Dartford Living February 21

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Open as usual during Covid-19

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

6 Dartford News 8 Anxiety Talks 10 Dartford Giving 14 Debbie’s delicious recipe 15 Play Place 16 How to keep your dogs and cats cosy in winter 20-21 Navigating the options for first time buyers 22 Using the 7 Chakra system 24-25 Travel Inspiration- with Harden Holidays 26 Is my old mattress causing my poor sleep ? 28 Fitness February 33 Laptops 4 Kids 35 Senior Snippets 37 Christians Against Poverty 38 Life under the Stairs 39 Sports Roundup 42 Where to go locally 46 Girl Guiding 47 Car News 48 Dartford Youth Council 49 Internet dating 50-51 Wisdom Estates - your wisest move 54 Useful numbers 56-57 Business directory


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

Front cover photo by Janice Blake - Old Mill Farm Parsonage Lane Darenth


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


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MONDAYS British Legion Hall (morning) South Darenth Paula 07891 424401

Geddes Place Church(morning) Bexleyheath Adam 07730 405313

St.Anselms Parish Centre Dartford Gillian 07957 135737

Oakfield Primary Academy Dartford Kate 07590 995948

Oakfield Primary Academy(from January 5th 2021) New Venue Dartford Kate 07590 995948

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Fleetdown Community Centre Dartford Paula 07891 424401

WEDNESDAYS St.Edmunds Church Living Well Dartford Jo 07800 797030

VCD Sports Club(morning) Crayford Sue 07507 599691 VCD Sports Club(evening) Crayford Shelley 07979 691619 TUESDAYS St.Anselms Parish Centre Dartford Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe British Legion Greenhithe Paula 07891 424401 St.John The Evangelist Church Bexley Adam 07730 405313

The Howard Venue Hextable Kelly 07904 759587 New Consultant

Danson Youth Centre Bexleyheath Shelley 07979 691619 FRIDAYS The Brent Old Boys Dartford Jo 07800 797030

VCD Sports Club(mornings) Crayford Liz 07900 213548

SATURDAYS Oakfield Primary Academy Dartford Sarah 07739 027161

VCD Sports Club(evenings) Crayford Jo 07920 851475

The Christchurch Centre Swanley Paula 07891 42440

THURSDAYS Greenhithe British Legion Greenhithe Paula 07891 424401

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DARTFORD NEWS Dartford Boroug h Council backs the Government’s new Kickstart scheme, aimed at helping young people find job placements.

Dartford is taking drastic steps to tackle unemployment rates which have increased across the country during the pandemic. 16-25 year olds have been directly impacted and in some areas are currently facing the prospect of long-term unemployment. Dartford Borough Council is working with Kent Invicta Chamber, Job Centre Plus, and North Kent College to support the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, which aims to help young people get the experience they need to start their careers. The scheme is reaching out to local employers with the incentive of a fully funded position if they can offer our young people a new six month placement, with the Government pledging to pay wages up to 25 hours per week (including National Insurance Contributions), along with a payment of up to £1,500 to help with training, uniform, and DBS


Dartford Borough Council has suspended parking charges in pay and display car parks In response to the latest Covid-19 restrictions, Dartford Borough Council has suspended parking charges in all of its pay and display car parks. The step is designed to assist shoppers making journeys for essential supplies, and also provides options for residents in streets where additional day time car parking pressures arise from more neighbours working from home. The conditions applying to Resident Parking Schemes have also been relaxed to reflect the likelihood of more family members working from home. Whilst parking not linked to households within the scheme will continue to be prohibited, visitor permits issued to local residents who are part of the scheme will not be subject to daily renewal or expiry. A single visitor permit may be deployed on a vehicle until further notice.

checks if required. Additionally, North Kent College is offering wraparound support and training packages to ensure that the young person receives everything they need to be the best employee possible, including a skills check, careers guidance, CV support Our adoption of these common-sense operational arrangements does not and interview preparation. mean that traffic regulations and Leader of the Council, Jeremy Kite orders have been suspended. The said, “We’ve always been incredibly council will enforce regulations if proud of the contribution that parking behaviours impact upon young people make to our local the safety or convenience of other economy, and did not hesitate to road users or pedestrians. By working back this scheme to help them together and parking sensibly, we find employment during these can keep each other safe. difficult times. This funding will help Dartford’s businesses provide work opportunities and plug skills gaps, so I would urge them, where possible, to get involved.”

The steps we have taken mean that frontline NHS and healthcare staff, along with community volunteers and responders engaged in Covid-19 support activity, should find parking If you can help our local youngsters easier. In the unlikely event of a start their careers, please email: penalty being issued to anyone in this kickstart@kentinvictachamber. cohort, they should contact Parking Services via the information on the co.uk, or call 01233 503838. ticket for us to review and resolve.

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ANXIETY TALKS By local resident Shannon Randall

For people who don’t suffer from anxiety, it can easily be brushed off as simple worrying but anxiety has real physical and mental effects that can be frightening to say the least.

2) Writing down my thoughts and feelings as well as a plan for each day helped dramatically! Like a diary, but specifically for day to day emotions and mental state. This can be oddly therapeutic. Therapy itself is also a great help for some people. Especially if you’re in my position and suffer from health anxiety in the middle of a pandemic! Having a designated person to spill all your thoughts and feelings to and help change your negative thought patterns without judgement? Perfect. 3) Restrict your social media intake! Cutting down on screen time in general is always a good thing. When you’re on your phone you are sat in one non-moving position, eyes staring unblinking at a bright blue screen. How do you expect to relax like that? Not to mention the effect social media has on you mentally. I read a quote on Duolingo that said, “15 minutes a day on Duolingo can teach you a language, what does 15 minutes a day of social media do to you?”

4) Also a final note to say that taking anxiety medication doesn’t mean I was convinced I was dying when tight chest, pins and needles in my you are weak! Medication saves I first experienced it! My chest was fingers, the aching back and lives and you shouldn’t be ashamed tight and breathing was a struggle shoulders… to take advantage of it. which made it hard to sleep, eat or exercise. I was constantly struggling Tips and Tricks Resources , which COVID surely didn’t help. 1) A useful and yet frustrating piece northkentmind.co.uk I must have rung the doctors three or four times and every time I heard the same thing; “It’s anxiety.” It’s not that I didn’t believe them, I did. I was just convinced there was something more because anxiety can’t surely do this much damage? Anxiety surely can’t physically affect me this much? Well, turns out, that is exactly what anxiety can do. The


of advice is, ‘just breath’. Breathing in the right way can do wonders. Breathe in. Breathe out. Release the tension in your body one limb at a time. Relax your body. No, this isn’t a magic fix but in the moment it can help to relax you. Years of withheld stress isn’t going to magically disappear overnight.

(01322 291380) www.counselling-directory.org.uk/ dartfordandkent www.insighthealthcare.org/talkingtherapies/kent www.oasiscounsellingservices.co.uk (01322 294430)

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By Kate Hargreaves

I hope your 2021 has started well so far… Last year was incredibly tough for so many people in so many different ways, but imagine being a child and experiencing things even worse than your 2020…

...This month I’ve talked to my good friend James Sims, who has worked at Childline (part of the NSPCC) for the last six years and volunteered there for four years before that. He is currently a supervisor of volunteer counsellors who help vulnerable children in times of crisis. Childline volunteer counsellor “What is it?” This involves lending your time to support vulnerable young people who contact the service, by phone, email or oneto-one instant chat online. Young people can contact Childline about anything that is on their mind, for themselves or for their friends. Unfortunately, many calls go unanswered; in these challenging times, volunteers are needed more than ever. “Would I enjoy it?” There is a perception that it will be very upsetting, and it can be, but you also offer support to those young people who have nowhere else to turn – you could be that contact


transferable skills from the training and the whole experience, it could lead to a new career or employment, like it did for James. “Are there any requirements?” DBS checks, references and additional safeguarding checks will be required, and there is a long training process. To do well in the role, you should be empathetic and perceptive, with strong emotional resilience and good self-awareness.

“Anything else I need to know?” A lot of people think of it as “I want to help young people” and expect to advise them. The role is more about listening to young people, providing them a safe space to talk, and giving when no one else will listen. James an empathetic response. Primarily genuinely loves what he does and the role is carried out from an office is proud that they are offering an in Shoreditch, London. amazing and unique service to young people. Although it can be tough, that “This sounds great, how do I get also makes it incredibly rewarding. involved?” Go to www.nspcc.org.uk/support-us/ “How much time do I need for it?” volunteering-nspcc-childline/ Due to the nature of the role, a lot of and complete an online application training is required, usually taking two form. You will then be invited to an to three months, including face-toinformation meeting on Zoom. If face training, assessments, practice you’re keen to get involved, there shifts and online learning, which costs will be an interview on Zoom, and the NSPCC a lot; therefore a year’s then an in-depth training programme. commitment is required. You’d be Once you become a counsellor, you expected to do 40 shifts a year, of will be assigned a supervisor, such around four hours each. as James, who will be responsible for your development, safety and “What would I get out of it?” You wellbeing, and provide regular could find that the training not only supervisions. As always, if you have helps you support young people at any questions, feel free to email Childline, but also helps in other kate@dartfordliving.com. areas of your day-to-day life and relationships with people of all ages. If you are a young person in need Many volunteers report that it has of support, remember that you are helped in their day jobs, increased not alone. Please phone Childline their self-awareness and empathy, on 0800 11 11 or visit www.childline. and improved their communication org.uk/get-support skills particularly around having difficult conversations. As well as the

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A deliciously quick and easy treat 3 tbsp Hot Water have a very large mug - as the cake for Valentine’s and any other special 3 Frozen Raspberries, plus additional will rise and could easily end up or not-so-special occasion! to serve. overflowing!!! Make it once, then adjust sugar/ What to do: Serve with a few more raspberries fruit to your taste. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, or berries of your choice. baking powder, oil, milk and vanilla You will need: in a large mug and mix until you get Enjoy! xxx 2 tbsp Plain Flour a nice, smooth batter. 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder 1 tbsp Sugar Sprinkle over the additional brown ½ tsp Baking Powder sugar, cocoa powder and raspberries. 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil Pour the hot water on the top – but 2 tbsp Milk do not stir. ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract Pop the mug into the microwave for Plus: 1 - 1½ minutes. Important – check 1 tbsp Brown Sugar every few seconds after a minute 1 tsp Cocoa Powder has passed. Especially if you don’t



HOW TO KEEP YOUR DOGS AND CATS COSY IN WINTER As temperatures across the country plummet,

Keep them warm and dry

Battersea is offering advice to dog and cat owners to help keep their much-loved pets warm this winter.

We don’t like being wet and muddy, and neither do our pets. Dry off your dog or cat if they are wet or muddy to keep them from becoming ill, and make sure you provide somewhere cosy and warm for them to curl up and rest, especially if they are older. Check their paws During winter, it is especially important to check in between your pet’s toes after they’ve been outside. Any salt and grit on the roads and pavements could get stuck in between paws and cause them to become chapped and irritated. Furthermore, if your pet licks grit off their paw, it could make them very unwell. In the event of snow, check your pet’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside. This is especially important with long-haired animals, as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls, which can prove very painful. If they are good with handling, you could trim the long hair between your dog’s toes to help prevent this.

Anna Hemmings, Centre Manager at Battersea Brands Hatch said: “Just like humans, some of our pets will need a little extra care over the colder months to help keep them feeling their best. Elderly dogs and cats, or those with short coats, may especially struggle during this time. “Owners should also be wary of some risks that come with winter – things such as anti-freeze or freezing weather can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and it’s vital that we stay alert in order to keep our pets as safe as possible.” Wrap up warm Just as it’s important for humans to wrap up warm on winter walks, it’s also important to make sure that our dogs are dressed appropriately for colder weather. Short-coated breeds, such as


Staffies or Greyhounds, and elderly Playtime dogs would benefit from a warm, Some pets will be content to spend waterproof coat. their usual amount of time outdoors, come rain or shine, but others may If your dog struggles with colder become more inclined to stay indoors weather, consider taking them on a little more when the weather takes a turn for the worst. A good way to a shorter walk than normal.

keep your pet stimulated when they’re not spending as much time outside is to provide them with toys and games to keep them entertained, such as a play tunnel, scratching post or ball game for cats and chew toys or food puzzles for dogs. Avoid antifreeze One of the biggest and most common dangers that cats face in winter when freezing temperatures hit is coming in to contact with antifreeze, which can result in serious illness or even death. Ethylene glycol, a chemical compound found in antifreeze, is commonly used during the winter to prevent freezing and is frequently used in car radiators, screen washes and de-icers, as well as in garden water features to stop them freezing over. Cats seem to be attracted to the sweet taste of this chemical which can prove deadly if they ingest even a small amount.

of any signs that their cat may have come in to contact with antifreeze and take them to the vet immediately. Symptoms include vomiting, increased thirst, appearing sleepy or disorientated, frequent toilet trips, faster breathing rate and seizures. Check your car Cars can pose several risks to cats, particularly during the cold, dark months. Cats (and other small animals) have a dangerous habit of crawling under car bonnets to enjoy the warmth from the engine so you should always tap the hood of a car before starting the engine. This will hopefully disturb any stowaways and encourage them to move on to a safer spot. For more advice on winter pet care, please visit www.battersea.org.uk

Leaving antifreeze where cats can get to it not only puts your own pets at risk but also any strays or neighbours’ cats in the area. Owners should be aware


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USING THE 7 CHAKRA SYSTEM TO HELP US TO TUNE INTO OUR NEEDS SO WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. call them that. Using the heart chakra as an example, in moments of great emotion in life we know we can have a visceral, palpable experience in this region of the body. The experience has nothing to do with anything that could be seen on an operating table or anything that could be seen by a scan. Falling in love, infatuation and grief can all bring a felt sense to this location.

After the year we’ve just had, it would be easy to feel disconnected, to find it hard to know what we feel, what we need, or what to do to feel better. Luckily yoga gives us tools to help us to tune in and become more aware of what we are feeling so we can better take care of ourselves. One of those tools is the 7 Chakra system.

in a vertical line from the pelvic base to somewhere just above the head. We can probably agree that the most emotional and energetically significant experiences in our lives all happen on this vertical axis - for example, gestation, birth, sexual experiences, gut feelings (butterflies, intuition), emotions of the heart, the throat and vocal chords, being able to express ourselves, singing, feeling The chakras are often taught in a a lump in the throat, struggling for dogmatic or mysterious way when words, deep thinking and flashes in actual fact they are a means to of insight. help us to sense and recognize how we feel and what our needs We all experience the chakras at one are. Chakra is a Sanskrit word time or another, we just don’t usually that is often defined as wheel but the word can also translate as centre, group, circle or family. As with so many Sanskrit words, to understand the meaning we look at the context in which it’s used and from the ancient yogic texts we can see it’s used to refer to focal points, locations in the body to be focused on, in other words to be paid attention to. You may have seen modern depictions of the 7 Chakra System and noticed that they are located


Although most people only experience the heart chakra when it is at its loudest, at extreme times of emotion, we can learn to tune in and become aware of the more subtle activations of energy in each area. With practice we become more conscious of our feelings and needs and are then better able to respond and take care of ourselves, giving us the opportunity to live our lives from a stronger, more grounded, more integrated place. If you are interested and want to know more about the 7 Chakra System, please do get in touch. I’ll be putting the system into practice this year in my online Self-Care course, but apart from that I am always more than happy to talk about yoga  Take good care of yourself, Clair.



Few journeys give you as much of a feel for a place and its unique geography than a journey by train. While all modes of moving passengers from place to place have their definite pros and cons, travel by train offers a welcome change from the hassle and stress these more commonly taken modes of travel can bring. Imagine stepping off the train and literally being moments away from your hotel in the heart of your destination. Most train stations in Europe are right in the middle of city centres, so getting to your hotel is often as simple as a 5-minute walk. This gains you both time and money - money saved in expensive taxis and transfers, and more time to spend relaxing and enjoying your holiday. Certainly, the experience of riding the train is a huge reason why people choose to embark on a rail holiday in the first place. The history of the journey and what you will see out the window, the slower pace, and the unprecedented views make for a truly unique and memorable experience. Here are some of the best-known trains and journeys that you should experience at least once: 1. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Arguably the world’s most famous train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is synonymous with prestige, glamour and the Golden Age of Rail Travel. The train now visits a number of Europe’s most enchanting cities. Alongside the traditional, classic journey from London to Venice via Paris (or vice versa), you can now take in everywhere from historic Budapest to luxurious Lake Como. There is also a collection of new routes for 2021, taking in the likes of Geneva, Brussels, Florence, Rome and Amsterdam. Or, for the ultimate luxury rail journey, we

suggest that the most discerning traveller should secure a berth on the very special, once-a-year departure from London to Istanbul, a nine-day journey that recreates the original 1883 route. The sheer romance of this experience is unmatchable. 2. The Rocky Mountaineer – For three decades, Rocky Mountaineer has given guests exclusive access to otherwise inaccessible terrain, all from the comfort of a luxury seat. You can experience Western Canada’s most remarkable attraction as you pass by national parks, natural wonders and tranquil lakes. Wherever you look, each piece of the adventure will take your breath away. There is an incredible range of packages to make your journey as individual as you are. You can spend time in Banff and /or Jasper, visit the Columbia Icefields, spend the day at Lake Louise or go visit a grizzly bear sanctuary to name a few. You can also elevate your experience by combining a week in the Rockies with a week of cruising to Alaska or spending time at Sonora Resort, a 5* luxury resort nestled in British Columbia Discovery Island and only accessible by sea or air. They have recently expanded their family of routes with Rockies to the Red Rocks, an exciting new rail experience, featuring the unforgettable sights of

the Colorado Rockies and the desert rock formations of Moab in the United States. Traveling from Denver to Moab over two beautiful days, this new product is sure to impress. 3. The Ghan – This fantastic train takes you on a journey through the heart of Australia. In 2019, The Ghan marked 90 years of outback crossings. Much has changed since 1929, and today The Ghan offers more than transit between Adelaide to Darwin and vice versa. Onboard you will find sumptuous dining, elegant private cabins, attentive service, and the camaraderie of your fellow travellers. And when the train stops, the adventures begin. You can choose from a huge range of included off-train experiences to create your own rich and rewarding personal journey through Australia’s outback and beyond. 4. The TranzAlpine - The TranzAlpine is rated as one of the world’s best train journeys, travelling from one coast of New Zealand to the other, over the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine train operates daily between Christchurch, Arthurs Pass and Greymouth from the east coast to the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Travelling west crossing the Canterbury Plains, the

train slowly ascends through spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River towards the Southern Alps to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass for a short break before descending through the Otira Tunnel to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, through lush alpine beech rain forests to Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers at Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. You will be treated to a selection of local delicacies and regional wines throughout the journey and hear captivating commentary from the welcoming hosts. There are many more fascinating trains and journeys we can offer a bit closer to home like the Glacier Express - that glides across Switzerland, the Bernina Express with an impressive variety of the vistas along the route from up high in snow-capped Switzerland, down into more temperate Italy and the Harz Mountains Railway - a genuine thrill for steam enthusiasts, with vintage locomotives puffing their way along a narrow gauge railway through the heart of Germany, against a backdrop of forests and castles. For these and many more please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Harden Holidays team.

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IS MY OLD MATTRESS CAUSING MY POOR SLEEP? Sleep. We all do it, but many of us don’t do it well.

Most mattress materials can be susceptible to this. Fibre and foam break down over time, and springs can break down and sag. Springs that squeak when you move is a sign that coils are worn and no longer provide sufficient support. 3. Is your mattress uncomfortable? Waking up sore and stiff suggests that your body is no longer being supported properly by your mattress, particularly if your stiffness subsides after you get up and move around. It is very easy to become accustomed to how uncomfortable your mattress is. Do you notice that you sleep better in a hotel bed for example?

Quite often a mattress has worn out long before you realise. That’s why The National Bed Federation and The Bed Post recommend replacing your mattress about every seven years. After seven years a mattress has been subjected to over 20,000 hours of wear and tear! But this may not always be the ideal time. Not all mattresses are created equal. Mattresses may last a little longer, or need replacing sooner, depending on their construction, how they have been used, and the quality of their components. Signs you should replace your mattress 1. Your mattress is over 7 years old. All mattresses have a natural life span, which varies by manufacturer, mattress type, how you use it, and how heavy you are. No mattresses are designed to last for ever. Inferior


4. Allergies have worsened Mattresses can be a major source of dust mites and allergens. Vacuuming and regular airing of your mattress can ease your symptoms, but if this doesn’t help, a new mattress may be the answer.

products don’t last as long, but even a premium quality mattress will 5. Partner is keeping you awake eventually need replacing. A worn mattress may mean you become more aware of your partner 2. Wear and Tear. If your mattress tossing and turning, as the ability is sagging or lumpy, has excessive of the mattress to reduce motion body-shaped indentations, or you transfer is lessened. can feel the coils through the fabric, that’s a sign that your mattress needs 6. You are putting more weight on replacing. the mattress. Whether piling on the

pounds or getting a new partner, if your mattress needs to support more weight than it used to, it may no longer be capable of meeting the extra demand. Pay particular attention to this with children’s mattresses as they grow. A bed with the correct support, comfort and space will ensure you wake less, move about less, are less disturbed by your partner and are less likely to wake up feeling tired or aching. But what is the right mattress? Coil spring or open coil units are the most commonly used in mattresses, as they can be mass-produced and cost-effective. They consist of larger springs all linked together. There is no fabric around them hence ‘open coil’. A double size would typically contain around 300 springs. Fillings used tend to be fiber pads or

standard foam, although more luxurious models could include a layer of memory foam or latex foam. Pressure and movement is transferred over the entire surface meaning less independent support so when one person turns over, the other feels it. They generally feel firmer than pocket springs with more bounce and some side-to-side movement. On the plus side they are less expensive than pocket springs and much lighter to carry or turn. Pocket Springs are individual springs housed in a fabric pocket. Higher quality mattresses use a natural calico or cotton fabric for better ventilation. They are also hand tied or stitched to each other making then highly responsive. They work independently of each other and

conform well to body shape. They are ideal for couples with significant weight differences, as when one person moves, the other isn’t disturbed. They tend to be more expensive as they take longer to build and generally have better quality fillings over the springs – including natural ones such as wool, silk and cashmere. The number of pocket springs in a king sized mattress starts with 800 pocket springs for a basic model. The more springs the better the individual support. Anything over 2000 is achieved by stacking smaller springs on top. If you’re in the market for a new mattress then why not visit www.the-bedpost.co.uk, we have experts on hand to help and guide you in selecting the right mattress.

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


FITNESS - FEBRUARY Yes, you can get them cheap or free, but you get what you pay for, and “free” is generally worth every penny! I’d urge you, no matter what you’re currently doing (or not doing), to check out my previous articles, my blog, and my social media pages to learn what you need to be focussing on.

How’s it going so far?

There’s enough information there to give you everything you need to sit and figure out exactly what you need to do. February already and so far, gyms are still shut. If you started your fitness regime regardless of lockdown situations and got on with it – great work!

fundamentals – good movement, and big, full-body exercises. You need to stay well hydrated and sort out your sleep patterns.

You don’t need to cut out all the If you’ve put it off still, it’s time foods you like (or assign “points” now to stop making excuses and or “sins” or anything along those lines to them). get going. Regardless of whether you started, You also probably don’t need to be didn’t start, or were already doing training 5 times a week. something, take time now to review your progress and see how things “10,000 steps” is only relevant to are going. some people, depending on what you do already – You may need to If you’re making progress in the aim for more, or less than that. direction you want – keep going. If you’re making slow or no progress, You need to start where you are or even backsliding, it may be time right now and build up, not start at to change things around a bit and 100mph with the almost inevitable definitely get help. crash a couple of weeks down the line. If you aren’t succeeding on your own, then it’s clear you can’t do this on your own (at least, not yet), so getting help is the way forward for you, otherwise you’ll just keep hopping from diet to diet, training plan to training plan, hoping you’ll eventually stumble across the “perfect plan”… but you won’t.

These are fundamentals that apply to everyone. Rules that apply across the board. The trick is to figure out where your starting point is and what to do first/next. This is where experience and expertise help.

I can’t sit here and tell you exactly what you need to do, because it’s different for everyone. That’s the If you’ve followed me for any amount problem with following a popular of time, you’ll know that the basics plan, it’s generalised and not specific are all you need 99% of the time. to you, your goals, and your starting A solid nutrition base and a basic point. training plan consisting of the


If you want me to do all of that for you, then get in touch and let’s talk about Online Coaching. In the meantime the best advice I can give you is to just get started. Something is better than nothing and you can always adjust and improve along the way – just be aware that it can take a while to figure things out, especially if you’re not completely sure what you’re doing. Getting help from someone you trust knows what they’re talking about is the best way to progress.

Mark www.MBonlinePT.com @MarkBroadbentPT


WWW.EFESDARTFORD.CO.UK | (01322) 471458 29



online exercise classes

Tuesday 7pm - 7.45pm

Friday 9am - 9.30am

Email: oneyou@dartford.gov.uk for full details

KENT SERVICES The One You Kent Lifestyle Service can provide 1:1 support sessions to support you . Support is available for: 路 Weight loss 1:1 and Group support 路 Exercise sessions 路 Drinking Less Alcohol 路 Quit smoking Email: oneyou@dartford.gov.uk for more details 31

why weight...? This 12 week programme includes: • Weekly weight and waist check • Gentle exercise classes • Healthy eating advice • Ongoing personal Support




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LAPTOPS 4 KIDS Everyone appreciates that education is superimportant, more now than ever before. With schools closed at the moment to most pupils, home learning has become a necessity. Unfortunately, not all children learning from home have access to a laptop to take full advantage of some of the brilliant resources available online. Many schools are holding remote learning sessions and some children are missing out on learning opportunities due to not having a suitable device.

to repurposing. As soon as the laptop is ready to go, we will arrange delivery to a Kent school who have requested KnowledgeAdd’s support with sourcing laptops for their pupils most in need. A suitable device for donation would include any laptop that is: • Between 0 and 7 years old • In good working order • In good condition – no major physical damage • Complete with mains power adaptor • Still holding a battery charge for 60+ minutes If you work for a local business that has surplus laptops that meet these criteria, or you have a laptop at home that would fit the description, please do get in touch with the team at https://www.knowledgeadd.com/ laptops4kids and they will help you to support a local child’s education during these challenging times.

The government have pledged to make more laptops and tablets available to Primary School’s over the coming weeks, with some availability for Secondary Schools through local authorities. Students in years 12 and 13 will not have access to Government’s Get Help With Technology scheme until the Spring Term 2021.

creating a fresh installation of the operating system, and performing stress testing to ensure it can handle common tasks associated with home-learning. A certificate will be provided if requested, confirming that all data has been wiped prior

If you represent a Primar y or Secondary School in Kent with pupils in need of a laptop to support home learning, please email the team at laptops4kids@knowledgeadd.com to be added to the list of supported schools.

We are asking local businesses and local people who may have unused or unwanted laptops, suitable for repurposing to support a child’s education through home learning, to make a donation through KnowledgeAdd’s Laptop 4 Kids initiative. After making a pledge to donate a laptop, KnowledgeAdd will arrange a no-contact collection, either direct or via a courier. The laptop will be delivered to our workshop, where it will undergo suitability testing. This includes wiping all existing data on the laptop using specialist software,


Dartford Resident?

Grant awards of up to £15,000 now available!

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*Discretionary assistance is subject to budget availability and may be frozen by the Local Authority when necessary



By Christina Uppenkamp Home Instead Senior Care

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Christina Uppenkamp, Director of Home Instead Senior Care Dartford. Here are some top tips to help you stay warm through the winter months. Boiler check-up. It is recommended you have an annual boiler service to make sure it’s in tip top condition. The last thing you need in the middle of winter is a broken boiler, and a freezing cold house. Draught excluders. It is important to make sure all windows and doors are in good condition. If you have old, cracked or broken frames you may want to seal the gaps or use draught excluders to stop the cold weather from creeping in!

Several thin layers. Try wearing several thin layers of clothing, rather than one big jumper – the layers trap hot air keeping you warmer for longer. To keep heating bills down, consider wrapping up in a blanket or wearing more layers, rather than Keep your pipes warm. Burst pipes turning up the thermostat. are common during winter due to rapid freezing and thawing which could cause significant damage. Keep your feet warm. There’s The best way to prevent this from nothing worse than cold feet! To happening is to keep your pipes keep yourself warm this winter, wear warm with their own foam cardigan thermal or thick socks and sensible (called lagging), which will reduce shoes if you’re venturing out. Wear the heat lost and insulate the pipes boots with a thick lining and consider buying specially designed shoes, in to stop them from freezing.

case the weather turns icy! Hot water bottle. Consider using a hot water bottle throughout the day if you’re at home and during the night in bed. They are relatively inexpensive and very useful, quickly heating up your bed without using electricity or fuel. Bleed radiators. Trapped air in your radiators can prevent hot water from circulating effectively, which could be the reason your home isn’t as warm as it has been previously. Bleeding your radiators releases the trapped air and allows your central heating to work once again, keeping you and your property warm. Live Life Well. For more information on joining the team or on the services provided, please call 01322 923750 or visit https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/ dartford.


BOW ARROW GARDENING & LANDSCAPING. Gardening and Landscaping service in the Dartford, South East London, North Kent, Essex area. - Garden Design. - Garden Clearance. - Garden maintenance :all aspects. - Hedge/shrub pruning. - Deweed paths and flower beds - Lawn Maintenance and cutting. Free quotations Contact- Andy Davidson. Mobile 07815 118887 Email – andy_davidson_1@ yahoo.co.uk A Friendly, reliable and quality service. Bespoke quotations on request.

Hawley Garden Centre Hawley road Dartford Kent DA2 7RB Tel: 01322 723959 E-Mail: enquiries@hmqualityfoods.co.uk Web: www.hmqualityfoods.co.uk

Are you fed up with constant aches and pains in your body? Do you want to move more freely ? Improve posture and feel more confident ? Do you need help recovering from an injury? Or would you like to improve your sports performance ? OnPointe Pilates is the solutions, contact us today to book your FREE taster session! Weekly group sessions on weekday mornings, evenings and weekends. Private 1:1 and 2:1 session with Pilates equipment. We offer 5- week Pilates beginners course - these are the perfect introduction to Pilates and we currently have them on special offer 5 weeks for the price of only 4! Limited spaces available – contact us to book your space!

Frances Ware 07921 863 806 frances@onpointepilates.co.uk 36

FOUR MONEY SAVING TIPS With many of us continuing to work from home more often, it’s important for our health, wellbeing and productivity that the space around us is both clean and clutter-free. While the days are short and the weather’s still cool, February is a great time for a spot of pre-spring cleaning. Here are some easy and effective ways to cut costs. Buy in bulk Although it may seem more expensive at first, it’s better to buy cleaning products in bulk rather than making smaller purchases every month. This should save you money in the long run and it’s better for the environment too, which is more important than ever. When you’re in the supermarket, remember to compare the ‘price per kilogram/100g’ to make sure you’re getting the most product for your money. Fashion your own cleaning cloths Swap paper towels and disposable wipes for homemade options. Cut up unwanted old t-shirts to create cleaning cloths, or go wild with the scissors and fashion your own makeshift mop. Better for your pocket; better for the environment! Clear out the clutter

for selling items you no longer need, so you might even make some money. You could also try your hand at upcycling old clothes or furniture for a refresh, which will save you spending money on new stuff too.

joining in an online budgeting course? The local CAP team teach budgeting skills free of charge over zoom. Visit capmoney.org or email capmoneydartford@gmail.com to enquire about upcoming courses you can join.

Spend less when redecorating If you’ve got the urge to redecorate, first try rearranging the furniture. This could help to give your room a new lease of life for free. If you do decide to go full-on Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen (kudos if you’re old enough to know who he is!) then it’s better to opt for good quality paint. It may cost more up-front, but you’re likely to need fewer coats, meaning it will go further. Squeeze everything you can out of one pot of paint by choosing a colour that will work in different rooms. Neutral colours such as white and grey are timeless, and it’s more cost effective to change up your décor from time to time than to repaint the whole room.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with over 580 services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking life-controlling dependencies. Visit capuk.org to find out more.

A study from the Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that there’s a link between the state of the space we live in and how productive we are. Our brains instinctively try to process everything around us, so the more clutter we see, the more our minds will be distracted. There If these cost-cutting ways don’t make are lots of local websites and apps the difference you need to your finances, how about considering



By Local Resident, Jane Stevenson

TIME Timelines. Timetables. Spare time. Wasting time. Time. It’s a strange concept. Physicists define time as the progression of events from the past to the present into the future. Simple when it’s put like that.

the date’ forms part of the daily conversation We simply lose track of time. The rhythm of the day is so fluid. In our current situation it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend or a bank holiday – all days are spent in the same manner. Even those who have a set routine each day during lockdown, have little room for impulsiveness or adventure. Days merge with little chance of breaking out to provide a change of scenery or habit. It’s not all negative; the inventiveness of people is both interesting and amusing, from the teacher who started her online classes and is followed by thousands, to Joe Wicks, extolling us to rise from our chairs and move. More local people are starting their own businesses online which provide an opportunity to support them. A lady has started an online book club in our locality and there is a wealth of learning for all ages and all interests, offered.

I noticed a disruption in this concept when I finally decided I was a retired person. No longer any need to get up at a certain time or be somewhere for work. It was alternately liberating and scary. My days became very routine and for a while I went through the odd situation of missing the definition of my ‘day’. The progression of events lost their importance compared to my pre-retirement. My last job was working in education where time was rigidly adhered to. School starts, the children have lessons, break, more lessons and lunch. The pattern was repeated until school finished. As a staff member my day was organised by these simple events. Break duty, lunch duty, administration, and classroom support. After the students left, then was the time to gulp down the inevitable cold coffee, catch up on paperwork, phone calls and reports. Never think for a minute that school staff have short days and long holidays! It ain’t true!

from home. It was simple to factor in business meetings and client calls, and despite the added disadvantage of some evening and weekend work time was manageable because I planned how it would work for me. If I wanted to write a report it was often easier to do so in the evening, after dinner, when the house was quieter. Meetings were via mobiles, plans reviewed via email. I found it liberating to spend the day at home, having tea or coffee when it suited (and being able to drink it while still hot). I could choose to dress down although resisted the famous pyjama days – I was never sure who would call up and catch me in my fleecy dressing gown.

I’m back in my ‘office’ Rather than enter the strange world where time hangs, I’ve formed a battle plan for myself. I write more fiction – it’s hard and I’m out of practice, I have three family trees in various stages of investigation. I found a British Sign Language course on offer and applied. I want and need to have structure to my day. I’m searching for more time to use – let me know if you have any spare. I saw this quote which rather crystallised my thoughts on the whole matter of time; how we use it, do we waste it? Does it fly by or drag?

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, After retirement I decided to pursue The Little Prince. other interests. I studied and volunteered to support an animal Makes inordinate sense to me. charity. The role of volunteer grant However we use our time, whether writer soon took over and again I for work, hobbies, learning or our used my home office routine. Time social life, providing it matters to us, we’ve used it properly. was mine to organise.

However, ‘time’ as experienced now is a never-ending question . At Stevenson Towers the frequent See you next month! I had found it easier when I worked question of ‘which day’ or ‘what’s


SPORTS ROUNDUP Crawley Town delivered one of the FA Cup third round’s most emphatic upsets as the League Two underdogs tore apart Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds. Three second-half goals rewarded a fantastic performance from John Yems’s side as they made light of the 62 places between themselves and their Premier League visitors. Nick Tsaroulla, playing only his seventh game in senior football, set the ball rolling, beating three Leeds defenders to fire home a superb solo opener. United keeper Kiko Casilla’s error allowed Ashley Nadesan to double the lead before Jordan Tunnicliffe added a third for Crawley, who could have won by more. Crawley even had the luxury of bringing on reality TV celebrity Mark Wright in stoppage time for the former The Only Way Is Essex star’s debut, having signed for the club in December.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN FEBRUARY INCLUDE: 5 Feb-8 March: Cricket - India v England four-Test series 6 Feb-20 March: Rugby Union - Six Nations opening weekend: England v Scotland 7 February: American Football - Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida 8-21 February: Tennis - Australian Open in Melbourne


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

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

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

Advertise in the magazine for as little as £40 for a month Contact: sales@dartfordliving.com



DARTFORD PAINTED ROCKS Rock Painting in Dartford.

Local people from Dartford Painted Rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting

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

Here are some great photos of their painted rocks.

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


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Wills LPAs Probate Trusts NOTES Home visits available for Will Instructions Fully insured - 2 million pounds PI Insurance Reasonable fees Gareth Johnson ShouldMember you require any amendments, please indicate them of IPW and Member of Parliament for Dartford regulated by Trading clearly on the copy and return it to usOffice together this open towith help constituents Standards Institute


form within the next 5 working days

Thank you



Email: gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk Website: Whilewww.smnwillwriting every effort will be madeservices.com to follow up and contact you about your advertisement, it is ultimately the c Telephone 020 7219 7047 regarding any artwork, either by email, telephone or post. In the event we do not hear from you with Email: susan.norris@ www.garethjohnsondartford.co.uk we will assume all is correct and approved for press. C smnwillwritingservices.com

www.gov.uk/coronavirus All advertisements, artwork and associated images, unless supplied by the advertiser or their representatives, are the property of C Tel: 01322 291379 of the Publisher. Where an advertiser has supplied individual images to the Publisher fo form without the express written permission will remain the intellectual property of Community Ad Web Ltd and may not be reproduced in any format or used in any other publ 45

GIRLGUIDING Girlguiding Dartford West and Rowhill District has not let the COVID-19 pandemic hold them back. During this time many of our units have continued to offer Girlguiding opportunities and a chance for the girls to have a little bit of normality in a far from normal world.

extremely rewarding, it is about empowering girls and giving them new experiences, it is about being a role model and helping girls and young women to grow in confidence and discover their full potential. But more than that, those who volunteer for Girlguiding benefit from new friendships, learn valuable transferrable new skills and enjoy time laughing and having fun with some incredible girls and young women. Our volunteers have quickly learnt new skills and adapted the Girlguiding programme to suit the needs of our members during the pandemic. They have held virtual meetings on Zoom and sent out physical and virtual programme activity packs for the girls to enjoy at home. Some units were able to meet outside during the summer and a few units returned to indoor meetings when permitted to do so. We have continued to support the physical and emotional needs of our young members by supporting badge work and developing challenges during this difficult

time and our girls and volunteers have shown great determination If you are interested in volunteering and flexibility when organising and for Girlguiding, please register at www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/ completing activities. become-a-volunteer/register-yourGiven the current lockdown and interest social distancing requirements our units will continue to run virtual Liz Roscoe sessions until face-to-face meetings Dartford West and Rowhill District are permitted and although our units Commissioner GirlguidingUK are not meeting ‘normally’ yet, we want to allow more girls (Rainbows aged 5–7, Brownies aged 7–10, Guides aged 10-4 and Rangers aged 14-18) to experience all the fun and friendship that our active units offer. To do this we need more volunteers - we already have a wonderful team of volunteer leaders in Dartford West who do amazing things, but to enable us to continue running all our units and grow Girlguiding, we need more volunteers to join us. Volunteering for Girlguiding is



By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we look at new electric versions due in 2021 and beyond including the return of an old classic model.

2021 Nissan Qashqai – this is the new Qashqai from the Japanese brand who is looking to move thing on again in the world of SUVs. There will be a 1.3 petrol and new e-Power hybrid available, with the diesel engines dropped. The petrol engine will have two outputs 138bhp and 155bhp, both with mild hybrid technology to improve CO2 emissions. The new e-Power unit, which uses a 188bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor which is used to drive the car almost all of the time. You will find premium materials inside the new Qashqai, plus it will have a digital instrument display and a 9.0in infotainment touchscreen. The new infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone mirroring, the latter wirelessly, and it provides wi-fi for up to seven devices. The new Qashqai is wider and longer than the outgoing car, and it has 50 litres more boot space. It will be on sale from Spring this year and expected to be priced from £23,000.

– is this Mercedes EQA family SUV and the second of the 10 electric EQ sub-brand vehicles planned to launch by 2025. In entry-level form, the front-wheel-drive EQA 250’s single electric motor provides 188bhp with faster and four-wheel versions to follow soon after. The EQA’s energy is stored in a 66.5kWh battery. A maximum charging rate of 100kW allows a 10-80% top-up in around 30 minutes or an 11kW charging point will take less 5 hours. You can use the car to tow up to a capacity of 750kg – which would allow for a small trailer or install a bike rack. Inside, you’ll find either two 7.0in displays or two 10.3in displays for the digital instruments and infotainment system. It will run the Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system which has been well received on other models. It will have 18in alloy wheels, a reversing camera and LED lighting all coming as standard kit, with many more options which can be added. Safety equipment includes lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking that uses several cameras and radar to detect hazards. It will on sale this summer and prices expected to start from £42,000 and it should be eligible for the Government’s £3000 grant for electric vehicles.

2023 Renault 5 electric car – the Renault 5 is back after it was replaced by the Renault Clio in the mid-1990s, this time as an electric car. It is planned to go on sale in 2023 and replace the current Renault Zoe. Its design is a modern take on the old Renault 5, and features plenty of callbacks to the original car, from its bluff front end to its sloping hatchback rear. It is expected the power is likely to come from a single electric motor driving the front wheels, and the new 5 should be able to travel for at least 200 miles on a single charge – more than the 192 miles from the Zoe. Inside you can expect to see a digital dashboard, a central infotainment touchscreen which is capable of mirroring your smartphone using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Prices are unknown at the moment but likely to be more than the current Zoe priced at £29,995.

2021 Mercedes EQA electric SUV


Over the past few weeks, fourteen Dartford Youth Council members participated in a 1k+ festive fundraising walk to raise money for ellenor, a local charity providing hospice care for people of all ages whilst supporting families facing terminal illness in Kent and Bexley.

in these circumstances, hopefully what other innovative fundraising there will be more to look forward ideas they come up with over the to in the future!” next few months.”

The walk was completed independently by members or with individuals within their household during the Christmas holidays. Members worked hard to find sponsors who donated money through the JustGiving page. The fundraiser was also advertised on the Dartford Youth Council website.

She added: “It is wonderful to see such an enthusiastic group of students from around Dartford keen to take on a fundraising challenge for their local hospice. Having met the students virtually to give them some inspiration earlier this year, they decided on their challenge, set up a JustGiving page and were obviously fantastic at gaining sponsorship as they raised a brilliant £325. The festive walk was a brilliant way for all of the students to take part as they could do this on their own or as part of a family group.

As part of ellenor’s Accumulator challenge, DYC members managed to raise £325 through all the generous donations provided by friends and family. ellenor is the only charity in Kent to provide hospice care for people of all ages. Their care includes pain and symptom relief, palliative care, end of life care, respite, bereavement support and emotional and spiritual care. Newly-elected DYC member and participant Rejina Ghale commented, “It was genuinely so lovely to do this, especially


Melissa Bourne, the local ellenor supporter engagement officer worked closely with us to make this walk possible.

Dartford Youth Council is a group of young people aged 18 and under who get involved within their community, work alongside the Dartford Borough Council, making a difference through campaigning and volunteering and gaining skills that could benefit themselves for the rest of their lives. Dartford Youth Council Vice Chairman Zapran Carlsson also worked closely as part of the fundraising initiative, commenting: “It was a great delight to see so many of our members participating in the fundraising walk for ellenor. Together, we raised an exceptional amount of £325 in total, an amount far greater than what we had hoped for! Well done everybody!”

The funds raised from the walk could help ellenor to provide six hours of physiotherapy to support a patient at home.

All donations are much appreciated by the DYC Team and can be made by accessing our website at www. dartfordyouthcouncil.com.

Fundraising has been extremely difficult this year, but the students were able to come up with a brilliant idea that they were able to adapt to suit the restrictions they faced. I am very much looking forward to seeing

By Sanya Sunil, Secretary of the Dartford Youth Council For more information, please contact press@dartford.gov.uk or call 01322 343440.

DARTFORD AUTHOR: SAMANTHA THORNE help advice along the way.

Have you ever wondered what internet dating is all about? Maybe you’ve tried it and had some good or bad experiences?

Years later and I finally wanted to put all my experiences on paper and since my beauty career has struggled in the pandemic, it seems the perfect time. I’ve managed to get the book published, along with another children’s illustrated book about my dog Barney. I love drawing and I have this naughty but cheeky little dog Barney that’s always getting into trouble. And so the idea came about to make a funny children’s book about him. Children will love the bright colours and naughty adventures. Being creative is a passion of mine and these books really kept me busy when I couldn’t work. I really hope people enjoy reading them, I’m sure a lot of people can relate to some of the dating horror stories. Both books are available on amazon. You can also follow myself and Barney’s adventures on Facebook. Any support greatly appreciated.

Local resident Samantha Thorne has experienced it all and decided to keep a diary about her dating. She’s been brave enough to get her short novel self published and told Dartford Living about her new book “A Year in the Life of Internet Dating”. “So I started dabbling with online dating years ago, I used to go on at least one date a week. At the time I found it all fascinating meeting new people and learning about their lives. This went on for many years and my work colleagues used to eagerly anticipate my next dating

www.facebook.com/ story. Every Monday I’d go into work samanthathorneauthor and they were fascinated to hear if I’d met anyone new and how was it, did www.facebook.com/Barney Rubble, you get Catfished? It become such A French Bulldogs Adventures an interesting subject that I started keeping a diary of these dates. Some of them were so bad but they make interesting reading. The online dating world is such a crazy place, half the people were really not who they claimed to be. Behind a keyboard you can be who you want. I learned so much from my time dating. It was never boring! My book not only tells the story of a lot of my dates, but also a bit of relationship and self


WISDOM ESTATES YOUR WISEST MOVE Wisdom Estates was opened with the vision of enhancing the perception of Estate Agents, by providing outstanding levels of Customer Service, and offering constant support throughout both the selling and buying process. For the past eight years Wisdom Estates has been proud to serve Dartford and its surrounding areas, including North Kent, South London, and East Surrey. In fact, with the benefit of today’s technology they are able to professionally and effectively market properties far and wide. When Robert Wisdom (Managing Director) first dreamt of opening his own estate agents, it was because he had become somewhat disillusioned working for a large corporate estate agency chain. He believed then, and still maintains to this day, that dedicated customer communication is the key to a highly successful business. Robert is assisted in this by two of the longest serving, and highly committed, members of his team: Senior Sales Negotiator Matthew Ferrrari, and Sales Progressor Emily Archer, alongside Diane Wisdom (Financial Director) who deals with the accounting side of the business. From their bright and airy offices, located on Spital Street in Dartford Town Centre, Wisdom Estates continually strive to promote all properties to their very best advantage. Their glowing 5* reviews have led to them being one of the top recommended agents in Dartford. Their reviews can be found on Google, or their website http://www.wisdom-estates.co.uk/


Robert says, “Our ethos is to combine enthusiasm with integrity and courtesy, and our aim is to provide a unique professional and personal service. As an independent, and family-owned, estate agents, we pride ourselves on not just selling properties, but on actively helping people move home, in a manner that is as supportive and stress-free as possible.” It was in 2013 that they first began advertising with Dartford Living, and have been proud to co-sponsor each of the highly popular ‘Dartford Living Live’ Networking Events. In 2018 Wisdom Estates were awarded a Customer Choice Commendation in the Dartford Business Awards held at Bluewater, which was hosted by Dartford Borough Council. They also value their involvement in the local community, and

back in May 2014 Councillor Avtar Sandhu, who had recently become Mayor of Dartford, officially opened a community event, hosted by Wisdom Estates in association with Cheryl Ferguson (Heather Trott of Eastenders fame). Over the years Wisdom Estates have also sponsored Easter, Summer, and Christmas events for Gateway Primary School and Maypole Primary School, as well as sponsoring Christmas Trees for Oakfield Primary. They have been a collection point for the Dartford Toy Appeal since 2015, and have also run their popular ‘Property Ladder Game’ to help raise funds for Dartford Round Table’s Easter Egg Hunt. Robert is a member of NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and Wisdom Estates is an official member of the widely recognised industry bodies: TPO

(The Property Ombudsman) and ICO (Information Commissioners Office). They are in support of the call to extend the Stamp Duty Holiday, as they believe an extension will help bouy the housing market, which in turn will help the overall economic recovery. Now, more than ever, with the unprecedented difficulties faced by all small businesses, Robert and his team at Wisdom Estates would like to thank the people of Dartford for their support, and to encourage everyone to use independent shops and services wherever possible. Shop local. Spend local. Support local. For free, no-obligation advice please contact Robert, or a member of his team, on: 01322 272144. Email: dartford@wisdom-estates.co.uk




Mob: 07747 015223 Tel: 01322 412791 45 Knole Road, Dartford, Kent. DA1 3JN. E-mail: steve.cook3@ntlworld.com


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



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


Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line: 0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 116 123 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or 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.

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

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 ParkContact: 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.com Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

DARTFORD LIVING MARKETING FOR ALL YOUR MARKETING NEEDS! Want to set up a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page for your business but don’t know how to? Maybe you already have social media accounts but you want to increase your number of follows? Looking to write text for a blog or website but don’t know where to start?




ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL GARDENING URBAN STICKS ………………………......………...20 BOW ARROW GARDENING ……………….....…….36 SUMMIT WEALTH...…………………….......……....30 DOWNTON & ALI ASSOCIATES…........……..……..59 CARE PROVIDERS HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE……………........…..4 HOME IMPROVEMENTS NSS CARE AND CLEANING SERVICES …........……17 THE DOUBLE GLAZING REPAIR MAN…….....……...4 THE KIND CARE COMPANY ……………..........…...19 GOODE PLUMBING AND ELECTRIC SERVICES…...12 ELECTRICAL INTELLIGENCE………………….…...39 HEALTH AND WELL BEING A BAINES AND SON ROOFING ………....………....40 SLIMMING WORLD………….........………………….5 STEVE COOKE DOUBLE GLAZING …….....……….52 RELEASE & LIBERATE………….……………..12 BUTLERS CCTV…………………………......………52 CREST YOGA…………………………........………..22 CLAREMONT DECORATIVE SERVICES…………….53 ONE YOU KENT SERVICES………….......………....32 ON POINT PILATES …………….......……………...36 RELIGIOUS SERVICES FEET MATTERS………………….......……………..45 CROSSWAYS COMMUNITY CHURCH……………..44 OFFICE SPACE /SUPPLIES COUNCIL THE HILL HUB………………............……………….2 DARTFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL……………..…..31 NUCLEUS ………………………...........…………….7 ORCHARD OFFICE SUPPLIES ……....……………..13 MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT GARETH JOHNSON................................................45 OPTICIANS LINKLATERS……….........…………………………..40 ESTATE/LETTING AGENTS WISDOM ESTATES…………........…………………..7 PHOTOGRAPHY FOX ESTATES…………………….......…….………..9 RED PHOTOGRAPHY ….........……………………...12 FARM SHOPS PICTURE FRAMING H&M FOODS…………………….……........……….11 CRAFT FRAMES………........……………………….40 STANHILL FARM ……………....……….…………..18 PRINTERS FLORISTS DARENTH PRINT…………......……………………..13 DARTFORD FLORIST …………………….………...19 RESTAURANTS, CAFES & FOOD OUTLETS GARAGES / VEHICLE SERVICES THE SNACK SHACK……….........…………………..12 SHENLEY ROAD GARAGE…….......………………..45 EFES………………………….........………………..29 ORCHARD GARAGE ……………......……………...60 THE COURTYARD……………………………......….41 56

EDUCATION PLAY PLACE………………........…………………...15 MY BLUEWATER TUTOR……....……………………39 HOLY TRINITY PRESCHOOL…..……………………43 TAXI SERVICES 1-8 PASSENGER TRAVEL…………........…………...18 TRAVEL HARDEN HOLIDAYS …………........………………..24 RETAIL BRADLEY’S JEWELLERS………........……………...14 THE BED POST ………….............………………….23 DARTFORD MARKET ……........…………………….33 WILL WRITING SMN WILL WRITING ……….........………………….45 WEBSITE DESIGN & MARKETING DARTFORD LIVING MARKETING…….....…………..55 DARTFORD LIVING DESIGN………….......………...58

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