The Gardens at Churchend Primary Academy

SOLO and Thames Water sponsor the gardens at Churchend Primary Academy  in Tilehurst. 

In the last couple of years we have provided and planted trees, helped to weave willow domes for the children’s playing field and more recently supplied and built a poly tunnel so that they could grow their own vegetables for school lunches.  

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Partners in Quality with Royal Mail

The Partners in Quality Scheme has replaced the original Royal Mail Bronze Member quality mark which was awarded to qualifying mailing houses that supply enclosing and despatch services.

SOLO were one of the first to receive this award and are proud to now be a Partner in Quality with the Royal Mail ‘Mailing House scheme’, which reflects high quality standards within the mailing industry.

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Put your hand up if you don’t know who delivers your mail!

In case there is any doubt I can tell you that it’s most likely Royal Mail.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be!  Of course the mail may have the usual Royal Mail Postage Paid Impression (PPI) or it may have the PPI used by one of the downstream providers such as TNT or UKMail.  In any case the PPI will tell you who it was that picked up the mail and injected it into the Royal Mail system.  What it won’t tell you is who actually put the letter through your letterbox and just so we’re clear on this; it’s very likely that it was the Royal Mail.

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Poll Results on Internet in the UK

Last month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a summary of their recent opinion poll about Internet use.

There are some of the Internet statistics:

  • Among all households, 77 % now have access to the Internet, up from 73 % last year. 93 % of these access the Internet via an ADSL or cable broadband connection.
  • The use of wireless hotspots almost doubled in the last 12 months to 4.9 million users
  • 45 % of Internet users used a mobile phone to connect to the Internet
  • 6 million people accessed the Internet over their mobile phone for the first time in the previous 12 months

And no survey would be complete without a mention of Social Media:

  • Social networking is becoming ever more popular. Overall, 57 % of adult Internet users used online social networks in 2011, up from 43 % in 2010.

And of concern to us all is the issue of privacy:

  • 21 per cent of Internet users did not believe their skills were sufficient to protect their personal data


Office  for National Statistics

‘Mr Complete’

You know when you have an idea and then you find out that someone else had a similar idea and perhaps it worked out but not in exactly the way you had imagined?!  OK, well that’s Mr Complete.

About eight years ago I came up with the idea that SOLO should offer Origami services to our clients.  Bear with me here because its not as daft as it sounds.  The idea was that we could print a letter, fold that letter into a shape, an animal or a tree or a penguin (you get the idea) and send it in an envelope for 2D pieces or a box for 3D.  Perhaps the letter would have instructions on how to make the document into a shape or the shape could be unfolded to reveal the letter.

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7ft Schoolboy spotted in Reading!

OK, he’s not 7ft tall, he’s just standing on a raised bed (flower bed) but it illustrates the point that sometimes the person reporting the news just picks the wrong issue to focus on!

7ft schoolboy terrorizes plants

The staff at SOLO recently turned up to a local school along with a small crowd from Thames Water to erect a large poly tunnel.  I know its a plastic bag with plants in it but bear with me here.  The thing that makes this interesting is that Bob, known to his mates as “Mighty Bob’, who looks after the school gardens and anything else at Churchend Primary, called in volunteers from SOLO and Thames Water to put up the poly tunnel which the kids were going to use to grow veg for their own lunches!  See… I told you it was interesting!  Sadly the reporter from the Reading Chronicle turned up before the poly tunnel was built and so  decided it was all about the gardening club and pictures of kids and flower pots!

The Polytunnel was erected by the good people from SOLO and Thames Water and mighty Bob.  The money to buy the poly tunnel was also donated by SOLO and Thames Water.  The most important part of the story here…  The kids at Churchend are being taught to use the resources at hand to grow food which will be used at the school to feed the children.

THIS is the sort of closed loop effort which will teach the children that they have the ability to make a difference.  Donating money and time is important and certainly should be recognized but I think I can speak for everyone who was there with hammers, nails, and other sharp tools when I say that the success of this venture is down to Bob who found the funding, rallied the volunteers and brought it all together for the kids.  Good man Bob.  Our hats off to you.