nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: April 2021

The Captain Tom Challenge for Cransley Hospice

Captain Tom Challenge 100 with Corby & District Model Railway Society.

Corby & District Model Railway Society (CDMRS) will be supporting Cransley Hospice in aid of the Captain Tom Challenge 100 event. Their NHS liveried class 66 locomotive will be running around their track 100 times on Saturday 1st May. The event will take place from 10am, at their headquarters site, which can be found at Quarry Close, (Off) Kelvin Grove, Corby, NN17 1AZ. Cassie and the team

Last year, when Captain Tom completed 100 laps around his garden for the NHS, CDMRS were inspired to design their NHS and Captain Tom train, which has gained a lot of attention from the local community.

Members of the society will be on site from 8am, preparing the train for its 100 laps. From 10am, members of the community are welcome to visit from a safe distance, due to covid-19 restrictions. Barriers will be put in place to allow a one-way system, to ensure visitors have a good view of the train. The Cransley donation buckets will be available on site.

This railway has been reconstructed over the last 10 years and over the last 12 months has been re signalled. The railway would normally carry the public throughout the year, including Halloween and Santa Specials, being incredibly popular with 3,500+ visitors for the 2019 Christmas events.

CDMRS Chairman, Craig Tyler said “The Society understands the need that organisations like Cransley Hospice rely on, so whatever we can do to help is got to be a good thing and we intend to work with Cransley Hospice in the future on their fundraising activities.”Cassie and the train

Louise Preedy, Community Fundraising Manager at Cransley Hospice said “Captain Tom gave inspiration and support to so many at a difficult time and touched the hearts of the nation. We are so thankful to the Corby and District Model Railway Society for choosing to support Cransley Hospice with their Captain Tom 100 challenge.

“It’s been a pleasure to meet the some of the team from Corby and District Model Railway Society, their site is such a wonderful local gem and we hope the community will support them with their challenge.”

Cransley Hospice needs to raise around £1.4M each year to provide the specialist palliative care for patients in North Northamptonshire with a life-limiting illness. The postponement or cancellation of events and community collections and the closure of the Cransley Hospice charity shops will leave the charity fundraising income down by almost £500,000 this year. Support from individuals is more important than ever and there are many ways that people can get involved to support Cransley from taking on a challenge, playing the weekly lottery or even shopping! You can get more ideas on how you can support Cransley Hospice from their website

Tranquility Time Retreats – brings you ” The Self Care Space “

Tranquility Time Retreats – brings you ” The Self Care Space “

I went down to the woods yesterday, not to see the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, although it wouldn’t have surprised me!  I went to see The Self Care Space (from Tranquility Time), and it truly is just that!

Tranquility Time Retreats - brings you " The Self Care Space "

On arrival….

Welcomed by Sue Royle and Claire Bogust in their little patch of tranquility near Sharnbrook (just the other side of Rushden) the first thing on my self care list was to sit and have a warm drink with them, we were outside and enjoying the birdsong whilst filling in the regulation health forms before beginning.

No one had their camera ready but we had a wonderful visit by a baby rabbit, hopping to within a metre of my hand to say hello.  I chose from their menu of self care items. I began with a mediation, in which I had messages deleivered to me, hen Sue took me through a 121 yoga session.  You can do yoga, have more meditation and mindfulness, sit and chat your worries away, or even just be left alone to chill for half an hour – the choice is yours!

I then had an oracle card reading, which again was very apt and full of messages…

After a short glass of water (and nip the the toilet) break I went to see Claire, who gave me a wonderful reflexology treatment.  For those who believe we were certain I had my late father in the room with me, he joined in listening the bird song and admiring the roses.

The treatment was hugely relaxing and clearing.  We were visited by a gentle honeybee who popped in, had a look around the room and hummed off into the distance.

I could honestly describe morning as magical and Disney would make a good job popping it into cartoon form.

The Self Care Space is quirky and peaceful and just what I needed yesterday – I was rushed, stressed and having to make some tough decisions on work – my readings, cleared head and quiet helped those decisions along their natural path.

I chose my morning but you can also turn up and chat to Sue and Claire and they will work instinctively to offer you what you need that day.

I left with a feeling of peace, a clear head, plus my crystal and other gifts from Tranquility Time Retreats.

Tranquility Time Retreats - brings you " The Self Care Space "

To Book

Monday Massage & Meditation Tranquility Time Mini Retreat
Tranquility Time Self Care for your mind Body & Souls 1 hour session

For More Information


Telephone: 07738 095089



Thrapston War Memorial gets Makeover after being Vandalised

In November Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the community of Thrapston for responding ‘magnificently’ to the ‘awful vandalism’ against the Silent Soldier war memorial.

The new and improved memorial area will be unveiled at 11am tomorrow, Tuesday 27th April 2021, at Coronation Gardens, Oundle Road, Thrapston, Northamptonshire NN14 4PA

The heart-breaking vandalism to Thrapston’s Silent Soldier statue happened during November’s national lockdown. The news triggered an incredible outpouring of local and national support.

A replacement soldier was loaned to the town by Grange Primary Academy Kettering. Local resident Sophie Starsmore set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to permanently replace the statue. Donations rolled in from across the country, totalling £4,750.

Thrapston will now have not just one but three Silent Soldiers standing guard over the memorial stone. A fourth Silent Soldier will be mobile, to be positioned around the town as needed for Remembrance events.

Incredibly, the funding pot was left untouched thanks to generous donations of Silent Soldiers from;

Sheila and Mike of Southern Acrylics, Old Weston, who made and donated a replacement statue free of charge.
Will Gadsby, Spirotech Group, Sawtry, who made and donated a replacement statue free of charge.
Hugh Burns, a member of the public who privately donated a statue.
Ernie Keating, a member of the public who privately donated a statue.

What’s the donation money being spent on?

Due to the generous donations of statues, the money raised by Mrs Starsmore’s Go Fund Me page has instead been used towards a stunning new permanent outdoor memorial displaying the names of Thrapston’s war dead.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the soldiers and memorial to the war dead will be unveiled by a small group including Mayor of Thrapston Cllr Karen Draycott and Mrs Starsmore. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast on the Town Council’s Facebook page. Members of the public are asked not to attend in person due to restrictions on gatherings.

Clerk to the Town Council Linda Marshall said, “The nation cares very deeply about honouring those who fought for our freedom; this has been shown by the overwhelming response to the fundraising page and the offers of replacement statues. Thrapston is eternally grateful to all who donated statues and gave towards the fundraising page. This has allowed us to erect a permanent outdoor memorial displaying the names of the war dead. The improved memorial area is the physical result of people coming together virtually from far and wide, with the common goal of honouring our veterans. We will remember them.”


The Royal British Legion Silent Soldier (affectionately known by some as ‘Tommy’) 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.

The damage to the Silent Soldier was caused in the evening of 12th November 2020, in Remembrance Week, as the nation marked 75 years since VE Day.

Thrapston Town Council is also carrying out significant improvements to the Peace Memorial Park, close to Coronation Gardens. The Park celebrated its Centenary year in 2020 and the improvements mark 100 years since the area was dedicated as a War Memorial following the Great War. A poppy shaped meeting area, rose garden, sensory garden, accessible paths and ‘Lest We Forget’ and poppy decorated bins bring together the strong Remembrance theme.

Book your Self Care Space with Tranquility Time

I’m booked in at The Self Care Space next Monday, based in Sharnbrook, take a turn which says ‘art gallery’ and find a little oasis of calm; artists, a café where you can play games, therapists and more….plus….

tranquility time retreats

The Self Care Space brought to you by Tranquility Time Retreats

The space is a cosy room for guided meditations, yoga, workshops and more.  Currently open for one on one sessions and household/bubble groups of five or less, and as Covid allows the space will be opened to small groups multi household then larger ones.The Self Care Space brought to you by Tranquility Time Retreats

The space is so welcoming and calm, the whole area is exactly where I feel at home.  Outside lots to look at and explore – random Objet D’art hidden amongst the trees and bushes. As the summer arrives it has become an explosion of colour and scents.   I’m sure it’s a place where fairies may reside, why not go and see for yourself…

You can book 45 minute or 90 minute sessions and tailor them to your needs from the ‘menu’ which includes; massage, yoga of varying types, meditation, guided relaxation and more…. along with angel card mini readings to finish your session, plus there’s often a little gift for you too…..Call Sue Royle and book your slot with her….

For More Information


Telephone: 07738 095089



Why Everyone Needs a Will

We spoke to local solicitor Sally Power from Hunt & Coombs Solicitors about wills;

Nene local sally-power hunt & coombsAs a private client solicitor I am bound to say that I think everyone should have a Will, but it really is the case. Having a properly drafted, valid Will is the only way to make sure that what you want to happen when you die actually happens and it makes things easier for those left behind and grieving. In this article I take you through the key reasons I recommend that you ensure that you have a professionally drafted Will.

Ensuring who you want to inherit does

If you die without having a Will in place this is called intestacy and in this situation rules come into play which determine who will inherit your estate. The intestacy rules basically go through various relationships in order (marriage, parents, children, brothers and sisters etc) and may mean that someone you do not have a close relationship with inherits just because of how they are related to you, or someone you are close to, eg a step child, does not inherit.

Cohabiting couples

If you cohabit (live) with someone and do not have a Will then your partner would not inherit under the intestacy rules. This means that they could be left with nothing, depending on what assets you share and how they are owned, and relatives you may not want to inherit may do so instead. Your partner may be entitled, depending on how long you have lived together, to bring a claim against your estate, but this can feel like quite an aggressive step to take at a time when emotions are running high and people are grieving. By leaving a clear and well drafted Will you can ensure that your partner, children and even pets, are provided for. This makes things more straightforward for those left behind to deal with and, importantly, what you want to happen should happen.


If you have children under the age of 18 Wills are an important way of you making it clear who you would want to act as their guardian should you be the sole parent with parental responsibility at the date of your death.

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Getting married/entering a civil partnership, or not, can have important consequences in relation to Wills. If you already have a Will and you get married or enter a civil partnership, your Will is automatically revoked on your marriage/civil partnership and you should make an appointment with your solicitor to update it as soon as possible. Steps can be taken before you get married/enter a civil partnership to make sure that any Will you make does not get revoked on marriage and again, you should speak to a solicitor.

If you do not have Wills and were intending to get them prepared once married/you have entered a civil partnership, you should definitely consider preparing them now, particularly if you and your partner are already living together and/or you have children.

Divorces and Dissolutions of Civil Partnerships

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the process for divorces and the dissolution of civil partnerships. If you have a Will in place that makes provision for your spouse it will remain valid right up until the decree absolute is granted in the case of spouses (the second and final decree in divorce proceeding), or final dissolution order in the case of civil partners. Once the decree absolute or final dissolution order is granted then your spouse/civil partner will be treated as if they had died before you. If they were appointed as your executor they would no longer be, and if you made provision for them, this would no longer be effective.  This may be what you intended, but in many instances may not.

If you want a spouse or civil partner to continue to be provided for beyond the grant of a decree absolute/final dissolution order then you would need to make sure your Will reflected this to avoid their being treated as having died before you, this could be done by way of a Codicil (amendment to your Will) or by making a new Will completely.

Similarly, if you do not have a Will and die after the decree nisi is granted (the first decree in divorce proceedings) or conditional order of dissolution for civil partners, but before the decree absolute/final dissolution order is granted, then you will be treated as having died whilst married/in a civil partnership and your spouse/partner will be a major, and possibly only, beneficiary (depending on the size of your estate and whether you have children). This is often not what parties divorcing/ending their partnership would want to happen. Accordingly we would advise that you make a new Will to ensure that what you want to happen does happen and not leave it to chance.

Tax planning/making use of inheritance tax free allowances

An experienced solicitor will take care when speaking to you to ensure that your wishes are reflected in your Will and that your Will will work as you intend it to. In addition to this they will also be able to identify if there are any issues that could arise, for example a liability to Inheritance Tax. They will be able to advise you on how to reduce the impact of Inheritance Tax and ensure the Will is drafted in a tax efficient manner, making sure exemptions, which many people are not aware of, are able to be claimed on death and also to ensure Inheritance Tax reliefs are not lost because of poor or wrong drafting.

For More Information

If you would like to discuss anything raised by this article please get in touch with Sally either by email:, or be telephone on 01832 273506.


NEW Fabric & Haberdashery Shop opens in Thrapston

This Saturday sees the grand opening of True Wish Fabrics here in Thrapston.

It’s taking shape to be an Aladins Cave of hobbying and haberdashery. On my visit I not only saw various fabrics; cottons, fleece, designer fabrics and more, I also spied a whole dispay of knitting wool.  A remnants box. Plus buttons, lace, embroidery silks plus cotton thread for the sewing machine.

my shopping

This was my shopping bag

I was informed there is loads still to arrive. If, like me, sewing is one of your hobbies this is the new go-to place.  I struggled to make up my mind what I needed…. and of course you always NEED more fabric!

Find the opening event on Facebook here and click GOING

Everyone who attends the opening and the following week will get a raffle ticket to win a Mega-Mystery Box of fabric!!mystery prize

Date: Saturday April 17th between 10am and 3pm

Place: True Wish Fabrics, 5 Cottingham Way, Thrapton. 

Go past Jon Essam the accountant, and follow the road round to the left, walk down the side of Watsons, with Watsons on your left and business units on your right, True Wish is at the bottom.

Please remember all Covid restrictions, bring your mask and be 2m apart.  If the shop gets too full there will be someone on the door to advise, and let you in accordingly…. there will be drinks and cake both inside and brought to you if you have to wait in the queue.

True Wish Fabrics don’t know how many shoppers and browsers will show up on the day so please be kind and patient in this tough time for new businesses.

Here’s a small selection of what I have seen today……


More Fabrics, fleeces, designer, children’s, also wadding for quilting and iron on facing….  my head is a whirl!

Spring Cleaning the Healthy Way with Norwex!

We spoke to Emma Ozburn at Norwex to find out about harsh cleaning chemicals and how to clean without them;

Did you know that very few of the world’s 85,000-plus chemicals have been tested for their impact on human health? Over 200 chemicals have been found in the core blood of newborns, and typical adults have more than 700 man-made chemicals in their bodies. Personally, I find that really shocking. Norwex’s Mission Statement is simple, ‘Improving the quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our home’. So take a minute and think about what you currently clean your home with. Do the sprays make you cough, or do they cause skin irritants? Do you already suffer with asthma? You may be doing more harm to yourself than you think.

emma norwex

With Norwex you can clean 80% of your home with just our superior-quality microfibre cloths and water. These aren’t your typical store-bought cloths, I promise. A mere 1/200th the thickness of a human hair, our microfibre is a superior blend of extra-dense, super-fine fibres for superior absorption and effectiveness. Instead of relying on toxic chemicals to clean, Norwex harnesses the physical power of our microfibre and water to easily and thoroughly clean any surface. You get an immaculate clean while radically reducing use of harmful chemicals that can affect your family’s health.


Whilst our microfibre is amazing at cleaning, it’s also removing up to 99% of bacteria and germs at the same time leaving your surfaces germ free with only water. When wet, the antibacterial agent called BackLock will purify the cloth, keeping it fresher for longer. No need to machine wash everytime you clean, simply rinse, wring and hang to dry. We offer lots of cleaning cloth options, but our stand out products are the EnviroCloth and Window (polish cloth). These two cloths are like the Ant and Dec of Norwex, they belong together. Use the EnviroCloth to clean the surface (removes up to 99% of the germs and bacteria) and follow it up with the Window Cloth to remove the water residue for a streak free shine. Amazing results especially on windows, mirrors, hobs, taps, towel warmers, and more!

emma norwex

Does your current laundry powder leave a residue in your washing machine? Think about what it’s leaving on your clothes. Did you know that most laundry detergent contains ingredients that can cause skin irritations and breathing issues? They are full of harmful chemicals like phosphates, sulfates, chlorine, dyes, bleach and ammonia just to name a few. Our Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent is free from all of those! It’s simply a soap concentrate and you only need 1-2 tsp to clean a normal load of laundry. Not only does it clean laundry without added harmful ingredients, but it is also a multi-purpose cleaner that works on things like oven racks, jewelry, microwaves, and carpet just to name a few.


If you would love to learn more about creating a safer haven, I would love to show you how.

 For More Informationemma norwex

Emma Ozburn – Norwex Sales Leader

Telephone:  07535723692


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Planning your Work Day with Ann Little

When it comes to planning, so many of us know how important it can be in helping reach our goals, but we often stall when it comes to actually committing plans to paper.

Having a plan, any plan, means you are more likely to get things done. Here are my top tips to help you get planned and make the plans happen.ann little

  1. Plan your day, your week, your month and your year.

Spending time planning will save you time when it comes to implementing your actions. Each day spend a small amount of time planning your day, 10 minutes is often enough; each week set aside some time to plan the week ahead and so on.

Some tasks happen regularly so it is easy to know that they need to be added in. If you are using a digital planner you can set recurring tasks saving time even on the planning!

  1. Look at your priorities.

Not everything you need to do is urgent, and not everything needs to be done by you. I love Covey’s Quadrant for assessing your tasks. It is a fairly simply concept where you look at how urgent and important your tasks are, and you put each task in the correct box. You can now prioritise your tasks, doing the highest priority first. Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but how often do we let ourselves get side-tracked or procrastinate?

  1. Analyse how you spend your day.

You might feel busy all day but busy isn’t always productive. Why not track your time and see what you’re really doing. Use an app or pen and paper to note down your activities that you do throughout the day and look back on what you have been doing. Are you being productive and getting things done, or are you distracted by things that simply waste your time?

  1. Allocate time blocks.

covey's quadrantTime blocks are finite chunks of time, e.g. an hour or 90 minutes, where you focus on one task. This is perfect for the tasks that can run away with you or seem never-ending. Set a timer for an end time and be present in the one task that you are doing. Instead of a timer you could have another cue to represent when the time ends, for example work on one task for the length of a washing machine cycle.

I love planning, and I believe in its power. I have my time planned in advance, and when I can plan I do – I have a weekly menu planner for the family and shopping list; I write a list of packing items when I go away; I have a list of home improvements to work through and tick off.

Now is the perfect time to start your plans and reach your goals – What’s stopping you?

About Ann…

Ann Little is a Virtual Executive Assistant

She supports small business owners helping them make their business plans happen. She works with her clients to grow their businesses both on the planning side and the doing side. If you need help in your business but don’t know where to start contact Ann.

For more information