People: Charity effort from Cornerstone Asset

Cornerstone will sponsor the 2015 Glencoe Marathon Gathering in October. Picture: Contributed
Cornerstone will sponsor the 2015 Glencoe Marathon Gathering in October. Picture: Contributed
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Financial adviser Cornerstone Asset Management is taking to the hills for a good cause in October by sponsoring this year’s Glencoe Marathon Gathering.

But for those who may not be up for a full marathon over some of Scotland’s most gruelling terrain, the Edinburgh-based firm, which also has an office in Glasgow, has devised a less daunting challenge – the Cornerstone Canter – to help raise funds for the Venture Scotland and Project Northern Lights charities.

Co-founder Laurie Dempster explains: “It’s a challenging hike with outstanding views and offers a brilliant challenge for the business community to put forward a team with colleagues or friends whilst raising money for good causes, so we’d encourage people to enter and have a go.”

With more than 25 years’ experience, Venture Scotland uses outdoor activities to help young people, primarily in areas of social deprivation in Glasgow and Edinburgh, discover their strengths. Project Northern Lights creates partnerships and opportunities to support under-served young people in Scotland to become actively engaged in employment and education.

Dempster adds: “I’ve volunteered with Venture Scotland for many years and recognise the contribution that the charity, as well as Project Northern Lights, makes to supporting youth development in Scotland, so it was a natural progression for Cornerstone to get involved from both a monetary and volunteer perspective.

“It costs thousands to put each youngster through development programmes and with one in eight under- 25s now unemployed, we hope that our support with this event will help raise awareness of the charities and make a difference in helping more youngsters into employment, training and education.”

For more information, or to enter a team, visit and

Tenth portion of porridge

Sticking to the fundraising theme, porridge producer Stoats is marking its tenth anniversary by donating a portion of its sales this month to the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan Trust.

The Edinburgh company, which makes oatcakes as well as porridge bars and pots, said it wants to help support the charity’s vision to save the lives of those who need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

Founder and chief Tony Stone says the past ten years have been “an incredible journey” for the firm, which dished up 26,000 bowls of porridge to athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games and helped power Scotland’s Commonwealth Games team to fourth in last year’s medals table after providing porridge oat bars at the preparation camp.

Not quite the Scotch spirit

Despite a dip in exports last year, overseas sales of Scotland’s national drink still came in at almost £4 billion, figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) showed last month.

But what to do if you fancy a dram and your religion prevents you from sampling some of the water of life?

Well, a Florida company called ArKay Beverages believes it has found the answer, extending an invitation at the weekend to its “Muslim friends” to try its range of alcohol-free drinks that “reproduce the taste and aroma of the real thing”.

Headed by president Reynald Grattagliano, ArKay has created a collection of 16 halal tipples with names such as Scottish Drink, Russian Dream, London Drink and Irish Milky Way.

“ArKay is the only company in the world that makes this type of soft drink,” the company says. “We are very enthusiastic about giving this opportunity to everyone who has religious beliefs that prevent them from drinking liquor.”

Quite what the SWA will think of the venture remains to be seen. Four years ago, the trade body took action against Grattagliano to prevent his Reynald & Sons firm from selling or advertising spirits that suggested they were Scotch whisky when they were not.

The move followed advertisements for 14 brands of “whisky” with names like Golden Dollar and Paddington, bearing the name “Scottish Spirits”, but investigations by the SWA found that the spirits were manufactured in Panama.