Lydia2 (1).jpg?ixlib=rails 3.0

Lydia Catling

Journalist

Location icon United Kingdom

Trainee Reporter at the Kent Messenger. Studied MA Magazine Journalism (PPA accredited) at the University of Sheffield and took the NCTJ.

Portfolio

Kent Messenger/Kent Online

Health

Kent Online
Dog's six years of cheering up patients

A much-loved dog who has helped cheer up hospital patients is looking forward to his retirement. Yorick the Lurcher started working with the Maidstone Hospital chaplaincy team in 2012 when his owner Paul Ledger, started volunteering there and has since become a firm favourite with everyone there.

Kent Online
'I had no real reason to be depressed - I just was'

A beauty queen who battled depression after struggling with acne and low self esteem at school says pageants have helped rebuild her confidence. Zoe Hetherington, 21, who has reached the regional finals of Miss Kent GB, credits the contests with helping to improve her mental health by teaching her to be comfortable in her own skin.

Kent Online
Girl summons 999 help for gran

A young girl has received a certificate for her brave actions when her grandmother collapsed. Hetty Benfield, 10, called the emergency services when her nanny Irene Benfield, 72, took a turn for the worse in her Maidstone home.

Kent Online
'My brother was neglected before his death'

A man who had more than 50 seizures a day has died after spending more than four months in hospital. Patrick Cash, 31, from Headcorn, passed away at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. His mother, Mary Cash, confirmed Paddy, as he was known to his family, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease shortly before his death on September 28.

Kent Online
Man suffered 56 seizures in one day

The family of a man who suffered 56 seizures in a day are desperate to find a cause of the mystery attacks. Mary Cash's son Patrick was in Maidstone Hospital for more than two weeks, experiencing many regular convulsions. The worst day saw him have 56 in 24 hours and at points the episodes were less than two minutes apart.

Police/court/crime

Kent Online
"He preyed on hard working people"

A prolific thief who swiped money from cars and stole meat, razors and perfumes from shops has been jailed. Daniel Grossett, 31, of Constitution Hill, Snodland, was responsible for the crimes during a six-month spree. He was sentenced to one year and 16 days imprisonment.

Kent Online
'There has been no communication'

Thomas Cook customers have been left heartbroken by the cancellation of their holidays. The global travel group has collapsed after 178 years of trading - leaving more than 150,000 Brits stranded abroad and people at home unsure as to whether they will get their money back on future trips.

Kent Online
Three people arrested for break-in

Three arrests have been made following a break-in at a house in Horsmonden. Officers were called to Lamberhurst Road on Monday, September 30 when the residents came home to find entry had been forced and glass in a door was smashed. No items were reported stolen.

Kent Online
Spate of thefts from cars

People are being warned to remove valuable items from their cars following a series of thefts from parked cars. The advice comes after a number of reported overnight thefts between Saturday, September 21 and Monday, September 23 in Maidstone.

Kent Online
Murderer had a history of fleeing

A murderer arrested after three months on the run was known to have a history of absconding. Joseph Bagley received a life sentence in 1978 for killing a taxi driver in Maidenhead. He was released from prison on a supervised life licence in January this year and was staying in Maidstone.

Kent Online
Man arrested after 'indecent act' near shops

A man arrested has been for committing an indecent act near shops. Residents have reported seeing a man exposing along Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, in recent weeks. Kent Police confirmed they have arrested one man. A Kent Police spokesman said: "We were called at 8.35am on Tuesday, August 6 and arrested the 36-year-old man from Maidstone in connection with the allegations at 11pm the same day."

Kent Online
CCTV images released after robbery

Police have released CCTV images of two men who may have information about a supermarket robbery. Officers say they entered a supermarket in High Street, Sevenoaks and stole bottles of alcohol. During the robbery, they allegedly assaulted two members of staff before leaving the store.

Kent Online
Man airlifted to hospital after stabbing

Two women have been arrested after a man was stabbed. The pair, aged 29 and 54, were arrested on the same day in connection with the attack on a man in Edmett Way, in Langley Park, Maidstone, at around 10.30am on Sunday.

Kent Online
Police search for mysterious serious assault caller

Police are looking to locate a person who reported a serious assault. At 12pm today, officers were called to an address near Little Mount Sion, Tunbridge Wells, but when they arrived no victims were identified. An air ambulance was also deployed to the private address.

Kent Online
Police patrols stepped up after fatal stabbing

Extra police patrols and knife detectors will be in Maidstone this weekend, a week after a man was stabbed to death. Kent Police's decision to put extra teams on the streets comes after the death of Andre Bent in the High Street during the early hours of Sunday, August 25.

Kent Online
CCTV image released after stabbing

A CCTV image of a man has been released following a stabbing. Detectives would like to speak to the man in connection with the assault in Tunbridge Wells A man in his 50s is in a London hospital in a serious but stable condition following the incident.

Kent Online
Eighth arrest in murder probe

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of murder after Andre Bent died in Maidstone High Street last weekend. The 16-year-old boy from London was also arrested yesterday on suspicion of three attempted murders. He remains in police custody. The teen is now the eighth person to be arrested in connection with the incident.

Kent Online
Jail for body builders who hid needles in food

Two amateur body builders who deliberately hid syringes in supermarket food for a joke have been jailed for a year. Matthew Keam, from Maidstone, and Bradley Scott, from Gillingham, put syringes into a cereal box, orange juice and Christmas decorations at Sainsbury's in Quarry Wood Industrial Estate, Aylesford.

Kent Online
Man charged after motorhome stolen

A man has been charged in connection with a stolen motorhome. Police were trying to trackdown a white Peugeot Elddis Autoquest after it was taken during a break-in at a property on Maidstone Road, Borough Green at around 8pm on Monday.

Kent Online
Boy arrested over armed robbery

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery. The arrest was made on Thursday, August 22, following a police hunt the day before. Armed officers were called to the Golden Green area of Tonbridge shortly before 5pm after he threatened two people with a weapon.

Kent Online
Calls for increased police patrols at Halloween

A man is calling for increased police patrols at Halloween after reports of a resident being attacked by a gang of teenagers when he confronted them for egging his house. Andrew Kuipers, from Kings Hill, posted on Facebook expressing his concern that if the community didn't "act now" the problem of anti-social behaviour at Halloween may get worse.

Kent Online
Woman who spat at police jailed

A Maidstone woman has been sentenced to a year in prison a day after kicking and spitting at police. Officers were called to reports of a disturbance on Friday and arrived at the home of Karen Thompson in Lower Fant Road.

Kent Online
Break in at children's play centre

Masked burglars were caught on CCTV breaking into a children's play centre overnight. Andrew Moody, the owner of Adventure Kidz, in Aylesford, received a call from a surveillance monitoring company telling him the building had been broken into via a smashed window at around 9.20pm.

Kent Online
'Dealer' to appear in court after drugs and cash seized

A suspected drug dealer, arrested after police seized 24 wraps of cocaine and more than £650 in Tonbridge, is to appear at crown court. Patrol officers became suspicious of a car travelling along Lodge Oak Lane in the town at 11.30pm on Monday, and later found it had been left in Hartlake Road.

Kent Online
Suspected safe thief charged

A suspected safe thief has appeared in court. Jordan Boguslawski, 36, of no fixed address, is alleged to have taken two safes containing cash, personal documents and pieces of jewellery from a home in Sandway Road, Harrietsham, near Maidstone. The man was arrested by Surrey Roads Police on the M23 on Saturday.

Kent Online
Police station won't close

The closure of a police station won't go ahead after it emerged it could be sold off to a council. The office of Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner ceased discussions with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council about the possible sale of the police station on Crescent Road.

Kent Online
Police call for action on store's booze sales

A shop known to police for selling alcohol to street drinkers could have restrictions applied to its licence. The review of Upmart Convenience Store, in Gabriel's Hill, Maidstone, comes after officers witnessed the shop selling drinks to two drunk people in June.

Kent Online
Boy arrested over bike theft

A 16-year-old-boy has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after police recovered two stolen motorcycles. Kent Police discovered two bikes at a property in Hadlow last Friday. Another, also reported stolen, was found abandoned in the East Peckham area. The teenager has since been released pending further investigation.

Kent Online
Jerry can search excuse didn't wash

A burglar who claimed he broke into a property because he was running out of fuel has been jailed. Tommy Wilkins, 27, of Capri Road, Croydon, told police he was searching for a jerry can after a hire car he was driving was witnessed at the scene of a burglary in Fairseat Lane, Sevenoaks on May 31.

Transport/travel

Kent Online
Crash involving three cars

Traffic is easing after a road was closed in both directions following a crash involving three cars. The A264 near Tunbridge Wells was closed from Coach Road to Nevill Park. Traffic was queueing in the area as a result and motorists are advised to expect delays.

Kent Online
Vehicle collides with rail bridge

Trains services were disrupted after a vehicle crashed into a bridge. Southeastern services were held up at around 3.30pm between Strood and Paddock Wood as a result. While National Rail gave the location as Cuxton people on social media reported seeing a lorry that had hit a bridge and was causing heavy traffic on near Pizza GoGo Strood High Street.

Kent Online
Changes to dangerous A21 requested by MPs

A group of MPs have issued a call to improve the safety of a busy road near Tonbridge which has seen several crashes and deaths this year. Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, and his colleagues Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells and Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, have all signed a letter addressed to the chief executive of Highways England, Jim O'Sullivan.

Kent Online
Traffic delays after crash

A crash on the A20 caused traffic problems this morning. A car veered off the carriageway and struck a telephone pole at the New Cut Road junction of Ashford Road in Maidstone. Police confirmed they were called to the scene at 7.30am. The road was partially blocked in both directions and traffic was moving slowly.

Kent Online
Pedestrian airlifted after being hit by lorry

A pedestrian has been airlifted to hospital after being hit by a lorry this afternoon. The incident happened on Loose Road, Maidstone. South East Coast Ambulance service confirmed it was called at 2.40pm. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries and has been treated and airlifted to King's College Hospital in London.

Kent Online
Traffic building due to crash

An accident in Sittingbourne is creating traffic in the area. Staplehurst Road, in the Chalkwell area, is partially blocked due to a crash between Cavell Way and the A2, London Road. Kent Police confirmed at around 2.20pm officers came across a two vehicle collision.

Kent Online
Car and lorry collide on bypass

A car and lorry crashed in Pembury partially blocking a main road. It happened at around 8.50am on the A228 Pembury Northern Bypass at the Pembury Road and Tonbridge Road junction. Traffic was queueing as a result of the collision and drivers were advised to approach with caution and to expect delays.

Kent Online
Car and lorry crash on M25

A car and a lorry have crashed on the M25, near Dartford. The accident took place between junction 2 and 3 anti-clockwise at around 6.40am this morning. A witness reported a lorry pushed a car sideways. Kent Police confirmed officers attended the scene, briefly stopping traffic to allow the vehicles to be safely moved onto the hard shoulder.

Kent Online
Motorcylist killed in A20 crash

A motorcylist has died after a crash with van. The crash took place at around 5.40am this morningon the A20, London Road, between the Seven Mile Lane and A25 Maidstone Road junctions at Wrotham Heath. Police and paramedics attended but the male driving a blue Yamaha bike was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kent Online
Woman in 70s seriously injured in lorry crash

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman in her 70s was struck by a lorry. She was hit by a white Volvo with a blue articulated trailer at around 2.30pm on Loose Road, Maidstone and suffered serious injuries.

Kent Online
Diversions after flooding on road

A main road in East Malling has flooded. Water is covering both sides of New Road, between Chapman Way and Larkspur Road, following a heavy downpour this morning. Residents have had to seek alternative routes, using Winterfield Lane to access the A20, London Road.

Kent Online
Multi-vehicle crash on motorway

There are delays on the M2 due to a multi-vehicle accident. The motorway is partially blocked coastbound from junction 5, for Sittingbourne and junction 6, for Faversham. The accident happened at about 11.30am and is affecting motorists travelling coastbound and it is understood some lanes are partially blocked.

Kent Online
Lane closure due to M2 crash

A car has crashed on the M2 causing delays coastbound. The accident happened at around 8.30am between junction 5 for Sittingbourne and the A249 and junction 6 for Faversham. Police confirmed one lane is obstructed and no serious injuries have been reported. Officers, Highways staff and the South East Coast Ambulance Service are at the scene.

Kent Online
Crash on M20 causing delays

One lane is blocked and traffic is moving slowly on the M20 due to an accident. The inside lane of the motorway is closed at junction 4, on the coastbound side. The junction serves the A228 Castle Way heading towards Leybourne and Snodland. Highways England reports it expects the accident to clear between 11.45 and midday.

Kent Online
Train services to Kent cancelled

Commuters in Kent are facing disruption Southeastern trains from Blackfriars will not run this evening. A train broke down in the area earlier today and the disruption is still ongoing. Services from the station to Rochester, Ashford International, and Maidstone East are affected. Instead, all the services will start at London Victoria.

Kent Online
Crash on M20 causing delays

One lane is blocked and traffic is moving slowly on the M20 due to an accident. The inside lane of the motorway is closed at junction 4, on the coastbound side. The junction serves the A228 Castle Way heading towards Leybourne and Snodland. Highways England reports it expects the accident to clear between 11.45 and midday.

Kent Online
Traffic building due to crash

An accident in Sittingbourne is creating traffic in the area. Staplehurst Road, in the Chalkwell area, is partially blocked due to a crash between Cavell Way and the A2, London Road. Kent Police confirmed at around 2.20pm officers came across a two vehicle collision.

Kent Online
Line closures affect services

No Southeastern trains will operate in or out of London Victoria today. All services are cancelled for the day due to engineering works between Victoria and Herne Hill. Routes between London Victoria and Ramsgate, Canterbury East, Dover Priory, Canterbury West via Maidstone East and Dartford will be affected.

Kent Online
Car crash on busy junction

Two vehicles have been involved in crash at a busy junction. A van and a car have collided at the Bishops Way junction in Maidstone. Police confirmed there were no serious injuries. Traffic was reduced to one lane approaching Fairmeadow while emergency services were waiting for the vehicles to be recovered.

Local Government

Kent Online
Council sets up review into climate change

A council has agreed to set up a working group to lead an inquiry into climate change and threats to wildlife. In the Policy and Resources meeting held this week, Maidstone borough councillors voted in favour of forming a group responsible for reviewing pollution in the town and producing an action plan for the council's consideration.

Kent Online
Has your council declared a climate emergency?

The need to protect the planet has become alarmingly apparent in recent months with the list of local authorities declaring a climate emergency growing every day. Maidstone Borough Council was the first in Kent to accept the need to curb pollution. Here is a round up of how the county's local authorities have progressed since then.

Kent Online
Emergency housing funds reduced

A councillor has hit out at the government's decision to cut a vital budget used to prevent families from becoming homeless. Maidstone Borough Council has had £20,000 shaved off the amount it receives in Discretionary Housing Payments this financial year. In 2018/19 the authority spent 99% of its £320,000 allocation.

Kent Online
Action group to fight against 5,000 homes

A rallying cry has been issued for residents to set up a protest group against a proposal to build thousands of homes. At the monthly Lenham Parish Council meeting last night, around 25 residents from came to express their concerns and seek more details about how the development will affect them.

Kent Online
Council bans mum from having visitors

A mum has been banned from having visitors after complaints of anti-social behaviour. Sevenoaks District Council received several reports about noise and potentially illegal activities at the home of Lucy Coleman in Manor Road, Edenbridge. The local authority and housing association said they had taken steps to limit the problems, but these were repeatedly breached.

Kent Online
Petition against tower block plans launched

A petition has been set up to stop the building of a 15-storey tower block in Maidstone town centre. Huw Whitethread, a concerned resident, has created the online campaign to highlight how the development could affect the town. Scroll down to vote in our poll.

Kent Online
Hundreds turn out for housing protest

More than 100 protesters turned out for a march against proposals for two garden villages. Members of the Save Capel campaign group took to the streets of Tunbridge Wells this afternoon in a bid to see off the housing schemes.

Kent Online
Council backs its own 5,000 homes scheme

Maidstone council plans to create a 'garden community' of 5,000 homes, but a key discussion has still not revealed where they could be built. The policy and resources committee debated the proposals at a meeting tonight.

Breaking news

Kent Online
Car crashes into bungalow

A neighbour has spoken of the moment he heard a crash as a car ploughed into the front of a home. Emergency services were called to the scene in Nursery Avenue, Bearsted, at around 5.30pm yesterday. The silver Toyota Prius crashed into a bedroom in the bungalow causing damage to the property and leaving a large hole in the external wall.

Kent Online
Unearthed wartime bomb detonated

A device, believed to be a bomb from the Second World War, was detonated this morning. The unearthed item was found on a building site in Warwick Way, Kings Hill, yesterday. Bomb site where the controlled explosion took place Kent Police confirmed a controlled detonation took place at around 8.15am.

Kent Online
Police issue guidance over Second World War bomb

A bomb found unearthed on a building site is likely to be exploded tomorrow. A device, from the Second World War, was found on the new residential development on Warwick Way, Kings Hill, yesterday. School in Kings Hill evacuated after unexploded WW2 bomb found nearby The German SC50 Luftwaffe air dropped bomb was safely at around 8.15am today.

Kent Online
'Migrants' seen in lorry

A shocking video appears to show 'migrants' poking their heads out the back of a lorry. Kent Police confirmed it was called to services on Detling Hill, near Maidstone, at around 3pm to reports of two people in a trailer of a HGV.

Kent Online
Teen rescued after cliff fall

A teenager had to be airlifted to hospital after falling from a cliff-top on the Isle of Sheppey last night. The 18-year-old, who was out walking on his own in Minster, was able to call the ambulance service which was able to contact the coastguard and begin rescue efforts.

Kent Online
20 firefighters called to house blaze

Firefighters were called to a blaze in a terraced house. Black smoke was seen rising from the property in Newchurch Road, Maidstone at around 11.30am. Those living in nearby streets thought it was coming from an Arriva bus depot in Armstrong Road.

Kent Online
'I told them people are going to die'

A water company was told elderly people could die when they were suddenly left without water for five days. Homeowners in Linton, near Maidstone, lost supplies as temperatures began hotting up with South East Water having to hand out emergency bottled water. The firm received calls from 37 customers in the vicinity of Wheelers Lane last week.

Kent Online
Fire crews tackle caravan blaze

Fire crews were called to Maidstone this morning after a caravan went up in flames. Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Pleasure House Lane, near Sutton Valence, at around 6.45am. Two fire engines attended and crews wearing breathing masks used a hose reel jet to tackle the blaze.

Kent Online
Store workers 'put in lockdown'

A store worker has spoken of the horrific moment she saw emergency services try to help a man down from a ledge. Several shops were forced to close while there were concerns for a distressed man in The Mall Maidstone, in Pad's Hill, Maidstone.

Kent Online
Glass shatters onto street

A window from a second floor flat fell to the ground in a busy pedestrian street. People walking along the High Street, Maidstone, narrowly avoided the falling glass. It is believed the frame was blown off by a strong gust of wind. Witnesses heard a loud crash as the sheet of glass hit the street outside TSB Bank.

Kent Online
Makeshift coffin in climate protest

A group of climate protesters are taking to the streets of Maidstone in a funeral march today. Extinction Rebellion Maidstone is marching through the town centre on a March for Life. Campaigners are convening outside the County Hall, off Week Street, at 11.45am.

Kent Online
Colleges placed into administration

Two colleges have been placed into education administration. Bosses of West Kent and Ashford College (WKAC) made a request to be placed into financial management, which was approved by the High Court today. The further education establishment's accounts will now be controlled by BDO LLP, an accountancy and business advisory firm.

Kent Online
Pub forced to close due to burst pipe

A Maidstone pub lost nearly two days of trade after being forced to close by a water pipe which burst twice in 24 hours. The 10-inch cast iron water main in Ware Street, Bearsted ruptured on Sunday morning, leaving an estimated 2,000 homes and businesses without a clean supply.

Weather

Kent Online
WATCH: Road melts in heat

Holes have appeared on a road in Maidstone which has melted in the heat. Roads bosses confirmed an investigation is underway to find out why the new surface failed in this week's high temperatures. Witnesses reported seeing the damage on the A20 Ashford Road, where other works are already being carried out.

Kent Online
Flood warnings across Kent

Flood warnings remain in place across Kent today - and the weather is set to get worse still. Alerts are active across The Swale coastline, from Kemsley to Whitstable, with flooding expected to affect properties and roads in the area, particularly in Faversham and Conyer.

Kent Online
'I told them people are going to die'

A water company was told elderly people could die when they were suddenly left without water for five days. Homeowners in Linton, near Maidstone, lost supplies as temperatures began hotting up with South East Water having to hand out emergency bottled water. The firm received calls from 37 customers in the vicinity of Wheelers Lane last week.

Kent Online
Rare storm cloud spotted

The Met Office has confirmed a woman from Eccles spotted a rare mammatus cloud formation yesterday. Julie Devlin, 40, took the picture on Bull Lane in Eccles after a thunder and lightning storm at 8pm. According to the Met Office, mammatus clouds are some of the most distinctive formations and are described as a 'series of bulges or pouches emerging from the base'.

Human Interest

Kent Online
Young amputees race for charity

Two young boys from Maidstone have raised more than £1,000 for a limb impairment charity in just nine days. Little Tony Hudgell, four, and Thomas Lewis, five, who are both double amputees, took part in a Mojo Marafun organised by the charity Limbpower at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire.

Kent Online
My son's cancer led me to Extinction Rebellion

A mother-of-four, whose youngest son faced a fight for life when a golf-ball sized tumour was found in his brain, is now fighting to save the planet. Sam Dickenson was a key figure in an Extinction Rebellion protest in Maidstone, and revealed it was her family's battle which inspired her to join and protect her childrens' future.

Kent Online
War veteran returns to emergency landing site

A Second World War veteran returned the site where his crew were forced to make an emergency landing in their Lancaster bomber plane, for the first time in 75 years. Dick Raymond made the long journey from his home near Barnstaple, Devon, to Headcorn Aerodrome, formerly known as Lashenden Airfield, on Sunday, July 28.

Kent Online
Baby café for parents under threat

A popular support group helping new parents is under threat due to lack of funding. The Baby Café in Tunbridge Wells will be forced to close from September if it cannot raise the necessary funds to continue. It was previously supported by the Tunbridge Wells National Childbirth Trust branch before its closure this month.

Kent Online
Boy raises money with charity football match

An eight-year-old boy has raised more than £1,300 to help build playgrounds for children in developing countries with a charity football match. Humphrey Hamilton-Barnes was inspired to do something to help others after a fire ripped through his home in Larking Drive, Allington in April.

Kent Online
Bear Grylls wants you!

Bear Grylls is encouraging the people of Kent to sign up for a military challenge. The TV adventurer wants 100 fitness fans to enlist in Britain's Bravest Military Challenge taking place at Mote Park, Maidstone, on Saturday, September 28.

Kent Online
Veteran returns to crash-landing site

A Second World War veteran is returning to Headcorn for the first time in 75 years after his crew crash-landed their Lancaster bomber plane at the site. Dick Raymond is the last surviving member of the seven-man 'Lashenden Lancaster' crew and served in the RAF for six years from 1942 to 1948.

Kent Online
Depression tackling documentary first viewing

A woman who survived a suicide attempt has produced a documentary with her friend about her experience with depression and anxiety to help improve people's mental health. It will be shown for the first time at the YMCA in Tovil, Maidstone, this Saturday.

Kent Online
Boy battles rare bone cancer

Early signs show a young boy's tumour is reducing in size after treatment. After three cycles of chemotherapy, the growth in Mason Wallace's leg has decreased by 60%. The 11-year-old, from Borough Green, was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, an aggressive cancer, in March 2019.

Kent Online
'I went through weeks of numbness and nothingness'

A 19-year-old mental health campaigner and Pride of Britain regional winner has spoken of losing his 15-year-old brother to suicide. Reporters at Meridian surprised Ben West, from Frittenden, on Friday, live on television, and informed him he had won the regional award.

Kent Online
Music event in stab victim's memory

A couple from Maidstone have organised a special event in honour of Andre Bent who was stabbed to death last weekend. Ben Humphrey, 26, also known as DJ Ben.Ny, and his girlfriend Sophie Claire, 26, along with the help of their friend Liam Kelly, 37, have been planning the event to raise money to cover the cost of the stab victim's funeral.

Kent Online
Charity match in Jack's memory

A group of friends have arranged a charity match in memory of their friend who died in a quad bike accident in Greece. Jack Howe, of Townsend Square, Kings Hill, was involved in the crash while on holiday with friends in Zante on June 21.

Business

Kent Online
Asylum seeker opens restaurant

Growing up in Eritrea, Ziggy Okubay had lost hope of a bright future. The country has been ruled as an undemocratic single-party state since it gained independence in 1993 and is deemed to have one of the worst human rights records in the world.

Kent Online
Hundreds of fire safety warnings issued across Kent

A care home, hotel, bar, and several takeaways across Kent are failing to meet fire safety standards, figures reveal. Throughout 2018-19, Kent Fire and Rescue (KFRS) provided figures to the Home Office showing it reviewed more than 1,517 public buildings and flats in the county and found a fifth - around 300 - were breaching fire regulations and changes were required.

Kent Online
Plastic-free store to open

The Eco Pantry will open its doors for the first time this weekend. The eco-friendly shop is Sevenoaks' first zero-waste, plastic-free store. Karen O'Brien, 30, and her partner Callum O'Reilly, 30, set up the business after they noticed the large amount of single-use plastic they were throwing away every week.

Kent Online
Olympian opens new Aldi store

Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo cut the red ribbon on a new supermarket. The bronze medallist officially opened the Aldi in Tunbridge Wells in the Great Lodge Retail Park, on Longfield Road yesterday. It is the first store to open in the town and will be run by manager Matt Cook and a team of 45 colleagues.

Kent Online
Change of VIP to open new Aldi

Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo is set to replace Lizzy Yarnold as the VIP cutting the ribbon on a new supermarket in Tunbridge Wells. The Aldi store, in the Great Lodge Retail Park, on Longfield Road, is set to welcome shoppers through its doors for the first time on Thursday, October 31 at 8am.

Kent Online
Sushi counters come to Asda

Customers at two Asda supermarkets in Kent can tuck into freshly handmade sushi while shopping after the opening of their new counters. The stores in Alexander Grove, Kings Hill, and Kimberley Walk, Ashford, revealed their new Sushi Daily counters that opened today, featuring an exclusive menu designed specifically for the supermarket chain.

Kent Online
The White Bear returns

A pub favourite is set to return to the high street. The Tunbridge Wells Bar and Grill, which recently closed down on the High Street, has been acquired by Young's pub group who have decided to return the business to its original name The White Bear.

Kent Online
'We did nothing wrong' says fruit farm boss

The owner of Charlton's Farm, where almost 50 people were treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning last week, has insisted the company did nothing wrong. Four people were taken to hospital and dozens more treated at the scene of the reported gas leak, at the industrial estate near Rumwood Green Farm off Sutton Road, Langley, on Wednesday.

Kent Online
Free treatments for Thomas Cook employees

Beauty parlours are providing a range of free treatments for people who lost their jobs due to the collapse of Thomas Cook. Kings Hill Nails Beauty Lounge and Saks Hair and Beauty posted on their social media accounts stating they would be offering services to former employees of the global travel group.

Kent Online
Want to stay overnight with big cats?

A competition has been launched to win an overnight stay with big cats. Visitors to Maidstone Museum can enter a raffle to be in with the chance of spending the night at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden, near Headcorn.

Other

Kent Online
'We're not jobless people with nothing better to do'

Protesters went on a funeral march through Maidstone town centre to raise awareness of climate change today. Members of Extinction Rebellion Maidstone set off from the County Hall and walked through Week Street, down the High Street and up Earl Street, returning to the Kent County Council building, singing, holding a makeshift coffin and waving large banners warning the public about the dangers facing the environment.

Kent Online
Fireworks displays near you

All fired up and ready to explode for fireworks and bonfire night? Here's our guide to displays near you in Kent. CORNWALLIS ACADEMY, MAIDSTONE The school is hosting its first fireworks event on Friday, November 8 at 7.30pm, with doors opening at 6pm.

Kent Online
Kent sprinter sets new record

An athlete from Kent has become the first British woman to win a global sprint title. Dina Asher-Smith won the 200m race at the World Championship last night in Doha, State of Qatar. This victory makes Asher-Smith, from Orpington, the first British person to win a world or Olympic sprint title since Linford Christie at Stuttgart in 1993.

Kent Online
What to do with your Halloween pumpkin

More than 15 million pumpkins are thrown away every Halloween and Maidstone Borough Council encouraging people to help reduce this figure. Its recycling team is asking residents to cut down on their waste by taking part in the #PumpkinRescue campaign.

Kent Online
Hopper hut sleepover for charity

Two women will sleep in hopper huts for a weekend to raise money for charity. Mollie King, 26, and Charlie Davis, 19, will be having a three-night long sleepover in the brick buildings at The Museum of Kent Life.

Kent Online
Professor Green coming to vape store today

Professor Green is coming to a vape shop in Kent today. The rapper is taking part in a meet and greet at the new vape store VPZ in Coleman Parade, Maidstone. The artist will be at the shop from noon today promoting his new range of E-liquids.

Kent Online
Fire caused by sunlight reflection

A fire in a house is believed to have been caused by sunlight reflecting off a mirror. Fire crews believe it started when sunlight reflected from a bedroom mirror onto a window frame in Edenbridge. Crews were called to a house on Five Field Lane, at 9.50am this morning.

Work Experience January 28 - February 1

Midweek Herald
Curator who gave Honiton gallery a national presence steps down after 13 years

Archant The curator and manager at Honiton's Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), has stepped down from her role after 13 years due to ill health. Angela Blackwell and her guide dog, Flynn. Picture: Callum Lawton Angela Blackwell first joined the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in 2005 when the gallery occupied the upper floor of Elmfield House.

Exmouth Journal
County council pledges to make Devon carbon neutral by 2050, to meet UN target

Alex_Ishchenko It will work with other organisations to reduce emissions, use more renewable energy, and promote sustainable transport, in a bid to slow global warming A 'climate emergency' has been declared by Devon county council after the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of the devastation a 2°C rise in global temperatures could cause.

Midweek Herald
Recycling collections falter as big freeze hits UK

East Devon District Council's (EDDC) recycling vehicles could not access areas around Honiton - including Dunkeswell, Yarcombe and Stockland. The county was hit by a UK-wide polar vortex overnight, with rural areas hit hardest. The Met Office has given a yellow warning of snow and ice for later this week.

Midweek Herald
Nothing on last year! Just a dusting of snow for Honiton so far

Archant Honiton residents awoke to a blanket of snow this morning as the county was hit by a country-wide polar vortex overnight. Honiton has received a dusting of snow. Picture: Lydia Catling. The dusting of snow came after the Met Office released a yellow warning for expected ice and snow across the southwest on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Features Portfolio - University Coursework

University of Sheffield
Dear Stepdad…

Amy, 23, has kept a secret about her childhood for 15 years. Today she finally opens that long forgotten chapter in her story in an open letter to her stepfather.

University of Sheffield
The donor egg generation

How the growing demand for donor eggs in the UK is forcing women to foreign IVF clinics

University of Sheffield
“It’s like TED talks for cancer”

Sophie Trew, 28, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was just 23 years-old. As she sat in the teenage cancer ward undergoing chemotherapy, she came up with Trew Fields – the UK’s first holistic health & cancer awareness festival. As preparations for the third festival in July are underway, Lydia Catling spoke to Sophie about her diagnosis and how Trew Fields came to life.

University of Sheffield
Is Corbyn still the right choice for the opposition?

Corbyn inadvertently sparked a major discussion about sexism in the most powerful room in the country this week, but more significantly for him, highlighted his shortcomings as Labour leader.

News Portfolio - University Coursework

Wonder Magazine (Online Publication)

Wonder Magazine
01/14/2014
Rediscovering Female Empowerment

Recently it has been hard to avoid the immense rise in support. Every day there are new posts on social media highlighting exactly what is wrong with society and why it should change.

Wonder Magazine
11/27/2014
A lesson in love and growing up

Everyone says before the big leap ‘university was the best three years of my life, savour every minute of it’. However no one prepares you for the emotional effect it can have.

Personal Blog

My Little Life
My contraceptive journey. Part 1 - The story so far

Contraceptive methods are something that affects every single one of us, male or female. I, for one, felt completely overwhelmed when deciding which contraceptive method was best for me. Pill, implant, coil – where do you begin?

My Little Life
My take on the Roxanne Pallet controversy

As I’m sure many people were, I was left quite perplexed by Roxanne Pallett’s reaction to what seemed to be a harmless playfight with Ryan Thomas in last night’s episode of Celebrity Big Brother.

My Little Life
Ode to a mother

Have you ever met a person and thought ‘wow you have the most unfortunate luck’? My mum is one of those people. Coupled with her unbelievable knack for putting her foot in it, she is quite a character. But, I wouldn’t change her for the world.

My Little Life
What's with all the career bashing?

When you graduate university, it’s a pretty scary time in your life. Everything has changed. It’s time to get a ‘proper job’ and grow up. Talking from experience, it’s not always easy to get to that place straight away. I used to beat myself up about my career and what people thought of me. But now I couldn’t give a monkeys. Why can’t we just let people live their lives how they want to live it? What is with the constant judging? Why are we putting pressure on young people to settle into...

My Little Life
Workwear Balance

Since starting work full-time last July, I’ve had to expand my workwear wardrobe greatly. I now find I spend more money buying clothes for work than I do on everyday clothes, unfortunately. It took me a long time to find the balance between clothes that show your own identity that are also formal enough for an office environment.

My Little Life
Makeup for the clueless

As a female I think it is often assumed that you know about makeup and how to use it. However I am completely useless. My mum is the same as me and my step-mum wears minimal makeup and still looks amazing so I didn’t have much guidance on how to apply it. Luckily nowadays we have Youtube tutorials and makeup artists advising us on useful techniques to gain a flawless appearance. Fortunately for me, my best friends also know a lot and I learn loads of tips and tricks from them.

My Little Life
5 ways to survive learning Shorthand

When you start at Sheffield they warn you that Shorthand is the toughest element of the course, but nothing quite prepared me for the hours I would spend practising, the cramping in my thumb and the occasional tears shed when it all seems far too overwhelming.

My Little Life
My time at university in hindsight

I’ve been waiting for a while to make a new blog post as I have found my life, as of late, to be extremely dull. I’m all out of inspiration and creativity because, in all honesty, I’ve been working my arse off trying to do well in my degree.

My Little Life
Goodbye 2016

It is undeniable that this year has been incredibly questionable. I cannot wait to see the back of 2016 and all the bad things that have happened. I'm hoping the next year ahead makes up for the crap times we've shared. This year has to be the time we all come together.

Work Related Blog Writing

Think-creative
Social media for small businesses | Think Creative

by Lydia Catling / 22 May 2018 Social media is everywhere. From the humble beginnings of MySpace and Facebook, social media has blown up and continues to change on a regular basis. As well as providing people with numerous channels to communicate, social media has helped businesses, large and small, gain exposure on a global scale.

Dybles Estate Agents
10/02/2017
How to increase your kerb appeal - a Winchester estate agents' guide

When viewing a property, first impressions are crucial. It has been claimed that potential buyers decide whether they are going to buy a home within 8 seconds, making the exterior of your property an important factor in their decision. We've compiled a list of tips to help increase your home's kerb appeal and add value to your property.

Dybles Estate Agents
08/16/2017
Our Top 5 Breakfasts in Winchester

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and Winchester certainly has a lot to offer. Whether you are on the go or looking to get some brunch, Winchester has so much variety you'll struggle to decide where to go! So, we've put together a list of some of our favourite places to grab a bite to eat.

Dybles Estate Agents
11/17/2017
5 lesser-known historical facts about Winchester

The city of Winchester is steeped in history. Most streets have a story to tell and, as a result, prove a popular location for tourists and keen historians. Well, you may think you know everything about Winchester but we think these five facts will surprise some Winchester residents!

Dybles Estate Agents
01/29/2018
Our Top 5 Apps For Home-Owners (and they're free!)

Here at Dybles we've put together a list of some of our favourite apps for all you home-owners out there! If you have a passion for interiors, Houzz is the app for you. Use the app for interior design inspiration, shop a huge variety of products from hundreds of Houzz members or find a professional to help with your newest renovation.

Dybles Estate Agents
10/19/2017
Halloween in Winchester - Dybles Estate Agents

Halloween and the October half term are fast approaching. It can sometimes be a struggle to think of entertaining activities for your children but never fear! We have compiled a list of some fang-tastic events taking place in Winchester for all the family!

Dybles Estate Agents
01/03/2018
Dybles Festive Season

The festive season is always a magical time, especially in Winchester. Here at Dybles we've had a fantastic Christmas. Check out some of the brilliant things we've been up to! This year we were privileged to sponsor the Winchester Musicals and Opera Society for their rendition of Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas'.

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