Category: Thrapston & Oundle

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 https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StephanieSmith36

Beat the Street Helps get East Northamptonshire Moving!

The Beat the Street initiative in East Northamptonshire is being hailed as a success after a new report shows that the challenge has helped get people walking and cycling across the area.

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More than 8,000 walked, ran and cycled 73,000 miles together for Beat the Street from March to May 2019. The initiative saw special sensors called Beat Boxes placed on lampposts around East Northamptonshire which could be tapped with cards while walking or cycling in return for points towards your school or workplace.


Funded by East Northamptonshire Council in partnership with Freedom Leisure and The National Lottery through Sport England, the initiative aimed to encourage families to ditch the car and become more physically active by exploring their local community. A new report produced by Intelligent Health – who delivered the initiative – has shown that players became more physically active as a result of taking part, helping improve the health of people across East Northamptonshire.


Participants were surveyed at the beginning and immediately after Beat the Street to see if they had made any changes in behaviour. Key results from the report include:

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  • Before Beat the Street, 21% of adult players were completely inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of exercise per week). After the game this dropped to just 12% of players.
  • The proportion of children who were inactive decreased from 22% before the game to 11% immediately afterwards.
  • Using NICE’s Return on Investment Calculator, it is estimated that Beat the Street will lead to healthcare savings of £504,802 over the next five years.


Additionally, many players reported that Beat the Street had helped encourage them to walk or cycle more often, visit new places and spend more time with their friends and family:


“It helped me to walk to school and encouraged me to take the longer route to get more points. I joined the gym which I have never done before and kick-started us all as a family into a healthier lifestyle.”


“It enabled my son and I to exercise before and after school. We used our walks to have a good chat together. We both felt good about earnings points for his school. We met new people along the way. I saved a lot of petrol by walking. It’s encouraged me to go swimming as an alternative way of exercising.”


In addition to getting residents more active, Beat the Street has also helped support the work of the local Children’s Air Ambulance. Players were able to support a local charity while playing and the charity that received the most points over the course of the game would receive £500. Players travelled more than 589 miles for Children’s Air Ambulance and they received a donation from Beat the Street on Tuesday 30 July presented by Cllr Helen Howell.


Speaking about the success of the initiative, Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re really encouraged by these results from Beat the Street. ENC is committed to getting its residents more healthy and we hope to help improve the health and wellbeing for those in East Northamptonshire. In the coming months, Beat the Street will continue to engage with local residents and make sure that these changes continue long after the game’s finish.”



Networking can Help Grow your Business

Calling all local ladies who either run their own business or who are instrumental in growing a business they work for.  Busy Women Networking is the place to be to meet like minded business women.

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What can Networking do for your Business?

Many people make the mistake  of thinking they have to ‘sell to the room’, well maybe sme of the people in the room might well buy your goods or services, but the main idea is to just get to know everyone.  The more you get to know someone, find things in common and get to trust and like them, the more business may pass between you.

For instance, anyone who meets me might think “She works in an office on her own mostof the week, whocould she possibly know that I might be interested in?”  but if you spoke to me and got to know me you’d realise that I know lots of interesting people from hypnotherpists, to tilers, from cake makers to financial advisors…. and so on.  I am part of the boating community, a dog owner and do charity work…. theamount of people I introduce to other people is huge!

I’m not unique – come along to networking and you’ll meet loads of ladies like me,all ready to introduce you to people whocan help you. advise you, buy from you….. or even sell to you the things you need…..

Once you’ve experienced networking you’ll realise how hard your once a month lunch can work for you.

What happens at Busy Women Networking?

The Oundle  BWN meeting is held at the Fox Inn in Thorpe Waterville on the first Tuesday of every month.  Our next meeting is September 3rd – where we have member Eppie Anderson giving a ten minute presentation on SEO, giving her hints and tips for doing your own SEO.foxy

Each month you will tell everyone what you do, and listen to what everyone else does.  You’ll pass aorund business cards and go home with some very useful contacts.

You’ll also get treated to an amazing lunch – September’s choices are:

Smoked Cod Brie and Bacon Fishcakes
Served with mixed vegetables, poached egg and a beurre blanc sauce
Stilton Glazed Flat Field Mushroom
Served with dauphinoise potatoes and mixed vegetables, finished with a balsamic glaze
Linguine Carbonara
Linguine served in a bacon, mushroom and cream sauce
Sprinkled with parmesan cheese and accompanied with garlic bread
Warm Chicken & Bacon Caesar Salad
Grilled Chicken breast and bacon on a fresh bed of mixed salad leaves topped with grated parmesan cheese. Dressed with a Caesar sauce and accompanied with garlic bread
and to attend as a visitor it is £24.

For More Information

For more information about Busy Women Networking email helen@rainbowpr.co.uk
To book your space at thelunch table email helen@rainbowpr.co.uk

Or view https://www.busywomen.net/



Zumba – Laughing Whilst Dancing Burns Even More Calories

It’s true, I have very little coordination.  I’m liable to go left if you’ve asked me to step to the right and trying to do something with my arm whilst remembering the steps with my legs is almost an impossibility.

Luckily when I joined Zumba Gold in Islip over a year ago, I was in good company.  Sarah Jones the instructor explains ‘There very few rules, other than have fun and if you go wrong just roll with it and carry on’.

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The Zumba Gold group on Thursday (Islip Pavilion 6.45pm) are a great bunch of ladies, who I’m sure, like me, thought it would be some gentle exercise.  It’s not!  Yes – Zumba Gold is low impact, good for those new to exercise or rehabilitating after an injury or operation.  zumba islipDo you have a good workout?  YES YOU DO!  You’ll raise your heart rate, get a bit sweaty, leave with a grin on your face – all the things that are so good for you!

Zumba Gold involves (like Zumba) learning dance moves, and definitely giving the old grey matter a work out to remember the steps and keep up, it involves stretching, balancing and energy all as part of the routine – nothing static and boring here.

Many years ago, I once got sent out of a keep fit class because my friend and I couldn’t stop giggling.  We don’t have a week in Zumba Gold where someone doesn’t go wrong and we all end up laughing then going wrong ourselves.

Zumba Gold is suitable for everyone, the work out is a good one, but low impact on your joints.

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This week saw the launch of Zumba in Islip.  Zumba Gold is 6.45pm followed at 7.45pm by Zumba. I thought I’d give it a whirl.  When the class began, one of our speedier Zumba Gold routines was used as the warm up, which did make me wonder what I’d let myself in for!zumba islip

Again, the ladies were a great bunch, no one cares if you go a bit wrong, sometimes your so into the music and movement you can’t help it – or is that just me?

How is Zumba different to Zumba Gold?  Definitely more jumping and stomping, not so much so my knees had any issues but enough to get the muscles stronger in that area.  Zumba is quicker, so a year of Zumba Gold getting used to learning instruction and listening to a beat change to know a step change is coming was a good move for me.   It was good to learn new routines, I’m a big believer in keeping your brain working, use it or lose it as they say.

Zumba is very doable, extremely enjoyable.  Possibly a bit quick if you’re less fit or have an injury you’re getting over – in which case you need Zumba Gold.

Sarah is a great teacher, her aim is enjoyment first, which keeps you going back, fitness second.  If you miss a step, get a bit lost Sarah says, ‘Just keep moving – don’t do anything your body doesn’t want to do.  Don’t over stretch but do push yourself to see what you’re capable of.’

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With both classes there is a nice warm up and cool down stretching. Bring a water bottle but if you forget there are cups and fresh water available to use.

Watch a video clip here – Zumba in Islip

For more information

Sarah Jones Zumba Instructor

Facebook Page for all the local classes: https://www.facebook.com/www.mishj.co/

Islip Classes:

  • Thursday 6.45pm Zumba Gold
  • Thursday 7.45pm Zumba

No booking required just turn up!