Dartford Living August 2022

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Dartford’s First Ever Big Day Out Giving Your Small Business A Boost Actively Involved With Healthy Living Centre KatieBKids Family Fun At Bluewater Walk Through History In Dartford Town Centre 20 Years Of Orchard Garage Travel News- with Harden Holidays Life Under the Stairs Valley Park Radio Walking With The Darts Senior Snippets Thank You For Taking Part The Argonauts Painted Rocks Breastfeeding Summer Reading Challenge Car News Here, Cher and Everywhere Debbie’s Delicious Recipe Where to go Locally Local Clubs and Associations Advertisers Index Useful Numbers

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DARTFORD LIVING MAGAZINE PRINTED BY: Dear Dartford Living Readers, Welcome to the August magazine - we hope you like it! We continue to 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 never 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 neighbours. You will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! If you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our e-newsletter mailing list and you will join over 30,000+ local people who read the magazine each month. Take care, Vijay Editor - Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)


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THOUSANDS ENJOY A SUN-SOAKED BIG DAY OUT IN DARTFORD Dartford’s first ever Big Day Out drew thousands of people to a Central Park basked in sunshine on Saturday 16th July. Live music, a Celebration of Steam, Kids Zones and roaming entertainment were all warmly received by families enjoying the return of a big summer event to the park after two years of lockdown restrictions.

everything the day had to offer. “Setting up a new event is always a challenge, On top of free entry, Dartford Borough Council but it was great to see the community come offered free ride vouchers, plus money off food together and enjoy a great day out in the and drink, to help families enjoy everything the sunshine. Big Day Out had to offer. Leader of the Council Jeremy Kite MBE said: “It was wonderful to welcome crowds back to Central Park for a big summer celebration. Things may have been a little different compared to previous years, but we had some great feedback from visitors who enjoyed

“We have more great events to come over the summer, including the last of our Open Air Theatre and bandstand performances. Plus we’ll be releasing dates for the Outdoor Cinema very soon. “I’d like to thank all of our partners for their brilliant contribution, including CohesionPlus and CelebTime.” Photos: Andy Barnes Photography



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It is starting to look like the dark days of the pandemic are behind most businesses and many are having a strong operational bounce back. However, some still aren’t back to where they envisioned and business is slow. This could be due to a variety of factors including; industry, product, service or customer behaviour. Take a look at the difficulties some airlines are experiencing for example; a severely impacted industry during the pandemic, staff shortages and a post pandemic boom in demand have all contributed to a failure to deliver the service levels customers had come to expect. If your business is experiencing a lull in demand or interest, we’ve got 4 ways you can give your business a boost to help develop it further and see it thrive in the long-term. Check them out below! 1. Develop a sound Marketing plan A sound marketing plan can help your business to better identify your target market and what benefit your product or service can bring to it. A good strategy can also identify how you might attract new customers and how to encourage your existing customers to continue purchasing your product or service. As you develop a marketing plan, you will need to consider: · your target audience · their needs · how you can meet those needs Top Tip: If you’re on social media think about what your audience will want to see or what problem they need to solve rather than pushing what you want to sell them – trust leads to custom.

It can also be a good idea to look at your existing audience and go for similar, like for like customers. Use everything at your disposal; letter, email, SMS, social media and phone to reach them. 3. Access finance To grow your business - whether that’s investing in capital, expanding your products or increasing outlets - investment is needed, and sometimes that will come from external sources. There are many different types of funding available to small businesses. Whether accessing funding through loans, crowdfunding or other sources, inspiring confidence in lenders through planning and forecasting will play in your favour. 4. Build a team you can trust As much as it can be tempting to try, no business owner can do everything on their own, so it’s important to hire the best people possible and share responsibilities effectively. Hiring a good accountant, will add expertise and knowledge in areas you may not be as strong in and hold you accountable to the targets you set. We’re a crew of accountants on a mission to help businesses, like yours, grow. If you’d like to speak to us about your business or personal accounting needs, call us on 01322555442 or see our advert on page 22.

Keep your eyes open for local advertising opportunities and make the most of free direct email marketing tools to keep in touch with your audience. 2. Explore different Sales avenues Developing a sales strategy involves trial and error, it can take time, but remember perseverance pays. Here are some of the ways you can connect with potential customers and close those allimportant sales for your business: Network Build local business connections Follow up email interest Cold call, in person Use social media direct messaging Nurture existing customers



ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH HEALTHY LIVING CENTRE DARTFORD you. For all our most up-to-date information follow us on Facebook or Instagram, send us an email at info@hlcdartford.org.uk or call us on 01322 311265. Everyone is welcome to join our activities, which include: • Tai Chi • Chair Based Yoga/Gentle Exercise • Zumba Gold • Yoga • Circ-Hiits • Cookery Club • Community Gardening • Community Hub, with our Repair and Community Cafes, arts & crafts, board games and therapy tasters • Training courses – for employability skills and leisure • Lunch Club We are planning to add new programmes to our offer in the Autumn. Sam Phillips, Partnerships Manager at Involve says:


“At Involve, we are delighted for the opportunity to work in partnership with Healthy Living Centre Dartford as part of our wider Universal Community Wellbeing Programme, ‘Actively Involved’.

Local people looking for affordable and fun activities are invited to join us at Healthy Living By working with local organisations, “Actively Centre Dartford for our weekly or monthly sessions. Our calendar is jam-packed with a wide range of activities, classes, and clubs from exercise to language lessons to gardening and arts & crafts. Many of these activities are offered free, and those with a cost are just £2.50 per session. Healthy Living Centre Dartford is working in partnership with Involve Kent on the Universal Community Wellbeing Programme ‘Actively Involved’. Along with other organisations across Kent, the Actively Involved programme is designed to deliver a diverse range of activities to improve the wellbeing of over 55s, or those who are under 55 with long term health conditions. You can find Healthy Living Centre Dartford activities at both Tree Estate and Temple Hill Community Centres, where our team of friendly volunteers and staff will be happy to welcome 8


Involved” aims to deliver a wide range of exciting and accessible new activities, support services and specialist advice, to those who are over 55, and those under 55 who have long term health conditions in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley. Through collaboration with Healthy Living Centre Dartford, we aim to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the local community.”

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For more information, contact Sam by email, sam.phillips@involvekent.org.uk or telephone 07796 593472. In addition to our programme of regular activities, Healthy Living Centre Dartford are continuing to host our series of “Making Memories” events in Temple Hill, funded by Dartford Borough Council. Throughout August, the events will be weekly on Tuesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd with lots of opportunities for local people to enjoy themselves, either on Temple Hill Square or in Temple Hill Community Centre (weather dependant). If you would like to get involved, have a stall, or run a demonstration at any of our events, please get in touch.

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of fun, tasty and no waste! • Spaghetti Writing – Help pre-schoolers develop their finger muscles and fine motor skills, both essential when it comes to learning to write. Play dough, using scissors, kneading dough and mark making are all great early literacy activities make home-made spaghetti and see what shapes and letters you can create. • Box It! – Use old cardboard boxes to create everything from rockets to fire engines, a makeshift Noah’s Ark for toys or a boat to adventure across the living room floor. Firing up the imagination, developing construction skills and learning to think about size and shapes. Rockets Made Of Cardboard! Can you imagine building your own rocket and flying to the moon - just using cardboard boxes?! For toddlers and young children interactive hands-on play is about more than just having fun. Educational research shows that creative play gives pre-schoolers important opportunities to explore ideas and begin to learn about the world by harnessing their natural curiosity and creativity.

FREE PARENT WORKSHOP - KatieB Kids are offering a great workshop for parents of young children on how to bring creative play into everyday life with pre-schoolers. Tues 13th September, 7pm at KatieB in Stone – Find out more at www.katiebkids.co.uk

With many young children spending more time at home over the holidays, we asked creative play specialist Louise Buckley of KatieB Kids Nursery in Stone for some top tips for parents on how to keep little hands occupied and help young minds grow whilst having fun this summer. • Keep Cool With Water Play - In warm weather set up a container of water outside (or in your bathtub) and let children experiment with what floats, sinks, or absorb water. Keep it simple with bottle corks, squeezy sponges and plastic bowls or use short pieces of string to make ‘floating’ letters and number shapes. Or make a mini car-wash where children can enjoy splashing by washing their toy cars. • Fruity Numbers – Encourage numeracy and help children stay cool and hydrated with ice cubes and small pieces of fruit to sort and count or support dexterity by making fruit kebabs. Lots 12



Summer holidays are here and with six weeks of miniport children’s boats a go. These bright and time to fill many are looking for different ways to colourful boats are designed for little sailors to spend time with family and friends. take the helm. Whether you trust them or not is a different story. Our 8 year old took far too much Dartford Living spent the day at Bluewater recently delight in being in control of the boat for our near with kids in tow to try out some of the activities 20 minute journey and reminded me why I do the available outside of the shops and restaurants. driving! Perhaps not as relaxing for me as the GoGo boats but the children absolutely loved them. We were excited to try out the brand new mini port children’s boats and GoGo boats which Our final stop of the day was the Pirate Cove mini launched a few months ago on the lake outside golf. The pirate themed courses were great fun the Wintergarden (near to the food court). for adults and children alike with plenty of variety in the layout of the holes and interesting set ups The shark-themed electric GoGo boats are for each one. We played 18 holes which took us ergonomically designed to ensure a comfortable around an hour but if you are up for the challenge trip across the lake and although we only had four you can take on both sides of the course and go passengers we were told they could hold up to for an epic 36 holes! six. The 30 minute time slot is perfect for making a few trips around the lakes with plenty of chance Even with a few showers (we were very kindly to also take a look at some of the wildlife making brought umbrellas by the staff to borrow as we home there (we spotted some coots and ducks on finished up) we had a really great time as a family our travels). The GoGo boat is joystick controlled doing this. We were there with a 5 and 8 year old which means that it is easy enough for anyone who found the course the perfect balance of fun to use, even as nautical newbies we managed to and a challenge. avoid getting stuck in any shallow waters! For more information head to the Bluewater website. If you want something a bit smaller then give the www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk



Explore Dartford’s historic centre and you’ll find evidence of its colourful past all around. Dartford residents have laid Roman roads, built up businesses and advanced the Industrial Revolution whilst living and working in the town. Unfortunately, not all of them have fond memories of the area – but more on that later… First, put yourself in the shoes (or sandals) of a Roman. Navigating Dartford itself was tricky, seeing as the River Darent ran right through it, so they came up with a solution: creating a paved ‘ford’ to provide easier access – hence the name ‘Dartford.’ This enabled Watling Street (one of the first Roman roads built in Britain) to run through the town, linking central London to Canterbury. Saxon settlements have been recorded within the town centre and throughout the local area, with the origins of Holy Trinity church being traced back to this time. Quick Quiz: Where in Dartford can you find the ‘Darenth Bowl?’ A) Central Park B) Dartford Museum C) TKMAXX

had such a dim view of the area… ‘Dirty Dartford; peculiar people. They bury their dead above the steeple!’ Richard Trevithick A walk around Dartford wouldn’t be complete without a stroll in Central Park, with its landscaped gardens, playground and bandstand. Originally meadows, local dignitary Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Newman Kidd bequeathed the land to the council in 1903, solely for the purpose of public recreation. Military camps were set up there during World War One and when Dartford Library opened in 1916, some of its first customers were wounded soldiers from local military hospitals. In 1919, the library became joined with Dartford Museum – although earlier museum collections existed in the borough, including that owned by ornithologist John Latham. As a challenge, why not complete your town centre tour with a visit to the museum and find out more about him (and the famous Dartford Warbler..?)

Dartford market has always been at the heart of the town, with a market house first established in 1576. Dartford Grammar School was also founded in that year and the sixteenth century saw a boom in local industries such as linen weaving and paper making. Blue Plaque Alert! Next time you pop into Boots see if you can spot the blue plaque in honour of Jane Austen, who stayed at The Bull Inn on her travels through Kent. Another resident of The Bull was railway pioneer *Answer: B) – This and other Saxon finds are on Richard Trevithick, who is also commemorated display in the Dartford Borough Museum. with a blue plaque. Clair Humphries is a freelance writer and Content Spare a thought for poor old Richard Trevithick. Partner for Ordnance Survey. Despite developing the first steam locomotive, Website: www.clairhumphries.com he died penniless and was buried locally in an Twitter: @clairhumphries unmarked grave – which might explain why he Instagram: clair_humphries 14


Amelia Street & The Big Blue at Bexley Park Sports & Social Club Friday 9th September 2022 Start Time: 7pm Tickets: £5 Calvert Drive, Dartford, DA2 7GA

The Big Blue




You may have seen our pink car (sadly stolen earlier this year) at schools and events around the area. We support both Dartford Cricket Club and Fun Friends Group (who offer support to children and young adults between the ages of 7 and 21 in this area) by both fundraising and taking part in their activities and events. You may have seen us advertising events we organise and again, we thank those of you who come along and encourage us. On the 24th of August, we will have been an active As we’ve got busier, we’ve taken on more people Dartford business for 20 years! – there are now 19 of us, all local! These days, we work on vans and the more involved jobs at As many of you know, Orchard Garage Limited Heath Lane, as it’s a much bigger site. Park Road, started in the town centre, behind the Orchard as well as continuing to be a very busy workshop, Theatre, in the Orchard Quarter of Dartford, when is our main car sales site. Both sites offer all the we bought Orchard Autos from Dave and Fino. usual servicing and repairs needed, including Whilst that site was great for us, we quickly started electric and hybrid vehicles - all our technicians to fill it. Then the landlords decided they were have attended EV training. Both sites offer Class going to develop it, which meant we definitely 4 MOT’s, which can now be booked on-line via had to find a new home. We managed to buy http://orchardgarageltd.wsptm.com or via our Park Road Garage (formally Bell Brothers) in 2005, website www.orchardgarageltd.co.uk. Heath Lane and our journey continued from there until we can also do Class 2 – motorbikes. We share 10 bought the Dartford Motors site on Heath Lane courtesy cars (including 2 automatics) between us. in 2019. Since then, we’ve been trading from both sites. The timing couldn’t have been worse Our big news is, after 20 years, we have decided with the pandemic etc, but we have wonderful to step back slightly and let the next generation customers who have supported us and of course take over. We’ll still be working a couple of days we have the fantastic teams who work at each a week, but in the background. Our daughter, site. We have built our business mainly on word Jane will continue to manage Park Road and our of mouth, so to any of you reading this who have son Adam will be managing Heath Lane. Over helped in that way, we really do appreciate it. We the years many customers have become friends now have two busy sites. and we hope our children have the privilege to Orchard Garage Limited is very much a Dartford company. Both Geoff and I grew up in and around Dartford, so we’ve been a part of this area for more years than we want to admit! We are very grateful for all our customers and our way of saying thank you is to be an active part of the local community. 16

say the same when it’s their turn to step back. All five of the family will continue to work for Orchard Garage - it’s still the same company, with the same team and the same commitment to our customers and community. Here’s to the next 20 years!





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by Harden Holidays We are very proud to have been nominated for Best High Street Travel Agency in this year’s British Travel Awards. We would love to bring this sought-after accolade to Dartford. The British Travel Awards are the home of the largest poll of consumer opinion on the best companies operating in leisure travel. Voting is open between now and 2nd October 2022, scan the below QR code to vote. Once you have registered you will be automatically entered into their voters’ prize draw with the chance to win some fantastic prizes - cruises, holidays, safaris, hotel vouchers, car rentals to name just a few.

Since 2008 the British Travel Awards has been polling public opinion on leisure travel companies. They have no affiliation or stakeholder interest with any travel or travel publishing companies. The award accreditations are determined solely by the number of public votes cast. Over the last five years an average of 312,000 individuals have annually registered their votes. This level of participation, combined with the straightforward voting process, has established the British Travel Awards as the gold standard for enterprises operating in the leisure travel sector. In what have been the most turbulent years in 20


living memory for the travel industry we finally appear to have reached a turning point with the world opening up and people impatient to travel. We are very pleased to be one of the companies who through tenacity, ingenuity and passion for the industry have weathered the storm. Here is what we deliver to our clients:

7. HELP WITH DOCUMENTS – Passport, but what else? Visa, Health Forms, PCR tests, antigen tests, travel insurance, Passenger Locator Forms and the list goes on. Travel is the most complex it has ever been, we will make sure you have all the right documents ready for travel.

8. COMPARISON SHOPPING – We know how to 1. CONVENIENT ONE-STOP SHOPPING – So much make the most of your budget. We carefully curate goes into the perfect holiday: lodging, cruise ship, all the options finding you the best holidays at flights, ground transportation, activities, tours. As the right price point. travel agents we handle this and much more. 9. CONSUMER ADVOCATE - Should you encounter 2 . E X P A N D E D P O S S I B I L I T I E S – W e m a k e any issues before or during your trip we are here enhancements and suggestions for your holiday to act on your behalf to ensure proper resolutions that you may have not been aware off. We are are made. One phone call to us and we will in the business of making awesome memories! handle the rest. 3. SAVE TIME – Planning a holiday is complex and 10. CUSTOMER SERVICE – We pride ourselves with time consuming. Let us handle the calls, research our award-winning customer service. We look and booking so you don’t have to. after you so you can have the peace of mind that comes with working with an experienced travel 4. LESS STRESS – Feeling overwhelmed by options? professional who has your best interest at heart. Worrying you missed an important detail? Booking The information you enter is used solely for with us eliminates all the stress. statistical purposes, to verify your vote(s) and enter the prize draw. There is no check box on the 5. EXPERTISE AND INSIDER KNOWLDEGE– In addition registration form to opt-in/opt-out of receiving to our personal experience we continuously attend information from other companies because webinars, product and supplier training and have they DO NOT share your personally identifiable a huge amount client feedback to rely on. We are information with any third parties. in constant communication with our suppliers, we know the latest itineraries for cruising, airline Scan the QR code below, follow the links for our social sales dates, new hotel openings, policy changes media platforms or visit www.britishtravelawards. and much more. com to cast your vote. We thank you for your support both with votes for the awards and your 6. FINANCIAL PROTECTION – Our trade organisation ongoing bookings throughout the year. membership (TTA) and our ATOL License ensures your money is 100% protected.

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lead the way. Our diets are changing with more of us exploring vegetarian and vegan cooking. We are more conscious of where our food comes from regarding its provenance and production. Hybrid and electric vehicles are fiercely marketed, although I’m still unsure as to their viability as a replacement for petrol. Perhaps if we had a better public transport system I could be persuaded into leaving the car at home more often. I wonder if this is the positive side of the pandemic? While lockdowns were enforced, shops and leisure outlets were closed, and we were asked to work from home, we also had time to indulge in new hobbies and take stock of what we wanted from our lives. Hi All I wonder if you are basking in this heatwave, drink in hand, surveying the garden; maybe having friends round for a BBQ, or talking late into the night over a bottle of wine.

I am not downplaying the appalling effects of Covid. Far from it. I have friends who shielded for almost two years; I learned of the loss of family members, missed weddings and birthdays, and the awful pain of not being able to grieve at a funeral.

Or maybe you are cursing the hot nights, unable Things won’t go back to normal. There is a new to sleep even with all the windows open. version of normal. While it includes the choice to mask up, to meet up in a large group or maintain We complain about the weather constantly. some degree of social distancing, it also offers It’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy. Instead the choice to live a simpler, more grounded of moaning about it, I think we should look at life, happy in the company of friends, pottering lessons we’ve learned to date. around the garden or trying out anything from painting, knitting or upcycling our possessions. We are all aware of the damage mankind has Hybrid working offers a far better work life done to the climate system over the years, from balance than the outdated 9 to 5 routine. greenhouse gas emissions to soil erosion to the Let’s carry on taking those small steps. decline in pollinating insects and mammals. Yet there are signs we’re making the changes. We are embracing green energy for starters; I drove to Bluewater yesterday and noted with interest the many houses with solar panels fitted. There are several ‘rewilded’ areas around our county all benefiting bees and butterflies. We have seen an increase in refill shops, where you can buy the amount you require whether it is pasta, tea or laundry liquid. More of us have taken to growing our own fruit and veg, whether we are patio gardeners or have taken on an allotment. Such individual steps aren’t going to cure the problem overnight, but small steps 26

I’m taking a break from writing for Dartford Living for a while. There are radical changes afoot here at Stevenson Towers and we’re undergoing a transformation of sorts. I need to prioritise life for the future, so have put my writing on the back burner. I will be back later this year. Thank you for reading my ramblings over the past few years. Thanks for the feedback I have received (mainly positive). Hope to meet up again. Mahalo Dartford People


VALLEY PARK RADIO Since 2000 Valley Park Radio’s dedicated volunteers have been providing entertainment and music to the patients, staff and visitors of Darent Valley Hospital. We think hospital radio is amazing and should be supported and we are not alone. Research has shown that hospital radio has a positive impact on a patient’s wellbeing. It gives patients a sense of belonging, relieves boredom and loneliness and is a calming influence at what can be for many a difficult time in a strange environment. Like most hospital radio stations Valley Park Radio were significantly impacted by the Covid pandemic. We are now starting to return to normal (whatever that is!) Our recent recruitment drive has been hugely successful and we are in the process of training up a whole host of new presenters. This means we will be able to offer even more live shows. During the summer we are attending a number of local events to help to fundraise for the hospital and our radio station. We have even updated our previously out of

date broadcasting software. All of this is fantastic however we do need your help. We totally understand that times are tough for many at the moment, however we are a selffunding charity and rely on donations to continue our work. The good news is you can donate without giving us extra money. When you next shop at Amazon go to www.Smile.amazon.co.uk log in and search for Valley Park Radio. Then Amazon will give us a percentage of your total shop at no cost to you. If you would like to support us in any other way, we would like to hear from you, please email us on studio@valleyparkradio.org. uk . You can also listen to us online via live radio, radio online, or just go to our website and click the listen live to VPR button.

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Men’s team photos by Carol White-Griffiths, Women’s` Taur Everard

Alan Dowson’s side will now entertain both Barnet and Boreham Wood, as well as travelling to Bromley, Chatham Town and Canvey Island to complete their pre-season. The team will then begin the season by travelling to Bath City and newly promoted Taunton Town, while hosting new boys Cheshunt followed by Havant and Waterlooville in the opening four fixtures. Alan Dowson also remains extremely busy in the transfer market, as he continues to build his squad. Former Darts, Charlie Sheringham and Alex Wall, both signed for the club alongside Maxwell Statham. Midfielder Keiran Murtagh and Hello again, welcome to another edition of Walking goalkeeper Dan Wilks have re-signed, while recent With The Darts, a monthly update on all things trialists Luke Coulson and Davide Rodari have also related to Dartford FC, courtesy of Dartford Living joined the Darts… the latter on loan from Crawley Magazine. Town for six months. At the time of writing, both Dartford FC and Dartford FC Women are well into their pre-season preparations. Both sets of players are balancing their private lives together with club commitments, while being trained hard by managers Alan Dowson and Connor Dymond respectively. With the intensity of training increasing, preseason friendlies have also been coming thick and fast during an exceptionally hot summer. The coaching staff, physios, and club doctor have been vigilant in ensuring that the players are completely hydrated, whilst getting them to the required fitness levels for the long season ahead.

A few more signings are expected during the coming weeks, as the manager continues to assess trialists and the Dartford FC Academy lads during pre-season. The same can be said of Connor Dymond, as he continues to assess his squad for the season

The men’s First Team has already entertained both Charlton Athletic and Millwall at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Both games were exciting to watch, regardless of the (expected) results. What was pleasing to see as well was the amazing bumper crowds of 2,775 and 3,952 respectively. Thank you to everyone who came along.



ahead. With number one goalkeeper Jade Charlton unavailable due to pregnancy, the team’s main point of focus is to bring in a goalkeeper. And, the manager was very impressed with a young trialist who performed extremely well to keep a clean sheet in the ladies’ recent 1-0 victory over Hastings United FC Women in their opening preseason friendly.

and take part in the “training” session, which was an excellent experience for the children present. As always, thank you for your continued support and thanks for reading.

Connor’s side will then entertain Herne Bay FC Women and London Seaward Women, while travelling to Crawley Wasps FC Women and Springfield Road FC during their August preseason. So, be sure to attend and show the team your support. In addition, the ladies are also looking for a physio to join their coaching staff, as they attempt to build towards claiming league honours in the London & South East Regional Women’s League this season. Off the pitch, the First Team’s Meet & Greet was a successful event. Many people turned up to see Alan Dowson and his coaching staff put the players through their paces in the first training session of the season. During the final hour, everyone was invited to enter the 3G pitch and meet the players





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SENIOR SNIPPETS By Christina Uppenkamp - Home Instead

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Christina Uppenkamp of Home Instead Dartford. In this edition, we are going to look at some of the common myths surrounding the role of the Care Professional. We want to help people understand what caregiving entails and to encourage people to think about a career in care. According to Skills for Care, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England, there are approximately 90,000 vacancies in the social care sector at any given time. Here are the top 5 myths surrounding CAREGiving: Myth 1: Care Giving consists only of routine tasks. Many people believe that Care Professionals only have about 15 minutes for each care visit and they mostly provide task based care such as help around the house, medication reminders and perhaps drive their client to the grocery store or pharmacy if they have time. But Care Professionals do so much more than that! They provide a large amount of social and emotional support which can be as impactful on their client’s wellbeing as those performing physical activities. Myth 2: Care workers are unskilled. Care Professionals are among some of the most skilled healthcare workers in the sector. Carers will always have opportunities to increase their skills or specialise in certain areas, and the sector is constantly changing and growing to meet the needs of the ageing population. There are over 50 qualifications at different levels in social care, so it is important to speak to your employer about learning and developing new skills. Myth 3: Being cared for in your home is only for the very ill. Many elderly people want to live at home for as long as possible, but might require a little bit of extra help around the house. In these instances, non-medical home care, including personal care and companionship services can be provided by professional Care Pros.

help with driving, shopping and doing housework. Companionship care is also vital to those living on their own as it helps prevent loneliness and isolation. Having a chat over a cup of tea and helping people get out and about is the type of quality time that elderly people most often need. Myth 4: All Care Giving services are the same. The saying “buyer beware” is very true when looking for the right home care company. Whether you are a family member, looking for care for a loved one, or you are looking for a job in the care sector, it is important to remember that not all care companies are the same. There are many options in today’s market for seniors and their families, and it is recommended for anyone looking for care to do plenty of research and ask a lot of questions. Myth 5: Most Care Professionals are middle-aged women. Traditionally, this myth might be true, but in today’s society Care Professionals are a more diverse group than many people realise. Many Care Professionals are men, and additionally, many Care Professionals are of the millennial generation, between the ages of 18 and 30. Even children are providing care for loved ones. And not all Care Professionals are family members; these days, friends are increasingly likely to step in. There are many more myths about the role of a Care Professional, but we hope that this article has helped shine a light on CAREGiving as a rewarding career where you can make a real difference to someone’s life. At Home Instead we’re running the You Can Care campaign, to provide advice and support. Simply search #youcancare on social media, for a range of hints and tips on ways to live well in later life. I’d love to hear from you! To make a suggestion for a future Senior Snippets topic, please write to me at c.uppenkamp@dartford.homeinstead.co.uk or by post to Home Instead Dartford, St Fidelis House, St Fidelis Road, Erith, DA8 1AT.

Non-medical home care often revolves around daily living activities, such as eating, dressing and bathing and Care Professionals might also www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk







By Peter Johnston - Chairman. Photos Pete Bresser Founded five years ago, The Argonauts Wheelchair Sports Charity’s aim is to provide wheelchair sports for people of all abilities and all ages, mixed in together on a “level playing-field”. It is unusual for a sport to bring together disabled and able-bodied people, united in a single squad. For the able-bodied people, it gives them an insight to the struggles and difficulties faced by disabled people. the national league and have show themselves to be real contenders for titles. Peter Johnston, Chairman, said “We have a strong team dynamic, with everyone being very welcoming to new players. We are hoping that more people will join us and we can grow as a team this year. The sport is a wonderful way to socialise with people within the community, be it at training sessions, playing matches, or as a spectator. We are a really friendly group, and look forward to welcoming anyone interested in taking part. ”. The charity is focused on providing teamwork, friendship, physical fitness, increased mobility, improvement of mental health, competitive sport and an active social life. The benefits are enormous and, for some players, it has literally been life-saving. They have players from around Kent, Essex and Cambridge. At the recent publicity-drive The Mayor of Dartford, Cllr Paul Cutler, was very keen to have a go at Wheelchair Rugby. He was given tips by the Coach, Rob Cooper, then got stuck in! The Mayor said: “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone at The Argonauts and getting to grips with wheelchair rugby. I really appreciate how the charity is teaching able-bodied people like me, who has never used a wheelchair, about the kinds of difficulties people who are less mobile face on a daily basis. The friendship and team spirit was very visible and I had a great evening getting to know everyone at the club.”

Their England players have now moved to a newly-formed Super League club in London to further their techniques and skills. This means that The Argonauts are now looking for new players and they are inviting anyone to go along to a training session to see the action for themselves. Training sessions are on every Monday, from 6:30pm in the sports hall of Fairfield Leisure Centre, Lowfield Street, Dartford. Members can also have occasional taster sessions for other wheelchair sports, such as basketball and boxing.

The Argonauts have achieved amazing things in its primary sport, Wheelchair Rugby League: nine home-grown Elite International players (six for England, two for Ireland and one for Wales) and runners-up in the National League and Cup finals. The development squad players, known as The Demigods, have competed every season in 38


Jeremy Kite, Leader of DBC has this to say about The Argonauts, ““It’s wonderful to see The Argonauts go from strength to strength . Wheelchair rugby is one of those sports where everyone can compete. Fast moving and great fun. It’s a perfect way to enjoy rugby and it would be great to see more Novak Djokovic underlined his recent dominance players of all abilities get involved” at Wimbledon with a composed and controlled fightback against Nick Kyrgios to win a fourth The specialist wheelchairs and equipment are all consecutive men’s singles title. Djokovic lost the expensive items but The Argonauts have received first set after some superb serving from Kyrgios very generous donations from Wooden Spoon but ended up winning 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Kent (the rugby charity), Dartford Lions Club, Centre Court. It is Djokovic’s seventh SW19 men’s and only Roger Federer has more. Victory Northfleet & Ebbsfleet Lions Club and Dartford title also moved him one behind Rafael Nadal’s Borough Council. Everything is in place for the record 22 men’s majors. charity to welcome new players and the future looks bright, as The Argonauts’ search for The Losing his winning position irritated Kyrgios, who Golden Fleece continues! is known for his fiery temperament as well as his exciting tennis. While Kyrgios increasingly remonstrated with his support team, Djokovic remained cool in the heat of the battle on a scorching Centre Court. Sporting events in August include: 28 July- 8 August: Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

Rock Painting in Dartford.

11-21 August - Olympic sports - European Championships, Munich 29 August – 11 Sep – Tennis - US Open, New York

ocal people from Dartford Painted Rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting nd hiding them around town. The rocks can also be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and allery located in the Orchard Shopping Centre.

ere are some great photos of their painted rocks.

By Maria Kingsford

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.



BREASTFEEDING By Dr Julie Taylor times per day during the first few weeks. The general advice is to feed your baby when they appear hungry. They might get restless, suck their fist or fingers, make murmuring sounds or start to root. You can’t overfeed a breastfed baby and it’s easier to feed at these early signs than when they start crying.

If you can breastfeed your baby, this will give them everything they need for the first 6 months of life, and can be continued after 6 months along with solid foods. Benefits of breastfeeding include: • Complete nutritional needs for your baby • Protects your baby from infections and diseases including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, cot death), obesity and cardiovascular disease in adults • Has health benefits for you – lowers risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity • It is the ultimate ‘fast food’ – there when your baby needs it In the first few days, it will take time for both you and your baby to get the hang of breastfeeding. Skin to skin contact straight after birth can be a good time to try your first breastfeed. Your midwife can help with positioning and attachment. You can also pick up useful advice during your antenatal classes and from your midwife and health visitor, as well as other support groups, friends and family.

Problems with breastfeeding • Leaky breasts – if your baby hasn’t fed recently, you can offer them a feed or you can express just enough to make you feel comfortable. Breast pads help to soak up the milk. • Sore or cracked nipples – can be because the baby is not positioned or attaching correctly, and can sometimes be due to thrush. See your heath visitor or midwife for advice. • If your baby does not seem satisfied after feeds, they may not be latching on properly. It is unusual for mums to not produce enough milk – try feeding from both breasts at each feed and alternating which you start with to stimulate production. • Breast engorgement occurs when the breasts are too full of milk – hand express a small amount so you feel comfortable. • Blocked milk ducts can cause small tender breast lumps. To relieve this feed your baby with their chin pointing towards the lump. If your breast becomes hot and red, or you feel unwell, please seek help as you may have developed mastitis. If you have a breast lump that persists, please see your GP. Bottle feeding Although breast feeding is highly recommended, some women can’t breast feed for a number of reasons. These women should not feel guilty as ‘fed is best’.

To bottle feed, you will need several bottles and teats, a bottle brush and sterilising equipment to clean them. You will need to sterilise bottles and teats until your baby is 12 months old. If you are The first milk you produce, colostrum, is usually a using formula, make it up exactly as instructed. thick yellow-golden colour. It is very concentrated, Do not use heaped scoops or water it down, or so babies only need a very small amount at each add cereals or sugars to the feed. feed. They will often feed frequently for the first few days, possibly every hour. Don’t worry, after Bottle feeding problems the first few days, they will feed for longer and less • Being unsettled after feeding may indicate your frequently. As a rough guide, they will feed 8-12 baby has trapped wind. Hold them upright on 40


your shoulder or forward on your lap and gently rub their back until they burp. Make sure you have a muslin handy for any milk that may come up. • Some babies are a little sick after feeds. This may be because they have taken their milk too quickly, or taken too much for their tiny stomach. They may also have reflux. If they are not gaining weight, are violently sick or seem in pain speak to your health visitor or GP. • Some babies have allergies to certain types of milk. There are special formulas for babies who have cows milk protein allergy or other dietary needs, or if you are breast feeding, you may need to follow an exclusion diet. Please speak to your health visitor or GP if you are concerned.




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GET READY FOR THE GADGETEERS, AS THE SUMMER READING CHALLENGE 2022 COMES TO KENT LIBRARIES! the pandemic and its impact on children and their families, the Summer Reading Challenge 2022 is more important than ever in supporting children with their learning, reading skills and so much more. The Gadgeteers celebrate adventure, friendship, reading and fun while helping children to discover science all around them. Nearly 12,000 children took part in Wild World Heroes Get ready for the Gadgeteers, as the Summer in 2021, either by visiting a Reading Challenge 2022 comes to Kent libraries! library or by signing up online. Help us to make Kent libraries is excited to introduce Gadgeteers, this year bigger and better by taking part. Summer Reading Challenge 2022; join the Gadgeteers to discover the amazing science • My children are special needs with ADHD and and innovation behind the world around you, Dyslexia and both are below their reading age. including some of your favourite things! But reading challenges help them read books they wouldn’t at school Running from 9 July – 10 September 2022, • The children enjoyed the reading challenge, children can choose to sign up and participate encouraged them to read together and collect in the Summer Reading Challenge either by their prize. It has taught them to read to each visiting a Kent Library to claim their joining pack, other and listen to the stories or by visiting summerreadingchallenge.org.uk (Feedback from Parents in 2021) to take part online. The Summer Reading Challenge is presented by Meet the Gadgeteers – Aisha, Eddie, Leo, Maggie, The Reading Agency, delivered in partnership James & Ajay and discover their special skills. with libraries. Children can find out more about the Gadgeteers and their special skills by signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge and reading six library books over the summer period. They can read anything from the library, including stories, information books, audiobooks, eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and more. When they have read their six books and completed the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive a medal and certificate (while stocks last). And it’s all for free!

Find out more at your local library, visit bit.ly/Gadgeteers2022, our dedicated Summer Reading Challenge page or follow Kent Libraries social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to find out more about the Gadgeteers and all the exciting events and activities happening this summer in Kent Libraries.

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In this month’s article we look at the growing version will offer more power like the 2.0-litre range of electric models becoming available to petrol engine with the electric motor to produce 201hbp – 20bhp more than the outgoing. The all in the next few years. CR-V is a hybrid you do not need to plug in which is of convienience but means you can’t go as far or as fast on electric power. Standard safety kit includes lane-keeping assistance, blindspot monitoring and traffic-sign recognition. Meanwhile, inside the car you’ll find a 7.0in digital instrument display and either a 7.0in or 9.0in infotainment touchscreen. The extra space in the new CR-V comes from the fact it’s slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model – which means it has more leg room and boot space. The exterior has sharper lines than the outgoing CR-V, along with narrower LED headlights and a large front grille. On sale in 2023 prices are expected to start from around £35,000. MG 4 electric car – this is the new small hatchback electric car from MG – the MG 4 hatchback. It pairs a single 167bhp electric motor with a 51kWh battery that offers an official range of 218 miles in entry-level form. A more powerful will be offered to give a range of up to 281 miles. The 51kWh model can charge at rates of up to 100kW, meaning that a 10-80% charge should take around half an hour if you can find a suitably powerful charging point. Inside, the MG 4 gets a sleek central infotainment touchscreen that rests on the dashboard, along with a digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel with good features such as smartphone mirroring. Available from this September the MG 4 is expected to start at around £20,000, far less than rivals. 2022 Citroën e-C4 X electric car – New Citroën e-C4 X electric car reworks coupé SUV sibling into saloon with big boot and extended range capabilities. The e-C4 X stretches the Citroën e-C4 coupé SUV’s underpinnings into a capacious saloon with a new reworked rear end styling. This allows for more boot space – from 380-litre capacity to 510 litres – enough for 7 carry-on suitcases. The new rear also allows for increased official range for the car by seven miles – up to 224 miles. The electric motor remains the same with a 134bhp motor and a 50kWh battery, which can charge up to 80% in 30 minutes with a suitable powerful public charger. On the inside, you get the regular e-C4’s headup display and digital instruments, plus its 10.0in infotainment touchscreen. Pricing for the e-C4 X is expected to start from £31,000 when it comes on sale later in 2022. 2023 Honda CR-V – this is the All-new Honda CR-V to offer hybrid power, lots of kit and a bigger boot at a competitive price. The new 44


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is going to be a celebration of everything people love about her.”


And so it’s down to Oti to weave that star quality into the choreography - a challenge that she is absolutely thrilled with. “What I love about choreography is that, when I’m dancing, I am only part of the picture, but when you are choreographing, there are so many elements that are so exciting. Creating a storyline through dance means you go through the smallest details - is there a connection or a secret between the dancers that we need the audience to share? What props are there? What is the dancer at the back of the stage doing?” As for the music, Oti’s exuberance ratchets up yet another notch when we start talking about Cher’s hits.

A bundle of zesty energy, Oti Mabuse may be on a rare day off when we meet but she’s still operating at warp speed. But then the double Strictly Glitterball champion has good reason to be so happy and animated.

“I grew up with a family that always listened to music and we all loved Cher’s music. Her songs have stories behind them and I LOVE choreography that has a story behind it! It has an intention you can then give to the movement. It makes everyone in the theatre part of the story. And everyone connects to Cher’s music because it is timeless. SHE is timeless! The show starts from the beginning of her life and comes to present day, so if you don’t know Cher’s story you will learn it. There are so many great songs that will make people feel uplifted too. And the show is going to almost every theatre in the country because Cher is an international phenomenon!”

Currently revving up for the hotly anticipated brand new production of The Cher Show, directed by national dance treasure Arlene Phillips and with a book by Tony and Olivier Award-winning Rick Elice But while she won’t be on the road with The Cher (of Jersey Boys fame), Oti will be choreographing Show, Oti will be touring with her own dance production, I Am Here. the show, which will tour until April 2023.

“This is very exciting because it’s my first official tour. It’s such an honour. It’s going to be loud, funny and truthful, and people will meet the real me. We have a live band, great music and a cast of great dancers. I love touring and the audiences make it for me. People have paid to come and be entertained “It’s the story that so many women connect with, and it’s lovely to do that; to create a memorable but it’s also the songs and the clothes. It will be moment in their lives.” epic!” beams Oti, adding: “It has to be bigger than anything because it’s her; it has to live up And, it seems, Oti relishes the educational aspect to Cher’s iconic status. She has been such an of touring life. inspiration to so many people and this musical






Telling the story of the Armenian American truck driver’s shy daughter who rose to global stardom, The Cher Show charts superstar Cher’s meteoric rise to fame. And of course there is a cracking soundtrack. Packed with 35 of her biggest hits, it’s part show and part party.




“I love learning and when you tour in the UK you learn crazy things like whether you put cream or jam on a scone first! I love hearing the different accents and the different way people greet each other depending where you are.” With an infectious chuckle she adds: “I think touring is the best way to understand human beings!” “All the theatres my shows are visiting are so supportive of people who come to put a show on; they are so welcoming and so, so hard working. After lockdown and the terrible time that theatres had, it is so lovely to be taking The Cher Show and Here I Am on tour.” But even with two stage shows hitting the road, human dynamo Oti is still thinking ahead. “I have a lot of things that I want to achieve in life and I am lucky that my parents raised me to be driven and ambitious. But my goals come from a good place and I really enjoy the journey of pursuing my dreams. Anyone who hires me knows that I will be the hardest working person in the place. For instance, there were very few books about dancing for children, so I wrote one.” And that’s by no means all. Born in South Africa in 1990, Oti has been dancing since childhood. From making a name for herself in South Africa as the undefeated eight-time South African Latin

American champion, she also managed to train as a Civil Engineer while competing in dance competitions. Winning awards and championships across Europe, TV soon beckoned and Oti joined the German version of Strictly Come Dancing. After two successful seasons, she joined the original BBC version of the show. Winning the coveted trophy in 2019 with actor Kelvin Fletcher, the following year Oti became the first Strictly Pro ever to win the Glitterball two consecutive years, alongside her partner Bill Bailey. TV and theatre work continues to flood in, which she juggles with running The Oti Mabuse Dance Studio, but, I ask, was performing always the dream? “I wanted to go into Musical Theatre straight from High School, but my mum said I should be first academic and then pursue my passions. Since she was paying the bills, I didn’t have much choice!” Reflective for a moment, she adds: “Engineering and dance are both about problem solving and precision and I love them both equally. I’d love to do a TV show about it.” A TV show about engineering told through the medium of dance? If anyone can pull that off then it’s Oti. Stand by for the Reinforced Concrete Rumba… The Cher Show is at The Orchard Theatre Tue 20 - Sat 24 September.


The Take That Experience SUN 18 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 7.30PM As Take That celebrate 30 years as the UK’s number one boy band, The Take That Experience marks over a decade together as the ultimate tribute act with their best show yet! Wowing audiences everywhere they go with their amazing vocals, replica costumes and electrifying dance routines, they continue to successfully recreate the magic of Take That with the ‘Greatest Hits Tour’. What city are Take That from? 1. Liverpool 2. Manchester 3. London Email competition@dartfordliving.com by the 20th August to be in with a chance of winning.

RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered.. 4. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 7. 7. All entries will be added to the Dartford Living mailing list to receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Please state when you enter the competition if you don’t wish to be added 47 www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

What to do: Preheat your oven to 200° C Fan oven. Combine the Self-Raising Flour with a pinch of Salt and rub in the Unsalted Butter using just your fingertips. If you grate the butter or cut into tiny cubes, it is much easier. You will end up with a fine breadcrumb texture.


Stir in the Cheese and the Black Pepper. Slowly mix in the milk until the mix just comes together as a dough.

By Debbie Dickinson

These delicious treats are a lot easier than you think - taking less than 10 mins to prepare and just 10 mins to bake!! This mix will make about 13 small scones. The real secret to fabulous scones is to not ‘overmix’ – just do enough and no more! What you need: 300g Self Raising Flour 70g Unsalted Butter 160g Cheddar Cheese – I love a strong, Extra Mature cheese, plus a little for grating on top. 150ml Milk ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper Optional flavours to add – herbs/spices/ mustard powder/seeds/cooked chopped chorizo/bacon?

Add any additional flavours now. Tip on to a lightly floured work surface and gently press the mixture until it becomes flat and about 2cm thick. Use cutters to cut out your scones – I prefer quite small round cutters. Squeeze any leftover dough back together, flatten again, and cut out more scones until all the dough has been used. Make sure you don’t handle the dough too much – this is when they will become tough and won’t rise much! Pop the scones on greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Brush the top of the scones with a little milk or beaten egg and sprinkle over a little finely grated cheese. Bake in the hot oven for approx. 10 minutes until golden brown and the scones have risen nicely. The scones can be eaten warm or left to cool completely. We like to pull them in half and serve with butter and a few pickles on the side. Enjoy!!





PARENT AND TODDLER GROUPS - TERM TIME ONLY MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:30am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.50 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 07917 843592. 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 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 Music and Rhyme Time at Fleetdown Utd FC (near Dunelm). £5 per session if you sign up for the term, siblings go free. Contact Katie on 07734661352 or Facebook.com/musicandrhymetime 10.30 - 11.00am. “Baby Bounce & Rhyme” at Fleetdown Library. Music and fun for babies and pre-schoolers. No charge. Term time only. All are welcome - just turn up! WEDNESDAYS 1pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ - £3.50 per Adult - £1 Siblings Bottomless refreshments. THURSDAYS 10:30-11:30am, Music and Rhyme Time at Fleetdown Utd FC (near Dunelm). £5 per session if you sign up for the term, siblings go free. Contact Katie on 07734661352 or Facebook.com/musicandrhymetime FRIDAYS 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook.com/ToeRags 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 380322 jeannehoadley@yahoo.co.uk Mummy’s Linkup: 10am – 2pm on the 2nd Friday of each month, Tree Community Centre Mummy’s Linkup : 10am – 12noon on the 4th Friday of each month., Temple Hill Community Centre SATURDAYS 2-3pm - Lego Club- ages 5 and over - Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602 BABYBALLERS Themed Football and multi skills sessions are suitable for girls and boys aged 16 months to 5 years old. Your little superstar will learn shapes, colours, numbers and lots, lots, more all through playing the BabyBallers way! Classes in Dartford, Northfleet, Gravesend and Ebbsfleet on Fridays and weekends. Please visit https://babyballers1.class4kids.co.uk/ or email matt@babyballers.com 50



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 DARTFORD OSTOMY GROUP SUPPORT (DOGS) as a side line we raise money for a local meet every third Wednesday in the month at St charity. If you are missing the contact with Anselm’s Parish Centre, West Hill, Dartford DA1 other business men since you retired, why 2HJ from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. It is for anyone not come and join us on the last Thursday of who has an Ileostomy, Colostomy, Urostomy, every month. For more details contact Phil Burt IBS and pouch, their carers, family and friends. on 01322 274541 or look at our website www. waprobus.com ALL DIRECTIONS is a community learning organisation for adults and young people aged 16+ with physical, THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S REGISTER learning and mental health difficulties. For The National Women’s Register (NWR) is more information, attend a taster session a national organisation that meets in the or visit our community lunch club, contact Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group Caroline on 01322 837172 or 07570 347612 for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via www.nwr.org.uk or call 01603406767 AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every Friday morning 10.30 - HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1 Dartford & Gravesham Branch. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 10UK 12pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, For people with Parkinsons and their carers. lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more Dartford: 2nd Wednesday of each month, Mick information contact Jagger Centre, 7 -9pm. Information support Marion on 01322 402967 workers available, guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Wendy Leach. Tel: 02083065973 WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and THE WELLBEING LINK Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative this para sport please contact us on 01474 group is a support group for people with any 871484 or alternatively look at our website www. life affecting health issues from loneliness and nagfencing.eu isolation to life limiting conditions. - call Julie On 07775875585 ERITH YOUTH RUGBY JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages We are a small friendly group who meet at 4-16 welcome 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 LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more Sundays 10:15-10:45 at Swanscombe Leisure information contact mikeansell.dt@hotmail. Centre. co.uk Call Saj on 07903 513104 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more DARTFORD GYMNASTICS information visit: Celebrating 50years. www.meetup.com/20s-30s-DartfordBexleyheath-surrounding-areas-social-group/ Based in Heath Lane, we are a friendly club with super equipment, great coaches and high DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF standards. We do lots of competitions and we THE THIRD AGE) do not close through the holidays! meets on the first Tuesday of every month (exVisit our website www.dartfordgymnastics. cept August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West co.uk for full details or contact Linda on 01322 Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@yahoo. meetings and interest groups visit co.uk u3asites.org.uk/dartford/welcome www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


LEARN KARATE Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. For more info, visit www.ydma.club or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts. KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB www.kentexiles.co.uk. Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome ENERGY FITNESS AND NUTRITION I run group fitness classes as well as 1-1 and semi private personal training sessions in Darenth at Dimples Day Nursery DA2 7HT. ENERGY Fitness & Nutrition: we offer a wide variety of group classes such as strength & conditioning, boot camps, Boxercise, mum and baby classes, inside and outside classes with great equipment and suitable for all abilities. The website is www.energyfitnut.co.uk FAIRFIELD (DARTFORD) WI We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at Dartford Girls Grammar School at 7.30pm. Activities include guest speakers, theatre visits and monthly lunches. New members welcome. For more information please call Judith on 01322 278703 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. HOP LIKE IT’S HOT A fun (different) circuit based workout with space hoppers that challenges core stabilty, balance and strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person.

55. We have a monthly meeting on the second Thursday at Sutton at Hone Scout Hut at 1.30pm. Associated activities include petanque, keep fit, short mat bowls, country walks and ten pin bowling. Come along to a meeting [£2 entrance] or call Carol on 07912 564710. You will receive a warm welcome. WAR GAMES AND MODEL CLUB Based in Erith we have a wide number of members from across SE London and Kent. A great place to come and have a game, make, paint and hobby! Or, if you prefer, come grab a cup of tea and chat about all things hobby and some things not! For more info visit - https:// emperors10th.wixsite.com/home DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k. FOOTSCRAY MEADOW PARKRUN A new Parkrun event with parking at Crazy Barn SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long-established cycling Club in Dartford and we share our headquarters at Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for most abilities and have a social ride most Saturday mornings. For info on joining us please visit our website www.seedscycling.co.uk DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool 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 please visit our website http://www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk

DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have HAWLEY AND SUTTON AT HONE ACTIVE RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION is a friendly group of about 200 members of all abilities including a retired and semi-retired men and women over beginners group. DRR teams compete in the 52


Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join us with all abilities. http://dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/node/440

Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. For more information please call The Hope Group on 07580 615206.

CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can provide access to a state of the art running track (re-laid in 2015) 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.

DARTFORD & DISTRICT PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. We are a long-established camera club meeting fortnightly at Stone Pavilion. We have an exciting programme of speakers, competitions, practical evenings and would welcome new members with or without photographic experience to our friendly meetings. You can attend several meetings as a guest before taking out membership which enables you to become a fully-fledged member and enter competitions. Our website is dartphoto. org.uk. We have a spacious hall which enables us to meet “socially distanced” in the present environment. We hope to meet you soon.

DARTFORD BOCCIA CLUB Boccia is a Paralympic Sport similar to DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB Pétanque or Boules. It is played in a seated Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics position therefore ideal for disabled or non-disabled persons to play together. clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how We meet once a fortnight on a Saturday we can help you advance your Athletics then between 5-6pm. Cost is £2.50 per player please visit our website per session. There is FREE parking on site. All http://www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk welcome.

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 centralparkathletics.co.uk 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

DARTFORD MUSIC SCHOOL Want to learn to play or sing? For all ages and abilities, we have something for you. We offer a variety of music learning activities based at The Mick Jagger Centre including Individual Instrumental Lessons, group sessions with Red Rooster, Dartford Youth Choir and DMS Orchestra! What’s stopping you? Webpage: www.themickjaggercentre.com/dartford-music-school.html Email: DMS@themickjaggercentre.com Follow us: Twitter @Dartford_Music Instagram @ dartfordmusicschool WILMARA Wilmington Active Retirement Group. We are an active retirement group who meet on the third Friday of the month from 2pm till 4pm at the Memorial Hall in Wilmington. Our activities include guest speakers, outings, holidays, theatre trips, tenpin bowling, Petanque, Kurling, indoor sports activities and a lunch club. Please come along and pay us a visit you will be very welcome! Telephone Membership Secretary. Wendy Murray 01322 226943




Learn new techniques, make friends and enjoy interesting talks, workshops and demonstrations. Absolute beginners and more experienced stitchers welcome. We meet on the third Saturday of every month except August from 2-4pm in Southfleet Village Hall, Southfleet, Gravesend, DA13 9NX or by Zoom if necessary. Visitors are very welcome. website: www.northkentembroiderers.co.uk email: info@northkentembroiderers.co.uk phone: Eileen on 01474 324734 DARTFORD CHORAL SOCIETY

A warm welcome awaits newcomers to Dartford s oldest choir - established over 100 years ago. We rehearse on Monday evenings between 7.30pm and 9.30pm at The Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, from September to June and perform four concerts annually. Just turn up to sample the delights of choral singing! For more information please contact the Chairman, Pat Everington. Tel: 01322 220124.

Charity No. 1148298 FREE VOLUNTEER TRAINING Home-Start are recruiting new volunteer parents – of any age, background, culture or gender – to attend a free 40-hour course of preparation beginning Wednesday 5th October 10.00 – 2.00 [ then a further nine Wednesdays until 14th December ] Subjects covered include ADDICTION, DEPRESSION, LISTENING SKILLS, LOSS, PARENTING SKILLS, LEARNING THROUGH PLAY, CHILD PROTECTION, SPECIAL NEEDS Following training (plus DBS checks + references) individual volunteers will be ‘matched’ with isolated vulnerable local families with pre-school children – to home visit for 2-3 hours per week offering emotional and/or practical parent-to-parent support. Travel expenses are paid and ongoing supervision / training provided www.homestartnwkent.org.uk CALL 01322 225 100 for details or email office@homestartnwkent.org.uk

ST ALBAN’S AND ST EDMUNDS CHURCH GROUPS St Alban’s Church (St Albans activities closed for the summer - back in September) - Stepping Stones’ Toddler Group @ St Alban’s Church, St Alban’s Road, Dartford DA1 3FT Wednesday’s from 8:30am – 11:30am. - Community Café Coffee Morning @ St Alban’s Church (Tuesdas) , St Alban’s Road, Dartford DA1 1FT, 10am – 12noon. Drinks, sausage or bacon sarnies, scones, fruit, friends and chat. - Knit & Natter @ St Alban’s Church, St Alban’s Road, Dartford DA1 1FT 10:00am – 11:30am, on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Come and knit, learn to crochet (or teach someone else), have a coffee and a lot of nattering! St Edmund’ Church - Kindness and Wellbeing Group @ St Edmund’s Church, St Edmund’s Road, Temple Hill, Dartford DA1 5ND - Tuesday’s from 9:30am – 11:30am. Make new friends, chat over a cuppa, mindfulness and well being resources and support. - Café @ St Edmund’s Church, St Edmund’s Road, Temple Hill, Dartford DA1 5ND Thursdays from 10am – 12noon - Over 60’s Club @ St Edmund’s Church, St Edmund’s Road, Temple Hill, Dartford DA1 5ND Lunch at 12:30pm (£5pp must be booked in advance). Raffles and bingo from 1pm, prizes galore. 54



Please call Mike or John on: Tel 01322 406439 / 01322 525708 Mobile: 07742 085333 Email: mikeperry5001@aol.com Partners: Mike Perry and John Petherick




DIRECTORY OF LOCAL BUSINESSES ADVERTISING IN DARTFORD LIVING ACCOUNTS, FINANCE AND LEGAL K & A Chartered Surveyors Blue Rocket Accounting Summit Wealth Downton and Ali Associates

BUSINESS SERVICES 4 The HR Dept 22 49 PET SERVICES 59 Happy Dogs and Mogs

HOME IMPROVEMENTS The Double Glazing Repair Man Access for Lofts Tudor Living - Electrician Steve Cook- Double Glazing Claremont Decorative Services

PRINTERS 4 Darenth Print and Design 11 32 RESTAURANTS, CAFES, FOOD OUTLETS 33 Efes 55 FARM SHOPS Stanhill Farm 6 Wilmington Village Market

CLEANING SERVICES Oven Clean RELIGIOUS SERVICES Crossways Community Church St Albans & St Edmunds Church Groups COUNCIL SERVICES Dartford Borough Council MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT Gareth Johnson ESTATE/LETTING AGENTS Fox Estates Wisdom Estates FLORISTS Dartford Florist GARAGES/VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage CARE PROVIDERS Anchor Foster Care Home Instead HEALTH AND WELLBEING Ruby Lox- Hairdressing 56

40 6 9 42 19 32

EDUCATION 22 Baby/Toddler Sense 54 My Bluewater Tutor Katie B Kids

32 33 45

30 CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS Valley Park Radio We Are Beams 32 New Life Christian Community Foodbank

23 25 40

17 LEISURE/ENTERTAINMENT 19 FC Academy Bexley Park Sports & Social Club Orchard Theatre 6 YDMA Karate Paul Page Gold Academy

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60 TRAVEL Harden Holidays 2 RETAIL 34 The Bed Post Craft Frames Bradleys Jewellers 45 www.dartfordliving.com

20 18 45 55



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Call 999 in an Emergency Fire, Police, Ambulance and Coastguard 101 Non Emergency Number for Kent Police Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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)

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

Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www. dartfordjujitsu.co.uk

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

LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047

‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes Park- Contact: 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.com

TRAVEL Heathrow Airport Enquires 08700 000123 Gatwick Airport Enquires 08700 002468 National Rail Enquires 08456 484950 Highways England Info Line 0300 123 5000

LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or www.pitchero.com/clubs/ bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250 Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds

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:



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.

Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Together Dartford Living Community Group


Corporate Call Brian Downton, Dartford’s Protection Champion for: Business Protection – We can help to ensure your company is protected should a key stakeholder, such as a director, suffer a serious illness or die. Key Person Protection – This protects your business in the event of the loss of a person who makes a significant contribution towards the profitability of your company.

Corporate Private Medical Insurance – Protecting your employees provides them and you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will have access to the care they need if they are unwell.

Business Insurance – Whether you would like to insure your premises or stock, need employer’s liability, public liability or indemnity cover, we can help.

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Downton & Ali Associates 0203 0210075 info@downtonandali.co.uk www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk