Weekly Newsletter

Penny Post
Penny Post Newsletter Jan 4 – 11 2018

In this week’s PP: winter sale at Benchmark Furniture, special offers at Hungerford Leisure Centre & Nightingale Fitness, still time to enter our 2017 quiz, recommendations for Red Spot Self-Storage and Lis Allen’s inspiring his and hers events, shout out for West Berkshire Homeless charity, last chance to vote to save Citizens Advice from council budget cuts, tips for surviving Dry January and how to wrap up Christmas by Twelfth Night – plus the usual local news, jobs and events!

Local News
Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local News including local New Year’s honour recipients, parking charge hikes, Citizens Advice in danger, green bin rage, an appeal for zimmer frames and an appeal by an aquatic mayor.

Local Events – see below

Local Activities
• Something for everyone in our Guide to January Courses (which has some more listings added since Christmas)

• ERRATUM Free Public Speaking Workshop with the Newbury Speakers Club 1.30-3.30pm Sat 20 (not 30) Jan at Newbury Museum.

• Lauren recommends Red Spot Self-storage near Lambourn: “Highly rated and I plan on using them again. A very easy company to deal with.” 

• If you are a woman who is curious, has an open mind and wants to make a difference in the world, I highly recommend the inspiring experience of Lis Allen’s Vagina Dialogues (in which vaginas themselves are not discussed!). The next one is Weds 17 Jan in Newbury,
(Lis runs a similar thought-provoking evening called Talking Bollocks for men who want to put some common sense back into their relationships – which I obviously can’t personally recommend but here are some great testimonials from men who have been before. Next event is Fri 26 Jan in Hungerford).

Still time to enter the Penny Post 2017 Quiz to win a meal, bottle of house wine and room for two at the lovely Queens Arms in East Garston. Entry deadline: Friday 12 Jan. If you have been struggling with the first question, we’ve made finding the answer on our website a bit easier.

Special Offers
• Two weeks left of Benchmark Furniture’s Winter Sale so why not visit their gorgeous showroom nr Kintbury this weekend. They are open 10am – 4pm Saturdays and 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. There are some great savings to be had on both furniture and accessories.

• Some special offers to kick-start your New Years fitness resolutions:
– join the Hungerford Leisure Centre now and pay nothing till February
– sign up for Nightingale Fitness‘s FREE January Slamstart daily 15 minute exercise programme that you do at home in your own time

Local Jobs
See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:

Handyperson, Brightwalton • Customer Services Co-ordinator, Kintbury • Pastoral Support Assistant, Hungerford • Facilities Officer, Hungerford • Customer Service Advisor, Marlborough • Carer for disabled teenager, Hungerford • Homecare Staff, throughout the area • A range of catering and hospitality career opportunities, Chilton Foliat • Volunteer AONB Ambassadors, throughout the area • Volunteer Co-responders, throughout the area.

Friendly and organised student looking for holiday work. Flat rate of £9/hr for any work. Available 4-7 Jan. Please contact Tom Shaw Stewart (21 years) at tshawstewart@gmail.com 01488 648 829 or 07780 588 542.

Local Businesses
Animals & AgricultureAutomotive • Business Consultants • Family Life •  Food & Drink •  Health, Beauty & Wellbeing • House & Garden • Legal & Finance • IT, Media & Web • Visual & Performing Arts • Retailers • Travel & Tourism • Tuition & Training

Please support the businesses which support Penny Post!

Do you need help with your 2017/18 sole trader/freelance Tax Return? Aliz at Wise Bookkeeping is holding a special #AsktheBookkeeper Facebook Live event at 12noon next Thurs 12 Jan where she will answer your questions. Alternatively you can pay her special price of £69.95 (until 31 Mar) to do your 2017/18 Tax Return for you.

All welcome at an informal new business networking group called The 5.30 Club meeting 5.30 – 7.30pm at The Three Swans in Hungerford on Tues 9 Jan.

Charity Plugs
• I have been volunteering for West Berkshire Homeless and have been very impressed by the team there. They not only provide warm and safe accommodation for rough sleepers in Newbury but also help them find work and permanent housing so they don’t have to go back to the streets. If you would like to volunteer or are a local employer who can give someone a second chance in life please contact Erica Gassar on erica.gassor@googlemail.com 07799 492235

• Thanks to everyone who came and Pope band who played at our Ghana Gig last Saturday – we raised over £500 for Action Through Enterprise, a small charity based in Ramsbury that makes a big difference to people living in poverty in Upper West Ghana

Volunteer Centre West Berks now has a useful Big List of all the local volunteer opportunities. To apply, fill out this form using the reference number from the list.

• See this week’s Local News for a hats off to just some of those who’ve raised money for or otherwise supported good causes recently. (If you know of any person or organisation that deserves a mention in this way, let us know.)

Seasonal Snippets
• In case you still have a fridge full of Christmas leftovers, here are some creative recipe ideas to use them up!

• Quick reminder from Angela Atkinson that we are currently in The real 12 Days of Christmas that end on Epiphany, the day the Three Wise Men brought their gifts to baby Jesus (or Twelfth Night). Epiphany is celebrated by some on 5 January, by others on 6 January. Either way it is the day we are meant to take our decorations down as according to superstition, tree spirits live in Christmas trees and other greenery such as holly and ivy. The spirits must now be released back into the open to help grow our crops.

•  Recycling after Christmas – suggestions on what to do with your tree, cards, wrapping paper, stamps and leftovers.

Tips for Surviving Dry January – are you going to attempt an alcohol-free month this year?

 Traditionally the coldest part of winter is yet to come so, with that in mind, it’s worth casting your eyes over these cold-weather car-care tips from Elite Garage in Newbury. Also reminder from Gill at Hedgehog Bottom to please wipe any spilled anti-freeze off the ground. One drop that failed to go into the car, followed by rain, makes a puddle of sweet tasting lethal liquid that will readily be drunk by cats, dogs and wildlife.

• Lots in Sustainable Wantage’s January newsletter – including an innovative new scheme to rent Christmas trees and then let them continue growing for the rest of the year

• The year has changed and the night sky is changing too – click here for the January 2018 guide to the stars and planets in view this month from the Newbury Astronomical Society.• Last chance to have your say about West Berkshire Council’s 2018-19 budget proposals: you only have until 10 January 2018 to make your views known. The service most at risk from these proposals – and to an extent that threatens its existence – is Citizens Advice West Berkshire.

• See this week’s Local News for our regular guided tour through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it), including a local charity champion, tree mulching, Drivestart’s award, Tull Way’s completion and an ’80s ghost.

• If any of your children are studying English history and they (or perhaps you) need a reminder of which king and queen came where, another chance to see our updated version of Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee.

Please see below for a selection of upcoming local events.

Happy New Year!

Local Events

There’s a wide range of events and activities on the PP website calendar including: Repair Cafe in Wantage Sat 6 Jan, Christmas Tree mulching in Hungerford Sun 7 Jan, Board Games Night in Hungerford Fri 12 Jan

Coming Soon
Vagina Dialogues 7.30pm Weds 17 Jan at DoubleTree by Hilton Newbury. An entertaining seminar for females over 14 who are non-judgmental, curious, have an open mind – and want to make a difference in the world.

Pericles – All At Sea 7.30pm Fri 19 Jan East Garston Village Hall. Multistory Theatre spin a moving modern twist on Shakespeare’s tale.

Talking Bollocks 7.30pm Fri 26 Jan, Hungerford Town Hall. For men only. Would you like to create a better relationship with the women in your life? Would you like to understand yourself better? Do you want to have a fun, thought-provoking and inspiring night out? Here are some great testimonials from men who have been before.

…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

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