nene local | helen dawson


Category: Wellingborough & Great Doddington

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

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.



Female-Founded Sustainable Beer Brand Launches in Sainsbury’s

Female-founded Sustainable Beer Brand, Binary Botanical, NOW AVAILABLE in Sainsbury’s Stores Nationwide


A female-founded beer brand aimed at delivering a viable alternative for wine-lovers is now available in select stores across the UK after they agreed a trial with Sainsbury’s.


Good Living Brew Company has launched Binary Botanical, a sophisticated light beer for wine-lovers, in selected Sainsbury’s stores nationwide as part of its ‘Taste of the Future’ trial bay.


Binary Botanical was launched to provide a lighter, beer-like alternative to a glass of wine. A refreshing beer, it is infused for five days with organic British hop leaves, giving it a prosecco-like taste with a clean finish. Binary Botanical is the first of its kind to commercialise the use of hop leaves, a product that otherwise goes to waste during the brewing process, creating new innovation within the brewing industry. This superior refreshing beverage is available with both 4% and 0.5% alcohol for consumers choosing to drink less or not at all.


Based on the outskirts of the South Downs National Park, the founders of Good Living Brew Company were tired of not being able to find an alcoholic drink of around 4% that wasn’t either bland, bitter or sweet, so they set out to create something new. Binary Botanical is lower in alcohol and calories than wine, vegan and gluten and sugar free.


Danielle Bekker, co-founder, says: “We set out to create a new style of beer which would appeal to wine-lovers and people who think they don’t like beer. We’re delighted to see Binary go on trial in Sainsbury’s in November making it available to more consumers across the UK in time for Christmas and Dry January.  We hope people love Binary Botanical as much as we do!”


Binary Botanical was created by a team of women with years’ of experience in the brewing industry, and a shared frustration of wanting a moderate alcoholic beverage but without  the traditional bitter taste of beer. Binary has a fresh, tangy and aromatic profile that will appeal to beer, wine and cider fans alike.


While most beers are brewed using hop cones, Binary Botanical is infused with organic British leaves from Sovereign and First Gold hop bines, the name given to the stems of the hop plant. While hops impart a bitterness that isn’t for everyone, hop bine leaves add a unique tang to the beer which makes it the perfect accompaniment for a meal. Binary is perfect for pairing with food or making cocktails – try it in a stemmed glass with strawberries, mint and oranges and a dash of Grenadine as a refreshing alternative to Pimm’s.


Joe Davies, Sainsbury’s Taste the Future Development Executive said:

We are pleased to be welcoming Binary Botanical to our shelves in the new Taste of the Future trial bay. As these hop-leaf beverages offer a lighter alternative for wine-lovers, they reflect our customers’ growing interest in the wider industry drinking trend centred around wellbeing.


For more information, visit


£400 Fine for Littering Out of Car Window

Drop your litter and face the consequences. That’s the stark message from East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) who recently prosecuted a driver for just such an offence.


Back in January, an ENC environmental services officer witnessed the driver throw an empty cigarette packet out of his car window on Kettering Road, Thrapston. The driver was identified as Ryan Potticary and was offered a fixed penalty notice of £150 (reduced to £100 if paid within 10 days). Despite reminders being sent, Mr Potticary failed to pay the fine and was then referred to court where he was offered the opportunity to enter a plea by post. Again, he failed to reply so the case went to Northampton Magistrates Court in August. Mr Potticary did not attend but was found guilty and received a £402 fine. (£220 fine plus a £32 victim surcharge and £150 costs).


Steven North, Leader of ENC, said: “All littering is an offence no matter what it is and we all need to take responsibility by using a bin or taking our rubbish home. And that’s not just to avoid a fine but to protect where we live, work, play and drive.


“I hope that this case serves as a warning that we will hold those who litter to account and we will pursue through the courts, if necessary. Avoid that hefty fine and do the right thing – bin it.”

don't be a litter bug