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Carers encouraged to keep healthy and connected – Carers Week 2018 (11-17 June)

Kent Carers Matter – a county wide campaign developed by five Carer organisations in Kent[1] is supporting Carers Week (11-17 June) with a range of events for Carers reflecting this year’s theme, which is encouraging Carers to keep healthy and connected with their local communities.

1 in 9 adults in Kent look after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour who due to physical or mental illness, disability, age related difficulties or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Carers are all ages, come from all walks of life and backgrounds and unlike care workers, are not paid. For some, it’s a 24/7 role; others may also work or have other caring responsibilities. Many wouldn’t use the term ‘Carer’ to describe themselves, it’s just what they do as a relative, friend or neighbour.

Being a Carer can be a positive experience, but it can also be challenging, exhausting, isolating and impact on your mental and physical health.

Jill Attwell from the Kent Carers Matter campaign says:

“We know that Carers often put their own needs to the back of the queue, delaying doctor’s appointments or breaks from caring which could help them stay well. Whether through work, the community, school, university, at home or among friends, we all have a role to play in helping Carers to access the support they need to look after their health and well-being.”

If you are a Carer

  • Contact one of the Carer organisations in Kent to access a Carer’s Assessment, get information about your rights and entitlements, talk to experts who understand about being a Carer, join a support group to meet other Carers, participate in training or organise a break from caring.
  • Look after your own health and well-being. Tell your GP you are a Carer and how caring is impacting on your physical and mental health.
  • If you also work, you may be able to reduce the stress of juggling being a Carer with work demands by speaking to your employer. There may be some simple changes that could be made to make things easier.
  • Talk to family and friends about your caring role, your concerns and worries if you can.
  • Come along to one of the Carers Week events taking place locally.

Supporting Carers as a friend, relative or colleague

  • Be aware of how being a Carer might affect their lives.
  • Be a listening ear and offer practical help and support when you can.
  • Recognise how valuable and important being a Carer is.
  • Encourage Carers to look after their well-being and to access support.
  • Suggest Carers tell their GP and workplace about their caring role.

More information

For support available in your area and details of all Carers Week events taking place in Kent

[1] Kent Carers Matter has been developed by five Carer organisations – Carers FIRST, Carers’ Support Ashford – Shepway & Swale, Carers’ Support – Canterbury, Dover & Thanet, Crossroads Care Kent and Involve Kent.



Women in Kent and East Sussex are having better births thanks to a birth preparation method created by the Maternity Innovator of the Year, as named in prestigious industry awards on Friday.

Sian Gilmartin, 40, of The Daisy Foundation created a unique peri-natal support method that has helped tens of thousands of parents UK-wide to prepare for positive birth and build their confidence. Sian took the joint title, alongside Rachel Gardner of Sheffield charity Forging Families, at last night’s MaMa Conference awards in Glasgow – the Oscars of the maternity industry.

Anna Hayes has been teaching the Daisy method in Tunbridge Wells, Hawkhurst and surrounding areas for 5 years and has seen first-hand the amazing transformation Daisy classes can have on women.

Anna said: “I see women who are utterly terrified of birth in the first class become calm and confident in just the space of a few classes and go on to have the positive birth that are right for them. It is so rewarding and makes this just the best job in the world.”

“I couldn’t be prouder that Sian has been recognised in this way. Daisy teachers all over the country are seeing the difference that can be made to families when they feel confident, happy and relaxed in birth and parenting.”

Mother-of-2 Mrs Anna Hayes teaches 7 classes each week including Daisy Birthing, Daisy Tinies and Daisy Wrigglers, and also Daisy Parent Workshops regularly at weekends. She juggles running the business with her family commitments and says The Daisy Foundation gave her the flexibility to be her own boss and set her own hours while raising a family.

“The fact that Daisy teachers are mums too means that they know what it is like in those tough first years of parenting and I think that is the magic ingredient in Daisy classes.”

Anna is very excited to be bringing the new Breastfeeding workshops to the area in the summer too.

Parents are flocking to Daisy Birthing classes for their unique mixture of active-antenatal teaching and unconditional non-judgemental support.

Daisy Birthing is a groundbreaking active antenatal class that blends yoga-inspired movement with breathing techniques, birth hypnosis and traditional antenatal education to help women build their confidence as they prepare for labour. Instead of aiming for one particular type of birth The Daisy Foundation is passionately committed to empowering all women to make the informed choices that are right for them and their family.

As well as the yoga-based Birthing classes teachers, who receive comprehensive, in-depth training before they qualify and regular top-up professional development sessions to keep them up-to-date with the very latest in perinatal research, offer classes for mums and their birth partners to support them as they prepare for parenthood.

As a single mum, claiming tax credits so she could return to work, Sian Gilmartin took over the Lazy Daisy business in 2013, turned it into The Daisy Foundation and overhauled its birthing classes to include a ground-breaking programme of Active Antenatal (™) care for parents. Under Sian’s direction the business grew from a small unknown company to a UK-wide network of over 150 women passionate about supporting pregnancy and parenting, all affectionately known as Daisies.

In a health care system where mums and mums-to-be are unlikely to see the same health care professional at each appointment the continuity of care that The Daisy Foundation can offer is invaluable. Once babies are born then parents can return to access a full range of post-natal classes including baby massage and yoga, breastfeeding support, newborn care and calming techniques and even post-natal relaxation classes just for mums.

Sian says; “This award is not about me, it’s about the fabulous network of Daisy teachers who work so hard to support mums and dads through the tough challenges of pregnancy and parenthood.

“The value of the reassurance that mums get when they return with their baby to see a familiar face, someone who has supported you throughout pregnancy and understands your needs, is hard to overestimate.

“It is something that mums miss out on in our current system and it is crucial to improving maternal mental health and that is what drives The Daisy Foundation and all its teachers. This award is a great honour but serves as a reminder of how important our work is and how much more there still is to do. ”

To celebrate the 35th Anniversary Season of the Festival Theatre at Hever Castle we have a family set of four tickets to give away for both ‘The Sea Show’ on 30th May, and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ on the 1st June.

Winning them is Easy!!  All you need to do is go to our facebook page:  

LIKE & SHARE the post and COMMENT with which show you would like to win tickets for (or both).  Alternatively email [email protected] with ‘HEVER FESTIVAL COMPETITION’ in the heading and the name of the show you would like to win tickets for.  Good Luck!!

Winners will be picked at Random and will be notified by The Festival Theatre after the 22nd May.

Please Note: By entering, all winners agree to their contact information being shared with the competition prize donator.


Little Red Riding Hood

Friday 1st June 2.30pm


This much loved story is reinvented as a playful pantomime for little ones. Moon On A Stick combine enchanting puppetry and absorbing storytelling with all the traditional pantomime elements in a gentle, imaginative show designed especially for our tiniest audience members. There’s plenty of live music, dance and audience interaction to delight the whole family.

This show will have you singing and laughing along and most importantly helping Little Red on her adventure. Packed full of silliness, a feisty heroine and sparkles, this is the perfect introduction to panto for children aged 3 and their families.

‘Really funny, fully of silly jokes. I don’t know who laughed more, me or my son.’ – Audience member Blue Elephant Theatre.

‘My children and I loved the show so much we are coming back to see it again!’ – Audience member Blue Elephant Theatre.


Squashbox Theatre present

The Sea Show

Wednesday 30th May 2.30pm



The Sea Show is a quirky and hilarious mix of puppet show, natural history and comedy cabaret. Meet crazy characters like Morwenna the ‘beautiful’ mermaid, Ruan the reformed seagull and salty seadog, Captain Pemburthy, as well as a cast of mischievous sea-squirts, anemones, limpets, crabs and pilchards. Come and celebrate the sea with tall tales, silly slapstick, fantastic facts, live music and songs – unmissable fun for children and adults of all ages!

The Sea Show is the creation of Craig Johnson, an actor, musician and puppeteer, and long-standing member of Cornwall’s renowned Kneehigh Theatre.

 For children aged 5+ and their families.

‘Craig is a consummate actor of rare skills. Totally at ease with his audience, adult and child alike, he combines an innate understanding and joy in storytelling with fantastic comic and musical skill.’ – Mike Shepherd, Founder and Artistic Director, Kneehigh Theatre

‘Craig’s success lies in the fact that he talks to, rather than at, his young audience, and he does it all with a huge sense of joy and fun that is as inspiring as it is infectious…. An engaging entertainer to be treasured.’ – Frank Ruhrmund, The Cornishman

The Festival Theatre has a vast programme of quality performances between the 25th May and the 26th August to cater for all the family, ranging from Comedy, Music, Jazz and Opera.  You can find more details at 



Tonbridge Parent Support Group – 14th March – 9.00am -10.30am – Tonbridge Methodist Hall, Higham Lane, TN10 4JG

A group of local parents have joined forces to set up a parent support group.  This will be an opportunity for all parents to support each other through the highs and lows of parenthood.

Everyone attending will have the opportunity to offer and receive mutual support and help design future meetings.  The meetings will be relaxed and informal with refreshments available.

If you would like to join the group or help out please do come along.

Tonbridge Methodist Church, Higham Lane, TN10 4JG

For more information please contact [email protected]

WIN A FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 to ‘The Vicar’s Picnic Music Festival’ – Yalding Kent 20th July – 21st July

Kent’s BIGGEST little festival is back with another fantastic event including a kid’s field, Creative Workshops, Artists and Poets and a line up including ‘Cast‘ and ‘The Fun Lovin Criminals’.

To WIN a Family Weekend Ticket for 4 tell us which British band will be one of The Vicar’s Picnic’ headliners.  To enter and view full terms and conditions visit:

The festival takes place on the afternoon on Friday 20th July and all day Saturday 21st July, at The Lees, Yalding, Kent, ME18 6DF.

Closing date: 31st May 2018 – One entry per household

N.B. By entering, all winners agree to their contact information being shared with the competition prize donator.

The Unity Birth Programme

This is a brand new fully comprehensive mind and body antenatal course. Including Yoga, hypnobirth, Active Birth, breathing for birth (and life!), optimum foetal positioning and mindfulness.

Sign up to the Unity Birth Programme and you get loads of fantastic benefits above and beyond the weekly class; Not only will you receive a FREE Pregnancy Yoga Flow DVD and FREE handouts to support your learning but you also gain access to the Unity Birth Partners Scheme where I’ve teamed up with some of Tunbridge Wells’ best local therapists and pregnancy / baby businesses who are offering exclusive discounts to help support your pregnancy and postnatal recovery. Included are reflexology, osteopathy, new born photography, massage, nutrition, family first aid, acupuncture and more!

The classes are held at one of Tunbridge Wells most beautiful Yoga studios, The Yoga House, near the Pantiles.

6 week courses start from April 17th in the evening and Friday mornings from 20th April.

Couples Hypnobirth and Active Birth workshops also starting on Sunday 10th June.

One space is reserved per course at a 50% discount for those in financial difficulty.

I’ve been helping mums get ready for birth for over 16 years. I’m a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, British Wheel of Yoga teacher, Birthlight Perinatal teacher, Active Birth teacher (trained by Janet Balaskas), KG Hypnobirth teacher and pregnancy and postnatal yoga course tutor at YogaGro.

Pregnancy Yoga and Postnatal Yoga with Baby Massage classes also available in Tunbridge Wells.
[email protected]. 07702751143


Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children returns this spring for nurseries and families

This Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. Last year saw 160,000 children across the UK take part, raising an incredible £243,000 for Save the Children’s vital work, and this year the charity hopes even more people will sign up, take part and donate.

Between 23 and 29 April 2018, nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Muddy Puddle Walk to raise money for the international children’s charity.

Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles, like Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig, for a worthy cause.  Whether you splash in puddles along a trail at the park or get creative and make your own puddles indoors from paper and foil – your Muddy Puddle Walk will be a fun day to spend together that littles ones won’t forget. Raise funds in the way that suits you – help walkers get sponsored for their walk, ask for a donation to take part or even bake Muddy Puddle cupcakes to sell on the day! The money you raise will help Save the Children’s work to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.

Sophie Pirouet, Fundraising Campaigns Manager at Save the Children, says: “We hope everyone will get outside this Spring, come rain or shine, and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. It’s so easy to take part and it’s the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors with your little ones. By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children you can help give children a brighter future.”

By taking part in a Muddy Puddle Walk and raising money for Save the Children, you can help vulnerable children around the world have a safe place to play and learn.  Sign up now at  for your free Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising Pack full of fun Peppa Pig inspired activities to help you get started – with tips for great walks indoors and out, fundraising ideas, fun activities to get your walkers ready for the big day and at the end of the walk, there’s a free Peppa Pig sticker reward for every child. The fundraising pack will also explain what life is like for children in different countries, helping them see how they are making a difference through supporting Save the Children.

Don’t miss Children’s Activities Week which will run from April 30 – May 4 2018!

This is a NEW national event celebrating all the positive benefits that clubs, classes and activities bring to the lives of children and families across the UK – helping kids stay healthy, fit and happy!

Throughout the week hundreds of thousands of children will be dressing up for their favourite activity around the theme ‘#WatchMeFly’. There’ll be amazing competitions, VIP visitors to clubs and classes, a world record attempt with Sid Sloane from CBeebies and so much more – all raising vital funds for Caudwell Children and the Children’s Activities Association. For more on the week, to learn how YOU can be involved and to see the fantastic celebrity and sporting Ambassadors already signed up visit

Pub in the Park 2018: stellar music and chef line-up is announced for Tom Kerridge’s food festival!

Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Tom Kerridge’s food festival, Pub in the Park 2018, has released its amazing line-up of the best culinary and music talent that the UK has to offer – including Jamie Cullum, Mel C, Razorlight, Billy Ocean, Tom Odell and Sophie Ellis-Bextor taking to the stage, and superstar chefs Josh Eggleton, Paul Ainsworth and Tom himself cooking up a storm.

Texas, Will Young and KT Tunstall will also be playing at the festivals, and other exciting chef appearances include GBBO winner Candice Brown and Stephen Harris of The Sportsman, which was just named the UK’s best pub in the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards.

The first ever Pub in the Park festival took place in the beautiful town of Marlow in May 2017. Headed up by Tom, and with a stellar line up of chefs, pubs and chart-topping music, the festival sold all 18,000 tickets within 24 hours. Building on the sell-out success of 2017, next year will see the man himself Tom Kerridge take Pub in the Park on tour around the UK.

Tom and his fellow chef mates will be visiting four English towns across the country, bringing his Michelin-starred pubs, plus a selection of other top UK pubs and restaurants to serve their most popular dishes. Every event will celebrate the very best food the country has to offer, combined with great live music, chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and other festival fun. On top of the national chef and music names, each event will celebrate the local community in the form of brilliant local artisans, pubs, local foodie heroes and musicians.

Pub in the Park Tunbridge Wells is delighted to welcome the Tanner brothers with the award-winning Kentish Hare, and The Sportsman (Stephen Harris), which recently made the top 50 list in the 2017 Good Food Guide. Among the stellar line up in Tunbridge Wells includes The Wife of Bath (Mark Sargeant) serving up spectacular Northern Spanish inspired dishes, multi-award winning and Michelin-recommended The Compasses Inn (Rob Taylor), alongside two Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar with his restaurant Indian Essense and much-loved Michelin-starred and TV Chef Angela Hartnett MBE.

Headlining at Pub in the Park Tunbridge Wells is folk-pop singer Tom Odell, Razorlight, R&B legend Billy Ocean, pop queen Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Mel C, and Scouting for Girls. The afternoon crowds will be played to by Toploader and The Christians.

The Pub in the Park Bath, Tunbridge Wells and Knutsford chef line-up also features The Hand & Flowers and The Coach (Tom Kerridge), Paul Ainsworth at No 6 (Paul Ainsworth), The Hardwick (Stephen Terry), and Candice Brown, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2016. Michelin-starred Pony & Trap (Josh Eggleton) with its “field to fork” ethos serving up food sourced as locally as possible will also be joining the line-up in Bath and Knutsford.

Tom Kerridge said “I am delighted to be able to share the magic of Pub in the Park with the beautiful British places of Bath, Tunbridge Wells and Knutsford. Expect great food, brilliant music and an ace day out.”

Pub in the Park will be taking place on the following dates at the following venues:

  • Marlow, Higginson Park 17-20 May
  • Bath, Royal Victoria Park 8-10 June
  • Tunbridge Wells, Dunorlan Park 6-8 July
  • Knutsford, 7-9 September

Pub in the Park is delighted to confirm that Hospitality Action is its charity partner. Hospitality Action is Tom Kerridge’s chosen charity, and offers vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. The festival will be supporting their work with a number of fundraising initiatives.

Tickets cost £25 for the afternoon and £40 for the evening. Children’s tickets, VIP tickets and all weekend tickets also available – visit for full info.

Tickets to Pub in the Park will go on general sale on Friday 2 February. For visitor information and priority booking on Thursday 1 February, sign up to the Pub Club at

If you are interested in taking part in Pub in the Park as a pub, chef, stallholder or sponsor, please contact the organisers on [email protected] / 03300 555 729

Please see full chef/pub line-up below:

Tunbridge Wells
Tom Kerridge – The Hand & Flowers and The Coach

The Tanner Brothers – The Kentish Hare

Mark Sargeant – The Wife of Bath

Josh Eggleton – The Pony & Trap

Paul Ainsworth – Paul Ainsworth Restaurants

Rob Taylor – The Compasses Inn

Stephen Terry – The Hardwick

Atul Kochhar – Indian Essence

Stephen Harris – The Sportsman

Angela Hartnett (chef demo only)

Candice Brown – Great British Bake Off winner 2016 (chef demo only)

Please see the full music line up below:

Tunbridge Wells

Tom Odell (Fri eve)

Sophie Ellis Bextor (Fri eve)

Toploader (Sat aft)

Gabrielle Aplin (Sat aft)

Razorlight (Sat eve)

Mel C (Sat eve)

The Christians (Sun aft)

Billy Ocean (Sun eve)

Scouting for Girls (Sun eve)




Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has announced that their much-loved series of dog walks is to continue, for a fourth year, in 2018. This year the Great British Dog Walk returns to the National Trust property, Ightham Mote in Sevenoaks, Kent on Saturday the 21st of April. By coming along, participants will be helping the charity to raise funds and awareness so they can train more life-changing hearing dogs.

The event will feature lots of activities for both adults, children and of course, dogs! There are stalls with lots of gifts, homemade crafts and refreshments as well as a fun dog show, a chance for your dog to try agility and demonstrations of Hearing Dogs at work.

The entry fee is for £10 for adults in advance or £12 on the day and free for children (under 16). There is a free special limited-edition Great British Dog Walk doggie bandana for each adult ticket purchased. You can choose between two distances – A gentle, family friendly 3km walk or a more challenging 8km walk which is unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People trains dogs to support deaf people both inside and outside the home. The dogs will alert their owners to important sounds such as the doorbell, fire alarm or their baby crying in the night. They also offer companionship and security in an often isolating world. With 1 in 6 of the UK population suffering from hearing loss there is a growing demand for the charity’s services.

The walks will take place in the grounds of Ightham Mote, walkers wishing to enter the house and gardens are welcome to (entry fee applies unless you are a National Trust Member). Unfortunately, dogs that are not assistance dogs will not be permitted into the house and gardens. There is plenty of parking (£2 fee, free for National Trust members), toilets and refreshments will also available. Dogs should be kept on leads while on the walk routes.

For more information and to book your tickets please visit

If you are interested in volunteering at this event or would like to find out more about Hearing Dogs for Deaf People please contact Emily Lyle on 01844 340695 or email [email protected]