The FA’s ‘The Greater Game’

Round & About


Following last year’s successful pilot programme, The FA’s ‘The Greater Game’ is being rolled out nationwide.

The FA’s announcement of ‘The Greater Game’ campaign is a commendable initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of 12-16 year-olds across the UK. By partnering with organizations like Nuffield Health and M&S Food, they’re addressing crucial aspects of physical and mental health.

The focus on grassroots programs is especially promising, as it allows for widespread participation and engagement. The positive impact observed during the pilot phase underscores the potential for significant change on a national scale.

Addressing the concerning statistics regarding young people’s attitudes toward exercise, diet, and sleep is vital. The introduction of initiatives like ‘DROPS’ and featuring well-known football stars adds excitement and relatability, making it more likely for young people to get involved.

Given the staggering number of youth experiencing mental health issues, promoting physical activity as a means of improving mental wellbeing is crucial. Providing practical tips and techniques across various health elements is a comprehensive approach to supporting healthier choices.

The statistics concerning sleep and diet habits among young people highlight the urgency of such campaigns. Encouraging adequate sleep and nutritious eating habits is essential for their overall development and wellbeing.

Overall, ‘The Greater Game’ campaign has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people, promoting healthier lifestyles and fostering positive habits that can last a lifetime.

The Greater Game ambassador and former England international, Jill Scott, said: “I’m a huge believer in the importance of being active, not just through football, but throughout your everyday life. What’s important about The FA’s Greater Game campaign is that it educates young people on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, whilst providing them with the tips and tools to go out and put that into practice. I’m looking forward to seeing grassroots clubs across the country start to introduce The Greater Game programme, allowing us to make a real difference. I also can’t wait to have a go at playing DROPS myself!”

View The Greater Game content on the newly launched YouTube channel here.

Get on the chain gang

Karen Neville


Cycling is environmentally friendly, good exercise, offers the chance to enjoy the countryside and doesn’t have to be expensive – so what are you waiting for – get on your bike and pedal!

From penny farthings to electric bikes, cycling has always been a popular pastime – good for you and good for the environment – so there can be no better time to get out on your bike than during Bike Week this month.

June 5th to 11th marks the 100th annual Bike Week celebrating a century of everyday cycling for everyone. The health and green benefits are well known. This year to further peddle those, Bike Week 100 is all about workplace cycling – whether that’s organising an event or simply cycling rather than driving to work.

Guildford based Cycling UK, the organisation behind Bike Week, has set a series of challenges at Bike Week 100 Challenges | Cycling UK – burn 100 calories by bike, save £100 by bike and cover 100 miles by bike. The choice is yours, but of course having some stunning scenery in which to cycle is always a bonus, fortunately in our part of the world we are spoilt for choice!

Surrey & Hampshire

Surrey & Hampshire

Follow in the footsteps or tyre tracks of Olympic cyclists and take to Box Hill, the scenic route through the Surrey Hills is a mixture of A and B roads and country tracks.

Picturesque Chinthurst Hill in Guildford is perfect for family outings, hop aboard your bikes and drink in the beauty of the woodland complete with its quirky folly. Why not stop off on the way and make a day of it?

The Green Flag award-winning site of Frensham Ponds has a cycling spot which is perfect for shorter outings so provides the ideal family jaunt into the countryside. Nearby Farnham Park is another spot suitable for families to take to their bikes and enjoy a trip in nature.

In the same part of the world, Alice Holt Forest is a wonderful opportunity for natural cycling. Travel through ancient mighty oaks as well as wildflower rich open spaces during your cycle. Trails are open to enjoy with your own bikes or they can be hired here. The three-mile-long Family Cycling Trail starts with the opportunity to enjoy some fabulous freewheeling on the downhill section.

Take in a medieval castle on your route as you cycle the loop around Guildford Castle and Chantry Wood. The 6.8km trail is well kept and while popular still offers the chance for some peace and quiet.

Chobham Place Woods, Blackwater Park and Virginia Water lake should also go on your cycling ‘must do’ list. Here you’ll be able to spot ancient monuments and a stunning ornamental cascade waterfall as well as a 100 foot totem pole, with 10 mystical totem characters.

Neighbouring Hampshire invites you to try Abbotstone Down, Alresford where the route will take you through rolling chalk hills and bluebell woods or how about making tracks through Chawton Park Wood to Bentworth village on the 10-mile trail easily accessible from Alton or Four Marks. Enjoy more of a challenge from Alice Holt Forest along bridleways and roads through Bordon to Oakhanger and for hardened cyclists there’s one of the hardest trails in the county to the north of Petersfield where you can embark on some challenging climbs through rewarding scenery – not for the faint-hearted.

Serious cyclists may want to put their foot on the pedal and take on the challenge of the Surrey Tour on September 30th at Cranleigh Showground. The short route (!) is a mere 88km with longer options of 120 and 160 on the table too. Whichever you choose you’ll cycle through amazing countryside and in addition to a medal at the end there’ll be a much-needed beer and how about a slice of well-deserved pizza to refuel afterwards.

Bikes, like anything else you treasure, require some TLC from time to time and that’s where organisations such as Bike Project Surrey come in. The charity which has a workshop at Guildford College and a second at Brooklands College will teach you how to look after and service your bike and gain skills necessary for its maintenance. Paid and volunteer mechanics will help you make the most of your bike to prolong its life and help protect the environment. They will service, fix and customise your bike using recycled or new parts where necessary to help keep it on the road or track.

One of the things that makes Bike Project Surrey so great is that not only will they help get your bike shipshape they are also giving opportunities to those who may have missed out on learning in the past. Many students go to them for work experience, as can NEETs who will have the chance to gain a recognised qualification.

If you’re after a new bike, they have refurbished ones for sale and if you’ve an unwanted one or one children have outgrown then why not donate it? To find out more about their work and how you can get involved visit

Cycling is not just about two wheels, Wheels for All offers all ability cycling through its fleet of adapted bikes, trikes, quads, recumbents and side by side helping to make cycling an all-inclusive activity. It embraces disabled people and those who may not otherwise be able to enjoy the fun and freedom of cycling. Wheels for All Woking sessions are based at the athletics track at Woking Sportsbox. To find out more and to get in touch go to


Enjoy some of the finest history Oxfordshire has to offer on a ride from the city of Oxford to Blenheim Palace. The family friendly ride follows the National Cycle Route 5 through residential neighbourhoods as it heads out towards Woodstock on its journey of around eight miles.

If mountain biking is your thing then at just under seven kilometres, the trail at Bagley Wood near Abingdon is ideal for beginners and the family, taking around two hours.

Mystery lovers should hop on their bikes and follow the Agatha Christie cycling route which takes in Wallingford, Goring and Streatley and Cholsey on the 17 mile loop. Once you’ve developed a taste for cycling in this area how about trying a ride through Goring Gap along quiet lanes and with stunning views.

Fancy seeing some art on your bike ride from Upton to Didcot? In addition to some lovely countryside there are interesting art benches (perfect for a breather) along the three to four mile route. Join the art trail from Upton and follow the signs for Didcot down towards the train station and into town for a refreshment stop.

Serious cyclists may like to take part in Bike Oxford on June 25th, choose from three routes of 75, 50 and 26 miles all winding through the best scenery Oxford has to offer. This popular event raises funds for Maggie’s Oxford Cancer Care centre. To take part visit

Bikes, like anything else you treasure, require some TLC from time to time and that’s where organisations such as Broken Spoke Bike Co-op in Oxford and Windrush Bike Project in West Oxfordshire come in.

The Broken Spoke is run by people who are passionate about cycling and aim to make people more proficient in cycle maintenance and riding. They offer a range of DIY workshops, mechanics courses, cycle training, Beryl’s night – a free monthly evening session for women and all trans and non-binary people – as well as repairs and sales. It depends on its volunteers and more help is always needed, to find out more and offer your services visit

In West Oxfordshire, the staff and volunteers at the Windrush Bike Project help people to make journeys by bike and learn about the mechanics of bikes. A community workshop teaches vulnerable children and adults to fix donated bikes through courses. They also deliver Bikeability cycle training in schools across the area, campaign for safe cycling routes and provide information about riding in and around West Oxfordshire.


The Kennet & Avon Canal is great for more adventurous family biking expeditions and all the locks en route provide the perfect start / stop points and with the trainline running alongside too you can do some great A-B bike rides starting at a railway station and returning by train if it all becomes too much or the Great British weather intervenes! Take in the picturesque canal through Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford and Pewsey.

The Nature Discovery Centre, near Thatcham has a lovely bike ride loop around the lake, perfect for kids and with a café and two playgrounds it’s a fabulous day out.

Don’t be surprised if you suddenly encounter ponies grazing as you ride through Snelsmore Common. They’re a familiar sight around the routes to Donnington Castle if you venture far enough.

The Ridgeway is a journey through time taking in part of our heritage, experience wide open views and explore ancient treasures such as Neolithic long barrows and Bronze Age round barrows. At more than 80 miles long the Ridgeway is a route that will test your fitness levels. Mountain bikers can complete the stretch from Avebury to Goring in around two days.

For off-road cycling and 24km of trails suitable for all abilities, visit Swinley Forest which offers a choice of three trails – green, blue and red. Green is the perfect introduction to off road cycling, ideal for families and beginners. The blue trail offers a flowing loop suitable for intermediate and mountain bikers while the red advanced trail has challenges those with off-road skills will appreciate.

Dinton Pastures, near Wokingham is one of the most attractive spots locally and offers several different tracks around the lakes including the 1.8 mile Black Swan Lake loop where you can spot interesting ducks and swans along the way. The path is flat so ideal for kids but does have some bumpy sections where the path has been resurfaced with rough gravel.

Black Park Country Park has “family” written all over it with options for kids of all ages. In addition to the circular path around the lake, there’s a great route with an adventure play park halfway. It’s just under a mile so ideal for little legs. Bigger kids looking to exert themselves can take on the 10 miles of cycling and walking tracks around. Take your own bikes or hire them from Go Ape next to the car park.

The Thames Path stretch from Goring to Pangbourne is public bridleway so saddle up and ride. Enjoy some glorious country back lanes to Tilehurst Station (via Mapledurham) – it’s around nine miles and from there a train can zip you and your bikes back to Goring in about eight minutes.

Bikes, like anything else you treasure, require some TLC from time to time and that’s where organisations such as Reading Bike Kitchen come in. Got a bike that’s been sitting in the garage with spokes covered in cobwebs or just need some advice and access to tools to get your beloved bike shipshape again? This is the place for you. Take your trusty steed along and either make use of the space and tools at the Small Business Centre in Weldale Street or just ask one of the volunteers who will be more than happy to help and get you back in the saddle. Reading Bike Kitchen also welcomes donations of bikes in reasonable condition to pass on to a new owner. Visit to find out more.

Windsor Cycle Hub is a community initiative organisation set up to promote cycling for all in the community which as well as encouraging residents and visitors to get on their bikes, recycles affordable bikes, teaches mechanical skills, sharing knowledge and resources and running events and rides. Operating from The Swan in Clewer, the bike kitchen will carry out safety checks, maintenance, repairs and offer advice. Most weekends there’s a ride you can join in with too – operating on four different levels they’re a wonderful way to enjoy cycling in the company of others. Find all dates, advice and more at


Wiltshire has some gorgeous scenery to navigate and explore so how about going slightly further afield and starting in Salisbury – worth it for the cathedral alone. Cycle via an old drover’s road up to remote Normanton Down where Stonehenge will be on the horizon. Cyclists in the know prefer the village of Avebury, whose ancient stone circle is more accessible and more fun to visit. The circular 160-mile Wiltshire Cycleway showcases the county, right up to historic Malmesbury in the Cotswolds.

Experienced cyclists will want to tackle William’s Big Wheel on Saturday, 10th June. Run by West Berkshire Spokes, it starts from West Mills, Newbury RG14 5BQ and takes you through Marlborough, Ramsbury and Lambourn. This is a limited numbers ride but if seeing them whizz past whets your appetite for ‘serious’ cycling then the group runs two rides a month, find out more at

You might still be in time to sign up for the Hydra Ride on June 25th. The sportive-style road cycle ride, starts from Wood Street, in the heart of Swindon Old Town, a choice of three routes all go south-east along rolling roads winding through stunning countryside taking in Lambourn, Ramsbury and Aldbourne on the way. The Hydra 5, 7, and 9 offer a challenge for riders of all abilities with rewarding climbs and swift descents. And if the cycling’s not for you make sure you look out for them pedalling through the towns and villages. Full routes at


Follow the Phoenix Trail from Princes Risborough to Thame and enjoy the perfect family trail. Not only is it flat and safe, but there’s no traffic to contend with along the 7.5 mile path which largely follows the path of a disused railway line, dotted with 30 sculptures acknowledging railway history and the Chiltern countryside.

Wendover’s Juniper Cycle Trail takes you along six miles of well-surfaced trails with climbs and descents. Suitable for intermediate riders and mountain bikers with basic off-road skills, some parts are steep but the trail is well-surfaced.

Take in the sights of Jubilee Weir and Windsor (including Eton) on an enjoyable 11.5 mile route from Windsor Bridge Loop to Taplow that includes five+ miles of fabulous cycleways.

Explore Little Marlow, Bourne End, Cookham Bridge, Cookham Dean and the Marlow Suspension Bridge on an easy circular route of just over 10 miles, finishing back in town for a well-earned refreshment reward.

Longer routes well worth a pedal in the area include taking in the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and Butt’s Way with a cycling round trip which takes in Princes Risborough. You can cycle in the landscape of Pavis Wood and enjoy Chesham, Amersham and Great Missenden and how about exploring the Royal Standard of England taking in Beaconsfield en route? For full details of these and more rides, please visit

Organised by Wheelpower, the Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride on Sunday, 11th June, is Buckinghamshire’s largest charity cycling event which starts and finishes at Stoke Mandeville Stadium with a chance to enjoy the beautiful countryside. Cyclists can enjoy full support en route while the finish yields a massage, barbecue and bar to recover and relax. This fabulous event raises funds for the Stoke Mandeville charity which provides opportunities for disabled people to lead healthy, active lives. Full details and to enter, visit

North West Surrey Alliance community day

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Jack Wagstaff, Place Leader and Chief Officer for North West Surrey Health and Care Alliance shares how they are working together for better health, care and wellbeing for the benefit of the community

North West Surrey Health and Care Alliance recently held our first large-scale Community Day at the RHS Garden Wisley. The incredible setting intentionally set the tone for the type of environments we need around us to nurture our health and wellbeing.

More than 200 people living, working, running businesses, supporting vulnerable people and raising families in our communities joined us.

This was an opportunity to showcase everything from local recruitment opportunities to the progress we’re making joining up the delivery of health, care and wider wellbeing services. That included hearing about people like, Avis who has regained her confidence after a series of falls following support from our Urgent Community Response Team who helped her to remain independent in her own home. Watch Avis tell her story.

We also shared our work with borough councils, without whom it wouldn’t be possible to offer initiatives like our Step Down Service. This is supported accommodation for people who are medically fit but need additional help on discharge from hospital. For local residents Wendy and Darren this made all the difference. Hear more about Helen’s work.

As well sharing our progress, it was a chance for local people to tell us what it feels like to be on the receiving end of our work. The energy and positive feedback on the day was hugely motivating but what really struck me was just how active our residents want to be in improving their own health and wellbeing. Empowering people to take agency in this is the foundation of our work to develop neighbourhood teams. This follows recommendations from The Fuller Stocktake and our Critical 5 priorities, and means introducing multi-disciplinary teams to serve the needs of a defined footprint – with easy access to preventative support and tailored care when it’s needed.

Listening to the experiences of people from our communities and understanding their ideas for what a healthy and happy neighbourhood looks like opened up a different kind of dialogue about how we can influence the wider determinants of health. Considering transport and access, digital inequality, making it easier to navigate different services and liberating our community assets so they can take forward their own wellbeing initiatives, is all part of growing the neighbourhoods our residents want.

This is just the beginning of our work involve people in our communities, the voluntary and charity sector to build cohesive services and cultivate environments where our residents can thrive. Take a look at the highlights from the day in this short film. And if you’re interested in how we’ll be using the outputs of our discussions – keep an eye on our website or drop us a line.

A touch of luxury every day

Round & About


Touch of Soap Luxury wants to give you just that – hand and body soaps with a touch of luxury and they’re not just good for you but they’re good for the planet too.

The range of vegan, vegetarian and cruelty-free produced soaps are all made in Great Britain and allow you to spoil yourself while being kind to the earth.

The range of products currently includes Wild Hare solid shampoo in Tutti Frutti to leave your hair silky and glowing; Happy Scrub soap in bubblegum is a loofah and a soap in one, the unique fibres mean it will leave your skin beautifully smooth.

Hand crafted from sustainable palm oil, age-old botanicals and pure aromatic oils, the hand-made soaps will make cleansing a sensual joy; Wild Rose guest soaps are a colourful addition to your bathroom while rejuvenating aromatherapy hand and body lotion can help with a variety of skin conditions.

And if you’re looking to pamper yourself, the aloe vera body butter will repair your skin and actively regenerate it for several hours after application.

These sumptuous products are all available from

Feel more energised

Liz Nicholls


Feel more energised with these tips from Nature’s Corner in Newbury

Need more energy? Happily, there’s plenty you can do to increase your energy levels naturally.

Drink more water!

It may seem obvious but one of the main causes of fatigue is dehydration. Difficulty concentrating, headaches and fatigue, even feeling hungry are all signs you’re not drinking enough water. Aim for at least two litres of water daily.

Get sufficient sleep

Poor sleep on an ongoing basis will soon zap your energy. If you’re having trouble nodding off because your bedroom is too stuffy, try changing your bedding – choose natural fibres over synthetic, and sheets over duvets to help increase airflow and circulation. A natural sleep remedy can also help. Dormeasan® Sleep with Valerian and Hops can help restore better sleep patterns, which means more quality time in restorative sleep stages. Take 30 drops in a little water half an hour before bedtime.

Slay your stress!

Feeling stressed can take its toll on energy levels. It causes the digestive system to slow, meaning we don’t get as many nutrients, and therefore less fuel from food. It also means we can become deficient in the vitamins and minerals we need to keep our bodies working, and our energy levels up. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes each day to do whatever helps you to relax, whether that’s a walk by yourself, a long soak or a dip into a good book.

Ditch the quick-release carbs found in white bread, pastries and sweets. They might give you a quick sugar fix, but after a couple of hours that sudden spike of energy will drop, making you feel tired and sleepy. Low GI, energy-rich foods, such as wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and foods rich in protein, will keep you full for longer.

Still feeling tired?

Bring your minerals into balance. Minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are essential for turning the food we eat into energy. A.Vogel’s Balance Mineral Drink contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D, to help release energy and maintain vitality. Simply add to water and stir.

For further advice, visit Anita and her team at Nature’s Corner, 73 Northbrook St, Newbury.

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Tips to overcome a needle phobia

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A needle phobia is quite common – it’s thought to be a problem for about 1 in 10 of us.

People who experience this may have had a lot of injections in childhood, or had previous bad experiences with injections, but this is not always the case. It can result in sensations of panic or feeling faint – or actually fainting – because of a rise and then a rapid drop in blood pressure.

Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U, the UK’s first and largest online pharmacy, gives us some helpful advice for anyone who is worried:


It’s nothing to be embarrassed about! If you’re going for an injection, tell the person giving it to you about your phobia and they’ll take good care of you. They’ll be very used to it and will know what to do. They can help by distracting you, perhaps by talking to you during the process – which is over before you know it.


There are things you can do to help yourself. There’s a process called “applied tension”, where you tense your muscles for 10-15 seconds at a time, then rest, and repeat 5 times. Doing this every few days for a week or so can train your body to prevent fainting. Then, whenever you feel anxious about injections, you can repeat the process and it should control your blood pressure quickly. Don’t forget that you should always relax your arm for an injection, though.


Gradually exposing yourself to different situations relating to needles has been shown to help lots of people ease their phobia over time. Perhaps start with thinking about having an injection, and working up from there – and practising “applied tension” and deep mindful breathing when you feel the anxiety coming on.

Overcoming or learning to control a fear takes time and practice, including discovering what tips work best for you to help reduce the fear you feel. It is important if you suffer from a needle phobia to try out different techniques that can help with this so that it doesn’t prevent you from getting important vaccinations that can benefit your health.

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Get zoom ready with vitamins

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As millions across the world continue to interact online, people are spending a record amount of time video chatting.

This means that you often spend hours every week seeing yourself far more than you did pre-Covid, often leading to you paying greater attention to how you look. With this in mind, Pharmacy2U, the UK’s largest online pharmacy, have compiled a list of the best vitamins to make sure you’re Zoom-confident!

Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U, the UK’s first and largest online pharmacy, gives us which vitamins help with what:

Vitamin A

All cells need vitamin A for growth: this includes hair, which is the fastest growing tissue in the human body. It also helps your skin to produce an oily substance called sebum which helps to moisturise your scalp and keep your hair looking healthy. It has also been found that people that are deficient in vitamin A may experience hair thinning and hair loss.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can be found largely in both the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and the dermis (inner layer of skin). It has antioxidant properties and plays a key role in producing collagen, which helps to keep skin healthy. This is one of the key ingredients found in many anti-ageing skincare products. It helps to heal damaged skin and also has the ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, help to repair hair and prevent dry skin. It’s also great for healthy hair, again linked to its role in producing collagen, which is an important part of the hair structure.

Vitamin D

Typically we get the majority of our vitamin D in the summer months; the skin makes it when it’s exposed to sunlight. However, with most of us stuck indoors and with the gloomy winter weather many of us may be deficient at the moment. Vitamin D is used throughout the body, including the skin, where it plays an important role in skin tone, as well as preventing premature skin ageing. It also promotes healthy bone growth, with some studies showing that it can help with dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to hair loss, with research showing that vitamin D may help create new hair follicles.

Vitamin E

Similarly to vitamin C, vitamin E possesses antioxidant properties, helping to prevent the skin from sun damage. Vitamin E absorbs UV light, minimising the damage done by UV rays, preventing dark spots and wrinkles. If you have particularly dry skin, vitamin E can help to counteract a lack of sebum, as well as to help in the treatment of skin inflammation.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is vital in helping the body’s ability to form blood clots, which helps the body to heal bruises, wounds and any areas that have been affected by surgery. It is thought to help skin conditions including scars, stretch marks and dark eye circles.

Some vitamins should not be taken in large doses, and some may clash with prescribed medicines. Before taking any new vitamin supplements, talk to your pharmacist for advice if you need it.”

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Staying safe after COVID-19 vaccination

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How the vaccination could make you feel and what to do after you’ve had it. Comments from Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U, the UK’s first and largest online pharmacy:

“Like all medicines, there is a potential for side effects. These are generally mild and disappear within a day or two, and not everyone who has the vaccine will be affected. The most common side effects include fatigue, having a tender arm where you had your injection, and general aches and flu-like symptoms. These are common for many vaccines; the vaccine cannot give you Covid-19. It’s important to remember that if you experience mild symptoms after the first dose, you still need to get the second dose.

You must continue to take all recommended precautions to avoid infection

“It will take a week or two for your body to build up protection from the first dose of vaccine. No vaccine is 100% effective, and we still don’t know how much the vaccine prevents transmission of the disease, so you must continue to take all recommended precautions to avoid infection. In order to minimise any risks, for you, your family or other people you may come into close proximity with, you should continue to practise social distancing, wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently and follow the current government guidance.

“Although the fact that such a vast number of the population are receiving their vaccination is hugely positive, it’s important not to get complacent. By doing this, we can continue to alleviate pressures on the NHS. There is still a long way to go before life returns to pre-Covid normality and you can play your part in getting us all thereby sticking to the national guidelines.”

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How daylight savings affect your sleep

Round & About


Three ways daylight saving affect your sleep — and what you can do about it

The clocks go forward on March 28th — marking the start of daylight savings. Unfortunately, this means one less hour in bed, so prepare to feel extra sleepy that day!

As it turns out, this lost hour can have a greater impact than you may initially think on your sleep cycle. To help you prepare, we’ve identified three ways daylight savings affects your sleep, plus three ways you can fix it.

It disrupts your rhythm

Our bodies use circadian rhythm, a sort of internal body clock, to keep track of the time. It takes things like sunlight, how often we eat, and other aspects of our routines to determine when we should be awake and when we should be asleep. So, the hour lost from daylight savings could throw us off track and impact our nightly rest.

Maintaining a routine is crucial if you want to fall asleep easily

Solution: don’t oversleep. Try and keep to the exact same routine as you would normally. It may be tempting to lie in an hour past your alarm to ‘regain’ your lost hour of sleep, or even to have a nap during the day to catch up. But, these may be more detrimental to your body’s natural rhythm than if you were to stick to your regular pattern. Instead, it’s better to simply mourn the lost hour and move on, sticking to your usual routine.

The nights are shorter

This is the time of year where nights start to get shorter. By this, we mean that there are more hours of daylight, which is great for packing in loads of fun activities during the day. But, it can make sleeping difficult when the sun streams into your bedroom at times when you’d usually be trying to rest and recharge.

Solution: separate day from night. Darkness is key for sleep, as it tells our bodies to produce a soporific hormone called melatonin. So, at this time of year, you may wish to try installing thicker curtains or blinds to keep the light out and closing them around two hours before bedtime, so you can start to get sleepy when you need to.

Additionally, it can help to try and get as much light during the day as you can so that your body produces enough melatonin to keep you asleep through the night (NIH).

The weather is warmer

Summer sun is definitely something to look forward to, and the clocks going forward is signal that warmer weather is on the way. Unfortunately, this can mean sticky, sweaty nights and disrupted sleep, which can certainly put a damper on things. According to experts, the optimal temperature for encouraging sleep is between 15 and 20 degrees, much cooler than you might expect (Sleep Foundation).

Solution: keep it cool. The best solution would be to open your windows, as not only will this let the heat out, but the circulating air can make it easier to breathe too. You should also make sure you have a breathable mattress, as well as a lighter tog duvet than you would use in winter. A good summer duvet is generally around 4.5 tog, or anything up to 7.5 if you prefer a heavier blanket.

“The clocks going forward can make you feel off kilter for a few days, but it can have an even bigger impact on your sleep if you let it. Remember that sleep is a cycle, and maintaining a routine is crucial if you want to fall asleep easily and stay out of it until the morning.

“I always think of daylight savings as the start of summer, but, while longer days and warmer weather are a definite plus, if you’re not sleeping well, you can’t even enjoy the sun properly. Fortunately, by taking steps to make sure our bedrooms are the perfect environment for sleeping, we can enjoy a good night’s rest and longer days at the same time.”

Phil Lawlor, sleep expert at Dormeo. For more info please visit

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Channel 5’s Skin A+E Needs Wiltshire

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5 Star and Boom are looking for people from Wiltshire with various medical conditions to appear on SKIN A+E which is returning for its second series.

Following on from the success of the first series, which can be viewed here: SKIN A+E SERIES LINK

The doors to the Skin A+E clinic will be open for a second time, where a team of top UK dermatologists will give participants a FREE consultation, advice and medical treatment if appropriate.

If you, or someone you know, has a skin condition that you would like help with then the team at Boom would like to hear from you.

Perhaps your condition doesn’t qualify for treatment on the NHS? Or your treatment has been delayed?

Have you been unable to find the right treatment for your skin condition?

Or are you on a long waiting list for a referral to a dermatologist?

Their team of dermatologists would love to help you!

Applicants who are picked must be willing to talk openly and frankly about their condition and be available for filming for one day in April or May 2021. All applicants must be legal residents of the UK, currently live in the UK and be aged 18 and above.

To get more information and fill in an application form please email the production company at:
[email protected]

Deadline for applications is Friday 30th April 2021

We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Boom will process your information in accordance with its privacy policy (Boom Privacy Notice for Contributors) Applicants should be aware that due to the high volume of responses we cannot guarantee to reply to everyone.

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