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PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE FOR THE COLD

A recent analysis has found that 40 per cent of all winter maintenance call outs could be avoided according to a London-wide home maintenance service, The London Team.

The company, which provides teams of plumbers, electricians and gas and heating engineers to home owners and renters across the capital, has conducted research into its database and believes that nearly half of all call outs relate to incidents which could have been prevented by simple measures that people could take themselves, without professional help. The London Team believes that on average savings of around £300-400 could be made by following some simple advice.

The company has now issued an action list, downloadable via the company’s website - www.thelondonteam.com - , to help Londoners prepare their homes for the onslaught of winter. The team believes that a few checks and precautions could help residents avoid unnecessary hassle and expense over the coming months.

Popular call outs include; no running water, in some cases down to fact that a neighbour in a block of flats has turned the water off without realising it’s a centralised system, leaks to neighbouring properties caused by un-lagged pipes and made worse by the fact that the property’s owner is away and not contactable, blocked sinks and drains, particularly from animal fat used around Christmas and air locks which stop water flow in the home caused by busy, festive households taking showers in quick succession without enough time for the system to refill.

Sebastian Seymour, CEO of The London Team explains: “This is a difficult time of year for any home owner or renter as the increased rainfall and lower temperatures tend to cause strain on properties, particularly older Georgian London buildings. However, there are simple, precautionary steps which people can take which will significantly reduce the chance of an emergency call out and diminish the amount of damage caused. If people are wondering why I’m happy to share the tricks of the trade, it’s because preventative action often means the damage is lessened and we can leave with a happy customer.”

Al Braithwaite, one of The London Team’s customers commented: “I wish I had called The London Team in earlier on, or taken their advice to avoid blockages. Overhead pipe-work ended up oozing foetid water onto some artwork that I own. I hadn’t quite cottoned onto the scale of the problem, but since The London Team came in to fix it all up I haven’t had to restore or throw out any more damaged works. The pipe-work is now entirely fixed and everything is great, I can sleep easy at night.”

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Notes to editor

For media enquiries, please call Louise Evans on 07891 242476.

About The London Team

The London Team offers expert plumbers, electricians, gas engineers, heating engineers, decorators, handymen and security experts. It specialises in delivering a friendly and bespoke property service in and around London.

London Team spokespeople are happy to provide comment on home maintenance, safety and security issues. We also have case studies relating to these issues in the above areas.

The London Team Winter Tips

In order to try and avoid the unnecessary expense of a call out, the London Team offers the following advice:

Problem 1: Leaks

Leaks have a habit of happening when people go away and, if you’re in a block of flats, this can cause damage to a neighbouring property. Where access is needed to a property, the police have the right to break-in, causing additional damage and cost. It’s also worth remembering that householders are liable for damage caused to another property by leaks from their own.

Advice: Make sure that you leave a key with a trusted person who will be available or use a key holding service. It’s always advisable to turn off your water when you’re leaving your property for an extended period. But, if you live in flats, then it’s also worth checking whether your tap is centralised meaning you could turn off water for other people as well!  Sometimes valves and taps will serve more than one home. Be sure that you’re not turning off everyone’s water and then leaving the country.  And yes, we’ve seen this happen many times!

Problem 2: Burst Pipes

In freezing temperatures, external pipes are particularly vulnerable. Water freezes inside and causes the metal to expand and split, in some cases. When the temperatures rise above freezing, the pipes leak.

Advice: If you are away when the weather is expected to turn very cold then leaving your heating on a very low setting can prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing and also reduce the amount of power required to warm the home on your return.

Check the pipes going from your boiler to outside drains and make sure they are insulated. Modern boilers are very efficient but as they need to have a pipe that leads to a drain, this can sometimes freeze, blocking the boiler and causing problems. Simply insulating this with some cheap pipe lagging foam can help to prevent this and in cold weather it’s worth checking and defrosting the pipe with warm water.

Problem 3:  Blocked toilets

Be careful what you flush down the toilet. Avoid anything other than toilet paper. Paper towels or baby wipes can cause an excellent plug which is extremely difficult to shift. Seasonal guests and parties can increase the strain on your drains.

Advice: Make sure you’ve got bins in bathrooms and if you’re expecting guests with very young children, keep some extra sealable waste bags for them to use for wipes.

4. Blocked sinks

Avoid pouring hot fat and other food waste down plugholes. It will quickly cool and solidify. For some reason, London Team plumbers have found that Christmas Day is especially bad for this as the mixture of food, drink and a festive atmosphere leads to people forgetting or taking less care.

Advice: Let everything cool then bag it up and put it for composting or in the bin.

4. Air locks

Cold water tanks can also run dry when there are more people in the house than usual, a problem which can also cause airlocks in the plumbing. These air locks prevent water running freely from the tap and it appears there is no water left at all.

Advice: Try to make sure that baths and clothes washing times are staggered to allow the water system to refill the tank. As little as ten minutes between showers should be enough.

5. Electricity trips

Make sure you know where the location of circuit breakers in your home and check that these have not tripped if you’re having electrical problems. It’s wise to check that cupboards with electrical switches aren’t too cluttered. The London Team frequently finds that objects can fall over and flick switches!

6. Outlet pipes

If you have a boiler with a condensate pipe, check that the pipe is plastic. Sometimes copper pipes are used and these are unsuitable as drainage outlets from boilers as they can corrode.

Advice: If you’re not sure, get an expert to look as this could lead to expensive problems.

7. Guttering leaks

Heavy downfalls of rain can push leaves through drainpipes and cause blockages.

Advice: clear leaves from gutters, if it’s safe for you to do so. If not, get an expert in to do this – puddles of water on the roof can cause major leaks and damp.

8. Fire prevention

Unplugging electrical items if you are going away is always advisable from a safety perspective.

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MALE ESSENTIALS DELIVERY SERVICE OFFERS A FATHER’S DAY BOX WITH A SENSE OF FUN AND FREE DELIVERY

MALE ESSENTIALS DELIVERY SERVICE OFFERS A FATHER’S DAY BOX WITH A SENSE OF FUN AND FREE DELIVERY

The UK’s first male grooming subscription service – menareuseless.com – has launched a Father’s Day box aimed at the most difficult family member to buy for!

Menareuseless.com, which delivers a monthly, letter-boxed sized, high quality pack of toiletry products, is offering a one off Father’s Day box that, alongside some high quality grooming products, also includes a multitool and first aid kit.

The bespoke box contents include a King of Shaves Azor Razor, Nivea for Men Mild Shaving cream, Radox hair and shower gel, Gillette moisturiser, a very manly multitool and a traveller’s first aid kit.

Paul Johnson, Men Are Useless founder, said: “The idea behind Men Are Useless is very clear – we’re here to cover the more mundane, but important, bits of men’s lives. All of this can be done with a sense of fun - which father can resist a multitool which allows him to whittle sticks as he stares into the middle distance like a wise old sage? Or, the chance to save a poor injured soul by offering them a plaster from their first aid kit!”

The Father’s Day Box retails at £35, includes free delivery and is designed to fit through a standard letterbox.

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Notes to Editors

· A 2007 report from the market research firm Mintel found that between 2002 and 2006 the male grooming market in the UK tripled in value to an estimated worth of £781m, and sales of men’s body lotions, body toning gels, depilatories and sun care products increased by 77% over the same period.

MALE ESSENTIALS DELIVERY SERVICE OFFERS 20% DISCOUNT ON ALL BOXES GOING TO BFPO ADDRESSES FOR THE ARMED FORCES

The UK’s first male grooming subscription service – Men Are Useless – has launched a new service to send toiletries and other essentials to overseas forces through BFPO addresses.

Menareuseless.com, which delivers a monthly, letter-boxed sized, high quality pack of toiletry products, will now send unbranded boxes to BFPO addresses and will offer a 20% discount on all orders.

Paul Johnson, Men Are Useless founder, said: “The idea behind Men Are Useless is very clear – we’re here to cover the boring, but important, bits of men’s lives. Soon after launch we were approached by forces families asking if we could send to BFPO addresses to give their serving partners a reminder of home.”

The company will also cover all postage charges and is offering to add any little extras that remind serving personnel of home might like to remind your man of home.

Johnson adds: “In Europe our brand name signifies men’s lack of interest in going to the shops for toiletries. However, we’ll be dropping the name when sending to forces overseas and sending our boxes unbranded. Let’s face it; our guys overseas have more important things on their minds than toiletries but hopefully one of our grooming packs will be very welcome”

Packs start from £14.99 per month and contain everything from shower gel and shampoo through to razors and shave gel. Gift pack subscriptions and one off boxes are also available.

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Notes to Editors

· A 2007 report from the market research firm Mintel found that between 2002 and 2006 the male grooming market in the UK tripled in value to an estimated worth of £781m, and sales of men’s body lotions, body toning gels, depilatories and sun care products increased by 77% over the same period.

All media enquiries to Louise Evans at Loop PR, 07891 242476

BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH LEADS TO DOUBLING OF SURVIVAL TIMES

A penetrating analysis of the outlook for patients with one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour suggests that survival times have, on average, doubled in 30 years.

In a comparison of studies undertaken over the last 30 years into the highly malignant tumour glioblastoma multiforme tumour (GBM), brain cancer expert1 and patron of the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (SDBTT)2, Professor Roy Rampling has quantified the extent to which research and new treatments have helped patient outcomes. This includes not only improvements in treatment, but also an important improvement in the precision of their diagnosis.

Professor Rampling’s analysis compares the outlook for patients where the effect of prognostic genetic markers that are now being tested for is taken into account. The presence of these markers is being used to help predict with greater accuracy how patients will respond to given treatments, and to which clinical trials individual patients are best suited. The SDBTT has funded pioneering research in this area,3 and has enabled tests for these markers to be routinely offered in some hospitals.4 This will help specialists to design the optimal treatment and care programme for each patient.5

Professor Rampling said: “There is a cause for optimism here. I strongly feel that our best opportunity to progress further is to emphasise funding of lab-based research and small innovative trials. This is where organisations like the Samantha Dickson Brain tumour Trust really make a difference.”

In terms of the improvements in survival times, these figures, released to coincide with Brain Tumour Awareness Month, show that half of all patients are still alive one year after diagnosis. This was unheard of 30 years ago when the study found that less than 10% of patients survived more than six months. The figures are a testament to the impact of research, which has resulted in advances in treatment and care for people with GBM, a cancer type which accounts for 50 per cent of all primary brain tumours.

Paul Carbury, CEO of the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust said: “The improvements in survival times that Professor Rampling’s analysis points to are encouraging, but clearly there is so much more that can be done. Brain cancer research receives a fraction of the funding of that of higher profile cancers and it is our priority to redress the balance. These figures show that advances in treatment, achieved through the dedicated work of committed researchers over the years, have had a significant effect. The improvement that this analysis suggests would not be there without the funds which have supported these researchers.”

SDBTT is the leading adult and childhood brain tumour charity dedicated to research and support in the UK. The charity has been working to find a cure for brain tumours since it was set up in 1996 by Samantha’s parents, Neil and Angela Dickson.  Since then, funds approaching £10m have been raised for brain tumour research and support services for patients and carers, and the charity has become the largest dedicated funder of brain tumour research in the UK.

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For media enquiries, please contact Louise Evans on 01252 725 346 or 07891 242 478

Notes to the editors

  1. Professor Roy Rampling is professor of neuro-oncology at the Cancer Sciences and Molecular Pathology division of the University of Glasgow. He is a specialist in the treatment of brain and spinal tumours.
  2. The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust aims to raise awareness, support and funds for brain tumour research to help fight this devastating disease and give hope to brain tumour patients in the future. It also offers support and information to patients and their carers. The charity has been working to find a cure for brain tumours since it was set up in 1996 by Samantha’s parents, Neil and Angela Dickson. Since then millions of pounds have been raised for brain tumour research and support services for patients and carers, and the charity has become the largest dedicated funder of brain tumour research in the UK. More information on Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust is available by calling 0845 130 9733 or visiting www.braintumourtrust.co.uk
  3. University of Cambridge – our research team have discovered the presence of mutations in the gene IDH1 in certain types of brain tumour, and found evidence that it has a role in the formation of these tumours.
  4. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) at University College London – adult high-grade brain tumour patients are having the ‘MGMT methylation test’ performed on their tumour samples. The test identifies approximately one in three patients whose tumour is far more reactive to chemotherapy. They are also having a test for the loss of genetic regions 1p and 19q, a genetic change that predicts improved survival. Finally, they are being tested for mutations in the gene IDH1, another prognostic indicator. Results from these tests are enabling medical staff to provide individual patients with medical and supportive care that is more appropriate to their particular condition and needs.
  5. Newcastle University – our research team have pinpointed a biological marker called beta catenin, which picks out a low-risk group in children with medulloblastoma. A new project is now trialling a pan-European system for testing for this marker and will assess whether it could be used routinely to improve diagnosis and tailor treatment to maximise survival and minimise side-effects according to individuals’ risk group.

About glioblastoma multiforme

Fewer than 4% of people with glioblastoma multiforme are alive after 5 years (CR-UK).

Glioblastoma multiforme represents 50 per cent of all primary brain tumours.

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common brain tumour found in adults, and develops from star-shaped cells called astrocytes that support the central nervous system.

General Statistics

Out of the £420million spent on cancer research in the UK, less than 1% is spent on brain tumour research.

6,500 people are diagnosed each year with a primary brain tumour.

3,400 people lose their lives to a brain tumour each year.

Despite being the biggest childhood cancer killer and causing more deaths among the under 40s than any other cancer, statistics show that brain cancer has received a fraction of the funding of higher profile cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia. Statistics also show that these have received up to 20 times the investment of brain cancer and have seen survival rates almost double in 30 years.

The average years of life lost (calculated from the shortening of life attributable to brain cancer, compared to life expectancy) to brain tumours is the highest of any cancer at over 20 years and is the biggest cancer killer of adults under 40.

CHRISTMAS IS USELESS, SAY MAJORITY OF MEN

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New stats revealed from UK’s first male grooming delivery box scheme,
Men Are Useless

The majority of men (over 71 per cent) admit they have no use for over half the Christmas presents they receive and either discard or give them away, according to the UK’s first monthly male grooming delivery service, menareuseless.com.

Men Are Useless, the subscription service which delivers a monthly letter-boxed sized, high-quality toiletries pack, found that one in three leaves the presents in their original packaging and re-gifts them to friends and family throughout the year.

Of the hundreds questioned in the ‘male attitudes to Christmas’ survey, 58 per cent feel they’re bottom of the pile when it comes to receiving inspirational and useful gifts, while 64 per cent believe they put more thought into buying for a partner than vice versa.

Some of the useless and uninspired presents mentioned by the survey’s respondents included identical presents to the year before, string, throwaway ball point pens, sandpaper and a bird cage.

Paul Johnson, Men Are Useless founder, said: “Men are notoriously difficult to buy for and that’s one of the reasons we created Men Are Useless. Our letter-boxed sized monthly subscription package covers all a man’s toiletry needs and offers a unique, practical and fun gift – it’s also a way for women to stop theft of their own bathroom products and get a man a gift he might actually use!”

Packs start from £9.99 per month (including delivery), contain everything from shower gel and shampoo through to razors and shave gel and can be bought as gift subscriptions.

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Notes to Editors

More details of the service at www.menareuseless.com

· TThe survey, conducted in late November, 2010, questioned 400 men via Survey Monkey.

· A 2007 report from the market research firm Mintel found that between 2002 and 2006 the male grooming market in the UK tripled in value to an estimated worth of £781m, and sales of men’s body lotions, body toning gels, depilatories and suncare products increased by 77% over the same period.

All media enquiries to Louise Evans at Loop PR, 07891 242476