Friday, November 21, 2008

A nice way to end the week

Remember the Voucher Tree idea we had? Well, it all came to an end and, I'm glad to say, also to fruition. Also, with a great sigh of relief, it all worked out pretty well and so no egg on yours truly's face.

Bearing in mind we had really only had a month of the programme left, the two stores with trees in them collected a pretty fair amount, and so we decided on a bit of PR to thank all concerned.

And that worked out nicely too. The local media were very interested and supportive, and I think we gave them a nice shot, thanks to a whole bunch of nice folk pitching in (see above - several schools were kind enough to send representatives). Even the weather cooperated.

Here's an edit of the Press Release that went out, and we'll hopefully see the story appear* in various forms next week.

I'd just like to thank all concerned for making it the inspirational success it has become, especially the townsfolk who made the effort to drop off their vouchers.

Give that Town A Coconut!

Local schools benefit from Ross-on-Wye shoppers and businesses teaming up to make the most of national retail chain promotional opportunity

Not too long ago, a locally-organised community initiative was launched to try and make the most of the Morrison’s supermarket 'Let's Grow' promo, whereby purchases can generate free vouchers that schools can use to buy gardening equipment.
'Voucher Tree' palms were made specially by local re:use business from old packaging, with 'coconuts' made with the name of every participating school.

The original plan was to put these in the local Morrison’s supermarket foyer but unfortunately it proved to difficult for them to get head office permission in time. But a quick call to local stalwarts bore fruit, and the trees sprouted at Terry’s Digital and the EnviroAbility Book Swap shop in town.

Terry Thomas of Terry’s was happy to oblige. He remarks:
‘It was no problem having a tree in the store, and worked out well for everyone. Being right next door to the supermarket we were convenient to drop off vouchers, and it made us some new friends in passing too. A real win-win all round!’.

Dennis Humble of EnviroAbility agrees, adding:
‘We were more than happy to offer all those kind enough to pop in a way to make sure as many vouchers as possible would get to where they can to the most good. In fact we had visitors from other towns come by and say what a good idea it was, and how they wished their community was as responsive and had done the same too.’

Now the promotion is over, the organisers will be handing over all the vouchers collected to the designated schools who asked to be part. Says Peter Martin of ‘It was nice to see every part of the town pull together to make the most of the opportunity, though it’s a pity we couldn’t have had a tree in the actual supermarket foyer as a reminder to shoppers to collect and drop off on the spot. But the bulging bottles we have ended up with show just what can be done when the public, businesses and local media pull together.

It cost next to nothing to set up, but we are very appreciative of the time and effort of all concerned to help make it work. With luck we can think of more such mutually-rewarding community initiatives again in the future!”

*Addendum: It has. Nice one, all

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