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Russells supports “Bee Strong Bee Manchester”

A series of signs have been unveiled on the hoardings at the site in Brown Street, promoting the “Bee Strong Bee Manchester” campaign.

The “Bee Strong Bee Manchester” fundraiser involves the sale of special bee shaped badges, and has so far raised more than £15,000. Making and selling the badges was the brainchild of 14-year-old Millie Fraser, a pupil at Rishworth School near Halifax, with the support of mum Kim, the school’s head of art, and designer dad Steve.

The campaign has gone from strength to strength over the last few weeks with businesses across the North stocking the badges, with a suggested donation of £5 per badge, and all profits going to the Red Cross.

Rishworth School’s new head girl Emma Bower, 17, and mum Helen, who is head of PE, were discussing how to help promote the charity with dad Simon Bower. As site manager for a large renovation project in Manchester city centre, he knew exactly what he could do.

Simon said: “This project is right in the middle of the city centre and there must be thousands of people passing the site every week, I thought why not use the hoardings to advertise the charity. The MD agreed straight away and suggested some other ways the company could help, so hopefully the hoarding will just be the start of it.”

The hoarding signs, designed by Millie’s dad Steve Fraser who works at EPetch Printers, have been installed around the site and will soon be joined by an even bigger banner on the building itself, once the scaffolding is in place. The Frasers and Bowers have now visited site to see the new artwork for themselves.

Millie said: “This is amazing, these posters will really help get the campaign noticed even more and we can’t believe there will be an even bigger banner in a few weeks. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of people to the badges, but not surprised. Everyone we meet wants to wear one and donate to the fund, everyone really wants to do their bit to help.”

Kim added: “We’re so grateful to Simon and his company for coming up with this advertising idea, it’s brilliant. We’ve had a lot of support from businesses large and small, donating services or helping to sell the badges. The police force, ambulance services, and nurses can also be found wearing the bees. Support for those affected can be seen as far afield as Australia and the Grand Canyon with people sporting our badges, and we are hoping this publicity will encourage others to get involved too.

“In particular we are desperate for yellow Perspex and badge fastenings. We would love to see the badges stocked in shops, cafes and businesses right across the city centre and as far afield as we can, so if you run one and want to take a box to sell, please, please do get in touch.”

The “Bee Strong Bee Manchester” badges were designed by Kim’s colleague Megan Needham, and are being laser cut at cost by two local companies, Bespoke Laser Cutting and Engraving and HPC Laser. They are being put together by teachers, dinner ladies and pupils after school, and by friends and family members at the Frasers’ Manchester home on the kitchen table.

More than 7,000 badges have so far been made, and the demand is still growing. The list of places where the badges can be bought, including shops, gyms and office receptions across the North, is available on the “Bee Strong Bee Manchester” Facebook page and website, which was created free of charge by BJL in support of the campaign.

Russells Construction will also be selling the badges at its head office in Trafford Park, and bosses have promised to double whatever staff raise by buying a badge. The “Bee Strong Bee Manchester” bee badges will also be available to buy at the Russell Homes Sales and Marketing Suites at Greenbooth Village in Norden Rochdale and Saltersford Gardens in Holmes Chapel, which is set to launch this summer.

For more information on where to buy the badges, go to their Facebook page or website

Click here to see how the Manchester Evening News covered the story.

30 Brown Street pre-renovation

CGI of how the building will look once complete