Annoyingly early Christmas post: Charity, more charity,charity awards, food and charity, craftiness, boobs ain’t news, Beeston’s own ‘Mistletoe and Wine’…

A very busy few weeks that have kept me from updating this blog. So excuse if this is a bit of a blurt while I get a load of stuff out in one go….

First, a few bits of charity. With Christmas and its orgiastic consumerism around the corner, get some relief from treacle-drenced John Lewis adverts and spare a thought for those who couldn’t afford an asparagus kettle even if they were daft enough to want one. Homelessness in Britain is on the rise again, after being in decline for several years. Shelter estimate that a family becomes homeless every fifteen minutes, and this is set to rise as the effects of coalition policies such as the insidious Bedroom Tax are felt.

While I would urge anyone with a few quid at hand to set up a standing order with a charity such as Shelter that directly campaigns against the causes of this disgrace, you can do something much more immediate right now. Have any warm clothing, or wool? Then get in touch with the Facebook group Help The Homeless, who are collecting right now for rough sleepers. They are collecting locally and will then work with established housing charities to distribute accordingly.

The cold weather doesn’t just impact on those who are forced to sleep rough. It’s estimated that 480 people died in Notts as a result of last years harsh winter, a significant chunk in Broxtowe. This shouldn’t have happened, but it does, and it hits the most vulnerable. While the government tells us the solution is to ‘put on a jumper‘ – while one it’s MPs claimed £5,822 on expenses to heat his stables- the greed of the energy companies is forcing many to choose between eating and heating this year.

Nottinghamshire Community Foundation are running an appeal this year to try and raise £10,000 to help the most vulnerable survive. They’re particularly interested in donations from those who receive, but don’t need, their Winter Fuel Allowance. More info, and ways to donate, here.

Fans of Cafe Roya  – and if you like food, you’re a fan, even if you don’t know it yet, can combine doing a bit of a good with having a fab foodie night out next week. Roya will be joining forces with Oxfam to bring you a Christmas treat. Over to the organisers:

The lovely, seasonal, five course menu will feature: Sage and chestnut soup with homemade bread; Sweet potato en croute, parsnip mash, wed wine and juniper gravy; Christmas pudding, brandy butter; Cheese and biscuits; Home made mince pies, tea and coffee

This is great chance to enjoy an evening at Beeston’s best restaurant while helping support the great humanitarian work of Oxfam. Tickets cost £35 per person, a third of which will go directly to Oxfam, and includes entry to our quiz with some top prizes.

If you would like to book a table please call Café Roya directly on 0115 922 1902 or drop-in to their premise on 130 Wollaton Road (NG9 2PE).

We are also running a Christmas raffle to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. If you are able to donate prizes or sell some tickets please get in touch.


So that’s what you can do for charity. But whats charity done for you, sweet Beestonians? Only gone and given you an award for being so ace, that’s what!

Yep, Beeston’s Oxjam Takeover, one of dozens that took place over the UK in October, scooped the prestigious Community Spirit Award at this year’s National Awards. Here it is:


It was awarded in recognition of how well the community worked -and partied – together to make Beeston Oxjam a runaway success. We’re incredibly chuffed to receive this as one of our aims is to try and get the festival enmeshed in the fabric of Beeston. We want it to be inclusive as possible, to involve local businesses, local talent, local punters. Without you, we could never have raised the £10,000+ we managed to get. Thank you all so much. I’ll have a word with our Head Co-ordinator, Heather, and see if we can arrange for everyone in Beeston to have the award on their mantlepiece for a night. Crank up the spreadsheets, Heather!


Shameless self-promotion: my latest column in The Nottingham Post, explaining why I support the No More Page 3 campaign.


A message from champion crafter Honey Bee (not her real name. Though I’m sure if I can swan around pretending to be a Lord she’s perfectly entitled to use a entomological moniker):

Calling all Beeston Businesses! Honey Bee is organising her annual fundraising event at The Pearson Centre for Young People on Saturday 14th December. If any of you would like to show your support and promote your business at the same time then please contact me at by Thursday 28th November to be involved.


The next  Beestonian Film Club, on Monday 2nd, promises to be a corker. We have the staggeringly talented Turrell Brothers showcasing a slice of their extensive work, as well as Roya’s incredible food thrown in with the entrance fee, a superbly bargainous £7. I’m sure this will be a sell-out, so to book a place NOW drop me an email at asap. I’ll leave you a taster, their superb video for the insanely catchy ‘This Time Next Year’ from Beeston’s -if not the universe’s  finest power trio, The Madeline Rust . It’s all about stalking, stealing boyfriends and descents into madness, but with sleigh bells to keep it seasonal….