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Autumn has well and truly arrived and so the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour is heading south in search of warmer climes! We will be taking renowned, heavy-weight author Keith Gray back to his roots, visiting secondary schools across Lincolnshire where he grew up! Keith went from ‘reluctant reader’ at school to award-winning author of books for children and young adults, including The Runner and…


In 2018, Scottish Friendly is celebrating 20 years of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour with the Scottish Book Trust. From 1998-2018 the tour has taken over 100 authors and illustrators to meet 100,000 children across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. This September, Scottish Book Trust are taking the award-winning author of the Mr Gum series, Andy Stanton back on the road. Andy first toured…


Today, Thursday 13 September 2018, is Roald Dahl Day, the annual, global celebration of the famous storyteller, his stories and his characters. An annual celebration, Roald Dahl Day happens on or around 13 September, the author’s birthday. Born in Llandaff, Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg Roald Dahl went on to write many classic books in his lifetime, including…


Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a 16th birthday party with a difference. For a start the venue for the birthday party was impressive – the Terrace overlooking the Thames at the Houses of Parliament no less! More importantly, the party wasn’t for a person, but for a special type of investment – the Child Trust Fund. Child Trust Funds were launched by the…


There’s a saying often made by some younger smart Alec to those of a certain age who let out a groan as they stoop to tie their shoe lace or, for a second, have forgotten why they opened the fridge: “Yes, old age doesn’t come on its own!” It certainly doesn’t. According to the Office for National Statistics, in mid-2016 there were 1.6 million people…


Madonna has just turned 60. And while she may not be ‘hung up’ about it, your sixties is an important time to sort out your finances, ‘material girl’ (or guy) or not. Always a smart cookie, Madonna has carefully managed her career, reportedly amassing a £450m fortune over the past four decades. While she probably won’t have money troubles when she eventually retires, the rest…


Scottish Friendly has long warned of the danger of fraud when it comes to pension freedoms. We did, and continue to, welcome the fact that people can access their pension savings more easily and for many the change in legislation that allowed them to do this has been a boon. However, not enough has been done to protect people. Today comes the news that in…


Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, yesterday announced a 0.25 per cent rise in the base rate, bringing it up to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent. It was headline news on last night’s broadcast news channels and it’s all over the front pages today. Why all the brouhaha about this? 0.75 per cent doesn’t seem very high, does it? And…


Inflation can be the big enemy of savers, eroding the value of their hard-earned money. Even if inflation ticked along at the level the Bank of England tries tirelessly to keep it at (2%) it could nonetheless have a significant impact over time on money sitting in cash if interest rates are lower than inflation. Currently1, inflation is 2.4% and the very best easy-access cash…


We recently ran a survey* to find out the most popular things that people save up and invest for. And while almost equal numbers of men and women said they put money aside for holidays and home improvements it was work in the garden – at number 4 in our survey – that most divided the sexes. In our survey, more than twice as many…


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