Your town. Your life. Your magazine.

Photograph by Abby Gregory

Last month's cover photograph was by Carl Chaston-Fry

What's in this month's issue

  • Community News & Stories

  • TV Recommendations & The Reading Room

  • Meet Our New Members

  • News, Reviews, Features & Articles

  • Events

  • Style, Beauty & Skincare, Wellbeing

  • Home & Garden

  • Art & Craft

  • Food & Drink

  • Cover Photo Competition

  • Meet A Local Business Owner

  • Coupon Codes & Special Offers

  • Useful Numbers

A note from the editors.

Welcome to our double issue for December and January – we realise we’re up against the Mighty Christmas Radio Times Bumper Issue, so, game on! I’m sure we weren’t the only ones who’d scramble for the Christmas RT, each member of the family with a different coloured pen to mark our ‘Must Watch’ choices… which were then ignored by the parents!

The gorgeous front cover photograph is Hounds by Abby Gregory. Abby told us: 'The dogs are Trigger, Hicks, Luki (the lurchers), and Scoot. All rescues; sadly we have since lost all three lurchers. Scoot, Hicks and Trigger were all from Cheltenham Animal Shelter (Luki was from Dogs Trust). Scoot is now nearly 13 and still going strong. Scoot has five new adopted brothers and sisters to keep him on his toes (all 'failed' foster dogs that never left).' Abby's Instagram is

You’ll find the runner up photography competition entries further down. Thank you to the talented locals who entered, they are all brilliant! The back cover illustration was done by Tokyo Tattoo's amazing resident artist Sam Andrews. The magazine is designed by Diva Arts.

As always we’d like to thank you for reading our magazine – the response is heart warming and please let us know if you would like to join the mailing list. We wish you all a wonderful and relaxed break, hopefully we can spend it with friends and family, and here’s hoping that 2021 will be a less bizarre and trying year – I think we mostly dealt with it all extraordinarily well. We’re a resilient bunch!

You can find us on Instagram @CheltenhamNoticeboard


GFM joins with Church to provide support

Local residents in partnership with the Church of God of Prophecy and GFM is organising an emergency fundraiser to help families in need who have been affected by these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19. We feel that this is needed amongst our community and decided to come together to support families who may have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own and are in need of help to get them through these challenging times.

All donations given to this fundraiser (which is part of a registered charity) will be used to purchase food for children and families who have been affected by COVID-19, due to being self-employed and not being able to work or families that have been placed on Furlough or made redundant. Food packages will be made up and distributed from Church of God of Prophecy in Gloucester. If there are families who live locally and are not able to collect from the Church then we will deliver them for you.

Contact Details

Facebook Group: Community Fundraiser to Support Local Families
Crowdfunding Link:
Contact Telephone Number: 01452 382906

Baby Hat Story

Chloe and Nial Sharaf had been given a knitted woollen hat for their new baby Nakoa after his birth at Gloucester Royal Hospital but dropped it during a walk. For sentimental reasons they were hoping to find it. When they wrote about this in our Facebook group, someone said 'my grandmother knits those and still has the same wool - she can knit you another one just the same'! Lovely to see a happy story.

Who's a Pretty Polly?

Owners of a parrot called Sweetie were distraught when she escaped and went on a local adventure. They posted on Cheltenham Noticeboard around the same time that Lydia Thomas was posting 'Has anyone lost a parrot? Please let me know as it is currently in my garden' with a photo of the pretty bird gripping on to her gazebo. Sweetie was happy to be caught and reunited with her owners, who have taken extra security measures in their home to ensure no more Houdini style antics.


Image BBC

Masterchef - The Professionals

BBC iPlayer

I know, I know! I covered Australia’s Masterchef last month, but we now have Masterchef – The Professionals. I honestly tried (for about 10 minutes) NOT to get sucked in… but I couldn’t help myself!

The format is slightly different this year with socially distanced filming dictating how they proceed, but we have the usual line up of professional chefs showing off their skills (or lack of) to Monica, Marcus and Grocer Greg… I love that almost every time he opens his (quite often food filled) mouth, you can literally hear M&M’s eyes roll. Love a bit of prime time shade throwing. It will possibly not be a ‘Oooh we could have that tonight’ sort of food show, unless you have Ninja Knife Skills and a secret entrance to Harrods Food Hall, but it is rather entertaining.

Image BBC

George the Poet

Live show on BBC, reviewed by Jane Ashley.

The show looks at how rap music can be a powerful platform for marginalised communities but how it can often be viewed by an establishment that sees rap music as un-constructive. George talks about his own story of education evolution from Grime MC to Cambridge student to spoken word artist, which highlights how rap music has shaped him and his peers today. George and his guests emphasise the need for rap music to be incorporated within the education system as a way of engaging young people to not only express themselves but to engage more in education, although it is also recognised that the whole education system really needs to change in order for this to happen fully.

His guests on the show are DJ Target (1Xtra DJ), Dr Becky Inkster (Neuroscientist), Temi Mwale (a voice for youth violence and founder of 4Front Project), Sonita Alleyne (OBE – first black person to lead any Oxbridge College) and Holly Branson (Richard Branson’s daughter – founder of Big Change an education charity). It’s worth a watch.

Image from Spoiler TV

The Queen's Gambit


The sets and costumes would be worth watching even if the story and acting wasn't all that great, but this series surpasses expectations. It's a lot more captivating than you would imagine for a series based around chess. It was only because friends with similar taste were singing its praises that I felt compelled to give it a watch. The main character suffers terrible trauma as a child we see her move in to an orphanage and grow up there. She finds an unlikely companion in the caretaker (nothing seedy about the friendship, which is refreshing for a drama series) and becomes obsessed with chess. This isn't a waste of her energy as she turns out to be a genius at it.

Image: The TeCake
Image: What's On Netflix.

The Crown


It would be unthinkable to overlook The Crown in our recommendations so we asked lovely Laura Stokes of Cheltenham Cleaning Company to come up with a review...

You don’t have to be a Royalist to enjoy The Crown, far from it. From the start of Season 1 - where King George VI’s health deteriorates and pushes Princess Elizabeth into the limelight, to the current Season 4 episodes which introduce us to Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles - it’s not only a fascinating glimpse into recent history but also an insiders' view as to what might go on in the private moments of arguably the world's most famous family.

Many episodes – for instance S3. Ep3 'Aberfan' & S4. Ep7 '48:1' - portray enormous national and international events from a different perspective, many of which happened in our own living memory (depending on how old you are!). The cast on the whole are amazing in their roles but Claire Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth II and Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of an older Princess Margaret are perfectly cast and make compelling viewing.

So many people won’t watch the series because they dislike the royal family but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what is effectively a fly on the wall look into a very dysfunctional family’s life. Fascinating stuff!


Image Hannah Murray

Authors of Colour

with Florence Nyasamo from Lives of Colour

Authors of Colour Book Club for Parents is a book club like no other, aimed at those looking to expand their child's education with a broader social and cultural understanding of the world. Our subscription book service, for children aged 0 to 9, provides you and your child with a top quality curation of diverse children's books, scavenged from across the globe and delivered to your door each month. However, this December and January we have decided to do more for you and your family. We are offering followers a chance to get a hold of more of the latest diverse books in children’s literature with our fabulous holiday bundle.

Our holiday bundle consists of 6 of the latest diverse books covering ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation packaged and mailed to you to enjoy with your family. All our books discuss topics tailored to the age of the reader so they can gain a greater awareness of our diverse society, starting at home.

If you are interested in grabbing our holiday bundle, contact us at… or on our social media @livesofcolour.

Featured App

The world's best way to learn a language.

My brother's girlfriend Solene is French and fluent in English, so he decided to take the bull by the horns and learn her beautiful language. I was surprised by his swift progress and confidence and he told me he's been using Duolingo and thoroughly recommends it. Debs is now using it to learn Italian - she'll be better at it than our friend Marchello.

'Learning with Duolingo is fun and addictive. Earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up. The bite-sized lessons are effective and proven to work.'

It's a free app that you can download to your device:


by Ani King

We flew together
through spheres of life
chased by shifting ghouls
(Conceived by our minds)
through clouds of despair
glancing to the side
to make sure neither was left behind
your wingbeat and mine
(as different as can be
yet) somehow forming a rhythm
(Soon to become three)

Now I glance
to see not you
(for you have gone)
but You And I is
in one
and that
is what I see.



CHOOSiE is a new app that brings LOCAL and INDEPENDENT shopping to your fingertips via an online sales platform for sellers, makers and shops.

SHOP with CHOOSiE; SELL with CHOOSiE... let’s take on The Big Guys!⠀⠀

To shop: Search Choosie Shopping in the App Store. At the moment the app is a blank canvas for you to fill with gorgeous goodies!⠀

To sell: Upload your products on the app for your customers to get buying. You can upload items from your phone in less than a minute! Just sign yourself up and get selling.⠀

We have tried to get this live quickly to help local shops, sellers and makers.⠀

When you sell an item the app will deduct just 6% of the sale.⠀

IOS app and website available. Android version coming soon.

Ethically minded individuals choose CHOOSiE.

Slimming World with Claire

Hi, I'm Claire Beale! After losing 6 stone with Slimming World, I couldn't wait to open my own groups. I love welcoming new members to my groups each week, and telling them all about the lovely, filling foods they can enjoy whilst losing weight. I also love seeing my members getting their awards and smashing their goals each week. Both of my groups have grown into a wonderful community of people who love to help and support each other, no matter what the result on the scale says. If you want to find out more, get in touch or just pop into one of my warm and friendly groups.

If you're feeling shy you can get to know us gradually through our Facebook page where we share recipes, members' testimonials, and generally support and uplift our readers with positive ideas, tips and inspiration.

You're welcome to give Slimming World a try. In times of lockdown our sessions are on Zoom and when we're allowed to meet, we do so with safe social distancing here...

Tuesday Evenings at St Mark's
St Mark's Community Centre, Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham GL51 8DS

Saturday Mornings at The Rock
The Rock, St Peter's Church, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham GL51 9AH

Contact Details

Thread & Needle with Katarina Chovancova

Original designs, handmade accessories, alterations and repairs.

My name is Katarina - Thread and Needle is a small home-based studio in Cheltenham specialising in all clothing alterations and home design. I have more than ten years' experience in sewing, whether it is mending clothes, repairing tears or making new things.

Creating and crafting has always been my thing and having two boys, mending clothes and making school costumes for them made me realise how much I enjoy sewing and creating. My passion for sewing started to grow into something bigger so I started to challenge myself with creating new designs from cushions and aprons to handbags and other valued keepsakes for my home and the homes of my friends and customers. My designs are now available on Etsy.

For the past five years I have been working for a company selling suits where I have gained exceptional knowledge of performing all alterations and repairs. Most things can be repaired but there can always be exceptions. I am happy to discuss this with you over the phone. Being a working mum of two boys I only work by appointments which can be arranged over the phone 07914 635605, by text, by email or an online message. Please allow one working week for alterations to be completed and two weeks at busier times. I take pride delivering quality products and services to all my customers and work with them until they are fully satisfied with the results.

I am offering 10% discount on all shop items. Use Code CHELT10 at checkout to receive 10% off your order. Please order by 15th December for guaranteed delivery in time before Christmas. I offer local deliveries and collection. Please get in touch for more details.

Recently we helped a local family with BBC DIY SOS.

Haus Maids Cheltenham

Outstanding domestic cleaning in Cheltenham and surrounding areas.

Welcome to our Cheltenham office! We specialise in residential cleaning for homes in Cheltenham and surrounding villages, on a regular or one off basis. Domestic cleaning, laundry and ironing services are provided by our team of highly trained employed cleaners to provide an outstanding quality home cleaning service every time we visit.

Local Director Linnet Mosforth previously lived in Germany and worked as a director in the retail industry, managing teams and providing excellent customer service on a day to day basis. After moving to the UK with her family in 2011, she independently worked as a domestic home cleaner, delivering the highest standard of cleaning to a variety of clients in the Cheltenham area.

Linnet Comments “Having worked as a cleaner myself enables me to pass on my knowledge from many years to my team of maids, to help them deliver the best possible results. We aim to provide complete customer satisfaction and strive to deliver the best cleaning service in Cheltenham. I pride myself in providing outstanding customer care with guaranteed results every time. As with all Haus Maids offices I understand every customer is unique and we tailor our service to meet those requirements. I’m proud to own the Haus Maids Cheltenham office and look forward to leading the way in domestic cleaning locally.”

Haus Maids Cheltenham offers cleaning to the highest standard every visit, thanks to our 100% Guarantee, nothing is overlooked. We provide a range of professional domestic services that can be tailored to your specific needs and at intervals to suit your life.

Facebook Page:
Telephone: 01242 329000



Bimla's Buzz

I must confess, I’m having sequin withdrawals. This time of year is usually busy with revellers celebrating with turkey dinners sloshed down with glasses of fizz. What I wouldn’t give to be looking forward to a work party, my family get together and that wonderful down period in between Christmas and New Year when nobody knows what day it is, let alone which calorie milestone you have hit that hour. I lost track around mid-July.

Thank the technology heavens for Zoom! My wonderful peers have been reworking their usual festive offerings and have come up with some brilliant activities to do online with your loved ones this season. So fling on your Christmas best, grab yourself a bottle and fire up your computer, and check out my top fun activities for celebrating rather differently in 2020:

  1. A call with virtual Father Christmas – yes an actual real life Santa will sit and chat to your little ones all the way from Lapland (probably via Croydon but they will never know).

  2. Christmas sleepovers – hire beautiful festive theming to delight your mini people for a night with a special twist.

  3. Crafting workshops – anything from decorating baubles to making wreaths from the comfort of your own front room.

  4. Tasting sessions – wine, port, cheese, chocolate, cocktails… the options are endless and getting sloshed is encouraged.

  5. Cook-along with – chefs from all over the region are creating ingredient boxes to go along with live cooking demos. Competitive cooking with Aunty Barbara. Yes please!

  6. Pub quiz and gamification – from the UK's largest virtual quiz to apps that feature competitive selfie taking.

  7. Virtual shows – magicians and comedians up and down the country are using this time to hone their acts for the virtual audience and the results are pretty impressive!

  8. Murder mystery dinner parties with a festive twist – the old favourite has just got a bit more tech savvy. So just who did kill Rudolf in the lounge with the carrot stick?

  9. Live streamed virtual DJ experience – glowsticks at the ready! Tune in to your own personal DJ show live and direct from, well, probably their living room.

  10. And after all of that, joining friends in a meditation yoga on Boxing Day is how I shall be recovering. Honestly, Christmas has never looked so busy!

If you’re after supplier recommendations then please get in touch with me via the Cheltenham Noticeboard. Happy Christmas everyone! XoXo

New Lunch Club

Cheltenham Lifestyle and Business are delighted to announce that from December we are launching a monthly lunch club in partnership with our wonderful friends at GL50 Restaurant.

Dates for your diary

We will kick off with two Christmas parties on Wednesday 16th and Friday 18th December, 12:30-14:30, following Covid-19 guidelines at all times.

To book your place please register here or contact Sian for further details on

Our December lunches will include two fine dining courses and a glass of celebratory Prosecco, plus lots of Christmas joy - £30 per person.

From January we will be running these lunches every second Wednesday of the month.

New events in 2021

Look out for our new Supper Club and special themed events.

So much to look forward to and great opportunities to meet, network and connect with fabulous people at some of our fantastic local venues.

Sian x


Can I just talk Christmas Day attire please?

by Sarah Cross, Stylist & Wardrobe Editor @myvosuk

I’m going to keep it short and straight to the point. The Party Season in a pandemic is not party season as usual. Office parties and group gatherings are likely to be on Zoom, any real meet ups will be minimal numbers and specific times that don’t overrun with time losing cheer, and it’s our dearest friends and families who are important to us this year. However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t bother. In fact, I believe we will all bother that little bit more, because the truth is Christmas Day is the only event that has not been cancelled this year!

So, let’s dress for the occasion - or more precisely let’s prepare to dress for several 'Mini Christmas Days' because that may well be the reality of managing to see all our loved ones safely.

There are many different ideas about what a Christmas outfit should look like. Some of us dress up in sparkles and sequins, others do the Christmas jumper parade, while the strict 'pyjama only' policy maybe your bag (No PJs in public, please!).

The key to making every celebratory meeting, albeit at home or as a visitor, the best it can be is for you to feel special in how you choose to dress. Your 'best' may not be someone else’s. For example, one of my close friends has already ordered family festive PJs in the same design for herself, hubby and 2 children. It is not every woman’s desire to dress in exactly the same outfit as an 8 year old boy. On the other hand, another one of my friends is planning to start her Christmas Day the same way as her wedding day with champagne in one hand while her adult daughter does her make-up for the day while wearing a cocktail dress (she’s obviously not the one cooking the dinner!).

Myself, it’s always a dressy occasion. I personally don’t feel comfortable wearing any sort of slouch wear when I’m sitting at the table with others wining and dining, but I will be wearing slippers on my feet although the rest of me will be dressed up to the nines!

Wherever you stand on the 25th December dress code, my top tip is to be YOU.

Here are 5 outfit guides for 5 different Christmas style personalities. Which one is you, or are you a combination?

  • Max glamour - Take the opportunity that anything goes and simply dress up! When you’re dithering between which jewellery, wear it all. When you’re not sure if it’s too much, go with it. You can be the most glamorous glitterball for the day.

  • A special kind of comfy - Opt for a bright coloured dress that is really comfy, nothing too tight or figure hugging, red or green is great for Christmas, and add a statement gold belt or oversized dress jewellery - you could even use small gold baubles (tastefully).

  • Going for a long walk - Whether you live in town or country or if the weather turns and walking is out of the question, the country walking look is still a great Christmas look - and great for jeans lovers too. Try baby-corduroy, add a waistcoat for layering and make your boots part of the look, even if you have to take them off indoors - which means a super pair of socks will be necessary too to pull this look off.

  • Relaxed with or without children - Lounge wear may be exactly what you want. But my advice is treat yourself to new PJs and look around for the type that make you feel special, don’t just go for your norm. Wrap them up and open them in the morning as a gift to self, or if you are in a household surprise the rest of the family.

  • Being a big kid! - Go on then - reindeer onesie, Mumma Santa, fairy lights halo, dress up like the tree... If it makes you happy just do it, but make sure you enjoy it!

Liv Cotton Flannel Pyjamas £49.50 HUSH


Sainsbury's Christmas spread.
Say Cheese!

Under Pressure

by Debs

I went to the supermarket the other day and as I wandered around I was gripped by a low level panic. Not because I was masked, not because the prices on display seem to increase each and every time, but due to the sheer quantity of Christmas food on the shelves. A strange feeling of having to buy it all. Now! What if they run out of Pigs-In -Blankets? Is Christmas in fact Christmas without the presence of assorted nuts in a festive box (this from a woman who would literally die if she ate them!)? Ludicrously large festive wrapped boxes of chocolates? More mince pies than you can shake a stick at? It was mid-November for goodness sake! I took myself in hand (not literally – that would be inappropriate) and had a quick chat with my inner feeder! I managed to escape with not one single Christmas related item in my trolley, but reader, it was close!

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that, as consumers, we are being played by the big supermarkets. They tap into our psyches with the ‘fear of missing out’, of not providing enough of the things that could make or break our Christmas and that of our families and friends. This year more than ever before, we are holding Christmas (other religious festivals are available) up high as the blazing beacon that will bring back the joy that we are so desperate to experience again.

Why don’t we give ourselves a break? Christmas lunch is just a roast. A posh roast maybe, prepared under the influence of one too many Bloody Marys definitely, but just say we did leave it too late to buy a massively overpriced turkey. Would the world stop turning? No. Supposing there was only one packet of bacon wrapped sausages, just the one tonne of chocolates, only enough booze to sink the front half of The Titanic…

I think the point I’m trying to make is that we don’t have to be slaves to corporate greed. There is no sense in getting into debt for one day. Just. One. Day. The present buying is bad enough, but the consumables we can really rein in. When you do finally get your Christmas food shop – even that phrase feels wrong at this time – please do one thing: put a shopping bag together for the Food Bank, buy a lovely gift for someone whose family has been left broken by COVID, put a care package together for a women’s refuge. Without wanting to sound worthy it will make such a difference. And please – Shop Small & Shop Local.

PS Should you bump into me in Sainsburys wheeling 2 trolleys – please escort me out!

What did Jesus really look like?

by Sal

When I was buying stamps to send out magazines I came across some Christmas ones with Mary and Baby Jesus on and it got me thinking, is this actually how they would have looked?

In 1977, British actor Robert Powell was cast as Jesus for Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, but in reality Jesus was unlikely to have looked much like the blue eyed version those of us who are middled aged grew up with / had a crush on.

What would the real Jesus’ face have been like? In the mummy portraits, the people were Greek-Egyptian, but there was also a large Jewish population in Egypt and some ethnic mixing. The realistic portrayal of their faces are the closest we have to photographs of the people of Jesus’ time and place.

'In 2001 forensic anthropologist Richard Neave created a model of a Galilean man for a BBC documentary, Son of God, working on the basis of an actual skull found in the region. He did not claim it was Jesus's face. It was simply meant to prompt people to consider Jesus as being a man of his time and place, since we are never told he looked distinctive.' BBC

Image from Byzantine era.


Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazareth.

Sunday Post

Mummy Portrait of a young officer.

Wikimedia Commons via

Royal Mail Christmas stamps.

Royal Mail

I Imagine

by Naif Pierre, Author & Artist

I imagine I was pretty apprehensive when I moved to Cheltenham as a fresh unemployed, newly married graduate. It was a rollercoaster ride for everyone, starting with the financial crisis, ending in a double dip recession. I was pretty anxious moving to an area I knew nothing about. I lived in Bishops Cleeve with my mother-in-law and my husband (also sporting that fresh-graduate-deer-in-the-headlights look), while we saved up money to buy a place of our own. Three years later, we did it! We bought a flat in Cheltenham on a first-time buyer's scheme and soon after started our family. That was in summary, how I found myself in Cheltenham, following my husband to the area he grew up in. I came here ultimately for love, but I also stayed here for love too.

Besides the beautiful parks and picturesque hillside vistas, I had no idea what a place like this offered me as a 'creative'. "That's what Bristol and London were for", I would smugly tell myself. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! Cue the theatres, the world-renowned Cheltenham festivals - Music, Jazz and Literature, the Paint Festival, grassroots business start ups and green enterprises, Gloucester Cathedral and Gloucester Guildhall (because it is possible to have a venue that simultaneously hosts a ska concert and jive lessons on sprung Victorian floorboards. Why on earth not?!) It was the privilege of working for venues like these that made me see the historic, artistic and cultural richness of the area I now lived in.

Moreover, it has been a privilege to see Gloucestershire's cultural capital take shape over the years. I imagine despite our current challenges, we will continue to surprise ourselves with our resilience and love for one another. Ultimately people want to be kind, want to live in loving and supportive environments, and want peace of mind. In this way, Gloucestershire has offered me many of these gifts, allowing me to carry on my creative pursuits.

Welcome to 'I imagine' - a column where I talk about my local inspirations and heroes, my work process, challenges and interests. I hope you enjoy it!


Tips for Keeping Skin Young

Top facialist, industry trainer in skincare and medical aesthetics devices, Sonia Norman, gives you her top tips for helping keep skin youthful.

Use SPF 50 or 30 every single day, even in winter! One of my hero products is a beautiful natural tinted SPF and is a Factor 30 - the one I love is called GLO - it’s the best BB crème I have found. It gives a touch of colour and coverage, but filters out that ageing UV as people often forget to protect their skin in the winter.

Next tip is thorough cleansing at night, it can be easy to NOT do this, especially late at night when we are tired, and it can feel like a chore. Without proper cleansing, skin cannot breathe, pores can block and skin can appear sluggish and congested. Never use skin wipes but do use a foamy or creamy cleanser and rinse well with warm water.

Exfoliate once a week only as a minimum, though oily skin can take a bit more exfoliation. I like to use AHAs for this alpha hydroxy acids or light fruit peels, if you have sensitive skin and cheeks prone to redness, or slight red veins, never use a scrub.

A good moisturiser for face and neck should be twice daily; try and find ones that contain hyaluronic acid, sounds scary but it’s really just our own skin’s lubricant, by the time we are 60 we only have 10% of it left.

Serums that are really great are ones that contain high a % vitamin C and ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin B5 and retinol. 

I also love peptides and growth factors that really help keep skin rejuvenating and youthful. Epidermal growth factors are very exciting in skin care and can help the skin cells become more efficient at regenerating. Often they are called EFGs on the packet.

A good facial massage will also help your whole skin circulation; you can do this yourself with rose skin oil. I sometimes do this late at night before bed, once make up removed. 

MASKNE! = Mask & Acne. I have found so many clients coming to me with spots, breakouts and congestion and during COVID-19 due to wearing of masks – skin cannot breathe as normal. My solution is BLUE and red light LED therapy and the occasional chemical peel; they can be so effective to getting skin clear again. Other wonderful tip is a silk mask as it lets the skin breathe.

I would absolutely recommend a good skincare regime and regular 6 weekly facials. The Medi-facial is very much the thing right now as they are truly results based, combining state of the art cosmeceutical ingredients to get right to the skin cell and work, and very often combining innovative science based devices.

I love to combine treatments with radio frequency, or LED light therapy, or 'wound to heal' treatments like Tixel, which can take years off the skin, all non-invasively, by stimulating your own collagen.

I hope you like these skin tips!

About Cheltenham Facials & Therapies

Sonia Norman is the owner of Cheltenham Facials and Therapies.

Cheltenham Facials and Therapies offers everything you would find in a top London aesthetics clinic but at half the London prices. We have non-surgical treatments, long lasting results to lift and sculpt the face.

One of the most popular treatments is Tixel for dramatic 10 years younger skin and eyes, especially as it is non-invasive with minimal downtime and long lasting results (up to 18 months).

A full range of facials using the latest techniques and science is offered, but with a difference as all of them are personalised to your skin type and requirement. Many facials come with LED red light therapy too. All facials deliver dramatic results as well as being pampering and relaxing. They really are facials with a difference. A perfect marriage of the medical meets spa in a facial. We stock growth factor serums and all products in the online shop including the award winning GLO SPFs. Personalised facials with proven results, using cutting edge devices and innovative medical skincare.


What is driving you?

by Janie Whittemore of The Healing Company

Sometimes we can act in ways that take us by surprise. Perhaps something triggers you and you wonder, as you look back at the event, why did I get so angry?

Sometimes you might feel inexplicably sad when you hear a piece of music or smell a certain fragrance. The brain is such a powerful computer and takes a ‘snapshot’ of every component within your traumatic memory. The colours, the weather, objects around, smells, sounds, people – and when a situation occurs later in life that is recognised as being from one of these snapshots, it makes a quick connection to it for you to be able to act accordingly. This may mean that you are saved from doing something painful as your brain signals danger, only on this occasion it might be a perfectly innocuous situation and yet your body still goes into full on flight/fright/panic. Not helpful! Like standing up to give a speech as an adult, then suddenly being taken over by the fear of being laughed at - because that once happened to you at the age of six.

The good news is, we can re-wire the brain so that it doesn’t sabotage our efforts when we need to lead a normal life. I often use the analogy of a man who was in a bad car accident, and the woman that came running to help happened to be wearing a red coat. From then, that colour was locked into his brain to signal danger, fear, accident, death, stay away, etc. He had no idea why in later life the colour red would make him feel panicky and sick. The brain had carefully stored away the visual of that red colour, along with the fear and physiological accompanying symptoms to be reproduced when alerted. Of course, the purpose of the system here is protection from harm, but it can be a little over zealous.

Another example is that of a confident, successful guy who only recently just couldn’t get in the ski lift and his claustrophobia got worse and worse. Turns out that there was a story from his past that he did not even know he remembered, until his session with me. He was aged about seven and at school, when his friends decided to play ‘pile-up’ – that game where you jump on top of one another in a big pile. He found himself at the very bottom, unable to breathe. He was begging his best friend who was right on top of him for help, trying to say that he couldn’t breathe… but he couldn’t speak, and he thought he was going to die. We worked successfully to undo this fear and reset the brain, so that this chap could go on holiday or get in a ski lift or any lift without worry, knowing that the fear was from the past and just stuck in a loop in his brain.

If you want to get to the root and stop the loop of frustrating feelings and emotions, I have quick and efficient tools that will really make a difference to your life.

Janie Whittemore is a therapist and healer and can be reached at The Healing Company, Cheltenham.

Finding Your Flow in 2021

by Philippa Gray & Bertie Ekperigin of The Rise & Shine Academy

No-one can deny, that 2020 has been a ‘fizzer’ of a year, leaving people feeling stressed and apathetic. A year of just surviving and not thriving.

Read on, if you want 2021 to be more joyful!

Did you know there is a place called Flow? A place that can bring you ultimate joy and happiness, feeling as though you have landed in some kind of 'sweet spot'?

The Flow State is what athletes would call 'Being in the ZONE!' It’s where time stands still and you’re in the moment, totally absorbed in what you are doing. When you find your Flow, you are in a place of optimal experience, engaged and absorbed in an activity or a task.

There are two key elements to reaching the Flow State: The CHALLENGE and SKILL levels of the action are both high enough to STRETCH you, but not enough to stress you. The task is simply something that you LOVE doing.

To find this Flow State, start by creating a list of all the things you loved to do when you were a kid. Consider your childhood passions, the activities you enjoyed, your favourite toys and books. The key to your joy lies here. You can reclaim your feelings of joy and purpose.

We see Flow as an equation: PASSION + PURPOSE = JOY

For more about living a life of joy and ease visit us at

The Rise & Shine Academy
Helping You Befriend Stress and live a more Purposeful Joyful Life!
Exciting new courses coming in January 2021!

Image by Liz Wall

Tips for a Positive Mindset in 2021

  1. Clarity. What is it you want to create in 2021? Focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. This is super powerful as it helps you to get clear on what actions to take. Once you have the clarity, notice what shows up, take action and move forward in faith.

  2. Protect your energy. Surround yourself with positive influences. Think about who you interact with and what information you consume. Who or what makes you feel good? Who or what drains you or makes you feel flat?

  3. Spend time with the people who lift you up and who are non-judgmental and reduce the time you spend watching the news.

  4. Focus on what you can control. Sounds obvious but make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthily and moving your body. If our sleep is out of balance it impacts everything especially our food choices and mindset.

  5. Observe your thoughts. Your thoughts are energy so choose them wisely. Decide which ones you would like to give power and momentum to. Transformation happens from the inside out and your outer reality is a reflection of your inner world.

  6. Have gratitude. An attitude of gratitude attracts more great things to us. Notice all the positive things in your life and take time daily to be thankful for them.

Know you were made for more? Or need help overcoming your fears? Claire helps people who are addicted to being busy to slow down, realign with their hearts and business so they can earn more and have a juicy fulfilling life that they love.

Claire Doré
Intuitive Mindset Coach
Tel: 07917117606

Connect with me on Facebook: Claire Dore
Join my Facebook group: Business women who take themselves on.
Connect on Linkedin: Claire Doré
Follow me on Instagram: @theclairedore


Meet Local Business Owner Jess Whittle

Cynneth at Penny Red Media speaks to Jess Whittle of Jess A Little Creative.

Hi Jess, thanks so much for your time today. Tell us about how you came about starting 'Jess A Little Creative'.

Hey, thanks for inviting me along! It all started from a massive love of patterns. Patterns on clothing, fabrics, packaging, interiors, tiles... You name it, if it’s highly decorated, it will capture my imagination.

2 years ago, I took part in 36 Days of Type, a creative challenge set on Instagram to produce a full alphabet of letters and numbers over the course of 36 days. I decided to use my love of patterns and create some hand-drawn, highly detailed, patterned lettering. It was a great excuse to get away from the computer and create something by hand, and everyone who I showed the letters to really loved them. But then they just sat in a cupboard at home.

During lockdown, I had a lot more time on my hands, and I saw so many people taking to social media with all their creative outputs, and it inspired me to do something with my letters. So I started creating again. A few friends told me I should be trying to sell them, or share them somewhere, and as a massive fan of greeting cards myself, it seemed a logical medium to start with. So that’s basically where Jess A Little Creative was born!

Jess says about being self employed: ' something you really really really really love. Because it is hard…'

You can read the full interview here:

Looking Gorgeous Together

Daniella at OMmaZing Chocolates (the most delicious hand made truffles) ordered some bespoke OM cards from Jess A Little Creative to go with her gift boxes, and we got a whole load of HELLO ones done to enclose with our magazines when we need to include a note.

Jess is always happy to create a design just for you.

Here are Jess's cards with personalised Christmas stockings by Thea's Room and a copper heart by JWB Plumbing.


Mind Your Own Business

Did you know that there's a plant called 'Mind Your Own Business'? Real name Soleirolia (genus) soleirolii (species). I noticed one in my stepmum's kitchen and asked what it was, to which I was told to mind my own business. She then explained the same thing had happened to her at a friend's house. 'Rozanne's not normally like that', she said. That's when she discovered there's actually a plant with this brilliant name. She had to have one, so she could tell people to mind their own business regularly.

The BBC's gardening section say: 'Best known as an indoor plant, Baby's Tears, or Mind Your Own Business, makes an attractive and maintenance-free alternative to grass as ground cover in moist, shady areas. It will tolerate sun or shade. Frost hardy, its leaves are killed by winter frost, but it will recover to grow vigorously in spring.'

Our gardening expert, Emma Reuvers, says: 'Mind Your Own Business is a gorgeous little foliage plant that can be used indoors and out. It is the perfect groundcover plant for those dark and difficult outdoor areas, particularly damp and shady courtyards. Allow it to creep between the gaps in paving stones, or cascade down a damp wall.'

Meet our gardening expert...

Emma Reuvers is a keen gardener who has set up her own business Wild Edge Garden Design to help people achieve their dream garden without charging the earth. (See what we did there?)

'As a garden designer based in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, I have a passion for creating sustainable, functional and beautiful outdoor spaces. I believe that, as our lives become increasingly hectic, our green spaces are more important than ever.

A well planned and thought out garden can become that much needed oasis – whether it is somewhere to quietly relax and read a book, to entertain family and friends on sunny days, a space for children to play or simply habitat for the birds, hedgehogs, butterflies and bees that make up our much needed garden wildlife.

​Having dabbled in the world of gardening and permaculture for over 10 years I finally made the decision to change my career completely, and in July 2017 I graduated with a distinction from the Cotswold Gardening School and received a diploma in professional garden design. From here I set up Wild Edge Garden Design, a garden design business based in Cheltenham with a focus on sustainable, thoughtful and beautiful designs.

​2020 saw me entering into the third year of this exciting new journey. I am constantly excited to use my skills and passion to help others to create their own dream gardens. Sustainability, biodiversity and the ways that we, as gardeners, can work towards making our living, everyday environment a better place are more important than ever. Get in touch with me today to find out what you can do to create your own garden oasis.'

Image by Hayley Pearson.

Creating your ultimate outdoor space

Wild Edge Garden Design

Contact Emma to book your garden consultation:


The Spring Garden

Winter can be tough. Especially winters where we are confined to our homes, unable to get out and socialise as we normally would. Over the last few months I've found that nature has been what has kept me balanced and calm. When the world around seems to be getting a little too dark, taking some time out for a little bit of gardening never fails to brighten my day.

Thankfully winter always leads into spring. And the spring garden is an amazing place. There is no end to the wonder felt as the sun slowly starts to warm and new shoots emerge. Leaves uncurling on trees and hesitant buds pushing up through the soil. There are lots of tasks to be done to prepare your garden for spring. I've listed my top five below:

  1. Cut back last year's herbaceous perennials and lift and divide any congested clumps of established perennials.

  2. Remove any weeds as they appear.

  3. Mow the lawn if the day is dry and warm and there is no frost due.

  4. Plant out new shrubs and perennials. When choosing new plants for your garden be sure to select plants that will suit the situation you are planting in. Have a think about their value for wildlife and how they will fit with your existing plants.

  5. Help birds with their nest-building by tying up bundles of small twigs and dried moss near your bird feeders.


Samm Browne

Wendy Collins

Colin J Davidson

Michelle Cook

Tracie Emery

Lauren Gosling

Bethany Kent

Nicola Kirkman

Jordan Lawrence

Leah Maddiss

Fiona Modget

James Molloy

Cohen Panayiotis

What a wonderful collection of local images taken by members of the Cheltenham Noticeboard Facebook group. Next month's cover image will be from a Bournside School student - but we don't know which one yet! Competition entries are added to a poll after the closing date and group members will be able to vote for their favourite. If you are joining the group to place your vote, make sure to let us know you received this magazine when you answer the joining questions. It's good to know how new members have found us.


Mr Plumberman Boilers & Bathrooms

Known on Facebook as Mr Plumberman, Mark Wijesinghe provides high quality, dependable boiler and bathroom fitting and maintenance services, generally by word of mouth recommendations. Drop him an email to to enquire, ideally with photographs of the bathroom, boiler or room location in question.

Mark works in and around the Cheltenham area. He may be able to attend emergency call-outs, subject to availability.

'He can do anything and his easygoing personality makes him a pleasure to have around.' Shan Weerasiri


Make Your Own Message in a Bottle

with Jo Betteridge

It’ll be a funny old Christmas this year, so here’s a crafty idea for sending Christmas magic to loved ones who can’t be with you. Sting would approve. You can also use these cute little bottles as place name markers at the Christmas table or to ‘send’ messages to children from the fairies, Santa’s Little Helpers or even from the big ole’ red fella himself!

You’ll need: Craft bottles (£1 set of three, The Range), craft sand/sequins/glitter, trinket for embellishment, ribbon/string, tags, paper to write on. I chose everything in natural materials and neutral colours to match my Christmas table, but you can put your personal touch to them to match your own theme.

  1. Firstly, cut your paper small enough to fit in the bottle when rolled up. Write your message on it, roll it up tight and tie with ribbon or string.

  2. Pour a little of your glitter, sand or whatever you’re using into the bottle using rolled up paper as a funnel. Pop the scroll in the bottle ensuring the ribbon is long enough to pull the scroll out.

  3. Write the recipient’s name on the label and tie it - along with the embellishment if using - round the bottle neck.

If you’re gifting your messages in a bottle, you could even put them in little organza bags. These are guaranteed to make your loved ones far more emosh than a mere Christmas Day text will!

Love Jo x

Adjoa's Artwork

I was joining in with a Twitter conversation the other night and noticed Beverley Adjoa chipping in with a link to her Instagram telling people to go and look at her artwork.

I thought it was so lovely that I asked if we could use it in the magazine. Beverley kindly sent these images over. She takes commissions if you'd like one done in her eyecatching style.

Art by Beverley Adjoa (Ah-ju-waa) London, UK


Tax Advice from Jane Gray at Charlton Gray

That time of year is looming large… no not Christmas but the dreaded 31 January Self Assessment deadline for the 5 million or so self employed.

Don’t forget if you deferred your July 2020 payment on account you will need to pay this plus the balancing payment by 31 January. If you are going to struggle to pay in full the Chancellor announced in September a 'Time to Pay' plan which can cover the tax deferred from July plus the payment owed in January – the application is online. If you are in a panic and your record keeping is not up to scratch (box of receipts anyone?) then get in touch for a no obligation chat about your books and Self Assessment and let us take the strain.


Recipe of the Month

Eat a Christmas Rainbow

by Andy Tibbs of Poco Culina

A nut roast is of course the default for a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner. Does it really have to be that somewhat dried up slab of something like softened chip board? No, of course it doesn’t. This Christmas dinner suggestion is bursting with colour, vibrancy, protein and nutritional punch. At the same time, you will not be asking for seconds, I guarantee it. Neither will you be reaching for the mince pies by the time the Queen has said her Christmas day piece. You will be, to be frank, stuffed!

So, there’s a few ingredients in here you probably won’t have in stock everyday, but hey it’s Christmas right?

To serve 4-6 people

For the nut loaf:

  • 200g red lentils

  • 1 red onion finely chopped

  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped (hang on to the oil!)

  • 2 large cloves of crushed garlic

  • 50g dried cranberries

  • 100g chopped mixed nuts

  • 100g of chopped chestnuts

  • 50g of mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, flaxseed etc)

  • 1.5 tsp of dried Herbes de Provençe

  • 1sp maple syrup

  • 1 medium carrot finely grated

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp sweet, smoked paprika

  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.


1. Cook the red lentils in plenty of boiling water for 15 minutes until soft, drain with a mesh sieve.

2. Heat the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a sauté pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes until they just brown. Add all the other ingredients except the dried herbs and spices and stir well to combine. Add the dried herbs, spices and salt and pepper.

3. Line a large loaf tin (approximately20cm x 10cm) with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly with the back of a fork. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees, gas mark 4 for around 55 minutes. Test by inserting sharp knife or skewer, which should come out clean when the loaf is cooked. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning the loaf out and slicing.

Loaf topping

This can be prepared in advance, reheated and added to the top of the loaf after baking.

  • 250g of chestnut mushrooms

  • 250g of baby leaf spinach

  • 1 sweet potato, baked and mashed

  • A good squeeze of lemon juice

  • A pinch of nutmeg

  • A few good twists of freshly ground black pepper

  • A few dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften

  • A few whole walnuts

  • A handful of pomegranate seeds

  • A handful of fresh parsley roughly chopped


1. Pop the sweet potato in the oven with the nut roast and bake for 30-35 minutes in its skin until soft.

2. Sauté the mushrooms in a cooking oil of your choice for around 5 minutes until they brown, turn off the heat and toss in the spinach until it wilts, stirring together with the mushrooms at the same time. Scrape the cooked potato into the pan, mashing with the spatula as you go. Add the lemon juice, black pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine. Spread the mixture in a thick layer onto the nut loaf and decorate with the cranberries, walnuts, pomegranate and half the roughly chopped parsley.

3. Arrange the topped nut loaf on a warmed serving platter and surround with roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, squashes, potatoes, celeriac, swede, even a few cherry tomatoes etc) and your winter greens – broccoli, purple sprout tops, sprouts, black kale (cavalo nero), fine green beans etc and serve with a jug of rich onion and red wine gravy. Toss the remains of the parsley over the vegetables.

Bon appetit!

Dreamy Dessert

If you prefer fresh, airy and creamy tasting desserts for your Christmas dinner, try this fabulous recipe from Lucy's Indulgence.


For sponge:

3 free range eggs - room temperature
45g brown sugar
75g spelt flour or any white flour

For the filling:

2 x cans of mandarin segments in juice, drained but reserving the juice
2 x mascarpone cream cheese
3 tbsp Greek style yogurt
1 tsp vanilla beans or essence

For gelatine:

Mandarin juice from 2 cans
4 tbs white granulated sugar
3 tbsp potato starch


1. Heat over to 180'C, line base of 24cm form cake tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Using an electric whisk beat the egg whites and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg yolks in one at a time and whisk well again. Add sifted flour, use a spatula and mix until combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 15 minutes. Then leave to cool down completely.

3. Filling method: In a bowl mix mascarpone cream cheese, icing sugar, white Greek style yogurt and vanilla essence. Use a spatula and mix well. Spoon about one third of this into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and set aside. Spread the rest of the cream over the sponge.

4. Drain mandarins, but reserve the juice.

5. Arrange all mandarine segments over the cream.

6. Gelatine method: Use all juice, add white granulated sugar and potato starch. Mix it well, then heat in a saucepan until hot and combined. Warm, but not too hot pour over the mandarin segments.

7. Let it cool down and pipe swirls of the cream around the edge. Place in the fridge overnight to set.

Introducing The Foodworks Luxury Hamper Collection

Christmas All Wrapped Up!

We have carefully selected a range of delicious indulgent products from the Cotswolds to create three unique Christmas hampers for 2020. Our hampers make the perfect Christmas gift to spoil friends, family and colleagues or the perfect thank you gift for clients. All the products are sourced from high quality producers from the Cotswolds, many award winning businesses.

Our ethos is very much to support local.

Our Hampers include a selection of fine wines and spirits, artisan gifts, delicious seasonal fare, with a touch of pampering and indulgence. All beautifully presented in our manilla and grey ribboned hamper boxes. You may like to upgrade your Hamper with one of our cookery course gift vouchers which are valid for a year.

Postage is an additional, please may we request you contact one of our team for a quote. A collection service is available from The Foodworks, Colesbourne Park Estate, Gloucestershire GL53 9NP. We offer free local (20 miles) delivery with orders of over four hampers.

The Cotswold Piccolo £135.00

The Cotswold Gentleman’s Hamper £185.00

The Luxury Cotswold Hamper £225.00

Make Christmas easy for yourself this year! To order please email or call 01242 870538 / 07870112976.

Foodworks Hampers:

Foodworks Gift Vouchers:


Lovely feedback!

'I have already had three enquiries from the Facebook ads and one from this magazine for estimates so far - two have been successful which is a great result in these times.' Linnet Mosforth, Haus Maids Cheltenham


A brilliant service to breathe new life into your car seats, buggies (obvs!) and complete travel systems. Natalie is SO good that she has been asked in the past if she'd used two different seats to show a before and after... she hadn't... biggest compliment ever! She really is that thorough! (Bottom right hand picture!) Let her get to grips with the ground-in bread sticks and spilled drink stains - and have new pride in your pram!

'After 4 years in the attic I debated whether I needed to replace all the coverings on the pram but then I came across Buggy Clean. I’m so pleased with the results, it looks like a new pram set and car seat! Great communication from the start, if definitely recommend.' Carley Jones

'Natalie has completely transformed our Uppababy G-luxe and Littlelife toddler backpack, which had been left in the garage and sadly gone mouldy. Both look incredible and like new again. I would recommend anyone to BuggyClean especially if you have a baby on the way or you have something that needs some TLC.' Kate Wood

'Car seat, pram and pushchair Immaculate! Literally like brand new. Thank you!' Charlotte Bedeau

'What can I say?! After a year of neglect in the garage I didn't think my pram would be able to be used again but it looks brand new! I'm absolutely amazed. It looks beautiful. What an amazing job you've done, thank you so much!' Beth Bond

'Wouldn't hesitate to recommend, this lady works so hard to provide an excellent service to her customers and the pictures speak for themselves. She clearly loves this job and takes great pride in it and it is lovely she makes so many people happy.' Charlie Kawczynski


Community & Lifestyle

Cheltenham Animal Shelter
01242 523521

Gloucestershire Constabulary
101 for non-emergency enquiries; 999 for emergencies.

Mark Wijesinghe Bathrooms & Boilers 07717 741075

Property - Morgan Associates Ltd
01242 514285

Ollie's Lock & Safe Locksmiths
07725 338705

Business & Legal

Hooble - a helping hand with technology. Special offer web domains.
0333 577 6060

Rosie Reynolds Marketing
07967 832856

The Growth Hub
01242 715400

Festival Law for Personal Injury and Medical Negligence compensation claims. 01242 633775

The Divorce Manager - matrimonial law specialist for amicable divorce. 0800 294 0452


Some of the local businesses listed in our directory have added a coupon code giving our readers a special discount.

Visit the Coupons page to find out what they are:


Thank you for your support, making it possible for us to keep this magazine, our groups and social media platforms going. We LOVE working with our advertisers and are proud of every single one of the directory members. Thank you, readers, for inspiring us to create something interesting and useful, and the lovely feedback from previous months.