Editor’s Letter – May 2019

Dear Neighbours,

Whilst I welcome the spring and look forward to summer, the sunshine seems to throw a spotlight on all the jobs which need doing around the home and garden; a to-do list which seems to be getting longer by the day! Fortunately, The Hunsbury Handbook has all the services and trades-people needed to tackle all household chores, enabling you to take the pressure off your already demanding life and make the most of your precious spare time with family and friends. A favourite quote of mine is, “Never put off until tomorrow, what you can get someone else to do today!”.

In this issue we have environmentally friendly furnishings for your home and some quick and easy ways to give your bedroom a brand new makeover; pages 10 and 16 respectively.
In the garden, we look at achieving the minimalist look on page 20 and we also have a pick of the best garden gadgets on page 26.

Opting for a car that’s only a year old over a brand-new model could save you quite a packet; motoring expert, James Baggott, reviews ten of the best on page 28.

May is National Walking Month, an annual campaign to promote the health benefits of walking. We have a few of the whys and hows of incorporating this great exercise into your life, page 46.

As we spring into summer, now is a good time to sort through your makeup bag and bathroom cupboards to get rid of old and refresh with some new products for the new season; page 50.

Mix96 Tour De Vale Charity Bike Race is looking for volunteer marshals for their event on 9th June; details on page 34.

If you’re looking to prepare your child for school success with additional English and Maths tuition, Kumon are holding an assessment event on Saturday 4th May, followed by a free trial between 21st May-15th June; page 39.

Finally, the much-loved children’s book Zog is brought to life on the Derngate stage this June. We have a family ticket to give away, competition details on page 40.

Until next month…


WheelPower – Charity Bike Ride Calls For Volunteer Marshals

Mix96 Tour De Vale Charity Bike Ride sends call out for Volunteer Marshals

With a new 100k route planned for this year’s Mix96 Tour De Vale Charity Bike Ride in Buckinghamshire, 2,000 capacity expected to sell out, and a delicious mouth-watering Pig Roast to feed the masses, the Team are in search of volunteer Marshals to help for a couple of hours on the day (Sunday 9 June 2019) at this much-loved popular Charity event.

Volunteer Marshals need to be over 18 years old.

What are the perks of volunteering as a Marshal?
* Build organisational, people management, team player and initiative skills.
* Receive a free packed lunch
* Wonderful addition to your CV
* Enjoy the sunshine and meet new people!

‘We’re looking for as many volunteer marshals as possible’, says event organiser, Jo Hall at WheelPower, the National Charity for Wheelchair Sport. ‘If you’ve got a couple of hours spare on the day to provide guidance, route directions, and hand out refreshments at one of our 6 waterstop locations, we’d love to hear from you’.

Being a volunteer Marshal at the Mix96 Tour De Vale Charity Bike Ride means that you’ll be part of one of the county’s long-standing Charity initiatives, changing the lives of people like Toby, who lost his ability to walk after an illness that affected his spinal cord and brain at the age of only 3 years old.

To arrange an interview with the Organiser please contact:

Carolyn Fray
Communications Officer
Email: carolyn.fray@wheelpower.org.uk
Tel: (01296) 395995

Kumon, Maths & English Tuition – Free Trial

Royal & Derngate: Zog

Large in size, and keen in nature, Zog is so eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three.
Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet…a duel with knight, Sir Gadabout the Great!
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved Zog comes to life in Mike Shepherd’s (founder and Artistic Director of Kneehigh) magical adaptation with Johnny Flynn’s (award-winning actor and singer-songwriter with The Sussex Wit) sumptuous folk score featuring live musicians.  Katie Sykes’ design lifts the book from the page and creates a real and fantastical world. From the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, Zog promises to be roaring fun for all ages.
Zog takes to the Derngate stage between Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd June. Tickets are priced from £14.50 and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

* A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Barking Mad – A Waggy Tailed Solution To Modern Day Loneliness

Barking Mad Dog Care are offering volunteer dog cuddling as an antidote to the problem of loneliness in modern society! For those who are retired or work from home and are spending large chunks of time alone, caring for a waggy-tailed companion on a temporary basis and meeting other like-minded dog lovers could really help to overcome feelings of isolation. 

The perception of loneliness as mainly an issue for the older generation is now proving inaccurate, as a study from the Office for National Statistics suggests that young adults are more likely to feel lonely than older age groups. Due to huge advances in technology, the number of freelancers and remote workers is rising, with an article in Business Leader claiming that a ‘third of business owners think that workforce will work remotely by 2020.’

Caring for a friendly dog not only provides canine cuddles (far better than any virtual hug) but also the motivation to go and take a walk, increasing the likelihood of adhering to New Year fitness resolutions.

The community of Barking Mad host families mainly consists of active retired people and those who either work from home or have extended periods away from work. It offers the
opportunity to care for dogs in your own home, while their owners are away on holiday. Hosts experience all the benefits of dog companionship without any of the emotional or financial responsibilities of full-time pet ownership. 

If you know someone who would like to find out more about becoming a Barking Mad host, visit www.barkingmad.uk.com or call Shirley Rands on 01280 700110.

Crusader Community Boating

Bringing the peace and tranquility of Northamptonshire’s waterways to the disabled, disadvantaged and elderly through free group trips on our specially equipped wide beam boat. Funded by voluntary donations.

Crusader Community Boating is a Northamptonshire charity that enables people with physical or mental disabilities, as well as those from care homes, to enjoy a day trip on the local waterways in its purpose built boat – an experience they might otherwise be denied. Trips run from Gayton Junction, at Blisworth Arm, along the Grand Union Canal.

Passengers either bring a picnic or we make a lunch stop at the Wharf canalside pub at Bugbrooke.

There is no charge for these trips as we rely on voluntary donations and our own fundraising activities.

To help fund the free trips, we also run a number of private charter trips for groups of up to 20 passengers. A perfect day out for family and friends celebrating a special occasion.

The charity, run entirely by volunteers who are also responsible for generating their own funding, is continuing a service for the local community that was started by St John Ambulance over 20 years ago.

Due to an increase in demand for the current service, and the charity’s objective of introducing an expanded service for primary school children, we are currently seeking financial support to purchase a second boat.

For further details, please see www.crusadercommunityboating.org.uk and follow us on Facebook /crusadercommunityboating

Brain Haemorrhage Foundation Charity Golf Day – A Great Success

The charity golf day on 7th March was a great success, raising £697 on the day for the Brain Haemorrhage Foundation. One of co-organisers of the charity golf day sadly lost his mother to a brain haemorrhage on new years eve, it was all so sudden and their aim is to raise money for further research in order to help prevent this from happening to other families.

Online donations for this very worthy cause are still very much appreciated and can be made through justgiving: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brain-haemorrhage-foundation

Please help raise money for the Brain Haemorrhage Foundation

Editor’s Letter – April 2019

Dear Neighbours,

I have already succumbed to the temptations of Easter treats and eaten my first Cadbury Crème Egg of 2019; (other eggs are available!). Unfortunately, once the first one is consumed, my will-power evaporates and I’m on the slippery slope of eating my body weight in chocolate over the coming weeks! I’m normally a savoury rather than sweet person, but at this time of year I’m seduced by all the chocolate eggs on offer and resisting temptation proves impossible. I just need to ensure my boys don’t find my secret stash!

The annual National Parks family festival is now coinciding with Easter school holidays and aims to get families outside to discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks, details of which are on page 10.

If you’re entertaining this Easter, we have great decorative suggestions for your seasonal celebration, page 18. Plus, why not finish any Easter feast with our apricot and orange cheesecakes; page 24.

Don’t be an April Fool! Beware of the tech scams trying to trick you; details on page 26.

Last issue we looked at whether a diesel car was the right choice, this month we look at hybrids; page 28.

It’s National Stop Snoring Week, 22nd-28th April, an awareness campaign to remind people snoring is treatable and to also be aware of its links to other health problems; page 44.

Crusader Community Boating is a Northamptonshire charity that enables people with physical or mental disabilities, as well as those from care homes, to enjoy a day trip on the local waterways in its purpose built boat. To help fund these excursions, they also offer a limited number of private charter trips to groups of up to 20 people – great for a family celebration or get together with friends; page 42.

Finally, we have two tickets for the phenomenal stage version of Dirty Dancing to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 46.
Wishing you a happy Easter. Until next month…


East Hunsbury Rocks! Easter Rock Hunt, Grangewood Park, Sunday 14th April, 10am

‘Rocking’ is a worldwide craze where people paint and hide rocks for others to find. We have a lovely group that ‘rock’ East Hunsbury regularly, so you might be lucky and find a painted rock while you’re out and about. We hope that the rocks bring smiles to their finders, and encourage them to keep their find or rehide it to share the smile with someone else. We’d love you to join in this activity that encourages creativity and exercise, and is bringing the community together. We have an Easter themed rock hunt in Grangewood Park on Sunday 14th April from 10am. If you would like more information about our activities, please visit our Facebook group ‘East Hunsbury Rocks’.

Northamptonshire Carers – Volunteers Needed To Give Carers A Break

– Do you have a few hours to spare?
– Would you like to help a worthwhile cause?
– Use your skills and experience to help carers take a break

What’s involved?
The Carers Sitting Service provides support by giving a break to those who have a caring responsibility for a husband, wife, partner, parent, relative or friend.

Sitting sessions take the form of befriending and involve meeting the same person in their own home. As a volunteer befriender you would be visiting someone in your local area. Volunteers do not give personal care or cook meals, undertake cleaning or do shopping.

No qualifications are needed, we will provide induction training and on-going support. However, it is important that you are understanding, patient, non-judgmental, a good listener and open-minded.

You could use your spare time to help someone else, or gain experience while you search for paid employment. You could also gain a reference to use when you apply for jobs.

All volunteers have an informal interview, will need to complete an application form and provide two references. If you are successful we will request a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check, which we will pay for.

Travel expenses will be paid for any visits you make.

Interested? To find out more,
call Adam Wilson on 01933 677837
or email him at adamw@northamptonshire-carers.org