ESP Play Demand Sugar Tax Ringfencing Be Reinstated

Burnley, UK. School playground equipment supplier, ESP Play, has denounced the government’s decision to drop the ringfencing of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to help tackle the obesity crisis in schools. It claims the decision will prevent schools from implementing projects which have been seen to have a positive impact on obesity and mental health.

When first introduced, the government confirmed that income from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy would be ringfenced for use in schools until 2020. Over that time, the hundreds of millions of pounds it has raised have benefitted the health and wellbeing of pupils across the country. However, in the most recent spending review, the treasury has confirmed that ringfencing for income for the 2020-2021 period, forecast to be £340 million, has been removed.

Andrew Wood, Managing Director of ESP Play said, ‘Over the course of our work, we have seen young people benefit significantly from projects funded by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Schools that are ambitious to improve the health of their pupils rely on this income and without it, many children will be denied these potentially life-changing opportunities. We have seen the positive things the levy can do and would like to see its income ringfenced once again.’

As part of its services, ESP Play supplies and installs playground and outdoor sports equipment specifically designed to encourage pupils to be more physically active. With financially struggling schools seeing a growth in the number of overweight and obese pupils, the ‘sugar tax’ levy has been instrumental in helping them buy the school playground equipment that has been shown to increase pupil activity levels, both during free time and in PE lessons.

Andrew Wood added, ‘It’s not just pupils’ physical health which is benefitting from the sugar tax. The increased physical activity is also beneficial for mental health and wellbeing and with 12.8% of pupils suffering from a mental health disorder, it’s even more important that ringfencing is reintroduced.’

Note to Editors: ESP Play is a school playground development and CPD training specialist. It supplies and installs outdoor PE, curriculum-based and play equipment, together with playground and sports surfacing, to schools and EYFS providers throughout the UK. Operating from Burnley, Lancashire, it has worked with thousands of schools over the last 16 years.
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Charter Tax to support Twinkling Stars campaign

The accountancy firm, Charter Tax, which has offices in Goudhurst and London, is supporting the Twinkling Stars campaign (part of the East Kent Hospitals Charity) as its chosen charity over the coming year.

Twinkling Stars is behind the creation of a Maternal Bereavement Suite at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, which opened in July 2018.

The Twinkling Stars Suite provides a safe haven, adjacent to the labour ward, for mothers who have lost their baby and a place where the family can spend time together to say goodbye. Calming colours and quality, soft furnishings create a comfortable setting, with a kitchenette and en-suite bathroom. The room is situated within the Maternity Department, so mothers remain close to the medical team but away from families who are celebrating the birth of a baby. Families are looked after by a designated midwife with special bereavement training.

A couple from Charter Tax were recently supported by Twinkling Stars and say: “They looked after us from the moment we got to the hospital to the moment we left. They couldn’t have done more for us and also offered support after we got home. Without this charity, we would have been on the main labour ward giving birth with all the other mums. This organisation makes such a huge difference to the emotional wellness of the people involved and we can’t praise and thank them enough.”

Dee Neligan, Fundraising & Development Officer at East Kent Hospitals Charity and Jo Olagboyega, Maternity Matron, visited the Charter Tax office recently to tell the team more about Twinkling Stars and, while there, Mark Howard, Principal at Charter Tax, presented them with a cheque to kick-start the year of fundraising.

While the suite is now in existence, the next goal is to create a separate entrance to the labour ward and to redesign one of the labour rooms to make it less clinical. Charter Tax will be raising money to support this initiative and any funds raised by the team over the next year, will be matched by the firm.

Photo supplied showing: (left to right): Jo Olagboyega, Maternity Matron; Mark Howard, Principal at Charter Tax; and Dee Neligan, Fundraising & Development Officer at East Kent Hospitals Charity

“We are delighted to have Charter Tax’s support for our Twinkling Stars campaign, as their Charity of the Year,” says Rupert Williamson, Fundraising Manager for East Kent Hospitals Charity. “We are really looking forward to working with Charter Tax for the coming year, raising vital funds for our Maternal Bereavement Suite.”

Notes to editors:
• Established in 2009, Charter Tax, Chartered Accountants, which has offices in London and Goudhurst, Kent, offers a first-class accounting and tax advisory service to businesses and high net worth individuals within and outside the UK.
• Charter Tax was formed by Janet Pierce (nee Paterson) and has since grown to more than 30 staff, as well as taking on another principal, Mark Howard, in 2015.
• The ethos of Charter Tax is to help its clients achieve their goals – be it private or family wealth structuring, moving into or out of the UK, successfully running their own business, achieving a corporate sale or undertaking a corporate restructuring project.
• Services are available for corporate and owner-managed businesses, private clients, international tax, VAT consultancy and family office, trusts and estates.
• The firm specialises in tax advice for non-domiciliaries living in the UK, in addition to a domestic service to support wealth and succession planning for owners of farms and estates.
• Charter Tax is licenced to carry out probate and estate administration work.

PR contact:
Angela Ward
Angela Ward Media
Tel: 07900 478613


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