This week, female lifestyle website, ‘Mabel’s Log’ is a Finalist in the 2012 Brilliance in Blogging Awards.
More than 50,000 votes were cast across 12 sections for the awards, which are backed by BritMums, and Mabel is featured in the ‘Fresh Voice’ category. BritMums is the UK’s largest and most influential network of parent bloggers, and the awards are held on the first night of their annual conference in June 2012.
Each ‘Brilliance in Blogging’ Award category will now be reviewed by a panel of judges to determine the overall winner of that category. The judges come from backgrounds in blogging, social media, marketing and writing, with a wealth of experience on the subject matter.
The winners of each category will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony held in a Grade II listed venue in a private courtyard in the heart of London, and the awards will be presented by former Blue Peter host, Katy Hill. Former Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown and comedienne Ruby Wax are among the high-profile speakers at the two-day event. More information at www.BritMumsLive.com
Mabel’s Log is the creation of Sofie and Lizzie Ford, two twenty-something Glasgow girls (who just happen to be sisters-in-law). Between them they concocted the character of Mabel, an amalgamation of each of their (better!) traits. They’d like to think there is a little bit of Mabel in everyone.
After far too long talking about it, they finally bit the bullet and in September last year, Mabel’s life became an online magazine called ‘Mabel’s Log’ - a scrapbook of her life. She shares her escapades in the kitchen, her fashion tips, her family life, her interior design projects and beauty secrets – she celebrates life.
The heart of Mabel’s Log is Sofie and Lizzie’s desire to support local businesses, local designers and creatives – so a lot of what Mabel writes about promotes what is going on locally in Glasgow; talented individuals and family businesses that deserve accolade for their hard work and ethical ethos.
Mabel’s Log now has a strong readership across the city and further afield with over 1000 individuals logging on each week and over 2000 followers on twitter. It has become an interactive forum for people to share their experiences, celebrate creativity and share the good things in life.
In response to this amazing opportunity, Sofie and Lizzie said:-
“To be honest, we can’t quite believe it! We feel like we’ve just started out in this whole thing so to have the opportunity to be a part of the awards and meet so many of the writers we’ve been admiring from a distance for so long is going to be a LOT of fun!”
Intelligent Pensions, the leading retirement specialist headquartered in Glasgow’s International Financial Services District, has bagged two of the UK’s most prestigious financial services accolades at the 2012 Money Marketing Financial Services Awards.
In the first category, ‘Best Retirement Solutions Adviser’ the judges, a panel of top-level industry professionals, praised the company’s genuine status as a pensions specialist that puts clients in charge of their retirement, placing it ahead of Atkinson Bolton Consulting and Origen Financial Services.
To compound the company’s success, Intelligent Pensions also took gold in its other nominated category, ‘Best Annuity/Drawdown Specialist’, beating Hargreaves Lansdowne and Origen Financial Services into joint second place.
Of the Intelligent Pensions entry, the judges commented that the one word that came up again and again was ‘professionalism’. The panel also praised the freedom that the company’s services offer to its clients in retirement.
Intelligent Pensions managing director Steve Patterson said he was delighted to receive two awards against stiff competition.
“Being recognised as the best retirement solutions adviser in the UK by some of the leading industry professionals was a tremendous honour,” he said.
“Retirement planning is what we do and all that we do,” said Patterson. “To win both categories in our chosen field of expertise is testament to the quality of service and advice we are delivering to our clients.”
Income drawdown specialist Intelligent Pensions www.intelligentpensions.com has in excess of £300 million of funds under management.
Around 30,000 people enjoyed the weather and entertainment at last weekend’s Southside Festival held in the Queen’s Park Recreation Grounds.
The weekend’s festivities kicked off with a procession at 11am, led out by the St Francis Pipe Band. The parade, which included members of the local community and a series of vintage buses, started from Newlandsfield Road, then proceeded down Kilmarnock and Pollokshaws Road, Allison Street, Victoria Road and Queen’s Drive before ending at the Queen’s Park Recreation Grounds where a series of bands entertained crowds into the evening. A Picnic in the Park was held in the Recreation Grounds on Sunday 27 May.
Andrew Montgomery, a member of the Southside Festival steering group, was thrilled with the turnout. He said:- “At the recreation grounds on Saturday we attracted 25,000 people, which is the largest festival we’ve had by a long shot. Our previous best was 15,000 back in 2010. This year, the police estimate was in excess of 25,000 on Saturday and on Sunday was in the region of 4 – 5000.”
“So in the course of the weekend we’ve attracted 30,000 people and the fantastic thing was every part of the community was represented. There was a great spectrum of people, no doubt buoyed on by the fantastic weather that we had. It was absolutely glorious.”
Montgomery highlighted the work of those involved. He said the weekend was: “incredibly successful and to think that it was produced entirely by 10 volunteers with a budget of £30,000; incredible, absolutely incredible.”
A free bus service made up of vintage buses that were part of the procession ran on the Saturday from George Square to the Queen’s Park Recreation Grounds as well as serving the Southside with the free Southside Circular which ran between Pollokshaws, Pollokshields, Shawlands and the Recreation Grounds.
Members of the steering group will meet with the Council’s Licensing Authority in the next couple of weeks for a formal debriefing before they consider planning for next year’s festival.
The Glasgow City Council Executive Committee approved spending capital funds of £3.3million towards the Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan this week.
The sum is to be spent over the next five years and the council hopes it might be supplemented by other avenues of funding.
The Glasgow Reporter talked with a delighted Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Chair Andrew Montgomery, about his reaction to the news. Montgomery said:- “It’s absolutely great for all of us who have worked so long and so hard to get this approval. It’s great to now be at the stage where we at least now know that the future for Shawlands is on the way up rather than the way down.”
Montgomery acknowledged the work of Councillor Archie Graham in ensuring the plan reached the Executive Committee. “We are grateful to Archie Graham, the councillor for Langside, and the Deputy Leader of the Council, for pushing the Town Centre Action Plan forward, and getting it on the Executive Committee agenda so early in the new year for the administration.”
Last night the Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council held a scheduled meeting to discuss how to progress the Town Centre Action Plan which coincidentally fell the same day the news that the funding was approved.
The Community Council plans to make an application to Awards for All to get some grant money and then apply for other funding from the local Area Committees so they can start making improvements to the community. Last night they defined potential short term and medium to long term action plans.
Short term ideas include transforming the wall that supports the walkway to the Shawlands Arcade into a mural which Montgomery says is similar to what they have done underneath the Kingston Bridge. Another idea was to fund the replacement of the telephone box outside the Granary at Shawlands Cross with an old traditional telephone box which can be bought second hand. The Community Council were also keen to discuss installing hanging flower baskets along Pollokshaws and Kilmarnock Roads with the Shawlands Business Association to beautify the area.
The lack of public toilets in the area was also raised. Montgomery said:- “One of the key things that we discussed was that as representatives of the community and as members of the community we really need to feed into that plan at the very early stages so that the voices of residents are heard. It constantly came up that there are no public toilets in Shawlands.”
He pointed out that the are has no baby changing facilities either and added:- “if Shawlands is to have a vibrant daytime and evening economy, then we think the provision of public toilets is something that’s crucial. Again it could be something that in the early stages of the plan could be provided, on the basis that it’s not going to be something that would be wasted money, because it is something that in every survey has constantly come up.”
One medium to longer term potential improvement the Community Council discussed at their meeting was the refurbishment of the area in front of Langside Hall; by removing the trees outside and relocating the taxi rank a public square with raised seating could be created, which could also double as a stage for any public events. Montgomery said:- “If that could be done in the next couple of years, as we come into the Commonwealth Games year in 2014, it would create a potential area where events could happen and visiting fans could gather and things could go on there.”
Montgomery is mindful that the money will need to be spent carefully. He said:- “We can step back from the kind of idea that £3.3 million pounds is a welcome amount of money, but it’s not a pot of gold. We will need to certainly be very careful of how that money is spent.”
The Town Centre Action Plan proposes the creation of a Shawlands Partnership which will bring together key local partners and stakeholders including the Community Council. Montgomery expects that there will be another Town Centre Action Plan meeting which will set about establishing the Shawlands Partnership and he is looking forward to working with other organisations to implement the Plan.
He said:- “It is absolutely critical now that plan has been approved, that funding has been allocated and we now need to motor on and work with the local councillors, the council, the Shawlands Business Association. We all need to work together to see what significant improvements can be made in the area and that obviously includes AWG who have such a strong holding in the form of the Shawlands Arcade.”
Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said on the Glasgow City Council website:- “Shawlands Town Centre is undoubtedly one of our premier civic centres, a favourite destination for both shoppers and those using its renowned bars and restaurants. The council has joined with local people and businesses in recent times to create a plan that can take Shawlands forward over the next five years, and I believe this Action Plan marks the beginning of a very exciting period for the area.”