Gravesham 2013 Calendar out now!
Beautiful photographs of scenes around Gravesham.
Limited stock-So hurry and get your calendar for only £4.50!
Tourist Information Officer
Silver Winner 2011 for Tourist Information Centre of the Year at the Beautiful South Regional Awards.
TOWNCENTRIC - Tourist, Regeneration and Information
18a St George's Square
Kent DA11 0TB
Tel: 00 44
(0) 1474 33 76 00
Top Five UK Valentine’s Staycations
Valentine’s Day will soon be here again. This can be a lonely time for those without partners, so why not organise a DropBy walk on February 14th ? Get together with a group of friends and invite other members to join you on one of these beautiful walks in the British countryside? What’s more, it’s the perfect way to work up and appetite before heading out to a restaurant. So, don your walking boots and take inspiration from these walks, recommended by Hi-Tec customers…
1. Fladdabister, Shetland
Very few things are as beautiful as wild flowers. The Shetlands show these in all their natural glory. It’s illegal to pick certain rare and endangered flowers, but spokesman for Plantlife Dominic Price says: "it is not normally an offence to pick the 'Four Fs' – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale."
Fladdabister, meaning Flat Farm, is on the Shetland Mainland, close to the town of Lerwick. It’s well known for the fields of unusual wild flowers that can be found there and the fascinating Dutch-influenced ruins.
Walk Shetland recommends a 3.5 hour route which takes in the Loch of Fladdabister, the Mill Burn stream and impressive coastline. More information can be found here.
Head to Monty’s Bistro at Lerwick for ‘a relaxed, informal eating experience’. A Taste of Scotland says ‘The menu and blackboard specialities are well-balanced and full of Shetland's finest ingredients’. Call 0044 01595 696555 for more information and bookings.
2. The South Downs Way, Sussex
Walking on the Downs gives you a perfect excuse for a weekend away in cosmopolitan Brighton. There are plenty of stunning sights to be caught, from farmland to coastline to the famous Devil’s Dyke and the area is as beautiful in winter as it is in summer.
Brighton has long been a popular destination, with people visiting to bathe in the sea in the 17th century, to Victorians taking the train from London for a day at the seaside. Today, the city is a cosmopolitan hub, encompassing Hove and other suburbs such as Rottingdean, Deven Dials and Preston Park.
Pyecombe is a good place to start your walk- it’s just off the A23 and is a pretty village with a great pub. If you head towards Lewes, you’ll see the famous Jack and Jill windmills, dew ponds and Ditchling Beacon. A detailed route can be seen here.
After a day out in the British countryside, British fare ought to be a safe bet! Brighton’s award-winning chain of ‘Ginger’ restaurants are well worth a visit. Depending on where you’re staying there’s the Gingerman (Norfolk Square), the Ginger Pig (Hove), the Ginger Fox (Shave’s Thatch) and the Ginger Dog (Kemptown). See www.gingermanrestaurants.com for more information.
Waseley Hills Country Park, Worcestershire
Sunset is the perfect pre-dinner time to head out for a walk, as demonstrated in the above picture which was taken in one of Worcestershire’s loveliest Country Parks. With the darker nights we’re currently experiencing, sunset generally falls at about 4pm so plan your walking route accordingly and ensure that you have a good viewpoint ready for those beautiful few moments.
Worcestershire is a great weekend destination- close to the Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds, as well as taking in two of the UK’s best-known rivers; the Severn and the Avon. Worcester itself has a beautiful cathedral which is worth a visit, and you’re not far from the metropolis of Birmingham should you wish to escape the countryside.
The Malverns are pretty tricky to tackle so stick to a gentle Valentine’s stroll along the Severn Valley. Walking Britain recommends a 5 mile walk which starts in the village of Grimley and takes you through beautiful countryside as well as letting you explore Holt Castle and Church. See here for full route details.
Saffron’s Bistro in Worcester city centre has rave reviews online, with one customer claiming ‘The food seems to get better and better!’ and others highlighting the cosy atmosphere and good service. Call 01905 610505 for bookings.
4. River Derwent, County Durham
Water-based locations are the setting for many a romantic film scene, so head to the River Derwent and re-create your own. Just try to stay out of the water unlike Alec Harvey in classic flick Brief Encounter. If you’re lucky enough to catch a beautiful morning mist like the one in this photograph, be sure to wrap up warm!
County Durham has some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain and is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The area also has a fascinating historical and geological heritage as well as a unique collection of museums and galleries, ancient castles, historic houses and the world famous Cathedral. It’s also home to the lovely seaside town of Hartlepool where you’ll find the fantastic marina complex and plenty of dockyard history.
If you really want to work up an appetite, tackle the 11 mile Durham Heritage Coast route, as recommended by This is Durham. It takes you from Seaham to Crimdon and you’ll witness breath-taking views, including cliff tops, caves and unusual plants and wildlife.
Portofino Bistro and Pizzeria has been open since 1997 on Hartlepool’s beautiful quayside, just opposite HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship which is now docked permanently. The food receives regular rave reviews and there’s a Valentine’s special menu on offer too. Portofino’s owners also run the popular Krimo restaurant and Casa del Mar Tapas Restaurant if you fancy something different! Call 01429 266166 for bookings.
5. Bodnant Gardens, Wales
A trip to north Wales is perfect if you really want to feel like
you’ve got away from it all for a few days. Colwyn Bay is home to
the stunning Bodnant Gardens where you can see some more exotic
plants up close. Be sure to pause underneath this stunning
Colwyn Bay and the surrounding area have it all- Blue Flag beaches, a long pier, a buzzy harbour and a long promenade to stroll along. Just along the coast there’s Llandudno too; Wales’ largest seaside resort. A must-do activity is a ride on the famous Llandudno cable car, which departs from the delightfully named Happy Valley to the summit of Great Orme (679ft). You’ll see breathtaking views of Llandudno, the Little Orme, the Conwy Estuary and much more on the journey, while atop Great Orme you’ll be privy to stunning views of Anglesey, Puffin Island and the mountains of Snowdonia.
The BBC recommends a 4 mile walk which starts at Llandudno’s promenade. It’s perfect for nature lovers as you’ll have the opportunity to spot guillemot, kittiwake, fulmar, cormorant and even feral goats! Paths on the walk are mixed terrain types and there are lots of stiles, kissing gates (how appropriate!) and wooden gates along the way. Click here for full route details.
When by the sea you simply have to eat fresh seafood! So head to Seahorse Seafood Bistro. It’s famed for a lovely atmosphere and good service, and dishes such as game terrine and steak are recommended for those who aren’t fish fans. Call 01492 875315 for bookings and information.
If you still need some walking inspiration, for Valentine’s or any other day of the year, take a look at Hi-Tec’s Inspiring Image Wall. It’ll show you beautiful pictures taken by people on walks in various UK counties and give you details on the best walking routes. Visit: http://www.hi-tec.com/inspiring-uk-walks/
Year 6 pupils at Northmead Junior School flexed their thespian muscles during a workshop led by Guildford Shakespeare Company. The children took part with energy and enthusiasm in many exercises that explored the language of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
The school’s annual production was a version of this comedy and the Guildford Shakespeare Company were invited into school to help the children with speaking roles to develop their performances and to inspire a love of Shakespeare. The children thoroughly enjoyed the two-hour workshop and were delivering lines of poetry with great confidence and flair. Every pupil at Northmead had been busy learning songs and dances in preparation for their school play, when 120 fairies, dancing horses and a giant cobweb took to the stage!
Specialising in Shakespeare, and using non-theatre venues for their performances, GSC's fresh and inventive approach places the audience right at the heart of the action. From open-air performances to school workshops, from one-off events to Saturday drama clubs, GSC aspires to re-ignite the passion for live theatre, re-telling these wonderful, world-famous stories with relish, verve and an infectious sense of fun…and never dumbing down.
Once young people are given the opportunity to make Shakespeare their own, their confidence with the language grows, empowering them to develop their understanding and appreciation of the plays; which done properly, is an appreciation that can stay with them for life. All GSC's schools workshops are bespoke, practical and fun, designed to explore the text as a script written for performance, and complement the specifications for the main exam boards.
Matt Pinches, Producer from GSC, commented: "It is always so rewarding working with younger school pupils because they don't yet have any of the prejudices or misconceptions that Shakespeare can be tough. The children at Northmead were fantastic, showing no fears of getting to grips with the language and being physical with it too. The best way to tackle Shakespeare is to simply play with it - let the words and their rhythms do the work for you without worrying what it all means - and that's exactly what the pupils at Northmead did! It's a really great age to start introducing them to the magic of live Shakespeare.
Guildford Shakespeare Company’s next major production is Richard III, 10-12 February, Holy Trinity Church! www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk
As 2012 dawns, Guildford YMCA faces a huge financial challenge – to maintain and expand the work it does with disadvantaged young people across Surrey. And two events are coming up soon that can help meet that challenge – a Guildford town centre street collection and a winter sleep out.
On Saturday 28 January YMCA street collectors will be scattered around Guildford town centre, probably shivering as they hope to collect your spare cash. Please pop some coins in their buckets to encourage them!
And the following Saturday night will see a group of noble volunteers bedding down for a night under the stars. It won’t be a true taste of homelessness, but it will be cold and uncomfortable. These brave souls will be seeking sponsorship in order to raise significant funds for YMCA projects that help young people make positive steps towards building a future.
Nationally the YMCA houses over 7000 young people every night. In these tough times young people have been hard hit – job prospects are few and living independently is a dream for so many. Living at the YMCA or being part of a YMCA project can make a huge difference to a young person’s self esteem, life skills and CV. If you would like to help a young person by making a donation it’s easy to do online at https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/guildfordymca
Public interest in and support for the YMCA’s work has always been key to its success. If you would like to receive regular news from Guildford YMCA please email email@example.com or call 01483 448784 with your contact details.
This survey is part of an intensive period of consultation, and so far we have held two large workshops with a range of people and we are conducting eleven focus groups to check our findings. The survey sets out what people told us at our workshops about how they would like to be involved in our work. It asks whether you agree, and whether you have any comments about how it should work. The survey is being sent to hundreds of people, including Foundation Trust members, but also patients, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders from organisations we work closely with or who represent the interests of people who may find it harder to use our services.
The survey will be open until 21 December, and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
Please use this link to complete the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/engageandinvolve
In addition, we would be grateful if you would complete a monitoring form so we are able to understand a bit more about who has completed the survey and, just as importantly, identify any groups of people that we haven’t reached.
Please use this link to complete the monitoring form: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Moreaboutyou
All responses will remain anonymous, however if you wish to leave us your email address at the end of the survey we will send you the outcomes in the new year.
If you have any questions about the survey, or would like a printed copy sent through the post, please contact 01273 897840 or reply to this email.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might be interested in having a say about the way the ambulance service develops in the future.
Best wishes and thank you for your time,
Membership and Governor Engagement Manager
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
40-42 Friar’s Walk
Mobile: 07770 685 772
Tel: 01273 897 840
SMS/text: 07770 685772
Textphone (via TextRelay): 18001 01273 897840
Carers World Radio have asked us to put you in touch with this recent live conference on the internet.
Members who are carers will find it interesting:
The World Stroke Organisation (WSO) is calling for action
to address the silent stroke epidemic in the second year of its
‘1 in 6’ campaign.
The ‘1 in 6’ theme was selected to highlight the fact that one in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime.
Action on Stroke month 2012
May 2012 is The Stroke Association’s first Action on
Stroke month. There is hope for a better life after stroke but
we need to reach out to many more stroke survivors and their
carers to let them know that The Stroke Association is there
for them. Everyone can help, whether it’s participating in an
event or simply wearing a badge to raise awareness.
Sign up today and they will send you updates and news as things progress.
Call 0207 566 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information taken from Stroke News, Autumn 2011.
Dial 2 Drive has been shortlisted for the Heart of the Community, run by the Kent and Sussex Courier and Sevenoaks Chronicle.
The feature will appear in the papers on the 11th November along with the first voting coupon. Two further coupons will be printed in the 18th and 25th Nov papers.
Any votes for Dial 2 Drive would be greatly appreciated. You can send in your votes in one envelope, saving on the cost of postage, but they must reach the Courier by midday on 2nd Dec 2011. Please feel free to send/drop voting forms in to either office:
17-19 Monson Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1LS
Knole Academy, Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 3LE
Many thanks for your support of this Community Transport Scheme for people unable to access public transport due to older age, illness or disability in West Kent.