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Belgarum Estate Agents Winchester

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Snapshot of our charity work for Trinity Winchester throughout 2015
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Press Release: Belgarum announce 2016 Charity of the Year 

Belgarum had a great 2015 in terms of business accomplishments, achieving their best ever figures to date, but also in terms of the voluntary and fundraising contributions and commitment made by staff for their 2015 Charity of the Year, Trinity Winchester. Trinity Winchester helps Winchester’s homeless and vulnerable people. Belgarum raised a fantastic amount for Trinity Winchester and were ranked in Just Giving’s top 3% of fundraisers in 2015.

Fundraising efforts throughout the year included participating in The Big Sleep Out whereby a £1,500 donation helped sponsor the event but a massive £1,735 was raised in sponsorship to support Managing Director John Leeson and 5 members of his staff slept rough for the night in the Cathedral grounds. Then in September, the Belgarum ladies took part in the 5km ‘Run or Dye’ race raising a further £326.16.

Furthermore as part of our ongoing support and alliance with Winchester Round Table, Belgarum were also able to put forward Trinity Winchester as their nominated charity to receive donations from Winchester Round Table initiatives. £3,500 was raised from the buckets at the Bonfire and Fireworks, of which £1,300 is going to Trinity Winchester. Belgarum also got involved in the Santa’s Sleigh campaign, accompanying the sleigh and helping collect donations on the evening for Trinity Winchester. A total of £3,100 was raised from the Santa’s Sleigh which will be split between 15 local charities.

In addition to fundraising, staff at Belgarum also supported Trinity Winchester with several cooking sessions in the kitchen; food runs to Sainsbury’s Badger Farm and Greggs in the city; Wear Your Gloves to Work Day; jobseekers workshops as well as help on their Christmas market stall.

2016 Charity of the Year – staff vote for new charity

With momentum running strong following a great year of fundraising and voluntary support, Belgarum’s call for charities to apply for their 2016 position was very well received and Belgarum would like to thank all of local charities who submitted information detailing the fantastic work they do for their worthy causes. The nominations were put to a staff vote. It is important at Belgarum that all staff has an equal say in who they want to help and support for the coming year as it is down to the staff contributing their time and resources for the company’s charity work that makes it a successful partnership.

The winner of the staff vote is also a local independent organisation. They host projects for disadvantaged children and adults in Winchester with emotional issues through a creative method of music therapy. Belgarum are proud to announce that the charity they will be supporting throughout 2016 is Key Changes Music Therapy.

Beccy Read, Key Changes Coordinator, says "Key Changes Music Therapy are absolutely delighted to have been selected by Belgarum as their Charity of the Year. Our music therapy work aims to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community, and as a small Winchester based charity this relationship with a top local business is a first for us and comes at a time when we have several prospective Winchester projects, which we want to support and with their help, this creates the possibility that we can make progress with these. Thank you Belgarum, we look forward to working with you."

~ Ends ~

Editors notes:
For further information please contact Becky Fisher at Belgarum Estate Agents Limited.
T: +44 (0) 1962 844460

About Belgarum:
Belgarum is an independent estate agent, based in Winchester founded in 1989. Specialising in the sale and letting of character properties within the city and surrounding areas, Belgarum’s focus has been the application of unrivalled local knowledge, quality local staff, understanding the local history and localities and using it to promote Winchester and the properties the agency represents.

About Trinity Winchester:
Trinity Winchester is a unique Winchester-based charity which addresses the effects of homelessness and vulnerability through specialist practical and emotional support, and proactive prevention, empowering positive change. They help people who are vulnerable to the effects of homelessness, addiction, physical and mental ill health, poverty, social isolation and domestic abuse.

About Key Changes Music Therapy:
Key Changes provides a comprehensive and professional music therapy service to the local community in Hampshire and surrounding areas. Music therapy is a creative therapy, a highly effective largely non-verbal approach to personal therapy. It is increasingly recognised as a valuable part of the care of people, of all ages, who have sensory, physical, learning or neurological disabilities, or who have emotional or behavioural problems. For many, the powers of speech are at best limited.

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A helpful check list and some great advice from LetRisks that we swore by last winter in their article Time to 'winter-proof’ your properties
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Kirsten Beacock summarises superbly what a great city Winchester is to live in/visit in this lastminute blog post
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Winchester features in the top 20 locations within a 60 minute commute of London. The article features comments by Belgarum's MD John Leeson.
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Professional Lettings Agents unite for SAFEagent Awareness Week 2015

SAFEagent Awareness Week 2015 (June 1st – June 5th) will see over 3,000 professional lettings agents unite across the UK for what will be the 4th annual initiative that looks to drive awareness amongst consumers of the importance of choosing a lettings and management agent who is part of a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.

The timing is auspicious because, from 27 May 2015, all lettings and management firms will be required to display their fees and charges to landlords and tenants as well as displaying whether or not they are part of a CMP Scheme.

Agents, consumer bodies (Citizens Advice Bureaux, The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services:Property,  My Deposits, TDS and DPS) and the wider property community traditionally support this campaign, both on and off-line.  The Government has also given its support to SAFEagent Awareness Week since its launch in 2011. 

Tenant and landlord financial protection remains in the media spotlight in 2015 in the wake of a few high profile instances of where lettings agents misused funds. However, despite this, SAFEagent feels that the message is still not getting through that consumers’ finances are at risk if their chosen agent does not subscribe to a CMP scheme. 

‘There are still too many people who are not aware of the potential pitfalls of choosing an agent who doesn’t have CMP”, says John Midgley, Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group.

Midgely maintains that whilst awareness of the SAFEagent mark is increasing, consumers are not always aware of the fact that if an agent were to abscond with a landlord or tenant’s money without CMP in place - there would be little chance of retrieving those funds.   And, as a result – consumers are still not always asking the right questions at the onset.

He says: "Whilst the last few years have seen the Government move to tighten regulations around letting agents, it is also important that tenants and landlords understand that the right to redress only goes so far, and they need to choose wisely by asking a few simple questions.  It can make all the difference". 

"As it stands we welcome the requirement for all agents to display whether or not they are part of a CMP scheme but we want to see inclusion in such a scheme a mandatory requirement for all agents."

Tenants and landlords / consumers are encouraged to go on-line and check out to find an agent in their area and the advice is to always look for the SAFEagent mark, an easily identifiable consumer mark denoting agents subscribed to a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.


SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a reliable mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes.  Set up ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and recognised by the Government, it is supported by Citizens Advice Bureaux, The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services:Property,  My Deposits, TDS and DPS.

All agents registered with SAFEagent are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which reimburses consumers in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds. There are several schemes in the sector operated by NALS, ARLA, NAEA and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and consumers should contact their agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.

Belgarum Lettings are registered with the following bodies:

* Members of ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) of which we have Client Money Protection through.
* Tenancy deposits are registered with TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme)
* Registered to the TPO (The Property Ombudsman) redress scheme
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Belgarum staff get cooking in the kitchen....

As part of Belgarum's partnership throughout 2015 with Trinity Winchester, we are helping them out by donating our time in addition to financial support.

Belgarum selected Trinity Winchester as their 2015 Charity of the Year given the great work they do for the local community supporting the homeless. Trinity Winchester is a local charity who provide life changing services for homeless and other vulnerable people including people suffering from ill health, poverty and domestic abuse.

One of the ways Belgarum are helping Trinity is volunteering our time to prepare and serve lunch for Trinity's clients. Becky & Paul were the first duo from Belgarum to don a pinny and get cooking! The menu for each day will very much depend on what donations Trinity have received or purchased. Becky & Paul found a load of mince in the fridge and decided to make a classic bolognase as well as a vegetable ragu sauce as a vegetarian option.

Given neither Becky or Paul had any previous experience in catering for 50 people they felt a little bit like they were being tasked with a Masterchef challenge and worried whether they'd get the quantities right. They literally cooked a sack load of pasta to accompany the bolognese and then got all of the food onto the serving table. They were pleased to find the food was a hit with the clients and were really taken aback by some of the compliments - there was some panic about what would happen if it didn't go down well with the guests! But fear not, team Becky & Paul knocked it out of the park and really enjoyed chatting to some of the clients and listening to their stories whilst they served lunch.

Once lunch had been served and a simple fruit salad offered for pudding, Becky & Paul had to crack on with the clean up operation! The whole kitchen session seemed to go rather smoothly which was a relief as there was an element of pressure to live up to the standard of Trinity's highly regarded resident chef.

Belgarum plan to give all staff the opportunity of going down to help in Trinity's kitchen this year. Just one word of advice from Becky to her female colleagues - be sure to wear flat shoes!

If you would like to get involved Trinity also require volunteers, especially on Saturday mornings, to help prepare and serve a cooked breakfast to their clients. Please see more information here:
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Team Belgarum did so well fighting the wind and rain on Friday night in the big ‪#‎sleepoutwinchester‬ - Well done guys! It was tough but we were fortunate to be in the beautiful surroundings of Winchester Cathedral grounds.
So far we've raised £1,520 and can't thank people enough for their support. It would be great to boost this total a bit more for such a worthy cause helping the great work Trinity Winchester do. Final plea for donations to:
The Big Sleep Out 2015
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Wow this looks like a house Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would live in!
Wacky paint colors
Some buyers can overlook strange decor choices and picture the house painted white or in tasteful neutrals, but many can't. Furthermore, color can have a strong effect on mood, both positively and negatively. Don't take the chance.
Are you making this mistake in your home staging?
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Our wonderful city of Winchester - history, culture and lifestyle
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