Rose Ward - Aspire Magazine

Rose Ward - Aspire Magazine

Bowen TherapyFace The Stress Of Life Head OnThe use of complementary therapieswhich treat a person holistically, haveincreased steadily since the early 1990s.The majority of people who turn to thesemethods use them alongside mainstream,or conventional, medicines to increasetheir chances of a positive outcome. Thisis where the term originated; using nonconventionaltreatments to ‘complement’conventional medicines prescribed by adoctor.Many people utilise mainstream medicinefor diagnosis and basic information, whileturning to complementary therapiesto enhance their health and chances ofrecovery. However, many developingnations have used ‘alternative’ medicinesfor centuries as their access to essentialmedicines is limited by poverty and lackof resources. In Africa, up to 80% of thepopulation use this traditional medicinefor primary health care.The Bowen Technique is a complementarytherapy that releases stress at a very deeplevel, setting the scene for the body toheal itself. Unlike other holistic therapies,Bowen does not attempt to force thebody to change but instead asks thebody to recognise and make the changesnecessary to bring it back to its optimumequilibrium.Bowen was created by Tom Bowen (1916– 1982), who was born in Brunswick,Australia. Tom started by treatingthe injuries, aches and pains of localsportsmen, friends and family andcolleagues in Geelong. In the 1960s, heopened his own clinic and developed TheBowen Technique; by the 1970s he wastreating 13,000 people a year.Bowen is a drug-free, non-invasive,hands-on remedial therapy which helpswith a wide range of conditions, physicaland emotional, and is suitable for all ages,from new-born babies to the elderly andinfirm. Bowen can be of assistance with awide range of conditions:• Muscular and skeletal problems in neck,shoulder, hip, knees, ankle and back• Frozen shoulder• Tennis and golf elbow• Other sports injuries• R.S.I. and carpal tunnel• Migraine and recurring headaches• Posture and body alignment• Hormonal, pregnancy and fertilityproblems• Bell's Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson'sDisease• Stress management and fatigue• Emotional stress, pain and anxiety• Respiratory, bronchial and relatedconditions such as hayfever and asthma• Digestive problems such as IBSThe Bowen Technique is not massage,acupressure or chiropractic; there is nomanipulation, adjustment or force used.The Bowen therapist simply uses theirthumbs and fingers to gently movemuscles and tissues. They leave the roombetween each set of moves to give thebody time to adjust naturally. Thesepauses, combined with the gentle touch,make Bowen unique. Most conditionsrespond to The Bowen Technique withintwo to three treatments and the effectsare long-lasting, providing rapid relieffrom pain and discomfort.In the UK, trained Bowen therapistsare members of the Bowen TherapyProfessional Association (BTPA) andare accredited at BTPA-approvedestablishments, have certificates inAnatomy and Physiology and FirstAid, have professional insurance andundertake continuing professionaldevelopment (CPD). Therapists do notdiagnose, but they may advise theirclients to be regularly assessed by theirdoctor, in case their medicine doses needto be adjusted.To find out more aboutThe Bowen Technique,or to find a Bowen therapist, please visitwww.btpa.coBODYWORK WITH YOU IN MINDGENTLE, TRIED AND TESTED THERAPIESIf you suffer fromback, neck, shoulder or knee problemsaching musclesexhaustion or stressheadaches or migraineacute or chronic conditionsDiscover The Benefits of BowenAt Leicester Children’s Bowen ClinicFounded in 2003, Leicester Children’s BowenClinic (LCBC) provides Bowen Therapytreatments for children from birth to 16-yearsold,as well as their parents. Run from TheKing Centre, on Bullhead Street in WigstonMagna, LCBC is held twice a month on Saturdaymornings, from 10am to 12noon.Clinic Manager, Rose Ward, told Aspire: “I’ve been in thecaring profession since 1971 when I became a studentnurse. I wanted to be part of the ethos of the NHS, thateveryone, even the poorest of citizens, should haveaccess to free high quality health care. I discovered thatoperations and medication are very important, but they’renot the whole story. I absorbed a lot of knowledge aboutthe human body, both in sickness and in health, whichhas served me well. What my time in the NHS did teachme was the significance of emotional support to healingand wellness.“I came across complementary therapies in the 90s, whenthe opportunity came about to do a hand massage courseran by LOROS. This developed my sense of touch, a senseI replied on heavily in my nursing anyway, feeling for apulse, a broken bone and even a fever. Complementarytherapies appealed to my sense of treating the wholeperson, treating the patient holistically, tatking intoaccount their emotional and mental, as well as physicalwell-being.“I became a trained Shiatsu practitioner in 1999. Shiatsuuses finger pressure on the energy circuits of the body(meridians), as with acupuncture. From this, I decided Iwanted to treat patients holistically, to be more creativewhen treating them but the NHS didn’t afford me thatfreedom, so I set up my own practice.”The Clinic’s five trained, experienced and insuredtherapists use The Bowen Technique to help treat anumber of conditions, including• Muscular Balance, Aches and Pains• Migraines and Anxiety• Asthma• Dyspraxia• Autism and Aspergers Syndrome• Global Development Delay• ADHD and Hyperactivity• Bed Wetting• Sleep DisturbanceRose added: “Bowen is a gentle rolling of the skin overmuscle. The fascia, a layer of tissue under the skin, wherethe nerve endings are, receives a stretch; this gives aprofound effect through the bioelectrical circuitry of thebody. Bowen is a great treatment which gives really fastresults – you see big changes quickly. An upward spiral ofwellness is created when treating with Bowen; emotionalproblems are addressed, improving the physical wellbeing,which then in turn lessens the emotional stress,improving the emotional problems further. In the past,we’ve has really good results when it comes to asthmaand bed wetting. The most severe cases require on-goingtreatment. There’s one boy who we’ve been treatingfor three and a half years, who couldn’t speak when hecame to us and had problems walking. He is now walkingnormally and he’s beginning to talk. This is after 30minutes of treatment every fortnight.“There are certain changes that parents and carerswill see immediately. Children are often calmer, theirconcentration is improved, they make eye contact, theyhave increase dexterity and co-ordination, as well asmuscle control and they’re more receptive to furtherlearning. Although we treat the child, we really help thewhole family as behavioural problems, sleep disturbanceand even bed wetting can all have an effect on thefamily as a whole, not just the individual child. It’s allabout improving the quality of life for the whole family,reducing the stresses the whole family has to deal with,thereby improving the emotional wellness of the entirehousehold.”LCBC accept children from Leicester, Leicestershire,Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire andthey currently have plenty of vacancies to treat children.The next clinic is on Saturday April 14th and then onSaturday May 12th and 26th. Bowen therapy treatmentsfor children at the Clinic cost £10 and parents can betreated for free if there is a therapist available.Rose is also happy to treat adults and children at herhome clinic from £25 per hour for adults and £15 an hourfor children.Rose added: “Bowen is much more than symptom relief.It is working holistically so that emotional, physical andmental health is developed in a natural, sustainableway, bringing the client closer to optimum health thatbrings ease, improved quality of life and independence.Often, my clients know what they need to do to achievewellness, but they lack the motivation and support. Thisis where I come in; I can shed new light on a problemand equip them with the tools to cope. It’s aboutindependency rather than dependency, about teachingpeople how to maintain health once it is achieved.”Aspire’s Top RecommendationAlex HainesBowen TherapistBowen therapy is a soft tissue remedial therapy that involves the therapist usingfingers or thumbs to move over muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia in variousparts of the body. This therapy can be effective to help relieve everyday stressesand revitalise the whole person. It is suitable for babies through to the elderly.Each Bowen therapy session varies according to theparticular problems of the client.For more information, contact AlexTel: 0121 472 7486 | Mob: 07941 ASP256 when callingBounce back to better health and fitness now.Bowen and SMART BOWEN® clinic in Leamington Spa andShipston on Stour other locations by arrangement.Brigitte Nix 07866 502923www.brigittenix.comFor more information, please call Rose Ward on 07788 122488or visit www.leicesterchildrensbowenclinic.org2 ASPIREASPIRE 3

Front cover image courtesy ofRose WardContents27Editor: Claire 2517385Accounts: Kathy 2515919Feature Writers: Laura 2517385Graphic Designer: Lucy 25173857©VisitBritain/ James McCormickSales Manager: Stacey 2624867Sales Executives: Emily Davison,Barbara Stone, Kelvin Creese,Jade Savage, Steph LapidgeDistribution: Michael Tipton &Self Select DistributionPublished by:Spectrum Printing Services0116 246 1717To subscribe to Aspire Magazine call0116 2517385Web Design: Paul Tipton at Q Creative 251 7298Write to us:ASPIRE MAGAZINENORTHAMPTONSHIRE GROUP3rd Floor Office, 29-35 St Nicholas Place,Leicester LE1 4LDName & Registered Office:ASPIRE MAGAZINENORTHAMPTONSHIRE LIMITEDAllen House, Newarke Street,Leicester LE1 5SGCompany Number: 060361021814©VisitBritain/ Dennis HardleyFind us on Facebook: Aspire MagazineFollow us on Twitter @aspire_magazine2. Bowen Therapy4. Contents6. Natural Healing7. Looking Good, Feeling Great8. The Core At Corby Cube9. Spark Festival10. Spirit Of Summer Fair12. Holidays & Leisure14. Spotlight On Wales16. Rose Cottage18. Discover Scotland21. Advertise With Us22. Summer Homes23. Traditional Trades24. Aspire Recommends26. Health Special: Dementia27. Pride Of Leicestershire30. Charity Awareness4 ASPIREASPIRE 5

Natural Healingwww.stmartinshouse.comLooking Good, Feeling GreatAnne WhitehouseAwarded Certificate of RecognitionHaving become increasingly popularover the last 25 years, holistic therapiesfocus on treating the whole person, notjust the symptoms; the physical, mentaland emotional wellness of the individualis treated holistically.An experienced therapist who turned to holistictherapies in order to change her own life, AnneWhitehouse’s journey to full health and wellbeinghas been a long and often surprising one.She explained: “With a Doctorate in science anda previous career as a University Lecturer, manypeople are surprised when I tell them what I dofor a living now. I turned to holistic therapiesafter being diagnosed with ME; conventionalmedicine could do nothing for me, so I startedon a quest to find therapies that could give meback my life. I came to understand that the realproblem was not my health, but was the way Isaw my place in the world. I realised I had deepseatedconditioning which had driven me toachieve, regardless of the cost to myself, resultingin years of enormous stress. I knew that simplyrelieving the stress was not good enough. Tobecome truly well again, I needed therapies thatcould change my attitude to life on the deepestlevel, permanently.“Discovering ThetaHealing® and Colour Mirrorswas life-changing for me. Before this, I had beenaware of pushing myself so hard that I became ill,but was powerless to stop myself doing it. Thesetherapies provided me with the tools I had beenlooking for; tools which completely changed theway I felt about life, and in so doing, gave meback my health and happiness.”Based in Oadby, Leicestershire, Anne is a certifiedAdvanced & DNA3 ThetaHealing® Practitioner,Advanced ThetaHealing® Instructor, and a ColourMirrors Practitioner and Teacher. She providesone-to-one treatments (face-to-face or over thephone), as well as accredited ThetaHealing® andColour Mirrors courses.She said: “Often other holistic therapies don’tgo deep enough; they might help for a while,but sooner or later symptoms or negativepatterns re-emerge, and you end up repeatingyour destructive patterns over and over again.ThetaHealing® works deep in your subconsciousmind; it allows you to change the negativeconditioning that has been ruining your life, andreplace it with positive wisdom. The results arelasting because ThetaHealing® removes the rootsthat are responsible for your stress. When you dothis, you are finally free of your past and free tostart afresh.“Many of my clients have tried everything elseto help with their stress, relationship difficulties,career issues, family problems, confidenceand post-traumatic stress before they come tome. ThetaHealing® is unlike any other holistictherapy; once we’ve resolved a particular issue6 ASPIRE(usually in one to three sessions), the changes arepermanent. It totally changes your outlook on lifeand so affects how the world sees you and reactsto you; it’s a fantastic therapy, which can benefiteveryone. ThetaHealing® can help you to breakout of situations in which you thought you’d bestuck forever. If there are aspects of your life thatyou’d like to change, situations where you feelpowerless, unhappy or afraid, then ThetaHealing®can help you.”As well as ThetaHealing®, Anne also offers ColourMirrors, a wonderful holistic therapy that workson everyone, young or old, whether they speakEnglish or not. It also works on children withlearning difficulties, as Anne explained: “ColourMirrors uses the universal language of colour toidentify and heal the blocks which are holdingus back in our lives. Everyone has the sameemotional and physiological response to colourbecause humans evolved in the rainbow lightof the sun. Colour gives us the power to reachand heal the deepest issues without the needfor words.“In a colour session, you look at one hundredcoloured bottles, each with a particular meaning.The colour combinations you’re drawn to showthe issues and unrealised potential in your life.These same colours then provide the healingenergy you need to free yourself.“With colour, there is no need to talk about orrevisit past traumas. Using the gentle energyof colour oil on your skin, the old blocks arequickly and effectively released. Not only is itwonderfully transformational for everyone, butit’s fun and beautiful too.“Colour Mirrors and ThetaHealing® allow anyoneto change and transform their life, once andfor all. You decide whether you prefer thegentle approach of Colour Mirrors or the directreprogramming of ThetaHealing®. With thesetherapies, you have the tools you need to createthe life you want.”Aspire have awarded Anne with a Certificate ofRecognition for Inspiration Therapist of the Year2012. When presented with her Certificate, Annesaid: “I’m thrilled to receive this Certificate. I hopeit increases awareness of both Colour Mirrors andThetaHealing® as they seem to be two holistictherapies that most people have not heard of, yettheir effects are so powerful, life-changing andlasting.”For more information on Anne, Colour Mirrors,ThetaHealing® or her book ‘You Are TheAlchemist’ (which connects you to a FREEonline environment full of healing tools), visitwww.anne-whitehouse.comAlternatively, call Anne on 07779 230859 oremail info@anne-whitehouse.comFeel GreatAs the saying goes, ‘true beautycomes from within’, but faced withbusy, stressful lives and constantfinancial worries most of us wouldreadily admit that we don’t feel allthat beautiful right now.In fact, stress is fast overshadowingevery aspect of our lives, affecting usall and being brought on by just aboutanything. A 2011 study by RescueRemedy even labelled Britain a nation ofstress heads, when it revealed that mostof us feel stressed out at some pointevery day. A staggering 99% of people– out of the 2,372 surveyed – admittedfeeling the daily strain of stress, whilstone in four admitted they felt stressedfor up to 30 minutes a day. Shockingly,as a result of all this stress 49% of thosesurveyed had gained weight and 42%said their relationship had suffered as adirect consequence.Coming out of a relationship andstarting again or choosing to date againis not easy. Dating can be a minefieldfor a woman. Internet dating sites andnewspaper classified adverts enablepeople to be whoever they want to beand photographs can be 10 years outof date or someone else completely.It can affect your confidence and trustin people. Dating with a difference,where members are all verified andphotographs are taken, can help rebuildyour trust. A one-to-one relationshipwith your dating consultant, who handpicks your matches and takes time tounderstand you, can empower you tomove forward and begin dating again,in a safe and confidential manner.TopMatch pride themselves on being adifferent kind of dating company thatdelivers the service you deserve.For an immediate pick-me-up, a trip toan experienced hairdressing salon willboost your confidence and leave youfeeling a million dollars. Hairdos fromthe 50s and 60s are making a comebackand red hair is extremely fashionable atthe moment thanks to celebs like CherylCole and Rihanna. However, make sureyou check with your hairdresser beforecolouring, as chlorine and salt watermay affect the outcome.Andrea Greenwood - Hypnotherapy & Regression TherapyThe power of the mind is an amazing thing and my vision is to put you on the path toreleasing your full potential. Hypnosis can help you to utilise some of that potentialwhether it be to build confidence, improve relationships, view the world in a more positivelight, alleviate physical symptoms, or cure fears and phobias. The resources are within youand with the right hypnotherapist you can learn to access them, opening up a gateway toa brighter future. Whatever your reason for coming for hypnotherapy you will find it to bea truly empowering experience.You can be sure that you are in safe hands. I am a highly qualified hypnotherapist havinggained the Certificate of Personal & Professional Development in Clinical Hypnosis andrecently completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Hypnotherapy, both with TheLondon College of Clinical Hypnosis and Thames Valley University. I also hold a Diplomain Regression Therapy with the Past Life Regression Academy (PLRA). I am a certifiedmember of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy (BIH), one of the longest establishedassociations of hypnotherapists and NLP Practitioners, and the British Sociaety of ClinicalHypnotherapy, both of which are committed to the highest standards of ethical practiceand professional competence.Tel: 0759 5962523Email: andrea@visionhypnotherapy.orgwww.visionhypnotherapy.orgASPIRE 7

The Core at Corby CubeMark Steel’s In TownMusic hall meets melodrama whenaward-winning theatre companyLipService present their hilariousshow Move Over Moriarty at TheCore at Corby Cube on Friday 27thApril.Yes, those marvellous, mellifluous,mischievous multi-taskers LipServicehave raided their Greatest Hits backcatalogue to reprise their Sherlockiancomedy masterpiece, which hastoured all over the world.When Death stalks the back stagecorridors of the Strand Theatre– as night after night artistes aremurdered by an invisible, malevolenthand – who better to call in toinvestigate than Sherlock Holmesand Dr Watson? The brilliant, violinplaying,French-knitting mastersleuth, only hindered a little by hissmaller sidekick, investigates TheGaribaldi Biscuit Affair.In this murderous music hallmelange, impenetrable as a LondonMulti-award winners Maggie Fox andSue Ryding, who together make upLipService Theatre, play an array ofcharacters, moving effortlessly – well,almost – from frock to frock coat intheir inimitable style.Don’t miss Move Over Moriartyat The Core on Friday 27th April,starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are just£12 (£10 for concessions)."If you are looking for an out and outspoof, LipService’s Sherlockian skit,Move Over Moriarty, can hardly bebettered.” The GuardianFollowing his highly acclaimed, Sony Awardwinningand Writers’ Guild Award-winning Radio4 comedy show Mark Steel’s In Town, writer andstand-up comedian Mark Steel is back on the road,and heading to The Core at Corby Cube on Friday20th April.Bringing an element of Mark Steel’s In Town toeach live show on this tour means Mark will writematerial shedding light on the quirkiness andinteresting aspects of every town and city he visits,allowing each show to be unique - something localaudiences up and down the country will devour andenjoy.Mark Steel says of his recent Radio 4 localknowledge experiences: “In the north Yorkshirefarming town of Skipton, I told the audience I’d seena sign for Keighley, and wondered whether thatwas Skipton’s rival town. It went chillingly quiet andone woman called out with calm menace ‘Keighley– is a sink of evil’. And there was Boston, whosecomplaint that it’s been unfairly labelled as a ‘chav’town seems compromised by the shop in its HighStreet called ‘It Must Be Stolen’. So as the armiesunleashed by Tescos, chain stores, and assorted callcentres continue in their effort to make everywheremiserably identical, I come with a mission to savecivilisation.”Mark is committed to performing a routine aboutthe history of every town he’ll perform in. However,he may regret making this promise.As well as Mark Steel’s In Town, Mark has presentedthe BAFTA-nominated Mark Steel Lectures for BBC2,is a regular on BBC One’s Have I Got News For Youand Radio 4’s The News Quiz, and he has writtenseveral acclaimed books, including Reasons To BeCheerful and What’s Going On.Mark Steel’s In Town comes to The Core on Friday20th April at 7:30pm. Tickets are £14.50, withconcessions available at £12.50. Please note: thisshow is recommended for ages 14 and over.Music Hall Meets Melodrama Inpea-souper, our intrepid duo comeMove Over Moriartyface to face with Death-DefyingDan and his whelk-infested Tank ofTerror, the Musical Motherless Twins,Molotov the Mind Man of Minskand lots more alliterations – truly athree-pipe problem. Gothic horrorcombines with Victorian MusicHall as this extraordinary mysteryunravels.To book tickets for either of these shows, please call the Ticket Line on 01536 470 470or visit www.thecorecorby.comDancers swinging through the air, agentle swamp monster, a giant trolland a show where the star is a potato– a real potato! It can mean onlyone thing: The Spark Children’s ArtsFestival!The Spark Children’s Arts Festival in Leicester iscelebrating its 10th birthday and to mark its first decade,the festival is promising a fortnight to remember. Thisyear’s Spark will feature world-class international artistsand leading UK companies who will delight youngaudiences at venues across the city from 28th May until10th June.Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson’s magical stories arebrought to life in Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales alongsidethe premiere of an epic visual adaptation of the classicbook Gulliver’s Travels and unmissable award-winningshadow puppetry in Swamp Juice plus the incredibledance show Nubes (Clouds) all at Curve. There is plentyof festival fun for under 4s with the quirky puppetryshow featuring real vegetables Potato Needs a Bath andmagical playtime with The Presents both at Embrace Arts,and for older children, an extraordinary musical adventuretold in gothic operatic style My Mother Told Me Not toStare at The Y.This year’s festival has lots of unique events andopportunities to try something completely different.Curve is the festival’s hub ‘The Play-ground’ with lots offree family activities to enjoy during half term. Thereis also an incredible magical ‘swinging’ dance show Flyby Night at Curve, and free musical storytelling for allthe family in the wonderfully ‘funky’ tale of Anansi theSpider at John Lewis, Highcross. There are Digi-Kidsmusic and film workshops and DJing sessions for olderchildren during half term. BBC Radio Leicester is teamingSpark FestivalSpark Festival to Celebrate 10th Birthday with a feast ofFUN, INSPIRATION & ADVENTUREup with Takeover Radio to provide a Spark Newsroomfor young reporters to keep Leicester up to date with allfestival news. Look out for lots of drop-in activities andcompletely free events such as the weekend of digitaldelights at Phoenix Square Sparking the Imagination, theLittle Artists exhibition at Pedestrian Gallery, Fairy Tale Funat Beaumont Shopping Centre, the BIG Jubilee Lunch andthe totally ‘cool’ Retro Computer Museum.The Spark is helping to celebrate the Olympic spiritwith the impressive Games Time event taking place inLoughborough. The large-scale free outdoor performancefeatures local people in vivid costumes together withstunning pyrotechnics and is part of a year-long projectfunded by Legacy Trust UK. The Spark is also thrilled to bea partner in the new Jump In festival, part of the CulturalOlympiad, which is touring international work around theEast Midlands. The festival also visits schools and smallervenues across the city, so there are lots of opportunities toenjoy the 10th birthday fun.Commenting on this year’s festival, The Spark’sDirector Adel Al-Salloum said: “This year’s festival willbe particularly special as the organisation celebratesits 10th birthday. We’re so excited about this year’sprogramme – bringing such an inspirational mix of highquality events and visiting companies to Leicester thissummer. Most of all we’re looking forward to seeing theaudiences’ reactions as they experience some of the bestwork created for children and families – that’s what it’s allabout.”For more information,call 0116 261 6893,, or downloadthe Spark Festival iPhone App.8 ASPIREASPIRE 9

Spirit Of Summer FairSave the Datefor The Spirit of Summer Fair 2012in association with House & GardenIf you love discovering something a little bitdifferent and need some unique inspirationfor stylish summer living, visit the Spirit ofSummer Fair, in association with House& Garden, from 16th – 19th May. Find aninnovative, handpicked collection of originalproducts that you won’t find on the HighStreet, as well as a wealth of stylish seasonalideas.Returning to Olympia, London, it’s the perfect day out todiscover new trends for summer 2012 and creative ideasfor the home and garden. Thornback & Peel’s handprintedtextiles are the perfect whimsical addition to anysummer home, or indulge in some of Charcoal & Grey’shandmade cushions, created with fabrics sourced fromaround the world.Over 200 handpicked boutiques will be on hand withsome fabulous ideas for summer, such as stunningswimwear from Areti Patmos, beachwear for the wholefamily from Starblu, beautiful childrenswear by Chateaude Sable and Juliet and the Band, brilliantly innovativetoys and games to keep the little ones entertainedthroughout the long summer months!Be sure to visit the Summer Lifestyle Workshop to partakein inspiring talks and workshops including the Laurent-Perrier Rose Party with florist Ercole Moroni and masterperfumer Roja Dove to the most delightful summerdining ideas from the head chefs at The Ivy, J Sheekey,Daphne’s and Le Caprice. Sample summer delicacies fromthe food and wine connoisseurs on offer in The Food Halland don’t forget to pay a visit to the Great Taste AwardsTheatre to discover gastronomic delights from someof Britain’s best artisan producers - The Carved Angel’smouthwatering chutneys are an essential for any summerbarbecue, and award winning meats from Aubrey & Allen.Continue the Alfresco dining throughout the Summermonths with a choice of the finest wines from CharlesMitchell.The hugely popular Interior & Garden Theatre returnswith a host of talks from some of the industry’s leadingexperts-including Rabi Hage speaking on collectablesin design and interiors plus Nina Campbell on designinspiration. Experts from Jo Malone will be excitingvisitors with the launch of their three room scents.For a stylish dining experience like no other, visitMosimann’s Summer Restaurant, offering the finestsummer cuisine perfectly accessorised with a glass ofcrisp champagne or two to add a touch of sparkle to awonderful day.Opening Times:Wednesday 16th May 10am - 6pmThursday 17th May 10am - 6pmFriday 18th May 10am - 6pmSaturday 19th May 10am - 6pmTICKET PRICES:Adult £16. Child £8 (13 - 16 years). Child under 12 years FREETicket hotline 0844 412 4623For more information visit ASPIREASPIRE 11

Holidays & Leisurewww.stmartinshouse.comEnjoy A‘Stay-cation’This SummerVisitBritain has predicted thatthe UK should attract 30.7million visitors throughout2012 thanks to the Queen’sDiamond Jubilee and the2012 Olympic and ParalympicGames.Well, if a holiday in good ol’ Blighty is goodenough for our foreign counterparts,it’s good enough for us, so we’re hereto encourage you to forgo your annualholiday abroad for a fun-filled break onour fair isle this summer…As England’s largest county, Yorkshireis close enough to the Aspire region toenjoy a day out, long weekend or weeklongbreak, and it offers so much! Fromthe North Yorkshire Heritage Coast tothe mysterious Yorkshire Moors and thevibrant cities of Leeds and York, there’ssomething for everyone in beautifulYorkshire. As the capital of the county,York is an ancient city steeped in history.York Minster, with its majestic architectureis a true pleasure to walk round and ifyou’re lucky, you can sit a while and enjoythe harmonious song of the choir. Geta bird’s eye view of the city by climbingClifford’s Tower or scare yourself silly atYork Dungeons and get face to face withVikings at the Jorvik Centre.With an array of traditional seaside townslittered with knick-knack souvenir shops,plenty of farmers markets to exploreand numerous attractions, old and new,to keep the whole family entertained,Norfolk is the perfect destination for aholiday at any time of the year. Norwich,the capital of Norfolk, offers a whole hostof attractions and activities for the wholefamily. From great High Street shopsand independent boutiques, to a wholehost of museums, theatres, cinemas andarts venues to keep the whole familyentertained. However, if you’d like toexperience the hustle and bustle of atraditional market town, we recommendpaying a visit to Holt, Diss, Swaffham orBurnham Market where you’re sure tofind that perfect souvenir gift to takehome. Alternatively, why not discover thenumerous quaint villages that litter thecounty, many of which have charming12 ASPIREtea rooms, regular farmers markets andantique auctions, and beautiful naturereserves and gardens just waiting to beexplored.The rural county of Carmarthenshireoffers something for everyone, from theintriguing mythology of Merlin to thegritty wild-boy poetry of Dylan Thomas,or stylish eateries and great local produceto breathtaking mountains and goldensandy beaches; in fact Carmarthenshire’sbeaches are the ideal place to enjoy asunset trot or a gentle canter along theshore. Alternatively, explore the region onfoot thanks to numerous walking trails,including gentle riverside paths, acrossmountains, through forests, and along theseafront.Unique, gloriously beautiful, green andwild, and rich in history and wildlife –where else would we be talking aboutbut Devon? This quaint corner of southEngland is the perfect place to enjoy arelaxing holiday at any time of the year,thanks to its mild climate. Imagine yourdays: watching the kids paddling on abeach, afternoons striding across moors,or scouring the Jurassic Coast for fossils.Devon's world-class landscape givesyou space and weather to enjoy yourholiday in the great British outdoors.From the northern coastal town ofLynton & Lynmouth, Ilfracombe, Croyde,Barnstaple, Bideford and Clovelly, to thesoutherly delights of Kingsbridge, Torquay,Teignmouth, Sidmouth and Axmister,Devon’s 500km of coast is littered withgorgeous towns and villages that’d makethe perfect base from which to explore.As you can see, there are plenty of holidaydestinations around the UK that caterfor all the family, but if you’re looking totake a pet with you it can be difficult tofind accommodation to suit your needs.Often, the only choice pet owners haveis to opt for a camping or caravanningbreak, but Aspire have found a choice oflocations, with both accommodation andattractions, that can include your pet too.For many, a pet is a central member of thefamily and a holiday without them simplywouldn’t be a holiday at all. Thankfully,there are plenty of accommodationsolutions, where your pet will bewelcomed as warmly as you.©VisitBritain/ Britain on ViewThorverton ArmsOnly about 8 miles from Exeter, Crediton and Tiverton, Thorverton is in the heart ofthe Exe Valley and the Thorverton Arms is at the heart of Thorverton, a friendly andpicturesque village. A huge and beautiful wisteria (one of the oldest in Devon) growsup the south side of the inn and garden with its sheltered tables. Inside, the bar iswelcoming and offers a selection of local ciders and ales and good-value wines. It ispatronised by a fascinating mix of locals and visitors, and overnight visitors using the sixen-suite bedrooms. The family room, with a double and two single beds, is very popularwith families en-route to and from the far south west.The menu revolves around the fresh local ingredients to hand, and might includepigeon breasts with leek and lemon, or one of Stephen’s acclaimed raised pies.Afterwards you might find steamed sponges in winter or light fruit tarts in summer, allprepared in the kitchen and all for a very reasonable price - what more could you want?OpenSun - Thurs: Noon - 2:30pm, 6pm - not later than MidnightFri & Sat: Noon - LateDisabled Facilities: Yes for eating, not for bedroomsThorverton, Nr Exeter EX5 5NSTel: 01392 860205Web: 01362 638302F: 01362 637227E:'s at Castle Farm Guest House is locatedon the banks of the River Wensum in SwantonMorley. It has been the home of the Carrickfamily for over 80 years.There’s a wealth of holiday accommodation across theUK, but this issue, Aspire would like to draw your attentionto the hamlet of Millthrop, three quarters of a mile fromthe bustling market town of Sedbergh in Yorkshire, whereyou’ll find the charming Yorkshire Dales Cottage, owned byJane Garner. Aspire are so impressed with the peace andtranquillity of the area that we’ve awarded Jane a Certificateof Recognition for Rural Getaways.The Cottage has been renovated and updated; it boasts anopen-plan living/kitchen area, which is decorated in a modernstyle with essential appliances, such as fridge/freezer, ovenwashing machine. The living area also boasts a real fireplace forthose cold evenings, whilst the rest of the cottage benefits fromcentral heating; the windows within this space overlook thesmall garden and the rolling countryside beyond. The cottagehas retained many original features, such as the fireplace andbeams, which complement the country-cottage style décor ofthe master bedroom, which boasts a double bed. There is also asofa bed downstairs. Finally, there’s a bathroom with a shower.Outside, the enclosed and secluded garden has a grassy area,which is ideal for children or dogs to play. There’s gardenfurniture and breathtaking views over the surroundingcountryside.Jane told Aspire: “My late mum bought the cottage about 20years ago. She bought it from the previous lady owner whowas selling as the whole row of cottages were at risk of beingcondemned. Mum bought the cottage with this rick hangingCarrick's is at the heart of the family farmingenterprise comprising 400 acres of crops and 300acres of grassland, utilised by over a hundredcattle, including the noted Pennyspot herd of 40Rare Breed White Park cows and their calves.We look forward to welcoming you to CastleFarm to share our passion for this very specialplace.Carricks At Castle Farm, Castle Farm, Swanton Morley, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 4JTTypoeth Cottage is in an ideal location forgetting away from the worries and turmoilof daily life, where you can have a wonderfulholiday in West Wales. The cottage is situatedin a small valley surrounded by beautiful greenfields and woodland. It has a secluded gardenwith a small stream and if you are lucky youcould see an otter! Among the many variedbirds, red kites and herons can regularly beseen flying in the valley. If you are worriedthat Typoeth is too secluded, the small town ofLlandysul is less than 10 minutes’ drive away,with several shops, pubs and restaurants.Typoeth means ‘warm house’ and this ruralretreat lives up to its name, being light andcheerful in summer and having both centralheating and a multi-fuel stove for colder days.This is an 18th Century Listed cottage that wasonce inhabited by a family with 6 children, buthas been lovingly modernised to provide acomfortable home away from home.Charges for Typoeth Cottage are:1 person £200 per week2 people £250 per weekTelephone: 01559 384483Email: Dales CottageAwarded Certificate of Recognitionover her, but lucky the cottages were saved. If you appreciatepeace and tranquillity, this really is the place to be!”Linen and towels are provided. Prices start from £100 for a longweekend (Friday to Monday) rising to £350 for week. A £50discount is available for senior citizens. Jane is also offering afantastic discount for Aspire readers: anyone wishing to book aweekend break at Yorkshire Dales Cottage, simply has to quote‘ASPIRE’ to receive a weekend break for £75 for pensioners and£90 for non-pensioners. Discount available on bookings madebefore April 2013.When presented with her Certificate of Recognition, Jane said:“Thank you so much Aspire. I’m thrilled to receive this, especiallysince I’ve only been renting the cottage out to paying guestssince September last year. It’s wonderful to have this recognitionso early on. I’m very pleased to accept this Certificate and I’mdelighted to be in Leicester for the very first time.”Within a 10-mile radius of the cottage, holidaymakers willfind a whole host of attractions, activities and countryside toexplore. The market town of Sedbergh boasts all the facilitiesyou could need, with a butcher, Post Office, grocers, pubs, cafes,restaurants, and even a tourist information centre.For more information on Jane’s cottage,please call 01942 216058 or 07792 445257.ASPIRE 13

Spotlight OnWalesA Welsh Delight©VisitBritain/ James McCormickFor more information, call01690 710540 or three stunning National Parks, covering a combinedarea of 4122 square kilometres – that’s a whopping 20%of the total land area of the country – Wales is full of wideopen spaces, history, wildlife and breathtaking scenery.Wales really is one of the few places that can truly claim tocater for every taste…Boasting the highest mountain in England and Wales,Snowdonia National Park attracts thousands of visitorseach year, to witness the breathtaking scenery of this Areaof Outstanding Natural Beauty. Covering 823 square milesof the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in NorthWales, Snowdonia is a haven for walkers, bird watchers,history buffs - thanks to the huge collection of castlesin the area - and families looking for a stress-free familyholiday.Snowdonia’s landscape is unique; apart from the obviousmountain ranges (which make up over 50% of the Park),Snowdonia also boasts steep river gorges, waterfalls,green valleys, and 23 miles of coastline and sandybeaches. All of this makes it not only one of the UK’slargest, but also one of its most diverse National Parks.With a wealth of recreational activities, it’s not hard tobelieve that every year over six millions visitor days arespent within the Park. There’s plenty to entertain naturelovers and outdoor enthusiasts, such as walking up MountSnowdon, watching the wildlife within the Park’s mixedwoodlands, learning to surf on the coast, or even justenjoying a relaxing cuppa surrounded by some of themost spectacular scenery within the UK.Set within stunning Welsh countryside, Park Hill Guesthouse(Gwesty Bryn Parc) offers comfortable bed and breakfastaccommodation and stunning views of the countryside andbeautiful village of Betws-y-Coed in the distance. Built fromlocal stone in 1869, this Victorian property boasts eight ensuitebedrooms (three twin and five doubles) and has beenowned by the Buis family since 1999.Jacob Buis said: “The house was converted into a guesthousein 1976; my wife, Ghislaine, and I first visited in 1991 on thefirst week of our honeymoon and returned 18 times in thenext eight years. I realised it’d be cheaper to buy the house,so we took over in 1999. When we first arrived, my wife fellin love with the building and I fell in love with the view;she actually joked ‘if you’d like to buy me another weddinggift, this house will do’ so when we exchanged contracts, Iapologised for the eight-year wait!”With modern facilities, Park Hill’s bedrooms provide arelaxing retreat and a comfortable place to lay your headafter a long day exploring. With Freeview TV, DVD player,hospitality tray and complimentary toiletries in the en-suites,Park Hill’s bedrooms have everything you need. Free Wi-FiInternet is also available.Park Hill Guesthouse also boasts a comfortable guest loungewith delightful views across the lush garden and valleybeyond. For guests who want to make the most of ParkHill’s stunning location, the conservatory (at the front ofthe house) offers a relaxing atmosphere and breathtakingMid and West Wales has something for everyone. With thestunning coastlines, mountains and rolling countryside,there’s something for all ages and interest to enjoy,whatever the weather.The Brecon Beacons National Park is the perfect placeto sample ‘true’ Wales. With green grass, fresh air andrelaxation all on offer, this is the perfect place savour theatmosphere of rural Wales. Home to south Wales’ highestmountain, Pen y Fan, the Brecon Beacons stretchesfrom Llandeilo in the west to Hay-on-Wye in the east,covering 519 square miles/1344 km², encompassing fourmain regions: Black Mountain in the west, Fforest Fawr(Great Forest) and the Brecon Beacons in the centre and,confusingly, the Black Mountains in the east.The Brecon Beacons is home to wide open spaces,which offers even more come night time Stargazersare able to see the Milky Way, as well as numerousmajor constellations, bright nebulas and even meteorshowers on a clear night above the Brecon Beacons. TheBrecon Beacons Park Society have even applied to theInternational Dark-Sky Association to become Wales’ firstInternational Dark Sky Reserve.All kinds of different wildlife can be seen in The BreconBeacons, thanks to the diversity of habitats. Red kites,with their distinctive forked tail, can be seen overhead,whilst red grouse run amongst the heather, and peregrinefalcons perch near the cliffs and crags.For more information, attractions or facts about Wales,visit & Tranquillity InStunning Snowdoniaviews of the Conwy and Llugwy Valleys, and across to theSnowdonia Mountains.Another great way to relax after a long day is with a relaxingswim and sauna in the splendid heated swimming pool (30ftx 12ft x 4ft 6in deep), available all day and night, housedwithin a 50ft pine log cabin for the exclusive enjoyment andrelaxation of guests. As there is no lifeguard on duty, Park HillGuesthouse is unable to welcome children under the age ofeight-years-old.Jacob added: “We provide a cooked English breakfast, aswell as a choice of cereals, fresh fruit and fruit juice. We’rehappy to cater for vegetarians or other dietary requirements,however we do ask for prior notice.”Prices for a night’s stay at Park Hill range from £33 per personin the low season to £48 in the summer and at Christmastime. Park Hill also benefits from a free car park, which cannotbe seen from any public road. Unfortunately, Park Hill isunable to accept dogs or pets, except for guide dogs.Finally, Jacob added: “We’re in a great location, five minutes’walk from Betws-y-Coed and half an hour’s drive from thetrails that’ll take you to the summit of Snowdon. We’re withineasy reach of so much, yet situated away from the hustle andchaos. We do our best to arrange nice weather for our guestsand we always have a smile on our faces; guests arrive asstrangers and leave as friends.”www.stmartinshouse.comA Welsh WonderNestling amidst rolling Welsh countryside, The Yatis a family-run guesthouse providing an excellentbase for walkers, cyclists, bird watchers and outdoorenthusiasts to explore everything mid-Wales has tooffer. In fact, Aspire are so impressed with The Yatthat we’ve awarded it a Certificate of Recognition forPride of Britain – Wales.Dating back to the 15th Century The Yat sits in the beautiful tiny hamletof Glascwm, nestling in a valley in the unspoilt Radnorshire Hills. In theSixth Century, there was a monastic community here and later Glascwmwas on the main Drovers’ route from Builth Wells to London. It is now aquiet backwater, where time seems to have stopped. The Yat itself has hadmodifications and changes over the centuries but much of its history is lostin the mists of time, though owner Krystyna Zaremba says she often getsemails form as far away as America and Hong Kong from descendants ofprevious generations of owners.The owners Krystyna, and Derek Pike have, over the years, transformedThe Yat into a comfortable house, which boasts the latest eco-friendlytechnology, solar panels, photovoltaic panels and underfloor central heatingand yet the rambling house retains much of its former character and glory.Krystyna is an artist and used eco-friendly paints, such as casein and limewashes to decorate the ancient rooms and all the decoration and interiordesign has been carefully planned to make the whole pleasing to the eye, aswell as comfortable and user friendly. A conservatory has been added usingold building techniques. The windows are composed of leaded lights andthe main entrance is now through a Radnorshire-style porch, all constructedin oak. The garden has been developed and dry stone wall terracing created,with an organic vegetable garden, a herb garden, a knot garden and a smallornamental fountain added. There are many quiet places to sit and to admirethe views or to read in and to relax on warm summer days. A thousand treeswere planted by Derek and Krystyna 23 years ago and these have now growninto mature woodland and the bird and wildlife population have greatlybenefited. The bird song is amazing in summer and there is even an owl inthe orchard.Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why Krystyna andDerek serve hungry holidaymakers a full English breakfast, a range of cereals,toast and preserves and even fruit compote. Three-course evening meals areavailable for £30 per person, but they must be pre-booked; they include abottle of wine and everything will be freshly prepared.Aspire Sales Executive, Steph Lapidge, said: “Everyone need a break from thehustle and bustle of the rat race every now and again and The Yat providesthe perfect place in which to relax and unwind, surrounded by peace,tranquillity and stunning scenery. I’m so pleased to award Krystyna and TheYat with this Certificate of Recognition for Pride of Britain – Wales; it makesa nice addition to her previous Aspire Certificate of Recognition for RuralGetaways.”On hearing the news of her Certificates, Krystyna said: “This is wonderful! It’sso nice to be recognised for everything we’ve done here; it’s nice to knowthat something which we believe so strongly in is being recognised andappreciated. We’ve worked hard to create somewhere people want to returnto, somewhere with a special atmosphere. We’ve spent a lot of time gettingit right here; we’ve paid very close attention to all the details and created areal home-from-home. All these individual details come together to create aunique experience. These two Certificates mean the world to us and I hopethey encourage more visitors to our slice of heaven in rural Wales.”As well as being a great holiday destination for walkers, birdwatchers, horseriders and cyclists, The Yat is also ideal for those looking for private artlessons as Krystyna is both an Artist and an Art Therapist.A stay at The Yat costs £75 per room, per night, based on two people sharing.Breakfast is included within the price. A discount of 10% is available for staysof three nights or more.For more information, please contactTel: 01982 570339 | Web: www.theyat.netEmail: krystyna.zaremba@theyat.net14 ASPIREASPIRE 15

Rose CottageRose CottageNamed Scotland’s FinestA beautiful country with a naturallyinspiring landscape, Scotland is the perfectplace to enjoy a family holiday or romanticgetaway this summer. Outdoor enthusiastsand nature lovers will particularly lovethe diverse landscape of Dumfries andGalloway; from historic castles to mountainbiking centres and from wildlife trailsto wild and dramatic beaches, there’snowhere better for enjoying the greatBritish outdoors.Set within the quiet village of Gelston near CastleDouglas, Rose Cottage offers all the peace andtranquillity you could ask for, surrounded by stunningrural countryside. Originally built in 1760, RoseCottage offers spacious accommodation for a largefamily or group of friends within two twin and twodouble bedrooms.Owner, Kerr Steele, told Aspire: “My late wife, Sheila,and I ran Rose Cottage as a guesthouse, offeringdinner/bed and breakfast accommodation, for 20years but when she took ill six years ago, we scaledback our involvement and turned the cottage intoself-catering accommodation. I now live in a chalet atthe back of the cottage. The cottage is modern andtraditionally decorated and furnished for that ‘countrycottage’ look. All rooms are STB grade three, meaningthey’re suitable for some disabled visitors.”FacilitiesPositioned all on one level, Rose Cottage boaststwo twin (one en-suite) and two doubles bedrooms,as well as a large family bathroom; it comfortablycaters for groups of up to eight. There’s a spaciouskitchen and adjacent utility room with all the modcons, including washing machine and dish washer,a cosy lounge with fire, a pine-lined sun room/conservatory used as a dining room, and views overthe surrounding farmland. There is also a TV in eachbedroom, as well as a TV and DVD player in thelounge. At the back of the cottage, holidaymakers willfind a large garden with a decking area. Furniture anda barbecue can be provided. There is a stream andwaterfall bordering the property, which overlooksthe surrounding Scottish countryside. Ample off-roadparking is also available.PricesA week’s stay at Rose Cottage starts from £360 perweek in the off season, rising to £624 per week,meaning there’s no excuse not to see this stunningcottage for yourself. A maximum of two well-behavedpets are welcome. Bed linen and towels are provided.Surrounding AreaSituated in the village of Gelston, just two and a halfmiles from Castle Douglas, Rose Cottage is locatedfour miles from Loch Ken, where you’ll find GallowayActivity Centre, where you can have a go at sailing,water skiing and archery. Seven miles away is theGeorgian market town of Kirkcudbright and 30minutes’ drive from us is Galloway Forest Park, Britain’slargest forest park covering 300 square miles, whereyou can enjoy numerous walks, cycle routes and evendo a bit of wildlife spotting. Within a six-mile radiusthere are three or four excellent beaches and with a10-mile radius there are eight or nine golf courses,both nine-hole and 18-holes.RecognitionIt’s not hard to see why, earlier this year, Aspire chooseRose Cottage for our Certificate of Recognition forRural Getaways. On hearing the news, Kerr added:“Thank you Aspire, I’m very glad to receive thisRecognition. It’s a wonderful start to the year and Ihope it boost my business, although I am starting toget booked up for this year; I had someone book mostof June this morning so we look set for an excellentyear.”Not only have Rose Cottage been selected for thisCertificate, they’ve also been awarded a Certificateof Recognition for Scotland’s Finest 2012. AspireSales Executive, Barbara Stone, said: “Scotland issuch a wonderful country to visit for a holiday,with the whole family. There’s so much to do in andsurrounding Castle Douglas that Rose Cottage isthe perfect place to relax after a long day exploring.Alternatively, you can just relax amid breathtakingand tranquil countryside. That’s what I love so muchabout Rose Cottage; it’s so centrally located you canget to all the area’s attractions easily but it’s still setaway from the hustle and bustle, allowing you toescape the stresses of city living. I hope our Certificateof Recognition encourages more Aspire readers totravel north of the border this summer for a wonderfulholiday in Scotland.”Aspire’s Editor, Claire Tipton, added: “I think RoseCottage is the perfect place in which to sample thedelights of Scotland. As it’s not too far over the border,it doesn’t take as long to get there as other, morewell-known parts of Scotland. And, because it’s not aswell-known, there will be fewer crowds, allowing youto truly appreciate the scenery and tranquillity of thearea.”A week’s stay at Rose Cottage starts from £360 per week in the off season, rising to £624 per week, meaning there’s no excuse not to seethis stunning cottage for yourself. A maximum of two well-behaved pets are welcome. Rose Cottage is an excellent base from which toexplore everything Galloway and the surrounding area has to offer. For more information, or to discuss availability, please call Kerr on01556 502513.Kerr SteeleRose CottageGelstonCastle DouglasKirkcudbrightshireSCOTLANDDG7 1SH16 ASPIREASPIRE 17

Discover Scotlandwww.stmartinshouse.comDiscover The Beauty Of ScotlandWhether you’re looking for a city break, beach getaway or countrysideadventure, Scotland is the place. A holiday in Scotland promises to be aunique and memorable event.Stretching from the rolling hills and moorland of the west, through gentlervalleys to the rich agricultural plains of the east, and on to the rocky Berwickshirecoastline, the Scottish Borders provides the perfect place for a break fromeveryday life. The magnificent scenery of the Scottish Borders, all 1800 squaremiles of it, will entice you to explore it year after year; from rolling hills andmoorland, gentle valleys, and rich agricultural plains, to rocky coastline withsecluded coves and picturesque fishing villages – it’ll take your breath away!The sheer range of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed, by all ages, is just onereason the area is so popular with tourists. For starters, the region has 21 golfcourses and 100 miles of top-class fishing along the River Tweed, inland watersand along the coastline. But, if you’re looking for something a little different,there’s an abundance of opportunities to enjoy a spot of clay pigeon shooting,off road driving, horse riding, and even mountain biking! For more information,visit www.visitscottishborders.comThe Scottish Highlands are a wonderful holiday destination for anyone lookingto escape from the stresses, pollution and noise of city life. Home to only aquarter of a million people, living in communities spread throughout the area,the Highlands relatively sparse population makes this the premier area in Britain,if not Europe, for wildlife watching. Here, wildlife appears in the most casual ofencounters; seals are often spotted from the main A9, sunning themselves onhumped rocks in the Cromarty Firth, whilst an otter or two has been knownto swim by rowers on Loch Carron. The golden eagle and red kites have beenspotted in the Scottish skies and seabirds, particularly puffins, can be seen nearthe Stacks of Duncansby or on Faraid Head by Durness. for more information.Situated in the very heart of Scotland, Perthshire represents the perfect place tofind all that you’d expect of a great Scottish holiday. Most of Perthshire is littlemore than one hour by road or rail from Glasgow or Edinburgh, but a worldapart. With 2,000 square miles of breathtaking landscape and hundreds of walks,Perthshire offers an abundance of opportunities to get close to nature. With noless than 250 miles of waymarked paths across the county Perthshire is the idealplace to explore on foot. Along many of these walks, you’ll see dramatic sceneryand countless animals, such as red squirrels and roe deer. for more info.Mainland Scotland is surrounded by a myriad of island clusters: far norththere’s the Shetland isles, west there’s the inner and outer Hebrides, and off thenorthern coast there’s the Orkney Islands.Orkney is a truly unique destination. A deep sense of history can be felteverywhere in the 70 or so scattered islands that make up the archipelago,islands where life is defined by the past and sculpted by the sea. There arefascinating discoveries around every corner, many of which ultimately posemore questions than they answer. Visitors don’t need a particular knowledgeof history, just curiosity, a lively imagination, and a bit of vision! The Burghof Stromness is Orkney's main seaport. It first attracted sailors for the fineanchorage provided by Hamnavoe and has provided a haven for mariners forcenturies, being the last port of call before many a transatlantic voyage. Thereare plenty of things to do in this charming coastal port, must one must-do is atrip to Stromness Museum, where you can discover Orkney’s maritime past. Forfurther details, please visit www.visitorkney.comStanding majestically at the northwest edge of Europe, the Hebrides is a150-mile long chain of beaches, wildlife and adventure that makes a greatdestination for a holiday. Continually, battered by strong Atlantic winds, theHebrides may feel like a bleak place to spend a holiday; but there are so manymiles of superb beaches, wild mountain scenery, and various archaeologicaltreasures to be discovered, it’s actually a great destination if you’re looking toget away from it all. The most populous of the Outer Hebridean islands is Lewis,with over 20,000 inhabitants, 8,000 of which live in Stornoway. Stornoway oftensurprises first-time visitors; it boasts all the amenities and industry of a smallmainland town, as well as a lively and vibrant social scene, with lots of pubs,restaurants and clubs. Discover the wonder of these stunning islands by loggingonto www.visithebrides.com18 ASPIRE©VisitBritain/ Dennis Hardley‘Enjoy the atmosphere of a family-friendly hotel right in the heartof Pierowall, between the Heritage Centre and the Art Gallery.’• Four en-suiterooms• Two standardrooms• Lounge barwith TV• Wi-Fi in Lounge• Restaurant• Full HotelFacilitieslicence• Garden• Own car park• Z-Bed available• Payphone• Credit cardsaccepted• Pets acceptedby arrangementSkirling HouseStay in five-star luxury in thebeautiful Scottish BordersSkirling House was built for Lord Carmichaelin 1908 in the ‘Arts & Crafts’ style by architectRamsay Traquair. The house retains its periodatmosphere, and is warm and welcoming withevery modern convenience the discerningvisitor could require. Modern en-suitebathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and CD’s DVD’s andbooks in every room. A ground floor room isuseful for the less mobile and upstairs a smallsingle can be attached to a double room tomake a family room.Breakfasts and dinners are not to be missedoffering local, seasonal produce cooked toa high standard (Eat Scotland Silver Award).Situated just one hour south of Edinburghand Glasgow and handy for the Borders, NewLanark and Dumfriesshire, Skirling House is anideal base for exploring southern Scotland.Skirling House, Skirling, By Biggar,Lanarkshire ML12 6HDTelephone: 01899 860 274Email: enquiry@skirlinghouse.comwww.skirlinghouse.comPierowall Hotel, Pierowall,Westray KW17 2BZTel: 01857 677472 or 677208Email: within the historic yet beautifultown of Aberfeldy in picturesque HighlandPerthshire, Brae House Bed & Breakfast islovingly run by Patti Walker-Booth and JimSmith. Offering modern facilities combinedwith a friendly welcome, Brae House has beenrefurbished and decorated in neutral tones toreflect the beautiful Scottish light and createa warm, airy feel, perfect for holidaymakerslooking to escape and enjoy luxuriousScottish hospitability.Patti told Aspire: “Jim and I moved here inMay 2008, after relocating from London. Igave up my work as a TV Production Managerand was looking for something to do, sowhen we bought this house I decided toopen two of our double en-suite bedroomsto paying guests; I figured if I could lookafter actors all day in London, I could providewhatever holidaymakers were looking for.The seed of the idea came from our ownholiday at a delightful B&B in Edinburgh; Ialso got some hints and tips from a friendwho owns a B&B not too far from here. Shegave us a run through of breakfast andJim and I then spent weeks learning andexperimenting how to make the perfect eggs.We aim to offer guests somewhere to relax, ahome-from-home with something extra.”Set in an elevated position, Brae Houseboasts panoramic views over the River Tayand the mountains beyond, which werecovered in snow when Aspire spoke to Patti.“We’re in a very peaceful, quiet locationhere with breathtaking views. We’re a greatbase from which to explore everything thebeautiful Highlands of Perthshire has to offer;there’s an array of walks for all, whether youwant a relaxing stroll or challenging hike.There are also stunning, tranquil gardensand delicious eateries within easy reach,”Patti said.Brae House is only a short walk from thecentre of the picturesque town of Aberfeldy,where holidaymakers will find an array ofshops, galleries, cafes and restaurants.A night’s stay at Brae House costs just £75per room, per night (based on two peoplesharing). A delicious home-cooked Scottishbreakfast is included. For further details, oravailability, please call 01887 820081 or LodgesDrumcroy Lodges are located in a beautiful ruralsetting, on our family farm with spectacular viewsover the picturesque village of Aberfeldy. Herecan enjoy the abundance of wildlife and relax in asecluded location, yet still have access to a greatrange of sporting and leisure facilities. The spacious,comfortable, well-equipped lodges are all on onelevel. Each has a double bedroom with en-suiteshower and a twin room with a separate bathroom.There is also a double sofa bed if required in the living area.The kitchens are well-equipped with electric hob and oven, microwave, fridge/freezerand washing machine. The spacious open-plan living includes a three-piece suite, TV,DVD and CD player with adjacent dining area. This opens out onto a deck and gardenwith a picnic bench and barbecue. There is a drying room and bike shed available to allguests. Guest are supplied with all bed linen and towels. Electricity is to be paid at costprice by meter reading. The farm borders the huge Griffin Forest, which offers mountainbike track and trails to secluded lochs. There is a lovely river trail which starts on the farmand follows along to Grandtully. All guest are free to try their hand at trout fishing onthe farms stretch of the riverTay. Aberfeldy is a great areafor outdoor activities, fromrafting, climbing, kayaking, hillwalking, as well as having agood selection of cafés, pubsand restaurants.Prices from £225 - £450 per week, short breaks available.Nicky McDiarmidwww.highland-lodges.comEmail: info@highland-lodges.comTel: 01887 820978 | Mobile: 07734 486960ASPIRE 19

Spotlight On ScotlandRelax & Unwind AtLeumadair Guest HouseAdvertise your company in...Advertise With UsContact Leumadair Guest House today!Tel: 01851 621706Web: as the ‘long islands’ as they stretch for100 miles along the west coast of Scotland, theHebrides offer holidaymakers a peaceful, wild anddramatic destination for a holiday this summer.The most northerly island, The Isle of Lewis, offersancient history, diverse wildlife, and inspiringlandscapes, all of which beg to be explored. Ifyou’re looking to discover a world of uniqueactivities and experience authentic Scottishhospitality then Leumadair Guest House is theplace to stay.A working croft on the Isle of Lewis, Leumadair GuestHouse overlooks the Callanish Stones and boasts allof your home-from-home comforts and is a greatlocation for a weekend break or a long getaway.Designated a four-star accommodation by ScottishTourist Board and awarded a Hebridean HopscotchSilver Award in 2009, Leumadair Guest House isequipped with four comfortable en-suite rooms: twofamily rooms with king-size bed and bunk beds, onedouble room and one disabled-friendly twin room.Guests can make themselves feel at home with teaand coffee making facilities and enjoy an added treatof local Hebridean chocolate.All bedrooms are comfortably furnished but it was aconscious decision by owners, Don and Nita Macleodnot to include TVs in the bedrooms. Nita said: “Withsuch wonderful views and a beautiful environmentto enjoy, our aim was to create family friendlyaccommodation for people to escape to for a relaxingholiday. However, there is Wi-Fi available for thosewho really what to contact the outside world.”With a real emphasis on home-reared and locallyproduced food, guests are treated to a magnificentfeast every morning thanks to Don and Nita’s croftingskills. Tuck into a selection of cereals, yoghurts,toast, fresh fruit and fruit juices, before sampling ahearty Hebridean breakfast. From free-range eggsfrom the resident hens to sausages and bacon fromLeumadair’s own Gloucester Old Spots pigs, plus aslice of Stornoway’s famous black pudding, this is onebreakfast that certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.For those who are looking for a mouth-wateringevening meal, a three-course Hebridean dinner,plus coffee, is available at Leumadair. Evening mealsare available for just £20 per person and include atraditional homemade soup and a delicious maincourse of local salmon, lamb, pork or venison,followed by dessert. Guests wishing to enjoy a homecookedevening meal are asked to book in advanced.The Isle of Lewis remains remote, rugged and largelyuntouched by human hands. A true beauty, the Isle ofLewis is surrounded by the wild waters of the AtlanticOcean and is home to some truly unique sites.The Isle of Lewis is bursting with activities anddays out for all ages to enjoy, but none are morepopular than a visit to the world-famous CallanishStanding Stones. An ancient stone monument andarchaeological wonder, the Callanish Stones dateback to the Neolithic period and are second only toStonehenge in terms of their size and grandeur. Aplace of great mystique, these huge stones predatethe Egyptian Pyramids and were once a place ofworship; to this day they remain a place of pilgrimageand many people visit the Isle of Lewis just to take inthis magnificent sight.Donald Macleod added: “The archaeology of theWestern Isles is fantastic. Samples from within thepeat which pinpoint the first human activity on theislands to around 8,000 years ago and the earliesthuman remains here date back 5,000 years. Thewhole island was once native woodland and a wealthof ancient artefacts, temples and communal burialgrounds have been unearthed, but the CallanishStones remain the most striking monument on theisland. I’m lucky enough to be able to glance out ofmy window at any time and admire these wonderfulstones, which I believe have close links to our crofts.”To see all of this and much, much more, LeumadairGuest House is the place to stay. A warm Hebrideanwelcome awaits all who stay at this charming workingcroft and Nita and Donald have become well-knownfor their hospitality since opening the guest housein 2005.To advertise your company in Aspire,call our sales team on 0116 262 4867As well as one week at our distributionpoints, each issue of Aspire is also availableon our website for 3 months! ASPIREASPIRE 21

Aspire RecommendsAspire have already come across some great companies this year,some of which may be very familiar to you, others of which will bebrand new. We search high and low, across the length and breadthof the UK to bring you the best companies each and every week.The companies within this feature offer their customers the wholepackage: high quality products and competitive prices, as well as anexcellent and personal service.Today, there are thousands of companies who promise the world and, withthe Internet making it easy for less discerning companies to appear legitimate,searching for a good company can be a minefield. This minefield has beenmade significantly worse thanks to the recession and following economicinstability, as it’s now harder than ever to know who to trust with your money.As so many companies, both small, independent businesses and multi-nationalcorporations, have gone into administration in the last three years (including arecent spate of High Street retailers), many of us are understandably wary abouthow and where we spend our hard-earned cash.Many companies across the country have suffered the effects of the recession,but it’s our local businesses that have been hit hardest. Without the financialbackup of a parent company, with a chain of businesses, they are finding ittough to keep afloat. Local, independent businesses add character to a townor city and help to shape it as a distinctive destination for shopping by offeringunique products based on the interests and needs of local customers. Ensuringthat this all important local character survives and thrives is essential; withoutthese companies every High Street up and down the country would be linedidentically with the same brand names selling the same products.With the whole nation gripped by tough economic times, it’s vital that youchoose the services offered by local companies. The more money you spendwithin our own economy, the better equipped businesses across Aspire’s twocounties will be to ride out the crunch and come out the other side strongerand better for it. Spending your money in local shops keeps your money in thelocal economy, resulting in more jobs being created locally and more fundingfor local services being raised through tax revenue. Supporting local businessesalso aids community development. You may also find that choosing local isto your benefit, as you are treated to a more personal service. The companieswithin this feature offer their customers the whole package: high qualityproducts and competitive prices, as well as an excellent and personal service.Editor, Claire Tipton, says: “We believe it is important to highlight the companiesand services that really matter to our readers, which is why we regularlycelebrate those that offer something special. We recognise that good valuefor money and excellent customer service are the most important factors ourreaders look for in a company, which is why we work exceptionally hard to tailorour advertising to our readership.”FindingOnly TheBest, For• Suppliers of made to measureretractable, fixed or slot inflyscreens for boats, homesoffices and commercialkitchens.You• Dinettes and L shapesfurnished with fabric or leather.Editor’s ChoiceCABINCARE, 8 Sawpit Lane, Brocton,Stafford ST17 0TETel: 01785 661172 | Fax: 01785 663848Email:• Venetian blinds suppliedfor canal boats with sideguide wires for tumblehomecompatibility.• Curtains, roller blinds, pleatedblinds and blackout blinds tothe waterway leisure industry.www.stmartinshouse.comEnderby Dodgeball ClubPresentsEnderby Dodgeball ClubChampionships 2012Those looking for a fun way to try Dodgeball can create a team andjoin in The Enderby Dodgeball Club Championships, taking place onSunday May 13th 2012 from 10am until 4pm at The Pavilion, SportsLane in Huncote.The Enderby Dodgeball Club are hosting their second event afterlast year’s charity success. The Club wants new players, mixed teamsand businesses to get a team and get involved in this Non Charityevent. So come along and have some fun and master the five D’s ofDodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge! Each team must haveat least one female player.The Tournament is £30 entry, with a last player standing competition,as well as prizes and trophies to be given during the day. Playersmust be 16+ male and female players welcome, with no experiencerequired!For an entry form and furtherinformation, contact Simon Moodyon 07743 098544 or by email:enderbydodgeball@googlemail.comThe Perfect Wedding Day, Thanks ToOccasions By TJOfficially launched in January 2010, Occasions ByTJ founder Theresa Richards boasts over 20 years’experience designing and making clothes, and 15 years’experience planning parties and events for friends andfamily. She said: “I’ve been making things with a needleand thread since I was about 14 years old, but I’ve beenplanning events for my family, then friends, then friendsof friends for about 15 years, as a hobby really. In myprevious career, I was a full-time nurse in London,working in critical care, care of the elderly, the wholespectrum of care really. I was forced to leave the nursingprofession due to ill health, which meant I was unableto meet the physical challenges of nursing any longer.When my husband and I moved to the West Midlands,he suggested that I turn my hobby of wedding planninginto a career. Occasions By TJ was registered onJanuary 1st 2010.”Occasions By TJ can plan and organise as much oras little of your wedding day as you’d like. From thedresses and flowers to the entertainment and cake,Theresa is happy to plan your big day from scratch, orswoop in during the latter stages to ensure everythingruns smoothly.Theresa added: “I’ve had a tough life which I thinkhas helped me to appreciate every minute as well asinstilling in me a fighting spirit. I was adopted at theage of 15, fought and survived cancer at the age of 25and, after meeting my wonderful husband and gettingmarried over 30 years ago, suffered two miscarriages.I miscarried my son Izaac’s twin and then had anothermiscarriage before giving birth to my fire-cracker ofa daughter, Libby, seven years ago. I think all thesetrials have made me tough; I think they’ve equippedme with the tools to continue fighting, no matterwhat life throws at me. By bringing this fightingspirit into your wedding planning, I can ensure youget the day of your dreams, on time and in budget.I’m exceptionally good at controlling budgets andensuring couples get the best for their money. I alsohave the confidence many couples don’t to negotiatediscounts, so they get the same high quality servicebut up to 20% cheaper. In this sense, I more than earnmy fee and I often save couples more, so they havemoney left after paying for everything.”With a wealth of invaluable experience andknowledge, Aspire have awarded Theresa an AspireCertificate of Recognition for Bespoke WeddingServices.For more information, please contactTel: 01922 279584Web: ASPIREASPIRE 25

Pride Of Leicestershirewww.stmartinshouse.comSt Martins House – Not Your Average Conference CentreSituated right next door to the Cathedral in the heart ofLeicester’s historic quarter, St Martins House is one of Leicester’sbest kept secrets. Run by the Diocese of Leicester, St MartinsHouse isn’t your average conference centre – it boasts fourconference rooms, accommodating up to 50 delegates, andan exquisite Grand Hall, which is ideal for wedding receptions,birthday celebrations and corporate events of up to 200.St Martins House was officially opened in June 2011 after a£4million refurbishment. The building was founded back in1877, as Wyggeston Hospital Boys’ School, but had been thehome of Leicester Grammar School until 2008. The Diocese ofLeicester bought the building when it was vacated by LeicesterGrammar School and set about updating and refurbishing itin order to put it to good use, serving the city community andbeyond.• The Bishop’s RoomA beautifully panelled room, the Bishop’s Room offers 19thCentury character combined with 21st Century facilities for upto 12 guests.• The Kempe RoomCatering for up to 50 delegates, the Kempe Room offers aninteractive whiteboard, LCD projector, and its own bathroomfacilities, making it ideal for all-day events.• The Heyrick RoomThis comfortably designed room, which was once a classroom,caters for up to 25 and offers IT facilities of the higheststandard.• The Wycliffe RoomAn ideal boardroom space for up to 50, the Wycliffe Roomboasts its own inbuilt loop system for the hard of hearing, aswell as an interactive whiteboard and lots of natural daylight.Much of St Martins House initial success is down to theirdynamic partnership with Hotel Maiyango, who providesaward-winning in-house catering for all events. All dayconferences start from £37 per head all inclusive and quotes forwedding and celebration hire can be obtained upon request.The friendly, professional and experienced staff can also helpyou arrange your wedding at the cathedral should you wish tomarry there.The Grand HallThe centrepiece of St Martins House, The Grand Hall neverfails to impress. Offering stunning views over the cathedral,The Grand Hall is spacious and demonstrates an innovativecoupling of beautiful Victorian architecture with modernlighting and AV facilities, making it ideal for weddingreceptions, celebrations and larger conferences or corporateevents. With a private bar and a purpose-built kitchen, TheGrand Hall is one of those venues that will blow you away onceyou step inside.Revd Pete Hobson, Director of St Martins House, told Aspire: “StMartins House is unlike any other venue in the city centre. Notonly can we provide limited parking right outside, as well as ina commercial car park two minutes’ walk away, we’re run as acharity, so all our profits go back into helping the community.We don’t have any shareholders, so every penny we makegoes to fund our outreach centre, allowing local communitygroups to use it for free. This building, in one way or another,has been serving the community for over 130 years, and wehope to ensure its place for another 130. You don’t have to be aChristian to make use of St Martins House – we welcome thoseof all faiths, and no faith within the city, and beyond.”St Martins House have recently welcomed a Royal visitor;Her Majesty The Queen kicked off her Diamond Jubilee Tourin Leicester with a visit to Leicester Cathedral and St MartinsHouse on Thursday March 8th.On their arrival to Leicester Cathedral, The Royal Party weregreeted with cheers from the hundreds of people who hadgathered in Peacock Lane and the Cathedral grounds to waveflags and banners and catch a glimpse of their monarch. Asthey waved and said hello to well-wishers, The Royal Party weretreated to a performance from Kibworth Brass Band, and SikhDohl drummers, whilst the Cathedral bells rang.Revd Hobson said: “It was brilliant that The Queen chose tobegin her Diamond Jubilee Tour in Leicester and it was anhonour to have her visit the Cathedral and St Martins House. AsHead of The Church of England, it was very important for TheQueen to start her tour with prayer in one of her cathedrals.The visit to Leicester started at De Montfort University, withlots of energy and excitement, but The Royal Party thenmoved on to the Cathedral where prayer and reflection wereat the heart of the visit. The service talked about The Queen’sservice to the country and Leicester Cathedral’s service to thecommunity. Although the service in the Cathedral was an actof Christian worship, there were contributions from other faithcommunities in the city.”Once the service was over, The Queen, Prince Philip and KateMiddleton took a short walk to neighbouring St Martins House,where they were treated to a delicious lunch of Launde AbbeyEstate lamb and a delicious trio of desserts. The Royal Lunchwas enjoyed by 162 guests and was a very informal affair withsix tables of guests born during The Queen’s reign; there wasa table of people born in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and anadult-supervised table of guests born in the 2000s.Revd Hobson added: “Whilst at St Martins House, The Queenwas introduced to two young people who have recentlycompleted the Princes’ Trust Course here, which is operated byLeicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who are permanentlybased at the Donaldson Centre within St Martins House, whichwas created by the Diocese of Leicester to serve those withinthe community. She also met with representatives from youthgroups and charities who use the Donaldson Centre for theiroutreach work, as well as other faith leaders from around thecity. As The Royal Party left St Martins House, they all signeda commemorative document, which will be placed in theCathedral. The Queen also unveiled a stone monolith engravedin honour of the visit, which sits outside of St Martins House.”A commemorative DVD of The Queen’s visit to Leicester Cathedral and St Martins House is in production. To pre-order your copy, for £12, please popinto the Christian Book Shop at St Martins House or call 0116 2615222.An exhibition of The Royal Visit is on display in the Cathedral and St Martins House now.Tel: 0116 261 5200Web: | Email: enquiries@stmartinshouse.comSt Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PZ28 ASPIREASPIRE 29

Charity AwarenessSaffron Support for Elderly People:Providing Support For The Elderly With The CommunityEstablished in 1989, Saffron Support for ElderlyPeople provides a range of services for elderlypeople within the south Leicester area. Foundedby the Southfields Drive Community Association,a group of like-minded people who wanted toprovided somewhere for elderly people withinthe community to meet and socialise.Saffron Support for Elderly People runs a lunch clubfive days a week where local people can meet, enjoya free meal and make friends. On Tuesday eveningsand Wednesday afternoons, Saffron Support forElderly People also runs a social club, gain with theaim of enabling like-minded elderly people to meetand socialise.Audrey Mather from Saffron Support for ElderlyPeople said: “We have about 30 members at oursocial club at the moment but we always welcomenew faces. Our eldest service user is 96-years-oldand our youngest is 57; there’s no restrictions onage. It seems that the older people get, the lessthere is for them, so Saffron Support for ElderlyPeople strives to offer somewhere for elderly peopleto socialise. We play bingo and welcome guestspeakers for talks; we do a whole range of thingsto encourage the elderly residents of SouthfieldsDrive and the surrounding areas to remain activeinto their twilight years. We’re happy to providetransport, for a small charge, to collect and droppeople off door-to-door so they can attend ourclubs.”As well as lunch and social clubs, Saffron Supportfor Elderly People also runs an annual residentialholiday, which this year is to Eastbourne. Audreyadded: “We’re going to Eastbourne for one weekthis summer. The price is £345 for the week butthat includes half board accommodation, door-todoortransport, entertainment and three or fourexcursions. We have volunteers who come withus to help push wheelchairs etc. and we fundraiseto enable them to go. It’s a great way to give thepensioners a break from their daily routine, as wellas giving their loved ones a break from caring forthem. We can cope with limited mobility but wedon’t provide personal care, so pensioners needto be able to wash and care for their own personalhygiene.”If that wasn’t enough, Saffron Support for ElderlyPeople are planning to launch bespoke daycare in May for older people. Audrey said: “We’regetting ready to launch our day care; we’ve spokenextensively with our services users to ensure thecare services we provide are exactly what theyneed and want, as well as ensuring the activitiesand outings are suitable and interesting. We haveprovision for 14 people per day and are planning tooffer our day care for just five days initially but in thefuture we may extend it to Saturdays too.”Saffron Support for Elderly People are alwayslooking for more donations to ensure their vitalservices can continues, as Audrey explained:“Donations are not used for running costs; they’reused to provide a healthy meal at our lunch cluband to cover expenses for our volunteers on daysout. We’re a small charity so donations of any sizeare always welcome. We do fundraise by runningraffles at our events, so if Aspire readers are unableto make monetary donations, we’re happy to acceptraffle prizes.”For more information on Saffron Support for Elderly People,please call 0116 2440219 or email ssep@ntlbusiness.comDonation FormTake TheFirst Step WithMale sexual assault/abuse is one of thelast great taboos; there’s great societaldenial surrounding male sexual assault/abuse. Men are often, mistakenly, thoughtof as immune, safe and invulnerable;however these beliefs can also increasethe pain that is felt by a male survivor ofsexual assault.Established in May 1997, First Step providessupport and one-to-one counselling for malesurvivors of sexual abuse, as well as their partnersand family. First Step Co-ordinator, Cas Beckett,told Aspire: “First Step was founded by AlistairHilton. He was looking for support for the sexualabuse he himself had suffered but there wasnothing, so he founded First Step together witha group of abuse survivors that had become hisfriends and we’ve grown from there. The last twoyears have been very successful. We were gettingby with no funding but were only helping four mena week; now we’ve managed to secure fundinguntil 2014, we’re now able to by offering weeklycounselling sessions to 25 males per week. Thelast two years have been a phenomenal successand I hope it continues.”Serving Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, FirstStep provides free, confidential one-to-one supportand counselling for men, their partners, friends andfamilies, who have stepped out of the shadows,broken their silence, and reached out to benefitfrom the services First Step provides.Cas added: “Most men who get in touch arein their mid-40s and have been carrying theirexperiences for a massive chunk of their lives. Weunderstand how hard taking that ‘first step’ is, butwould encourage any man suffering to contact us.Once someone has contacted us, it's importantthat they know they can trust us; we provide anon-judgemental ear that many men who use ourservice find invaluable. We know how important itis to just listen.“Even if a client ends up on our waiting list, we willsend them text messages so that they know weare here for them. We help them get through thefirst visit nerves despite the fact that most menare often too nervous to even make eye contactor sit down face-to-face with a counsellor. Clientsare often dealing with many other issues includingalcohol and drug abuse, child custody and housingissues, which is why we strive to offer them a safeplace. Often, it’s the first place they've ever feltsafe and supported and we hope they can discoverthey can trust someone else.”Despite having funding until 2014, First Step stillfaces an uphill struggle to raise awareness ofthe services we provide. This applies not only infundraising but in accessing funding in general.Despite these obstacles we continuously striveto secure funds to enable us to offer a servicewhich values clients by offering a safe, nonjudgemental,non-stigmatising and empoweringreception. Cas explained: “Funding will alwaysbe difficult to attract for our services due to someof the myths and stigma surrounding the issue ofsexual violence towards males. This will not stopus striving to shout loudly about the need for sucha service.“We have held a weekend bucket collection atBeaumont Leys Shopping Centre, where theco-ordinator and volunteer counsellors give theirfree time to collect donations on a rota. First Stephas also benefitted massively from a volunteerwe secured from De Montfort University’s StudentUnion who has spent endless hours co-ordinatinga range of events to raise not only funds, butpromote the service. Charlie Holland has arrangeda series of evenings including bingo, art exhibitionand sponsored football matches. It was great tohave Charlie on board to raise awareness withthe younger males, so helping to dispel some ofthe myths. This year, we will be planning other‘collection’ days which will take place in the citycentre.”The De Montfort Student’s Union have chosenFirst Step for their nominated DSU VolunteeringAwards this April and they have kindly chosen toRegistered Charity No: 1077147donate funds raised from their raffle to First Step.Acknowledging the vital work First Step do,earlier this year Aspire awarded the charity with aCertificate of Recognition for Care & Support.For more information on First Step,please visit www.firststepleicester.orgFor confidential support and advice,please call 0116 2548535or 07581 568144Alternatively emailinfo@firststepleicester.orgName:Address:Tel:Please help Saffron Support for Elderly People continue their vital work by making a donation today:I would like to make a donation of £ and enclose a cheque/postal order made payable to Saffron Support for Elderly People.Please fill in your contact details below...Email:Send donations to Saffron Support for Elderly People,Southfields Drive Community Centre, Southfields Drive, Leicester LE2 6QSDonation FormPlease help First Step continue their vital work by making a donation today:I would like to make a donation of £ and enclose a cheque/postal order made payable to First Step.Please fill in your contact details below...Name:Address:Tel:Email:Please return this form toFirst Step, Alliance House, 6 Bishop Street, Leicester LE1 6AFRegistered Charity No: 107714730 ASPIREASPIRE 31

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