‘We’re waiting to help those suffering from domestic abuse’

Bridgette Smith, Vicky Harrington, by Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Here to help: Bridgette Smith and Vicky Harrington

TWO women who each escaped an abusive partner – and have gone on to help others like them – are speaking out for domestic violence awareness week.

Bridgette Smith and Vicky Harrington are both counsellors at Billericay’s Wolf Urban, and will be offering free advice for women at their drop-in service in the town for the week – which started yesterday, November 20.

The pair have both worked in Essex’s refuges and are passionate about helping the thousands of women – and men – living in an abusive relationship.

Mum-of-one, Vicky, who now lives in Westcliff, said: “We are both survivors of domestic abuse which is the driving force behind our passion to support, inspire and empower women and children to live free from fear and violence. Continue reading

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‘You should never miss a bedtime…’

Witchy Travel Tales, author, Sibel Beadle, What Katy Did UK

Witchy Travel Tales author: Sibel Beadle with daughters Vie and Kie

A BILLERICAY mum’s bedtime stories, written to comfort her daughters as she divorced their father, are soon to be enjoyed by children everywhere.

Sibel Beadle, 46, who lives on a former farm at the edge of Stock, started penning the Witchy Travel Tales for her girls Vie, now ten, and Kei, now eight, two years ago.

Now the first of the five tales is on sale in book stores nationwide.

But how did it all come about?

“My husband left two and a half years ago and my decree absolute was almost a year ago,” Sibel explains. Continue reading

What’s on: Essex events in July

From printmaking and classic cars to afternoon tea and outdoor cinema, here’s my pick of the best events in Essex this July.

Northey Island , National Trust, Essex, #whatkatydid

Castaway… Northey Island

1 THE FLING FESTIVAL
Saturday, July 1. 12pm-11pm. £27.50
Hylands House, Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford

The annual Fling Festival is one of Essex’s top events exclusively for adults. The festival includes music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, immersive crafts, a silent disco, a fire garden, a punk poet, bars and plenty of food! This year the afternoon-into-night event, in the fabulous Hylands House and Estate surrounds, promises to be bigger and bolder than ever before.
For more information: www.flingfestival.com Continue reading

How Claire is crafting a crochet business

Claire Mackaness, crochet, #whatkatydid

Craft creator: Claire Mackaness

IN recent years, TV shows like the Great British Bake Off, the British Sewing Bee and the Great Pottery Throwdown have helped fuel something of a craft boom in the UK.

Indeed, the craft market in the UK is now worth a massive £3bn (and growing!) and traditional skills such as crocheting, knitting and sewing have seen a real resurgence.

Claire Mackaness, 38, of Gooseberry Green, Billericay, has seen first-hand just how popular crocheting has become. She runs workshops in sewing, dressmaking and crochet at her studio in Brentwood – and now offers classes online.

But why does she think crocheting has become so popular again? Continue reading

The meaning of spring flowers…

There are few things that signal spring as sweetly as the seemingly overnight arrival daffodils in our gardens, by the roadside and in woods across the county.

daffodil katy pearson

Never give just one daffodil…it’s considered bad luck!

Known as Lent Lilies, daffodils (narcissi if we are to use their formal name) are the most popular flower for Easter decorations, flowering anytime from January through to April. So bedded in tradition are they that Prince Charles is paid the sum of one annual daffodil as a rent payment for the unattended lands of the Isles of Scilly.

But like most blooms there are plenty of myths attached to them. Did you know it’s is bad luck to bring in a single daffodil into your home? Doing so, it is said, will bring misfortune upon the house.

So always bring a bouquet, if you intend to give daffodils as a gift, as this will bring good fortune to the house.

And even before they’ve been picked, daffodils are rife with superstitions. It is said if you step, stomp, or trample on a bed of daffodils, bad luck will find you. However, if you make a great effort to avoid stepping on a daffodil, you will be rewarded good fortune (so keep that in mind when admiring them in their hundreds at Warley Place Nature Reserve, just south of Brentwood.) Continue reading