Award Winning Freelance Copywriter

I am an award winning freelance copywriter serving clients across the UK and Europe. Ihave been writing award-winning long and short form copy for over 26 years. I have worked at the world’s oldest advertising agency and at small creative hotshops across media. From radio and TV to print or online brochures. I spend a lot of my time researching and writing blog articles for clients as diverse as solicitors, healthcare equipment manufacturers, and bicycle tyre distributors. I relish taking technical documents or explanations and creating compelling content for a wider, non-technical audience.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key part of any website content that I create. This includes effective meta descriptions and keywords for any web content, along with structuring the article for best SEO practice.

Media I work across:

  • Website content
  • Blogs and social media content
  • Brochures
  • Email marketing
  • Radio scripts
  • Video scripts
  • Advertising concepts

You’ve probably heard the term “the difficult second album”. A band creates a brilliant first album that’s based on a lifetime of angst, love, whatever. Then along comes the record deal and suddenly they have a few months to replicate (or better) it. Writing a blog is the same. If you don’t believe me write three articles over the next week. You’ll race through the first article, start to repeat yourself within the second, and if the third article gets finished you are in the minority. Coming up with ideas for content isn’t easy. Some people have a spark of an idea but haven’t got the time to create the content. Others are happy to let me run amok as long as they have final sign off on anything I produce. I’m happy working either way.

If you need a freelance copywriter please get in touch for an informal chat about your project or to arrange a meeting.

Examples of long copy articles

Just as there’s no such thing as a bad CV, everyone is going to tell you how great they are writing. I’ll let you be the judge. Below are some examples of long copy articles written for websites. If you need some website content writing please get in touch to chat it through.

Client: Tannus – the world’s No.1 puncture protection

The Death of the Puncture Repair Kit

Death of the puncture repair kit

To paraphrase Churchill, never has spending less than a fiver, on something they hoped never to use, saved so many cyclists from a long walk home. I’m talking about the humble puncture repair kit. Rubber patches, a piece of crayon and a small square of sandpaper. If you started riding before the 1980s the kit also included a tube of rubber cement, until some bright spark came up with a way to make the rubber patches sticky on the back. Such innovation. It felt like flying cars and silver jumpsuits were only months away.

There are times when I have gone years between punctures and times when I feel the Universe has realised this mistake, restoring order by sending more punctures in the same ride than I have spare tubes. I’ve never been able to settle on carrying just one spare tube. What if I puncture both front and rear at the same time? It’s a bit like keeping your gloves in separate pockets. I’d rather lose both than have one hand warm and one hand cold to remind me of my misfortune. Carrying more than two spare tubes seems like the start of a spiral of anxiety. Where does it end? A spare chain? Spare brake blocks? Spare socks? Sometimes you have to trust in your maintenance and hope for the best. This is where the puncture repair kit came in. It was small enough to store beneath your saddle but it offered multiple puncture repairs.

Going a long time between punctures was always a double edged sword. If your puncture repair kit had sat unused beneath your saddle for a full winter I can guarantee that when you finally came to need it, the patches would have all the stickiness of banging two rocks together and hoping they would bond. That is if you could remove the backing paper. For again, balance in the universe requires that if one patch was dryer than a bedouin’s sandal, then another must cling to its backing paper tighter than the proverbial organic waste on a blanket.

For me, the demise of the puncture kit began when I switched to tubeless tyres on my mountain bike. Tubeless systems don’t have an inner tube and make use of a liquid sealant and rubber bungs that look like a bogey. The sealant contains tiny molecules of rubber, so small that you can’t see them. However, much like if a room full of people all rushed to get out a small door at the same time, when the sealant heads for the exit created by a hole in your tyre, a blockage ensues. The hole is plugged. Top up the air in your tyre and away you go. If the hole is too large for the sealant to plug then you can insert a rubber bogey to plug the hole. Another marvel of innovation (where is my flying car?).

It’s not an infallible system but for me it works far better than tubes and patches. If the sealant doesn’t plug a hole you still don’t need to remove the wheel to add a plug and top up the air. If you ride an ebike you’ll appreciate this: no wrestling with a 25kg+ e-bike as you try to remove or insert the back wheel. The thing that amazes me about tubeless is the amount of tiny holes it seals without me realising they are there. Often I spot the tell tale sealant when I’m cleaning the bike but had no inkling that I’d lost air while I was riding. This is helped greatly by running tubeless inserts like Tannus Armour Tubeless that add sidewall support when you are running low pressures.

The final nail in the coffin of the puncture repair kit is the advancement made in airless tyres. In days of yore airless tyres had all the comfort of the iron rims mounted on wooden wagon wheels. Today Tannus Airless tyre technology means riding on airless tyres is pretty much the same as riding on pneumatic tyres just without the possibility of punctures. And without the need to carry a puncture repair kit. Long may it rest in peace.

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Client: Nightingale Care (now part of Winncare UK)

Which care home sling do I need?

The choice of sling for lifting and assisting patients in a care home is not as straight forward as judging a patient’s body size to be small, medium, or large. The risk of serious injury to both carers and patients of incorrect sling choice is considerable, with an average of 120 injuries being reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) each year. Fortunately, at Nightingale Care Supplies we are here to help you make the right decision. In this article we will outline the hazards of lifting and moving patients using a hoist and sling, and offer some simple guidance on making the right choice of sling. This is not intended to replace training carried out by a competent professional.

The importance of maintaining mobility to patient wellbeing

Care home residents have had a tougher time than most of us over the past 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not being allowed to have family visits, no trips outside of their care home, and daily news reports of rapidly rising deaths within care homes have had an impact on the mental health of care home residents. A 2020 academic review of the impact of mobility and wellbeing in later life found that being able to maintain mobility improved ageing life satisfaction by allowing elders to maintain a degree of independence, social connectedness, and even increasing life expectancy. In short, maintaining mobility has a positive impact on both physical and mental wellbeing. At Nightingale Care Supplies we offer a range of slings that allow patients with a range of physical limitations to enjoy assisted mobility.

Risks to patients posed by incorrect sling choice

Hoists and lifting aids are designed to protect both carer and patient during lifting and moving. When the wrong choice of sling is made, lifting equipment is not regularly maintained, or simply due to a lack of knowledge about correct lifting and hoisting, the consequences can be fatal. In 2015 the MHRA issued a patient safety alert to all health and care providers funded by the NHS following reports of one death and three cases of serious injuries when patients fell from a sling while being lifted.

Selecting the correct sling size for your patient

Choosing the correct sling size begins with taking four critical measurements: the length of the patient’s spine from the base of the neck, the width of both chest and hips, and the distance from the base of the spine to behind the knee. The patient’s current weight is also key in selecting a suitable sling. For ease of use, all Nightingale Care Supplies slings are colour coded based on the maximum patient weight*.

As part of the risk assessment carried out when choosing a sling, carers should take into account the clinical needs of a patient, such as whether they require additional support to their upper body, head, or neck. Finally, the choice of sling material needs to be considered with regards to tissue viability and patient comfort. The wrong choice of sling material can exacerbate existing pressure wounds or lead to the development of new sores. At Nightingale Care Supplies our range of slings are available in a choice of materials to suit all types of patient needs. Parasilk leg paddles are designed to make application easier and to reduce shear and friction. Buckle and belt fastenings provide additional security to velcro closings, while the dignity hoop through feed design ensures a patient’s dignity and posture are maintained during a lift.

All of our slings are manufactured to BS EN ISO 10535 strength compliance, and are designed for patient weights of up to 35 stone/220 kg. We use only flame retardant materials on our slings, and all are designed to be lifetime washable at high temperatures of up to 90 degrees. So confident are we in the quality of our slings that we provide a comprehensive 1 year comprehensive warranty across the entire range.

You can view the complete Nightingale Care Supplies range of slings by clicking here. If you have any questions about the choice of sling in your care home simply click here to book a consultation with a member of our team. We are here to help!

* Note: other manufacturers may use a different colour code scheme.

Client: Pilgrim Hope Solicitors

Yeah but cyclists…

No doubt you will have seen the news stories about TV presenter Dan Walker being rendered unconscious when a car knocked him off his bike in Sheffield. I can say the car “knocked him off his bike” without fear of being sued because dashcam footage showing the collision has emerged and, unlike the Daily Mail’s claim that Walker was knocked unconscious when the “rear wheel of his bike caught [the] car’s front wing“, it is clear that it is the car that changes lane and drives into Walker’s back wheel from behind. A Judge would see through misleading language like this in Court.

The Mail’s headline is an example of the “Misinformation Effect”. In her seminal research, Professor Elizabeth Loftus demonstrated how the choice of language influenced the memories of witnesses to road traffic collisions. In courtroom Trials this is important because eye witness testimony can be compelling and persuasive and will go someway to a Judge forming their view as to who is to blame. Outside of the courtroom, such misinformation perpetuates misconceptions (and arguably myths) about the rights and responsibilites of different types of road users. I would like to highlight some of these misconceptions in relation to Dan Walker being knocked off his bike.

Vulnerable Road Users and Simple Mistakes

Hugh Blaydon, from the Alliance of British Drivers, defended the actions of the car driver, saying:

“The driver appears to be starting to move to his left, presumably in preparation for taking the next exit. With signs everywhere, other traffic to consider and maybe trying to find his way, it is a simple mistake to miss Walker, possibly hidden by the A-pillar. If I were cycling I would not venture onto that roundabout.”

In essence Blaydon’s argument is that the driver has a lot of information to process when navigating this roundabout so it’s easy to miss a cyclist. Forutately, the law is quite clear here:

In any interaction between road users, those who can cause the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they pose to others.
Highway Code Rule 201

In other words, it is the driver’s responsibility to reduce the danger they pose to others. If a driver cannot process all the information they need to travel safely then they are driving beyond their ability.

He Shouldn’t Have Been on the Roundabout

Blaydon also pointed out that there is an adjacent cycle lane that avoids the roundabout where the collision took place. The argument here is that Walker chose not to use the cycle path, so is (partly) culpable for the collision. Some commentators local to the area were equally quick to point out that the ‘cycle path’ is a shared use underpass usually littered with broken glass. From a legal perspective cyclists do not have to use cycle paths (I’ve emboldened the key part):

Use facilities such as cycle lanes and tracks, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings (see Rules 62 and 73) where they make your journey safer and easier. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time.While such facilities are provided for reasons of safety, cyclists may exercise their judgement and are not obliged to use them.
Highway Code Rule 61

He Wasn’t Wearing High Vis Clothing

Many of the Twitterati were quick to point out that Walker wasn’t wearing high vis clothing. The Highway Code does point out:

Light-coloured or fluorescent clothing can help other road users to see you in daylight and poor light, while reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) can increase your visibility in the dark.
Highway Code Rule 59

The Highway Code is a mixture of rules (you must/must not) and suggestions (you should) aimed at improving safety. So whilst wearing bright coloured clothing may be common sense, it is not mandatory in the way that having lights on a bicycle at night is. Were Dan Walker to make a claim for his injuries, the car driver’s insurers would no doubt argue what’s called “contributory negligence”. In other words, Walker’s (seemingly) dark clothing contibuted to the collision and as such any compensation should be reduced. In cases like this it is up to the Judge to decide if the cyclist’s clothing was a contributing factor, to what extent, and what, if any, reduction in compensation would apply.

It’s easy to take one side or the other in what is genuinely a culture war between cyclists and car drivers. There are both cyclists and motorists who shouldn’t be on the road, for their own safety and that of others. Similarly, the best drivers can have a momentary lapse in concentration or be distracted. It doesn’t mean they aren’t fit to be on the road. But equally it doesn’t excuse them from compensating those who suffer as a consequence. Misinformation, such as that propogated by some media outlets covering the Dan Walker story, can give the impression that cyclists and other road users are a nuisance and any compensation claim would not stand a chance. That is simply not the case. Drivers of motor vehicles have a legal responsibilty to take extra caution around vulnerable road users such as cyclist, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

If you have been the victim of a road traffic collision as a pedestrian or whilst riding your bicycle or motorbike, call us on 01257 422 500 to arrange a free 30 minute initial consultation.

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Client: iCycle Ltd

Can I really lose weight and get fit with an e-bike?

In the UK over 68% of men and 59% of women are likely to be overweight or obese. The causes of obesity are complex, but what can be said with certainty is that the hardest part of trying to improve your health and fitness is getting started and making being more active the norm for your lifestyle. It defies logic that we would look forward to doing something that leaves us gasping for air and with aching muscles afterwards, even if we accept that it will benefit us in the long term. This is where an electric bike (e-bike) can help you achieve the gains without the pain.

With the assistance of an electric motor, riding an e-bike can be as easy or as difficult as you choose to make it. But how much will this really help my fitness or weight loss? Let’s take a look at some research to find out. A study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine looked at the effects of commuting by e-bike on respiratory fitness. Perhaps most interesting is that the study took place over just 4 weeks and the volunteers taking part had only to commute 3 days per week at a speed of their own choosing. No flat out sprinting or suffering like an Olympic hopeful. The study found that after one month, respiratory fitness improved more in the e-bike riders than in those riding a regular bike. The researchers suggested that this may be down to the assistance of an e-bike allowing higher riding speeds and greater elevation gain (riding up more hills). The key thing to take away is that riding an e-bike for as little as 3 times a week for one month will improve your fitness.

If only 4 weeks of commuting can bring a measurable increase in respiratory fitness, what can an e-bike do for weight loss? Researchers at Copenhagen University followed four groups of overweight or obese people over a 6 month period. One group made no changes to their activity levels, the second exercised moderately 5 times per week, the third exercised vigorously 5 times per week, and the fourth commuted daily. After 6 months all three of the active groups had lost fat, but the highest fat loss was in the commuter (average 4.2kg loss) and vigorous exercise (average 4.5kg loss) groups. The group that exercised moderately lost 2.6kg on average after 6 months. In other words, commuting by bike was more effective for weight loss than dedicated moderate exercise sessions 5 times per week.

Of course, a key part of any weight loss plan is staying motivated. With an e-bike, fighting against a headwind or getting up that big hill on your route to work are no longer an issue. You can increase the amount of assistance that the motor provides and maintain the amount of effort that matches your current fitness level and motivation. Importantly you’ll still get that pleasurable endorphin rush in your brain, increasing your motivation and increasing the chances that you’ll make riding a part of your normal routine.

At iCycle Ltd we offer free 24 hour test rides on any e-bike in our showroom*. If you want to try an electric bike for more than 24 hours then you can also take advantage of our bike rental service. You can hire a bike for a few days or weeks – it’s a great way to find out what type of bike you want and to experience first hand how quickly you’ll start to feel the benefits of regular e-bike rides.

We also regularly host free demo days for groups or businesses who are interested in discovering more about the benefits of e-bike ownership. If you are a member of a slimming club get in touch today by calling 01772 347 927 or 01200 442 306. We’d be more than happy to arrange a demo day for your members.

*Excludes bikes being sold on behalf of customers.

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A paper ball created by a freelance copywriter Huddersfield