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Archive for: January 2021

Under-Equipped COVID-19 Homeworkers “At Risk” Unless Employers Recognise Duty of Care

A new generation of long-term homeworkers created by COVID-19 is at risk physically and mentally through inadequate employer support. CORONA VIRUS COVID 19


Research reveals employees are already feeling the negative effects of a home environment often ill-equipped for the working day. The company behind the research, EIZO, warns there may be a rise in ‘Homeworking LOSERS’, or ‘Laptops On Sofas and Employment Rights Shelved’.


Almost forty per cent (39%) of people are functioning without any additional, employer-provided equipment such as a laptop, mouse, keyboard, monitor or desk chair. And staff who are receiving some form of extra kit for working at home make up – at most – just over a third of the total polled (37% receiving laptops).


While employers might be doing their best to support staff by providing laptops, a mouse (33% of total) and keyboard (27% of total), this lack of appropriate equipment – and low provision of desk chairs (17% of total) – can lead to physical effects on homeworking staff.


The problem is exacerbated by only a third of people having a dedicated home office space and even 12% claiming to work from a sofa with a laptop on their knees.


Colin Woodley, CEO at EIZO, said: “As many of us are facing new lockdown restrictions, more people working from home is inevitable. Even when restrictions start to ease we understand many organisations may offer a more flexible way of working in the future.”


“This increases the risk of creating a nation of ‘Homeworking LOSERS’ – in other words, ‘Laptops On Sofas and Employment Rights Shelved’. Employers need to understand their duty of care to employees extends to their homeworking technology and furniture requirements.”


According to Health and Safety Executive guidance on long-term homeworking and display screen equipment, employers should ensure “full workstation assessments” and “provide workers with appropriate equipment and advice on control measures”.


According to the research, employees are already suffering the ill-effects of homeworking issues: back strain (28%) and neck strain (20%) feature among the top five working from home issues currently experienced. Back strain places second after “interruptions in the home”, with working longer hours in third place (26%) and “negative impact on mental health” (24%) coming in fourth.


Colin continued: “We know homeworkers want their employers to take action on these issues: almost a third (32%) who responded to our research would like them to provide more equipment, better equipment (25%) and discuss needs with employees on an individual basis (28%).


“At a minimum, this should include a desk and chair for posture, neck and back health plus a monitor for eye and neck health, space saving keyboards and computers with adequate audio-visual equipment to support the increasing number of online meetings.”


For more information and the full research overview, visit 

Revive Me Style Tips for Fabulous Nails

Tips on keeping nails fabulous from Chantelle Morgan at Revive Me Style


  • Nails need sun protection too so use a topcoat enriched with UV filters. This also helps to protect the nail polish from discolouration.


  • If you have very brittle nails, try painting your base coat and nail polish under the tip of your nails to add extra strength.


  • If you have uneven ridges in your nails, avoid pearly or frosted polished as they highlight imperfections.


  • Wet nails can be dried quickly by plunging them into ice-cold water!


  • To make nail polish last longer, store it in the fridge. To ensure an even consistency, never shake a bottle of nail polish, instead, turn it upside down once and then roll it between your palms.


  • If your planning on doing messy work, drag your nails over a bar of soap first. The undersides of your nails will fill up with soap preventing them from filling with dirt later on!


  • Invest in speciality products such as ridge fillers, base coat and top-coat as they have different purposes. Basecoat feels sticky once applied to act as a fixative for nail enamel. It also prevents staining. The topcoat dries hard, locking in the colour to give the surface a hard, protective barrier.


  • Clean ink and stains from the nails using a toothbrush and whitening toothpaste. Or dissolve a couple of denture cleaning tablets in water and gently use it to scrub your nails clean.


  • Only use gentle Emery board to file – always avoid metal files.


  • Never file your nails straight after a bath or hot shower, as this is when they are at their weakest and therefore most likely to split.


  • To clean up any smudges of nail polish, use and old, clean lip brush dipped in nail polish remover.


  • . Go to a certified nail technician for nail extensions and repairs – it is very easy to damage the nail bed if you are not an expert.


  • To avoid peeling of polish, apply just a single coat of ridge-filler, and wait until it’s completely dry before applying the regular polish in two thin coats (this gives better coverage, dries faster and lasts longer).


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






Vegan Double Chocolate Sundae for Valentine’s Day


200g Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolateritter

2 scoops of vegan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or caramel)

200g sugar

50g cacao powder

200g flour

200g apple sauce

100ml coconut oil

200ml plant-based milk

Handful almonds

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a water bath or microwave. Save yourself a few spoons for the Sundae drizzle.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, plant-based milk, apple sauce and oil into the big bowl to the dry ingredients. Mix well until you get a smooth texture.
  4. Lightly oil your muffin pan (20x25cm), sprinkle some cocoa powder all over the pan. Fill pan with brownie dough.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes (time will depend on the height of your brownies).
  6. For the Sundae you’ll need: 2 Brownies, 2 scoops of vegan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or caramel, use one or two different flavours) and some extra squares of Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate.
  7. For toppings you’ll need: toasted almonds and melted Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate for drizzle.
  8. Assembly: Serve in a glass or bowl of your choice. Top your brownie with 1-2 scoops of your favourite non-dairy ice cream. Drizzle generously with melted Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark chocolate. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and add 3 squares of Ritter Sport 61% Chocolate on top. Enjoy!ritter

Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate is available for purchase from selected NISA & Spar Stores for £1.79


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 min


Feed the Birds!

During winter, birds are more likely to come into our gardens to seek sanctuary and food in order to survive. With the Big Garden Birdwatch around the corner, now is one of the best times of the year to attract your local birds with the help of feeders.  ottilie acorn bird feeder

Providing food like fat balls and crushed peanuts can help birds to build up vital fat reserves and boost energy, while meal worms are great for insect eaters such as robins and starlings. Seed mixes also provide for many birds with their vast array of calorie-rich contents, or you could pick out a few favourites such as sunflower and nyjer seeds which contain beneficial oils and proteins.  

Feeding birds doesn’t have to break the bank either, as kitchen scraps will also be readily enjoyed by our feathered friends. Mild grated cheese, soft fruits, cooked rice and pasta, porridge oats and unsalted bacon are all suitable for birds to enjoy for example. 

At this time of year, a supply of water is also essential, and if the weather turns cold, birds can become more dependent on water provided in gardens.  Making sure your water source remains clean and un-frozen is important in allowing birds to bathe and preen themselves too.  

To help improve birds’ chances of survival through the colder months, the RSPB has plenty more top tips on feeding garden birds which can be found at 

Northamptonshire Joins the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

What will you see in Northamptonshire during the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch?

  • The world’s largest wildlife survey returns for its 42nd year this 29 – 31 January 
  • The RSPB are calling on Northamptonshire residents to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch as well as other fun nature-based activities from home 

 bird | nene local

The UK’s biggest citizen science project has been recording the winners and losers in the garden bird world for over four decades with the help of half a million people, and now the RSPB is counting on Northamptonshire residents to join in too. 

Set to enter it’s 42nd year this month, the largest wildlife survey in the world, the Big Garden Birdwatch, runs from the 29th to 31st of January and combines over 40 years of records to monitor vital bird trends. People across Northamptonshire are set to get involved, spending just an hour of their time recording the birds found in their gardens, balconies or nearby green spaces, and submitting their results to the wildlife charity. 

This year, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing, with a surge of interest in the nature on our doorsteps seeing many people come to rely on garden birds to bring joy and comfort in these unsettling times. That’s why the RSPB is hoping to see more people than ever take part, after over 6,800 Northamptonshire residents took part last year. 

Both across the country and here in Northamptonshire, house sparrows topped the rankings in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch results last year, despite wider national decline. Meanwhile, blue tits and starlings joined house sparrows to form the top three most sighted birds in Northampshire. 

A common garden bird thanks to the provision of winter food and nest boxes, blue tits are on the rise across the country, with an 8% increase in the population since 1979. Other birds featuring in the Northamptonshire “top ten” were goldfinches, great tits and long tailed tits.  

Seeing a positive change across Northamptonshire gardens, long tailed tits were found in over 10% more gardens in the county in 2020 compared to previous years. These charming birds, with distinctive pink grey and white feathers and long tail, are usually found in large flocks of up to 20 birds and often make use of garden feeders throughout the winter – so be sure to look out for them this year. ottilie acorn bird feeder

Allowing the RSPB to monitor similar bird trends across the country, the data collected during the Big Garden Birdwatch will create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK and how they have fared since the project began over 40 years ago. To help with their research, the charity is asking for all those taking part to ensure they share what they’ve seen during the hour by submitting their results at 

A great opportunity to connect with nature and help with the RSPB’s work no matter how much you know about garden birds already, the RSPB will provide a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to help you attract wildlife to your garden, for those who text BIRD to 70030 or register at . 

Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, said: “We know that for many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider world and bring enormous joy. Lockdown brought few benefits, but the last year has either started or reignited a love of nature for many people. There has been a broad and much needed realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too. 

“By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.” 

What’s more, the RSPB are on hand to provide plenty of other wildlife inspired activities to take part in from home with their free Wild Challenge. By completing fun and engaging activities ranging from bug hotels and bird boxes, to making a compost heap and drawing wildlife, participants can then log their achievements on to the RSPB Wild Challenge website and collect bronze, silver and gold awards. To find out more, head to 

Meanwhile, teachers can make use of the charity’s range of resources for RSPB’s parallel event, the Big Schools Birdwatch. Taking place during the first half of spring term (6 January – 21 February 2021), the event is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary of connecting children with nature in their school grounds. For a fantastic range of curriculum-based resources and to take part from your school, visit,    


Love your Local Environment this Valentine’s Day

Each year, here in the UK, we spend an estimated £1.45 billion on Valentine’s gifts. For 2021, why not buy your loved one a meaningful gift that will brighten up their day as well as making a difference for future generations?

The environmental charity PECT is offering an eco-friendly gift option this springtime. For just £10 for one or £50 for five, you can gift your loved one with a tree to make a positive difference to the environment. This meaningful present helps to tackle climate change and addresses biodiversity loss in the city.


“The arrival of the global pandemic in 2020 made us all realise that the most important things in life aren’t material goods,” explains PECT’s Director of Operations Stuart Dawks. “Instead, it is about caring for loved ones, making the most of experiences, and helping communities to pull together. That’s why we feel this represents the ideal gift – it’s your chance to give something back to the local environment.”

 Love trees PECT

PECT’s Forest for Peterborough project aims to plant 230,000 trees across Peterborough by 2030. Your purchase will enable the charity to plant and maintain a tree, helping to create a network of wooded areas across the city. Each tree is maintained and protected, allowing it to grow and thrive for generations.


The events of the past year have taught us exactly how much spending time in nature matters. National and regional lockdowns have meant that, more than ever, we have understood how important it is to maintain and develop outdoor spaces to support people’s wellbeing. Spending time in nature is proven to lift our mood, reduce stress, and improve our physical health.


By gifting a tree, you can contribute towards creating a thriving space for the community to enjoy. To buy a tree this Valentine’s, simply visit to donate and then PECT can send you a digital certificate confirming your gift.

Planning Applications: 15 JANUARY 2021 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:



(16 February 2021) (CA) Change of use of out-building to Holiday let accommodation and alterations to garden stores. Guest House Castle Farm Main Street Applicant: Mr Reuben Slater



(16 February 2021) (CA) Erection of signage; Fascia Sign (illuminated), Projecting Sign (illuminated), ACM Panel, Window Vinyl, Manifestation and 4 x Poster Cases 33 Oundle Road Thrapston

Applicant: One Stop Stores Ltd – Ash


20/01672/FUL and 20/01673/LBC

(16 February 2021) (CA)(LB)  Proposed change of use from dwellings to bed and breakfast guest house

Lorne Cottage And Lorne House 38 Market Place Oundle

Applicant: Mr And Mrs Read



(16 February 2021) (CA) Extension of existing building on site with the retention of existing takeaway unit and the creation of five car-free residential units (2 Studio Flats, 2 One bed Flats and 1 two bed flat) with ancillary cycle, waste and recycling storage spaces 5A Station Road Irthlingborough

Applicant: Mr Mehmet Bikim

Kings Cliffe

20/01367/FULand 20/01368/LBC

(16 February 2021) (CA)(LBC) Replace existing aluminium (main building) and PVC (annexe) double glazed windows and doors with Alitherm Heritage and Smartswin windows 12 Park Street Kings Cliffe

Applicant: Mr Ian Burrows



(16 February 2021) (LB) The repair of two ground floor windows and the replacement of five upper floor windows including installation of slimline double glazed units Tansor House Main Street Tansor

Applicant: Mr Rupert Cadbury



(16 February 2021) (CA)(LB) Repair and replacement of the south-facing Collyweston slate roof 27 Main Street Upper Benefield

Applicant: Mr Michael Wright




(16 February 2021) (CA) Alterations and extensions to bungalow including addition of first floor 4 The Lane Easton On The Hill

Applicant: Mr Martyn Reed



(16 February 2021) (CA) Request for removal of condition pursuant to application number: 20/00592/VAR,

Conversion and rebuilding of the existing ancillary outbuildings to a new dwelling house. Condition 12 – erection of structures and enclosures in garden. Lime Grange Barns Wakerley Road Harringworth

Applicant: Mr Justin Bell



(16 December 2021) (CA) Demolition of existing residential dwelling; erection of 4 townhouse dwellings with parking; conversion of existing outbuilding into carport; new vehicle access to highway 23 High Street South Rushden

Applicant: CC Properties To Buy – Eddie Curtis