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A golf marathon in aid of TOFS charity

Liam Houghton, Assistant Divisional Manager at Premier Galvanizing Corby will be completing a 72-hole golf marathon in aid of the charity TOFS – a charity that supported his son through his difficult start to life.

The charity supports those who are born with OA/TOF, which stands for Oesophageal Atresia and Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula. OA/TOF are rare congenital conditions of the oesophagus (food pipe) and/or trachea (airway) that affect 1 in every 3,500 people.

The charity is close to Liam’s heart, as his son Noah was born with OA/TOF. That’s why he wants to give back to the charity and partake in the golf marathon.

Liam commented on the charity:

“TOFS not only supported my son through the difficult start to his life, but also supported me and my fiancée through the struggling times by giving us incredible information and guidance to prepare us for the road ahead. This is my way of giving back to TOFS, so that they may continue to help future children and families in need.”

The fundraising event will take place at Market Harborough Golf Course on Thursday 29th June 2023, so there’s still plenty of time to donate.

You can show your support for Liam and the charity by donating to the cause here. Every donation will help the charity continue to help those with OA/TOF.

About the charity

TOFS was set up in 1982 by parents of children born with OA/TOF (some of whom are still associated with the charity). They became a registered charity in 1987. 

Forty years on, they are still helping families through the challenges of bringing up a child with OA/TOFVACTERL and associated conditions. Now, there is an increased focus on support for the cohort of adults who live with the consequences of being born with OA/TOF. 

They are now the world’s largest English-speaking support group for those born unable to swallow. They have members in over 60 countries, and whilst they receive no government funding, they are a small charity with big aims. The charity is dedicated towards a world where those born with these conditions live long and healthy lives.

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Thank you to everyone who joined us!

The annual Lily Mae Foundation Charity Golf Day and Dinner Dance took place on Friday 14 April. It was a great day! Thank you to everyone who joined us.

The Lily Mae Foundation supports parents and families after a stillbirth, neonatal death, miscarriage or medical termination. We’ve supported the charity for over a decade, regularly attending its annual golf/dinner dance event and helping to raise in excess of £150k.

There were 32 teams who took part this year, made up of clients, suppliers, and team members across our Joseph Ash Galvanizing, Premier Galvanizing and Widnes Galvanising plants.

Attendees were greeted with a charity gift bag containing goodies and snacks for the day. They then fuelled up with bacon baps and coffee before teeing off. Teams concluded the day with the evening dinner dance, where we witnessed fewer bogeys, and a lot more boogie!

Lily Mae Foundation Charity Golf Day

Congratulations Lily Mae Foundation on another fabulous event!

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An amazing initiative by Joseph Ash Walsall funds for a local food bank just in time for Easter

What a fantastic day at Joseph Ash Walsall! We recently set ourselves the target of donating Easter Eggs and funds to help support Breaking Bread, a much-needed food bank based in Wednesbury in the Midlands.

Breaking Bread is a non-profit community interest group that runs solely off donations from the public. It has been running for 10 years and, in that time, has gone from servicing 38 families to 200 families a month.

When we started the initiative, our initial target was £1000 and gathering enough Easter Eggs to give to all the children of families who visit the food bank.

But through the kind donations of all our team, clients and suppliers, as well as donations and support from our other plants in the Joseph Ash Group, we managed to raise an enormous £3900 and enough Easter Eggs for everyone who visits the food bank (children and adults alike).

Amy Leachman and Zoe Chapman from Joseph Ash Walsall delivered two carloads of Easter Eggs to the charity earlier this week, and today we invited Lyn Walford and Joyce Turner from Breaking Bread to visit our plant, enjoy some lunch, and attend a presentation to receive the remaining egg donations and the cheque to help fund future food purchases.

Lyn Walford said: “We run Breaking Bread food bank as a non-profit. We’re all volunteers. We do it to support the local community. People come to us. They’re generally in a distressed state. They’re desperate for help. Some may not have eaten for several days, so we provide them with food to last them over three to four days, and if they’re not sorted after that, they can come back again, and we will help them further. What you’ve done here… it’s amazing. The support you’ve given us – and ongoing support, as we’ve discussed today – is fabulous. And it’s also meant that where we can normally only give little children Easter Eggs, today we’ve been able to give everyone Easter Eggs! The funds of almost £4000 will help us stock up on food for local families. Thank you!”

Like many food banks, the charity finds it more challenging to provide a service due to the growing demand and lack of donations due to the current cost of living crisis. However, we’ve been delighted to help.

The Just Giving page for this initiative is here if you’d like to contribute further to the charity.

Have a great Easter and Bank Holiday weekend, everyone!

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As the UK is experiencing high levels of inflation and energy and food price hikes, low-income families have been hit the hardest and more people are turning to food banks for help.

With Easter fast approaching, most of us look forward to our chocolate fix. However, many families can’t afford the food they need, let alone the luxury of a chocolate egg.

With this in mind, Charlie Singh (Divisional Manager) and his team at Joseph Ash Walsall are trying to raise as much money as possible to support Breaking Bread, a food bank in the Midlands by providing them with Easter Eggs and other food products to ensure many more families can enjoy the things most of us take for granted over the Easter period.

Please help us make a real difference by visiting the Just Giving page and donating. No matter how small, any amount will be appreciated, and you can donate anonymously (if you prefer).

Further information is on the Just Giving page.

Alternatively, it is quick and easy to donate simply by scanning the QR code.

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Mark Lamb, Internal Recruiter at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, is a keen football fan and a man on a mission to lose weight. He joined a Man v Fat Football group in 2020 – a wellbeing programme aimed at helping men lose weight and have fun playing football. Mark has been part of the programme for two and half years and has lost 11.5 stone since joining.

Although the programme is primarily focused on weight loss and improving physical health, exercise also improves mental health.

Unfortunately, men’s mental health is still stigmatised despite increased awareness over recent years. So, joined by their collective goal of weight loss, Mark and the rest of his Man v Fat Football team made it their mission to trek across the Midlands in aid of two amazing causes – Mind mental health charity and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The team’s first cause, Mind, aims to spread awareness of mental health and help those in crisis. The team’s second cause, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, was selected as many of the team have needed their services, having children treated for various illnesses. Grateful for their help in the past, it felt right to give something back to the hospital.

Mark Lamb and his team at Man v Fat

As the group all support different football leagues and given the football focus of their Man v Fat programme, they decided to incorporate their differences into the challenge. It was decided they would walk from Birmingham St Andrew’s Stadium all the way to Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium, stopping off at Villa Park, The Hawthorns, and Bescot along the way. In total, this covers just shy of 20 miles – no walk in the park for only one night.

In the twilight hours of Saturday 11 February, the 13 men set off on their journey in the dark and cold. Seven and a half hours later at 5:30am on Sunday 12 February, they arrived at Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium, very tired but incredibly proud of what they had achieved.

Mark Lamb commented on the experience:

“We wanted to showcase that men from various leagues in the Midlands can come together to do something good. It was a long challenge that affected us all both physically and mentally but managing to get through as a group and finishing it together was a great moment for us all.”

At the time of publication, they have raised nearly £3,000 – almost triple what the group had set as their goal. Hill & Smith Plc, Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s parent company, donated £500 as part of their Charity Match Scheme.

Congratulations, Mark and the team!

There’s still time to donate and make a difference. Visit Mark’s Just Giving page and help the lives and wellbeing of many.

Alternatively, visit Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Mind’s websites to find out more about them.

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Cycling 300 miles for Cancer Research

As today is World Cancer Research Day, we’re pleased to share a story about one of our team members – Mark Payne, Divisional Manager at Joseph Ash Chesterfield – who has set himself the target of cycling 300 miles in September to raise £1000 for Cancer Research UK.

In normal times this is a worthwhile cause, but it is particularly important right now as Cancer Research has lost a huge £44 million in funding and donations since the advent of COVID-19.

Mark has always been interested in keeping fit and is normally the person in the gym lifting weights. However, a cardio cycling challenge has been a big (and new) undertaking. Mark said: “This will be by far the greatest number of miles I have ever attempted in a month, so this is by no means an easy challenge for me.”

Despite his initial concerns however, Mark has been doing well so far. He has had some excellent rides and keeps challenging himself to beat personal bests. In one session he managed over 40 miles!

Cancer Research cycling challenge

With just one week left in September, Mark has recorded 260 miles. He thinks he’ll be able to beat his target of 300 miles and push on through to 450! Amazing!

Go Mark!

If you’d like to sponsor Mark and donate to Cancer Research UK, click on the link below.

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Two Joseph Ash Galvanizing employees have recently completed gruelling sporting activities to not only push themselves to the limit and feel a sense of great achievement, but also to raise much needed funds for charity.

Mick Bonnar (left photo), Transport Manager from Joseph Ash Bridgend took part in the Prudential Ride London event – the largest annual cycling fundraiser managed by the London and Surrey Cycling Partnership (LSCP).

The event has been running since 2013 and cyclists raise money for charity by riding from London to Surrey every August.

Mick Bonnar was proud to complete the ride in five hours and 28 minutes, raising £850 for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process. This money forms part of the £17m the event has raised for good causes over the last six years.


Stuart Cobourne (right photo), Divisional Manager from Joseph Ash Telford, also took part in a cycling challenge in August. Not only cycling though… as he completed as a triathlete in the Ironman distance contest in Copenhagen.

Having completed in triathlons for four years, Stuart wished to push himself in the ‘ultimate challenge’, by swimming for 2.4 miles, cycling for 112 miles, and then running for 26.2 miles. (It’s making our legs wobble just writing about it!)

Stuart completed the Ironman in 11 hours and 15 minutes, finishing 1076th out of 3000 starters (500 of whom didn’t make it past the finish line).

Stuart fundraised for the event and amassed over £1000 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Well done to both Mick and Stuart. Such amazing achievements, which you deserve to feel very proud of. (Now we want to know what your plans are for 2020?!)

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A UK steel industry backed project to rebuild a hurricane-hit primary school is nearing completion in the Caribbean.

Dorset-based John Reid & Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) is leading a consortium of UK businesses – including Joseph Ash Galvanizing – which have joined forces to help reconstruct the Enis Adams Primary School on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Other businesses include Tata Steel, National Tube Stockholders, Euroclad, Ayrshire Metal Products, BAPP, Powell Gee & Co Ltd, Kestrel Liner Agencies and Meachers Global Logistics.

REIDsteel commercial director Tim Cook has just returned from Tortola where he saw how work was progressing under main contractor Newton Construction Co Ltd.

Tim said: “It was great to see the new school in person.

“All of the steelwork has gone up and work is going well as it nears completion. The school is being rebuilt to modern standards and requirements with disabled facilities, and an additional second floor.

“As well as seven classrooms on the ground floor, it will have a science lab, IT Suite, library, large seminar room on the second floor plus a medical room.

“The school will be much improved on the previous building and will create a real legacy for the future.”

The school was completely destroyed when hurricanes Irma and Maria swept through Tortola in October 2017.

Virgin Islands businessman Peter Haycraft, a longstanding client of REIDsteel with his former business Road Town Wholesale, has pledged his own money for the reconstruction.

REIDsteel, based in Christchurch, Dorset, with 130 employees, designed and supplied steelwork, and rallied its suppliers to support the project too.

Now they are to send keepsakes to Tortola for a time capsule to be buried at the school before it is due to open to pupils in the Autumn.

Hesketh Newton, managing director of Newton Construction Co Ltd, said: “The school is taking shape with every passing day and will be superb once finished.”

Mr Haycraft said: “It is gratifying to see the Enis Adams school rise from the rubble as our community works to put the devastation of the hurricanes behind us.”

REIDsteel designed the new school to withstand 185 mile per hour winds and earthquakes based on Unified Building Code Occupancy Category III and IV.

All of its 26 buildings in the British Virgin Islands survived the hurricanes of 2017 with only superficial damage.

Mr Cook saw firsthand how the company’s structures had stood strong while others collapsed around them during his recent visit.

Others involved in the Enis Adams project are architect AEMC Architectural Services, Civil Engineer AEC Consulting Engineers Ltd, Electrical Barry’s Electrical Services, Reliable Plumbing, S & D Security, and the British Virgin Islands Ministry of Education and Culture. 

Tata Steel has helped with supply of floor decking and giving Colorcoat ® pre-finished steel for roofing, whilst Cardiff based Euroclad has given finished roof materials.

Thirsk-based National Tube Stockholders has given steel tube and steel hollow sections, Joseph Ash Galvanizing has hot-dip galvanised the structural steelwork and Ayrshire Metal Products has given secondary steel cold rolled purlins.

Barnsley-based BAPP has supplied industrial fasteners and bolts, Powell Gee of Shrewsbury has supplied fixings for floor decking and the external cladding envelope.

Kestrel Liner Agencies has helped with shipment and Meachers Global Logistics with shipping services.

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On Friday 26 April, The Lily-Mae Foundation hosted their annual Golf Day, to raise funds to support families affected by stillbirth or neonatal death. Joseph Ash Galvanizing and Premier Galvanizing hosted guests at the event.

Thank you to the companies who joined us on the golf course:

A great day was had by all, and collectively we helped the charity to raise over £25,000. Wow!

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Joseph Ash Galvanizing and Premier Galvanizing: Supporting the Lily Mae Foundation at their annual charity event

On Friday 26 April 2019 Joseph Ash Galvanizing will host up to 62 people (including 50 clients) at a charity golf day at The Belfry set up by the Lily Mae Foundation – an organisation created to support parents and families affected by stillbirth or neonatal death. 

Joseph Ash Galvanizing has purchased tickets for rounds of golf, seats at the evening dinner, and is sponsoring a hole at the event.

We have been supporting the event for the last ten years and in total – alongside our clients – we’ve helped to raise over £120,000 for the charity. (Which makes us proud!)

Funds are raised through ticket sales, sponsorships and generous donations from attendees.

We’re very much looking forward to the 2019 event!

To see photos of previous events visit the Joseph Ash Galvanizing Flickr profile.

To find out more about the work of the Lily Mae Foundation, click here.

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