Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Insider

Winter Fun on the Railway

Channel Chamber member and host of our Summer Breakfast meeting at New Romney, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, have made changes to their normal tourist and educational transport operations this winter.

Santa Specials are now a tradition for many families and these run again on December weekends before Christmas and on the Tuesday to Friday (21st to 24th December). Trains leave from Hythe station on a regular timetable and need to be pre-booked using the Santa Hotline 01797-363256. The trip includes steam-hauled transport Hythe to New Romney, seasonal refreshments, a quality gift for all the children and a visit to the Model Railway exhibition all seasonally decorated. There is even an option that includes lunch and on Friday 10th December an evening option that includes a 4 course meal. To find out more the railway’s website is

Less well known is the Christmas gift with a difference that the railway specialises in.

Ever wanted to drive a steam engine (under supervision of course) ? If you are over 18 and averagely fit, this is the ideal present for you or a loved one. The day long course including all tuition and meals plus a souvenir book and certificate costs £260.00 and is available to book now for the early part of 2011 (when there are no public trains running). Vouchers are available to give as presents. More details on the website and bookings are taken daily 9 to 5 on 01797-362353.

Win Flights with Flybe

Visit Kent , in partnership with Manston , Kent 's International Airport , is conducting a survey into the most popular accommodation booking sites and travel agents' preferred wholesale suppliers or consolidators.

Their aim is to identify the best bookable and commissionable product in the marketplace in Kent that is available to a travel agent or tour operator. As a thank you, two tickets for two to Manchester will be offered in a prize draw from all completed survey forms. Please follow the link below to enter the competition.

Small business health adviceline is taking off

A report by NHS Plus shows that increasing numbers of small business employers are turning to its free Health for Work Adviceline, introduced to help tackle the impact of sickness absence in the workplace. More than a thousand businesses have called the Adviceline and the numbers are increasing every month.

Overall, sickness absence costs the UK around £100 billion each year. For small businesses, the effect of just one employee being absent can be huge in terms of productivity, recruitment costs and staff morale, but they often lack the resources that larger organisations have at their disposal to tackle employee ill health.

The Adviceline (Tel: 0800 0 77 88 44) puts businesses in direct contact with occupational health professionals for advice on how to help an employee with a physical or mental health problem either stay at work or return to work sooner.

The Open 2011

Preparations are well underway for the return of The Open at Sandwich next year. More than 180,000 spectators staying between one and seven nights attended the Open when it was last staged in Sandwich in 2003 – contributing an estimated £17.6 million to the local economy. Even more visitors are expected for the 2011 tournament, which runs from10th to 17th July.

The new website - - launched with the aim of being a ‘one-stop shop’ for visitors and residents is already receiving approx 8,000 hits a month. There is a free listing for all accredited accommodation and research indicates that many now prefer to book accommodation online. By updating and offering bookability, the website can offer this essential option by displaying these properties first.

To find out more about updating availability, offering bookability or becoming a temporary accommodation provider for The Open please contact

Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Draft plans for the future of our county-wide fire service have now been published and major changes are envisaged for Thanet in particular. Chamber members and other local business across East Kent are invited to take a look at these ideas and respond accordingly.

Please visit the website: and follow the link from the home page.

Chamber Christmas Luncheon with Damian Collins

Channel Chamber is delighted to be holding our annual festive luncheon celebrations at The Grand in Folkestone on Friday 10th December and we are really looking forward to meeting our members across East Kent. This very popular event has attracted 100 members and we have two tables left so you will have to book quickly to secure your place.

This is an ideal opportunity to entertain your staff, partners, customers and friends. Join us for a glass of mulled wine alongside a roaring open fire and listen to a pianist playing all your favourite Christmas Carols.

This will be followed by a fabulous three-course luncheon, wine, coffee & mince pies, followed by a host of entertainment, including our ever popular charity raffle, the proceeds of which are going to a local member charity – Joining Hands.

Tables of eight cost £230 or individual places are £30 – Members & £35 Non-Members. Please call Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022 to secure your place.

As part of this event we always hold a Charity Raffle and businesses are invited to donate a suitable gift towards this. If you are able to assist please call Tracy Reynolds or simply reply to this email.

All proceeds of this year's Charity Raffle will be donated to:

Joining Hands

‘Joining Hands’ is a group of teachers, practitioners and professionals who are passionate about people, their social conditions, and future aspirations. They aim to provide an interface between the knowledge and skills required to set up cooperatives, social enterprises and businesses. Joining Hands is particularly supportive of youth social enterprise and entrepreneurship and would like to advocate for young people in and around Kent to set up and run their own social enterprises. Any donations will be kindly appreciated.

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