300th Issue - Aspire Magazine


300th Issue - Aspire Magazine


300th Issue


Celebrating their 40th anniversary,

Coventry Cyrenians are looking for

volunteers and fundraising ideas and

events to enable them to continue

serving the community for another 40

years. For more info, turn to page 3…

View this issue online at www.aspiremagazinegroup.co.uk


Pride Of Leicestershire

Coventry Cyrenians

The Best of


At Aspire, we work hard week in and week out to

find the highest quality goods and services for

all of our readers. Recognising that customers

are eager to find companies that can offer the

whole package, high quality goods, competitive

prices and outstanding customer service, as well

as items that aren’t readily available on the High

Street, we dedicate our time to highlighting those

who boast something special.

We all feel a sense of pride about our home city,

town or village; whether it’s the local football club we

support, our local produce or the unique character

that these familiar places boast, there are many

reasons why we smile when we think of home.

It’s local, independent businesses that add character

to a town or city and help to shape it as a distinctive

destination for shopping by offering unique products

based on the interests and needs of local customers.

Without these companies every High Street up and

down the country would be lined identically with the

same brand names selling the same products.

There are many benefits to be had from shopping

locally and choosing independent shops, rather than

their multinational counterparts:

• Simply by choosing to shop or employ the services

of local companies, you can help them to flourish. You

may find there are also added benefits to choosing

local, including receiving a more personalised service

that may be tailored to your needs.

• Spending your money in local shops keeps your

money in the local economy, resulting in more jobs

being created locally and more funding for local

services being raised through tax revenue. Supporting

local businesses also aids community development.

• Locally produced goods are much kinder on the

environment as they require less transportation,

meaning your carbon footprint will be lower for

selecting local over products from further afield. Also,

because you don’t have to travel far to shop you’ll be

releasing less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Editor, Claire Tipton, says: “We believe it is important

to highlight the companies and services that really

matter to our readers, which is why we regularly

celebrate those that offer something special. We

recognise that good value for money and excellent

customer service are the most important factors our

readers look for in a company, which is why we work

exceptionally hard to tailor our advertising to our


Fun Leicester Facts:

• Thomas Cook became the organiser of the

world’s very first package holiday, which took

residents of Leicester to a temperance meeting

in Loughborough in 1841.

• Leicester became the first UK city to have

its very own local radio station in 1967

when Radio Leicester was launched on 8th


• Leicester was the very first city in Britain to have

traffic wardens – aren’t we lucky!

• Leicester has more sets of traffic lights than any

other city in the UK!

• Leicester Market is the largest outdoor covered

marketplace in Europe.

• In May 2007, Leicester was voted Curry Capital

of Britain.

Help The Homeless with

Coventry Cyrenians

Founded in 1973 when a single volunteer was

recruited to run a night shelter for up to 10 single

homeless men, Coventry Cyrenians provide

a range of services to homeless, vulnerable

and disadvantaged people in Coventry and

Warwickshire, with the objective of improving

their quality of life and to empower them to live as

independently as possible.

As the largest independent homeless charity in Coventry

and Warwickshire, you’d be forgiven for thinking that

Cyrenians have enough money to continue helping the

homeless; you’d be wrong.

Cyrenians launched their celebratory 40th anniversary

year on February 27th 2013 – they are hoping to raise

more money than ever before to mark this momentous

occasion. Helen Fairhurst Fundraising Manager for

Cyrenians, told Aspire: “Homelessness is a huge issue at

the moment. Not only are families fighting a turbulent

economy, with the cost of living rising whilst wages are

stagnating, but there’s also the risk that the shortage of

affordable housing, coupled with benefits changes, will

have a real impact on homelessness, causing more people

to find themselves without a stable roof over their head.

By using our 40th anniversary as a year to raise as much

money and awareness as we can, we’re hoping to help

more people than ever before.

“It was the introduction of Supporting People contracts

in 2003 that provided us with a degree of stability that

made possible a dramatic expansion in the range and

quantity of our services but we’re looking to continue

building on the successes we’ve had over the last 10

years. We’re hoping there are some generous people out

there who would like to combine their hobby or passion

with a fundraising event. Whether it’s a cake sale, a fun

run in your local area or taking part in our London to Paris

300-mile bike ride in September, which ends underneath

the beautiful Eifel Tower, we just want people to get

involved. We want them to do something they love and

raise money at the same time.”

Whether you’re an individual or part of a church/school/

work or other community group, Cyrenians would like

to hear from you regarding fundraising. You can do

absolutely anything; all you have to do is get people to

sponsor you as you do it, raising much needed funds

and awareness of homelessness and Cyrenians. Helen

added: “We’re not asking people to run marathons or

skydive - if they want to do that they can – but all we’re

asking is for people to get involved and do something

small. If ten people did something small and inspired

another ten people each, then we’d have a whole bunch

of people doing something small, which would actually

do something really big.”

As well as needing to raise funds to continue their good

work, Cyrenians are also looking for volunteers willing to

give up an hour or two of their time, either as a one-off or

on a regular basis.

Whatever your skills set, if you’re interested in getting

involved with Coventry Cyrenians, please email

volunteering@coventrycyrenians.org and tell them

briefly about any relevant voluntary or paid experience, or

skills you have and why you wish to volunteer at Coventry






• 25 activities to choose from

• Session lasting for 90 minutes

• You plus 9 of your friends and family can

take part

• Larger groups welcome

• Individuals, families, youth groups and

corporate organisations catered for

• All safety equipment is provided

• Open from 9am Monday to Saturday all

year round, Sundays available on request


Tel: 0116 2681426

Email: info@lopc.co.uk

Web: www.lopc.co.uk

Family-run vehicle garage in Leicester

S T L Service Centre is a friendly and reliable car

repair garage, built on 25 years of experience

in the trade.

We believe that family values count for a lot,

and we are proud to offer honest and reliable

advice to all of our customers. Over the years

this approach has helped us form excellent

relationships with our clients, many of whom

we now see as friends.

Why choose our garage services?

• Experienced and friendly staff

• Family-run business

• Quality vehicle servicing and repairs

• Members of the Good Garage Scheme

• Competitive prices

• Domestic and commercial contracts welcome

Donation Form

I would like to make a donation of £ and enclose a cheque/postal order

made payable to Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Please fill in your contact details below...





Please send forms to Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Loughborough Road, Leicester LE4 5PN

£5 off your MOT with this ad

Business Hours:

Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:30pm

Saturday, 8:30am - 4pm

132 Fosse Road South, Leicester LE3 0JT

Tel: 0116 255 7206

Alternative Tel: 0116 255 1927

Email: enquiries@stlservicecentre.co.uk


For further information on how the money raised by Coventry Cyrenians

helps, please visit www.coventrycyrenians.co.uk



Front cover image courtesy of

Coventry Cyrenians

Editor: Claire Tipton


0116 2517385

Accounts: Kathy Tipton


0116 2515919

Features Writer: Laura Hyde


0116 2517385

Graphic Designer: Lucy Crookston


0116 2517385

Sales Manager: Stacey Wragg


0116 2624867

Sales Executives: Lee Matthews, Emma Cross

Distribution: Michael Tipton &

Self Select Distribution

Published by:

Spectrum Printing Services

0116 246 1717

To subscribe to Aspire Magazine call

0116 2517385

Web Design: Paul Tipton at Q Creative Design


0116 251 7298

Name & Registered Office:



3rd Floor Office, 29-35 St Nicholas Place,

Leicester LE1 4LD

Company Number: 06036102


300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issue

300th Issu

Find us on Facebook: Aspire Magazine

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2. Pride Of Leicestershire

3. Coventry Cyrenians

4. Contents

6. Ragdale Hall Competition

7. Lanolips Competition

8. Be Beautiful

12. Northampton Town FC Competition

13. Anna Kennedy

21. Leicester Riders

22. St Patrick’s Day Recipe

24. Highcross Easter

26. At The Races

27. Artists’ Profile

30. Hand Spinning


Ragdale Hall Competition

Lanolips Competition

Relax At

With the warmer weather on its way (finally), now’s

the time to take some time to pamper yourself -

where better to do this than Ragdale Hall the rolling

Leicestershire countryside near Melton Mowbray.

Ragdale Hall combines state-of-the-art facilities

with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture

to create one of the most luxurious and relaxing

health spas in the country.

With an unrivalled range of spa treatments to suit

every need, and prices from only £71 for a spa day

and £126 per person per night for a spa break, there

are great value options for everyone, whether you’re

looking for total relaxation during a weekend spa

break, some pampering, an unrivalled range of

treatments, or even kick starting a healthier lifestyle.

Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Body Range

Launches into Boots Stores Nationwide

Lanolips is delighted to announce the launch of the Lovely

Lanolin body collection into Boots stores nationwide. From

the 27th February 2013, nature’s wonder moisturisers;

Golden Ointment, Herbal Treatment Body Oil and Triple

Buttermilk Body Balm will available to buy in the UK’s

favourite chemist and one-stop beauty shop.

Lanolips was created by Australian beauty guru, Kirsten

Carriol, who was inspired by her childhood spent on sheep

farm and her father’s (a DNA professor) passion for natural

products. Pioneering the award-winning ‘Lanolips 101

Ointment’, (also available at Boots stores nationwide), Kirsten

created the first beauty lip treatment with Ultra-Pure Medical-

Grade lanolin - an exclusive formula that is able to hold over

200% of its own weight in water. The products are 100%

natural, cleansed of all impurities, hypoallergenic and cruelty


Contact Ragdale Hall

General Enquiries: 01664 434831 or enquiries@ragdalehall.co.uk

Reservations: 01664 433000


Facebook.com/RagdaleHall | Twitter: @ragdalehall

Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray LE14 3PB


Aspire have teamed up with Ragdale Hall to offer our readers the chance to win

a Refresh & Revive Day, worth £125(Monday-Friday). All you have to do to be in

with the chance of winning this fantastic prize is answer this simple question:

Where is Ragdale Hall located?

Send your answer, name and address to Ragdale Hall Competition, Aspire

Magazine, 3rd Floor, 29 – 35 St Nicholas Place, Leicester LE1 4LD or email

competitions@aspiremagazinegroup.co.uk (Subject: Ragdale Hall Comp)

before 9am on Tuesday April 2nd 2013.

The Refresh & Revive Day, which is ideal for those who want to try some of

everything Ragdale has to offer, includes:

• A Refresh and Revive Face and Back Therapy (50 minutes)

• Or a Soothing Back Massage and Ragdale Introductory Facial

(both 25 minutes)

• Three-course healthy buffet lunch

. Full use of all the facilities including the Thermal Spa

• 8:30/9am arrival and 6pm departure

Ragdale Hall offers a wide range of traditional beauty

treatments, natural holistic therapy and unique

treatments designed with you in mind, all from their

team of experts, from leading skincare companies like

Clarins, Elemis and Decléor.

Staff at Ragdale Hall are highly trained to ensure your

holistic therapy, exercise session or beauty treatment,

and any health and beauty advice, is of the highest

quality. They’ve been trained to see your visit to them

as a journey, and whatever your requirements, they

will find numerous treatments and activities to suit.

Ragdale Hall has won a steady stream of awards

over the last ten years, many of which have been

voted for by previous guests and readers of leading

publications. Accolades include New! Magazine Spa

Awards 2012 Best for Fitness Fans, Good Spa Guide

Awards 2012 Best UK Destination Spa, Trip Advisor

Travellers’ Choice 2012 Listed in Top 25 Relaxation/Spa

Hotels in UK.

If you know someone that would love a day’s

pampering at Ragdale Hall, either as a belated

Mother’s Day gift or birthday treat, then why not get

them a gift voucher. Gift vouchers are available for

individual treatments as well as towards the cost of

day and residential packages. Vouchers are valid for

one year from the date of purchase and are presented

in a gift pack.

Exclusive Aspire Reader Offer

As well as the exclusive giveaway, Ragdale Hall would also like to offer

Aspire readers a fantastic and exclusive offer:

15% off any day packages* booked on a Sunday to Thursday if you

visit before the end of June 2013 - just quote ‘Aspire Magazine’ when


*Excluding the Twilight Taster and the Ragdale Experience day packages

and Luxury Day Packages. Discount is not applicable with any other

special offers.

Whether you are looking for total relaxation, me-time and pampering

or to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, Ragdale Hall is the perfect choice.

The great selection of spa days and spa breaks include something

for everyone, so if you're seeking a romantic getaway, a day out with

girlfriends or some time-out with your nearest and dearest, Ragdale Hall

really is the spa to visit.


Aspire are offering our readers the chance to win the Lovely

Lanolips collection (Herbal Treatment Body Oil, Golden

Ointment and Triple Buttermilk Body Balm). All you have to do

to be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize is answer

this simple question:

Who created Lanolips?

Send your answer, name and address to Lovely Lanolips

Competition, Aspire Magazine, 3rd Floor, 29 – 35 St Nicholas

Place, Leicester LE1 4LD or email


(Subject: Lovely Lanolips Comp) before

9am on Tuesday April 2nd 2013.

T&Cs: The winner of this competition will be picked at random. The

prize will be posted out so please ensure your address is complete

and correct. Only one entry per household. No alternative prizes or

monetary value will be offered. Aspire are not responsible for this

competition, we’re promoting it on behalf of Lanolips.

Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Golden Ointment (50g, £17.99) is a

100% natural clinically tested ‘Super Moisturiser’ for extremely

dry skin areas (or skin that has been over-exposed to the sun)

that combines the hypermoisturisation of 65% Ultra-Pure

Medical Grade Lanolin with Manuka Honey, an anti-bacterial

known to assist with cell renewal and healing tissue and

Vitamin E, one the most effective antioxidants & natural

skin conditioners. With no artificial colour or fragrance, this

waterless formula is an intensely rich ointment that will

nourish & soothe extremely dry skin leaving it silky soft, dewy

& healthy.

Usage: an excellent skin moisturiser and protector for dry

skin, feet, hands and other large areas of dry skin on the body.

Directions: Rub ointment into skin as often as required. Allow

a few minutes to absorb. A silky protective layer will remain.

Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Herbal Body Oil (60ml, £9.95)

uses Australia’s finest, natural and powerful ingredients: a

concentrate of Lanolips exclusive Ultra-Pure Grade Lanolin

Oil with Pine and Eucalyptus oils. With excellent antiseptic,

anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the oils

combine to create a specialist treatment for stretch marks,

scars, dehydrated skin and uneven skin tone. Naturally

fragranced with violet leaf, coriander and copaiba balsam, it

helps retain the skin’s elasticity, even during times of rapid

growth i.e. pregnancy, as Lanolin mimics the molecular

structure of our skin lipids. This 98% naturally derived

light-weight oil quickly replenishes natural oils, providing

an excellent breathable barrier on the skin. Using it twice

daily for 12 weeks you will find the skin is smoother with an

improved skin tone and appearance.

Usage: fantastic moisturising bath oil, after-sun treatment,

prevent skin chafing or add to other skin care products to

enrich them. Apply to the desired area onto towel dried skin

and massage in, to lock-in moisture.

Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Triple Buttermilk Body Balm

(170ml, £13.99), Inspired by Kirsten’s mornings with her

grandmother turning milk into fresh butter, this very rich and

nurturing Body Balm was created using a triple concentration

of Lanolips exclusive Ultra- Pure Medical Grade Lanolin.

Combined with milk extracts and anti-oxidant Vitamin E this

nourishing buttery balm provides the ultimate hydration for

dry skin. It spreads on thick but absorbs and settles quickly,

leaving a silky, clean finish on the skin.

Usage: apply balm to dry skin; gently massage into the skin’s

surface. Allow the protective veil to settle, best used in the

evening before bed. Skin will remain hydrated & soft for


Available at Boots Stores nationwide NOW: www.boots.com

For further information, please visit www.lanolips.com/uk



Be Beautiful

A complete range of general and

cosmetic dental services with


For many of us, the arrival of the warmer spring

weather is inspiration enough to get in shape and

flash a bit of flesh. However, beauty starts from within

and making sure you’re healthy on the inside can also

make you look great on the outside, as well as giving

you added confidence.

With rising obesity levels in Britain, there’s more emphasis than ever on eating

healthily and exercising regularly. Shocking statistics from the NHS reveal how the

number of men classed as obese stood at just 13.2 per cent in 1993, compared to

23.1 per cent in 2005 and for women the figures leapt from 16.4 per cent to 24.8 per

cent during the same period. The effects of obesity can have a major effect on our

health, as it increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

There are ways you can choose to buck the obesity trend, with diet being number

one on the list. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through eating well and exercising

regularly will contribute to better health. Eating a minimum of five fruits and

vegetables a day is essential, as is varying the fruits and vegetables you eat day-today

so as to get as wide a variety of minerals and nutrients as possible. Your five-aday

will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight, but it’s been proven that

they help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.

As well as a healthy diet and regular exercise, progress in modern medicine

continues to help us live longer. Regular trips to the doctors, dentist, and

opticians enable you to monitor any changes in your family’s health closely and


The government recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five

times per week, but there are easy ways to fit this into your routine and lifestyle.

Finding a sport or activity you enjoy means you’re more likely to keep up with it.

Team sports or dancing are just two ways you can get plenty of exercise, have great

fun and meet new people. If you’re looking for a gentler way to stay in shape then

yoga and Pilates will keep you fit, but also leave you feeling relaxed.

Happy & Healthy

For those who are still counting down to their summer break and aren’t feeling

body confident, there are numerous beauty treatments that will give you a boost

ready for the beach: body firming and hydrating treatments to boost circulation,

skin polishing treatments to give your skin a real glow and spray tans to give your

skin that sun kissed colour without the risk of sun damage.

Despite a climate of financial austerity and the PIP breast implants scandal, Brits

have clearly not lost faith in the benefits of cosmetic surgery. Audit figures from the

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk) have reveal

that the number of procedures continued to increase steadily by nearly 6% increase

on average (similar rise to 2009 and 2010) and rather unusually, not even one

individual procedure decreased in popularity. The number of surgical procedures in

2011 showed a rise of 5.8% from 2010 to a total of 43,069.

Increasing in popularity, Botox is the non-invasive alternative to a traditional

face-lift. This procedure is becoming so popular that it is now a hit amongst

20-something celebrities that want to prevent, rather than eliminate their wrinkles.

Botox is injected into the skin to relax the muscles, making your wrinkles less

pronounced. The effect lasts for around four to five months and cost starts from

£200 per area (brows, forehead, crow’s feet etc).

Another non-invasive alternative to a traditional surgical procedure is Lipoglaze

by LoveLite Ice. Lipoglaze is a much friendlier treatment for both men and women

than liposuction and it helps to deliver fast results. Lipoglaze, gently warms up the

treatment area which then encourages blood and fat to separate, then, by using

Cryotherapy, Lipoglaze carefully freezes away fat cells. Lipoglaze can destroy 26% of

fat in one session and is geared toward the sensible person who wants to maintain

their optimum with regards to health, fitness, confidence and self-esteem for many

years ahead.

Said to be the secret to looking healthier, feeling happier and living longer, a good

night’s sleep is a beauty miracle that costs nothing at all. Aside from boosting both

mood and health, research from The Sleep Council has revealed that a comfortable,

uninterrupted kip of around eight hours a night can also provide many other perks,

from relieving stress to curing a range of aches and pains.

Top Recommendation




now you can get your

dentures made and fitted


Denture services at its best!

One-to-one personal service where we

as clinicians are able to address all your

requirements in a professional manner.

We do not rely on other people, we

manufacture and fit, all under one roof.

NEW, for all you denture wearers!

I have been making dentures in my dental

laboratory for over three decades. NOW


not have to go backwards and forwards,

between surgery and lab (time wasting).

Denture Clinic

Call now for first consultation free

483 Welford Road, Leicester LE2 6BL


Established in 1939 as

Smith and Jones Dental,

Oakdale Dental Practice

is a family dental practice

that has been in the

experienced hands of

specialist oral surgeon, Dr

Bayan Al-Sarraj, for the

last six years. Qualified

and registered with the

General Dental Council

(GDC), Dr Al-Sarraj leads

a team of experienced,

knowledgeable and fully

qualified dentists working

from four surgeries, as well

as a dedicated hygienist


Oakdale was fully committed to the

National Health Service until 1992 since

when it had gradually shifted the balance

between different funding streams to the

point where about 20% of the practice time

is funded by the NHS. Oakdale currently

has an NHS contract to provide a full range

of primary care dental services to children

up to the age of 18.

The Practice Manager told Aspire:

“The present dental team are proud to

continue to provide modern caring dental

treatment for all the family. A full range of

preventative, restorative, cosmetic, implant

and surgical treatment is offered by five

dental surgeons including Dr Al-Sarraj. The

practice has three dental hygienists who

carry out gum treatments and our support

staff are fully trained and registered with

the GDC. We pride ourselves on providing

our patients with a relaxed atmosphere

in order to reassure even the most


Dr Al-Sarraj, who worked for many years

in hospitals across the country, specialises

in oral surgery and places dental implants,

Dr Himesh Amin and his wife, Dr Neena

Get The Confidence To Smile, with

Amin, have a special interest in invisible

braces, such as Six-month Smiles, Inman

Aligner and Invisalign, whilst Dr Rukhsana

Jassat has a special interest in root canal

work. As well as carrying out routine

dentistry, Dr Al-Sarraj takes referrals for oral

surgery procedures from other practices

in the county, on a private basis, currently

undertaking 300 cases a year.

Oakdale boasts a state-of-the-art Intra-Oral

and Extra-Oral System, which provides

computerised radiology images. Digital

radiography offers many benefits including

reduced radiation dose to the patient,

better, clearer images that can be software

enhanced and magnified to improve

the diagnostic yield. This allows better

visualisation of the hard tissues of the teeth

and their supporting structures. All-in-all,

the Intra-Oral and Extra-Oral System makes

accurate diagnoses possible, which, in

turn, leads to better decision making when

choosing treatment options. The system

produces both 2D as well as 3D imaging.

The 2D system is used to obtain a full scan

of the upper and lower jaws giving a clear

overview of the state of the teeth and their

supporting tissues, whilst the 3D scanner

is a relatively new technology whereby CT

scans of the mouth and jaws are possible.

Any and all treatments are fully discussed

with patients and estimates of the cost of

the various treatment options are given,

enabling patients to choose the option that

best suits them.

Oakdale are currently offering FREE

consultations for implants and

orthodontics, which would usually cost £70

and £30 respectively. If that wasn’t enough,

Oakdale are also offering existing patients a

FREE check-up if they refer a friend.

Finally, The Manager added: “I think

Oakdale offers some of the best dental care

in Leicestershire and I’m not just saying

that because I work here. I started coming

here for dental treatment as a child, as did

my family. I think the fact that we’ve been

established, in one form or another, for

almost 75 years speaks for itself. We’ll never

turn a patient away who requires treatment

and all our dentists are highly qualified and

very experienced; they offer a very good



Monday to Friday 8:30am until 5pm. Late night

opening on Tuesdays until 7pm. There is an

on-call dentist until 9pm and on weekends for

emergency treatment.

For further information or to

book a consultation,

please call 0116 2627150,

email oakdale.dental@gmail.com

or visit www.oakdaledental.co.uk



Be Beautiful

A complete range of general and

cosmetic dental services with


Your health in

your hands

• Tailor-made


for your own


• Herbal

medicine for

all ages and


Take a fresh

approach to

your health

So many of our

patients say “I wish I

had come sooner”

Medical herbalists, medical immunologists & medical scientists

Tel: 0116 254 3178

68 London Road, Leicester LE2 0QD

Email: enquiries@hydesherbalclinic.co.uk



Rambles around the Leicestershire countryside

Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month Nordic Walking Leicester meets up

to walk through the beautiful Leicestershire countryside. Nordic walking is

suitable for ALL levels of fitness and burns up to 46% more calories than regular

walking, whilst still being easy on the knees and joints. Besides the obvious

health benefits, you get to meet some wonderful like-minded people and have

a great afternoon out!

For more information contact me, Teresa:

Tel: 07510 706970

Email: info@engineroomfitness.co.uk

Or find me on Facebook:



Check out other classes like yoga, unite (mix of yoga & pilates) or

kettlercise at www.engineroomfitness.co.uk

Beau Aesthetica

Introduce INTRAcel To The Midlands

Tel: 0116 2709141

Web: www.beauaesthetica.com

With temperatures still pretty low

outside and the central heating

cranked up inside, winter can really

take its toll on your skin: fine lines look

deeper, complexions appear rough and

flaky, and no one looks, or feels, their


There’s nothing like dewy, gorgeous, radiant skin to

give your confidence a real lift, which is why Aspire

would like to recommend Beau Aesthetica Spa & Clinic

on Allandale Road in Stoneygate, Leicester. With some

of the most up-to-date equipment in Europe, as well

as highly trained staff, Beau Aesthetica is the only clinic

this side of London to offer a fantastic new treatment:


Delivering reliable results with minimal pain, INTRAcel

can be used to eliminate, not just improve, a number

of common skin complaints, including:

• Fine lines

• Wrinkles

• Skin texture

• Open pores

• Stretch marks

• Sagging skin/laxity

• Acne

• Acne scarring

• Scars

Clinic owner, Am Vadhesha, told Aspire: “INTRAcel

is a fantastic all-round machine. Just one treatment

provides instant results, but you must have three

treatments to make the changes permanent. Once

you’ve had those three treatments, you won’t need

any more. INTRAcel is a revolutionary treatment which

uses 49 tiny insulated micro-needles which, unlike

laser procedures or surgery, protects the surface of

the skin from damage. Treatments are targeted at

variable depths below the skin surface, meaning that

healthy skin is left undamaged causing minimal pain

and discomfort. INTRAcel delivers heat into the layers

of skin that will make a difference, forcing the skin

to produce loads of collagen and elastin which will

encourage the skin to repair itself. This innovative,

proven technology produces reliable results, reducing

the signs of ageing, eliminating wrinkles and

correcting scarring with little or no down time.”

Beau Aesthetica are currently offering INTRAcel

treatments at a 10% discount; usually costing £495

per treatment, you can now take advantage of this

innovative treatment for just £445 per session. The first

treatment must be booked before 31st March 2013.

As well as INTRAcel treatments, Beau Aesthetica

also offer the CACI Jowl Lift facial, which has been

developed to specifically target muscle laxity around

the jawline. This 15-minute treatment improves the

appearance of sagging jowls by using the Quad

Probes, designed to double the lifting action of the

CACI treatment system thereby enhancing results

and reducing treatment time. The Quad Probes emit

tiny electrical impulses to lift, firm and redefine facial


Beau Aesthetica are open from 10am until 6pm on

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and

10am until 8pm on Thursdays.

Finally, Am added: “Your skin is being damaged daily

by UV rays, pollution, central heating, the wind – there

are so many factors that can damage your skin, which

is why it’s so important to take care of it now. When

it’s too late, you’ll have to resort to extreme measures

such as a face lift to achieve the desired results. I would

encourage anyone who is worried about the condition

of their skin to book an appointment with me to

discuss your options.”

Awarded Certificate of Recognition

Established in 2003, Desford Dental Care offers

a complete range of general and cosmetic dental

services (for both NHS and private patients) in a

friendly and relaxed environment. Having moved

to a purpose-built premise in October 2011,

Desford Dental Care is owned by Dr Hanish Chotai

(who is a British Dental Surgeon) and his wife

Shilpa. The Practice was shortlisted in 2012 for

‘Best New Practice’ in the Private Dentistry Awards,

the industry’s most prestigious awards.

To add to their list of accolades, Aspire have selected

Desford Dental Care for a Certificate of Recognition for

Health and Well-being. On hearing the news, Practice

Principal, Dr Hanish Chotai, said: “We’re thrilled to be

recognised in this way with this Certificate of Recognition.

I hope it encourages people to check us out by booking a

consultation. Our numerous accolades prove that we really

do deliver what we say.”

Desford Dental Care offers a full NHS service, as well as a

number of cosmetic services, including:

• Fillings & White Fillings

• Tooth Whitening

• Tooth Coloured Crowns

• Bridges

• Dental Implants

• Veneers

• Dentures

Completely invisible with no unsightly metal wires and

brackets, Invisalign braces are a series of clear, removable

fitted plastic aligners that gradually straighten your teeth

and closing any unwanted gaps. Not only are they invisible,

they’re also removable. The development of Invisalign has

made orthodontic treatment accessible to adults who may

previously have been put off having orthodontic treatment

due to the appearance of metal braces and is a nondestructive

alternative to veneers. Treatment with Invisalign

is generally completed in half the time of conventional

orthodontic treatment, and the fact that the aligners are

removable means that you can brush and clean your teeth

as normal on a daily basis.

Practice Manager, Audrey Eade, said: “We specialise in

treating nervous patients and our reputation has led to

many nervous patients being referred to us from other

dental practices in the area. Our experienced team will be

sympathetic to any worries or fears you might have to help

you become more confident visiting the dentist.”

Desford Dental Care is also a Training Practice. This means Dr

Chotai is fully qualified to train Postgraduate Dentists.

Opening Times

Private Appointments: Monday & Tuesday

9am - 7pm, Wednesday & Thursday 9am - 5pm and

Friday 9am – 4:30pm (Closed 1pm - 2pm).

NHS Appointments: Monday to Thursday

9am - 5pm and Friday 9am – 4:30pm

(Closed 1pm - 2pm).

For more info, please visit


or call 01455 823900.

J. Andrew Toal

Whitwick Sports &

Remedial Massage

• Sports injuries specialist

• Ayurvedic & holistic treatments

• Hot stones & hydrothermal treatments

Call 07769 581691 or 01530 459457

Email: andytoal@whitwickmassagecentre.co.uk




Northampton Town FC Competition


Tickets To See Northampton

Town FC on Good Friday

Autism Awareness with

Anna Kennedy

As well as battling for promotion

in to League One, either via

automatic promotion or through

the play-offs, Northampton Town

Football Club are staging a wide

range of events on a number of

different fronts this spring.

Firstly, a date for your diary is Sunday 28th April when

Northampton Town Football Club's Annual End of

Season Dinner, sponsored by Foam Techniques, takes

place at The Park Inn in Northampton. There are a

limited number of Award Tables available, priced at

£695 + VAT, which include:

• 10 tickets to VIP reception

• Three-course meal

• Prime positioned table

• Sponsorship of an individual award

• Commemorative group photo with award winner

• Presentation of sponsored award on stage

• Company name in announcements relating to


• Coverage in event programme

• Rights to use title as sponsor of award until 2014

End of Season Dinner

Standard Tables are also available for £350 + VAT

and include a three-course meal for 10 guests

on your own private table and a full evening of

entertainment. Individual tickets are £35 + VAT.

There are further advertising and sponsorship

opportunities available at the event, prices available

on request. Reservations are now being accepted,

please contact the Commercial Department on

01604 683734 or commercial.admin@ntfc.tv

If golf is more your thing, the club's annual Golf Day is

taking place at Northampton Golf Club on Thursday

2nd May. Teams of four are £350 + VAT and include

entry into the event with tea, coffee and bacon rolls

on arrival and finishing up with a two-course meal

with entertainment from a comedian in the evening.

For more information, please email


Finally, Northampton Town Football Club presents

the Carlsberg Corporate Cup 2013 with the

Northampton College Corporate Shield, which is

being held on Friday 24th May at Sixfields Stadium.

This is your chance to be a professional for a day!

Each team plays a minimum of four matches and

each extensive package includes:

• Squad of up to eight players (additional places

available for £50 + VAT each).

• Tea and coffee on arrival, with squash and water

throughout the day.

• Free Wi-Fi to help you stay in touch with what’s

happening back at the office.

• Energy-packed light lunch for each player.

• Team photo taken on the pitch, with one copy for

each player to take away.

• Company listing in the event programme.

• Half page team profile in the event programme.

• Opportunity for players to win various awards.

• Inclusion in event coverage within club media, as

well as local mainstream and business press.

• Barbecue meal and two drinks vouchers to take

advantage of once your team has completed their

fixtures (vouchers can be used for Carlsberg, Tetley's

or selected soft drinks and only valid on this day).

You can get all of this for only £500 + VAT per team

For further details, please call Andy Wooldridge on

01604 683734 or email andy.wooldridge@ntfc.tv


Aspire have teamed up with Northampton Town Football Club to mark the momentous occasion of

our 300th Issue to offer our readers the chance to win a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) to see

Northampton Town play Torquay United on Good Friday, 29th March 2013. To be in with the chance of

winning, just answer this simple question:

What was the score when The Cobblers played Bristol Rovers on

Tuesday 26th February 2013?

Send your answer, name and daytime telephone number to Northampton Town Competition,

Aspire Magazine, 3rd Floor, 29 – 35 St Nicholas Place, Leicester, LE1 4LD or email competitions@

aspiremagazinegroup.co.uk (subject: Cobblers Comp) before 11am on Friday 22nd March 2013.

Winners will be notified by phone so please ensure your telephone number is correct. Aspire magazine is not

responsible for this competition – we’re merely promoting it on behalf of the Northampton Town Football

Club. No alternative prizes will be offered.


After 20 years of campaigning, you’d think

there wouldn’t be anything left for Anna

Kennedy to achieve but she was recently

named Tesco’s ‘Mum of the Year’. Turn the

page to read more…


Anna Kennedy

Autism: Then & Now

Autism is not a new condition. The word

has been used to describe a range of

psychological conditions for over 100 years.

The word ‘autism’ originates from the Greek

word ‘autos’, meaning ‘self’ and was first used

in 1911 by Eugen Bleuler (born April 30th

1857), a Swiss psychiatrist, to refer to one

group of symptoms of schizophrenia.

Anna’s autism journey began in 1990 when she

gave birth to her eldest son, Patrick. At first,

despite several health scares, it seemed Patrick

was progressing normally. Then, at the age of

seven, he began displaying erratic behaviour and

became extremely distressed at school.

By 1998, Anna’s sons had been turned down for schooling

from 26 special schools within an hour’s drive of their home.

Both boys were wholly unsuited to mainstream education

and, in the past, had been forced to endure the trauma of

not understanding what was required of them at a school

totally ill-equipped to cater for their specific needs.

Meanwhile, Patrick's strange

behaviour and protests at being

taken to school intensified.

He was diagnosed as having

Asperger’s syndrome but,

unfortunately, it was three

years before this diagnosis

was revealed to Anna and her

husband, Sean!

By the 1960s, medical professionals established

autism as a separate syndrome by demonstrating

that it is lifelong, distinguishing it from mental

retardation and schizophrenia. Until then, autism

and schizophrenia had been linked in many

researchers’ minds.

During the 1960s and 1970s, autism

treatment research focused on medications

such as LSD, electric shock, and behavioural

change techniques.

The term ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ was first used

by British researcher Lorna Wing. Her paper

‘Asperger’s syndrome: a clinical account’ was

published in 1981. It challenged the previously

accepted model of autism, presented by Leo

Kanner in 1943.

Since it was introduced in 1988, there have

been concerns surrounding suggested links

between autism and the MMR vaccine.

However, the weight of epidemiological

evidence indicates that there is no

statistically significant link between the MMR

vaccine and autism.

Today, there are over half a million people in the UK

with autism - that's around 1 in 100. If you include their

families, autism touches the lives of over two million

people every day. Statistically, autism affects more

males than females, but the reasons for this remain


In 1943, Leo Kanner (born June

13th 1894), a doctor from Johns

Hopkins University, published

his seminal paper ‘Autistic

Disturbances of Affective Contact’

after studying 11 children with

striking behavioural similarities.

Hans Asperger (born February 18th 1906) published the first

definition of Asperger’s Syndrome in 1944. Asperger identified a

pattern of behaviour and abilities that he referred to as ‘autistic

psychopathy’ in four boys, which included “a lack of empathy,

little ability to form friendships, one-sided conversation, intense

absorption in a special interest and clumsy movements.” Asperger’s

Syndrome is named after this Austrian paediatrician.

Until the mid-1970s, there was little evidence

of a genetic role in autism; today it is

believed to be one of the most heritable of

all psychiatric conditions.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the role of behavioural

therapy and highly controlled learning environments

emerged as the primary treatments for autism and

related conditions.

The causes of autism are still being investigated. Many experts believe

that the pattern of behaviour from which autism is diagnosed may not

result from a single cause. There is strong evidence to suggest that autism

can be caused by a variety of physical factors, all of which affect brain

development - it is not due to emotional deprivation or the way a person

has been brought up.

There is also evidence to suggest that genetic factors are responsible for

some forms of autism. Scientists have been attempting to identify which

genes might be implicated in autism for some years. Autism is likely to

have multiple genes responsible rather than a single gene. The difficulty

of establishing gene involvement is compounded by the interaction

of genes and by their interaction with environmental factors. For these

reasons genetic testing to diagnose a pre-disposition to an autistic

spectrum disorder is not, at present, possible.

In 1993, Anna gave birth to her second son,

Angelo, who, at the age of two and a half,

also began displaying abnormal behaviour.

At an assessment, Angelo was diagnosed

with autism.

Anna discovered a derelict school in Hillingdon and

approached the local council to ask if she could turn it

into a centre of excellence for children on the autistic

spectrum. There were numerous bureaucratic obstacles,

but Hillingdon Borough Council eventually agreed to

lease Anna the building. She and Sean had to re-mortgage

their small house, but after much hard work, tears and

frustrations, Hillingdon Manor School eventually opened on

4th September 1999 with 19 pupils. The school is now the

largest of its kind in Europe, offering 150 autistic children a

safe, structured education and a brighter future.

In 2009, Anna wrote the book ‘Not Stupid’

about the struggle to set up The Hillingdon

School and their patron, Esther Rantzen,

wrote the foreword.

In April 2012, Anna released a fitness DVD

‘Step In The Right Direction’ and its success

led to national Dance Day, which fundraises

for autism charities.

Since its conception, Hillingdon Manor has gone from strength

to strength and has help hundreds of autistic children get the

education they deserve. With more than half a million people

in Britain affected by autism, it is little wonder that their school

quickly became over-subscribed. In 2007, Hillingdon Manor

School expanded to open a middle and upper school, and now

provides specialist education for 85 children.

Since autism is a lifelong condition, Anna also established West

London Community College (a specialist provision centre for adults

with autism) in 2001 and The Old Vicarage (an eight-bedroom

residential home situated on the Greenway, Uxbridge, for adults

with autism spectrum conditions) in 2004.

In 2011, Anna opened Baston House School, which is set

within five acres of grounds in Bromley, Kent and caters

for children aged between three and a half and 19-yearsold,

providing a centre of excellence in education and

development for children who have been diagnosed with an

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

In November 2012, all Anna’s efforts over the past 20-plus years

were rewarded with an OBE for her services to special needs

education and autism from HRH The Queen. Anna said: “It was a

very surreal experience. It was wonderful to be at Buckingham

Palace surrounded by all these celebrities and inspirational

people who were also award winners for all their hard work and

determination, as well as Her Majesty herself, but once I’d got my

OBE and mingled, it was back to the real world.”

The National Autistic Society (NAS) are calling for more funding for

research into the causes of autism where this will be used to improve

the lives of autistic people and their families. They also see it as

imperative that more priority is given to research into the effectiveness of

interventions for people on the autism spectrum. More research is vital to

improve understanding and support for people with autism.



Anna Kennedy

The Life and Times of

Anna Kennedy

Anna is a very busy woman. Not only does she have to

balance her work as director of Anna Kennedy Online

with her family life, but she also has to find time to

attend numerous events, shows and talks each week to

raise awareness of autism and to speak with

other mums. This is what a fortnight in the life

of one of the UK’s busiest mums looks like…

Friday 1st March

Prep work for Tesco

Mum of the Year

Anna’s biggest achievement (so far) in 2013 is winning Tesco’s Achieving Mum

of the Year. Anna was one of six winners (other winners include ex-Spice Girl,

Melanie C, and former event rider and Leicester lass, Claire Lomas) who recently

spent the weekend being presented with their awards at a glittering awards

ceremony, filmed by Channel 5, as well as taking part in a winners photo shoot to

be featured in the next issue of the Tesco Magazine.

Anna told Aspire: “It was a fantastic but very tiring weekend, which was topped off

by meeting David Cameron on Monday. There were loads of celebrities and their

own mums at the awards ceremony, which took place in the Lancaster Ballroom at

the Savoy Hotel. My friends and family also got to attend and I was presented with

my award first. A very touching VT was played of myself and others speaking about

my journey, which lead to a standing ovation when I went to collect my award and

give my speech. I get very passionate when talking about autism so my speech

set the tone of the evening. During the evening the other winners received their

awards and Il Divo and The Overtones performed. Once filming for Channel 5 had

ended, we got to enjoy ourselves and let our hair down.

“The whole weekend was a highlight but I must say, meeting David Cameron and

presenting him with a letter on behalf of 12,000 parents affected by autism was

a particular highlight. I had been chosen to meet the Prime Minister and ask him

just two questions, so I felt as if there was a lot of pressure on me to get it right and

adequately represent all the families in the UK affected by autism. I knew on the

Friday before the weekend that I was going to meet him, so I asked my Facebook

friends and followers what they’d like me to ask him on their behalf. Within an hour

I had over 100 questions from angry, worried parents. I wanted to do these families

justice, so the night before meeting Mr Cameron I didn’t sleep a wink. I think I was

buzzing with nervous energy. Luckily my sister was with me to keep me company.

As well as asking Mr Cameron about changes to the statement process and Care

Plan, which comes into effect in 2014, I also handed him a letter on behalf of Act

Now for Autism, a core group of people passionate about the future and well-being

of children and adults with an Autistic Spectrum Conditions in the UK. It wasn’t a

bad meeting and he gave me the answers I suppose he could give. I don’t support

any particular political party, I just support the person who is going to help me, my

sons and others affected by autism.”

Anna’s letter to David Cameron asked the government to put in place robust

advocacy services to ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of society

can continue to rely on the benefits to which they should be entitled. It stated

that despite the Autism Act 2009 and the adult’s autism strategy ‘Fulfilling and

Rewarding Lives’, the majority adults with autism remain excluded from The Care

and Work System. It also called for autism specific advocates to help those with

Asperger’ syndrome and High Functioning Autism (HFA) account for their own

disability during the Work Capability Assessment and from April the Personal

Independence Assessment.

At the time of going to press, Anna is yet to have a response from Mr Cameron or

Number 10.

Monday 4th March

Meet David Cameron


7th March


Dance Studios

Saturday 2nd and

Sunday 3rd March

Tuesday 5th March

Catch up on paperwork,

emails and phone calls

Tesco Mum of

the Year Event

Friday 8th March

Basingstoke to meet

David from Link to collect

raffle items


6th March

Baston House School

Conference prep work

Meet Bromley Mencap


9th March

Lady’s Night in

Harrow to talk

about autism


10th March

Chill out and watch

Tesco Mum of the

Year on Channel 5


11th March

Institute of Directors

in Pall Mall, London

Tuesday 12th

March - Anna’s


Chill out then attend the

Care Awards at Lancaster

Hotel in the evening


13th March

Catch up on


emails/phone calls


14th March

Autism’s Got

Talent prep work

Friday 15th March

Baston House School

Conference prep for the

Conference the following


Image Courtesy Of Tesco Mum Of The Year



Anna Kennedy


and Beyond…

Anna had an amazing 2012 and is looking forward

to an even better 2013. She’s already had numerous

successes this year, including being a Tesco Mum of the

Year award-winner, but there’s so much more to look

forward to…

MARCH – Baston House FREE Autism Conference

Taking place on March 16th, Baston House (which is set within five acres

of grounds in Bromley, Kent) will be opening its doors to parents and

professionals looking to find out more about autism courtesy of a series

of talks from Anna, her Solicitor Advocate husband, Sean Kennedy and

a local policeman, who has an autistic son. A buffet will be provided

but places are limited, so interested parties are advised to email lisa.


APRIL – Autism Awareness Month

Anna is also gearing up for Autism Awareness Month in April, when

she hopes to raise awareness of autism and how it affects children and

adults across the globe.

Anna told Aspire: “The first part of my project with the NSPCC and

Childline involved carrying out a survey amongst autistic children and

their parents, which revealed that over 60% have suffered from bullying

at mainstream schools and the problem is being largely ignored. A

disturbing national survey of over 900 parents of children with autism

in the UK shows that they are facing major problems as a result of their

child’s condition. By working with numerous groups and organisations

throughout the year, but particularly in April, I hope to raise awareness

and therefore understanding of this complex developmental disability.”

In 2013, Anna Kennedy Online and Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA) will

work together to raise awareness of bullying of children with autism

in schools and colleges. Anna added: “Together, we hope to raise

awareness of bullying of children with autism - particularly during break

times in school and college, as these are the most unstructured times of

the school day, therefore highlighting the need to make sure children

with autism feel safe during break times by providing supervised,

structured activities. Finally, we hope to encourage schools and colleges

to share examples of their lunch time activities and the ways in which

they keep children safe and improve social skills.

“We need your help to find out the concerns of children and young

people and parents and carers when it comes to playtime and lunch

breaks in school, which is why we’re asking as many people as possible

to complete our online surveys, which can be found online at www.

annakennedyonline.com. We have three surveys: one for parents

and carers, one for parents and carers of a child/or children with an

Autistic Spectrum Condition and one for all children and young people.

I am also hoping to build a bank of online resources for Anna Kennedy

Online, so anyone who’d like to share their own resources can email


MAY - Autism’s Got Talent

Inspired by the numerous talent shows on our TV screens, Anna decided

it was time for a talent show dedicated to promoting autistic performers,

of all talents, and showing just how great they really are. Overcoming

financial issues through fundraising and sponsorship the first Autism’s

Got Talent was held at the Mermaid Theatre located in Blackfriars

London on May 12th 2012.

The first show of its kind, the evening was enjoyed by all; it was a proud

night for parents and families with lots of tears, many laughs and lots

of fun. The show included a performance from autistic dancer James

Hobley, who had appeared on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

The 600-seat theatre not only played host to the prestigious show, but

the theatre also acted partly as the inspiration behind the event. “It all

came about around the same time we did the Step in the Right Direction

DVD. I went to the theatre for another event and was just inspired, I

thought – we can do this – and it sort of all went from there,” Anna


Anna is busy planning and preparing for ‘Autism’s Got Talent 2’ in May

this year. All 18 acts for this year’s event have been chosen so practices

are already underway. Anybody interested in buying tickets for this

great event should email lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk as soon as


MAY – The Queen’s Garden Party

Taking place on May 30th, Anna and her mother-in-law will be attending

a garden party hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace. With tea,

cakes and a beautiful garden to stroll in, garden parties are among

the most relaxed and informal Royal events. Garden parties have been

held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s, when Queen Victoria

instituted what were known as 'breakfasts' (though they took place

in the afternoon). In the 1950s the number of garden parties held at

Buckingham Palace was increased from two to three a year. They are

attended by over 30,000 people from all walks of life.

JUNE – The Autism Show

As well as the Mermaid Theatre, ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ will be appearing

at The Autism Show, the national event for autism, dedicated to the two

million people in the UK who live and work with autism on a daily basis,

in June. As well as ExCel in London (14th and 15th June), Autism’s Got

Talent will also be part of the new Manchester show, which takes place

on 28th and 29th June at EventCity, Manchester.



Leicester Riders

Anna Kennedy Online helpline: 07710 597457

(manned by trained call handlers between 9:30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday)

For further information on Anna Kennedy, or autism,

visit www.annakennedyonline.com

Email: lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk


St Patrick’s Day Recipe

Party Like A True Paddy This

by Neil Walker, our resident chef

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural

and religious holiday celebrated on 17th March and is

named after Saint Patrick (AD 385-461), the most commonly

recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It was made an

official feast day early in the 17th Century and these days is

celebrated all over the world. The day itself generally involves

public parades and festivals, the wearing of green attire

and shamrocks. Christians attend church services and lent

restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted for the day.

I've been lucky enough to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day over in

Dublin a couple of times and, from what I can remember after

one too many pints of the old black stuff, it is one big party. The

whole of Ireland have the day off as it is a public holiday and

boy, do they know how to party! My favourite memory is when

a large group of us headed over to the Emerald Isle for my

friend, Leslie's 30th birthday bash. After hitting the Guinness

museum in Dublin, we headed to the Temple Bar district for an

amazing steak, then in the evening watched the most fantastic

fireworks display stood on a bridge over the River Liffey. The

following morning we were rather rudely awoken by Darius

singing his heart out at an open air concert in the square just

below my hotel window.

Irish cuisine has a rich and deep heritage and is not just about

corned beef and cabbage. I love a big bowl of Irish stew with

a warm wedge of freshly made soda bread or served with

colcannon potatoes; the following is one my favourite Irish

inspired recipes. You can, as I do, make use of your slow cooker

(if you have one) and knock it together prior to going to work

in the morning. By the time you return home, your delicious

dinner will be ready. All you have to do then is pour a pint of

Guinness and put a Snow Patrol CD in the player!

St Patrick’s Day

Lamb Shanks Slow Cooked in

Guinness with Bacon and Rosemary

Serves: 2 - 4

Preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes


4 lamb shanks

1 large onion , quartered

2 large carrots, cut into 1cm cubes

3 potatoes

3 rashers bacon , roughly chopped

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 x 375ml can of Guinness

2 L beef or chicken stock

2 stalks fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

Red wine (optional)


1. Brown lamb in a frying pan .

2. While meat is browning, pour Guinness into slow cooker with half the

stock and increase heat.

3. Add garlic, potatoes, onions and carrots.

4. When meat has browned, add it to slow cooker and cover with rest of

the stock.

5. Lightly fry bacon in frying pan and add to the dish . Add in the

Worcestershire sauce and rosemary.

6. Add salt and pepper.

7. Cook in slow cooker for approx. 7 or 8 hours on a low setting.

8. Remove some of the stock and reduce down in a pan with a little red

wine added if using.

9. Serve the shanks with the vegetables and the reduced sauce.

Recipe Notes:

This dish can be cooked in an oven too. Place into a baking dish , cover

with foil and bake at

150-160°C for two to four hours until cooked through . If your sauce won't

reduce down , try adding a knob of butter to help thicken or use a teaspoon

or two of corn flour and stir through . Another way you can thicken the

sauce is to mix one to two teaspoons of arrowroot with water to make a

paste and then stir through . This won't change the colour or flavour. I

actually prefer the stock as it is, full of flavour.




Highcross Easter

Make Easter extra special

with a variety of fun gift and

entertainment ideas from

Highcross Leicester, where you’ll

find everything from Easter

baking sets, decorations, family

games and, of course, gorgeous

chocolate eggs and confectionery

that’s almost too good to eat.

Eggcelent Easter Treats At

Highcross Leicester

Flower Fun Bunny-

Build-A-Bear, £15

Happy Easter Garland-

Paperchase, £5

Spoil your nearest and dearest this Easter weekend by

baking delicious Easter cakes and cookies. Highcross’

retailers make it easy for you to impress with a range of

easy-to-use baking tools. Try the oh-so-simple cupcake

maker from Debenhams to whip up a batch of cakes

in an instant, or choose the cute Easter Cookie Cutters

from Paperchase. The whole family can get involved

and decorate your goodies, before tucking in to a

super-sweet Easter feast!

Table Football Mini-

Red5, £12.95

Breville Cupcake Maker-

Debenhams, £35

Cocoa Loca Marbled Chocolate Rabbit –

John Lewis, £10

If you’re having the family round, don’t forget to make

your home picture perfect with beautiful garlands,

decorations and accessories. Visitors will love the Paper

Egg Hanging decorations from John Lewis, which are

available in an assortment of colours and designs.

Fun for all the family can be found at Highcross’

Red5 where you’ll find a range of quirky games to

keep everyone occupied; or how about heading to the

magical Build-A-Bear Workshop and treating your

little one to an adorable Flower Fun Bunny Bear? For

even more bunny ideas, New Look’s ‘I’m All Ears’ Tee

is the perfect Easter gift to keep your teen happy.

Black Forest Gateau Egg-

Thorntons, £9.99

Easter Cookie Cutters-

Paperchase, £4

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without delicious chocolate

eggs! With everything from plain, dark and white

chocolate eggs through to marbled, filled and

decorated goodies, there’s something for everyone’s

taste. Thorntons chocolatiers will delight you with

a range of specialty treats, or why not head to John

Lewis for a complete range of chocolate brands,

including The Cocoabean Company and Cocoa Loca?

I’m All Ears Tee –

New Look, £6.99

Vicky Cheevers, marketing manager at Highcross, said:

“Enjoy Easter with Highcross Leicester, where you’ll

find everything you need to celebrate the weekend

with family and friends, whatever you decide to do.

For the ultimate Easter weekend with loved ones, why

not take your pick of Highcross’ restaurants, cafes and

eateries or treat the whole family to a movie at Cinema

de Lux for a memorable day out.”

Opening Times:

Monday – Friday, 9:30am until 8pm

Saturday, 9am until 7pm

Sunday, 11am until 5pm

Bramble Lolly –

Thorntons, 79p

For further information, please visit


Paper Egg Hanging Decorations-

John Lewis, £5 (each)

The Cocoabean Company Chick and Egg

Chocolate Squares - John Lewis, £3.50



At The Races

Happy Staff


A Happy



Whether you’re looking for a

conference venue that can cater for

all your needs or are planning to treat

your staff to a day or weekend of

team building fun, Aspire have found

a selection of the best corporate

entertainment days in the UK.

After surviving the stress of short time,

redundancies and financial worries during

the last three years, many employees may

still be lacking motivation or feeling the

stress of working overtime in order to

cover for redundancies. This lack of morale

amongst staff may also have increased by

the fact the double-dip recession in the

UK in deepening, according to the latest

official figures.

One way to give your staff a much needed

morale boost is with a corporate activity

day, which may help employees focus

better and gain self-confidence. By

organising a day’s team building, away

from your day-to-day environment, you

may even be rewarded by their extra


When it comes to choosing an activity

there’s an abundance of choice, from the

adrenaline fuelled rush of quad biking

or paintballing, to the relaxing calm of a

round of golf, there’s something for every

taste and budget. Experience days are

the very best way to get all of your staff

together for some team building and let

them really have fun. Why not book a day

of go-carting or white water rafting if you

want to see your staff put through their

paces, whilst pamper days are sure to be a

hit with those who enjoy being spoilt.

Aspire would like to suggest a day at the

races and you don’t even have to travel

to far to get excellent facilities and a

first-class service. Towcester Racecourse

and Conference Centre, set in beautiful

parkland overlooking the rolling

Northamptonshire countryside, is truly

one of the most picturesque racing venues

in the country. With a recent investment

of over £7.5million into the course and

its facilities, Towcester Racecourse offers

employers and their employees an

excellent destination for a fun-filled day


Whether your business is a global

conglomerate, an international empire,

a nationwide enterprise, a regional

organisation or a single-person operation,

a business conference is the perfect way to

discuss various ideas and initiatives, as well

as passing on vital information to members

of staff in order for your business to thrive.

It’s a sad fact, but many employees find

business meetings and conferences a tad

boring, so remember these handy tips in

order to make your conference a success…

• Provide attendees with an agenda

• Stick to an agreed time limit and don’t

get hung up on tiny details – give speakers

an allotted time to speak, or why not

introduce a specific object - a mug or a ball

– for speakers to hold whilst talking

• Have a decision-making process in place

so the items discussed are accomplished

• If you simply need to update colleagues

on an on-going matter, why not send an

email instead

• Don't be afraid of serving snacks or nonalcoholic


A venue for every occasion

Please visit


The perfect

outfit for a day

at the races

Dusk till Dawn offers a wide range of

outfits to suit any special occasion be

it that all important ball, prom night,

bridesmaid dresses or dresses which

are suitable for that all exciting cruise

that you may be going on soon.

Whatever your needs, whether it's

hiring or buying you can guarantee

that Dusk till Dawn will have the

ideal outfit to suit.

1st Floor Dagnall House, Stanley Court,

Olney, Bucks MK46 5NH (opposite co-op)

Tel: 01234 712200

Email: info@dusktdawn.co.uk




I am self-taught and specialise

mainly in political injustice/

environment. Art is a barometer

of the health of humanity and the

various societies it fashions and is

often overlooked.

We are bombarded with images on

a daily basis to the extent that they

have become disposable.

I try to focus on images that have a

purpose and are less disposable as

a consequence. Images are 2D and

3D using a wide range of materials,

some recyclables.

Exhibitor at the Cross in

Gainsborough, April 6th - 27th.

Tel : 01522 720664

One Across, High Street,

Harmston, Lincoln LN5 9SN

The art world can be intimidating, but there’s

something in every art gallery and museum that

everyone can enjoy. With over eight million visitors

each year, The Louvre (Musée du Louvre) in Paris,

France is the most visited art gallery in the world.

Home to 35,000 works of art - including Leonardo

Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ – it’s not hard to see why it

attracts so many art fans each year. The Louvre beats

the next most visited art gallery by over two million

visitors; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

welcomes over six million visitors through its doors

each year, closely followed in third by The British

Museum in London, which sees over 5.8 million

people looking to soak up some art.

As well as being a great place that inspires everyone, whether

you’re six or eighty-six, art galleries are also great places to

spend quality time with friends and family, in an inspirational

and educational setting. Many of the larger galleries and

museums are also free to visitors, so they provide you and

your family with a great way to spend some quality time

together for very little money.

The University of Leicester’s plans to provide the city with

a new home for contemporary visual arts have taken a

significant step forward with the news that Arts Council

England has agreed to provide £600,000 towards the capital

costs of the project.

The New Galleries Wing will be an extension to Embrace Arts,

the University’s inclusive, multi-use arts venue at the Richard

Attenborough centre on Lancaster Road. It will provide

a number of interlinked spaces, all open to the general

public, to showcase the best in contemporary visual art and


Artists’ Profile

It is hoped the new wing will be opened by early 2015,

subject to the University of Leicester raising the remaining

£900,000 of the £1.5 million cost.

“This is a significant – and very welcome – milestone for

the project,” commented Professor Sir Robert Burgess, the

University’s Vice-Chancellor. “We are extremely grateful

to Arts Council England for its endorsement of our vision

to create a national centre of excellence for inclusive arts

practice in Leicester, to be enjoyed by local people and

visitors to the city alike.”

Peter Knott, Director, Arts Council England said: “Arts

Council is delighted Embrace Arts has been successful

in its application, which will allow them to extend their

existing gallery space for the display and interpretation

of contemporary visual art. They have a strong history of

promotion and engagement by and for disabled people

in the arts but their current exhibition space is extremely

limited. Our investment, which is conditional on the rest

of the funding being secured, will allow them to build two

flexible gallery spaces and a sculpture court. This will increase

access for audiences and really add something to the already

vibrant arts and cultural scene in Leicester.”

Sir Peter Soulsby, the City Mayor, said he was pleased to

have supported the application to Arts Council with a letter

endorsing the University’s plans for the new gallery. He

said: “This will be another great quality cultural attraction

in Leicester. Added to the amazing discovery of Richard III,

it further strengthens Leicester’s claim to become a City of


Embrace Arts is located at the Richard Attenborough centre

on Lancaster Road near the fire station (LE1 7HA). More

information is available at www.embracearts.co.uk

Kendal House B&B

Kendal House is a family-run B&B only a short drive from Towcester

Racecourse and Silverstone Circuit. Based in the village of Blakesley

in the heart of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, the B&B

is perfectly situated for our guests to enjoy the combination of the

excitement of racing events with the tranquillity of village life.

We pride ourselves on offering our guests high standards in

everything we do, from our range of comfortable bedrooms to our

delicious cooked breakfasts using local produce.

Quote this advert and we’ll give you a £5

reduction on your booking.

Towcester Racecourse, London Road,

Towcester, Northamptonshire NN12 6LB

Tel: 01327 353414 | Fax: 01327 358534

Email: info@towcester-racecourse.co.uk


Towcester Racecourse – A venue for every occasion

With a recent investment of over £7.5million into the course and its facilities,

Towcester Racecourse & Conference Centre, set in beautiful parkland

overlooking the rolling Northamptonshire countryside, is truly one of the most

picturesque racing venues in the country.

We offer various hospitality packages, starting from as little as £35pp. Both

grandstands overlook the racecourse & home-straight, giving unrivalled views

of the racing action, whilst guests enjoy fantastic hospitality. Exclusive suites for

private groups & restaurants offering shared facilities are available, making us

the perfect venue for any corporate or social event.

Habbydays is your online haberdashery and crafts supplier. We

are always adding new products to our catalogue so please

check our website regularly to see what’s new. If you are having

trouble sourcing anything, even if it’s not on our site, get in

touch and we will try to find it for you.

We supply:

• Haberdashery • Care and Repair • Crafting Supplies

• Fabric Kits and Patterns

Exclusive facilities, free parking, Wi-Fi and easy access from M1 & M40

motorways are all benefits of booking your conference at Towcester

Racecourse. We offer highly competitive rates and our team of experienced

staff will ensure your event runs seamlessly from start to finish.

Tel: 07867 526 913 | Email: bookings@blakesleyleisure.co.uk


Fixtures For Your Diary

Family Fun Day – Easter Sunday 31st

March – Peppa Pig & George, FREE

Petting Zoo & Face Painting, Pony Rides,

Inflatables & 7 Exciting Horse Races -

£10 Admission – Under 16s Go FREE

Ladies Evening and Cider Festival –

Friday 24th May – Best Dressed Lady

Competition with Amazing Prizes, Real

Ciders Sourced from Artisan Producers,

Real Ales and Rocktails.

Habbydays is a trading name of Craftspeed Ltd.

Contact us at the following address:

7 Steel Close, St Neots, Cambridgeshire PE198TT

T: 01480 276 135 | E: info@habbydays.com


Art Attack!



Artists’ Profile



Batik is a wax resist process creating

beautiful overlaid designs. Layers of

hot wax are applied to preserve colours

before adding the next dye. The wax

is removed from the final design and

the finished work is revealed. It is an

exciting process where the results can

never be 100% predicted. Here the

blue scarf is a work in progress, still with

some wax on.

All of my designs are on silk and

most are inspired from my extensive

travels abroad. I particularly like to

think of my work as cross-cultural.

Batik is an age old craft in Indonesia

and widely used in Africa, it is an

ancient process which lends itself to a

contemporary context. The results are

expressive in vibrant or subtle colours.

My range of work spans from wall

hangings and silk pictures, to scarves and

cards. I work mostly from commission

and especially like to design for particular

interiors or events. In July my studio

will be open while exhibiting as part of

Cambridge Open Studios.

Contact me by email


or call 07754 838929.

The subject matter has reality as a starting

point and develops into an expressive

image. My work is for sale (if not already

sold) and requests for commissions will be

considered. Cards of my images are also

available and I create murals on request.

If you are interested in painting lessons or

merely need a group to help cross-fertilise

your ideas and creativity, I will be running

weekend workshops in watercolour and

oil painting at White House Arts. My

Cambridge Open Studios July exhibition

is in The Artists Marquee at Burwash


Mobile: 07796 425127

Email: info@denisespalding.com


I have been stitching since I was 8 and am a

self-confessed thread junkie! I buy amazing

threads then get home and wonder what

on earth I’m going to do with them.

I taught myself many techniques over

the years and then in 2005 I achieved

my certificate from the Royal School of

Needlework (with merit). I create a range

of one-off embroidery designs using

techniques such as crewelwork, canvas

work, hardanger and freestyle.

I also make and embellish felt pieces. I am

currently working on a series of butterflies

using silk and organza fabrics and fine

silk threads. I enjoy experimenting by

mixing threads, fabrics and techniques.

Some of these pieces have been used in

Classic Stitches and in Stitch Magazine.

My inspiration often comes from nature,

I live near Cannock Chase and spend a

lot of time walking my dogs there, I love

watching the changing seasons and the

wildlife. My other love is history and I use

this as a further source of ideas.

I am a qualified teacher with 19 years

experience and I run workshops for adults

and children. These are based in Cannock,

or if a group have a venue I will come to

them. I am also part of the Timezones

team. We work in schools delivering

historical workshops, using role play and

hands-on activities to teach children about

how people from the past lived.

My work is featured on the Staffordshire

EnjoyArt website and in May I am holding

an exhibition at Gallery 12 in Eccleshall.

Tel: 07944 317322 | Email: glen.keatley@fsmail.net


Top Recommendation

Anna Bristow

Watercolour painter

Atmospheric landscapes and still life paintings

on silk, linen and handmade paper, inspired by

oriental classical art and Haiku poems. Off Alpha


I was born and educated in Mantova, northern

Italy. Although I have enjoyed drawing since

my twenties, it was only after years of academic

teaching that I was able to fully devote my time

to the study of classical Chinese philosophy

and art, particularly watercolour painting and

calligraphy with teaching and guidance from

Peter Cavaciuti. I paint still life, landscapes and

animals. I am particularly interested in looking

at the ways in which the natural world, as I

experience it, can be rendered into its essential

lines and forms expressing movement and

mood. Inspired by classical Chinese art I also

like to explore ideas of balance, contrast and

energy and the effects of empty spaces in

my compositions; recently I have also found

inspiration in the power and beauty of classical

haiku poems. I use Chinese and Japanese inks on

handmade paper, linen and silk. I have exhibited

my work in Cambridge at a number of venues

and carry out work on commission.

Telephone: 01223 355625

Email: abristow@ntlworld.com


Catriona Ogilvy

Watercolour, pastel

To capture the unique character and look of your pet

animal in pastel is my challenge. Movement inspires my

drawings and sculptures.

My purpose-built studio is the perfect

place for me to be able to pursue the

absorbing art of drawing, painting and

sculpture that I studied at Heatherley's

School Of Fine Art in London many

years ago. My small clay sculptures are

inspired by movement; sometimes of

two figures interacting together from a

single piece of clay, making a sculptured

whole. The much loved houses and pets

that I paint present a special challenge.

It is not only the physical appearance,

but also the individual character of

the subject which is very important.

Although houses are not alive as such,

they can have an atmosphere that holds

a special place in peoples emotions,

and that is what I try to capture. I have

recently been illustrating a book in pen

and wash. Workshops in clay sculpture

can be arranged.

• Commissions taken • Tuition given • Studio open by invitation

Tel: 01223 891313

Email: catriona.ogilvy@camopenstudios.co.uk


Rowena Selby-Altham


A working studio

with a variety of

paintings inspired by

the natural world,

particularly water.

Telephone: 01223 882977

Email: rowena.altham@me.com

Website: www.camopenstudios.co.uk/node/616

Anya Simmons Art

I was born in 1969 in Uganda and

moved to Nairobi, Kenya in 1972.

Living in Africa for the first fourteen

years of my life and then moving to

the UK has had a profound impact on

the diversity of my work and where

many of my creative ideas have



• Oxfordshire Artweeks Exhibition

2013, National Herb Centre,

Warmington, Oxfordshire. Between18th

to 27th May 2013 open daily 9am to

5pm Monday to Saturday & 10:30am to

5pm on Sundays & Bank Holidays.

• Warwickshire Open Studios 2013, 9

Shortacres, Kineton, CV35 0LH between

29th June and 14th July 2013.

• Craft Fair, National Herb Centre,

Warmington, Oxfordshire. Between 29th

April to 1st April 2013. Open daily 10am

to 4:30pm.

9 Shortacres Kineton, Warwickshire CV350LH

Tel: 01926 640812 | Email: enq@anyasimmons.co.uk


Jane Evans

Painting with a Chinese Brush

Cambridge-based Jane Evans studied Chinese Brush Painting for several years in the

Far East. After returning to Britain, Jane continued to develop her painting, exploring

the versatility of Chinese techniques and materials by using them in adventurous ways.

Drawing on Eastern and Western ideas about light, space and perspective, she has evolved

a highly original style, creating colourful abstracted paintings that represent a fusion of

both aesthetic traditions.

Jane has held several successful one-woman exhibitions in Cambridge, London, Manchester

and elsewhere and has taken part in a number of group shows. A painting by Jane was

chosen for an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in the Philippines.

Jane undertakes commissions and runs classes, courses, demonstrations and workshops in

Britain and abroad. Her work has won prizes in the USA and the UK and she was invited to

present a paper on Chinese painting at a symposium at Princeton University. She has also

illustrated several books.

Jane has had four books on Chinese Brush Painting published in the UK and abroad, which

led to her becoming a leading exponent of Chinese Brush Painting to Western artists.

To arrange a visit to Jane’s studio to see her paintings, or to find out about

classes, demonstrations, workshops and courses, please contact Jane by email.

Email: studio@janeevans.co.uk




Hand Spinning

Try Your Hand At

Hand Spinning

Wonderful Wool from Willo Fibres

Willo Fibres (formally Willo Alpacas) decision to make, we knew we had to move on.

was founded in 2003 by Denise Newey

“I pride myself on offering something a little

as a way to sell the fibre from her

different. I don’t like to hand dye the fibres in big

small herd of alpacas. However, the batches, just half a dozen or so at any one time,

company has now developed to sell so once it’s gone, it’s gone. I use acid dyes which

more than alpaca fibre. Willo Fibres are very safe and are often mixed with white

now offer camel and lama fibre, plant vinegar. I dye everything outside in the garden

with William and Oliver’s help – they love helping

fibres (soybean, bamboo, nettle and

me and, as we do it outside, it doesn’t matter if

seaweed) and merino blends, all of they spill a bit of dye. I use a rainbow of colours

which are hand dyed by Denise, with and enjoy it when happy accidents happen

a little help from her two nephews, – when one dye runs into another in the pan.

William and Oliver, who are actually Sometimes I will dip the fibre into two different

colours and this is how I get such unique, one-off

the inspiration for the name Willo.

colours. I enjoy the unusual and unique results

the hand dyeing process produces, as do my


Denise told Aspire: “I’ve been a keen hand

spinner and knitter for as long as I can

remember, so when we bought a small holding

in 2003 and got a herd of alpacas, it made sense

to spin the fleece to sell at my local market.

We added a few sheep alongside our alpacas

and decided to sell tops from our Shetland,

Corriedale and Teeswaters sheep. However

in 2006, we discovered that the land of our

smallholding was unsuitable for successfully

breeding alpacas because it lacked the mineral

selenium, so we sold our herd and concentrated

on keeping sheep. But then in 2008, an accident

to Tim meant that handling the sheep was not

as easy as it once was and, with the fibre side

of the business expanding, we decided in 2011

to sell our smallholding. Though it was a tough

Keeping all her hand dyed fibres reasonably

priced, Denise sells them online, at her local

farmer’s market in Saltburn-by-the-Sea (from

March to December) every second Saturday

of the month and at a selection of shows and

events across the country. She says: “Woolfest

was the first of the big shows that we took our

fibre to and in 2012 we attended, for the first

time, Wonderwool, Fibre East and The British

Wool Weekend, all of which we will attend again

this year. I pride myself on knowing which fibre

is of good quality and which is not; I have turned

fibre down in the past because I didn’t feel it was

of good quality. I will never dye and sell any fibre

that I would not use myself.”

We all need a hobby to keep our minds active,

stimulated and creative whilst we’re away from work.

Hobbies are essential for a balanced frame of mind

and it doesn’t matter what the hobby is, so long as

you are using your mind, as well as your hands.

Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes. A study from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

has suggested that engaging in a hobby, like knitting, making a patchwork quilt,

painting or even reading a book can delay the onset of dementia. In the study,

nearly 200 people ages 70 – 89 with mild memory problems were compared to

a group who had no impairment. Researchers asked the volunteers about their

daily activities within the past year, and how mentally active they had been from

50 – 65-years-old; those who had been busy reading or engaging in craft hobbies

had a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.

This week Aspire would like to draw your attention to the creative but ancient

craft of hand spinning. A traditional craft, hand spinning has made a come-back

in recent years as crafters wanting to make something with their own fair hand

have had a go. For thousands of years, fibre was spun by hand using simple tools.

The spinning jenny, a multi-spool spinning wheel invented c. 1764 by James

Hargreaves, dramatically reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn of

high consistency, with a single worker able to work eight or more spools at once.

Around the same time, Richard Arkwright and a team of craftsmen developed

the spinning frame, which produced a stronger thread than the spinning jenny.

However, it was too large to be operated by hand, so a spinning frame powered

by a waterwheel became the water frame. In 1779, Samuel Crompton combined

elements of the spinning jenny and water frame to create the spinning mule,

which produced a stronger thread.

Mass-production of hand spun items only arose in the 18th Century with the

beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. In the 20th Century, new techniques

including Open End spinning or rotor spinning were invented to produce yarns at

rates in excess of 40 meters per second.

For further information, please call Willo Fibres on 01642 315485

or email willofibres@gmail.com

Alternatively, visit the Folksy Shop at


The characteristics of spun yarn vary according to the material used, fibre length

and alignment, quantity of fibre used and degree of twist. Hobby or small scale

artisan spinners spin their own yarn to control specific yarn qualities and produce

yarn that is not widely available commercially. Sometimes these yarns are made

available to non-spinners online and in local yarn stores. Handspinners also may

spin for self-sufficiency, a sense of accomplishment, or a sense of connection to

history and the land.

Hobbies help you unwind after a long day/week/month of work, as well as

providing you an escape from personal or financial stress; engaging in a hobby is

a great way to just let your mind focus on the enjoyable task at hand.

Hobbies not only keep your mind active, they are also good for your physical

health. A study from the American Journal Medical Association monitored 30

female heart patients whilst they took part in a simple craft project – the results

showed significantly lower heart rates, blood pressure and perspiration rates in all

30 patients.

Discover A



The 2013 British Wool Weekend

Taking place on Saturday 7th and

Sunday 8th September in Hall 2 of

The Yorkshire Event Centre, The Great

Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

(HG2 8QZ - sat nav), The British Wool

Weekend show promises to be an

exciting weekend for textile craft

workers. Created in 2011 with the

aim of raising the profile of British

wool, and the farmers and cottage

industries involved, the show will

have over 50 exhibitors involved in

workshops, talks, demonstrations

and stands selling all things woolly

from fleece to finished items.

Organiser, June Onigbanjo, told Aspire:

“The show is now into the third year and

continues to grow. If you’re one of the

talented and creative craft workers who use

British wool to spin, weave, knit, crochet,

cross stitch, embroider, hand dye, make

felt or any other textile process, or you

simply enjoy exploring the textile treasures

produced by these craft workers, a visit to

this show will be a delight.”

Erika Knight is planning an exhibition of her

designs and will be happy to chat to visitors

An ancient craft that involves twisting fibre and

fleece or roving of wool, silk, alpaca, angora,

mohair, flax etc. into a continuous thread by

using a spinning wheel or drop spindle, hand

spinning is enjoyed my many as a satisfying

and rewarding hobby. For thousands of years,

fibre was spun by hand using simple tools but

it wasn’t until the introduction of the spinning

wheel in the Middle Ages that the output of

individual spinners increased. Mass-production

didn’t arise until the 18th Century with the

beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. Today,

hand spinning remains a popular handicraft.

With almost 40 years of hand spinning experience,

Juliet Hill is somewhat of an expert when it comes

to this ancient art. Offering one-to-one/one-to-two

one-day or two-day courses, Juliet is passionate

about passing on her knowledge and techniques

to others.

The recent increase in hobby or small scale artisan

spinners has subsequently seen an increase in

the variety and availability of yarn and fibre. As

well as teaching students how to hand spin, Juliet

also prides herself on educating her students on

which fibres and yarns are the best quality and

which to avoid. She explained: “As well as teaching

my students the difference between good and

bad fleece/yarn/fibre, I also teach them about the

equipment they’ll need to continue the hobby,

so they don’t buy anything they don’t need. I also

give them my years of experience and show them

how to spot good equipment form poorly made/

designed equipment, because it is out there. I

happily educate my students on which pit falls to

avoid because I want them to enjoy the ancient

during the show. Sue Blacker of the Natural

Fibre Company will be running her very

popular workshop again this year - sorting

and preparing fleece for hand spinning - for

further details please contact June or watch

for details on the show website. The Sheep

Show Man will be at the show again this

year, performing his educational and very

entertaining show three times each day.

Leeds City College fashion department will

be putting on a fashion show featuring

items the students have designed and made

using British Wool. There will also be live

sheep, Angora goats and Angora rabbits

to see.

Prices for the show remain the same as last

year; £6 for adults in advance, £8 on the day,

£5 for concessions/students in advance,

£7 on the day, children aged 6 to 16 £3 in

advance, £5 on the day. Children under 6 are

FREE but must be accompanied by an adult

at all times. To book tickets please call June

on 07790 391142 or 01422 832257

For more information please visit

www.britishwool.net or email

info@britishwool.net or phone

07790 391142 (message facility available).

For details of coach trips to the show, please

watch the website.

craft of hand spinning for many, many years.”

By the end of the course, Juliet aims to leave her

student feeling confident that hand spinning is a

craft they will enjoy and wish to pursue once they

return home. Each course, whether one day or two,

costs approx. £70 per person and Juliet insists on no

more than two people per course to ensure she can

provide each student with the individual attention

they deserve.

Juliet added: “A typical day course would

commence at 10am and run until 5pm or 6pm

with an hour lunch break. Drinks are provided

throughout the day, with visitors bringing their own

packed lunch. Courses can be booked by phone for

either weekdays or weekends and anyone making

a long journey can divide the course over two days

as I can recommend some wonderful B&Bs in the

local area.”

Aspire are so impressed with Juliet’s commitment

to hand spinning and passing on her knowledge to

others that we’ve awarded her with a Certificate of

Recognition for Creative Learning.

As well as teaching courses throughout the year,

Juliet also produces hand spun yarns for local

suppliers. These are available to order, all in natural

colours. For more information, please visit


To book a course with Juliet Hill Hand

Spinning, please call 01522 778250

or email info@handspinning.org.uk



Abstract Art From

Brian Reed

Originally from Lincolnshire but

now living in Leeds, Brian Reed

is a free form, abstract artist

inspired by the expressionists

of the post-war era. Brian

has a selection of unframed,

unmounted paintings for

sale via the Lincolnshire

Artists Society website - www.

lasartsales.co.uk. Painted in his

home studio, Brian’s paintings

are selling for £100 to £150, so

there’s a chance to pick up a real


Brian has always been a passionate

artist. His career began when several of

his drawings and paintings were shown

on TV by both Adrian Hill (from Sketch

Club) and Tony Hart. Brian said: “I was

very well supported in my artistic efforts

at school in Gainsborough, especially at

secondary school by the art teacher and

the Head. I was allowed to paint murals

on the walls of the school corridors

and it was my art teacher who first

suggested that I apply to attend Art

School on leaving school. As my parents

were also supportive, I went to Lincoln

Art School and completed a vocation

design course.

“I became a Graphic Designer in a

number of advertising agencies in the

north and The Midlands. I have worked

many years as a freelance artist for

PR companies in Leeds and Bradford,

but when that began to fizzle away, I

decided to enrol at Leeds City College

to get my teaching qualification,

following which I became an art and

fine art tutor in Halifax and Leeds

colleges. I retired two years ago and

now concentrate solely on my painting.

“The starting point of my paintings

usually comes from direct observation

notes, photographs or purely

imaginative concepts, which I develop

through small painted colour sketches.

I do this to distance myself from the

reality of the original subject material,

not only to enhance and radically

change the colour scheme, but also

to make changes to the composition.

I would say my style became more

focused whilst at Art College, when my

tutor, Tony Bartl, introduced me to the

beauty of the expressionist paintings

from the School of German Artists. I

found expressionist artists very exciting,

especially in the use of colour, paint

and, particularly, the subject matter,

which was almost always political or


“I’ve got a few paintings on the go at

the moment, focusing on reflections;

in fact, I started one this morning of

reflections and a river bank. Obviously,

my paintings aren’t realistic, they’re

abstract. I find that the process of

painting using a relative large brush

stroke technique adds an extra

expressive dimension to the work and

sometimes can change the character

of the painting completely. I like to

paint on deep edge canvas and would

say that the content of most of my

paintings appears as if it has gone

through a mincing machine. I use a lot

of bright colours, altered shapes and a

lot of imagery.

“Classical music is a big influence on

my work as it’s a major part of my life. I

find it very expressive, whether pleasant

or painful and I find it hard not to

incorporate that into my paintings.

“Over the years, I have had several

solo shows in Yorkshire, as well as

exhibiting in many group shows at

the Usher Gallery in Lincoln, which is

Lincolnshire’s premier art gallery.”

Find Brian’s paintings online at


For further information, please call Brian directly

on 01132 583738 or email brian.reed@talktalk.net

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