Dartford Living July 2020

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FIND YOUR NEW HOME IN DARTFORD WITH More information on page 5 JULY 2020 - ISSUE 169 - FREE

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Dear Readers, Welcome to the July 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.

CONTENTS 6-7 Cooking with Mr Dix 8 DGS Chapter 12-13 Stinging Nettles 14 North Kent College & RAF choir 16 Recipe 22 Something to do to make you feel better 24-25 Travel advice - Harden Holidays 26-27 Help and support at every stage of life 28 Fitness July 34 Top tips to eat well and age well 37 Keeping the kids (and you) entertained this summer 38-39 Life under the stairs 41 Rescue is best 44 Online Theatre roundup 47 Car News 48-55 Where to go locally 56-57 Advertisers Index 58 Useful Numbers


Until next time, stay safe, 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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By J o n at h a n D i x


I am the food teacher at Dartford Science and Technology College. As an ex-chef I have a passion for teaching students how to learn about the provenance of food, the seasonality, the skills involved in making food and finally how to create amazing, well balanced nutritious dishes. When lockdown started at the end of March I was very conscious of trying to keep the students cooking. So I started a YouTube channel and Instagram account. The plan was to film some easy to do at home recipes having in mind that there were severe shortages of most things in the shops. Initially I also did a few Cook-a-long Live lessons via Instagram which were a great success. However going forward not everyone is available at the same time so decided to use Youtube as the main driver and Instagram more for information of what was coming up in the new videos.


So far the feedback has been amazing and I get daily emails from people who have watched the videos and cooked the dishes. I was recently on BBC South East Today talking about the channel as part of a news item about lockdown learning.

Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and Instagram: cookingwithmrdix If you would like to get in touch: cookingwithmrdix@gmail.com

I currently have around 660 subscribers for both the Instagram and YouTube channels and I have had 10,000 channel views in 2 months. There are now 21 videos with dishes ranging from banana cake (a lockdown favourite!), old school orange rind cake to dinner party dishes such as tropical pavlova and chicken feuilletes. I now upload two videos a week – generally one sweet and one savoury. I often allow subscribers to vote using Instagram so will offer a choice of four things and they choose their favourite two! I plan to carry on with the channel even when lockdown is all over as I enjoy teaching and if I can teach a few people how to cook then it is worth doing.


By J o n at h a n D i x


Produced by members of Dartford Grammar School’s Journalism Society, the school’s student publication DGSChapter has been shortlisted for the finals of the Shine School Media Awards, a national competition recognising excellence in student journalism. Written, edited and produced by a team of students, DGSChapter includes a wide variety of school-related issues and current affairs articles and aims to be an integral part of student life at Dartford Grammar. The Shine School Media Awards is a national competition rewarding UK secondary schools who produce an outstanding newspaper, magazine, podcast or website. Twenty-six other schools made this year’s finals, including the City of London School, Whitgift School, Altrincham Grammar School and others. This year, the judges and committee were overwhelmed with the creativity of entries, especially considering the nationwide lockdown procedures. They said: “We have great pleasure in announcing the shortlist of schools nominated for an award at our online

ceremony on June 29th. The committee and judges have been wowed by the inventiveness, creativity and persistence of schools who have entered this year against all the odds. We have tried our hardest to do everything we can to recognise the achievements of our students this year by being every bit as innovative as they have.” The culmination of the competition would normally be a spectacular gala awards ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London but in light of the current COVID-19 situation, finalists will be recognised in an online awards ceremony on 29th June 2020. DGSChapter Sub-Editor Joseph Bullock said “The group is thrilled to have been shortlisted for the finals. It really shows the hard work and endeavour of our young writers and editors. We are looking forward to, and have our fingers crossed for the online awards ceremony!” You can access the magazine at www.dgschapter.com



S p e c i a l i s i n g i n t h e fo l lo w i n g a r e as :




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St i n g i n g N e t t l e s

STINGING NETTLES By Local Resident Howard Vaughan Stinging nettles are a bit of a double edged sword in a garden. They can take over and once you have them then, well, you have them but in the right spot they are a great boon for wildlife of all sorts as well as having culinary, dye and even string making uses. When I dug up my little plot on Wednesday to plant my broad beans and beetroot in I had to remove a good tangle of tuberous Nettle roots most of which I put in my compost. However, I have also planted some in a big flower pot so that they can still grow and attract insects by the dozen. They tend to flop over if grown in isolation like this so make a stick and string frame in the pot to support them as they grow but you will need to keep them watered too!

My new patch

In full flower! They can get to about 1.5m high. I also have a patch of Nettles that are just fine where they are and they are already coming along just nicely and I hope to have Peacock butterfly caterpillars on them at some stage this spring. Nettlebugs will mysteriously appear and the flowers Peacock caterpillars and butterfly will attract hoverflies and some of the smaller bees.



Wrens loving poking about for insects - David Dent Come the following spring you can cut them down and use the stems in you new bug and bee boxes so a versatile and wondrous plant to have in your garden at all times!


Nettlebugs - Mark Hart Come the autumn do not cut the stems back but leave them so that Goldfinches can find the seed and small birds like Wrens and Tits will forage in the dried heads for hibernating insects.

The Dartford Warbler was first identified as a breeding bird in the UK in April 1773 when 2 specimens were shot in Bexleyheath by ornithologist, John Latham. From the 1830s sadly the bird ceased to be present in the area due to disturbance and loss of habitat as a result of urbanisation. The nearest locations where established populations can still be seen are on Sussex and Surrey heaths. Occasional winter birds turn up at Rainham marshes. 13

N o rt h K e n t Co l l e g e a n d RAF C h o i r h i t t h e h e i g h ts o n Br i ta i n ’ s G ot Ta l e n t !

NORTH KENT COLLEGE AND RAF CHOIR HIT THE HEIGHTS ON BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT! North Kent College student Jack Beaney, a 2nd year Miskin actor recently received four yeses from the Britain’s Got Talent judges when the Royal Air Force Choir took part in their audition.

Simon Cowell said “It was good, really good and you had great energy”. David Walliams mentioned how “magic” it was. Alesha Dixon stated she had respected for them as her brother is also part of the RAF. Amanda Holden concluded how “relaxed The RAF Air Cadets National Choir formed of ages and entertained” she was. Then the moment they between thirteen and twenty started their journey had all been waiting for - four yeses’! in Series 14 of BGT. The choir has been running for five years and was formed to commemorate the Jack Beaney said of his experience “You didn’t see in 75th Anniversary of Air Cadets. They have competed the footage but Simon and Aleshia wanted to press in various shows and their Musical Director believed their gold buzzers but had already done so and were it was their time to show the world what they are trying to egg the others on to do theirs! made of so he put them through in September 2019! The experience was extremely surreal and hard The approximately 30 strong choir from across the to describe because it was all back to normal so country, including Jack, attended their audition in quickly – I was thinking to myself was it a dream or January after having to quickly turnaround rehearsal did it actually happen?” times and logistics as they had been informed that auditions wouldn’t take place until February! He continued “I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t get to the second round however extremely Whilst they took to the main stages at the London grateful for the opportunity and experience!” Palladium, they played the drums, guitar and sang icon songs which included ‘We Will Rock you’, ‘Fat Well Done Jack and all of the RAF Choir - you can Bottomed Girls’ and ‘Radio Ga Ga’. After an amazing view their performance here https://youtu.be/ performance they received a standing ovation from etHY8YndG-8 ! the crowd.


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RASPBERRY BISCUITS By Debbie Dickinson I absolutely love this time of year and we are really lucky that we have a multitude of fruit trees and bushes in our garden. We used raspberries, picked fresh from the garden, for this recipe but you could substitute for other fruit – fresh or frozen! You’ll need: 200g Softened butter 100g Icing sugar 250g Plain flour 50g Raspberries 50g White chocolate chips (optional) What to do: Cream the butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. As always, remember to scrape the sides of the bowl frequently to mix evenly! Sift in the flour and mix to combine, then stir in the raspberries and chocolate chips (if using). Pop the mixture into the fridge for 15 mins to firm up slightly. Using a spoon to help, make balls with the dough and pop on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof


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SOMETHING EASY YOU CAN DO TO FEEL BETTER By Clair Yates continues to be misunderstood and neglected in most health circles. It’s easier than meditation, the benefits are immediate, even a beginner can impact their nervous system dramatically in as little as 10 breaths. I’ve been teaching breath work for many years as part of my yoga classes but I would encourage everyone, even those who have no interest in yoga to consider working with their breath. Very short breathing practices of 2 minutes a couple of times a day, can make a huge difference to how we feel and to our overall health. For example, a balanced breathing practice is one you can use anytime you need balance in your life. After a chaotic journey/commute, a stressful work call, a balanced breath practice will calm you down. When you’re feeling the afternoon slump, ready to reach for a coffee a balanced breath practice will lift you up and leave you feeling energized and ready to get on with what needs doing. Like taking a sip of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, brief balancing breathing practices will help steady your nervous system, so you can respond and get things done. A calming breath practice on the other hand will always downregulate the nervous system, it can make you feel soporific and groggy so this is the technique you want to use right before bed. At night when I’m finishing work, If I told you there was an exercise so powerful that my phones lighting up with notifications and my mind is within a couple of minutes practice it could lower buzzing, this type of breathing is a fantastic aid to sleep. your heart rate, boost your digestion and improve your sleep and that this same exercise practiced to Short breathing practices are part of my self-care routine, extreme can have hallucinogenic effects and create just like drinking water to stay hydrated, they’re how I look out of body experiences, would you know what after myself. If you feel you could benefit from learning to exercise I was talking about? It’s called breathing! harness your breath to help you to feel better, sleep better and get more done, there are plenty on resources online, Breathing for most of us is totally automatic, you could look for a yoga teacher who teaches pranayama governed by our autonomic nervous system, it or you could look for a breath coach. Breathing practices happens all by itself. However, we can override are easy to learn and the effects are more predictable than our natural breath and if we know how, we can meditation or drugs and they are of course much safer. create an effect within a few minutes of practice. Tune in next week and I will describe an easy balancing breath practice that you can start to use straight away. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or Take care of yourself, Clair. pranayama, it’s one of the most powerful tools for modulating our nervous system and yet it


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With the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) dropping the word ‘indefinite’ from its global no-travel advisory we believe signals the start of a much-needed recovery for the travel industry. The FCO is expected to further soften its advice over the coming weeks to permit travel via air bridges. We hope by the time the magazine goes to print this to be the case for 45 destinations with low or no Covid-19 infections. In all the uncertainty of the last 3 months one things is certain – everything can change very quickly. We are really pleased to have been able to re-open our physical premises in Dartford town centre on the 15th June as nothing can replace the face to face interaction when it comes to booking, canceling, amending your travel plans. We found that each client had a different set of circumstances surrounding their booking, health and personal views – the one size fits all approach doesn’t work, our advice is always personal. We have great relationships with all our supplier and these trade relationships have benefited our clients during this crisis. Airlines are very focused on safety and reassuring customers that it will be safe to fly as soon as the FCO advice has been lifted. Airlines are implementing new health and safety measures with a number of airlines gradually entering restart mode. IATA (International Air Transport Association) has published this picture relating to how the air quality is maintain onboard aircraft. Most modern aircraft are fitted with hospital grade HEPA filters, we hope you find it useful.


There is a lot of speculation about the hike in holiday prices for 2021 – judging by the beach scenes around the UK in the past few weeks there is a definite demand for sun and sea this summer. The consensus seems to be that in the immediate post-lockdown period, people will get some bargains however long term there may be new factors to prompt price hikes. Thanks to the additional flexibility from holiday providers, there has been a higher than usual level of bookings for 2021 as people lift and shift their plans by 12 months. This increase in demand may translate to higher prices during peak travel periods, and overall, we’re seeing that traditional booking patterns will not apply during the coming year. It is difficult to get over the devastation from the last 3 months however we are seeing a steady increase in new enquiries and a great appetite to travel as soon as it safe to do so. Turkey leads the short haul destinations to introduce a new tourism certification process as the country prepares to reopen to UK tourists. The Safe Tourism Certification scheme is designed to validate the implementation of high levels of health and hygiene measures at airlines, airports and other transport stations, accommodation and food and beverage facilities. The Turkish authorities have already scrapped the requirement for UK visitors to obtain a visa this summer.

For most up to date information, advice and guidance please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to provide you with industry intel and knowledge. Always talk to a travel professional – as independent travel agents we are here at your service, our advice will always have your best interest at heart, we will always pick up the phone and you will always be able to pop in our store and have a face to face conversation.

River cruising has seen a return in Germany with new health and hygiene policies in place. This is paving the way for the larger cruise liners to follow suit however it is proving a lot more challenging and we are seeing sailing dates being pushed back further towards the end of 2020.

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P e r s o n a l sto ry: H a rry Wa rw i c k e r

HELP AND SUPPORT AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE Personal story: Harry Warwicker the best place for Harry’s 13-year-old sister Rhianne to stay was with Sam’s sister and her family. “Rianne’s dad – my ex – couldn’t have her because he works and has health issues of his own,” explains Sam, “So that’s when my sister stepped in. She and her husband are always there to give us support when we need it, and Harry and Rhianne get on really well with their three cousins. Under normal circumstance it’s the ideal solution.” Once Harry was home from the Evelina, though, lockdown was in full swing, meaning it was a couple of weeks before Rhianne could come home. “My brother in law works in a supermarket and the fear was, if he picked something up, and passed it on to Rhianne, she might pass it on to Harry. All we could do was sit it out for two weeks apart until we were as sure as we could be that everyone was ok. It was tough to be apart but, ultimately, we knew it was the sensible thing to do for the sake of all our health – but especially Harry’s.”

One Northfleet family has experienced for themselves the vital support that ellenor offers in all sorts of circumstances – including the current pandemic - and to both children and adults.

During this very anxious time, the ellenor team, with whom the family has a very strong relationship, were always on hand to offer support and guidance. “Ellenor has been part of our lives since Harry was tiny,” says Samantha. “We’ve had a variety of nurses over the years, and they’ve all been great. Rebecca has worked with us for the past six months and we’ve got a real sense of trust – not just between her and Harry but between her and me, too. Sometimes you can really doubt yourself as parent – yes, you trust your gut instinct when it comes to your kids, but when you’re dealing with children with complex health issues you do need reassurance that you’re doing the right thing. Rebecca is always on hand to give me that reassurance.”

Ellenor is a charity that supports those coping with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The Covid-19 crisis has added an entirely unprecedented range of fears and challenges to their lives, and a new dimension to the importance of the care that ellenor offers. For the Warwicker-Woodgate family, for instance, it’s meant separation in the quest to As well as vital emotional support, the practical support keep everyone safe, with ellenor’s team on hand ellenor provides is invaluable too. From ensuring that to provide reassurance and practical support. there was a plan in place to help the family to cope with lockdown, to having all necessary medicines and Samantha Warwicker’s nine-year-old son, Harry prescriptions for Harry ready, Rebecca was there. Woodgate, has cerebral palsy with additional, “If I needed anything, I knew I only had to ask, and complex health needs. When he became unwell there were things I didn’t ask for but got anyway – like a with non-Covid-related complications just before much-needed food parcel from ellenor when we weren’t lockdown, he was sent to the Evelina children’s able to shop.” hospital in London. With Sam accompanying him,


Now with the family reunited, how are they coping with P e r s o n a l sto ry: H a rry Wa rw i c k e r lockdown? “Mainly it’s a case – as with any other family with kids – of just keeping the children busy and relatively happy. Rhianne has her school work, but for Harry it’s things like playing with sensory toys, lots of light-touch massage to keep him stimulated – and making the most of our garden hot tub when the weather’s warm.” In these circumstances especially, it’s ellenor’s continuity of care and involvement with the family that Sam says she particularly appreciates. “It’s something we never take for granted and that we’re so grateful for,” says Sam. “We’ve all benefitted from ellenor’s services over the years and in such a wide variety of ways. We’ve got great memories from the trip we all took as a family to Disneyland Paris, where the fabulous ellenor nurses who accompanied us ensured we didn’t have anything to do except enjoy ourselves.”

support is, “ Sam comments. “Whatever we’ve been through, the charity’s been there for us – just as we know it’ll be there for us whatever the future throws our way. That’s why I’ve always been happy to take part in any ellenor-sponsored events, like the Twilight Walk, which Harry and I did together. It’s our way of giving back. We never thought we’d have to deal with a pandemic situation on top of everything else that’s come our way – Covid-19 could have proved the last straw in our ability to cope. With ellenor’s help, though, we’re dealing with the situation, each day as it comes, and we never feel we’re alone.”

Later, ellenor was there to support the family when Sam’s father was under the charity’s care, “It seemed right, somehow, that an organisation that has helped us care for Harry for so long, looked after my Dad in the last few weeks of his life, when he was in the ellenor hospice.” Afterwards, when the family needed bereavement support, Sam was able to access music therapy for Rhianne, to help her process her grandfather’s death, while Sam’s sister benefitted from ellenor’s counselling services. “Our family knows first-hand just how far-reaching ellenor’s



FITNESS - JULY By Mark Broadbent Getting back to the gym Having been shut for the last 3 or 4 months, gyms are set to be re-opening soon (hopefully). I’m pre-empting this with this article in hope that I can get the message to you sooner rather than later, so even if they don’t open again in the next couple of weeks, bear this in mind for when they do. For many gym-goers this re-opening will be welcomed with open arms!

You’ll be able to progress pretty quickly once you start training again, so don’t rush. Spend the first 2 or 3 run-throughs of each workout building the weights back up again. Recover between workouts (don’t try and get 6 a week in) and rebuild your strength.

The last thing you want to do is get back to the gym, try and lift what you were lifting pre-lockdown, However, it’s important to remember that you’ve likely and blow out your back or tear a bicep. Another 3 not lifted anything too heavy for a good couple of months. months off training is definitely not the way to go! Whilst many people have continued their training throughout lockdown, weights have likely been significantly lower It’s a fresh start for most, whether you’ve kept your than they would usually be whilst training in the gym. training up throughout lockdown, let it slip, or never trained before anyway. I’m sure those training hard will be keen to get back to the gym and lift some decent weights again, and get back to My prediction is that overuse injuries, sprains and where they left off, but PLEASE be cautious. strains are likely to be quite popular when the masses re-enter the gyms, please don’t be one of Having not trained with any significant weight for a while, them! Those who ease themselves back into it will jumping straight back into your old routine is a recipe minimise their risk of getting injured compared for disaster. Injuries are likely to be rife in these first few to those trying to “compensate” for the time off. weeks from people overdoing it.

My advice here is to take it slowly.

So my message here is simple – please exercise caution (do you see what I did there? :P) when you go back to the gym.

You don’t need to spend the next 3 months building back up again, but I’d strongly recommend starting off much You’ll likely see some gorillas pounding their chests lighter than you were lifting before, at least for the first and grunting while they “max out their bench” in the first session back, but don’t feel the need to couple of weeks. join them – because you’ll also likely see a few of them limping out of the gym injured! Even if it feels like you can lift more (which it likely will), don’t be tempted to go straight in and test yourself. If you need help getting your training plan up and running, you can contact me through my socials Reduce the weights you’re lifting, maybe skip the last set, (@MarkBroadbentPT) or at www.MBonlinePT.com and maybe even drop the last couple of reps for your first couple of workouts.


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

Jeremy Kite, Leader of the Council




Dartford Living is much more than just a magazine! FITNESS - J U ly

We have a massive presence online through social media and our website. We also have an online business directory and free quarterly networking events. Need help with design and marketing? We can help you! We can provide advice and offer website design and other graphic design assistance. When it comes to marketing we can offer the full spectrum of social media marketing as well as brochure and website copy. Great design and marketing is so important if you want your business to stand out! www.dartfordliving.com www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk www.dartfordliving.design


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By C h r i st i n a U p p e n k a m p - H o m e I n st e a d S e n i o r Ca r e

TOP TIPS TO EAT WELL AND AGE WELL By Christina Uppenkamp - Home Instead Senior Care

Food and nutrition play an important role in staying well. But many people lose their interest in food as they get older and, according to Home Instead Senior Care research, one in five over 75s struggle to cook their own food.

part of the ageing process If you are feeling under strain and need a helping hand or a bit of respite time, Home Instead Senior Care can help. Our CAREGivers can provide help around the house as well as assistance with meal preparation, shopping and errands.

Find out more about how our CAREGivers can help your As part of our campaign called ‘Stay Nourished,’ loved one to eat well and stay well our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of at home by visiting www.homeinstead.co.uk/dartford maintaining healthy eating habits. or call 01322 923750. Home Instead Senior Care Dartford is here to share its knowledge and help recognise the signs of malnutrition so that families or those providing care and support can take action. Here are some top tips for encouraging your loved one to enjoy mealtimes: • Keep mealtimes interesting. Aromas can help to stimulate the appetite. Encourage your loved one to get involved in the selection, preparation and serving of meals wherever possible. Top Tip: Help your loved one to make a shopping list and decide on a healthy meal plan for the week. • Make the dining area comfortable, remove distractions and create a nice atmosphere. • Think about portion sizes; If appetite is a problem, it is better to introduce smaller portions more often instead of a large plate of food 3 times a day. Offering finger foods is also a good way to encourage people to eat if someone doesn’t want a traditional meal. • Ensure healthy snack options are available and make sure food and drinks are easily accessible throughout the day. • Avoid calorie-free or low-fat products unless your loved one has specifically been advised to eat them by their GP. • Always prioritise mealtimes and try to create a mealtime routine. Avoid rushing and coercing someone to eat. Gentle persuasion is better. • Confront the myth that weight loss is a normal process with ageing as our bodies become less active. Weight loss is not a normal




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k e e p i n g t h e k i d s ( a n d yo u ) e n t e rta i n e d t h i s s u m m e r

KEEPING THE KIDS (AND YOU) ENTERTAINED THIS SUMMER When the schools are closed, whether during lockdown or the long summer holidays, many parents struggle to keep the kids busy. The TV and devices are usually a surefire way to keep them occupied, but this can result in an increased electricity bill. And when money’s tight, this can be a challenge in itself. Trying to keep the kids busy and not on devices is hard, but there are all sorts of cheap and cheerful activities to try instead. You never know, they might even be fun for parents too. Here are some ideas that won’t bust the budget. Tidy bedrooms and extra cash How come kids never seem to want to tidy their bedrooms even when they’re bored? Perhaps they’d be more likely to do it with an incentive, so why not suggest making a pile of things to sell via websites like eBay or Gumtree? This will encourage them to be sustainable with their old stuff, and might earn them some extra pocket money too. Keep in touch with older relatives It may have been a while since the kids have visited their grandparents and older family members. Why not encourage younger children to draw or paint a picture and older ones to write a letter? It doesn’t have to be

long and it’s fun to wait for a reply in the post – this can be a lovely way to share news and it’s better than receiving bills! Build a den This is still at the top of the list for most children, provided you don’t mind a bit of mess. All the kids need is a few blankets and their imaginations to build a cool den. If you have a garden and the weather’s good, you can get them outdoors for ages building and enjoying their creation. Picnics and chats With everything that’s happened this year with the pandemic and lockdown, it’s really important for kids to talk about how they’re feeling. This can be challenging, but having time together and enjoying each other’s company can open up space for a chat. Why not ask the kids if they fancy a picnic and have lunch outside with a blanket to sit on? When you’re chatting, try to ask open questions such as, ‘How are you feeling about X?’ rather than ones with a yes or no answer. Getting crafty Here’s a trick for craft-loving kids. Make your own glue with just flour, water and a pinch of salt. Stir

water into the flour until you get the desired gooey consistency. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more flour. Finally, add a pinch of salt to prevent mould and store in a sealed container ready to use later on. Homemade quizzes If your family likes quizzes, you could get each person to come up with a round on their favourite subject and have a family fun night. Games Don’t forget the fun of a good old fashioned board game or a deck of cards. Many traditional board games were invented by ordinary people at home with their families, so if you don’t have any, you could challenge the kids to make their own? Who knows? Their creation could be the one we’ll all be playing in the future! Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with hundreds of services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking habitual dependencies. Visit capuk.org to find out more.



this together’.

LIFE UNDER THE STAIRS BY LOCAL RESIDENT, JANE STEVENSON Once upon a time… This month’s article nearly didn’t happen. With lockdown there is nothing going on. Even the recommended half hour exercise failed to provide me with any ideas. With shops and entertainment venues closed, no boot sales, sporting events and the cancellation of many summer festivals and fairs, I found little to comment on. Still there were things happening, albeit at a far quieter pace than before. These are set to change as lockdown eases. There will be a greater variety of businesses reopening, even those deemed to be providing non-essential items. Of course, we will have to change how we shop. Face masks, distancing, contactless payments will be the norm. We will have to adjust to this and be more patient in the future. Life goes on at Stevenson Towers, despite the virus’s best attempts to cause havoc. Trips to the vet because one cat can’t resist a fight and the other ended up as collateral damage. Hospital appointments at Darent Valley, where the staff should be given huge kudos for managing social distancing and innumerable questions, all with a smile and humour. I’ve spent some time pavement visiting friends in the area. It’s become quite usual to see people chatting, sometimes with a flask of tea or coffee, all carefully distanced. I think such visits are beneficial to our wellbeing. We are all tired of this enforced staycation, and many of us are open about our good and bad days. To quote a well worn phrase ‘we are all in


I have been chafing at the bit recently. I have run out of jigsaws to do and am stuck in the 17thC with the family tree. My efforts at providing vegetables seem to be progressing nicely, but nothing is yet ready to harvest. My cooking is improving in the loosest sense of the word – still haven’t caused a case of food poisoning yet, and Other Half has turned his hand to harvesting elderflowers and created a particularly tasty elderflower cordial. As I now have a freezer of frozen elderflowers this is obviously a new hobby for him. I’ve been thinking about taking up another interest, I just can’t decide what to do. I am incredibly ham fisted, so crafting or art is out of the question. I’m tone deaf and wouldn’t inflict my rumbling bass voice on anyone. I can’t knit or crochet, and my sewing skills are rudimentary to say the least. Any ideas from you, readers, would be gratefully appreciated. The highlight of recent weeks was a case of shingles! Gone now and hopefully it won’t return. I’d always assumed it was like mild chicken pox but have learned better. It is painful, itchy and exhausting. Too late for me, but I understand there is a shingles vaccine available for those older folks. I wish I’d known. I supposed I’m classed as officially old now; the average age for this disorder is 50 years old. It joins my failing eyesight, stiff knees and poor hearing in efforts to make me slow down. To combat such negative thoughts, I’ve decided to colour my hair blue or mauve. I’m waiting with anticipation for Amazon to drop the parcel at home. I’m told you are only as old as you feel; that depends on the weather and the day of the week as far as I’m concerned! I’ve decided as I cannot stop the aging process, I’m going to grow old disgracefully instead. Feel free to join in. As with others I’m suffering lockdown hair – I’ve got quite a mullet developing, and am in dire need of a visit to my lovely chiropodist, Pam. If I’m not careful, I shall soon be able to sleep upside down like a bat, clinging on to my resting place with the claws on my feet. I wonder how the many ladies with gel or acrylic nails are coping? Our reliance on tanning salons, nail bars and the host of other services aimed at keeping us young and beautiful could be overwhelmed once the lockdown is relaxed. I’m hoping these businesses have been able to ride out the pandemic and will open in time. Anyone hiring skips should be a millionaire by now, judging by the amount of these that have appeared in my area recently. We are all getting round to the jobs we never had time for. The plus in this is that one man’s junk is another man’s (or woman’s) treasure. I have a fine pair of planters thrown out by a neighbour, now rescued and jet washed. All they need is a coat of paint and some new greenery and they will adorn


the entrance to the Towers. Waiting for someone to throw out an old lawnmower or filing cabinet. Working order only please.

journalist. They hold great power, and by using colourful and sometimes lurid wording, we are often presented with a distorted view of a situation,


I didn’t march, but Youngest Offspring did. Where he lives, he reported the march was peaceful and friendly, with the police taking a relaxed attitude to the crowds. It was the same in other areas.

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World In my view, this quote refers to our reactions to the national media, in light of the recent marches and wanton destruction of some statues in memory of our history. The press offers us a rather somewhat distorted view of what happened. It can be sensationalist and inflammatory, while watering down the valid views and concerns of events which anger us. I don’t want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of the actions of others. Safe to say, deliberately causing injury to another living thing is unquestionably wrong. However we are reliant on the angle of the camera, the cropping of the photograph, and the words chosen by the reporter/

There are always a minority who attend such events to cause trouble – they have no interest in the cause; they grab the headlines, dilute the real message behind the protest, and generally cause mischief and mayhem – the very stuff of headlines. Hopefully we can deconstruct the words and images: do our own investigating of the facts rather than take what is shown as the gospel truth. Just some food for thought. Wishing all Dartford Living readers well. See you next month.

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We have teamed up with Battersea Dog and Cats home - Brands Hatch to bring you regular listings of animals requiring rehoming. Name: Sharky; Breed: Border Collie; Sex: Male; Age: 1 years 1 months; Centre: Brands Hatch; Reference: 381344 Sharky has an adorable overbite chin and lovely nature, he’s now looking for his family to love and care for him. Sharky is looking owners who will continue with his training and give him the reassurance he needs to mature him into a confident boy. Sharky has shown some behaviours around strangers which Battersea has been giving him training on so that he can make the right choices. Owners will need to dedicate time to help with these behaviours. His family must have some experience and knowledge. Sharky is intelligent and is still very young so he enjoys training and is always keen to say hello and play with his tennis balls. Battersea has introduced a new rehoming process to take into account social distancing rules. As a result, the charity is prioritising existing rehoming applications and those who have a home set up that enables safe and social distancing delivery. For more information, please visit www.battersea.org.uk

SPORTING ROUNDUP Premier League football was back on Saturday 20 June for the first time since 7 March but not how we know it.

Upcoming events in July include:

3-5: Formula 1 - Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg (first race of revised calendar) 4: Horse racing - The Derby and the Oaks, Epsom 8-12: Cricket - England v West Indies first Test, Ageas But even watching from home was different. Bowl, Southampton Four back-to-back games on television - including Brighton’s 2-1 victory over 9: Athletics - Inspiration Games, Zurich Arsenal at 3pm, which is usually a time when no Premier League games are 10-12: Formula 1 - Steiermark Grand Prix, Spielberg, available to watch on a Saturday. Austria And to cap it all off, BBC One aired the first Premier League match in the TV 11-12: Football - FA Cup semi-final channel’s history as Crystal Palace won at Bournemouth in the late kick-off. 16-20: Cricket - England v West Indies second Test, Old Managers and players have spoken about how much they miss a crowd at the Trafford, Manchester stadiums and - going by results so far - the lack of home support appears to 17-19: Formula 1 - Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring be having an influence on the outcome of matches. 24-28: Cricket - England v West Indies third Test, Old Only one of the four Premier League games on Saturday ended with a home win - Brighton’s triumph over Arsenal - while in the Championship it was even Trafford, Manchester bleaker for the hosts, with only one of the 10 games ending in a home win. Six 26-27 & 29-30: Football - Championship play-offs of those 10 matches ended in an away victory. 31 July-2 Aug: Formula 1 - British Grand Prix, Silverstone 31 July-16 Aug: Snooker - World Championship, At time of writing, just three of the 18 Premier League and Championship games that have been played since the season was restarted have ended in Sheffield wins for the hosts. With fans not allowed to attend, there was the loss of the usual weekend football rituals - going to the pub, meeting up with fellow match-goers and eating pies in the stands.

So much for home advantage...







o n l i n e THEAT R E Ro u n d u p

ONLINE THEATRE ROUNDUP By Liz Dyer As another month begins, sadly we still have no theatre to look forward to - or, at the moment, much of an idea when that will change. There are still plenty of options available online, which we’ve talked about in previous issues of the magazine - but for those like me who are pining for the real thing, this month let’s take a look ahead to what’s coming up in 2021, when we can only hope that life will have returned to normal. Quick disclaimer: Because a lot of events have had to be rescheduled from this year, it’s possible that dates of some of the following shows may change. It’s best to check the Orchard’s website before you book, and to get in contact with the team if you’re unsure (but please bear in mind they’re really busy so may not be able to get back to you right away). Also, if you have tickets for any of the shows that were


meant to take place over the next couple of months but you haven’t heard from the theatre yet, please be patient - they will get in contact with you when they can. In the meantime, you can find a full list of all the shows that have already been rescheduled or cancelled on the theatre’s website. Anyway, let’s forget about 2020 for now and have a look at next year… Already in the diary for February (22nd28th) is Derren Brown’s latest show, Showman, which was supposed to take place earlier this year. Also on the calendar is Roddy Doyle’s critically acclaimed celebration of soul music, The Commitments (currently scheduled for 22nd-27th), which goes on tour five years after its hugely successful West End run.

month (28th-30th). Just announced in the last few weeks, next summer we’ll have another chance to see the fantastic Chicago, which tours the UK next year and comes to Dartford in August (24th-28th). No news on casting as yet but we’ll keep you posted. And last but not least, in November (16th-20th), Melanie Blake’s debut play The Thunder Girls struts into town - a year later than planned with the “deliciously bitchy” story of an 80s girl band who attempt a reunion thirty years later…

Plenty to look forward to then, though hopefully we won’t have to wait until 2021 to be back at the theatre. But until the doors do reopen, have a look online; there’s May sees the return of bestselling crime plenty to watch from the comfort writer Peter James with his latest Roy and safety of home. Enjoy! Grace thriller, Looking Good Dead (17th22nd), as well as the rescheduled run of Thriller Live (31st May-5th June). Grease - featuring a certain Peter Andre as Teen Angel - has been rescheduled to June (21st-26th) and Friendsical, the parody musical inspired by Friends, moves to a slightly shorter run at the end of that

o n l i n e THEAT R E Ro u n d u p

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Rock Painting in Dartford.

DARTFORD PAINTED ROCKS Local people from Dartford Painted Rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting and hiding them around town. The rocks can also be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery Shopping Centre. o n l i n e located THEAT R Ein Rothe u nOrchard dup

By Maria Kingsford

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 (once the gallery is open again). Here are some of the photos of their latest painted rocks.

CYRIL THE ROCK SNAKE By Nicky Dines or rehide the rock to continue the fun! No special artistic talents needed, just something to be a part of and enjoy! The rocks can often be found on the community driven rock exchange table, in the Stephen Oliver gallery in Dartford. The Wilmington group sometimes collaborates with Dartford painted rocks, well known to eachother, to create decorative rock 'lines' that the local community add to in local parks and spaces. Cyril the wonderful painted rock snake is in residence, being added to by local members of the Dartford community, both adults and children alike. He is expanding daily, spreading across the walls and bringing a little joy and fun to those who visit. People are encouraged to add some rocks of their own, to help Cyril the snake to grow! It was set up by Wilmington Painted Rocks, a group who very reguarly create painted rocks and hide in and around the local area, and further afield to spread smiles to those lucky enough to find them. Finders are encouraged to post their treasure on the relevant facebook page and to keep


Cyril has been growing little by little each day. Currently, there are about 270 rocks.



By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we look at new versions from European manufacturers for 2021 with one available from Summer 2020.

2021 BMW M5 – the new BMW M5 has lots of new black detailing, with the front grille, door mirrors, boot spoiler and reshaped bumper vents all being transformed. The M5 gets the larger grille and LED front and rear lights that were applied to the regular 5 Series as part of its recent facelift, and the distinctive, L-shaped daytime running lights that are an option on that car are fitted as standard. Five new paint colours and a new 20in alloy wheel design complete the list of exterior tweaks. As for the interior, a 12.3in infotainment screen replaces the old 10.25in unit, and is allied to a faster operating system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. It comes with a 4.4-litre twinturbocharged V8, which produces 592bhp in the ‘standard’ form that’s offered in some

markets, and 616bhp in the M5 Competition spec we get here in the UK. Available from this Autumn prices start from £98,095.

2021 Citroën C4 family car – this is the new Citroën C4 which demonstrates the French car maker’s design flair. It has super-slim daytime running lights are set high in the nose, while the pumped-up wheelarches and sloped roofline combine to give it a coupé-SUV look in profile. From the rear, a gently angled tailgate, a small rear spoiler and an oversized bumper that juts out behind the car only enhance this impression. The new C4 replaces both the C4 Cactus and the C4 hatchback. There are plenty of mattblack surfaces inside the new C4 and its digital dashboard looks simple and uncluttered. The range is expected to include a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrols and 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesels, with a electric version too. It will be available from Spring 2021 with prices expected to start from around £23,000.

2021 Seat Ateca SUV – Seat has decided it’s time to give the Ateca a refresh. On the outside, it gets a deeper front grille, chunkier bumpers and full LED lights front and rear. There are new Xperience and Xperience Lux trims for those who prefer their SUVs to look a bit more rugged; these versions have black bumpers and aluminium-coloured lower valences and side mouldings. Interior changes include a chunkier and shapelier steering wheel, new seat materials and matte rather than shiny silver surrounds to highlight the dashboard, centre console and air vents. The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been tweaked to be more efficient as well as the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol. The 1.6 TDI diesel engine has been replaced with a 113bhp 2.0-litre with lower emissions. The latest active safety technology has been added to the Ateca, including a driver distraction monitor that sends an audible warning if the driver has taken both hands off the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds. Available from Summer 2020 prices will be expected to start from around £23,500.


By Br i a n D o w n to n . D o w n to n a n d A l i Asso c i at e s

20 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACCIDENT PROTECTION By Brian Downton. Downton and Ali Associates

In 2020 we’ll have been in business for 20 years! To celebrate, each month we’re sharing 20 top tips about topics that are closest to our heart. Our aim is always to provide you with the best possible information so you can make informed financial decisions. This month we’re talking about everything you need to know about accident protection. It’s important to stay active if you want to be fit and healthy. This might mean you head down to the gym a few times a week, or out onto the rugby pitch at the weekend. Unfortunately, being active also makes you more likely to have an accident or injury. No-one wants to stop you from doing the things you love, but you should make sure you’re protected. Just imagine for a moment that you had an accident at the gym and were unable to work. How would this affect your life, and that of your family? We’ve gathered together everything you need to know about accident protection. Here’s how to enjoy your life with peace of mind, knowing you’re covered. What you should look for in an accident protection policy 1. Check which injuries are covered from broken bones to life-altering injuries, it’s important to read the small print. 2. And make sure you’re covered for multiple injuries too, just in case. 21% of people who make a claim to MetLife have done so more than once. 3. Many accident protection policies will cover you if you need to spend time in a UK hospital because of an accident…


4.… and some will cover hospital stays due to sickness once you’ve had the policy for a set period (usually 12 months). 5. If you travel a lot (or even a little) make sure you get worldwide protection. When you’re on holiday you’re likely to do activities where you could get injured, so it’s important you’re covered at home and abroad. 6. Some policies offer additional support that you might not expect, such as wellbeing assistance and other expert resources such as helping with family issues, bereavement and probate, looking after children and elderly relatives, emotional support and help dealing with critical and traumatic incidents. 7. No-one likes to think about the worst happening, but it’s good to have the peace of mind to know you’re covered for accidental death, 8. …funeral costs,

By Br i a n D o w n to n . D o w n to n a n d A l i Asso c i at e s

9. …total permanent disability or accidental permanent injury that could have life-changing repercussions for your ability to work or require you to modify your home. When you might need extra cover

of insurance such as critical illness and life cover.

10, If you play a lot of sports, investigate active lifestyle cover to provide extra protection for injuries such as torn ligaments, ruptured tendons, and dislocations.

17. Not all policies require you to answer health questions when you take the policy out. We can help you make sure.

11. And if you play rugby, take care. 79% of sports related claims made to MetLife were for non-professional rugby injuries.

18. We’ll only recommend insurance companies that make it easy to make a claim. You should be able to call, email or write to them.

12. If you’re at risk of certain illnesses, you might also be able to get extra cover. Something to consider if you have a family history of illness…

19. And remember, any benefits paid out will be free from UK income tax and capital gains tax, but payments made after the death of the person covered by the policy might be subject to inheritance tax. Tax is based on personal circumstances and subject to change, so we can help advise you according to your circumstances.

13.…or work in the healthcare sector. 14.If you have children, check if you can extend your protection to include them. Some policies will pay you a lump sum, for instance, if your child breaks a bone and you need to take time off work to care for them. How we can help you with accident protection 15. Accident Protection can complement other forms

16. Check how much the policy will cost, and if the costs increase if you make a claim or as you get older.

20. We can help you explore the options to make sure you get the right protection to suit you and your family. If you want to learn more about accident protection and receive advice tailored to your personal circumstances, please get in touch - www.downtonandali.co.uk 49


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


c h e c k w i t h t h e p ro v i d e r s to s e e i f t h e y a r e st i l l o p e n d u r i n g lo c k d o w n

DARTFORD TEAM HELPS CHILDREN RECEIVE FREE BREAKFASTS AT HOME AS SOME FAMILIES EXPERIENCE FOOD INSECURITY DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN Breakfast, to give them the fuel they need for their morning lessons. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, however, the charity has adapted its delivery model, with help from Amazon, to ensure that children from its partner schools can continue to enjoy their Magic Breakfast at home. Guided by its partner schools, and with generous support from food suppliers (Arla, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Morrisons, New York Bakery Co, Quaker Oats UK), Magic Breakfast has been able to deliver take home breakfast packs to schools or alternative delivery sites during lockdown. School staff have then been organising for these packs to be collected by families or arranging deliveries to families’ doors. Three quarters of a million healthy breakfasts are set for delivery to doorsteps of thousands of children across the UK, supported by the team at Amazon in Dartford as part of an expanded partnership with Magic Breakfast. Breakfast packs containing food supplies from Arla, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Morrisons, New York Bakery Co and Quaker Oats UK will be delivered for free directly to children’s homes by Amazon. New figures released by the Food Foundation have highlighted the growing issue of child hunger during COVID-191. Parcels of healthy breakfast food delivered by the local Amazon Delivery Station team have been arriving on the doorsteps of thousands of children across the UK, thanks to an expanded partnership between Magic Breakfast and Amazon. The team at Amazon’s delivery station in Dartford will support the delivery of the parcels of breakfast food through Amazon Logistics to the homes of children across the UK. Between 11th – 22nd May, more than 32,000 breakfasts were delivered to more than 2,000 homes in the South of England and London. During this period, each child received packs containing two weeks’ worth of Magic Breakfast food, either via their schools, or via an Amazon delivery. The children receiving these meals can normally have a free breakfast at school, provided by Magic

Kerry-Anne Lawlor, Country Director of Amazon Logistics, said: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing support of Magic Breakfast by delivering breakfast parcels to the doorsteps of thousands of children during this difficult time, ensuring they have a healthy start to the day.” To help Magic Breakfast reach more children at risk of hunger under lockdown, Amazon, a long-standing supporter of Magic Breakfast, has stepped in to help with its warehousing and logistics expertise. Since the partnership began in 2016, Amazon has helped Magic Breakfast provide over 1.5 million breakfasts to thousands of children across the UK. Alex Cunningham, CEO of Magic Breakfast, said: “Amazon staff have bent over backwards to help the children and schools we support. In a time when hunger is a reality faced by many, Amazon is enabling Magic Breakfast to reach thousands of vulnerable children with a healthy breakfast – children who can no longer access breakfast provision at school and whose families may be finding it difficult to provide food under lockdown. A very big thank you to Amazon”. The Executive Headteacher of a Magic Breakfast partner school said: “Thank you so much for this valuable support you are offering to our families. It is much needed and much appreciated.” Amazon will be continuing to offer this free home delivery service to Magic Breakfast for 12 weeks, or for as long as schools remain under lockdown.



FOR WHEN THINGS RETURN TO NORMAL c h e c k w i t h t h e p ro v i d e r s to s e e i f t h e y a r e st i l l o p e n d u r i n g lo c k d o w n


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.

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

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

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

Also, there is a social group, run by

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


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

HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email - havenx35@gmail.com WILMINGTON WOMEN’S INSTITUTE is a friendly group who meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, High Road, Wilmington. For more information on our activities please call Ann Hambridge on 01322 228082

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



FOR WHEN THINGS RETURN TO NORMAL c h e c k w i t h t h e p ro v i d e r s to s e e i f t h e y a r e st i l l o p e n d u r i n g lo c k d o w n

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES The group meet every week at Towncentric in Gravesend and this year we are looking at Everyday Life in Medieval London. We meet every Thursday from 10.30-12.30 at £6.00 per week customers can phone me on 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website www.tonimount. co.uk DSTC ALUMNI Hi all, if you went to DSTC, DTC, Dartford West Girls or any other name that the school has been known as we would love to hear from you! The school is looking to make links with former students to help raise the profile of the school but also as a way of getting back in touch with people. There will be an event later on in the academic year and we are planning some exciting things for the group so get joining and let’s get reminiscing!! www.facebook.com/groups/ DSTCAlumni

SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, Dartford, DA2 7RB on the 2nd Sunday of the month between 2pm and 6:30pm. It costs £6 which includes refreshments, nibbles and the use of a cricut (cutting machine for those that don’t know). Beginners are very welcome. Contact Michelle on 07910 488428 or email scrappydays@ hotmail.co.uk

DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. We are seeking new members at all levels to play Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. Enquiries: contact John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail carolandjohnd@tiscali.co.uk

PAVILION PLAYERS Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more information please visit www. facebook.com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome!

DARTFORD FLORAL CLUB The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Carol 01322 220802

DARTFORD BELLRINGERS Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.00-9.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Contact deryck.w.jones@gmail.com, phone 01322 586937

DARTFORD BOOKS AND CULTURE CLUB meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-Book-Club/

NORTH WEST KENT FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY THE MANOR HALL VARIETY GROUP The Dartford Branch meet the 1st We meet every Tuesday at 8.00 in Saturday of each month from 10amthe Community hall (opp St Paulinus 12:30pm at the Dartford Science and church) Crayford. We are looking for anyone who could help us with sound, Technology College, Heath Lane, For lights, scenery or singing/acting on the more information see www.nwkfhs. org.uk or ring Janet 01322384836 stage - everyone welcome. Email me (Carolyn) for more details at ERITH MODEL RAILWAY SOCIETY has c_sawyers@hotmail.com. been in existence for over 50 years and has well over 50 active members. CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE As the club continues to grow new incorporating Barnehurst and Slade members are always welcome. Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at The club meets on Wednesday Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call evenings from around 7.00pm until in for a chat about old Crayford and around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms to view the large collection of local in Invicta House (aka Belvedere images, or bring your own for us to Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, copy. Belvedere DA17 5DA.

THE DARTFORD CHESS CLUB The club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm at St Anselms Parish Hall, West Hill and was founded 100 years ago in 1914. All queries to Mike Wiltshire at 01322 272152 or visit www.dartfordchessclub.co.uk COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB This small friendly club meets each month on the 1st and 3rd Thursday afternoon in Sutton-at-Hone Village Hall. From 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Price is £3.00 to include Tea & biscuits. Occasionally we meet on a Saturday when we have a tutor with us, from 10am until 4pm Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357.


Would you like to promote a local activity on the “Where to go locally...” page? If so, email your suggestions to editor@dartfordliving.com c h e c k w i t h t h e p ro v i d e r s to s e e i f t h e y a r e st i l l o p e n d u r i n g lo c k d o w n

WEST HILL MORRIS Come and join your local Morris side, dancing and performing in Dartford, Gravesend and Bexley areas and throughout Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable side, and can always find room for new dancers and musicians. It’s a great way of keeping fit and you’ll be helping to conserve a great English tradition. We practice alternate Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, throughout Kent, from May to August. Private Bookings taken. Contact Alison on 01322 862298, e-mail alisondukes@btinternet.com STIMUL8 ACTIVITY SERVICE I provide all the equipment, materials and refreshments with just a small all inclusive, pay as you go, fee of £10.00 per person per session. Those who come have the opportunity to learn painting with watercolours, acrylics, inks and how to draw with pencils, soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoals, watercolour pencils, fabric pens, plus basics of sculpting and have the opportunity to sign up to additional floral workshops I offer too. www.stimul8-activityservice.co.uk EXTRAORDINARY YOUTH GROUP’ - calling all 11-18 year olds who want more than an ordinary life, come hang out with other young people and discover their ultimate purpose. Every Friday in term time, 7pm-9:30pm at Net Church Dartford, near McDonalds and next to Weatherspoons. For more information email andrew@ thenetchurch.co.uk or call 01322 272649. SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS Our Club presents a programme of workshops and demonstrations in a very informal and friendly atmosphere. We meet on the last Thursday of each month except December. Shorne Village Hall, The Street, Shorne. DA12 3EA. Visitors are always made very welcome, entry £3. We have 30 members and look forward to welcoming anyone who loves flowers. The Club provides an opportunity for people to be creative, make friends. For further information please phone Angela Hurd Telephone: 01322 407556 SWANLEY HISTORY GROUP Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history.

Venue Alexandra Suite St Mary’s Road Swanley BR8 7BU. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ hotmail.co.uk for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup. weebly.com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter.

new topics, new skills and new ways for girls to broaden their horizons.

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


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

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


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

We meet every third Thursday of each month, between 19:30 & 21:30 at the following local hall: Pheonix Place Community Hall Pheonix Place, Dartford, DA1 2XG If you have any questions, please contact our Club Secretary Tony Pringle who will be only too happy to help. Please use the following options: Email: tp.1971@outlook.com 07738 698284


Our new programme delivers the fun and varied range of activities that you expect from guiding, and of course, there’s still plenty of badges to earn. We’ve introduced




c h e c k w i t h t h e p ro v i d e r s to s e e i f t h e y a r e st i l l o p e n d u r i n g lo c k d o w n

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

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 ORCHARDS JUNIOR SCALE MODEL coaches and high standards. We do lots of competitions and we do CLUB. We welcome everyone from age 8 and upwards. We meet not close through the holidays! on a Tuesday evening from 6pm Visit our website www.dartonwards in The Meeting Place in fordgymnastics.co.uk for full the Orchards Shopping Centre. details or contact Linda on 01322 We deal with all sorts of scale 409312 or email dartfordgymmodels from Airfix and similar, club@yahoo.co.uk Warhammer, model railways etc. We charge £1 per week per LEARN KARATE person and any under 16’s need to be accompanied by an adult. Learn karate with Yamato We have a small number of Damashii – for adults & children kits available to purchase at a Every Wednesday evening at the reasonable rate. Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. https://www.facebook.com/OrchardsJuniorScaleModelClub/ For more info, visit www.ydma. club or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts. SPORTS GROUPS


Yoga with Emma “YOGA WITH EMMA WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING Europa Gymnastics Centre: Wheelchair epee fencing in - Wednesdays: Hatha Yoga – Dartford and Gravesham, we are 9.30am to 10.30am delighted to announce that New - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to Ash Green Epee club, can now 10.30am introduce wheelchair fencing. If - Fridays: Yin Yoga – 10.45am to interested in taking up this para sport please contact us on 01474 11.45am 871484 or alternatively look at our Becket Sports Centre: website www.nagfencing.eu - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 7.00pm to 8.00pm ERITH YOUTH RUGBY Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Please see www.samadhi-yoga. Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 co.uk for more information or 590515 email Emma at emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk“ LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS KENT EXILES AMERICAN Sundays 56 10:15-10:45 at

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 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 the Dance Studio. We have an adult class 8-10pm too. We’ve been running for 20 years, building confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening the target, developing skills and always welcome new members. DARTFORD ORIENTEERING CLUB For more details see www.dfok. co.uk HOP LIKE IT’S HOT A fun (different) circuit based workout with space hoppers that

challenges core stabilty, balance and Club in Dartford and we share strength. It is suitable for all levels our headquarters at Hesketh with and abilities. Classes are held every Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for Wednesday stone abilities have c h e c k wevening i t h t h e p roat v i dthe e r s to s e e i f t h e y a rmost e st i l l o p e n d u r i nand g lo c k d o wansocial ride pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 most Saturday mornings. For info on costing £5 per person. joining us please visit our website www.seedscycling.co.uk THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON CLUB, DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK Friendly club seeking new members. TRIATHLON CLUB Abilities mixed. We are the local British Triathlon Would suit players with some prior Federation Club covering Bexley, experience. Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 Thursdays at 7.45-9.45pm, Dartford times per week at White oak pool Girls’ Grammar School, DA1 2NT in Swanley and Fairfield pool in For further information please email: Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many highlystrungbc@gmail.com members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then WAR GAMES AND MODEL CLUB please visit our website Based in Erith we have a wide number of members from across SE http://www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri. co.uk London and Kent. A great place to come and have a game, make, paint and hobby! Or, if you prefer, come DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS grab a cup of tea and chat about all Dartford Road Runners are based things hobby and some things not! at Princes Park Stadium and are For more info visit - https://emperone of the biggest road running ors10th.wixsite.com/home clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities including a beginners group. DRR DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k teams compete in the Kent League, run every Saturday morning starting the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join get a time a position emailed and us with all abilities. texted after the event. To register http://dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/ go to node/440 www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS Every Sunday Morning in the Park CLUB there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same. Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, DARTFORD HEATH PARKRUN making it one of the oldest clubs in Dartford’s 2nd parkrun event is now the country. If you are interested in live. The run starts behind the Heath seeing how we can help you advance Lane car park and is a free 5k run your Athletics then please visit our every Saturday morning at 9am. website Parking is restricted in the area so http://www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk please do not park in Heathclose Road and wherever possible please CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB walk. We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can FOOTSCRAY MEADOW PARKRUN provide access to a state of the A new Parkrun event with parking at art running track (re-laid in 2015) Crazy Barn and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD memberships). Refreshments and Seeds is a long-established cycling changing facilities are also available.

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


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Fox Estates ............................................................11

Downton Ali Associates.........................................65

Wisdom Estates......................................................23

Martin Ives & Co.......................................................9


Urban Sticks...........................................................13 H&M Foods.............................................................38 BUILDERS, DECORATORS, ROOFING, BATHROOMS,



Dartford Florist......................................................19

A Baynes.................................................................38 FOOD AND DRINK Claremont Decorative Services.............................36 Kemsing Gin..........................................................41 Home & Garden......................................................31 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Steve Cook - Double Glazing..................................22 Orchard Garage......................................................60 The Double Glazing Repair Man..............................4 Shenley Road Garage............................................26 Westgate Dartford..................................................34 GARDENING CAR CARE

Bow Arrow Gardening............................................38

ChipsAway..............................................................10 HEALTH CHILDREN

Home Instead...........................................................4

Bip Bop Shop.........................................................26




APC Cleaning.........................................................10



Holy Trinity Church Pre School.............................46

Dartford Borough Council ......................................5



Crest Yoga..............................................................35


On Pointe Pilates....................................................19 OPTICIANS


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Linklater Opticians.................................................43 PICTURE FRAMING

Craft Frames............................................................38 PRINTERS Darenth Print..........................................................15 RESTAURANT/ TEA ROOMS/CAFE EFES.........................................................................7 The Churchyard......................................................43



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SCHOOL/ COLLEGE The Leigh UTC........................................................18 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .................................................21 WEBSITE DESIGN/ MARKETING Dartford Living Design.............................................2 Dartford Living Marketing......................................21

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

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


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

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