guy needed a little extra help

This little guy needed a little extra help

Mini ducks getting ready to dive in!

Mini ducks getting ready to dive in!

Sink or swim time for the mini ducks.

Sink or swim time for the mini ducks.

There they go, 5,000 mini ducks take the plunge

There they go, 5,000 mini ducks take the plunge

Riding the wave; mini ducks make their way towards the finish line.

Riding the wave; mini ducks make their way towards the finish line.

nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Meet Nigel: Our Competitor for the Chester Duck Race

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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This time last month, the Sykes Cottages office welcomed a very special guest who, on September 20th, will hopefully lead us to victory in the Chester Duck Race. As the newest member of the Sykes Cottages team, we thought we’d let you get to know Nigel in his very own blog post! Keep reading to learn all about Nigel, the charity he supports, and how he’s been spending his time here at Sykes.

About Nigel

Nigel before

Nigel came to Sykes Cottages on a fund raising mission and has been training daily to perform in the big duck race, where he will be raising money for the Babygrow Appeal. Nigel strongly supports the Babygrow appeal and its aim to raise £3million, which will help build a new neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Nigel knows that all babies need special care but also that some need it more than others, and so, he is privileged to be competing in the big race as part of the Sykes Cottages team!

Nigel’s Make Over

Nigel make over Redo

During his time here at Sykes Cottages, the team were set the challenge of giving Nigel a makeover; there was much discussion surrounding Nigel’s new look but seeing as his race is taking place on the iconic River Dee in the historic city of Chester, we decided to transform Nigel into a sight-seeing, fact-finding tourist! Nigel’s new look comes complete with a Sykes branded shirt, a camera to capture his favourite race moments, and a visitor’s guide to the city itself! We think Nigel’s new look is rather dashing, don’t you?

Nigel’s Time at Sykes Cottages

Nigel working Redo

Since his arrival here at Sykes Cottages, Nigel has thrown himself into fundraising activities and, as well as undergoing his makeover, he is currently planning a bake sale to raise more money for the Babygrow Appeal. Nigel has also been learning all about Sykes Cottages and has really enjoyed browsing our selection of properties; he especially likes Duck Cottage and Puddle-Duck Lodge! Although Nigel has been extremely busy he’s made time to get to know the people here at Sykes and has made a lot of new friends.

What’s next for Nigel?

Group & Nigel Redo

Nigel’s time at Sykes Cottages is almost at an end and our little quacker will soon be leaving the nest, for his next big adventure! Shortly after the bake sale, Nigel will depart to meet up with his friends from the bath tub, he is due to make his first public outing in September when he and his friends will be hogging the spot light at Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre. They will be on display at the centre for a week from September 13th before heading off to the big race on September 20th!

We can’t wait to see Nigel race in September and if you’d like to come along and show your support I’m sure he would love to see you too! For more information on the appeal please visit the Countess of Chester website or to make a donation to the Babygrow Appeal you can visit their just giving page.

nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Jane and Jackie’s Jamathon for Cancer Research UK

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
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Today at Sykes Cottages we’re absolutely inundated with tasty delights as yesterday two members of our fantastic reservations team, Jane and Jackie, took on the challenge of a ‘Jamathon’ in aid of Cancer Research UK. The pair of them spent a whole 24 hours cooking up countless batches of delicious jams, chutneys and jellies (you can see some additional photographic evidence on the Sykes Facebook page) all of which are now being sold off to the peckish workers in the kitchen here at Sykes HQ, with the proceeds being donated to charity. So we’d just like to say a massive thank you to both Jackie and Jane for the hours that they spent boiling and simmering away in the name of a brilliant cause, and also for the masses of delicious jam for us to tuck in to!

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Just some of the delicious treats that Jane and Jackie cooked up

Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Celebrating 100 Years of the UK’s Wildlife Trusts

Monday, July 22nd, 2013
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish the Wildlife Trusts a belated happy 100th birthday! Founded in 1912, the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (as it was then called) and is today the largest voluntary organisation protecting nature and wildlife in the UK. There are more than 800,000 members in the UK and 2011 saw some seven million visits to Wildlife Trust reserves up and down the country.

 
100th birthday cake
 

Supporting the cause

Although each of the 47 Wildlife Trusts varies in their membership and activities, they share a common interest in wildlife and biodiversity and work to protect the UK’s natural heritage.  At Sykes Cottages, we share these goals and are proud to support a number of Wildlife Trusts in their important work across the UK.  We know that many of our holidaymakers choose a holiday in the UK and Ireland thanks to the impressive range of flora and fauna and we are keen to do our bit to protect our fantastic country for decades and holidaymakers to come.

 
Narborough Railway Line
 

Nature on your doorstep

The 47 Wildlife Trusts located across the UK, including the Isle of Man and the Isle of Alderney, offer a staggering 2,300 nature reserves to visit.  Come rain or shine this summer, getting back to nature is great way to spend part of your UK holiday and allows you to get to know your new destination.  All you need to do is choose one of our fantastic holiday cottages, visit the Wildlife Trusts’ website to plan a great day out and enjoy!

 
Poppies, Blackstone Nature Reserve, Bewdley, UK
 

From everyone here at Sykes Cottages, it’s a huge congratulations to the Wildlife Trusts and here’s to the next 100 years!!