Category Archives: Issue 11 April 19

Datesand Superstars

Since December, Karen has been growing her hair to donate to the Little Princess Trust. The Little Princess Trust is a charity that use hair donations to make wigs for young girls who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment and other conditions.

Karen is hoping to be able to be to donate 16 inches of her hair to the charity and isn’t too far off! 

She wants to encourage others to do the same, both men and women, to make someone’s day with something as simple as a wig. All it takes it a bit of determination until you have a minimum of 7” to donate.


You can learn more about the the Little Princess Trust by visiting:

Keeley has also been doing her bit for a great cause. She has been working to raise money for the British Heart Foundation’s life saving research. She has taken part in MyMarathon, which entails walking/jogging a total of 26.2 miles throughout the month of May. She achieved over 45 miles and smashed her target with over £200.

Monkey Business!


Datesand are proud to support Vivien Gardiner and the Mona Chimpanzee Sanctuary by providing tasty treats for the animals to enjoy. 

You can read all about her latest adventure below…

Mona Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located in Girona, Northern Spain. It currently looks after 14 rescued chimpanzees (and 5 macaques).  Although they can never be returned to the wild, they are encouraged to follow their natural instincts and forage for food as they would in the wild. 

I have been a regular visitor since 2005. Over the last 2-3 years I have been taking them special primate treats sourced from Datesand.  They proved so popular with the chimps that every time I visit I have to take something!  The chimps do recognise me and now they have expectations! It is a real pleasure to create, with the carers, various enrichments which will keep the chimps occupied.  

Every day the carers prepare something for the chimps. Their daily “feeding” pattern starts with breakfasts in their bedrooms, where the carers can observe their health and well-being. They get given bread and juice (hot in the winter). This is the time when they are given any medications;  there are a few chimps, like humans, that need their daily meds to keep them healthy.  Then the second breakfast is served outside – lots of fruit and vegetables cut up and hidden in their enclosures.  They love foraging around for this.  They then have a scatter feed at lunchtime consisting of potatoes, seeds, nuts and dry bread. It’s all carefully measured so that they are not under or over fed. 

Enrichment can be given in a variety of ways.  On my recent visit, I went with an Irish friend who took some Irish flags and paper cups in the Irish colours. We draped the Irish flags around the enclosures (which the chimps loved and carried around all day) and filled the paper cups with straw and hid some of the fruit crunchies inside.  We then hid the cups around the enclosures for them to find, along with some Irish socks stuffed with straw and potato – and a couple of primate treats. The squeals of delight when they found these could be heard by everyone in the vicinity.  The first chimps to find the enrichment started calling to the others that they had found something interesting to eat.  

Soon, they were all running around jumping and swinging on the platforms – very excited. It is a real pleasure and privilege to witness this.

dscn0500At different times in the past we have used the little fruit crunchies in mashed potato cakes, stacked a few here and there or just scattered them around the enclosures for the chimps to find in the afternoons; This keeps them occupied.  What makes these primate treats so good is that they are full of nutrients – they are not empty calories – but provide the chimps with goodness. Chimps do see colours, so seeing the different colours is exciting for them. 

The day ends with their dinner, in the bedrooms, where they all get individually served to ensure they all have enough. Fruit, exotic fruit, meat, yoghurt and rice balls is a typical menu. I am now looking forward to my next visit, thinking of new ways to use the enrichment!  Thank you Datesand.

New innovations for 2019

We have had yet another successful year with the Janet Wood Innovation Award, bringing some extremely exciting new products into our midst.

As always, our panel of experts wittled all entries down to just three products that would be put to a public vote, in order to determine a winner.

Entries this year included:

jwi-entry-a jwi-entry-b jwi-entry-c

– A: C-Saw – by Pete Willan

– B: Rat Scrather – by Sarah Taylor

– C: Cage Companion – by Luke Mercer


All three products were put to a public vote on the JWIA website, Twitter and at this year’s IAT Congress in Liverpool.

In 3rd place we saw the Cage Companion with 23% of the vote, the C-Saw came in 2nd with 27% of the vote and in 1st place was the Rat Scrather with a whopping 50% of the overall vote!

Congratulations to Luke Mercer and Pete Willan for their successful designs. For her brilliant work, Sarah has won an all-expenses paid trip to a her chosen trade show which will be this year’s AALAS conference based in Denver. 

World’s first 3D-printed heart


By Colin Drury – The Independent

Scientists in Israel have produced the world’s first 3D printed heart using human tissue, they say. 

Researchers at Tel Aviv University say the miniature organ was made with a patient’s cells and came complete with blood vessels, ventricles and chambers.

They now believe that a full-sized human heart could one day be produced using the same technology – saving the lives of hundreds of people who die each year awaiting transplants.

Professor Tal Dvir, who led the research, said: “Maybe in 10 years there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely.”

His team now hope to stimulate the printed heart into functioning like a real one. The cells are currently able to contract, but not yet have the all-important ability to pump.

Once this is done, the organ will be transplanted into an animal in a move to further understand the way both the body and heart reacts to such operations.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Professor Dvir added: “People have managed to 3D print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials.

“In our process, these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models.

“Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalised tissue and organ replacement in the future.”

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization, and transplants are currently the only option available for patients in the worst cases.

But the number of donors is limited and many die while waiting.

Let The Good Times Roll!


On Wednesday 22nd May, the Datesand team enjoyed a well deserved evening out to All Star Lanes bowling alley in Deansgate, Manchester. This was a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy a year of great success , thanks to a fantastic joint effort from the whole team.


We split up into four teams for a bit of friendly competition. It was team 1 that came out on top with Amanda, Helen, Nick, Brendan, Sam and Peter! Brendan, Stephen, Rick and Jonathon were the top scorers from each group and had one last match to crown the winner but it was Brendan who took the crown…



After a lot of fun, we all sat down for a fantastic meal and had plenty of laughs.