Editor’s Letter: December 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Welcome to our festive edition of The Hunsbury Handbook, filled to the brim with Christmas inspiration, from festive décor to gifts for all ages. We may not have Christmas parties to go to this year, or visits to the theatre for the annual panto, but we can still get into the Christmas spirit at home and make it special.

We start with advice on choosing and caring for your Christmas tree on page 10, followed by our best picks of baubles on page 16.

For a festive sweet treat, or lovely edible Christmas gift, make our spiced cinnamon star cookies on page 20.

We’ve selected some of the best beauty gift sets on page 24 and we also have present ideas for every age, taste and budget on pages 26 and 27.

If you’re buying gadgets this year, check out our Christmas tech checklist on page 34. We also have the best Santa apps which are a fun way to build upon the excitement; page 36.

Also this issue, we have eco-friendly tips on how we can all make a few changes this Christmas to help the planet, which will also help save you money as well; page 38. On the subject of saving money, we share ideas on how to make Christmas magical on a budget; page 42.

It’s easy to get carried away when buying gifts and stocking up on festive food, wanting everything to be ‘perfect’, especially after the year we’ve all just had! However, I think we’ve all come to realise throughout this challenging period, that quality time spent with loved ones is what makes it truly perfect… and that’s my wish for us all this Christmas.

Take care, keep safe and have a lovely time. Until next month…


Ability: Your Local Community Bus Service

Northamptonshire Health Charity: News & Events

Dedicate A Light To Someone Special

It has been a very challenging year so Northamptonshire Health Charity is holding a virtual Light up a Life event on Thursday 3rd December with the opportunity to remember and celebrate life in a positive way.  It is appreciated at the time of reading this it may be too late for you to take part in the event itself but dedications after 30th November are welcome. A light on the Christmas tree at the Billing Road entrance of Northampton General Hospital will still be dedicated to your loved one, you will receive a commemorative card and your message will appear on the special page at the charity’s website.

Lights are £5 each or 3 for £10 with proceeds going towards the COVID19 response appeal to benefit patients and staff at Northampton General Hospital and at the community and mental health hospitals.

Lights will sparkle for the first time at the virtual ceremony on 3rd December, which will remain available at www.northamptonshirehealthcharity.co.uk

If you wish to dedicate a light on the tree please email greenheart@nhcf.co.uk or call 01604 626927 for more information.

Help the Charity Get Santa Back to Lapland
The charity needs your help to get Santa to his Lapland village. The Rotary Clubs of Northampton have organised a Virtual Santa Fun Run from 6-13th December – 8 days for everyone to collectively reach the 2850km from Northampton to Lapland.

You can walk or run as many km as you want as often as you want across the 8 days. Once you’ve signed up at www.rotaryeclub1070.org/santa you can set up an online fundraising page to raise funds for Northamptonshire Health Charity to support your local NHS hospitals and services. Suit up and let’s get going! Find out more information at https://northamptonshirehealthcharity.co.uk/events/virtual-santa-fun-run/ or contact the charity team.

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Hayley’s Handicrafts & Gifts: Local Handmade Gifts For Family & Friends

We would like to welcome Hayley’s Handicrafts & Gifts to The Hunsbury Handbook.

Hayley’s dream of owning her own Haberdashery started as a little girl…“My Mum taught me how to knit, my Nan taught me embroidery and cross stitch, and I in turn introduced my Nan to tapestry. My love and passion for handmade crafts has always been there from an early age, but life takes over and we get busy with our families and work, but crafting is always there for that little bit of spare time”, Hayley explains.

In 2018, Hayley’s son developed testicular cancer, which by the time it was found had spread to his stomach lymph nodes and into his liver. Fortunately, within days he was in hospital having an op and as a family they started the long haul of intensive chemo away from home.

Naturally, such an event is likely to change anyone’s approach to life and in Hayley’s own words: “After seeing your own child go through cancer, you can’t help it, it just happens, you come out of it as a changed person.

“When my children reached teenage years, I thought yes! It’s now my time to progress with my career – study and get my HR and Business Manager qualifications and progress to my dream job as a Primary School Business Manager, which I did. But, following my son’s illness something within me changed …. gone was my passion and career drive. I no longer had the drive to work long hours with evening meetings, trying to balance budgets, what really mattered to me as a person was my quality of life at home, and an appreciation for life itself and the people within it. I wanted to be happy and make other people smile.

“In a nut shell, I wanted to follow my childhood dream and this is the start of my new journey.”

Hayley’s Handicrafts and Gifts – handmade gifts for all


Northampton General Hospital Blood Taking Unit Introduces Online Booking System

Patients wanting to book blood taking appointments can now use an online booking process to manage their appointments.

Following a change in the appointment system due to COVID and feedback from patients, the team have developed a new system to make booking appointments easier.

Appointments for adult, special and paediatric blood tests can all now be booked online https://www.swiftqueue.co.uk/northampton.php

Isabelle Brooker, Blood Taking Unit Operational Manager said “We hope this system will make it easier for our patients to book their blood taking appointments at their convenience. We know there have been a number of changes to the service but we hope this will offer a better experience for our patients.

“We would like to thank the community for their support and patience as our team has worked to answer calls as quickly as possible”.

If you are unable to book via the online facility, appointments for both paediatric and adult blood taking can be booked Monday to Friday between 9am and 3:30pm by phoning 01604 544190 or 01604 523303

Please note: If you are having bloods taken for any of the following tests, please ensure that you book a Special Requirements Appointment:
Acute Porphyria Screen, Bullous Porphyria Screen, BCR-ABL, Cortisol, Cytogenetics, DNA Studies, Erythropoietin (EPO), JAK2, Quantiferon, White Cell Enzymes

Move4 Physiotherapy Northampton: 5 Easy Ways To Avoid Injury

Move4 Physio Northampton have, and always will have one guiding principle, to improve the way you move.  Whether it’s your job, your hobbies or your lifestyle, the body develops strategies to allow you to achieve the outcome you want, and adapts to the things you spend most time doing. 

If you spend most of your time driving or sat at a desk, you will develop certain postures.  These postures, maintained over a long period of time, can lead you to develop issues such as low back pain, shoulder soreness or hip problems.  It’s our job to unpick these unwanted issues and get you back moving more efficiently, the way we were born to move.

Now, the last few months have meant most people out there have either been working from home, or have been furloughed and have spent much more time around the house.  With the patients we have been managing over this period, there are some trends which have developed, so we felt it would be useful for you to get a few tips from us to try and learn from the experience of others by putting some things into practice before it’s too late.

Tip 1 – If you normally wear high heels to work and have been mostly either barefoot or in flip flops throughout the last few months, make sure you stretch your calves regularly.  Wearing high heels can lead to short/tight calves so when you remove the heels this can lead to calf or achilles tendon issues.

Tip 2 – Looking at your phone a lot more than normal? Avoid ‘smart phone neck’ by being aware of where your phone is when you are looking at it. Try to keep it at shoulder/eye level as much as possible and reduce headaches and neck soreness from letting your head hang forward whilst you get up to speed on social media.

Tip 3 – If you’ve done more sitting recently (which I think we all have), then be aware that gravity is going to take its toll. To avoid shoulder issues make sure you stretch through your chest/pectorals and open up.  Sitting for long periods can lead to rounded shoulders which is a big risk factor for shoulder impingement issues.

Tip 4 – Linked to tip 3, if you’ve been working from home and sitting at your desk for long periods, make sure you open up your hips. Getting short and tight through your hip muscles can lead to multiple issues so use a lunge type position to open those hips up and avoid the pinching so many people report in their hips

Tip 5 – Many people have taken up new hobbies throughout the last few months.  One of the pitfalls of this is you go from 0 to 100 very fast and the body doesn’t have time to adapt.  Trying new things, and new types of exercise is amazing and therapeutic for you in the long run, but make sure you allow sufficient rest between activities and don’t ramp up the workload too fast.

If you’d like to learn more about ways you can optimise your body and build resilience, then  get in touch with us on 01604 735678 or email us appointments@move4physio.com.  Failing that, we have just under 100 exercises for you to try on our website www.move4physio.com

We look forward to working with you very soon.

Kind regards,

Move4 Physio Northampton

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