County Lifestyle and Leisure Magazine Issue 43

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Editors Choice

Hidden Gems

The Cosy Stove Co

Featured businesses chosen by the Editor

Shining a spotlight on this month’s hidden gems

See our full feature on The Cosy Stove Co and their best of british wood burners

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The Cosy Stove Co for the best of British wood burners See page 2 for the full feature


Special Features




Our top picks for food and drink this summer

Revitalise your home and garden this summer

Explore the wonders of Devon and Cornwall

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The Cosy Stove Co for the best of British wood burners


Jodie Collinson 01455 698686 ACCOUNTS

Laura Smith 01455 698570

Modern log burning and multi-fuel stoves are among the most ecofriendly forms of combustion heating for the home and The Cosy Stove Company sells the very best. The company’s Bromsgrove showroom displays a fabulous range of top quality makes, all with the best possible ‘green’ credentials compliant with clean air legislation taking effect in 2022.


Shirley Elsby 01455 446360 SALES

Theresa Deacy 01455 446360

Customers can browse an impressive selection of wood burning stoves from mainly British manufacturers, such as the well known Charnwood, Woodwarm & Clock brands. The Cosy Stove Company also supplies leading Scandinavian stoves from the likes of Dik Geurts, Dru Gas, HETA & Termatech.


Sally Hassel 01455 698570 DESIGN Suite 10, The Lawns Business Centre The Lawns, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1DY Company Number: 10125538 VAT Number: 239853468

The Cosy Stove Company is a young, vibrant company which makes it fun to invest in this important equipment for the home, whether it is to be free standing or to fit within a fireplace. Its comprehensive range caters for every kind of setting, from a snug cottage through to a thoroughly modern new build. Expert staff offer advice about the many variable factors to ensure that each customer buys the best possible product for their particular circumstances. Once they’ve chosen, the company offers a complete and fully guaranteed installation service, whether for residential customers or commercial ones, including architects, builders, property developers, landlords, publicans and people letting holiday accommodation. The process starts with a free visit to survey the site, measure up and prepare a quotation. Owner Brett Guise says: “We always help our customers to choose the best products for their needs and lifestyle. We never use any form of pressure sales tactics and once people have made their choices, we will ensure that their installation goes


completely smoothly from start to finish. This includes any building work that may be involved. “We are a HETAS registered company and our fitters are all highly skilled individuals who will give a high end finish to the work, leaving everything clean and perfect.” The Cosy Stove Company Unit 11 Sanders Road Bromsgrove, B61 7DG Tel 01527 916339

Care Guide


Editors Choice


Hidden Gems


Devon & Cornwall


Food & Drink


Home & Garden


Family Health


Business Directory


Summer Breaks


Visit Devon & Cornwall FEATURED ON PAGE 17

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Care & Wellbeing



WAX REMOVAL AVAILABLE HOW WELL ARE YOU HEARING? CALL US TODAY Hagley Clinic – 01562 884400 Mobile – 07483 157011 125 Worcester Road, Hagley, West Midlands, DY9 0NW



Care Guide


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WE ARE OPEN! With Covid-19 Safety measures in place. Please call us to find out more and for our opening times.

Please call for opening times

Refresh your home with Floella Interiors virtual design service Floella interiors is all about enabling people to bring the wow factor into their home, expressing creativity through their surroundings. Some customers need just a little professional guidance to help them along, others require rather more input, but all who seek the services of Floella end up with results which are uniquely and beautifully their own. With many people still worried about coronavirus, Floella interiors has devised a new, cut price virtual service so people can fulfil their home makeover aspirations without needing to venture out. When you take pride in a lovely home, it pays to enlist help from someone with not only genuine flair but also in-depth knowledge of fabrics, soft furnishings and the entire interiors business. Sarah Davies is such a person. She started Floella – named after her daughters

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Florence and Ella – following 20 years’ London based experience, first making bespoke curtains and blinds, then working her way up to head designer at a high end interior furnishings company in London. Now working in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, Sarah offers a range of bespoke design packages to suit her customers’ budgets – these range from the virtual design package, room refresh packages to full interior design services. The new virtual service uses email, What’s App and customers’ own photos to prepare comprehensive design boards and information about sourcing individual items. Floella Interiors T: 07487 238287 E: Instagram and Facebook @ Floellainteriors


Editor’s Choice

Score Valley Country House, heaven in Devon for people and pets. Score Valley Country House is one of Devon’s best kept secrets, a splendid Georgian manor house in a delightful hidden corner of Ilfracombe. The guest house sits in 1½ acres of woodland in a secluded valley and offers peace and tranquillity while being within easy reach of some of Britain’s best loved beaches and seaside resorts, including Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands. Dogs are welcome to share the love at Score Valley. There are wonderful walks just outside the door, perhaps to be enjoyed after an excellent breakfast cooked to order using quality local produce and featuring a big choice of cereals, fresh fruit and yoghurt. It’s a pleasant stroll to Ilfracombe’s bustling High Street and harbour and the wild charms of Exmoor are only a short drive away. Owners Paul and Donna Edmunds provide eight comfy guest bedrooms adapted for modern holidaymakers. The doubles have king or super king sized beds, most of which can be split into singles. Most are en suite but one has a private bathroom. All have generous hospitality trays, towels, toiletries, hairdryers, satellite television and WiFi.

The Netley, 10 minutes’ scenic stroll from beach, bars & shops Holidaymakers can enjoy the both peaceful surroundings and the best of Torquay’s many amenities from the comfort of The Netley, an elegant Victorian hotel just a short stroll from the seafront. This friendly, independent business has every comfort and convenience for its guests, including beautiful en suite bedrooms, a suntrap terrace and even parking space in a town where such provision is at a premium. Owners Angie Collins and her husband, Mike, provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for their guests in eight individually decorated rooms which include a family room and superior rooms with king sized beds. Breakfast is always delicious, with traditional and vegetarian cooked fare supported by a generously array of cereals, yoghurts and other choices for people to help themselves. Torquay is famous as one of the three towns at the heart of the ‘English Riviera’. The beaches are fantastic and there are numerous pleasant shops, restaurants and bars, all easily accessible to Netley guests via a pleasant walk through the award winning Torre Abbey Gardens.


Guests have use of a well stocked honesty bar and a sun terrace overlooking a babbling brook. Donna says: “We want everyone to feel at home; pour yourself a drink, light the log fire, come and go as you please.” Score Valley Country House, Ilfracombe EX34 8NA T: 01271 862195 E:

Savour sea views and wonderful walks from Exmoor’s North Cliff Hotel Devon couldn’t look more beautiful than from The North Cliff Hotel in Exmoor National Park, 500 feet above Lynmouth Bay and with sweeping views over the coastline and idyllic Watersmeet Valley. Lynton shops and cinema are just minutes away, accessible through the hotel garden. Lynmouth is just 10 minutes’ walk or a train ride via the world’s highest, steepest water powered funicular Cliff Railway.

Local bus and train stations are also nearby, making it stress-free to visit attractions such as the Living Coasts Zoo & Aquarium, Paignton Zoo and Kents Cavern. Angie says: “We have quite a few parties staying from the nearby Cockington wedding venues and the Riviera International Centre, which is a big events venue.” The Netley Hotel, 52 Bampfylde Road, Torquay TQ2 5AY T: 01803 295 109 E:    

Standing on the popular South West Coast Path, The North Cliff Hotel welcomes families, groups and dogs. Freshly refurbished and redecorated throughout, it has 11 sea view ensuite rooms for bed & breakfast, with comfortable beds, TVs and DVD players. Also a unique penthouse suite for self catering, with two en-suite double rooms with king sized beds and TVs, a living area with a large third TV and a fully equipped kitchen/dining area. Guests are welcome to use a drying room for themselves and their dogs. Hosts Rebecca and Stephen Parker also provide a licensed bar, a sun terrace and a cosy lounge with a coal fire and board games. Rebecca says: “It’s very peaceful and

we want our guests to feel fully relaxed and at home. There are many beautiful walks, the closest being to The Valley of the Rocks, where you might encounter goats. In summer, you may catch a game of local cricket.” North Cliff Hotel, North Walk, Lynton, Devon EX35 6HJ T: 01598 752357 E:

Editor’s Choice Editor’s Choice

Edmunds Paignton, home fromfrom home St Edmunds Paignton, home home the English Riviera on theonEnglish Riviera

is at the heart of the English n isPaignton at the heart of the English Riviera, for its warm, sunny famed for famed its warm, sunny climate, and fabulous beaches. palm treespalm and trees fabulous Edmunds Guest Guest House . StStEdmunds Houseisisperfectly placedwithin within this this popular y placed popularholiday zone, offering comfortable bed &bed breakfast zone, offering comfortable just a stone’s throw from the seafront, ast just a stone’s throw from harbour, shops, bars and eateries of the ront, harbour, shops, bars and town yet away from any noise. of the town yet away from any

Painting Decorating?Choose Choose Clive Clive Painting &&Decorating? Campion & Son fautless finish Campion & Son forfor a faultless finish. Customers of painters decorators Customers of painters and and decorators Campion & Son Ltd can always be Clive Clive Campion & Son Ltd can always certainofoftwo twothings. things.They Theywill will always be certain have a first class job job andand there won’t be always have a first class there shocks whenwhen the billthe arrives! won’tany be nasty any nasty shocks bill arrives! Clive brings more than 30 years’ experience to every job, whether it be Clive internal brings more than 30 years’ or external painting, expert experience to every job, whether it be wallpapering or giving a pristine finish internal or external painting, expert to windows, doors, architraves and any wallpapering or giving pristine finish other surfaces thata need an upgrade. to windows, doors, architraves and anyhis He has been kept busy throughout othercareer surfaces thattoneed an upgrade. thanks a faultless reputation, He has been kept busyonthroughout his whether working a modern house, a period industrial premises, career thanks property, to a faultless reputation, schools or any kind ofhouse, building. whether working onother a modern

St Edmunds has seven en suite guest bedrooms, all of which have been ndsrecently has seven en suitesince guestbeing taken redecorated ms, over all ofby which have been new owners Roger and Linda redecorated since being Thomas in January. The taken fresh, bright rooms include three the ground new owners Roger andonLinda floor, making easier for people who in January. Thelife fresh, bright struggle and they are all nclude threewith on stairs, the ground equipped withfor Smart Freeview aking life easier people who TVs, clock/radios, making with stairs, andfans theyand arebeverage all facilities. Guests choose from abundant d with Smart Freeview TVs, and delicious breakfast choices.

a period property, industrial premises, Now has trained son, schools orClive any other kind ofhisbuilding.

dios, fans and beverage making . Guests choose from abundant The cosy 1850s house has ample cious breakfast parking, a big choices. boon in this corner of the A steam railway runs from Paignton coast! It’s also very close to bus and there, you can for y 1850s house so hasmany ample rail services, guests enjoy to theKingswear. a ferry From to Dartmouth, famous catch a ferry to Dartmouth, a big boon this corner the while luxury of in leaving the car of behind its naval history, links famous to the Pilgrim for in its naval history, links to the Pilgrim s also close toattractions, bus and not only the very explore local Fathers and numerous events. Fathers and numerous events. ces,Paignton, so manysuch guests enjoy the zoo and as the famous the South Coast while Path, but also in St Edmunds Guest House, 25 Sands f leaving the West car behind Torquay Brixham. Road Paignton, Devon TQ4 6EG oreneighbouring local attractions, not&only in St Edmunds Guest House, 25 Sands T: 01803 558756 n, such as the famous zoo and Road Paignton, Devon TQ4 6EG A steam railway runs from Paignton to E: h West Coast Path, but also in T: 558756 Kingswear. From there, you can catch uring Torquay & Brixham. E:

Matthew, to be just as meticulous in to ensure that all factors business. Together they present a quotations Prices are competitive, but quality Now the Clive has trained his son, costed in for the sake of accuracy. formidable painting & decorating team are is never sacrificed for the sake of Matthew, to be just as meticulous in Prices are the competitive, but quality with a very willing ‘can do’ attitude. lowering cost. the business. Together they present a

formidable painting & decorating team They use customer’s own choice of with awallpapers very willing ‘can do’ attitude. and can match paint to

any preferred colours. They also do They any usefurniture customer’s own required choice of moving and wallpapers matchleft paint ensureand thatcan anything in ato room is any preferred They damage. also do protectedcolours. against paint

any furniture moving required and Clive his wife,left Jayne, pay careful ensure thatand anything in a room is attention to the preparation protected against paint damage. of

Ledbury Construction, making your Ledbury Construction Groundworks home& fit your needs Ltd uses bespoke building services to transform dilapidated buildings into

dream homes, tiny rooms into Construction & turn Groundworks user-friendly spaces or add bespoke building services toextensions. Often, the bespoke building m dilapidated buildings into services enable to stayinto on in their own omes, turnpeople tiny rooms homes rather than having to uproot, ndly spaces or add extensions. while garden makeovers can add value he bespoke building services while massively reducing the effort eople to stay on in their own needed to maintain them. ather than having to uproot, rden makeovers can add Seager value has Company owner James assively the effort more reducing than 20 years’ experience in to maintain them. the industry and personally project

which involve changing the number of dwellings, converting property manages each job. He can give expert to multiple occupation, converting advice James about materials and making y owner Seagar has commercial property to residential use the years’ most of available space, as an 20 experience in as wellwhich or converting housing to residential involve changing the number contacts stryusing and company personally projectto obtain the uses such as children’s homes or care of dwellings, converting property bestjob. possible prices. s each He can give expert homes. to multiple occupation, converting

bout materials and making commercial property to residential use and his teamasbring singleto storey extension can t ofJames available space, well aashigh degree A modest housing residential of expertise and attention to detailor converting be added without planning permission. mpany contacts to obtain the uses such as children’s homes or care to every job and constantly update All Ledbury work is fully insured and sible prices. homes. guaranteed. Free quotations are

available on request. nd his team bring a high degree A modest single storey extension can tiseBarn andconversions attention toare detail a speciality be added without planning permission. Ledbury Construction & Groundworks joband and constantly update customers may be charged only All Ledbury is fully insuredLedbury, and Ltd, work 1 Oatleys Crescent, ls to of new involve guaranteed. Free quotations are 5%stay VATabreast if their projects Herefordshire, HR8 2BY ments. renovating property which has been availableT:on request. 01531 632 414 or 07901 761 656 empty for more than two years. That


reducedare rate also applies to projects nversions a speciality Ledburywww Construction & Groundworks omers may be charged only Ltd, 1 Oatleys Crescent, Ledbury, if their projects involve Herefordshire, HR8 2BY

our customers are satisfied.”

Jayne says: “We’re only satisfied when our customers are satisfied.” Clive Campion & Son Ltd, 27 Marlpit Clive Headless Campion &Cross, Son Ltd, 27 Marlpit Lane, Lane, Headless Cross Redditch B97 5AN Redditch B97 5AN tel 01527 913743 or 07813 648743, T: 01527 401427 or 07768 104525 email E:

in for the sake of accuracy. Clive are andcosted his wife, Jayne, pay careful www.clivecampionpainteranddecorator. attention to the preparation of

Ledbury Construction, making your home fit your needs

their skills to stay abreast of new developments.

quotations to ensure that all factors

is never sacrificed for the sake of lowering the“We’re cost. only satisfied when Jayne says:

Bulverton House, luxury self catering on Devon’s Jurassic Coast Bulverton House is 5 Star self catering accommodation in beautiful south Devon, just 20 minutes’ pleasant walk from the characterful coastal town of Sidmouth. The local stretch of the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path thrill beach lovers, surfers, sailors, fossil hunters, walkers and wildlife watchers. The locality also provides numerous opportunities for people to indulge their foodie tendencies, both when dining out and when cooking excellent local fare for themselves. The three luxurious suites of Bulverton House are purpose built for holidaymakers and are beautifully looked after by owners Philip Corrick and his wife, Karen. Culinary consultant Philip recently received the MBE for his services to the hospitality industry, especially in training young chefs. Now he and Karen apply the same exacting standards to creating the ultimate home from home for their guests. Naturally, the kitchens are very well equipped!

The property has two suites sleeping two people and a third which sleeps four, all at ground floor level and very competitively priced. They are fitted and furnished to stylish contemporary standards, have private parking and gardens and people can take video tours of them before booking, at

“Hospitality is all about looking after people and giving them an experience, whether it is in the kitchen or somewhere else,” says Philip. “That is what we aim to do here.”

Bulverton House, Station Road, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 9DW T: 01395 489339 E:

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Editor’s Choice

Wheels4dogs, restoring your pet’s mobility Injured, disabled and elderly pets are rediscovering the joy of walkies thanks to Wheels4dogs. The company sells the revolutionary Walkin’ Wheels® pet wheelchairs, which fit any dog breed and enable owners and their pets to carry on enjoying each other’s company. Many pets lose use of their legs through illness, accidents, old age or perhaps degenerative conditions such as hip dysplasia. Designed by Mark Robinson, owner of Walkin’ Pets in the USA, Walkin’ Wheels® are a clever and comfortable answer restoring mobility straight away. Unlike other brands, they are fully adjustable and fit any dog up to 81 kgs/180 lbs as well as other creatures such as cats, rabbits, lambs and goats. Other products are also available to help, including harnesses, splints, drag bags and boots. Wheels4dogs is an independent Worcester business run by Becky Neal, who is licensed to import the Walkin’ Wheels® products from America. The company has most products in stock at all times, meaning that British customers can benefit from them straight away. Becky says: “Only a few years ago

Transforming a complete room in the home is not only pleasurable, it can be life changing too, and in an exceptionally good way! Hatt Kitchens has been creating dream kitchens and changing the owners’ lives for more than 40 years. Now the company is delivering deluxe bedrooms, too. Hatt Kitchens offers customers everything from the enduringly popular traditional designs to the coolest contemporary ranges. Whether you’re looking for a rustic look or clean, modern lines you’ll find them on display in the company’s retail showrooms in Upton Warren, Bromsgrove. many pets with these conditions would have had to be put down. Now they can carry on living life to the full. It’s very rewarding to see that.” The wheelchairs are lightweight and sturdy and carry a five year manufacturer’s guarantee. Becky supports all customers with help and advice both before and after sales. Wheels4dogs, Worcester T: 0800 0723 697 E:

Exquisite accommodation for all in delightful Dawlish

Nature is nurtured at Oakcliff, bringing the feel good factor to all. The park holds a silver David Bellamy environmental award and Dawlish Warren’s National Nature Reserve hosts numerous birds and other species, some of them rare. Oakcliff guests have free use of facilities and entertainment Lady’s Mile Holiday Park, 10 minutes’ walk away,


Friendly staff go through the design process with each customer, working through every stand out feature. The units, doors and worktops are then craftsman made to measure at the company’s manufacturing unit in Hartlebury, Kidderminster, then a team of specialist contractors carry out fitting to absolute perfection. There’s flexibility for customers to do their own DIY if they wish, but Retail Manager Ryan Bellamy says: “Usually customers want us to take care of everything. We’re a one stop shop. We project manage not only making

and supplying the units but flooring, decoration, appliances, everything. It’s a very personal service, one to one, and we always stick to our schedules.” Product aftercare is ongoing long term, including repairs to any damage. Beautiful Hatt bedrooms may be fully bespoke or from lower priced standard ranges, as preferred. Hatt Kitchens, Retail Showroom, Warren Exhibition Centre, Worcester Road, Upton Warren Bromsgrove, B61 7EU T: 01527 576549 E:

Bickford Arms, for quality B&B in Devon’s Ruby Country. Close to beautiful beaches, wild moorland and any number of fabulous Devon and Cornwall attractions, the Bickford Arms offers brilliant holiday accommodation for everybody and their dogs. It’s a friendly country pub, which gives visitors a built-in social life and it also has an acre of forest for those early morning walkies ahead of a tasty full English breakfast.

Oakcliff Holiday Park is an exquisite, 4 Star holiday park on the south Devon coast, set in eight acres of landscaped grounds. It’s just 600 yards from the beautiful Blue Flag Beach of Dawlish Warren and offers great value self catering accommodation in stylish caravans, luxury lodges and premium mews cottages, so everyone can relax in their own delightful home away from home. Lodges, mini lodges and cottages all have their own private hot tubs with views of those star spangled night skies. Some are dog friendly and all the units are fitted and decorated to high standards, with central heating included. The cottages are modern conversions of splendid Georgian properties, sleeping six or seven people each.

Hatt kitchens and bedrooms, changing home lives for the better.

just as its own residents do. These include award winning indoor pools, a gym/spa, bars & restaurants, shops and play areas. Nearby attractions include Paignton Zoo, the World of Country Life and the South Devon Railway. Marketing Manager Rebecca Brennan says: “Oakcliff is a wonderful base for exploring all Devon has to offer.” Oakcliff Holiday Park, Warren Road, Dawlish Warren, Devon EX7 ONB T: 01626 863411 E:    

The Bickford Arms is an independent free house at Brandis Corner, a small hamlet 5 minutes from Holsworthy, just 20 minutes’ drive from the seaside resort of Bude and the stunning South West Coastal Path. It’s also in Ruby Country, the unspoiled rural landscape between Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor. The premises have 11 comfortable and modern en suite guest bedrooms, all with TV, tea and coffee makers and free Wi-Fi. The pub provides good service in a convivial atmosphere and also serves lunches, evening meals and traditional Sunday carveries. It also has a well equipped function room, making it ideal for people booking group holidays. Owner Keith Reynolds, who took over in December, says: “This is more than just a place to lay your head. All the

customers’ budgets – these range from the virtual design package, room refresh packages to full interior design services. rooms are lovely and we have a really The new virtual service uses email, good team in the kitchen. We get lots What’s App and customers’ own of compliments for our meals. We also photos to prepare comprehensive serve real ales, five different ciders and design boards and information about many other beverages including a wide sourcing individual items. selection of gins.” The Bickford Arms, Brandis Corner, Holsworthy, Devon T: 01409 221318 E:

Editor’s Choice Valentines Beauty

Little Pink, bringing sparkle & freshness to your home

Luxury the wilds sparkle of Dartmoor Littlewithin Pink, bringing & freshness to your home

People who need a hand with keeping their home clean and tidy now have the perfect ally in Little Pink Cleaning Services. This friendly business, covering Evesham and surrounding areas, offers all the regular cleaning and household chores, but also does an ironing service and the type of thorough deep cleans that landlords require to be done before they let property to new tenants.

For quality bed & breakfast with character, check out the recently modernised 17th century Walkhampton Inn in Devon’s Dartmoor National Park. Dogs are welcome in this friendly, great value food pub, so they too can enjoy many miles of wonderful walks in the unspoiled terrain where wild ponies wander free and ancient monuments stand witness to the lifestyles of resourceful ancestors.

Little Pink Cleaning Services is run by Nicola Tweddell, who moved to the area in December. She previously ran a similar, successful business in Lancashire and is now keen to attract new customers to benefit from her high quality work and experience.

The Walkhampton recently underwent a comprehensive refurbishment by owner Frazer Reed when he returned to his boyhood stamping ground after several years away. The refit has taken three years, but the whole building retains period features such as oak beams and stone walls and is cosy with open log fires and friendliness.

Little Pink is competitively priced and does as much or as little work as a customer wants. They can have weekly sessions or visits several times a week to stay on top of general tasks such as vacuuming, polishing, mopping and keeping bathrooms and kitchens pristine. They can also have less frequent visits or even one-off big cleans from the top to the bottom of the house, getting into the nooks and crannies that are so easily ignored. “I love this job,” says Nicola. “I always do a proper job, a good job, as if it was

for my own home. It gives me great satisfaction when people say I’ve done a lovely job, which they do.” Little Pink Cleaning Services, Evesham, Worcestershire T: 07593 457325 E:

Strictly the best flooring available. Fabulous carpets, Luxury Vinyl Tiles, solid wood and laminates are among the quality choices available fully fitted and from Strictly Flooring Ltd. The available floorings cover all needs and all budgets and the company prides itself on giving all customers the best possible service, tailored specifically to their needs. The Redditch based business gives people a huge range of competitively priced options to cover everything from a modest family bathroom to vast commercial premises. It sources the vast commercial premises. It sources very latest designs including the sought the very latest designs including the after Karndean and Amtico luxury vinyl sought after Karndean and Amtico designs which can look realistically luxury vinyl designs which can looklike stone, woodlike or stone, marble.wood Carpet realistically or choices marble. include everything quality budget Carpet choices include everything brands household names up to quality and budget brands and household Jacaranda, handwoven artisans by names up to Jacaranda,by handwoven in India and Crucial artisans in India andTrading, Crucial making Trading, beautiful floor coverings in natural making beautiful floor coverings in materials such as such wool,assisal andsisal jute. natural materials wool, and jute. After a phone conversation to ascertain what of products the customer is After sort a phone conversation to interested in, a sort specialist from Strictly ascertain what of products the Flooring to their home with customergoes is interested in, a specialist relevant samples and provides expert from Strictly Flooring goes to their advice to help them samples choose. and Precise home with relevant measurements takentoand provides expertare advice helpwhen themthe flooring is carriedare out by choose. arrives, Precise fitting measurements experienced professionals. taken and when the flooring arrives,

Now three deluxe guest bedrooms are ready to let with two more to follow soon, all en suite with modern conveniences including Wi-Fi, controllable heating, beverage making facilities and room service. As well as serving brilliant breakfasts, The Walkhampton serves an appetising menu of hearty pub lunches and evening meals, all cooked freshly from quality locally sourced ingredients.It’s a free house, so expect the drinks to

be top notch too, including craft beers, ciders, wines and spirits. The inn is on a river tributary about six miles from the market town of Tavistock, with its famous pannier market, and only 11 miles from the vibrant coastal city of Plymouth. Walkhampton Inn Walkhampton PL20 6JY T: 01822 258697 E:

Re-tyre at home with Sam’s Mobile Tyres If you drive a vehicle but are not a mechanic, there’s a new number you need to save to your phone. It’s the one for Sam’s Mobile Tyres! This small independent company offers a fast emergency service for customers throughout Worcestershire. It also books appointments to fit new tyres at the customer’s convenience, while they carry on working or stay in the comfort of their own homes.

fitting is carried out by experienced professionals. Company owner Ashley Gascoyne Company owner says: “Carpets areAshley alwaysGascoyne in demand says:LVT “Carpets areKarndean always inisdemand but such as also but LVT such nowadays. as Karndean is also very very popular The wood popular nowadays. Thewood woodbut finishes finishes really look like are really look like wood but are 100% waterproof, making it 100% a great waterproof,for making it a great alternative alternative kitchens, bathrooms and for kitchens, bathrooms and hallways.” hallways.” Strictly Flooring, Flooring, Redditch Redditch Strictly T: 07834 07834 288541 288541 T: E: E:

Owner Sam Gardner works within a 40 mile radius of Pershore, carrying out puncture repairs, providing and fitting new tyres and ensuring that tyres are correctly inflated and balanced. He can obtain any and all makes of tyre very rapidly and he also fits new brakes and batteries. He offers a 24/7 emergency call out service so his customers can get the help when they need it in just the time it takes him to reach them. Increasingly, though, his customers are finding that his pre-booked mobile service is extremely convenient. Instead of having to drive to a garage and sit around while the work is done, they can have their new tyres fitted by Sam at their home, workplace or another venue of their choice, while they do other things.    

“People like the idea of somebody going to them to do the job instead of them having to waste their own time,” he says. Sam’s Mobile Tyres, Pershore T: 07983 081795 E: Facebook @ Sam’s Mobile Tyres.

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From Russia with love – and ambition! When Russian teenager Anya Gunkova moved to the UK with her mother to start a new life, it was a time of hope, aspiration – and brand new beginnings. Twenty-three years later – and a successful entrepreneur, she is making her mark on the business world and has just unveiled her latest in a series of passion projects. Anya, from Burbage, is the creative and business mind behind the award-winning Sofya and I brand – an online clothes boutique, magazine and, now, radio station, all with ‘real women’ at their heart. But it’s not been a smooth journey for the career mum who has also had to overcome a series of personal challenges, including, herself, becoming a single parent. The three generations are the inspiration behind the success of the brand, which is a real family affair. Indeed daughter Sofya has put her name to it. And it’s her mum Elena that’s credited with the valuable life lessons that still drive Anya today. She said: “She worked so hard after my dad died when I was 12. It was just the two of us and she had about four jobs at a time. That’s where my hard-working attitude comes from. It set me an example of how you do what you have to do to provide for your family. “I’ve created a job for myself that I’m good at and I want to carry on doing it and growing it. Now, the big driving factor for me is that I want Sofya to see it as well, to see that I’m finally doing something for me. How many people can say ‘I’m doing what I love?’ But it’s not a familiar feeling for the girl who had for so long dared to dream of ambitions that seemed beyond her reach. Elena gave up her career as an English teacher in Siberia when she relocated with her daughter to start a new life in Bedford. “For me it was hard leaving everything behind, including my friends. I had to start a new school because to prepare for the GCSEs I had to repeat some of my education,” said Anya. “We had no family here, no friends and I had to try and adapt quickly. The language was a barrier. I was picked on for the first couple


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of years because I was different because of my language and my upbringing. “It was a challenge making friends and finding people you could trust again. The lifestyles in the two countries, especially 20 years ago, were just so different and it took some time to adapt.” She added: “I considered university but decided not to because I didn’t want to put that financial pressure on my mum and I was keen to go out and earn my own. I always had this hunger for making my own money and being independent.” It wasn’t until two years ago that Anya’s creative ambitions were realised – and only after emerging from a series of unfulfilling office jobs – and a broken marriage – which left her suffering low self-esteem. Now a single mum, but with her daughter of school age, she instinctively knew it was finally her time to shine. She said: “I was slowly just losing myself and my self-identity over the years and was at my lowest when Sofya was five. I felt like I was becoming that empty cup that you can’t pour out of. I was aware of what was happening to me and needed to find something to dig me out of it. “It was when I was at my lowest point that I had this idea about creating something new. I used to start thinking, I’m no good at anything and was self-critical about being a bad mum. I felt like I was failing at everything. The 9-5 work wasn’t going well and I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t getting any support and felt unfulfilled. I needed something that was mine that I could develop. “I used to write a fashion article for a monthly local magazine and enjoyed it and started to learn the process. I thought, how hard can it be? so I researched the softwares and trained myself – while still also juggling a fulltime job and all the parenting duties.” In January 2018 the first edition of Sofya Style rolled off the presses. The A5 bi-monthly magazine and website is something Anya proudly describes as, ‘for real women with real stories.’ “It is not your typical beauty magazine discussing products that no one can afford, but it was homemade stuff and body positivity content suitable for real women and not just so-called ‘beautiful women.’ And all my front covers feature real women with photos they send me. I don’t use fashion images. “I work hard to make sure the content is happy, informative, inspiring and something you can relax with, a purely enjoyable read as magazines were intended to be, without all the ads. I went back to the basics of why the magazines

were created in the first place.” Sofya Style has grown and earlier this year, became monthly. Now, in a sentimental nod to her roots, Anya and her mum are planning to translate the next edition for the 300,000-strong UK Russian community. It was later in this year that Anya also opened her shop, in Warwick, selling new and pre-loved clothing and accessories. She said: “I had finally found something I was good at and enjoy. This was when I started reinventing myself. It gave me a focus at a time when I was going through a frustrating separation and my self-esteem was very low.” But the seven-day-aweek demands of the business resulted in her taking the shop online-only at the end of last year – a decision that unwittingly saved her untold financial heartache. She said: “As it turns out with the COVID-19 situation, it was perfect timing. Now I’m so relieved I closed when I did because that wouldn’t have worked out at all well for me financially.” Not content with two creative enterprises, lockdown inspired yet another venture for the hungry entrepreneur who was ready to build on the success of her media business. And at the heart of it, again, were the three generations that continue to drive the brand. “During lockdown I was thinking of other ways to take this forward. I started to get involved with a lot of local radio stations and getting an insight to the processes involved. I decided it would be great if I could interview the people in the magazine in a more interactive way and bring to life.” A test show soon followed and, just a few weeks ago, Sofya Style Radio sprang into life. And in true Anya style, ambitions to grow the offering are already gathering pace. “Mum and I recorded our back story and chatted about our mother and daughter relationship and the change in dynamic once Sofya came along and about our three-generations. I built the show around it and it went down well,” she said.

“More and more people came forward wanting to contribute and interest is growing. Eventually I want other co-hosts to have their own shows on my platform.” “I don’t want to create a playlist like most other radio stations with the usual chart music, I prefer to give airtime to unknown and sometimes unsigned female music artists.” It’s now onwards and upwards for the career mum who has a Ladies First national business award to her name - and a new spring in her step. But her life journey has also taught her to not take anything for granted. She said: “I’m more grateful than probably most people born here because I know I wouldn’t have had those opportunities if I’d stayed in Russia. “What I’d say to other people with ambitions is, keep following your gut. Being fulfilled in your work is where strength and creativity and self-belief comes from.” Further information about the Sofya Style brands can be found at:

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Visit Devon & Cornwall


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Seven self catering accessible holiday lodges set in two acres of beauuful Cornish countryside. All lodges are accessible with level entry throughout the lodge. Large open plan kitchen, and lounge/diner with electric rise and recline chair. Three bedrooms: double or twins, ttwo WCs .There is an accessible shower room with Neaco Wheelchair enclosure/Mira Thermostaac shower, raised WC with drop down bars and underneath accessible wash basin. All lodges have hi/lo profiling beds, electric hoists/stand-aids, wheel-in shower Accessible self catering lodges in Looe, commode chairs. There are low ramps south-east Cornwall, designed for onto balconies which lead to the lodge disabled holidays, brochure on entrance with two sets of double doors request. front and rear of the lodge. Tarmac parking immediately outside your lodge. Ideal touring base for Eden Project, T: 01503 241290 Naaonal Trust Properres and Cornish E: Gardens. All of our lodges are safely self-contained.

Tudor Lodges

Subject to Government approval we will be re-opening on the 4th July

Tudor Lodges, Morval, Looe, Cornwall, PL13 1PR    



Visit Devon & Cornwall

The Kingswinford Guest House in Paignton is in an amazing location in the heart of the English Riviera less than a 2 minute stroll to the sea front and the town centre. We offer our guests quality Bed & Breakfast accommodation with an emphasis on value for money which is reflected in our regular repeat trade with many of our guests returning for short and long breaks. • En-suite with LCD TV with free WiFi throughout and free parking. • An accessible room is available on the ground floor. The guest house is furnished to a high standard, has a very warm and friendly atmosphere and you will be made to feel very welcome.

10% OFF Quote County10

 01803 558 358 32 Garfield Road, Paignton South Devon, TQ4 6AX


Situated on the level opposite the pier with access to the seafront and its blue flag beaches. Our rooms can be reserved with or without breakfast. Don’t worry you can change your mind if you decide you want breakfast after booking room only. Just let us know the night before! We look forward to seeing you soon

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Everyone deserves a holiday and time away from work. Welcome to Newbarn Farm, a beautiful place to visit for a mesmerising holiday with your family and friends. Located between Dartmoor and Paignton, we have eight luxury holiday cottages in Devon. If you are looking for an excellent holiday experience, Newbarn Farm is the place to be. We are set high on a hillside above the popular holiday town of Paignton and often our visitors are surprised to find such a peaceful and quiet destination close to Torbay. With glorious views, barbecues and wonderful cottages, it is a perfect base for exploring dozens of attractions. Get in touch with us to learn more about us and our cottages.

Call: 01803 553 602 Email: Newbarn Farm - Self Catering Cottages & Angling, Totnes Road, Collaton St Mary, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 7PT

The Ashleigh is a 4 Star Silver Guesthouse, with Single, Twin, Double or King-size beds in rooms which are bright, airy and comfortable and just a short level walk to the beautiful sandy beach, harbour, pier, steam railway, cinema, Pirate Island crazy golf, high street, arcades, restaurants, bars, bus and train stations. There is always something to enjoy no matter the weather.

We are a small hotel with a big reputation for good home cooked food, comfortable beds and a warm, friendly atmosphere.

We have been Accredited with the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ Badge and Certificate ensuring we will remain vigilant and conscious of keeping The Ashleigh as Covid free as is possible

Earlston House Hotel is ideally situated for both Goodrington and Paignton beaches, in an elevated quiet residential area and has been established for many years. We have eight comfortable en suite bedrooms, and also have a fully licensed bar. 15 Queens Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 6AT

Perfect Accommodation For All Seasons in Devon

01803 558923

Don’t take our word for it check us out on tripadvisor or the latest series of Four in a bed

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Visit Devon & Cornwall


STYLISH, COSY PUB Re-opened June 2016, The Old Sawmills Inn is the latest addition to a stable of four North Devon Pubs and Inns managed and owned by a local family business, trading for over 30 years. We serve quality craft Beers and Ales and a fine array of Westcountry Ciders alongside good wholesome food. Tel: 01271 883388 The Old Sawmills Inn, Watermouth Valley, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe EX34 9SJ


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RANSCOMBE HOUSE Bed & breakfast

 07969668849 Ranscombe House, Ranscombe Road Brixham, Devon, TQ5 9UP

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful B&B location for a couple’s weekend retreat, or a holiday home to rent for a large family occasion, here at Ranscombe House we offer flexible accommodation in beautiful Brixham. • Each of our eight rooms is styled with a traditional, nautical feel for a classic British seaside experience. • Ranscombe House is only a five minute walk to the beach and Brixham harbour.    



Visit Devon & Cornwall


The Nethway Hotel in Torquay, Devon is the perfect venue to host your wedding ceremony and reception. It’s also a great choice for a relaxing holiday or short break on the picturesque South Devon coastline. Nethway Hotel, Falkland Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JR Telephone: 01803 29763 Website: Email:


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Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon to reopen safely on 4 July Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon is to reopen to the public on Saturday 4 July and is one of the first hotels in the historic town of Stratford to do so. The hotel has received its ‘Good to Go’ industry standard mark from VisitBritain and is looking forward to welcoming visitors back through its doors. To ensure the safety and well-being of its guests the hotel will be fulfilling the IHG Clean Promise, complying with stringent guidelines, setting up controls in public spaces, offering new check in processes, protective screens at reception, reduced contact at check-in and check-out, hand sanitiser stations in key locations, social distancing adhered to and sanitising and disinfecting all areas. The Woodsman Restaurant will reopen on Wednesday 8 July. Winner of the Good Food Guide Best New Entry 2020, The Woodsman is famed for its use of game, wild and foraged food, and great British ingredients, much of which is cooked over flame. Due to the spacious layout of the restaurant, including private dining areas, a large terrace seating 40, and by re-purposing the bar area and other spaces, The Woodsman is able to ensure that guests can feel safe and welcome when they dine. The hotel is offering a special overnight accommodation rate for

those who have booked a meal at The Woodsman. Special room rates start from £89.00. Carl Davies-Phillips, General Manager of Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen the hotel. The safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff is our top priority, and we have implemented new hygiene procedures including delivering our IHG’s Clean Promise, as well as social distancing measures, in line with government and public health advice. The team has been working incredibly hard over the past few weeks to ensure we are able to reopen safely and we look forward to welcoming our visitors”. Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon, formerly The Falcon Hotel, opened its doors in April 2019 after a multimillion-pound major restoration project. The Grade 2 listed historic building, which dates to the 16th century, was painstakingly restored over a 22-month period. For more information about Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon please visit For more information about the IHG Clean Promise please visit    



Food& Drink Bromsgrove Butchers is a Cut Above the Rest The team behind independent, female-ran butchers, Butcher’s Block of Bromsgrove, will be celebrating its second anniversary on 1st August and plan on running a charity event to mark the occasion and raise funds for local good causes. Due to the recent pandemic, Lil’s Baps (made to Lilith’s own special recipe and deliciously moreish) has been unable to trade on Bromsgrove Market, however on their anniversary Lil will be serving her Baps for a charitable donation. There will also be a raffle, with a chance for one lucky person to win a hamper from Butcher’s Block worth £50. The family-owned business, run by wife and wife team, Michelle and Lilith Holsey-Sheppard, has become one of Bromsgrove High Street’s best-loved businesses, and it’s easy to see why. Their attention to detail, exceptional service and wide range of products have created a loyal customer base –


something which has proved invaluable throughout the last few months. The duo pride themselves on supplying their customers with fresh, locally sourced British produce. Situated on Bromsgrove High Street and about to celebrate its second anniversary, the butchers consistently ensures that taste, quality and freshness are always at the forefront – from its award winning Lashford Sausages and wide selection of fresh artisan meat, to its local honey and eggs. Michelle and Lilith are incredibly proud to serve the community and ensure that each and every customer is offered a unique and personal service, tailored to their requirements and budget. Whether they are doing their regular weekly meat shop in the shop or online, picking up a few bits for a BBQ, or ordering something for a special occasion – nothing is too much trouble and it can be butchered according to their individual needs.    

Commenting on the charity drive, Lilith says; “We are firm believers in giving back and we are passionate about supporting those who may be going through a difficult time, for one reason or another. This is our way of showing our support and giving back to our community. The two charities we have chosen to benefit from this are local and close to our hearts – Primrose Hospice and SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.) We hope customers both old and new will be able to join us and celebrate on the day, whilst also raising vital funds for these two charities.”

The Butcher’s Block 53 High Street, Bromsgrove Tel 01527 570241 Email Facebook @ Butcher’s Block Bromsgrove



Exceptional Retirement Living Call us to request an information pack or book your private tour.

01684 491 002

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Alfresco Dining Area Now Open Five spice is a multi award winning Bangladeshi restaurant incorporating cuisine from around the Indian subcontinent combining local British produce ■ Takeaway Service ■ Home Delivery Service ■ Order Takeaway Online ■ Free Car Park

■ Beskpoke Outside Catering ■ Equipment Hire ■ Venue Hire for Large Parties




The food, the staff and the place, can not fault anything will definitely be returning. Very well organised, a great place

Our first time to eat out since before lockdown we were both a little nervous about going out in general, but we needn’t have been because the owners have done an exceptional job keeping everyone safe here!

Just came back from this amazing restaurant which was amazing food and lovely service, will definitely be returning

FULL COVID 19 MEASURES IN PLACE Please see website for full guidelines

TEL: 01562 730 499 WWW.FIVESPICEONLINE.CO.UK Hollies Hill, Stourbridge Road, Belbroughton, DY9 9TX


Monday – Thursday: 5.00PM – 11.00PM | Friday – Saturday: 5.00PM – 12 Midnight | Sunday: 1.00PM – 10.00PM


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Relaxing the 2m rule saved my restaurant THE owner of an award-winning – but famously compact – Spanish restaurant in Warwick claims relaxing the 2m distancing rule has saved his business from closure. Alex Clayton was forced to shut Tasca Dali at the start of lockdown, resorting, like many others, to offering meal deliveries to try and keep his business alive. But takings took a huge hit and the popular restaurateur, who also owns Flamenco in High Street, was running out of time before having to hang up the closed sign for good. The Government revision of the 2m social distancing rule from July 4th, has come as a particular relief to Alex, who can now accommodate more than double the number of diners than planned - but he warns there is still a struggle ahead. The reduction to one metre means full

capacity will see around a third fewer customers catered for on their busy nights. He said: “The lockdown has had a huge effect on us and the proposed two metre distancing rules would have killed the business. “The one metre-plus rule has allowed the business to return to near normal although we shall need to make certain adjustments to the table layout. He added: “We are still anticipating a general downturn in business and have made changes to the business structure in preparation for a serious drop in income, especially over the winter months. “And we are also aware of the general shock to the economy. For us this is about staying in the game for the long term.”

Measures in place to make the premises COVID-Secure include tables set on arrival and disinfected between guests, no tablecloths, the use of paper napkins and staff wearing masks. The restaurant is also one of very few to use a state-of-the-art air cleaning and recirculation system. The NASA technology uses ultra violet light to sanitise the air as well as the surfaces it lands on. According to reports this week, scientists from universities around the world are advocating for the use of ultraviolet light indoors as a “particularly efficient, easily deployable and economically affordable” way of combating coronavirus. Last September, after six years in High Street, Tasca Dali was named Spanish Restaurant of the Year in the

Birmingham Restaurant Awards. The team prides itself on authentic and traditional Spanish cooking methods with most of the ingredients including cheeses, hams, chorizos, olive oils sourced from Spain, along with locally sourced meats and fish. Alex said: “We have no menu as such at Tasca. Our food is prepared every day with whatever is market fresh on the day and in season. We cook in the traditional Spanish way, the same method that Spaniards have been preparing meals in their homes for generations, there are no short cuts, no microwaves. We do not compromise on the raw ingredients, using only the finest olive oils that we bring in ourselves from Jaen in Spain.” Tasca Dali is now taking bookings at reservations or on 07445 233 527.

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Home & Garden The Stained Glass Studio, uniquely beautifying your home Craftsmen of The Stained Glass Studio provide home owners with the same quality of bespoke artistry and excellence that they apply to many National Trust, English Heritage and other historic listed buildings. Each new decorative door panel or window is a unique addition created with professional expertise built up over more than 30 years. The Stained Glass Studio is the partnership of Malcolm Wytcherley and his son, Louis, based in Worcestershire but operating nationwide. With exceptional skill, they use traditional medieval methods on what are often prestigious conservation projects. One of their favourites was the restoration of a Grade 1 listed medieval hall, Llwyn Celyn, in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The project won the 2019 award for Best Building Conservation Project in the UK. Malcolm started the company in 1984 after working as a figure maker at Worcester Porcelain. He started making sun catchers and terrariums as a hobby, but enjoyed it so much that he diversified and went full time. The Stained Glass Studio now specialises in the renovation of leaded

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lights in churches and restoration of antique-style metal casements, but additionally, Malcolm and Louis love providing unique stained glass artwork for private home owners. Louis says: “We work many domestic properties, whether rebuilding a tired leaded light, repairing cracked glass in-situ or giving a front door the wow factor.” Find how they can help you at Email: Phone: 01684 892855





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t: 01386 833766


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Home & Garden


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To request a free no obligation quote get in touch with us. T: 01684 439 365 M: 07976 471977    



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Available September 2020


Ranelagh Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire, WR14 1BQ

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Whether it’s to relax or entertain, we can offer you stylish solutions for all your dining, lighting and heating needs. Great offers available throughout our store & website

Telephone: 01386 833630 Blackminster Park, on the tip of the Cotswolds. You can find us just off the B4035, 5 mins off the A46 at Evesham. Pits Pots and Patios, Unit 8E Blackminster Business Park, Evesham WR11 7RE

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Reliable and professional tiling in Worcester and the surrounding areas

07880 745208

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Family& Health


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Now taking registrations For children aged 6 weeks to 5 years

Fun is an essential ingredient in all our nurseries where the care and education opportunities for each and every child are as extraordinary as the staff who provide them.

T: 0121 752 9750 E: Crescent Day Nursery and Preschool, 21-22 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1RP

T: 0121 454 1170 E: Highfield Day Nursery and Preschool, 3-4 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3ED

We would be delighted to show you around

Ref: VMH19

A truly breathtaking alternative for the storage of cremation ashes. A rural funeral venue. What can I do with my loved ones cremation ashes? Ashes can now be placed in a round Barrow for safe keeping. The Barrow is a modern interpretation of the ancient Barrows created thousands of years ago. Once inside the Barrow, nestled in the stone walls are niches, large enough for up to 5 urns. How do I know they will be safe? Each niche is secured by a cover, created exactly to your instructions, depicting whatever represents the life lost. The Barrow itself has a beautiful handmade gate, created in the form of a tree, to fit in with the countryside. An automated gate provides secure access to the site. Can I visit whenever I choose? Once ashes are placed by a family in the Barrow, they are free to visit whenever they wish, as often as they wish. There’s a pretty pond, meadow, and woodland, where time can be spent reflecting, and feeling close to the life lost. Why would I choose Mid-England Barrow? Situated in the heart of the English countryside, on a farm, the Barrow is surrounded by flora and fauna, whatever the weather it has a tranquil and spiritual aura. That moment as you enter the Barrow, when a tingle goes down your spine.

Can I hold a ceremony, funeral or celebration of life at Mid-England Barrow? The Barrow area can be used for any type of ceremony, from formal funerals, lead by a minister or celebrant, to informal family gatherings. Social distancing measures are currently in place, and food and drinks can safely be provided. There is ample parking and a mains toilet. Is it safe to visit the Barrow to view it now? Yes, we have precautions in place to welcome visitors including handwashing and sanitising, social distancing measures, and plenty of fresh air! Please call to make an appointment.

Telephone 07791 807970 Email Fenny Compton Road, Farnborough, Banbury, OX17 1EJ

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Business Directory

Our Services & Products • Windows, Doors & Conservatories • Secondary Glazing • Bifold Doors • Failed unit replacement • Frameless Glass Doors, Screens & Balustrading • Trade counter open to public • Double glazed units, glass and mirrors cut to size • Shopfront glass replacement • Free no-obligation survey and quote • Commercial Glazing • Fascia, soffits and guttering • Roof lanterns and warmer roofs • Free survey and no obligation quotation

01684 892350 AMB Glass & Malvern Windows Ltd, Spring Lane Industrial Estate Unit 7A, Spring Lane North, Malvern, Worcs WR14 1BU


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We Accept Green Homes Grant vouchers

High Quality Specialist Joinery

Servicing • Air Conditioning • MOT • Wheel Alignment Tyres (by arrangement) • Clutches

We specialise in all aspects of bespoke joinery. From authennc sash windows and casement windows to front doors, stable doors, french doors, bi-folding doors and quality bespoke staircases.

01746 718864

07870 640749

New House Farm , Bagginswood, Stooesdon , Nr Kidderminster , Worcs, DY14 8LU

Braking Systems Diagnostics including: ABS & ESP • Auto Electrics Airbag & SRS • Engine Management Systems (Petrol & Diesel) So why not call us now and put your mind to rest and our service to the test

01386 760 700

Eastwick Garage, Eastwick Drive, Evesham WR11 2LG



Together, Worcestershire’s public sector organisations and private sector companies share one ambition, to raise the profile of the county. Join the Worcestershire 1000, a network of advocates for the county:

Find out more at @OneWorcs 64429 Worcestershire 1000 Advertorial V01.indd 1

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46 28/08/2019 09:04


Summer Breaks Quality Bed & Breakfast Accommodaaon in Minehead, Somerset – the Gateway to Exmoor Naaonal Park Situated in a peaceful, tree-lined road within easy level walking distance of the beach, harbour and all ameniies, Tranmere House offers excellent bed and breakfast accommodaion. AAer you have eaten a delicious breakfast, you can spend your days exploring the wild and wonderful countryside on Exmoor, enjoy an evening strolling along the promenade and enjoy a meal in one of Minehead’s many good restaurants and pubs. Minehead is a tradiional seaside town on the Bristol Channel, with lovely views across the sea to Wales . It provides an ideal base for all types of holiday, either a peaceful relaxing break, or a more acive holiday.

9 COVID-1nt a li p co m

4th July Opening ils ite for deta See webs

When calling please quote County44 | 01643 702647 | 24 Tregonwell Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5DU


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Making memories at heart of new business LOSS, personal health struggles and a global pandemic proved the perfect storm for Warwickshire woman Julie Brown but who has now turned her life around with the launch of a new business. The fifty-year-old mum, who battles multiple sclerosis, recently established SEW Unique Crafts which specialises in making memory bears and cushions from recycled clothing – an idea inspired by her daughter who is about to leave primary school. She made 11-year-old Harriet a special bear from her Kingsley Preparatory School uniform after seeing her upset about missing out on much of her final year there. Julie said: “I had 12 weeks at home during lockdown apart from walking the dogs once a day, so I started doing a lot of sewing and I had heard about these items made from recycled clothes and thought it would be a nice thing to make for Harriet for when she finishes primary school. “People love this idea and I have now got orders coming in from parents asking me to make some for them.” While it started off as a hobby, Julie’s love of sewing has since become a lifeline for the self-taught entrepreneur who sank into a deep depression following the death of her beloved horse in 2018. She said: “My partner Neil and I used


to ride him at the trekking centre at Cannock Chase and it came to a point where he became available to buy. “Caesar was a huge part of my life for nearly 20 years. I’d be with him every day. He was my best friend and companion. He was always there. Then suddenly when he died, I had this big void in my life. It affected me so much. I just kept crying all the time. “The doctor said she thought I was suffering with a reactive type of depression brought on by grief and I was off work for 6-7 weeks and had counselling.” She added: “Just after I lost Caesar, I needed to find something to give me a focus. I would see these little felted ornaments in the shops and thought I could have a go at doing that. Then my friends started saying, you’re really good at making these so why don’t you start selling them? So I put a small advert out and lots of people wanted to buy them. I never looked back!” Spurred on by this interest, Julie attended a three-day residential course for needle felting and used online tutorials and magazines to perfect her crafting skills, before, in February last year, launching her own workshops.    

She hopes these will be able to recommence early next year. She said: “I always start my workshops with a little story about me and what led me here, which people find fascinating.” SEW Unique Crafts also helped fill a void for the part-time administrator who was forced to take time out from her job at Budbrooke Medical Centre. She has had to take a cautious approach throughout lockdown due to having multiple sclerosis, a condition she was diagnosed with after Harriet was born. “I remember the first signs were when I was breastfeeding Harriet in the night and seeing double vision, but just put it down to tiredness. But after it had gone on for about three months, I went to see the doctor and he sent me to a neurologist. After having an MRI and lumbar puncture it was confirmed I had MS,” she said. Medication helps to keep some of the symptoms under control although Julie does suffer with bouts of extreme tiredness and pins and needles as well as confused speech and memory lapses. Despite everything she’s had to overcome, the enterprising crafter is

excited for the new chapter ahead. Julie said: “I can make a sentimental bear, cushion or quilt or quilted hanger, out of recycled clothing for all sorts of reasons, including as a memory of someone who has passed away – or make something out of old baby clothes that don’t fit any more but which they want to keep. Quilted squares or quilted hangers. They can also be personalised with names.” She added: “I’m absolutely convinced that me focusing on something like crafting really helped me get better. I just genuinely feel that doing something where you have to concentrate really helps if you’re going through some sort of depression. I think it got to the point at the end of my counselling where I needed to do more. Now I’m a big believer that crafting helps your mental health. “A very negative point in my life became a very positive point in my life. And now it’s something I really enjoy.” Contact Julie at: Visit: SEWuniquecraftsbyJulie

Entrepreneur overcomes tragedy and challenges to reap success Kate Findlay is an inspiration. At the age of 65, the entrepreneur -and grandmother - from Barford, did not dream she’d be named as a finalist for a national newcomer award. But the recognition is less surprising when you learn that she launched her online boutique gift shop Peach Perfect whilst also nursing her husband through the latter years of his degenerative illness. So overcoming the commercial challenges of a pandemic is, unsurprisingly, something Kate is also taking in her stride, as she adapts to the growing needs of her online customers. Gloucester-born Kate moved to Warwickshire aged 28, with her first husband following a transfer by her employers at the time, IBM. But it’s not the career path she originally mapped out for herself having harboured dreams of becoming a doctor and going on to gain a degree in Psychology at Portsmouth Polytechnic. Kate said: “It was a very different time and I was a very different person. I’d had to abandon my idea of becoming a doctor as I hadn’t got straight A’s – unbelievable though it now seems, girls had to get higher marks than boys to get into medical school. I knew I wanted to work with people but wasn’t entirely sure how, and rather randomly I decided to become a Clinical Psychologist. There was one post being advertised in the whole of Hampshire and a whole queue of eager graduates so I was beaten to that option.” Fate then played a hand and led Kate onto a graduate training scheme for IBM’s head office in Portsmouth. And it was IBM that also led her to Ian when Kate became a wife and step mum to two sons, before going on to have their own son together. Robert is now 33. After 18 years in the company, voluntary redundancy presented the still ambitious Kate with an irresistible opportunity to go it alone for the first time. It wasn’t long before her new marquee hire franchise business was born. But, after three years, her head was turned by a career opportunity too good to miss at Rover. This forced her to take a big step backwards from the marquee business and, eventually, to walk away. It was to be short-lived however when, after just three weeks, Kate realised her mistake. An 11-year spell at Cadbury’s followed, including a Senior IT management role until she was faced with the option of redundancy once again. And this time it

would prove to be a decisive moment in her life. She said: “When an option to take redundancy arose, I seized the chance to escape – and having battled through three decades of corporate life, I knew this time there would be no turning back. I thought, this is my chance to do something for myself. I’d always felt that there had been unfinished business with the marquee project. I wanted to be my own boss. I realised corporate life didn’t really appeal to me.” It was at this time The Real Britain Company was born. A new bespoke independent travel service, it was an exciting new venture for the couple, if not entirely impulsive as Kate admits the idea had been brewing for some time. “When I get an idea in my mind it is like a grit in an oyster to produce a pearl, it stays there and starts to gather momentum and form into something. The idea was already pretty well formed even by the time I left Cadbury’s.” But it was also whilst travelling on one of their many research trips for their company that Kate recalls noticing the first signs of Ian’s dementia. She said: “It first became clear something was wrong about 10 years ago. We were on holiday in Kent doing one of our Real Britain forays and Ian had become very fearful of things. He wouldn’t walk along the white cliffs of Dover. He also started to forget conversations that we’d had just minutes before. “Also he didn’t feel right. That summer, we’d been married for 23 years, he bought me a ring and said he had planned to give me this for our 25th wedding anniversary but said he didn’t want to wait that long. He knew something was wrong. He’d say ‘what’s the matter with me?’ “We went to the doctors just after getting back from the trip and they said it was anxiety and depression - but we just knew that was a load of rubbish. “Then it was backwards and forwards trying this drug and that drug and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, psychiatrists and brain scans without a firm conclusion. It wasn’t until Ian was finally referred to a memory clinic that, after six-and-a-half years he was diagnosed with a form of dementia condition called Lewy Body Dementia or DLB. “It was a bit of a relief after all that time actually because it made sense of all his symptoms - and because the support for Parkinson’s is so much better than it is for Alzheimer’s. The Parkinson’s Society was brilliant.“

But it was to bring an abrupt end to their travels, as Kate explains: “It was becoming increasingly obvious that Ian was struggling to cope with the demands of the business and I was having to do all the work as well as care for him. We had made many changes to our life, one of which was closing down our beloved company.” But it’s hard to keep a good woman down and wasn’t long before Kate embarked on her next solo project. “For a few years, I’d been fascinated with the idea of running an online gift shop with a difference - a store that stocked beautiful and practical presents for people like me who wanted good quality gifts without any gimmicks. A friend of mine who is a Shakespearean professor collaborated with a chef on a cookery book called The Food of Love: A Taste of Shakespeare in Four Seasons full of Elizabethan recipes and references to it in Shakespeare. But the publishers didn’t really know how to promote it because it’s not a standard cookery book or history book. I thought, there must be lots of things like this that people just don’t know about that make lovely presents so that was another catalyst. When I did eventually do it I made the book my first product. “It was 2015 and Ian was well into the symptoms by then. He failed to understand how he could help with the business in any way at all. I think he was very proud of me but also very frustrated and upset that he couldn’t do anything to support me,” she said. “I knew deep down I still hadn’t achieved everything I want to achieve in life. I knew I needed something else. I realised what was coming and that I’d end up being a carer but needed something to focus on that would go beyond his death. I thought I can’t be just a carer. It’s not who I am. You don’t choose to be a carer, it’s forced upon you. So the business has been an absolute Godsend.”

worked hard, in his honour, redoubling her efforts – and growing Peach Perfect, which has won recognition from Ladies First Networking Group. But she’ll now have to wait until September to find out if she has been selected as the category winner from six finalists. In the meantime – and as, like all businesses, she stares into the abyss of COVID-19, she has vowed, with extra precautions in place, that it’s business as usual. She said: “To begin with everything went completely dead because people were worried about finances and so on. Things are now picking up because they realise people still have birthdays and need to entertain the kids so we’re particularly selling a lot of craft kits and things for the garden.” Looking back it is clear there have been many forks in the road of Kate’s life journey so far – but today she’s among the first to champion the ambitions of wannabe entrepreneurs – of any age. “You’re never too old to do anything. It’s your frame of mind that’s important. It’s never too late if you’ve got the idea and the wherewithal to do it. In fact, it keeps you young.” She concluded: “I could never have foreseen the cultural changes and the twists and turns I’ve experienced in my working life over the past 40-odd years. But looking to the future, I’m certain of one thing at least – this is my time to shine. And I’m loving every moment of my new business life as an online retail entrepreneur!” Visit Peach Perfect at:

Ian’s condition deteriorated quickly and simple everyday tasks such as emptying a vacuum cleaner, making a cup of tea or even lifting a fork to his mouth, eventually became impossible. He sadly lost his battle with DLB in March last year, aged 66. Since then Kate has    


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