Category Archives: Business

Big Sis C.I.C reach £18,000 in community fundraiser

By Affinity May

Big Sis C.I.C have already raised £18,000 to support girls’ mental health in the South West – but they still need your help!

Big Sis C.I.C is a South West based organisation supporting young girls in their mental health and wellbeing. Their work involves ‘helping girls across the South West during and post Covid-19 to develop confidence and resilience whilst preparing for puberty‘.

One in eight young women between the ages of 17-19 struggle with suicidal tendencies in the UK. Big Sis C.I.C’s work with primary school aged girls is important in helping to bring this statistic down for future generations.

Big Sis C.I.C is currently raising money to launch its Plymouth Pilot programme, ‘Big Sis Mental Health Mentoring Programme’, in schools across the city. They have already successfully reached their inital target of £18,000 and have now set a stretch target of £25,000.

By donating to their community fundraiser you will allow them to reach two thousand and twenty girls in schools across the region and work with them on the areas of emotional literacy and menstrual education, as well as training 300 student volunteers to be mentors for the programme and pay for their advanced DBS checks.

This programme offers a safe place for girls to ask questions and discuss the topic of growing up. A lot of young girls struggle with mental health issues in regard to body image and confidence. One of Big Sis C.I.C’s main focuses is to ease the puberty transition period, as this is a crucial time where girls need as much support as possible.

The programme consists of 12 different workshops, focusing on everything from menstrual cycle education and body positivity, to emotional literacy, mental health awareness and games to identify feelings.

Alongside directly supporting young girls in developing good mental health, Big Sis C.I.C also equip immediate support networks with useful information. Parents, carers, teachers, and schools are all provided with helpful resources through workshops and programmes, helping them to feel confident in supporting girls while they go through the major life change of puberty.

The programme will also create local opportunities for young women studying education degrees to volunteer and learn new skills as a Big Sis Mentor.

Big Sis C.I.C have received wonderful feedback from the public on their previous work. Commenting on a Big Sis workshop, Sara, a mother, said: “it has transformed the relationship with both of my daughters, broken a taboo. I feel so much closer to them”.

Ten year old Lilly also commented: “Discussing periods with strangers was going to be the most embarrassing experience ever, but it was fun, I learnt a lot and I really enjoyed it in the end.” 

And Mark, a father, said, “puberty is a big change in their lives and it will affect their future and their relationships forever”.

Big Sis C.I.C’s Plymouth Pilot programme will reduce the uncertainty, fears, and anxiety that arise for many young girls as they enter puberty, as well as strengthening girl to girl bonds. The more money they raise, the more work they can do in helping to support the mental health of girls growing up in our city.

You can donate to their fundraiser by following the link below.

A Little Nudge in the Right Direction

By Grace Dobbie

Nudge Community Builders describe themselves as a ‘community benefit society’, set up and run by local people, for local people. Last year, they were chosen as one of the 2018 New Radicals by Nesta and The Observer News Review. So, what do they do?

The society enable and run activities in ‘unused, underused or unusual’ urban spaces, creating deep rooted, positive change in run-down areas. Their achievements are bold and ambitious, and future aims even more so. Improving local areas, with the knowledge and experience of the community, is top of their agenda, while also giving a leg up to new businesses, clubs and groups. 

Perhaps what makes Nudge’s work so important, is the dire need for improvement in their target areas. Union Street is notorious for its fall from grace – from the ‘heyday’ of 1980s nightlife, to the anti-social behaviour of today. Local authorities have failed to address damaging degeneration, so it is left to miraculous, community champions to save the day. 

Nudge already runs six impressive projects: Union Corner Community Centre, The Advent Box Project, The Count Me in Data Tapestry, Manor Street Market, Out on the Street and The Clipper.

The sixth, you may have even visited – The Clipper is ‘a community market and pop-up cafe’ on Union Street. A former pub, The Clipper was a 24 hour drinking destination up until 2017, adding to the ill-famed, undesirable atmosphere of the street. By the end of 2017 the building had been bought by Nudge, and has since begun to be used and visited by thousands of local people. The space is open as a cafe from Thursday to Saturday 12-6pm, open for private bookings and, furthermore, Nudge wants to utilise it for opportunities for local businesses. 

Nudge’s small, grassroots success demonstrate the power of our community. Instead of avoiding Union Street, or moaning about its unappealing aura, join the change. Help nudge Plymouth in the right direction. 

You can find out more about Nudge Community Builders here:

Plympton Judo: There really is NO competition!

By Affinity May

Plympton St Maurice Judo Club is a well established club run by Andy Cooper, a Senior 6th Dan, who has been in Judo for over 50 years. This friendly and welcoming club was taken over by Andy who moved it from the Church hall in Plympton to Plympton St Maurice Guildhall. The Guildhall is a fantastic venue with a lot of history.

All of the instructors at the club are fully qualified, having completed the Fundamental Principles of Judo 1 and 2 (FPJ1, FPJ2) courses. 

Plympton St Maurice Judo is a fantastic local club, with high quality instruction, a great learning environment and a friendly atmosphere. They teach traditional Judo under the BJC (British Judo Council) and have a very good success rate. They provide instruction for everyone; from recreational Judoka to area and international competitors.

The club is run by a group of volunteers who help out and support in various ways. One of the volunteers is George Haydon (Senior Green Belt), who has started taking on more responsibility within the club, helping with the instruction of Primary and Junior members. 

When writing a Facebook recommendation for the club George Haydon stated “good coaching and instructing with a friendly atmosphere”. This local sports club has an outstanding reputation. It represents Judo with passion and respect and helps to drive children and adults to achieve goals and learn new skills. 

Simon Clark also reviewed the community stating, “ …been to a lot of clubs in different parts of the world, but Plympton St. Maurice is still home and still the best”, with many others adding similar comments. Robert Lecomber also wrote, “Fantastic judo club, brilliant instructors, great training and good fun”.

Judo is an excellent activity to increase physical fitness, enable you to defend yourself and implement respect. Plympton St. Maurice provides all of this and much more. The club have sessions for everyone, welcoming all ages and all abilities.

The sessions are held at 6pm on Monday and 7pm on Wednesday for under 16’s and at 8:30pm on Wednesday for adults. New members are welcome to turn up or check out their Facebook page for more information:

Beard and Bones: the Plymouth-Based Beard Cosmetics Company

By Lily Smith

Bubblegum, candyfloss, pineapple and watermelon: all unique and fun beard balm and oil scents developed by entrepreneur Dan Henders, 23, for his men’s beard care company Beard and Bones.

Beard and Bones was set up in Plymouth in 2018 with the aim of providing men with exciting new beard care cosmetics that stepped away from traditional woody scents.

The eye-catching packaging can’t be missed. ‘We wanted to be different’, says owner Dan, ‘We also wanted to be environmentally friendly which is why we use glass skulls as packaging for our oils’.

The beard products ‘look cool in hessian bags with oil tags’, says Dan. Not only does this create products that are beautiful to display, but the glass bottles and hessian bags also greatly reduce plastic use, which is one of the company’s targets.

The business has grown quickly, hitting four thousand Instagram followers (@beardandbonesuk) in the short 8 months they’ve been around. As a result Beard and Bones have expanded their range to include beard shampoos, beard and body butters and, more recently, hair styling products such as pomades and clays.

The range can be found in several barber shops across Plymouth, including City Gents, Study 28 and Luka’s Barbers. Beard and Bones’ beard oils and other products can also be bought through their website, with oils starting at just £7.99 for a 15ml bottle.

With their online sales quickly becoming global, the company has set itself the target of becoming a “one stop shop for all men”, in addition to plans to start a female range in the future.

Visit the Beard and Bones website here:

Rewire: The Brand Giving Plymouth a New Look

By Keiran Potter

Sometimes 2019 can feel like an unpleasant place to live. With politics in crisis, war, social injustices and environmental neglect, it’s no surprise that we’re left feeling pretty helpless. 

You may think as a young person you won’t be able to change much. But you’d be wrong. 

I sat down with Courtney Vosper to discuss her business venture REWIRE, a brand that centres itself around up-cycling and lessening our own fashion footprint, without having to sacrifice style. 

As a Fashion, Media and Marketing student at Plymouth College of Art, Courtney, the founder of REWIRE, hopes that her brand and its ethos will be one people can get behind. Failing that, Courtney is so passionate about the message behind her brand that she hopes she can find a position in the industry that shares the same ethos and vision that she does. But I have every faith that Rewire Clothing is the future of fashion. 

Rewire Clothing ‘is an up and coming brand, specialising in up-cycling pre-loved denim, with a main focus on reducing waste that would eventually end up in landfill. Rewire focuses on fulfilling our customers needs with our custom made service.’

Rewire Clothing

It’s important that we acknowledge and be held accountable for our own impact on the world, no matter our age. This emerging brand should be an inspiration for anyone hoping to leave their mark, whatever that mark may be. 

It’s not all tea and biscuits though and Plymouth’s own Entrepreneur says that the hardest part of her endeavour is how to promote and spread such a message to people who are already too embedded in the convenience of fast fashion. Rewire Clothing holds regular giveaways and hopes this will encourage people to get involved with the Rewire vision. Rewire has also recently run a pop up event in Plymouth where they invited people to get involved in the art and beauty of upcycling (so keep an eye out for more of those in the future).

Rewire Clothing say it’s not about promotion, it’s about letting people know about the amazing things they’re doing, the change they’re making and allowing that change to be accessible to a wider audience. Inspiring people to take matters into their own hands and make changes that count!

So how about we all stand up and take responsibility? Starting right here in our beautiful city of Plymouth. One way we, as young people, can perpetuate the causes that we are passionate about is by supporting local brands who are passionate about making a difference or becoming the change that we wish to see. 

I’d like to thank Rewire Clothing and Courtney for giving an insight into their up and coming brand and I hope such amazing work taking place in Plymouth will inspire others to be motivated by their own passions and enable change that is so desperately needed right now. 

If you’d like to support Rewire Clothing then follow them on Instagram @RewireClothing or on Facebook @rewireclothinguk. You can also purchase some custom products on Depop @rewireclothinguk.