Summer sun - something's begun.

Last season's cover photograph was by Charlie Millward

What's in this month's issue

  • Community News & Stories

  • Featured Local Organisation

  • TV Recommendations & The Reading Room

  • Meet Our New Members

  • Community News, Reviews, Features & Articles

  • Style

  • Wellbeing

  • Home & Garden

  • Arts & Culture

  • Pets Corner

  • Meet A Local Business Owner

  • Coupon Codes & Special Offers

  • Useful Numbers

Note from the editors.

Cheltenham Lifestyle & Business started in print last summer, and what a year it's been!

In so many ways, the people of Cheltenham and particularly its health and keyworkers, have pulled together with a wartime spirit throughout the crisis. By the time this magazine reaches you we hope that you are healthy and enjoying the easing of restrictions. As the sun visits our gardens, parks and countryside, we will all no doubt be breathing sighs of relief. If you have suffered a loss or difficulty amongst your family and friends due to the virus or the related measures, our hearts go out to you at this poignant time of grief and recovery.

We apologise for any offence caused in last month's Meet The Owner interview. This issue's questions and answers are a lot tamer.

You can find us on Instagram @CheltenhamNoticeboard


Stuart & Esther's Fundraiser

Chantal: Holding fire on this until the last moment as it's coming out in a newspaper and they wanted the exclusive.

Stuart (age 39) was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. It came completely out of the blue and has turned their world upside down.

What started as head aches and confusion, quickly developed into stroke type symptoms and then on 24 January 2021 following MRI scans and a tumour being identified, it was diagnosed as a stage 4 Glioblastoma. Initial treatment plans have had to change quickly due to its aggressive nature and whilst an operation now isn't practical at the minute, Stu has started chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink this to then review the options as soon as possible.

The sheer bravery and determination shown by Stu and Esther is staggering. They decided to get married, giving them both something positive to focus on, both now and in the weeks and months ahead. Their wedding was quickly planned and prepared (in just 36 hours) and they had an amazing day, but even their wedding night was not theirs to celebrate as Stu had to go back into Southmead Hospital to have a biopsy taken straight after the ceremony.

Whilst Stu & Esther (the now Mr & Mrs Bathers) are working tirelessly with doctors and their teams and are optimistic, treatment is going to be tough and prolonged and will mean that they won't be able to work as they would normally for some time to come. A thought was that maybe their friends and family can do our bit and offer some help by contributing to a fund to cover some living expenses to help take the pressure off this amazing couple and let Stu concentrate on his treatment and recovery. Stuart and Esther have been blown away by the well wishes, prayers and kind gestures from everyone. 'When it is darkest, those we love give us light'

Understandably this is a delicate situation but PLEASE donate what you can (anonymously if you wish) and remember to share the link.

UPDATE: It’s fair to say that what started off as a wonderful year, leaving the crazy year of 2020 behind and seeing the new year in with a 'cheers', since the end of January Stuart and his wife Esther’s lives have been on a giant rollercoaster, with treatment plans, diet changes and alternative therapy/medicine appointments, all whilst still coming to terms with the magnitude of the situation and the fight that lies ahead. Although doctors and Stuart's medical team are pleased with the progress Stuart's made in how he's responded to his initial phase of chemo/radiotherapy, it is sadly a fact that this approach alone will not eradicate what we had all hoped.


As you can imagine, Esther along with their families & close friends have been tirelessly researching alternative options available, reaching out to specialists across the globe to find out what can be used (alongside and integrated with the fantastic treatment he is receiving from the NHS oncology team) to help prolong Stuart's life and treat this disgusting disease. Stu has now completed his 6 weeks of intense radiotherapy to his brain along with Temozolomide chemotherapy & is currently on a 4 week break before he starts his next round of intense chemo, so it's time for us to act now. We have no time to lose...

Against the odds, we have discovered some remarkable treatments that have helped many people who have the same cancer as Stu and are now in remission. One involves DNA sequencing only available in a clinic in Germany, to produce a bespoke peptide immunotherapy vaccine to essentially give his own body a supercharge and the best possible chance to fight this disease from the inside. Unfortunately this treatment, alongside others, are not covered by our NHS and come at a high cost. For the evaluation of the biopsy the cost is 10,000 Euros. After this the treatment itself is 47,000 Euros. This is where we come in. The ‘Just Giving’ page was started up as a way to take some financial pressure off Stu and Esther whilst they are unable to work. Esther and Stu are truly overwhelmed by the support and Stuart, in particular, couldn’t comprehend the kindness and generosity shown towards him. However, the game has now changed and we need your support more than ever. As a group of friends, family and well-wishers, can we all dig a little bit deeper and give whatever we can towards a new total with a new objective that will allow for this treatment alongside a few others to happen?

Once again, please donate whatever you can and critically PLEASE SHARE THE JUSTGIVING PAGE far and wide, on social media, text message, WhatsApp, word of mouth… everywhere! This is our chance to offer just a little bit more help to the most incredible man and remarkable couple. Stuart is a wonderful son, brother, husband, uncle, cousin and a friend to many. He is so funny, intelligent and above all the most caring and genuine man (not to mention a great handyman).

Finally, as if this weren’t incentive enough to donate, Stuart and Esther have started IVF treatment to bring a baby Bathers into this world, to be able to continue with their life plans and give them a positive focus for the future. We hope the treatments planned along with your support will enable Stuart's fight to continue, so he is able to create the happy memories that were always planned for them both in starting and raising a family. A Facebook page and Instagram account have been created so that you can track Stuarts’ treatments and progress, but also as a way of sharing the immense amount of information and research that Esther, Stuarts sister Laura and others have discovered and that is largely unknown, in a hope this may help others going through their own similar and difficult journey. Follow to keep updated. Instagram: stuart_blasting_glioblastoma

OMmaZing Chocs for Amazing Staff

2000 chocolate truffles were made by Daniella at OMmaZing Chocolates during January and February and very generously donated by her client (who wished to remain anonymous) to the intensive care Covid unit staff at Gloucester Royal and Cheltenham hospitals to cheer them up.

We should also mention that Daniella has a Chocolate Club so you can receive a box of her truffles every month. You have to try the dark sour cherry ones - so tangy!



Walk with Amal

July to November 2021. One little girl. One BIG hope.

Earlier in the year we met with Maha and Isabel from Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees who told us about 'The Walk'.

Little Amal, a young refugee, embarks on a remarkable journey - an epic voyage that will take her across Turkey, across Europe. To find her mother. To get back to school. To start a new life. Will the world let her? Can she achieve what now seems more impossible than ever?

Good Chance, in collaboration with world-famous creators of War Horse Handspring Puppet Company, presents its most extraordinary work yet: The Walk – a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees, with Artistic Direction from Amir Nizar Zuabi.

From the Syria-Turkey border all the way to the UK, The Walk brings together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations to create one of the most innovative and adventurous public artworks ever attempted. At the heart of The Walk is ‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl, created by the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Little Amal will travel over 8,000km embodying the urgent message 'Don’t forget about us'.

At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an extraordinary artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story, who are more vulnerable than ever during the global crisis.

Little Amal needs your help to advocate for and support young refugees. You can support The Walk by donating today.

Cheltenham Welcome Refugees:

UK Refugee Week: (14-20 June 2021)

The Daisy Palmer Trust

Daisy Palmer suffers from an incredibly rare and debilitating illness known as Chronic Intestine Pseudo-Obstruction (CIPs). This means she cannot eat anything at all orally and is instead fully reliant on being fed intravenously directly via her heart. She currently spends almost all her life attached to her feeding machine. Most days she needs to be hooked up to it for 18 hours, which doesn't leave a lot of time to do much else once she is disconnected. Days out and holidays are extremely limited, simply due to the time and sheer logistics of transporting all her medicines, feed and equipment. You can read Daisy's story here:

Raise FREE donations for Daisy Palmer Trust by using easyfundraising. Over 4,500 online retailers including John Lewis & Partners, Argos, Uswitch, eBay and M&S are ready to give a free donation every time you shop online. Plus, once you’ve signed up and raised £5 in donations, easyfundraising will give us an extra £5 bonus donation.

This is SO easy, and doesn’t cost you anything but various donations add up, and in this case, hugely important for wonderful Daisy. She's incredibly inspirational despite her illness and is now becoming a talented artist, which has truly been a life saver for her. You can follow her on Facebook. Please look at 'Easy Fundraising' which is also helpful to many other charities! Thank you for reading - it is a really simple way to help your chosen charities whilst shopping online. Every little helps.


Image from Oprah Magazine.


On Netflix. Review by Debs Willis.

Vivid costumes, amazing colours, captivating stories that unfold with perfect timing, laced with a dash of sauciness.

Based on a series of eight novels by Julia Quinn, commissioned by Netflix and produced by Shondra Rhimes, Bridgerton galloped onto our screens (well, my screen) showing its fine pedigree from the off. A fabulous mix of well-known faces and some exceptional new ones, this is feel good television at its finest. It is a slightly unusual costume drama; there is wonderful, diverse casting, jiggling buttocks (within the first four minutes) and magical string quartets playing modern covers from Ariana Grande to Maroon 5. There are brilliant comedic touches, and quite-a-lot-of-sex!

Set in 1813, London is looking beautiful in its springtime wardrobe and ‘The Season’ is about to start. We are fed tit-bits of gossip and ensuing scandal by the mysterious scandal sheet author – Lady Whistledown – voiced by Her Majesty Julie Andrews.

I am guessing a lot of you will have watched this already, and if not, why not?! Season 2 is in production now (sadly without the incredibly handsome Rege-Jean Page) and Seasons 3 and 4 have been confirmed recently.


On Netflix. Review by Laura Stokes.

Like many others I watched the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy with my mouth hanging open in horror and vowed never to eat fish or seafood again.

The documentary, directed and narrated by British film maker Ali Tabrizi, focuses on the huge impact of commercial fishing; from by catch, to the damage done to the sea bed, to the plastic pollution the industry leaves in the oceans, as well as bringing to light the fact that, by its very nature, commercial fishing cannot prove the provenance of what is caught and that there is no such thing as ‘dolphin friendly’ fishing.

However, whilst the images and content – the culling of dolphins, the mutilation of sharks and the general raping and pillaging of the oceans – made for undeniably harrowing viewing, a 90-minute documentary cannot possibly cover all the nuanced factors that are contributing to the decimation of oceanic wildlife.

I believe it’s an important film to watch but to remember that it is a film, Seaspiracy has been edited to show the brutality and devastation in order to keep viewers watching but I see it as a huge wakeup call. The statistic that the worlds oceans will be empty of wildlife by 2050 is shocking and frightening and apparently fact checked to be accurate.

As the human population continues to grow and our demand for food increases, the only way we can survive is to be more mindful and sustainable in our consumerism. My biggest take away from the documentary is that we need to consume less of everything.


The Impulsive Explorer by Karen Espley

Reviewed by Laura Stokes.

Karen Espley guides us on her journey starting from a shaky childhood, via the freedom of university and into the corporate chasm of the 1990s. We follow our impulsive explorer as she stands full height (all 5’2” of it) and faces childhood trauma, depression and sexism to head off on the adventure she’d always dreamt of.

As she joins a research trip to Antarctica, Karen’s descriptive writing and humour brings to life the colourful characters she meets along the way, together with the bleak Russian base camp, partying with the Uruguayans, pizza fuelled nights of salsa dancing and encounters with smelly penguins, angry sea lions and ferocious skuas. The confined living quarters, different personalities and difficult group dynamics are balanced by stunning scenery, once in a lifetime events and wonderful memories shared from what was clearly a life altering experience.

I had the privilege of reading this delightfully honest and exhilarating tale before publication and Karen’s friendly tone as she describes her physical and mental journey makes it feel as though you’re with an old friend; it’s one of those books you want to read from beginning to end in one glorious go.

Alexander's Relations by Roger Stokes

Reviewed by his daughter Laura Stokes

Alexander’s Relations tells the story of a group of friends, who come together as teenagers in the swinging 60s when they play together in a band at local venues; whilst their personalities wouldn’t normally click their love of the band and the music means they stick together for life. We are taken on a journey following their trajectory from the carefree and hedonistic early days through the decades to their modern day lives, which finds them middle aged and all ever so slightly changed whilst maintaining their individual characteristics.

Taking in the highs and lows of the friends lives, behaviour, relationship and personalities it’s a wonderful story of friendship, love, sex and getting older. Set to an amazing soundtrack (you have to imagine the songs playing and, if you don’t know them, I highly recommend listening to them on Spotify – or wherever you download music from!) the characters immediately draw you into their lives.

It has sex, drugs, rock & roll, infidelity and excitement. It has tenderness, awkwardness, pain and death. It’s one of those books which makes you keep reading because you need to know what happens next. In turns you’ll cry, cringe and laugh. Thoroughly worth reading – it’s currently available as an e-book via Amazon, though a hard copy is coming soon – it’s a story that will entertain everyone.

I may be biased as my father wrote this novel, it’s his second book and my favourite (but don’t tell him that!).

On Joy and Sorrow

One of my favourite books in the whole wide world ever is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931). So much wisdom in one book. Here's an excerpt...

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,' and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.'
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


Julie Kent MBE launches a podcast

On the year of Julie Kent MBE’s 60th birthday she has launched a podcast called What’s in the Goody Bag?

It’s time to cut through the noise - balancing wellbeing, mental health and community kindness is now more important than ever. This is a real feel-good podcast that has its finger on the pulse when it comes to being heart-centered on others.

Julie selects her podcast guests based on significance over success and impact over income, admiring kindness and authenticity over ego. Her guests have stories of significance to share from art, sport, music, media, fashion and business. The podcast is based around one question :

‘What is more important? Being a Go Getter or being a Go Giver?

Julie will also expect all podcast guests to put something in her goody bag which she will raffle or auction for the Pied Piper Appeal, a children's charity in Gloucestershire. If you are in need of some fresh thinking and straight talking… you can subscribe to this new podcast which is available on many podcast channels globally.


We'd love to discuss how we can help you with your dog. Drop us a line and we'll be happy to see what we can do.

Cotswold Hound

Phone, text or WhatsApp 07545 228850

Cotswold Hound

Cotswold Hound offers a friendly, flexible dog walking, boarding and force-free, reward based training service in and around the Cheltenham area.

Bryony Tompkins lives in Cheltenham with her family and lab/terrier cross, Florence and has been running Cotswold Hound since 2014...

'I've always loved dogs, my earliest memories being playing with a litter of Newfoundlands pup's in Scotland where my relatives fed them porridge and eggs for their breakfast. I set up Cotswold Hound to provide the best care and support for dog owners with our approach being based on exercise, enrichment and engagement. I manage a carefully handpicked team of experienced dog walkers and home boarding families in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire who are first aid trained and fully insured. We pay attention to getting to know the needs of individual dogs. Walking groups are built on harmonious packs of no more than 4 dogs and care is taken to match the dogs to the right home stay environment for their temperament and age. Our team and clients benefit from the support of our in-house dog trainer - my husband Barnaby - who helps to support and motivate your dog in the most positive way possible. He specialises in force free, reward based training (group and 121) to bring out the best in your dog.'

Reset Gym: Oriel Lodge, Oriel Road, Cheltenham GL50 1XZ

TELEPHONE 07876 806152 | 01242 704333

Cheltenham Health & Fitness

Cheltenham Health & Fitness is a team of Specialist Personal Trainers who pride ourselves on getting you results. If you're looking to lose weight, tone up or just be fitter, we can help. Whether you're a beginner or athlete, you will always be welcome and respected. We always give 100% and just ask that you do the same. Our space is private so you will often have exclusive use of the gym. Every fitness organisation claims to have the best equipment and the highest level of staff available. We let our results do the talking. If you would like to work with someone who is dedicated to you and enjoys what they do, choose us. Whatever your fitness goals, we make the difference!

HIIT Boot Camp - maximum 5 per class. Tuesdays & Thursdays AM & PM. £80 per month based on 2 classes per week. First come, first served.

Photograph by John Hopkins


EmpowerUp provides mental health education services for a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Part of the service also include early interventions for common mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety and behavioural difficulties.

On a one to one or group basis Regina Tipping, a trained education mental health practitioner, uses evidenced based cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) underpinned by improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) and principles to provide bespoke support. Other services include consultation with school staff, audits, creative workshops for teenagers, and parent led CBT.

What Regina enjoys most is the teaching side of the services which brings out the fun creative side of her teaching skills. With a background in classroom teaching, Regina enjoy adapting and creating resources to suit everyone's learning style, including special needs. Regina is also a trained therapeutic art life coach so exploring difficult feelings through art even for those who are not pro artists is fun. Regina is a mum of teenagers and understands first hand how challenging it can be for both parents and young people to navigate through the barriers of life. She has written blogs which you might find helpful. The website is a work in progress where you can find helpful information and dates of up coming training.

Upcoming Workshops

Bakery in a Box

Homemade treats with an Italian flavour. Baked to order for your everyday occasions.

Chiara Guidi made her first tiramisu at just six years old, when she was thrilled to be given the recipe by her Italian Nonna. Baking comes naturally to her so she created Bakery in a Box, inspired by her favourite Italian Pasticceria, to bring the flavour of Florence to Gloucestershire.

'An Italian bakery offering a selection of cakes, tartlets, biscotti, patisserie, seasonal specialties, treat boxes and much more. Everything is baked fresh, so you can enjoy authentic Italian cakes and bakes with your friends and family. Born and raised in Italy, my recipes have been passed down by my mum, aunt and grandma (my lovely Nonna) and now I'm baking them for you to bring a bit of Italianness to your homes.'

Customer feedback...'Our family has become truly addicted to Chiara’s baked treats. So far, we have tried Grandma’s apple cake, the profiteroles, the apple crumble bars and the chocolate brownies and all these treats have been absolutely delicious. The quality and freshness of all of Chiara’s baked goods are second to none. In fact, my children squeal with delight every time we announce that we’re ordering another ‘treat box’. Thank you Chiara for making the most scrumptious desserts!'

Telephone 07762 365425

We'd love to meet your dog - please get in touch to find out more!

Waterloo Cheltenham, Waterloo Farm GL52 7RU

Phone or text 07837 666779 | 01242 680412

Waterloo Cheltenham

'Situated among 40 acres of open countryside and away from traffic, we offer a magical countryside adventure for your dog. Treated as if they are home-from-home, our canine guests are given plenty of good farm walks, lots of fun and games and individual loving care. A family-run business, for over ten years we have been offering a high standard of care for dogs in a peaceful, rural environment.

We offer puppy socialisation sessions and flexible daycare. You can also hire our secure paddocks or join group dog walks to give you and your dog the chance to meet new friends.'

ABBA didn't know about Waterloo Cheltenham when they wrote their famous song, but the words 'couldn't escape if I wanted to' are very fitting as the farm is safe and secure, making exercise in the grounds completely Houdini-hound-proof. It's interesting to know that Waterloo has its own brand of dog food too. You can order via the website.

F E A T U R E S, A R T I C L E S & T I P S


Image via Good Housekeeping

I Imagine

by Naif Pierre, Author & Artist

I imagine myself asking you, “Do you see my face when you think of Great Britain?” Maybe your first thought is the Queen, the chalky cliffs of Dover or the Cotswolds.

Imagine me stood next to you, even reaching out to hold your hand. Think about it; my cold fingertips committed to clasping at yours, my left to your right. Now consider Babs*, a parent who struggles to read and fill out her council tax forms holding your free hand. Her hands are clammy with anxiety. Surely, she is British like the soil, from root to tip. Do you think of her when you think of Great Britain?

It’s an odd question to ask, I admit. Yet it comes to mind as I consider how to draft a letter to the Police Commissioner for Gloucestershire to shed light on the arrest of a young lad I know who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The labels associated with him, 'Black', 'Teenage' and 'Male'. Regrettably, this is the second time he has been accosted by the police with no evidence of wrongdoing. I implore you to envisage letting go of my hand to hold his, warm, smooth, strong and large. He may share his reflections as a legal minor having spent nine hours in a holding cell, his parents not informed of his whereabouts, “If I were in America, I’d be dead.” He may tell you.

A few years ago, he looked just like my son, aged seven. So as my keyboard clicks away, my heart pounds as I wonder whether he will be treated suspiciously in unfamiliar situations. Will people in positions of authority - police officers, teachers, future employers - find him threatening as he becomes a man? Will he be given less chances to prove himself as an adult? I slow my thoughts because they grow more and more fearful. I know that the true picture is no doubt more complex than an article about holding hands.

Here is the dilemma. The same institutions that show bias are accountable, responsible for keeping us all safe. That is no coincidence. They are life-saving, and they work for the majority of people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality and ability. I think of the food banks, countless fundraisers, the vigils, the protests, clapping at my front door and lighting candles. I know as a nation, as all nations, we are capable of unimaginable cruelty and kindness, side by side. I pause yet again as my thoughts become vague and lofty.

In a leap of faith, a hopeful thought, a meditation pops into my head. Again, I continue to reach out my hand to yours, a stranger, in knowledge we do not need to look for common ground, because it is already beneath our feet. In the first instance, all that is required is to hope and hold on in good faith.

*false names have been used to protect the identities of the individuals referred to in this article.


What can you do to boost your immune system?

by Ami Sheward Nutrition

Let's face it, the idea of 'boosting our immunity' has been extremely tempting during the crazy pandemic, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. Our immune system is precisely that - a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony.

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system.

Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good health guidelines is the single best step you can take towards naturally keeping your immune system working properly. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental toxins and supported by healthy living strategies such as these:

- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercise daily
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
- Give up smoking
- Get adequate sleep
- Try to minimise stress
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands
- Get our doors and into nature
- Discuss supplementing Vitamin D with your GP.

6 Top Tips for Confidence

  • Read loads of books by inspiring authors. Self development is the key to confidence.

  • Only spend time and energy on people who lift your spirits and love you just as you are.

  • Affirmations. Sounds cheesy but the reason people recommend tools like this over and over again is because they are effective.

  • Meditation and yoga. They bring more peace and you need peace to build confidence.

  • Sleep. When you recharge properly you feel good about yourself.

  • Vitamin D. Because it's a hormone responsible for the control of genes, you need to make sure you're not deficient. Feeling good in your body helps you feel good in your mind. It's cropping up a lot these days, isn't it?

'A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.'

- Donna Robert

'The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.' - Henry David Thoreau

Image from BBC Good Food

Vitamins & Minerals - Should You Take Them?

by Pamela Kingston of Integrative Health Clinic

Vitamins and Minerals – should you take them? How do you know which ones? It can be confusing and overwhelming not to mention expensive. As an integrative health practitioner I am going to take a look at the supplements I most regularly prescribe. Some are no brainers like magnesium which I talk about here, but there are some others I will cover in my blog in the coming weeks (see link).

Having a balanced diet is where good health begins; it should contain all of the nutrients we need for optimal health and wellbeing. However, most of us are vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies due to diminishing food quality, toxins and stress. So, supplements are essential health-boosters that fill in nutritional gaps and whilst they won’t make up for a bad diet, they can go a long way in helping to support good health and improve wellbeing.

It is thought that around 60% of the Western world is deficient in magnesium, which in part is due to eating too many refined foods from which magnesium and other minerals, vitamins and fibre have been removed. Magnesium is crucial for almost everything that goes on in the body; hundreds of chemical reactions depend on it. It helps convert food into energy; muscles need this to contract and relax; it regulates the central nervous system; it keeps the heart beating steadily; your immune system strong and plays a critical role in brain function and mood.

Signs that you may be low in this essential mineral are depression, low energy levels and fatigue, constipation, elevated blood pressure, muscle cramps, migraines, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Magnesium regulates the hormone melatonin, which signals the sleep-wake cycle in your body. It also binds to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) which is responsible for soothing nerve activity, quieting the nervous system and helping to prepare your body and mind for relaxation and sleep.

Chronic long term magnesium deficiency can result in more serious medical conditions and has been linked to inflammation which can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxiety disorders, some cancers as well as osteoporosis. There is evidence that taking a magnesium supplement can reduce inflammation, support healthy blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.

Magnesium can have a positive effect on the hormone oestrogen. It can be used for the treatment of PMS, PCOS and menopause, by calming the central nervous system and reducing symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, fluid retention, period pain and hot flushes. Research shows it also supports the liver in promoting the healthy excretion of oestrogen which may reduce the risk of conditions such as fibroids, breast and uterine cancer, all associated with excess oestrogen.

Eating foods high in magnesium should be your first approach, so including the following into your daily diet: nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, tofu, egg yolk, avocado, bananas, whole grains and whole dairy foods. Even with an adequate diet you may still be at risk of a deficiency especially if you have digestive disorders or are taking certain medications such as blood pressure tablets, anti-biotics and diuretics. Keeping an eye on symptoms or having a blood test can indicate whether a supplement could be useful.

So, in essence supplementing with magnesium could reduce inflammation in its tracks and good things will follow, like reduction in pain and fatigue and improvements to mood and cognitive functions. It can boost sports and exercise performance, improve energy levels and can have a dramatic effect on improving anxiety and depression, improve blood glucose levels, promote healthy sleep, lower blood pressure and balance your hormones. It’s a total winner in my book!

Ways to take Magnesium

Magnesium citrate - this is one of the most common formulations, taken orally, it is bound with citric acid (found in citrus fruits) and is easily absorbed.

Magnesium oxide - not easily absorbed by the digestive tract, it is the main ingredient of milk of magnesia, so is commonly used as a treatment for occasional constipation and digestive problems.

Magnesium chloride or sulphate – a good topical treatment to relieve muscle soreness and improve skin conditions. Best used in the bath (magnesium flakes or Epsom Salts) or as a cream or lotion.

Always consult a healthcare professional before taking supplements.

To learn more visit

'I’ve known a great many worries. Many of which never happened.'

Mark Twain

Learning to be Free from Stress

by Bertie and Philippa from The Rise & Shine Academy

Are you someone who worries a lot? Would you even call yourself a worrier? Do you get stressed out easily, and often feel out of control?

Unfortunately, people who say the word ‘worry’ a lot, tend to worry a lot. And equally people who say ‘struggle’ a lot, often struggle a lot too.

Luckily, 85% of what people worry and stress about never actually happens to them, but sadly that doesn’t stop them from doing it. It’s estimated that we are all thinking between 70,000 to 90,000 thoughts a day and most of those thoughts are happening without us even noticing them. We can literally make ourselves anxious or stressed, even when nothing is happening to us, simply by thinking thoughts about possible future events. Thoughts like "what if this goes wrong?" or "what if it doesn’t work out?" If your thoughts tend to be like this then you are probably feeling out of control, and this is most likely affecting your relationships, your health, your sleep and your work life.

What if we told you, that you don’t have to live this way? That you can change it. That you could learn to feel centred, calm and in control, no matter what. Would that be life changing for you? The Rise & Shine Academy® has created a simple to follow, 21-day course that will change your perspective about stress and give you all the skills and tools you will need to feel happier and more at ease with life.

For just £1 a day, you can learn to Befriend Stress and Become Emotionally Resilient. It takes 21 days to create new habits, which is why we will coach you for 21 days and ask you to listen to your transformative hypnosis audio every day too. We believe everyone deserves to have peace of mind, which is why we’ve made this course affordable. You can change your life for just £21.00.

Why not try out our free audio first?

One person’s life changing results:

'The Rise & Shine Academy has completely changed my perspective on life, and I feel so much more confident and ready to tackle life’s challenges. The course is very easy to follow, and I look forward to listening to the daily recording each day. My new more positive, resilient mindset is helping me to achieve my goals.'


We asked Rosie Reynolds of CHOOSiE UK and Rosie Reynolds Marketing a few nosey questions...

1. Where are you based?

In the beautiful countryside near Stroud, but my team is based all around the country.

2. How did you get into marketing?

I’ve managed my own businesses, as well as marketing other companies as an employee, prior to starting RRM and had to learn and become adept at marketing in order to grow them all. It worked well and I found that not only was I good at it, but I really enjoyed it, so I set up my own marketing business and it's really taken off. I absolutely love it and am so proud of my team.

3. What do you like to do when you have time off work?

Craft with my kids, walks with my adorable dogs, BBQs and a glass of wine in the sun are my ideal ways of chilling out. Last year I had to miss the family holiday (my passport was out of date!) so I'm very much looking forward to the next time we all get a break together.

4. Are you a good cook - what's your signature dish?

I make a cracking lasagne if I say so myself, but my amazing husband does most of the cooking at home – he could give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money!

5. Where do you like going to eat out in Cheltenham?

Anywhere with outdoor space so that I can take my dogs with me and watch the world go by. 131 is ideal for that and I enjoyed the Soul Circus in the park last year with their fresh stonebaked pizzas. I've yet to try out more places in Cheltenham, but I do love having lunchtime meetings. The food at Restaurant GL50 is also outstanding.

6. What has been your most important lesson in life that you could share with our readers?

In both business and personal life, give people time to trust you, get to know each other, think of the long haul rather than instant results. It’s funny, because it’s the same for marketing too – yes, there are ways to achieve quick results, but the things that will bring the most sustainable growth and success through marketing take time.

7. Which charity is closest to your heart and why?

As I'm a huge fan of dogs, I like to donate to the Soi Dog Foundation as they do such a great

job of rescuing the abandoned and stray dogs of Thailand.

Me and the rest of the RRM team also undertook The Nelson Trust's 'Steps for Freedom' challenge in April, to raise much needed funds to help women facing domestic abuse. You can find out more about that here:

8. How many people do you employ?

Twelve - in just two years! I always intended to grow the business but didn't realise it would happen so quickly. We keep our standards high so that our clients have experts with specialist knowledge working on their marketing. Everyone in the team has a dedicated role but they are all up to speed on every project and account we work on. Personality is just as important to us as skills and experience - they need to be an all-rounder and work well in the team.

8. Who is your best friend?

My husband Ben. We work together, cook together, love watching films and have a great laugh. I can talk to him about anything. We've been together a long while and have grown together - I know things don't always go that way in relationships and I'm grateful. Obviously, it's not all fluffy bunnies and rainbows, but we are there for each other through all the troubles as well as the joyful times.

9. Favourite cocktail.

It's got to be Sex on the Beach if we’re talking ‘fancy’ cocktails, but my go-to drink of choice is a good old G&T.

10. Favourite holiday destination and why.

I love Greece. It's got understated charm, fantastic fresh seafood, genuinely lovely down-to-earth people and is always bathed in sunshine.

H O M E & G A R D E N

Wild About Gardening

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.

Summer in the garden is a time for sitting back and enjoying the effort you've put in over the first part of the year. A garden changes with the seasons – there's always something of interest. The warmer summer months allow us time to pause, to reflect and to enjoy.

If you do have time for gardening:

1. Keep an eye out for any plants that are drooping and in need of water. Plants in pots, in a greenhouse or annual vegetables will need a little more attention.

2. Keep on top of weeding. Particularly the more thuggish weeds such as bindweed and dock. Don’t forget that some weeds can be useful. Dandelions add nitrogen to the soil, have edible leaves and are good for beetles, birds and moths. It's your garden, you decide what to weed.

3. Lift and divide congested clumps of snowdrops and bluebells once the leaves have died.

4. Train and tie in new shoots of climbing plants.

5. Harvest fresh herbs for use in teas and tonics.

6. Prune plum and cherry trees if needed.

7. Use netting to protect fruit crops like strawberries and gooseberries from birds.

8. Prune Spring flowering shrubs such as Lilac and Forsythia. The Royal Horticultural Society website has lots of pruning advice and tips.

9. Keep bird baths and feeders topped up.

10. In the vegetable garden:

  • Keep earthing up potatoes and harvest new potatoes

  • Pinch out the side shoots on tomato plants

  • Harvest salad leaves regularly

  • Harvest garlic and onion when the leaves start to turn yellow and droop.


Emily Hutchinson's Photography Project

Emily placed the following message on the Cheltenham Noticeboard group and she got an overwhelming response. Some of the resulting portraits are shown here.

'I’m currently working on my Final Major Photography Project as part of my University degree and I’m looking for women in their 50s to be a part of this. Despite the fact that there seems to be no better compliment than being told you look younger than your years, I want to challenge this. Age shouldn’t be defined and talked about in relation to youth (therefore by what it lacks), but instead as an equally valuable and celebrated part of the life course. There is certainly not one way to 'successfully' look, or be, 50, and yet all too often women are made to feel they need to deny or defy the natural ageing process, fighting to remain youthful in order to remain visible. I want to increase the visibility of this often looked-over demographic of women. All I need from you is a commitment to your portrait being taken. I am looking for a minimum of 50 women in their 50s.'

Emily's email is


Safety tips for walking your dog

by Alison at Pets & Wellbeing Support and Pittville Pets

Some of us need to be out early in the morning or late at night, so it’s important you and your dog are visible to cars, bikes and other passers-by to keep you safe on those night time strolls. Reflective vests and jackets are available for both humans and pups. Just be sure to choose a jacket where the reflective areas aren’t covered by your dog’s harness and keep the jacket clean and mud free so they stay visible.

As well as using reflective gear, it’s also a good idea to use either a light-up collar or lead for extra visibility. There are fantastic LED collars and leads you can buy in store and online. A headlamp is a great option to keep us humans safe and seen at night. They’re also handy for helping you find any presents your dog leaves you in the dark. There’s nothing worse than rummaging around for poop while trying to juggle a torch.

Always carry your phone

We don’t like to think about bad things happening, but you or your dog could have an accident when there’s no-one around to help you. You may need to act fast to call your vet, a taxi or a family member. It’s always best to walk with a friend or family member, but at the very least, take your phone with you. Your phone could be a lifesaver in an emergency situation.

There are lots of apps and tools that can help keep you and your dog safe: some of my favourites are: What3Words, which helps emergency services find you; Google Maps, which allows you to share your location with a friend or family; your dog’s microchip, so make sure it is registered and up to date at Check-a-chip; GPS trackers like Tractive, and don’t forget your dog’s ID tag, with your surname, contact numbers and postcode.

Walk smart

Always walk against traffic so you can see what’s coming in front of you. Keep your wits about you too - avoid wearing headphones so you can hear what’s going on around you. Dark evenings are not the time to go exploring new and unfamiliar walking routes. Stick to open and well-lit paths that you already know well. Avoid shortcuts through dark alleyways or parking lots. Mix up your route when possible; this will give your dog mental enrichment; keep walking interesting for you and make it harder for others to predict where you will be.

Using a lead

Unless you’re in an enclosed dog park where they can’t escape, keep your dog on a lead at night. Even dogs that are usually great off lead can become spooked and bolt off in the night. You don’t want to risk your dog getting injured from running out into the road. If your dog does decide to head off on their own to explore, it’s also much harder to find a lost dog in the dark. Keep them close, it’s not worth the risk of losing your much loved pooch.

Other times to keep your dog on the lead include: near livestock or wildlife, near other on-lead dogs who may not be friendly, new and unfamiliar places and near areas with lots of rubbish or food.

If you need a friendly dog walker who will put the safety of your dog first, come and check out our dog walking services.

We couldn't resist showing you this DinoBryte LED Headlamp - T-Rex Dinosaur Headlamp for Kids.

Dog Snack Recipe - Seeded Bounty Bars

by HUG Pet Foods & CaniCross

What's better than a classic bounty bar? One that's super nutritious yet indulgent and suitable for dogs and humans alike. HUG Pet Foods worked with CaniCross to develop this tasty treat for pooches and pet parents. Packed with coconut, seeds and carob, it's perfect for on-the-go snacking.

Coconut has been touted for years as a wonderful superfood for both humans and dogs. Amongst many other health benefits, it contains medium-chain fatty acids, which travel straight to the liver where they are metabolised and utilised for fuel – ideal for when you’re out and about. Of course, we’re all about having everything in moderation – for pooches and ourselves alike – and sometimes certain foods aren’t suited to our needs. Coconut is quite high in fat (even though it’s a good type of fat), so if you’ve been advised to feed your dog a low-fat diet for health reasons, these may not be suitable or should only be fed in very small amounts.


50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp flaxseeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
50g coconut flakes
50g plain flour
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp carob powder
150ml boiling water

Making the seedy mix

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
Mix all the seeds and coconut flakes in a bowl until combined.
Mix through the flour into the seed mix and stir through 3 tbsp of melted coconut oil.
Next, add the boiling water to the mix – this will produce a more jelly-like mix rather than a dough.
Line a baking tray with a baking sheet to prevent sticking. Place the mixture on the baking sheet and roll out into a thin layer, approx 1 cm thick (place a sheet of baking paper on top before rolling as the mixture is sticky).
Bake for 50-60 mins until crispy and golden, then leave to cool.

Making the ‘chocolate’ sauce

Mix the carob powder with 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil to create the chocolate sauce – add a little more carob powder if the sauce is too runny.
Drizzle over the seeds and sprinkle some more coconut flakes on top, then pop in the fridge to set.
Cut into snack size pieces for you and your pup to enjoy.

Watch demo on YouTube

Katie the Pet Agony Aunt

Dear Katie… I’ve got a fussy eater

Our Dachshund has become very picky when it comes to her food. We’ve tried several brands, but she shies away from her bowl after a few days of eating well. We have a behaviourist to help us as she is also a very anxious little dog. Can you help her enjoy food again?

KATIE: Firstly, it’s really important to make sure she isn’t off her food because she is unwell or in pain. Your vet will be able to establish this for you by giving her a check over. Now let’s dive a little deeper…

It’s interesting to hear she’s an anxious dog, because fussy eaters often have anxiety issues, and the two are not unrelated. The mind and the digestive system are very much connected, which is why we feel butterflies when we’re nervous or excited. There are several factors to think about when trying to reignite her interest in food – and combat stress. Just like us, each canine is unique, so sorting the right food for fussy dogs requires time and patience.

Here’s a good place to start:

Where is she fed?

Many dogs prefer to eat away from other household members (humans and animals alike) if given a choice. Fear of their food being stolen can lead some pooches to retreat to a quieter (and perhaps darker) place to enjoy their meal. As a result, bowl positioning is a crucial element to consider when putting down food for fussy dogs. Be mindful of where you serve your Dachshund’s meals, and try to pick a secluded, peaceful spot away from household traffic.

How is she fed?

A large bowl of food can feel overwhelming to anxious dogs. Try small meals – even a teaspoon of food – to begin with. Move away from the meal mentality and think of unusual ways to nourish your dog.

This could include:

  • Using food as treats to reward good behaviour at home and on walks.

  • Sometimes making her work for food by carrying out simple commands such as sit and stay – this helps build a sense of excitement around rewards as pooches love to please.

  • Some dogs enjoy chewing food so you could try using a Kong or a raw meaty bone as an additional substitute.

  • Hiding food around the garden or on a local walk that they ‘incidentally’ discover! This is a sneaky way to get in some extra calories.

You’d be surprised how much of the day’s food allowance can be given using the tactics above.

What are you feeding?

As well as flavour, think about texture and temperature when sorting out food for fussy dogs. Just like us, every dog is different, with different tastes. Some prefer chunky food over minced meals; some opt for dry food over wet. Although we know it’s essential to feed a balanced diet, remember that dogs are mammals who have evolved to eat a variety of foods as the seasons change. In fact, you can happily feed a variety of complete meals – there’s no need to stick to one go-to recipe. Purchasing small amounts of one flavour or type of food helps you avoid waste, and helps your hound avoid mealtime frustration: this is one of the reasons we offer a variety of recipes, from cold pressed to raw, and our raw food can be served as is or safely cooked.

Who is around at feeding time?

Canine behaviour can be very subtle, so it’s useful to put yourself in her paws and think like a dog for a moment. Our own anxieties around dinnertime can inadvertently exasperate dogs’ picky eating habits. Pups may view your behaviour (or that of another resident cat or dog) as an act of intimidation, and, subsequently, their desire to tuck into a meal can significantly deplete. One of these behaviours involves looking directly at your dog. Canines see this as predatory behaviour and, if they’re submissive by nature, this can put them right off their food. Try to leave your dog alone when you offer her food, or try changing who is in the room; remove other dogs or bring them in, as sometimes the competition spurs them on to join in and eat.

Food for fussy dogs: an individual issue

The food for fussy dogs dilemma is highly dependent on the pup in question – their unique needs, their personality, their tastes, and more. Getting to the root cause is a case of trial and error, one you can start tackling with some of my suggestions. A good behaviourist will be able to help as well, and there are some excellent anxiety-busting products in our range, such as our Calming Blend.

I hope this advice helps and she finds her joy for food again soon.

Katie x

More of Katie's advice for pet owners can be found here:

F O O D & D R I N K

Steve's Aubergine Parmigiana - Serves 4

We've shared a recipe for this tasty dish before, but now we've got hold of Steve's recipe which is completely mouthwatering, so it would have been very selfish of us not to share it with you...


At least 4 aubergines
Your homemade tomato sauce
Bunch of fresh basil
Finely grated parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese

This is my go-to tomato sauce:

Heat a good slug of extra virgin olive or cold-pressed rapeseed oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, in which you gently cook a finely diced onion until soft. Add crushed/chopped garlic (I use around 10 big cloves for this recipe) and do the same. Add a couple of heaped dessert spoons of sun dried tomato paste and a good squirt of tomato ketchup (I prefer its sweet, vinegary taste to tomato puree). Cook down with the onions and garlic. Tip in 1kg of passata, a good handful of dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Just let it gently bubble away for an hour or so - stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch on the bottom - until it's reduced by half and is thick and intense (this is also a great pizza sauce). Add salt, pepper and maybe a little bit of sugar to taste.

For the Parmigiana

Slice the aubergine (lengthways or in rounds), about the thickness of a pound coin. Heat a big slug of olive or rapeseed oil in a big frying pan and fry the aubergine, in batches, until well browned on both sides and soft. (Aubergines soak up a lot of oil. Don’t worry about it, it’s what gives the dish its richness.) Season the aubergine with salt and freshly ground black pepper once cooked.

The rest is a layering job. In a glass or ceramic gratin dish, add a layer of sauce, a layer of the aubergines, a layer of torn mozzarella, sprinkle over a handful of parmesan, and some torn basil leaves. Repeat until the aubergines are used up, finishing with a layer of sauce and a good handful of parmesan on top. Whack it in the oven (pre-heated to 180° C). It’s done when it’s golden and bubbling on top (about 20 – 30 minutes). As with Lasagne, this is better left to cool and gently reheated (covered, in the oven) when you want to eat. This ensures all the ingredients combine into one intensely flavoured, unctuous whole. Great as a side, or serve as a main dish with a simple green salad and crusty bread (to soak up all that gorgeous oil). Buon appetito!

Steve Whitfield, Head of Brand & Content at Seymour John.

Hanan's Famous Falafel

A young Syrian woman and mother, Hanan, arrived in the UK almost five years ago. She quickly learned English and is well known as a trusted helper of all those around her. She has also established her own catering businesses in Cheltenham where she lives with her family – she’ll provide dishes for buffets for any occasion, for example falafel, hummus, taboleh salads, maqloba) as well as desserts such as date balls.


1kg dried chickpeas
2-3 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 bunch of parsley
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp coriander


1. Soak the chickpeas in the water for 12 hours or a little more, then rinse thoroughly.
2. Chop parsley, garlic, the onion and then mix them in them in the food processor with the drained chickpeas.
3. When the mixture is smooth and thoroughly blended, add cumin, dried coriander, baking soda and salt.
4. Fry them with a bit of vegetable oil until they are brown and they are ready to eat.

Find Hanan’s Fa-TOUSH – Arabic Cuisine on Facebook: or call her (07490 925925). Hanan caters for parties, functions and special occasions.


Jay Halford's 5 Day Food Programme

'Before the programme I was feeling like I was always hungry but also bloated, not making time to buy and prepare good food regularly enough, and not doing much exercise. My bloods had been done and I was deficient in iron. I felt like I needed a nutrition boost.

During the 5 days, knowing I was eating and drinking 'clean' food and juice gave me the self discipline not to drink alcohol, and to more or less stick to exactly what was provided for each day. I felt satisfied and not hungry. I didn't see the part that says take B12 and probiotics so I will add those in next time. Normally I take vitamin D about 5 days out of 7 a week and then alternate K2, magnesium, quercetin, multi-vitamins.

After the programme I felt leaner, the bloating had gone and I felt more positive about my relationship with food. I definitely want to keep it up as much as I can, and will do another of your programmes before long because it's so good to have everything already prepared and thought out. It saves time and is delicious too.' Sal

Cheltenham Lifestyle & Business

'I’ve been getting very good leads. I owe you a big bottle of drink. You guys are amazing!' Pasha from The Big Clean Dudes

'Just wanted to say how lovely it is to get actual nice post through the door from you. Don’t underestimate how appreciated the magazines will be.' Hellie Brunt

'I do appreciate your luxury advertising. This is perfect. Thank you so much for helping me to promote my products. You are stars!' Roxsana, Roxim Cakes


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

Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees

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

C O U P O N C O D E S & S P E C I A L O F F E R S

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

There is a 10% discount on any initial/first cleans with HAUS MAIDS when you mention us.

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 for the lovely feedback from previous months. Give us a shout if you want to advertise in the Winter issue.