Cornwall businesses help raise money

Why I chose to #FollowTheFairies anyway

More heavy rain tapped on the streets of Falmouth this morning as somehow another Friday has sneaked up and hoodwinked us into thinking this means a day of rest. Sometimes this is the case, but this week doesn’t seem like one of those weeks.

Gearing up for all sorts of things that need to be sorted for my trip to help families in Ecuador prepare small cacao plantations; whilst trying to meet deadlines for clients from Truro to Trowbridge and ‘Cisco to Singapore; something about those pesky fairies goaded me into ditching the pressures of PR; the wonders of writing; and use my words for free.

If corporations are helping people does it really matter?

Marketing magic or fairy dust?

Arguably, a marketing campaign on both their part and mine, the fairies tell us to help people; as they are doing. To raise brand loyalty, yes. But also to actually help people. Unlike the M&S campaign, I don’t have heaps of money to throw at sensationalising my ‘good deeds’. I just work some extra hours and – yes – probably feed my Florence Nightingale complex. Will I gain recognition by working for free? I doubt it. I’m an atheist so I don’t think it secures any afterlife for me.

But I didn’t get into this industry to make loads of money, though. I did it to feel empowered and move away from an education system I felt was demonstrating the wrong values to students; perpetuating stigmas. I did it because I actually love words. I did it because I want to empower local communities to create opportunities for young people. And I continued with it because I have started to see the changes taking place.

Albeit subtly.

I wax lyrical about patience and tenacity; the two being major players in the long waiting game of content marketing. At the same time, I run consuming PR campaigns, liaise with businesses from foragers to wine experts; cacao farmers to counsellors and most things in between. I type and tap and edit and ponder and I feel permanently unable to catch up with my to-do list.

And yet in the middle of this frantic world of rushing photos here and articles there, and getting x linked up to y; sometimes it’s good for me to just remember what’s really important. So, when a little girl I used to babysit for (who is now 30…) asked me if I can help to raise awareness about her campaign to help Abi walk, I took the fairies’ advice and I used some of my day to help get this campaign some traction.

I’ve always felt with charity that I can give time more than money; having still not got out of my student overdraft. So even though I know my ‘good deeds’ are perpetuating a campaign for a big corporation, and even though writing about them instantly devalues their altruism: hopefully they will help, in some small way, to make a difference to someone’s life.

Professional writer and press manager

What are Cornish businesses doing for equality?

The living wage is now £7.65, whilst the minimum continues to fall short by an unjustifiable £1.15. I’d argue that although the Guardian claim that over a fifth of people earn under this figure: most people in Cornwall do.

Hire Cornish copywriters, web designers, cleaners and drinks providers

Cornwall has a history of hard work and innovation

Being only a small startup myself, I am committed to redressing the stark disparity of wealth I have seen in Cornwall since I grew up here. As a teenager, I slaved for 70 hours some weeks earning £3 an hour in one of the county’s popular tourist cafés. As an adult I taught children whose families were often surviving on a collective income of less than £20,000 and recently Cornwall has been pronounced the poorest area in Europe. I feel very strongly about the incredible work organisations such as Whole Again Soups, Slow Food Cornwall and The Cornish Seaweed Company carry out; empowering people within the community through food education.

As a food writer and social media maven, my role, I feel, is to help create opportunities; empowering people to start their own companies and raise their standard of living. This will come in time, but is a strong part of my business plan. I can’t do it alone. Despite having had a Florence Nightingale complex most of my life, I need the help of other local businesses.

What can local businesses do for equality?

We can buy local!

Support local businesses in Cornwall by finding local writers, designers, artists

Shop local, eat local: Cornwall

Copywriters are everywhere. And what’s great about us is that we can work remotely. However, just because I live in Cornwall, this does not mean I should be paid less to do as good a job, if not better, than my London counterparts. Local businesses should be keeping their focus on employing local people; from web designers to illustrators; from cleaning companies to drinks providers. Similarly, it means that anyone carrying out any work for me should be paid fairly. If I can achieve this on my profit margins, then big business sure as hell should be doing so. I am confident that other local businesses are doing their best to provide opportunities and support locality in our beautiful county.

I wrote recently about Cornwall’s fantastic entrepreneurial spirit. Despite this social disparity, communities work together and there are people with excellent minds and ideas innovating daily within the county.

Through supporting local, buying local and eating local, we can create our own economy down here and keep the innovative and hard working spirit of our tin toiling predecessors very much alive.