WORTHY WALK… AEW Architects is inviting all friends and colleagues from the industry to join them on a fancy dress charity walk on Sunday 18 February, a family event to help former managing director Steve Burne raise £250,000 to fund new long-stay rooms at Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House provides free accommodation for families with children in hospital, and has a 60-bedroom facility to support those undergoing treatment at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Neonatal unit.

Steve Burne was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017 and during his subsequent period of leave, it was confirmed as terminal in October. His experience as chair of the Manchester House board of governors, and a direct understanding of the pressures and stress of illness has resulted in him resolving to raise £250,000 to convert three spaces into more family rooms and to do it in his lifetime.

A 2.5-mile walk will take place from AEW’s office to Ronald McDonald House, attended by Burne, his family, and various AEW staff. Beginning at 2pm, family entertainment and refreshments will be provided. Those who want to take part can find more details at

Burne said: “I had made it my intention to deliver these rooms as part of my legacy to the House and was honoured at the recent annual dinner by being told they would be in my name. The House means so much to me and I have had so much pleasure overseeing it evolve over the past five years and meeting some of my favourite people, both staff and families who have used the House. If we can achieve this target it will help many more families for years to come.”

Yoga Standing Back BendON YOUR FEET… Sitting on a chair is most people’s number one skill, you’ve probably been practicing for hours and hours every day since you were about 5 years old. To counterbalance all this unnatural sitting, health-at-work yogi Robin Ellis from Yin Yan shows how to help avoid poor posture, and keep energy levels up throughout the day with this simple stretch.

Remember to go gently, especially if your back is stiff and/or you’ve been sitting for a long time, stop if anything doesn’t feel right:

Step One: Notice how you feel before you stand up – it’s important to compare before and after because that’s what will motivate you to try it again.

Step Two: Standing with your feet about hip width apart and with a little bend in your knees, place your palms on your lower back with you fingers pointing to the floor.

Step Three: Pull your lower tummy muscles up and in – men & women you all have a pelvic floor and chances are it’s pretty slack so pull it up!

Step Four: Imagine there’s a piece of string tied to your breastbone and as you inhale feel it being lifted up towards the ceiling; as you exhale keep those lower tummy muscles tight (and draw your elbows towards each other behind you for a bonus shoulder stretch).

Step Five: Repeat for a few breathes – at least 30 seconds.

How do you feel? It’s normal to feel a bit more alert and awake – many of us do a version of this naturally when we wake up in the morning so next time you hit the mid-afternoon slump, you know what to do.

Carlisle Statue Thing

CRACKING PROJECT… Carlisle City Council has secured a £9,800 grant this week from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to explore the history of the city’s McVitie’s biscuit factory and its female workforce, known as the “cracker packers”. The funding will be used to create two exhibitions, one with a permanent home in the city and another which will be displayed at various venues around Carlisle. As well as the exhibition, the city plans to unveil a statue of two of the “cracker packers”, created by artist Hazel Reeves. The statue of the figures atop a giant bronze Carr’s Water Table biscuit will be revealed on International Women’s Day on 8 March, on John Street opposite Paddy’s Market car park in the city centre. Costing £65,000, the statue has been privately funded by Sainsbury’s and author Hunter Davies.

IN-FIR-IATION… There’s been many discarded Christmas trees spotted on the streets this week, as people get rid of the last vestiges of the festive season. Some have been reported in rather more inconvenient places this week; for instance causing problems on the M53 near Ellesmere Port.

Thankfully the tree’s former owners, or perhaps a passing fir fan, had retrieved the tree by the time the Motorway Police came to look for it. It’s all go in Cheshire.

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