nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: November 2020

Get into the Festive Spirit with PECT’s New Nature’s School Resources

Get into the festive spirit with PECT’s new Nature’s School resources


2020 has taught us how much spending time with our families in the great outdoors matters. National and regional lockdowns have meant that, more than ever, we have made the most of our gardens and local environment for exercise, entertainment, and to regain a feeling of normality.


This festive season, why not have a go at some of PECT’s Christmas-themed Nature’s School activities? These newly launched resources aim to enhance children’s understanding of the world around them and allow them to discover more about the environment.

Get into the festive spirit with PECT’s new Nature’s School resources

The free downloadable activity sheets include everything from a green advent calendar, instructions for how to make your own reusable beeswax wraps, and creating recycled decorations, festive bunting, bird feeders and much more.


“With the recent news about an extended winter lockdown period and regional restrictions applying, we wanted to support families with activities that enable them to make the most of their time together, and still enjoy a green Christmas,” explains PECT’s Environmental Education Lead Heidi Latronico-Ferris.


She continues: “Our local environment is sometimes an unexplored natural resource, often overlooked for its wealth of possibilities, and not always appreciated or looked after as it should be. Take this time to turn that around and discover natural wonders, learn from Nature’s School, and in return protect it for future generations.”


Nature’s School is not just for families – schools, charities and other organisations can also benefit from this resource and use it to create new ways of delivering the curriculum and learning objectives.


To access the resources, simply visit or find PECT on Facebook @SustainablePECT.



Beezr Media needs DIY Enthusiasts in East Northants

Nene Local Magazine has just spoken to Ronan from Beezr Studios (Spark Media) – the team that created ‘Escape to the Chateau ‘and its spin-off ‘Escape to the Chateau DIY’. 


They are currently casting in and around the Nene Valley area for a new DIY series and are looking for homeowners with a DIY crisis, this could be someone who wants to up-cycle a bargain-buy but not sure how to do it or someone who wants to redesign their living space. 


The team would also like to give something back to the community, so they are looking for a space that needs help from our experts. Is there a local school that would benefit from a magical garden overhaul? Or maybeour church hall that could do with a fantastic interior upgrade? Maybe a mini makeover project to bring life to a different community space? 

They would love to hear from Nene Local Magazine readers. Email

Tool Club - General Flyer

Join us at the Family Wellness Summit 2020 – LIVE and on replay.

Family Wellness Summit 2020, 3-6 December 2020 (and on replay)

We spoke to Shehnaaz Latif, the summit organiser;

“Health and wellness is about everything that’s going on in your life and, as parents, that includes whatever is going on for your family members. This year has certainly had its ups and downs for us all.


So let me ask the parents among us: are you wondering how to stay positive? Is it hard to handle all the emotions you and your little people are going through? Do you wish you could have some ‘me’ time? Are you running out of ideas for good meals to make? Do you need some calm over Christmas?


As a working mum I’ve been asking myself these questions and finding that I need help and support. Fortunately there are many wellness professionals to whom we can reach out.


I’m delighted to have brought together over 20 wellness professionals in one virtual space from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th December between 9:45am to 2:00pm each day. They will share their knowledge on ‘hot topics’, bring us their top tips, and provide us with gifts such as free downloads, wellness products and experiences for us..

We’re also supporting seven charities with 20% of the proceeds. And we will keep the content available until 10th January so you can watch at your leisure.


Everything will be streamed live into a private Facebook group so that you can ask questions and leave comments for the speakers when you join. There will be wellness giveaways for those who participate in the live event. The draw for these gifts will happen on Sunday afternoon.


On Sunday 6th December from 9:45am to 5:00pm there is a marketplace with 30 stalls including eco products, jewellery, wellness experiences and more!


Book your place here:


Tickets allow access for the whole family for *just £20* for all four days and the content will be available up to 10th January.

Family Wellness Summit 2020, 3-6 December 2020

For more information, visit our website: or email us on:


We look forward to welcoming you to the Family Wellness Summit 2020 where we hope to share ideas and information on family wellness for parents like you and me.

family wellness summit (

Should You Release Funds from your Property?

What is an Equity release or lifetime mortgage?

We spoke to Natalie Barlow from Best 4 U Mortgages about this topic.  “A lifetime mortgage or also known as an equity release mortgage is a mortgage you can take out on your property when you are any age over 55.  The amount you can borrow depends on the value of your house, your age and whether you have an existing mortgage already.  If you have an existing mortgage already, as long as you can pull out enough to repay your existing mortgage then its possible to still get one.

They are mortgages that are designed to be repaid when you go into long term care or you die (so your estate has to sell the property to pay it back).  While you have the mortgage there are no repayments like a normal mortgage but instead the interest is applied to the mortgage and rolled up instead of having to pay the interest upfront.

These type of mortgages use to be quite scarce and they had a lot of bad press and left a lot of people in negative equity with no money to leave to their estate.

Because of what previously happened they are now heavily regulated and there are a lot more variants of them, roughly around 300 different schemes out there now.  Most of them have a fixed rate for the life of the mortgage and they now have other benefits/options like being able to pay off some of the interest or capital each month.

best 4 u mortgages

How do I know if a lifetime mortgage is right for me?

It is beneficial to use a mortgage advisor/broker, they have to be qualified in lifetime mortgages but it is also beneficial that they also give out normal mortgage advice too.  This is because during their process of obtaining all your details (called factfinding), it might be that because you have income (i.e, private and state pension) a normal interest only mortgage or a retirement interest only mortgage (RIO) may suit you better and therefore the advisor is able to switch to regular mortgage lenders without the need to move brokers and go over the whole factfinding process again.

What reasons can I raise the money for?

You can raise the money for any legal reason and the lender won’t necessarily check unless for major home improvements, and this is because they want to check you wont de-value the house during the process.  Whatever reason you are thinking of, just put the idea to your broker and they will let you know, here are some reasons:

  • To create income for a better quality of life
  • To release a lump sum for home improvements (maybe to help you stay in the property longer)
  • To pay for care so you can stay in your own home longer
  • To release capital to pass to your children or grandchildren – to allow them to maybe get onto the property ladder or pay off some debts for example.
  • To go on a round the world trip (if Covid will ever let us do that!) or a holiday of a lifetime you have always dreamed of.
  • To buy a car or a big purchase like a campervan.
  • Help with inheritance tax issues in the future
  • To help purchase a new property
  • To pay off a mortgage that has come to the end of its term

Should I involve my family in this decision?

This a grey area because there are 2 sides to this:

1. You don’t like your family and its your money and you can do what you want with it.

2. You love your family and you want them to help you make sure you’re making the right decision and if you go into long term care or pass away they know what to expect from your estate.  We encourage people to talk with their families but on the same token we will have private conversations away from the family member if we feel you might be being coerced into this by your family, especially if the money is intended for them.

Will you explain the process to me?

Yes we explain and guide you every step of the way and we don’t charge any fees until completion making sure you feel under no pressure at any time and it wont cost you a penny with us if you don’t proceed, there may be costs involved if your solicitor has already started some work if you pull out.

Will I need a solicitor?

Yes you will need a solicitor and they also need to be qualified in lifetime mortgages, they will also go over every part of your mortgage offer with you to make sure you understand what you are doing and are happy to proceed, this whether it is a re-mortgage or a purchase.  They will also want to make sure you aren’t vulnerable and or being coerced by family or other third parties.  They have to be able to perform a face to face interview and this can be at their office or it can be arranged in your home (an extra fee can apply for this).

best 4 u mortgages

How Do I arrange an appointment?

Please call us at our office 01536411144 or email us at and we can have a chat and arrange a suitable time to set up an appointment face to face over over Zoom.

We look forward to helping you.

Natalie and the mortgage team at Best 4U Mortgages.



10 Step to Feel Younger from Revive Me Style

Chantelle Morgan from Revive Me Style shares her top ten tips to feel younger this season!

1: Drink at least 2 litres of water a day

Drink it at room temperature or even warm because ice cold drinks chill your stomach, make it absorb nutrients less efficiently. Cut down on caffeine which raise levels of cortisol and insulin in the blood, accelerating aging.drink more water

2: Keep Hair in Top Condition with a Energized look

There is nothing more aging than coarse, rebellious, out of control hair. Shiny healthy hair will freshen your look, so search out the best products and treat yourself

Tip: A fabulous hair colour will make your look more flattering and can take years off your appearance. Some shades can simply drain your skin complexion. Whereas a richer shade can be give you a more energising look.

3: Invest in a Great Pair of Jeans

Spending a little time and money on choosing the perfect cut. They are a sure way of looking younger, provided you have an up to date pair. When choosing the denim jeans pick the ones with stretch as its more comfortable and they keep their shape better

Tip: Wear them with heels to slim your legs and to dress them up in the evening. Then darker the denim the slimmer you will look.

4: Accessories

Up to date accessories to make you look and feel younger and give your wardrobe a real boost. Adding a new scarf in a colour that really suits your complexion you will easily modernize your overall look.

5: Healthy Glow

Tinted moisturiser can raise your skin tone by one or two shades, without wearing full on makeup. It can add this to your daily routine and can give you a healthy glow

6: Invest in a Daily Facial Exercise

Practicing daily face exercises will tone your muscles both in your face and neck and will improve general circulation, which is vital for a healthy glow to your skin

7: Wear Clothes that Fitclothes that fit

Do not wear clothes that are oversized or anything too tight. Remember the rules for your body shape and make sure the clothes you wear are appropriate for your age and that occasion.

8: Healthy Nails

Short, simple manicured nails are so easy to maintain on from home and they can be achieved on a budget

9: Increase your Intake of Essential Fatty Acids = (EFA’s)

Water retention that makes us appear older than our year. (EFA’s) found in seeds and their cold- pressed oils will not only help this problem, but at them same time will help other ageing problems such as dry skin and a puffy face.

10: Walk, Talk and Hold yourself Younger

Put a skip in your step instead of dragging your feet. By stepping up the gear and walk faster. Hold your head high and express your enthusiasm for life. If you think younger and act younger there is no doubt that we will begin to look younger too


Chantelle Morgan is a Style and Confidence Coach

She supports women to increase their confidence though the style of clothes by identify their season and WOW colours, style personalities, personal shopping and more that will complement their body shape. She also helps women to rock in confidence by learning to love their body and accept themselves for who they really are and achieving their goal and dreams they desire to have in their future.

If you need support in finding your own Personal Style though your clothes and want to increase your confidence and body image, Get in touch with Chantelle/

For More Information







Council and Police Hold Joint Patrols to Support Pandemic Restrictions

Council and police hold joint patrols to support pandemic restrictions

Patrols by officers from East Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Constabulary have shown that most people and businesses are complying with coronavirus restrictions.

Teams of officers have been giving out advice on how to comply with the emergency regulations, answering questions from businesses and reminding people about wearing face coverings and keeping social distances.

The vast majority of individuals and businesses are complying with the government restrictions with only one Fixed Penalty Notice issued to date in East Northamptonshire.

Environmental services officer, Kieran McCoach explains:

“Councils and the Police have different powers for helping to manage the lockdown so it makes sense that we work together to cover the broader set of issues as well as pick up on any other problems that might be cropping up in neighbourhoods.

“Our residents and businesses really seem to understand the importance of working together to protect our community and we’ve had a positive response from business owners who welcome the support in ensuring that customers wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Where there are issues, we’re working with the businesses and residents to ensure everyone understands what is required of them. “

Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said:

“It has been heartening to hear how the vast majority of retailers, businesses and public have been working together to keep the community safe and I welcome these patrols to provide support and advice and help limit the spread of infection.”

Superintendent Elliot Foskett, from Northamptonshire Police, said:

“We have been provided with funding by the Home Office to help enforce the Covid-19 legislation and as a result have been working closely with our local councils to patrol our towns and villages.

“Throughout the pandemic we have followed an engage, explain, educate and enforce approach, where we have prioritised speaking to the public, reminding them of the legislation and only taking enforcement action as a last resort.

“The vast majority of people are following the guidelines and I thank them for that, however, we will not shy away from taking enforcement action when it is clear a breach has taken place, including any businesses that have broken the law.”

So far, patrols have taken place in Rushden, Higham and Irthlingborough with future visits planned for Raunds and the north of the district.


Council Funding on Offer to Help the Community

Council funding on offer to help communities during the coronavirus pandemic

Communities across East Northamptonshire have received much needed funding boosts to help with their coronavirus support efforts thanks to East Northamptonshire Council’s Member Empowerment Fund.


Every year, each ENC district councillor is allocated £1,000 to spend on small community based projects. The money can be awarded to parish/town councils, community groups, voluntary organisations and charities who work in East Northamptonshire.


Over the past few months, a growing number of projects have benefitted from additional monies to support their coronavirus support efforts, including:thrapston foodbank


  • A deep clean of a community facility in Irthlingborough to ensure that it could re-open to the public for community activities
  • To provide free packed lunches to school pupils during this year’s summer holidays
  • To purchase food supplies for the newly formed community food bank in Thrapston


Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, explains more:


“Since we launched the Member Empowerment Fund in 2011, communities across the district have benefitted from over £300,000 of grant funding and this year the fund seems more important that ever with funds being used for a variety of projects related to the coronavirus effort.


“If you, or someone you know, has a community project which will help at this difficult time, but needs a little bit extra push make it happen, then please do have a chat with your local councillor.”


This will be the last year of MEF, with the new North Northamptonshire Council coming into existence in April 2021.


To find out more about the scheme and/or to apply for funding, please visit or speak to your councillor, contact details can be found at

For more information on Thrapston Foodbank

thrapston foodbank

Planning Applications: 18 November 2020 WEEKLY LIST

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website or click the link below to go directly to the article you require.


Notice is given that the following applications have been received together with the last date for making representations:


20/01309/FUL 20/01310/LBC

(8 December 2020) (CA)(LB) Proposed renovation including extensions and internal alterations to The Old Rectory and conversion of redundant outbuilding to ancillary living accommodation; Scheme of landscape and associated remedial works The Old Rectory Pilton Road Wadenhoe

Applicant: Mr And Mrs Raby-Smith



(8 December 2020) (CA) Loft conversion to rear of property Long Barn Wakerley Road Harringworth

Applicant: Mr Gerald Dolman



(8 December 2020) (ART15) Demolition of existing garage and construction of new bungalow and garage 9 West Street Stanwick

Applicant: Mr Lee Hulatt



(8 December 2020) (CA) To install a new Ideal Vogue 26 kw System boiler with horizontal flue 3 Benefield Road Oundle

Applicant: Mr Ian Goldsmith

Kings Cliffe


(8 December 2020) (CA) To replace roof to attached shed to flat roof, create study and utility room internally 82 West Street Kings Cliffe

Applicant: Mr G Lang-Norris



(8 December 2020) (LB) Change of use of agricultural building to Class E light industrial Manor Farm Buildings Bidwell Lane Caldecott

Applicant: Mr Keith Carr



Recovery Through Enterprise Website Launches

New support for local businesses with the launch of Recovery Through Enterprise website

A new website providing a one-stop resource for businesses in Northamptonshire requiring additional support has been launched today,

The Recovery Through Enterprise website, created by East Northamptonshire Council, the Borough Council of Wellingborough and Northamptonshire County Council, offers essential information, guidance and support for local businesses through the current economic difficulties resulting from the impact of Covid-19.

The support offered has been developed in partnership with a range of local and strategic partners including South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), the University of Northampton, the Oxford Cambridge Arc, Job Centre Plus, the Crown Estate, the Federation of Small Businesses, the local Chamber of Commerce and a number of local business support companies.
Included on the website is information regarding FastTrack JobMatch: a service for anyone needing access to advice and support to make the best choices in finding a new job, or training in the region. This service will launch on 3 December.

To celebrate the launch of, we are offering a range of business support webinars and podcasts. Details about these can be found on the Stop Press page of the website.


These offer advice and support ranging from managing business challenges and business support for ambitious business leaders, to remote working and managing stress in the workplace.

In February 2021, a week long Business Festival will take place, packed full of presentations, workshops and must-attend events for businesses of all types, more details will be published nearer to time.


To find out more about Business Support Week 2020 and book a place on the webinars visit


To find out more about the ongoing range of information, guidance and support available for local businesses visit


Anti Social Behaviour on World Kindness Day

Last night the ‘Silent Soldier’ memorial to those lost in WWI was vandalised at the War Memorial site on Coronation Gardens, Thrapston, Northamptonshire. Silent Soldier Coronation Gardens Thrapston

The Royal British Legion Silent Soldier campaign represents the thousands of servicemen who walked across the country’s fields and hills on their way back from The Great War. Thrapston Town Council installed a soldier silhouette by the War Memorial in 2018 to mark 100 years since the end of the conflict.Silent Soldier Coronation Gardens Thrapston

Clerk to the Town Council Linda Marshall said, “We were appalled to find that the Silent Soldier has been vandalised. It is especially hurtful that it happened during Remembrance week, the year in which we commemorate 75 years since VE Day and 100 years since the burial of WWI’s Unknown Warrior. Thrapston’s residents care very deeply about honouring those who fought for our freedom; this has been shown by the overwhelming response to the fundraising page. The Town has so much love and respect for our veterans and for the fallen. We will always remember and honour them. We are working closely with the police to identify the person responsible for this damage. Anyone with information please report it via 101, quoting incident number 99 of 13/11/20.”

Thrapston resident Sophie Starsmore set up the Go Fund Me page, which raised over £3,000 in four hours.