Editor’s Letter – October Issue

Dear Neighbours,

The transition between summer and autumn always seems so quick; one week I’m in sandals and the next I’m hunting out my woolly socks and boots. Summer hols already seem like a distant memory and the start of a new series of Strictly Come Dancing signifies the countdown to Christmas!!! Agghh…

Sometimes I just want to slow things down a bit and have time to appreciate life rather than be on autopilot, which seems to be my default setting currently.

With the demands of daily life, achieving the right work-life balance is sometimes easier said than done. National Work Life Week, between 1st and 5th October, is an annual initiative focussing on how employees and employers can improve well-being at work and work-life balance; read page 10 for more information.

Northampton based psychotherapist, Deanna Joyce, looks at the growing problem of psychological tension and shares some interesting facts on page 14.
Tens of thousands of children enter the care system in the UK every year so if you think you can help by becoming a foster carer, read our article on page 16.

If you’re looking forward to Halloween festivities, make sure it stays fun by following the safety advice from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service on page 58.

Finally, we have two tickets to see Rain Man to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 54.

Until next month…


Hunsbury Park Primary School: Open Morning & Afternoon Sessions

Trilogy Health & Fitness – FREE Month On Us!

EmotionalSkills: How Good Is Your Mental Health?

Psychotherapist, Deanna Joyce, looks at the growing problem of psychological tension.

Today’s busy, ever changing, world is a breeding ground for psychological tension. Most people know someone who has been troubled in this way or they suffer themselves. Some interesting facts:

• Both men and women, between the ages of 55 and 64, have a noticeable increase in common mental health complications.

• Women aged between 16 and 24 are almost three times as likely (at 26%) to experience psychological tensions as their male contemporaries (9%).

• Young women have higher rates of self-harm, bipolar type complaints and post-traumatic stress issues (1).

• Young men are likely to commit suicide without talking to others… three times as many men take their own lives.

• It takes the average person with psychological issues ten years to seek help.

• 74% of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope (2).

• 60% of young people aged 18-24 have felt high levels of stress because of pressure to succeed (2).

• 32% of adults say they have experienced suicidal feelings as a result of stress (2).

Around a third of all people with a mental health problem have sought no professional help at all. This could be because of the stigma attached to mental ill health. It may be that people don’t know where to look for help.

My advice is to be brave and talk to your GP, a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. People can change and the sooner the change starts the better.

If you’re struggling with emotional issues, email info@emotionalskills.uk. Visit www.emotionalskills.uk

(1) – Jenny Edwards CBE Mental Health Foundation
(2) – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/stress-are-we-coping

Editor’s Letter – September Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I’ve enjoyed a relaxing couple of weeks break over the summer with my family but all good things unfortunately come to an end, and so it’s back to school runs, work and generally chasing my tail!

I was pleased my 16 year old son obtained a summer job as soon as he finished his GCSE’s without me having to badger him (too much!), and even more surprised that he committed to daily 8am starts throughout this time without so much as a grumble! I think his first pay packet was a great motivator and hopefully this will encourage him to work hard at Sixth Form to achieve the results he needs to secure a good job in his chosen field. I can’t believe my ‘little boy’ is all grown-up!

It’s certainly not been cheap kitting him out in suits for college – not to mention upgrading his laptop; our technology feature has tips on getting the most for your money when it comes to new term tech, page 10.

With the start of a new term, Northamptonshire Police are encouraging parents and carers to help children stay safe on the school run; read their advice on page 14.

Our finance feature this month looks at planning for retirement, which starts with knowing how much you will need, followed by how you’re going to achieve it; page 38.

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September and with it being the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds, and men in particular being at higher risk, it’s more important than ever to be aware of mental health issues amongst family and friends. Read our health article on page 46 for more details.

Finally, we have two tickets to see Richard Alston Dance Company to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 44.

Until next month…


Editor’s Letter – August Issue

Dear Neighbours,

And so the school holidays have begun… and with it the depletion of the contents of my freezer and kitchen cupboards! I did my usual weekly food shop on a Monday and by Wednesday the crisps, chocolate bars and ice lollies had nearly all gone! Maths may not be my strong point but my boys were naïve to think I wouldn’t register that 6 packets of crisps, 4 ice lollies and 2 litres of tropical juice were consumed by 2 people in 1 day!
With my refusal to re-stock as a consequence of their over-indulgence, the poor things have had to survive on snacking on fruit (which was still in plentiful supply!). They’ve now resorted to going to friend’s houses… apologies to those parents now feeding my kids!

Keeping the kids entertained throughout the holidays, followed by back-to-school expenses, can cost a small fortune; our finance feature has a few ideas on managing the cost on page 24. We also have advice on using the internet when abroad, to ensure you are not faced with extortionate fees when you return, page 28.

There seems to be an app for everything these days, so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of apps to help you improve your fitness, health and wellbeing; we take a look at 10 apps that could help you discover a healthier, happier you, page 36.

If our fantastic weather continues (I hope I haven’t jinxed it!) or if you’re heading abroad, make sure you stay safe in the sun by reading our beauty feature on page 40.

Finally, we have two tickets to see The Lovely Bones, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 42.

Have a great summer.


Collingtree Park Care Home: Open Day, Saturday 11th August

Editor’s Letter: July Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I’ve had a hectic few weeks, rushing from one thing to another and whilst I’m exhausted, it’s also fulfilling to have been so busy – although I’m not sure I have the stamina to sustain it! I normally like to be in control and pre-plan everything in advance, however I’ve recently had a number of impromptu jaunts…and I’ve now discovered, after 40(ish) years, that I quite enjoy being spontaneous! For one thing, it’s refreshing not to have time to over analyse every detail of a pre-planned event (another trait of mine!). So, this summer why not break from your norm and do something out of your comfort zone…you might surprise yourself!

This issue is all about embracing the great outdoors… from stylish summer picnics, page 14; tech tools for wherever you may roam, page 20; holiday reads, page 24; making the most of summer by ensuring your garden is a great place to relax and entertain, page 38; to the best convertibles for under £2000, page 56.

Do make sure, however, that you stay safe in the sun; our health feature highlights the dangers of UV exposure and the importance of protecting your skin, page 28; we also have advice on helping your dog deal with the heat of summer, page 50.

With school holidays approaching, we have suggestions on how to make your budget stretch that bit further in order to enjoy a summer full of fun activities, page 10. Finally, we have a couple of great recipes for you… a tasty starter of Filo Crab Parcels, page 34 and individual Berry and Chocolate Pavlovas for dessert, page 36. Enjoy!

Until next month…


Northampton Town Festival: 7th-8th July

Great British Food Festival: Kelmarsh Hall, 7th-8th July