We’re almost halfway through the year and the weather is (finally) starting to warm up a bit – just in time for this month’s Bank Holiday weekends.
Now that the social mixing rules have started to relax, we’re looking forward to having friends over for barbecues once summer arrives. We’ve got some great features for you in the May issue – from what your car really says about you and Ask The Experts (with great pieces of advice from some of our advertisers), to Ask The Vet and the power of relationships in business.
One of the features that we were particularly grateful to get involved in was Youngpreneurs in Orpington. Over lockdown, not all kids sat around playing on their X-Boxes or Playstations; some actually pulled their finger out, got their creative hat on and launched mini businesses.
It was all inspired by Arthur, who we featured in the March magazine after he launched his own organic soap company at the tender age of seven.
First up in the May issue we meet 14-year old Katie who set up on Instagram as Sweetness Galore – offering sweets in beautifully presented boxes wrapped in tissue paper. They make the perfect gifts for kids looking to gift friends for birthdays – and the great news is that they’re really affordable too. Do give Katie a follow and like on Instagram to help support her young business.
Next up we featured Fraser, who at eight years old has launched his own clothing range called Never Give Up. Fraser offers hats, hoodies, t-shirts and facemasks. You can follow and help support Fraser via his Instagram channel.
We’d love to hear from more Youngpreneurs about their business ventures – please do email us if you’d like to be featured!
Looking ahead to next month’s issue and there’s plenty happening – from a new feature entitled ‘What’s You Take’ and the latest shopping deals and new launches, to saving money with smart home tech and how young people are making a big difference when it comes to eco-conscious activities in Orpington.
As usual, we’ll leave you with an inspirational quote to ponder…
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
It’s been our busiest month to date since we launched Life In Orpington back in March, where we’ve attended more community events, visited more attractions and met more famous faces than we can shake a stick at!
If you’re not aware, this local attraction boasts more than 280 acres of grounds that people can enjoy – for picnics, walks and exploring, and on the first and last Saturday of the month the museum hosts a free event in the afternoon.
If it’s a tour you’re interested in, then aim for noon on Saturdays, and the museum occasionally runs family events. Plus there’s a history walk on the last Saturday of every month, which takes about an hour.
With free parking and free events, if you’re looking for an alternative local attraction that’s also educational, you can’t go wrong with a visit – the current exhibition, Brilliant Visions: Mescaline, Art, Psychiatry, which runs until 1stSeptember, is well worth seeing.
This month we welcomed a range of new advertisers on board including The Bed Post, Fab House Café, Bromley Pageant (who feature on the cover for June), Lightbulb Sun and Ash Mechanics.
It’s lovely to be able to offer a more personalised service to our advertisers, which includes free social media promotion plus allowing them to get involved in the real crux of the magazines by providing interesting tips, articles and advice pieces. It’s a great way of raising brand awareness and showcases businesses as well as offering great value for money – and they are the experts of our local community.
These are the people local residents should be turning to for sound advice rather than Google – as you can’t trust everything you read online!
Out & about
As Life In Orpington is very much focused on community events, raising awareness of local causes and building supportive communities, we’re keen to get out and about visiting those doing their bit for great causes.
One such charity is The Maypole Project and we were invited along to see how this well-known local charity works with local families, as well as to see the fantastic facilities that they provide. They’ll be part of our Charity Watch page in an upcoming issue – so watch this space as they say!
We also met the very lovely Suren who has organised a golf charity event on 2ndJune to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. We featured this on our Charity Watch page for May and Suren will also be handing out our magazines to distribute to golfers taking part on the day – we hope to pop along to the event to get some pictures too.
In terms of networking events, we headed over to BR1 Networking in Bromley and we also enjoyed the Orpington FSB Networking event earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Croydon Crown Court held an Open Day so we popped along to learn more about the judicial system, meet the super cute sniffer dogs and chat forensics with some rather clever people – it was a great day out and the kids loved it.
We also visited the ‘Peckish at Perry Hall’ event (met some fab eco-friendly and sustainable businesses) and met up with the Chartwell Cancer Trust, which has just unveiled a state-of-the-art technology gadget for the classroom (which we’ll be reporting about in our July issue!)
And finally, the big news for May was that we were delighted to be invited on Celebrity Cruises’ new Edge ship, which launched in December.
We were in our element checking out the new addition to the fleet, deemed to be ‘the most technologically advanced ship in the world’ – and it didn’t disappoint!
From breath-taking suites designed by Kelly Hoppen, MBE, featuring open-air plunge pools and 270 degree views, to the innovative ‘Magic Carpet’ platform that moves up and down the side of the ship, we were in awe of everything onboard and could have literally have stayed there all week!
From a technological perspective, innovations include the latest in facial recognition software, where passengers can now bypass the queues and traditional document checks by uploading a ‘selfie’ via the company’s mobile app for automatic check-in.
Apart from the food which was out of this world (and where we admit, we treated ourselves to two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners in one day!), we couldn’t believe how many celebrities we found ourselves rubbing shoulders with – from the delightful and very down-to-earth Eamon Holmes, to adventurous explorer Ben Fogle; we had a ball.
Celebrity is launching its new Apex ship in April next year – we’ve got our fingers crossed we might get another sneak peak at the latest arrival – and watch out for the July issue of Life In Orpington, where we’ll be showcasing how great Edge really is!
It’s great to get feedback from readers and there are certainly some pages that attract more comments than others.
Tips we’re particularly proud of including in the May issue were … 5 of the strangest enquiries received by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from Brits abroad (read the digital issue if you missed it!)
And the life hacks page is always well received – this month we covered tips such as daily time savers, 3 ways with lemons and online security tips.
Coming up next month…
Next month we’ve got a few meetings lined up including a couple of reviews which we’re really looking forward to. We’ve worked with businesses on reviews in the past – and it’s always good to try new products or services. If you’d like to work with us on a possible review, you can send us an email.
We’ll also be attending the Enchanted Festival in Priory Gardens on Saturday 1stJune, Oxfam Orpington for a recruitment day, the PDSA charity to meet a local hero and the PIB Orpington Business Network event which we’re looking forward to.
As fans of interiors, we’re also thrilled to receive an invite to the Exclusively Homewares Show – and of course there’s Father’s Day to look forward to! Now…what to buy dad and how to treat him? Ah, that’s easy – our Shopping page for June has got that one covered – enjoy!