Winter News 2011/2012

Welcome to  our Winter Newsletter 2011/2012

We have a great story of a canopy installation that reached the front page of Seatons local newspaper in Devon, the exciting launch of our new bespoke glass canopies and some really cool links and facts for teachers, parents and pupils!

If you have any comments or questions relating to anything in this newsletter please feel free to leave a comment below.

Rupert’s Under 5’s Pre-school Celebrates their New Sheltered Play Area

Rupert’s Under 5’s Pre-school in Seaton, Devon are currently celebrating the opening of their exciting new sheltered play area. The staff at the Pre-school chose to have the canopy installed to encourage the children to play outdoors come rain or shine.

Fiona Laughton, Chairperson of Rupert’s Under 5’s explains, “We wanted to promote a healthy environment and give the children more opportunities and access all facilities… extending their learning.”

Despite the limited funding available to the education sector at present, the staff at Rupert’s Under 5’s were determined to provide a much needed shelter for their children and so arranged various Bingo and Quiz nights to fund the canopy they desired. The fundraising events were a big success and now the children at the pre-school can enjoy learning and playing outdoors.

The canopy, which was supplied and installed by Able Canopies, provides high UV protection and was also supplied with a water butt which has been put to great use, as Fiona explained, “The water butt is great as we do a lot in our nature area and we like to grow plants and vegetables.”

“The canopy is a welcome addition to the preschool facilities. We had fun fundraising and the hard work put in to it has paid off. I would like to thank all parents, staff and committee members that were involved.” – Fiona Laughton, Chairperson – Rupert’s Under 5’s Pre-school

Cool Links for Pupils, Staff and Parents!

Our teams are always on the look out for fun and exciting links, making education fun for children, teachers and parents!

Check out the links below:

Education Scholiastic – Fun and educational for nurseries and pre-schools packed with activities and resources, it’s the perfect place for inspiration.

Recycling game –  pupils to play the recycling game and help them learn the importance of recycling why not have a play yourself… It’s pretty addictive!

Education worksheets – Jam packed with lots of education worksheets including a times table chart, how to make a comic and various other educational sheets bringing fun into learning for the young ones.

The Guardian Teachers Network - For teachers only, subscribe to get free teaching recourses, free lesson and activity resources and free test sheets to see how your students are getting on.


Kids go free! –  Search the location you would like to visit and the website will come up with attractions where the kids go free! Perfect for the winter months to keep your children amused without breaking the bank!


Hot Wheels –  Register with Formula Hot Wheels for free and your child will receive their free welcome pack! Once you’re registered you can play free games and they also run some excellent competitions too!

The Mouse Club – join free and receive a free welcome pack with an ID card , badge, bookmark, finger puppet and mask! In the grown ups section find free pre-school lesson plans and more

School Science – A free learning resource website for teachers packed with resources and competitions for your school and pupils to get involved in!


Bespoke Glass Canopies

Able Canopies area very excited to announce the launch of their new glass canopies.

Able Canopies have teamed up with a structural glazing company that has over 40 years experience in the glazing industry which gives you the peace of mind that you are in very capable hands and you will receive a service and product that is of a very high quality.

Our designs are limitless and each project is bespoke to your individual needs, Able Canopies endeavour to produce a canopy system that meets your requirements whilst creating a striking focal point to your building. We design, manufacture and install all of our glass canopies, linked with a 3D CAD design facility and fabrication design department; we can give you a turnkey canopy solution.

We are able to offer glass wall mounted canopies, glass entrance canopies and glass walkways. Due to the fact that all of our glass canopies are bespoke we could create a canopy for you that is exactly what you require resulting in a canopy that meets your specification and that fits into your surroundings. By purchasing a bespoke glass canopy, you could make a real focal point to your building/area making it stand out and have the wow factor!

Click here for further information about our Bespoke Glass Canopies.

Fundraising for Schools, Pre-schools and Nurseries

If you are a fan of raising funds for your school by holding fundraising events then keep reading….

Here at Able Canopies we have very busy looking for ways in which you can raise funds for your school, nursery or pre-school. We have put together a NEW Official PTA Fundraising Pack which is full of fundraising ideas from A-Z including testimonials of our customers who have successfully raised funds for their schools.

There is a wide range of fundraising events that you could organise including discos, seasonal fairs, quizzes and much much more…. Download our FREE Official PTA Fundraising Pack to view more ideas

Organising events is definitely a more social and fun way to raise funds. Getting the staff, pupils and parents involved is a great way to bring the community together and make friendships and provides your school or nursery with a good, friendly reputation.

When an event that you have put lots of hard work into is not very popular it can be disappointing. That is why we have included a few important issues for you to remember when organising a fundraising event.

PR – Where possible always contact your local newspaper and local radio station, hopefully they will mention your event for free or maybe a small fee. Advertising in your local newspaper and radio station is probably the best way to get interest along with sending out information about your event via your school newsletter and asking parents and staff to spread the word. Another way to get interest and generate spectators/visitors is to promote you fundraising event on facebook – create a fundraising page for your school and regularly update your “likers” about your events, not forgetting to publicly thank all those that took part.

Health and Safety – Health and safety can be hard work but it is well worth it. Following health and safety guidelines for your event is essential; otherwise your event could go wrong.

The Health and Safety Executive recommend a 5 step approach to risk assessment. (Source: )

  • Look for the hazards
  • Decide who might be harmed, and how
  • For each hazard, evaluate the chance, big or small, of harm actually being done and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done.
  • Record the significant findings of your risk assessment, eg the main risks and the measures you have taken to deal with them.
  • Review your assessment from time to time, and revise if necessary.

For more information including health and safety jargon explained click here

Licensing – Licensing is needed for various events including events where you will be selling alcohol. For more information and to find out if you will need licensing for your event contact your local authority.

Insurance – Does your venue have public liability insurance? You will need this so make sure you check with your insurance if you will be covered before arranging an event.

Fun! – Don’t forget the most important thing of all – fundraising is meant to be fun so enjoy yourself and make sure that your spectators and visitors enjoy themselves so they come back for your next event.

Don’t fancy fundraising? Not enough time? Visit our funding page on our website for grants and funding links > Funding Help

Cool Facts: Cycling

Cycling is a great way to keep you and your children active. In the recent years cycling has got more and more popular with many children now cycling to school rather than getting a lift in the car, and more and more adults are also starting to cycle to work. Did you know that cycling burns around 500 calories an hour and on a bicycle you can expect to be as fit as an average person ten years younger than yourself if you cycle frequently?

The very first bicycle was invented way back in 1817 and was named The Walking Machine. It didn’t have pedals and you would push your feet along the floor and then glide on the bike. The bicycle has evolved over the years including the Penny Farthing, the Tricycle and the many modern day cycles that are used now.

The cycle to work calculator is a great way to work out how much you are saving by cycling to work or school instead of driving. If your bike cost you £200 and you travel a total of 30 minutes a day in the car, you would save £1312 per year just by hanging up your car keys and getting on your bike! Work out how much you could save by clicking here

Below we have listed some cycling facts to get you thinking and to help you decide whether cycling is worth it or not – We think it most definitely is!

  • Cycling is great exercise: a steady cycle – around 10mph burns calories at the same rate as a very brisk walk
  • Riding a bicycle can protect you against heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and stress.
  • Cycling burns around 500 calories per hour
  • On a bike you can travel four times faster than you can walk, using the same amount of energy.
  • On a bicycle you can travel up to 648miles on the energy equivalent to a single litre of petrol.
  • Twenty bicycles can be parked in a space that would usually park just one car.
  • When it comes to city traffic a bicycle is a much more quicker and friendlier than any other vehicle.

This Cycle Shelter was designed and manufactured by Able Canopies Ltd. and installed at Ravenswood Primary School in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Cycle Permit Scheme

Local councils are encouraging schools to introduce cycle permit schemes, particularly if a school already has cycle parking facilities in place. The cycle permit scheme sets out the rights and responsibilities for pupils wishing to cycle to and from school.

The scheme involves the child, parent and school to sign the cycle permit agreeing that they’re cycle is road worthy and suitable for safe use. They are also signing a contract to adhere to the schools code of conduct when they bring their bike to school.

The scheme also helps schools to manage their cycle parking facilities and to monitor whether more cycle racks and cycle shelters are required. If more cycle parking facilities are required the cycle permit scheme may help with obtaining funding for a shelter as this scheme can illustrate the popularity of cycling at the school.

Your child may be required to undergo Bikeability training in order to cycle to school using the cycle permit scheme ensuring your child understands road safety. Bikeability training is for all ages and gives you the confidence and skills to cycle in modern road conditions.

For more information about the scheme contact your local council. Here are a couple of council’s that explain the scheme further on their website:

Durham County Council
Leicestershire County Council

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install commercial grade canopies, shade sails,
awnings and shelters across the UK. We specialise in servicing the education, leisure,
healthcare and retail sectors and have extensive experience working with
schools, councils, architects and contracting firms.
For more information on our products and services please contact us

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Marketing Assistant at Able Canopies Ltd
Christine is Able Canopies' Marketing Assistant Manager and is an advocate of outdoor learning. She is a big fan of fundraising and is always looking for fresh fundraising and outdoor learning ideas to share.

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