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New look Dandy arrives…with Harry Hill

New look Dandy arrives…with Harry Hill

The UK’s longest running comic, The Dandy, lifts the nation’s gloom today with Stripe helping to launch its brand new format that will have kids swapping computer games and TV for something 100% funny. Working with the UK’s best comic talent, The Dandy is going back to its roots and will be hitting the shops weekly with a traditional comic strip format, a cheaper price point and more than 18 new characters, including a new Harry Hill comic strip written by the man himself.

In a comic coup, The Dandy is swapping covermounted free gifts for Britain’s favourite TV funny man, Harry Hill, who will be serving up Harry Hill’s Real-Life Adventures in TV-Land (Featuring Knitted Character) exclusively for The Dandy each week. The first new edition (Issue No 3508) sees Harry on the cover, while inside he’s chased by a pair of Simon Cowell’s ‘rampaging, super-huge, colosso size’ trousers! Harry Hill is just one of many celebrities to be found in the new look Dandy. Fearless and irreverent it will affectionately spoof the cultural landmarks of its readers. TV shows, adverts, movies, celebrities and sports stars are all fair game for The Dandy’s wickedly witty eye. New characters will include: Pepperoni Pig, Postman Prat, Clive 5, Bill Oddie-Watch, The ZZZ-Team, The Y-Factor and Bear Thrills. The Dandy has been running since 1937 and this new look guarantees it’s still leading the way as an innovator in children’s publishing. The new weekly format brings more topicality; meaning fans of The Dandy should also look out for some celebrity appearances. Featuring tomorrow are Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson, Noel Edmonds and Cheryl Cole. But, just who will be next?

John Lewis Edinburgh unveils dynamic new fashion floor

John Lewis Edinburgh unveils dynamic new fashion floor

Stripe Communications last week launched John Lewis Edinburgh’s brand new look women’s fashion and accessories departments as real life models replaced mannequins in the store’s fashion window. Bringing a new meaning to the term ‘window shopping’, the John Lewis Partners (employees) turned heads as passers-by witnessed the window display come to life. The girls posed among the fallen autumn leaves, showcasing some of the new brands now available in John Lewis Edinburgh.

The relaunch ties into a major autumn/winter fashion advertising campaign, revealing how much John Lewis’s fashion offer has developed. With an investment of £2.6 million the fashion refurbishment was completed in just over six weeks. The fashion floor features new fitting rooms alongside a fashion advice suite and designer zone.

As part of the project new fashion brands have been introduced to the collection meaning shoppers can take their pick from over one hundred brands – all stocked under one roof – offering customers boutique shopping in a department store. Current brands have also benefited from a refreshed setting for their autumn/winter collections and new fixtures, which have been designed to offer customers an inspirational and contemporary place to shop.

The contemporary, new departments are open and spacious with zones broken up by sculptural, metal lattice-work and mirrored columns. A luxury fashion advice suite has been created, along with a designer zone bathed in luxurious metallic shades.

Celebrating Scotland’s Winter Festivals

Celebrating Scotland’s Winter Festivals

Stripe this week worked with the Scottish Government and the Culture Minister to unveil a spectacular seasonal programme of over 60 events to celebrate St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night as part of the fantastic Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals, which begin with St Andrew’s Day (November 30), include Hogmanay celebrations (December 31) and culminate on Burns night (January 25).They aim to bring together people from all over the world to celebrate Scotland’s modern culture and traditions through the best of Scottish music, arts, food and drink, innovation and entertainment. Unveiling the programme, Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

“Scotland’s Winter Festivals brings together three of our most important cultural celebrations. This year’s programme is jam-packed full of colourful, unusual and traditional events, celebrating our culture, heritage and creativity.In Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, this year there is a focus on promoting our authentic, top quality produce, treating locals and visitors alike to a real taste of Scotland.St Andrew’s Day is the ideal time to celebrate all that is great about Scotland. With such a variety of events on offer this festive season, there will be something for everyone to enjoy, no matter where they are in Scotland.

“Once again, many of our top visitor attractions will open to the public for free over the St Andrew’s Day weekend. Scotland’s friends across the world will also join the celebrations in true Scottish style from a St Andrew’s Day Ball in Doha to the Kirkin’ of the Tartans in Hawaii.

“The Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme shows that Scotland is a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events all year round. With Edinburgh’s Hogmanay generating an estimated £29 million last year, we know that festive celebrations can make a significant contribution to Scottish tourism and our economy. That is why our Winter Festivals are so valuable – they will help entice people from home and abroad to explore all areas of Scotland.”

Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, adds:

“Scotland has an unrivalled reputation in hosting major world class events and is internationally renowned for its Hogmanay celebrations. Scotland’s Winter Festivals is an exciting initiative. Linking three of our biggest celebrations offers a superb calendar of spectacular events over the festive season, with immense benefits for Scotland’s tourism and events industries.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

“Tourism is crucial to Scotland’s economic recovery and our fantastic calendar of events is central to that. Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme is a great example of the close and important connection between our cultural heritage and tourism and events industries.”

More than 60 events are planned round the country including Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Dumfries, Perth and Stirling. Some of Scotland’s favourite visitor attractions are also supporting Scotland’s Winter Festivals, with over 65 venues participating in the celebrations. Full event information can be found at http://www.scotlandswinterfestivals.com

Investing in mental health could save £1m a day

Investing in mental health could save £1m a day

Scottish employers could help save the economy almost £1 million pounds every day by properly investing in mental health support in the workplace, according to a new campaign launched today by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and supported by Stripe.

The figures have been revealed by SAMH as part of their new “Dismissed?” campaign – the first campaign that links together the benefits system and employment to focus on the whole employability journey of people with mental health problems in Scotland.

Research commissioned by SAMH reveals that sickness absence as a result of mental health problems at work cost Scotland’s employers around £360 million a year – the equivalent of almost £1million a day.

Research has previously shown that fewer than four in ten employers would consider employing someone with a history of mental health problems, compared to more than six in ten for candidates with a physical disability.

The new “Dismissed?” campaign was launched today (Tuesday) at the start of Scottish Mental Health Awareness Week. This comes as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions leads a debate about reforming welfare and getting people back into work at the Conservative Party Conference.

At the Edinburgh launch, SAMH Chief Executive Billy Watson unveiled a giant representation of the numbers to illustrate the potential savings from a focus on mental health.

SAMH Chief Executive Billy Watson said: “Many people with mental health problems in Scotland want to work, but face real difficulties in doing so. The “Dismissed?” campaign is about making sure that people in that situation are properly supported.

“With one in four Scots experiencing mental health problems at some point in their lives, we think this is an issue that all businesses need to be aware of. “By offering the right support to employees with mental health problems, employers could cut down on sickness absence, saving the Scottish economy almost £1million a day. “However, some people are currently too unwell to work and our campaign is the first in Scotland to focus on the whole employability journey. We want to make it easier for these individuals to access the benefits that they are entitled to.”

Scotland pioneers innovative new road safety approach

Scotland pioneers innovative new road safety approach

The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland today announced the launch of ‘Go Safe! – Ziggy’s Road Safety Mission’, a pioneering new road safety approach aimed at all children from birth to six and their ‘communities’ of parents, carers and educational staff.

Every pre-school child in Scotland will receive a specially created book as part of the new story-based initiative which aims to not only to improve early years road safety education, but also give young children the best possible start to their lifelong learning about keeping safe on and around the road environment.

The road environment still represents the single highest cause of death and injury to young people in Scotland, with 1,474 child casualties on Scotland’s roads in 2009. The new approach aims to reduce child casualties through inspiring the involvement of parents, carers and educators to provide good examples every time they are on or near roads with young children.

As part of the new approach, a total of 106,000 books for home use will be distributed, one for every pre-school child across the country. A new website has been launched for children, parents and educators – http://www.gosafewithziggy.com – and free teaching packs, including the Ziggy series of stories and an interactive CD, are being sent out to all primary schools and pre-school education settings in Scotland from October 2010.

Featuring the colorful ‘Ziggy’ character, a little alien who visits Scotland to learn about road safety, the materials have been developed in line with the Scottish Government’s policy on early intervention and Curriculum for Excellence for each key stage of the early years: 0-3, pre-school and the transition into Primary 1.

To mark the launch of the new approach at an event organised by Road Safety Scotland and Stripe, primary school children and parents from St. Peter’s Primary School in West Dunbartonshire were joined by Scottish actress Julie Wilson Nimmo and Real Radio’s Steve McKenna, who narrates the stories on the website, to take part in a reading from the first book in the series: ‘Ziggy and the Lollipop’.

‘see me’ urges Scots to take a stand against stigma

‘see me’ urges Scots to take a stand against stigma

At the launch of Scottish Mental Health Week (Sunday 3rd October) ‘see me’, Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health, called on Scots to support each other to deliver a real impact on reducing stigma.

With over half (58%) of Scots experiencing stigma and discrimination because of their mental health problems, that’s more than three quarters of a million people , the campaign is urging people to make small changes to their own behaviour and the way they treat and respond to family, friends and colleagues who may have mental health problems. Research shows that stigma and discrimination can hinder recovery, damage self-esteem and confidence, and ultimately leave people feeling like they don’t know where to turn.

The majority of the population know someone with a mental health problem and at the launch in Edinburgh campaign volunteers with their friends and family released ‘see me’ lanterns . Each lantern displayed a personalised message of support to raise awareness and encourage others to support people they know who have mental health problems.

Suzie Vestri, ‘see me’ campaign director’, said: “People struggle to see how they can make a difference or worry that they might say or do the wrong thing and make things worse. The truth is that helping someone with a mental health problem is actually very simple. Talking, listening and being there for loved ones can help to make a real difference to those experiencing stigma. If we each commit to spending five minutes this week supporting a friend, family member or colleague with a mental health problem then we can really make a big difference.”

Make every day count in Alcohol Awareness Week

Make every day count in Alcohol Awareness Week

To mark the launch of Alcohol Awareness Week 2010, adults across Scotland are being asked how their drinking habits measure up and encouraged to “make every day count”. The week-long initiative aims to raise awareness that by making small changes to our drinking habits – to make sure we’re drinking more responsibly – we can all get more out of our day, week and weekend.

Currently only 15% of Scots are able to correctly estimate the number of units in a normal strength bottle of wine. So, this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week aims to help explain how many units of alcohol drinks contain, and highlight how positive lifestyle choices and sticking to the sensible drinking guidelines can help us enjoy alcohol responsibly.

Launching in Aberdeen’s Union Square, the annual awareness week is now in its fourth year, bringing together the drinks industry, health professionals, the voluntary sector and the Scottish Government to help encourage a culture of responsible drinking throughout Scotland.

Under this year’s ‘How do you Measure Up?’ Unit Challenge theme, people across the country can discover how many units of alcohol they’re drinking on a regular basis, and get useful tips on how they can stick within sensible drinking guidelines of not regularly drinking more than 3-4 units per day for men, or 2-3 units per day for women.  To help Scots get a handle on how much they’re drinking, the Alcohol Awareness Week website – http://www.alcoholawarenessweek.com – provides an alcohol unit calculator, the ‘Measure Up’ quiz, and lots of information and advice about drinking responsibly.

Over 7 million steps in 36 hours in the first Caledonian 100

Over 7 million steps in 36 hours in the first Caledonian 100

This weekend, Stripe were supporting the inaugural Caledonian 100 which took place in the Cairngorms National Park and saw over 100 Participants take part an epic 100km trek through the night to raise funds for the Scottish Community Foundation and help support some of the UK’s most isolated communities.

Twenty-one teams from across the UK burned almost one million calories, as they crossed some of the most physically challenging landscapes in Scotland with goals of 50, 75, 100 km in 24 to 36 hours.

The event is organised by SCF (Events) Ltd who also run the highly successful Caledonian Challenge, now into its fifteenth year. Thanks to the generosity of a number of private and other landowners including the RSPB and National Trust for Scotland, the route included privileged access to places offering spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains, the precious environment of Abernethy Estate, the tranquillity of Loch Builg, majestic views across the Balmoral Estate to Mt Lochnagar and the autumnal beauty of Royal Deeside.