Kudos issue 26

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lifestyle magazine for Kent and East Sussex

Issue 26





Hello Welcome to the January/February issue of Kudos.

It’s the start of a new year – always an exciting time because who knows what the next 12 months will bring. The last year proved surprising on the world stage (think Brexit and Trump), and busy as far as Kudos was concerned. We’ve steadily built our business and Kudos has had its best year. Let’s hope 2018 proves just as successful! In this issue, we celebrate women in the run-up to International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8th March. IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This is no recent event – the first IWD was run by the Suffragettes in 1911. Our fashion photo shoot, which we shot at the beautiful Alexander House Hotel & Spa in East Grinstead, is a celebration of real women. Alison Abel, who runs boot camps in Tunbridge Wells, persuaded three of her regulars (plus one of the girls from her Fit n Abel netball team along with her mum) to take part in the feature. And they were fabulous! We should all be proud of who we are and they should be really proud of themselves, too. Keeping with the women’s theme, we meet four inspirational women. Comedian Katherine Ryan talks about balancing motherhood with a burgeoning career, and three local women share the stories behind the start of their business ventures. We also talk to Refuge, the first charity to offer a safe house to abused women and their children.

Twitter & Instagram: kudoskent www.kudoskent.co.uk Managing Director: Robin Tucek Publishing Director: Hannah Tucek Editorial Director: Ann Wallace Creative Director: Neil Constant Sales Director: Meral Griffith Fashion Editor: Sally-Ann Carroll Photographer: Matt Harquail

Advertising Sales:


Of course, it wouldn’t be the new year without a bit of a health kick (new year’s resolution anyone?) so we hunt down the top health and wellness trends for 2018. If you are looking for some inspiration on how to make some positive changes to your life this year, then this is the feature for you. Still on a healthy theme, check out our recipes for peanut butter smoothies, plus we’ve also got the latest exercise equipment, and why you should fill your home with houseplants. If 2018 is the year that you want to change your home then our house feature will give you some inspiration. We also have a really colourful kitchen to inspire you – don’t be afraid to be bold! Happy new year from all of us at Kudos.

Hannah Tucek Publishing Director

Contents 8 Kudos loves... 11 News & events 22 Pets corner 25 Love celebrity 29 Love fashion 42 Love health & beauty 52 Love food and drink

Kudos is published bi-monthly by:

56 Love home 70 Love garden

While every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. All rights reserved. Prices and details correct at time of going to press. No part of this publication may be produced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.



74 Love education 86 Love family 88 Love business 96 Love charity 98 Love heroes




Ditchling Beacon





Taken by Matt Harquail




Things we love this issue From keeping cosy to a healthy winter warmer

Get your bobble on Who said bobble hats were boring? These snazzy ones by Cabaїa allow you to mix and match your pom poms to suit your mood and your outfit. You pick your bobble-hat model (choose from short, long, thick, thin, plain or coloured) and select three pom poms of your choice. A magnetic clip system based at the top of the bobble then allows you to change and personalise your bobble hat with the pom poms. Price: £29.95 (£24.90 for kids version) www.cabaia.co.uk

Health in a cup Considered by many to be one of the healthiest and possibly the trendiest drink for 2018, turmeric lattes are set to become a firm favourite. Turmerlicious is a new brand of instant turmeric lattes, made from a blend of coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, a hint of black pepper (to aid the absorption of the turmeric), and coconut blossom nectar to add a touch of sweetness. Creator Maggie Howell has developed four delicious, naturally-flavoured turmeric lattes – Vanilla, Ginger, Choco and Chilli-choc, which are dairy- and gluten-free. This Oh So Good hot drink is made from the whole turmeric root, now considered a superfood, with each mugfull containing around 1.5g of turmeric – an excellent daily dose to help kick-start the health improvements associated with turmeric. Price: £6.95 per 200g pack (10 servings) Sample 20g packs also available at £1 each www.turmerlicious.com

Hey there, foxy! Get ready for winter with these adorable slippers to pop on when warming by the fire. This snuggly style is fabulously foxy, with a comfortable turnover opening to keep feet warm and toasty – it can even be personalised with your name. With sewn-on ears and embroidered eyes and nose, there’s even a little tail to help you pull your new slippers on and off! Price: £29.99 www.prezzybox.com 8






Upfront What’s new and happening

Anyone for coffee? Popular Hastings coffee shop rebranded as The 1066 Bakery Café Kitchen Last October, Mr Bean Coffee House in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre in Hastings underwent a huge renovation and has now reopened and rebranded as The 1066 Bakery Café Kitchen. This follows the successful rebrand of the coffee shop at the Conquest hospital in 2016, and is one of three 1066 Bakery Café Kitchen coffee shops. They are a local, fourth-generation family bakery that produces high-quality products, including coffee and sandwiches, using locally-sourced ingredients. The original bakery was started in 1950 as the 1066 Bakery in Castle Hill Road by Harold and Betty Robertson. Their grandchildren, Tara, Ben and Darren, now run the company. Says Tara: “We have created a more modern, comfortable space indoors and out, with a newly-built outdoor seating area. In addition, we now have a children’s chill-out room upstairs, which includes Lego construction stations, a book corner and train-set table. We also have lots of window seats for customers to enjoy watching the world go by in comfort, plus quieter areas for customers to work or pass the time with a newspaper and coffee.” The original Mr Bean Coffee House opened in 1997, when the new Priory Meadow Shopping Centre was built, and they were the only coffee house in the centre. “With almost 20 years’ experience of running the coffee house, we feel we are in tune with how people of all ages choose to live and work,” says Tara, “and this is reflected across our coffee shops, with atmospheric areas for socialising and working and quiet spaces to relax. Venture upstairs into the ‘turret’ space to discover a place where you can be free from the stress of home or work, whether it’s for the whole afternoon or just five minutes.

Relax on our large comfy armchairs, perhaps choose dominoes or draughts to pass the time, or connect to our Wi-Fi and kill some time online. “The major refit in Priory Meadow has absolutely transformed the site, attracting new customers as well as offering something new and exciting for our much-loved regulars. It’s now an amazinglooking store which we are really proud of.” Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 8am-5:30pm and Sunday, 9am-4.30pm.

International recognition Childrensalon wins at the Drapers Awards It was awards time again for Childrensalon as they picked up the Drapers Awards International Fashion Retailer of the Year category, which recognises a leading fashion business demonstrating financial success in its operations outside the UK. The winning business must have successfully expanded outside the UK, boast a strong business strategy for international growth and have a good understanding of the customer needs in the relevant markets. Michele Harriman-Smith, CEO of Childrensalon, was delighted to win the award, saying, “I would like to thank the amazing team at Childrensalon. Without their hard work and dedication, this incredible achievement would not be possible.” 2017 was a remarkable year for Childrensalon. The company was included in the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain and 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe table, hosted by the London Stock KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Exchange. It ranked 85 in the Sunday Times HSBC International Fast Track 200, and was voted Employer of the Year at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards. Michele Harriman-Smith also won Private Business Woman of the Year at 2017 UKPBA. LOV E NEWS


WIN a beautiful pendant necklace and luxury bouquet for the one you love Catherine Hills Tiny Bee necklace and Darling & Wild’s Ethereal bouquet Catherine Hills creates beautiful, award-winning jewellery with a strong identity. It’s tactile, sensuous and undoubtedly feminine. Walk into her shop on the corner of The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells and you’ll find a boutique bursting with history and exquisite craftsmanship. The cabinets are filled with diverse collections that exude individuality and while browsing, you can watch Catherine craft flawless and distinctive pieces. A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Catherine was handpicked as the jeweller for the Harry Potter films. Inside her shop, you can imagine being transported into Diagon Alley, with its magical and mystical feel, brimming with intrigue and wonder. Established in 2004 and located in beautiful premises just off The Pantiles, Darling & Wild specialises in luxury florals for weddings, events and the home – owner Lara Haynes has achieved national recognition for her bridal flowers. Darling & Wild’s signature style is as nature intended and they support local growers where they can. Darling & Wild love textures, scent and foliages, incorporating these into their designs. They can deliver beautiful bouquets locally and have a constantly-evolving range of pots, indoor plants, planted containers and bulbs, and objets trouvé for the home or as gifts.

And the prize: A stunning Catherine Hills silver and oxidised sliver Tiny Bee pendant necklace, worth £220, and a Darling & Wild Ethereal Beauty bouquet made with scented narcissi, wonderful silver grey foliages and delightful spray roses. How to enter: Send an email with ‘Valentine’ in the subject line with your name, address and contact number to editorial@badbettymedia.co.uk before the closing date of 31st January 2018. By entering the competition, you agree to your details being shared with Catherine Hills and Darling & Wild, and to receive occasional details of promotion from them. We would never pass your details onto anyone else. If you wish to opt out please include the words ‘opt out’ after your contact details in your entry email.







WIN a Valentine’s Day meal for two Dinner, wine and cocktails at Jean’s Kitchen & Wine Bar Jean’s Kitchen & Wine Bar is a family-friendly restaurant based in the heart of St Johns in Tunbridge Wells. Best known for great burgers and popular cocktails, they also offer a wide variety of dishes, from traditional to street-food twists. Jean’s has a smart downstairs restaurant, glitzy upstairs wine bar, garden terrace and detached coach house available for private hire.

And the prize:

The lucky winner and partner will enjoy a three-course dinner with a bottle of house wine, followed by a cocktail in the bar on the evening of 14th February 2018.

How to enter:

Send an email with ‘Jean’s’ in the subject line with your name, address and contact number to editorial@badbettymedia.co.uk before the closing date of 31st January 2018. By entering the competition, you agree to your details being shared with Jean’s Kitchen & Wine Bar and to receive occasional details of promotion from them. We would never pass your details onto anyone else. If you wish to opt out please include the words ‘opt out’ after your contact details in your entry email.

WIN a meal for two in Brighton

Enjoy the best of British food at relaunched Stanmer House Grade-I listed ‘Proud Country House’, Stanmer Park in Brighton was brought into the Proud Group in 2016 and has now been fully restored with juxtaposing antiques and reclamation-yard finds, ’70s glamour and modern patterns, whilst still retaining the original charm of the 295-year-old house. The house is available for weddings, events and for private hire. There is also a new restaurant, Source, which looks set to take the Sussex dining scene by storm by championing the region’s local produce. Serving a seasonal British menu using fresh fish, meats and produce from within a 20-mile radius, Source is simply and beautifully-cooked food, served at a price that is fair for everyone, from producer to guest. Head Chef James Mitchell brings his new ‘farm-to-fork’ approach to Proud Country House, having previously worked for The Savoy Hotel and Hilton Park Lane. His enthusiasm for lovingly-made food shines through, as James explains, “I believe in starting with the very finest ingredients, treating them with respect and letting the quality speak for itself. We have something for every palate – from light salads to beautiful on-the-bone rib of beef.”

How to enter:

Send an email with ‘Source’ in the subject line with your name, address and contact number to editorial@badbettymedia.co.uk before the closing date of 25th February 2018.

And the prize:

A three-course meal for two from the Source menu with a bottle of house wine. The meal must be taken during the month of March. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Out and about with Kudos

Image credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

Nature watch

All in the mind

Discover more about conservation and local wildlife as part of Hever Castle’s February half-term event, Living with Nature. Following on from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (27th- 29th January) and the Big School’s Birdwatch (2nd January-23rd February), families and individuals are invited to visit the historic castle in Kent between 10th-18th February to enjoy Living with Nature, aimed at school-age children. Find out how to create habitats and encourage wildlife into your garden, join RSPB volunteers on a stroll around the grounds to learn about natural and manmade habitats, or take a self-guided ‘Wildlife Detective’ walk to investigate animal footprints and tracks. Learn about nature throughout history, from how fur was used to keep warm to which birds belong to the Queen. Encourage creepy crawlies into your garden by building a bug house (additional charge) or buy a bag of bird food (50p) and feed the birds and ducks.

Mindgame is a mindbending psychological thriller from the pen of Anthony Horowitz – creator of Foyles War, Midsomer Murders the BBC’s New Blood, Alex Rider, Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty and the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis. When Mark Styler, a writer of glossy ‘true crime’ paperbacks, tries to get an interview with Easterman, a notorious serial killer, he has no idea what he’s walking into. First he has to get past Dr Farquhar, the quixotic head of Fairfields, the asylum where Easterman is kept. But he soon discovers that nothing is what it seems. Who is the mysterious Borson? Where did he get the meat in the fridge? And why isn’t the skeleton in the closet? Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK, unique for working across so many media – juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism. He is on the board of the Old Vic Theatre and regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines on subjects ranging from politics to education. He has been a patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices and the anti-bullying charity, Kidscape, since 2008.

Learn about wildlife at Hever Castle



Anthony Horowitz thriller comes to Tunbridge Wells

Mindgame is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, from Tuesday, 30th January to Saturday 3rd February.




Win a family ticket to Cirque Berserk! Enter our competition and see the spectacular theatre-circus extravaganza for FREE

After sell-out West End runs and tours in 2016 and 2017, Cirque Berserk! the UK’s biggest theatre-circus spectacular is back with a full nationwide tour. And you could win a family ticket to see the show at the performance of your choice (subject to availability) at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, from 31st January to 3rd February. Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, Zippos Cirque Berserk! is a danger-filled spectacle to amaze audiences from five to 95. It brings this treasured form of live entertainment bang up to date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created specially for theatre. Witness the world’s most dangerous circus act with the legendary motorcycle Globe of Death – four motorcyclists reaching speeds of over 60mph within the confines of a locked steel cage. Plus, experience thrilling acts from over 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. Amazing physical comedian Tweedy also joins the troupe, making it family entertainment at its best! We have TWO FAMILY TICKETS (each for two adults and two children) to give away. Our winners will be given an exclusive photo-opportunity to stand beside the motorcycle Globe of Death before a performance and take your own photos with the dare-devil riders on their stationary machines. Just email to tell us: How fast do the bikers ride inside the Globe of Death? Send your answer along with your name, phone number and email address to: editorial@badbettymedia.co.uk to arrive by 25th January 2018. Cirque Berserk! will contact winners to arrange their show tickets. There is no cash alternative. The organisers’ decision is final. To book on-line for 2018 Theatre Tour dates and venues, show times and prices please visit www.cirqueberserk.co.uk

Chiddingstone treats

Gift vouchers and festival passes Friend’s birthday coming up? Chiddingstone Castle has just launched their new gift vouchers, so now you can give someone the experience of seeing Kent’s only mummified cat, enjoy eating delicious homemade scones and jam, or fishing with beautiful views of the North Downs. Or how about one of their limited-edition 2018 Literary Festival Sunday Passes? The lineup for the festival in May is just about finalised, with some fabulous authors, performers, illustrators and workshops planned. The Sunday Passes allow you to enjoy seven talks from renowned authors – including Ian Rankin – in the castle grounds, visit the castle’s historic rooms and collection of art and artefacts, and enjoy a free glass of wine in the festival bar. It’s the perfect present for book lovers! Shop now at chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/ giftvouchers or by calling 01892 870 347 18


Fire and Ice

New challenge for ellenor Following the great success of both ellenor’s Firewalk and Chilli Dip over the last seven years, the charity will be creating the ultimate temperature challenge – Fire and Ice, a double event to raise vital funds to support families facing terminal illness in Kent and London. Join them on Friday, 16th February at 7pm to tread the fiery coals at Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells, and then plunge yourself into the freezing waters of St Julian’s Club in Sevenoaks on Saturday, 17th February at 10am. All fire walkers will receive refreshments and all chilli-dippers will receive a warm bowl of chilli after the event. For more information, visit the events page at www.ellenor.org/events KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Diamonds are forever

Castle Fine Art presents the latest diamond-dust collection In his latest collection of limited-edition, diamond-dust silkscreen prints, Simon Claridge has taken iconic images from the hallowed archives of legendary English photographer Terry O’Neill. In a career spanning more than half a century, O’Neill pioneered the iconic celebrity portrait and became famed for his instinct and ability to capture his subjects in candid, and sometimes unorthodox, poses and locations. His portraits, which can be found hanging in galleries and private collections around the world, are a visual timeline chronicling the movements of major names from the Hollywood elite, to rock-and-roll stars and even royalty from the 1960s onwards. He has been credited with changing the face of photography, and was recognised by The Royal Society of Arts with a rare Centenary Medal, of which only one dozen have ever been awarded. Representing a worldwide first, O’Neill’s photography has never before been translated into a silkscreen print, much less had Claridge’s signature diamond-dust treatment. Adding to the selfimposed pressure Claridge felt in working with some of O’Neill’s most famous portraits, he also found himself faced with technical challenges during the production of this edition. So beautifully lit are the original images, he found the reproduction stretched even his expertise with the silkscreen printing process.

Also an accomplished photographer himself, Claridge has long admired the work of Terry O’Neill. For that admiration now to be mutual is a source of great pride for him. Putting paid to the common misconception that one must never meet their heroes for fear of them not living up to expectations, Claridge describes the collaboration as “a meeting of minds” between two fellow artists, each with an appreciation for the other’s style.


That’s entertainment Latest releases on screen

Make the most of winter with screenings under the stars during January and February at Moonlight Drive-in Cinema January screenings

Star Wars – The Last Jedi

Pitch Perfect 3

The Greatest Showman

It’s received five-star reviews, described as “a blockbuster movie packed with invention, wit, and action galore”. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, it’s the second in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, Rey develops her newly-discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

After the highs of winning the world championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of showbusiness and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Starring Hugh Jackman as Barnum, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron, the film tells the story of how P. T. Barnum started the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and follows the lives of some of its attractions.

February screenings

Molly’s Game

The Post

Fifty Shades Freed

The true story of Molly Bloom ( Jessica Chastain), a beautiful, young Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defence lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe.

Set in the early 1970s, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper – The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four US presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

This is the third and final installment of the erotic romance Fifty Shades trilogy. After accepting entrepreneur CEO Christian Grey’s proposal in Fifty Shades Darker, Anastasia Steele must adjust not only to married life but to her new husband’s wealthy lifestyle and controlling nature. Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, the newlyweds fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But new threats could jeopardise their happy ending before it even begins.

Moonlight Drive-in Cinema is at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY Book on-line and print your tickets. Then park up (15-30 minutes before start time), turn lights off and get comfy. Order some food, if you wish. Tune FM radio to 106.1, adjust the volume and enjoy the film! Price: £25 + 90p booking fee per vehicle. www.moonlightcinema.com




Pets corner

It’s time to turn the spotlight on your best friends!

Rehoming corner

We are proud supporters of South East Dog Rescue & Rehabilitation, who are committed to helping even the most troubled of dogs. In this issue, Daisy is looking for a home...

Make their day

Did you know, you can adopt one of these cute guys at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park near Maidstone? An Adopt an Animal pack costs just £20 a year, which goes towards keeping one of the farmyard animals fed, watered, clean, well-housed and happy for one calendar year. The pack includes a photo of your furry friend, along with a certificate, a complimentary ticket to visit, and a fact sheet telling you all about their daily life and requirements. Kent Life is home to a variety of creatures, including alpacas Wispa, Cookie and Biscuit; donkeys Ellie, Dora and George; goats Eric, Beano, Dandy and Gizmo; horses Tasha and Walter; ponies Lily and Truffles; and pigs Anastasia and Jasmine. Pictures and short biographies of each of these animals are featured on the Kent Life website. www.kentlife.org.uk

Meet amazing Miss Daisy!

Daisy is an approximately six-year-old Collie X Jack Russell. She’s an energetic and loving girl who has been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Daisy is great with other dogs and kennel-shares with males and females, large and small, but does need sensible introductions when on the lead. Daisy adores children but they need to be dog-savvy as she is bouncy and does jump up. But SEDR are working on this and she is a very quick learner! However, she can’t live with cats or small furries. Daisy will need an active home with someone at home for a good part of the day and would excel at agility or similar. She travels well in the car and is a perfect patient at the vets. Daisy has clearly been loved and is finding herself sad and confused at not having a home of her own. If you can offer Miss Daisy a place in your heart and your home, please fill in the pre-adoption form on the website www.sedogrescue.co.uk

Amazing animals

Meet some of nature’s most unusual creatures One of the most prominent features of the Gobi jerboa, a species of rodent, are their ears, since they are almost three times as large as their heads. In terms of mammals, they have one of the biggest ear-to-body ratios out there. Their large ears give them extra-keen hearing, which helps to serve as added protection in their vulnerable environment. The great size of their ears also helps to cool their bodies by dissipating heat, since they live in deserts. The tiny nocturnal mammal, which was discovered in 1925, hops just like a kangaroo. Little hairs on their feet, almost like snow shoes, allow them to jump along the sand. Conservation status: Least concern • Distribution: Mongolia & China • Habitat: Deserts • Diet: Insects Height: 5-15cm • Weight: Under 1kg • Number of young: 1-3 • Life Span: Up to 6 years 22






Glittering prize Canadian stand-up comedian Katherine Ryan is on the road with her new show Glitter Room, which is bound to be another successful jewel in her comedy crown

Words: Brian Donaldson KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Every year seems to be busier than the one before for London-based Canadian stand-up Katherine Ryan, but she’ll have to go some to top 2017. Among her achievements over the past 12 months was becoming only the second UK-residing comic to have their own Netflix stand-up special (the Hammersmith Apollo-filmed In Trouble). Meanwhile, her TV profile has risen further by helming Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich and co-hosting Comedy Central’s Your Face Or Mine in tandem with Jimmy Carr. But now she’s set to take her place back on the nation’s live stages by kicking off a brand-new national tour with Glitter Room, her first live show since the majestically-successful Kathbum, which had a pair of sell-out runs across the UK. Oh, and they’re beginning to see the light in the US, as well, where she performed some stand-up on Conan O’Brien’s influential late-night entertainment show, while a couple of years back she appeared in her homeland at Toronto’s Oddball Festival with Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer as headliners. “I do a lot because I’m a very gamey person, so as soon as anyone offers me something ridiculous like ‘do you want to dance on this special charity show?’ I’ll say yes,” admits Katherine. “It’s not because I say yes to everything, just that I love to do different things and I have a very fun job. What I don’t have is a social life, so friends will say ‘let’s go and do this or that or have a weekend away’ and I can’t. But if I’m not working, the key is to spend as much time as possible with my eight-year-old daughter, Violet, and just be home doing absolutely nothing. In Japanese, they talk about ‘ma’, the space in between clapping that’s emptiness. It’s important in life to have some nothingness and that’s what I need to have when I’m not working.” Her hard work though is definitely paying off as she’s steadily climbing up that ladder to the top of the UK stand-up tree. Hopefully she doesn’t suffer from vertigo because the Glitter Room is only going to take her yet higher. Obvious question: what the heck is the glitter room? “It’s about this little thing that Violet said which encapsulates how charmed my life is now. I bought a flat, which is quiet and peaceful and clean and floral and we have these tiny little dogs: everything is a warning for a man to stay away. The other day Violet said [adopts well-spoken English accent] ‘mummy, if you need me I’ll be watching Mean Girls in the glitter room’. I have this life that I never pictured for myself. I grew up in an Irish Catholic family in Canada and thought I would have a normal family life: instead I have a glitter room.” As well as being a very personal show about her own career trajectory and life development, Katherine is hoping to hit upon some universal truths with her material. “Whenever you try to broaden your audience with something like a Netflix special, you have to talk about themes that are relatable to others. So this show is a lot more universal, about my life as a single mum and as a woman in this century who is questioning what kind of life I need to have.” One of the things which people who have seen her live work will immediately associate with Katherine Ryan is a pinsharp analysis of pop culture and of the celebrities who populate the glossy magazines and plasma screens. She is renowned for her no-nonsense take-downs of the likes of Cheryl Cole, Peter Andre and Oscar Pistorius but she admits to taking a slightly different perspective in Glitter Room on that level of celebrityhood. “I do love a comedy roast. It’s a language that people in comedy can understand but some of my old stuff was heard by the celebrities that I was talking about and, you know, I don’t want to 26


hurt anyone. It turns out I do actually have a conscience! Comedians can be provocative but I know that they don’t want to hurt people, they’re just trying to make things lighter and funnier. I will still talk about the Kardashians, but in a less negative way. Maybe I’m just getting wiser.” Wiser maybe, but no less funny, thankfully. Both of those attributes were to the fore in her series, How’d You Get Rich where she met up with some stupendously wealthy individuals. Did she take any life lessons away from making that programme? “When you look across your block of flats to these mansions and you think ‘oh gosh they must be special and smart’, but the thing is, they’re not special. They have a very strong work ethic and they take risks but they aren’t that different to you or to me. A certain level of self-belief and commitment to your goal will take you a very long way.” For now Katherine Ryan is putting some of her TV work on hold to get back on the road and entertaining the nation. “I’m excited to be touring again. People ask me if TV or touring is more important and I just think that you can’t have one without the other. Comedy is a conversation and it’s good to see other towns on a tour. I just hope that people like me and don’t get sick of me for a few more years.” No chance of that, Katherine. Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells on Thursday 25th January at 8pm. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk / Box office: 01892 530613 @ahttw AssemblyHallTheatre KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018






& be h lt a e h , n io h s a F

KNICKERBOCKER GLORY Sally-Ann Carroll plus Team Kudos went undercover at Alexander House, where six fit and fabulous local ladies showed off their shape in style in a suitably brief encounter

Winning work out

Pink bikini, ÂŁ73, from Siren & Pearl. Trainers, Candy Damsel, ÂŁ140.

CREDITS Fashion Editor: Sally-Ann Carroll Photographer: Matt Harquail www.mattharquail.co.uk Hair: Greg Morgan at Morgan Hodges using Oribe haircare products Assisted by Bryony Bond Make-Up: Helen Lee, Kent bridal and editorial make-up artist www.helenleemakeup.co.uk Make-Up: Gemma Pass www.gemmapass.com All the kimonos are one of a kind, hand-made from sustainably-sourced silks by Violet Elizabeth www.violetelizabeth.com All shoes from Irregular Choice www.irregularchoice.com Lovell & Vie, 46 Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks www.lovellandvie.co.uk Entre Nous, 4 London Road, Westerham www.entrenouslingerie.co.uk Pour La Femme, 87 High Street, Tunbridge Wells Siren & Pearl, 96 High Street, Rye Rigby & Peller, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe www.rigbyandpeller.com LittleWomen www.littlewomen.com Alexander House www.alexanderhotels.co.uk KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Girl power

(from left to right) Alison: Powder lace bra, £64.95 and briefs, £29.95, from Siren & Pearl. Strawberry Hill vintage sari silk kimono, £85. Shoes, Ava's Aviary, £225. Jules: Mulberry bra, £82.95, and briefs, £37.95, from Pour La Femme. Magenta Morning Fair-trade handloom silk kimono, £245. Shoes, Montee Carlo, £125. Carol: Silver lace bra, £81, and briefs, £40, from Rigby & Peller. Silver Ranunculus, vintage hand-painted sari silk kimono, £120. Shoes, Shimmer, £129. Stacey: Peach blush bra, £29, and briefs, £15, from LittleWomen.com. Smoking Paisley vintage sand-wash silk kimono, £120. Shoes, Tabbris, £125. Nicola: Teal lace bra, £29.50, and briefs, £16, from LittleWomen.com. Seagrass iridescent vintage silk kimono, £95. Shoes, Rainbunny, £165. Kadi: Oyster lace bra, £94, and knickers, £62, from Lovell & Vie. Bandhani Sunset vintage silk kimono, made up in a Bandhani-style block print, £115. Shoes, Queenie, £99.99.




Drink to it!

(from left to right) Stacey: Vanilla latte lace bra, £30, and thong, £16, from LittleWomen.com. Shoes, Bassey, £69.99. Nicola: Black bra, £29, and briefs, £16, from LittleWomen.com. Shoes, Rainbunny, £165. Kadi: Black floral bra, £72, and briefs, £44, from Lovell & Vie. Alison: Red lace bra, £84.95, and briefs, £32.95, from Siren & Pearl. Shoes, Ava's Aviary, £225. Jules: Noir lace bra, £82.95, and briefs, £37.95, from Pour La Femme. Shoes, Montee Carlo, £125. Carol: Red lace bra, £98, and briefs, £41.95, from Rigby & Peller. Shoes, Ascot, £85.




And so to bed

(from left to right) Jules: Teal lace bra, £85.95, and briefs, £38.95, from Pour La Femme. Teal Peacock Fair-trade power-loomed silk kimono, £275. Kadi: Silver and bronze bra, £79, and briefs, £43, from Lovell & Vie. Iridescent Vines hand-painted vintage silk kimono, £120. Shoes, Queenie, £99. Alison: Rust lace bra, £54.50, and briefs, £28, from Siren & Pearl. Indian Christmas intricate traditional south paisley kimono, from a range. Stacey: Champagne Bralette, £16.99, from LittleWomen.com. Teresa Rafaela vintage hand-painted sari silk kimono, £95. Shoes, Tabbris, £69.99. Carol: Charcoal lace bra, £115, and briefs, £55, from Rigby & Peller. Midnight Sky vintage sari silk kimono, £120. Shoes, Shimmer, £129. Nicola: Champagne lace bra, £31, and briefs, £17, from LittleWomen.com. Cleopatra Fair-trade power-loomed silk kimono, £495. Shoes, Bassey, £69.99.




Glamour girls

(from left to right) Alison: Black and gold bra, £51, Italian briefs, £32, and waspie, £53, from Entre Nous. Shoes, Ava's Aviary, £225. Carol: Midnight lace chemise, £156, from Rigby & Peller. Shoes, Shimmer, £129. Jules: Noir lace bra, £82.95, and briefs, £37.95, from Pour La Femme. Shoes, Up The Ante, £130. Nicola: Black lace bra, £29, and knickers, £17, from LittleWomen.com. Shoes, Evening Stroll, £115. Stacey: Peach satin bra, £26, and briefs, £16, from LittleWomen.com. Shoes, Original Diva, £159. Kadi: Noir black lace bra, £92, and briefs, £60, from Lovell & Vie.




After dark

(from left to right) Carol: Black lace bra, £70, and briefs, £49, from Rigby & Peller. Shoes, Shimmer, £129. Kadi: Red lace bra, £44, and briefs, £19.50, from Lovell & Vie. Gold woven chainwork kimono in Fair-trade hand-loomed silk, £645. Shoes, Kir Royal, £135. Alison: Black lace body, £38, from Entre Nous. Shoes, Ava's Aviary, £225. Nicola: Black lace bra, £29, and briefs, £16, from LittleWomen.com. Sita Devi Fair-trade power-loomed iridescent silk kimono, £225. Shoes, Evening Stroll, £115. Stacey: Storm Bralette bra, £19.99, and briefs, £9.99, from LittleWomen.com. Shoes, Bassey, £69.99. Jules: Red lace bra, £59.95, and briefs, £28.95, from Pour La Femme. Hotel Tropicana vintage sari silk kimono, £95.




Pool party

(from left to right) Stacey: Printed bikini, £142.95, from Pour La Femme. Alison: Pink bikini, £73, from Siren & Pearl. Carol: Cranberry swimsuit, £147, from Rigby & Peller. Kadi: Orange swimsuit, £105, from Lovell & Vie. Jules: Violet swimsuit, £61.95, from Pour La Femme. Nicola: Printed swimsuit, £152, from Rigby & Peller.





Meet the ladies from our fabulous fashion

Most of our ladies met at Alison Abel’s boot camps (www.fitnabel.com). Here, we find out a little bit more about them...

Alison Abel

What she does: I’m a Personal Trainer and run my own business called Fit N Abel, helping local ladies and men to build self-confidence and achieve a healthier lifestyle. I run boot camps on Tunbridge Wells Lower Common on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9.20-10.20am and Tuesday evenings from 7.00-8.00pm. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with young teenagers at the local Girls Grammar School. I teach them a variety of fitness techniques which has allowed girls that have struggled to enjoy normal sporting activities to be involved in fitness with a twist. Why she did the shoot: I was recommended to Kudos by Hannah Gee, a friend of mine. She featured in the magazine recently and looked incredible, so I thought, why not? It was also the opportunity to help another local business. What’s important to her: I believe my love of fitness and helping people somehow stems from my past and the enjoyment I got from playing sports at school. I am fortunate to have drive, but I realise that others do struggle, and that’s where I want to help. My life has been a real roller coaster of changes. I was born in Toronto, Canada, where I was adopted at six months old. My parents were British citizens and when I was four, we moved to the UK. I met my knight in shining armour, Neil, when I was 21 and he was 27. He’s my best friend, my rock, and the best father I could ever ask for our children, Phoenix and Lennox. We moved to Spain to make a new life for ourselves renovating properties but the market slumped, so we moved back to Tunbridge Wells and restarted our lives here with great support from our extended family. In more recent years, I have made contact with my biological family, which is still an amazing and new experience. I suppose we all face different battles and demons in life but I believe that being healthy and active helps us overcome these times and makes us stronger people. On her boot camp: I love running them and thrive off my clients’ enjoyment. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Nicola Withers

What she does: I’m a freelance copywriter (Nicola Withers Editorial Services, www.nweditorialservices.co.uk). I write web copy and blogs, as well as social media account management and project work for a CV-writing business (City CV, www.citycv.co.uk). I’ve always loved words and writing so making the leap in setting up my own word-based business has been quite exciting – and a bit nerve-wracking. Why she did the shoot: Alison mentioned she had been approached for the shoot and said Kudos were looking for ‘normal’ women who were happy in and proud of their bodies and had body confidence. Since training with Alison, I have more confidence than I ever have had and thought it would be interesting, fun and new to try – and a treat of a day off work! I was also lured by the promise of a professional make-up artist as I am rubbish at putting on make-up! What’s important to her: Since my son was born in 2006, my husband and I have been raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital – Harry was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, when he was only eight weeks old. We were lucky it was caught so early as it often goes undiagnosed until three or four years old, by which time it’s incredibly difficult to treat successfully. We were looked after and treated by the amazing GOSH and while we can never repay the debt we owe them, we do what we can. On Alison’s boot camp: As a runner, I always thought I was fairly fit. I scaled back on the running and decided to have some personal training sessions with Alison. I loved it from the very first session: Alison’s motivation, energy and passion for fitness and life quickly rubbed off and I never looked back. At the end of my PT sessions, I started going to boot camp and met a brilliant group of people, all working towards their own goals but under Alison’s enthusiastic tutelage. No two sessions are the same and we all take away something different, as well as forging firm friendships. LOV E FASHION


Jules Roberts Dunn

Kadi Wyke

Stacey Cole

Carol Cole

What she does: I work as a Registered Nurse in a private hospital and it worried me that if I ever had an operation at my previous weight, my colleagues would have to use special measures to move me onto the theatre table. That is no longer the case. Why she did the shoot: I decided to do this photo shoot as I have been on a weight-loss and fitness journey and have lost four stone since 1st January 2017. I recently hit my weight-loss target and wanted to celebrate this victory. I did this with the help and support of my Slimming World group and continue to go to support others and also to make sure I stay on track. On Alison’s boot camp: I go twice a week to boot camp. I love going even though some days it’s freezing and pouring with rain and more of a struggle to go. But the benefits outweigh the negatives and most of all we have lots of fun and laughter. As a group of strong women, we support each other, encourage each other and push each other to do our best.

What she does: I’m recently married, 29 years old and a Nursing Sister at Tunbridge Wells Hospital’s Acute Medical Unit. How she met Alison: I first met Alison a year and a half ago when I joined the Fit n Abel netball team – as well as the boot camp and personal training, Alison runs and coaches a netball team. We meet every week to play matches in the Tunbridge Wells league. It’s a great team – we are ladies between 25-50 who work, and most are mothers. It’s a fun way to exercise without the real seriousness of competitive netball. I have made some good friends and we always have a laugh; we’ve bonded over our love of netball. 38


What she does: I am in my 40s and a mother of two. I work as a financial adviser with a well-known wealth management firm. I’ve worked in banks and financial institutions for the past 20 years. Why she did the shoot: Alison convinced me to do the shoot as I’m not that confident with my body and I would never have done this in a million years if it wasn’t for going to Alison’s boot camp. I was glad to be a part of the shoot and to have allowed myself to get out of my comfort zone. On Alison’s boot camp: I joined the boot camp in September 2016 as I was tired of the gym which was not producing the results I was looking for. My weight fluctuated over the years and I wanted to do something about it. I now do boot camp three days a week, come rain or shine, and I feel so much more alive and active and part of a team. I feel the camaraderie is mainly the reason I still attend – though the boot camp works wonders for my energy levels and wellbeing in general.

Why she did the shoot: My daughter, Stacey, was asked to do the photo shoot by Alison, and Stacey asked her if I could do it, too! At first I was unsure about agreeing, at my age, in lingerie for a magazine which was to be published in my local area! But I thought about it and decided, why not? I have a big birthday coming up this year, so I did it for all the older ladies out there who, like me, are as young as they feel. And what a way to see out my 50s! I throughly enjoyed the day, especially having my hair and make-up done by professionals. The lingerie was gorgeous, the shoes were quirky and there were some amazing designs. My daughter and I shared an experience we will never forget. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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Meet our sponsors from our fabulous fashion shoot

Friction Free Shaving

FFS are offering women metal-handled razors through their door from as little as £5 per month. We know that shaving isn’t all silky sheets and posing in the bath; it takes shoga poses (Shaving Yoga) to tackle all of those hard-to-reach areas! With metal handles and four replacement blades a month, FFS are giving women the same treatment as men for a fraction of the price on the high street. Their brand new Rose and Silvia razors have a rose gold and chrome finish – and you can have your name engraved onto these gorgeous handles.



The company was born out of necessity when designer Jenny Buettner couldn’t find an undergarment that did not show underneath her sleek, silk gown. Every product on the market showed lines somewhere, whether it be across the hips from panties that touted “no lines”, or shapewear that pushed bulges out over the hips and tights. After much trial and error, the No-Line Strapless Panty was born! Since the launch of its initial product, Shibue has expanded to include new and innovative products that solve fashion dilemmas. Women of all ages and sizes are encouraged to experience the new freedom offered by Shibue!



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Get the look Local make-up artist Helen Lee and hairstylist Greg Morgan at Morgan Hodges tell you how to recreate two looks from our fashion shoot

Make-up 1. Prime the skin using MAC Strobe Cream in Goldlite. 2. Naturally define the eyebrows using a small slanted brush, and mixing together MAC Fix+ and MAC eyeshadow in Brun to create a watercolour paint consistency. 3. Prime the eyelid using Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion. 4. Create a vivid eye using MAC eyeshadows in Expresso as a base, All That Glitters over the lid, and Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Asphyxia into the inner corner. Using Barry M Fixer Gel, press on Lit Cosmetics fine glitter in Angel Eyes to add sparkle. 5. Wipe away any fallout from the glitter and eyeshadow before applying MAC Matchmaster Foundation to the skin, using a flat foundation brush. 6. Set the foundation using MAC Studio Fix Powder. 7. Use Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit to contour and highlight the skin, and give a pop of colour to the cheeks using Makeup Geek Blusher in Secret Admirer. 8. L ine the lips with Urban Decay Lip Pencil in Pandemonium and apply their Lipstick in Shallow. 9. Finish with a spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray for 16-hour wear!

Hair 1. A pply KMS Volume Styling Foam evenly through freshly-cleansed hair, then blow dry. 2. Take a triangle section from each side of the temple area of the head to the crown, pin up and secure with a clip. 3. Using KMS Workable Hairspray, spray evenly throughout the section below the pinned-up area. 4. Using a Mason Pearson brush, brush evenly and pull back into a knot or pleat. 5. Using a curling iron, take horizontal sections through the top and set. After cooling down, backcomb and style into a disheveled quiff.

www.helenleemakeup.co.uk www.morganhodgeshair.com





Health kick

We hunt down the top health and wellness trends for 2018


A British food and wellbeing brand offering monthly subscriptions and one-off boxes packed full of the latest healthy food and drink options, ingredients and supplements to help kick-start or enhance a healthy lifestyle. Subscriptions and one-off boxes are available at www.lifeboxfood.com with prices starting from £14.95.

Vitamin Coffee

The revolutionary way to get your vitamin intake. Every cup is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, adding a nutritious kick to your coffee whilst still tasting delicious. Each bag of premium ground Vitamin Coffee is made from expertly-roasted beans sourced in Asia, Africa and Central America that complement the vitamin mixes to make them almost unnoticeable. The range consists of three vitamin blends: Complete, Defence and Energy, each of which offers unique health benefits. In this era of ‘instants’ and with the trend for subscription boxes catering to all interests and tastes continuing to gain momentum, Vitamin Coffee offers a fortnightly subscription service so customers always have their favourite caffeinated fix to hand. For additional convenience, Vitamin Coffee is packaged in a way that can slip easily through a letter box. A 14-day supply is £8.95 which equates to 63p per day. www.vitamincoffee.co.uk

The Plant Base

If you’re a fitness enthusiast on your way to a spin class, or need some energy before you go and pump some weights at the gym, make a stop at The Plant Base on Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells. The café is expanding its range of fitness and nutritionallybased, home-made protein and raw food snacks, balls and shakes. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Says owner Geff Stone, “There’s a lot involved in nutrition, and each piece of advice is more complicated than the last. So let’s keep things simple. One thing that’s agreed across the board is that a wholefood, plant-based diet is better for you. And we should all probably eat more fruit and veg, less sugar and salt, and less processed foods. “Plant-based energy boosts are going to be very popular this year, as people want something more natural than shakes and bars made from protein powders. At The Plant Base, we combine good-quality plant-based protein blends of ingredients like quinoa, pea and hemp, with whole nuts and whole seeds that are naturally high in protein and energy, as well as good fats. We’ve put a lot of effort into creating high-protein products that tick every box and are more enjoyable to consume – they’re not just a mouthful of powder! “Our new Grab and Go counter is also going to be big this year. You can now grab something on your way to your yoga class without having to wait. Currently, we have a selection of lunch bowls, consisting of mixed grains or salads with different toppings and sauces, for example a broccoli bowl or a sweet potato bowl. We also do a chia pudding pot and an overnight oats pot with fresh fruit, protein balls, raw chocolate brownies… lots of healthy, wholesome foods that are ideal on the go and give you a muchneeded energy boost. “We are also seeing a growing interest in what is collectively known as Rainbow Lattes – for example, beetroot, turmeric and ginger. They offer a healthier alternative if you are avoiding caffeine and are a bit more interesting than a decaf. We also do a matcha latte, which is a specific, high-end green tea dried down into a powder. It has a small amount of caffeine but it’s meant to keep you on the level, rather than spiking and then you crashing. It’s full of antioxidants and has a distinct, subtle flavour.” www.theplantbase.co.uk LOV E YOUR HEALTH


detoxification properties to cleanse the body and support a healthy immune system. Known as the Immortal Health Elixir by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, drinking kombucha every day can help you to maintain peak immune health, which trickles down into an impressive number of benefits for your overall health.

Digital Detox


Float therapy works by lowering the stress hormone levels in the body while you’re gently floating in your own peaceful, temperature-regulated cocoon. Shutting out the noise and frenetic pace of the world outside, your mind gradually starts to slow down and your body to relax. As cortisol levels drop, you begin to feel calmer and your brain starts to release its “happy” chemicals, endorphin and dopamine, the same thing that happens when you have a massage. It’s even better than a massage, though, as your aching joints and muscles are supported and soothed by the Epsom salt solution which allows blood to flow freely throughout your body, unlike lying on a couch or bed. Within 40 minutes of blissfully quiet drifting, the pattern of your brainwaves changes from its normal Alpha rhythm to Theta waves, so you are half-awake and half-asleep. This deeply-relaxed state stimulates creativity and brings intense clarity of thought, while some describe experiencing the pure essence of being. Reaching this level of meditative lucidity usually takes years of yoga or meditation practice, but the benefit of float therapy is that it makes it easy for anyone to achieve. The particular combination of Epsom salts and float therapy has also been proven to bring relief to a significant number of physical ailments and mental health conditions, for well over 50 years. It can help with sports performance, stress and anxiety management, relaxation, meditation, creativity and pain relief. By the time the hour is up, you emerge feeling relaxed, revitalised, and full of creative energy. Even your skin feels silkier and nourished, as your body receives a magnesium boost from the minerals in the Epsom salts. You can try flotation at Simply Float, which launches in Tunbridge Wells this January. www.simplyfloat.co.uk

The full extent of the damage caused by technology is not yet fully understood but there are suggestions that social media promotes narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia and screens are dulling down our kids. So it’s not surprising that shutting out the technological world is becoming more appealing. So what is a Digital Detox? For four to six weeks, you avoid screens and take up meaningful and/or healthy recreational activities. If you want to go all out, then you can also elminite TV. This will allow your adrenal system to re-regulate itself and get back to baseline. After the detox period, you slowly reintegrate some screen usage, finding the level you can tolerate without falling back into old, addictive habits. Some people, though, just need to cut down, so a less-extreme version consists of tech-free meals and no-tech periods throughout the day – this is great for families and an excellent way to encourage your children to reduce their daily screen intake.


Kombucha is a mildly fizzy, slightly sour drink, that makes a healthy alternative to processed fizzy drinks. It’s fermented from sweetened tea and a specific culture known as a scoby – ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’. The bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid, which gives kombucha its distinctive sour taste. After fermentation, kombucha contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics (healthy bacteria) and 46



Are you up for a challenge? Local woman launches 50 Challenges to inspire the over-50s

Kent mother, writer and businesswoman, Siobhan Stirling, has laid down the gauntlet to her peers to join her in redefining middle age with the launch of zeitgeist movement, 50 Challenges. 50 Challenges, which aims to inspire those aged 50 and over to do more, achieve more and be more than they ever thought possible, was launched by Siobhan on 5th November, when she ran the New York marathon the day after she turned 50, cheered on by her husband, children, parents and brother. “The atmosphere in New York was fantastic – the perfect setting for launching 50 Challenges, marking a new milestone in my own personal story, but also in how we think about mid and later life,” says Siobhan, who came up with the idea of 50 Challenges after emerging from the Foul Forties stronger than at any other time of her life. “Running has been key for me in rebuilding my physical and mental health after suffering depression in my mid-forties. I took up running almost by accident, but it has been central to helping me reclaim myself after the side-effects of medication left me on the maximum dose of anti-depressants and barely functioning. “The strength it has given me has been key to inspiring 50 Challenges, so it seemed natural to launch it with a run, and the timing of the New York Marathon was perfect,” explains Siobhan, from Tunbridge Wells, a former journalist who now runs a communications agency. 50 Challenges was initially a personal ambition that Siobhan devised to celebrate her new feeling of strength after emerging from depression, until she realised that her friends and peers were either in the same place or in need of a new definition and identity for the next chapter of their lives. 50 Challenges encapsulates one of the major changes that will redefine our society over the coming years: “The previous role models for what it means to be 50-plus no longer fit,” says Siobhan. “We are the first generation to hit 50 in the expectation of another good 40 years ahead of us. Fifty year olds today are competing in endurance races, wearing the same clothes as their teenage children and taking up new professional challenges at a time when previous generations were counting down to retirement. 50 Challenges is about creating a new blueprint for mid and later life, when the best decades are yet to come.” The aim is to complete 50 challenges or goals across the decade of being 50. “This is not a mad, bucket-list dash for a year; this is a way of life, as we regain time for ourselves to think, act and be, after the demanding decades of establishing ourselves in our careers and bringing up children. And there’s an active Facebook community to inspire, support and celebrate Challengers,” explains Siobhan, a former Langton Green Primary and Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School pupil. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Challenges are grouped into Mind, Body and Soul and cover everything from reading a poem a day for a year and paying a compliment to a stranger every day for a month, to learning to swim or cutting your food waste by 50 per cent. “They should be relevant to you; if you can already hold a passable conversation in French, learning to speak French wouldn’t be an appropriate challenge, but becoming fluent would be,” says Siobhan. “Similarly, if you can run 5k comfortably, you might want to step it up to completing a 10k.” One of the first Challengers to take up the gauntlet is Lisa Beaumont, from Tunbridge Wells, who is rebuilding her life after suffering a debilitating stroke six years ago. She completed the very first Challenge when she walked into her 50th birthday party unaided. “I’m taking part in 50 Challenges because setting goals has become even more of an integral part of my life since I suffered and survived a life-threatening brain haemorrhage when aged 44,” says Lisa. “50 Challenges is about celebrating life, which is something that I do every day.” Her other initial challenges include speaking in public for the first time since her stroke, earning her own income again and learning to crochet one-handed. Stephen Rigby is taking part to give him a new focus away from being a dad and City lawyer: “My life can seem pretty challenging already, but I love the idea of putting more focus on things I want to achieve for myself, of carving out time to shape how I want my future to look when family and work are no longer quite so demanding.” At the New York Marathon, Siobhan raised £5,000 for the MS Society, which was a great start to her second Challenge: raising £50,000 for the society before she turns 60. “Very dear friends have Multiple Sclerosis, which is a Cinderella condition when it comes to funding,” she explains. “My other Challenges for my first year of 50 Challenges include completing the South West Coastal Path, walking 10,000 steps a day, learning a poem a month and keeping a gratitude diary for a year. I think this will provide an excellent way for me to focus on all the good things that are going on in my life, after the dark times I have come through.” 50 Challenges will be looking to attract and support members, and start changing the dialogue and expectations around midand later-life. www.50challenges.org LOV E YOUR HEALTH


Back pain and hip arthritis

Albert Santarsieri, Chartered Physiotherapist at Horder Healthcare, explains how lower back pain can be caused by hip-joint osteoarthritis Hip-joint osteoarthritis is among the most common joint disorders, with 87,733 hip replacements recorded by the national joint registry in 2016. Research studies suggest that the incidence of lower back pain accompanying hip arthritis is in the range of 20-40 per cent of cases. Arthritic changes to the cartilage surface lining the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (joint socket within the pelvis) cause gradual thickening and shortening of the hip-joint capsule (ligament-like tissue encasing the joint). The resulting reduction in flexibility at the hip joint impacts on surrounding muscle tissue, often causing shortening and decline in strength and control, thus accelerating the rate of damage to the cartilage surfaces. The long-term effect of reduced mobility at the hip joint is often overuse of neighbouring joints, namely the knees and lower back. Hip rotation is often most affected by the hip-joint soft-tissue changes, and the movement that appears most limited when we assess hip arthritis. The consequence of this when turning one’s body is that the ball-and-socket joint of the hip will contribute only a little towards the turn. Often unknown to the individual, the lumbar spine and knees will over-contribute and experience additional torsion. The same is true of bending forwards when the hinging motion of the hip is limited or poorly controlled.

The effect of shortening or tightness in muscles over the front of the hip can cause lumbar lordosis, an exaggerated curvature of the lower spine, and compression of structures such as inter-vertebral discs of the spine, and neighbouring nerves. Physiotherapy is recommended as a first line of treatment for hip arthritis. Exercise and manual therapy can help restore length and flexibility to soft tissues and redevelop range of muscular control. Albert Santarsieri is a chartered physiotherapist at Horder Healthcare Tunbridge Wells. Visit horderhealthcare.co.uk to find out more about Horder Healthcare’s physiotherapy services or call 01892 620930 to book an appointment.

Getting back on your feet Respite care and rehabilitation in stunning surroundings

Finding the care you need to get back to independence after a stay in hospital or an operation can be a daunting prospect. Equally, finding somewhere relaxing for yourself or a family member to go for a respite stay can be a real challenge. Burrswood Health and Wellbeing offers nurse and therapy-led, whole-person care, recognising the importance of meeting both the emotional and physical health needs of the patients and guests who stay or visit as outpatients. Patients who go to Burrswood for rehabilitation typically stay in the reablement unit for one to two weeks. Here they enjoy a private en-suite room and therapy sessions every day. The physiotherapy team and occupational therapists work with the patient to set a plan based on their individual needs, the aim is always to get the patient home and back to independence as quickly as possible. Typically, therapy includes a mix of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy, ensuring that the patient recovers mobility and confidence. Those who come for respite care also enjoy a private en-suite room, wonderful food and hospitality and the option of physiotherapy or hydrotherapy if appropriate. Burrswood also has an outpatient department offering physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy. 48


Set in many acres of beautiful gardens and woodland, Burrswood also welcomes the public to enjoy the café and walks around the estate. The café is open every day, serving delicious brunch, lunch and afternoon teas, as well as Sunday lunch and meals for special occasions such as Mother’s Day afternoon tea, where they will be giving Mum a special posy of flowers with every pre-booked table. Visit www.burrswood.org.uk for details of upcoming events. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


Time to get fit Pop into Fitness Superstore in Tunbridge Wells to try out their top fitness machines for 2018

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Achieve maximum calorie burn in faster time. The M5 features 9 workouts including the ground-breaking 14-minute MAX Interval, 16 electronic resistance levels and contact heart rate. Slim footprint, it fits into virtually every room of your home. Price: £1,499

Schwinn AD8 Action Air Cycle Effective total body cardio workouts will soon become a staple part of your exercise routine, thanks to Schwinn’s latest advanced air-resistance technology that features in this bike. Price: £999

Sole T80 Folding Treadmill With excellent build, a 20km/h top speed, 15% incline, 10 workout programmes and sophisticated heart rate monitoring, the Sole Fitness T80 leads the race in home treadmills. Price: £1,499

Life Fitness X1 with Track Plus Console or with GO Console The X1 delivers smooth elliptical motion with great workout versatility. Unparalleled quality, a fluid total body motion and a patented Link6 elliptical drive system deliver a natural stride every time you train. Price: £1,495 with Track Plus; £1,395 with GO

Reasons to pay Fitness Superstore a visit: • P ersonalised service – Goals and objectives are assessed by their trained team, all of whom have fitness backgrounds, mainly as PTs. This way they can direct customers to the right products that will help achieve goals in the quickest way • Best price – You will ALWAYS get a better price by visiting in-store rather than shopping online • Customers can try as many products as they want and ask questions before they purchase • Staff are fully trained directly by the brands and manufacturers themselves, so are very knowledgeable about their products Fitness Superstore, 30-34 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2AP KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Tel: 01892 883747 LOV E YOUR FITNESS



ecipes Restaurants, r

and news

West Country wow The Tanner brothers chose the West Country as the theme for their latest Tasting Menu Evening, from Cornish mackerel to a delicious dessert made with clotted cream from Plymouth By Hannah Tucek

Diners at The Kentish Hare’s latest Tasting Menu Evening were treated to the delights of the West Country. James Tanner, who runs the restaurant with his brother Chris, and Dean Edwards, whose family-friendly cooking style has made him a firm favourite on ITV’s Lorraine since 2010, presented a delicious five-course menu inspired by their ITV mini series, Wild Wild West, celebrating the best of the West Country. I caught up with James and Dean on the night, who explained that they had been friends for many years, having met through TV. Said James, “We’ve cooked together on various shows. Most recently, we did a mini series together for Lorraine where we toured the West Country, went to some wonderful producers, cooked some great food and celebrated the best of the season.” “So the menu this evening is very much inspired by our trip around Cornwall,” added Dean. “We were lucky enough to meet some amazing producers that really inspired us to come up with the dishes that we put together on the mini series. We both came away knowing that we had to take something from that and showcase some of the amazing produce that we came across. James and Chris also have a fantastic restaurant in Plymouth called the Barbican Kitchen, so they’ve got to know some fantastic suppliers down there.” 52


Said James, “We initially held a tasting evening at the Barbican Kitchen and it was so successful, we decided to hold one at The Kentish Hare and it sold out in half a day. Hopefully, we’ve brought a few new dishes and West country produce to the lovely people of Kent!” After the canapés and a glass of Camel Valley fizz, guests were treated to Blowtorched Cornish Mackerel with Cucumber, Apple and a Cider Dressing. “We went to a cider farm and made the dressing from their cider,” said Dean. “We also caught some mackerel during our trip, which was great fun – of course, not enough for a night like this! We cured the mackerel in a 50/50 mixture of salt and sugar for one hour. That takes out the moisture, and adds a touch of sweetness and salt. You wash it off and dry it – it makes the rich, oily flavour of the fish even stronger but to counteract that so it’s not overpowering, we served it with a burnt apple purée. This is where you literally burn apples in the oven so they half blacken, then you add a touch of sugar to it and blitz it up until it becomes a super-smooth purée. The flavour just explodes with a mixture of sweetness and sharpness.” The main was Devon Honey Glazed Creedy Carver Duck Breast with Heritage Carrots, Spinach and Potato Terrine. “I’ve used Creedy carver for 20 years,” said James. “Reared slowly in Devon in KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

small flocks and fed on corn, vegetable protein, minerals and vitamins, it results in a full flavour and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. “The Potato Terrine was made from Cara potatoes which are from St Dominic in Cornwall, and the heritage carrots were from the Tamar Valley. The glaze on the duck breast is a real winner; it really brings out the flavour of the duck. It’s made using blossom honey (the bees pollinate near Dartmoor so it’s a very pure, clean honey), with a touch of brown sugar and some five spice.” This was followed by a palate-cleanser of Plymouth Gin & Tonic Sorbet. The Barbican Kitchen is housed in the world-famous Plymouth Gin Distillery, in a building that dates back to the early 1400s, so there’s lots of history to it. The Pilgrim Fathers even spent their last night in England there in 1620. It was from the distillery that they made the short walk down to the harbour to set sail on the Mayflower on their epic voyage to start a new life in America, where they founded a new Plymouth. “But ultimately, they make really good gin!” said James. “I walk past the distillery more or less once a week and it’s stunning. Plymouth is a great national, global gin used in a lot of cocktails, so we celebrated that with the gin and tonic sorbet, where we mixed the gin with a stock syrup solution, put it in a Pacojet that whips it into a creamy texture, whilst taking away the ice crystals. We then added a bit of lime, to give it that citrus zest.” “To finish off the evening, we served Blackberries & Clotted Cream,” said Dean. “The clotted cream comes from Langage Farm in Plymouth. The farm has a really great heritage, having remained a working farmstead for over 900 years. Their world-famous clotted cream is made from their herd of over 250 special Jersey and Guernsey cows. You’ve got this amazing clotted cream parfait, with the sharp tang from the blackberries and a little bit of crumble on top to add some texture – so it’s kind of a twist on a blackberry crumble. At the end of such a rich meal, it’s nice to get that little bit of sharpness coming through with the blackberries.” “Overall, it’s a beautiful, well-balanced meal and we saw a lot of happy faces in the dining room which is always good,” said James. “The funny thing about the whole night was that once the desserts went out, everyone went quiet. Standing on the pass, I always have a little glance, you can’t help it, and if you’ve got clean plates, you know you are onto a winner. Tonight, we saw a lot of clean plates so we are all really happy.” I think my plate was probably the cleanest!




Go nuts!

Boost your energy levels with these deliciously nutty peanut-based smoothies Peanuts are on the list of the world’s healthiest foods. Rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasised in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, they are also good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. The Sweetarian in East Sussex makes artisan nut butters, that are palm-oil free and made in small batches. Palm Oil production is now one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction, so The Sweetarian set about making peanut butter that doesn’t swim in oil and contains natural ingredients like maple and sea salt. The result is a firmer peanut butter with a creamy taste, that they make in a variety of flavours.

Here are some super smoothies, made using their peanut butters:

Peanut Protein Power Smoothie Delicious caffeinated banana-peanut protein smoothie for an energy boost Serves 1 Ingredients

Ultimate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie Full of goodness Serves 1 Ingredients

• 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen • 1 scoop of protein powder • 2 tbsp Sweetarian Plain and Simple Nutty Butter • 118ml almond milk or other unsweetened milk alternative • 1 handful of fresh, baby spinach • 59ml water


Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you prefer, use fresh banana and a cup of ice. For more on The Sweetarian, visit: www.thesweetarian.co.uk

• 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen • 1 scoop of protein powder • 1 tbsp Sweetarian Honey and Peanut Nutty Butter • 118ml coconut or other nut milk • Shot of espresso coffee • 1 tsp agave nectar or honey to sweeten


Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you prefer, use fresh banana and a cup of ice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie Creamy and packed with flavour Serves 1 Ingredients

• 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen • 1 scoop of protein powder • 2 tbsp Sweetarian Chocolate & Orange Nutty Butter • 177ml skimmed milk or your favourite milk or milk substitute • 6oz plain Greek yogurt


Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you prefer, use fresh banana and a cup of ice.




Property den

Home and gar

Shades of home Vibrant artwork, family photographs and bold colours turned a house into a home for interior designer Alie Carter and husband Nigel

A Regency villa, built in 1836 as the dower house for a nearby estate, divided into two semi-detached properties in the 1950s. Location: Cranbrook. Rooms: Entrance hall, downstairs loo, eat-in kitchen, sitting room, family room, four bedrooms – one en-suite, and a family bathroom. Purchased: March 2014. Previous property: “We lived just around the corner, less than a mile away, in a lovely manor house.” Feature by Katie Treggiden. Photography by Bruce Hemming. Styling by Sally Maton. Homeowner’s website: www.aliecarterinteriors.co.uk




After Alie and Nigel Carter’s children, Freddie, 25, and Casper and Julius, both 23, started to leave home, the couple decided to downsize. Intending to build from scratch, they bought the house they live in now as a stopgap, but having filled it with colour, art and family memories, they’ve created a home they love. “It had such lovely dimensions, high ceilings and lots of light, that we decided to make it ours,” says Alie. With three sons coming and going from university, they started with the boys’ rooms and the family bathroom. Next came the kitchen and a family room in the basement. “Having a decent working kitchen made a big difference, and we tanked the cellar to make a TV room for the boys,” says Alie. “But more than anything, we needed to make it feel like home.” To do so, she chose a loved object as the starting point for each room. “I like pieces with emotional history – family heirlooms or things we’ve collected on our travels which have love invested in them.” The pink and orange scheme in the kitchen picks out colours from a painting by Cathy Layzell, while the master bedroom reflects the colours in an Indian quilt on the end of the bed. The couple added a bespoke kitchen that works, whether it’s just the two of them or their sons are all home with extra guests. “The layout stayed fairly similar because it was dictated by the existing doors and windows,” says Alie. The result is a functional kitchen that really is the heart of the home. Having finished the boys’ bedrooms, the kitchen and family room, the couple took stock. “We caught our breath while we decided whether to build an extension or work with what was here,” says Alie. They decided on the latter and removed a chimney that ran right up through the centre of the house. “There had been a cubicle shower room in the master bedroom, which partially blocked one of the windows,” says Alie. “We knocked out the chimney to make space for a proper en suite. We weren’t sure whether the ceiling in the sitting room would collapse, but luckily it didn’t!” The result is a hard-working space hidden behind the bedhead, inside which is an en-site bathroom accessed from one end, and a walk-in wardrobe accessed from the other.







Downstairs, the sitting room needed more warmth, both literally and psychologically. The couple added an electric log-burning stove and downlights within the bookshelves. They also replaced and restored original features such as the parquet floors, regency skirting boards and ceiling rose. “It was important to us to put back features that were true to the house,” says Alie. “And details such as trims, hooks and handles make things feel personal and special.” The renovations were made easier by a building team they’d worked with 20 years previously. “They still had mostly the same team and made the whole project a pleasure,” says Alie. “I have pictures of the decorator hanging wallpaper with a great big smile on his face.” The last interior project was to re-fit the downstairs loo, adding yet more bookshelves. “Once it was all finished, it was lovely getting our furniture out of storage,” says Alie. “They were like old friends, and seeing them in their new surroundings was a real pleasure.”




Finally, thoughts turned to the outside space. They cleared an overgrown garden and pulled down an awkwardly-positioned garage, replacing it with a brick-built, wooden-clad structure. Then they set about creating an outdoor entertaining space. “We wanted a nice area to sit in, so it’s more like a town garden,” says Alie. Despite a long, wet winter and works overrunning, it was worth the effort. “We were surrounded by a sea of mud for four months, but we had some nice parties in the summer and the space works really well.” Now that it’s all finished, how does she feel about this stopgap house? “It’s light and bright and colourful,” she says. “It really does feel like home.”




Green and glorious When Claire Peterson decided to update her very tired kitchen, she turned to Rencraft The kitchen in Claire’s house in Sevenoaks (the home she will one day retire to) was not particularly well thought out. The dining room was accessed down the long hall corridor, the only view of the back garden from the ground floor was through the 1970’s mock-Georgian oriel window (which needed replacing) and there was no direct access to the garden. The beautiful character property is full of quirky features and Claire could see the potential, she just needed the help of a decent builder and a good kitchen manufacturer to create something that was just as eye-catching. Says Claire, “The house is Arts & Crafts, built in 1902, and needed a bit of loving. For most families the kitchen is the hub of the home, it’s where the kettle is, where they congregate to eat and chat to each other, and it’s where they entertain close friends. I wanted a comfortable, hospitable space, workability, and a good view of the garden whether cooking, eating, or just relaxing. It needed to be bigger, lighter, with modern appliances, room for a desk, and with direct access to the garden. I also wanted it to echo the period features of the rooms rather than being sharp and sleek.” Having investigated several national kitchen suppliers with showrooms either in Sevenoaks, Oxted, Tunbridge Wells or near Maidstone, Claire opted for Rencraft because she knew how much she disliked the “fillers” and waste of good, useable space that those suppliers would insist upon to make their furniture fit. “And I didn’t like the colours they were offering,” she says. “The kitchen in my present home is bespoke, painted, there is no wasted space and I suppose I wanted to echo what I already have.” Rencraft are local to Sevenoaks and they make all the furniture for each project on their site in Seal. When Claire met Steve Sellen, their designer, she immediately liked his quiet, non-pushy approach. “I then spent hours of many days in his quiet office, fuelled by mugs of tea, and his patience, whilst we mulled over what was possible and what wasn’t,” she says. “Steve would show me each change on the computer as we worked so that I could visualise its impact on the overall design, and there were numerous versions before the final design was agreed. I knew what I didn’t want, and I would say that Steve and I led each other to the final kitchen layout, but he may quietly disagree!” Says Steve, “Once Claire had decided which room the kitchen should be in, there were many issues such as positioning the tall appliance cupboards relative to the bay window so that there would be enough room for a breakfast table, along with providing enough worktop space adjacent to the oven housing and also around the hob. There are lots of doors and windows making a bright open space but therefore restricting conventional cupboard arrangements for storage and appliances. “We also looked at various options to avoid the sink position under the window but came back to that as being the most convenient for one-and-a-half Corian sinks side by side. The peninsular provided the extra worktop area near the hob without detracting from the openness of the whole area. We then decided to position the fridge 62






and oven housings side by side rather than have two tall cupboards on opposite sides. This would have spoilt the effect of the bay, which Claire had had built, adding a completely new dimension, not only to the room but also to the rear elevation of the house. “A general purpose shallow-depth tall cupboard was added next to the entrance door for larder storage or as a broom cupboard, and a low height workstation on the adjacent wall to the entrance from the family room. This was completed with an oak worktop for the desk that was treated with the same oil as the parquet floor.” The kitchen design also incorporates a fabulous bold statement colour. So what was Claire’s thinking behind this? “So many homes are now fifty shades of grey both inside and out, it’s become the new Magnolia!” she says. “With a painted kitchen, I had the freedom of any colour I wanted and I love colour. As the kitchen’s new bay window gave a much better view of the garden, I wanted to bring the garden in. I also own some panels of Victorian stained glass which I plan to install in the side kitchen windows later, and, whilst the green chosen is closest to the grass colour outside, it also compliments the stained glass. Yes, I worried that folk would think it too distinct, but the colour has produced 100% positive and surprised responses, and I’m absolutely delighted.” Claire found the whole renovation experience “very intense and lengthy, needing deep thought and close collaboration, which was at times frustrating, at others illuminating, at others very exciting, but most of all, thoroughly enjoyable. When at Rencraft I never felt rushed or that I was taking up too much time with my indecisions. I greatly value Steve’s expertise and, most of all, his patience is truly awesome!” Steve adds, “Claire may say I was very patient but I enjoyed all the meetings and discussions to achieve the end result. It was a fairly long process starting in May 2016 until installation in May 2017 and I’m really pleased that her colour choice has worked out so well and hope that she enjoys her kitchen for many years to come.” Claire is chuffed to pieces with the end result. “Not only the kitchen but the house has been transformed!” she says. “My wonderful builders – Integrated Building Services – have done a marvellous job on the whole of the house, which included the three extended parts of the kitchen area. Steve and the team at Rencraft (and I) have created a jewel of a kitchen which I hope will be a pleasure and joy to use.”

www.rencraft.co.uk 64



Functional yet beautiful For superbly-crafted pieces for your home, a joinery company like Causeway ensures you get the best results every time

Building a home from scratch requires the help of lots of different specialists, and when it came to the woodwork for their project, Isabelle and Martin McCann enlisted the craftmanship of Causeway Joinery. “We have known Causeway’s owner Paul Chapman and his team since 2007 and their work is exceptional,” says Martin. “That’s why we chose them for our new home. They did all the woodwork, from the windows to the staircase and more. Their workmanship is top notch and in an age where most things are produced in vast quantities and with computers, it’s a dream to have Paul and his team’s unique work.” Says Paul Chapman: “Over the years we have been involved in various joinery projects at the property, most recently the wine storage, built-in wardrobes in the dressing room and some painted, freestanding wardrobes designed by Isabelle and colour-matched to her specific shades in the main bedroom.” A project of this scale is not without its challenges. The wine storage needed some time and attention to detail, plus a lot of labour time in the workshop to make sure that the wine would sit at the correct angle. Paul and his team made two wine stores to fit into two alcoves either side of a chimney breast. One of the stores could be accessed from both sides as the alcove backed onto the living area. As the space was so deep, the store was designed so that the materials supporting the wine bottles tilted each side of the unit into the middle, so the wine was stored correctly but gave the customer dual access for


when they were entertaining. “We are seeing an increase in the market for wine stores as wine is a good way to invest money,” says Paul. The freestanding wardrobes were designed so that Isabelle and Martin could step into them. They are handleless with push-to-open drawers and tilted shelves for Martin’s shoes and hats. The built-in wardrobes in the dressing room were designed with both smoked and plain mirrors with LED lighting. So what’s the process with a project like this? Says Paul, “Once a customer is ready to proceed with a project, we have an initial on-site meeting at the property to discuss the design and from there, work out our estimate. At this point, if there are any changes to the design we make some adjustments and send the revised estimate to the customer to review. “Once they are ready to proceed, we give them an idea on when we will be able to start the manufacture. During the manufacturing process, the customer is generally involved in decisions regarding any design, ironmongery, colours and so on, even coming into the workshop to see the joinery to discuss any ongoing questions. Once we are ready to install, we arrange a convenient day to start. In this case, the project took around 10-12 weeks from start to finish, as we work with six week’s lead time plus manufacturing and installation time. Isabelle and Martin found the whole process easy from start to



finish. “Once you have discussed your ideas, the team come back with the plan, working with you to perfect it,” says Isabelle. “You then visit their workshop – it’s mesmerising seeing all the wood, and your pieces being worked on. This is your chance to see what your product is going to become. “A few weeks later, we were invited to visit again to see the part-finished product and then it was instillation time, which all ran smoothly as Causeway are true professionals and on top of every part of the job. The end result is as expected and more, the workmanship is beautiful and complete perfection.” Paul and his team are always proud of the finished items they produce, “especially when we see it in situ as it generally brings the room to life, whatever its purpose,” says Paul. “In this case, the wine storage units were made of oak and, along with the wine crates which Isabelle and Martin installed and the wine in place, really made the room feel warm and cosy, but served a purpose in storing their investment whilst adding aesthetic value to the room. The built-in wardrobes were again produced from oak and gave full storage facility to the space available whilst looking as though they were built at the same time as the house. “We always try to make sure that the customer really does achieve the design and the functionality they are looking for.” www.causewayjoinery.co.uk 68



Garden notes All you need for your outside space

By royal appointment Chilstone in the spotlight in royal engagement photographs

Chilstone, makers of handcrafted architectural stone and garden ornaments in Tunbridge Wells, were in the royal spotlight recently when their Kensington Planters featured in the official royal engagement photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The happy couple posed for the world’s press at Kensington Palace Gardens, between four Chilstonesupplied Kensington planters. As part of the recent garden design and palace refurbishment, Chilstone were commissioned by Kensington Palace to produce 22 small cast-stone planters to replicate the larger planters already in the gardens. Chilstone make a large range of planters, garden ornaments (including fountains) and bespoke items for architectural and garden projects. They are lasting statement pieces, suitable for gardens of all sizes. The cast stone can be engraved, coloured or antiqued to fit your garden design – you can even order planters just like those in Kensington Palace. Visit their show gardens in Kent or www.chilstone.com

Did you know?

Image credit: Getty Images

Pineberries combine a flavour and smell like a pineapple’s with the shape and texture of a strawberry. The berries start off green, gradually turning paler as they ripen Not strictly a new fruit, pineberries were discovered growing wild in South America and rescued from extinction by Dutch farmers. They are said to combine a flavour and smell like a pineapple’s with the shape and texture of a strawberry. 70


Mirror, mirror…

A gothic arch mirror has to be the simplest way to accessorise your garden or patio space. Mirrors in the garden, just as in the home, create a focal point and increase the feeling of space and light. Use the gothic arch mirror on a patio as wall art, or tuck it away in amongst climbing greenery for a little surprise. Price: £115 www.audenza.com KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

10 tips to successful gardening this month Tim Sykes of Gardenproud’s seasonal tips 1. R ake up any winter debris still hanging over from your autumn clearance 2. Weed any beds ready for mulching in the spring 3. Sow your sweet pea seeds, either in a tray in your greenhouse or in a pot on your windowsill 4. Start planning your summer bulb purchases 5. Cut back ornamental grasses in February 6. I f the ground is not frozen, it’s a good time to move any deciduous shrubs or trees 7. Plant out lily bulbs in pots on milder days 8. Prune dormant trees (inc fruit trees) and shrubs 9. Make plans for your kitchen garden 10. Focus on any general garden maintenance issues you have, eg pathways, raised beds, shed roof, fencing, gates and garden structure repairs For further advice or help with your garden, contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820, or visit him at www.reallygardenproud.com

Garden art

Customise your garden planting and give old terracotta pots a crafty refresh and revamp with a Posca pen. This pot was given a new lease of life with a white Posca PC-1MR 0.7mm Extra Fine Marker Pen. Its needle-tip nib ensures ultimate precision and the creamy, paint-like texture provides excellent coverage. Each Posca pen contains non-toxic water-based paint and can be used on metal, wood, glass, plastic, plaster, canvas, fabric and much more! To make your pot design permanent, bake in the oven at 220°C (200°C fan) for 45 minutes, then spray with clear varnish. Price: £2.69 www.uniball.co.uk KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Healing houseplants Fill your home with nature’s own purifiers

Houseplants are coming back into fashion – and not only because they can brighten your home. They can also help to purify the air we breathe of harmful toxins, reduce stress and control humidity. In the late 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and which work equally well at cleaning indoor air on Earth. Plus, a 2008 study by Dutch researchers found that hospital patients with indoor plants in their rooms reported lower stress levels than patients without them. So which plants should you choose for a healthy home? Here’s our pick…


People have been using aloe vera for more than 6,000 years when it was known as “the plant of immortality” in early Egypt. The gel of the plant has a number of healing properties. Not only does it soothe burns and cuts, it can help clear the air of pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene, found in chemical cleaning products, detergents, plastics and paints. It’s an easy-to-grow succulent that enjoys a sunny situation.

English Ivy

NASA scientists listed English ivy as the top air-filtering houseplant, as it is the most effective when it comes to filtering out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products. A study also found that English ivy reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It’s really easy to grow and adaptable – try it as a hanging or a floor plant.

Snake Plant (Mother-in law’s Tongue)

While most plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day, the snake plant does it at night, so add one to your bedroom for a slight oxygen boost and better sleep. This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, as well as toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. It will flourish in the steamy atmosphere and low light of a bathroom, while helping to filter out air pollutants.

Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm also made NASA's list of top clean-air plants, best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. It prefers humidity, bright, indirect light, and shouldn’t be overwatered. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


The heart-shaped philodendron is particularly good at absorbing xylene and formaldehyde. It’s easy to care for and the vines can trail from a container or be trained to climb up a screen or trellis. Beware, though, especially if you have children or pets as it’s toxic if eaten.

Peace Lily

This topped NASA’s list for removing formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene. Shade and a weekly watering will keep the peace lily thriving.

Spider Plant

One of the most common house plants, spider plants also make the NASA list of the best air-purifying plants. They are effective at fighting pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. One of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow, it needs well-drained soil and bright, indirect sunlight.

Red-edged Dracaena

This vibrant plant, with its purple-red edges on ribbon-like green leaves, removes toxins including xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and petrol. Although it grows slowly, the dracaena can eventually reach as high as 10 feet, although it can be pruned to keep it under control. LOV E YOUR GARDEN



Education and

Heads up!


Top local head teachers give their views

What are your school’s values, goals and priorities? How do these translate in the day-to-day life of the students?

Andrew Webster, Headmaster

The Mead School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 One family, limitless opportunity and a global perspective. A statement to summarise everything we are and aspire to be at The Mead. Every Meadite matters. They care for one another like siblings and we champion their dreams as a parent would. It is an ideal learning environment and a safe, fun and uniquely-wonderful place to spend and guide childhood. But it’s not comfortable. Knowing they’re safe and supported, the children are challenged to go beyond themselves and be risk-taking adventurers who see life as one limitless opportunity. Alongside this, we expect them to develop a healthy perspective and a global awareness. They must be adaptable, resilient and discerning as they head towards a future world beyond our recognition. The difficulty is often in transposing theory into reality. To make it more than some ethereal rhetoric. To combat this, we have kept our ethos as the fuel driving everything forward. Rather than have a development plan which is resource driven, we have dissected the ethos, highlighted key strands and made direct links to our aims for improvement. Everything we do,

from the way we conduct house meetings to the way we report to parents, must now have a higher purpose and a direct link to our values and identity. It’s an incredibly empowering process and one which is moving forward with great enthusiasm. A full overview of our ethos can be found on our website.

David Clark, Headmaster

Battle Abbey School, Battle Independent co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2-18 Battle Abbey is the ultimate family school and our family ethos underpins everything we do. We want to ensure that each child feels as comfortable, as supported and as encouraged as they do at home and, once that is in place, then students tend to thrive within the Abbey walls. They also thrive because they feel that teachers believe in them and want them to do well in all aspects of school life. This gives them real confidence and belief when it comes to facing up to challenges that inevitably come their way. So our priorities always focus on student welfare and well-being so that students genuinely feel as though they can make the most of the many opportunities on offer at the school. These priorities are in evidence throughout the school day and are visible in the support given by teachers, by matrons, by the school counsellor or by peer listeners and mentors. Our students are very proud to be part of a supportive family structure and, in return, each of them is expected to promote the school’s ethos and to offer service and help to others in return. 74



Scott Carnochan, Headmaster

Holmewood House School, Tunbridge Wells Independent preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-13

Self-Belief, Kindness, Aspiration

In the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the government makes policy on the basis of Gross National Happiness. It is no bad thing for a school to do the same. And if there was a national smileometer or a league table for laughter, we would be at the top. This is a happy school. A happy school within which our pupils achieve great things. We believe in our pupils and are unashamedly aspirational for them in all that they do, both inside the classroom and out. Yes, we are fortunate to benefit from outstanding facilities, but it is the inspirational teaching, richness of relationships and sense of community which shapes our pupils in these formative years. After all, it isn’t the bricks and mortar that children take from school… The children’s will‐to‐happiness is deep. Their will‐to‐goodness is at times utterly humbling. And there is simply no better sound than the laughter of children outside my office as they make the most of the space which allows them to explore, grow and flourish in all that they do, whilst enjoying the most important journey of all: childhood. We are responsible for making memories and we must ensure that they are great ones!

Mike Piercy, Headmaster

The New Beacon, Sevenoaks Independent preparatory school for boys aged 4-13 Remember the old song, It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it? At The New Beacon it’s not an ‘either/or’ situation, it’s both; what we do, as well as how we go about life. We expect a great deal of our boys (we are a boys’ school!), in everything they undertake and, especially, in the way they go about their lives. ‘Expect much of children and be surprised’ is a New Beacon mantra. We wish to encourage a ‘have-a-go’ outlook on life; thus learning and achievement will happen. Of course, so will disappointment. To avoid disappointment or failure is tantamount to failure to educate. So, we challenge the boys in every aspect of their lives and education. We have many sports fixtures against other schools, though we rarely have an unbeaten season as we are often competing at national level. The boys need to know how to lose, how to pick themselves up afterwards, to reflect, learn and, if necessary, recover from the experience. A former colleague used to say, ‘We should take our work seriously but not with solemnity’. I think this hits the nail on the head. A school/organisation/community can have high expectations and a strong sense of purpose, but not at the cost of laughter and happiness – which can be found in abundance at The New Beacon.

Christine Flowers, Principal

Bricklehurst Manor School, Stonegate Mainstream independent school for pupils aged 3-11 Bricklehurst Manor is very well known for its very good academic record, and our attention to bringing every individual to achieve their full potential is definitely something to which we strive. Without a doubt, though, I can say that our main priority is to turn out wellrounded individuals who will eventually take their place in society and lead responsible lives, contributing sensibly and, in as many ways as possible, ensuring that high standards are maintained, wherever they may be. On a day-to-day basis, this means that all of our pupils are encouraged to respect their parents, their teachers and their peers. We work hard to ensure that a regime of selfdiscipline, good manners and diligence are valued. Children understand from an early age that good behaviour is important, that their best efforts are expected and that going the extra mile reaps benefits. Children gain confidence and a sense of personal fulfillment, so that on entering secondary school, they are well-motivated, eager to learn and ready for the bumpy ride into adulthood. Our children also learn that everyone is different and everyone has something of value to offer in life. We understand that a little competition is healthy, that teamwork is efficient and that success comes in many guises. KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Hilary Blake, Headmistress

Sacred Heart School, Wadhurst Independent Catholic mixed primary school for 2-11 Our values and our goals are expressed in our Mission Statement. We always need to be careful, though, that, just like policy documents, the Mission Statement does not stagnate and gather dust but rather is something that is reflected in the experience of our school community and something that we live every day. The Mission Statement itself has been condensed down into four key words: Love,

Learn, Grow, Worship.

In a Catholic school, relationships are all-important. If we want our children to show respect, be resilient, fair and honest, the example must be promoted by all the staff. Our primary example comes from the Gospels, and the children understand that they should treat others as they would like to be treated. These are lessons for life. Children have the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways that appeal to their different intelligences. We have many tools to engage them in their learning but the starting point is always a broad and balanced curriculum interpreted by well-qualified and innovative teachers to inspire, motivate and appropriately challenge every pupil. We encourage the children to recognise and grow their talents. There is something very special about every child. Their gift might be academic, creative or sporting; it might be the gift of kindness, loyalty or gentleness. All gifts are valued and rewarded equally in the school, and everyone deserves to know they are special and why. Our prayer life is an important feature of the school day and brings our Mission Statement to a full circle. Life and learning – it’s a journey and one that we are all on together. The children in our care are our priority – but that should be said of any good school. The proof is when parents choose us because they recognise that what we say in our Mission Statement reflects our good practice, and that the wellbeing of every child always comes first.

Emma Neville, Headmistress

Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-13 A high quality of pastoral care is central to our school values and it underpins everything that we do; it is what our community is all about. Rose Hill School’s pastoral aims include being a school where the wellbeing of everyone is the prime concern of each member of our community. We provide a supportive learning environment in which our pupils can realise their full potential. Our school is stimulating and enriching, where everyone is able to enjoy their best possible health and wellbeing. We encourage pupils to grow up to be responsible, active members of their community. Through Mindfulness, PSHEE, assemblies, academic lessons, co-curricular activities and form time, we support and promote the development of emotional intelligence. Every child is encouraged to develop their own individuality whilst also learning that personal freedom involves responsibility to others. Our value-base, which is centred on the Christian ethos of the school, helps to give a firm moral basis in these times when so many attitudes, beliefs and ethics are questioned daily. Pupils are encouraged to develop tolerance and understanding between all members of our community, and to value effort, kindness and good manners. Visitors often comment on the friendliness of pupils at Rose Hill School. We provide equal opportunities for all pupils regardless of ability, religion, race, culture or gender. We deliver a multi-faith approach through our RE lessons. We aim to have equipped pupils with a developing passion for learning, a capacity for independent and critical thinking, self-awareness and resilience, self-confidence without arrogance and genuine interests that extend beyond the confines of the classroom, which is supported by our extensive co-curricular programme. 76






Viewpoint Each issue, a local head teacher gives their opinion on an educational topic. Here, Andrew Webster of The Mead School talks about growing your mindset If you’re interested in what gets me out of bed in the morning (apart from two children seemingly incapable of sleeping to a decent hour!) or want to potentially shift your whole perspective on life, then I’d highly recommend Carol Dweck’s Mindset as a bedside bible. This psychological self-help book has taken the educational world by storm in recent years but, as a result, its premise is in real danger of joining the scrapheap of fads and initiatives which fade over time. Dweck’s theory is far more fundamental than that and every school and parent should see it as their responsibility to embed it into everything we do with our children. I don’t have the space for an adequate precis here (you’ll have to buy the book) but essentially it divides the world into two mindsets. Those with a Fixed Mindset believe that ability and intelligence are innate and unmovable, and those with a Growth Mindset believe the opposite. The former fear failure and continuously feel judged in comparison to others, whereas the latter see challenge and mistakes as opportunities for learning. More able people are inspiring, not intimidating. Her research shows staggeringly-stark differences in the life journeys of both camps. As adults, minor changes can have a major impact on developing a Growth Mindset in children. We should never praise ability or intelligence, instead praise the effort given or progress made. Honest self-reflection is key, as is being open about our areas of weakness. But instead of a finite, summative comment like “I’m no good at this”, the addition of a simple word... “I’m not good at this yet” creates hope and ambition. I challenge all parents reading this to do something with your children which you know you’re not very good at and lay your weaknesses open for acceptance and even celebration. My ‘Achilles’ (to name one!) is art, and so over the Christmas break, I set out to make my five-year-old daughter giggle at the fact that every animal I draw looks the same and like no creature on earth. However, I’m not good at drawing – yet! And so to the big challenge… With sweaty palms, I picked up my pencil and awaited my instructions. Already deeply out of my comfort zone at the prospect of drawing an animal, I was catapulted into the stratosphere with the words “draw a kangaroo, Daddy!” A kangaroo!? Where did she pluck that from? Light-headed, I momentarily forgot what a kangaroo looked like. Where do I even begin? Tail up or ears down? The heart rate was racing now and it is in these moments of challenge that the limbic system takes over the brain and triggers the fight/flight response. Evolutionarily speaking, this part of the brain developed during the dawn of humanity when we were far more likely to be eaten by a ferocious beast. The challenge, therefore, is to fight back against our caveman brain and see the opportunity to fail as an opportunity to learn. We are not going to be eaten! As you can see, my first attempt was significantly unrepresentative, of a kangaroo at least. Ivy then took the initiative and popped upstairs to fetch her How to Draw Animals book (the ownership of which she failed to inform me of earlier!) and you can see (I hope) its impact in my second draft. The specific and tangible steps given by the book gave me my path to improvement, and herein lies the special ingredient. It’s not enough KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

just to have a Growth Mindset; to have resilience and perseverance. You must also understand exactly what you have to do next to improve. Children must dream and be ambitious but it’s the journey that matters. If they have a goal that they’re heading towards, then they must get their head down and work hard to take one small step at a time. Google ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ if you’d like to see the power of constructive feedback. It’s something we are striving to embed in our practice here at The Mead. LOV E EDUC ATION


In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Miss Stephanie Ferro, new Headmistress at Walthamstow Hall Sum up your own school days in five words:

“Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body, the importance of balance between the physical and the intellectual.

Which teacher most inspired you?

Miss Goudge, who taught me both Latin and Greek. She had very high expectations, cared about precision, patterns and clarity; she inspired a love of literature and encouraged us to laugh. She was full of surprises (later she became a tax inspector). She would take a Greek Lexicon, moving it from one side of the room to the other in character as the Bionic Man, in a single quirky action suggesting that we would gain the superpowers needed to learn and appreciate Ancient Greek. With her, I developed a love of nuance and interconnection.

What makes you smile?

Lots of things, but here are a few: receiving a card or letter from one of my six godsons; getting a Parkrun email giving the timed result for my weekly 5km run; seeing a wren in the holly tree in my garden.

What frustrates you?

Mostly I am frustrated by inanimate objects, such as queues on the motorway without any obvious reason, autocorrect when it changes what you chose carefully to type in, or the circle of doom on a computer screen, invariably just before it freezes.

What’s your favourite book and why?

The most constant favourite during the last three decades is Homer’s The Odyssey. Where to start?! It’s layered and rich and speaks to human experience. It’s about family and struggle and travelling. It’s weird and wonderful and also everyday. And who doesn’t need to know how to deal with over a hundred suitors parked in your palace, besieging your faithful spouse?

Where would you like to see your school in five years?

No one could be more aware than I that in travelling forward with a school, you are always indebted to the past. I want girls from Walthamstow Hall to continue to know, as they do now, that they are valued for who they are and that they have a contribution to make to the wider world. I envisage the new Sixth Form Centre being used and enjoyed to the full. In these exceptionally uncertain times, I want the school to remain a place of absolute certainty for staff and pupils, knowing what is important, knowing what is “of worth” and valuing it.

What do you hope that your pupils say about your school when they leave? Wally Hall enabled me to be my best possible self.

Miss Stephanie Ferro, MA (Oxon), MA (Lond) Headmistress, Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent www.walthamstow-hall.co.uk 80


New year, new start If you’re considering assisted living for an elderly parent or loved one, the Signature Miramar on Herne Bay’s seafront, with gorgeous coastal views and a caring staff, could be the answer Christmas is the perfect time for families to get together to celebrate the festive season. In fact, it’s often the most time you spend in each other’s company all year – and it can also be the time that you notice worrying changes in an elderly parent or relative. It could be that they seem more confused, are unsteady on their feet or need help to dress or eat. These can all be indicators that everything is not well at home, too, especially if they live alone. If this is the case, it might be the time to consider assisted living for them, to make sure they are cared for, have company and are safe. Often, the decision about care is clear: an elderly parent may have a fall or illness and spend time in hospital, during which it becomes clear they can’t return to their own home. On the other hand, it may not be obvious that an elderly person living independently in their own home isn’t coping, as changes can be gradual. Whatever the circumstances, making the decision to move into a care home can be an emotional one for you and them. And with so much bad publicity about care homes in the newspapers, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where Signature Miramar Care Home in Herne Bay, near Canterbury, comes in. This award-winning care home combines excellent care, beautiful surroundings and the independence of your own front door, qualities that set it apart from other care homes. It’s in a gorgeous coastal setting on Herne Bay’s panoramic seafront with beautiful sea views, and has a warm, inviting atmosphere that immediately feels like home. The Miramar is purpose-built and offers 24-hour residential and nursing care, and both individuals and couples are welcomed. The exceptional accommodation is affordable and of a very high standard. There are 78 sizeable studios and one- or two-bedroom apartments, each with its own en-suite bathroom and kitchen area. A typical two-bedroom suite offers two bedrooms and separate lounge and kitchen, with a full en-suite wet room. Miramar is unique as it offers double the space of most care homes and is ideal for those wanting extra room, or couples who want to stay together. There are activities seven days a week, plus the opportunity for trips out. A dementia suite is designed to offer unique support for those requiring specialist dementia care, and respite breaks as short as three nights a month are also available. To find out more about Miramar, visit www.signature-care-homes.co.uk KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018




School report A round-up of what’s happening in the world of education

First steps Building foundations at Sevenoaks Prep Nursery The school journey at Sevenoaks Prep starts in Nursery at the age of two and a half. It’s an ideal opportunity for children to develop independence and self-esteem in a happy, safe and stimulating environment. Run by Mrs Rowland, a KS1 and Early Years qualified teacher, emotional and social development is established through play. Opportunities for exploring are planned and the children’s individual interests and ideas are used to enhance their learning. Mrs Rowland says: “The Nursery is an important part of a child’s life. It’s the first stepping stone to education and should never be undervalued. We encourage each child to challenge themselves, motivated by adults and each other.” Their voyages of discovery are enhanced through the on-site Forest School, run by Forest School trained staff; through regular music box and soft play activities, through creative (and often messy!) play, through building friendships and through circle time, where new language and social skills are prioritised. Regular themes provide a framework to the activities. Sevenoaks Prep is a nurturing environment that values strong relationships with parents. Achievements and progress of all children are celebrated and shared, and Nursery is no exception. For busy parents, the school now offers wraparound care for Nursery pupils from 8am until 4pm and an online journal that shows each individual child’s learning journey. A standard session runs from 8.30am until 12.30pm, with the children enjoying a hot and nutritious lunch with their peers in the dining room before home time, and very often a nap in the car! For further information, visit www.theprep.org.uk, or contact Clare Harrison, Registrar, on 01732 762336.

If the shoe fits... Creative Mead pupil wins top national art prize Year 6 pupil Sienna Hardie from The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells has won first prize in her category in the Independent Schools Association 2017 National Art Competition, which had hundreds of entries from independent schools right across the UK. Sienna’s colourful and beautifully-decorated entry ‘Nature Shoe’ was selected by judges as first prizewinner in the Fashion and Accessories Category for Key Stage 2. Sienna said: “I really enjoyed making the shoe. I had the idea to decorate it with butterflies and then decided to add leaves. I then felt it needed something at the front so designed a large flower which I made the same way as the leaves. I felt so happy when I found out I’d won the prize.” Andrew Webster, Headmaster at The Mead said: “The shoe is wonderfully unique. The fact that its existence in this world is solely down to Sienna’s creative vision and artistic flair sparks a little bit of awe and wonder. We’re immensely proud of her.”




Water stories Battle Abbey pupils stories of the sea and the pool Battle Abbey School pupils Oliver Golding and Daniel Baszcak, two of the school’s youngest entrepreneur eco-warriors, have been turning trash into trinkets whilst providing an important service to the seaside community. Danny said, “The idea came about one day on the way to school. I was worrying about an article I had read about the plight of the turtles and the huge amounts of floating sea plastic they were eating. I decided to chat to Ollie about my idea and we brought it to Entrepreneur club at school.” After some sage advice from Mrs Comerford at Battle Abbey School’s Entrepreneur club, Danny and Ollie got to it. “We collect plastic off the beaches and process it using a secret method to make ‘BeachGems’. These gems are made from 100% recycled plastic and we love to feel that we are doing our bit to clean up the oceans. It’s a relatively new venture but once we have our costs covered we are aiming to contribute regularly to WWF Save the Turtles.” The cottage industry, (currently run from Danny’s mum’s dining room table) recycles plastic from the beaches around Hastings and Bexhill and turns them into art pieces, keyrings and necklaces. The BeachGems website is under construction but enquiries can be sent to Danny and his family at beachgemsinfo@gmail.com. Meanwhile, Battle Abbey School swimming sensation Jemimah Berkeley has scooped the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize at the Sussex Sports Awards in Brighton recently. The 13 year old continues to garner both results and accolades, having recently won the senior ladies’ and junior 50m breaststroke titles at the South East Winter Regional Championships, as well as clinching silver in the senior ladies 100m breaststroke, and gold in the junior equivalent. Last year, Jemimah came second in the 13/14 years 50m and 100m breaststroke at the British Summer Championship, smashing the south-east record in both events. Those results placed her number 1 on the age-13 GB rankings for 50m and 100m breaststroke and moved her up to number 2 for 200m breaststroke. Jemimah, who trains with Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club has been selected for the Swim England Talent Support Programme for the second year in a row.

Top marks Battle Abbey Prep in top 100 For the third consecutive year, Battle Abbey Prep School in Bexhill is once again a Sunday Times Top 100 Prep School. Maria Maslin, Prep School Head, said: “It’s an amazing achievement to be ranked 46th, inside the top 50 schools, especially as we are non-selective. Our children’s academic success is due in no small part to the ethos of the school which values, supports and challenges each individual child. “Our dedicated staff team, supportive parents and happy hardworking pupils are a winning combination.”




Rose Hill’s got talent Pop star judges school music competition Rose Hill School welcomed Tom Chaplin of band Keane to judge the first House Music Competition. All three of the school’s houses performed and Grange House were lucky enough to be crowned the winners, with a fantastic rendition of YMCA. Tom gave all the singers feedback on their performances before awarding the trophy. He then performed two songs from his album Twelve Tales of Christmas, accompanied by Rose Hill School Head of Music, David Everist. Tom then answered questions from the pupils who learnt that his favourite album is the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Keane was named after a lovely old lady called Cherry Keane who used to come and watch the band perform; his favourite instrument is the piano; Tom recorded his first song aged three on his tape recorder and he has released over 100 songs to date and hopes to release more in the future. New Head Emma Neville said, “This has been such a fantastic event. The House Music Competition has enabled our three houses to work together, cementing team spirit, confidence and collaboration as well as developing presentation skills. To have Tom here judging has been very inspirational for the children and helps them to understand that hard work and determination from a young age can pay off.”

Yummy mummy corner Whether you’re a yummy mummy, a loving partner or a doting grandparent, this is for you...

Chalk it up Easy-clean fun for all the family

This chalkboard table runner from EatWell comes with ZeroDust Butterstix chalks which work and feel like pastels but just wipe away, leaving no dust, stain or mess. The chalkboard, which measures approx 183x46cm, can be used again and again and is perfect for parties, play dates, as a birthday banner and keeping little ones occupied either at home or on holiday. The Butterstix chalks can also be used on paper and card, plates, counter tops... in fact, your imagination is the only limit.

Price: £29.95 www.eatwell-uk.co.uk

Making customers appy Childrensalon app gives instant access to top childrenswear brands and more

Childrensalon has developed an app that offers users instant access to over 280 of the world’s most coveted childrenswear brands, right at their fingertips. By enabling push notifications, app users receive exclusive offers for in-app purchases and access to unique competitions, sale and brand launches. By syncing their Childrensalon account across all devices, customers can continue their shopping experience with ease wherever they are.

Crafty kids

Keep them happy with these clever kits

The kids will have great fun creating their own garlands using foam clay. It’s foamy in texture and dries in a couple of hours or overnight, adhering to the wooden shapes, which can then be painted. Don’t worry if the clay gets on the carpet. It’s pretty much impossible to grind into material (trialled and tested with over 200 kids grinding small bits into a woollen crochet blanket!) and picks straight off. Kits come with everything you need, including paints. Pictured are the Ship & Skull and Rainbow & Unicorn kits,

£14 each www.frecklesandfire.co.uk




Cooking with kids Carol Lumbard, Director of Cookies Kitchen, shares this tasty dish the whole family will enjoy

Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce This recipe uses turkey mince rather than the usual beef. As well as being healthier, the turkey makes for light and succulent meatballs. Serves 4


• 1 medium carrot • 1 medium courgette • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs • 250g mushrooms • 1 clove garlic • 1 medium onion • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp tomato purée • 400g chopped tomatoes • ½ crumbled vegetable stock cube • 1 tsp sugar • 250g turkey breast mince


1. Grate the carrot and courgette, pat dry with paper towel to

remove the excess water. Finely chop the mushrooms, place in a bowl with the carrot, courgette and mixed herbs. 2. Next make the tomato sauce. Grate or crush the garlic and finely chop the onion. Heat a little of the oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic, cook on a medium heat until the onion has softened. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Next pour in the tomatoes, the stock cube and sugar. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. 3. Add the turkey mince to the vegetables and shape into 16 even-sized balls. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the meatballs, turning frequently for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. 4. Tip the meatballs in with the sauce and serve.

Cookies Kitchen specialises in all aspects of children’s cookery, providing cookery lessons, monthly cookery clubs, cookery parties, individual tuition and school-holiday workshops. www.cookieskitchen.co.uk

Women in business

With International Women’s Day on 8th March, three inspirational women, who have each launched a business close to their hearts, talk about their journey

The English beagle gifts

Audrey Williams, founder of The English Beagle, suppliers of beautiful, heartfelt gifts, manufactured in the UK At the age of thirty-something, I decided to become a mumpreneur. A change of role and a change of pace was what I needed and wanted, and I started by quitting my job with a successful children’s brand. After years of travelling the world, visiting manufacturers of every description, I wanted to do something that I was becoming passionate about: championing local producers and craftsmen. I grew up around craftswomen and it influenced my career choice. But as the years went by, I began to consider local producers. In an industry where price is key, I soon realised that price is not everything. Quality, heritage and provenance can offer far more value to life. And so The English Beagle was born. We have handpicked our brands, ensuring that there is something for everyone. But not only are the gifts remarkable, so, too, are the stories behind the brands. From mumpreneurs, like myself, to craftspeople who dedicate themselves to their art, from environmental champions to those who support charities, there is a story behind every brand we have picked. The vast talent which Britain has to offer is astounding, but who are these people who bring the gifts to life? We bring their stories to you in our ‘Beagle Brand of the Month’ features, as we find out who the people are behind the brands. I can’t wait to find out the stories our British producers have to tell! I have learnt so much about myself and who I can count on when the road seems never-ending. I would say to people, ‘I’m trying to set up a company’, until a wise lady replied, ‘Why do you say trying? You are already doing it!’ This changed my way of thinking. I am doing this and so far it is proving to be successful – even social media doesn’t seem to scare me any more! I realised recently that although I often work late into the night, I don’t feel guilty any more at being a working mum, whereas I always felt guilty when I worked 9 to 5. My daughter is my guiding light. Her occasional cuddles in the office and her curious questions on what I am doing always make me smile and I am so proud that she shows interest. When I started this adventure, I didn’t know where the road would take me and now I can see only wonderful things ahead. I have learnt so much, and I want to pass on a key piece of advice for those wanting to do something for themselves and by themselves: Do not be scared to ask for help or seek a professional opinion. I have met fabulous women along the way, who have all contributed in one way or another to The English Beagle. Without them, I would not be sitting here writing this and I am forever grateful to them. www.theenglishbeagle.com 88


Suzy and her dog, the original English Beagle

The new Creative Block range, launched 1st January. Products include tea towels, a chopping board and coasters. Prices start from £10.

Kudos readers will receive a 15% discount on all products until the 28th February. Please use promotional code SUZY04 at checkout


Clementine self-help app

Kim Palmer, founder of Clementine, an app that will help you feel calmer, sleep better and believe in yourself I have a personal story that has led to the launch of an app that supports women to overcome their anxieties. The idea for the app was, unfortunately, inspired by a really difficult period in my life. I was working in a senior marketing role, earning good money and climbing the ladder fast. But when I became pregnant, I didn’t slow down. I wasn’t eating properly and I was working ridiculous hours. This resulted in my first-ever panic attack. It was in the middle of my pitch during an important meeting and was horrendous. New to the world of mental health issues and anxiety, I assumed things would get better when I left for maternity leave. But they actually got much worse. I developed social anxiety, continued to have panic attacks and found myself in a dark place. When I was due to return to work (my son, Louis, had just turned one), instead I took the redundancy package I’d been offered from my previous role and started working for a new company in Kings Cross. I’d still not dealt with my mental health issues and was finding presentations – and other aspects of working life – completely overwhelming, so when a friend suggested hypnotherapy, I was on board. Hypnosis guides you to a wonderful, meditative place. It’s a bit like when you’re daydreaming and the world falls away – you’re neither fully present nor fast asleep. In this state, your brain is really receptive to new ideas. And it was incredible; it transformed my work life, home life and general self-esteem. This difficult journey made me realise that I am not weak, as I initially thought during that first panic attack. I’m strong. But like most people, I have periods of self-doubt and need a helping hand. So, I decided to use my redundancy pay to launch an app to help other women like me, women who are struggling at work, as a new mum, or with running a business. Clementine launched in the UK and Europe in November. It combines audio recordings from Georgia Foster (the clinical hypnotherapist who helped me with my recovery and is well known internationally for her work), daily mantras and other small nuggets of positivity to help shift negative, doubting thoughts and replace them with empowering ones. Basically, it helps women to feel calm, confident and able. I’ve tested it with 100 women from around the globe and they say it works. It’s not a spiritual, hippie app – it’s clever, sharp and aesthetically on-point. It’s for the modern woman. So how does it work? Once we’ve helped you to relax, our recordings tap into your subconscious thoughts – suggesting new ways to deal with everyday niggles as well as bigger, more difficult situations. You just kick back and let us work the magic. Neuroscientists believe that hypnosis is the quickest and easiest way to make changes to your thought processes, as it’s when the mind is most receptive and adaptable to change. That’s why you will ‘wake up’ feeling positive, calm and better able to cope. For example, when self-doubt slips into your thoughts and makes you question everything you’re doing (Am I good enough? Can I deliver this?), the Confidence Boost recording will get you back on track and believing you ARE good enough, you CAN do this. Or how about you fall asleep and were enjoying being in snoozeland but then –BANG – you’re suddenly awake. Don’t worry, Returning to Sleep will lull you back into a calm, quiet place… you’ll be asleep again before you know it. Clementine costs £5.99 a month and is free for the first month. www.clementineapp.co.uk KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



niix.fit Pilates and fitness studio app

Nicki Philips is the founder of niix.fit, an online Pilates and fitness studio app that offers a range of on-demand, easily accessible classes to suit all fitness levels, abilities and needs, with a specific focus on targeting women approaching 40 and beyond I have always been into fitness, health and wellbeing. Throughout my 20s, I trained hard but, like many, didn’t focus on technique. I looked fit, but wasn’t sufficiently equipped with the correct knowledge, which resulted in a back injury in my late 20s. During this time, I turned to Pilates, which rehabilitated my back and led to a full recovery. Experiencing first-hand the positive effects of Pilates, it soon became my passion and 10 years ago, I qualified as a Body Control Pilates instructor. I quickly built up a repertoire of qualifications including Advanced Mat and Reformer, antenatal and postnatal, Ballet Barre and TRX. Since then, I have taught hundreds of 1-2-1’s and small classes over the years in London and the South East, and opened up my own studio, The Shed, in Wadhurst four years ago. The studio is a thriving health and fitness hub in the area that has benefitted and helped hundreds of people. I live in East Sussex with my husband and two children, stepson and miniature Daschund, Myrtle. The app – endorsed and promoted by Louise Redknapp – has a strong focus on technique to ensure injury-free, efficient exercise that delivers fast-tracked results. A 30-day nutritional meal plan with recipes, compiled by health writer and nutritionist Lily Soutter, is also included. With women approaching 40 and beyond busier than ever, juggling careers, children and active social lives, I realised after 10 years of coaching Pilates to women aged 30 to 75, that age and busy schedules are no barriers to a fit and healthy life. With exercise helping these women gain confidence both mentally and physically, I believe it isn’t too late to adopt the right mind set and attitude to fitness. My years of teaching studio-based Pilates to hundreds of women has highlighted how important it is to develop, refine and tailor programmes to suit the changing needs and lifestyles of women approaching 40 and beyond. Women don’t need to spend hours in the gym doing gruelling workouts to get fit. By using my method of Pilates fused with cardio, together with a strong focus on technique, I have witnessed first-hand the fast-tracked health and fitness benefits this can bring. The niix method is age defying. By using niix to create your own fitness journey, I can help build strength, stamina and confidence, while toning and sculpting. Being part of clients’ successes in achieving fit and healthy lifestyles has brought me so much happiness over the years. Now I want to share my vision and methods with as many women as I can. With myself at the forefront, I’ll be with them every rep of the way. The ‘niix Method’ classes are categorised into an eight-week programme for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels, with ‘niix Focus’, offering shorter, more targeted goal-specific programmes such as Fortnightly Fat Burner, Sculpt & Burn and Core Toner. niix also offers a programme for new mums, with a six-week Post Pregnancy Strengthening programme to help them to safely get back into shape. With no equipment needed and class duration ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, the app is designed to offer a 1-2-1 personal training experience that fits into busy schedules anytime, anywhere. niix.fit is more than just online fitness classes. It’s a movement to motivate and inspire women reaching 40 and over around the world to become stronger, healthier and more confident about their bodies. It will help women to realise that leading a healthy lifestyle needn’t be a fad, but an approach that lasts a lifetime. The app is designed to allow members to curate their very own fitness journey and experiences, allowing them to share their progress with the niix community, ensuring fitness goals and targets, as well as general motivation stay on point. Free trials of the app are available. Thereafter, the app is £9.99 a month (£2.31 a week) until 1st February when it will be £14.99 per month (£3.74 a week). Available for download via the App Store and Google Play. To find out more and hear why Louise Redknapp loves niix so much, visit www.niix.fit 90



Business notes A round-up of local business news

King of the castle

New adventure playground with a sense of history at Hever Hever Castle’s new adventure playground was officially opened recently, with ‘Henry VIII’ escorting the specially-invited visitors to the new play area. Richard Guthrie, son of owner John Guthrie, cut the ribbon alongside members of the Waldegrave family – Katie Waldegrave, and Liza Hallinan and Camilla Trusted from the Astor family. The adventure playground is aimed at children 7-14. It features three slides and two poles, plus lots of interactive elements split into three houses named after three of the most significant owners in the evolution of the castle: Boleyn, Waldegrave and Astor. Children from Hever Primary School were among the first to try out the new play area and gave it the thumbs up. Duncan Leslie, CEO, said: “This project has been quite an undertaking and a great team effort pulling it together. There is a good chance that one day this building might be listed because it’s built to last.” The playground’s nine-metre tall Tudor Towers castle is bigger than a four-bedroom house and has its own moat, drawbridge and three turrets. Children can experience a castle under siege, with one side incomplete as if it’s been attacked, with a cargo net to climb and the noises of archers.

Image credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

There’s also a Dining Hall complete with sights and sounds (and an exit through the fireplace). Instruments to play and a roof maze to solve, as well as hidden boxes to find, mean it is sure to entertain everyone, from the younger child to the teenager. www.hevercastle.co.uk

To be the best

Kent charity ellenor awarded Outstanding rating ellenor, the Kent-based charity, has been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Inspectors said that ellenor, the only charitable service in the county to provide end-of-life, cancer and respite care to people of all ages in the hospice or in the comfort of their own home, was outstanding for its caring and responsive services, and that patients said “staff relationships were valued and they went ‘the extra mile’ when providing care and support”. They also highlighted that “the service provided outstanding end of life care where children and adults were enabled to experience a comfortable, dignified and pain-free death in the place of their choice when possible”. Claire Cardy, Chief Executive for ellenor, said: “We are delighted to have received this ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC, the highest that the regulator can award. This is testament to the dedication of our fantastic team of expert staff and volunteers. We regularly receive positive feedback from our patients and their families, but it’s a huge accolade to have the quality of care and compassion recognised by this inspection, too. Our ethos is always to provide the best-quality personalised care and support and enable families to make the most of the time they have together.” 92


For over 30 years, ellenor has served the communities of North and West Kent – in their place of choice – 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. ellenor’s aim is to provide the best personalised care, by providing expertise to ensure that families facing terminal illness get the right support in the best place possible, enabling them to make the most of the time they have. The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care services across the public, private and independent sectors. The Inspectors assessed patients’ personal care records and talked to patients, carers, family members and staff as well as measuring performance against five essential standards of quality; that is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. www.ellenor.org KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Could you be a start-up success?


Specialist in business start-ups, Belinda Raitt explains what it takes to be an entrepreneur

In business, there are pros and cons of having a specialisation. Having a broader offering could mean you appeal to more potential clients, but being an expert in a specific area often leads to more referrals as people associate you with a particular niche. It can be more rewarding too, as you immerse yourself more deeply in one business area. For my sins, I’ve ended up with start-ups being my specialist subject. Perhaps because I’ve set up a small business or two myself, I’ve developed an understanding of what’s required to work with entrepreneurial business owners – and the empathy to help keep them going when the going gets tough. I’ll be honest, it’s not the easiest sector to work with, but for every late night or last-minute change of plan, it brings its own rewards. It’s exciting, seeing someone’s dream come to fruition and helping them on their way. They’re trusting you with their baby, and you’re expected to take part in the late-night feeds, share the teething troubles and weather the new parent anxiety wobbles. Most start-up founders are very motivated and have a drive and energy that’s infectious, and that’s what they expect to see in their employees and contractors. There’s a lot of debate about whether an entrepreneurial mindset can be learnt or is inherent. My own observations are that the business skills required to run a business can be taught, but that in order to start one of your own successfully, you have to have a growth mindset, where you can adapt quickly to changing situations and markets and rally after setbacks. You need a degree of creativity, good communication skills, and a resourceful and resilient nature. And if you’re working with start-up founders, it helps if you have these qualities, too. When you have start-ups for clients, you have to accept that you may not be working with them as long as with other, more established businesses. It’s like being the stewardess on a plane that’s just taken off. You’re there to


keep an eye on things and back up the pilot as the plane climbs, and once it’s reached altitude and started to level out, the seatbelts unbuckle and the switch flips to auto-pilot. Cashflow is often tight in the early days, too, so you may need to offer them a more flexible fee structure, to help them deal with the ups and downs of a company’s first year in business. If you are happy working in a more unconventional way, can deal with more demanding clients and become a master juggler, too, working with start-ups for the most part is hugely enjoyable. I feel very privileged to have been part of the ground crew on some great company take offs, and am looking forward to helping a few more launch soon.


Parental alienation Sarah Haywood of ThomasHaywood Solicitors looks at a new approach to dealing with parents who try to turn their child against the other parent in cases of separation


When parents separate and there is disagreement about how the children share their time, the court will become involved if the parties cannot resolve the matter between themselves or in mediation. As part of the court procedure, a judge may direct that parents and children be interviewed by a CAFCASS officer (Children and Family Court Advisory & Support Service) who will then provide a report to the court with their recommendations. CAFCASS deal with approximately 125,000 cases a year and have noticed the concept of ‘parental alienation’ increasing, with estimates putting this as being present in 11-15 per cent of cases. Parental alienation is where one parent seeks to poison their child against the other parent, the ultimate aim being to persuade the child to permanently exclude that parent from their life. This is extremely damaging to the children involved and will have serious long-term implications for their future emotional wellbeing and mental health. CAFCASS recognise this and will be implementing a new approach towards such cases from this spring. All caseworkers will be given a new set of guidelines called the “High Conflict Pathway”, which will itemise the areas they must consider when dealing with suspected alienation cases. This pathway will spell out exactly when children should be removed from the alienating parent and placed with the other parent. CAFCASS have also developed a 12-week intensive programme designed to help the alienating parent look at matters from their child’s perspective

and arm them with skills to break their patterns of behaviour. If the alienating parent does not respond, then the aim is to bring in psychologists and mental health experts and ultimately, if there’s still no improvement, to limit contact between that parent and the child or even ban the alienating parent from any contact with their child. The difficulty will be when the children are of secondary-school age and able, according to the courts, to make up their own minds as to when and how often they see their parents. Often, alienating parents are outwardly very charming and persuasive, both to their child and to other professionals. They often have professional careers and wide social networks. Third parties find it difficult to believe that alienating parents are capable of what is in effect serious child abuse. This is often exacerbated when the other parent is not as confident or outgoing as the alienating parent. Cases of parental alienation have historically relied on CAFCASS officers recognising incidents on a case-by-case basis but often they only have one interview of less than an hour with the child. Many parents say that this has been missed in their case, leading to permanent estrangement from their child. ThomasHaywood Solicitors have extensive experience of Children Act cases and hope that this new initiative will help to break this cycle in any newly-referred cases.


Helping hand A round-up of local charity news On the right page

More books for local children, thanks to Hastings half-marathon runners Local book-gifting charity Imagine Nation has launched its second project, thanks to funds raised by Hastings half-marathon runners last year. Over the coming year, PACT@FSN volunteers will sign up 40 local children to receive one book a month posted through their door until they reach the age of five. The aim is for each of these children to build their own personal library. There is evidence to show that children who own more books are likely to do better once they get to school. Imagine Nation’s founder, Annalise Elam, says “We are really grateful to all the runners who took part in the half marathon earlier this year. Thanks to their efforts we can now provide more books to more local children.” Imagine Nation is already starting to recruit runners for next year’s half marathon and children’s mini-run. Do get in touch with Imagine Nation, if you are interested in running for them, or if you would like to help raise funds in any other way. To get involved contact Annalise at books@imagine-nation.uk To find out more about Imagine Nation or to make a donation, visit www.imagine-nation.uk

Tom Frere-Smith, local resident and Imagine Nation Hastings half-marathon runner, pictured on last year’s run

Having a ball

Celebrity guests for ellenor's sparkling fundraiser All the glitz and glamour of a charity ball proved to be a huge success after more than £55,753 was raised for hospice charity, ellenor, with their Great Gatsby Orange Ball. Claire Cardy, Chief Executive of ellenor, says: “We all had a fantastic evening and the feedback has been exceptional. We would like to thank all our patrons, guests and everyone who has supported us. Monies raised could fund our new Children’s Team Clinical Lead role, which facilitates provision of holistic specialist palliative care, planning, education and support to both patients and families.” Guests were welcomed by journalist and co-presenter of TV’s Location, Location, Location Phil Spencer and Good Morning Britain co-presenter and former Strictly Come Dancing star Charlotte Hawkins, both patrons of the charity. They were joined by Charlotte's Strictly partner, Brendan Cole. Charlotte said: “I am so proud to be a patron of ellenor, a charity which provides such vital care for very sick children, many who have cancer. The ball was a wonderful way to support this amazing cause, so reliant on funding to continue. It was a spectacular and sparkly evening, and having Brendan there to join me made it extra special. A massive thank you as always to those who came or donated prizes.”

All in a flap

The Roaring '20s raises money for Hospices of Hope Otford-based charity, Hospices of Hope, held its Roaring ’20s evening at Salomons in Tunbridge Wells recently. Guests were taken back to the era of jazz, speakeasies, flapper girls and ostrich feathers. To avoid prohibition, drinks were served in china cups and everyone enjoyed an evening of good food, music, entertainment and dancing. Fundraising and Resources Director Anna Perolls said: “We had a brilliant Roaring ’20’s evening. Everyone dressed up, looked fabulous and had a great time. We are really grateful to all our supporters who helped us raise more than £6,500 for much-needed hospice care in South East Europe.” 96



Safe as houses

As reported cases of domestic violence increase, we talk to Refuge, the first charity to offer a safe house to abused women and their children


When did Refuge start?

Refuge opened the world’s first safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence in Chiswick, West London, in 1971. Women and children flocked there because, for the first time, someone was saying it was wrong to beat your partner. Back then, domestic violence was seen as a ‘private matter’, to be dealt with ‘behind closed doors’. Society turned a blind eye. Since 1971, Refuge has grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services. Now they support almost 5,000 women and children on any given day.

What is classed as domestic violence?

Domestic violence is the systematic pattern of behaviour on the part of the abuser designed to control his partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused. It can begin at any stage of the relationship. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Whilst domestic violence happens in all relationships, statistics show the vast majority of incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.

How widespread is domestic abuse?

According to the Office for National Statistics, one woman in four experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales, and in the year ending March 2016, 1.2 million women reported experiences of domestic abuse in England and Wales. Whilst this number is shocking, we also know it is grossly underestimated. The cap on the number of violent crimes published, set at five per victim, means that even if a woman experienced 100 incidents of domestic violence, only five would make it into the official data. Thanks to research by Professor Sylvia Walby, Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, we know that were the cap to be removed, the number of incidents of domestic violence would increase by approximately 70 per cent.

What other forms of abuse do you help with? Refuge offers specialist support to women and children who 98


may be experiencing a variety of forms of gender-based violence including domestic violence; rape and sexual abuse; forced marriage; so-called ‘honour’-based violence; human trafficking and modern slavery; prostitution; and female genital mutilation (FGM). If you are experiencing abuse it’s important to remember it is not your fault and you are not alone.

Have the numbers of women seeking help increased over the years?

Day to day, year to year Refuge’s services are at capacity; the demand far outstrips supply. Statistics show that calls to the police have increased – a year ago the police received a domestic violence call every 60 seconds; the police now report receiving a call every 30 seconds. That said, there is no evidence to say that the incidence of domestic violence is increasing – it is as prevalent and pervasive in today’s society as it has ever been. However, the increase in calls to the police might be related to the fact that the police are running more campaigns which encourage women to reach out and access support.

Do men contact you for help, too?

They do. Our professional staff are highly trained to work with everyone experiencing domestic abuse, including men. No-one deserves to be abused by the person they love. Everyone has the right to be respected and live in safety.

What happens when someone contacts you? What help can you give them?

We run a range of specialist services to help survivors access safety and rebuild their lives. We understand each person’s circumstances and needs are different and that survivors need different services at different times. Our expert staff work closely, and confidentially, with every individual to develop a bespoke support plan. If a woman is not sure what service she wants or needs, Refuge will support her to explore her options.

Which areas do you cover?

Refuge runs services across different pockets of the country; we currently operate across 53 local authority boroughs. The 24hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, which Refuge runs in partnership with Women’s Aid, operates across the country. Locally, we operate five refuges in East Sussex, in the districts of Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Rother and Wealden. www.refuge.org.uk KUDOS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018