nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: September 2019

A Helping Hand to Keep Homes Warm in East Northamptonshire

Hundreds of fuel poor and vulnerable households in East Northamptonshire across the county are set to receive a helping hand to reduce their energy bills and the Warm Homes Fund.

council | nene local

East Northamptonshire Council, on behalf of the Northants Warm Homes partnership, has secured nearly £4 million to provide fully-funded central heating for homes that don’t already have it. The money will be matched by other grant monies and by contributions from landlords and local authorities to ensure that eligible homes won’t need to pay a penny.


Those households eligible for the Warm Homes Fund are those most in need of support, including people on a low income that have high energy bills, and who are vulnerable to the cold because of health conditions. Both owner-occupiers and private tenants can apply, and tenants will need the permission of their landlord.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said:


“With the colder months just around the corner, we are proud to be part of a scheme that will help residents across East Northamptonshire stay warm. This initiative is a perfect example of public and private sector agencies coming together to make a real difference to people’s lives.


We have already heard stories of how the Warm Homes Fund has helped people and hope that there will be similar successes in our District. I encourage everyone to find out more about the scheme and check to see if they are eligible.”


The Warm Homes Fund scheme will run until 2021 and fit efficient gas central heating in around 1400 fuel-poor homes across Northants, and is being run by Surefire Management Services (SMS) on behalf of all the local authorities. Nationally, the Warm Homes Fund has been established by National Grid and is administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions.


Gearoid Lane, Director of SMS said:


“We are delighted to be working with East Northamptonshire Council and other partners to deliver fully-funded central heating to homes in Northants. In the many areas across Britain where the fund is already operating, residents have been very positive about the support they have received. It will make a huge difference in helping people on low incomes to heat their homes effectively.”


Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said:

“We are excited about this investment from National Grid and are delighted to support East Northamptonshire Council to fund the scheme to address fuel poverty across Northants Warm Homes partnership. Solving the issues associated with Fuel Poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout Great Britain.”


All support through the Warm Homes Fund scheme is subject to the eligibility criteria. To find out more go to  or call freephone 0800 038 5737. All visits will be by appointment only and assessors will carry photo ID.

‘Beat the Street’ Runners up Donate their Prize to Benefit Local Schools

East Northamptonshire turned into a giant game in spring, with more than 8,262 residents tapping ‘beat boxes’ around the district clocking up 73,373 miles travelling the distance of around the world nearly three times.

Ed Reeves, School Sport Manager for East Northants Area Schools, Dinky Gummer, Harry Wise and Eileen Bishop from Rushden Walking For Health Group

Ed Reeves, School Sport Manager for East Northants Area Schools, Dinky Gummer, Harry Wise and Eileen Bishop from Rushden Walking For Health Group

More than 11 community teams entered the game, delivered by East Northamptonshire Council, Freedom Leisure and Intelligent Health, with three teams receiving prizes for their efforts.


Rushden Walking for Health Group scooped the accolade of second place but decided that the £200 decathlon voucher could benefit more people if they donated this prize to the Wellingborough and East Northants School Sport Partnership.


The partnership is delivered by Northamptonshire Sport and works with schools across the area to enhance the quality and range of sporting opportunities available for young people.


Ed Reeves, School Sport Manager for Northamptonshire Sport and managing the Wellingborough and East Northants School Sport Partnership (WAEN SSP), said “I am delighted to have accepted a £200 voucher.


“Working very closely with the Rushden and Higham schools, I will be purchasing equipment with the voucher that will educate and enhance the sporting/physical activity experience of many children within the local schools.


“My sincere thanks go to all the walking group members for their hard work and for their very kind donation to Northamptonshire Sport and WAEN SSP.”


Rushden Walking for Health meet every Friday at Rushden Hall Park at 10:00am by the flagpole – everyone is welcome. The Walk is free and refreshments are available at the Hall afterwards.


Terry McEwen and Harry Wise from Rushden Walking for Health Group said: “We really enjoyed taking part in Beat the Street and were delighted to finish in the top place. We encourage everyone to be more active and we are very pleased to be able to donate the vouchers to the local School Sports partnership as we know that they will put the vouchers to good use, helping local children to be active and encouraging them to take part in a variety of sports.”


Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “A number of fantastic community groups took part in the Beat the Street game, pounding the pavement to clock up points for their organisation. It is great news to hear that Rushden Walking for Health have so selflessly donated their prize to benefit local pupils. I hope that the children are able to enjoy many hours of physical activity thanks to the new equipment that will be purchased with the voucher.”


Award Winning Wellingborough Salon can Provide a New Look for Christmas

When Lu Buckley, the Creative Director of QL (formerly known as the Quattro Lounge) got in touch regarding advertising I didn’t know how the client/magazine relationship was about to pan out….award winning salon

We were putting our heads together to think of an angle that would grip the readers.  The QL salon does an amazing amount of services and have some great specialisms.award winning salon

  • Hair replacement for men
  • Braids
  • Hair Brightening
  • Afro specialists
  • Lip Reconstruction
  • Microblading
  • Nail Extensions
  • Pedicure and Manicure
  • Cut & Blow Dry
  • Restyle & Colour
  • Balayage
  • Eye lash extensions

And the “no mirror challenge“ which I believe to be a unique service in the area.  The “no mirror challenge” consists of a new hair style, a new hair colour…  nails, full make up, maybe the addition of some eyelashes too – in fact the full works!!award winning salon

All with the client completely oblivious as of course the mirror has been covered up!

It’s an amazing treat for someone who is stuck in a rut with their look and in need of inspiration, maybe someone who needs a treat after a bad few months, or someone in need of a confidence boost.  It would also make a fabulous gift for Christmas for someone special.

What’s the Angle?

After looking at the range of services, Lu offered me the “no mirror challenge” which I have accepted.  Next Wednesday I shall put myself in the capable hands of Lu and Janine who already have some secret ideas about what they plan to do….

There is a short appointment the week before to do a patch test and strand test on your hair.  We also discussed likes and dislikes. I said I was quite happy with colours so long as my hair was pale around my face, happy with a little restyle.  My only limit was, as a part-time reflexologist I have to keep my nails super short so could not have any acrylics applied.  The ladies are happy to keep within your wishes so it’s OK if you’re not too adventurous!

I’ll have some before and after pictures done to share with you next week….  watch this space!

Take a look at some transformations below….

For more information and to book


QL is within Diana’s Gym, 109e Finedon Road, Wellingborough

Lu Buckley 01933 275353



award winning salon

award winning salon

award winning salon

award winning salon

award winning salon

award winning salon


Beauty Queen Flies the Flag for Third Consecutive Year

Kettering based Stephanie Smith has been selected to take part in the first ever Ms Great Britain competition. She is delighted to be representing the East Midlands region in this new event for more mature ladies.

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Stephanie has now established herself as a beauty pageant veteran. In 2017 she entered Miss England and was Miss Northamptonshire Charity Winner. Then in 2018, Stephanie won Miss Northamptonshire for Miss Great Britain finishing second in the Public Vote by a mere 63 votes. Now she is looking forward to empowering women of all ages, shapes and sizes in Ms Great Britain in February of next year where she also expects to make lots of new friends.
Stephanie is looking forward to adding to the £15,000 that she has already raised for various charities. Ms Great Britain will be supporting Cancer Research UK and Alex’s Wish and Stephanie hopes to boost their efforts too.
Cancer is a blight on modern lives; a cruel disease which robs us of family and friends, often in the prime of their lives. Stephanie lost her own father to cancer in 2016, so this cause is especially dear to her heart. The charity funds the work of over 4,000 researchers, doctors and nurses throughout the UK, supports over 200 clinical trials and studies cancer and cancer risk in over a million people in the UK.

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Alex’s Wish is a charity set-up to eradicate Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an aggressive form of Muscular Dystrophy that affects 1 in every 3,500 boys born and results in progressive muscle wasting. Every single muscle is destroyed due to a lack of protein. It also affects the heart and lungs as these are muscles too.

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Stephanie’s story is remarkable given that was badly injured in a car accident in 2011 and has had to endure 26 hospital procedures since then. She also suffers with fibromyalgia. Stephanie still manages to campaign actively for a reduction in the age for smear tests. She was recently interviewed by Helen Blaby on Radio Northampton and highlighted the importance of adult women attending smear test appointments throughout their adult lives.
Stephanie has just taken part in a music video for musician Kupid’s new song Diamond that was released earlier this month and just this week, has been strutting her stuff on the catwalk as a plussize model for House of Ikons at London’s Fashion Week. Stephanie modelled for NHN Couture, Rubina Kapoor and EndoWallks.

Even though Stephanie has endured a series of personal and health challenges she retains a heartwarming positive outlook on life. She wants to show that being a larger size or disabled need not be barriers to success. Stephanie is keen to remind everyone that 20th Century icon Marylin Monroe was a size 16 and that didn’t hamper her progress to stardom. Stephanie’s fundraising page is at

Raunds Residents to take Part in Innovative Waste Collection Pilot

Raunds residents will pilot a new waste collection scheme from East Northamptonshire Council (ENC).


The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) collection scheme goes live on Monday 23 September and will run until the end of 2019. If successful, the scheme could be rolled out across the district.


During the trial, residents will be able to place small and handheld electrical items out alongside their regular waste collection and these will be collected, taken to a dedicated facility for sorting and recycling.


Items for collection should be left next to recycling or refuse bin on normal collection days and the following small electrical items will be collected:


  • Hairdryers, hair straighteners, shavers, electric toothbrushes
  • Kitchen appliances such as toasters, kettles, hand blenders
  • DVD/CD Players, radios, MP3 players and remote controls
  • Clocks, watches, calculators and torches
  • Kettles
  • Telephones, cameras
  • Laptops, remote controls
  • Small electrical DIY tools such as drills and electric screwdrivers
  • Toys (remote control car or drone)
  • Chargers


Items should still have the cables attached and all batteries removed.


Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council said:


“As a council, we are committed to helping residents with their recycling in East Northamptonshire. With a growing number of electrical items in households due to technologies constantly changing, this trial is the next step in ensuring that as many items as possible are sent to recycling facilities.


“We encourage residents in Raunds to have a rummage through their cupboards and dig out all those unused and unwanted household electrical items for our team to collect and recycle. At ENC, we hope that the WEEE trial in Raunds will be a success and we can roll it out across the district.”


Any electrical items collected will be placed in a specially designed cage attached to waste trucks and due to the cage size only small and handheld items, such as the above list, can be accepted. If the cage becomes full, the waste team may have to leave items, but Raunds residents are encouraged to place any items left behind out for collection the following week.


More information about the WEEE pilot scheme can be found at:

Constance Travis Charitable Trust donate £5million Gift to Northamptonshire Community Foundation

A £5million endowment gift has been awarded to Northamptonshire Community Foundation from the Constance Travis Charitable Trust, making it the single most significant gift to the Foundation since its inception in 2001

Daylight Centre

Daylight Centre

The funds are being added to an existing endowment fund held at the Foundation on behalf of the Trust and enable a major part of its Northamptonshire giving to be administered by the Foundation in perpetuity.

Daylight Centre

Daylight Centre

Regular giving to Northamptonshire charities has been a large part of the distribution of funds from the Constance Travis Charitable Trust over the past 35 years and the Trustees felt hat they would like to enhance their partnership with the Foundation in the administration of the grants.

Serve Rushden

Serve Rushden

Tony Travis, Chair of the Constance Travis Charitable Trust, said: “We have had a very good working relationship with the Community Foundation since 2004 and we are delighted that we will be working even closer with them in the future.”


Charities that have historically benefited from the Trust have been informed that they are still eligible for support but now need to make their applications directly to the Community Foundation. Serve Rushden have recently received £5,000 towards their work supporting elderly people and the Daylight Centre in Wellingborough have received £3,000 helping to alleviate people who are living in poverty.

Serve Rushden

Serve Rushden

Victoria Miles, CEO of the Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that the Constance Travis Charitable Trust continues to work in partnership with the Foundation, we have enjoyed an excellent relationship over the last 13 years and have worked together to help support thriving communities here in the county. The increase in this endowment fund is significant and we look forward to funding existing charities but also newly established community groups and projects. “


The Constance Travis Charitable Trust was set up by the family in 1983 and has supported a broad range of charities at an international, national and local level.


Northamptonshire Community Foundation is the leading, independent grant-making charity in the county, working with fund holders and donors to ensure projects make a sustainable impact on local need. For more information please visit