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By the community, for the community

FREE

February 2017 - Issue 128

WHAT’S INSIDE...

Barge Group: Kent’s outdoor multi service provider

On Call Fire Fighter Living His Dream - Page 9 Smile for Nathan - Page 24 Dartford Junior Parkrun - Page 32

Plus - All your regular

features, events, information and much more in your 56 page issue.

www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


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St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737

Wilmington Memorial Hall High Road, Wilmington, TUESDAYS DA2 7DW Greenhithe & Swanscombe 9:30am British Legion Club Lindsey 07849 352213 London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ The Howard Venue 10:00 am (formerly South East Dance Paula 07891 424401 Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Glentworth Ex Service Club Hextable, BR8 7LG 154 Lowfield Street, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB Caroline 07776 181413 5:30pm and 7:30pm Angela 07956 896679 Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Wilmington Memorial Hall Dartford, DA1 5HY High Road, Wilmington, 5:30pm and 7:30pm DA2 7DW Jo 07800 797030 5:30pm and 7:30pm Lindsey 07849 352213 THURSDAYS The Howard Venue WEDNESDAYS (formerly South East Dance VCD Sports Club, Old Road Studios) Crayford, DA1 4DN 39 Egerton Avenue, 10:00am, 5:30pm and Hextable, BR8 7LG 7:30pm 9:30am Liz 07900 213548 Caroline 07776 181413

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SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 9:00am Kelli 07931 085668


WELCOME TO THE LATEST ISSUE OF

DARTFORD LIVING

BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY

24 32 34 9 Contents 8.........................Toy Appeal 3 Review 9.........................On Call Fire Fighter 10.......................Barge Group 12.......................Dartford Living Meets 13.......................Dartford Property Report 16.......................Life Under the Stairs 19.......................Quartz Financial Services 24.......................Smile for Nathan 25.......................Money Advice 26.......................The Art of Autism 30.......................Sports News 31.......................News from Princes Park

32.......................Dartford Junior Parkrun 34.......................Gary Lucy Interview 35.......................Community Choir 40.......................Local Entertainment 41.......................Fitness 42.......................Auto News 43.......................Gardening News 44-51..................Where to go locally 52.......................Orchard Theatre Competition 53.......................Advertising Index 54.......................Useful Numbers

check out our website for even more local news and articles

www.dartfordliving.com Dartford Living does not certify, endorse or verify the contents of any communication within the magazine/our online presence or make warranty of any kind, express or implied, with regard to the information contained therein. Dartford Living and its owners cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or claims made by advertisers or endorse companies, products or services that appear in any Dartford Living publication or media outlet. Dartford Living is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com

Dartford Living


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Dear Readers,

I hope you like the new look magazine. It may be a fresh design but it’s still jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to 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! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Nearly 5000 local people already do this!

Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and Annie, Barbara, Bhavesh, Christine, David, Dawn, Derek, Debbie, Dhiren, Elaine, Eleanor, Emma, Holly, Jackie, Jane, Jenny, Joanne, John, Kay, Ken, Kelly, Mark, Nickki, Nicola, Pat, Richey, Sarah, Steph, Stephen, Steven, Teresa and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team) Photo by Bresserphotos.com

YOUR NEXT DEADLINE IS 12TH FEBRUARY 2017

Advertising

We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £30 per 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 sales@dartfordliving.com

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Managed by Places for People Leisure Ltd for Dartford Borough Council.

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FEATURE ARTICLE: DARTFORD TOY APPEAL SUCCESS the less fortunate in our town.” Founder and Coordinator Kelly Grehan, said ‘We started this as a small community project three years ago, with the aim of collecting 40 presents. I just cannot believe what it has grown into.  I was worried whether we would get enough toys for four charities, so to see response was amazing. What is also wonderful, is getting messages from businesses, shops, clubs and individuals asking if they can get involved.  It is just amazing.’ Dartford Toy Appeal met with astonishing success this year with over 1000 donations made. The  Appeal launched in 2013, in an attempt to collect some Christmas presents for local children.  Originally a small project, Dartford Living and social media were used as the main publicity vehicles with just four drop off points.  Aware of the funding issues being faced by domestic violence charities and the knowledge that many children fleeing domestic violence are forced to leave behind toys a decision was made to collect for Choices.  Due to the response the appeal was widened to two charities last year, with The Parents Consortium added.  This year, eager to help as many local children as possible we decided to collect for  four charities and invited The Haven Food Bank and ellenor to join as recipients.   The appeal ran from 14th November to 16th December. As soon as the appeal was publicised people began making donations and clubs, businesses and groups began getting in touch asking if they could join in.  Churches, play schools, shops, members clubs, families, adults and children across our community made donations. One of the founders, Dartford Living’s Vijay Jain said: “Dartford Toy Appeal just gets better and better each year because of the generosity of local people. Our community is fantastic and everyone should be proud that we donated 1,000 toys for local children in need of help in just a few weeks”.

Diane Wisdom from Wisdom Estate Agents said ‘We were only too pleased to be involved again this year. We are thrilled it was such a success.’   Choices said  ‘It is amazing how generous people are, restoring faith in humanity and bringing communities together.  The children in our refuge had a wonderful Christmas and the parents have expressed their gratitude for making Christmas less stressful at a time when finances are limited and emotions are high.’ The Parents Consortium said ‘Thank you so much to all those who helped organise this year’s Toy Appeal it was overwhelming seeing all those donations and it is truly amazing what people give.  BIG thank you from everyone at Parents Consortium.’ The Haven Food Bank said ‘We were amazed at the amount of items some beautiful toys and games a huge thank you to all who donated and to the organisers of this great appeal.’ Ellenor said ‘On behalf of everyone here at ellenor, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the success of the Dartford Toy Appeal. Thanks to all of your hard work our children and their siblings were able to receive a wonderful Christmas gift this year, making their Christmas extra special.’

Stephen Oliver, who co-founded the appeal, and whose gallery is used as a drop off point and the place the toys were sorted out from on Saturday  said “Being one of the drop off points for the appeal has been such a heartwarming experience. From the very young, neighbouring shopkeepers, and older members of the community: all have taken time out to donate and help

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Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


FEATURE ARTICLE:

ON-CALL FIREFIGHTER IS LIVING HIS DREAM

Website: www.kent.fire-uk.org Facebook: kentfirerescue

When Jack Mooney was a boy, he used to watch the fire engines racing up to Dartford Heath, near where he grew up and dreamed of becoming a firefighter one day. As Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) steps up its recruitment campaign for on-call firefighters, Jack describes how he managed to fulfil his dream and has never looked back.  

“Before I joined I didn’t appreciate how much of the job was about encouraging a safe community to prevent fires and emergencies happening. But I really enjoy that side of my job too and am the local point of contact for the scout groups in the area, I attend the parish council meetings and work with local community groups to make sure they have the right advice to help stay safe.”

Ash-cum-Ridley Crew Manager, Jack Mooney said: “After I left school I completed a public services course at the local college, in the hope that it would help me achieve my life-long ambition but KFRS wasn’t recruiting, so I followed the majority of the men in my family into my uncle’s panel beating business in Horton Kirby.” In 2009 Jack saw that KFRS was recruiting on-call firefighters at his local fire station and with his uncle’s encouragement, he applied.

Jack clearly loves his job and has even encouraged his partner, who works in architecture for a home building company to apply.  He ended: “If you like the idea of doing something different and worthwhile and working as part of a team, it could be just the job for you.

“My uncle appreciated how vital the role of on-call firefighter was to the safety of people and property in our local community. He was very supportive and allowed me to respond from his car bodyshop. It meant if my pager went off, I could be across the road, in the station and rolling out the doors on the fire engine within the five minute turnout time.”

“Have a look at the KFRS job page, there’s lots of information and you can also listen to people who are currently on-call firefighters answer some frequently answered questions about the role.

28 year-old Jack joined KFRS as an on-call firefighter in March 2009 and since then has learned many new skills including first aid, firefighting and driving a fire engine to name a few. He’s now crew manager at his local station, Ash-cum-Ridley. He added: “We never know what the next call will be to, we don’t just fight fires, there’s a wide range of situations including road crashes, chemical spills, flooding and responding to medical emergencies.  “We have to be ready to cope with whatever comes our way and able to rush off at a moment’s notice. But, it’s a fantastic feeling and I still get the same adrenaline rush that I did when I first joined, knowing that someone needs your help and that your actions can and do make a difference.”  Jack now works for a major Knightsbridge retailer as a fire safety officer and provides on-call fire cover around this. The transferrable skills he’s gained as a firefighter made this possible. His main job involves making sure that electrical systems are safe, firefighting equipment is well maintained and that staff are trained in fire prevention and evacuation drills. He also carries out risk assessments, something firefighters do at every incident they attend. Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com

Dartford Living

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LOCAL BUSINESS:

Website: www.bargegroup.co.uk Telephone: 01322 311141

BARGE GROUP

Based in Kent and working in both private and commercial landscaping as well as the arboriculture industries, Barge Group has become one of the South East’s leading outdoor multi-service providers in operation today. With over 15 years experience, Barge Group offers everything from bespoke grounds maintenance contracts and specialist landscape projects through to one-off play area repairs and plant hire. When it comes to planning a client’s project, Barge Group knows just how important it is to provide them with a dedicated team that encompasses the values that the company was built on - quality, value and exceeding customer expectations through innovation and service – as well as being instrumental in keeping the work on track.   A key strength at Barge Group is the importance of building ongoing relationships with clients, facilitated through contract managers and operatives attending the active sites. This provides a fast turnaround service that is held to a high standard of quality - an integral part of its commitment to providing a professional service to clients and throughout each of the divisions. Whether you are looking to renew your grounds maintenance contract, for vegetation to be removed from a bridge or structure, are desperate for play equipment repairs or searching for plant hire, Barge Group will work with you to provide you with the quality service you deserve.   Now home to numerous divisions including play installation and maintenance, landscape construction, tree surgery, traffic management and plant hire, Barge Group is a multi-faceted company that works throughout the South East of England - a far cry from the company set up in 2002 with the help of CEO Lee Barge’s mum’s shed and a Citroen Berlingo. As well as using his strong leadership skills to inspire, motivate and drive business results, Lee and his team are proud to be BSI ISO 18001 certificated for Health & Safety and operate a successful Target Zero Campaign.   For more information on our services please see our website www.bargegroup.co.uk, and get in touch with the dedicated management team by sending an email to info@bargegroup.co.uk to see how they can help you today.   Barge Group is situated on the London / Kent border and with easy access to the A2 and M25, is ideally suited to serve South East England.   Constantly growing, Barge Group is always on the lookout for hardworking and driven individuals to join the team, so

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if this sounds like an opportunity for you, do get in touch on info@bargegroup.co.uk about employment prospects. On behalf of Barge Group, we very much look forward to working with you in the future.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


15 years of high quality work and exceeding customer expectation, through innovation and first class service.

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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... SARAH CROOK BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY Dartford Living caught up with Sarah from Dartford Litter Pickers.

great sense of achievement afterwards plus I’m always surprised by what we find and how much.

I moved back to Dartford in March last year from Sidcup with my daughter aged 4. I previously lived in Greenhithe for 10 years and also near to East Hill for a few years too. I like the people, the library, parks, the theatre. I love being able to walk into a town centre and the market. I also like exploring the marsh towards Dartford beach and the creek too.

We’ve had a great response from the majority of the community. Online Facebook groups are mostly happy to promote our litter picking events. Dartford Living have kindly supported us with snacks and refreshments. Dartford Borough Council helped to supply our equipment. People approach us and ask for areas they’d like cleared. Litter picks are well attended and it is a positive experience to know that we are helping a little to tidy our town.

I walk to Dartford station some mornings and I’d started to notice how much litter was around. Driving around I became frustrated with the amount of litter I saw spoiling Dartford. I asked around and offered to restart Dartford Litter Pickers which Richey Estcourt had started a few years ago. I like the sense of community. it’s great to have our youngest picker being 3 and our eldest in their 70’s. Everyone seems to enjoy it and we have a good drink and snack together afterwards. It’s completely inclusive and I’ve met some lovely people through it. There’s a

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I’d like to get more people out litter picking. We’ve recently connected with a local cub group to help in the New Year. Ideally I’d like to run 2 a month and get more than one area cleared There are national litter picking events coming up which hopefully Dartford Litter Pickers can get involved in. I’d really like to change people’s attitudes to dropping litter and also encourage more people to pick litter up To find out more search for Dartford Litter Pickers on Facebook.

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Numbers Dartford Property Report - Useful February 2017 Private renting in Dartford set to hit 4,587 households by 2021 – Is Buy to Let immoral? (Part 1)

Like all things in life, we must look to the past, to appreciate where we are now.

Can we blame the 55 to 70-year-old Dartford citizens for the current housing crisis in the town?

The three biggest influencing factors on the Dartford (and UK) property market in the later half of the 20th Century were, firstly, the mass building of Council Housing in the 1950’s and 60’s. Secondly, for the Tory’s to sell most of those Council Houses off in the 1980’s and finally 15% interest rates in the early 1990’s which resulted in many houses being repossessed. It was these major factors that underpinned the housing crisis we have today in Dartford.

Also known as the ‘Baby Boomer Generation’, these Dartford people were born after the end of the Second World War as the country saw a massive rise in births as they slowly recovered from the economic hardships experienced during wartime.

To start with, in 1995 the USA relaxed its lending rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act saw a relaxation on the Bank’s lending criteria’s as there was pressure on these banks to lend on mort-gages in low wage neighbourhoods, as the viewpoint in the USA was that anyone (even someone on the min-imum wage) any working class person should be able to buy a home. Unsurprisingly, the UK followed suit in the early 2000’s, as Banks and Building Society’s relaxed their lending criteria and brought to the market 100% mortgages, even Northern Rock started lending every man and his dog 125% mortgages.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, they experienced (whilst in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s) an unparalleled level of economic growth and prosperity throughout their working lifetime on the back of improved education, government subsidies, escalating property prices and technological developments, they have emerged as a successful and prosperous generation. ...Yet some have suggested these Dartford baby boomers have (and are) making too much money to the detriment of their children, creating a ‘generational economic imbalance’, where mature people benefit from house-price growth while their children are forced either to pay massive rents or pay large mortgages. Between 2001 and today, average earnings rose by 65%, but average Dartford house prices rose by 151.1% The issue of housing is particularly acute with the generation called the Millennials, who are young people born between the mid 1980’s and the late 1990’s. These 18 to 30 years, moulded by the computer and inter-net revolution, are finding as they enter early adult life, very hard to buy a property, as these ‘greedy’ landlords are buying up all the property to rent out back to them at exorbitant rents ... it’s no wonder these Millennials are lashing out at buy to let landlords, as they are seen as the greedy, immoral, wicked people who are cashing in on a social despair.

So when we roll the clock forward to today, and we can observe those very same footloose banks from the early/ mid 2000’s (that lent 125% with just a note from your Mum and a couple of breakfast cereal tokens), ironically reciting the Bank of England backed hymn-sheet of responsiblelending. On every first time buyer mortgage application, they are now looking at every line on the 20-something’s banks statements, asking if they are spending too much on socialising and holidays ... no wonder these Millennials are afraid to ask for a mortgage (as more often than not after all that – the answer is negative). Conversely, you have unregulated Buy To Let mortgages. As long as you have a 25% deposit, have a pulse, pass a few very basic yardsticks and have a reasonable job, the banks will literally throw money at you ... I mean Virgin Money are offering 2.99% fixed for 3 years – so cheap! So, in Part Two next month, I will continue this emotive article and show you some very interesting findings on why young people aren’t buying property anymore (and it’s not what you think!).


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Dartford Living

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Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson NO MORE HEROES ANYMORE (Burnel/ Cornwall 1977) Hello and a slightly subdued happy new year to you all. I wonder if you, like me, are reeling from the death of so many of our heroes last year? The number of creative folk we lost was staggering, and in many cases I was surprised at how much such announcements affected me personally. From musicians, actors through to TV stars of my youth and national treasures. It seemed no creative outlet was spared. I am fortunate enough to have been at the birth of what is now known as classic rock. I’ve seen most of the influential musicians of that age including Deep Purple, Queen, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Led Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher and as well as many American bands. All played a huge part in helping me deal with life, love, ambition and dreams. I met many people, some of whom are part of my family of friends to this day. Also, it was losing the older guys which affected me more; both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, Glenn Frey, Rick Parfitt – people I’d seen perform live, imbuing music with a degree of showmanship, virtuosity and often painfully beautiful lyrics the like of which we seldom hear nowadays. The final straw was learning of George Michael’s untimely passing on Christmas Day. He was a true talent who grew in stature as he grew up. From the breeze ‘Club Tropicana’ through to ‘Careless Whisper’ and beyond, he was a truly masterful wordsmith. Again, I’ve been privileged to see him perform live. It didn’t stop at music. We lost Professor Snape and Princess Leia, two of the most iconic characters of recent times. TV favourites Postman Pat and Grizzly Adams, Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne also passed on. Robert Vaughn, known by different generations as Napoleon Solo or Albert Stroller left us. I saw him on stage in ‘Twelve Angry Men’ in 2013. Aged 80 at the time, and quite frail, he still

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drew a standing ovation at the end of the performance. The world of writing lost Harper Lee, Richard Adams and Umberto Eco, and we said good bye to the many talented folk working behind the scenes, but who shaped our cultural heritage. George Martin, referred to as the ‘fifth Beatle’ and Guy Hamilton who directed many of the Bond films, to name a couple. To go on with such an endless list is depressing and a stark reminder that I am getting on in years. All of us have our favourites and may well have mourned their passing, quietly and privately. Such inspirational talent is bound affect us in some way, however small. The influence and effect our heroes had on each of us is a unique experience and in many cases has shaped what we have done in life. I do wonder who is going to replace these heroes. To be fair, I am probably too old to really appreciate the new musical talent that the Offspring like, although I have been caught listening to Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. I just wonder if they will be around thirty years from now. The film industry is probably better equipped to provide our idols. Although many of the best known actors are well into middle age or beyond, there is some real talent snapping at their heels. Even better, a lot of it is British. Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne all have the talent and the charisma to stay the course for many years. TV is unlikely to provide our future heroes – there is simply too much reality/celebrity cheap TV and so many channels to choose from. It is rare that a programme takes us by surprise, drip feeds the excitement and care we must have to want to continue watching. Thankfully there are some quality dramas bucking the trend. ‘Game of Thrones’ springs to mind! Everyone needs a hero, everyone needs to go through the fangirl/fanboy stage. It’s part of growing up. Here’s hoping the next generation enjoy heroes of the calibre we’ve lost. See you next month.

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Want to get fit iin 2017 whilst enjoying fresh air and home grown veg? Allotmments for rent in Gore Road, East Dartford are available now. Contact Clive 07542 477322 or dartfordeastallotments@ymail.com

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Dartford Living

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LOCAL BUSINESS:

QUARTZ FINANCIAL SERVICES

Website: quartzfs.co.uk Telephone: 07932 616400/01474 887948

Can you afford not to have a Will?

The same would apply to you, if your partner has no Will.

It’s not something we like to talk about – death. We may not even like to read about it, but making a Will, to ensure your wishes are followed after you’ve gone is quick and easy with Quartz FS – Wills and Probate Ltd. Making a Will also ensures that your assets are protected and your loved ones left with as little to sort out as possible. We can work with old Wills, producing a new one to replace it, or create your first Will. Whether you want to ensure your property, assets or business are taken care of, a Will with Quartz will ensure all is arranged in the event of the worst happening. Money, property, children, jewellery, pets, possessions, and wishes of whether you want to be buried or cremated on death can be included in your Will. Business owners and parents should particularly think about writing a Will. For the business owners, it ensures their legacy is passed down with ease and with clear instruction. Without a Will, the Court of Protection would decide who children would live with in the case of them being left without their parents. This may not be the wishes of the parents; a Will ensures their wishes are followed and their assets are protected, often in trust. For unmarried couples, without a Will, your partner has no entitlement to keep anything that belongs to you. All of your assets would be distributed according to the law.

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Making a Will is easy with Quartz – we can come to meet you, speak on the phone or Skype, at a time convenient to you. Once we have talked, a Will takes around two weeks to complete and can be changed at any time. The Will lasts until death, or until it is altered by you if circumstances change. All Wills are single, although some couples may choose to mirror each others’ wishes. We provide: Last Will and Testament Lasting power of attorney Will trusts Our Wlils are priced from £165, with discounts available if using other Quartz services. Get in touch to find out how we can help you with all of your financial arrangements. contact@quartzfs.co.uk 07932 616400 01474 887948 quartzfs.co.uk Quartz Financial Services Limited is an appointed representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Will writing is not a regulated activity by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Melinda Bush - founder, Quartz FS

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Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com

Dartford Living

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Stephen P. Gay Funeral Service

The only independently owned and family run funeral directors in Longfield, Dartford and the surrounding villages Especially for the first time, any time of the day or night you can talk to us We will attend to everything We will liaise with doctors, coroners, hospitals, churches, celebrants and ministers We have a private chapel of rest and can provide a fleet of Hearses and Limousines to compliment a dignified occasion We also provide: 24 hour personal service Experienced staff members Worldwide repatriation

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Home visits Funeral plans Obituaries

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STEVE COOK DOUBLE GLAZING SERVICING, REPAIRS AND INSTALLATION

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Dartford Living 23


DEAR DARTFORD LIVING

SMILE FOR NATHAN

Nathan, is 7 years old, and is suffering from the rare brain condition Hypothalamic Hamartoma, known as HH. This tumor on his brain causes him to have around 25 or more seizures a day. He suffers from many types of seizure each day including Atonic (drop) seizures, Tonic-Clonic seizures, Gelastic (laughing) seizures and Complex Partial seizures most of which are extremely rare in children. He also has recently been diagnosed with Autism and ADHD both of which are linked and worsened by HH. He is under care at Great Ormond Street (GOSH), but unfortunately the technology to cure this tumor exists only in Texas. GOSH aren’t able to fund the £100,000 needed for the operation, and due to how rare the condition is, they aren’t able to supply the equipment in this country. This operation has had a great success rate with other patients and is the only thing that will be able to cure Nathan and allow him to live a normal life. It is not going to go away naturally, and the only other option is medicating him for life to reduce the effects. However the medication isn’t proving to be very successful and the severity and frequency of his seizures is getting worse. Already he has to attend school in a wheelchair as his balance is getting weaker and incase a seizure hits while he is walking around. His muscles are also deteriorating due to his lack of co-ordination and lack of ability to exercise. We therefore need to raise £100,000 to be able to send him to Texas for treatment. We have reached this target which is amazing and very heartwarming but now need to fund another £50,000 to cover flights, accommodation, extra tests, scans, travel insurance and any added costs we may need when he is out in Texas. We want to be in a position where we can say yes to any treatment Nathan may need.

Twitter: @smile4nathancon Facebook: Smile for Nathan Instagram: @shareasmile4natha

Matilda and many more. There is also a 42 piece live professional orchestra. All of our performers are giving their time for free as a donation to the cause. Tickets are on sale now from the Orchard Theatre. We are also lucky enough to have received a kind donation from an anonymous donor who has agreed to fund match the concert, meaning every ticket is now worth DOUBLE to Nathan. If we can sell out the concert we can raise in the region of £40,000 in one night. If you want to help but can’t make it you can always sponsor a seat. ALL sponsored seats are being donated to Ellenor Hospice to allow a child in their care a night out to the theatre for free! Help us by sharing the word about Smile!- A Concert for Nathan and following us on social media for more updates on Nathan’s journey. Twitter: @smile4nathancon Facebook: Smile for Nathan  Instagram: @shareasmile4nathan  Thank you for all the support we have received so far, it means a huge amount to the whole family! Nathan’s Fundraising Team

Nathan was on ITV news a few weeks ago which helps to outline his condition –www.facebook.com/ITVLondon/ videos/10154106709292944/ We are holding a huge fundraising concert for him at the Orchard Theatre Dartford on the 12th Feb 2017. Led by Lyn Paul (new seekers) and with a cast of over 100 including big west end leads from various shows including Mamma Mia, Wicked, Shrek, Blood Brothers, We Will Rock You,

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DARTFORD FOODBANK

BY MANDY GARFORD

4 years ago, I served in the Haven food bank, hosted by Gateway Vineyard, Dartford. It was always such a privilege and a pleasure to feel that I was helping, even just a bit, to the lives of those when they needed help. There were so many different characters, circumstances .... each face carried a story. The food bank was more than just somewhere to collect a few food items. It was a warm haven in a sea of chaos. Sometimes benefits had been stopped, sometimes they just weren’t enough with an unexpected emergency, sometimes they had just come through a particularly traumatic experience. ... The number of reasons people came to the food bank was endless. It was no good expecting a stereotypical person to come through the door....it didn’t happen. Some people dressed more formally, some very casual, all at different stages in life but with the same desperate need for food provision for them and maybe their family. 4 years on I was eager to see how the food bank had changed. I was serving teas and coffees. It was a pleasure to be able to help. Different faces came through the doors. I could see on their faces the same relief that I had seen before, relief just knowing that inside the door there is someone wanting to help. I met people without homes,

people let down by the benefits system, people who have been effected by an emergency that has meant they have to choose between heating and eating and I am reminded of how quickly life can change. It only takes a moment for something to go drastically wrong and any one of us could be there. Statistics show us that 1 in 5 children in Dartford lives in poverty...and in some areas of Dartford that becomes 1 in 3. (According to endchildpoverty.org. uk) The need for the food bank is clear.  as always the foodbank runs solely on donations both financial and food. The people walking through the doors are in need just as much as they had been 4 years earlier...if not more! The volunteers continue to do an amazing job welcoming people through their doors. It is a travesty that in this day and age that we need food banks, but here we are. Without the food bank there would be many more local families and people on their own hungry tonight. A big thank you to all the staff at Haven Food bank for all their hard work. And a thank you to everyone of you who has at one time or another given a donation via the trolley in Greenhithe, a local Church or group, Harvest festivals and more... Your donations really do make a difference. 

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Dartford Living 25


The Art of

AUTISM

Autism Awareness Exhibition 1−30 April 2017 Together with Cllr Mandy Garford, local artist Stephen Oliver will be hosting an art exhibition in his Gallery in Dartford with the subject of AUTISM as the theme! We welcome expressions of autism from any of the local children ages 3-18 on the autism spectrum! This could be artwork on paper, canvas, as a sculpture or something more extravagant. Just one piece per ASD child, or as a group please. Any entries will be considered for display in the gallery over the weeks set aside to raise autism awareness in Dartford. For more information please email: Cllr Mandy Garford - mandy4stone@gmail.com or Stephen Oliver - stephen@stephen-oliver.co.uk


RECRUITING NOW! Due to unprecedented demand on our services, we currently have vacancies for:

Community Care Support Workers Night Care Support Workers Senior Care Support Workers We are offering:

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If you are caring and compassionate, take pride in your work and want to make a difference by working for an award winning dementia charity, we would like to hear from you but you will need a full driving licence and access to a car. For further information and application pack please call Jo or Karen on

01474 533990 or email info@alz-dem.org Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services, Safeharbour, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AE Registered Charity No. 1024385

Dartford’s Health Walks Healthy Living Centre - Mondays 10.00am Darenth Country Park - Tuesdays 10.30am Greenhithe - Wednesdays 11.30am Central Park - Thursdays 11.30am Swanscombe - Fridays 10.00am Temple Hill/The Bridge - Fridays 11.00am

weekly!

• • • • •

Health walks are free and led by trained volunteer walk leaders Short social walks that last around an hour No need to book - just turn up Any age and ability welcome Great for people getting little or no exercise, recovering or suffering from an illness or lacking in confidence • Dress for the weather including comfortable footwear

For more details including starting points please contact Healthy Lifestyles Project Coordinator on 01732 227000

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Dartford Living

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Wills LPAs Probate Trusts Home visits available for Will Instructions Fully insured - 2 million pounds PI Insurance Reasonable fees Member of IPW and regulated by Trading Standards Institute Website: www.smnwillwriting services.com Email: susan.norris@ smnwillwritingservices.com Tel: 01322 291379


Visit Dartford’s Markets!

Dartford’s Thursday and Saturday markets offer a great selection of products from fresh fruit & veg to clothes and accessories, all at value for money prices! Enjoy live entertainment at One Bell Corner and don’t forget the Farmers’ Market 10am to 2pm every third Friday of the month! For more information visit www.dartford.gov.uk/markets

Make sure you don’t miss a single thing that’s happening in our community. Visit the We Love Dartford Twitter and Instagram pages and join the followers already enjoying some great offers, news and community information. Supported by


Local Sports News Bav’s Sporting Comment

Graham Taylor will be remembered by many for his unfulfilling spell in charge of England - but by plenty more as an outstanding club manager at Watford and Aston Villa and one of the nicest, most genuine men in the game. The reaction to Taylor’s death in January at the age of 72, and the affection expressed for him, was the true measure of his standing inside and outside football. Tributes were paid at football matches across the country, particularly at Watford, where he was saluted as the club’s “greatest manager of all time” before their home Premier League match against Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road. Chants of “there’s only one Graham Taylor” rang out during a minute’s applause in his memory. Graham Taylor will be greatly missed and perhaps now his work in management, viewed through the prism of this sad news, will finally get the credit it fully deserves.

Upcoming events in February include:

3-5: Tennis - Davis Cup first round: Canada v Great Britain, Ottawa 4: Rugby union - Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland, England v France 5: American football - Super Bowl, Houston, USA 7-12: Tennis - Fed Cup, GB in Euro/Africa Zone Group 1, Tallinn, Estonia 9: Rugby League - Super League season starts 11: Rugby union - Six Nations: Italy v Ireland, Wales v England 14-15 & 21-22: Football - Champions League last 16, first legs 18: Athletics - Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham 18-19: Football - FA Cup fifth round 26: Rugby union - Six Nations: England v Italy 26: Football - EFL Cup final, Wembley

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News From Princes Park

 Website: www.dartfordfc.com Email: commercial@dartfordfc.com

Since the last issue of the magazine Dartford have been in action against Ebbsfleet at Home (Won 2-1) and Away (Lost 1-0), East Thurrock United, where they won 6-1 with 6 different players scoring for Dartford, and Weston-super-Mare where they came back from 0-1 down to win 3-2. They have also been in FA Trophy action against Chelmsford City but, unfortunately, they were knocked out after losing 0-1 and having a player sent off.

On the 6th February Dartford are holding an open meeting at 7.30pm in the Park Suite. This will give supporters the opportunity to find out more about what’s been going on at Princes Park since the last meeting in August, and the plans heading into the summer months and beyond. This will also be another chance to ask members of the board, players and staff any questions.

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Dartford Living

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LOCAL SPORT: DARTFORD JUNIOR PARKRUN Come and Join us at Dartford junior parkrun We’re a free, friendly, fun 2K run in Dartford Central Park every Sunday at 09:00 for children from 4-14 years.   Many people have heard of parkrun, and junior parkrun is its sibling for younger runners (although anyone from 4 years old can take part in the 5K runs on a Saturday at 09:00). It’s great fun and although it’s called a “run” you can run, jog or walk. Parents, grandparents and siblings (young and old) can join in too, either running (although only children receive an official time) or volunteering (the roles are all easy and we’ll let you know what to do).   Teams of volunteers up and down the country put on the events each week to ensure kids have fun and get some exercise in a safe environment. At all points on the course the kids can be seen by at least two volunteers, so if there is a problem there is always someone to help. Dartford juniors started in May 2016 and we’ve had over 230 different runners take part, with more than 40 different people volunteering.

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Website: www.parkrun.org.uk Facebook: Dartford-junior-parkrun

Race against yourself to try to improve your previous times or simply have fun and work towards the milestones of 11, 21 and 50 junior parkruns, when you’ll receive your wristbands. How do I get involved? Simply go on line to www.parkrun.org.uk and register. Print off your barcode and come down on a Sunday morning at 09:00. If you don’t fancy running, why not join in by volunteering, or simply come and see what happens and have a chat. We’re a friendly bunch. Come and check us out on Facebook.   Come along and join us for some fun and fresh air on Sunday morning at 09:00 – we’ll see you outside the café in the park.   Remember to bring your printed barcode –without it you wont get a time #dfyb

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DUE TO EXPANSION WE HAVE NURSERY NURSE AND SENIOR POSITIONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE CHECK OUT OR WEBSITE WWW.DIMPLESNURSERY.CO.UK

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Dartford Living

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LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT: THE FULL MONTY - GARY LUCY INTERVIEW Getting ‘em off and packing ‘em in

Vicky Edwards talks to Gary Lucy about his role in the new tour of The Full Monty An invitation to sit in on a rehearsal of The Full Monty, Simon Beaufoy’s stage adaptation of his own phenomenally successful award-winning movie, is not something a girl gets every day. And when said invitation also includes joining the leading man, fit-as-a-butcher’s dog Gary Lucy, for a chat over lunch, it’s fair to say that this wannabe cougar was purring at full throttle. Without doubt the play is every bit as compelling as its movie counterpart, which tells of a group of Sheffield steelworkers who lose their jobs and resort to forming a Chippendale-esque group as a means of making a few quid. Having arrived at the start of the working day I quickly became so engrossed in watching the heart-breaking and hilarious antics of Gaz and the boys that I was astonished when lunchtime rolled around. I had happily whiled away the morning enjoying the play and, if truth be told, doing a fair bit of politically incorrect ogling. “You really feel for these guys. All they knew was working in the steel works and when that was taken away from them they had nothing else,” said Gary, whose impressive array of screen credits include Danny in EastEnders, DS Fletcher in The Bill, Kyle Pascoe in Footballers’ Wives and Luke Morgan in Hollyoaks, a role that won him the title of Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards. But in recent times Gary – who was also crowned a champion in Dancing on Ice – has been committed to The Full Monty, with this tour marking his fourth outing in the play. As with the film, while the core storyline is rooted in men losing their pride as a by-product of losing their jobs, the Northern humour sparkles as beautifully as Mr Lucy’s eyes. “It is very funny,” agreed Gary, “but the characters all have their own stories. Gaz needs money to pay maintenance for his kid, but they all have their own problems.” Freely admitting that, as his first stage role, it was something

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of a baptism of fire, Gary said: “It was a big challenge and quite scary, but what an opportunity! To play the lead in the stage production of such an iconic British movie was something I had to grab with both hands.” Quick to praise his fellow cast members, Gary told me that the actors coming to the show for the first time have fitted in seamlessly. “It’s a play that is all about camaraderie and friendship and we’ve really got that with this cast, which is brilliant. “Jack Ryder [the former EastEnders star turned director] also has got great energy and great fresh ideas,” he nodded approvingly. Observing that it’s just as well that Gary and his fellow cast members get on so well – the tour runs until April 2017 so they’ll be spending a lot of time together – Gary’s handsome face clouded for a moment. “Of course I miss my family,” he sighed [Gary and his wife have three children, the youngest just a year old], “but when you’re touring the time does go really quickly; this show is such a monster that you have to stay focussed and make sure that you give audiences the best experience possible. But after the last show of the week I usually get in my car and drive home wherever we are, so I do get back most weekends.” And becoming a dad has, Gary reckons, helped him with the role of Gaz. “As a family man I know how Gaz feels because as a dad I have that point of reference. When you get older and gain more life experience you can draw on that as an actor.” On the subject of appearing in his birthday suit, Gary laughed. “Listen, by the time we get to that point in the play we’re well up for it. We don’t think of it as an isolated moment; the whole play builds up to it.” And without giving too much away, Gary revealed that there are times when the lights – a major part of the final dance – can cause the boys to be exposed for a little longer than is altogether comfortable.

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“The audience is whipped to a frenzy and then there’s a point at the very end where, if the lighting cue goes wrong as it has done in the past, people get a bit more than they’ve paid for,” he chuckled. Having toured already with the show, many of the theatres on the schedule are return matches that Gary and the team are looking forward to enormously. As he finished his lunch Gary confided that although The Full Monty is his stage debut, he can’t imagine ever being in another show that gives him such an adrenaline rush.

“It gives me such a buzz and I really don’t think there will ever be a show to live up to it for me.” Hoping audiences go home with their cheeks aching from laughing, as we said goodbye Gary added: “It’s so rewarding to know that they have had a great time.” I am happy to confirm that a great time is exactly what you’ll have. But be quick – tickets are selling fast. In fact, like the boys at the curtain call, they’ll be gone in a flash. The Full Monty is at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford from 13-18 February. Booking: www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

The Orchard Theatre Community Choir is 30 strong and recruiting, in particular we need more men and those low voices! Would you like to join? Do you know anyone who would like to join? Please spread the word … “Best Monday night ever!” - A current member. The Orchard Theatre Community Choir meet weekly in Dartford and take part in community events, . Led by the wonderful Tania Holland Williams the choir work on a mixed repertoire with a focus on musical theatre and is open to anyone who is passionate about singing! For more information email Sarah at schiswell-hornett@orchardtheatre.co.uk Mondays, 7pm – 9pm - £6 per session or £50 for every ten weeks. We meet at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Dartford.Booking details https://orchardtheatre.co.uk/Online/CommunityChoir Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com

Dartford Living

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LET’S GET TOGETHER!

Our unique drama programme will help children develop excellent social skills. Over time, we guarantee children’s confidence and communication skills will increase in many ways.

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Local Entertainment

January/ February Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer Well, it’s safe to say 2017 has got off to a pretty awesome start, theatre-wise. We had fantastic stage productions of two classic movies, Sister Act and Ghost; the Moscow City Ballet were as brilliant as ever in dance double bill, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake; and Shane Richie returned to Dartford alongside Strictly Come Dancing star Laura Whitmore in Peter James’ tense thriller, Not Dead Enough. On to this month, and I’m slightly beside myself, because Joseph is coming! This Andrew Lloyd Webber classic was the first show I ever saw in the West End, starring Phillip Schofield - yes, I’m that old - and it’s still one of my all time favourites. (I even know all the colours of his coat, in the right order.) So I’m more than a little bit hyper at the prospect of seeing the show for the first time in years when it comes to the Orchard from 7th-11th February, starring X Factor winner Joe McElderry. And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Joseph is followed just a couple of days later by The Full Monty (13th-18th), starring former Hollyoaks heartthrobs Gary Lucy and Chris Fountain. Based on the award-winning British movie about a group of unemployed steel workers who find a unique way to raise some cash, this looks set to be a brilliant night out - for all kinds of reasons… (And if you can’t make it that week, the show will be heading straight

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on to Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre from 20th-25th.) For a change of pace, Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures will be at the Orchard from 20th to 22nd February. Early Adventures takes us back in time with a programme of hit pieces from the early career of Britain’s favourite choreographer. The show forms part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of Matthew Bourne’s company, New Adventures, best known for acclaimed productions including Swan Lake and Edward Scissorhands. And finally, something for the kids - and those of us who’ve never quite grown up: Fantastic Mr Fox (28th February5th March) brings us family fun from the genius that was Roald Dahl. This brand new musical adaptation from Sam Holcroft includes music composed by Arthur Darvill - who most of us will know best as Rory in Doctor Who - and was described by The Times as “a whisker-licking treat”. How can you say no to that? Other local treats this month: the original rom-com, Pride and Prejudice, at the Marlowe in Canterbury from 31st January to 4th February; legendary musical Rent at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre from 6th to 11th; and for the kids, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom on the 3rd and 4th. Read more regional and London theatre reviews at theatrethings.blog.

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Fitness

Making Changes Let me guess… you’ve eaten too much, drank too much, over-indulged, over-spent, under-slept, skipped workouts and generally It’s difficult. Every January you write your New Year’s resolutions and try to change so many things that you get overwhelmed and end up falling right back into old patterns. This spans beyond your diet and exercise routine and into everything you’ve tried to change. The reality is, by now most people are “off” their new diets and back to eating the same things they were eating before Christmas. The very same things that got them to the point they needed to “go on a diet” in the first place. Lack of instant results, the unwillingness to give up (even temporarily) the things we enjoy the most, the belief that “I can’t do this” or “this won’t work for me” all culminate into us giving up and accepting defeat. Disheartened because we failed again, and believing we’re destined to be this way forever, and putting on a brave face trying to accept that idea and pretend we’re okay with that. The problem is we either go too hard and try to follow unsustainable plans, or we don’t give it long enough. Despite past failures, you CAN do it. And it’s not as difficult as you think it will be. The problem is, it takes WAY longer than you expect and have been led to believe; and much longer than you’re comfortable waiting. In a time when people want instant gratification – 90-day, 60-day, 28-day, 14-day fat loss programs - people expect results right from the start and give up long before they’re actually likely to happen. You may get some rapid results to begin with (there are numerous reasons for this) but these are merely adaptations to a new plan, and tend to plateau quite quickly – so you see some weight loss, then it stops all of a sudden and you think you’ve done something wrong. There’s so much conflicting information out there, and so many diets to try, you just give up, binge for a month or two, and then either try a different diet, or even worse, go back and try the same one that didn’t work for you last time! If you can accept that change takes time, and slow progress is better than ending up back where you started, then you’re ready to start your journey. A couple of months spent practicing the basics – things you already “know” but don’t “do” consistently is time well-spent. Changing your habits

and behaviours will stick with you forever, making subsequent changes easier and more manageable, but possibly unnecessary anyway. You don’t have to starve. You don’t have to forgo all the foods you enjoy the most. You don’t have to spend 12 hours a week in the gym. You may need to increase your activity levels (both in and out of the gym). You may need to cut back or temporarily eliminate some of your problem foods. You may need to reduce calories slightly (although if you’ve already been following a “diet”, chances are you’re already eating too little!). Make sure you’re doing the right things consistently, every day. Focus on the things that are most meaningful, big or small. Work on developing yourself and your habits, not shortterm change. Take control and responsibility for your actions. If you can set yourself on the right path and settle in for the duration, then by next January, “lose weight” may not be on your list, or if it is, you won’t have as much to lose. If you’re ready and willing to start this journey, and realise there are no overnight results, then go to www.DartfordBootcamps. com/nutrition to find out how you can get started with my help. I’m not going to make unrealistic claims of how much weight you can lose or how quickly since that’s impossible to say, and entirely down to you; but I will say that if you commit to this program and follow the steps to the best of your ability, you’ll learn what nutrition your body needs and responds to, and can say goodbye to “dieting” forever. If you want to see some of the results real people, just like you, have gotten following this same plan, check out the webpage I just mentioned. Go to www.DartfordBootcamps.com for more information on the Nutrition Coaching Program (there’s a video you can watch to see what it’s all about) and maybe I’ll hear from you in the next few weeks (but the sooner the better remember – no point putting it off even longer!). By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps. www.DartfordBootcamps.com MarkOneFitness.blogspot.com.

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Dhiren’s Auto News February Audi Q8 SUV

Audi’s Q8 concept has been revealed at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, offering an idea of what the German brand’s new Q8 will look like when it arrives in 2018. The flagship SUV, which will sit above the Audi Q7, will rival the likes of the BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, and the Range Rover. The concept shares a similar footprint to the current Q7 – it’s over five metres long and has a wheelbase of three metres – but is 40mm lower. Showcased as a plug-in hybrid e-tron model, the Q8 concept is powered by a 3.0-litre TFSI engine paired with an electric motor, which runs from a 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery. Audi claims 0-62mph takes 5.4 seconds and the car has a top speed of 155mph, while it emits 53g/km of CO2. Those wanting more performance will eventually be able to upgrade to an Audi SQ8. The high performance model is likely to use the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 diesel as the SQ7, developing 429bhp. There is no indication of prices at this stage. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Volkswagen has uncovered the new seven-seat Tiguan Allspace SUV at this year’s Detroit Motor Show. With the option for a third row of seats, it will rival the Nissan X-Trail when it arrives later in 2017, while it’s expected to make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in

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In this month’s article we’ll bring you new cars to the SUV market revealed at the Detroit Motor Show to be launched in 2017 and 2018.

March. There’s a subtle new look, with a different grille and bonnet, while the larger rear side windows and longer roofline mark out the new version. A third row of seats will be offered as an option, turning the Tiguan Allspace into a seven-seater SUV. Other options will include front- or all-wheel drive, as well as three petrol and three diesel engines from the standard Tiguan range. There’s no word on UK-specific release dates or prices yet, but expect to see the VW Tiguan Allspace arrive in the second half of 2017 with a price tag starting at around £26,000. Facelifted Mercedes GLA

Mercedes has revealed an updated version of its GLA small SUV at the Detroit motor show, which gets styling and equipment upgrades. The Mercedes-Benz GLA has plenty to offer buyers looking for a premium small SUV. It’s got classy looks inside and out, a decent array of standard equipment and, if you opt for one of the diesel engine options, low running costs, too. Among the GLA’s visual upgrades are optional LED headlights, new bumper designs, lighter alloy wheels and a wider range of paint colours for buyers to choose from. Inside, new options include a surround-view camera system to aid parking. New off-road comfort suspension raises the GLA up by 30mm, giving the car greater ground clearance for off-road driving. In the UK, the same three petrol and two diesel options will be offered, meaning the range is still comprised of the GLA 200, GLA 250, GLA 200d and GLA 220d models. The GLA gets ‘Active Brake Assist’ as standard - this is Mercedes’ version of Automatic Emergency Braking, and uses radar to detect other cars in front of the GLA. If the system thinks a crash is unavoidable, it can apply the car’s brakes automatically.

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Gardening Hints and Tips February Climbers Plant climbers now to provide colour, height and interest for clothing walls, fences, arches and arbours. As well as for screening compost heaps and other unsightly objects. Fast growing plants like clematis, ivy, honeysuckle, Virginia creeper and roses are perfect choices. If your soil is too wet and sticky, wait until conditions improve before planting. Weeds Keep those annoying weeds at bay and you will enjoy your gardening a lot more. Small weeds are best dealt with by hoeing them off. Beds and borders can be kept weed free by applying a 2-3inch thick mulch; and weed suppressing planting membranes ensure the perfect start to new beds and borders. Annuals Now’s time to make a start on sowing those summer bedding plants indoors that need a long growing period – as long as you can provide the right heat and light conditions. You can sow sweet peas, dianthus, lobelia, ageratum and bedding geraniums. Don’t forget to pick up everything you’ll need, such as propagators, compost, pots, seed trays and labels. Check garden structures Now’s the perfect time to check your fences, trellis and pergolas before climbers burst into growth and make the job more tricky. You can make any repairs or improvements as necessary as well as install any new features you want for the coming year. Just ask a member of staff for details of what we have in stock. Pruning Now’s the time to prune a number of garden shrubs. These include winter jasmine after the flowers have faded, bush and climbing roses, many summer flowering shrubs and most clematis; apart from the spring flowering montanas, alpinas and macropetalas. After pruning, feed with a controlled release or slow-acting fertiliser to ensure healthy regrowth and more flowers. Don’t forget to pick up any tools you’ll need such as secateurs, pruning saws, loppers and gloves. If you need more information, just ask any of our friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Website: : www.hawleygardencentre.co.uk Telephone: 01322 224108

Pestwatch Don’t let garden pests and diseases get you down this year. By looking at your plants now and dealing with the problems that may be present, you’ll prevent them from getting out of control. Be especially vigilant on plants in the house, conservatory and greenhouse. Slugs can be controlled with a wide range of products, just ask our staff for more advice on the slug control products we stock. Many pests over-winter as eggs on the stems of plants, so any pruning now will remove them. Buy summer flowering bulbs Now’s the time to buy begonias and dahlia tubers together with the huge variety of summer flowering bulbs we have in stock. Although it’s too early to plant them in the garden, buy them now to ensure we have the range of varieties you require. Begonias and dahlias can be started into growth indoors now and the resulting shoots used for cuttings. And don’t forget to stock up on pots, labels, twine, compost and all the other sundries you’ll need to get the best out of them. Top dress trees & shrubs Get your trees and shrubs and beds and borders off to a flying start this year by mulching and feeding with a controlled release fertiliser. Mulches should be applied a couple of inches thick and good choices include bark chips, manure and compost. Plan & plant your flower borders You can plant hardy trees, shrubs, roses, fruit and perennials, and nearly all other outdoor plants we have in stock providing the soil isn’t frozen solid or waterlogged. Remember to improve the planting area first with a good soil improver such as tree & shrub planting compost. Borders A few minutes spent on your beds and borders now will reap huge benefits later in the year. Lightly trim winter flowering heathers when the flowers fade to improve flowering next year. Lift, divide and replant snowdrops after flowering. Cut back the dead stems of herbaceous perennials to ground level and lift and divide congested clumps that didn’t flower well last year.

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time) Mondays

£2.00 per one 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. snack for small biscuits, Tea/coffee each. adults or children extra any for 50p and child adult and of session Contact end at dancing and singing and table Craft slice per 20p Toast juice. with children Julie on 01322 291092. Tuesdays , Dartford. Contact Catherine on Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad 01322 220036. on (01322) 288434 for further 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us information. snack time for the children For 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com

Wednesdays

on (01322) 288434 for further 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us information. per family including all snacks and 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £3 drinks. John 01322 272649. Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale £2.50 per Adult

Thursdays

further details. The Vineyard Centre, 24 Market St, Dartford. Contact Jane on 07956 430244 for 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per facebook.com/ToeRags Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook. 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per com/ToeRags

Fridays

up to 2. £1 per adult 9.30am-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidrenor see 382031 01322 Contact e. Greenhith Road London Hall, Church e Greenhith St Mary www.stmarygreenhithe.com Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per facebook.com/ToeRags Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, 380322 jeannehoadley@yahoo.co.uk 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child

Saturdays

up to 5years. £1.50 includes 9.30am-11.30am Daddy and Me - A group for dads and male carers of children Greenhithe. Contact 01322 healthy snack time for the children. St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

Tuesdays Two sessions, from 9.30-10.30am and 10:45 - 11:45am in Fleetdown FC Hall; Heath Lane, Dartford. Contact Kate on 07770 860450.. ALSO RUN SAME PLACE/TIM E ON THURSDAYS Tuesdays 10.30m - 11.00am (term time only) at Fleetdown Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. Thursdays (term time only) we will be holding 2 sessions - 10.15am & 11am Crayford Rd, Crayford, DA1 4ER. Tel: 020 8303 7777. Also: Coffee and Chat sessions at Temple Hill Library on the First Tues of the month 10am 12noon. Thursdays 10.30am - 11.00am (term time only) at Fleetdown Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. Thursdays 2.15 - 2.45pm (term time only) at Greenhithe Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. Thursdays 10.45am - 11.15am (term time only) at Longfield Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247.


Sarah

07891 545965 sarah.h@hartbeeps.com


Where to go locally... The North West Kent Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association meets at 8pm on the

4th Wednesday evening of each month in the Pop-In Parlour, Mill Road, Northumberland Heath, Erith. The meetings last about 2 hours and the group often have a speaker on a variety of subjects, followed by tea and biscuits and general chat. For more information contact Eileen on 01322 228169.

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 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.

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 01474 353405 or email landaclatworthy@btinternet.com

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Swanley History Group Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ hotmail.co.uk for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. 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.northkentembroiderers.co.uk or phone 01474324734. The Dartford Stroke Group is starting chair-based excise classes on Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse at 2.30pm on 19th September, 3rd October, 17th October, 7th November, 21st November, 5th December and 19th December. This is as well as the regular meetings of the Stroke Group at the Meeting Place on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.  Please contact Theo at Theo.Hodges@gmail.com or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68 296 to get the current dates for our events and for more information

Age UK, Crayford library Pop in Parlour coffee morning every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1

BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS UK

For people with Parkinsons and their carers. We have 2 meetings per month. Bexley: 4th Thursday of each month, at Pincott Hall, 2-4pm. Dartford: 2nd Thursday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. Information support workers available, guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Wendy Leach.  Tel:  02083065973

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

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Would you like to promote a local activity on the “Where to go locally...” page? If so, email your suggestions to editor@dartfordliving.com Dartford & District Stamp Club Hold regular meetings in The Meeting Place, The Orchard Shopping Centre, Dartford. Details from Steve Alpe 01322 284491 or email

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-BookClub/

20s 30s Dartford Bexleyheath surrounding areas social group more information visit: www.meetup.com/20s-30s-Dartford-Bexleyheath-surroundingareas-social-group/

DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE)

meets on the first Tuesday of every month (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about meetings and interest groups call 01474-709068 or visit our website.

Dartford Stroke Group is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their families and carers. It meets at the Meeting Place in the Orchard Shopping Centre, Dartford for a chat, support, excise classes, outings and speakers. Please contact Theo at Theo.Hodges@ gmail.com or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68 296 to get the current dates for our events and for more information.

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

month at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford. We run a varied programme of activities suitable for the beginner through to the more experienced quilter. More details can be obtained from the club secretary on 01474 834872

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 www.dartfordchessclub.co.uk

GUITARS IN THE SHADOWS – JOIN IN MUSIC BY THE SHADOWS TO 60S TO ROCK N ROLL Meet at Dartford Working Mens Club (Essex Road) at 7.30pm on the fourth Thursday of the month. Membership is free but we do ask for a small contribution to costs on the night. Call Ray on 07813 540131 or email guitarsinshadows@hotmail.com

COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB

meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month at Sutton at Hone Village Hall. 1.30pm until 4.30pm. £3.00 per afternoon (to include a raffle ticket and tea/ coffee) £10.00 yearly fee. We are a small, friendly club, not expensive. Tuition given. All supplies can be bought in situe. Come and see if you like it, You will be very welcome. Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357.

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 Chris 01322 836026

The Dartford Chess Club

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 alisondukes@btinternet.com

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Where to go locally... 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.co.uk

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!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/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 c_sawyers@hotmail.com.

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 - havenx35@gmail.com

TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments.

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Fridays 12:30 til 14:00 at St Marys Church Greenhithe Email mummyonthemend15@gmail.com for more details. 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@hotmail.co.uk

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.facebook. com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome!

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.

TALK TIME

Mummy On The Mend

A support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression

Dartford Bellringers Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.009.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Phone Ester 01322 220458 or email: esther.correia1@btinternet. com

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see www.nwkfhs.org.uk or ring Janet 01322384836

Creative sessions at the what if...? Gallery in Dartford. Every Wednesday evening between 6-9pm. The cost is just £3.50 and you will be able to mix with other artistic people and paint and draw - in fact do anything creative that you like to do. Just turn up - no need to book and bring your own materials. See you there!

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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

They meet at the Holiday Inn, Black Prince, Thursday evenings 7:30pm for 7:45pm for Dinner and fellowship. For details phone 07759 863836.

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 www.nwr.org.uk or call 08454 500 287 and ask about the Dartford group.

NHS RETIREMENT FELLOWSHIP

The Rendezvous Club (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm

Location: The Pop in Parlour, Graham Road, Bexleyheath DA6 7EG Description: We are a friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. As a social group we enjoy a number of activities including bingo, a Beatle drive, quizzes, to name but a few. We also take part in outside activities including going for a meal or a trip to the theatre. On occasions we welcome a guest speaker. Admission: £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 (payable in January) Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414

DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB

A group of retired ladies meet locally for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and enjoy meeting and making new friends. If you would like more information please contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448

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

MALE? AGED 18 - 44?

WANT TO HAVE FUN AND DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE WITH YOUR SPARE TIME? We’ve arrived in Dartford and we are a NEW Round Table Get involved, you WILL enjoy it! www.dartfordroundtable.co.uk

Fairfield (Dartford) WI 2nd Tuesday of every month, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, 7.30pm. Contact Judith on 01322 278703 or Evelyn on 07891 061609. Crayford Women’s Institute 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Jean Monk 01322 557142

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 wherever you live and costs just 60p to come along and join in. So why not come and join our friendly welcoming social club? For further information please call either John Letchford on 01322 270732 or Pam Carr on 01322 222195. Joydens Wood Women’s Institute meet on the third Tuesday of every month, with meetings beginning at 7.45pm. We meet at the Community Centre, Birchwood Drive, Wilmington, DA2 7NE. More information can be found at joydenswoodresidents. co.uk (under Local Clubs and Societies).

Crayford and District Probus Club

meet on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Falcon Wood Club, 1 Falcon Wood Avenue, Welling at 10am. Contact Tony Maun 0208 306 1075 or email Crayford.Probus@gmail.com.

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Where to go locally... 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 www.nagfencing.eu

Erith Youth Rugby

Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515

Kent Exiles American Football Club www.kentexiles.co.uk. Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome

Hartley Swimclub at White Oak Pool, Swanley

We are a friendly group of adults who meet for a social swim every Thursday at 9pm. We’re looking for new members. Why not give us a try? Contact Diane on 01689 871846 or join us one Thursday.

LEARN KICK BOXING AND KARATE!

Come and join one of North Kent’s fastest and most successful Martial Arts clubs. For more information, call Saj on 07903 513104 or just come along to one of our sessions and join in the fun! With the most reasonable fees around, you’ll find that training can be affordable too! For all details please visit our website www.northkentkarate.com

LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS Sundays 10:15-10:45 at Swanscombe Leisure Centre. Call Saj on 07903 513104

Dartford Gymnastics

is the only British Gymnastics Club in Dartford to hold the”GymMark” Award for 6 years. Based in Heath Lane, we are a friendly club with super equipment, great coaches and high standards. We do lots of competitions and we do not close through the holidays! Visit our website http://www. dartfordgymnastics.co.uk/ for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@yahoo.co.uk

Learn Karate

Learn karate with Yamato Damashii Every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre. Kids start at 9am, adults at 11am. Just turn up, first lesson free or visit www.facebook.com/yamatodamashiimartialarts [1] for more info.

YOGA WITH EMMA

Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30am-10:30am At Europa Gymnastics Centre Mondays 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Fridays 7.00pm – 8.00pm at Becket Sports Centre For more information please contact Emma: emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk TEL: 07932 621415 www.samadhi-yoga.co.uk

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Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets based at Brooklands Lake Dartford, next to Homebase on Princes Road. We parade every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm- 9.15pm and is open to new recruits, junior cadets aged 10-12 and Sea Cadets aged 12-18. email dartfordscc@gmail.com for more details.

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see www.dfok.co.uk

JUNIOR TABLE TENNIS The Sutton at Hone Table Tennis club run a junior practice session on friday evenings during school terms at the village hall. The session runs from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The session is run by an Table Tennis England qualified coach. Further details please telephone: John Jones 01322 272953

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MUSIC UMBRELLA

Classes for under-fives teaching the basic elements of music through whole body movement, using the Dalcroze and Kodaly methods. With action songs and games, using percussion instruments and props like hoops, balls and soft toys, the children develop musical, physical and social awareness, concentration, co-ordination and confidence - and have lots of fun! Becket Sports Centre, Thursdays during term time: babies and toddlers: 9.15 till 9.55; 3 and 4 year-olds: 10.00 till 10.40 Contact Myrtle : 07763 378451 Email : myrtlebm@hotmail.co.uk

a b c +=

Little Bright Sparks Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Classes held on Weds in East Malling and Thurs in West Kingsdown ÂŁ5.50 per class 07768 447657 for more info www.facebook.com/littlebrightsparks http://www.babysign.org.uk/

Slade Green and Howbury Community Library Baby and Toddler Action Rhyme time group Every Wednesday (Term Time only) at 11.15am LEGO Club Every Saturday 2-3pm for ages 5 and over Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

Contact Sarah sarah.h@hartbeeps.com 07891 545 965

Interested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com ininadvertising? 01322 507817 www.dartfordliving.com InterestedInterested in advertising? Tel: 01322 Tel: 507817 www.dartfordliving.com Dartford Living

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Sam Bailey ‘Sing My Heart out Tour’ 31st March and 1st April 2017 - 7.30pm

Competition

Tickets available from orchardtheatre.co.uk or Ticket Office 01322 220000

2013 X Factor winner, gold selling artist and star of the hit musical Chicago Sam Bailey is bringing her powerhouse vocals to the stage once again in 2017 with her Sing My Heart Out tour. The tour follows the release of her eagerly awaited studio album of the same name. We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer 2 tickets to the opening night of the show (31st March 7.30pm) . To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question...

What year did Sam win X-Factor?: a) 2009 b) 2010 c) 2013 d) 2015 Please email your entries to comp@dartfordliving.com by the 15th February 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. Proof of posting will not be regarded as proof of delivery. 5. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 6. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 7. Closing date for the competition is stated above.

CLAREMONT DECORATIVE SERVICES • ALL TYPES OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DECORATING • AROUND THE HOUSE MAINTENANCE JOBS • FREE ESTIMATES • REFERENCES AVAILABLE • RELIABLE, INEXPENSIVE AND QUALITY WORK BY LOCAL TRADESMEN CAN WE HELP YOU?

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

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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 36 Downton Ali Associates..............................................55 GF + Co........................................................................37 Lynton & Co ................................................................4 Quartz Financial Services.............................................19 Smith Kiew Partners......................................................16 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, KITCHENS & WINDOWS

A Baines & Son Roofing................................................32 Claremont Decorative Services..................................52 Humphrey Belle...........................................................22 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................17 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................29 DATING Wishes Online Dating...................................................17 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................14 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................11 Virotti................................................................13 Wisdom Estates...........................................................31 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................51 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Dynes Auto Services...................................................17 Orchard Garage...........................................................56 Shenley Road Garage...................................................38 GARDENING SERVICES Barge Group................................................................11 HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE The Barge Group.....................................................11 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4

JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................38 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Monkey Music............................................................45 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................18 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................36 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................38 SANDWICH BAR Sally Sues....................................................................22 SECURITY Advance Security Services....................................19 SPORTS Bexley Wing Tun...........................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................16 TREE SURGERY The BARGE Group.................................................11 THEATRE Orchard Theatre ....................................................52 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................28 WEBSITE DESIGN/ DESIGNERS/ GRAPHICS AK Creative ............................................................37 DS Brochure Webdesign.........................................27

Advertise in the magazine for as little as £30 per month

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Dartford Living

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

Useful Numbers 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 Darenth Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartfordf East Health Centre 01322 421480 Dartford West Health Centre 01322 222998 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

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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: 0208 301 1010 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 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 Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www. dartfordjujitsu.co.uk 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 Park- PRINCES PARK GOLF CLUB. Contact: Mr. Pat Coleman, Secretary 01322 863730. email: pat.coleman@dartford.gov.uk The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Hour Love Dartford

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Dartford Living

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MOT - SERVICING - REPAIRS - CAR SALES DIAGNOSTICS - EXHAUSTS - AIRCON - TYRES

01322 271000    

Local, established, independent garage Customer courtesy cars Wide range of used cars in stock Used Car Finance available

Car MOT Test £30

Bike MOT Test £25

See our independent feedback at: www.goodgaragescheme.com and www.trustedtraders.which.co.uk

Supporting the British Heart Foundation & Dartford Cricket Club

mail@orchardgarageltd.co.uk

www.orchardgarageltd.co.uk

128 Park Road, Dartford, DA1 1SZ

Dartford Living February 2017  
Dartford Living February 2017  

The February issue of Dartford Living. Featuring On call firefighter living his dream, Smile for Nathan, Dartford Junior Parkrun plus our us...

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