West Berks Mencap Receive Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service

December 6, 2011 - 12:36 pm 1,515 Comments

West Berks Mencap receive the Queen's Award For Voluntary Service

West Berks Mencap receive the Queen's Award For Voluntary Service

It’s all been happening here at Gecko! So we have some catching up to do… firstly one of our favourite charities, West Berks Mencap, received their much deserved Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service from HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.

Leila Ferguson, CEO commented “We were absolutely thrilled to receive the award,” commented Leila Ferguson, CEO West Berks Mencap. “West Berks Mencap provides a wide range of services for people of all ages who have learning disabilities, but, it wouldn’t be possible for the charity to continue without the enormous contribution that our volunteers make. I am often in awe of our volunteers, we have some as young as 14 coming to the centre to help with the children at Bubble Club, and of course there are older ones like our President, Arthur Heffernan and his wife Jean, who keep helping for many years. There are so many volunteers I can’t name them all, but every single one of them deserves an award for the fabulous work they do to ensure that we can provide some of the best services in the whole of the country and each one helps to make West Berks Mencap one big, happy family! So, all the staff, clients, parents and families say a huge thank you our volunteers – we are extremely grateful to every single one of our them and are happy to welcome anyone who wants to come and join us.”

We send our heartfelt congratulations to all the volunteers, and the fabulous staff who work so hard at West Berks Mencap

Amazing Media!

November 17, 2011 - 6:12 pm No Comments

Silvio Berlusconi - Crooner Extraordinaire!

Silvio Berlusconi - Crooner Extraordinaire!

We are speechless – an amazing piece of news and incredible use of the media for self promotion.


Semi-Naked SJ Served Up On A Plate!

November 15, 2011 - 4:11 pm 1,016 Comments

SJ says "Relate to who's on your plate!"
As part of World Vegan Day, Gecko’s friend SJ (of kids telly fame) got semi-naked in Trafalgar Square and lay on a plate, with super sized chips and peas.
SJ only became a Vegetarian six years ago, and about a year ago decided to go vegan, she now works with a range of vegan companies and charities to encourage veganism and raise awareness of cruelty to animals.


SJ is great fun – what’s not to like about someone who is bendy enough to get into a washing machine!

Souper Greens

November 15, 2011 - 1:30 pm No Comments

Today we at Gecko decided it was definitely soup weather – chilly and bright. So, we opened a tetra-pack of New Covent Garden Souper Greens soup.

Souper Greens Soup

Souper Greens Soup

It looked truly horrid… but tasted delicious! Consensus in the office – we will be it enjoying again!

And, now we want to win a farm! When so many are currently looking for a ‘change of direction’ or to ‘move to the country’ what a fabulous piece of marketing!

Channel4/food and festive fizz

November 14, 2011 - 1:48 pm 1,022 Comments

Channel4/food put up our competition today to win a case of Freixenet bubbly and one of Jo Pratt’s lovely ‘In The Mood For Entertaining’ cookbooks
Hopefully we’ll get lots of entries! The perfect prize for the festive season – you can create delicious food and then enjoy it with a friends and a glass of Spanish fizz.


Freixenet Cordon Oro

Freixenet Cordon Oro

Lest we forget – The Poppy – 90 years old and not political

November 13, 2011 - 12:23 pm 1,574 Comments

Lest we forget, today is Remembrance Sunday – and even if one doesn’t agree with war, here at Gecko we believe we should always acknowledge those who (whether they agreed or not with the war they were part of) gave their lives, so that we could live, so that those who would steam-roll over common men were not given power.

England Football Squad Poppy Armband

England Football Squad Poppy Armband

We are pleased that FIFA allowed the poppy – a symbol of remembrance for ‘the fallen’ – to be worn on the players black armbands. And, I think we should be thankful to FIFA for raising awareness of the Poppy Appeal – they did a brilliant PR campaign for the British Legion!

Blade Runner Meets Bourne?

November 10, 2011 - 10:56 am 995 Comments
The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau

Last night the Geckos watched The Adjustment Bureau, which (our movie critic hero) Mark Kermode said on Kermode and Mayo’s film review on Radio 5 Live, is charming and a bit like Blade Runner meets Bourne. He also says it’s ‘air-heady’.

Well this reviewer enjoyed the film. It may not be intellectual, but it is interesting and although ‘the doors’ may be a little obvious and its direction may be like sign-posting, it showcases New York in all its splendour to stunning effect. It was visually great, with fabulous views and stunning cinematography of the architecture, park, Brooklyn bridge, the streets, etc. But in general, to me the film wasn’t an action film, it wasn’t a sci-fi film, it was a simple love story – and it was well done, because I found myself wanting the two leads (Matt Damon and Emily Blunt) to live happily ever after.

Here’s what Mark Kermode said about it – but watch it for yourself, its a very enjoyable film for an autumnal evening!


Bonfire Night Is Shaken & Stirred

November 5, 2011 - 6:06 pm 1,024 Comments

Although Charlie the Chairman hates Bonfire Night… it’s the fireworks… Gecko loves a good Guy Fawkes party! So, to add some sparkle to the event, we asked our friend the expert mixologist at Shaken & Stirred to design a cocktail for Freixenet – and he created the Freixenet Guido.

Freixenet Guido by Shaken & Stirred

Freixenet Guido by Shaken & Stirred

The Freixenet Guido takes its inspiration from Guy (nicknamed Guido) Fawkes – the man who became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I.

35ml American Whiskey
50 ml Sour cherry juice (available in most large supermarkets)
20ml Almond Syrup (maple syrup is a good alternative)
Squeeze lime
Freixenet Cordon Negro (the nation’s favourite sparkling wine brand)

Simply put the first four ingredients in a highball glass and stir. Add ice and top with Freixenet Cordon Negro, then garnish with a black cherry

Its a fabulous long drink – we know because we tried it when Tom mixed it up for the photoshoot with our favourite photographer Martin Cleveland!

Misery Bear – hero of our time!

November 1, 2011 - 9:34 am 1,009 Comments

Misery Bear is the saddest, loneliest, most suicidal teddy bear in the whole world. A borderline alcoholic with anger management issues, the furry little critter is the star of a series of BBC short films – and a marketing phenomena

The furry anti-hero has 34,500+ fans on Facebook , around 17,000 followers on Twitter, his videos reach millions of viewers, he’s raised a huge amount of money for comic relief (via a video with Kate Moss which was broadcast on BBC1 Red Nose Day) and he’s even written a book (Misery Bear’s Guide to Love & Heartbreak).

For Halloween Misery Bear dressed as a pirate – scary eh!

Misery Bear the pirate[/caption]

Treats Not Tricks For West Berkshire Mencap

October 31, 2011 - 2:20 pm 1,606 Comments

West Berkshire Mencap is a fantastic, local charity providing a wide range of outstanding services for people (of all ages) in West Berkshire and the surrounding area – and it’s one of Gecko’s favourite clients!

This morning we went to the ‘home’ of West Berks Link-Up at the Slater Centre, Greenham Common, to see West Berks Council hand over the keys to a brand new bus to Leila Ferguson, CEO of West Berks Mencap.

Leila Ferguson of West Berks Mencap receives the keys to its new bus

Leila Ferguson of West Berks Mencap receives the keys to its new bus

The bus will be used during the week to transport West Berks Mencap service users to activities and work organised by Link-Up and Growing4All, as well as collecting and delivering light goods, taking large mail outs to the main post office and updating noticeboards around town for Newbury District Council. Then at other times it will be used for outings too!

The New West Berks Mencap Bus and Service Users

The New West Berks Mencap Bus and Service Users

And, the great thing is that West Berks Mencap has bought the old bus which will be used by the residents of Heffernan House (WBM’s independent living accomodation for young adults with learning disabilities ) and the wider West Berks Mencap ‘family’… all helping to ensure that people with learning disabilities in the West Berks area can be part of the local community.