Happy Valentines everyone. Love shouldn’t just be about a partner, love your friends and family too. I send love messages to my friends every year, because I love them too. My school friends are my family I chose. Without them my life would not be the same; they’ve witnessed too much; well before phones and social media were invented, so they need to remain close! But I truly do love them with all my heart and they have been in my life for a very long time, I feel very lucky..... all say ahh. Also, learn to love yourself, it's important you look after yourself and learn to like it too.
There’s lots of things coming up after the half term. Finally, our upgraded website will be going Live, our first Podcasts will start recording, The Repair Café First Fixers meeting, Garforth Community Feastival organising of the street music meeting, my trip to the Recycling Centre at Beeston, parents evening and, most importantly, Pancake day!
This week we welcome;
David Riley of DJR Heating and Plumbing and Abby Bowden Hairstylist, both local, and here in Garforth
Telephone: 07368 167 425 or 0113 287 6049
Local, reliable gas engineer with over 18 years’ experience. British Gas trained. Expert service, installation and repairs to all boilers and systems.
Telephone: 07753 335 736
New Hold Industrial Estate
(opposite the Aagrah)
Passionate hairstylist, qualified for 11 years in Colour, Cutting and Styling. Backstage experience at London, Milan and Paris Fashion week. Providing a calm, relaxing and luxurious experience welcoming new and old clients.
Think before you type
The great thing about social media is getting the word out there, good and bad. I tend not to follow the pages that just moan, give opinions or the ones they continually complain about a problem rather than shouting about a positive solution. But this week, there was one comment that came to my attention. People in one of our neighbouring villages decided to raise a post about new houses being built, which led to a thread of opinions and some abusive comments. One comment followed on from a resident who had just moved in to this new development, she said. ‘We have just moved into this neighbourhood and we’re not feeling very welcome, remember, your house was new once’. What a great response, love it! Think before you type, you don’t know what you’re doing when you’re not happy!
Coming up over the half term, there are lots of lovely activities for the kids a Few Gifts
You can find them on our App or on Few Gifts
events page https://www.facebook.com/pg/FEWGiftsGarforth/events/?ref=page_internal
Check out all our events as there are many other things going on locally too over the half term.
I see a new playground is being built at Glebelands, great to see, it was certainly a park that needed updating.
An application has been put in for the Petrol Station on Selby Road to extend and have a bit of a shop facelift, perhaps being able to offer more inside will be a good thing. I hope Sue stays, love Sue, she's so nice.
Tesco Express near the Crusader is due to open on the 17th February – I hope it brings back it’s ATM we seem to be down a lot on those at the minute!
We were asked this week if we could add a section about the growth of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's) - a really interesting read to see how we they are definitely growing in the right direction across the country
Geoff Aldis a Consultant /Researcher, of Digital Content & Media, writes
Growth spurt: 1.6 million small businesses double their revenue in a month 27 Feb 2019 •
1.6 million small businesses say they double their revenue in some months • 53 per cent of Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) reported an increase in revenue in past year • There has been a 23 per cent growth of VAT registered SMEs in the last five years • London is the UK’s small business birth capital, with almost a quarter of all new small firms formed in 2017 registered in the city New research published by Direct Line for Business1 reveals that for 1.6 million of the UK’s small businesses it is normal for their revenue to double or halve in certain months of the year. These large fluctuations in revenue make business and cash flow management difficult. Businesses and the services they use need to be flexible and willing to continually adapt, as more than a quarter (26 per cent, or 1.5 million) state their revenue fluctuates wildly month to month.
Controlling employee numbers is one way to manage these fluctuations as businesses scale staff up and down to cope with changes in demand and income at different points of the year. Twenty-three per cent of small businesses have had to employ more staff because of rapid expansion. However, these uncertainties don’t seem to be putting entrepreneurs off as the UK SME industry continues to grow. In the past year, 53 per cent of SMEs reported an increase in revenue, with one in 20 of these (three per cent) experiencing revenue growth of more than 50 per cent. There has been a 23 per cent growth of VAT registered SMEs in the last five years, with 2.7 million now operating within the UK2 . This has been driven by the 25 per cent increase in the number of microbusinesses (those that employ fewer than 10 employees), which now stand at 2.4 million. In 2017, there were 381,885 business ‘births’ in the UK3 , an increase of 10 per cent on the figure recorded in 2013. This was largely driven by the number of new businesses registered in Northern Ireland (41per cent increase) and the North West (35 per cent increase). London continued to see the highest number of new business start-ups, with 92,300 SMEs registering in the capital in 2017, accounting for almost a quarter (24 per cent) of all those formed in the UK.
“Jazz Gakhal, Managing Director at Direct Line for Business, said: “Small company owners and operators are amongst the most resilient and adaptable business leaders in the UK. Fluctuating revenues and demand can be difficult to manage, but British SMEs continue to thrive.
We will be back after the half term; next blog will be Friday 28th February
Until next week, spread the love
Just by chance, I am. Wear Red Day, it makes you feel brighter on this cold foggy day
I think I need a holiday, only one more week of school and then off; well, 'out of the office', luckily, I can easily carry the office with me wherever I go, being anywhere in the world and still being able to show you what’s going on locally, is pretty cool, thanks to our world of technology.
I had a thoroughly good, local night out last Saturday and, you will know, my first sip of something alcoholic since the 31st December; looking glamorous going out, not so pretty Sunday morning! We never learn…
Besides running around this week like a headless chicken and thus far, counting just short of 70,000 steps since Monday afternoon, it’s been another productive week. It was great to meet up with Dan Robinson who has formed Garforth’s Incredible Edibles and with Phil Barrett from Team Feastival, to discuss ideas, ways forward and funding, seeing if we can help him. Dan has some amazing ideas and wants to connect with what’s already here, Garforth in Bloom, Garforth Allotments; which are already helping his plans. Greening Garforth and Garforth Arts Network etc. He doesn’t want to invent the wheel, he wants to collaborate and bring people together, to do and learn together, make our community better with each step. If we can help get the word out there and Phil, help in getting him some funding and to get collaborative ideas and things to happen, then fabulous. Follow the groups and be part of the great changes. Could you take ownership of a bit of land and a raised bed, feed it with edible goodness and look after it?
This week, I have received an invitation from Leeds Recycles, to go on a tour of the recycling facility in Beeston, the aim is to raise awareness of the recycling sorting process and issues with contamination, They say we have really helped them get the word out locally to you guys by sharing all they do, and feel our influence in keeping you updated will only help even more – I’m quite excited, and will share all after the tour.
It’s nice to know that local people think of you when trying to help someone else. I have had my second request for input and information from a Leeds Uni. student, the second onne in the past 6 months. They are studying the trends and downfalls of modern-day shopping such as towns and high streets, and wanted my input. He asked why I thought high streets were failing; I turned him round to thinking, why are we bucking the trend!
Why is our town so busy with people and traffic?
Why do we have no empty shops?
Why do we have a list of people wanting to get onto the high street?
Why are people coming back to the high street?
If you listen to a journalist talking on the news, they always comment on the high street as in a city centre, high streets with big chains such as big department stores, but not very often speak of the high street as in, small towns. Not many articles are spoken about how, some towns are turning around and having a rise in footfall and more independents coming in; there is a lot of reason for these changes in our town
Creating a buzz and showing people what’s local
Housing Development, new people to the area
Location and changes to increasing public transport (when the trains turn up)
Growing together and making the good changes we want to see
It will be nice to be mentioned in the students article when he's finished his work
If you’re not using our new App, you’re missing out the next 64 local events and finding businesses easily!
I see planning has been approved for, The Assembly, which will go ahead at the premises of Neil’s Fruit and Veg shop (Ladycares) Another great place to be, locally ! Word on the street, they would like to be open by April. Good luck to them whilst all the work gets underway.
Jigger and Jar have also put in an application to extend their opening hours, a little! Cool
I shared a few details this week of 2 businesses that are up for sale.
The Good Food Store on Main Street and Heer’s Convenience store on Fairburn Drive
I like to drop ideas, plant seeds and see what you, the community think to those ideas. I suggested a Vegan takeout shop for The Good Food Store, somewhere you can buy great homemade vegan and veggie food, possibly gluten free etc, A few things were pointed out, such as, oly 1% of our population is vegan, true, but why not be part of the growth, choice and options in our high street! A few people would like to see another fast food option such as McDonalds or KFC….. not for me thanks and not a good idea to encourage more unhealthy options to our nearby schools. Local councils are trying to discourage too, in a new policy where they look at the fast food options on high streets, and make sure we don't have too many, thankfully!
Heers convenience store – I suggested this would be great as a Local Deli, selling meats, cheese, breads, fresh local produce, fruit and veg, coffee etc, stock as much of it from our local producers, so having a great local convenience store with great options!
These are my suggestions. 2 new independent businesses we don’t already have, something new, something good, something that I feel will work. What are your thoughts?
Until next week – Enjoy local, we’re getting better because you’re being part of the buzz and using local, first
Thank goodness, we've made it through January, it has been such a long month, and now I must drink! Yes, dry January for me, I thought I would give it a go, not that I'm a massive drinker, but I couldn't remember a weekend I hadn't drank in the last 10 years since I stopped breastfeeding my youngest, that's bad isn't it?! But then again I had stopped drinking for 18 months with both Thomboys, so that is equivalent of 36 Januarys! I have definitely felt the health benefits of not drinking. My skin is better, its been nice waking up and not having that muzzy feeling, but the fact of the choice to drink, was taken away, I think has been the hard bit. I think what it's given me, is the tools to know can probably drink less and that's better for me. If you too, have been dry this month, well done, the last week has been long and hard - no innuendos please, that's my job!
11.00pm - Bong or not to bong!
So we're out... well, so to speak. We leave the EU behind. What will it all bring for our little island? If only I could pick up a glass of wine to assist my tears .
I've had a really productive week, visiting a few members talking recordings for Podcasts, which will start happening next month as an addition to the blog. I want to let you, the community hear the the people behind our businesses, perhaps let them change your perceptions, give you an insight to what they are all about and what they can help you with. They're not planned to be anything too serious, more of a relaxed natter, so you can feel that you are in the room with us too, sat at the table.
I also popped into Augustus Court with my employee, Winston our Cavapoochon, you may have seen the crazy fluff ball, he's out with me a lot. The residents truly enjoyed his company and as he's such a loveable fluffy bear, he enjoyed people stroking him and enjoyed showing off his tricks. One lady asked if I could bring him in everyday, which was sweet. I'm hoping to train Winston to become a, Therapy dog, but he has to wait until he is 12 months old before he is certified. We can sign him up in March, but I wanted to see what he would be like in a care home with all these lovely cute people, he was a winner!
Repair Cafe - Volunteers/Fixers Meeting
Wednesday 26th Februray at 7.00pm - 8.30pm
I had a meeting with the lovely team at Few Gifts, who are kindly hosting our Repair Cafe, first on to be held on Saturday 28th March. In the meantime, we are hosting a meeting for all Volunteers and Fixers who would like to be part of our project. So if you are a skill that you think could help repair a broken item, and would like to donate some of your time, one Saturday every two months for a few hours, I would love you to come to our meeting to find out more. Some of the volunteers from, Leeds Repair Cafe will also be there so can answer all our questions of how they have been running theirs over the last few years
We would like:
Electricians to fix small electrical items
IT people, who could fix or make good of old tech
Each volunteer sits with a person who brings in something to be fixed and passes on a skill whilst fixing the item brought in. Each person who has brought an item to be fixed will sign a disclaimer to say that we hold no liability and that they are happy to let our volunteers help them repair their item. I also have a volunteer PAT tester so we can cover this area.
The Meeting will be held at
Few Gifts Gift Shop and Art Hub
1 Sycamore Court, Lotherton Way,
This App seems to be really taking off, it seems to have moved on from just miming and covering artists, so after I have 'read the manual' on how to use it to my advantage, I may share short videos and music, it has more than 500 million monthly users, so it would be daft if I didn't give it a try!
Garforth's own App - https://themaindeal.glideapp.io/
I hope you have seen in windows our new App QR code, have you downloaded it yet?
So far I have it up in
Refill & GO
Station House Cafe, you can see from the platform
The Urban Pet Store
more to follow so you can't miss us
We have this week added on James from JKS Property Maintenance, he is said to be the happiest handyman in Yorkshire - take a look as his page www.happiesthandyman.co.uk
So, Mr Blakes, (bar next to Wetherspoons) did open last Friday! After much confusion and lots of texts, they opened their bar, minus a sign or any, 'we're open', trumpets and flags, and It's had a good response.
Please don't forget our existing businesses too - you could make it a Main Street bar surf on Fridays. The Yard, Mr Blakes, CLO , yes they are open Fridays and are having a happy hour, and then you can go ontoThe New Market, then Jiggar and Jar.
Don't forget you can always go ..... Quirky too
On Saturday, The Gaping Goose will have Jo Heywoods name revealed as their 'New management' door reveal will be between 3-4pm, so you can go an join in the party. Or, stop for an early tea at The Podger, you can take the dog too - what a great place we're becoming!
I'm looking forward to a date night on Saturday with the husbondo, I will pop into most of the above and then on to Station House Cafe for dinner - I will try and stay sober, but it may only take two glasses
Until Next week.....
Getting a balanced life is difficult for everyone. Whether you work full time, part time or at home with your children.
This year, I plan to say no to some projects, and not feel guilty about it. I can’t be everywhere and my life isn’t to please people, but to help as much as I physically can. As a Mum first, it’s the one most important job you can do, and it’s very hard to get it right all of the time especially when you run your own business. Take time out for yourself and not to feel guilty is the way forward for you, so do it, and feel better for it.
To be able to celebrate 6 years in business this week, has been truly wonderful. I hope it gives encouragement to other local independent businesses that you will get there, the first 18 months in any new business is really challenging. But we’re seeing lots of new business owners trying something completely new, in an industry that they’ve not necessarily had experience in before, but have an idea, they want to do, to challenge themselves. Sometimes it can work. A great idea can end up being a really successful business. The first year, certainly is a learning curve, making sure you’re doing everything to your plan and knowing what to do when it goes off plan. I have also seen so many women, locally starting up on their own venture over the last few years and it’s great to see, read and hear. Having the confidence as a woman to do something independently can take a lot of courage, as there are still so many barriers to cross.
Over the past 6 years, these are the words that have been said about me and my company;
What do you know, you’re a woman?
Don’t go with her, she doesn’t know what she’s doing
No-one wants to find local online!
You don’t need, The Main Deal
She’s a one-man (laughable) band, she won’t succeed with that crazy idea
She doesn’t own a shop so how can she help traders?
She’s not from round here, so why would she help, there must be a hidden agenda!
Yep, all been said, all remembered and all, over time, been ignored, and I’ve pushed on, as the wonderful things that have been said over the years about me and my company have been so overwhelming and lovely; these are the ones i've need to listen to
In a new business venture, you don’t always have to have a very structured 5-year plan, but certainty a plan of where you’re going with your business and where you want to be. I have a 10-year plan, as I was never naive to think what I wanted to do with the place I called home, would be completed, trusted and changed in a couple of years. Great changes come in time, and the time you put in, should give you the goal you want to achieve. 10 years to get people on board, change perceptions, plant seeds, drop ideas, become a trusted company, 10 years is probably about right. In 6 years, we have certainly become the company that is known to support local, be local and tell you all what’s going on, and we’re growing year on year, I still have years to change people’s perceptions.
No, we don’t own a shop on Main Street
Yes, this is a full-time job
No, we don’t earn a fortune
There is no hidden agenda
Why would I want to do this? Because one person can make good changes and influence others
We move on;
Have you seen the new posters up in business windows? On a mission over the next week to get as many up as possible. So if you haven't got the App yet, just follow the instructions on the posters and then you too will be the knowledgeable one. Once you have the App on your phone, tag us in a selfie #garforthsownapp
Great News for Quirky Ales
Quirky Ales are nominated for a 2020 Oliver Award.
"We are delighted to have been nominated as one of 6 in the Best Brewery category in the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards.
We are in esteemed company alongside Northern Monk, Saltaire and North, plus Anthology and Bridge House Breweries.
Full details can be found here and the winners will be announced on Monday March 9th.
To be selected from a field of over 200 within Yorkshire is something about which we are very proud.
There'll be no resting on our laurels though; open as usual this evening from 5pm with a fine selection of ales"
Great News for Pride and Produce too
"We are super excited to share that we've been shortlisted for a Yorkshire Evening Post Oliver Award 2020 in the category of Best Brunch. Massive thanks to whoever nominated us! Following your nomination(s), we were visited by three judges (incognito!) who decided to shortlist us. We're in there with great company, so are truly honoured.Huge thanks to our wonderful team (past and present) who always go above and beyond. And big love to our amazing customers and community who have supported our Sunday Brunches since we started them just 5 months ago!Good luck to all those shortlisted for 2020's awards.
READ MORE https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/eating-out/these-are-all-restaurants-nominated-yep-2020-oliver-award-1371195?fbclid=IwAR1USSANpkKrmASGaTagPzTJZglMCdzEjC0mobsYsNYHemFIw7CK6vdlXkM
Great to see the new bar next to Wetherspoons nearly complete, it looks lovely inside - still don't know what's it going to be called yet, so i'm looking forward to the signage when it goes up
Press release yesterday
Boost for town centres as city-wide improvements begin
Garforth gets a mention. Parking excitement
We're nearly at the end of January - hold on, Dry January is nearly over
Until next week .....
Yes, it's 6 years this week, I celebrate The Main Deal - it's been fun and I look forward to doing lots of shouting on social media this week; in a good way!
TDY 30th April – 3rd May 2020
Disappointing to hear today that Tour De Yorkshire have not picked our fabulous towns of Kippax, Garforth and Barwick for the big races this year; we’ll let them off, some other towns needs to feel that fabulous community spirit supporting this wonderful event! Here’s hoping for another year in the future, as our towns support this event, so well. The nearest place to see the race will be in Leeds itself, check out their page of information so you can still go and support. https://letour.yorkshire.com/the-race/
4th year – Saturday 11th July 2020
A great Feastival meeting this week, a great get together with food and wine (or tea in my case) discussing stalls, marketing, The Bake off (yes, it’s back) and new ideas how to raise money. As this event has always run on a shoestring, as volunteers, we have to come up with some intuitive ideas how to raise funds to cover all the things the feastival needs in order we have a successful event, year on year.
As mentioned in previous blogs, we have now secured place to run our Repair Café in March 2020. We have a list of volunteers, but would love some more skilled fixers/volunteers who could help and who would like to come to our February meeting to see what we’re going to do. Email me if you’re interested in hearing more Christine@themaindeal.co.uk
Leeds Repair Cafe are getting involved in, The Big Fix 2020
'Join us as we take part in the (attempt at!) UK's biggest Repair Café.
Bring your items down for our fixers to have a look at, and post here or in the group to give us a head start figuring out a diagnosis, in case you need to order parts or we/they need to bring specialist tools.
If you fancy getting involved, get in touch - email@example.com or message one of the group admins.'
find out more here - https://www.facebook.com/events/741884806334790/
Why do we still close on Wednesdays?
This point maybe a bit controversial, but why do some of our local shops still shut on a Wednesday? Unfortunately, by closing, it continually makes the street a quiet day for shopping and other businesses potentially lose trade as our community have a perception that a lot of businesses are closed. We need to move forward and open Monday – Saturday. Back in the day when shops first introduced half day closing, nearly everybody shopped local, so businesses could do this, however, our society has changed so much, and as people are finding alternative ways to shop, then we need to change too. In my opinion, all shops should be open full time throughout the week, as the impact of not doing so has a bigger impact on all other businesses. If the issue is down to rest days needed, then over time of promoting being open on a Wednesday, staff cover could be put in place.
Baby Courses in January – book Online - spaces available
Flutterbabies is a holistic company providing nurturing baby led classes. All our carefully structured courses encourage your baby’s development in a multitude of areas.
Tuesday 21st January Baby & Toddler Signing 11.45am FEW Arts Hub Garforth
8 week course
Thursday 23rd January Baby Massage 12.00pm FEW Arts Hub Garforth
5 week course £40 including a baby massage guidebook and bottle of organic baby massage oil. Plus, a certificate at the end of the course.
A lovely gentle first class with a myriad of benefits for baby including easing colic and digestion problems, improved sleep, baby bonding
Thursday 23rd January Baby Yoga 1.15pm FEW Arts Hub Garforth
8 weeks- crawling
5 week course £35 including a baby yoga guide and a certificate at the end of the course
Builds strength and coordination, aids digestion and eases constipation, encourages sleeping through the night
Friday 24th January Baby Massage 10.00am Sensory Space
5 week course
www.flutterbabies.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org - 0113 226 8388 | 07544 277 225
For all other events and classes please follow our Events Page on Facebook or our new App, it’s gets updated daily
The Orthodontist has had planning permission granted ‘Change of use of part of ground floor space of retail shop (A1) to dental and orthodontic practice (D1) with the addition of six new wall mounted condenser units
Liking the photographic images, it looks really nice https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PYH7DVJBGR700
Nice to see INDERGAARD PHYSIOTHERAPY on Fairburn Drive have put in an application to expand, it’s always good to see a local business grow.
Do the small things as it makes a big impact
Until next week……….
here to edit.
Happy New Year to you all, even though it seems a while ago already! I hope you've all had a really good break, I certainly did, lazy days, getting up late, no alarm, eating chocolate because it's there and no-one saying, 'what are you doing eating Celebrations at 10 in the morning?' Starting afternoon drinking at 1.00pm was ok.. I loved it, but sadly, all good things have to come to an end, and so is January, nearly and thankfully, let's get this month gone and we can start to see smiley happy people; or is that just me! If like me, you're doing dry January, good luck, we're nearly there.
So, back in the,Twenties, it sounds better than the 'noughties' and what was the last decade called, the 'teenies?' I would love to see a hint of the 1920's fashion come back, the best bits brought forward with a 21st century twist. Being a lover of most things vintage, I cloche hat being back in the shops would be a dream come true - I love all clothes worn by, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Mary Poppins and the Marvel Character, Peggy Carter. Fingers crossed for a little hint of more vintage wear to our high streets.
What are your plans this year, do you make New Year’s resolutions? Mine is always to look after myself more and say no to doing too many things; it never works! So I have vowed to wear more dresses this year, just because, and the fact it’s a realistic resolution I can keep.
We've had a few new members just before Christmas, Room 94, Hilltons Fish and Chip Shop with JKS Property Maintenance services http://www.happiesthandyman.co.uk/index.html coming soon - welcome
Our new updated and shiny website will be released very soon, as our website is full of information, links, pages and very interactive, good things take time, so we should see it, this month, the month of our 6 year in business -woo hoo
WORD ON THE STREET
I'm hearing that Fairburn Drive post office is finally going to close, hearing from a source that there is a note on the window, I've not paid a visit yet, so not sure when. Sad to say, I said this 3/4 years ago that if we didn't look after local, we would lose Chris' Fruit and Veg and the post office, some workers were still parking on the outside of the shops rather than leaving it for people wanting to use them, so when people can't get parked they drive on. I think it's rather sad we are going to lose this post office, its saying online it's either been sold or taken off the market https://www.rightbiz.co.uk/buy_business/for_sale/197461_west_yorkshire.html so watch this space
Other properties up for sale/lease in Garforth are
Heers Convenience store on Fairburn Drive is still up for sale and the price has been lowered.
Hearing that The One Stop near the Crusader is to be changed to a Tesco Express.
We are getting a Dunelm in Colton as Argos moves into Sainsbury's.
Take a look at our Facebook page of events or download our App to your homescreen
NEWS IN from Delta, East Garforth Primary School
New Head of Academy appointed to top performing East Garforth Primary
Delta Academies Trust are delighted to announce that Mrs. Jessica Roy has been appointed as Head of Academy at East Garforth Primary Academy which is one of the top performing schools in the region.
Jessica has had over 20 years of teaching experience throughout Yorkshire, including 7 years in a Leadership role. Jessica, who is a mum of 2, is passionate about working with children and communities. She volunteers as a Street Angel and for the charity Operation Orphan.
Jessica said about working with the Delta Academies Trust: “At interview, I was inspired by the vision of Delta and the positive impact they have on their schools and communities.’ “I desire to be the kind of school leader who can affect positive change in the lives of young people through leading and empowering staff, I feel incredibly fortunate to be joining a school which continues to thrive and currently has results in the top 20%”. “I am looking forward to enabling future growth and success for children and staff at East Garforth, which will reflect positively on the local community".
Reception applications are open for September 2020 until the end of January. If you would like to arrange a visit or require any further information please contact us on 0113 212 7100 or email email@example.com.
'I've thought about becoming a member, but what's the fee for?'
I hear January is the worst month for break ups, stay together people....
Until next week
We come to the end of another year, Christmas is upon us and the kids have finally broken up from school. it’s been a long couple of terms since September and everyone is either really tired or full of cold. Make sure you enjoy this break whether you celebrate Christmas for the religious or the fun reason, or not at all. We all deserve a small break somewhere over the next couple of weeks, because before you know it, we’re all, full, fat, fed up and skint - I know, I’m such a kill joy! But, I truly hope you all have the best time with your friends and family, and if you know someone who is going to be on their own this Christmas, please invite them in, even if it’s just for a drink. The most important thing over Christmas is to show a bit of kindness and it doesn’t always have to come in the shape of a gift.
This year, I have made a real effort to make it a plastic free Christmas. A lot of my presents are bought from local makers, or i've made a few myself, split things and made a couple of gifts. I have then wrapped them in paper and twine or festive material which I bought from Leeds Market, and I'm hoping that next year, it will be reused and returned. My crackers and table settings are plastic free or reusable and all the chocolate tubs I have been given, which there are many and they've already been eaten; isn't this what the lead up to Christmas is all about though? Some ideas for you on how to use re-use yours so they don't become single use plastic.
It's truly been another great year at TMD HQ, I've had more members than ever before, and we've created a new App. and it’s brilliant to be working with even more new ‘independent’ businesses that have come into Garforth, than ever before! 2020 is going to be a great place for Garforth to grow, eat, drink, shop and be with family and friends. Let the local fun begin.
In March 2020, our first repair café will finally get off the ground. I can also look to start other projects too; my mind is never quiet. I have always wanted to bring an element of usable Art to our town, and as we have so many talented local artists in Garforth, I hoping to tap into their world to see if there is anything we can collaborate on together. January is also the start to the work for Garforth Feastival 2020, our 4th year. Lots to discuss and do, and as we decide and finalise, information will be shared, so keep a look out.
I'm hoping to get the Podcast more off the ground too, with our original idea of podcasting with local people we know, including the lovely lasses at Cielo - so keep watching for updates and podcasts.
I am always open to suggestions for The Main Deal, so if there is anything you feel I could do, add, change, make happen, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org I'm all ears and here to do the good stuff, because we can.
Please look to our App or Facebook page for all the up and coming events over the next week – and don’t miss out on Cielo Sings carols with Garforth Jubilee Brass Band and Ian’s mobile Christmas Farm and Carols on Saturday from 1-4pm
Nice to hear two of our Chip Shops are being taken on by new owners this week, Hilltons and Central Fisheries, we wish them both good luck and I hope at least one of then take on the North West opening times - 11pm please, sometimes you just want a portion of chips for supper!
When January is here, please don't forget about our local businesses. January through to February can be difficult months for our shops, as we all eat what’s left over for as long as we can and we count the pennies until January pay day. So when you do need to go out for the odd item or 2, remember local, first. You can always think ahead to our local fitness and health professionals – If you want to make it your ‘New Year’ goal to look after yourself better, check out our ‘Keep me fit and Healthy' Category for all your wellbeing needs.
Like me, are you the organiser of Christmas, Santa and the chef? I feel all I do is stand up, all day, as we have 6 for Christmas Day and 8 for Boxing Day! However, I would much rather cook than wash up afterwards, so I do my best to use every pan in the house! Cook well, enjoy local and drink a few!
The blog will be back on Friday 10th January in the roaring 20's – enjoy, be kind, love lots
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Well what a week, another one gone in a blink of an eye. How does it go from Monday to Friday in a flash? Do you think it’s to do with the nights being dark so early, that the day seems over so quickly? It needs to slow down, we don’t want Christmas over in a flash too.
This week, I have had the unfortunate, ‘it’s-going-round-everywhere-schools-are-closed’ bug, yes, the lovely Norovirus, what a lot of fun that’s been! I didn’t think vomiting could be so violent. Luckily, all is well on that front, now I just have a cold to deal with! I’m just hoping it’s all out of the way before Christmas, I have a lot to do in 12 days. Now, wash your hands people.
Well, we can’t leave the elephant in the room any longer. BoJo is in, some may clap, some may weep, some may drink…lots; but if Kelvin Fletcher doesn’t win tomorrow night’s Strictly, I’m considering a move to the Netherlands! Now can we just get on with Christmas
It was so great to hear Luke Flear's, new single, 'Alive' released last Friday, a real catchy tune (if that doesn't make me sound like a parent) Stream from one of your favourite devices, but take note with Alexa, you have to say FLEAR very clearly!! Sticks and Stones have also been in the studio again and their new songs, to add to their own collection should be released soon - so watch out for this. What great local talent we have.
A little Christmas helper - some gift ideas you might not have thought of - be surprised
Dumouchel do evening classes such as chocolate and bread making, check out their website and ask what’s coming up www.dumouchel.co.uk
The Gin Shack – Lots of great gins and glasses, great hamper gift sets, www.ginshack.co.uk
Quirky Ales – Brew school - https://quirkyales.com/brewschool/- not only is it local, but there’s lots included on your brew school day for the man or woman in your life who likes good ale – Quirky have also just released some, ‘Merch’, have a look on their Facebook to see all.
Baby classes and Local activities – book online for your son, daughter or friend who have a baby? There’s baby massage, baby yoga, baby signing, baby swimming and activate Storytime and sensory classes for all – check with Flutterbabies, Bumps and Babes, Find Your Voice – lots of great local classes as well as booking classes with Katherine at Funky jives for mums, dads and toddlers to do classes together https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/local-activities.html
Garforth Community Choir – You can book a taster session or a full term - all details and prices https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/garforth-community-choir.html
Pre Book a holiday with Natalie Varley our local Travel Counsellor and her team - all you're needing is a deposit at this stage - imagine your partner opening that surprise on Christmas Day! https://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/natalie.varley
Restaurant Vouchers – why buy one for the big chains when we have so many great places to eat in Garforth, you can buy vouchers for all of them, including a breakfast voucher or a coffee voucher – think outside the big chain cards!
Hair and Beauty – now these may be an obvious, but do you know you can buy vouchers from them ALL – we have so much choice, from nails to aesthetics, from tanning to piercing https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/make-me-beautiful.html
The Flowerhouse Garforth - not just great flowers, wreaths, table settings and beautiful flowery gifts as well as cactus and succulents and lots more for you too https://www.facebook.com/theflowerhousegarforth/
Few Gifts and RAW Family Design – you can buy something really unique at their gift shop near Tesco’s, including local business crafters and makers and local artists too. Or book onto one of their up and coming workshops www.fewgifts.co.uk You can have something printed on an item of clothing or 'merch' by RAW. https://www.rawfamilydesign.co.uk/
Smartypants Art with Kirsty - you may have seen lots of Kirsty's facebook posts were people have been out on a night and day time events (one coming up in January) for a painting and proscecco - I can highly recommend
Ladies Clothes shops – don’t forget we now have 3 choice of ladies-wear with our two new ships, Lilypops Boutique and Room 94 Boutique as well as the lovely Dorothy Anne’s. Items of clothes to buy, shoes, boots, bags, jewellery, nightwear, underwear, accessories and gifts – which means, as its local, if you don’t get it right, it’s easy for the gift receiver s to take it back and change it!
Refill & Go – is not just about filling up on produce, they also do fabulous gift options too, such as Chilly bottles, bath bombs, take to work items, things to eat as well as things for the Christmas Table and selection boxes– all plastic free of course
Sue Carroll Psychic Medium – Sue has been our local Medium for a long time and has a great reputation, she does one on one personal readings and group bookings too – has your family or friend every mentioned about always wanting to have a reading done?
Personal Training Sessions or a book of 10 classes – all of our local fitness classes, personal trainers and gym, such as Gymophobics all do vouchers including our Slimming World classes, check out our link https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/keep-me-fit--healthy.html
Dental treatments – our local dentists offer teeth whitening and some, aesthetics. Has your partner or loved one been going on about wanting straighter teeth? You can organise a free consultation and perhaps money towards their new year, new teeth, listen to my, ‘short midweek podcast’ travel, thoughts, new biz and this gift idea.
You can search for all of the above here on our website. Hopefully I have given you a few ideas to go on with, should you be scratching your head this year for something different!
As mentioned last week – all our events are now on our easy to downloadable App
Just save it to your home screen and it will sit nicely with all your other Apps.
I see the planning application is now in for the new Bar Café, The Assembly, which I mentioned in our podcast the other week – details here, https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q1M8TLJBKHO00 Always great for a nosey of the layout – fingers crossed for another place to be
We walk, we talk, we stop, we eat – locally
Our last blog of 2019 next week, until then, have a great week
It appears that some of you like to read the blog! Don’t worry, I won’t take offence that a lot of you prefer reading than hearing my scouse dulcet tones and the fact it was perhaps longer to listen than read. It was something to try and I still like the idea of a podcast, but perhaps I may do this during the week with more people joining in, as a little addition to the blog! So here goes, you have it back as a written form, give me a high five!
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat or I might!
As one of many women in the world, I handle a lot of everything! I work full time, run a house, a family and then some bloke added Christmas, I know it’s not all down to Jesus; well, it is, but Santa can take some of the blame too! Juggling work, school jumpers, 'just a £1' donation, Christmas plays, carols, gifts, themed events and disco’s, then I have to add the presents, decorations, food and then family arriving to deal with. I love Christmas, but equally find it quite stressful and I don’t see myself as a stress head. I only have one brain and there are many tabs open, and some of them are frozen! This year I am planning on being out of of the office a little earlier, which is also an advantage with the Thomboys breaking up later this year. I will officially be out of the office from 16th December, but don’t worry, we don’t go quiet until Christmas Eve!
I heard on the news this morning that people should stop buying Christmas jumpers because of the amount of plastic used to produce them. That’s very understandable but what I always want to know is, rather than moaning about a problem, can we have a solution first, and instead of jumpers, what could we wear as an alternative - what would you come up with as an alternative to a Christmas jumper?
Awful news, to hear about an attempted and then two full on hit, burglaries this week. Anytime this happens is awful. To have some opportunist; this is me being polite, come into your house and take your things, but Christmas is even harder as people start preparing for the big day there's more to take! Luckily the one opportunist that attempted to get into a house didn’t release the homeowner was in, so she caught a picture of him and it’s now given the police a better opportunity to look for a complete scum bag, idiot in red trainers, sorry, my politeness left...! At this time of year, it’s rife for little buggers, please make sure all your windows and doors are secure, I know it may feel I’m trying to teach a grandma to suck eggs, but a lot of people still don’t have the basics of security in their home, and it could potentially give burglars easy access.
If you feel you need better security or just some advice, call our local experts
David - Mr Smith Locksmith - https://www.mistersmithlocks.com/
Dean – Garforth Security – Alarms and CCTV https://garforthsecurity.com/
Always think, you may need to pay £150 excess on your home insurance should you broken in to, but you could spend less on added security on your windows and doors.
We’re nearly at 200 people who have download our new App, don’t miss out, be in the know with what’s local https://themaindeal.glideapp.io/ click here and save to your home screen, and then you cn easily access the power of knowing what's going on locally. Click on events to find out what’s coming up between now and February
Out Out, locally
The Podger is now back open. Last night I was invited to the soft opening, to see, taste and share with you, some details of their new refurbed pub. Jackie and Mark and the team have been working really hard getting it ready for todays opening, especially as they’re now offering a breakfast menu too. The photo’s will give you an idea of how they have made great changes, and made The Podger a place you want to be with your friends, family and your dog! Yes, part of the pub will be dog friendly. Another great venue to walk to, have a bite to eat and walk home – being local is getting..... good.
You can see the full menu online https://www.sizzlingpubs.co.uk/food
Our Repair CAFÉ – Great news
Finally, we have a new venue that will host, Garforth’s Repair Café and finally, I can get this up and running – the lovely team at Few Gifts have been our olive branch and we will be holding our first session at the end of March 2020, we wanted to get the bad weather out of the way and we can also have the much needed help from the fabulous volunteers, at Leeds Repair Café joining us. So please keep an eye on our Facebook page (LINK) and you can follow what’s happening in the lead up to our first one
I paid a visit to the library this week to meet the Garforth Knit and stitch group – each year, they come up with a theme for their Christmas display, and oh my goodness, you should go and see it, it’s fantastic. We have some very fabulous and talented local ladies – Here's a little glimpse of their Cinderella themed knits, go in and see the whole story and their knitted Christmas Decorated tree too! - Love a local
I’m hearing, ‘word on the street’, that one of our new establishments (soon to open) has had a bit of trouble, just about to get their license through and then there’s been an objection – it all sounds very naughty and a bit sneaky how it has been done too! I hope this gets sorted asap and we can see another new eating and drinking establishment open, the more offerings we have the more impact we will have on day time footfall, it’s a no brainer. Choice is what we want and need to get a good night time vibe on our main street and to keep people spending money locally!
Off on our Zumba Christmas do tomorrow – well it would be a bit sad if I had one of my own in this small office!
Until next week
*Mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that Buses would be diverted down Barley-hill road, but just reading on twitter from Arriva, they will be going left at Church Lane onto Lidgett Lane and then onto the Old George Roundabout - and road closes at 8.30pm! Lots happening on the stage too
Enjoy this week's Podcast and see you at the Lights
My name is Christine Thom, I came to live in Garforth nearly 22 years ago; you may have seen me around ?