Dartford Living January 2018

Page 1

FREE January 2018 - Issue 139

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Unwanted Gift Guide p8 Gardening with the World Garden p28 Local Motor Racing Team Expands p34-35 What’s on Locally Guide p46-56

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Photo by Janice Blake

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ired be inspwith Slimming World MONDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Sue 07507 599691

WEDNESDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 10:00am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Liz 07900 213548

British Legion Hall Devon Road, South Darenth, DA4 9AA 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm June 07957 902767

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am Gillian 07957 135737

Fleetdown Community Centre Swaledale Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6JZ 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 5:30pm and 7:30pm Caroline 07776 181413

Church Centre, 112 Swanscombe Street, Swanscombe, Kent DA10 0JZ 7:30pm Lisa 07986 030199

Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 3.30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm Jo 07800 797030

New group opening on 01/01/2018 Dartford Social Club, Lowfield Street, DA1 1HP Monday 7.30pm Kate 07590995948

Albany Hotel 13 Steynton Avenue Bexley, DA 3HN 5.30pm and 7.30pm Del 07975 541082

TUESDAYS Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401

THURSDAYS The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 9:30am Caroline 07776 181413

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737

Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 09:30am Jo 07800 797030 St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401 Baldwyns Baptist Church Dartford Road, Bexley DA5 2AY 5.30pm and 7.30pm Del 07975 541082 FRIDAYS Lesley Close Bourne Road , Bexley DA5 1LX 9am Del 07975 541082 SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 8:00am and 10:00am Kelli 07931 085668



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BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY Dear Readers, Happy New Year! I hope you enjoy the new look January magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - use them or lose them! 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 don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points including Dartford FC, local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, health centres and local Barclays branches. Additionally, if you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our e-newsletter and you will join 6,000 others who receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)

Check out our website for even more local news and articles



We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £30 per month. We don’t just take your money and add you to the magazine. We want to work with you to promote your businesses as much as we can using our website and social media channels for maximum exposure. We can also provide advertising options solely online on your website and/ or social media channels. We feel we have every base covered.

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5........................Dartford News 8........................Dartford Living Unwanted gift guide 9........................Dartford Living Live 11......................Bippity Boppity Blog 12......................Local Mindfulness Courses 14......................Life Under the Stairs 18......................Travel Spotlight 19......................Soup Kitchen 21......................The Benefits of a craft experience 24......................Valley to Paris 25......................CAP Money Matters 28......................Gardening with the World Garden 32......................Sports News 34-35................Local Race Team Expands 36......................Dartford District Schools FA 37......................Darts News 38......................Local Sports Clubs 41......................Fitness 44......................Theatre Roundup 46......................Car News 48-56................Where to go locally 57......................Useful Numbers 58......................Advertising Index

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

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Local community magazine Dartford Living has teamed up with Dartford Borough Council to produce the first ever Official Dartford Borough Calendar with any proceeds heading to the ellenor hospice. The calendar features images of the town taken by talented amateur photographer Janice Blake. Launching the 2018 Dartford calendar, Dartford Living’s editor Vijay Jain said… “Janice Blake’s stunning pictures have become a real talking point online and her work spread across social media like wildfire. She clearly has an amazing talent for composition and an ability to capture just the right moment. I was talking to Jeremy, the Council Leader, a few weeks ago and it turned out he was a big fan of her photographs too. We both thought it would be a great idea to bring some of Janice’s work together for a calendar and she very kindly agreed to let us use a selection of her photographs.” The 2018 Official Dartford Borough Council features atmospheric landscapes from across the Borough including photographs of local communities, the town’s Central Park and wildlife habitats at Brooklands Lakes

We love to hear from groups, organisations and individuals about what’s happening locally. Include a photo if you can. Email your stories to editor@dartfordliving.com

and Dartford Marshes. Council Leader Jeremy Kite says the calendar casts a light on a Dartford that not everyone sees. “Janice captures a side to Dartford that’s almost hidden in plain sight. Like most towns, we have our fair share of urban issues but her pictures capture a very different and beautiful side of the community that’s very uplifting and inspiring. People are busy and don’t always have the opportunity to appreciate some of the glorious natural environment that threads through and around Dartford and her pictures bring all that to life.” “When Janice’s photographs first started to be posted on social media it was clear that her work was something very special. Dartford Living started an online gallery and I don’t mind admitting that I was one of those who always checked for new pictures. Vijay and I agreed instantly that her photographs would make a wonderful calendar and I’m delighted that it’s now available and helping such a good local cause.” The 2018 Official Dartford Borough Calendar is on sale now priced at £4.95. Copies are being sold online through ebay and are available at a number of outlets around the town including Stephen Oliver: Studio & Gallery in the Orchards Shopping Centre, the What If? gallery in the High Street” to “Stephen Oliver: Studio & Gallery in the Orchards Shopping Centre and the What If? gallery in the High Street.”

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Apex Law are excited to announce the opening of their new offices in Dartford. Our Dartford office is in a very convenient position with free visitor parking and close to the station. It is run by Pam Downes a well known local Lawyer with an experienced team. Pam deals with all aspects of Residential Conveyancing plus Private Client issues such as Lasting Powers of Attorney’s, Court of Protection Applications, Wills, Probate, Compromise Agreements and she is a specialist in Equity Release matters. Apex Law has case handlers located throughout the South of England and further afield who are all highly experienced in their fields of law including commercial property, Wills, Family Law, Residential Conveyancing and Private Client. In this highly technological world, expensive office premises can only drive up costs and at Apex Law LLP we are passionate about offering the highest level of service but at a price you can afford, because many of our Lawyers are self-employed they are frequently able to offer more flexible hours to suit you. We have Lawyers fluent in French, Chinese and Malay. We also have strategic alliances with Spanish Lawyers. At our offices we offer a friendly comfortable environment in which you can relax whilst dealing with your legal issues. We provide a cost effective local, national and international service in most areas of law and if we have no specialist in regard to any matters in which you require advice, we have arrangements with other firms of solicitors to whom we can refer you with confidence. Our offices are located at: 3 The Pantiles

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So, when Christmas is over and the house feels like it has shrunk with unwanted gifts, the cupboards are full of food you thought you might like, but never did get round to, what do you do? Never fear, Kelly and Sarah present your guide on where to take your no longer needed things. FOOD We’ve all done it. Seen things in the shop you thought guests might ask for, like picalilly, cranberry sauce, or got carried away and bought more crackers than you could ever eat. Or maybe you had reached the stage where you didn’t think you could manage another chocolate if your life depended upon it, when you unwrapped your present from Auntie Doris only to find it was a box of Celebrations. Don’t leave them to waste. Drop them down to one of the food bank drop off points. TOILETRIES We’ve all received those sets of toiletries from unimaginative relatives at Christmas. Maybe you can use some of it, but know you will never use the hand cream! Maybe it’s a fragrance you detest, or maybe you just have too much of it cluttering the bathroom up. The good news is it will be very wanted by someone. Toiletries can be dropped at Stephen Oliver’s Studio and Gallery in The Orchard Centre where we use them to make up sets for those in need. In addition The Silver Birch Fund, based at Darent Valley Hospital will gladly accept them for elderly patients. Get in contact via their Facebook page. Also the food banks will happily take toiletry donations. SOCKS That mainstay of unwanted Christmas presents, socks! The Winter Night Shelter will gladly take them off your hands (not feet). They can be dropped at St Mary’s Churches in Greenhithe or Stone. DRESSING GOWNS, PYJAMAS AND SLIPPERS Once again the patients from Silver Birch are in need of these items. CLOTHES, TOYS & HOUSEHOLD ITEMS All charity shops will be grateful of the contribution. Alternatively pass them to St Mary’s Churches in Greenhithe or Stone who will give them those in need. Darent Valley Hospital A and E are also grateful of any new toys for the waiting area or small items they can give children as rewards. LEGO The Dartford and Gravesham National Autistic Society Branch will gladly take all lego donations. Just take yours down to Stephen Olivers’ Studio and Gallery. BIKES Old bikes taking up space now you have new ones? The Bike Project take old and broken boys and restore them and give them to refugees. Check out their website here: thebikeproject.co.uk/donate-a-bike/


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Hi Dartford Living Readers! Happy New Year! It's January! It's cold! The Christmas rush is over and we're all feeling fat because we've eaten too much! But aside from the moans and groans, January is one of the best times to re-evaluate, change or start again.

with the little man by enrolling in a couple of toddler classes. (Head towards the back of the magazine for some classes local to you). It really helps us stick to a routine by having set times to get out the house! Those days can often be my saviour if we're having a toddler tantrum day....if only he liked to put his shoes on!

It’s been all change in my household. My son has just started nursery and for the first time since starting my business, I now have assigned time to work on it. It's been a huge adjustment for all of us (as well as an emotional one) but the difference we have seen developmentally in our little boy makes it all worthwhile. It has also meant that the pressure has been taken off a teeny tiny bit with the 'juggle' of being a working mum and I can now plan family time a lot better too. I found that the power of social media also had some other great suggestions of what to do with the kids this time of year. I've been recommended local farms, soft play venues and even a train ride. It was quite incredible how other mums were so willing to help and so quickly too! So if Dave and Vijay let me write again, I shall let you know what we get up to and if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to get in touch! [Don’t worry this will be a regular magazine blog :-) - Dave ] So what is there to do in January when it's cold, wet and windy? I'll admit I'm not a fan of using my son's spare trousers in the bottom of my handbag to wipe down the wet slide in the park. (Wet wipes simply won't work!) I'm also not a fan of staying indoors watching Peppa Pig on repeat either. Instead, I've vowed to really make the most of my time

But for now I wish you all a fun and happy year and if it is ‘all change’ for you too – Good Luck! Charlotte x Bippity Boppity Shopity www.BipBopShop.com Follow me Facebook/Instagram @bbshopity

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Nick Buckley lives in Dartford and has been delivering mindfulness training in the workplace, on behalf of national and global employers, since 2011. But he has also offered community courses in the town for the last few years. We asked him to remind us what mindfulness is, and where it’s headed. WHAT IS ‘MINDFULNESS’? At its heart are mental exercises that you do every day to train your brain. After a few weeks you start to notice when your mind wanders - starts mulling past events or worrying about future ones. Then you can bring yourself back to what’s happening right now instead. WHAT’S THE COMMITMENT? Initially 10 minutes a day to practice. People use mindfulness ‘on the go’, but without daily practice that’s like doing sport without working on strength and fitness. It’s good to start with a course, to get the techniques and establish a habit. WHY IS IT BECOMING MORE POPULAR? One thing is science. Brain scans show activity changes in the brain – as a result of mindfulness. People find that more persuasive than hearing others’ stories. Another is how we now live – we’re busier than ever, constantly juggling different bits of our lives, and overloaded with instant communications. ARE MINDFULNESS TEACHERS REGULATED? No yet. Teachers specialising in mindfulness for depression or anxiety rightly have a career path of experience and study – and usually a foundation profession such as psychotherapy or counselling. People like me, introducing mindfulness at work or in the community, still follow a code of practice – mine is the UK Mindfulness Association. That code includes ensuring that anyone who comes on my course who does have a clinical diagnosis, first discusses it with their medical professional and then keeps them advised of progress and reactions. SO, MINDFULNESS ISN’T JUST FOR DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY? Oh no. That’s where it first proved effective, and in pain management too, but mindfulness can enrich anyone’s life, including being more effective in their work. I avoid talking about mindfulness for “the well”, because our levels of happiness and mental health vary during our lives. Like regular exercise for reducing the risk of heart disease, mindfulness can help reduce our risk of future mental ill-health. I always tell people that mindfulness helps you to live and enjoy more of your life… rather than fastforwarding to the next ‘good bit’. … AND THE FUTURE? Mindfulness is being taught more and more in schools. I honestly believe that, one day, regular practice will be just like cleaning your teeth, eating fruit and veg, or getting enough sleep. It’s mental hygiene! 12

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DARTFORD OPEN MINDFULNESS COURSE STARTS 18TH JANUARY – IN ASSOCIATION WITH ‘MINDFULNESS AT WORK’. A beginners’ practical course for all who want to learn this proven technique. 7:30pm-8:30pm every Thursday for 5 weeks Church Hall, Holy Trinity, Dartford DA1 1DE Fee: £60 for the 5-session course including notes, audio downloads and ‘daily prompt’ e-mails. [£20 for 16-18yr olds] See www.soshall.net for more information about what Mindfulness is, how it benefits you, what’s involved in the course, and background on the trainer. Or contact Nick Buckley email: nick@soshall.net Call/Text: 07958 516967 www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk



Happy New Year to you all. I hope your Christmas was warm, loving and peaceful, with family and friends enjoying the festivities. MY GENERATION Roger Daltrey got it wrong when he sang ‘I hope I die before I get old’. At the time there was clearly nothing to do after the age of 40 so we might all as well ‘f-f-f-f-fade away’. Thankfully Dartford has a lot to offer in terms of clubs and societies for all ages. As I’m in Roger’s generation though, I want to mention how times have changed for older people since he first screamed out those words. We are lucky in this area to have several excellent Active Retirement Associations, and the wonderful University of the Third Age. Both institutions offer a wealth of activities to satisfy all interests. As well as keeping the mind active, they also provide a regular meeting place for us as well as organising theatre trips, short breaks and various other activities. There are groups for crafters, dancers, singers and bell ringers. Wildlife watchers, sports, musicians and artists all have local groups for their activities. Much information is contained within the pages of our own Dartford Living. Both The Orchard and MJC host plays and music to suit all tastes, and we have the Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre and the Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society where local thespians can get involved both behind the scenes and on stage. A few decades ago such opportunities just didn’t exist. As we live longer, enjoy life more fully and search for knowledge, it is gratifying to find so many groups and interests served throughout the community. Baby boomers and silver surfers have never had it so good. WISH LIST So 2018 is on the horizon. What about it? There are many things I would like to see happen in our town, so I thought I’d put together some random thoughts on the subject. Hopefully some of you will agree with me, that with a bit of investment and support from the community, Dartford could be a better and livelier place for us all. 14

So, here is Life Under The Stairs wish list for Dartford. An outdoor swimming pool; summers are getting hotter and longer. Why not have an outdoor pool similar to the old Lidos? What better way to spend those lazy school holidays than outside in the fresh air, in and out of the water. Sadly both Burnham Road and Martens Grove are long gone and with them, a golden age of simple fun has been lost. Decent car parking. We’ve lost the site at Market Street and have vacant land on the old Co-op site. Could we not explore the options of providing inexpensive parking in the town. If we want to encourage people back into the town, parking should be a priority. Our public transport system can’t cope and most people prefer to use their own vehicles anyway so it makes sense to cater for shoppers. On the same subject, the queue of cars to get into Darent Valley Hospital are testament that far more spaces are needed at the hospital. It is stressful enough attending for tests and clinics, or visiting family and friends who are patients, without the additional concern of time spent waiting for a space. Encourage new surgeries and dentists to open in the town. With the amount of new building going on, the infrastructure must be available and suitable for purpose. If Dartford is to be the vibrant and social community it can be, we need everyone to have easy access for health care. A police station. It is perplexing to me that a town, growing in stature and size as Dartford is, has no police station. I appreciate the force is streamlining and centralising, but it isn’t very helpful when anti social behaviour and crime appears to be on the rise. I would welcome the sight of policemen and women walking the streets and being readily available for the community, rather than being housed miles away at a base in Ebbsfleet. No easy fixes here, but hopefully food for thought for developers and enterprising businesses. Take care everyone.

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WHAT’S NEW IN 2018 Well I hope Santa brought you everything you hoped for, but sadly Christmas is now over. And that makes it the best time to look at what is new and exciting in the travel industry in 2018. ABU DHABI After a decade long construction process, the £1bn Louvre Abu Dhabi is now open. The museum contains 600 permanent artworks, as well as another 300 on loan from the Paris Louvre. This includes the World’s most expensive painting, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which was purchased earlier this month for a record £335m. Tourism to Abu Dhabi is also on the rise thanks to the new cruise terminal and the Gulf’s only desert island cruise stopover – Sir Bani Yas. The cruise terminal includes check-in desks for Etihad Airways so that passengers disembarking their cruise ship can check their cases straight in without having to take them to the airport. Malta

The small and seductive country of Malta has a lot going on in 2018. The capital Valletta will be the 2018 European Capital of Culture, so there will be a packed events calendar. Jet2Holidays will start offering Malta as a destination from Stansted for Summer 2018, and EasyJet have begun flying twice weekly from Southend. SOUTH AFRICA South Africa is already a strong tourism destination, with wildlife, beaches and cultural attractions, but also in recent years there has also been a favourable exchange rate for British tourists. Now in 2018 there will also be ‘Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be The Legacy’. A programme of special initiatives, projects and events to celebrate 100 years since Mandela’s birth. PERTH & WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Starting in March 2018 will be the first-ever regular non-stop service from the UK to Australia. Qantas will operate the 16-hour flight direct from Heathrow to Perth on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Perth is a vibrant city in its own right, but will also provide a gateway for Western Australia and beyond. SEYCHELLES

British Airways is launching a twice weekly service to Mahé, the first non-stop flight between the UK and the Indian Ocean. Cutting the travel time to 10 hours, the Wednesday and Saturday service will permit the creation of 10-night trips. Whilst on the ground the Six Senses Zil Pasyon is 18

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fully open and the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles At Desroches Island Will be unveiled in early 2018. CRUISING If there is one sector of the travel industry that is constantly evolving, growing and innovating – it’s cruising. And 2018 will be no different, with plenty of exciting launches, new experiences and fresh itineraries to thrill seasoned cruisers and entice those who have yet to give it a try. May 2018 sees the launch of Norwegian Bliss, the latest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line, featuring the largest go-kart track at sea, an enclosed water slide that projects riders out over the side of the ship and an outdoor lasertag course. Celebrity Cruises launch their exciting Celebrity Edge ship in December 2018, featuring the ‘Magic Carpet’, a uniquely cantilevered restaurant/bar/disembarking point. The ship is the cruise line’s first new ship for six years and promises a range of cutting edge and revolutionary developments. One such innovation is the new Infinite Veranda Staterooms, where balcony and living area are merged into one continuous space, really pushing their ‘modern luxury’ strapline. The most exciting new port of call continues to be

Havana, Cuba, with more cruise lines creating itineraries stopping off at this wonderful city. It proved to be one of the quickest selling destinations for 2018, however you will find there are some cabins still available. Royal Caribbean continues to innovate, and one of the most recent ways is the new smartphone app being introduced to personalise the on-board experience. Fully rolled out to all 48 ships by the end of 2019, the app will help streamline processes like check-in by utilising facial recognition, and allow you to book excursions and restaurants from your sunbed. Travel is always exciting and dynamic, and it looks as though 2018 will be another great year. Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you all. Tim Harden is the Manager of Harden Holidays, Dartford’s local travel agent, now open in the town centre. Call - 0800 023 8974 E-mail - tim@hardenholidays.co.uk Website: www.hardenholidays.co.uk Visit us at: Unit 1B Henley House, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1AS

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THE LEARNING CENTRE SOUP KITCHEN DARTFORD is a volunteer initiative project for homeless and disadvantaged people. Our aim is to ensure that they get some hot soup, food and drinks, throughout this festive periods. The borough’s first evening soup kitchen was launched on the 1st of December to feed those most in need. Our Doors open every Friday 6-8pm at Peppercorns Community Centre 3A Orchard Street Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF We need volunteers from all walks of life to help in serving teas, soups and to pack items for the food bank. If you would like to contribute in other ways, please contact Eve on 07931172670 www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


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Crafting and creating items with your hands provides therapeutic, relaxing and calming emotions as well as having the benefit of being educational and team building. With structured lessons and classes I can provide a unique way for your staff to develop, bond and learn something new in a fun environment. Or maybe you are looking for a social, fun activity for an occasion or just to spend some quality time with friends doing something different or trying the hobby of crafting. I’m Karen, a life long crafter and in 2013, with the support of my family and friends, I decided to turn my hobby and passion into my career. This happened following negative events and experiences that occurred in my job, which I had up until then always loved and worked at since leaving school. I now work as a freelance craft tutor and demonstrator, organising and running my own events and activities, and for various craft companies, shops and design teams. As a child I was shy and unconfident, this carried through into adulthood where the prospect of presenting myself and the skills and talents I had to offer were a massive challenge. Through crafting I gained confidence and by immersing myself in something I loved was and is to this day is hugely therapeutic for me. Craft therapy can help with the challenges we face during life, illness, bereavement, divorce, moving to a new area,

stress at work… As a passionate crafter, I feel the need to share and teach others and bringing craft into the community is hugely important for me. I love nothing more than to help people craft, from those with absolutely no experience to the more talented crafters. Everyone creates something different and crafts for many different reasons. The most important social side of crafting, for whatever reason an individual chooses to take part, to the benefits of it’s therapeutic effects, I feel cannot be rated highly enough. Imagine a memorable experience that combines creativity and imagination in a fun, social activity. Could your business benefit from fun, team building activities. Encouraging enthusiasm, motivation and production along with communication skills and being resourceful. Do you have a particularly stressful period where a simple craft session could de-stress and unwind so that employees can return re-energised and invigorated. A session could be as simple as making a card, small desk calendar or a coaster for the desk or workspace to a piece of home decor that will have happy memories. It can introduce new skills as well as being a fun, social activity so why not think about a new years resolution for your business or company for 2018 with a craft activity that releases the inner child and creates a lasting memory and show your employees how much you value them. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Karen Clare craftyk@hotmail.co.uk 07812759861 Facebook - Karen Clare Craft Tutor and Demonstrator Instagram - www.instagram.com/karen.clare/

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Stephen P. Gay Funeral Service

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


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

Home visits Funeral plans Obituaries

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

OVER 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE Most common problems that arise with double glazing can be solved quickly and cost effectively:

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WEBSITE: www.capuk.org TELEPHONE: 0800 328 0006

by CAP


Lots of us make New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps we’re going to lose weight, give up smoking or join a gym. It might be that we resolve to spend less time on our phones, looking at social media or that we’re going to go to bed earlier during the week. Sometimes our resolutions can be a little unrealistic; we’d like to think we could go from chilling out on the sofa to Olympic athlete in a matter of days. If you can stick at your resolution for a whole year, that’s fantastic. Unfortunately, most of us can’t, sometimes we can’t even last a week. A year is a long time and sometimes just the thought of how far we have to go is enough to put us off. Perhaps if we break down the resolutions into manageable chunks, they would be more achievable. How about setting yourself a monthly challenge instead? January is a hard month to give things up. It can feel like you’re punishing yourself in a month when you need comfort. It’s dark, it’s cold and it’s the middle of winter. Cash can be in short supply after Christmas – it’s no wonder we don’t feel like sticking with that diet. So how about doing something cheerful instead? Once a week, ask friends round for a movie night or meet up with family for a brisk Sunday walk. Set yourself a task that perhaps you’ve been putting off but you know you’ll feel much better about when it’s done. Clear out some clutter in a cupboard. Empty your email inbox. Challenge yourself to do things that will cost you nothing but leave you feeling like you’ve achieved something.

wallet. Perhaps you’ll find something you can sell when you empty out that cupboard? Now comes the fun part of deciding how you can use your extra pounds. You could put it towards a day out or even a holiday later in the year. If someone in the family has a significant birthday coming up, you could save it for a treat for them. By making a tiny change in your routine, for just one month, you can make something extra special in the future. If you get the resolution bug, you can try something new in February too and maybe keep going for the whole year. Here’s a few other ideas to try for a month at a time: •Walk some or all of the way to work •Use up the food in your cupboards and freezer and just shop for fresh things •Take a hot cup with a drink from home instead of getting your usual takeaway •Sort out your wardrobe; swap outfits with friends and family •Have a packed lunch instead of buying sandwiches or school meals •Call someone in your family that you have infrequent contact with to catch up on their news – maybe arrange to visit them sometime during the month too These mini challenges are a great way to include the whole family. Ask your kids for suggestions about what you can do and include them in the benefits. Perhaps the savings you make can contribute to more ice creams in the summer, a day trip to a favourite destination or a makeover for a bedroom. Stronger relationships from spending face-to-face time with friends and extended family can bring more emotional stability from a sense of belonging too. Celebrate your achievements as a family together and who knows? It might set you up to take on bigger challenges in the future.

Hopefully as you head into February, instead of feeling like you’ve failed at your resolution, you’ll feel like you’re already winning in 2018. Another benefit from your challenge can be that you’ve saved some money. Nights in instead of meals out and walking in the park instead of shopping will leave a little more cash in your purse or www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk


Alzheimer’s & Dementia S U P P O RT S E R V I C E S Registered Charity No. 1024385

FREE MEMORY CAFÉS Hartley Wellfield Community Hall DA3 7EG 1st Thursday of The Month 10am - 12pm

West Kingsdown Kingswood Court TN15 6LN 1st Tuesday of The Month 10am - 12pm

Swanley White Oak Court BR8 7WF 2nd Friday of the month 2pm - 4pm

Meopham St John’s Church Hall DA13 0AA 3rd Tuesday of the month 10am - 12pm

Dartford The Orchard Shopping Centre DA1 1DU 3rd Wednesday of The Month 10am - 12pm

Gravesend The Woodville Halls DA12 1AU 4th Wednesday of The Month 11am - 1pm

Living well with dementia, Practical information, Refreshments Chance to relax in a safe environment

Call Us On - 01474 533 990


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January is the perfect time to get in the garden and prepare it for spring, wrap up warm and get ready to give it a winter tidy! At this time of year, here in The World Garden you will find Tom and his volunteers on pruning duties; cutting back herbaceous perennials and tackling trees to remove dead and diseased stems. Gorgeous bulbs are waiting to shoot up, remember they need plenty of light and space to flourish, so clear out the lower dead branches and remove leaves on the ground to make sure your bulbs and smaller plants flourish. Tom’s top tip is always plant Winter interest near to the front of your beds for colour and fragrance, one of his favourites is Sarcococca confusa (sweet box – an evergreen shrub), offering a profusion of sweet scented white flowers from December to March.

8 EVENTS 201 1AM – 5PM 2ND APRIL -1 & T 1S H C R 31ST MA uiz EasterEgg Q - 5PM MAY - 11AM 27TH & 28TH kend Medieval Wee 5PM* – 12 NOON 17TH JUNE en Scheme d National Gar 11AM - 5PM & 1ST JULY E N JU H T 30 ally Fire Engine R AM - 5PM AUGUST - 11 H T 27 & H T 25TH, 26 rs Weekend Plant Hunte – 11AM - 5PM SEPTEMBER nd H T 16 & H T ke 15 ebration Wee Mexican Cel ON - 7PM BER - 12 NO Event 28TH OCTO pkin Carving m u P & n ee Hallow 28

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The World Garden has just created its very own ‘bulb’ island on its new circular woodland walk and by Easter visitors will have the opportunity to see the profusion of daffodils and tulips bursting into colour. 2018 is set to be an exciting and action-packed season of horticulture and events for Lullingstone, it’s open on Easter Saturday (31st March) and for the first time they have extended their season until the end of October; opening every Friday, Saturday, Sunday including Bank Holiday. 31st March 1st & 2nd April -11am – 5pm - EasterEgg Quiz 27th & 28th May - 11am - 5pm - Medieval Weekend 17th June – 12 noon - 5pm* - National Garden Scheme 30th June & 1st July - 11am - 5pm - Fire Engine Rally 25th, 26th & 27th August - 11am - 5pm - Plant Hunters W/end 15th & 16th September – 11am - 5pm - Mexican Celebration 28th October - 12 noon - 7pm - Halloween & Pumpkin Carving

All Events - Admission charge £10 per adult and children under 15 FREE entry. *National Garden Scheme - standard admission charge apply. No other special membership offers apply on event days.


Are you not enough? Many of us spend our life time seeking for more and better. ‘If I only get that job, this relationship, that number in my bank account, this recognition…, I will be happy.’ ‘When I retire, then I will relax and enjoy my life.’ ‘If only my health was better…’ ‘If I was slimmer, stronger, more beautiful / handsome…, my life would be way better.’ These are but a few examples of common thinking. Our thoughts around lack, insufficiency, incompleteness lead to negativity, emotional turmoil, ill health and a struggle to enjoy life. At some point, we may realise that will power is limited and that we are constraining, destructing, or sabotaging ourselves. And it’s usually at that point, when we start looking for ways to change. Rapid Transformation Therapy (RTT) provides a way to change by finding and rooting out the cause of the issue so that we can override the limitations in our mind. We can find a totally different approach to ourselves, life and the world around. RTT is a brief therapy using a particular hypnotherapy model. It provides immediate and lasting results, so you never want to go back. It also works well as part of psychotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy treatment for Addictions, Anger, Anxiety, Compulsions Confidence, Depression, Eating issues Loss effects, Sleep issues, Stress and pains Register at ifieldtherapy@gmail.com, on line www. ifieldtherapy.com or 078 1464 2212 Practice locations Crown House, Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1DZ 184 Westcombe Hill, London SE3 7DH 45 Central Street, London EC1V 8AB

For more information, please call 078 1464 2212 or visit www.ifieldtherapy.co.uk www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk



Managed by places for people Ltd for Dartford Borough Council.


Gym Swim Classes

£20.18 Join for £20.18 and pay nothing more until 1st February Offer only available 1st - 9th January 2018

www.fairfieldleisure.org Fairfield Leisure 01322 421166 Terms and conditions apply.

Contact us or join online quoting NEWYR2018 30

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SPORTS NEWS Bav’s Sporting Comment

The England football team have been drawn with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G at next year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia. Gareth Southgate’s men will begin their tournament against Tunisia. They will then face World Cup debutants Panama, before playing top seeds Belgium. England can have no excuses if there is a repeat of the humiliation of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when they failed to progress from the group phase. Manager Gareth Southgate will understandably exercise caution publicly, about the group with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama - but in private, he and the Football Association will surely regard this as a highly agreeable outcome. Barring surprises, the final group game against Belgium in Kaliningrad is likely to decide the group winners - and this will clearly be the toughest mission for England. …however, we have been let down before, and will likely be deflated again in the future!

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


• • • • •

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

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

January 28-Day Health and Fitness Kickstart Do you want to lose weight and improve your health and fitness in 2018?

Upcoming events in January include: 1: Football - Dartford v Welling KO 1pm

This will guide you step-by-step through what you need to do to get your diet and fitness regime working for you, not just in January, but for good.

No strict “Diet” plans No crazy workout schedule No stress No burning out after a couple of weeks

4-8: Cricket - Australia v England, fifth Ashes Test, Sydney 5-7 Football - FA Cup Third Round 13: Football - Dartford v Havant and Waterlooville

Just useful, useable, realistic and achievable, and most importantly, methods to get you on track.

22-24: Motorsport - Rally Monte Carlo 27: Football - Dartford v Whitehawk 32

Find out more at


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STILP HARD. ACADEMY LAUNCHED The Team HARD. Racing Motorsport ladder is now complete with the addition of our new race academy headed up by professional racing driver Jordan Stilp and Tony Gilham. Jordan has been involved with the team for a few years now and the time is right to develop our relationship further and provide an opportunity that is very unique to Motorsport and take our development programme to a whole new level. It is a very unique concept that now offers stars of the future a one team journey from karting and junior racing all the way through to the top of the GT and Touring car world. Tony said “Jordan has been great in helping our existing drivers develop as part of our GT programme whilst also working with his own junior drivers in the karting series. Karting is very new to me but I am very keen to learn all about it and help where possible to nurture young talent and assist them every step of the way. The addition of the new Stilp HARD. Academy kart team will extend in to junior racing with the introduction of Ginetta Juniors for 2018. We have already signed our first academy driver with news to follow over the next few days. Jordan added “I have been working with Tony and the team for a while now and have admired what they have built over the last few years. We have had several discussions 34

over recent months and we both have the same vision with providing this opportunity for up and coming racing drivers. Motorsport is a very tough industry as I have found out myself, so to be able to work with Team HARD. and create something like this is a perfect platform on which to build on. We have lots of plans in place already and are very much looking forward to launching the academy and talking to interested parties.” Tony went on to say “We all know Motorsport is one of the hardest places to be at times and so to be in a position to have built something so unique and offer what is an opportunity of a lifetime for these young drivers is testament to the people we have around us. We offer a full management programme and assist in every area a modern-day racing driver needs to be successful and rise to the very top. I cannot wait to get going and begin working with these little superstars.” BTCC EXPANSION ANNOUNCED In an exciting development, Team HARD. and Brisky Racing have further extended their working relationship and will now expand their operation to run four VW CC’s for 2018 in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Following on from the addition to the team of the new lead engineer Geoff Kingstone, this is another positive

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step forward, allowing the team to operate as a four car operation, but at the same time streamlining thier set up logistically by running two pairs of cars. Quite clearly there is a lot of potential in the CC and with Geoff on board it will be very interesting to see how much more he can unlock. The pace was there to see last season. With some developments and upgrades planned over the winter it will be a strong package for sure come Brands Hatch for the season opener. Tony said “We have been working with Richard (Wheeler) and Brisky Racing for the last two years and our relationship has developed very quickly as we have the same drive and determination on a business level, but also share the same passion for Motorsport. This will allow us to extend to four BTCC cars for 2018 but at the same time bring another dimension to our infrastructure behind the scenes meaning that we can really focus on our development as a team aiming for the top.” Richard commented “Brisky Racing initially started out to make motorsport affordable and fun and that is still a big part of what we do. But the opportunity to work with Tony and Team HARD. Racing at the top level of British Motorsport was too good to miss, it’s very clear to see the progress that Team HARD. has made over the last few years. I believe the time is right to step up and help Team HARD. take the next step, building a bigger presence on the grid for 2018. Between us we can build on recent successes to take next year to a new level. It was a natural step to increase our involvement from last year, with the additional of some exciting new partners we think that we will certainly raise some eyebrows when the season kicks off at Brands.” Tony added “Team HARD. and Brisky Racing will be names that are seen more and more over the years to come as we have lots of plans in the pipeline which are possible with the additional support,moving forwards from what we have already achieved. Richard has been a huge part of that and this is another major development for us as a team.” Having announced only Bobby Thompson so far, there are 3 seats to fill and conversations are on going with new and existing partners as well as a number of drivers. In what is a very exciting time for the team, it will be interesting to see the announcements to come over the next few weeks as the momentum continues to build in to the new season.


Double Renault Clio Cup Champion, and Kent resident, Mike Bushell has agreed a deal with Team HARD. and Brisky Racing to return to the BTCC as part of their joint operation to run four cars in 2018. Mike commented “I am ecstatic to be returning to the BTCC with a second UK Renault Clio Cup title under my belt” stated Bushell, “More so, I am excited to be making my return with Team HARD. and Brisky Racing as they have been going from strength to strength.” “We are really looking forward to working with Mike next year” added Tony Gilham from Team HARD. “We have a very competitive package for 2018 and have been in discussions to secure talented drivers. We now have the ability to fight with the best on the grid so only want drivers that have shown outstanding race craft. Between myself and Richard (Wheeler) we have put a great package in place to bring Mike back to the BTCC at a time when we can mount a strong challenge.” “I’ve wanted to work with Mike for a while, he’s clearly shown his talent taking two championship wins in the Clio Cup one make series” said Richard from Brisky Racing, showing his appreciation of Mike’s achievements. “I’m really pleased to have put the final parts into place with Tony that Mike needed to return to the BTCC. We have a very exciting year coming for the team”

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Happy New Year In the build up to Christmas and New Year Futsal is in the agenda for schools footballing competitions. In November and December we have held three festivals for year 3/4 boys, year 3/4 girls and year 5/6 mixed boys and girls teams. Joydens Wood boys won the year 3/4 title, Wentworth and Holy Trinity were crowned year 5/6 champions and we will know who wins the girls Futsal on Friday 8th December. The festivals have been very well supported with twenty nine schools teams being in attendance. The success of Futsal over the last two years has now lead to the launch of a schools Futsal league and a representative squad. In January 2018 we launch a new schools competition which will take place on Friday nights and is aimed at players in year 3/4. Floodlit football will see upto twelve schools taking part for ten consecutive weeks of football fun. This new programme will run up until Easter, after this our year


3/4 district development group will restart with places open to 36 players from our twenty five primary schools. For more information on district schools football please follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Search: Dartford District Schools FA

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DARTS NEWS By David Shafford


Over the last month Dartford have strengthened their team the the additions of Danny Mills, on loan from rivals Ebbsfleet United, and Nathan Collier who returns to Princes Park from Hampton and Richmond Borough.


info@dartfordfc.com | 01322 299990 Princes Park, Grassbanks, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RT,

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ADMISSION PRICES: Adult – £14.00 Concession (65+) – £7.00 Youth (13-17) – £5.00 Junior (5-12) – £2.00 Under 5s – FREE







w. d

There are still a lot of home games left this season. If you have not been to watch the Darts why not pop down and #supportyourlocalclub. See the fixture posters in Dartford Living for upcoming fixtures




It has been a great start to the season for Dartford. At the time of writing they sit top of the National League South but it is such a close league the results need to continue to be positive otherwise the teams below can easily catch up.



DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same. SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long established cycling Club in Dartford and we share our headquarters at Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for most abilities and have a social ride most Saturday mornings. For info on joining us please visit our website www.seedscycling.co.uk DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool in Swanley and Fairfield pool in Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then please visit our website www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities including a beginners group. DRR teams compete in the Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join us with all abilities. dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/node/440 DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you advance your Athletics then please visit our website www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park, and can provide access to a state of the art running track (relaid in 2015) and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge, 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 38

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Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies Legacy offers a range of military themed tours from a day trip to the scene of the Battle of Hastings, to bespoke tours to the WWI and WWII battlegrounds of Belgium and France from as little as £39 per person. • Luxury Coach Travel • Local Collection Points • The Services of an Expert Battlefield Tour Guide Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the • Channel Tunnel Crossings following dates: BENEFITS OF LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE (where applicable)

Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Friday 3rd March Friday 21st April Friday 19th May Friday 9th June Friday 28th July Friday 8th September

• Accommodation (B&B basis) (where applicable)

For further details please contact Steve Hookins Legacy Historical Services Ltd Room 9, 145 Nathan Way, Thamesmead SE28 0AB Telephone: 0208 311 5309 Mobile: 07783 021508 Email: legacy@lewiscoaches.co.uk www.legacyhs.co.uk

Open Surgery – (no appointment necessary) Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July 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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Local solicitors for all your personal and business needs Property conveyancing Family and divorce Employment law

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By Mark Broadbent


I wanted to avoid the usual January spiel about getting fit and losing weight etc. etc. but the reality is, this is the time of year when the most people start a “new” plan for their New Year’s resolutions. The reason this is a “new” start for people is because any previous plan has failed. Either impossible to stick to for the long-term, or an ineffective plan that didn’t deliver the results you were expecting/promised. Generally, people will look to the usual, well-known methods – join a gym, start running, go on a named diet... with no real idea of how, why or if that will work for them. They just assume that because those are the traditional methods that [supposedly] work for everyone else, it’s bound to work for them. It usually doesn’t. The key to success is building a routine around YOU. Not something that’s worked for someone else or been sold to the masses; something designed for You. To do this, you need to find your starting point. If you don’t know where you are now, you can’t begin a journey to somewhere else. You need to know how many calories you eat now before you can decide how many you need to eat to gain/lose weight, because if you’ve been eating low calorie for a while now, the calculators online may even tell you to eat more, despite your lowered metabolism – a sure-fire way to gain weight! On the flipside, if you’re already used to low-calorie eating and want to lose weight, eating less is likely to cause many problems (and be very difficult to stick to). So, finding your current level will give you a starting point to work from and either reduce calories (if they’re not already too low), or work to increase your metabolism to burn more calories without lowering consumption any further. Exercise is also usually overdone in new attempts to get fit and lose weight. “I’ll go to the gym 5 times a week and run the other 2 days” – does that sound like something you’ll stick to beyond January? Take into account your current exercise levels and work from there. If you consistently make it to the gym twice a week, aim for 3 times. If, realistically, you barely make it once a week, aim for a consistent once a week, not an unrealistic 3 times, at least to begin with. If your plan is to be sustainable, it needs to be achievable and realistic. Not some crazy plan that you imagine a “fit person” would do, but a plan that YOU will do.

then look to increase the intensity of your workouts and be more effective that way, rather than trying to make time you haven’t got. An hour of resistance training or higher intensity work will be more beneficial than an hour on the treadmill/bike/cross-trainer (unless you goal is purely cardiovascular endurance). When it comes to diet, you also need to know your portion sizes. A recipe that “serves 1” thinks that there is a universal portion size for all people, regardless of size, gender, goals, activity levels, and every other factor that influences portion size. Pay attention to how much you’re eating and don’t finish a huge meal simply because it’s on your plate. If you’ve been brought up to clear your plate and are struggling with your weight, your problem may well be knowing when to stop. Eat more slowly and pay attention to how you feel. Stop just before you’re full, not when the plate is clear. And if you’re full after dinner, skip dessert – you’re already full! Doesn’t mean you have to skip dessert all the time – just account for this in your portion sizes for dinner. Your plan HAS to be something that you KNOW you can do. If you have doubts, or it sounds too hard, then it’s unlikely you’ll stick to it, and unlikely you’ll get results. You have to challenge yourself a bit (you can’t change, without changing a few things), but if you make it too difficult, you’ll likely fail. So, spare yourself the pain of unrealistic diets and exercise regimes, and the misery of failure by working out what plan of action is best for You. Find your staring point and build from there. Spending a few weeks at the start to figure this out will save you the pain of failure, take the guesswork out, and set you up for long-term success. You can jump right in and risk being back where you started in a few weeks’ time, or you can take the time now and be on the road to success in a few weeks’ time (and beyond). If you need help with this, I have put together a 28-Day Health & Fitness Kickstart program that will guide you through everything discussed here and more. You’ll learn how many calories you need to be eating, what type of exercise and how much you should be doing, tips on how to increase your calorie expenditure, and nutrition information that will push you in the right direction without depriving you of the foods you love or starving you. I have a group who started this on 2nd January, but it’s not too late to sign up and start your journey now. Go to www.DartfordBootcamps.com/28-day-kickstart to find out more and take advantage of the January offer before the price goes up :)

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Happy New Year! Christmas might already feel like a distant memory, but don’t let the post-panto blues get you down - there’s plenty of spectacular entertainment ahead in Dartford (and beyond) to brighten up the gloomy January evenings. Just two days after Louie Spence, Michelle Collins and the rest of the Cinderella cast and crew move out, 2018 kicks off in style with New Jersey Nights (2nd-6th), one of the most successful touring productions of all time, celebrating the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This new tour of the award-winning show makes its first stop in Dartford, so book now to be one of the first to experience it. The Moscow City Ballet make their traditional return to Dartford in January, this year with their production of festive family favourite The Nutcracker (10th-13th). If you’ve never been to the ballet before, this is a great one to start with - and if you have, it’s a perfect opportunity to go again… And on 11th January there’s even Nutcracker afternoon tea and cake. Who can say no to that? Last July, after waiting for four hours to take part in an open audition, Kara Lily Hayworth was named the star of Cilla the Musical. Charting the career of one of the UK’s most iconic singers, this brand new show arrives at the Orchard on 16th January (until the 20th) and is our first chance to see the new star in action. Featuring all Cilla Black’s classic hits, the production is a musical adaptation


of the TV mini-series starring Sheridan Smith, and has been getting great reviews since it opened last September in Cilla’s home city of Liverpool. And if all that isn’t enough to whet your appetite - there’s more. Fancy a feel-good Broadway musical featuring the music of the Gershwin brothers (I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, etc)? Look no further, as Tom Chambers and Claire Sweeney star in awardwinning romantic comedy Crazy for You (23rd-27th). With mistaken identities, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, the show will ensure we finish even the dreariest of months on a high. There’s a lot going on elsewhere too - a first look at Fat Friends at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre (16th-20th and coming to Dartford in April), and at the Marlowe in Canterbury a chance to see the John Steinbeck classic Of Mice and Men (29th January-3rd February). Also, though it’s technically in February, I really recommend grabbing a ticket for Blackeyed Theatre’s gripping production of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at Woodville Halls (2nd February). With 2018 off to a great start, don’t forget to check the Orchard website to see what else is coming up in Dartford over the next few months - and enjoy! For London and local theatre reviews, visit theblogoftheatrethings.com

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CAR NEWS - JANUARY 2018 By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we’ll bring you new cars to the saloon and cabriolet market to be launched in 2018 and a new electric car expected in 2018.

2018 MAZDA 6 – this is Mazda’s facelifted saloon which gets new equipment inside and minor styling tweaks but will keep its current range of engines. Mazda say there has been small changes designed to reduce vibrations sent into the car, as well as wind and road noise. Changes to the car’s exterior are light and focus around a new front grille, new LED headlights and a new range of alloy wheels. On the inside it gets a new 8.0in free-standing touchscreen which is intuitive and can be controlled both via the screen and via a rotary dial on the centre console. The engine ranges have not been annouced but expected to be the current 6’s 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines with fuel economy improvements. Expected to come on sale in Autumn 2018 and are likely to be around the current ranges’ £19,995 level.

2018 MERCEDES-AMG S63 CABRIOLET – The Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet is the sportier, convertible version of the S-Class saloon. Most changes to the 2014 version are predominantly under the skin of the car rather 46

than the exterior. Styling changes include an AMG grille called Panamericana - and some new front aprons and side skirts. There’s a new 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, replacing the S63’s old 5.5-litre, a new nine-speed automatic replacing a seven-speed. Technology on the inside will mirror that in the saloon verison. There will be three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Comfort is by far the most popular, says Mercedes, but it is in Sport+ where the S63 feels its most agile. It’s near impossible to fault the quality of the S63’s interior which is cosseted in leather. It also gets the swish new widescreen cockpit, which has two digital screens side by side, on which you can access everything you’d ever need. Pricing isn’t yet announced, but will start from around £140,000, which is cheaper than its rival the Aston Martin Volante, and available from early 2018.

2018 RANGE ROVER P400e – There’s now a full-size Range Rover featuring plug-in hybrid technology. This company car tax-friendly plug-in hybrid version, called the P400e will be their first plug-in hybrid system, and it mixes a 296bhp petrol engine with a 114bhp electric motor and battery pack. It’s officially good for average fuel economy of 101mpg and CO2 emissions of 64g/km and can also run on electric power only for up to 31 miles, a full recharge of the battery taking 2hr 45min with a fast charger. There will be changes to its cabin, all designed to bring greater levels of comfort and luxury. There are new front seats, asymmetrical in design to allow the driver to slide onto them easier. Land Rover has given its flagship model a new dual-screen infotainment option - which will be feature-packed. Storage is also increased inside, with more small storage areas added and the fridge between the driver and passenger seats increased in size to house 500ml bottles that can be chilled. It will be released March 2018 with prices starting from £86,965.

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Parent and Toddler Groups - Term Time Only

MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.00 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 01322 291092. TUESDAYS Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact Catherine on 01322 220036. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy snack time for the children For pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com WEDNESDAYS 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £3 per family including all snacks and drinks. John 01322 272649. 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 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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions at Dartford Libraries - Monday Friday Thursday Story Time Fleetdown - Tuesday Greenhithe - Thursday - Thursday Longfield Summerhouse - Tuesday Sutton-at-Hone -Monday. Temple Hill - Thursday Dartford

10:30am - 11am 2:15pm – 2:45pm 10:30pm -11:00am 10:30am -11am 2.15pm – 2.45pm 10:45am -11:15am 10:30am – 11am 2pm – 2:30pm 10.30am -11am

Come along and join in the fun! Term time only For more information please call 03000 41 31 31 48

a b c +=

LITTLE BRIGHT SPARKS Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Held in West Kingsdown on Tuesdays at 1.15 and Wednesdays at 12.12 £6.95 per class one to one tuition also available for 2-7 year olds. 07768 447657 for more info www.facebook.com/littlebrightsparks http://www.babysign.org.uk/

SLADE GREEN AND HOWBURY COMMUNITY LIBRARY BABY AND TODDLER ACTION RHYME TIME GROUP Every Wednesday (Term Time only) at 11.15am LEGO Club Every Saturday 2-3pm for ages 5 and over Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

THE NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH OF THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION meets at 8pm on the 4th Wednesday evening of each month in the PopIn Parlour, Mill Road, Northumberland Heath, Erith. The meetings last about 2 hours and the group often have a speaker on a variety of subjects, followed by tea and biscuits and general chat. For more information contact Eileen on 01322 228169. DARTFORD OSTOMY GROUP SUPPORT (DOGS) meet every third Wednesday in the month at St Anselm’s Parish Centre, West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HJ from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. It is for anyone who has an Ileostomy, Colostomy, Urostomy, IBS and pouch, their carers, family and friends. ALL DIRECTIONS is a community learning organisation for adults and young people aged 16+ with physical, learning and mental health difficulties. For more information, attend a taster session or visit our community lunch club, contact Caroline on 01322 440482 or 07570 347612 YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES Every Tuesday from 6-7pm &Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00pm at Peppercorns, 3 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. For more information please call The Hope Group on 07580 615206.

p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@hotmail.co.uk for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website www. northkentembroiderers.co.uk or phone 01474324734. THE GARDENING CLUB SUTTON AT HONE Monthly meetings, Visits to Gardens, Annual Garden Show and much more. For more information or to become a member please ring 01322 863556. AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1

BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS UK For people with Parkinsons and their carers. We have 2 meetings per month. Bexley: 4th Thursday JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP of each month, at Pincott Hall, 2-4pm. Dartford: 2nd We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place Thursday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the Information support workers available, guest speakers and month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social quizzes. chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information Contact Wendy Leach. Tel: 02083065973 contact mikeansell.dt@hotmail.co.uk MODERN LINEDANCING CLASSES SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 7EG Our Club presents a programme of workshops and Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class demonstrations in a very informal and friendly atmosphere. learning routines from differing genres to popular music We meet on the last Thursday of each month except providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience December. Shorne Village Hall, The Street, Shorne. DA12 or partners necessary. Contact Kay 01322 276528 3EA. Visitors are always made very welcome, entry £3. We have 30 members and look forward to welcoming anyone BEXLEY PHILATELIC SOCIETY who loves flowers. The Club provides an opportunity for Meetings first and third Friday of the month at Freemantle people to be creative, make friends. Hall, Bexley village, 7:30 for 7:45 start. Covering stamps For further information please phone 01474 353405 or and postal history, meetings offer displays, auctions, email landaclatworthy@btinternet.com competitions, and convivial atmosphere. More information on www.bexleyps.org.uk SWANLEY HISTORY GROUP Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 50

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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 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more information visit: www.meetup.com/20s-30s-Dartford-Bexleyheathsurrounding-areas-social-group/ DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE) meets on the first Tuesday of every month (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about meetings and interest groups call 01474-709068 or visit our website. THE DARTFORD STROKE GROUP This group meets Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse, Overy Street, Dartford for a chat in a relaxing atmosphere, chair-based excise sessions, stroke leaflets and magazines, informal workshops, special art or games sessions and outings. It is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their carers, family and friends. Please contact Theo Hodges on Theo.Hodges@gmail. com or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68296 for more details and current dates of our events and meetings DARTFORD FLORAL CLUB The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Chris 01322 836026 DARTFORD QUILTERS meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford. We run a varied programme of activities suitable for the beginner through to the more experienced quilter. More details can be obtained from the club secretary on 01474 834872 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/ 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 GUITARS IN THE SHADOWS – JOIN IN MUSIC BY THE SHADOWS TO 60S TO ROCK N ROLL Meet at Dartford Working Mens Club (Essex Road) at 7.30pm on the fourth Thursday of the month. Membership is free but we do ask for a small contribution to costs on the night. Call Ray on 07813 540131 or email guitarsinshadows@hotmail.com COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month at Sutton at Hone Village Hall. 1.30pm until 4.30pm. £3.00 per afternoon (to include a raffle ticket and tea/ coffee) £10.00 yearly fee. We are a small, friendly club, not expensive. Tuition given. All supplies can be bought in situe. Come and see if you like it, You will be very welcome. Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357. WEST HILL MORRIS Come and join your local Morris side, dancing and performing in Dartford, Gravesend and Bexley areas and throughout Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable side, and can always find room for new dancers and musicians. It’s a great way of keeping fit and you’ll be helping to conserve a great English tradition. We practice alternate Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, throughout Kent, from May to August. Private Bookings taken. Contact Alison on 01322 862298, e-mail alisondukes@btinternet.com

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

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 THE MANOR HALL VARIETY GROUP We meet every Tuesday at 8.00 in the Community hall (opp St Paulinus church) Crayford. We are looking for anyone who could help us with sound, lights, scenery or singing/acting on the stage - everyone welcome. Email me (Carolyn) for more details at c_sawyers@hotmail.com. CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy. TALK TIME TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments. HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. 52

For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email - havenx35@gmail.com SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, Dartford, DA2 7RB on the 2nd Sunday of the month between 2pm and 6:30pm. It costs £6 which includes refreshments, nibbles and the use of a cricut (cutting machine for those that don’t know). Beginners are very welcome. Contact Michelle on 07910 488428 or email scrappydays@hotmail.co.uk PAVILION PLAYERS Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome! DARTFORD BELLRINGERS Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.009.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Phone Ester 01322 220458 or email: esther.correia1@btinternet.com North West Kent Family History Society The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see www.nwkfhs.org.uk or ring Janet 01322384836 Erith Model Railway Society has been in existence for over 50 years and has well over 50 active members. As the club continues to grow new members are always welcome. The club meets on Wednesday evenings from around 7.00pm until around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms in Invicta House (aka Belvedere Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, Belvedere DA17 5DA. We have our own entrance off the car park. Unlike many other clubs, we are in the

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fortunate position of not having to share our facilities with anybody else. Some of the members meet on a Tuesday and Thursday to work on the various club layouts that are currently under construction (or being updated). DARTFORD ACTIVE RETIREMENT GROUP,[ DARTARA,] We are a group that meets on second Thursday once a month 2 - 4pm at Fleetdown community centre. At the meeting we have a guest entertainer or speaker, we also organise holidays and day trips out as well as activities including theatre trips, curling, short mat bowls, indoor games, coffee and cake afternoons and an art group. Just turn up on the day or phone Maureen Dixon-Jones 01322 383337 or Glenys Theobald 01322 273108 for more information THE ROTARY CLUB OF THE NORTH DOWNS They meet at the Holiday Inn, Black Prince, Thursday evenings 7:30pm for 7:45pm for Dinner and fellowship. For details phone 07759 863836. THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S REGISTER The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via www.nwr.org.uk or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group. HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP Dartford & Gravesham Branch. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 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 wherever you live and costs just 60p to come along and join in. So why not come and join our friendly welcoming social club? For further information please call either John Letchford on 01322 270732 or Pam Carr on 01322 222195. JOYDENS WOOD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE meet on the third Tuesday of every month, with meetings beginning at 7.45pm. We meet at the Community Centre, Birchwood Drive, Wilmington, DA2 7NE. More information can be

found at joydenswoodresidents.co.uk (under Local Clubs and Societies). CRAYFORD AND DISTRICT PROBUS CLUB meet on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Falcon Wood Club, 1 Falcon Wood Avenue, Welling at 10am. Contact Tony Maun 0208 306 1075 or email Crayford.Probus@gmail.com. FAIRFIELD (DARTFORD) WI 2nd Tuesday of every month, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, 7.30pm. Contact Judith on 01322 278703 CRAYFORD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Jean Monk 01322 557142 DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB A group of retired ladies meet locally for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and enjoy meeting and making new friends. If you would like more information please contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448 MALE? AGED 18 - 44? Want to have fun and do something worthwhile with your spare time? We’ve arrived in Dartford and we are a NEW Round Table Get involved, you WILL enjoy it! www.dartfordroundtable.co.uk THE ROTARY CLUB OF DARTFORD We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm For further details phone: 07706 103706 THE RENDEZVOUS CLUB (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. We enjoy socialising, making new friends and activities including Quizzes, Meals Out, Trips to the Theatre, Cinema, Coach Trips, Gentle Walks and Short Breaks Away. Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 If you would like to join us or require further information please telephone: Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414

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WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up this para sport please contact us on 01474 871484 or alternatively look at our website www.nagfencing.eu ERITH YOUTH RUGBY Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515 LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS Sundays 10:15-10:45 at Swanscombe Leisure Centre. Call Saj on 07903 513104 DARTFORD GYMNASTICS is the only British Gymnastics Club in Dartford to hold the”GymMark” Award for 6 years. Based in Heath Lane, we are a friendly club with super equipment, great coaches and high standards. We do lots of competitions and we do not close through the holidays! Visit our website www.dartfordgymnastics.co.uk for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@yahoo.co.uk LEARN KARATE Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. For more info, visit www.ydma.club or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts. YOGA WITH EMMA Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30am-10:30am At Europa Gymnastics Centre Mondays 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Fridays 7.00pm – 8.00pm at Becket Sports Centre For more information please contact Emma: emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk TEL: 07932 621415 www.samadhi-yoga.co.uk


KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB www.kentexiles.co.uk. Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome HARTLEY SWIMCLUB AT WHITE OAK POOL, SWANLEY We are a friendly group of adults who meet for a social swim every Thursday at 9pm. We’re looking for new members. Why not give us a try? Contact Diane on 01689 871846 or join us one Thursday. Tuesday Morning Yoga Class at Sutton Court, SuttonAt-Hone The class is from 9.30am to 11am and is a mixed ability class - beginners are always welcome. More information is available at www.yoga-vitality.com or please contact Lesley at lesley@yoga-vitality.com or 07531 140646 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 strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person.

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THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON CLUB, a friendly, all ages (must be over 18years old) & all abilities(sorry no beginners) Thursdays at 745-945pm,at the Dartford Girls Grammar School sports hall Shepherds Lane,Dartford,Kent,DA1 2NT For further information email Stephanie.thredgle@btinternet.com

Hall available for regular weekly hire Mon-Fri mornings (max 8am-1.45pm) Cost dependant upon requirement Storage/play area can be included Leyton Cross Social Club, Wilmington

This group was set up after the founder suffered with PND herself and on trying to find support groups noticed there wasn’t any in KENT, We now support mums from all over the world online, in person or at groups. We pride ourselves on being there so no one feels alone or scared when dealing with PND. Groups held every Friday 12-2pm at St Mary’s church hall Greenhithe Kent. Groups are set up in a playgroup style with activities for children of all ages and adults. Free to attend and refreshments/snacks supplied by Mummy on the Mend. Staff are available to talk with should you feel you need extra support. We are also able to help refer parents onto other services if needed. Staff are DBS checked, Frist aid trained and have training in mental health problems. This is a friendly relaxed group for families to meet others in the same situation as them. Our focus is on mental health however anyone is able to attend.

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The Brent Playgroup meet Monday to Friday 9.15am to 12.15pm Term time only. For enquiries please contact: Mobile: 07989073866 Tel 01322 271738 (between 8 and 12:30) email: thebrentplaygroup@gmail.com or call in at any time. Registered for Free for Two Children The Brent Methodist Church Hall PostCode DA1 1XF


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USEFUL NUMBERS Local and National

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 Dartford West Health Centre 01322 222998 Boots Chemist Bluewater 01322 624780 (Late Night) ASDA Greenhithe Chemist 01322 374100 (Late Night) The National Pandemic Flu Service 0800 1513 100 West Kent NHS helpline 0800 0 850850 TRAVEL Heathrow Airport Enquires 08700 000123 Gatwick Airport Enquires 08700 002468 National Rail Enquires 08456 484950 Highways England Info Line 0300 123 5000 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

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

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

Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312. ‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes Park- Contact: 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.com The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

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Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton ...................................................................... 40 Downton Ali Associates.....................................................59 GF + Co...............................................................................41 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS Dream Doors......................................................................10 GPM Designs.......................................................................17 Nightingale Bathrooms......................................................22 Regency Roofing.................................................................13 Steve Cook - Double Glazing..............................................23 CHARITY Beams.................................................................................27 CHILDREN Bippity Boppity Shoppity..............................................43 Hartbeeps......................................................................49 Monkey Music................................................................55 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes...............................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ................................................31 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.........................................................................11 French Pour Tous................................................................41 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians....................................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings.........................................................................7 Fox Estates ........................................................................15 Wisdom Estates..................................................................39 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services........................................22 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage..................................................................60 Shenley Road Garage..........................................................42 HOTELS Campanile.............................................................................4 JEWELLERY Bradleys...............................................................................23 LAW Apex Law...............................................................................6 58

LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................42 NURSERY The Brent Playgroup......................................................56 MEDICAL AND HEALTH Ifield Therepy.................................................................29 Mindfulness Courses....................................................13 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Blondie’s Fitness...................................................................4 Dartford Bootcamps...........................................................32 Fairfield Leisure Centre......................................................30 The Kentones......................................................................47 Why Weight?.......................................................................20 Worried about your childs weight?....................................21 Vibe.....................................................................................28 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................40 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames........................................................................42 SPORTS Fairfield Leisure Centre......................................................37 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing ...........................................................22

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