Category Archives: Charity

Lakes and Heinz UK: Why should baths have all the fun?

With Comic Relief once again set to raise much-needed funds for charitable causes, there will be the usual range of weird and whacky fundraising ideas happening across the country. One of the most iconic, is the eponymous sitting in a bath of Heinz baked beans. But this year, Lakes Showering Spaces and Heinz UK are asking why should baths have all the fun in the name of charity?

The debate between baths and showers has raged for years, and won’t be settled anytime, soon, but with a fantastic walk-in showering space called the Cannes, Lakes spotted their chance, and have taken it, aiming to raise funds for Comic Relief in the process.

This March, anyone who tweets Lakes (@LakesForLife) using #CannesOfBeanz and guessing how many cans of Heinz beans fit into their Cannes walk-in shower (pictured) will generate a £10 donation from Lakes to Comic Relief.

Lakes have mocked up what the Cannes enclosure would look like using the 1,200mm panel and the showering space’s maximum depth of 1,000mm. With a 2m height, the question in how many standard tins of Heinz Baked Beanz would fit inside the showering space?

Managing Director, Bev Brown, says: “Lakes loves to raise money for good causes, and this year we thought we’d do something a bit different. Everyone has had a hard couple of years, and sometimes doing something a bit silly to raise awareness of good causes and much-needed donations is just what is needed.

“We’d like to thank Heinz UK for working with us on this campaign, and we hope that all our media partners, merchants, retailers and colleagues across the sector will join in the fun for a good cause and let us know how many cans they think would fit inside the Cannes walk-in.

“It’s a fantastic cause, so get tweeting and let us know you’re supporting Comic Relief too.”

Any tweets tagging Lakes and Heinz UK (@HeinzUK) using the hashtag #CannesOfBeanz will trigger a donation of £10 to Comic Relief.

Lakes sponsors PHG charity cycle ride

Lakes has a strong tradition of helping out good causes, and when PHG Plumbing and Heating Group asked us to sponsor the PHG Revolution 150 Charity Cycle Ride, it was an easy decision.

The 150 mile cycle ride took place in early October and raised vital funds for Surfers Against Sewage and The Woodland Trust charities – two great causes which help the war on plastic pollution and the carbon crisis, causes that Lakes has long been fighting for.

In total more than 70 riders took part and between them raised £124,000, which will give a significant boost to these charities and help their fantastic work going forward.

Lakes & Graham draw support for The Nelson Trust

We recently joined forces with national merchant Graham to arrange the supply and installation of new showering facilities at a women’s centre in Gloucester. The Nelson Trust is a safe haven for vulnerable women affected by abuse, addiction and trauma, with four centres across the South West. The centres are a lifeline for many women as well as providing basic comforts such showering and washing amenities.

We initiated the support with the donation of a showering space and tray and turned to Graham for help with the installation. Using its in-house team of designers and Elite installer network, Graham arranged for all the design, plumbing and fitting. But it didn’t stop there. Graham then approached other suppliers too and support for the Trust grew with donations of furniture and sanitaryware from Roper Rhodes, Bluetooth ceiling light, grab rails and shower seat from HiB Ltd, wall panelling and flooring from International Decorative Surfaces (IDS) and additional consumables, including a towel warmer, from Graham’s Evesham branch.

Lisa Newman from The Nelson Trust comments: “We were kindly approached by Mike Tattam from Lakes when he heard about our need for a new shower in our Gloucester Women’s centre. Mike took time out to show us around Lakes showroom in Tewkesbury and explain the benefits of each showering space so we could choose one that would best support the need of our clients. Accessibility, safety and maintenance were key criteria so it was really helpful to see the range of options.

“Offering showers at our centres is one of our basic support services but it’s also quite often an entry point into someone starting to care about themselves more, and an opportunity for us to show them other ways in which the centre can help them. It’s easy to take showers for granted, but for many women who visit our centre a shower is a luxury. I can’t tell you just how much of a gift all of this is to us and all our clients. A huge thanks from us all.”

Our Sales & Marketing Director, Mike Tattam, adds: “It’s an honour to support the Nelson Trust and to highlight the efforts of smaller charities, who do a tremendous job in supporting local communities. It’s challenging times for everyone at the moment, so it’s more important than ever that people feel there are safe places they can turn to in their hour of need. Our combined efforts and charitable giving is testament to the great industry we work in. An industry that cares and always goes the extra mile to deliver.”

Find out more about The Nelson Trust at If you’d like to support the Trust visit

Team Lakes joins the Wednesday Wave!

The Wednesday Wave is a new initiative launched in October by Vamos Theatre in Worcester aimed at lifting the spirits of those in care homes and or those feeling isolated in their homes during the covid-19 pandemic.

Taking place every Wednesday at 3pm, the national campaign encourages people to wave to those who have placed a Wednesday Wave poster in their window.

Lakes is proud to support the campaign, knowing that each wave will go a long way to helping people know they are not alone.

Find out more about the initiative here and join in.


Donation to local foodbank

As a company we place great importance on supporting local charities and highlighting the work they do. So for the third year running we are proud to once again donate to our local foodback in Tewkesbury.

 The foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust group and helps local people facing crisis or hardship.  

 Our MD Bev Brown comments: “The foodbank does a fantastic job, so it was only natural that we would support them again to help those in need. We hope our donation will go some way in providing essentials at what can be a difficult time of year for some people.”  

 Find out more about the foodbank, and see how you can support them too, at

Carbon neutral Lakes plants 200 trees at local school!

Lakes recently attended a tree-planting event at King’s School in Gloucester as part of its commitment to offset carbon emissions produced in the natural day-to-day running of a business. Lakes worked with children from the school, the Headmaster and grounds team to plant over 200 trees on the day, with all of them firmly rooted in one afternoon!

Earlier this year, Lakes was certified a Carbon Neutral Company. The achievement was based on working closely with Carbon Footprint Ltd to look at ways it can offset its carbon emissions produced in the natural day-to-day running of a business. One of the three areas identified was to plant trees, as trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.

Mick Evans, Operations Director at Lakes, commented: “The tree-planting was a fantastic team effort, as well as fun, and we’re really pleased with what was achieved on the day. With an increasing focus on waste management and environmental best practice, Lakes is proud to be leading the way in our sector in reducing our carbon footprint. We believe it’s important to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to do the same.”

Lakes’ strong environmental focus started with the introduction of its new 100% recyclable packaging last March. The improved packaging alone will remove approximately 2,000 kilometres of banding a year from landfill, and nearly two million pieces of polystyrene. Lakes’ commitment to improving its impact on the environment extends to 100% recycling of all product waste, primarily glass and aluminium, and of all recyclable site and office waste.

Mick adds: “The increasing threat of climate change is a daily reminder that we need to change how we operate as businesses and consumers. We hope other manufacturers will follow our lead with this.”

Claire Card, Marketing & Communications Manager at King’s School, added: “With climate change a serious concern for all, the King’s School, Gloucester is keen to play its part in the battle against global warming. We are planting 720 trees in total so we were really pleased that Lakes’ staff came along and planted their 200. As well as capturing carbon emissions, the new trees and hedges around the school grounds will provide many other benefits to the children, including improving the air quality, creating outdoor learning spaces, offering nectar for bees and engaging young people with the natural world.”

For more information call 01684 853870.

Lakes donates shower seats to Headway UK

Headway UK, based in Worcester, is a charity that aims to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers. The charity provides guidance to a network of locally-run groups and branches across the UK and Channel Islands. Services include brain injury rehabilitation programmes, carer support, social re-integration, community outreach and respite care.

Lakes actively supports local charities and it was a privilege to visit Headway recently and experience their good work. Part of the visit included donating shower seats to the centre, that will hopefully go some way towards supporting care for those in need during their rehabilitation.

The donation was made by Lakes Sales Admin Manager Olga Bloor to Headway’s Fundraising and Marketing Manager Mandie Fitzgerald.

For more information about Headway and how you can support the charity, visit

Lakes sponsors Pavestone Rally

Last year our Sales and Marketing Director, Mike Tattam, joined the BMF team in the Vado Rally. Mike joined John Newcomb, Oz Bham and James Spillane and helped raise £17,300 for Variety and the Rainy Day Trust, whilst winning ‘Best Fundraising Team’ and finishing in third place.

This year we’re delighted to support the event again, led by Pavestone. Lakes is sponsoring the BMF team, which includes Oz Bham, Richard Ellithorne, James Spillane and Glenn Paddison.

The event sees teams of builders’ merchants, retailers and buying groups driving through Europe in a road-legal car worth £500 or less. Team members need to be in fancy dress and complete challenges along the way.

The rally starts on 5th September from Reims in Northern France, heading on to Stuttgart, Salzburg, Venice and finishing on 8th September in the beautiful setting of Lake Como.

Three well deserving charities will benefit from the rally, The Rainy Day Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust and Variety.

You can find out more about the charity here >

Lakes donates unused mugs to local day centre

It’s important for our business to support local businesses and charities where we can. So when we came across a batch of unused Lakes branded mugs recently, we were pleased to donate them to Maggs Day Centre – a charity in Worcester dedicated to helping the homeless. Maggs also support with training and practical assistance to help homeless people rebuild their lives. In 2016 Maggs Day Centre was recognised for their commitment with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Our Sales & Marketing Director Mike Tattam says: “Last year we rebranded our business, which led to the development of a new logo. Recently, however, we discovered boxes of unused mugs featuring our old logo. Rather than just throw them away, we thought we’d put them to good use. We hope our donation will going some way to supporting Maggs’ daily work in providing hot drinks to the homeless in a safe and welcoming environment.”

The photo shows Mike handing over the unused mugs to Alan Arnold who volunteers at the centre.

You can find out more about the charity here >

Lakes supports IPG’s ‘Orbit the Moon’ event – raising money for Missing People

We were pleased to support the independent plumbing buying group IPG in its efforts to raise money for Missing People. The charity offers a lifeline to the 180,000 people who run away and go missing each year in the UK.

The ‘Orbit the Moon’ event took place between 22nd and 26th July. Over the course of the week, a group of IPG merchant members from across the country aimed to cycle the circumference of the moon – a whopping 10,921km! Lakes supported the event, sponsoring ASE Plumbing & Heating Supplies, in Shropshire. The team cycled over 700 miles during one of the hottest weeks in Britain, raising over £300 and counting! Well done to everyone involved – a great achievement!

Find out more about the charity at Follow on Twitter @missingpeople

#GetInvolved #FindEveryChild

Donation to Tewkesbury Food Bank

For the second year running we are supporting our local business Tewkesbury Food Bank. Throughout the year the food bank, part of The Trussell Trust, provides emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. By donating £2,000 to the charity we hope to support families and individuals in need.


Our MD, Bev Brown, presented the cheque to Voluntary Project Manager, Marian Badham. Bev comments: “We are proud to support our local charity. Seeing the fantastic work they do encouraged us to donate again. We hope it will go some way to providing food and everyday essentials to those facing crisis or hardship in their lives.”


You can find out more about the charity and make a donation on their website

The Running Man

It seems a long time ago now but back in June at the Industry Conference in Budapest I made a bold announcement, ‘I going to run the 2018 London Marathon!’.

It all came about in May when I was sitting with Simon Lawson of Lawsons builders’ merchants, at the Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants Masters weekend in Birmingham. During a chat over a cup of tea, yes it was definitely tea not alcohol, so I have no excuse, we got talking about running and how Simon had run the London Marathon before. I’ve always wanted to do it and had tried twice before to get in, but never managed to. Simon then mentioned about running for a charity to guarantee a place. He said he’d run for Child Rescue Nepal and that he was sure he’d be able to get me a place. This was now starting to get serious!

Over the next couple of weeks I thought about the offer and then we went to the Conference. Simon and I started talking again and he asked if I’d thought any more about it, I said yes but I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to do it, then came the incentive. Simon very kindly offered Lawsons support for my sponsorship so I no longer had an excuse and said yes! And before you ask this time alcohol was involved! So there and then I announced on Twitter and the world that I would run the 2018 London Marathon for Child Rescue Nepal.

When I got back from Conference things moved at a pace, unlike my running. The team at Child Rescue Nepal sent me the details and before I knew it I was registered to run the marathon on April 22nd 2018. Now came the hard part, the training! I must admit I do a little bit of running, about 30 miles per month, but this is a different league – I have to run 26 miles and 385 yards – suddenly came the feeling of panic – what had I done!

My training started well and I quickly improved my monthly mileage so I signed up for the Stroud Half marathon which was on Sunday 22nd October, exactly 6 months before the big one. Now anyone who runs knows that as soon as you think things are going well that’s the moment something bad happens, and it did. Five weeks before the Half Marathon I hurt my knee and like most runners tried to ‘run it off’ – that was a bad idea. Six sessions of physio and a week before the half marathon and I’m thinking of pulling out. My running coach, sounds posh but it’s my brother in law who is a coach at Bedford Harriers running club, said just do it and we’ll see what happens.

There I am on the start line, 13 miles, 192.5 yards to go thinking why am I doing this and hoping to get round in under 2 hours and 20 minutes. Well it all started very well, mile one, 9 minutes and 18 seconds, mile two 9.25, then I got carried away and forgot to look at my running watch, but I was really enjoying it. There were people supporting along the way and even a band at 10 miles, all taking my mind off what I was doing. In the distance I could see the 2 hour pace maker and I decided to try and catch them up, which by some miracle I did. I’m feeling good, really good and I go past them, wow what’s happening to me? Then comes the last mile and if I can hang in there I could go under 2 hours. With lots of puffing and wheezing I cross the line in 1 hour, 59 minutes. I came 137th place in my age group, and was 904 out of 1,400 runners but I don’t care, I felt like Mo Farrah. Then realisation sets in, oh no this is only half of what I’ll have to do in six months’ time!

So two weeks off to rest the knee and now back in training. It’s going to be tough and there will be times I don’t want to go out but I’m doing it for an excellent cause and gratefully supported by Simon Lawson – a big thanks to Lawsons for helping me to fulfil a long-term ambition.

I’ll be posting regular blogs – thanks to editor Fiona who has offered to cover my training and the actual day of the Marathon. Now comes your part, please go to my ‘Just Giving’ website and dig deep into those pockets to support a very worthy cause.

Thank you and watch out for my next blog!