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November / December 2015


your community / your life / your business

WIN a Family Ticket to Rumpelstiltskin at The MAC Counter Your Christmas Calories Work off those festive indulgences

Road Safety Week

Drive less, Live more

Don’t Get Caught Out

The twelve scams of Christmas

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14. 22.

While many insects go dormant over the winter, others seek protective shelter. Thus fleas, insects, and other pests may become more common sights during colder weather.


From doorstep nuisances to loan shark pirates, from telephone scams to emails notifying us of huge lottery windfalls, National Trading Standards aim to keep us safe.


18. 28.

Christmas is coming and, for some of us, it isn’t just the Turkey that needs trimming! If only it were as simple as a letter off to the North Pole and letting jolly old St. Nick do the hard work.


If you are planning to enjoy a night out over the Christmas period you should be careful to use only licensed taxis or private hire vehicles.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Christmas is a time that many of us look forward to. A time to relax with our family, go out with our friends, a time to do things that are a little bit special, that maybe we don’t do the rest of the year.

If you were planning to get into shape for Christmas and thought you had left it too late, think again. Have a read at our fitness article on page 22 for some motivational advice.

With that in mind this is an issue packed full of Christmas ideas and events to help you start feeling festive.

Christmas is off course party season and if you are going to one, or possibly a few, be wise and don’t drink and drive. Also, don’t take a lift with someone who has been drinking. There is great advice on how to get home safely by Taxi on page 28.

If you are planning to spruce up your home before Christmas, you better get started as time is running out. There is some helpful advice on this subject on page 10. Perhaps you would like to be a bit more environmentally friendly this Christmas and there are lots of ideas on how to do this on page 12. Disclaimer

If you battle with a debilitating illness each day, you may not be looking forward to Christmas at all. Read our article on page 8 with real life stories

that will encourage you to try their unique power assisted machines to help you become more active. All of us here at In-touch really do wish you a very Happy Christmas and we’ll see you again in 2016.

Contact: Susan Gilchrist t: 028 9332 4511 e: w:



Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accidents or any other cause. Newtownabbey In-touch does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher.


Experience a Fairytale Christmas at the MAC In the heart of the city you’ll find the MAC, Belfast’s new arts venue. With two theatres, three art galleries, a FREE family room and a café bar, Native by Yellow Door, the MAC is a great spot for family days out. This Christmas, the venue is going all out by transforming into a fairytale wonderland to coincide with its family Christmas show, Rumpelstiltskin. From its magical Christmas window to the free fairytale forest, here’s a round-up of what you can expect from 22 November: Christmas Light Switch-on, Sunday 22 Nov 3-4pm, FREE Help celebrate the start of Christmas at the MAC on Sunday 22 November from 3-4pm with the unveiling of the magical Christmas Window. With special guest, Northern Ireland’s mind reader David Meade performing, Christmas music and carol singing, not to mention, lots and lots of Lidl goodies, help the MAC sprinkle a little Christmas magic. Free but booking is essential. Book now at Family Show: Rumpelstiltskin 26 Nov – 3 Jan, Child £10, Adults from £12 Proudly sponsored by Lidl Northern Ireland, our family shows are becoming something of a tradition – live music, fun and spectacular action.


Join us this Christmas as we bring a little mischievous magic to the stage in our adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin – the classic Brothers Grimm tale with a typical MAC twist. Meet Emily, our heroine – brave, witty and smart. Be outraged by her father and the king who contrive an unusual and infamous bargain and encounter the strange little man who can do the impossible … at a price. 4 or more Saver We know just how expensive Christmas can be, so we have created the most flexible Family Ticket in town. With our family saver, you’ll automatically save 10% on your booking. Simply add 4 or more Rumpelstiltskin tickets to your basket and we’ll do the rest. Fairytale Forest, from 22 Nov, FREE Take a leaf out of our book and make a visit to the Fairytale Forest, which promises to be a family favourite this Christmas. Enjoy a wistful wander and be enchanted by your favourite fairytale fabels. Holly Jolly Sing-Along, 19 Dec, £7 per child Sing your way through the Christmas classics in this fun sing-along workshop. We’ll be cheering on Rudolph and sleigh bells will be provided! Perfect for 4-7years. Baby Wrappers, 13 Dec, £7 per baby This one is especially for babies that have learned to crawl. Knock

over giant Christmas parcels, crawl through mountains of crunchy wrapping paper and reach for the jingle bells in this multi-sensory workshop. 6-12months (not walking). Just one more thing… MAC sponsors Lidl Northern Ireland bring their fabulous Christmas Market back to Belfast from 13-15 December in Boyds Square (in front of Ulster University, right beside the MAC). Featuring Santa’s Grotto, Traditional Carousel, Magic Letter Drop and much much more. Check out This is just a snapshot of what’s happening at the MAC this Christmas for families. For everything, visit



A Pet For Christmas? By Luke North

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.......... well worth bearing in mind if you’re considering a pet present for the family this festive season. In truth, if you heed the advice of many of our excellent and caring animal charities, most, if not all, will advise against buying a pooch for Christmas. And why’s that? Well, I suppose it’s to do with excitement dying down a few weeks after the big event; it’s to do with the realisation of cost involved – again, a few weeks after the big event; it’s very much to do with another realisation – that dogs need nonstop care and attention. They need daily walks. No, NOT a walk every evening before tea, a walk AT LEAST twice a day, more, for the bigger breeds. They need on-going veterinary care which does not come cheap. They become a close member of the family; leave them for an hour and they may well be beside themselves with anxiety. Leave them for a few hours, and the result will be much more telling. So, for the lazy man like me, what’s the alternative? As I type this, I suggest the answer is currently wrestling in my kitchen. They’re boxing, they’re rolling around under the table. They’re hauling themselves up onto the kitchen chairs, only to helplessly slide off and tumble to the floor, where the wrestling, chasing and stalking will begin all over again.


Meet Felix and Freddie, the latest arrivals in our household. At just

over eight weeks old they’re considered old enough to leave their mum. And her two kittens? Well, they’re having a ball, honestly.

“They’re playful, friendly, boisterous; at times timid, but mostly completely bonkers! They fight on the floor, on their rug, in their new bed, and in the litter tray. Heaven knows how they/we’ll get through the next month or two before they’re allowed outside, after initial injections.” And you couldn’t watch them without smiling. They are endless. If it moves they pounce on it, if it doesn’t move – they pounce on it! I bent to pet them last night and faced a joint, two-pronged, eightfooted attack of growing claws and sharp teeth. And as they grow stronger, it’ll be curtain climbing, wallpaper stripping and constant leaping onto shelves, tables and radiators! But all that frantic clawing and scratching will settle down. As they live with us they’ll become more manageable, more comfortable with each other and their surroundings. They’re still exploring, experimenting. With familiarity comes a greater reliance on home comforts. The snuggling up when

they’re tired. The sprawling on your outstretched knees when they need a neck rub. The more playful, less physical of their little feline personalities will eventually come through. At least, that’s the plan! I hear my wife scolding somewhere in the kitchen. They’re either in her bag of school books, or they’ve discovered a way of turning the magazine rack upside down again before attacking the empty carrier! I’ll go down now and offer to help out. With any luck, they’ll be exhausted very shortly. It’ll do my reputation no harm with them when I freely offer the vast confines of my woolly dressing gown as I laze on the settee, one kitten halfway up my tummy, the other furtively crouching between my knees. At last, peace, quiet, a truce. Until Felix makes the mistake of fractionally moving his tail, then he’ll know all about it as Freddie lines him up in his sights!! Having said all that, I’ll never shift this expanding waistline tyre by watching kittens pawing each other! Think of all the beautiful walks and sights round about, all lost and denied to my gaze as I sprawl on the sofa. I’ll never know the true affection and loyalty expressed by man’s best friend. I’ll never have the outright fun of seeing him splash and cavort along the edge of the sea. Hmmm. Wonder if it’s too late to say, “Let me think about this”!!

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Bringing a little mischievous magic to the stage in their adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin. It’s the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with a typical, mystical MAC twist. For your chance to win simply send in your name, address and contact number by post or via our website with reference: The Mac. Closing Date Friday 4th December To enter please visit and click on the competition link. You can also enter by post sending your answer along with your name and contact number to Newtownabbey In-Touch, C/O Mallusk Enterprise Park, Mallusk Drive, Newtownabbey, BT36 4GN


The Secret is in The Name Active Lifestyle In 1999 I fell down a set of marble steps in a hotel in Turkey. The next day my back was black and hugely swollen. I came home and was treated for a pulled muscle. It was 2000 before an x-ray showed a wedge fracture in one of my lower vertebrae. The damage was done by this stage; curvature of the spine has caused the discs to leak away, leaving bone scraping on bone and arthritis has set in. This means I can only walk short distances and have to use a stick. Consequently I stayed in the house all day with constant pain, numbness and pins and needles in my back. •

I joined Active Lifestyle Centre on the 19th September 2015 and have been exercising 4 times a week.

I noticed myself loosening up from the start.

After 2 weeks the numbness and pins and needles were only there sometimes.

I felt I could walk further by the 4th week, and there was no numbness or pins and needles.

By this stage I was walking without a stick and continuing to grow stronger.

I feel better, and have more purpose to my life. I put the make up on and get out of the house. I am only sorry I didn’t join months ago when I first saw the adverts for Active Lifestyle Centre. - Sharon Gamble (Lisburn) Could you have a more active Christmas? Even in the 5-6 weeks coming up to Christmas you will see a benefit from our gentle exercise system.


In today’s fast paced fast food world, the immeasurable health benefits of exercise are undisputable. However, many people avoid exercise as they are uncomfortable with standard gyms, and intimidated by the blaring music and posing twenty-something’s. At Active Lifestyle, we incorporate gentle, armchair style exercise with a more relaxed, social space. We want to make sure our members are relaxed, comfortable, and above all healthy.

“Sharon’s story, along with many of our other member’s stories, has shown us that only a few weeks of gentle exercise can make a huge difference to not only your body and appearance, but your general state of wellbeing. “ The few weeks from now until Christmas could be spent working on your health, increasing your energy levels and making sure you can keep up with your children and grandchildren! Call us now to arrange an individual appointment, we would love to offer you a free trial of our machines, and chat about your fitness goals, and how we can help you achieve them.

60 Chapel Hill | Lisburn BT28 1BW

028 9266 9342


Useful Numbers Medical Centres

Dr Trimble and Partner Switchboard Dr Shorten and Partners Drs Hutchinson, Ryan & McGuinness Dr Wales and Partners Dr Forde & Dr Quinn Dr McFarland & Partners


Lagan Valley Belfast City Royal Victoria


Medicare (Market Lane) Lowry’s Boots (Market Square) Boots (Market Lane) Boots (Bow Street) Hilden


Crimestoppers Translink NSPCC Age Concern National Debtline Samaritans Mindwise Volunteering Mindwise Community Bridge Building


Belfast International City of Derry George Best City


Lisburn City Library Belfast Central

Funeral Directors Ronnie Thompson S.D. Brown Bobby Morrison

Activity Centres

Brook Activity Centre Glenmore Activity Centre Grove Activity Centre Kilmakee Activity Centre

028 9260 3203 028 9266 5181 028 9260 3090 028 9260 3111 028 9266 6266 028 9260 3133 028 9260 3088 028 9266 5141 028 9032 9241 028 9024 0503 028 9266 4665 028 9267 8430 028 9266 2118 028 9260 2666 028 9266 2193 028 9260 2666 0800 555 111 028 9066 6630 0808 800 5000 028 9032 5055 0808 808 4000 08457 90 90 90 028 9031 5060 075 0168 3439 028 9448 4848 028 7181 0784 028 9093 9093 028 9263 3350 028 9050 9150 028 9260 7367 028 9267 7722 028 9266 0262 028 9030 1848 028 9266 2830 028 9267 1131 028 9030 1545

Primary Schools Ballycarrickmaddy Primary Ballymacash Primary Ballymacward Primary Brownlee Primary Carr Primary Dunmurry Primary Downshire Primary Friends’ (preparatory) Harmony Hill Primary Killowen Primary Knockmore Primary Largymore Primary Fort Hill Primary Lisburn Central Primary Lower Ballinderry Primary Maghaberry Primary Meadow Bridge Moira Primary Oakwood Integrated Old Warren Primary Pond Park Primary Riverdale Primary Seymour Hill St Aloysius Primary St Colman’s Primary St Joseph’s Primary Tonagh Primary Wallace Preparatory Dept & Pre-Prep Unit

028 9264 8360 028 9266 4244 028 9264 8130 028 9266 5635 028 9263 8615 028 9030 1454 028 9268 0640 028 9266 2156 028 9266 4501 028 9266 2111 028 9266 2600 028 9266 3773 028 9266 4505 028 9266 5527 028 9265 1633 028 9261 1529 028 9262 2509 028 9261 1554 028 9030 9920 028 9267 9685 028 9267 6992 028 9263 4243 028 9030 1046 028 9266 2293 028 9260 1532 028 9267 4901 028 9266 4491 028 9267 2311

Secondary & Grammar Schools Fort Hill Integrated College Friends Laurelhill Community Coll Lisnagarvey High St Patrick’s High Wallace High Parkview Special School South Eastern Reg College

028 9266 3670 028 9266 2156 028 9260 7351 028 9266 2636 028 9266 4877 028 9267 2311 028 9260 1197 028 9267 7225

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Departments Main Reception/Switchboard Building Control Waste Management Irish Linen Ctr & Museum Island Arts Centre Lagan Valley Leisureplex Lisburn Tourist Information

028 9250 9250 028 9250 9372 028 9250 9453 028 9266 3377 028 9250 9509 028 9267 2121 028 9266 0038



Getting Your Home Ready for Christmas Christmas is a lovely time to have guests over but the additional people, decorations and presents can make your home feel very crowded. The good news is that there is still time to prepare your home and even do some redecoration before Christmas. 1. Before you start any work, take a couple of hours to declutter your home. We often live with things we no longer need or like, so donate these to the local charity shop. Clearing out now will help make space for when you hang your Christmas decorations later in the month. 2. After decluttering it is a good time to give your house a deep clean. Consider hiring a professional cleaning company if you are short of time and remember to have the carpets cleaned – this simple task can make your home feel like new and really freshen up your interior.

3. Now make a list of all the small jobs that you have been putting off and either set aside some time to tackle them or hire a local handyman. Getting broken doors fixed or replacing mismatched handles will really smarten your interior before your guests arrive. 4. There is still time to do redecoration but be realistic. If you expect to start enjoying the Christmas spirit from early December maybe limit the decorating to creating a feature wall in your living room, or refreshing some of the paintwork. Don’t forget that first impressions count so a well painted front door is an easy way to improve your entrance for little outlay and a well-lit entrance will be more welcoming to guests.


5. If you want to replace furniture you should go out in the next couple of days to order it. Some suppliers close their order books mid November – just try not to rush into a decision that you might later regret. 6. During the winter months it is nice to have a richer heavier pair of curtains. When you change the curtains it will instantly change the mood of a room. Using a traditional check pattern is a lovely choice for winter and Christmas. Rich berry tones will also add a warm tone for the colder months. 7. There is nothing like a real fire to brighten up a room at Christmas. If your old fireplace has been blocked off it can usually be reinstated but you will need to get the chimney and flue checked thoroughly first. A chimney sweep is a good person to call to get the chimney cleaned and they will be able to tell you the condition of your existing chimney and whether or not you may be able to proceed without the expense of installing a flue liner. A CORGI registered plumber can check the flue for leaks and will run a smoke test to see if the fire will operate as it should. 8. After giving your bathroom a deep clean this is a good place to put festive accessories. Seasonal towels add a fun touch, or use Christmas tea light holders. 9. If you are planning to entertain over Christmas, this is the time to get ready for some dancing! It is very easy to add a good sound system to your home without having wires everywhere. WiFi sound systems can access the music stored on your computer or phone and play it through wireless speakers. Have a great Christmas

Lisburn Switched On Event Guide – Christmas 2015 FROCK AROUND THE CLOCK

The Very Christmassy Vintage & Handmade Fair DATE: Saturday 5th December TIME: 11am - 5pm LOCATION: St Patrick’s Pastoral Centre Lisburn, Chapel Hill


CHRISTMAS AT INNS MARKET DATE: Saturday 12th December TIME: 10am – 2pm LOCATION: The Inns Newtownbreda, Castlereagh

DATE: Thursday 19th November TIME: 6pm LOCATION: Market Square, Lisburn

THE FROZEN EXPERIENCE DATE: Saturday 12th December TIME: 11am – 3pm LOCATION: Moat Park Dundonald



DATE: Saturday 28th November TIME: 11am – 4.30pm LOCATION: Market Square, Lisburn


DATE: Sunday 13th December TIME: 1pm - 4pm LOCATION: Lough Moss Leisure Centre, Carryduff

DATE: Saturday 12th December TIME: 3pm – 6pm LOCATION: Market Square, Lisburn



DATE: Friday 4th & Saturday 5th December TIME: Friday 4pm – 9pm Saturday 12pm – 6pm LOCATION: Lisburn Square

DATE: Thursday 17th December TIME: 6pm – 9pm LOCATION: Market Square, Lisburn #LisburnSwitchedOn Funding provided by the Northern Ireland Executive delivered through the Department for Social Development

Admission to all events are free of charge

Having a Greener Christmas? I bet we never think this way but having a greener Christmas can be part of your enjoyment during the festive season without costing the earth. This can vary from recycling your tree to sending e-cards; simple choices you make can save you money and help the planet. Christmas tree There are many arguments for and against real or artificial trees - whichever one you choose try to make it ‘green’. If you’re choosing a real Christmas tree this year, you need to find one that has been grown sustainably and locally. If you have a garden, consider getting a living tree in a pot and with the roots still attached – you can plant it in your garden after Christmas and reuse it next year. Artificial trees need more energy and resources to produce and generally can’t be recycled but they can be reused. An artificial tree could be an option if you would otherwise drive long distances each year to pick up a tree, or if you would be unable to recycle it after Christmas. Artificial trees are designed to last, so make yours greener by hanging on to it for as long as possible.


large group of people, you could cut down the number of gifts by organising a ‘Secret Santa’ where everyone puts their name in a hat and then picks out the name of one person to buy a present for, keeping to an agreed budget. Top Tip: Presents do not always have to be new! Charity shops have a wide range of gifts, from clothes and books to music and jewellery. Choose greener cards and paper Pretty wrapping paper is attractive but using Christmas gift wrap once and throwing it away is definitely not eco-friendly. There are some easy ways to reduce the impact of cards and paper such as; sending e-cards instead of paper cards, buying recycled wrapping paper and cards from shops that give a share of the profits to charitable causes or green initiatives. Make wrapping paper easier to reuse next year by tying presents with ribbon or string instead of using sticky tape, gift tags can be made from old greetings cards. Any kind of unusual paper such as old magazines and newspapers can be used to wrap gifts. Decorations Make sure you buy decorations that can be used for many years or make garlands with fruits like cranberries which can be fed to the birds after Christmas. Natural decorations like holly and mistletoe will give your home a traditional festive feel, and can be composted afterwards. You could also choose a Fairtrade option for chocolate Christmas tree decorations or advent calendars or buy Christmas lights made with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which last longer and are up to 90 per cent more efficient than traditional lights. Always beware of the safety hazards when considering lighting options. Christmas food and drink The average Christmas dinner travels several thousand miles before reaching your table so buying locally produced food and beverages can save a huge amount of transport energy. The chances are that the food will be fresher too.

Greener shopping Want to be a little creative with present giving? Here are a few suggestions: If you are buying electrical goods, try to choose those that will run off the mains and have an Energy Saving Trust recommended label. You will also save the recipient energy and money too. Instead of an item, give a special experience like theatre tickets. Try to buy gifts made from recycled, and recyclable materials, and look for Fairtrade alternatives. If you’re buying for a


Save money and waste less food for a greener Christmas by getting your portion sizes right meaning you only buy the food you need. Try to buy locally in-season food looking for labels which tell you fit has been produced with consideration for the environment. So why not start the New Year in a positive way and make a resolution to reduce, re-use and recycle more of your waste? “Small change= Big difference” Courtesy of




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The Problem of Pests While many insects go dormant over the winter through a process called diapause, others seek protective shelter. Thus fleas, insects, and other pests may become more common sights to you during colder weather. Insects Some simple steps can keep these insects from making a home in your house: •

Seal off holes on the outside of the house, where insects may gain entry. Smaller holes can be patched with caulk or spackle, while larger ones may require concrete to fill.

Check around baseboards and inside cabinets for crevices that could hide six-legged occupants, and fill holes accordingly.

Remove sources of food and water, which include dishes in the sink and crumbs inside cabinets.

Always store food in sealed containers.

Mulch and firewood hold moisture, making them popular hiding places for roaches. Store these at least two feet from exterior walls.

Trim hedges and trees in close proximity to your house. The branches can provide an easy path to the house for insects.

If you have fleas in your home, try to identify the source of the problem. In many cases this is a family pet. To treat fleas on your pet, use an insecticide aerosol spray, pour-on product or a tablet.

Keep Rodents from Taking up Residence Unlike insects, mice and other rodents are not capable of going dormant for the winter, most simply seek a warmer shelter. Mice, rats, and squirrels actively work on building warm nests all year round, often inside homes.


To prevent squirrels and other animals from roosting in the eaves or attic, repair and patch any holes or other damage.

Clean out gutters and overhangs, where rodents can also build their nests.

Store waste like leaves and moss away from the house prior to disposal. These materials are popular nesting materials.

Keep birdseed in a sealed metal container. Mice can gnaw through plastic and eat seeds.

If you have a compost heap, don’t put cooked food on it as this attracts rats.

Check your outhouses, sheds and children’s playhouses. As you don’t use these much in the winter mine and rats can live happily in them for weeks or months on end. Before winter arrives fill in any cracks or gaps, as mice and rats can squeeze through surprisingly tiny spaces!

Common entry points to your home are around pipes, where small cracks are frequently just large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Mice can get through a space as narrow as a ball-point pen. Using steel wool to block holes is very effective.

Keep your doors closed. It seems obvious, but even leaving the door open for a minute to get something from outside is enough time to allow a rat or mouse into your home.

In the house, eradicate clutter that can hide mice and rat nests and provide material for the nests themselves.

You may suspect that your neighbours are responsible for attracting pests into the area, because, for example, they have a lot of rubbish piled up in their garden. In this case, your first step should be to talk to your neighbours and ask them to deal with the problem. If this doesn’t work, you can contact the council’s environmental health department to seek further advice.

If it is evident that rodents have already entered your home be very careful how you try to catch them. For example, poison bait traps, whilst they may be effective can cause the rodent to die somewhere in your home that you cannot reach, leaving an unbearable rotting smell for weeks. If you fear you have rats or mice in your home and you don’t want to tackle the problem yourself, contact your local pest control company.


Christmas What’s On November Harry Ferguson Lecture Night Friday 13th, 8pm-10pm Hillsborough Village Centre Cost: Free entry & supper Ladies Night Thursday 26th, 5pm – 9pm Dobbies Garden Centre Join us for a fun-filled evening, jam-packed with live music, entertainment, beauty treatments, special offers and inspiring demonstrations. Tickets £1 in-store (for Teenage Cancer Trust) PW Christmas Fair Saturday 21st , 10am – 1pm First Lisburn Presbyterian Church There will be plenty of craft stalls and a chance to buy some Christmas presents plus Tea/Coffee and scones Christmas Lights Switch On At The MAC Sunday 22nd at 3:30 pm A truly fairy tale Christmas is planned this year at the MAC, as we transform our venue into a fairy tale wonderland. You can expect: Christmas light switch-on and mind-reading performance by special guest, David Meade, Music by Saint Anne’s Cathedral choir, Opening of our FREE fairytale forest for little fairies to explore and of course, the magical Christmas window. It’s free to attend our Christmas lights switch on event, but booking is essential

December Celebrate Christmas at The Castle Friday 4th at 7.00pm Hillsborough Castle There’s nothing more magical than a castle dressed for Christmas. So don’t miss your

chance to enjoy an unforgettable day of festive experiences at Hillsborough Castle this December. With viewing of all the state rooms, drinks reception and a fabulous chorale group singing in the Throne Room, its’s a majestic way to start the season. Tickets: £20 Adults; £16 Concessions Victorian Christmas Market Saturday 5th, 11am – 4pm Ulster New Zealand Trust at Balance House, Glenavy. Take a step back to magical times at the Victorian Christmas Market at Ballance House. Visit Santa in The Parlour with your children. The fire will be blazing and oil lamps glowing. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine, browse the craft stalls for Christmas gifts and have a mince pie and cream in the Tea Barn. Tickets £2 The Very Christmassy Vintage and Handmade Fair Saturday 5th , 11:00 am Saint Patrick’s Pastoral Centre, Chapel Hill, Lisburn Frock Around The Clock will be returning to Lisburn for The Very Christmassy Vintage & Handmade Fair on Saturday 5th December, 11am - 5pm, and will feature up to 40 stalls of vintage, handcrafted & upcycled fashion, furniture, homewares and collectibles, textiles and decor, jewellery, sweet treats, toys, art, craft, gifts, artisan food, children & baby wear & much more! This event is free!



Celebrating Success at Laurelhill Community College Laurelhill Community College, joined by invited guests Mr & Mrs John Wilkinson, has celebrated yet another year of success for students past and present. Councillor Jonathan Craig, Chair of the Board of Governors, welcomed all guests to Laurelhill to share in recognising and congratulating the academic success of pupils in their GCSE and A-Level examinations. Principal Mr James Martin was delighted to reflect on the successes of the previous academic year in his address. His speech emphasised the importance of collaboration between students, teachers and parents in order to ensure all pupils of Laurelhill achieve their potential: “We are here to learn, we are here to achieve and we learn and achieve best when we work together.” Mr Martin continued to share his delight in the excellent examination results achieved by so many GCSE students in August 2015. Congratulations were extended to GCSE students Jordan Moore who achieved an A*, 5 As and 3Bs, and Katie Tebble with 6As with 3Bs. He continued, “Many of our subjects had a 75% or better A*-C pass rate, including: Engineering, Single Award Science, Art & Design, Learning for Life and Work, Drama, Music, Design


GCSE Student Chris Wilson who achieved A* in Mathematics receiving the McKibbin Award

and Technology, Business Studies, Photography and Business Communication Systems.”

“In A-Level and Level 3 subjects pupils continue to excel with outstanding achievements by Courtney Carey recognised. She achieved 3 A Levels A*-C in History, ICT and Performing Arts and also received the Holland Cup for her fantastic results.” Other areas of school life were celebrated as the college congratulated those who have gained honours and brought honour to themselves, their family and our College in 2014/15. Representative Honours were gained by Casey Bell in Gymnastics and Caitlin and Rhiannon Telford in Squash. Laurelhill Community College was the only non-selective school represented in the NI Schools’ Squash Finals. Mr Martin recognised the dedication of the college’s staff to make such achievements possible, “I say a huge thank you to you on this evening of celebration, and remind you that our success is in no small measure due to your relentless drive for higher standards.”

Top GCSE Students Jordan Wilson and Jordan Moore with Principal Mr James Martin

Open Night Monday 11th January 2016 at 7pm Everyone most welcome

Laurellhill Community College ‘Learning and Achieving Together’

Last Recommended Service Posting Dates

Sat 19th December Mon 21st December Tue 22nd December Wed 23rd December Wed 23rd December

Christmas Postal Dates

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COMMUNITY 6. Ticketing fraud 7. Donating to charity 8. Mobile malware and malicious apps 9. Money transfers 10. Social media scams 11. Dating fraud 12. Mobile payments A lot to consider, but how many of the above are we currently in the process of being duped by?

On The First Day of Christmas..... By Luke North

First published in the late 1700s, the popular carol – or song – is still worth bearing in mind as we approach another season of goodwill and glad tidings – but in the world in which we live today, maybe not so much the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’, how about the ‘Twelve scams of Christmas’! While this may sound like the ramblings of an old cynic, a real-life Scrooge, be in no doubt, there are those around us already putting into action, festive plans which are completely at odds with those you and I may be making. And I take my lead, not from gossip or second-hand tittle-tattle, but from the words of the governmentaffiliated National Trading Standards. From doorstep nuisances to loan shark pirates, from telephone scams to emails notifying us of huge lottery windfalls, National Trading Standards aim to keep us safe from those who spend their time dreaming up new ways of separating us from our hard-earned cash or possessions. Last year they published their ‘take’ on the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ and identified ‘Twelve scams of Christmas’ we should all be aware of: 1. Online shopping 2. Christmas e-cards 3. Auction fraud 4. Holiday Fraud 5. Loan and investment scams


Let’s take no 1: Make sure you understand how the website’s feedback function works. Feedback will give useful information about recent transactions other buyers have made. Check the item’s description carefully – ask questions if you’re not sure of something. Beware of people offering you a deal below the current bid or reserve price. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be aware of phishing emails that look like they come from the online auction or payment site you’re registered with, asking you to update your account details or re-enter them because your account has been suspended. Check the URL in the web browser. A tactic often used by fraudsters is to change the address very slightly (if they’re spoofing an eBay site, for instance, they may have an address such as ‘. . . @’ whereas the real site is ‘. . .’) Or what about no 7? This time of year is traditionally when charities will look for help, and we, in turn, want to help. Most are legitimate – but beware of online fraudsters. Visit the charity’s website by typing directly into your browser, rather than an address embedded on a page. Avoid unknown money transfer companies. If you’re in real doubt, phone the charity. Or no 12, Mobile payments. We ALL use mobiles and tablets for this sort of thing..... Make sure your phone and tablet are password protected – and don’t use ‘password’ or similar, as your password! Install antivirus software and avoid leaving your Bluetooth on – criminals can access your phone more easily through Bluetooth. Unfortunately the season of goodwill does not readily apply to all. Use great care and common sense. Check, and re-check websites, addresses, emails and other e-marketing offers. The old saying especially applies when it comes to today’s technology and what we can do at our fingertips – if it looks too good to be true..........! Take a look at - it makes sobering reading. Forewarned is forearmed. Wherever your fingers take you on the board or pad – have a safe and happy Christmas!

Next issue: January/February 2016 Copy deadline: 11th December Distribution: 4th – 11th January.


Mrs Wilcox phoned her son, “ Did you let the cat out this morning before you got the bus?” “ No, Mum, she’s in the house somewhere.” “ Time to bring out the big guns, then,’ said Mrs Wilcox as she hung up the phone. Mrs Wilcox was a very clever woman and it was very hard to trick her. She went into the kitchen, got some bacon from the fridge and put it on the grill. Five minutes later, she heard a meow. “ Kitty,” she said, “ here’s your breakfast.” Mrs Wilcox put some bacon in the cat carrier. Kitty had never seen it before and jumped right in.

Kitty is a Boy By Paula Matthews Mrs Wilcox looked out the window and heaved a very big sigh. It was raining like crazy, the sort of rain that bounces off the pavement and makes the bottom of your trousers get wet. It was the sort of morning when people are much happier indoors, with dry feet and no need for big, wet, rustling raincoats. Cats are even happier to stay inside when the rain is that heavy. Most people would agree that cats absolutely; totally and utterly hate getting wet. Even more than people do. They hide indoors when the rain falls and don’t come out until it has been over for a long time. I once knew a cat who made herself completely flat and crawled on her belly under a dressing table when bad weather came. A friend of mine saw a cat climbing into the wardrobe when it was raining and it didn’t come back out for hours. “ O, boy,” said Mrs Wilcox, dreading the morning ahead. Kitty was going to the vet. Kitty was a young cat who had just come to live with the Wilcox family. She was beautiful, with a lovely, long black and white coat, big green eyes and a little pink nose. Mrs Wilcox loved Kitty, but she was worried about her. Over the past few weeks, Kitty’s tummy had gotten bigger and bigger and when she walked she swayed from side to side. Mrs Wilcox had begun to think that Kitty was going to have kittens very soon. “ Here, Kitty,” said Mrs Wilcox, but there was no sign of the cat. “ Kitty! Kitty!” she called upstairs and downstairs, but Kitty did not come.


“ Gotcha!” said Mrs Wilcox, and closed the door. They went outside and walked to the bus stop with Kitty meowing loudly. “ I know it’s not nice, but you must go to the vet.” On the bus, Kitty meowed very loudly indeed, “ Shh, Kitty. You are making a scene.” At last they got to the vets. Kitty hissed at a puppy in the waiting room, “ I’m so sorry. She doesn’t like the vet’s.” “Kitty Wilcox.” The vet was calling them. They went into the surgery and Kitty growled. The vet put her hand in the carrier to try to lift Kitty, and she scratched it. “ I’m so sorry! I think she is stressed.” In the end, the vet got Kitty out with a hiss. Mrs Wilcox explained that she thought there might be kittens on the way. “ I have news for you Mrs Wilcox,“ said the vet, “ Kitty is a boy.” “ O, my word! I’m sorry for wasting your time.” “ These things happen, it’s hard to tell,” said the vet, “ What a handsome cat.” When Mrs Wilcox got home, she phoned her sister to tell her all about it. “ He’s not pregnant at all, he’s just fat!” said Mrs Wilcox. “ That’s all that bacon you feed him,” her sister said. That afternoon, Mrs Wilcox went to the shops like she always did. This time, she bought some chicken.


Counter those Christmas Calories Over-indulging always plays a big part in the festive season - and why not? But after a few work parties and family get-togethers, the calories do start to take their toll. If you’re trying to stay in shape, you will not want to hear that on Christmas Day alone, on average we’ll each put away 7000 extra calories on the full Christmas blow-out. But don’t worry, it is possible to eat whatever you want as long as you work it off later. To help you do this we’ve calculated the calorie content of your Christmas treats and come up with a fun exercise session to compensate. For example, if you’ve tucked into a mince pie, you could burn the calories by taking the dog for a 50-minute walk. Here are a few other ideas to help you work off those Christmas Day indulgences. •

Two mini sausage rolls amount to 108 calories. Just 35 minutes of housework - will put paid to this indulgence.

Four Quality Street sweets equal 207 calories. Put your coat on and give your garden a winter tidy up. 40 - 60 minutes will burn between 200 - 300 calories.

One mince pie is 215 calories. Burn it off with 25 minutes of easy jogging or a 50 minute walk with the dog.

A slice of Christmas cake is worth 220 calories. Domestic chores will sort this treat out. Cook for 30 minutes, wash the dishes for another half hour and then do half an hour of ironing.

A handful of crisps and a serving of creamy dips is 200 calories. Shut the living room door, turn up the

music and dance the calories away for 30 minutes. •

One prawn cocktail starter is 410 calories. Get down to your local leisure centre and loose those calories with 30 minutes on the exercise bike followed by 30 minutes of swimming.

A turkey sandwich with all the trimmings is 580 calories. Walk 15 minutes to the gym, do a one-hour step aerobics class, then walk home again. You’ll be tired but guilt-free.

A slice of cheese and tomato pizza is 180 calories. Spend 40 minutes in the park kicking the ball about with your kids.

One portion of cheese and biscuits is 390 calories – 60 minutes on the dance floor at your Christmas Party should take care of this.

Four slices of Terry’s chocolate orange is 192 calories. See off the calories with two 20-minute walks.

A generous portion of custard with your Christmas pudding is around 170 calories. Rearranging the furniture for 30 minutes after everyone has gone should take the wobble out of that one.

A large glass of red wine is 240 calories. An hour and 40 minutes of serious Boxing Day shopping will put paid to this one.

The number of calories you burn will depend on your weight and the examples given are guidelines based on a 10st person. If you have any health concerns you can ask your GP for an exercise referral programme to help you develop a physically active lifestyle.



Transform Yourself for Christmas By Rachel Campbell

Christmas is coming and, for some of us, it isn’t just the Turkey that needs trimming! With office party season imminent and a new year lurking on the horizon too, there may be many a Christmas wish list this year with “The perfect body” on it. If only it were as simple as firing a letter off to the North Pole and letting jolly old St. Nick do the hard work… I spoke to health and fitness expert, Stephen Allen (owner and founder of “Core Fitness NI”- a Newtownards based class and spin studio) to find out how anyone can transform their body in time for Christmas. With an impressive 14 years’ experience as a personal trainer, gym manager and nutritional coach, Stevie is very knowledgeable not just about the theory, but also the practicalities of creating lifelong healthy habits. Read on to discover how you can achieve a healthy, new you in just 6 weeks! Beating the statistics Whilst many of us are successful in taking up a new health and fitness regime, research shows that at least 1/3 will quit within the first month. According to Stephen, this has a lot to do with the expectations that people have from a new fitness regime. “The problem for a lot of people is that they set unrealistic goals” he says, “and when they don’t achieve them their motivation is gone. Then that’s the end of the road for them.” For those who do stick with the gym, it can still be hard to find the motivation and right mix of exercises to ensure progress. “Taking a gym membership can sometimes be the wrong decision for some types of people” Stephen continues “An extra investment of a good personal trainer is well worth it in my eyes – you then become accountable for your training and nutritional intake, you train in a progressive manner that produces results and set clear step by step goals to keep the motivation high.” This makes logical and financial sense- when you tot up money wasted on unused or unsuccessful monthly gym subscriptions, this could easily pay for a block of 1:1 personal training sessions, where the odds of success are infinitely better.



That said, even with a quality training plan and dedication, many (myself included) still fall at the final hurdle- nutrition. Whilst, you may feel that a brutal exercise session justifies an indulgent takeaway or sugar binge- it is more likely to swiftly undo all that effort and calorie burn. On this point Stephen is especially clear: “You cannot out train a bad diet. For all the work that we will put in the studio – it takes only a few seconds to put those lost calories back into your mouth!!”

Ultimately though, the biggest struggle is the time crunch that most modern people find themselves in. It’s often a tricky balancing act just juggling work and family responsibilities, so how do we slot exercise into the mix too? According to Stephen- it’s easier than you think: “1 hour is only 4% of your day, so everyone should find some time to train. If Barrack Obama can find time to train then so should everyone.” ‘Nuff said. Can you really transform yourself in only 6 weeks? The core fitness motto is “Twice the results, half the time” and while this may seem like a pretty tall claim, the truth is that with the correct fitness regime, diet and determination, anything is possible. Realistically, if you were to commit to a proper exercise and diet regime today, you could lose a whopping 10lbs of fat- and possibly more. And certainly, this is what Stephen is offering his clients at Core fitness NI with his very own 6 week personal transformation programme.

especially when working to a tight deadline of 6-8 weeks. But exactly how much “pain” and commitment is involved to get those elusive results? “I am very excited about the transformational program and cannot wait to see the results that my clients get at Core Fitness NI!!” Stephen says “It involves 6 weeks of hard training, including 1 weekly personal training session with yours truly, group sessions 3 times a week, nutrition guidance and pre and post body fat analysis to track success” That translates into 24 training sessions over a six week period, supplemented by a clean, high protein diet. For those who are truly committed, Stephen says the success will be tangible - not just for the six weeks, but potentially long term. “Generally the clients that really dedicate themselves to the program are successful” He explains, “and the ones that have too many food or drink binges are not. 6 weeks is a great amount of time to create healthy habits to integrate into your life going forward.” Does it actually work? Well that remains to be seen- but let’s put it to the test. Personally speaking, I have the ultimate motivation to shape up this Christmas- given that my wedding is on 22nd December.

Promising a mixture of “strength training for fat loss and a mix of high energy, fun sessions geared towards increasing muscle tone and reducing body fat”, the 6 week programme aims to achieve those health and fitness goals whilst ensuring fun and variety- all in time for Christmas!

With this in mind, I have taken the plunge and signed up to the Core fitness 6 week transformational challenge. Though I do pride myself on working out around 4 times a week- I am affectionately known at my local gym as “the girl who doesn’t sweat”. Unfortunately, even if I was pushing myself to greater athletic heights, the effort is quickly washed away in a sea of Pepsi max, chocolate binges and gut-busting takeaways. Stephen - you have your work cut out for you. ReadersWatch this space!

What does it actually entail? Whilst the lure of lost inches and pounds is no doubt attractive, there is as the saying goes “No gain without pain”,

Look out for the results of Rachel’s 6 week transformation and her progress diary in the January edition of “In touch”.



Shortcrust Pastry or Pie Dough (makes 625g/1 lb 6 oz, or enough for 12 muffins sized pies, or 1 quantity)

The most versatile, everyday pastry, this is great for sweet pies - or simply omit the sugar for savoury tarts. Mix by hand or blitz in a food processor. The key is to use just enough water to bind the pastry for a wonderful crumbly texture that melts in the mouth. Ingredients:

To make by hand: put the flour and sugar (if making sweet shortcrust) in a mixing bowl, then add the butter and shortening. Toss together, then lift the mixture and rub it through your fingers and thumbs. Continue scooping up the mixture and rubbing until it looks like breadcrumbs. Gradually mix in the water with a round-bladed knife, then squeeze the mixture together with your hands until it forms a smooth dough. To make with an electric mixer or food processor: put the flour, sugar, butter and shortening in a bowl and mix together using the electric mixer or add to a processor bowl fitted with plastic or metal blade and mix briefly. It should resemble breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water with the machine running and mix briefly until it just comes together in a ball. Wrap the pastry in a clingfilm or put it into a small plastic bag, and chill in the fridge for15 minutes. Knead the pastry lightly on a surface dusted with flour, then roll it our thinly. Using a plain or fluted cookie cutter, stamp out circles 10cm/4 inches in diameter and use to line a 12-section deep muffin tin. Alternatively stamp out circles 6cm/21/2 inches in diameter


350g/12 oz plain flour (plus extra for dusting)

55g/2 oz caster sugar, optional

85g/3 oz unsalted butter (chilled and diced)

85g/3 oz vegetable shortening (chilled and diced)

4 - 41/2 tbsp cold water

and use to line 2 x 12-section mini muffin tins. When you can cut no more circles, squeeze the trimmings into a ball, then reroll this out and cut round lids, strips for lattice tops or tiny shapes. Tips: Keep everything as cold as possible. Use butter and vegetable shortening straight from the fridge. If your hands feel hot, rinse then in cold water before you begin. Use cold water to bind. A marble pastry board is useful (but not essential) for keeping the pastry cold while rolling out. Don’t add too much liquid. Use just enough to bind the crumbs. For shortcrust/pie dough you need 1 teaspoon of water for every 25g/1oz of mixture. For larger quantities change to tablespoons (1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons). If you use too much water, the pastry will be hard. Avoid over-flouring the work surface. Aim for the lightest of dustings and rub a little flour over the rolling pin. Before turning the pastry, loosen it with a long flexible palette knife. By LoveFood Classics Copyright @ Parragon Books Ltd 2012


Chicken Pot Pies (makes 12 muffin sized pies)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease 12-section muffin tin. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken and white sliced leeks and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the leeks are softened. Sprinkle the flour over the top, mix together, then add the stock, Noilly Pratt and a little salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Add the green leek slices and cook for 2 minutes, or until the leeks are just soft. Sprinkle over the tarragon, parsley and capers and leave to cool. Roll two-thirds of the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface. Using a plain cookie cutter, stamp out 12 circles each 10cm/4 inches in diameter. Press these gently into the prepared muffin tin, rerolling the trimmings as needed.

These dainty pies are ideal for a light lunch. If you are feeling extra hungry you may have room for two! Ingredients: •

25 g/1 oz salted butter, plus extra for greasing

1tbsp olive oil

500g/1 lb 2 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1cm/1/2 inch cubes

1 leek, about 175 g/6 oz, thinly sliced, white and green slices kept separate

• •

2 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting 450 ml/16 fl oz chicken stock

4 tbsp Noilly Pratt or dry white wine

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh tarragon

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp chopped capers

1 quantity Savoury Shortcrust pastry, chilled

1 egg yolk mixed with 1tbsp water, to glaze

Salt and pepper

blanched asparagus, to serve

Brush the top edges of the pie cases with a little of the egg glaze, then spoon in the filling. Roll out the reserved pastry and any trimmings on a lightly floured surface. Using a plain cookie cutter, stamp out 12 circles each 7 cm/3 inches in diameter. Arrange these on top of the pies, pressing it between the finger and thumb of your left hand and pressing the edge with your right index finger or a small knife to make a scalloped pattern. Brush the pastry with egg glaze; add leaves cut out from rolled pastry trimmings using a sharp knife, then brush these with egg too. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then loosen with a round-bladed knife and transfer to serving plates. Serve hot or cold with asparagus. By LoveFood Classics Copyright @ Parragon Books Ltd 2012



Road Safety Week

Remember skipping happily to school, without a care in the world? Remember cycling to the park with friends, laughing and chatting, without noisy traffic speeding past? Remember walking down your street, bumping into your neighbour, and stopping for a good catch-up? We’re not sure we do either: maybe it used to be like this, or maybe these are just scenes from an old TV programme. These days, the reality for many of us is that we step out our front door, go a few metres to the car, and drive, even if we’re only going round the corner. Those of us who walk or cycle usually have to brave busy, noisy streets, full of pollution, fast traffic and risky drivers. Is this the way we want it?

4 in 10 car journeys are less than


could you


drive less and live m re?

“At Brake, we think road safety isn’t just about driving safely and legally or using the green cross code (although they’re important). It’s about making our streets safe and pleasant for everyone to use freely, and it’s about us all doing what we can to protect ourselves, people around us and the planet we depend on. A big part of that is driving less, as little as possible, or not at all if you can: it can make a huge difference to road safety and your health, wallet, community, and the planet.”


Every day people die on UK roads That’s why this Road Safety Week, we’re encouraging everyone to consider how they use roads, and if they can ditch some driving, and instead walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible. Work out how much money you’ll save, calories you’ll burn, and pollution you won’t create, and build it into your routine. If you are driving, drive slowly and smoothly, and GO 20 in towns and villages, to protect people on foot and bike and reduce fuel use. And if you’re already a walker, cyclist or public transport user, or wish there were better alternatives to driving in your area, join us in speaking out about active and sustainable travel and safer streets for all, such as by supporting our GO 20 campaign.

Driving less can Some ways you could get involved and help promote our reduce traffic theme: and danger • you’re an employer, you could: set up a scheme inIfencouraging youractive area and sustainable commuting and/ or run a car free day for staff; organise a sponsored run Roador bike ride; run an activity showing how many calories Safety walking and cycling burns; analyse your ‘at-work’ Brake Week mileage to see if journeys can be reduced or better planned to improve efficiency; Co-ordinated by

Two thirds (63%) of trips are made by car, including four in 10 (40%) trips of less than two miles.

Average walking trips per person have decreased by 27% since 1995.

Incorporating activity like walking and cycling into everyday life is effective for losing weight.

In 2013 there were 1,770 people killed and 22,377 people seriously injured on UK roads. The vast majority of casualties are attributable to driver error.

On average a family can save £642 a year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling.

22% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from road transport.

Air pollution is estimated to cause 24,000 deaths a year in the UK, half attributable to road transport.

The number of cars is set to increase by 43% by 2035 and traffic delays by 50%.

If you’re a local council, road safety practitioner, volunteer or community leader, you could:

run a car free day for your town, signing up employers and schools to be involved; help local schools and companies run any of the activities suggested above; run a local survey to identify barriers to active and sustainable travel and identify and make improvements;

A few facts on why our theme is important •

Sponsored by

the road safety charity

set up a section on your website or send out a special bulletin to local contacts promoting active and sustainable travel options in your area and highlighting cost savings and other benefits; •

If you’re a school or college, you could: run a travel survey, or task students with doing this, to help build a picture of how pupils are getting around; map out safe active travel routes in your area, promote these to students and parents through a display or web page, and communicate any improvements needed to your local authority; run lessons and assemblies that explore the benefits of sustainable and active travel, using ideas in Brake’s teaching guide.



Get Home Safely this Christmas and New Year If you are planning to enjoy a night out over the Christmas period you should be careful to use only licensed taxis or private hire vehicles. Travelling by taxi is generally very safe, but it is important to make sure the vehicle is licensed and to take sensible precautions. An unlicensed taxi is operating illegally and has not gone through the checks on drivers and vehicles that licensing authorities enforce. Don’t use a taxi if: •

The driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol The driver does not seem to know the local area The vehicle seems to be too old for use as a cab The vehicle is in a state of disrepair The vehicle is not displaying taxi plates

• • • • • All taxis should have licence plates shown. These will be on the front, back and side of the taxi. The colour of the licence plate shows what type of taxi it is. Never use a taxi that does not have a licence plate. A licensed taxi driver must have an identification badge showing their photograph and badge number. Do not use a taxi if the driver does not have one. When using a taxi, you should: • • • • • • • •

Try to pre-book at busy times or if you have special requirements Arrange to travel home together and ensure no one is left behind, saving you money and staying safe If you have booked a taxi, confirm it is for you by checking the driver knows your name and destination Check that the driver is displaying an ID badge Always sit in the back of the taxi If you want to chat, keep it to things like the weather Always wear your seatbelt Keep your mobile phone where it is easily accessible.

Make a note of the number plate and driver’s licence number, and if uneasy text them to a friend or family. Fares Some taxis use taxi meters to work out the fare. It is a good idea to check what the minimum fare is and make sure the taxi meter shows this amount before you set


off. You should not be charged more than is shown on the taxi meter. If the taxi does not have a taxi meter, ask the driver how much they think the fare will be. Get your money ready when you get near where you are going. When you book a taxi: • • •

Tell them what time you want the taxi Say where you are and where you want to go Ask how much the fare will be

Remember - always carry the number of a taxi company when you go out.

In Belfast a public hire taxi will have yellow licence plates. A yellow licence plate means that you can stop a taxi in the street. Hold your arm out to let the driver know you want them to stop while you are standing in a safe place on the footpath. You can also get a taxi like this from a taxi rank. These taxis are wheelchair accessible and must have a taxi meter. You don’t have to phone up and book. Outside Belfast a public hire taxi will usually look like a normal car but it must have white taxi licence plates. This means that the taxi can be booked before you travel or you can stop a taxi in the street by holding out your arm. A private hire taxi usually looks like a normal car but it must have a green licence plate. You must phone up and book the taxi or call in at a taxi depot. These taxis are not required to be wheelchair accessible or have a meter. Before booking a taxi ask a family member or friend if they can recommend a reliable taxi company that you could use.

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The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the cars shown are: urban 30.1 (9.4)–72.4 (3.9); extra-urban 51.4 (5.5)–88.3 (3.2); combined 40.9 (6.9)–80.7 (3.5). The official CO2 emissions are 159–93g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment figures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary with driving styles, road conditions and other EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment figures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary with driving styles, road conditions and other factors. 2015. Cars shown with optional metallic paint, *Prices shown include delivery to dealer, number plates, 20% VAT, 12-month Government road fund licence and £55 first registration fee. Prices shown are valid when ordered and registered by 31 31 December August 2015. available at an additional £525. Offer subject to availability, while stocks last.


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Maintain The Value of Your Car We’re all worried about the cost of fuel, road tax and our next service, but the single biggest cost of motoring is depreciation. Allcars depreciate and some are worse than others - big, expensive saloons, for example, shed their value much faster than small, fuel-efficient hatchbacks. The average new car will have a residual value of around 40% of its new price after three years (assuming 10,000 miles/year) or in other words will have lost around 60% of its value at an average of 20% per year. While there’s no avoiding depreciation, you can soften the blow. Valuation experts at British Car Auctions (BCA) have crunched the numbers and come up with the top 10 ways to avoid being hit in the pocket when you come to sell your car. Read on for the lowdown. 1. Regular Servicing Keeping up with the maintenance schedule can literally add hundreds of pounds to the value of a three- to five-year old car. Having the work done at a franchised dealership is very worthwhile for new cars, but not so much for older models. 2. Keep the mileage down. Sounds obvious but a car with lower mileage will attract more interest from second hand buyers, especially if the service record confirms the mileage is genuine. 3. Don’t buy an entry-level version Base-spec models are difficult to sell second-hand, particularly if it’s an executive car like a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz. A good, mid-specification model with a few extras will hang onto its value the best. 4. Avoid quirky limited editions Off-the-wall special editions with lurid paint and interior schemes are best left alone. They have a short shelf life and quickly become unwanted on the used market. 5. Choose tasteful paintwork Go for a paint job that suits the car, rather than what might be your favourite colour. A colour that’s in vogue today won’t necessarily be popular in a few years’ time, though smaller cars can get away with brighter paintwork. Matt or flat finishes can look tired very quickly, so they’re best avoided, as are beige or white on big cars, as they end up looking like taxis. Sober colours and metallic paint are always a good bet, but black can make big cars look like hearses.


6. Steer clear of modification ‘Pimped’ cars are a big turn-off for buyers, so don’t bother. Also, you’ll never get the money back that you’ve spent on the modifications when you come to sell on, so it’s really not worth the effort. 7. Leave the engine alone ‘Chipped’ or remapped engines can improve a car’s performance and even its fuel economy. The downside is that a buyer will often think such a car has been thrashed - even if it hasn’t. 8. Buy popular A car that was popular when new is still likely to be a hit with used buyers. Common cars also have cheaper parts costs, as supply is stronger. 9. Registration matters Try not to buy a car registered late in December, as it will almost instantly become ‘last year’s model’. That said, you can get fantastic showroom deals on such cars, so it’s sometimes worth it. 10. Be wary of ‘run-out’ models Buying a car that is about to be replaced by a new version is a bad idea, as it will age quickly when the face lifted one hits the road. As with the registration scenario, this can be worthwhile if you get a great deal in the showroom - if not, don’t bother. 11. Keep it in good nick Looking after your car will pay dividends. Repairing bodywork damage before it corrodes or gets any worse is a great way to avoid depreciation, as is not smoking in the car. A good scrub and polish before the car goes up for sale will make all the difference, too. Courtesy of


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Down Down & & Down PerDown month Per month # # on Passport Personal Lease on Passport Personal Lease & & including a £500 Roadside contribution Down Down Per month Per month # on Passport Personal & Lease# on Passport Personal Lease& including a £500 Roadside contribution Per month Per month This summer we at Roadside Motors Lisburn are offering unbeatable on Passport Personal Lease#

on Passport Personal Lease#

value that includes 3 year warranty and 3 year breakdown cover including a £500 Roadside contribution This summer we at Roadside Motors Lisburn are offering unbeatable along with unbeatable finance offers. Even better if you produce this value that includes 3 year warranty and 3 year breakdown cover advert when purchasing any new Peugeot before 31st August and we along with unbeatable finance offers.Lisburn Even better if you produce this This summer we at Roadside Motors are offering unbeatable will give you your first service free of charge! st 31/12/15 advert when purchasing any new Peugeot before 31 August and value that includes 3 year warranty and 3 year breakdown cover we will with give you your firstfinance service offers. free of Even charge! along unbeatable better if you produce this advert when purchasing any new Peugeot before 31st August and we will give you your first service free of charge!

Roadside Motors Lisburn Roadside Motors Lisburn Roadside Motors Lisburn

22 Market Place, Lisburn Tel 9267 7412 22 Market Place, Lisburn Tel 9267 7412

Official Fuel Consumption in MPG (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) for the 108 range are: Urban 52.3 62.8 (5.4 - 4.5), Extra Urban 74.3 83.1(l/100km) (3.8 - 3.4),and Combined 65.7 - (g/km) 74.3 (4.3 - 4.1) and CO2are: 99 Urban - 88 (g/km) Official Fuel Consumption in -MPG CO2 emissions for the 108 range 52.3 and22 for the 2008 range are: Urban 32.1 – 68.9 (8.8 – 4.1), Extra Urban 54.3 – 85.6 (5.2 – 3.3), Market Place, Lisburn Tel 9267 7412 62.8 (5.4 - 4.5), Extra Urban 74.3 - 83.1 (3.8 - 3.4), Combined 65.7 - 74.3 (4.3 - 4.1) and CO2 99Combined - 88 (g/km) 43.5 –and 78.5 3.6) and CO 2 150 – 9532.1 (g/km). for(6.5 the–2008 range are: Urban – 68.9 (8.8 – 4.1), Extra Urban 54.3 – 85.6 (5.2 – 3.3), Combined MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road 2 150 – 95 43.5 – 78.5 (6.5 – 3.6) and CO Official Fuel Consumption in MPG (l/100km) and your CO2(lease/purchase) emissions we (g/km) for theyou 108 are: Urban 52.3 driving conditions. Terms and conditions apply. Over 18’s only. To(g/km). finance may introduce to arange limited number of lenders. A MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road guarantee may be required. Roadside Motors is acting as a credit broker and is not a lender. Finance provided by and written quotations available from PSA 2 99 88 (g/km) 62.8 (5.4 4.5), Extra Urban 74.3 83.1 (3.8 3.4), Combined 65.7 74.3 4.1) and CO driving conditions. Terms and conditions apply. Over 18’s only. To finance your (lease/purchase) we may (4.3 introduce you to a limited number of lenders. A Finance UK Ltd t/a Peugeot Financial Services, Quadrant House, Princess Way, Redhill, RH1 1QA. #Passport Personal Lease examples: 108 Access 3dr 1.0

The Dublin M50 toll is barrier free and is located between Junction 6 and Junction 7 on the M50.

How does the M50 Toll work? 1. You drive under the M50 tolling point (pictured above) 2. Cameras automatically read your Vehicle registration number (when travelling in both directions) 3. The toll charge is then assigned to your vehicle depending on its size 4. You have until 8pm the day after your journey to pay the toll 5. If you miss the payment deadline of 8pm, fines will be issued to the vehicle owner’s address.

It’s simple to pay before the 8pm deadline • Prepay for your journey on – Simple! • Pay before 8pm the day after your journey on – Simple! • Go to your nearest participating outlet – Simple!


















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Lisburn In-touch Nov/Dec 2015  

A Community lifestyle magazine covering events, family life, health, home improvement, motoring and community news for the Lisburn area in N...

Lisburn In-touch Nov/Dec 2015  

A Community lifestyle magazine covering events, family life, health, home improvement, motoring and community news for the Lisburn area in N...