Dartford Living October 2021

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

5. Looking to the Future - MP Gareth Johnson at Amazon’s largest solar panel scheme in the UK 6. Straight Out Of Dartford 8. Dartford Giving 11.Senior Snippets 16. Debbie’s Delicious recipe 18. David Baddiel Interview 22. Yoga for pelvic health 24. Travel Spotlight with Harden Holidays 26. Are you confused about plastics recycling? 27 Fitness - October 32. Real life account from a foster parent 36. Christians against poverty 38. Life under the Stairs 42. Upcoming shows at Orchard Theatre 44. Why should we worry about the flu 47. Car News 48. Halloween Magic 49 Dartford Painted Rocks & Sports roundup 50. Bedknobs and Broomsticks 52. Wild Little Rose 54 Useful numbers 55. Where to go locally 56 Business directory


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Local Electrician Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the following dates: Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Friday 26 th November If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment-based surgeries in the future, please contact him at gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk or telephone 020 7219 7047.

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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE BY GARETH JOHNSON Last month, I had the chance to see the new Amazon depot in action. This new facility opened its doors for business in the summer and is the largest building in Europe. Amazon will employ around 3000 people during its busiest periods. The company has to follow tough restrictions on the number of vehicles that can travel to and from the site so it has laid on buses for workers living in the local area. This provision means that a high proportion of people working there live in Dartford. The depot uses state of the art technology to provide goods to people ordering a huge range of merchandise. Dartford has experienced some tough economic times during the Covid-19 pandemic but in the past few months we have seen signs that the local economy is starting to bounce back. Fortunately, we were starting from a strong point having seen low unemployment for the last 10 years. This has really helped us to start the bounce back we were all looking for. In recent months I have been out and about in the constituency talking to people and business owners and it is great to see there is a huge appetite to invest in the town.

job vacancies at a record high. Bluewater’s annual Jobs Fair took place last month and offered h u n d r e d s o f te m p o ra r y a n d permanent positions. Earlier in the summer I visited Dartford’s Jobcentre, which was the first stop for many people who suddenly lost their jobs at the start of the pandemic. People faced unprecedented pressures with many finding themselves out of work for the first time in their lives. It was great to meet the teams who responded to this challenge and ensured this lifeline remained operational throughout the pandemic.

A great success story in Dartford is J & E Hall, one of Dartford’s oldest businesses. They began trading in the town almost 250 years ago. During a recent visit there, I learned how its cooling systems are used around the As we enter a new phase of the world as well as in the UK’s newest recovery, it is heartening to see aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth unemployment going down and and HMS Prince of Wales. In fact, in the past five years, the number of businesses in Dartford has grown almost a quarter from 4185 in 2016 to 5130 last year.

Anyone visiting Dartford town centre will see it is undergoing a huge transformation and it was pleasing to see one of the UK’s oldest banks investing in our town. Barclay’s Bank has moved into a new-look building on Spital Street which caters for modern banking. Another growing business is Kentec, a firm which specialises in fire alarm control panels. Last year I ‘virtually’ opened its new premises but last month I got to visit the new site to see first-hand how the panels are made. Their fire control systems are used around the world and their success has enabled them to employ over 300 people in Dartford. Looking to the months and years ahead we can be optimistic about our town’s economic future. There is still work to be done to get us back to pre-pandemic levels of employment but I am confident of a bright future for Dartford that will provide jobs and opportunities for local people.




We are back with the second part of my conversation with June McMenemy. If you issed June McMenemy- Part 1, check it out online in last month’s edition of Dartford Living. This time we are discussing the ups and downs of 60’s fashion! As a gift for taking part in the photograph for the shop opening -shown below-, the girls were given a pair of tights which June now finds mildly amusing but added that in those days were really quite expensive. It seemed to be cheaper to buy tights from the market despite the slight drawback that came with it…“If you were really unlucky, you would get a pair of rejects that had different sized legs or they would come with big holes in or something. It was just the luck of the draw!” Not only were they expensive, but they weren’t as stretchy as the ones


we have the privilege of wearing today and their colour at the time was largely ‘American tan’ (a funny off-coffee colour.) However, tights in the 60’s were seen as a move towards freedom for women and even a show of youthfulness which I think makes them a crucial element of 60’s fashion. When conversing with June, I couldn’t help but mention that suit that she is sporting in the photo which led us to the topic of womens trousers and suits. “It’s surprising actually, I’ve had quite a few comments back on Facebook of people saying ‘oh I had that suit, but I had it in a different colour.’ The one I had was a funny sort of camel colour and I’ve had somebody else come up and say they had it in teal and someone else say another colour. It obviously hit the spot with some people...If you wanted a pair of jeans back then, you had to buy mens jeans and it was a

case of sitting in the bath to shrink them!” Compare that to the sheer amount of choice women have with jeans and other bottoms nowadays and it is quite overwhelming! Boom Radio’s campaign with June’s photograph is being shown on billboards all across the UK and if you keep an eye out you may just see it for yourself before it comes to a close. June luckily managed to catch a glimpse of her photograph on one of the billboards in Manchester, saying “I went to Manchester and I was amazed at the size of the billboards! I said ‘Oh my gosh! I didn’t expect it to be that size!” She did travel up to London with her grandchild to try and spot it in Oxford Circus, but sadly wasn’t able to find it, so if you are out and about and do see it flash up, take a pic and send it in so we can forward it to June herself! https://whatis.techtarget.com/ definition/pirate-radio https:// www.boomradiouk.com https://@ kalyanii8927/fashion-history-thelook-of-the-1960s



By Kate Hargreaves

This month I’m writing about ways of helping charities that require very little dedicated time, but a bit of planning and commitment to the cause. For those people able to grow a moustache, I’m writing this in the October issue so that you have enough time to psyche yourself up for growing your mo throughout November Movember. And for those of us with lower abilities in the facial hair-growing department, an alternative is to consider donating long hair (from your head rather than upper lip!) to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for young people who have lost their hair.

Little Princess Trust “What is it?” This involves cutting your hair and donating the hair you’ve cut off to a charity that uses it to make wigs for children and young people who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment or other conditions. There are specific requirements about the quality and length (at least 7 inches) of the hair, but different textures and colours are welcome. Note that you don’t Movember “What is it?” This involves leaving your moustache hair have to go as extreme as shaving your head, just going untrimmed for the duration of November in the name of from long hair to a bob could be enough. a good cause. Movember is a charity that promotes the conversation around men’s health issues, focussing on “Are there other ways I can help?” As with Movember, mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer you may also choose to fundraise for Little Princess and testicular cancer, which are the biggest causes of Trust. As well as making the wigs for young people who premature death in men. Therefore, proudly growing have lost their hair, the charity also funds pioneering your mo and being open to those conversations is a research into childhood cancers. great step in itself; raising awareness of these important “This sounds great, how do I get involved?” Go to issues could save a life. https://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/ for information “Are there other ways I can help?” about the charity and tips on how best to cut your hair Either as well as growing a mo or instead of doing to be able to donate it. so, you can raise money for Movember, which is a charity that has supported a range of projects over the Let me know how you get on by emailing kate@ years, including research into prostate and testicular dartfordliving.com. Happy hair-growing! cancers, support groups for people living with those cancers, and building various mental health support groups for men. “This sounds great, how do I get involved?” Go to https://uk.movember.com/ for more information.


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SENIOR SNIPPETS - SKIN CARE TIPS FOR SENIORS By Christina Uppenkamp - Home Instead Eat the Right Foods: Everybody, including seniors, should eat foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These foods not only help the skin look good but also feel good. Particularly helpful foods for the skin include: green vegetables, melons, berries, walnuts, salmon, and avocados. Stay Hydrated: The sensation of thirst decreases in seniors, and therefore they are more at risk of becoming dehydrated. Drinking lots of water Welcome to the latest edition helps hydrate skin from the inside of Senior Snippets: the monthly out, so remember to drink plenty of fluids every day. advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Christina Sun Protection: The sun will dry out the skin almost faster than anything Uppenkamp of Home Instead else. Wear protective clothing when Dartford. going out in the sun for extended In this installment, we will be sharing periods of time and invest in a good some simple, yet very effective skin sunscreen. care tips for seniors. Avoid Harsh Soaps and Excessive As a person gets older, their skin Washing: Most seniors do not lead an tends to get more sensitive and thus overly active life and so do not need needs extra care and protection. to vigorously scrub the skin on a daily

basis. Washing the face with water or a mild soap is often sufficient. Purchasing a soft, mild bath soap is also a good idea, and make sure the bath water isn’t too hot! Use a Good Skin Cream: Choosing a good moisturizing skin cream is a must. Such a cream should contain natural ingredients such as: vitamin A, vitamin E, aloe, cucumber extract and natural antioxidants. Use a humidifier: Cold, dry air saps moisture from your skin, which causes all kinds of problems, including dryness, dullness, flaking, and accelerated aging. A humidifier can help prevent all these damaging effects, and help you maintain soft and supple skin. I welcome any suggestions for future topics from you all. All you have to do is write to me at c.uppenkamp@dartford. homeinstead.co.uk or by post to St Fidelis House, St Fidelis Road, Erith, DA8 1AT.




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What to do: Preheat your oven to 180°C Fan. Line the bottom of an 8inch flan dish (preferably with a loose bottom) with a circle of greaseproof paper and lightly grease the sides.

After wanting to try beekeeping for a few years - this year we finally took the plunge, enrolled on a basic beekeeping course with Sidcup Beekeepers, and started an apiary in our garden! Just a small one - built on a platform on top of our garden shed. It’s been an amazing experience so far, topped off by the ability to take 7 jars of honey from the girls after just two months. The bees are still actually bringing in lots of nectar and pollen, but we have chosen to leave the rest in the hive to give them the best possible chance of surviving their first winter! You can follow our journey on Instagram as The Pilgrims Bee Shed! So, this month I thought I’d make something with our own, really local honey! What you need: For the pastry case 125g Unsalted Butter 125g Icing Sugar 1 Egg 250g Plain Flour For the Honey Custard 120g Honey 3 Eggs 450ml Milk


For the pastry case - Cream the Butter and Sugar until smooth. Add the Egg and mix to combine. Add the Flour gradually until you have a smooth dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. - Roll out into a circle larger than the flan dish and about the depth of a £1 coin. Carefully transfer the pastry into the flan dish, push it gently into the corners and pop back into the fridge for 20 minutes. Do not trim the top of the pastry just yet! - Prick over the bottom with a fork, pop a sheet of greaseproof paper on top and pile some rice (or baking beans/pennies) on top – this will help to keep the pastry in shape while in the oven. - Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sides are golden brown. Carefully remove the paper and rice and bake for a further 5 minutes to finish baking the bottom. - Take out and leave on a cooling rack until ready for the custard. Now you can carefully trim the sides level with the top of the flan dish. For the Honey Custard - In a large bowl, whisk the Eggs, then add the Honey and combine. - Meanwhile heat the milk in a saucepan until it’s just about to boil. Pour carefully into the honey/egg mix, whisking all the time to combine. - Pour just enough of the custard into the pastry case to nearly fill it. It’s best if you can do this with the case already on the oven shelf to avoid having to carry it across the kitchen!! Bake at 160°C Fan for about 20 - 25 minutes until the custard is set. Leave to cool completely before cutting into slices. Enjoy!!

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DAVID BADDIEL TROLLS: NOT THE DOLLS By Shannon Randall the fun. Any non-social media users may be sitting back saying, ‘well, why don’t you just ignore them or better yet, block them?’ Whilst this method could potentially be effective, David’s approach is far more hilarious. David engages with these trolls by taking on their comments and using them as comedy inspiration. In his words, “It isn’t abuse, it’s material.” By turning the hatred and anger into comedy, the negative effects of the words dissolve for him. However, he makes a point of saying that the normalisation of this trolling and hatred online is dangerous and should be addressed.

At a theatre near you -literally...at the Orchard Centre in Dartford Town Centre- is comedian, writer and singer of the iconic England Football tune, The Three Lions, David Baddiel. On the 30th of September, David Baddiel performed his show Trolls: Not the Dolls at the Orchard theatre and a week beforehand I got the chance to ask him some questions about it. For anyone not aware what an online troll is, Cambridge Dictionaries definition sums it up nicely as, “someone who leaves an intentionally annoying or offensive message on the internet, in order to upset someone or to get attention or cause trouble”. When I asked how David turned the most hated aspect of social media into comedy, he explained, “When twitter stopped being about people being witty and turned into a bit of a slaying match -when it was suddenly full of people and the trolls appeared- people were saying don’t feed the trolls, but I know what these people are...they’re hecklers, they’re anonymous people shouting at you from a dark room just trying to dent your ego one way or another. The job of a comedian is not to get angry or even to ignore them, but it is to embrace it and make it funny. And so that was the beginning of it and the show is about that, but it’s also so much bigger than that. It’s a comedy show that uses my twitter feed to talk about life both online and offline.” “I feel like the conductor of a massive comedy orchestra.” - David Baddiel talking about his twitter presence and his followers joining in


Now whilst trolling is a large part of his show, David reiterates that his show encompasses a lot more than just online bullies. It covers social media -both the good and the bad-, the anger that is so present online today and what topics he can really defeat with comedy - such as anti-semitism. Tackling anti-semitism is an important topic for David and one that is recurring throughout his work. If you’re interested in hearing more from him on this topic, check out his book, ‘Jews don’t count’. Lastly, for any fans of David, you probably have seen his infamous English Breakfast ratings. I had to bring this up in our conversation and was surprised to hear that even these tweets seem to get trolls! “There’s definitely a Full English Breakfast police section on twitter with people who go… ‘That’s not what i would call a Full English Breakfast’ and they get very angry about it. Watch how people get angry about anything and then watch how I make fun of it!” You might have missed David performing in Dartford but you can still catch his show in London later on this month. See the links below for tickets and a link to his book, “Jews Don’t Count”. https://www.davidbaddiel.com https://www.waterstones.com/book/jews-dont-count/ david-baddiel/9780008399474

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and when we exhale they want to ascend. Breathing with conscious awareness encourages the muscles at the base of the pelvis to behave in a more responsive manner. I’m sure you know that learning how to relax the body is a key part of yoga. The relaxation phase of any movement is seen to be equally important as the effort phase. This means that in a well-rounded practice we are unlikely to create tightness, including tightness around the pelvic floor. If our pelvic muscles are tight when we start yoga, our yoga practice can help those muscles learn to relax.

Though yoga for pelvic health is a wider topic, for this article I’m going to focus on the muscles at the base of the pelvis, the region most often referred to as the pelvic floor. These days I am trying to avoid referring to the base of the pelvis as the pelvic floor and instead use the terms pelvic diaphragm or hammock or even trampoline. Using the word floor makes this supportive tissue sound like something that should be hard and fixed, whereas using the word diaphragm, hammock or trampoline gives, I think, more a sense of how we really want this part of our body to be, i.e. supportive and responsive with the ability to contract and the ability to relax. It’s a myth that weak pelvic muscles are the cause of all problems in this area. The muscles at the base of the pelvis can be weak but they can also be too tight and they can be weak and tight at the same time. For this reason, simply focusing on the strength of these muscles is not always the best strategy. Instead working in a way that not only strengthens but also teaches


us how to relax and helps us to tune into a sense of when these muscles naturally want to lift and when they naturally want to move down has been shown to be more affective. Yoga is then particularly helpful, because we focus not just on strengthening muscles but also on relaxing muscles and in a fully rounded yoga practice we also spend time developing awareness and cultivating a sense of how our muscles behave and respond. One of the ways we de velop awareness of our pelvic diaphragm muscles is through conscious breathing. In a relaxed state, healthy pelvic floor muscles naturally want to move in rhythm with the respiratory diaphragm as we breathe - when we inhale they want to descend

Of course in our yoga practice we do also spend time strengthening the muscles at the base of the pelvis. Sometimes we work directly with actions like Mula Bhanda (the Root lock or valve) where we focus on activating the muscles and sometimes indirectly by moving on an exhale encouraging the muscles to naturally respond and engage. For example, when we are working in Dwipada Pitham (2 footed support pose) lying on our back with our knees bent, lifting the hips on an exhale helps to strengthen the muscles at the base of the pelvis. Yoga for pelvic health is an area that I specialise in, so if you have any questions please do let me know. Keep taking good care of yourself, Clair. clair.crestyoga@gmail.com



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Experience the Royal Treatment at Sandals Royal Barbados, the all-new, all-suite Caribbean allinclusive resort in the spirited St. Lawrence Gap area. Featuring a number of Sandals firsts, including the first rooftop pool and bar, the first 4-lane bowling alley, Sandals first gourmet donut shop, and two new restaurant concepts – American Tavern and Chi Asian. Being one of the two Sandals resorts in Barbados, Sandals Royal Barbados features signature accommodations, including the magnificent Skypool Suites, Swim-up Suites, and Millionaire Suites, world-class international cuisine at seven restaurants, and a 15,000-sq.ft. spa. Stunning ocean views, Butler Elite service and exclusive exchange privileges with nearby Sandals Barbados define the new Luxury Included® experience. LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives An island paradise resort where you can experience the Maldives to its fullest. The Maldives is one of those places that continue to pop up on travellers’ bucket lists. And for a very good reason. If you’ve fantasized about living a–lavish–Robinson Crusoe life on a faraway tropical island, you’re in the right place. This resort is

also one of the chicest places you can stay with your better half. The Romantic and Temptation over-water villas have been purposely designed for two. Floating breakfasts in your swimming pool? Midnight dips in the sea? Dinner on a sandbank? Sounds dreamy, right? If you’re thinking of renewing your vows or getting married, you’re in the right place. At LUX* South Ari Atoll, you will ride your bicycle along the jetty, swim alongside whale sharks, hang out in your bungalow on stilts, dine at any of the eight restaurants, dance the night away, partake in marine conservation… Whatever it is you love, you’ll find it here at LUX* South Ari Atoll. Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa, Crete Comfort meets elegance in this adults-only haven. Relish two stunning, lagoon-style pools, flanked by terraces with daybeds, alongside five superb international restaurants and four cocktail-pouring bars. Thanks to the selection of board bases and contemporary, wooden-beamed rooms and villas, a retreat to suit your style awaits. Book in for a calming afternoon massage or enjoy Pilates or tennis before a sunset

stroll along the beachfront. The ambience is unbeatable in the evenings, as live shows begin for your entertainment. Order a tipple to sip while you watch then amble back to your room for a good night’s sleep. Perfect for a honeymoon is their Grand Overwater Bungalow with Jacuzzi. This exquisite new signature overwater bungalow invites you to enjoy its beautiful interiors fitted with items of stylish furnishings. The spacious layout maintains a premium feel, which allows pure relaxation in the comfort of your sanctuary and boasts a jacuzzi on the deck, offering the perfect end to the day. Dive from your bedroom straight into the infinity pool or lounge on your overwater hammock. Explore our range of 4 and 5 star luxury honeymoon hotels by visiting us in Dartford town centre, or call our experts on 0800 023 8974 to design your own personalised wedding or honeymoon.

Dartford Town Centre www.hardenholidays.co.uk 0800 023 8974





Pledge2Recycle Plastics are working with all 13 Kent Councils to help reduce citizen confusion on plastics packaging and recycling.

recycling continues to be an issue and they point out that all residents should not put toothpaste tubes, pill packs, nappies, textiles, batteries, or food into recycling. Anne Hitch, Head of Citizen & Stakeholder Engagement, commented “the project offers Kent residents a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the issue of single use plastics to help reduce plastic pollution. We know that so many residents want to do the right thing ® this project will but are often confused, we hope that help cut through that confusion.”

Plastics Recycling -

Cutting the Confusion

According to the charity, you can recycle ALL plastic bottles, even those from the bathroom and kitchen kerbside. Plastic pots, tubs and trays can also be recycled across the whole of Kent.

residents currently for recycling around 60% of Your Handy Guide to Plastics UK Recycling inplace Kent the bottles they buy and only 34% of the pots, tubs, and purchase. Did you know you can now recycletrays thethey same plastics The Pledge2Recycle team are keen to engage with packaging across the wholecommunities of Kent?and have a competition running on their

All bottles should be empty, squashed and have the tops put back on. Putting the tops back on the bottles helps make sure they are captured for recycling as they need to go to the reprocessing plant attached to the bottles.

website where schools, or community groups can pledge to recycle and be in with a chance to win a bench made from recycled plastic or some team shirts. All Pots, tubs and trays should have the absorbent layer they need to do is to get their members to pledge to Morefilm and lid more people in as Kentthese are recycling plastic. All of the items below shouldtheir plastics packaging when and where they and removed need to go into general recycle Nappies/sanitary/ Here is your handy guide help you recycle put in the general waste. waste. Residents are to being asked to right: make surebetheir can. For morehygiene information products visit www.pledge2recycle/ plastics are clean, dry and NOT to put into carrier or kent. Crisp packets or sweet black bags or put inside other things. Recycling should Pledge2Recycle Plastics are keen to talk with residents wrappers BOTTLES only be put into CLEAR bags designed for recycling. and are holding a series offood focus groups and meetings Baby food /pet Empty, rinse & squash There are also now opportunities to recycle soft plastics on the issue ofpouches single use plastics. Residents are Put lids back on and wrappings which cannot be recycled kerbside, via asked to get inSqueezy touchtoothpaste via twitter tubes @Pledge2Recycle and before recycling some larger Sainsbury’s stores across Kent. Visit www. Facebook or toPolystyrene email direct to enquiry@recoup.org. packaging about.sainsburys.co.uk/sustainability/plan-for-better/ Biodegradable or our-stories/2021/flexible-plastics. compostable plastic

Yes please

No thanks


(bags, cutlery, cups etc) Black plastic trays Drinking straws Hard plastics (toys, plant pots, buckets, etc.)* Food waste** Plastic bags & film***

Pledge2Recycle Plastics state contamination of Removethat film lid, absorbent layer & put these into general waste

Recycle the clean & empty tray or punnet

POTS Empty & rinse Put lids back on before recycling

Starred items can be recycled as follows: * Can be recycled at Kent CC’s Household Waste Recycling Centres – check www.kent.gov.uk. ** Place in your food caddy if your area provides a food collection service. *** May be recycled via retailers at front of store. Check www.recyclenow.com.

Why recycle?


People in Kent recycle because it is a worthwhile way to help the environment and the community: •Recycling keeps plastic out of our natural environment •Using recycled plastic to make products uses 75% less energy than using virgin materials – reducing greenhouse gas emissions


To find out more about recycling please visit www.pledge2recycle.co.uk/kent or visit your Local Authority website



Kent Resource Partnership

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

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


FITNESS - OCTOBER Entertainment or Results?

and your future will look very different – in a good way! (and you won’t even remember the TV you didn’t watch!). So my challenge to you, if you want to better yourself in any way, is to spend a little less time on mindless entertainment like social media and TV, and a little more time on the actions that will move you towards your goals. You can get an insight into why you are where you are by looking at the ratio of the time you spend on entertainment, and the time you spend working towards your goals. If you spend 80% of your time on social media, watching TV, playing computer games, or whatever it is you do for entertainment, and just 20% of your time working towards your goals (training if you want to be fitter; education if you want to be more successful; cooking if you want to eat better and be healthier etc.) then it’s fairly easy to see why you haven’t got the results you’d like. If you could switch that to 80% of your time on education, training and cooking and just 20% of your time on “entertainment” then it’s quite likely, I’m sure you’ll agree, that you’ll be a lot closer to your goals a lot sooner.

It’s a no-brainer really. It’s just a case of making that decision that your time is better spent on some things than others.

Yes, it’s “easier” to sit on your backside and watch TV for 3 hours a night than to “make yourself” go for a walk (especially when it’s cold, dark and wet outside), but that’s the price you have to pay to get better (and there’s always other stuff you can do if the weather’s miserable – do a workout indoors at home or the gym, stick a yoga DVD on, get yourself a Cross Trainer and actually use it!). You don’t have to change everything completely, but could you, starting tonight, hold off from putting the TV on for just 30 minutes and go for a walk? Or do some other form of exercise at home? (or if you’ve got a goal outside of health and fitness, spend 30 minutes working towards Obviously, the ratio doesn’t have to that…?) be 80/20 but it serves as an example. With regards to weight loss, muscle If you can do it tonight and the world gain, fitness, health etc, could you doesn’t stop turning, is it fair to say spend a bit less time on social media you could do that most nights? and redirect that time to exercise? Would your life be over if you didn’t Any improvement in the ratio away watch yet another box set on Netflix? from entertainment and towards Probably not. …but would that results is a good change to make, extra 30 or 60 minutes of walking and whilst you may not notice much every day make a difference to your change instantly, over the course life and health? Absolutely! of weeks, months and years, the effects will add up and compound


Just think how much time you’ve wasted on these things and then think what you could have done instead that would have actually benefitted you in some way! It annoys the hell out of me when I think of all the useful things I could have done instead of watching multiple episodes of some TV series night after night! You don’t have to do much to improve, you just have to do something. If you take up my challenge, let me know how you get on – send me a message, I’d love to hear your story and what you’ve done. Mark www.MBonlinePT.com @MarkBroadbentPT





Dartford Resident?

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

Call us today.

Can’t leave hospital? Cold home?

Struggling to stay at home? Need adaptations?

Even if you are a homeowner, in work or have savings, we may be able to help with financial assistance for:



Key safes, bannister and grab rails

Home in disrepair, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, moving furniture


Stair lifts, level access shower, access ramps, large scale property adaptions


Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, repairs or replacement boiler

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

01322 343152 housinggrants@dartford.gov.uk

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


A REAL-LIFE ACCOUNT FROM A FOSTER PARENT WHO WANTS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. By Christine Andrew, Recruitment Coordinator, Anchor Foster Care

The road to becoming a foster parent can be challenging, but someone in the right position has the ability to make a positive and lasting impact on people’s lives. This week, Laura, a Parent and Child Foster Parent shares her story with us. She has literally changed her life to be able to take on this rewarding role that for almost 30 years she had her sights set on. “I’m a people person. Even when I worked in law as a floating secretary, I was someone people liked working with.” Laura is smiling. She’s a natural nurturer who transitioned into counselling work, and later, hypnotherapy. All jobs that require emotional intelligence she says, which is fundamental to care work. After many years of thinking about it - and a couple of failed applications - she’s now moving into Parent and Child fostering. “I always wanted to be a foster parent, and I had tried twice before finding Anchor Foster Care.” “The first time was many years ago, in the ‘80s. I was working, and I had small children of my own. I hadn’t realised you couldn’t work when fostering. Also, at that time, you couldn’t participate in


mother and baby fostering [as it was known then] when you had your own children at home.” “The second time I applied was just four years ago. I got to the panel stage but was turned down because I was too reliant on the income of my long-term lodgers. I learned afterwards that my application should never have been put forward, but they really wanted to work with me.” “Eventually I downsized my home and moved closer to my children. I’m now in the right position, and actually Anchor Foster Care has been excellent to deal with. Everyone I have had contact with really cares about their work. Even my third-party adjudicator said that about them during my application, which says a lot.” What moves someone to foster a parent and child? Laura pins her motivations on her experiences as a child, which led her to becoming a mum too early. Experiences that made her empathetic to anyone experiencing similar issues with no support. “I remember wishing my mum’s sister was my mum. She was the best. In comparison to my

friend’s mothers, mine was always severely lacking. She admitted to me when I got older that she tried to put my brother in care.” “It wasn’t really my mum’s fault. As a child, she had a near-fatal accident and was restricted of air for some time. As I grew up, it occurred to me - and other members of my family - that my mum might have suffered brain damage.” “My first memories are of my father shouting at my mother. She used to make a game out of us hiding from him. It means you grow up older than your time. I realise now, my mum did her best, she just didn’t know how to be a good mum, but children are the innocent victims in their upbringing.” Laura’s parents worked day and night, and she and her brother were left to take care of themselves. “We were turfed out in the mornings and expected to get home once it got dark. I was exposed to some dangerous situations.” Her home situation meant she lacked courage to confide in the adults around her when things went wrong. One such situation occurred when a teacher behaved inappropriately towards her in primary school. “He told me if I told anyone, I’d be in big trouble. My intuition told me what he did was very wrong, but I didn’t feel anyone would believe me.” It’s no surprise that at age 17, Laura wanted to leave home. She was pressured by her mother to marry her first boyfriend, but in her early 20s was abandoned after falling pregnant, at a time when being a single mother carried a huge stigma. “So, I know very well what it’s like to be a young mum without support. I was incredibly frightened. I thought I’d have to give my daughter up for adoption.” Luckily Laura had her wider family to depend on. When she eventually met her husband Daniel, he adopted her daughter as his own. He felt great empathy for Laura because he himself had been adopted as a child and was on his own journey to finding his mum.

Putting good into the World. She’s philosophical about her and Daniel’s own situations: “It made us good parents because we joked about how not to do it. Our children are very successful.” Laura is incredibly proud of her children, who are currently spending their time running successful businesses, working on the front-line during Covid and operating in, tech-forsocial-good. “I know that Parent and Child fostering might be challenging in some ways, but if they haven’t had the experience of a good mother, then they are likely to be overwhelmed.” Laura summarises, “Me becoming a mother has made me realise there must be lots of people in this situation. And I was acutely aware, even as a young child, of my mum not being able to cope with her children. I think about my brother who was labelled troublesome because he was very intelligent, and my mum couldn’t stimulate him.” “All this has made me a perceptive and nurturing person. I want to help people where I can because I know how hard it is.” Do you think you could foster a parent and child? Parent and Child Fostering is designed to work with vulnerable families to keep them together whilst safeguarding children’s needs. If, like Laura, you have always wanted to take part in this type of care, read the resources on our website. If you’re unsure if you are eligible, read the dedicated section of our website which explains who is eligible to foster. You can take a look at our mythbusting section too while you’re there, it’s very useful.

Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals in this article.

These experiences meant Laura frequently pondered the tough situations many are faced when they become parents for the first time, especially if they don’t have families or are growing up in abusive situations.


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


COME ALONG AND TRY 2 FREE SESSIONS All abilities welcome.

Juniors 6+ Monday & Thursday 5.15-5.45pm Saturday 9.00-9.45am Cadets 10+ Monday & Thursday 5.55-6.25pm Saturday 10.00-11.00am Adults 16+ Wednesday 6-7pm Saturday 11.15-12.15pm Classes at Bexley Park Sports and Social Club Contact Gary Parker 07931 815582

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SAVE ENERGY, SAVE CASH, SAVE THE PLANET As we say goodbye to summer, we need to consider the increased cost of darker nights even before the cold weather comes along with higher fuel bills. And with climate change at a critical point according to a recent report from the United Nations, it’s more important than ever to consider ways to cut down our energy use. Read on for some savvy tips to help you protect the environment and save money. Are you on the best energy tariff for your needs? There are loads of comparison sites available online for you to check the different energy prices so it doesn’t need to take long to do some research. Invest five minutes using a site like moneysupermarket.com/ gas-and-electricity or the Cheap Energy Club via moneysavingexpert. com and you could easily see some quick savings. It pays to stay on top of your energy bills, so why not set a regular date in your calendar to review the tariffs you’re paying for your utilities? You might also consider getting a smart meter installed to help you keep an eye on your energy usage, cut costs and cut emissions. Does switching off and turning down really save money? The Energy Saving Trust has done a lot of research and found that, yes, you can make significant savings by switching off appliances rather than leaving them on standby – as much as £35 per year. Think about things like mobile phone chargers, microwaves, TVs and laptops – all of these can be switched off at the plug and cause less damage to the environment. The same goes for turning down


the temperature on your washing machine. If your load is only lightly soiled, try setting the wash to 30 or even 20 degrees. You’ll save cash in the long run and cut down emissions caused by running your machine at higher temperatures.

ing, there’s a special film you can buy for your windows, attach with double-sided tape and fix with a hairdryer! For more tips on DIY draught-proofing see energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/ draught-proofing.

If you’re thinking of replacing big household items like washing machines, dishwashers or fridge freezers, it’s worth waiting and saving up for the highest energy rating appliances that you can afford as this is better for the environment and more cost effective in the long run. Check out sust-it.net for more information on energy efficient products.

Are you eligible for financial help with energy saving? There are many different schemes available which you may be able to apply for depending on your circumstances. Check if you’re eligible for support on the energysavingtrust. org.uk website.

Could you try a bit of low cost DIY to keep the draughts out? Now is a great time to get your home prepared for the winter weather by draught-proofing windows, doors and skirting boards. The less you need to rely on radiators to keep the room at the right temperature, the less energy you’ll use. You can make your own draught excluder by stuffing the leg of an old pair of trousers with rice or bubble wrap! Heat reflective panels behind radiators are an effective way to prevent precious heat from escaping – you can pick up a roll of radiator reflective foil for less than ten pounds from your local DIY shop. And if you can’t afford double-glaz-

Remember, winter bills are always more expensive than summer bills so try to budget throughout the year. Consider setting up a Direct Debit and paying the same amount each month to balance out your bills, or set up a savings account to build up a buffer and cover the higher costs in the winter.

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By Local Resident, Jane Stevenson

brownies don’t matter. Soggy pastry? Don’t make jam tarts. I will make some cakes and biscuits. I’ll buy in some stuff, accept the kind gifts from others. It really doesn’t matter. The whole idea is that I share a morning with friends, provide them with tea, coffee, Gaviscon if required, and hope they donate to MacMillan That’s what it is all about. SKY’S THE LIMIT? As I’ve said in earlier issues, I don’t have Sky. Friends used to tape items for me, and I would spend a great deal of time using the fast forwards button to cut out the incessant ad breaks. They were irritating and spoilt my enjoyment . COFFEE, CAKE AND COOKING This month’s bit nearly didn’t happen! I’ve been so wrapped up in other stuff I didn’t realise the date until today (12 th September). What with some community work, family stuff, upcoming MacMillan Coffee Mornings and Emma Raducanu my mind’s been elsewhere. Everyone knows how precious our time is nowadays. Only our commitments and priorities may differ. Now I’m retired, I can pick and choose my tasks and commitments to some extent. With that comes a satisfaction and enjoyment not always experienced by others. The coffee morning is an example. I do it through choice. My kid brother died from cancer in his mid-fifties – that’s no age at all. He married my wonderful sister-in-law and they produced two amazing children, now adults. His death left a void in their lives and mine which can never, ever be filled. Afterwards, like other grieving relatives, I started a small monthly donation to Cancer UK. I wanted to do more but was studying and coming to grips with his death. These events took precedence


over everything else.

Freeview now shows some Sky content, albeit quite old – and I have been revelling in Sky Arts. I recently spent an afternoon and evening watching documentaries on Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and Yes. These were my music heroes from the early 1970s and it was delightful to see them in their That said, the single biggest old age, as well as clips from concerts stumbling block to all this is that I filmed over fifty years ago. can’t bake! Cakes never rise, biscuits resemble small paving slabs and my The music and innovation these rock cakes are well named. Sponges artistes produced remains fiery and sag and any attempt at jam tarts passionate. Sadly, some of them are results in soggy bottoms all round. no longer with us, but the adage ‘the I’ve spent some time poring over my music lives on’ is testament to their meagre collection of cookery books skills and creativity. Watching and but have felt overwhelmed by the listening to Keith Emerson at the 1970 skill required to make even a cup Isle of Wight Festival, introducing a cake. Googling ‘easy cakes’ wasn’t a young and impressionable crowd to his take on Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at big help either. an Exhibition’ brought memories I could cheat and buy some in, but flooding back. It was worth the few it doesn’t sit right with me. I feel I hours out of the day, and thanks to should make an effort for my brother. Spotify and YouTube I can relive it Some friends have kindly offered to again and again. bring their own foodie masterpieces along and for that I am truly thankful. Older age has its advantages Take care people When I started thinking about this (I tend to overthink everything) there came the realisation that perfection in cake baking isn’t required. Wonky cakes, dripping icing and oozing Now with spare time I can support what is close to my heart. I’ve sent out my invites, asked friends via text, Whatsapp and email. I’ve planned the preceding week like a military campaign so I can enjoy the event as well.

NOT SO ‘FAR, FAR AWAY’ FOR DARTFORD THEATRE GROUP One of Kent’s longest established theatre groups is putting the finishing touches on its next major production at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre this October. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Minnie; Caroline, or Change) and a side splitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life of stage and proves there is more to the story that meets the ears. The show marks the start of an exciting time for the society as it we return back to The Orchard after the doors sadly had to close due to COVID-19. We are so thrilled to see our loyal supporters andhope you enjoy the show.

Shrek The Musical is being performed from 20th – 23rd October at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford. Tickets: 01322 220000 or www.orchardtheatre.co.uk



were all about until I went to St Christopher’s in Sydenham to play the drums at a little gig my friend had organised some years ago. I went in there and it was just such a wonderful place.”

When Geoff Cousins retired from a career in finance six years ago, he knew he needed something to keep his brain ticking over.

also wanted to volunteer for my own wellbeing, to keep my mind active. I started work at 16 and retired at 62, so that’s over 40 years working. “The time commitment at ellenor does vary because it depends on how many referrals we are dealing with. There are just two of us running the service at the moment, myself and Anne Wilkinson. It would be good to have a few more on board, especially when we have a lot of referrals.

He said: “Just sitting around or pottering in the garden all day long was not for me. I come from Gravesend so I have always known about the original Lions hospice and about ellenor. When I saw they had a volunteer financial support role vacancy on their website, it seemed the ideal thing to apply for. “We always have a great deal to learn. We are not experts or financial “For me, it was a way to continue advisers, but are able to offer support seeing people. It’s easy to lose that at what can be a very difficult time network of colleagues and friends for patients and their families. When when you finish work, and I wanted new things come along, we can do to keep seeing people face to face.” a bit of research. Now Geoff dedicates the equivalent of about a day to the hospice every week, and his knowledge is vital to ellenor’s Financial Support Service. The service helps with benefits claims, grant applications, housing and health costs and transport concessions such as Blue Badges. It also offers support to patients and their families about working and pension rights, life insurance, wills and financial planning, although this often involves signposting the patient to an outside organisation or service.

“We do try and deal with each case as quickly as possible, but we can always prioritise urgent cases over less pressing things like blue badge applications. It’s crucial to help people get the benefits they are entitled to. Often, they don’t even know they are entitled to them, or believe they are eligible.

Geoff has also treated hospice staff and patients to his musical talents, playing his drums with the choir during the Christmas before lockdown. He has always loved music and has belonged to several bands Geoff said: “When people get including a jazz and blues band and something like a cancer diagnosis, a group called Holly’s Buddies. budgeting and finance are not the first things on their minds. We He said: “When I was young of often end up working with sons course I wanted to be a drummer or daughters on behalf of their for a living but that didn’t happen! parents. If we just take a little of To be honest, it’s getting harder to the burden away, then it’s worth it. cart all that drumming gear around nowadays.” “It’s nice to be in a position where Fittingly, it was his love of music I can make a difference, and there which first led him to the idea of are also benefits for me. I’m doing helping in a hospice. something I feel is rewarding. I He said: “I didn’t know what hospices


Geoff, 68, is married to Barbara, who still works two days a week, and they have three children and four grandchildren. He spent his career working as a financial controller and accountant for large organisations like GEC, and his last job was for Kent Fire and Rescue Service as principal accountant. “I suppose I have always had that inclination to work in finance, and I knew I wanted to continue in that area in my retirement,” he said. As the hospice opens up now the Covid restrictions have been lifted, Geoff is looking forward to making home visits again, and seeing patients at the hospice as part of its Living Well services. Since the Autumn of last year, he has also been a Front of House volunteer. He said: “I could see the hospice had lost some volunteers during the pandemic -- some were vulnerable and isolating -- and I thought I would like to give it a go. I had really missed talking to people face to face during lockdown. “I enjoyed meeting and greeting the visitors so much that I wanted to do both, which means a bit more of a commitment. “Like most people, I thought hospices were places you went to die. I didn’t know about the range of support and services available, and there’s always something new to learn. I always enjoyed that when I was at work and I wanted to continue learning.” “At ellenor, I feel part of a team – and not just the financial support side. It’s very rewarding being part of the wider Wellbeing and hospice team.” If you would like to find out more about ellenor’s Finance Support Service, go to https://ellenor.org/ our-care/i-am-a-patient/wellbeingservices/

Is your child starting Reception in September 2022?


Primary Academy

Then come and find out how Dartford Primary Academy can provide them with a worldclass education. At our school, your child will become an internationally minded, global citizen.

‘Determined, Persistent Achievers Learning to Change the World’ To book a tour, call the school office on 01322 223751 and select the option for infant site admin (option 6) or email office@dartfordprimary.org.uk

St Albans Road, Dartford, Kent DA1 1TE Dartford Primary Academy is part of Leigh Academies Trust 41

UPCOMING SHOWS AT THE ORCHARD THEATRE Orchard Theatre hair, and yes, they can come true! Get ready to ROCK from Tue 26 - Sat 30 October 2021.

This October sees the return of the smash hit musical, Rock of Ages. Rock of Ages is the hilarious musical comedy lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems, including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is, played loud and proud by an awesome live band. Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton is thrilled to reprise his role as Stacee Jaxx. Kevin said “To be part of the show a few years ago was a blast, so I’m really excited to be back playing Stacee Jaxx!”. Playing Stacee is a departure from Kevin’s usual image whilst appearing in Strictly. He thinks he can “definitely tap into the pretentious nature of him – I think I used to be a bit like that, thinking I was a rock star when I was just a ballroom dancer, everyone goes through that sort of phase a bit though! I used to think I was really rock’n’roll when I am the least rock’n’roll person in the world!”. When asked about his favourite song to perform, Kevin replied “My first big song is Bon Jovi’s ‘Dead or Alive’, that’s Stacee’s big moment and I love that song. It’s his big opening in the show and you’ve really got to come on and make a massive impact with the audience, really get them going and show what kind of character Stacee is. It should be fun!”. Audiences should expect to see Kevin “in a completely different light, probably being a bit raunchier than you’re used to!”. Leave it all behind and lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the

Jason Donovan is thrilled to be embarking on a mammoth 52 date tour, which marks the 30th anniversary of his hugely successful debut album “Ten Good Reasons”. His Even More Good Reasons tour will see Jason singing his greatest pop hits along with his favourite songs from his career in musicals, all accompanied by a full live band. Jason commented: “Having not done my own live shows for a while I can’t wait to get out there again amongst my fans and deliver a new energetic show that is both personal, creative and reflective ... something that is both nostalgic and just a bloody good night out.” Jason is back doing what he does best, bringing his energy and exuberance to his army of fans, performing his favourite pop and musical hits in concert across the UK. Don’t miss it! Don’t miss Jason at the Orchard Theatre on Sat 2 October. Peppa Pig is excited to be going on a special day out with George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig - it’s going to be her best day ever! Get ready for a road-trip full of fun adventures. From castles to caves, dragons to dinosaurs and ice-creams to muddy puddles – there is something for all of the family and their friends to enjoy, including Miss Rabbit, Mr Bull, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe and more! Prepare for the brand new Peppa Pig live show packed full of songs, games and laughter, it really is the best day ever for Peppa Pig fans! Join Peppa on her adventure from Fri 15 - Sun 17 October 2021. Dartford Amateur Operatic Dramatics Society is one of Kent’s leading amateur theatre companies. DAODS was established in 1906 and has been a proud part of the local community ever since. Back in 2021, DAODS presents Shrek The Musical. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. The swamp is in Dartford from Wed 20 – Sat 23 October 2021. Also on this month: Sounds Familiar Music Quiz - Sat 9 October Illegal Eagles - Sun 10 October Ian Waite & Vincent Simone - Act Two - Mon 11 October An Evening With Sir Geoff Hurst - Sun 24 October Ed Byrne. If I’m Honest... - Mon 25 October Maximum Rhythm And Blues - Sun 31 October

October Highlights




Dirty Dancing 16th - 20th November 2021 The iconic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart-stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the Orchard Theatre this November, following two blockbuster West End runs, four-hit UK tours, and multiple sensational international productions. It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Which era is Dirty Dancing set in? A. 50s B. 60s C. 70s

Email your answer to competition@dartfordliving.com by the 15th October to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered.. 4. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 7. 7. All entries will be added to the Dartford Living mailing list to receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Please state when you enter the competition if you don’t wish to be added


YOU CAN BE @ THE LEIGH UTC DARTFORD ‘It has been a tremendous and phenomenal learning journey for my child at The Leigh UTC. Thank you ever so much for your support. She is going to miss the tranquil and friendly learning environment, and of course the staff who have helped shape her learner’s journey.’ Parent

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Flu is a common viral infection that is spread by coughs and sneezes. You can catch flu all year around, although it is much more common in the winter. Like many viruses, flu will often get better on its own within about a week. But it can make some people seriously ill. Flu is not the same as the common cold. Symptoms come on very quickly, tend to be more severe and last longer. They include: - a high temperature of 38 o C (100.4 o F) or above - general aches and pains - tiredness or weakness – enough that you have to stay in bed and rest - a dry cough, sore throat or headache When we are exposed to flu, we develop some immunity to it. The flu strains change slightly each year, but this still offers some protection. Flu levels were so low last year because of the infection control measures implemented to stop the spread of COVID, therefore immunity to flu has waned. This means that there are more people susceptible to flu this season and scientists are predicting more cases. We are particularly concerned about those at high risk of complications from flu.


If you catch flu, to help you get better it is important that you rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with your symptoms. If you are fit and well, you do not need to speak to your GP. Antibiotics do not help with flu as they are ineffective against viral infections. Flu is very infective and is spread via coughs and sneezes. Stay at home until you are feeling better. Use tissues and dispose of them correctly and wash your hands correctly. Consider speaking to your GP if you are in one of the high risk groups, if your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved in a week. If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood you must seek medical advice. Who is at risk from complications of flu? Certain people are at high risk of complications of flu, either because of their immune system or because it can worsen underlying conditions. Elderly are more vulnerable as their immune system is not as good at recognising and responding to infection. In people with lung conditions such as asthma or COPD,

getting flu can make their condition worse. If you have diabetes, flu can affect blood sugar levels causing hyperglycaemia. Flu in pregnancy can cause early labour and may occasionally result in a miscarriage or stillbirth. The flu vaccination is safe and effective and is offered on the NHS every year to help people at risk of complications from flu. You can get this through your GP surgery or community pharmacy. Some GP surgeries may offer you a COVID booster at the same time. It is perfectly safe to have both together, but please do not delay having your flu or COVID vaccine if you are offered either one first. The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for the following people who are considered to be at high risk of complications: - Aged 50 or over by 31.3.22 - Aged under 50 and have certain health conditions (eg diabetes, respiratory or heart problems) - Are pregnant - Are in a long-stay residential care home - Receive a carers allowance or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if they become sick - Live with someone who is more likely to get infections (eg who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatment for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) - Frontline health and social care workers Community pharmacies may offer a flu vaccine that you can pay for, if you don’t fit into one of these groups.



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



By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we look at a new models with electric at the heart of their o f f e ri n g s , a l l available from 2022.

2022 Mercedes EQE electric car – this is the luxurious new Mercedes EQE electric saloon promises a range of more than 400 miles and cutting-edge technology. This is a smaller version of the full electric saloon car from Mercedes with a coupe style roofline and a smooth panel where the front grille would usually be, to help maximise aerodynamic efficiency. At launch two versions will be available: the 288bhp 350 and another more powerful yet to be announced. The mileage range will enable you to drive more than 400 miles based on the version you choose. Charging for 15 minutes will enable you to add a 155 miles range. Available in the middle of 2022 it is estimated to cost around £60,000.

2022 Ford Fiesta – this is the Ford Fiesta small car which gets design tweaks, new mild-hybrid engines and a revised interior. The changes are timely to keep its model at the top of the small hatchback market. Changes include more aggressive front and rear bumpers than before and a wider and deeper front grille, plus the new car comes with LED headlights as standard. Engine choices start from a 1.0-litre petrol with either 123bhp or 153bhp and all engines are mild hybrids with small amounts of electric assistance to reduce fuel bills. No diesel engines will be available. Inside, you’ll find a new 12.3in digital instrument cluster which can put a wealth of information – including navigation instructions – right in front of your eyes. Available early 2022 prices will start from £18,680.

2022 Kia Sportage SUV – this is the new Kia Sportage SUV features a high-tech interior, futuristic looks, and is available with plug-in hybrid power for the first time. The looks are more of a dramatic change to the current with a longer and wider body and new century styling throughout. The size means it will be a cross between the family and larger SUV classes. Other styling features includes new LED daytime running lights and headlights that shift their patterns to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers. Inside, you’ll find a 12.3in digital instrument cluster which can be configured to put a variety of information in front of you, plus a separate 12.3in infotainment system. At launch the engine will be the plug-in hybrid version, with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, plus an electric motor with a 13.8kWh battery pack. They will produce a combined 261bhp. Available in Spring 2022 prices are expected to start from around £25,000.



Lullingstone Castle celebrates Halloween magic on its last day of the season; pumpkin carving, spooky garden tours and more – perfect for all the family. Tom Hart Dyke will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Fancy dress is welcome – let’s celebrate the end of our season in style! Additional £2 donation for the pumpkin carving.


Admission price - £10 adult - children under 16 go FREE www.lullingstonecastle.co.uk Photos - Alan Graham

Rock Painting in Dartford.


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 in the Orchard Shopping Centre. ByGallery Marialocated 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 . Here are some of the photos of their latest painted rocks.

SPORTS ROUNDUP The Queen led the congratulations to Emma Raducanu after the 18-year-old won the US Open title with a stunning victory in New York. Raducanu won the title by beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 with a classy performance in a high-calibre match, to end Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam singles champion. “I send my congratulations to you on your success” the Queen said. “It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “What a sensational match! Huge congratulations to Emma Raducanu.” “You showed extraordinary skill, poise and guts and we are all hugely proud of you.” …and to think that three months ago she was doing her A-levels!

UPCOMING EVENTS IN OCTOBER INCLUDE: 3 October: Athletics - London Marathon 9 October: Rugby League - Super League Grand Final 18 Oct-15 Nov: Cricket - Men’s T20 World Cup in India 23 Oct-27 Nov: Rugby League - World Cup in England (men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments)

Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory was remarkable but where does the teenager’s historic success rank among great British sporting moments? Is it bigger than Murray’s Wimbledon win in 2013?


BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS - DIANNE PILKINGTON By Mark Fisher too. There’s a real relish in being an apprentice witch.” Long before she got the part, Pilkington was an admirer of Angela Lansbury who immortalised the role of Eglantine Price on film. She’d even got the merchandise. “One of the first masks I bought at the beginning of the pandemic was Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote,” she says. “The rest of the cast think it’s hilarious but I didn’t buy it for this – it’s just mine!”

Aren’t we due a bit of magic in our lives? Dianne Pilkington thinks so. She is staring in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and she, for one, is thrilled to be dreaming of the impossible again. “It’s my first theatre job back,” says the Wigan-born actor who plays Miss Eglantine Price, the trainee witch. “It is fun, it is full of magic and it takes you on a different journey from the adventure we’ve been on for the last year and a half. It is what the world needs right now.” The show, which opens at the Orchard Theatre on 24th November, is the first ever stage adaptation of the 1971 Disney favourite. Pilkington says the production is every bit as ground-breaking as the movie, with its famous blend of live action, animation and musical numbers. “The film was doing something new and innovative, and so are we,” says the West End star, whose roles


She is, though, determined to make the part her own: “I’m a huge fan of hers but I’m not like her at all. Also we’re in a different time. I’ve tried to come it at it from a modern point include Glinda in Wicked, Donna in of view, even though it’s still set in Mamma Mia! and Elizabeth in Young wartime.” Frankenstein. “It is faithful to what people love about Bedknobs and When she wants to check she’s on the Broomsticks but this creative team right lines, Pilkington has the perfect never make the obvious choice. They audience on hand. Her sounding board is her eight-year-old son. “I’ve have an amazing creative brain.” Set in the darkest days of the been practising on Hugo,” she says. second world war, Bedknobs and “I’ve shown him my magic tricks and Broomsticks is about the three he doesn’t know how they’re done, Rawlins children who have been which is gratifying.” evacuated from London. Finding themselves in the fictional Dorset She adds: “He’s convinced the broom town of Pepperinge Eye, they are is on rocket boosters and he could be put in the care of the eccentric Miss right – who will ever know?” Price who is less interested in looking after them than in completing her As well as the original score, the show features Sherman brothers songs that studies in magic. were dropped from the film, plus new Before they know it, she is casting material by Neil Bartram who has spells on their bed and sending them worked closely with Brian Hill on the skywards on a magical adventure. stage adaptation. With the additional songs, it has become a full-blown “She’s very quirky,” laughs Pilkington. musical. “Substitutiary Locomotion “She’s a woman who has lived on is one of the best numbers I’ve ever her own for a long time and has sung,” says Pilkington. “I get so not had much love for a really long excited, I actually do believe I’m time. We’ve been exploring the scary magic and casting a spell. When side but there has to be a joy in her you’re in the middle of that on stage

it’s fabulous.” Bringing her up to speed on the art of magic is co-director Jamie Harrison. He is the man who created the stage illusions in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and once had to perform a magic trick for JK Rowling herself. He has also worked on Charlie on the Chocolate Factory in the West End and Pinocchio at the National Theatre, as well as all the shows for Vox Motus, the Glasgow company he runs with the other co-director, Candice Edmunds. “At the core of Harry Potter is the human being,” says Harrison. “What I learnt was that magic really works if it’s part of the personality of the character who is performing it. That’s something we’re working with in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. We wanted it to feel charming with a sense of childhood imagination, but at the same time be allowed to take flight.” Candice Edmunds says the fantasy emerges from the stress of the poor children who were evacuated during the war. “Using fantasy to bring respite from trauma is really timely,” she says. “It feels more than

ever we want something to lift us out of our situation. The children are in the depths of a traumatic upheaval and fantasy helps to offer relief from all the dark forces closing in around them. It’s very cleverly written to show the way a small child would imagine solutions to problems.” Edmunds, who grew up in Australia and South Africa before moving to Glasgow, can’t believe she has the chance to direct a show that played a formative role in her childhood. “When I was about eight, we spent some time in a small town called Maun in Botswana where my aunt lives,” she says. “There wasn’t much to do there except raid her VHS

collection. Pretty much the only kids’ film she had was Bedknobs and Broomsticks. My sister and I watched it over and over again. It has a really special place in my heart.” In making the switch to the stage, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has become what Harrison calls “an emotionally powerful journey about belonging, commitment and family”. It is a shift in emphasis that made Pilkington more determined than ever to get the part. “When I first read the script, I bawled my eyes out for the last ten minutes to the point when my husband was quite worried,” she says. “What they’ve done with the story is incredibly moving.” The show will be at The Orchard Theatre from Wed 24 - Sun 28 November 2021. Pre-show dining is also available before the show. The Orchard Theatre’s Restaurant provides a delicious range of, unique and memorable dishes, using the freshest local produce and prepared daily by the Head Chef. Reserve your table when booking your show tickets. To book tickets or for more information visit orchardtheatre.co.uk.



the wrist. To make a silver bangle, I’ll start by sawing a length of silver, shaping it roughly into a circle and soldering the join. After that, it’s a case of hammering it into shape round a mandrel and applying my beloved texture- usually with more hammering! Everything’s finished with a professional polish, varying according to the desired finish (matt/ high shine). This is one of my favourite stages as I get to see the full extent of the piece that has created. The Wild little rose website will be launching soon (I’ll say it quietly: in time for…Christmas gifts!) Watch this space for some new personalised items coming up in the next month or so.

Hi everyone, I’m Roisin, jewellery designermaker here at Wild little rose. I started making jewellery about four years ago. After taking some basic silversmithing classes -and exhausting the internet for resources to teach myself- I knew that jewellery making was where I was heading!

are made to order so no two will be the same. As a lover of fashion, I’m always thinking about how jewellery will look and feel with an outfit. One of my favourite things is to style my pieces with simple staples such as jeans and a t-shirt, so I can express my style even when getting hot and sweaty running after my two boys in the park!

I adore jewellery and always have. I vividly remember the first sterling silver and amethyst ring my Grandparents bought me in Ireland: through years of school uniform it was the one thing that was completely ‘me’! Jewellery has the power to sum up your style and your mood as well as being uniquely sentimental: imbued with memories. Ultimately, it’s whatever you choose: it’s beautiful. The best words to describe the pieces I make would be modern, textured and unique. Most items

So, what is a day in the Wild little rose workshop like? Well, we have two essential ingredients before even thinking about picking up a saw or a blowtorch: coffee and music! I must get set up to allow any sort of creativity- or indeed silver solder- to flow. A decent cappuccino and ‘Kisstory’ can probably take a lot of credit for successful making sessions! I’m lucky enough to have a small studio at the end of my garden so my commute is a joy. One of my favourite items to make is a bangle, as I love how they can be layered on


Until next time, you can find me on Instagram @wild_littlerose – hope to see you there!

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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 Together Dartford Living Community Group

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

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GARDENING BOW ARROW GARDENING ………..…………….27 CARE PROVIDERS HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE…..……………..10 CHURCHILL ……. ………………….……………15 BROOK BANKS……………………..…………….35 HEALTH AND WELL BEING SARAH KEMBER PILATES…...…………………..17 GH HEALTH SOLUTIONS ….…………………....26 CREST YOGA………………....…………………..27 FEET MATTERS……………………....…………..19 PEPPERCORN DAY SERVICE …...……………….21 AGE UK……….....………….…………………….29 YDMA KARATE…….....…….…………………….26 STAR KICKBOXING…..……………,…………….35 KELLY ROSE SKINCARE……..…………………..37 DARTFORD ROAD DENTAL CENTRE……..……..45 OFFICE SPACE /SUPPLIES NUCLEUS ……….....…………………………….14 TASK FORCE ADMINISTRATION…..…………….21 OPTICIANS LINKLATERS…....………………………………..53 PICTURE FRAMING CRAFT FRAMES……....………………………….53 PRINTERS DARENTH PRINT…………..……………………..19 RESTAURANTS, CAFES & FOOD OUTLETS EFES…………….....……………………………..34

EDUCATION STAGECOACH…………………………...………..21 MY BLUEWATER TUTOR………….………………29 LEISURE ORCHARD THEATRE……..………………………12 TRAVEL GOLDEN LEAS HOLIDAY PARK...…..................18 HARDEN HOLIDAYS …....………………………..24 RETAIL THE BED POST ………........…………………….23 BRADLEY’S JEWELLERS…………....…………...46

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Y O U R P L A S T I C S R E C Y C L I N G G U I D E F O R K E N T – T E A R O U T A N D K E E P.



Plastics Recycling -

Cutting the Confusion


Your Handy Guide to Plastics Recycling in Kent Did you know you can now recycle the same plastics packaging across the whole of Kent?

Yes please More and more people in Kent are recycling plastic. Here is your handy guide to help you recycle right:

No thanks All of the items below should be put in the general waste.

Nappies/sanitary/ hygiene products Crisp packets or sweet wrappers Baby food /pet food pouches Squeezy toothpaste tubes Polystyrene packaging Biodegradable or compostable plastic (bags, cutlery, cups etc) Black plastic trays Drinking straws Hard plastics (toys, plant pots, buckets, etc.)* Food waste** Plastic bags & film***

BOTTLES Empty, rinse & squash Put lids back on before recycling

TRAYS & PUNNETS Remove film lid, absorbent layer & put these into general waste Recycle the clean & empty tray or punnet

POTS Empty & rinse Put lids back on before recycling

Starred items can be recycled as follows: * Can be recycled at Kent CC’s Household Waste Recycling Centres – check www.kent.gov.uk. ** Place in your food caddy if your area provides a food collection service. *** May be recycled via retailers at front of store. Check www.recyclenow.com.

Why recycle?


People in Kent recycle because it is a worthwhile way to help the environment and the community: •Recycling keeps plastic out of our natural environment •Using recycled plastic to make products uses 75% less energy than using virgin materials – reducing greenhouse gas emissions


To find out more about recycling please visit www.pledge2recycle.co.uk/kent or visit your Local Authority website


Kent Resource Partnership 59


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Wild Little Rose article cover image

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks article cover image

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Christians against poverty article cover image

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Travel Spotlight with Harden Holidays article cover image

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Are you confused about plastics recycling? article cover image

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Looking to the Future - MP Gareth Johnson at Amazon’s largest solar panel scheme in the UK article cover image

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