Dartford Living - January 2022

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5. Valley Park Radio 10 A new you for 2022 14 Our mental health matters 20 Travel Inspiration 22 Restaurant Review 23 Sports roundup 24 Dartford Giving 26 Can you take the heat ? 28 Walking with the Darts 35 Senior Snippets 36. Fitness News 38. The epidemic of Type 1 Diabetes 40 Straight Out of Dartford 43 Automobile News 46 The Orchard Theatre 47 Painted Rocks 48 Debbie’s Delicious Recipe 50 Where to go locally 56 Advertisers index 58 Useful numbers

DARTFORD LIVING MAGAZINE PRINTED BY: Dear Dartford Living Readers, Welcome to the new look January magazine - we hope you like it! We continue to live in strange times, but as usual the magazine is jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - use them or lose them! Like never before, your community needs you. In case you weren’t aware, we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. It’s the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Please get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you, then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your neighbours. You will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! If you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our e-newsletter mailing list and you will join over 20,000+ local people who read the magazine each month. Take care, Vijay


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

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



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VALLEY PARK RADIO: Who are we? Valley Park Radio is 21. Since 2000 Valley Park Radio’s dedicated volunteers have been entertaining the Darent Valley Hospital patients, staff and visitors. We provide music 24 hours a day and our presenters broadcast a variety of live shows throughout the week. You can hear us via the radio at the hospital or online at either valleyparkradio.org.uk.,SHOUTcast.Server (radio. st), or Valley Park Radio/Live Radio.

We love to have as many varied voices on our live shows as possible so if you would like to present your own show and you are over 18 please let us know. If presenting is not your thing, we would still love to hear from you as there are many other activities that you can be involved with. If you are interested in any of the above, please contact at studio@valleyparkradio.org.uk.

Fundraise. We are a registered charity and rely on fundraising to continue. Although we are all volunteers there are expenses associated with running a radio station that need to be met. We would be most grateful for any donations. You can donate as an individual. Alternatively, if you are a local company you could sponsor We are self-funding and raise funds by one of our shows. Please contact us at studio@ arranging and participating in events such valleyparkradio.org.uk. as quiz nights, stalls at Dartford and Hartley festivals etc.. Our dedicated band of volunteers You can also raise funds for us by shopping! are doing an amazing job especially in these When you are next shopping on Amazon go testing times, however it would be great if we to www.smile.amazon.co.uk and search for could get your help Valley Park Radio. Amazon will then donate a percentage of your shop to us at no extra cost How can you help? to you. Get involved. The opportunities are varied. You could participate in our “plug your club” section Thank you for your support and we hope to see of our weekday radio shows. This is where you or speak to you very soon. can promote your sports club/ local event/ hobby group via email, pre-recorded telephone interview or LIVE ON AIR.



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British Legion Hall Devon Road,South Darenth Da4 9ab 9.30am Sarah 07739 027161

Greenhithe British Legion London Road,Greenhithe Da9 9ej 10.30am Paula 07891 424401

VCD Sports Club Old Road,Crayford Da1 4dn 9.30am & 11am Sue 07507 599691

Geddes Place Church (Behind Nandos) Bexleyheath Da6 7dj 9.30am Adam 07730 405313

Fleetdown Community Centre Swaledale Road,Dartford Da1 6jz 3.30pm,5.30pm & 7pm Paula 07891 424401

St.John the Evangelist Park hill Road,Bexley Da5 1hx 5.30pm & 7pm Adam 07730 405313

Oakfield Primary Academy Oakfield Lane, Dartford Da1 2sw 5.30pm & 7pm Kate 07590 995948

St.Anselms Parish Centre West Hill,Dartford Da1 2hj 9.30am Gillian 07957 135737

Longfield Community Centre Fawkham Road,Longfield Da3 7qp 9.30am,11am,12.30,4pm,5.30pm & 7pm Lynsey 07764 191073

Oakfield Primary Academy Oakfield Lane,Dartford Da1 2sw 5.30pm & 7pm Kate 07950 995948 WEDNESDAYS St.Edmunds Church St.Edmunds Road, Dartford

Da1 5nd 9.30am,3.30pm,5.30pm & 7pm Bex 07494 813497 St.Peters Church College Road,Hextable Br8 7rh 5.30pm & 7.30pm Kelly 07904 759587 VCD Sports Club Old Road, Crayford Da1 4dn 7.30am,9am & 10.30am Liz 07900 213548 VCD Sports Club Old Road, Crayford Da1 4dn 5.30pm & 7pm Jo 07920 851475 THURSDAYS St.Peters Church College Road, Hextable Br8 7hr 9.30am Kelly 07904 759587 Greenhithe British Legion London Road, Greenhithe Da9 9ej 5.30pm & 7pm Paula 07891 424401


St.Anselms Parish Centre West Hill,Dartford Da1 2hj 5pm & 7pm Gillian 07957 135757 Baldwyns Park Baptist Church Dartford Road, Bexley Da5 2ay 5.30pm & 7pm Del 07975 541082 FRIDAYS Bexley Football Club Lesley Close, Bexley Da5 1lx 9am Del 07975 541082 SATURDAYS Christchurch Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley 8.45am David 07729 504636 Oakfield Primary Academy Oakfield Lane, Dartford Da1 2sw 8am & 10am Sarah 07739 027161


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A ‘New You’ for ’22 January is famous for New Year’s resolutions. There’s something so motivating about pressing the ‘reset’ button and starting a new year with a fresh set of goals. A brand-new year for a brand-new you. And this year that feeling’s likely to be stronger than ever, as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic. For many of us, becoming slimmer, fitter and healthier will be at the very top of the list of our New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Spending so much time indoors, often coupled with more indulgent food choices and disrupted routines, saw many healthy habits fall by the wayside during the pandemic – and then Christmas rounded it off! Let’s not forget that getting into great shape is the very best thing that we can do for our long-term health. So if you’re ready to make 2022 the year that you take control, lose weight, get fitter and gain confidence then read on. Here are seven secrets of success – all backed up by the latest research into weight loss and behaviour change, from the newest member of your local Slimming World team, Bex Howard. 1 Don’t go hungry To lose weight you have to eat less, right? Well, no! What you’re eating is much more important than how much. Swapping high calorie, unsatisfying foods (think chocolate, alcohol, pastries) for foods that are lower in calories and more bulky, so they fill you up for longer, is key to losing weight in a way that’s easy to live with. Research shows that by basing your diet on low energy dense foods, like fruit and veg, and foods that are most filling – or satiating – like lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta and potatoes, you can actually eat a larger amount of food and feel more satisfied while losing weight. Bex loved tucking into hearty meals like cheeseburger macaroni and chicken fajita pasta on her weightloss journey. “We might think we need to be overly strict with ourselves when we’re losing weight – counting and measuring all our food and reducing portion sizes right down – but this type of 10

restrictive approach ultimately leaves us feeling more hungry and deprived,” says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s Head of Research. Some quick and easy changes include using less fat when you cook, so you boil or dry fry instead of frying in oil, swapping full fat dairy products for low fat or fat free, ditching sugary drinks in favour of low calorie drinks and adding more fruit and veg to your daily meals. ‘My members find that by making simple changes to their shopping and cooking, which we talk about in our group every week, they lose weight without feeling hungry,’ says Slimming World Consultant Bex Howard. 2 It’s OK to walk before you run! If it’s your goal to get fitter, remember you don’t have to become a professional athlete to get active - just making a commitment to moving more all adds up. Many people make the mistake of joining a gym, overdoing it in week one and quickly giving up, thinking ‘exercise isn’t for me’. Finding an enjoyable, achievable, and sustainable way of building new active habits into your routine is key – anything that gets you moving more, from heavy gardening or vigorous housework to brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or playing frisbee in the park, counts. What’s most important is making it a regular habit – as natural to your day as brushing your teeth. Bex says: ‘In our local group we encourage each other to get more active, and we’ve got a new set of 50 online videos for members so they can easily get started at home.’ 3 Be kind to yourself We all start January with great intentions, but it’s all too easy to go off track. It’s what you do next that matters most – and the most important thing is not to beat yourself up about it. A Slimming World survey of 1,700 slimmers showed that when they did have a slip up, being self critical was more likely to lead to comfort eating and giving up completely, whereas when they were kinder to be kind to themselves (imagine how you’d talk to a friend who’s had a


setback), they more quickly got back to healthy eating, lost weight and they kept it off. So, cut yourself some slack! 4 Set a goal It’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t set it out clearly in the first place! And when you’re thinking about your dream weight, don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Research from Slimming World shows that slimmers who set ambitious targets lose twice as much weight as those who try to be ‘realistic’. Shoot for the moon – you never know where you might land! Paula says: ‘As well as setting an overall weight loss target, all my members set a mini goal every week – whether it’s to lose weight, to get more active, to plan ahead or to try something new – making that commitment to a goal definitely helps them achieve more.’ 5 Don’t opt for a quick fix It’s no secret that many people find losing weight far easier than keeping it off longterm. To avoid becoming trapped in a yo-yo diet cycle, it’s important to approach weight loss as a permanent change to your lifestyle – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are sustainable for life, as well as getting support to make those changes. Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s Head of Research, says: ‘A group support approach is tried and tested research shows that the more groups Slimming World members attend, the more successful they are. Based on their weight-loss over a year, the top 10,000 slimmers who attended their weekly weight-loss group regularly lost 30% of their body weight – around 5st each. In our groups, members are equipped with all the tools they need to stay slim for life, so that they can be confident that the changes they’re making are sustainable forever.’ 6 Strike a balance An all-or-nothing approach is rarely effective when it comes to weight loss. Restricting yourself when it comes to food and drink might work in the short-term, but pretty soon you’ll be fed up, hungry and giving up completely. A little bit of what you fancy is key! That might be a Saturday night glass of wine or a bit of chocolate in the evenings. Whatever it is for you, having a flexible approach and a balanced mindset is much more likely to deliver longterm success.

7 You don’t have to go it alone The principles of losing weight are quite simple, yet if it was that easy – we’d all be doing it! Studies show that embarking on your weight loss journey alongside other slimmers brings more success than going it alone – sharing the ups and down, having cheerleaders who are on your side, and sharing advice and tips. And not only that - recent research revealed that people who are supported to lose weight in a group increase their mental toughness – developing more control, embracing challenges and growing in confidence -more than those who choose to lose weight on their own - and go on to lose more weight than those who don’t have the support of a Slimming World group. Dr Jacquie Lavin says: “The power of the group and the peer support members give one another is what sets Slimming World apart. Our members become part of a community, something special, which helps them to realise that they are not alone in the challenges they face. That’s combined with our personalised approach – called IMAGE Therapy – which helps every member discover more about themselves as a slimmer, identify their own pitfalls and danger zones, and create practical plans to overcome them.” Bex says that joining her local Slimming World group was a real life-changing experience for her.She felt that she had found her place and didn’t feel alone on her journey.With the support of her group,Bex believed she could succeed in losing weight,gained confidence and now feels she can tackle anything that comes her way. To find out more about Slimming World and how to join, visit slimmingworld.co.uk or slimmingworld.ie, or call 0344 897 8000 or 01 656 9696. Or call Bex on 07494 813497. She would love to hear from you. Bex runs her groups every Wednesday St.Edmunds Church St.Edmunds Road Temple Hill Dartford Da1 5nd 9.30am,3.30pm,5.30pm and 7pm No need to book,just turn up.




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A new year and a new career awaits you at Podium Driving School Podium Driving School, a Dartford based business, is working hard to reduce the wait times for learner drivers in our community and create new jobs that may have been lost due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For learner drivers, test wait times have seen increases from 6 to well over 18 weeks. They have been at maximum capacity for over 11 months now and the demand is not showing any signs of slowing down – Podium Driving School feel the time to address this is now.

centred methodology and giving access to award-winning platforms. With a local and family feel and ethos, we are motivated to support our community through job creation and also enabling our delegates to proceed as quickly as they wish to in their new career during these challenging times”.

It doesn’t stop there, Podium also offer career development. Opportunities to further your training into the commercial sector, Instructor Training, Fleet, UK Familiarisation and much Podium have worked hard to create new career more! opportunities in the form of Driving Instructor training and support towards gaining full To find our more information the Podium team qualification. Teaming up with industry experts, welcome you to call in on 0330 133 3930 or visit they have created and developed an instructor online at www.drivepodium.co.uk/instructortraining academy that has already seen 6 new training-courses trainees work through the course since July 2021. This is an opportunity to join a business and an industry that is booming, even in the current climate, with a driving school who really wants to help both those learning to drive as well as those who are looking for a different career path. Podium covers areas, to name a few, in Dartford, Gravesend, Bexleyheath, Eltham, Sidcup and Bromley. They have, and still are, looking to recruit people from all backgrounds, usually with a common goal - to make a difference, increase their income and continue to develop as a professional. Podiums’ head of Instructor Training said “We’re a modern company teaching the latest client 18


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by Harden Holidays

Time to plan an overdue adventure? As we start a new year, now’s a great time to think about a holiday to mark in your new calendar! After two years of disrupted plans, bookings were taking off for the year ahead – almost on a par with 2019 levels. Not surprisingly, the new Coronavirus variant has put the spotlight back on international travel. While this is another setback, holidays are in a better place than previous months under the traffic light system and we are seeing more resilience amongst travellers. Although boarding a plane still comes with testing requirements and paperwork, countries around the world are re-opening and getting ready to give visitors a warm welcome back. We continue to offer flexibility on our holidays and have gained two years’ worth of experience navigating the Covid19 maze. The desire to get away has never been greater, with some destinations shining through as top choices. These are destinations that tick all the boxes of holiday must-haves for 2022. Ultraluxurious escapes, wellness retreats and sustainable stays are all in demand, as well as trips a little closer to home. You may have your heart set on somewhere in particular for your next holiday. But if you’re open to ideas, we could suggest a place you haven’t even thought of. Here are a few alternatives to swap with some of our most popular spots... Sri Lanka instead of South East Asia - If you love the tuk-tuks, temples and spicy street food in South East Asia, head to Sri Lanka for all the charms of the Far East with an Indian twist. If you’re thinking Kenya, consider Tanzania - Already got Kenya stamped in your passport? Neighbouring Tanzania has so much to offer, from the vast savannahs of the Serengeti to the diamond-white sands of Zanzibar. Swap a Maldives escape for the Seychelles Although the Maldives reigns supreme for a desert 20


island getaway, the Seychelles is equally as with jazz spilling out of bars, live performers and exclusive, with the bonus of a little more sightseeing. vibrant parades, where each crewe will try and wow you with their elaborate float. Something new in Europe? Try Porto & the Douro Valley - A holiday in Europe can be more than Away from the party scene, you can marvel at just a beach break. We can take you to picturesque the balcony-laced townhouses of the French Porto or to the wine-connoisseurs paradise of Quarter, feed your soul with hearty creole cuisine the Douro Valley. (jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish boil, to name a few of our favourites) and cruise down the Here is also our top three of the world’s best Mississippi on a steamboat. festivals and seasonal wonders to inspire your future travels. The greatest wildlife show on earth. A safari holiday in Africa is guaranteed to leave you in awe at See the cherry blossom in Japan. In spring, Japan’s any time of year, but witnessing the dramatic streets are scattered with blush-pink petals as spectacle of the Great Wildebeest Migration is on millions of cherry trees burst into bloom. Cherry every wildlife lovers bucket list. Between July and blossom season is cause for much celebration and October, over a million wildebeest, gazelles and once the first buds appear, the Japanese gather zebra complete their journey from Tanzania to to practice their tradition of hanami, which Kenya, searching for fresh water and grass before endearingly translates to looking at flowers. The heading back south. Take to the skies on a magical parks become a patchwork of picnic blankets as balloon safari, and if luck’s on your side, you’ll be people lounge under snowing branches and able to see this mass movement in all its splendour. feast on sakura-inspired treats. Although the first We can’t do the packing for you but we have blossoms flower as early as January in Okinawa, everything else covered. April is the best time to see the sights of Tokyo and Kyoto against a backdrop of varying shades of pink. - Testing - Entry Forms (foreign and UK) - Visas - Check-in - Documents Get the party started in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is a festival bursting with music, fun and glittering Hassle free holidays with Harden Holidays, contact costumes. The streets of New Orleans come alive our team today.

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DARTFORD LIVING RESTAURANT REVIEWS: THE REAL GREEK, BLUEWATER At the end of last month The Real Greek arrived at Bluewater. Despite Bluewater having a huge variety of drinking and dining outlets this is amazingly the first Greek restaurant to open there.

favourites such as houmous and new favourites such as the tasty spicy feta dip.

When we visited I was struck by how beautiful, light and airy the restaurant was. The decor is understandably inspired by it’s Greek heritage and takes me back to holidays spent by the beautiful Aegean Sea.

I loved how the meze were served on afternoon tea style stands, for a start it meant I could see and reach everything we’d ordered without having to constantly reshuffle the plates which would otherwise have more than covered the table.

The location in the Lower Level of The Plaza is perfectly nestled within an area of other eateries and is close to the cinema and Gravity. The restaurant felt relaxed with an array of food choices to cater for everyone, from those who want a quick bite whilst shopping to those who would prefer a more leisurely meal.

Although don’t forget that the dips don’t come with bread so make sure you order some.

Having shared about 8 meze between us we were suitably stuffed but we couldn’t go without trying dessert. There were plenty of traditional Mediterranean desserts on offer from Baklava to Greek Filo Custard Pie but as chocolate fiends we decided on the chocolate mousse cake which was somehow rich and luxurious, yet light. We had to share one as we were both so full but it was delicious and I would happily eat a whole one next time if I remember to eat less mains!

For our visit we were served by a very friendly and knowledgeable server who was able to help us make sure we had enough food and was able to give us more information about some of the dishes we were less familiar with. Also as she was half Greek I was grateful to get a lesson We also thought we’d be adventurous and try on how to correctly say some of the dish names. a pot of their Greek Mountain tea. We found out from our server that this is essentially a tea Although The Real Greek does offer some larger made of herbs found on Greek Mountain sides. plates, such as Souvlaki (flatbread wraps filled The tea itself was fresh and brewed individually with a choice of fillings and chips) we chose a in an infuser teapot rather than a teabag so selection of the meze as we thought that way don’t make the mistake of drinking it too soon. we’d be able to get to try more of the foods on We both enjoyed the taste (we both likened it offer. to sage) and it is meant to have many health properties- something my body was probably As vegetarians we were impressed with how more than grateful for by the time I’d eaten so much choice there was for vegetarian and much food! vegans alike (if you are a meat eater don’t worry there are also plenty of grilled meats and One thing I would say is that we did sometimes seafood dishes on offer as well). have to wait, however the restaurant was full and the staff were all working very hard so we We indulged in two pastry wrapped delights, one didn’t feel neglected, if anything it allowed us with spinach and filo and one with chickpeas the time to properly relax and enjoy our long and they were both delicious, though I am lunch. glad we balanced the fried pastry with some healthier feeling slow cooked jackfruit and vegetables. I really enjoyed the aniseed flavour I will definitely be a regular at The Real Greek and of the fennel in this dish and would definitely am excited that Bluewater is getting a number order it again when I go. The food all felt fresh of new restaurants despite it having been a and good quality. We were able to find old difficult year for the hospitality sector. 22


Concern focuses on two areas: His decision to allow only some of the lapped cars to overtake - the five between Hamilton and Verstappen - and not the others, for Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, is example the two between Verstappen and under extreme scrutiny in the aftermath third-placed Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. of the controversial end to the 2021 world The timing of the end of the safety-car period. championship in Abu Dhabi last month. Both questions, and those over the decision The management of the sport’s rules during of the stewards to reject Mercedes’ protest the safety-car period that ultimately decided against Masi’s decisions, will be debated for the drivers’ title in Max Verstappen’s favour years to come. has focused a deeper discontent that already To Lewis Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ credit, they loitered beneath the surface of the sport. were quick to congratulate Max Verstappen F1 teams and drivers were dismayed by the after winning the Formula 1 title… a fantastic events at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, example to sportsmen and women out there on after a season in which many have complained how to handle defeat. about the inconsistency of the FIA’s decision Upcoming events in January include: making. Football: Africa Cup of Nations, 9 January-6 Many felt the rules were not followed correctly February 2022, Cameroon at Yas Marina. The key concern is whether the Tennis: 2022 Australian Open tennis grand slam, race director, Michael Masi correctly followed 17-30 January 2022, Melbourne, Australia the FIA’s rules in the operation of the safety Winter X Games Aspen 2022, 21-23 January car and the restarting of the race for one final 2022, Colorado, US shootout lap. www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


DARTFORD GIVING SCHOOL GOVERNOR Happy New Year! Hope your 2022 has started employer’s discretion. You may choose to get healthily and happily. involved in additional tasks, such as being on a With recurring threats of a return to remote committee (e.g., pay review or pupil exclusion) learning and home schooling (or by the time or attending monitoring visits in the school, you read this, maybe it’s already in full swing), I which take up a bit more time, but can be really thought now might be a good time to revisit the interesting. role of school governor. It’s a role that schools really value and a great way to give back to “Are there any requirements?” You must be over 18 and there are some specific exceptions your local community. (check the website below). You don’t need to be “What is it?” A school’s governing body provides a parent or have knowledge of the education strategic leadership and accountability. It holds system, you just need the right attitude, time to the headteacher to account for the school’s contribute and a DBS check, which the school educational performance, oversees the school’s will arrange. financial performance and contributes to the school’s vision and strategic direction. It might “Anything else I need to know?” A lot of sound a bit daunting, but your responsibilities training is provided, so you should always are shared with the other governors (usually feel supported. The role formally lasts four 8–20 people, depending on the size of the years, but you can be re-appointed or leave school). If the school is an academy, you’re a sooner if necessary. Schools benefit from ‘trustee’ rather than a ‘governor’, but the role is having a range of professional knowledge on their governing board, including finance, HR, essentially the same. legal, marketing, organisational change and “Would I enjoy it?” If you want to contribute property management, so this could make to your local community and make a real you an especially in-demand candidate. For difference to young people’s lives, then yes. A big more information, take a look at www.nga.org. part of governor meetings is asking questions, uk/Governance-Recruitment/Be-a-schoolso if you’re naturally curious and inquisitive, this governor-or-trustee. could be great for you. “This sounds great, how do I get involved?” If you “What would I get out of it?” This role can offer a have a specific school in mind, you can look on lot in terms of your own personal development its website, but it might be worth emailing too in as you can develop a lot of skills, from case the website isn’t up-to-date. Alternatively, teamwork to problem solving, having difficult sign up to https://www.inspiringthefuture.org/ conversations to analysing data. It’s great on volunteers/ to search for vacancies anywhere. your CV as it’s one of the few places where you If nothing is immediately available near you, can get board-level experience without being schools can contact you when vacancies super experienced in a specific industry (and become available based on your profile and if you are already working at that level, your preferences. experience would be much appreciated by If you have any questions, feel free to email schools). kate@dartfordliving.com. Happy volunteering! “How much time do I need for it?” Meetings are usually each term (six a year), and typically last a couple of hours (and may currently be held virtually). Being a school governor is a public duty for which you have a right to reasonable time off work, but whether this is paid is at your 24


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?

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Can You Take The Heat?

We Are Beams is calling for brave fundraisers to take part in a FIRE WALK adventure challenge to raise funds to support local disabled children and their families.

Andy Ray, Community Fundraiser at We Are Beams, says “The fire walk is an excellent way to not only raise money for Beams but also taking part will be an excellent way to show others that we can This once in a lifetime opportunity of walking overcome our fears or limitations and put our 20 feet over hot coals at 550-degree Celsius minds to something if we try” takes place on Saturday 26th March 2022 at the Princes Park Stadium, Dartford. The money raised will go towards the £1.6 million needed each year to support 450 families that The event date also coincides with National access the services run by the charity. Down Syndrome week, a national event raising awareness for people living with Down There are still places available so why not kick Syndrome. off those shoes and walk over hot coals for We Are Beams! We Are Beams support many children with Down Syndrome including the popular Little Buddies Early-bird Registration (until 25th December): group which was set up for parents of children £25 with life- limiting disabilities. The group meet on Registration (after the 25th December): £30 a regular basis and a number of parents from Little Buddies have chosen to be take part in this Please note, walkers must be over the age of 18. exhilarating challenge to raise awareness and For more information or to sign up visitfunds. wearebeams.org.uk/events-challenges/



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Mens team photos by Carol White-Griffiths, Womens` Taur Everard

Hello there, welcome to Walking With The Darts, a However, although we are unbeaten at Bericote monthly update on all things related to Dartford Powerhouse Princes Park, we seem to have come FC, courtesy of Dartford Living Magazine. across a sticky patch on our travels with just the one victory (at Hemel Hempstead) during the last five games. And, while we’ve only lost three games on the road in the league, a deserved defeat (40) at bitter rivals Maidstone was a huge wake up call for captain Tom Bonner and company. Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as the reporter of this Steve King side, it’s that the team doesn’t lose very often and always bounces back after a defeat. The Buildbase FA Trophy game at Cray Wanderers (Saturday 18th December) will surely prove to be a healthy distraction for the players, as they aim to get back on track in time for the busy Christmas period.

An awful lot has happened at the football club during the last few years. However, taking into consideration the state of the world right now with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s fair to say that we’re extremely fortunate and pleased just to be in a position to play football on a weekly basis. And, having already notched up 23 competitive games since mid-August (at the time of writing), life for everyone concerned at the club has been rather busy indeed!

Cup games have provided a mixture of emotions for the club so far this season. Whilst an elevengame unbeaten run was ended away at AFC Sudbury, thus knocking the Darts out of the illustrious FA Cup at the final qualifying hurdle, Dartford have made progress in the London Senior Cup with victories over Athletic Newham (5-2) and CockFosters (9-0). The best news of the season so far, however,was that Dartford beat Whitstable Town FC 6-1 to win the delayed 2019/20 Kent Senior Cup Final in November. The result saw the club lift the trophy for the twelfth time in its history, the last of which was back in the 2015/16 season. One of the many highlights of the game was seeing striker Jake Robinson bag a hat-trick and the Man of The Match award in wonderful celebrations under the floodlights of Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park.

With a settled squad of thirty players (including some academy players), Steve King has done a marvellous job of keeping things relatively consistent on the pitch with the men’s first team. We currently sit second in the National League South table, although we have accumulated the same amount of points as table-toppers Oxford City, Hopefully, the next time I write, Tom Bonner and having won nine of sixteen league games so far. Company would have made further progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy and London Senior Cup,



with the progress his players are making, stating the following recently: “I think, considering we’ve had a new management team and a very big squad, to go into the new year as top of the league shows that it’s very hard to argue that it hasn’t gone well. But, I would have liked to have won more matches, and had more of a lead (at the top of the table). But, overall it’s been good.” It’s fair to say that both Dartford’s men’s and women’s teams are doing exceptionally well so far this season, and credit must go to both Steve King and Connor Dymond for the excellent job they’re doing at the helm of our teams. However, none of this would be possible without the support of the As for the Dartford Women’s team, Connor local fans either, so thank you for all your support Dymond’s side are making solid progress as well. and words of encouragement to the players and The team currently sits at the top of the London & staff throughout the season so far. South East Regional Women’s League table and are a point clear of Ashford Town having played On behalf of Dartford FC, we wish you all a very twelve games. However, the second placed side Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and we look do have a few games in hand over the Darts. The forward to seeing you all at Bericote Powerhouse most recent game for the team saw them play Princes Park as both sides aim for success on out a 2-2 draw at home against New London (and off) the pitch. Lionesses First Women, before they take a break for the Christmas period. The side have certainly been on form recently having scored a whopping 28 goals in the last five games alone, and striker, Emily Vaughan, has netted fifteen league goals so far, which sees her sitting second in the league’s top scorers. as well as this season’s installment of the Kent Senior Cup, not to mention the main focus of the National League South! And top goal scorer, Ade Azeez, will surely be intent on adding to his fourteen goals in all competitions as well.

Earlier this year, the Dartford Women were victorious in the delayed 2019/20 Women’s Kent Cup Final, beating Aylesford Ladies 3-1 to lift the trophy in a thrilling game at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium. They are, however, yet to be drawn in this season’s tournament and await to see whether they’ll face Gillingham, Welling, or Aylesford again. Manager, Connor Dymond, is particularly pleased



Dartford’s Health Walks weekly!

Healthy Living Walk - Mondays 10.00am Dartford Heath Walk - Tuesdays 10.00am Darenth Country Park - Tuesdays 10.30am Greenhithe - Wednesdays 10.30am • • • •

Tree Community Centre - Thursdays 11:15am

This walk has been temporarily suspended and will resume at a later date in 2022

Central Park - Thursdays 11.30am Swanscombe - Fridays 10.00am

This walk has been temporarily suspended and will resume at a later date in 2022

Swanscombe Castle Hill - Sundays 9.00am

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 Funded by

For more details including starting points please contact the One You Kent team call 01322 343067 or email oneyou@dartford.gov.uk

Dartford Resident?

Grant awards of up to £15,000 now available! New eligibility criteria, more grants approved.

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Struggling to stay at home? Need adaptations?

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Contact us even if you’re unsure or your need isn’t listed

01322 343152 housinggrants@dartford.gov.uk


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


Happy New Year

From Dartford’s Markets!

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 www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


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"Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?"

Most babies learn best when they see, hear, touch, taste and smell.

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

Sneak a peek, it's all amazing! Our multi-award winning classes will introduce you and your baby (or babies) to a world of sensory delights, where you can relax, spend quality time with each other and enjoy meeting other new parents.

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It's time for Toddler Sense! A place where structured play goes hand in hand with imagination, the freedom to explore - and ADVENTURE!

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Steve Cook postcard final:Layout 1



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Page 1



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SENIOR SNIPPETS By Christina Uppenkamp - Home Instead Happy New Year and welcome to another 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 Dartford. The start of the year is traditionally a time when lots of people focus on creating new healthy habits, so we have decided to take this opportunity to suggest one of our own. Carrying out an annual home safety check is something that you can do in just a few hours once a year and it could help to keep you and your family healthy and safe. Here are our suggestions for how to go about it. Make sure you have emergency numbers to hand: Keep phone numbers for the emergency services, a reliable family member or friend and your doctor somewhere easy to access in a hurry. If you keep a mobile phone with you at all times, save your emergency numbers there. If you don’t, write them clearly and leave them next to every phone in your home. Book a fire safety check: Lots of fire departments offer a free home fire safety check and install smoke detectors free-ofcharge as well. Why not contact the local fire department and arrange for them to visit your

home? Or ask a family member or friend to test your existing smoke detectors to make sure they are still working fine. Remove hazards to prevent falls: Check each area of your home to see whether there is anything you could fix or move to make the space safer. Secure rugs, so that they don’t slip as you walk on them, move loose wires and other trip hazards, and make sure that routes you walk often are clear of objects. If you are wearing a falls alarm, make sure it is regularly tested to ensure if can help you in an emergency. Have someone check your outside lighting to ensure you can safely see steps and pathways in darker months. Install safety measures: If manoeuvring around the bathroom is challenging for you, or feels unsafe, consider having grab rails installed to help you and putting a rubber mat in the bath to prevent slips. Make sure you have a sturdy banister running along your stairs and consider anywhere else in the home where safety features could make life easier. Social Services or an Occupational Therapist can conduct a needs assessment for you to establish if you require certain equipment to stay safe at home.

your home on a regular basis, such as cleaners, carers, doctors and delivery people. You may choose to add additional points into your home safety check. However you go about it, begin by asking yourself whether you feel safe and secure in your home and what you would do in an emergency, then put in place any measures you need. If you would like to suggest a future topic for this column or have questions about our home care services, please get in touch with Christina on c.uppenkamp@ dartford.homeintead.co.uk or via 01322 923750.

Change the code to your key safe: It’s a great idea to change the code to your key safe regularly, especially if you have people in www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


FITNESS: THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, RODNEY… Have you joined the masses and decided this is the year to… [insert goal here]? That’s great. I strongly encourage goal setting, but it needs to come with action-taking too. It also needs to be achievable (unrealistic goals are fantastic too, it’s truly amazing what’s possible if you put your mind to it, as long as you break them down into smaller steps of interim goals and what actions are needed to reach each of those stages). Whilst it’s traditional to review and rewrite your goals in the New Year, I do think you should do it more often than that. Review them constantly weekly, daily even. And if your goals change or you think of a new one, don’t wait until the new year to start it!

everything you were supposed to do, then you’ve succeeded, whether or not you’ve blasted through your 2 stone target, or just lost 1 stone so far. I’d also recommend taking the long approach – yes, things can happen quickly when you do it right, but have realistic expectations and don’t try to rush it. Too many people start January all guns blazing only to bite off more than they can chew and disappear by February, never to be seen again… until next January.

Don’t be that person. If anything, do the opposite – start exercising just twice a week for half an hour, and each week/month aim to increase BUT… If you are writing your goals for 2022 now, that. get to it. Add 5 minutes to each workout every week for As far as health and fitness go, my main advice the first month… Add a 3rd workout in month 2… is this: Set action goals as oppose to end result goals. Add a 4th workout in month 3… By this, I mean don’t chase a number on the Increase the intensity a bit each week after that… scale or a weight on the barbell etc. You need to know what you need to do to reach Then focus on being consistent and maintaining that routine. those results. Decide what you want the end result to be (fat loss, muscle gain, get off the meds, be able to run a marathon etc etc) and then write down what you need to do to achieve that end result. Those are your goals – to complete those actions consistently until you reach the result. Saying your goal is to lose 2 stone is meaningless.

Weight loss, strength gain, improving health aren’t rocket science. Just make a plan and stick to it. Starving yourself, and killing yourself in the gym for a month in January are the best ways to ensure you’re right back where you started by next January.

Saying your goal is to eat well and exercise daily until you’ve lost 2 stone (and beyond) is Ease into it, with the view that you have all year to work at it, until you review and celebrate your meaningful, and actionable. results and re-write your goals next year. Otherwise you’ll be jumping on the scale every As always, I’m here if you need help – just visit day getting disappointed and wondering my website or find me on social media to get in why things aren’t working. Wishful thinking touch :) and saying you’re going to lose weight aren’t Happy New Year! Let’s make it a good one! enough. It’s also very hard to determine just how long Mark something like weight loss can take, so reaching a certain date and leaving your success or www.MBonlinePT.com @MarkBroadbentPT failure down to a number on the scale is playing with fire. If you can honestly say you’ve done 36



VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY REQUIRED We are actively seeking Practical Support Volunteers and Driving Volunteers to join us at #TeamDemelza. If you have some spare time you could give us to help provide vital support to our families, or you would like to know more, please contact: practicalsupport@demelza.org.uk






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THE EPIDEMIC OF TYPE 2 DIABETES By Dr Julie Taylor Every two minutes, someone finds out they have Type 2 Diabetes. The number of people living with Type 2 Diabetes in the UK has doubled since 1996 and around 7% of the UK population has diabetes. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes usually starts in childhood or adolescence. These people cannot make any insulin themselves and their own immune system has attacked the cells in the pancreas that make it. They need insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes usually affects adults. These people produce insulin but it is not effective in the body (insulin resistance) and over time not enough is made.

If you are at increased risk, you may be eligible to join the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. If your blood sugar levels are over a certain level, your surgery will also do a blood test once per year to monitor this and to pick up diabetes early. How can I prevent Type 2 Diabetes? Diet is the most important part of lifestyle change. It is easier to lose weight on a good diet even if you are struggling to exercise, than it is by exercise if you eat a bad diet. Effective diets to prevent diabetes are those that reduce carbohydrate intake (bread, pasta, rice, cereals, potatoes). Cutting out sugary food and drink and refined grains such as white bread is an important first step. Modern research has shown that fats in foods such as dairy are not as bad for us as we once thought. However, we should cut out processed food.

Exercise can also help to prevent diabetes. When we exercise, our muscles use excess sugar in the blood and sugar that is stored in the muscles and liver. The muscles gradually replenish their stores after exercise, lowering blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help to lower cholesterol and It is thought that type 2 Diabetes can go undetected blood pressure. for up to 10 years. This is a potentially serious health condition that can cause long term health Diet and exercise are also the two main changes problems. Diabetes is the leading cause of that people with diabetes can make to help blindness in working age people in the UK. About control their blood sugar levels. Your GP, practice 40% of people with Diabetes could develop kidney pharmacist or nurse may also prescribe medication disease with about 20% needing dialysis. Having to help, but the more you can do yourself, the less diabetes makes you at least twice as likely to have medication you may need to take. We do know a heart attack or a stroke and fifteen times more that diabetes can get worse over time, and that some people just can’t make the changes they likely to undergo amputations. need to. Your GP practice is there to support you The good news is that there are things you can do to change but also to provide medication when to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. the changes that you make are just not enough. And if you already have diabetes, there are things that you can do to reduce the risks of complications. For more information on managing or preventing type 2 diabetes go to https://diabetes.org.uk Am I at risk of developing diabetes? People from Black African, African Caribbean DR JULIE TAYLOR IS A GP PARTNER and South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) backgrounds are at higher risk of developing Type AT THE ORCHARD PRACTICE 2 Diabetes. Other risk factors for developing Type DARTFORD, CLINICAL DIRECTOR 2 Diabetes are: OF DARTFORD MODEL PCN • Age • Weight and your waist size AND A BOARD MEMBER OF • Having a close relative with diabetes THE DARTFORD, SWANLEY AND You can check your risk of developing Type 2 GRAVESHAM INTEGRATED CARE diabetes at https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/know-yourPARTNERSHIP. risk-dtc/ 38





DAVE@DARTFORDLIVING.DESIGN 07793535534 | DARTFORDLIVING.DESIGN www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


STRAIGHT OUT OF DARTFORD BY SHANNON RANDALL I decided to do this month’s piece on Clare Ghafur, a Dartford resident and skilled makeup artist. To keep with the Christmas spirit I’ve decided to use two of her most Christmassy looks with this piece-her Elf look is a particular favourite of mine. I also used these two looks as I believe they show just how versatile Clare’s skills are as a make-up artist and the incredible range she covers. Clare Ghafur started off in hairdressing, but quickly realised that cutting and colouring hair wasn’t for her. She made the swap to bridal hair which she quickly excelled at, but after being asked time and time again if she also did bridal makeup, she went back into training at Reynolds. Reynolds is a training academy for a variety of skill-sets such as beauty and fitness and I will link the website below if anyone is interested! When talking about Reynolds, Clare said, “Without Reynolds at Dartford, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I did my level 2 and 3 beauty therapy there and absolutely love all the staff. My level 2 beauty included makeup, and that’s where my makeup passion started.” I found Clare on Linkedin and from there I discovered her professional instagram account which I found myself scrolling through endlessly in amazement. From full-face character looks of Beetlejuice, Billy from Hocus Pocus, Iron Man and even a unique twist on little red riding hood, to beautifully blended and coloured eye makeup to SFX makeup, Clare does it all. When asked what looks she loves to do the most, Clare replied, “I prefer to do the out there stuff, the looks I can push myself doing. Some finished looks I don’t even post, I’m quite hard on myself.” It’s easy to see from her posted work that she pushes herself to experiment and produce original and interesting content and I know I for one would love to see her unposted looks as well. Putting your work out into the world can be incredibly daunting and overwhelming which is why I think Clare is a great example for people 40

also trying to follow their passions. Looking into the future Clare has big and exciting goals for her career, with plans to open up her own beauty salon. “The pandemic put a hold on that dream but for now my passion is the looks I do on my Instagram. Throughout the whole pandemic it kept me sane.” It is so inspiring to see someone following their passions not only despite their self-doubts, but also through a whole life changing pandemic. COVID has affected a lot of peoples plans and made it even more crucial to support small businesses and the self employed. If you’re looking for a beautifully talented make-up artist then look no further! It also goes without saying that if you’re trying to follow your own passions right now and struggling, don’t give up. You never know what is just around the corner. I have added Clare’s instagram account below, so please do go give her a follow and check out some of her work. Instagram: makeupbyclare_ reynoldsgroup.co.uk/training/





FULLY OPEN FOR DINING IN Our convenient location in the town centre means you’re never too far from savouring one of our chef’s specials or platters, made with the freshest ingredients and cooked to absolute perfection. We’ve been cooking up a storm since 1974



HOW TO AVOID A WINTER BREAKDOWN It’s a busy time of year, we’re all rushing about, driving to the shops, school, work, seeing friends, family and going out. Your car is working hard to get you from A-B and no-one has time for a break down! Just a few simple checks will help you keep your car going this winter which you can do at home.


Make sure your tyres are up for the conditions! If you’re not sure or would prefer us to do them, If they’re not, it will make stopping much harder stop by one of our garages for a free winter and more dangerous. check. Our top tips to keep your car going this winter: DE-ICER

Make sure you have some in your car for a quick and easy way to clear your screen.

Driving without good visibility could get you pulled over and a ticket issued from the police – plus it’s very risky! SCREENWASH


Your battery is being drained by lighting and heating, so make sure you get it to a garage to check the levels. If it gets too low, you’ll be left stranded – with no lights and heating. WIPERS

Turn your wipers off when you stop the car and get out, because if you don’t and your go back to a frozen car, you may break their motor when they try to go back on again!

You screen will get very dirty at this time of the year – so make sure your screenwash is topped up so that you can give it a clean when AIR CON the weather is affecting your visibility. It may sound strange, but use your heating on the air con setting – it will be more efficient. ICE SCRAPER If you have any vehicle concerns, just give us A very cheap thing to buy but very useful for a call to book in or swing by for a free winter cleaning both the front and back screens check. but also the side windows to maintain your peripheral vision. Don’t miss the wing mirrors too!







2022 Nissan X-Trail large SUV– this is the new X-Trail which carries forward design cues from the latest Qashqai and Juke, including a split LED headlight design, a large, chrome-accented grille, and LED taillights as standard. It’s also shorter and sits closer to the ground than the outgoing car. So far we know it will have an electric motor and a petrol generator therefore will not be charged through an electric point. Whilst all details are unknown its expected the 138bhp and 156bhp 1.3-litre mild hybrid engines from the Qashqai will be available at launch. On the inside its expected to have an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system and a larger one available as an option with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Available in 2022 prices may well start from around £30,0000. 2022 Toyota bZ4x electric SUV – this is the all new Toyota bZ4x electric SUV which offers up to 280 miles of range and four-wheel drive. Its Toyota’s first fully electric SUV, similar size to the Toyota RAV4, but has a lower roofline, and its wheels are set slightly further apart to im44

prove interior space. On the front there is slim LED headlights and daytime running lights and the rear an LED taillight bar running the width of the car. Its run on batteries which have a 71kWh capacity to keep the car running in between charges. You can charge the car from 0-80% of capacity in half an hour if you can find a 150kW rapid charger and slower on a home charger. The interior details are not known but expected to be spacious with a very generous boot. Released in 2022, the predicted £34,500 price tag for entry-level front-wheel-drive versions should mean that it qualifies for the £2500 Government grant.

2022 Nissan Ariya electric SUV – this is the new Nissan Ariya which is a high-tech electric SUV with a 310-mile official range and futuristic looks. It’s a large SUV with slim LED lights and a Nissan badge that lights up to welcome you. Power will come from two electric motors and the range it can cover from 223 to 310 miles relative to the output chosen from 63kWh to the 87kWh version. The Ariya can tow a medium sized caravan with its weight and power. Inside there are very few buttons but touch sensitive areas for the climate controls along the dashboard. Two 12.3in screens provide virtual instruments and infotainment respectively, and the driver can customise the information shown on either. Prices for the Ariya will start from £41,845 when available in the summer of 2022.



Meeting rooms for up to 25 people Flexible rental with competitive pricing AV equipment available Free parking on-site

01322 312000 nucleus@oxin.co.uk nucleus-dartford.co.uk

Your happy place by the sea Holiday home ownership from just £16,995. Find an escape to call your own at Golden Leas Holiday Park. Call to book your VIP visit 01795 342464 lovatparks.com/goldenleas




We present to you an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza as you enter the secret world of one of the greatest movie-musicals of all time. Featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s sensational Robin Windsor and a cast of top West End performers. Come What May is bursting at the seams with timeless classics including Your Song, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend, Come What May, Roxanne and Lady Marmalade plus hit songs from The Greatest Showman and other iconic movie musicals. Travel back in time as the children of the revolution take you on a thrilling non-stop journey into the sexy, disreputable and glamorous underworld of Paris. It’s a ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ evening of unforgettable dancing, dreams, adventure and above all – love! Treat a loved one this Valentine’s Day with Come What May on Mon 14 February.

Meet The Addams Family. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. All the usual clan are present - Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al. Joanne Clifton will be joining the cast as Morticia Addams. Joanne Clifton has starred as Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, and Dale Tremont in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Irving Berlin’s Face the Music. Joanne is perhaps best known for her time on Kevin Clifton and the sensational worldwide BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. The Addams Family Ballroom dance company Burn the Floor return – The Musical Comedy creeps into the theatre with a bang in 2022! This fiery, energetic and Tue 22 - Sat 26 February. revolutionary Ballroom production will, once again, set stages alight and show audiences why it is still the world’s leading Ballroom show after One of the world’s most popular operas, Puccini’s more than two decades. A mix of eclectic live Madama Butterfly tells the heart-breaking story of music, jaw-dropping choreography and ground- the beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love breaking moves, this show has an abundance of with an American naval lieutenant – with dramatic infectious, rebellious energy and passion. Feel the results. Welcoming back the fabulous Korean intensity of the passionate Tango, be swept away soprano Elena Dee and celebrated international by the romance of the Waltz and be captivated soprano’s Alyona Kistenyova, Maria Davydova and by the sensual, alluring Rhumba. Starring Kevin Ramona Bolojan*. Back by overwhelming public Clifton, one of the most successful professional demand, this award-winning Opera returns in dancers to come out of Strictly Come Dancing, a new production with exquisite sets including Burn the Floor is the show to watch in 2022! Not a spectacular Japanese garden and fabulous just a “feel-good” performance, we are seriously costumes including antique wedding kimonos a “feel-fantastic” show! Don’t miss your chance to from Japan. Highlights include the melodic experience the pure dance joy of Burn the Floor. ‘Humming Chorus’, the moving aria ‘One Fine See this Ballroom sensation on Wed 2 February. Day’ and the unforgettable ‘Love Duet’. See the romantic tragedy Sun 13 February.




Win a pair of tickets to 3 Steps to heaven. Featuring some of the greatest hits ever written including: Oh, Pretty Woman, C’mon Everybody, Three Steps to Heaven, Peggy Sue and many more from music’s greatest era! There could not be a better superstar dream team than Buddy Holly, ‘The Big O’ Roy Orbison and Eddie Cochran. Inspired by the international Eddie Cochran hit 3 Steps to Heaven, this exciting production is the ultimate concert, the concert that could have been, had fate not played its untimely part in Rock n’ Roll history. A non-stop parade of hits to feature their best million selling Rock n’ Roll anthems, guaranteed to have audiences dancing in the aisles and screaming for more. What was Roy Orbison’s nickname? a) The Big R b) The Big O c) The Big B Email competition@dartfordliving.com by the 12th January to be in with a chance of winning. RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered.. 4. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 7. 7. All entries will be added to the Dartford Living mailing list to receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Please state when you enter the competition if you don’t wish to be added

Rock Painting in Dartford.

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

ere 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.



What to do: Preheat your oven to 140°C Fan Prepare a Loaf Tin with greaseproof paper. Cream together 220g Caster Sugar and the Margarine until soft and fluffy. Add the Eggs, one at a time, and mix. You can add some of the Flour if the mix starts to look a bit curdled.

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE By Debbie Dickinson This is probably my favourite cake that I make! But be warned – it is very, very lemony!!! What you need: 220g Margarine 220g Caster Sugar + 75g for Syrup 4 Eggs 220g Self Raising Flour 30g Plain Flour 3 Lemons – Zest and Juice

Add the Zest of the Lemons and the remaining Flour and stir until combined. Gently mix in the juice of 1 Lemon (about 3Tbsp). Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 1 - 1¼ hour until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Put the remaining Lemon Juice and 75g Caster Sugar into a small saucepan and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved. While the cake is still warm, use the skewer to make holes in the top of the cake. Carefully brush the warm syrup onto the top of the cake.





CLUB Football Rugby Cricket Bowls Squash

Tennis Table Tennis Pool Kickboxing Four Seasons Boot Camp

Country & Western Ballroom Dancing Comedy Club Wi-Fi, Sky & BT Sports Floodlit Astroturf

✓ Function Hall for Hire ✓ In House or Own Catering ✓ Fully Licensed Bar ✓ Club Terrace ✓ Adult Lounge Calvert Drive, Dartford, Kent DA2 7GA 01322 527973 | www.bexleypark.co.uk For Hall bookings and General enquiries please contact 07850 328970 9.00am - 6.00pm or email info@bexleypark.co.uk www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


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 50




DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE) DARTFORD OSTOMY GROUP SUPPORT (DOGS) meets on the first Tuesday of every month meet every third Wednesday in the month at St (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, Anselm’s Parish Centre, West Hill, Dartford DA1 West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information 2HJ from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. It is for anyone about meetings and interest groups call 01474who has an Ileostomy, Colostomy, Urostomy, 709068 or visit our website. IBS and pouch, their carers, family and friends. WILMINGTON AND AXSTANE PROBUS CLUB ALL DIRECTIONS We are a group of retired men who meet is a community learning organisation for adults monthly for a lunch and a speaker at the and young people aged 16+ with physical, Swanley Bowls Centre. We also have a monthly learning and mental health difficulties. For walk and occasional coffee mornings and more information, attend a taster session as a side line we raise money for a local or visit our community lunch club, contact charity. If you are missing the contact with Caroline on 01322 440482 or 07570 347612 other business men since you retired, why not come and join us on the last Thursday of AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR every month. For more details contact Phil Burt COFFEE MORNING every Friday morning 10.30 on 01322 274541 or look at our website www. 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1 waprobus.com BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS UK For people with Parkinsons and their carers. Dartford: 2nd Wednesday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. Information support workers available, guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Wendy Leach. Tel: 02083065973 THE STROKE ASSOCIATION has 2 groups for stroke survivors with Communication difficulties; one in Dartford and one in Gravesend. Please contact Michele at Dartford@stroke.org.uk or on 01622 3251 962. Also, there is a social group, run by stroke survivors for stroke survivors. It provides excise classes, art sessions, outings, events and meetings. It meets at the YMCA, Dartford, DA1 1UP at 11.00 am on Tuesdays. Please contact Theo Hodges at Theo.Hodges@stroke.org.uk or 0743 7100 404, for more details

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 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group. HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP Dartford & Gravesham Branch. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 1012pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more information contact Marion on 01322 402967

WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce THE WELLBEING LINK wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings this para sport please contact us on 01474 from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, 871484 or alternatively look at our website www. 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative nagfencing.eu group - call Julie On 07775875585 JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information contact mikeansell.dt@hotmail. co.uk 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more information visit:

ERITH YOUTH RUGBY Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515 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 www.dartfordgymnastics. co.uk for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@yahoo. co.uk

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.

DARTFORD JU JITSU CLUB Mondays 7-8pm for 7-16s at the Dartford Girls Grammar, Shepherds Lane Dartford DA1 2NT in LEARN KARATE the Dance Studio. Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – for adults We have an adult class 8-10pm too. & children We’ve been running for 20 years, building Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket the target, developing skills and always Sport Centre, first lesson free. welcome new members. For more info, visit www.ydma.club or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial DARTFORD ORIENTEERING CLUB Arts. For more details see www.dfok.co.uk Yoga with Emma “YOGA WITH EMMA Europa Gymnastics Centre: - Wednesdays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am - Fridays: Yin Yoga – 10.45am to 11.45am Becket Sports Centre: - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 7.00pm to 8.00pm Please see www.samadhi-yoga.co.uk for more information or email Emma at emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk“ KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB www.kentexiles.co.uk. Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome ENERGY FITNESS AND NUTRITION I run group fitness classes as well as 1-1 and semi private personal training sessions in Darenth at Dimples Day Nursery DA2 7HT. ENERGY Fitness & Nutrition: we offer a wide variety of group classes such as strength & conditioning, boot camps, Boxercise, mum and baby classes, inside and outside classes with great equipment and suitable for all abilities. The website is www.energyfitnut.co.uk 52

HOP LIKE IT’S HOT A fun (different) circuit based workout with space hoppers that challenges core stabilty, balance and strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person. THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON CLUB, Friendly club seeking new members. Abilities mixed. Would suit players with some prior experience. Thursdays at 7.45-9.45pm, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, DA1 2NT For further information please email: highlystrungbc@gmail.com WAR GAMES AND MODEL CLUB Based in Erith we have a wide number of members from across SE London and Kent. A great place to come and have a game, make, paint and hobby! Or, if you prefer, come grab a cup of tea and chat about all things hobby and some things not! For more info visit - https:// emperors10th.wixsite.com/home DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to


www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same.

we hold coached track sessions on Wednesday evenings for runners of all abilities.

DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool in Swanley and Fairfield pool in Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then please visit our website http://www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk

SO LET’S GO RUNNING (SLGR) SLGR is a local running club with structured training sessions designed to improve runners speed and stamina.

This is a tough but very popular way to increase your stamina and running technique, and you’ll be in the company of qualified coaches and some of the friendliest runners FOOTSCRAY MEADOW PARKRUN around. For more information please visit our A new Parkrun event with parking at Crazy Barn website centralparkathletics.co.uk SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long-established cycling Club in Every Sunday 10-11am – Child friendly coached Dartford and we share our headquarters at sessions – Come and join the CPA Swifts Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater – As a fledgling club we would like to give for most abilities and have a social ride most children of all ages and abilities the chance to Saturday mornings. For info on joining us experience training and coaching within a club please visit our website environment – come and be part of the team www.seedscycling.co.uk Free first session with this advert

DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities including a beginners group. DRR teams compete in the Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join us with all abilities. http://dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/node/440 DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you advance your Athletics then please visit our website http://www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can provide access to a state of the art running track (re-laid in 2015) and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge,

There are currently four runs available with more starting soon; see below for more details. The Run leaders for each group are as follows; Dartford Cricket Club, Dartford - Dawn & Brian Cyclopark, Gravesend - Dawn & Brian New runners are always welcome, and you can contact Brian if you would like more information; see contact details and e-mail link on Our Group page. YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES Every Tuesday from 6-7pm &Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00pm at Peppercorns, 3 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. For more information please call The Hope Group on 07580 615206. DARTFORD BOCCIA CLUB Boccia is a Paralympic Sport similar to Pétanque or Boules. It is played in a seated position therefore ideal for disabled or non-disabled persons to play together. We meet once a fortnight on a Saturday between 5-6pm. Cost is £2.50 per player per session. There is FREE parking on site. All welcome. Facebook: Dartford Boccia Club



Craft Frames Quality Pict ure Frami ng

F re e a dvi ce a n d e s ti m a t es

N e edl ewo r k & Ca r d M a ki ng D. M. C S to c ki st Ki ng C ole K nitti ng W ool C ry sta l A rt Ca r ds & Ki ts

Well Worth a Visit! 21 West Hill Dartford DA1 2EL 01322 278703 w w w.c raftf ra me s. co .uk F re e par king at re ar Cl osed Sun days a nd Mondays




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




DIRECTORY OF LOCAL BUSINESSES ADVERTISING IN DARTFORD LIVING ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Linklaters……………………...............................................……………..54 Downton & Ali Associates……………….........................…..59 PICTURE FRAMING HOME IMPROVEMENTS Craft Frames………………..........................................……………….54 The Double Glazing Repair Man……......................……...4 Butler CCTV……………………………….........................................…..23 PRINTERS Steve Cooke Double glazing ……......................………….33 Darenth Print………………………............................................………..6 Claremont Decorative Services………...................…….55 Excel Security…………….......................................………….……..…32 RESTAURANTS, CAFES & FOOD OUTLETS Efes……………………………………...................................................……..42 RELIGIOUS SERVICES Crossways Community Church………..................……..27 EDUCATION My Bluewater Tutor…………………....................................………41 COUNCIL Dartford Primary Academy………...........................…………8 Dartford Borough Council……….........................…….……..30 Leigh UTC………………………...............................................……………17 Podium Driving School………...............................………………18 MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SwimKidz …………………............................................…………………..19 Gareth Johnson……………………....................................………...32 Toddler Sense ………….………….........................................………33 Stagecoach…………………………….........................................……..37 ESTATE/LETTING AGENTS CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS Fox Estates…………………………..............................................………..9 Air Ambulance Charity……….............................……………….19 Wisdom Estates……………….....................................………….…..27 Demelza………………………………….............................................…….37 Food Bank…………………….........................................………………..54 FARM SHOPS H&M Foods…………………..............................................……………….13 LEISURE Orchard Theatre………………….......................................…………12 FLORISTS Dartford FC…………………………….............................................…….17 Dartford Florist …………………........................................…………...6 Bexley Park Comedy………...................................………………..4 Bexley Park Sports Club …….............................……………..49 DRIVING SCHOOLS/ GARAGES/ VEHICLE SERVICES TRAVEL Podium Driving School………...............................………………18 Golden Leas holiday park……….......................................45 Orchard Garage ……………………....................................……...60 Harden Holidays ……………….....................................…………..20 CARE PROVIDERS RETAIL Home Instead Senior Care………..........................………..34 The Bedpost…………………………............................................……..16 Anchor foster care……………....................................……………..2 Bradley’s Jewellers……………...................................…………...55 HEALTH AND WELL BEING WEBSITE DESIGN & MARKETING Feet Matters…………………………..............................................……..6 Dartford Living Marketing………..............................………..25 Slimming World……………….........................................….………….7 Dartford Living Design…………………....................................39 Dartford Road Dental Centre……….........................……..41 OFFICE SPACE /SUPPLIES Nucleus …………………………………...............................................….45 OPTICIANS 56




54mm by 128mm



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210mm by 148mm



£150 £60


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

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

KEY NUMBERS Police 01622 690690 NON EMERGENCY ONLY Fire Safety Advice & FREE Home Fire Safety Check 0800 169 1125 Dartford Borough Council 01322 343434 Gas Leaks (24 hour) 0800 111 999 EDF Energy Networks Emergencies/ Powercuts Helpline 105 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames)

0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 116 123

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

HEALTH Darent Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartford East Health Centre 01322 421480 Boots Chemist Bluewater 01322 624780 (Late Night) ASDA Greenhithe Chemist 01322 374100 (Late Night) The National Pandemic Flu Service 0800 1513 100 West Kent NHS helpline 0800 0 850850

LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047

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

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

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

HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline: 0800 500 3014 Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line:



Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312.

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





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