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Dear Readers, Welcome to the November magazine. We live in strange times, but as usual the magazine is jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - use them or lose them! Like no time before your community needs you. In case you weren’t aware, we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. It’s the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Please get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! If you email we will add you to our e-newsletter and you will join 7,000 others who receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Until next time, stay safe,

CONTENTS 6 Liam uses magic talents to support ellenor 10 Dartford Giving 14 Orchard Theatre receives funding 16 Recipe 22 Making friends with yourself 24-25 COVID-19 fears & rebuilding customer confidence 26-27 My COVID wall 28 Fitness November 34 Senior Snippets 38 Life under the stairs 41 Doodle Dozen. Lrts get doodling 44 Online Theatre roundup 46 Painted Rocks 47 Car News 49 Sporting Roundup 48-55 Where to go locally 56-57 Advertisers Index 58 Useful Numbers


Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team) ONLINE

Front cover photo by Karen Williamson



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When children lose those closest to them, they need specialist help and support – which is what ellenor specialises in providing to the families of those who have died in our care. What’s extraordinary is to see the human spirit’s capacity to cope, to continue and to thrive – even in the toughest of circumstances. With ellenor’s help, teenager Liam – whose mother, Debra, was in ellenor’s care in 2019 - continues to find much joy in life, with magic his speciality. If 13-year-old Liam could be summed up in four words they would be lively, loveable, confident and energetic. “I understand a lot about me,” he says emphatically. “I have a very creative mind and a big imagination. I grew up making little stage sets with my Grandad, and I always loved the theatre –


seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my mum when I was younger was a real highlight, and I’d love to be a stage actor when I’m older. Unlike most people of my age, I’m not into video games and I’m not a massive fan of sport. Instead, I create my own worlds – and that’s where magic comes in.” So how did Liam get into magic in the first place? “When I was little, I got the standard Christmas gift of a magic set. Me and my Dad looked at it, but the instructions were complicated. Once my Dad talked me through them though, and I started experimenting with the tricks, I got really good at it. I showed Mum and all the family and the reactions were amazing. I just thought, ‘WOW - magic is incredible! Then I saw a magic show on TV – with people like Ben Hart and Paul Daniels - and it really inspired me to learn more tricks.”

Liam says it’s the creativity around magic that particularly appeals to him: “The stories that you can invent around different tricks and effects mean loads of possibilities.” Also, there’s the constant buzz that comes from people’s reactions: “You make people smile out of something that you do. My favourite audience is adults because they tend to appreciate the visual effects of card tricks – my speciality.” When Liam’s mother, Debra, was under ellenor’s care in the in patient unit, Liam’s winning way with a pack of cards kept staff, other patients and their visiting families entertained, laughing and guessing with his impressive talents. He also went on to perform his card tricks for one of ellenor’s many support groups. “It was a lot of fun - I really enjoyed it and the audience seemed to, too!” A big moment for Liam was winning a local talent show, where he performed in front of 500 people, but more recently he’s been winning a new audience via his postings on Instagram. “I couldn’t perform live because of lockdown, so I’ve filmed my tricks and put them on Instagram instead,” Liam explains. “I think my older sister Milly gets a bit annoyed with my constant magic chat, but my dad loves it. We have conversations all the time about ideas, my magic friends and how we can make the impossible look possible when I’m doing my tricks.

Whilst meeting other magicians and finding new fans via Instagram has been a major plus for Liam, he’s also used his time and talents to raise funds for ellenor. “I’ve asked people to donate if they like viewing my tricks on Instagram and so far I’ve raised £1,400.” Why was he so keen to support the charity? “ellenor doesn’t get any government support and the people who work there do amazing things. If they don’t get money, they won’t be able to give the care to other people.” Liam says he’ll never forget the support his family got from ellenor when they needed it most: “The nurses make that place magical because they are always there and they are so lovely. They support everyone, young and old. They supported not just my mum when she was ill, but our whole family. I had music therapy, which was really good. I don’t play instruments, really, but it didn’t matter - you can play whatever you want and get your emotions out, with no-one judging you.” Liam is very keen to stress the importance of creativity for young people, whatever their interest or circumstances, and whatever level of support they do or don’t enjoy: “If you are passionate about something, just find your own way of doing it and make it yours,” he urges. Everyone at ellenor wishes Liam every success and looks forward to finding out what the future holds for him. THE BASE DARTFORD BUSINESS PARK VICTORIA ROAD DARTFORD KENT DA1 5FS T: 01322 618541 E: INFO@MARTINIVES.COM WWW.MARTINIVES.COM





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By K at e H a r g r e av e s

DARTFORD GIVING By Kate Hargreaves

lot of venues act as donation session hosts, so there is likely to be one relatively accessible to you. Men can give blood every 12 weeks and women every 16 weeks, but there is no pressure to do so that regularly.

This month’s Dartford Giving is based on a very recent experience I had at Dartford Football Club. Not cheering on the Darts, but turning up on a rainy Thursday afternoon to be a blood donor. This isn’t the usual sort of thing we think about under the umbrella of “volunteering”, but it does take a little bit of your time and can help the wider community in a big way.

“Are there any requirements?” The most basic requirements for first time donors are being in good health, aged 17-66 and weighing 50-158kg. There are certain circumstances in which you can’t give blood. Check out https://www. for more details.

“Anything else I need to know?” 1) Donation sessions are still ongoing throughout the pandemic. Social distancing when I recently attended was excellent, so please don’t be put off in the current climate. 2) I’m aware that different countries have different processes for giving blood, so if you’re from overseas, please note that in the UK it is a public appeal for all willing persons to give blood – you don’t need to know someone who needs blood in order Giving blood to donate it. 3) There is a push for male donors, black “What is it?” The title says it all really… You donate donors and O negative donors, but if you don’t fall into a small portion (470ml) of your blood to be used these categories you’re still just as valued. by the NHS either to help patients when they need blood or for researching and testing purposes; both “That’s all fine, but does it hurt?” No, there’s barely any incredibly worthwhile causes. feeling at all. You have a tiny blood sample taken from your finger to check iron levels, which is barely noticeable “What would I get out of it?” The NHS campaign has in terms of pain, and then to donate, you feel a light the catchy slogan of “do something amazing”. You’re pinprick / scratch on your arm when the needle is inserted literally giving part of your body to help strangers in and then feel nothing after that. You lay back (reading or need, so yes, it’s pretty amazing. In terms of more scrolling Instagram optional) in a recliner chair for 5-10 tangible things you get out of it, the nurses have to minutes while you donate and then you’re sent to the make sure you’re feeling well before you leave the beloved snack table. room, so you have an unlimited supply of squash drinks, TUC biscuits, Club bars and shortbread “Okay, I’ll give it a try, how do I sign up?” You can find biscuits. (I’ve been attending donation sessions out more, register and book an appointment at https:// in Dartford for the last ~25 years, with my parents and now myself as an adult, and reassuringly the snacks never change.) If you want to chat about any of the above, feel free to email Now go do something “How much time do I need for it?” The aim is to amazing! get donors seen and out of the venue within an hour of the appointment time. At the moment, you need to book an appointment in advance. A


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Lorna Strawson, Theatre Director at The Orchard Theatre said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding which will play a vital role in supporting the venue through this very difficult period. The money provided today will help us to meet the costs of maintaining the building through the closure period; will stabilise our position at a time when no trading income is available to us; and will help to support our dedicated and skilled team. We are grateful that the DCMS has recognised the The Orchard Theatre has received a total of £244,576 important contribution we make; and would also in grant funding from the Department of Media, like to thank our local authority partners who have Culture & Sport’s (DCMS) £1.57bn Cultural Recovery been helpful and supportive throughout. Fund. Like all cultural venues, we believe we have an The fund, which was set up and announced by the important role to play in supporting the wider government in July, makes urgent support available recovery. The economic impact of our usual for cultural organisations that were financially activities stretches far and wide; sustaining stable before the COVID-19 pandemic. Money has businesses across the local area. been provided from central government via the DCMS - and the fund was administered by Arts Crucially, this money is provided to assist us through to reopening when the situation improves – and we Council England. can’t wait to be able to welcome back our wonderful A total of 1385 organisations around the UK will audiences when we are able to do so.” benefit from grant awards announced today. Jeremy Kite, Leader of Dartford Borough Council In line with other venues and cultural buildings The said: Orchard Theatre has remained closed since March as a result of government restrictions imposed to “The Orchard asked for our support in its bid to protect public health. Performances at The Orchard Government and of course we were delighted to Theatre are suspended through January 31st 2021, offer it unconditionally. The arts and culture are not although opportunities to re-open parts of the a luxury as we emerge from COVID. They will be a building or to plan socially distant performances are core part of re-establishing Britain’s economy and cultural reputation. I’m delighted to hear this news.” being kept under review. Whilst socially distanced performances are now permitted under current guidelines most theatres, For further information, please contact Chris concert halls and live entertainment venues are McGuigan, Group Director of Marketing & Sales, HQ finding it impossible to reopen whilst social- Theatres: distancing restrictions remain in place.


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YUMMY BROOKIE BITES By Debbie Dickinson I’ve been wanting to experiment with these for a long time now, so this seemed the perfect opportunity! Brookies are a delicious fusion of brownies and cookies - they are so deliciously rich; you really should cut them into bite sized treats. You will get about 40 from this recipe! But they will also be amazing, served warm with ice cream, as a dessert for a special occasion. This recipe fills a 20cm square cake tin. If you have a different size tin, contact me and I’ll happily scale the recipe up/down for you. You’ll need: For the Brownie base 200g Caster Sugar 35g Cocoa Powder 110g Unsalted Butter 50g Dark Chocolate 2 Large Eggs 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 100g Plain Flour For the Cookie top 75g Butter 75g Brown Sugar 35g White Sugar 1 Egg ½ tsp Vanilla Extract 125g Plain Flour ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda


¼ tsp Salt 100g Chocolate Chips What to do: Line the cake tin with greaseproof paper. For the Brownie base, melt the butter and chocolate, gently, in a large saucepan. Take off the heat and mix in the sugar. Add the other ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour the brownie mix into the prepared tin. For the Cookie, cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then mix in the chocolate chips. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper flat and, using a spatula, spread the cookie dough into a square roughly the same size as the cake tin. It will be a bit sticky! Then, lift and turn the cookie dough upside down onto the brownie mix and ‘peel’ the greaseproof paper off. Use the spatula or a flat knife to help ease the cookie dough off the paper. Spread the cookie dough out gently to cover the brownie mix. Bake in a preheated oven at 160° C for about 20 minutes. The top of the cookie dough should be light golden, but there will still be a wobble in the mix. Allow to cool completely, then depending on how gooey the brownie is, you may find popping it into the fridge for a while will help to firm it up before cutting into bite size squares. Enjoy!

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MAKING FRIENDS WITH YOURSELF By Clair Yates In 2018 a group of researchers carried out a study into the effect of a 4-week yoga intervention on pre-adolescent girls’ and boys’ body image – factors studied included body appreciation, body esteem, body surveillance and mood. The results - described as ‘unexpected’ by the research teams – showed both girl’s and boy’s groups reporting increased body appreciation, body esteem, and positive mood, and decreased body surveillance.

perhaps leading to a sense of being part of something larger. This sense of connection to a larger cycle can I think, help us to not get so caught up in the neurosis that we of course all have.

I know that sadly not every yoga class feels like a warm and welcoming place for everybody and I continue to work hard to cultivate classes where everyone truly feels welcome. Coming to one of my classes means surrounding yourself with friendly people, in a non-competitive environment. Though the researchers may have been surprised at This can help us to be brave enough to let go of the need the results, I think anyone who regularly practices to be perfect and to make friends with ourselves as we yoga would agree that it positively effects how we make friends with each other. relate to ourselves. We already know Yoga is an embodying activity that promotes body awareness, At the end of the 2018 study, the report tells us that the body connection, body responsiveness, and majority of the children in the group asked for more yoga. appreciation of body functionality. Going deeper, We are not told whether they got their wish. As adults the teachings of yoga philosophy encourage us to we are lucky enough to be able to choose for ourselves cultivate attitudes of compassion and gratitude and I very much hope if you haven’t already you choose towards ourselves and each other, to recognize to try a yoga class and see how it works for you. the good in each of us, including in ourselves. Take care of yourself, Clair. Unlike so many other activities, yoga isn’t asking us to improve ourselves, to work to be better people or to deny the discomforts of life. Yoga invites us to tune in and experience ourselves in our full humanness, welcoming all that we are. One of the reasons I’m so grateful I found yoga is that being a yoga teacher I don’t have to try to be perfect, or pretend I have all the answers or even pretend I know what all the questions are. It’s enough to hold space for my students to have their own experience, to share with them the tools and techniques of yoga so they can develop their own skills, their autonomy and their trust in themselves. Yoga teaches us connection, connection to ourselves, to each other and to our environment. We can practice yoga in a way that aligns to nature and to the seasons and to the natural phases of life,


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Here at Harden Holidays we like to tackle your concerns about travel head-on. In conversation with our clients and various research still show a high level of concern about safety and wellness overseas which combined with confusion over refunds and guarantees is deterring people from booking holidays. We would like to strongly encourage you to come speak to us directly about your worries and concerns, so we are able to plan your holidays with more confidence and reassurance. A recent survey showed that despite just over half (53%) of customers saying they were hoping to book an overseas holiday in the next 3-12 months, confusion over quarantines and refund policies are deterring them from booking. Over half the people surveyed said they thought the government guidance on overseas travel has not been clear and 30% said they were worried about not being able to access refunds on flights or accommodation. We are aware that you as a consumers need reassurance about how safe you are when you are on holiday with more than 4 in 10 people (45%) saying they were concerned about falling ill on holiday with a further 41% saying they have concerns about the safety of travel by plane or ship. 40% said they were worried about the COVID rates in other countries. We want to make sure that we are having the right conversations with you so that you feel empowered to make the right decisions and feel able to travel with confidence. Research has also shown that there is an appetite for travel, but people are understandably concerned about their health and safety. Our team here have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate the ever-changing travel regulations as well as measures that are in place at airlines, resorts and tour operators to help keep you safe.

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By J e a n e t t e O ’ B ri e n

MY COVID WALL By Jeanette O’Brien

slow. I then came up with the idea to make paper flower arrangements as I was not able to go to supermarket to buy real flowers, so what papers I had at home was the start, wrapping paper, magazine covers, old road maps they all got used. I have attached two photos of my displays which I did. I named one” Summer Breeze” and the other “Ring of Roses” This filled my afternoons which I found very therapeutic. I made masks for my family all to help pass the time. It is Saturday March 28th March my last day at the office and going into a supermarket. I had no idea that a letter was on its way to me from Mr Hancock that I was in the vulnerable group and would now have to go into 12 weeks lockdown. I must admit I was a bit blasé about the prospect of not being allowed out for that amount of time. After I had my Stem Cell Transplant 8 years ago, I was confined to my room in hospital for 6 weeks my immune system was depleted this meant no visitors at first and I had to stay in that room initially for at least 3 weeks. The team of consultants, nurses, cleaning staff at Kings College Hospital were all terrific and looked after me for the whole time. I am eternally grateful to everyone of them. My thoughts were if I can survive that then I can do 12 weeks without going out I would have no problem. How very wrong I was, the difference then was I was ill and weak and could not do anything at all. This was different I was not ill, how am I going to fill my days, everything stopped in my life and was tipped upside down, no floristry classes, no Tai Chi, no Gym, no visits to my local community centre, no lunch with friends. In fact, nothing I was going to be indoors and that was the end of it. I decided I was going to have to reflect now what I could do at home and look on the positive side and not the negative. I have a garden which I know many people have not so will make more use of that. My Covid Wall was an idea that I had to paint a transfer onto each brick pattern on the wall in my garden to count down the weeks of my lockdown, as each week passed some weeks went fast some


Next, as no gym or a walk in the park was off the menu, after watching Captain Tom doing his laps I thought that is something I can do so my garden became my circuit at first could only do 1185 steps but this has now increased to 4600. I ordered a pedometer so I could keep a count of the steps. Another week had passed painting transfers on the wall I could see the end in sight now there were more transfers on the wall week 12 arrived and the last transfer painted. I had to wait another couple of weeks before I received my letter to say I could

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now venture out and ultimately look forward to going back to work.

mental health issues I am sure of that.

On my release day 1st August, I was very nervous about going to shops, driving and ultimately going back to the office albeit on part-time basis. I returned to the office on 2nd August and it felt strange at first but have now got back into the swing of things. I found that not having time to think about going back to work was my saving grace if I had not returned then my confidence would have taken a real nose dive. So, on reflection, I can say that the 12 weeks were not all bad for me. I have achieved a lot and will carry on with my walking as now able to enjoy the park again along with my laps around the garden. I am back doing some real flower arrangements and have now added another hobby to my list which is Quilling only a beginner but have started making cards to attach to my floral displays. I know my local Healthy Living Community Centre will open again soon so hopefully the other activities will resume at some point. I hope this gives encouragement to anyone who felt the strain of the lock down, I for one can fully understand how individuals can suffer mental health issues as I would have also been one with

Full-time, experienced, qualified yoga teacher, teaching practical yoga and meditation classes in the local community and now online. When Government advice allows, the regular schedule of in person group classes in Hextable, Swanley, Sidcup and Bexleyheath will resume. For now, all regular group classes are being held online. Yoga Alliance Professionals Senior Yoga Teacher and British Wheel of Yoga Foundation Course Tutor, I am qualified and experienced in making yoga accessible. I teach an embodied and practical approach to yoga, breath work and meditation, appropriate for all ages and abilities. You don’t need to be flexible to start! My classes are friendly, everybody is welcome, so come and see how it feels to tune in and connect yourself and feel better. Please visit my website for more information or email me at I look forward to hearing from you.



FITNESS - NOVEMBER By Mark Broadbent

Fitness in difficult times

So, this year’s been a bit of a strange one so far! With all of the [somewhat confusing and constantly changing] guidelines, we’re generally being told to stay in more, and many of the places we’d ordinarily go to socialise are no longer an option – though this may change between me writing this, and you reading this – or even between me writing this and me pressing “save” on it!!

bodyweight training, home gym equipment, cycling… there are hundreds of options! Schedule your workouts into your days. Make sure you are staying active, both with general activity (walking around) but also with dedicated “workout” time. Set aside 30 minutes a day specifically for some form of exercise.

It doesn’t have to be hours lifting weights, just So the consequence of this is quite likely that a lot of people half an hour of something active and moderately are moving a lot less than they previously were – even if strenuous. You can always increase this as you go, but a modest starting point is more achievable and that wasn’t much to begin with. more likely to happen. Less people commuting to work because they’re working from home, more people out of work, less general I have a 30-Day Challenge that helps people do just busy-ness as a lot of clubs and kid’s clubs are still not this – you can get more info from my website if that’s something you think could help you. running or shut shop. This all adds up and takes its toll. The key here is to do 2 things: • Make time for regular/daily exercise • Keep an eye on what, and how much you’re eating

Healthy eating and daily exercise can also help with stress levels through what is renowned for being a stressful time of year (Christmas) as well as colder, wetter weather and darker days. So it’s not just about losing or maintaining weight, but also about staying in a more positive place mentally.

In order to maintain your health, sanity and waistline, There’s really no downside to regular exercise you need to watch both of these things. and improving your diet, so whether you’ve made excuses up til now, or have been doing something Over-eating because you’re at home and snacking more, all along – make this a part of your routine and or even eating what you’ve always eaten but moving less reap the rewards. than usual, will likely lead to weight gain. If you need some more help, you can always Have a plan. You don’t need to follow a strict meal plan, contact me. but planning ahead and having an idea of what you’re going to eat tonight, tomorrow, or even all week, can help to keep your calorie count under control; and simply Mark paying attention to your eating habits can highlight and @MarkBroadbentPT prevent unnecessary snacking. As for exercise, the gyms are (at the time of writing this) still open. You may have to wear a mask to go in and out and move around, but you can set yourself up on whatever kit you’re using and train as before. If you’re not a gym-goer, or are avoiding the gym for whatever reason, there’s still no excuse. Walking, running,




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Support for local businesses from

We’re doing everything we can to help Dartford shops, businesses and markets get up-and-running again. It’s not something we can rush and as they start to open EVERY shopper has a big part to play. PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE WHILST SHOPPING Putting space between you and other shoppers can help stop the spread of the virus. Maintain social distancing at every opportunity. PLEASE DON’T TAKE THE WHOLE FAMILY We’re not yet ready to recommend shopping as a family or social activity. Please don’t shop in groups. WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER SHOPPING Get in the habit of washing your hands before you set out shopping and wash again as soon as you get home. TRY SHOPPING AT DIFFERENT TIMES Shops are generally well-stocked so avoiding peak shopping times can help key retail workers manage demand and social distancing. Consider shopping earlier or later than usual. FINALLY- BE KIND, BE PATIENT and BE UNDERSTANDING These are tough times for everyone - retail workers and shopkeepers included. Be patient and understand that everyone is trying their very best.

Jeremy Kite, Leader of the Council






This Winter, Kent C o m m u n i t y Foundation is asking you to Knock and Check on your elderly neighbours so that together we can support the lonely and isolated and save lives. Kent Community Foundation wants to build on the fabulous community spirit shown in the county during lockdown, to reduce the number of avoidable deaths amongst the elderly this winter. Every year there are 1600 avoidable deaths in Kent and Medway. By getting involved in the Knock and Check campaign, together, we can and will save lives, by recognising when support might be required and getting help arranged. Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said “As part of our annual Surviving Winter initiative, the Knock and Check campaign is asking people to call on their vulnerable neighbours and check they are OK. Perhaps you could offer to do some shopping, share magazines or books, or give them something you have baked and as we approach Christmas, and many lunch clubs for the elderly will not be able to offer their usual lunches, why not cook enough for an extra plate and take a Christmas lunch to your neighbour. And if you can’t join us to Knock and Check please consider donating to Kent Community Foundation so that we can ensure money gets to the local good causes that will support your elderly neighbours this winter.”


Josephine McCartney, continued, “We sincerely hope that the amazing community spirit we know exists in the county will lead everyone to get involved. By being neighbourly and carrying out small acts of kindness, together we can reduce the shocking number of avoidable deaths that occur each winter. Even if we save one life our campaign will have been successful. The elderly are often not aware of the help that is available and often do not want to ask. If you identify a problem our online Knock and Check resource directory will help match the need with the resource. Your neighbour might need advice on registering as a vulnerable person with energy suppliers, joining befriending services, community projects, or clubs and societies or help booking an appointment with citizens advice or the local authority. So please knock on your neighbour’s door and check they are OK and let Knock and Check become as popular as clapping on Thursday nights for the NHS did.” To find out more about the Knock and Check campaign and to download the resource directory visit www.


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By C h ri st i n a U pp e n k a mp - Hom e I n st e a d S e n ior Ca r e


By Christina Uppenkamp - Home Instead Senior Care

What are Senior Snippets? Senior Snippets is an advisory column brought to you by Home Instead Senior Care Dartford, written with the older members of our community in mind.

- Use physical contact to provide reassurance. Holding or patting the person’s hand or putting your arm around them might be all that is needed to let them know you are there for them.

In this edition, we will be sharing some tips and - Use visual clues. Writing your messages down or using ideas about how to communicate with people objects or pictures to help the person understand could help alleviate a breakdown in communication. living with dementia. When we think about communicating, our first instinct is to speak, but there are times when communication consists of much more than just a verbal conversation. When communicating with someone with dementia, there are many things to consider, and remember that talking isn’t always the most effective method.

Communication difficulties can be frustrating and upsetting for people with dementia as well as their carers and loved ones. Active listening, non-verbal communication, visual props, and laughter are just a few ways to help alleviate some of the tensions you may experience when engaging with those living with dementia.

To talk to someone from Home Instead or to make a Here are some ideas to help with communication: suggestion for a future topic, please email c.uppenkamp@ - Acknowledge what the person has said. Even or call 01322923750. if they don’t answer your question, express that you’ve heard them and encourage them to say more about their answer. - Use gestures, movement, and facial expressions. Physical signs and body language can all convey meaning and help get messages across, especially when speaking becomes more difficult. - Use Humour. Laughing can help to bring you closer together and may relieve the pressure. - Become an active listener. Listening is a very important aspect of engaging with someone with dementia. Look for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language to try and understand what they are trying to tell you. - Let the person express their feelings. If the person is feeling sad, don’t try and persuade them away from that feeling. Showing you care by just listening is sometimes the best method of communicating.


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When November arrives with its colder weather and darker nights, it can feel hard to see the positives, especially when money’s tight. This is the perfect season for meals that are comforting, filling and cheap. That’s not to say they can’t be healthy! With a bit of time and planning, your family can enjoy amazing, nutritious comfort food without breaking the bank. We know this because part of our work here at Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is to create budgets that prioritise food and household bills for people struggling to make ends meet.

to the supermarket, decide on your meals for the next week and what you need to buy, bearing in mind what you’ve already got in your store cupboard. Stick to your list while shopping to avoid unnecessary impulse buys. Spotted something in the reduced section or an offer? Ask yourself:

(Prices from a leading supermarket, correct at time of writing)

1. Use a fish pie mix from the supermarket (£4) 2. Add mash (loose jacket potatoes: 83p per kilo) and a nice creamy sauce (£2) 3. For extra protein, add in a boiled egg for each person (half a dozen • Is it on my list? eggs: 89p) • Is it a genuine bargain? 4. Serve with frozen veg like peas, • Am I going to use it straight away broccoli or sweetcorn (£1 for a bag) or can I freeze it?

If you feel like there is ‘more month’ If it’s ‘yes’, then pop it in the trolley. than money at the moment why not visit to sign up to a free online local budgeting course Get excited about cooking. run by the cap money Dartford team. Cooking doesn’t have to be repetitive If you’re struggling with debt and and boring. Check out jamieoliver. are worried about affording food com/family/money-saving-recipes for yourself and your family, please or for get help as quickly as possible from some fantastic meal ideas designed a free debt counselling service like for people on a budget. No internet CAP. You can contact CAP free of access? See if your local supermarket charge on 0800 328 0006. offers a free magazine – these often include a range of seasonal recipes to suit all kinds of budgets. You could Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is even start making a scrapbook or a UK charity with over 580 services binder of your family’s favourite across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, go-to recipes. job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking habitual Here’s a recipe for you to try that’s dependencies. Visit to Fail to plan, plan to fail. comforting, filling and easy: find out more. Experts suggest that creating a meal plan before you go shopping can help Fish pie (serves six) keep costs low. Before you head out Firstly, raid your cupboards. It can be hard to find inspiration for a meal when looking into an empty cupboard, so here’s a tip: each week or month, stock up on one or two handy basics to keep in the cupboard, such as a tin of chopped tomatoes or some herbs and spices. Most will last for a few months so can work out as good value for money in the long-run. With a well-stocked cupboard, you’re less likely to reach for a ready meal when you’re craving something quick and filling. Search ‘What you need in your store cupboard’ to get started.





We had three hospitals, West Hill, Joyce Green and Livingstone. Doctors’ surgeries were based on a first come first served basis – we had small pink or blue tickets showing our number in the queue. I remember my old surgery in Lowfield Street and the doctors. Dr Newton, Dr Pitt, Dr Currivan and Dr Robinson. I remember being prescribed a foul pink or yellow liquid antibiotic as I often had tonsillitis. Mum also used Liquafruta for sore throats – even now the thought of the taste makes me shudder.


It wasn’t all rosy and calm though. The ills we hear so much of today were still there; violent crime was headline news due to its infrequent nature, ‘Teddy Boys’ were viewed with suspicion, and I assume the darker crimes still took place. However, we had a police station and officers were visible on the streets. Mind you there was more to do. Dartford once boasted three cinemas, a theatre and numerous pubs. Social clubs, youth clubs and uniformed groups were far more in demand than We’ve spent several breaks there – my family today. With Netflix and the many bars available now have been visitors to the island since the 1960s, our whole idea of a night‘s entertainment has altered and it’s a tradition we carried on with our family, and now ourselves. The biggest cause for thought was how much the town centre has changed. Whether or not you regard the During the intervening years, the island has current expansion as a blessing or curse, there is no changed considerably. Geologically (rock falls), denying it is aimed more at the homeowner than the socially and culturally. From early holidays in shopper. The High Street once boasted such household Shanklin to our favoured area in West Wight, names as Marks and Spencer, Woolworth, Timothy we’ve noted the transformation over time. Some Whites and Pricerite to name but a few. Most people of my age remember Kerrs, with its unusual payment are good, others not so much. system, and Potts where you got your school uniform. Other Half and I have just returned from a week’s break on the Isle of Wight. We needed it badly, given how this year has panned out. We went on holiday in this country, choosing a favourite location, fairly isolated, out of season and self-catered.

It was a restful time, with long mornings drinking tea, reading and walking. Once home, that Perhaps though we should view what we have now; post-holiday languor remained, and I began to Wilkinsons certainly seems to have taken over from Woolworth, as the shop where you can get almost think about our town. anything and we have a plethora of quality and affordable supermarkets, although this is balanced by I believe that in some ways children of my the loss of any choice of clothing or shoe shops. It is generation were luckier than today. It was safer safer in terms of traffic, being pedestrianised, although for a start. We played outside, rode bikes madly many would argue the public transport system leaves up and down Princes Road, drew chalk hopscotch much to be desired… but then we all drive nowadays, grids without the neighbours complaining and don’t we? generally spent the time with our gangs. Summer holidays would include the obligatory visit to Danson Park and Martens Grove outdoor pool. I spent a reflective couple of hours pondering about how things have changed. Not everything modern is These were special treats! wrong, and not everything from my past was good. I’m lucky in one way that I’ve been able to observe such For the most part, we picnicked in Dartford changes. I do wish we had an outdoor swimming pool Park, where the old paddling pool used to be. though. Slippery, and no doubt riddled with germs, we thoroughly enjoyed splashing around, playing ball and biking. Mums kept an eye on us, and if Here’s to an end of these uncertain times, and just a we were out of order, it wasn’t always our mum gentle reminder that there isn’t long until Christmas! who waded in with some discipline. Everyone’s neighbours were ‘aunties’ and we were in and out of each other’s homes constantly. Stay well Dartford Living readers well. See you next month. I don’t think it did us much harm. Probably more skinned knees than today, due to roller skating on the pavements or climbing trees on the heath.



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Doodle Dozen Let’s Get Doodling is the debut title of the new and inspiring Doodle Dozen® children’s book series for kids aged 4-8 years. The series features twelve little pencil pals on their adventures with characters ‘Ziggy’ and ‘Milo’. Dartford-based author, Michelle Gibbs, wrote the series after being inspired by her sons. As parents, both Michelle and her husband have clocked many hours of reading children’s books. This not only inspired their boys to be keen readers themselves, but also inspired Michelle to write her very own children’s book series. Michelle has lived in Dartford for over 10 years. By day, she is a Doctoral Researcher but, in the evenings, Michelle is a busy mum who enjoys reading with her sons. Working in research, Michelle is no stranger to writing, but writing for children as opposed to a clinical academic readership, afforded her the unique opportunity to tap into her adventurous, creative side, which she has thoroughly embraced and enjoyed.

impossible with dedication and perseverance! Furthermore, as an Afro-Caribbean mum, it was important to the Barbadian-born author, that her boys saw characters in print that looked like them and who they could relate to. As her boys are regular users of their local library, hopefully soon they will be able to see books authored by their mummy on the shelves when they visit! Doodle Dozen Let’s Get Doodling is available from and major online book retailers! Purchase your copy today and get doodling with the Doodle Dozen! Instagram: @doodledozen Twitter: @doodledozen Facebook: @thedoodledozen Pinterest: @doodledozen Youtube: Doodle Dozen *Photo of author by Peacelily Photography

The idea of the Doodle Dozen® was born a few years ago when Michelle’s older son, started to create his very own mini ‘pencil’ books, drawn with a set of colouring pencils he’d received for Christmas a few years before and an HB pencil. After repurposing an abandoned scrapbook at home, he began drawing anything he could think of, complete with themes and numbers for each page. Within a few weeks, he’d created his very own scrapbook for doodling which inspired his little brother to get doodling too! These scrapbook doodles went onto inspire the illustrations featured in Doodle Dozen Let’s Get Doodling! As a debut children’s author, Michelle believes in the concepts of teamwork, friendship, diversity and creativity hidden within the story and published this book to encourage other young readers and show her boys that nothing is






o n l i n e THEAT R E Rou n d up


As 2020 draws to a close, there may still be a depressing lack of theatre on our doorstep here in Dartford, but things are definitely looking up a tiny bit on the arts front. Anyone who watched the Britain’s Got Talent final last month will have seen the brilliant performance by the stars of Phantom, Mary Poppins and Les Mis, which reminded us all how sensational live theatre is. You’ll also have seen the exciting announcement of a six-week run of Les Mis, starring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas and many more West End superstars. Well, I can’t tell you to go and see Les Mis, because tickets for that sold out within 24 hours of going on sale… but there are plenty of other exciting opportunities to get back to the theatre - either physically or online - coming up over the


next few weeks (we hope).

Malcolm’s excellent play about the little-known poet Emilia Bassano will be made available online for two weeks in November. It’s pay what you can, which means anyone, anywhere, can enjoy it. Visit to find out more - and get ready to roar!

First, we may not be getting our panto at the Orchard this Christmas, but the London Palladium have announced that they will host a socially distanced panto to brighten up what might otherwise be a slightly gloomy festive season. Catch Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Beverley Knight, among many others, in this star- As always, all of the above is studded celebration of all things panto. dependent on COVID restrictions staying as they are, as all shows are The National Theatre is also reopening at risk of cancellation if the situation its doors, with a topical new play by Clint gets any worse. But let’s hope that Dyer and Roy Williams, Death of England: whatever happens, our brilliant Delroy. There are 200 tickets available theatremakers across the UK will at £20 for each performance during the be able to continue to share their five-week run, so this is a great budget- talents in any way they can, so that friendly way to see an exciting piece of we can continue supporting them, new British writing at one of London’s and enjoying their work, as much greatest theatres. as we can. The show must go on! Not ready to jump on a train to the capital just yet? No problem - stay at home instead, get yourself a glass of wine or a nice cup of tea, and be inspired and educated by the hit play Emilia. After a critically acclaimed run in London last year, a recording of Morgan Lloyd

o n l i n e THEAT R E Rou n d up

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Local from Dartford Rocks on Facebook have been thiscommission month painting Are youpeople an experienced EstatePainted Agent seeking flexibility, growth andbusy a high rate?

and hiding them around town. The rocks can also be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and By Maria Kingsford Gallery located in the Orchard Shopping Centre.

Here are some great photos of their painted rocks.

Local people from ‘Dartford painted rocks’ on Facebook have been busy this month painting and hiding them around the town. The rocks can be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery located at the Orchards Shopping Centre . Here are some of the photos of their latest painted rocks.









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By Dhiren Ganesh


2021 Hyundai i20N hot hatch – this hot hatch based on the i20 small hatchback comes with a more aggressive design than the standard car, including larger air intakes in the front bumper, a bespoke rear spoiler and a 10mm reduction in ride height. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 201bhp – matching up well with the 197bhp of its key rivals. Compared to the i20, the car’s underpinnings have been strengthened and its suspension reinforced, as well as having larger, high-performance brakes fitted. The i20N features sports seats, as well as a new N-specific steering wheel, gear

knob and pedals. Available to order from Spring 2021 prices are expected to start from around £23,000.

2021 Audi E-tron GT – this will be the fifth of the all electric Audi cars which will go on sale. Pictuires have yet to be revelaved but are not expected to be too diferrent to the 2018 concept car of the same name shown below. The E-tron GT is expected to arrive with a 96kWh battery that delivers 248 miles of electric range. Plus, an 80% charge should be possible in as little as 20 minutes if you can find a rapid charger that allows the car to absorb energy at its maximum 350kW rate. The perfomance of the E-tron GT is expected to match that of its rival Tesls Model S. Audi are working on making the sound as you would expect of a sporty vehicle. Released in early 2021 prices are not yet known but should be around £75,000.

2022 Renault Megane eVision electric car – this is the first electric SUV, joining the Renault range as a bigger, more family-friendly companion to the Zoe small hatchback. From the concept car picture below to the final version the design elements that may be included are its closed-off front grille, LED lights that run the full width of the car and cameras in place of traditional door mirrors. A single 215bhp electric motor sends its power to the front wheels and is fed by an ultra-thin 60kW battery pack. This can be charged at rates of up to 130kW, meaning a 0-80% charge should take as little as 30 minutes. The inside of the car is not yet known however it will feature a large infotainment screen that can be updated wirelessly so new features and upgrades can be unlocked without drivers having to visit a dealer. With the car not expected to be on sale until Autumn 2022 prices are not known but expected to be around £26,000.



MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.00 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 01322 291092. TUESDAYS Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact Catherine on 01322 220036. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy snack time for the children For pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe. com 9:30-10:30am at Fleetdown Utd FC (near Dunelm). £5 per session if you sign up for the term, siblings go free.Contact 07770860450 or WEDNESDAYS 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £2.50 per family including all snacks and drinks. Catherine 07878658685 11.15am - SLADE GREEN AND HOWBURY COMMUNITY LIBRARY BABY AND TODDLER ACTION RHYME TIME GROUP 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ £2.50 per Adult THURSDAYS 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - 10:30-11:30am, at Fleetdown Utd FC (near Dunelm). £5 per session if you sign up for the term, siblings go free.Contact 07770860450 or FRIDAYS 9.30am-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidren up to 2. £1 per adult St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 380322 jeannehoadley@ 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child SATURDAYS 9.30am-11.30am Daddy and Me - A group for dads and male carers of children up to 5years. £1.50 includes healthy snack time for the children. St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see 2-3pm - Lego Club- ages 5 and over - Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions at Dartford Libraries - Monday 10:30am - 11am 2:15pm – 2:45pm Friday Thursday 10:30pm -11:00am Story Time Fleetdown - Tuesday 10:30am -11am Greenhithe - Thursday 2.15pm – 2.45pm - Thursday 10:45am -11:15am Longfield Summerhouse - Tuesday 10:30am – 11am Sutton-at-Hone -Monday. 2pm – 2:30pm Temple Hill - Wednesday 10.30am -11am Dartford

Come along and join in the fun! Term time only For more information please call

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SPORTING ROUNDUP Goalkeeper Petr Cech is named in Chelsea’s Premier League squad - Upcoming events in November despite having retired from playing at the end of the 2018-19 season. include: The 38-year-old, who is the club’s technical and performance adviser, was added as “emergency cover” as clubs had to name a 25-man 12-15: Golf - Masters, Augusta National squad in mid-October after the closure of both the international and 15: Football - Nations League: Belgium v England domestic transfer windows. 15-22: Tennis - ATP Finals, London Cech is one of four goalkeepers in Chelsea’s squad, with the number 18: Football - Nations League: England v Iceland 19-22: Women’s golf major - LPGA Tour 1 choice - Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world’s most expensive keeper, enduring indifferent form since the restart of last season, while new Championship signing Edouard Mendy made his return from injury very recently. 24 Nov-6 Dec: Snooker - UK Championship Whilst (almost) no-one expects him to play, there is a lot of about the last eight months that nobody expected… so who’s to say?! Chelsea has a space to fill in their squad, so why not?... at the very least it makes for good headlines.



FOR WHEN THINGS RETURN TO NORMAL c h e ck wi t h t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n


stroke survivors for stroke survivors. It provides excise classes, art sessions, outings, events and meetings. It meets at the YMCA, Dartford, DA1 1UP at 11.00 am on Tuesdays. Please contact Theo Hodges at Theo. or 0743 7100 404, for more details

charity. If you are missing the contact with other business men since you retired, why not come and join us on the last Thursday of every month. For more details contact Phil Burt on 01322 274541 or look at our website

THE NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH OF THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION meets on various date at Birchwood Country Club For more information contact Alexon 01322 228169.

THE WELLBEING LINK The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative group - call Julie On 07775875585

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S REGISTER The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group.

DARTFORD OSTOMY GROUP SUPPORT (DOGS) meet every third Wednesday in the month at St Anselm’s Parish Centre, West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HJ from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. It is for anyone who has an Ileostomy, Colostomy, Urostomy, IBS and pouch, their carers, family and friends.


ALL DIRECTIONS is a community learning organisation for adults and young people aged 16+ with physical, learning and mental health difficulties. For more information, attend a taster session or visit our community lunch club, contact Caroline on 01322 440482 or 07570 347612

JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information contact

THE STROKE ASSOCIATION has 2 groups for stroke survivors with Communication difficulties; one in Dartford and one in Gravesend. Please contact Michele at Dartford@stroke. or on 01622 3251 962.

WILMINGTON AND AXSTANE PROBUS CLUB We are a group of retired men who meet monthly for a lunch and a speaker at the Swanley Bowls Centre. We also have a monthly walk and occasional coffee mornings and as a side line we raise money for a local

HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP Dartford & Gravesham Branch. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 10-12pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more information contact Marion on 01322 402967

OVER 55’S CLUB - We meet every Wednesday 2pm to 4.30pm at Tree Community Centre, Cedar Road. We play bingo, tea and biscuits, and socialise. We also run regular coach trips to the coast throughout the year. Our club is open to anyone over 55 AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH wherever you live and costs just 60p PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP to come along and join in. So why not Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, more information visit: come and join our friendly welcoming Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1 social club? For further information Bexleyheath-surrounding-areasplease call either John Letchford on BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH social-group/ 01322 270732 or Pam Carr on 01322 PARKINSONS UK 222195. For people with Parkinsons and their DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF JOYDENS WOOD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE carers. THE THIRD AGE) meet on the third Tuesday of every Dartford: 2nd Wednesday of each meets on the first Tuesday of every month, with meetings beginning at month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30month (except August) at St Anselm’s 7.45pm. We meet at the Community 9.30pm. Information support workers Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at Centre, Birchwood Drive, Wilmington, available, guest speakers and quizzes. 2pm, For information about meetings DA2 7NE. More information can be Contact Wendy Leach. Tel: and interest groups call 01474-709068 found at 02083065973 or visit our website. (under Local Clubs and Societies).

Also, there is a social group, run by

BLUEWATER WRITERS’ GROUP We meet each week on Wednesday evenings 7pm - 9pm at Starbucks’ Coffee Shop , Bluewater Upper Guildhall, opposite Waterstones. No fees to pay, just purchase your drink or food in Starbucks and join us. All genres and writing styles are welcome


including adult fiction, young adult/ opportunities that Round Table does. teen, children’s, non-fiction, writing for stage and screen and poetry. See Check out the locally famous club h e ck wi t h t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n us oncFacebook “Bluewater Writers’ Group” Facebook search: For further info email Tony at: * Dartford Round Table * Round Table * Dartford Egg Hunt CRAYFORD AND DISTRICT PROBUS You will receive a very warm CLUB welcome. meet on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Falcon Wood Club, 1 Falcon Wood THE ROTARY CLUB OF DARTFORD Avenue, Welling at 10am. Contact We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Tony Maun 0208 306 1075 or Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd email and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm FAIRFIELD (DARTFORD) WI A warm welcome awaits you on the 2nd Tuesday of For further details phone: 07706 every month at Dartford Girls Grammar 103706 School, Shepherds Lane, DA1 2NT at 7.30pm. For more information please THE RENDEZVOUS CLUB (50+) contact Judith on 01322 278703 or Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm email Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre CRAYFORD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE 1st Description: We are a (non-profit Thursday of every month at 1.30pm. making) friendly social group open to Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, anyone over fifty. Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact We enjoy socialising, making new Secretary, Linda Lewis 01322 557229 friends and activities including Quizzes, Meals Out, Trips to the DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB Theatre, Cinema, Coach Trips, Gentle A group of retired ladies meet locally Walks and Short Breaks Away. for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. each month,. They raise funds for Annual membership £6 charity and usually invite a speaker. If you would like to join us or Join them and enjoy meeting and require further information please making new friends. If you would like telephone: more information please contact Iris Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414 (Secretary) on 01474 703448 TALK TIME MALE? AGED 18 - 45? TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME Round Table is for the guys ONLY) with Ladies Circle for the Ladies Fleetdown Library ( Everybody welcome, join us for a Dartford RT meets every 2nd and 4th friendly chat Thursday. and light refreshments. Often called the original young man’s social club, Round Table has over 400 clubs in the UK and is in 50+ countries worldwide. We have an emphasis on having a lot of FUN. We guarantee that involvement with Round Table will enhance your social life, your personal abilities, your network and best of all it is not expensive. For your chance to become involved in something very special, you need to experience it because no other organisation offers you the

HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email - WILMINGTON WOMEN’S INSTITUTE is a friendly group who meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, High Road, Wilmington. For more information on our activities please call Ann Hambridge on 01322 228082

DARTFORD ACTIVE RETIREMENT GROUP [DARTARA] We are a group that meets on second Thursday once a month 2 - 4pm at Fleetdown community centre. At the meeting we have a guest entertainer or speaker, we also organise holidays and day trips out as well as activities including theatre trips, curling, short mat bowls, indoor games, coffee and cake afternoons and an art group. Just turn up on the day or phone Maureen Dixon-Jones 01322 383337 or Glenys Theobald 01322 273108 for more information THE ROTARY CLUB OF THE NORTH DOWNS Our club, which is one of 35,000 around the World, was set up 40 years ago and has members with a wide range of interests and backgrounds. The club actively supports a number of charities locally, nationally and internationally and we continue to raise funds for Ellenor Hospices, Demelza Hospices for Children, Darent Valley Hospital and many others. We are very keen to maintain these traditions and welcome new members from the area. We also organise numerous social activities both for members and the wider community. For more information about the club’s activities and membership please contact Bob Phillips on 07815 807520 or John Smeeth on 07889 137951 THE ASSOCIATION OF BEXLEY CHARITIES ’78 will hold its Grand Autumn Fair at the United Reformed Church, Geddes Place, Bexleyheath DA6 7DJ (near the Broadway Shopping Centre) on Saturday 26th October 2019 from 9.45 am - 1.00 pm. There will be a variety of charity stalls selling Christmas Gifts and Cards; CDs and DVDs; Collectables; Jewellery; Chutneys, Jams, Cakes; Books; Children’s Toys and Games; Model Railway accessories. REFRESHMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE ENTRANCE 50P (ACCOMPANIED CHILDREN FREE) WHEELCHAIR ACCESS



FOR WHEN THINGS RETURN TO NORMAL c h e ck wi t h t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES The group meet every week at Towncentric in Gravesend and this year we are looking at Everyday Life in Medieval London. We meet every Thursday from 10.30-12.30 at £6.00 per week customers can phone me on 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website www.tonimount. DSTC ALUMNI Hi all, if you went to DSTC, DTC, Dartford West Girls or any other name that the school has been known as we would love to hear from you! The school is looking to make links with former students to help raise the profile of the school but also as a way of getting back in touch with people. There will be an event later on in the academic year and we are planning some exciting things for the group so get joining and let’s get reminiscing!! DSTCAlumni THE MANOR HALL VARIETY GROUP We meet every Tuesday at 8.00 in the Community hall (opp St Paulinus church) Crayford. We are looking for anyone who could help us with sound, lights, scenery or singing/acting on the stage - everyone welcome. Email me (Carolyn) for more details at CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy.

SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, Dartford, DA2 7RB on the 2nd Sunday of the month between 2pm and 6:30pm. It costs £6 which includes refreshments, nibbles and the use of a cricut (cutting machine for those that don’t know). Beginners are very welcome. Contact Michelle on 07910 488428 or email scrappydays@ PAVILION PLAYERS Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more information please visit www. or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome! DARTFORD BELLRINGERS Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.00-9.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Contact, phone 01322 586937 NORTH WEST KENT FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see www.nwkfhs. or ring Janet 01322384836 ERITH MODEL RAILWAY SOCIETY has been in existence for over 50 years and has well over 50 active members. As the club continues to grow new members are always welcome. The club meets on Wednesday evenings from around 7.00pm until around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms in Invicta House (aka Belvedere Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, Belvedere DA17 5DA. EMRS Club Chairman Alan Bone Tel: 0208 310 5018

DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. We are seeking new members at all levels to play Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. Enquiries: contact John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail DARTFORD FLORAL CLUB The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Carol 01322 220802 DARTFORD BOOKS AND CULTURE CLUB meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-Book-Club/ THE DARTFORD CHESS CLUB The club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm at St Anselms Parish Hall, West Hill and was founded 100 years ago in 1914. All queries to Mike Wiltshire at 01322 272152 or visit COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB This small friendly club meets each month on the 1st and 3rd Thursday afternoon in Sutton-at-Hone Village Hall. From 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Price is £3.00 to include Tea & biscuits. Occasionally we meet on a Saturday when we have a tutor with us, from 10am until 4pm Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357.


Would you like to promote a local activity on the “Where to go locally...” page? If so, email your suggestions to c h e ck wi t h t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n

WEST HILL MORRIS Come and join your local Morris side, dancing and performing in Dartford, Gravesend and Bexley areas and throughout Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable side, and can always find room for new dancers and musicians. It’s a great way of keeping fit and you’ll be helping to conserve a great English tradition. We practice alternate Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, throughout Kent, from May to August. Private Bookings taken. Contact Alison on 01322 862298, e-mail STIMUL8 ACTIVITY SERVICE I provide all the equipment, materials and refreshments with just a small all inclusive, pay as you go, fee of £10.00 per person per session. Those who come have the opportunity to learn painting with watercolours, acrylics, inks and how to draw with pencils, soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoals, watercolour pencils, fabric pens, plus basics of sculpting and have the opportunity to sign up to additional floral workshops I offer too. EXTRAORDINARY YOUTH GROUP’ - calling all 11-18 year olds who want more than an ordinary life, come hang out with other young people and discover their ultimate purpose. Every Friday in term time, 7pm-9:30pm at Net Church Dartford, near McDonalds and next to Weatherspoons. For more information email andrew@ or call 01322 272649. SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS Our Club presents a programme of workshops and demonstrations in a very informal and friendly atmosphere. We meet on the last Thursday of each month except December. Shorne Village Hall, The Street, Shorne. DA12 3EA. Visitors are always made very welcome, entry £3. We have 30 members and look forward to welcoming anyone who loves flowers. The Club provides an opportunity for people to be creative, make friends. For further information please phone Angela Hurd Telephone: 01322 407556 SWANLEY HISTORY GROUP

Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Alexandra Suite St Mary’s Road Swanley BR8 7BU. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup. or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter.

from guiding, and of course, there’s still plenty of badges to earn. We’ve introduced new topics, new skills and new ways for girls to broaden their horizons.

NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the The Community Room, Asda Gravesend Superstore, Thames Way, Gravesend DA11 0DQ. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website www. or phone 01474324734.

MODERN LINEDANCING CLASSES St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 7EG Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class learning routines from differing genres to popular music providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience or partners necessary. Contact Kay 01322 276528

There are lots of flexible ways to volunteer so no matter how much time you have you can #inspiregirls too. If you would like to find out more please register your interest


BEXLEY PHILATELIC SOCIETY Meetings first and third Friday of the month at Freemantle Hall, Bexley village, 7:30 for 7:45 start. Covering stamps and postal history, meetings offer displays, auctions, competitions, and convivial atmosphere. More information on www. MAKE A NOISE CHOIR Singing songs from the shows and having fun! We meet every Tuesday from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. at St Anselm’s Church, West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HJ GIRLGUIDING – DARTFORD DIVISION Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women aged 5-18 in the UK. There are more than 30 groups in the Dartford area run by our amazing volunteers who inspire girls every week.

We meet every third Thursday of each month, between 19:30 & 21:30 at the following local hall: Pheonix Place Community Hall Pheonix Place, Dartford, DA1 2XG If you have any questions, please contact our Club Secretary Tony Pringle who will be only too happy to help. Please use the following options: Email: 07738 698284


Our new programme delivers the fun and varied range of activities that you expect




c h e ck wi t h t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n

HAWLEY AND SUTTON AT HONE Swanscombe Leisure Centre. ACTIVE RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION Call Saj on 07903 513104 (HASARA) We meet on the 2nd Thursday in the scout hut Sutton at Hone at 2pm. Other social activities include pub lunches, art and craft, short mat bowls, petanque, walks, coach outings, etc. We are a friendly and young at heart club. Do join us. Ring Jim on 01322 221736 or Carol on 07912564710 or just turn up.

ORCHARDS JUNIOR SCALE MODEL CLUB. We welcome everyone from age 8 and upwards. We meet on a Tuesday evening from 6pm onwards in The Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre. We deal with all sorts of scale models from Airfix and similar, Warhammer, model railways etc. We charge £1 per week per person and any under 16’s need to be accompanied by an adult. We have a small number of kits available to purchase at a reasonable rate.

SPORTS GROUPS AND CLUBS WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up this para sport please contact us on 01474 871484 or alternatively look at our website ERITH YOUTH RUGBY Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515

KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB DARTFORD GYMNASTICS is the only British Gymnastics Club Coach Martin - 07944 730634. in Dartford All ages from 7 years to adult to hold the”GymMark” Award for welcome 6 years. Based in Heath Lane, we are a ENERGY FITNESS AND NUTRITION friendly club with super equipment, great I run group fitness classes as coaches and high standards. We well as 1-1 and semi private do lots of competitions and we do personal training sessions in not close through the holidays! Darenth at Dimples Day Nursery DA2 7HT. ENERGY Fitness & Visit our website www.dartNutrition: we offer a wide variety for full details or contact Linda on 01322 of group classes such as strength & conditioning, boot camps, 409312 or email dartfordgymBoxercise, mum and baby classes, inside and outside classes with great equipment and suitable for LEARN KARATE all abilities. Learn karate with Yamato The website is Damashii – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday HARTLEY SWIMCLUB AT WHITE morning at Becket Sport Centre, OAK POOL, SWANLEY first lesson free. We are a friendly group of adults For more info, visit www.ydma. who meet for a social swim every club or find us on Facebook, Thursday at 9pm. We’re looking search for Yamato Damashii for new members. Why not give Martial Arts. us a try? Contact Diane on 01689 871846 or Yoga with Emma join us one Thursday. Europa Gymnastics Centre: - Wednesdays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am - Fridays: Yin Yoga – 10.45am to 11.45am Becket Sports Centre: - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 7.00pm to 8.00pm

Please see www.samadhi-yoga. for more information or email Emma at LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 &“ 5 YEAR OLDS Sundays 54 10:15-10:45 at

DARTFORD JU JITSU CLUB Mondays 7-8pm for 7-16s at the Dartford Girls Grammar, Shepherds Lane Dartford DA1 2NT in the Dance Studio. We have an adult class 8-10pm too. We’ve been running for 20 years, building confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening the target, developing skills and always welcome new members. DARTFORD ORIENTEERING CLUB For more details see www.dfok. HOP LIKE IT’S HOT

A fun (different) circuit based SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD workout with space hoppers that Seeds is a long-established cycling challenges core stabilty, balance and Club in Dartford and we share strength. ist suitable c h e ckItwi h t h e provifor d e r sall tolevels s e e if t h e y a rour e st i lheadquarters l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n at Hesketh with and abilities. Classes are held every Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for Wednesday evening at the stone most abilities and have a social ride pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 most Saturday mornings. For info on costing £5 per person. joining us please visit our website THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON CLUB, DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK Friendly club seeking new members. TRIATHLON CLUB Abilities mixed. We are the local British Triathlon Would suit players with some prior Federation Club covering Bexley, experience. Dartford and Swanley. We offer Thursdays at 7.45-9.45pm, Dartford coached swimming sessions 3 Girls’ Grammar School, DA1 2NT times per week at White oak pool For further information please email: in Swanley and Fairfield pool in Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then WAR GAMES AND MODEL CLUB please visit our website Based in Erith we have a wide number of members from across SE http://www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri. London and Kent. A great place to come and have a game, make, paint and hobby! Or, if you prefer, come DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS grab a cup of tea and chat about all Dartford Road Runners are based things hobby and some things not! at Princes Park Stadium and are For more info visit - https://emperone of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities DARTFORD PARKRUN including a beginners group. DRR Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k teams compete in the Kent League, run every Saturday morning starting the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join get a time a position emailed and us with all abilities. texted after the event. To register go to node/440 Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – CLUB registration is the same. Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, DARTFORD HEATH PARKRUN Dartford’s 2nd parkrun event is now making it one of the oldest clubs in live. The run starts behind the Heath the country. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you advance Lane car park and is a free 5k run your Athletics then please visit our every Saturday morning at 9am. website Parking is restricted in the area so please do not park in Heathclose Road and wherever possible please walk. CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can FOOTSCRAY MEADOW PARKRUN A new Parkrun event with parking at provide access to a state of the art running track (re-laid in 2015) Crazy Barn and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per

session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge, we hold coached track sessions on Wednesday evenings for runners of all abilities. This is a tough but very popular way to increase your stamina and running technique, and you’ll be in the company of qualified coaches and some of the friendliest runners around. For more information please visit our website Every Sunday 10-11am – Child friendly coached sessions – Come and join the CPA Swifts – As a fledgling club we would like to give children of all ages and abilities the chance to experience training and coaching within a club environment – come and be part of the team Free first session with this advert SO LET’S GO RUNNING (SLGR) SLGR is a local running club with structured training sessions designed to improve runners speed and stamina. There are currently four runs available with more starting soon; see below for more details. The Run leaders for each group are as follows; Dartford Cricket Club, Dartford Dawn & Brian Cyclopark, Gravesend - Dawn & Brian New runners are always welcome, and you can contact Brian if you would like more information; see contact details and e-mail link on Our Group page. YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES Every Tuesday from 6-7pm &Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00pm at Peppercorns, 3 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. For more information please call The Hope Group on 07580 615206. THE ASHES BADMINTON CLUB Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 8-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854.


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ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Downton Ali Associates.........................................60 Martin Ives & Co.......................................................9 Urban Sticks...........................................................13 BUILDERS, DECORATORS, ROOFING, BATHROOMS, HEATING, KITCHENS, WINDOWS & DOORS A Baynes.................................................................38 Claremont Decorative Services.............................36 Steve Cook - Double Glazing..................................22 The Double Glazing Repair Man..............................4 CAR CARE ChipsAway..............................................................10 CHILDREN Bip Bop Shop.........................................................26 CLEANING APC Cleaning.........................................................10 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ......................................5 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS Alexander, Charles and Brown..............................46 Fox Estates ............................................................11 Wisdom Estates......................................................23 FARM SHOP H&M Foods.......................................................5 & 38


FLORIST Dartford Florist......................................................19 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage......................................................60 Shenley Road Garage............................................26 GARDENING Bow Arrow Gardening............................................38 HEALTH Churchill...................................................................9 Home Instead...........................................................4 HC One...................................................................19 Priory Mews...........................................................18 Release and Liberate.............................................12 JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23 NURSERY Holy Trinity Church Pre School.............................46 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Crest Yoga..............................................................35 On Pointe Pilates....................................................19 Simple Fitness........................................................14 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.................................................43 PHOTOGRAPHER Red Photography...................................................12

PICTURE FRAMING CraftcFrames. h e ck wi t h...........................................................38 t h e provi d e r s to s e e if t h e y a r e st i l l op e n d uri n g lock d ow n PRINTERS Darenth Print..........................................................15 RESTAURANT/ TEA ROOMS/CAFE EFES.........................................................................7 The Churchyard......................................................43 SCHOOL/ COLLEGE Oakfield/ Temple Hill Nursery...............................12 Bean Primary School ............................................15 TAXI 1to8 Travel............ .................................................18 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing ....................................................21 WEBSITE DESIGN/ MARKETING Dartford Living Marketing......................................17


THINKING OF ADVERTISING? We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £40 for a month. We don’t just take your money and add you to the magazine. We want to work with you to promote your businesses as much as we can using our website and social media channels for maximum exposure. We can also provide advertising options solely online on your website and/ or social media channels. We feel we have every base covered. To book in an advert call 01322 507817 or email David Shafford

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KEY NUMBERS Police 01622 690690 NON EMERGENCY ONLY Fire Safety Advice & FREE Home Fire Safety Check 0800 169 1125 Dartford Borough Council 01322 343434 Gas Leaks (24 hour) 0800 111 999 EDF Energy Networks Emergencies/ Powercuts Helpline 105 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames) HEALTH Darent Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartford East Health Centre 01322 421480 Boots Chemist Bluewater 01322 624780 (Late Night) ASDA Greenhithe Chemist 01322 374100 (Late Night) The National Pandemic Flu Service 0800 1513 100 West Kent NHS helpline 0800 0 850850 TRAVEL Heathrow Airport Enquires 08700 000123 Gatwick Airport Enquires 08700 002468 National Rail Enquires 08456 484950 Highways England Info Line 0300 123 5000 HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline: 0800 500 3014


Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line: 0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 116 123 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250 Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www.

Call 999 in an Emergency Fire, Police, Ambulance and Coastguard 101 Non Emergency Number for Kent Police Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 111 NHS Non Emergency Number Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312. ‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes ParkContact: 01322 299990 Dartford Valley RFC darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

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