At Mitchells Roberton we have a dress down day once a month for a good cause. This month a colleague suggested an additional special dress down day for the Disaster in Nepal.
I was particularly drawn to this cause because I was lucky enough to visit Nepal during my trip around the world in 2010. It remains one of my favourite places . I visited both Kathmandu and Pokhara, where much of the destruction occurred. Kathmandu and its surrounding areas were full of beautiful temples, abundant with colour. Pokhara was enclosed by stunning lakes and mountains. However, the primary reason that I loved the country so much was its friendly and warm people.
One example is when we were on a trek across the mountains and stayed in a small bed and breakfast. We were the only guests and in the evening the owners gave an impromptu demonstration of their traditional song and dance, even managing to persuade our trekking guide to join in the fun. We were then encouraged to show our own traditional dancing which involved us trying to give a very poor rendition of the Gay Gordons – much to the amusement of our hosts! As we carried on our trek each person we met gave a traditional greeting of ‘Namaste’, with the palms of their hands held together, their head bowed, smiling.
I was very pleased that our firm raised a total of £250 which will go to the DEC Nepal Appeal. A couple of my friends were in Pokhara at the time of the earthquake. Thankfully they were in a hotel designed to withstand a large earthquake. Again my view of the people of Nepal was reinforced. The owners of the hotel’s first priority was their guests’ safety and then they took in others who had lost their home in the disaster. Hopefully the funds raised here and elsewhere will help the people of Nepal get back on their feet.
For more information and to donate to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal, please visit http://www.redcross.org.uk/nepalhero
Mary’s Meals is a registered charity that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities. It is a simple idea – by providing a daily meal in a place of education, chronically poor children are attracted to the classroom where they can gain a basic education that provides an escape route from poverty.
Mary’s Meals was founded in 2002 and has grown from its first feeding operation of 200 children in Malawi to a world-wide campaign providing free school meals in hundreds of schools and feeding over 860,000 children daily.
One of the charity’s high profile projects is the Backpack Project and it is this project that the staff of Mitchells Roberton supports. With staff donations we purchase backpacks and fill each one with a notebook, pencils, coloured pencils, a rubber, a pencil sharpener, a ruler and a pencil case. We also put into each pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a towel. Additionally a new outfit, sandals, a ball and a spoon are included.
Margaret Ritchie, our receptionist organises the firm’s efforts. She says “I believe that a backpack may often be the first gift received by a child attending one of Mary’s Meals schools. We all hope that the bag will help to make a practical difference to the child receiving it. It’s a lovely project to be involved in and we will continue to contribute as best we can.”
Since the beginning of 2011 Mitchells Roberton has donated 450 filled backpacks to be gifted to children receiving Mary’s Meals.
A conversation between myself and Fiona Fleming, one of my colleagues, about my love of all things feline resulted in a table in our office kitchen being set up to display a wonderful array of hand-made soaps from The Caurnie Soaperie in Kirkintilloch. The soaps have proven to be a great success with colleagues, who have placed hefty orders. The Soaperie – first opened in 1922 – makes fine soaps from locally sourced ingredients, and by using ethical processing methods produces soaps for both clear skin and a clear conscience. There is a vast selection to choose from including geranium & orange, lime & thyme, bog myrtle, patchouli, peppermint & sage, spearmint, and heather & lavender to name but a few. Shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers are also manufactured and the Soaperie’s Nettle range has been highly praised for its effective treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. All items are long lasting and reasonably priced. But where is the connection between the sale of soap and my adoration of cats? I was delighted to hear from Fiona that she is involved in selling soaps for Caurnie Soaperie at the Cats’ Protection annual Open Day at their Kirkintilloch Shelter but I was even more enchanted when I discovered that one half of the proceeds of her sales is donated to Cats’ Protection. Purrfect.
The Annual Dinner Dance of The Incorporation of Coopers in Glasgow was held on Friday the 1 March 2013 in the Trades Hall. Sheila Carter one of our Legal Secretaries attended the dinner with Alastair Campbell, Head of our Private Client Department and presently Clerk to the Incorporation. Alastair, who has been Clerk since 1999, will be retiring from office this September. Our firm has had, so far, 162 years of close involvement with the Coopers. The original connection was with the Trades House and not with the barrel making trade. Clerks previously had to be lawyers and our firm became involved with the Coopers that way. The Incorporation of Coopers is one of 14 Incorporations which form the Trades House of Glasgow. The Craft of the Coopers can be shown to date way back in time to the Ancient Egyptians. In 1569 the Coopers were granted their Letter of Deaconhood and so began the Incorporation of Coopers of Glasgow. Over past centuries the Incorporation played an important role in the trading life of Glasgow but in present times the Incorporation concentrates on charitable functions. 198 members and guests were welcomed to the Annual Dinner Dance this month including “Coopers” from London, Irvine and Aberdeen. An excellent evening was had by all in wonderful surroundings with good food, sophisticated speakers and the music of “Dave Cormack”. The event raised £2,000 for the Quarriers Epilepsy Centre in Govan, a very worthy cause.
Quarriers’ website says of the centre “When it opens in spring 2013, the new epilepsy centre will be the only centre of its kind in Scotland – and one of the most advanced in the world – with state-of-the-art equipment offering assessment and diagnosis for people with complex forms of epilepsy as well as diagnosis of the condition where it is uncertain.”