Beat the Street

Beat the Street

September 2018

Beat the Street

Beat the street image

I love a bit of urban exploration around Swindon me – just some of which is covered in posts in this category: https://swindonian.me/category/walks-and-cycle-paths/

So this Beat the Street Swindon challenge sounds like fantastic family fun. Read more about it all below.

Swindon is set to be transformed into a giant game this autumn as thousands of residents compete to see if their school, community or business can walk, run or cycle the furthest.

Beat the Street Swindon

Running from 12 September to 24 October, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge where people are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring their town on foot or bicycle.

More than 160 special sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’ will appear across Swindon. Players tap the Beat Boxes with cards and fobs to track their journey and earn points for themselves and their team – the more Beat Boxes people swipe the more points they earn.

Schools and community groups across Swindon will be competing against each other to see if they can travel the furthest, climb the leaderboards and win hundreds of pounds worth of sport and fitness equipment.

Families are encouraged to play for their local school. While the wider community can create their own teams by emailingteam.swindon@beatthestreet.me.

Beat the Street is being funded in Swindon by Sport England and Swindon Borough Council.

Bring your community together to explore your area by walking, cycling or running.

Visit their website at: www.beatthestreet.me/swindon  

And find Beat the Street on Facebook.

Twitter: @BTSSwindon

To get involved:

Beat the Street runs from Wednesday 12 September 2018 – Wednesday 24 October 2018 and anyone living, working or going to a school in Swindon is eligible to take part.

Pick up a card near you. Selected supermarkets, libraries and leisure centres will start distributing cards from 6 September. 

Beat the Street is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by The National Lottery through Sport England, and Swindon Borough Council.

Want to find out more or set up a team? Email team.swindon@beatthestreet.me

 

Nail your smear with Honestly Ombre

Nail your smear with Honestly Ombre

24th January 2018

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Nail your smear with Honestly Ombre

A Swindon-based beauty business is encouraging women to get themselves a smear test by offering a free manicure in her treatment room in Old Town, Swindon.

From Jessica’s ‘About Us’: 

‘I’m Jessica, the Creative Director and Author of Honestly Ombré, a vegan lifestyle blog. Honestly Ombré aims to inspire its readers in all aspects of life, including product reviews, life experience, occasional advice and vegan health and wellbeing.

In May 2017 I launched my company Honestly Ombre Holistic Therapy. I offer a range of relaxing and pampering body & beauty treatments, all of which are vegan and cruelty free. If you would like more information, you can find out more here or click the ‘Holistic’ link at the top of the page.’

Jessica is highlighting the importance of getting your smear test with her campaign #NailYourSmear

Beauty therapy company gives free manicures to encourage smear tests

nail your smear with honestly ombre

‘Honestly Ombré, a local beauty therapy company, is promoting a #NailYourSmear campaign to encourage women to have – or at least book – smear tests by the end of March 2018.

The Swindon based business is offering completely free manicures to those going for check-ups.

Smear test screening has fallen to an all time low with only 62% of women attending a screening in 2017. Yet in the UK, cervical cancer affects 3,000 women every year and is the biggest killer of women under the age of 35.

Honestly Ombré’s Founder Jessica Wallbridge had precancerous cells removed that were identified during a smear test.

“I have personal experience of precancerous cells being identified and removed at a young age that were picked up during a routine test. If I had waited much longer to get a test I might not have been so fortunate.’

“By offering a simple incentive such as free manicures, I want to encourage others to get checked. There is no limit to the campaign. If I end up doing 100 free manicures, it will be worth it, knowing that I might have saved somebody’s life.

“Almost 1,000 women in the UK die from cervical cancer every year. This is tragic given that the disease is treatable and the prospect of a complete cure is good if it’s diagnosed at an early stage. If I can contribute in some way to making the smear test experience a positive one, I’ll count the campaign a success!”

Honestly Ombré is encouraging other businesses to become involved in the campaign by using the #NailYourSmear hashtag to raise awareness and by creating their own campaigns to help increase smear test screening attendance. The campaign began on the 2nd February and will run until the 31st March 2018.

Jessica adds, “The feedback on social media so far has been amazing, and I’ve had lots of women contact me, sharing their experiences.

“I want to break down the perceived social stigma regarding smear tests that can often make women feel embarrassed or avoid going for these critical check ups.

“We need it to be normal for women to talk about their smear tests, and if I can encourage just a handful of women get past the hurdle of booking or going for their test, then I’ll be pleased.’

About Cervical Cancer and Screening

Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages.Yet smear tests can detect cell changes at a very early stage, and this is crucial for early treatment to reduce the risk of cervical cancer developing.

The NHS offers a cervical screening programme to all women from the age of 25, and recommends women are checked every 3 years between the age of 25 and 49, and every 5 years between the ages of 50 to 64.

nail your smear with honestly hombre

About Honestly Ombré

Honestly Ombré is a vegan and cruelty free beauty and holistic therapy company based in Old Town, Swindon.

Contact

If you’d like to know more about the #NailYourSmear campaign, or Honestly Ombré, email honestlyombre@gmail.com or visit www.honestlyombre.com/holistic’

Find Jessica on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/honestlyombreblog/  and Twitter: https://twitter.com/honestlyombre

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The Choc Shop

The Choc Shop

11th November 2017

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The Choc Shop

Right listeners. I’ve lost count now of the times I’ve heard (on social media of course) cries of ‘What do want? Independent shops. When do we want them? Now!’  Or words to that effect.

For some time now we’ve had my much-loved and much frequented Paolo’s Italian Deli on the bottom of Commercial Road. https://www.facebook.com/dapaolosimplyitalian/?fref=ts

Now there’s a new kid in town on Theatre Square – where the model shop used to be. I give you: The Choc Shop.

The Choc Shop exterior

The shop is owned and run by Paul Dunn and has been brought to chocolatey fruition with the help of Iain Nicholson and the Flashop team.  Find them on Twitter here: @Flashop_Swindon

When I first visited the shop Paul was low on stock. That’s not the case now as I think my snaps will demonstrate. There’s something for everyone – including vegetarians and vegans and gluten free.

The chocolate pizzas are proving popular with a certain Adver cub reporter. Tom I’m looking at you. And they are rather nice – albeit a tad sweet for my palate. But then I favour plain, 85% cocoa solid stuff with as little sugar in as possible. So don’t be out off by that! I simply don’t have a terribly sweet tooth.

Aside from the super dark stuff, the thing I always look for on chocolate is the quantity of cocoa solids and where in position on the ingredients list sugar is placed. If it’s in pole position – as it so often is – Lindt J’accuse – then, sorry that’s not chocolate. Brown, sweet vegetable fat is what that is.

So I’m super happy to report that the chocolate pizzas have cocoa solids in that all important first placing. And a creditable (compared to many) 33% at that. Ergo, a product I can enjoy. As I’m sure anyone with a sweeter tooth than me (probably 90% of the population) will too.

Here’s a few of my trademark terrible photos to give you an idea of Paul’s product range:

And here’s Paul standing behind his counter:

Ian - Choc shop owner

 

You can follow the shop on Twitter here: @ChocShopUK  

There is a webpage but there’s nothing there as yet: http://www.thechocshop.com  Of course if Paul should want help with the content *coughs* AA Editorial Services is here. That’s me!

So Swindon, You have a new independent shop. Go use it.

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Lord Joel Joffe

Lord Joel Joffe

26th October 2017

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Lord Joel Joffe

Lord Joel Joffe

Last night I had the privilege of attending a memorial event for Lord Joffe – or Joel as everyone knew him.

I knew of Joel and his connections with many Swindon organisations of course way before I met him. His patronship of Swindon 105.5, involvement and interest in the Harbour Project and Swindon City of Sanctuary to name but a few.

But it was only relatively recently that I had the pleasure of meeting him.

Carole Bent, a friend of Joel’s for 18 years and latterly a close colleague facilitated the introduction. As part of their work together , Carole introduced Joel to a range of people also positively engaged in Swindon – some of whom he knew – and some previously unknown to him. The common factor being that all were taking positive actions in reference to Swindon.

Anyway, the nice upshot of all that was Joel taking an interest in this here blog and signing up to follow it – which thrilled me to death of course! I love a new blog follower of any description!

Always the lawyer, chatting with Joel felt ever so slightly like an interrogation. But it was a privilege to be so interrogated. 🙂

Last night’s event, organised by Carole at the request of Joel’s wife and daughters, constituted a wonderful opportunity for representatives of Swindon’s community organisations and businesses to pay fitting tribute to him.

Held n the UTC central atrium this was a splendid affair, in a super splendid building, in a splendid town honouring a splendid man. This man who had saved Nelson Mandela from execution was the biggest champion for and advocate of Swindon.

arriving at UTC

This article in the New Internationalist, remembering Lord Joel Joffe gives you more story about him and his charitable endeavours.

There’s no finer tribute to Joel than this film from Swindon’s Create Studios. He tells his story in his words and pays tribute to the Swindon people who worked for him.

My favourite bit? I‘m paraphrasing slightly:  ‘Everything is good about Swindon. But I sometimes don’t think the people of Swindon realise how good it is. I want everyone to be proud of Swindon and say ‘hey – this is a good place, we’re proud to be from Swindon.’

He’s right. Everything IS good about Swindon. Well –  almost everything anyway. And I can’t begin to convey the frustration I feel when I hear people knocking the place.

This is one of Joel’s favourite quotes from Václav Havel, the Czech writer and dissident:

Václav Havel quote

I like the entire thing, but in particular the last sentence: ‘There is only one thing that I will not concede and that is that might be meaningless to strive in a good cause.’

Thank goodness for the Václavs and the Joels of this world. And thank goodness too for the groups and individuals in this town that continue to strive for good causes. I’m in awe of the effort they put in. There’s too many to mention here but Swindon would be poorer without them for sure.

It was a delight to know you Joel – albeit briefly.  From one Born again Swindonian to another: RIP.

See too: The Hoarusib Elephant  – a surreal day indeed!  

 

The Thistle Express Swindon Launches

The Thistle Express Swindon Launches

4th October 2017

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The Thistle Express launches in Swindon

It’s good to see what was – many years ago – the Wiltshire hotel and latterly The Thistle, back in use as the Thistle Express. It’s in a super fab location for sure. Literally a spit from the railway and bus stations and the town centre. The Kimmerfields car park is just across the road and only a further little spit up to Regent Circus and the Cineworld cinema and eateries up there. What you might call at the heart of things.

I have an opportunity to try the place out soon so I’ll report back on that soon. I look forward to the bottomless breakfast. It sounds good to me! In the meantime, the official press release follows to give you a feel for the place.

Thistle Express Swindon

Thistle Express is aimed at the savvy, value-conscious, modern traveller, providing more choice when it comes to booking trips.

The latest addition to the next generation of Thistle hotels in Swindon is opposite the future commercial quarter, ensuring the 95-bedroom hotel is conveniently placed for both business and leisure travellers.  It’s the ideal location for guests to drop their bags, head off to that wedding, get ready for their big presentation, or get some well-deserved shut-eye. For those travelling from further afield, Thistle Express Swindon is just an eight-minute walk from the main train station.

The hotel offers fast, free Wi-Fi, bottomless tea and coffee and free breakfast for all guests.

Smart TVs in every bedroom allows those staying to stream their own content, along with blackout curtains and Hypnos mattresses for a good night’s sleep. Guests can fuel up for the day with the hotel’s delicious, free buffet breakfast, offering a selection of hot food as well as lighter continental options of fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries. And with no need to check out, Thistle Express is turning the traditional hotel experience on its head.

The unique interior concept has been beautifully executed by Faber Design who recently created the Formula 1 R&D Centre, now used as the new headquarters for a leading Formula 1 motorsport company.

Thistle Express Swindon’s General Manager, James Preece, says; “As the latest addition to the Thistle Express family, I am delighted to be a part of the team here in Swindon. We’ve got a great team lined up, all of which are local to Swindon, and we’re all excited to welcome our first guests this autumn.”

Neil Gallagher, CEO at glh hotels says, “We are very proud to be extending our new Thistle Express brand. With increasing investment going into Swindon and the surrounding area and the new shopping hub and commercial quarter opening, we’re ready to welcome guests to this new, modern hotel. We listened to our customers and responded to the demand for a value proposition with fantastic amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, which is crucial to all guests regardless of the purpose of their stay.” ‘

 

 

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Five Rhythms dancing comes to Wiltshire

Five Rhythms dancing comes to Wiltshire

18th September

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Five Rhythms Dancing

First steps taken to bring mindful dancing to Wiltshire

A type of dance which requires no skill and no compulsory lycra, and is open to everyone, regardless of ability or disability, is being brought to Wiltshire.

5Rhythms dance dates back to the 70s, and was created by American Gabrielle Roth as a type of meditation and mindfulness through dance.

Julie Nicholls BodyMind Coach -five rhythms dancing

Julie Nicholls Body-Mind Coach

A big fan is Swindon businesswoman Julie Nicholls, who travels as far afield as Southampton and Surrey to take part in workshops and classes.

Now Julie is bringing 5Rhythms to Wiltshire, and has invited instructor Gay Murphy to run a free taster session on October 29 at Liddington Village Hall. If it’s a success, more classes could follow.

Julie, who is in her 25th year of running Body Mind Coaching, believes 5Rhythms not only makes her a better coach, but complements her own practice. Body Mind Coaching focuses on helping people lead a pain-free and stress-less life through a combination of massage, counselling and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

 

“5Rythmns is perfect for people who want or need to exercise but are put off by classes, perhaps because they can’t follow the instructor, or they worry what they look like, or even because they struggle getting off the floor,” said Julie.

“With 5Rhythms, people can wear what they like – loose clothing is ideal – and they dance how they wish, with guidance from the instructor. It suits people of any age and ability. The beauty of it is that you dance your own dance, within your own comfort zone so there is no need to do anything that strains your body. There are no steps to learn and you can never get it wrong. This brings so much freedom to the body that it frees the mind.”

5Rhythms moves through five different types of music or rhythm – flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. The aim is to use movement as meditation and find inner expression. In each section the instructor invites participants to focus on an area of their body but without telling them how they should move, or even that they have to move that body part.

Julie says 5Rhythms helps participants to explore feelings and is therapeutic for the mind as well as the body.

She added: “It is a little like a dance-based version of how I help my clients, by helping heal their mind and their bodies. “

The taster session, which runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm, is free but donations are welcome. To book visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/movement-meditation-a-5rhythms-taster-day-tickets-37101285945. In the afternoon, there is a 5Rhythms workshop for £15.

For more information contact Julie@body-mind-coaching.co.uk or call 01793 495551

See this YouTube clip for more information:

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