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KEEP our district clean and tidy. That is the message from East Northamptonshire Council, which carried out a major clean-up on of the area’s busiest roads.

Following successful clean-ups along the A14 and A45 during January and February, the council’s waste team litter-picked a major section of the A45 from Chown’s Mill to Rushden Lakes roundabout.

A team of four people worked along the stretch across two weekends and collected bags of waste totalling more than two tons while the A45 was closed for planned roadworks during February, as part of the Chown’s Mill roundabout redevelopment. Council leader Steven North said: “Unfortunately, the majority of the litter collected was wrappers, packets, bottles and cans, rather than

items falling from lorries, so could have been dropped from vehicles deliberately.

“Of course, we cannot track where the rubbish collected along the A45 has come from, but wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone, residents of the district and visitors alike, that this type of litter picking costs everyone and we would rather that this money and time was spent on something which contributed to the wider community.” The mass clean-up followed a scheme in nearby Irthlingborough, when residents were invited, following the success of last year’s waste amnesty day, to dispose of any unwanted bulk items. The council partnered with Irthlingborough Town Council, Longhurst Group, Northants Police, Orbit, Grand Union Housing Group and The Co-Operative Central England to encourage residents to clear out their houses and gardens of general waste, white goods and scrap metal. Councillor North said: “We are always trying to find ways to help residents across East Northamptonshire clear out those unwanted items and after the success of previous amnesties, we were keen to partner once again with other like-minded organisations.” For more information about waste in East Northamptonshire, including the authority’s bulky waste collection scheme, where all residents of the district can have up to seven items of bulky waste collected for £29.50, visit You can also visit the site to arrange your own community litter pick and find out more about future clean-ups.

Top employer award winner

BUILDING supplier Travis Perkins, which has a base in Rushden, has been recognised as a UK Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute. Organisations certified as ‘Top Employers’ are known to dedicate themselves to providing the very best working environment for employees through their progressive ‘people-first’ HR practices. David Plink, from the organisation, said: “To become recognised as a ‘Top Employer’, an organisation will have to prove the implementation of their people strategies enriches the world of work of their employees. “The certified participants are a shining example of a dedication to people practices as they continuously commit to empowering their employees for a better world of work.” This Top Employers recognition follows last year’s ranking by Linked In of Travis Perkins as the UK’s top 20 company where workers wanted to land a job opportunity.

Police braced for increase in domestic violence cases


POLICE are ready to respond quickly and robustly to reports of domestic abuse incidents in the face of Covid-19 restrictions. In China, police reports show domestic violence increased when restrictions were imposed and exacerbated household tensions due to forced coexistence, economic stress and understandable fears about the virus. Det Chief Insp Andy Glenn, who is the force lead for adult safeguarding, said: “The controls the Government has put in place to protect people from the virus can unfortunately impact on victims of domestic violence. “We wholeheartedly support the need to follow measures of social distancing and isolation but we recognise these restrictions may give rise to an increase in domestic abuse and we are more than ready to respond. “Our first priority is to protect victims and any children present but we also urge perpetrators to seek help and maybe this period of enforced restriction is a good opportunity to think about the root causes

of violent or controlling behaviour – there are many ways to get help and support in order to understand and change the way you behave, to give you a better chance of fixing your relationship with your partner and protecting any children in your household. “The most important message I want to convey is that, in the face of the current challenges presented by Covid-19 and fastmoving developments, we are not taking our eye off the ball. “Tackling domestic abuse is a force priority and that hasn’t changed. I urge people to keep an eye out for their neighbours and for anybody affected to get help. There is a wealth of support available.” For further advice and support, you can If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is and there is an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call 999. For more on coronavirus, turn to page 3, or visit

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Youngsters get a taste of the health service

YOUNG Healthwatch Northamptonshire volunteers took part in activities to find out more about Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital and to give young people a taste of future careers in the NHS Takeover day allows children and young people to gain an insight into the adult world and organisations open their doors to benefit from a fresh perspective on their work. Volunteers invited to both hospitals for an action-packed day meeting staff, hearing about children and young people’s feedback as patients and trying out some fun features at the

hospital which allows for a better stay for young people. After a meet and greet and attending a board meeting with the CEO and board members at Kettering Hospital, the young volunteers talked about feedback that the hospital receive from patients about how patient experience can be improved, especially for young people. At Northampton General Hospital, the Young Healthwatch team had the opportunity to hop aboard the children’s train, driven by its amazing volunteers. The train allows for young patients to have

fun while being transported around the hospital for treatments and procedures. Meanwhile, at KGH, Young Healthwatch members met the communications team for the hospital and had an insight into how they keep the public updated with new and exciting developments within the hospital. Volunteer Kia said: “The environment is very friendly, all the staff are lovely and they make you feel really welcome. Find out more about Young Healthwatch at g-healthwatch-1


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Residents find out more about plans for the district

RESIDENTS from across the district were invited to public consultation events held at Rushden Lakes to view plans for the Rushden East Sustainable Urban Extension, (SUE), Masterplan and Districtwide Local Plan Part 2. The events across two days, which were organised by East Northamptonshire Council, provided stakeholders and local residents with the opportunity to find out more about the consultations and submit their views. Questions raised by residents included the prospect of Rushden being extended and the impact on infrastructure, alongside the connectivity between new developments and existing towns. Council planning officers were on hand to answer queries, explain details of each of the consultations and ensure residents and stakeholders had an understanding of how the proposals will influence development in Rushden and Higham Ferrers. The Rushden East SUE

Masterplan is a strategy which sets out to build approximately 2,700 dwellings, to provide a wide range of employment opportunities, community facilities, greenspaces and improved infrastructure within the next 15 years. This strategic development will work alongside the district-wide Local Plan Part 2 and Householders Extensions, SPD, which when finalised and adopted, will cover the remainder to the current Local Plan period to 2031. Council leader Steven North said: “We’d like to thank everyone who came along to the consultation events to view the proposals and speak with planning officers. “Officers had some useful discussions with residents who were all keen to have their say on future development in Rushden and Higham Ferrers. Further details about current consultations and plans for the district, can be found at ion

A PARTY marked the 100th anniversary of DB Shoes in Rushden. After a centenary of ups and downs, the company is thriving once more, under the watchful leadership of managing directors Charles and David Denton, also identical twins and the third generation of Dentons to run the company. The company’s centenary was featured in last month’s Reporter and after the celebration party,

Charles said: “A hundred years is a fantastic achievement, especially in the shoe trade. “I believe we are the only shoe business founded by identical twins and now run by identical twins.” Charles and David were swift to mention the hard work that their team of 44 employees contribute to the success of the family business. Employees celebrated with a meal and party at the Stanwick Lakes Hotel.

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PERFORMING arts students are ready for the spotlight thanks to their hard work and support from Tresham College. Caitlyn Warner, 18, from Irthlingborough, is in her second year of performing arts HND. Spotted while starring in a college production Caitlyn has been chosen to perform at this years National Student Drama Festival in April. She said: “I have studied musical theatre here at Tresham and now I’m concentrating on acting for my HND course. “Performing at the festival will be a great experience and an opportunity to work with professionals in the industry,” said Caitlyn. Matthew Lawman, 16, from Kettering, is studying drama at Tresham College. After the students took part in a workshop by London Theatre Company Frantic Assembly, Matthew won a coveted place at further master-classes with the company. He said:  “Frantic Assembly specialise in physical theatre, which is very a creative and powerful way of expressing yourself on stage. Working with them has opened my eyes to alternative styles of acting.” Tresham College performing arts course manager Abby Smith said: “To be chosen from students all across the country is a great achievement and a valuable opportunity to build on their talent. Our performing arts courses aim to prepare students for work in the industry.”

School boosted by donation STAFF and pupils at a county school celebrated a festive windfall with a donation from Croyland Car Megastore and Enterprise Rent-ACar. A donation of £1,000 was presented to Kingsley Special Academy in Kettering, which will help with the construction of a safe access area to the school’s play

equipment. Croyland Car Megastore’s mascot Cooper the dog made a surprise visit to Kingsley Special Academy along with the Rushden dealership’s general manager Mark Swindells. Head Tom O’Dwyer said: “At Kingsley we recognise the preciousness of every day, and when

Cooper the dog came to call on us we had a very precious day indeed.” Mr Swindells said: “We were thrilled to be able to support the school in conjunction with Enterprise. “We are delighted to hear the donation will help make such a difference for the children.


amid coronavirus pandemic RUSHDEN Mind, the mental health charity for East Northamptonshire, has outlined its forthcoming plans to modify their current range of support services for adults and young people during the corona virus pandemic. With more 1,000 existing service users dependent on their support, plus many others in the community who will be feeling anxious and fearful, Rushden Mind will now be offering a range of new and oneto-one support options either online or by telephone. Chief executive Sherry Adams said “Inevitably the news around the pandemic is frightening and all of us find ourselves in extremely difficult times. “But we can all practise self-care, find new routines and build up our resilience. I predict a huge rise in the number of people needing our support in the months ahead and we face a challenge to adapt swiftly to the demands and methods of delivery. “Many people are losing their routines, their financial security, experiencing loss through face to face friendships, all relationships - family, intimate and professional will face new ways of living, some things we have no control of, but how we react to that change is within our control. “I have been overwhelmed by the support shown by the team at Rushden Mind, staff, counsellors, students, trainees, and volunteers who all underpin our services, showing true compassion and solidarity in the face of adversity. “People who struggle with their mental health are likely to feel even more isolated and extremely anxious. One in four people will be diagnosed with a mental health problem in their lifetime, I believe four in four of us will be affected somehow by the effects of COVID-19 on our world. “You need us, and we need you, to continue your support.

“Local charities depend on their community.” “These are unprecedented and certainly challenging times are ahead of us now. “We have been closely monitoring the Government guidelines and wealth of information and updates. “In order to safeguard our team, support our community, we will be diversifying our core services and delivery methods. “Our contingency plans are reviewed daily and subject to change, but what we have planned we want to share right now. “Following Government guidelines, we are reducing the number of social support groups for the remainder of March and April, pending further updates. “Our aim is to focus on service users and clients in need of support for their mental health, whileunderstanding the health of everyone is paramount. “Groups will be restricted to less than eight. We are working hard to transfer our counselling and emotional support sessions to include telephone and online Zoom support services ensuring continuation for existing service users and clients. “Our relationships with schools are equally important and we hope to be able to offer our support as they become accustomed to their new ways of working after the Easter period. “We will announce new support lines with days and times for when specific groups such as NHS workers and key workers can call us for support in a confidential, space.” Visit for more details. EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the outbreak, many local events have been cancelled, or postponed, including Raunds Music Festival.

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PUPILS from Windmill Primary School in Raunds received an assembly from industry experts all about how they make sure they stay safe around construction sites. Steve Cockram at ASHE Construction and James Tennant from East Northamptonshire Council, which is delivering Enterprise Centre East Northants at Warth Park, gave their top tips to pupils about how the importance of staying safe near a construction site. Year two pupil at Windmill Primary School, Myah, said: “It was fun and interactive learning about building site safety and I am excited about the competition and prizes.” Year one pupil Rose added: “I really enjoyed it, the game was fun and it showed us the right and wrong things to wear on a building sites.” Leader of East Northamptonshire Council Steven North, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with construction specialists, ASHE, to deliver the new enterprise centre. “Together, we are passionate about providing youngsters with the tools they need to stay safe near any construction sites. “I hope that the pupils enjoyed hearing all about our top tips and they can use these skills for many years to come.” Contracts manager at ASHE

Construction, Steve Cockram, said: “Safety is our number one concern. “While we try our very best to minimise construction risks both on and off site, there will always be potential risks around a construction site as we temporarily change the environment in a projects location with deliveries of staff and materials to construct the scheme. “It’s great to be able to get to see the children at an early stage to explain the dangers that exist around a site and how best they can keep themselves safe.” Enterprise Centre, East Northants, is due to open this spring and will offer start-up and growing businesses first-rate flexible workspace and business support. East Northamptonshire Council, which is delivering the project has received £1.69m funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, (SEMLEP), Local Growth Fund towards Enterprise Centre, East Northants as part of Enterprising East Northants, the council’s economic plan for sustainable job creation and business growth. To find out more about Enterprise Centre, East Northants, visit:

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Funds to support youth action projects THE #iwill Fund awarded more than £50,000 this year to youth social action projects across Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, supported by match funding from the Wilson Foundation. The fund is distributed by Northamptonshire Community Foundation with a youth-led grants panel. #iwill is a UK-wide campaign from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, aiming to get six out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020. The fund is designed to give young people the chance to lead change and make a positive contribution to their communities. The fund has supported 11 community projects this year that are increasing youth social action in Northamptonshire, including Empowering the Youth, Free 2 Talk CIC, Screen Northants Ltd., (pictured, right), Service Six and Red Rumpus. Charities funded in Leicestershire include Leicester Riders Foundation and the Melton Learning Hub. Screen Northants Ltd. received funding to support its ‘Future of Northampton in Film’ project which aims to raise the profile of Northampton as a film destination.

Leicester Riders Foundation will use the funding to support its 12-week ‘One Team Leicester’ programme, using the power of sport to engage with disadvantaged young people across the city. Chief executive of Northamptonshire Community FoundationVictoria Miles said: “The funding supported by a youth-led panel will inspire a generation of young changemakers in the community and support the development of their skills, potential and future aspirations. “We are delighted that we continue to receive the generous support from the Wilson Foundation in match funding the #iwill fund in nurturing young people’s talents.” In a separate project, Northamptonshire Food Poverty Network, which is facilitated by the foundation, is calling on members of the general public to urgently support their local food bank or food project. The network’s members including charities and community groups tackling food poverty are struggling with an ever increasing demand for their services. If anyone wishes to help they can find more details at ship/nfpn

Youngsters off to Borneo

LENDING their support to these youngsters from the Camp Borneo Expedition was Mayor and Mayoress of Higham Ferrers, Chris O'Rourke and Kathleen Meredith, along with Rushden Mayor and mayoress Cesare Mariano and Sabina Mariano. Money raised will go towards sending volunteers to Borneo to build a sustainable community for the local community.


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Action to cut death rates Sea Cadets inspire public in

COT death charity The Lullaby Trust is urging local authorities in the county to focus their efforts on bringing death rates down. The call to action comes as part of Safer Sleep Week, the charity’s national campaign to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome, (SIDS), also known as cot death, and the lifesaving advice that parents can follow to reduce the risk of it occurring. According to the latest results from the Office for National Statistics, (ONS), in 2017 SIDS rates in England and Wales went down to the lowest on record. However, SIDS rates in the East Midlands have increased from 0.30 in 2016 to 0.37 in 2017. Rates of SIDS deaths in the East Midlands are now amongst the highest in the country, considerably higher than the average rate in England of 0.27. Worryingly, a new national survey of more than 7,000 new parents commissioned by The Lullaby Trust has shown half of parents in the East Midlands have put their baby in an unsafe sleeping environment or admitted to taking actions which could greatly increase the risk of SIDS in order to get them to sleep for longer. These included unsafe co-sleeping, such as a parent co-sleeping with their baby on their chest or on a sofa or armchair. An adult sleeping on a sofa or armchair with a baby increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by up to 50 times. The survey found more than a quarter of parents also admitted to putting their baby on their front or side to sleep. Sleeping a baby on their back for every sleep is one of the most protective actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Since this came into public awareness with the Back to Sleep campaign in 1992, the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped by 82 per cent. The Lullaby Trust chief executive Officer Jenny Ward said: “It is concerning the rate of SIDS has increased in the East Midlands. “The survey results suggest that more needs to be done to ensure all parents in the East Midlands are aware of the importance of following safer sleep practices for every sleep day and night. “We know consistently following safer sleep advice can be difficult, especially when new parents are very tired but doing so is vital to reducing the risk of SIDS. “We strongly urge local authorities and health trusts to help us bring down the number of deaths in the East Midlands by ensuring safer sleep messages reach all families.” The Lullaby Trust has partnered with Public Health England on an animation for new parents with messages on coping with tiredness and safer sleep. This has been released as part of its annual awareness raising campaign Safer Sleep Week. To view visit The survey was commissioned by The Lullaby Trust and sent out by Bounty Parenting Club to its members during January this year. A total of 7,041 parents with children aged under 12 months participated in the survey. For more information on SIDS rates in your region visit tatisticson-sids/regional-sids-statistics/ For more information on safer sleep for your baby visit

fundraising Atlantic race IT IS not every weekend you get to row across the Atlantic in a charity fundraising event and then visit the Royal Navy’s newest Aircraft Carrier in Liverpool the following day, but a very lucky group of youngsters from Rushden Sea Cadets got to do just that last weekend. In February at the Canoe2 Boathouse in Rushden Lakes shopping centre, the hardy group took part in the Sea Cadets Row3000 challenge - a gruelling virtual race across the Atlantic Ocean, competing against other Sea Cadet units up and down the country.  Using a pair of indoor rowing machines donated by the Pemberton Centre in Rushden, eight cadets each  took turns at the oars, racking up a hugely impressive 97 miles, (156km), during a seven and a half non-stop race. Throughout the day, they  received  motivational messages from BBC Radio Northampton, Beat Route Radio and Olympic legends - medal winning rowers Helen Glover and Peter Reed. At the end of an exhausting day, despite being one

of the smallest teams in the competition, they finished in a very impressive 14th place, out of a total of 46 teams. And if that was not enough for one weekend, the following day they headed up to Liverpool to visit HMS Prince of Wales - the newest of the Royal Navy’s two 65,000 ton aircraft carriers.  The ship was open to the general public during her stay in Liverpool, but the cadets were given a special behind the scenes tour of the Ship, including a visit to the Ship’s Control Centre, (SCC), medical centre and a walk around the absolutely huge flight deck - something that most of the visitors did not get the opportunity to do. Afterwards, they joined the rest of the crowds in the hangar, where they got to meet members of the ship’s crew and view a wide variety of display stands, showcasing what the Royal Navy is all about. The Sea Cadets is a national charity which helps over 15,000 youngsters each year within the UK get a better start in life.

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Boost for housing growth

created an impressive level of A LEADING housing association, investor appetite. which has one of its main offices in Rushden, has secured signifiLonghurst group deputy chief cant investment which will help it executive and chief finance officer achieve its ambitious plans to Rob Griffiths, said: “We are very build about 750 new homes a year pleased to have achieved such a for the next five years. significant level of investment and at a really competitive rate. Longhurst Group, which owns “The sale of these retained and manages more than 23,000 bonds provides the group with furproperties across the Midlands ther liquidity, which ensures we and East of England, including are in an even stronger position to more than 4,000 in Northamptonrealise our development ambitions shire, has raised £100m following and build about 750 new homesMEGC April 2020 ADS.qxp_Layout 1 18/03/2020 14:18 Page 1 the sale of its 2,043 retained each year between now and 2025. bonds. “As illustrated by the level of The bonds, originally issued investor appetite - as well as the by the group’s funding vehicle recent retention of our G1/V1 staLibra 2 Treasury PLC in 2018, tus, - our strong financial footing, were launched last month followalongside strong governance and a ing a series of investor meetings robust approach to managing risk the previous week. provides the solid foundations The bond sale was four and a which will enable the group to half times over-subscribed and realise its future ambitions. achieved an all in re-offer yield of “These foundations will help 2.339 per cent. us continue as a leading housing group and developer while investStrong performance in a numing in our communities and ber of areas, including rent enhancing our services to do arrears, tenancy sustainment, everything we can to improve development and shared ownerpeople’s lives.” ship sales, combined with the OF For TYPES more information visit clear and ambitious vision of the ALL Group’s Improving Lives strategy, SHOE REPAIRS


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John peddles his way to charity funds INTREPID cyclist John Gibbs helped raise more than £1,500 for charity. John, who cycled with minimum accessories from Land’s End to John O’Groat’s in July last year, was proud to present individual cheques to each of the three local charities he had sponsored on his solo bike ride. He said: “I finally got round to presenting the cheques to the three local charities I chose to raise money for my solo cycling challenge from Lands End to John O'Groat’s self-supported last July. “A massive heartfelt thank you to everyone that sponsored me and kept me motivated during the challenge. “And a big thank you to Roger

Chris Kinsey, Stevie Jones & David Peters for organizing FEBFEST which brought the total raised to £1,537.98. Each charity received a cheque for £512.66 people are amazing.” Our picture, (courtesy of Roger Kinsey), shows John with the bike he rode, with left to right Joanne Hawkins, from EquATA, Denise Mackay from Johnny’s Happy Place, and Sue McKay from Green Patch. The money raised for Green Patch will be used to buy items for use in its new sensory room.


Volleyball latest Rebels v Bedford GNG 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the coronavirus we have not been able to bring you much sport as we would like. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed shortly.




THE Rebels were not surprised to see the Bedford team containing first team players, yet went into the game feeling positive. The opening exchanges were close and there was little in it at 1211 to Bedford. Uncle then found the Rebels weakness of movement against the short serve and profited collecting six points, Fabritsio was getting the ball past the Rebels block and Mark was hitting deep cross court and GNG went on to take the set 25-14. Piotr set the Rebels off to a good start in set two before they were beset with serving errors. Azzura however did not have the same problem, serving deep and to the side lines she found hesitation and confusion from the Rebels serve receivers. Konrad returned for the Rebels part way through the set but could not help them get their noses back in the lead as the set went 25-23. Serving from Aidan in set three put the Rebels on the front foot, Konrad and Shaun started to find some hitting form, with some hitting errors from GNG, Rebels took the set 25-18. Set four was the tightest and most closely fought of the evening, yet of the Rebels 16 visits to the service line, six ended in serve errors. GNG made two. With the Rebels block now stopping Lewis and Alex, GNG switched tactics and went on to tip the ball over and round the block, they went on to take the set 26-24. MVP's were Azzura for GNG and Piotr for the Rebels.

Northampton Polish Crew v Rushden Raiders FOR their home fixture NPC were

able to put out their full squad and yet again this clash of last years top two did not disappoint. Raiders suffered a set back in the warm up losing Wojceich to a recurring knee injury. With him being a key factor in the Raiders serve receive unit NPC profited and got off to a flying start. With Michal Orlowski pulling the strings Patryk and Wiktor were again the main tormentors. Gery, Loz and Rik were having some success blocking in the middle and on one wing but it was the reverse hits doing the damage. NPC took the first set 25-21 and the second set 25-17. Raiders made a change in set three, bringing on Edgars on in the middle, and the change in dynamic worked as the Raiders took the set 25-18. Any hope of a Raiders revival were quickly dashed in set four as they could not get a handle on Zeilinski’s serve handing over a eight point lead. They continued to pick up the odd point and sideout but serving errors prevented the comeback. NPC went on to take the set 25-16 and the match 3-1. MVP's were Gery Vegh and B. Jaworski.

MEANWHILE, a team of Tresham College players have won an East Midlands Championship to represent our region in volleyball. Teams from colleges across the country compete in different sports for national trophies and this year Tresham College Volleyball team won the chance to represent East Midlands. Sports lecturer at the college Matt Lambert said: “Our team has trained really hard in preparation for this tournament.”

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East Northants Reporter April 2020  

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