It's Beautiful Winter 2023/24

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free issue 31 Winter 2023/24




fashion f e at u r e s e d u c at i o n


recipes beauty hair care f i t n e s s

t r av e l s k i n c a r e


60&Me Family Voice








Open the door on 2024 Selling or renting in Shropshire, we have you covered







• Selling and Renting for you 7 days a week • Available 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday • Prominent offices in Shrewsbury, Wem and Oswestry • 3600 video walk through and floorplans • Stunning photographic imagery • Professional & qualified team with over 170 years of collective experience Anne Marie

Please find us at our three offices across Shropshire. Located in Shrewsbury, Wem and Oswestry

Bringing people & property together It’s beautiful | 55



A warm welcome to our new and

Fashion - Glam Squad.......................................... 6

regular readers.

Hair - Columnist Lucy Murphy ...................... 12

Find the latest fashion trends,

Feature - Sian Brennan-Todd ......................... 15

delectable recipes, beauty tips,

Fashion - Casual Elegance.............................. 16

educational insights, and health

Beauty - Spring clean your makeup kit ..... 24

inspirations throughout our features.

Interiors - Curves & Edges .............................. 33

Our regular contributors are back

Watercolour Masters ........................................ 40

to help you with legal and health

Food & Drink - Recipes ..................................... 42

questions and we’re here to remind

Family Voice - Kids fashion........................... 48

you of some important dates for this winter:

Health - Dr Middleton ....................................... 50 Education ................................................................ 51

13 February Shrove Tuesday,

Education - Tutoring ......................................... 56

14 February Valentine’s Day,

60 & Me - Travel - Walking Holidays .......... 59

10 March Mother’s Day

Exercise Classes................................................. 63

17 March St Patrick’s Day.

Health & Wellbeing - Physiotherapy ........... 66

Victoria McKenna EDITOR

free issue 31 Winter 2023/24

It’s Beautiful

7 Lower Brook Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 2HG Telephone: 07986 293294

Joint Managing Directors David Lee-Birch Tracy Leonard Editor Victoria McKenna Production Designer Aileen Selkirk Advertising Editorial




fashion f e at u r e s e d u c at i o n


recipes beauty hair care f i t n e s s

t r av e l









Casual Elegance on a budget at Tesco. See page 16

s k i n c a r e



Family Voice

It’s Beautiful is published by DTS Media. The views expressed within this publication do not necessarily reflect those of DTS Media. The reproduction of any material in this magazine is forbidden without the written consent of the publisher. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, DTS Media can in no way accept liability for omissions or incorrect insertions or any consequences arising from use of this publication

© DTS Media Ltd. 2024 Printed by Pensord Press - When you have finished with this publication please recycle

Cancer Conversations with Hairdressers A Shrewsbury based hairdresser is calling for others to join a thriving initiative to promote early cancer diagnosis. Sarah Morris, from Shrewsbury, recently trained as a Cancer Champion and recognised the value in other hairdressers and barbers getting involved as it fits in so well with their role. NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin has partnered with Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and Qube to deliver the Cancer Champions project - part of a national NHS England drive to encourage cancer screening uptake and early diagnosis. The project has so far recruited and trained over 170 local Through the training, people as Cancer Champions who we want to normalise are now having conversations conversations around cancer to within their community to reduce the fear and raise awareness embarrassment people about the signs may have in reporting and symptoms of cancer and signs and symptoms encourage or taking up their people to take up screening invitations. cancer screening invitations. Sarah, owner of Meraki Hair and Beauty in Shrewsbury said: “Hairdressers provide a safe space for people to talk about their worries. After the training, I now have the perfect opportunity to talk to people about the importance of spotting the early signs and how it can save lives. We would love fellow hairdressers to join the initiative and benefit their community.” Miranda Ashwell, Cancer Champions Project Lead, said the initiative has been a huge success with people from all walks of life signing up to the free training.

Snowdrops return in memory of charity stalwart A long running snowdrop walk that has raised thousands of pounds for the region’s main cancer charity is set to return in memory of well-known charity stalwart. The annual Lingen Davies Cancer Fund Snowdrop Walk is once again being held at the private Shropshire estate Winsley Hall, Westbury, owned by the late Mrs June Whitaker. 4

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Pictured: Sarah Morris, owner of Meraki Hair & Beauty, and Miranda Ashwell from Lingen Davies

“Spotting the signs and symptoms early and attending regular cancer screenings is a hugely important in reducing the impact cancer can have. Early diagnosis saves lives. Through the training, we want to normalise conversations around cancer to reduce the fear and embarrassment people may have in reporting signs and symptoms or taking up their screening invitations. “We love to recruit those who are able to easily have conversations with a wide range of people and hairdressers are a great example. Hairdressers and barbers see clients all day and often have personal conversations as their salons are treated as safe space to chat. “The Cancer Champions project enables people to have the knowledge and confidence to have everyday conversations that could potentially save someone’s life,” she added. The Cancer Champions team will be hosting special training events dedicated to hairdressers and barbers. For more information about the project and training dates, visit

The gardens and woodland of the historic property transform into a vast spread of snowdrops and the gates will be open again to visitors on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February. Volunteers will also be on hand to serve delicious homemade cakes as a post walk treat. Tickets are available in advance online at or on the gate, they cost £5 for adults, and under 12s go free. Gates open from 10.30am to 4pm both days.

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Glam Squad

You can’t beat the feeling of luxurious fabrics. We found some beautiful pieces and some satin styles that will flatter and allow you to feel comfortable and glamorous. Fantastic for parties or filter into your everyday wardrobe for some fun.


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Right: Dusk Purple Ruched Velvet Midi Stretch Dress £65, Facing page from left: Sparkle V Neck Jumpsuit £85, Party Silver Glitter Shoulder Bag £10, Bridget Military Detail Trousers £60, Black Embellished Stiletto Heel Court Shoes £35.99, Burgundy Satin Pleated Midaxi Wrap Dress £36.99,

Below from left: Silver Stripe Sequin Cut Out Ultra Mini Dress £39.99, F&F Pink Satin Wrap Mini Dress £25, F&F Silver Satin Side Tie Blazer £39.50,

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Discover your skin’s natural radiance with IPL at Elite Skin Studio In the world of skincare, the pursuit of a radiant complexion is a timeless, yet sometimes overwhelming, journey. For those seeking visible and effective solutions, our new IllumiFacial IPL treatment creates as a beacon of hope, designed to address a variety of skin concerns simultaneously. Indeed, since the arrival of the Lynton Excelight IPL system at Elite last October, clients have been thrilled with the results they have experienced so far. Let’s explore IPL and the IllumiFacial further and see how it may help you with your skin goals this season…

A precise, yet holistic approach

At the core of the Lynton IPL Illumifacial is its precision – a quality that sets it apart in the pursuit of better skin confidence. This innovative treatment is designed to tackle diverse concerns with targeted efficiency. Let’s have a closer look at how this treatment could help you with your own skin goals:

1. Targeting Redness

For people grappling with persistent redness, facial thread veins, or the discomfort of rosacea, we have seen how the Excelight IPL system can work wonders. By harnessing the power of intense pulsed light (IPL), it gently targets and reduces the appearance of redness, providing relief and promoting a more even skin tone.

2. Eliminating Pigmentation

Bid farewell to sun spots, age spots, and pigmentation concerns with the Lynton IPL Illumifacial. This advanced treatment precisely targets and diminishes these imperfections, revealing a brighter, more even-toned complexion.


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3. Focus on Rejuvenation

The IllumiFacial treatment not only targets the above concerns, it also stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin, promoting a rejuvenating effect. By enhancing these essential building blocks, the skin gains elasticity, firmness, and a youthful vitality.

The IllumiFacial Difference

What distinguishes the Lynton IPL Illumifacial is its holistic and results-driven approach to your skin. This multifaceted IPL treatment not only diminishes redness, eliminates facial thread veins, addresses pigmentation concerns, and stimulates collagen and elastin production but also includes a gentle peel, resulting in a revitalised complexion. It’s a holistic solution for those seeking complete facial rejuvenation and a renewed sense of skin confidence. We recommend a course of four IllumiFacials for best results, these are usually spaced out one month apart. This time of year is a perfect time to begin your programme as it is important to treat with caution during the summer months. With targeted IPL prices beginning at £50, and IllumiFacial prices starting at £167, we invite you to visit the Studio to find out more about how these treatments can restore your skin confidence.

Book Your Consultation

Ready to learn more? To schedule your Lynton IPL Illumifacial consultation and experience the transformative benefits firsthand, contact us at Elite Skin Studio on 01952 814200, or visit us as

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Looking for a dentist? Join us at Argo Our friendly team are ready to welcome you at Argo Shrewsbury. Having provided first class private dental care at an affordable price in Shrewsbury since 1998, we recognise that NHS dentistry provision is no longer widely available and offer you a sensible alternative. Easy to find on the outskirts of Shrewsbury and near the Cineworld Cinema, as a patient, you have the use of our free car park. We pride ourselves on delivering the very highest standards in modern dental care, offering an extensive range of treatments as well as advice and guidance to help you make truly informed decisions regarding your oral health. To this end, we spend time explaining and encourage patients to ask questions. Welcoming new patients of all ages we are proud of the long-term relationships we have with all our patients and their families.

We have expanded our clinical team and now have space for new patients in 2024. Petra Papp Dentist BDS University of Debrecen 2002 Petra loves the variety of work in general practice and does her utmost to ensure that visits are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Mankeert Kuar Dentist BDS University of Liverpool 2018 MFDS RCS ed, Pg Cert Orthodontics. Manny has always had an interest in orthodontics and loves helping people achieve their dream smile. Sharon Showker Dentist BDS Birmingham School of Dentistry 2012 Dedicated to post graduate training, Sharon has a diploma in primary dental care. Sharon also achieved a diploma of membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MFDS), in recognition of her professional dedication. Catherine Williams Hygienist CEB Diploma in Dental Hygiene and the National Certificate in Dental Nursing (NEBDN). Catherine began her career as a dental nurse in Shropshire, qualifying as a Dental Hygienist/ Therapist in 2015. Outside of dentistry, Catherine enjoys travel and spending time with family and friends. To find out more or to make an appointment, call Carol on 01743 362501


Are you struggling to register DENTISTS R with a local dentist ? U We have availability for new patients 3 Affordable private dentistry, payment plans available

Sharon Showker

3 Only a short drive away and FREE car parking 3 Great public transport links from all areas of the county 3 Out of town location whilst still walkable from bus/train routes

Petra Papp

Call our friendly team today to register

Mankeert Kuar

01743 362 501 | Colchis House, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury SY3 7FA

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Winter Hair Care Essentials for a Radiant 2024

As January 2024 welcomes a fresh start, it’s the perfect time to embark on a new journey of self-care, starting with your hair. The winter season brings unique challenges that can leave your hair dull, dry, and vulnerable. To kickstart the year with healthy, radiant hair, here are five essential tips to make your glow-up a reality. 1. Scalp Massage for a Fresh Start: January is all about rejuvenation, and what better way to begin than with a scalp massage? This relaxing practice not only relieves stress but also stimulates hair follicles, promoting growth. Incorporate this into your routine to kick off the year with a refreshed scalp, encouraging healthy hair from the roots. 2. Daily Hair Brushing Rituals: Make daily hair brushing a mindful ritual for self-care. A high-quality brush is your go-to tool for gently detangling and distributing natural oils. As you brush, you can visualize the old year’s stresses being released, and welcome in this new year with a clean, refreshed scalp. 3. Revitalize with Scalp Oils: Start the year by treating your scalp to the nourishing benefits of natural oils’. Almond oil, or castor oil are great for your scalp and hair. Apply the oil and massage it into your scalp, wrap it up with a towel or hair turban and let it soak for at least 30 minutes before washing it out. This luxurious practice not only hydrates your scalp but also sets the tone for a year of vibrant and healthy hair. 4. Renew with Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner: Commit to a new shampoo and conditioner routine designed to nourish and revitalize. Seek products with nourishing ingredients like argan oil, shea butter or keratin protein. Washing your hair 2-3 times a week in good products will ensure you get the best out of them, providing the essential nutrients your hair needs for a radiant appearance.


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5. Weekly Nourishing Hair Mask Ritual: Make a weekly hair mask part of your self-care routine, it’s a perfect time to start a good habit. Opt for a mask enriched with strengthening and nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil, almond oil, avocado, keratin protein or shea butter. Apply it generously, allowing your hair to soak in the goodness for at least 20 minutes. This weekly ritual ensures your hair is well-nourished, resilient, and ready to shine throughout the new year. Embrace the spirit of 2024 by committing to a rejuvenating hair care routine. These five essential tips will not only give your hair the attention it deserves but will also set the tone for a year of self-love and radiance. Welcome the new year with a commitment to your glowup, starting from the top down. For more tips on how to care for your hair this season head over to our social media: Instagram @own_it_uk Facebook @ownit


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Working with clients on a 1:2:1 basis, Gail offers therapies such as crystal healing, reiki, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and coaching. Full and half day retreats, bespoke to each individual client to include any of the above treatments along with relaxation time in the established garden or a guided canal walk in the surrounding countryside.

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Pass the Keys Shropshire is owned and run by local expert Vicky Brown.We are a new kind of short let property management company. Offering a fully managed service to give the homeowners of Shropshire the ability to maximise their rental potential

Contact Vicky or Andy: 01694 247832

Facebook: @ptkshropshire

Confidence and comfort zones By Sian Brennan-Todd

And so, a New Year starts...I see many posts about New year, New You and the optimism of the year ahead and you know what…I love it. The start of the year gives us a moment to think about what we want – it’s like an automated reset for the body and mind. This year I want you to walk into it with confidence. Confidence in who you are and what you do. Confidence to take risks in realising your dreams. Confidence to be the best version of you this year. Here is my 2024 - 4 step confidence plan to make your year as brilliant as you are.

Think about your goals for the year ahead:

These might be big, time-consuming goals or smaller everyday ones. Choose what is going to drive the change you want to see this year. Write down the goals and tick them off as you go. Everyone likes to feel they have achieved so don’t be afraid to showcase this. I love it when someone highlights their dreams and successes. Celebrate each win, no matter how small and document it so you can look back and see the progress. Be proud of each small or big step you take to give yourself a joyous year.

Stay motivated to your goals:

This is a tricky one as we can get fatigued with the time goals take to achieve, but if you stop, you’ll progress much less or not at all. Your own confidence in your ability will motivate you and keep you striving for more.

Build others self-esteem as you showcase yours:

If you’ve ever been in a room full of people all wanting everyone to achieve and grow, you feel the energy. As you work on your goals – help others and highlight any positive changes coming to them. Everyone needs a friend who is kind and supportive and you can be that gift to someone this year.

Give out positive vibes and be wary of negative thoughts:

We all have moments of negativity; this can be from within us or externally but please don’t listen to any voices telling you ‘no’. Often, we are fearful of change and so are others around us – BUT others short sightedness should not dampen your dreams and inner strength. During the year, there will probably be changes and disruption to your goals but manage them with grace and

confidence. This can be a challenge at times, but always come back to your plan and your own inner confidence. As the year continues with its many highs and lows and obstacles, stay confident and stay present. You won’t feel confident all the time so remember that inner voice at the start of the year that wanted to change or evolve. Listen to that voice and push on to become the most confident version of you EVER. Wishing you a year of happiness, growth and confidence. Sian Brennan-Todd is a Presenter and Host recently moved to Shropshire from Sydney, Australia. She shares daily positive vibes on her Instagram page - @sianbrennantodd. If you are in need of a Presenter/Host this year, please get in touch:

Set in the heart of the Welsh Countryside, at the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, Glansevin is a beautiful Georgian mansion which was built during the Napoleonic war as a family home.

We are a licensed wedding venue, and will be exclusively yours for the day. We can accommodate parties of up to 80 guests (with 40 guests staying in the property itself) and for larger numbers a marquee for up to 100 guests can be hired on our back lawn. We are a self-catering venue but we can recommend some excellent local caterers or you are welcome to bring your own caterer. We have a fully equipped industrial kitchen. We do not charge an extra fee or corkage for alcohol, so you are free to bring your own refreshments and use the bar facility and fridge in the main lounge and kitchen at no additional cost. We want to provide you with an environment that you can truly make your own.

Come along to our viewing day on the 20th April. To book email

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Casual elegance The shape for 2024 is boxy, but this doesn’t mean frumpy. It’s a style on its own, so teaming a boxy top half with a contrasting skirt or trouser, will bring about balance. It’s actually rather elegant and flattering for any age and shape. Just remember, you only need one key piece, and it will flow with your wardrobe.


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F&F Black Boucle Jacket £25, Wide Leg Mid Wash Jean £22.50,


Out Shopping

Clockwise from top left: Tabby Textured Cardigan £70,; Charcoal Knitted Vest £20,; Maelue Tassel Suede Crossbody Bag £69,; F&F Ecru Denim Midaxi Skirt £19.50,; Aureilia Ankle Hiker Boot in Olive £89,

Coffee Catch Up

Clockwise from top left: Wrap Coat £28,; Wide Sleeve Roll Neck in Pink £69,; Grey Trousers £14,; Deliberate Large Woven Slouch £80,; Graysons in Black £85,

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Spa and Golf Resort in Stunning Countryside With its sweeping, romantic grounds, The Telford, Spa & Golf Resort is a picturesque base for exploring the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Step out of stunning rural surroundings and into a modern resort that prides itself on its personal touch. And with a championship standard 18-hole golf course, relaxing spa and health club on site, we’re very much a destination in our own right. The relaxing spa area has been recently refurbished and offers a range of expert treatments and massages destined to rejuvenate and relax. In between treatments, savour the serenity in one of the heated loungers, take a revitalising dip in the pool or sweat out those toxins in the steam room. Or, if movement is your meditation, work it out in our stateof-the-art gym. If you can tear yourself away from


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our fabulous facilities, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ironbridge Gorge is right on our doorstep, and you can enjoy the views without even leaving the property. Treat yourself to a unique stay in the one-time home of Abraham Darby, designer of Ironbridge, in the authentic Darby House. Choose from one of the seven bedrooms in the 17th-century home, or even book the whole building for the ultimate English country house escape. The resort is also within walking distance of the popular Blists Hill Victorian Town. There’s no shortage of wonderful days out in the historic Severn Valley - known as the birthplace of industry – with charming towns Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Bridgnorth all a short drive away.

Whether you’re planning a golfing weekend with friends, treating yourself to a weekend at the spa or looking for an impressive venue for your next event, a warm welcome awaits at The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, a proud member of The QHotels Collection (www.qhotels. For more information, visit


Stockists of fine art limited edition prints and original artwork

The Oswestry Framing Company 15 Leg Street Oswestry SY11 2NL Tel 01691 670552 It’s beautiful





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At The Market Town Vet we ensure you and your pet are at the heart of our business. We are proud to be an independently owned practice, meaning we will have total control over how we care for your pet.


Unit 10, Sutton Farm Shopping Centre 3 Church Street Oswestry Tilstock Crescent SY11 2SU Shrewsbury SY2 6HW use Central Car Park Postcode (Please SY11 2PA if using SatNav)

TEL: 01743 816288

TEL: 01691 897 199


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Autumn Statement Round Up On 22 November the Government announced their plans for the UK economy within their Annual Autumn Statement. Whilst there were no alterations to the effective income tax and corporation tax rates there were some alterations in respect to National Insurance and reliefs for companies. Firstly, from April 2024 the mandatory Class 2 National Insurance contribution for self-employed individuals earning over £12,570 will be abolished. However, those earning under £12,570 will still be able to make voluntary contributions to ensure they have enough National Insurance years towards their state pension. This will allow self-employed individuals to save approximately £180 per year. Following this, the rate of Class 4 National Insurance is due to reduce from a rate of 9% to 8% on profits between £12,570 and £50,270, and employee National Insurance is due to reduce by 2% which will take effect from 6 January 2024. Secondly, state pensions are due to increase by 8.5% from April 2024. This means an individual who received £10,000 state pension in the 23/24 tax year will receive £10,850 in the tax year 24/25. The National Minimum and Living Wage will increase to £11.44/hour from 1 April 2024 for all workers 21 and over.

HMRC are looking to rewrite the guidance on claiming training costs for self-employed individuals to ensure they are up to date with their required skills and maintaining pace within their profession. They are also looking to simplify Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) for individuals and landlords. Reforms are due to be released in relation to those claiming benefits/universal credit and pensions are due to be reformed to allow individuals to have one collective pension pot. For companies, Research and Development Tax relief will combine both the ‘Research and Development Expenditure Credit’, and the ‘Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme’ to introduce one collective scheme combining the most beneficial aspects of both schemes. Businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive 75% relief for business rates in the 2024/25 tax year up to a cap of £110,000.

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Our People, Your Team. Here to help you.

We can hold meetings via telephone and video and, of course, we are also able to offer meetings in person. Please contact us and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Find Us: Chapter House North, Abbey Lawn, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 5DE Tel: 01743 280280

Shrewsbury • Bromyard • Conwy • Hereford • Ludlow • Oswestry • Telford


LB Its Beautiful 148x220 March 2023.indd 1 | It’s beautiful

20/03/2023 13:49

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How music tHerapy can Help people living witH a brain injury The power of using music, art and drama to help people following a life-changing brain injury will be just one of the topics discussed at a major conference taking place in Shropshire this spring. The Thriving After Brain Injury conference is being held at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury on 6 March, and will highlight numerous positive stories of people who have simply refused to allow a brain injury to hold them back. Experts from across the UK will also be at the event, organised by Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, to discuss different ways of rehabilitating and supporting people as they recover from a brain injury. One of the speakers will be Daniel Thomas, managing director of Chroma, which provides creative arts therapy to people from a whole range of backgrounds. He said: “I’m delighted to be presenting at the Thriving After Brain Injury conference in March. The creative arts therapies, which Chroma provides nationally, are often only half of the answer, and I’m looking forward to talking about how our work can support clients over the longer term. “At the conference, I’ll be talking about the Creative Arts Therapies, and reminding delegates to ‘Ask CATH? – Can Arts Therapies Help?’.” Alongside Daniel will be Jack Rutter, whose dreams of becoming a professional footballer were dashed after suffering with a serious brain injury when he was just 18 years old. ButPeople, he refused toYour give upTeam and is now a Team Our Above: Daniel Thomas GB paralympic footballer, captaining the team at the Rio Left: Dawn Humphries Paralympics. Jack uses his experience to encourage others that rehabilitation with Headwise, a brain injury need not mean the end - it can be the and Hannah Wright, an beginning. Here to Help assistant psychologist at He said: “I am really looking forward to sharing my Royal Buckinghamshire We continue to offer meetings via telephone story at the Thriving After Brain Injury conference. Hospital. andto video where necessary wethe are able to “I hope raiseand further awareness around Dawn Humphries, head offer face face appointments, please use our devastating effectto one punch can cause on someone’s of the personal injury team letterbox when dropping off injury. documents. life and what it’s like living with a brain at Lanyon Bowdler, said the event would be inspiring, “Fortunately, my story is a positive one, and I hope uplifting and educational. those listening in can take something inspiring away “We are delighted to be welcoming such a diverse from itLegal so thatservices they can including: help even more people within group of people, some of Contact whom willus: share stories of grit their roles.” and resilience, while others will discuss the very latest • the Education 39 - 41 Church Street, • speakers Agriculture Other include Alex Danson MBE, former techniques in rehabilitation and support,” she said. Oswestry, captain the England and GB hockey team, won an • who Employment Law • ofBusiness Law “The experiences of Jack and Alex just show Shropshire, Olympic gold medal in 2016, along with a host of medals how lives can be changed in one moment, but their • Motoring & Crime • Family Law in the Commonwealth Games, before retiring from determination to not allowSY11 their2SZ brain injuries to hold • injury, Personal Negligence hockey• inClinical 2020 due to a serious concussion whichInjury them back is something we can all learn from.” 01691 652241 changed life.of Protection Tickets for the conference are available now - for • Property & Planning • her Court There will also be expert opinions from Andrew more information visit • Wills, Trusts & Probate • Disputes Worthington, a consultant in neuropsychology and events/events-and-seminars or call 01743 280280. Shrewsbury • Bromyard • Conwy • Hereford • Ludlow • Oswestry • Telford

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by Caroline Camber

“When you’re doing your spring cleaning, don’t forget your makeup bag!” Spring cleaning your makeup kit is an important task to ensure that your products are fresh, hygienic and safe to use. It’s recommended to clean your makeup kit every 3-6 months, or more frequently if you notice any changes in the appearance or smell of your products. Here are some steps to help you spring clean your makeup kit: Sort through your products: Take everything out of your kit and go through each product. Check the expiration dates and get rid of anything that has expired, has changed consistency or smells off. This includes products like mascara, liquid eyeliner, and cream eyeshadows that have a shorter shelf life. So many people I speak to have had their mascara in their kit way too long and it can actually be really dangerous for your eyes. Clean your brushes: Your makeup brushes can harbour bacteria and dirt that can cause breakouts and will cross contaminate between products, so it’s essential to clean them regularly. You can either use a brush cleaner or gentle shampoo mixed with warm water. Rinse your brushes thoroughly and let them air dry. Sanitise your products: Use a disinfecting spray to sanitise your makeup products, especially those that come into contact with your skin. This includes lipstick, lip gloss, and powder products like blush and bronzer. You can also use Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to clean the surface of your powder products. Don’t forget to wipe inside the makeup bag itself too! Organise your kit: Once you’ve sorted through your products and cleaned them, it’s time to organise your kit. Use dividers or small containers to keep everything in its 24

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place. This will make it easier to find what you need and help prevent products from getting mixed up. Consider investing in new products: If you’ve had some products in your kit for a while, it may be time to invest in some new ones. This is especially true for products like mascara, foundation and concealer, which can expire faster than other products. If you feel you’d like to start using new products but don’t know where to start then give me a shout and I’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction. By following these steps, you can ensure that your makeup kit is clean, hygienic and safe to use. Regularly spring cleaning your makeup kit can also help you save time and money in the long run, as you’ll be able to easily find the products you need and avoid buying duplicates.

For more information visit or call 07814 442041

Offering a full range of cleaning services • Domestic cleaning • Commercial cleaning • End of tenancy cleaning • One off/deep cleans • Bio hazard specialist cleaning • Mould remediation/treatment • Hoarder cleans • Needle sweeps • Fire & soot damage and much more


Tel: 01630 810156 It’s beautiful



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Make the most of storage space up in your loft Have you ever looked around your home and thought, “we could do with more space”? Or are you about to have a tidy up but don’t want to throw everything out? Well, the answer could be to make more use of the space you’ve already got, literally under your own roof. For many homeowners, the loft is an underutilised area because it can be difficult and dangerous to reach. Shrewsbury based loft ladder installer, Access4Lofts whose slogan is ‘Creating Space the Easy Way’, can change all that, often in less than a day. Access4Lofts Shrewsbury is owned by Jonathan O’Connor. Much of the work he carries out is for growing families. Jonathan says that with space at such a premium, it makes sense to make the most of your loft. “Installing a loft ladder is quick and affordable. It’s less expensive than a garden shed, and it means you don’t have to store everything out of the house.” Access4Lofts provides a free survey and quote service so you can find out what is achievable with your area. For the full works, customers can get a retractable three-section ladder, either aluminium or

deluxe wooden, a new hatch and a raised floor over the loft insulation and lighting. Consumers in Shropshire and the surrounding areas can have confidence when using Access4Lofts Shrewsbury to transform their loft into a useful storage area, due to their Which? Trusted Traders endorsement. To find out how Jonathan can create more space for you and your family or to book a free survey and quote, visit or call 01743 626144.



We are specialists in loft ladders and hatches for easy and safe access to your loft. We also provide boarding, lighting and insulation solutions. Call us now to find out how we can help you turn your lost space into a really useful loft space.

Call Jonathan to book a FREE survey & quote

01743 626144 26


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Low Carbon home systems renewable energy showroom

Any Tesla Powerwall systems installed and registered by 31st December 2023 can get a £350 rebate direct from Tesla.


The Rennet Works, 11 Market Street, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 0AN 01691 624336 |

Any Tesla Powerwall systems installed and registered by 31st December 2023 can get a £350 rebate direct from Tesla.

The Rennet Works, 11 Market Street, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 0AN 01691 624336 |

Make moving with Monks the resolution you keep in 2024 The Monks team have been having fun with New Year resolutions this month, trying to beat some of those bad habits and choosing some positive changes for the year ahead. We caught up with Judy Bourne and Patricia Baila, co-owners and Directors, to find out more. “I’m doing Dry January to give myself a healthy start to 2024. But I’m also conscious of supporting my favourite bars and restaurants at this time of year, so I’m still going out but ordering alcohol-free cocktails!” laughs Judy. “My goal is to plan ahead with more family time booked into my diary,” says Patricia, perhaps influenced by her recent trip to her native Spain. “Making time for friends and family is so important to our work-life balance,” she adds. Improving our mental health has been top of the resolution lists for a few years now, but a new 2024 survey from Forbes Health shows our focus has changed to physical fitness with 48% citing as one of their goals. Improving our diets and learning new skills both feature highly (32% and 9%), as does improving our finances (38%).

While the Monks team can’t help you with all your resolutions, there is one area they excel in. If you have ‘moving house’ on your list for 2024, Monks can make it happen - whether you are thinking of selling, buying or renting. With superior local knowledge and unparalleled service levels, Monks is a leading Estate and Letting Agent across Shropshire. From prominent offices in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Wem, they offer extended business hours to support clients from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, Saturdays 9am-4pm and Sundays 11am-2pm. Statistics show that only 16% of people keep their resolutions after six months. Monks are confident however that every challenge can be achieved. So, rest easy you’ve got all year to make that move - just start by giving Monks a call today! Source:


If you are in need of glaziers who offer double glazing repair services and uPVC window installations, you have come to the right place. Contact us today if you need French doors, conservatory roofs or roofline services.


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Al-fresco Living Al-fresco Living Al-fresco Living Showroom Showroom Showroom

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Finance available Finance available Finance available

Visit our extensive showroom and find your perfect Visit ourorextensive showroom and find your perfect awning garden room - Everyone welcome! Visit our extensive showroom and find your perfect awning or garden room - Everyone welcome! awning or garden room - Everyone welcome! Unit 4 - 5 Artillery Business Park, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4AD Unit 4 - 5 Artillery Business Park, Oswestry, Unit 4 - 5 Artillery Business Park, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4AD Shropshire, SY11 4AD 30

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Call 01691 672 465 Call 01691 672 465 Call 01691 672 465

You’ll love the superb choices of Carpets, Flooring, Rugs, Beds & Mattresses in our Carpet & Bed showrooms! We now stock a large range of bedding including Pillows, Duvets, Duvet Covers, Sheets, Mattress Protectors along with soft furnishings, Small Furniture Items & Mirrors in our Bed Store

01952 820401

Unit 1 & Unit 6, Springfield Industrial Estate Newport TF10 7NB

BUY NOW NOTHING TO PAY FOR 9 MONTHS 10% Deposit Only APR 13.9% representative

Over 20 beautiful kitchens and bathrooms on display and hundreds more to choose from.

Check out our amazing 3D planning service

Maesbury Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 8HA T: 01691 672596 E: Open: Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:00pm, Sat 8:00am-12:00pm, Sun Closed

Credit is subject to status and affordability. Terms & Conditions Apply. TG Builders Merchants Ltd is registered in England and Wales, VAT no. 310 435411, FRN: Register no. 825759. TG Builders Merchants Ltd, Wood Lane, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 0HY trading as TG Dream Kitchens & Bathrooms is an appointed representative of TG Builders Merchants Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a credit broker, not the lender. Credit is provided by Novuna Personal Finance, a trading style of Mitsubishi HC Capital UK PLC. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Eichholtz Bernd Sofa Cambon Black £3690 from Sweetpea & Willow www. sweatpeaand

Interiors by Stephanie Dhillon

Curves and edges The curve trend has been around for a while, but for 2024 the focus is on the juxtaposition of curves and edges together. With softer lines and organic shapes paired with angular and hard surfaces, this approach brings a touch of elegance and fluidity to a space. The Arch shape is the simplest way to incorporate this airing, as it fully embodies curves and edges in one. Our eyes naturally follow the line of organic shapes so let your eye guide you when you are trying to figure out where a linear piece might fit into a curve-dominated space and vice versa. If your sofa has prominent curves then a rectangular solid piece like a sideboard or dresser nearby makes a good pairing. Then style the surface with a mix of curved and straight shapes; a table lamp with a curvaceous base, next to a stack of books does this perfectly.

▲ Verla Ribbed Table Lamp, Terracotta

and Linen £89 from Cult Furniture

▲ ▲ Curved Console Table £1295 from Shimu

▲ Suspension Arch Noir Et Laiton £199 from

Nedgis Creed Side Table, Square White Marble Top Gold Metal Base £179 from Where Saints Go Cersei Glass Vase, Grey £32 from Cult Furniture

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Bauhaus Wave Rug - Plum £149 from Cult Furniture MIX collection - Straight Knurled Cabinet Knob £45.26 from Armac Martin ▼ Abstract Arch Stool £455

from Sweetpea & Willow

Angelina Mirror - Brass £199 from Cult Furniture ▼ Hudson Valley Farah Wall Sconce - Bronze

£260 from Sweetpea & Willow www.

Enzo Velvet Square Ottoman 78cm, Mustard £829 from Pepper Square Ltd


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Maesbury Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 8HA T: 01691 670367 Open: Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm, Sat: 8am – 12pm, closed Sunday



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We have the Home for You… Stunning homes and bustling communities across Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, and Cheshire. Proudly partnering with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Bumble Bee Conservation Trust to ensure the local habitats and wildlife thrive with Bovis Homes. To support the local eco-systems, we have installed Hedgehog Highways and Bat Boxes to let our neighbouring wildlife flourish in our new developments. As one of the UK’s leading new home builders, we complete all of our developments to the highest specification. As such, each of our new build houses comes with the following as standard: • Top-quality fixtures and fittings • Energy-efficient design helping you save up to 55% on energy bills compared to older homes* • Purchase assistance schemes to help you move in such as Home Exchange & Smooth Move • A 10-year ‘Buildmark’ warranty provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC)

Introducing Home Stepper Home Stepper is a unique opportunity which makes a new build home more affordable to more people, direct from the new build developer. You can purchase an initial share of up to 75% in a property. On the remaining share, you will pay a monthly rent to Sage Homes, with the ability to purchase more shares. With the demise of Help to Buy: Equity Loan, Home Stepper speaks to thousands of households who are now disenfranchised from the new build open market. Home Stepper enables those on who may not

have been able to purchase a new property to do so, with surety and confidence.

Introducing Home Reach Flex

With Home Reach Flex you can initially buy shares from 65% to 75% depending on your affordability and Heylo will become your landlord granting you a 999 - year lease and will charge you a rent of 3.25% on the share of the property that you didn’t buy. This means you can live in your home as if you have bought it outright. If you have any questions, simply pop into our Sales Experience Centre, or get in touch with our helpful sales consultants.

Book your appointment today to view our beautiful show homes and speak to our friendly sales consultants for more information. Our opening times are Monday Sunday from 10am to 5pm *Offers and incentives available on selected plots only. Each offer and incentive has specific T&C’s applicable, please see a sales advisor for further information. It’s beautiful



Providing Quality Tree Work in your area

Our services

• Tree removal • sTorm damaged Trees • Tree felling • Tree pruning • sTump grinding • garden clearance • hedge Trimming ContaCt us now for a free quote

0753 055 1245 based in newporT shropshire 38

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DOORS • WINDOWS • CONSERVATORIES • WARM ROOFS • FASCIAS & GUTTERING If you are in need of glaziers who offer double glazing repair services and uPVC window installations, you have come to the right place. Contact us today if you need French doors, conservatory roofs or roofline services.

Telephone: 01691 650 567

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Masters This May 15-24, the International Watercolour Masters 2024 is set to be a breath-taking showcase of artistic talent, taking place from 10am to 4pm daily, at the historic Lilleshall Hall. This prestigious event promises to bring together some of the most renowned watercolour artists from around the world, creating a unique and inspiring experience for art enthusiasts and collectors alike. Lilleshall Hall, a stunning country house, provides the perfect backdrop for this celebration of watercolour mastery. The event not only celebrates the versatility and beauty of watercolour as a medium but also pays homage to the rich tradition of this art form while pushing its boundaries to new heights. The festival has been organised and curated by David Poxon, a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. Poxon, a distinguished watercolour artist himself, is widely recognized for his contributions to the art world. His passion for watercolour and commitment to promoting its significance have made him a driving force behind this event. The list of participating artists reads like a who’s who in the world of watercolour. Among the artists set to showcase their masterpieces at Lilleshall Hall are Fabio Cembranelli from Brazil – the worlds foremost floral painter and Mexican Maestro Patricia Guzman whose portraits share the soul and spirit of her people are amongst the 50 or more world famous names on display. The diverse styles and techniques of these artists, along with many others, promise to transform Lilleshall Hall into a visual feast for


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attendees. From traditional landscapes to contemporary abstracts, the exhibition will showcase the versatility of watercolour as a medium and the boundless creativity of the artists involved. Beyond the stunning artworks on display, the International Watercolour Masters 2024 will offer a platform for art enthusiasts to engage with the artists themselves. Workshops, demonstrations, and interactive sessions will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to learn the art of watercolour directly from the masters. As Lilleshall Hall opens its doors to the International Watercolour Masters 2024, it invites visitors to immerse themselves in a world where artistic mastery and innovation converge. Under the guidance of David Poxon, this event not only celebrates the brilliance of individual artists but also fosters a shared passion for watercolour art. As patrons explore the halls filled with the mesmerizing creations of international watercolour, they are sure to be inspired and captivated by the beauty and diversity that this medium has to offer.

Admission to the show is by advanced ticket only. Tickets can purchased online via WWW.IWM2024.COM. There will be 2 or 3 live Masters demonstrations every day throughout the show included in the ticket price.



tickets on sale NOW



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Mushroom & brown lentil Ragu Whip up this meat-free meal in a slow cooker – a convenient and economical way to cook healthy, delicious meals without having to spend extra time in the kitchen. Serves 4

IngredIents • • • • • •

30g dried porcini mushrooms 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 celery stick, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped • 380g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped • 150ml red wine or extra hot stock • About 300ml hot vegetable stock • 160g brown lentils, rinsed • 400g passata • 1 tsp dried thyme • 2 bay leaves • 1 tsp yeast extract or brown barley miso • Salt and freshly ground black pepper To serve • Cooked tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta • Grated vegetarian Parmesan (optional) • Freshly chopped basil

Cooking time: low 6-7 hours, high 4½-5½ hours


• Put the dried porcini in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough justboiled water to cover. Leave to rehydrate for 30 minutes. Strain the mushrooms over a bowl with a slotted spoon and squeeze out any excess liquid. Finely chop the porcini and set aside. • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic, rehydrated porcini and chestnut mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes, until softened. • Pour the red wine into the pan, if using, and allow to boil until reduced and there is no aroma of alcohol – alternatively leave this step out and increase the quantity of hot stock. • Pour enough hot stock into the jug containing the porcini soaking liquor to make 500ml. Add to the slow cooker pot with the lentils, passata and thyme and stir until combined. Add the mushroom mixture and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 4½-5½ hours on high. Just before the ragu is ready, stir in the yeast extract or miso and season with salt and pepper to taste, then leave to rest for 5 minutes. • Serve spooned over pasta, adding a ladleful of the pasta cooking water to the ragu, topped with grated vegetarian Parmesan and chopped basil, if you like.

Recipe extracted from Healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes, published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced £16.99, with photography by Kate Whitaker © Ryland Peters & Small.


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Pen-y-Dyffryn Hotel and Restaurant contemporary fine dining at its best


en-y-Dyffryn is a family owned Country House Hotel and restaurant, just over Oswestry Racecourse, tucked cosily into the last hill in Shropshire. It is open every day, serving a daily-changing and seasonal dinner menu from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Everything is freshly prepared and from local suppliers, allowing them to cater to all dietary requirements. You can come for dinner only, or book a bedroom to take full advantage of their special offers. (See below for details). Brother and sister Tommy and Charlotte Hunter, together with chefs Lewis, Sean, Josh and Silviya, work hard to maintain the high quality of the restaurant food. They have held a 2 AA Rosettes Food Award for over 25 years - the longest in the whole of Shropshire. Service from the front of house team is professional but always friendly. The beautiful surroundings of the hotel and its extensive gardens are perfect for enjoying a peaceful walk, and there is a tangible sense of ‘getting away from it all’ even though Pen-y-Dyffryn is only a five minute drive from Oswestry. The hotel serves dinner, light lunches and cream tea every day, and is dog friendly.

Winter Warmer Dinner Bed And Breakfast Offer

25% OFF Dinner Bed and Breakfast bookings in February, starting from £107 per person per night. The hotel has fourteen luxurious bedrooms offering fabulous views over the Welsh hills, with double whirlpool baths, super king size beds and private patios. Treat yourself to a massage in your room, or warm your toes by the log fires taking advantage of your complimentary cream tea and scones. Not forgetting the extensive breakfast menu before heading home with your batteries fully re-charged.

Dinner Only Offer (Sunday - Thursday)

20% OFF all food in February and March from Sunday to Thursday). Five course dinner menu for £46.40 per person. (Normal price £58.00)

Pen-y-Dyffryn Hotel and Restaurant Rhydycroesau | Oswestry, SY10 7JD. Tel 01691 653700 | Email

You don’t need a special occasion to come and enjoy the dinner menu at this reduced price. With a large wine list, cocktail menu and a fully stocked bar, come and enjoy a midweek evening treat.

You can also buy vouchers online if you are looking for a gift or a special treat for someone.

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+ Sunday Roasts + Great Vegan menu + Live Music


Just 4 minutes from Newport town centre, the Swan is a beautifully refurbished Georgian building with a selection of ensuite rooms perfect for weddings, events, or just a weekend away with the family. We Pride ourselves on using as much locally sourced produce as possible by using local suppliers. Our meat comes from Buttercross farm in Market Drayton, pies from Shropshire and of course Joules ales and lager from Market Drayton.


served Monday to Friday 12 till 8pm 2 Courses £18 3 Courses £22


from £16.00 adult £8 child Served from 12 until its gone


Saturday and Sunday 10 till 12pm


Come down from 5 till 7pm. All pints £3.50 with a fabulous range of homemade sausage rolls too

Eccleshall Road Newport Shropshire TF10 8BY Tel: 01952 820446 Email: Facebook @swanatforton #supportlocal #swanhotelforton 44

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tantalise your


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Stay in the loop by following us @Mumbaimaskaoswestry Don't miss out on all the delicious updates!


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01691 684 428

Food & Drink

A recipe for Valentine’s at home A Shropshire business that creates luxury recipe boxes has a new launch in time for Valentine’s Day. the host’s Pantry is banking on that being true again this year, with the launch of their Valentine’s collection. The Host’s Pantry is run by local husband and wife team, Jessica and Scott Woodland. Their customers can pick from a selection of curated recipes, which are delivered along with all the premium produce and ingredients needed in one convenient box. Jessica and Scott describe the idea of the business as giving you a helping hand in the kitchen by providing you inspiration on what to make and bringing all the elements together for you.

The Host’s Party has a selection of delicious meals

Jessica and Scott Woodland from The Host’s Pantry

The business is based just north of Shrewsbury in Marchamley Wood. They are taking Valentine’s orders until 11 February to give them time to collect all the ingredients and produce needed. Jessica Woodland said, “People just aren’t going out as much these days, they enjoy eating at home, and they want to use local produce. So, for a special meal at home, The Host’s Pantry is the perfect choice. “Our curated Valentine’s boxes give you and your loved one a restaurant-worthy two-course meal to lovingly prepare and enjoy in the comfort of your home. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, our detailed guidance means everyone can enjoy great food on Valentine’s Day. “To order, just head to our website before 11 February. All Valentine’s orders will be delivered on 14 February.” Find out more at

Sungold baked oats Kick-start your day with this warm-fromthe-oven version of overnight oats. Perfect for breakfast or an energy-boosting midmorning snack. Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 40-45 mins


• 4 eggs • 25g protein powder (optional), we used vanilla • 1 tbsp honey • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp lemon zest • 250ml almond milk • 400g oats • 3 Zespri SunGold kiwis, plus 1 for the top, peeled • 120g blueberries Our recipe was created using Zespri SunGold Kiwi. For more recipe inspiration, visit


• Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan 180°C / gas mark 6. • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, protein powder (if using), honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest and almond milk until frothy. • Add the oats and stir until well combined. If you have time, leave the oat mixture for 30 minutes to allow some of the liquid to be soaked up. • Roughly chop 3 Zespri SunGold kiwis and stir through the oat mix along with the blueberries. • Transfer the oat mix to a baking tray. Slice the remaining kiwi, arrange on the top and then bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before cutting into squares. Enjoy! It’s beautiful



It’s Beautiful Family Voice


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Velvet Blue Blazer £65, Kids Stripe Smiley Oversized Sweatshirt £36, F&F Indigo Skinny Jeans £10, Nike Dunk Low £55.99 (in sale),

Crochet Straw Hat £12.50, Denim Shirt Dress £22,

Kids fashion this month is a bit more versatile with the weather being so changeable. Light jackets over sweatshirts and jumpers work nicely and are still enough for little ones on the warmer days. On dry days, trainers are great and there are some great sales about this time of year!

Seasonal FRILLS

Sporting STRIPES

Girls Soft Knit Crew Neck Jumper £21.99, Girls Grey Stripe Joggers £17.99, Nike Air Max 90 LTR, £69.99 (in sale),

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Floral Stripe Long Sleeve Dress £30, Girls Frill Denim Jacket £18, Lilley Junior Eva Boot £24.99,


“Sad hurts but it is a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel” J K Rowling

It’s Beautiful Family Voice | 50

“He was an old dog – 13 was a good age,” said that a hug would help.” She almost collapsed Mum. Harry sat crying. Bill was a bit of an odd but there was a little smile on her face too. name for a dog but somehow it fitted – and Strangely Harry felt good as well. Harry had known Bill for almost all his life. He Harry also found out about a thing called was sad. “CBT.” It was called cognitive behavioural Being sad was miserable and made therapy but CBT was easier to remember. He Harry think: “What makes people happy?” learnt how having certain thoughts generated he wondered. He found an equation for other feelings and that those could then happiness: Happiness = genetic tendency control our behaviour. That would be great if + circumstances + voluntary control. That the thoughts and feelings generated good seemed all a bit simple, but it also made him behaviours and then better thoughts and better think: sadness was natural, “How could I not feelings in a cycle of never-ending happiness! be sad about Bill? But how It wasn’t quite that simple do I get over it?” He had sadly. However, he did It was called heard about depression and notice when his thoughts had an aunt who had even cognitive behavioural of Bill made him feel sad been in hospital with this. and then stay on his own in therapy. He learnt It seemed to stop people his room, this led to further enjoying life and could how having certain sad thoughts and feelings. last for ages. He read that could break that cycle thoughts generated He sadness was just a part he thought – perhaps speak of depression: depression to his friends or go for a other feelings and affected your sleep, your bike ride. Maybe there was that those could appetite, your mood and something to this CBT stuff even your thoughts. It might he thought. then control our be triggered by nasty things “Your sister said you behaviour. happening but it sounded hugged her,” said his Dad. like it was at a completely “I’d liked to have seen that, different level to his own feelings. The bit he well done! I’ve got a bit of a surprise for you,” he liked about the happiness equation was that continued. Harry looked puzzled and then heard he could do something about some of his a small bark. “Never” he said excitedly and ran sadness. He would try and think about all the to the hallway where he found his Mum with a good times with Bill and try to remember the little puppy. It was some sort of cross about good things that happen every day – even the the same size and colour as Bill. Harry knelt “little” good things like that sausage sandwich down and the puppy promptly leapt on him – Mum gave him for lunch! Grandad always said, and peed! “What shall we call him,” said Mum. “You should count your blessings Harry” so he “How about Ben?” said his father. Harry was too would. He also read that doing “random acts young to know about the flowerpot men! of kindness” was good but that seemed a bit Harry noticed how the whole family of a difficult one. seemed lifted by Ben: even if he did leave small Next morning, randomly, he went up to “presents” here and there. He googled animals his sister and gave her a big hug. She looked and human emotions. It seemed there was horrified! “What was that for?” she asked. scientific evidence that they made humans “Well,” said Harry a bit hesitantly, “I thought happier. “Thank you for years of that Bill” he you’d been feeling a bit sad about Bill and thought.

Girls 3-18, Boys 3-13

11+ | 12+ | 13+

SCHOLARSHIPS & A D M I S S I O N S D AY FRI 26 JAN 2024 Register now - Extensive Transport Routes | Full and Flexi Boarding | Scholarships and Bursaries

01691 773671 | Moreton Hall, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 3EW

The Benefits of Weekly Boarding for Students

Flexibility is Key

And above all…boarding is Fun!

Weekly boarding is also the next logical step for many students as they look to develop those independent skills and focus their time and energies on their academic and co-curricular commitments after school. This provides parents with a ‘helping-hand’, giving them their own flexibility not only in being able to successfully manage their work or personal commitments but also to better support the interests of their child. The step to University or moving away from home also becomes an easier one for both parent and child as the level of independence and confidence grows through the years.

Weekly boarding is a popular option and gives children the opportunity to take advantage of the wide range of support available in and out of the classroom as well as the opportunity to meet students from many other nationalities. Boarders also grow and learn within larger friendship groups, share more experiences together and form life-long relationships and usually provide an opportunity for students to take on roles of responsibility – Head of House for example - and learn to become more independent, whilst developing the skills to work together as a team. Through this many students develop greater self- esteem, confidence and feel better prepared and ready for the next phase of their lives. Ultimately, weekly boarding is an option in many boarding schools which is going from strength to strength and which many parents, students and staff have seen the benefits for all. And last but not least … boarders of every type have fun! There are usually a wide range of exciting and meaningful activities on offer in the evenings to weekly and full-boarders - from co-curricular activities such as sport, music and drama, to debating groups, house activities, guest speakers and academic twilight sessions, there’s something for everyone! For more information on the types of boarding that are available for your child at Ellesmere College, please click here: Boarding at Ellesmere or call: 01691 626510 or email:

53 |

When looking at school options for your children, many families forget about the idea of weekly boarding and these days knowing that your child is getting a consistent, high-quality education regardless of the external environment is crucial for their personal development and educational journey. Many boarding schools today offer a number of boarding options, but one that is becoming increasingly popular with a large number of parents is “weekly boarding” - a helpful and viable alternative to, and a bridge between, the world of a day pupil and that of a full-boarder. The choice can also depend on the distance away from the school, so the option to weekly board offers parents a much broader choice for their child as they board during the week, and return home at the weekends. The choice of schools increases, those that were considered ‘too far away’ are now within reach, and journey times on a daily basis through the week are reduced, leaving the drive to and from school only on a Sunday and a Friday.

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Weekly Boarding: A Home from Home






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Relevant maths in your vocational course

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“Sweet Success: Choose Your Free Maths Mix and Win Big with Multiply! A treat for you that’s sweeter than your favourite pick and mix sweeties! If you’re 19 or older and don’t already have a Level 2 (or equivalent) in maths and feel like maths is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, fear not – Multiply is here to sweeten the deal, and there’s an Amazon Fire HD8 up for grabs. Now, isn’t that a cherry on top? And as the title suggests, it is completely free! Imagine a sweet shop where you can handpick your favourite sweets. Well, Multiply is your maths pick and mix heaven, where you get to choose the topics that suit your craving for numerical knowledge. But before we delve into the sweet details, let’s unwrap the goodies that come with this sugary deal. For those of you who never quite nailed that GCSE maths grade, Multiply is offering free numeracy courses that are as satisfying as a mouthful of your favourite gummy bears. Here’s a sneak peek into the irresistible offerings: Build Confidence with Numbers (E05P101): Craving more confidence in everyday money handling? Dive into this course, where you’ll master the art of dealing with payslips and bills like a seasoned candy connoisseur. Think of it as upgrading your financial taste buds to a whole new level. Multiply Your Confidence with Numbers (E05P102): Looking for a stepping-stone to conquer more advanced maths challenges? This course is your golden ticket to progressing towards Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths or even that elusive GCSE. It’s like levelling up from lollipops to chocolate mice in the candy world of mathematics. Multiply Your Confidence to Support Your Children with Maths (E05P103): Are you the parent who breaks into a cold sweat when faced with your kid’s maths homework? Fear not, because Multiply is serving up a course that takes you through the modern maths curriculum, covering everything from algebra to fractions. Become the superhero parent your kid never knew they needed. Now, let’s talk about why this isn’t your typical maths ordeal. Picture this: online, distance learning that’s as flexible as your favourite liquorice twist. These courses are like the candy of education, suitable for both beginners and those looking to sweeten their maths skills. And the best part? No formal assessments! That’s right, no need to fear the red pen – just the joy of mastering maths at your own pace. Complete a course, and voila! You’ll receive an e-certificate, your golden ticket to proving that you’re the maths maestro you were born to be. Plus, by signing up for Multiply, you’re automatically in the running to win an Amazon Fire HD8. This is also available for employers! Multiply is offering free bespoke programs for your workforce online. It’s a win-win – your employees boost their maths skills, and you get a workforce that’s as sharp as a bag of candy canes. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the sweet world of Multiply, choose your maths mix (or just choose one), and embark on a journey to sweet success. Apply now, and who knows, that Amazon Fire HD8 might just be the icing on your mathematical cake! Don’t miss out on this chance to satisfy your maths cravings and unwrap a world of possibilities.

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It’s Beautiful Family Voice

After-school tutoring can be an invaluable part of a child’s education. A tutor can offer support in areas that your child might struggle with, such as maths or English, or help your child to further improve in subjects that they already excel at. Tutoring is also available in subjects that your child’s school might not offer, e.g. Mandarin and philosophy.

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You can appoint a tutor at any time in your child’s education, but tutoring can be particularly valuable in the run-up to exams, such as GCSEs or the 11-plus. As well as helping with subject-specific knowledge, tutoring can be useful if your child suffers from exam-related anxiety or if they’re not used to sitting tests. The one-to-one basis of tutoring means your child can learn at their own speed, rather than being led by the wider needs of the class. It also allows extra time for questions or diving deeper into a subject. Tutors usually come to your home, although some operate out of an education centre. Many also offer video tutoring, which is helpful if you’re searching for a tutor in a less common subject.

Choosing a tutor

After-school tutoring can feel like a punishment. Few children want to add more studying to their weekly timetable. So look for a tutor who will be able to build a good rapport with your child. Not only is your child likely to learn more, they’ll also be happier and will put more effort into their

learning. A good tutor should help to increase your child’s confidence in a subject and, ideally, boost their enjoyment for learning. Before committing to a tutor, you’ll want to check references, qualifications and ID.

Finding the right tutor

Ask your child’s school if they have any recommendations, and put the word out in your friendship circle that you’re looking for a tutor. You may also want to register with sites such as, which helps to connect private tutors with parents. Some of these sites check the IDs and references of the tutors they promote, which gives you additional peace of mind.

The cost of tutoring

A tutor’s hourly rate will depend on a number of factors, including their experience, location and what subject your child needs help with. In most cases, you’ll pay between £20 and £40 an hour for an experienced tutor. If your child is at primary school, a tutoring session will generally last for no more than an hour. An A-level tutoring session might be as long as 2.5 hours.


Tutors don’t have to be DBS checked, but it’s wise to choose one who has been. A parent or guardian should also be present during every tutoring session.

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Saddle up to support Derwen Charity Are you looking for a new challenge for 2024? Derwen College Charity is signing up charity fundraisers for a February challenge that is already gaining momentum. Derwen Charity – a charity which benefits young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at Derwen College – is counting down towards its third annual 24-hour Spinathon which runs from 2–3 February 2024. Whether you’re looking to get fitter, or want to support this local charity, the College is asking the community to back the event which has become a firm favourite on the charity’s fundraising calendar. The Spinathon sees students and staff from the specialist further education college, in Gobowen, take part in the gruelling spin session which starts at 10.00am on Friday 2 February, carries on through the night, to the “finish line” at 10.00am on Saturday Money raised will be used to support people with SEND (both students and long-term resident clients) to enjoy extra experiences and opportunities to enhance their wellbeing. Originally launched by sports coordinators Steve Evans and Sian Thomas, the Spinathon sees fundraisers pedal for a phenomenal 24 hours. This year, Steve will be pedalling for the full 24 hours, while Sian will be running themed spin classes at intervals through the day and night. They are joined on Delivering exceptional programmes and rich learning environment for young people, aged from 16 to 25 years, with special educational needs and disabilities, including: • Learning and physical disabilities • Autism • Behaviours of concern • SLD and PMLD We support our young people to achieve and challenge them to do more. Our students regularly exceed what they and others thought possible. Come and have a look!

Why Derwen? Exceptional pastoral care and student support Excellent outcomes Independence development Unrivalled sports, leisure and wellbeing activities

Scan the QR code to view what pathways and programmes we offer

the journey by students, staff and supporters who all pledge to raise money through their own individual challenges, whether that be 30 minutes or the full 24-hour shift. Fundraisers are asked to donate or raise sponsorship of £10 per hour for the challenge. Upcoming Derwen Charity events for 2024 also include a 10k fun run and walk on 23 March, and Derwen Fete weekend from 25–26 May. If you’d like to find out more about how to support Derwen Charity, and enable young people with SEND to reach their aspirations, then go to charity or email Megan at Pictured: Performing Arts students with Performing Arts teacher Opal Trevor, Sports & Fitness Coordinators Sian Thomas and Steve Evans, and Community Fundraiser and Events Organiser Megan Charman.

Short Breaks at Derwen offers adults with learning disabilities and associated needs the opportunity to take a break and enjoy themselves.

Visit one of our OPEN DAYS and see everything we have to offer! Gobowen: Thursday, 29 February 2024 Thursday, 9 May 2024 Telford: Monday 26 February 2024 Monday 10 June 2024 Walford: Tuesday 14 May 2024


Ludlow: Wednesday 21 February 2024

Book early as places fill up fast! For any enquires or further information, please contact the Admissions Team 01691 661234 ext 401

We build your programme of activities around what you enjoy doing. For adults It may include: with learning


• cooking • swimming • trips to local attractions • gaming 01691 779243

An initiative of Derwen College Charity RCN: 1153280

A place of possibility

Gobowen, Shropshire SY11 3JA 01691 661234 It’s beautiful



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Best destinations in Europe for a walking holiday Walking holidays are a fantastic opportunity to venture off the beaten track and see a different side to the country you’re visiting. But with so many to choose from, where do you start? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best walking holiday destinations in Europe, so you can start planning your next adventure. Albania Albania is an overlooked corner of Europe that’s perfect for escaping

the typical tourist trails. Mountains make up 70% of the terrain here, so it’s no surprise that they form the basis for most of the walking tours. Book a tour within the Albanian Alps to discover towering waterfalls, meadows of wildflowers and charming mountain villages, or soak up the coastal charms of the ‘Albanian Riviera’ – home to some of Europe’s best beaches.

Amalfi Coast, Italy If you’re looking for drop-dead gorgeous scenery, a combination of

sun, sea and sand, and an endless number of trails to choose from, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is the answer to all your prayers. Covering a stretch of coastline from Punta Campanella to Salerno, the trails here are truly out of this world. Carved out by Greek settlers as early as the eighth century BC, the mythical Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) is perhaps the coastline’s most famous. You’ll truly feel as though you’re walking in the heavens as you explore this sky-high coastal path, drinking in the far-reaching ocean views.

Camino de Santiago, Spain Culminating in a visit to the spectacular Santiago

Cathedral, this 155km pilgrimage in northern Spain is a journey of holy significance that dates back over 1,000 years. Travelling through undulating countryside, rural farmland and medieval villages, what makes the Camino so popular is that you can walk as much or as little as you like. Spend a month walking from St Jean Pied de Port, or just a few days trekking the final stretch. If you commit to walking the last 100km, you’ll even receive your very own Compostela pilgrim certificate.

Madeira, Portugal Hiking Madeira’s levadas is an experience not to be missed. These irrigation canals were built to bring water from the northern slopes to the south side of the island. Although still in use, they now have another purpose, giving hikers a way to explore the island’s secret interior and dramatic landscapes. With more than 2,000km to explore at heights reaching 1,861m, this Portuguese island has trails to suit all experience levels. If you’re up for a challenge, why not take on the island’s highest peak, Pico Ruivo? La Gomera, Canary Islands The Canary Island that time forgot, La Gomera is shaped by cloud forests, steep-sided valleys and ancient hiking paths – the most famous of which wind their way through Garajonay National Park. Ascend to the summit of Garajonay, the highest point on the island, or follow the island’s network of stunning footpaths and historic mule trails. Around 25% of the flora and fauna are endemic to the island, but what makes La Gomera all the more fascinating is its 500-year old whistling language, ‘el silbo gomero’. It’s beautiful 60&ME



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EAR WAX TROUBLE? Sister Kate can help

The 1st Ear Wax Removal Clinic in Shropshire to become regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

“This is an unbelievable achievement for our team and to be the first to achieve this in the County feels great” Sister Kate specialises in micro suction treatments to help patients remove excessive ear wax that is causing a blockage that has resulted in hearing loss or is causing unpleasant feelings in the ear.

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Join Care UK’s nationwide ‘Big Dementia Conversation’

Did you know that more than 920,000 people in the UK live with Dementia, yet 77% of people feel there are still misconceptions surrounding the condition*? Despite our increased knowledge of dementia in recent years, many feel in the dark about what to expect following a diagnosis, and what’s more, many still feel uncomfortable, or even embarrassed, talking about the lesserknown symptoms. Let’s get talking ‘The Big Dementia Conversation’ is all about encouraging people to talk about some of the most difficult topics associated with dementia. Our online advice hub takes a closer look at some of the less-talked-about symptoms of dementia, with expert advice from our dementia specialists on how to navigate them. We’re here for you At Care UK, our dementia specialists continue to work with academic partners and respected leaders in the field, to develop a holistic and forward-thinking approach to the delivery of dementia care. We’re always looking for new ways to support families caring for a loved one with dementia, and we recognise the importance of helping you to navigate through some of the challenging stages.

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Did you know? 73% of people feel they have a lack of knowledge about dementia, whilst 55% of people are frightened to talk about it*. Over 50% of people want to know more about the common symptoms, as well as the resources, care and support available to people living with dementia*. We’re here to help. Just 10% of people feel they are very familiar with the signs of dementia, whilst less than 20% of people associate change in dietary preference or expressing sexual urges as common symptoms*.

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Many of us start out with the best intentions in January. We’re going to be healthier. We’re going to join a gym. We’re going to get fit… By March, those intentions have all too often fallen by the wayside. One of the best ways to stick to your goals is by joining a gym class. The regular timings make exercising a habit. You’ll be encouraged to keep up the pace and motivated to improve. Plus, the social side of classes make them more fun, so you’ll actually look forward to going. Generally, the best gym class is one you’ll enjoy, as you’re more likely to stick to it. That said, you won’t know what you enjoy until you try it, so here’s a few suggestions to get you started…

Best for strengthening

Think ‘strengthening’ and the first thing that comes to mind is weights. Classes like kettlebells, circuits and body pump combine weights with cardiovascular training, giving you a great all-round workout. But you don’t have to lift weights to strengthen your muscles – you could also try a gentler resistancebased exercise like Pilates, barre or aqua fit.

Best for getting fit

Best for stress relief

Best for aches and stiffness

Best for reduced mobility

Most exercise classes will burn calories and improve your endurance. If you’re already reasonably fit, you might want to look at a high-energy class like boot camp, circuit training, spin or high intensity interval training (HIIT). Pilates is a fantastic all-round exercise that can help to strengthen your core muscles and improve your flexibility. By doing so, it can reduce stiffness, backache and other issues. Most leisure centres offer a beginner’s Pilates class or one that’s suitable for all levels. You’ll usually need a yoga mat and comfortable clothes that allow you to move without restriction. As with any new gym class, if you have any injuries or other challenges, let the instructor know. They can then tell you if there are any moves you need to avoid.

Other options: • Barre • Yoga • Body balance

To ease stress, anxiety and other mental health issues, you might want to look at doing a combination of classes – one or two high-energy, high-fun classes, like dancercise or boxercise and a more mindful yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi class. If agility or mobility is an issue, try a low-impact class like aqua flex. It’s often done to music, and you don’t even need to be able to swim, as it’s usually done standing up in the shallow end.

Other options:

• Pilates • Walking circuits • Low-impact aerobics

In short…

Gone are the days when gyms only offered a handful of classes. These days, there really is something for everyone. To find the right class for you, discuss your goals with your gym instructor so they can recommend a few classes for you to try.

It’s beautiful 60&ME




Viewings can be arranged by calling 01938 580768 People are welcome to turn up to look around without appointments

website: email: Address: Tavern Park, Forden, Near Welshpool, SY21 8NN


| Oswestry life

Caring With Kindness Bluebell View is a beautiful care home for people who need residential, nursing or residential dementia care. It’s a place where kindness is more than a word; it’s a belief that caring for you means caring about you, guided by a heartfelt desire to support you to live better each moment of everyday. At Bluebell View you will be supported by a team of highly skilled care professionals whilst enjoying time with your friends and family in our modern, purpose built home.

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Health and Wellbeing

Benefits of Orthotics for Spine Alignment By Scott Gormley, Shropshire Physiotherapy Having a properly aligned spine is crucial for maintaining good posture, preventing back pain, and improving overall health. Poor spinal alignment can cause a variety of problems, including muscle imbalances, joint dysfunctions, and nerve compression. One effective solution to correct spine misalignment and alleviate these issues is the use of orthotics. Orthotics are custom-made inserts that can be placed inside shoes to provide additional support, stability, and correction to the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. Although often associated with foot problems, orthotics also have significant benefits for spine alignment. Here are some of the key advantages: 1. Improved Posture: Orthotics are designed to hold the feet in their proper alignment, which helps to align the rest of the body, including the spine. By evenly distributing the weight across the feet, orthotics encourage a more upright posture, reducing the strain on the spine and promoting proper alignment throughout the body. 2. Increased Stability: Orthotics provide added stability to the feet and ankles, which can help prevent excessive pronation (inward rolling of the foot) and supination (outward rolling of the foot). These abnormal foot motions can put stress on the knees, hips, and spine, leading to misalignment and subsequent pain. By promoting proper foot mechanics, orthotics can help


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maintain a stable foundation, minimising the risk of spine misalignment. 3. Enhanced Shock Absorption: Orthotics are made using materials that provide shock absorption and cushioning. When walking or running, the feet experience substantial impact forces. If these forces are not properly absorbed, they can radiate up the legs and cause pressure on the spine, leading to pain and misalignment. Orthotics help distribute and absorb these forces more evenly, reducing the strain on the spine and minimizing the risk of misalignment. 4. Alleviation of Back Pain: Back pain is a common complaint among adults, and poor spine alignment is often a contributing factor. By addressing the root cause of misalignment, orthotics can help alleviate back pain. The added support and improved posture provided by orthotics can help relieve pressure on the spine, reducing pain and discomfort. 5. Preventive Measure: Orthotics can also serve as a preventive measure against spine misalignment. Many individuals have underlying biomechanical issues or structural imbalances that predispose them to poor spinal alignment. Wearing orthotics from an early age can help address these issues and prevent the development of misalignment or associated conditions in the future. In conclusion, orthotics provide numerous benefits for spine alignment. By improving posture, enhancing stability, absorbing shock, alleviating back pain, and acting as a preventive measure, orthotics can play a crucial role in maintaining a well-aligned spine and promoting overall health. If you are experiencing back pain or have concerns about your spinal alignment, we can offer you a thorough assessment to decide if you would benefit from orthotics or if they might be a suitable solution for you. You can book a consultation with us today, don’t delay book online now at www.shropshirephysiotherapy. or give us a call on 01952 825042.

Ironbridge Interiors have been established for 12 years and specialise in bespoke manufactured kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and home office / media rooms. All our products are manufactured from our Ironbridge Branch to suit your requirements . We supply our products with a fully managed optional installation service. With showrooms in , Ironbridge , Newport , Tettenhall and Bridgnorth you will have plenty to view at all our locations and to discuss your ideas with our designers.

We are now taking orders from February onwards and We are now takinganother orders for January 2024 onwards and to celebrate to celebrate fantastic year we are offering a anther fantastic year we are offering a 10% discount across our products 10% DISCOUNT across our products on orders placed th st and January 31 . on orders placed between 31between JanuaryOctober and 29 16 February

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