Monday, February 24, 2020

Helping hand onto the housing ladder in Lincoln

A council-run scheme has helped 44 people to take their first step onto the property ladder in Lincoln.

Run by the city council with Lloyds TSB, the Local Lend A Hand Mortgage Scheme means first time buyers only need a five per cent deposit, with the council guaranteeing a further 20 per cent, giving them access to lower mortgage rates.

Over the first phase of the scheme the council has supported one loan every fortnight and members of the Executive Committee will consider earmarking a further £1 million to extend the scheme.

Council Leader Ric Metcalfe says: “We are extremely pleased with the success of the scheme, especially as we exceeded our target of supporting 38 house-buyers.

“Unfortunately, there are currently no lenders willing to take part in the scheme due to the Government’s Help to Buy initiative, which offers similar advantages. However, the local authority scheme offers the most favourable interest rates on mortgages and we are hopeful we may be able to relaunch the scheme in the future.

“This scheme has been a real help to people who could afford a mortgage but were struggling to save a big enough deposit to buy a house. By helping people take that first step onto the ladder, we are also helping the local housing market and the local economy, through spend on solicitors, removals, painting and decorating and buying furniture for the house.”

During the first phase of the scheme the council has provided indemnity of £846,000. House purchases supported by the scheme represent a total spend of £4.6 million on property within Lincoln and £4.4 million on mortgage lending.

At tonight’s meeting the Executive Committee will consider whether to retain a further £1 million, subject to a willing lender coming forward.

Jack Harvey continues string run of podium finishes

Lincolnshire racing driver Jack Harvey has added yet another podium finish to his tally of results in the 2014 Indy Lights Championship. Sunday’s third place finish at Toronto means Jack has now scored podium finishes in a staggering two thirds of the Championship.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver from Bassingham currently lies third in the drivers’ standings, and is continuing to close the gap to second place, race by race. Jack also leads the battle for highest placed rookie of the season with five rounds to go.

Despite it being Jack’s first visit to the 1.75-mile Canadian street circuit, he was immediately amongst the front-runners in the first practice session of the weekend, posting the second fastest time. The young Brit followed this with another strong showing in the second practice session, which he ended in third.

Ahead of qualifying, the rain began to fall, so the field were left divided on the best set up for their cars. Jack and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team elected for a dry set up, whilst most of the other cars went for a inter set up. The gamble was made in the hope that the track would dry out, and the decision proved to be the correct one. While Jack struggled for lap times in the opening part of the session, as the track dried, the sector times started to come together and Jack had the pace for a pole position lap time. However, luck wasn’t to be on Jack’s side and a series of yellow flags and traffic meant that his four quickest laps were affected and ended the session in fourth, three tenths off the pole time.

Due to the rain overnight the track was damp for Sunday’s race, but drying rapidly, so the team elected to leave the dry set up on the car from qualifying. Jack got a good start and by lap three was up to third, however, the two Belardi cars in ront were able to pull out a significant gap as they were on an inter set up. By half distance though, the track was almost dry and Jack began to rapidly close the gap to the leading pair. In just fifteen laps Jack took eight seconds out of the lead with some of his laps half a second quicker than the leaders.

Harvey continued his storming drive and on lap 34 set the fastest lap of the race. By the time the checkered flag fell after 40 minutes of racing, Jack was just 1.5 seconds off second, and crossed the finish line in third, collecting a further 36 Championship points.

Jack says, “This was probably the most promising weekend of the season so far. We were very fast all weekend and, if it hadn’t been for the yellow flags and traffic during qualifying, we would have very likely been on pole. During the race as the track started to dry our race pace was also very fast so we can come away from Toronto with a lot of positives.

“It’s obviously a little disappointing that the win didn’t happen that weekend, but with the pace we have been showing and the six podium finishes to date, we’re confident that we won’t have to wait much longer. With five rounds to go our focus is to achieve better results than the two guys ahead of me in the standings so we can keep closing the gap to them. I’m looking forward to Ohio, we had a good test session there and we will be pushing hard for two good results."

Soper of Lincoln hail the launch of the BMW i8

This weekend, Soper of Lincoln are celebrating the launch of the BMW i8, the world’s most progressive sports plug-in hybrid.

Along with the revolutionary BMW i3, this stunning new arrival embodies our vision for the future which marries unprecedented sustainability with unforgettable driving dynamics.

Join the Soper team from 10am to 4pm, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th for a champagne reception, where a BMW Genius will be on hand to answer any questions you may have on the new generation of electric vehicles. The BMW i8 is not one to be missed.

For more details, visit the Soper website or call 01522 690000.

Soper is on Roman Way, South Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9UH.

Study reveals how gardens could help dementia care

We've come across some wonderful gardens over the years as part of our regular feature, but a new study has revealed that gardens in care homes could provide promising therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from dementia.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association and by critically reviewing the findings from 17 different pieces of research, has found that outdoor spaces can offer environments that promote relaxation, encourage activity and reduce residents’ agitation.

Conducted by a team at the University of Exeter Medical School and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), the systematic review also found that gardens could offer welcome spaces for interactions with visitors, helping to stimulate memories for dementia patients whilst providing wellbeing opportunities for families and staff.

Dementia is a global public health priority, with reports suggesting that 7.7 million new cases are identified each year. Almost half of the elderly people living in residential care have dementia or dementia symptoms, a figure which increases to more than three-quarters in nursing homes.

The study’s lead researcher, Rebecca Whear, says: “There is an increasing interest in improving dementia symptoms without the use of drugs. We think that gardens could be benefitting dementia sufferers by providing them with sensory stimulation and an environment that triggers memories. They not only present an opportunity to relax in a calming setting, but also to remember skills and habits that have brought enjoyment in the past.”

The research represents the first attempt to bring together findings from a range of studies and has also highlighted several factors that must be overcome if gardens are to be useful in the future care of dementia patients. These include understanding possible hazards that a garden might represent to residents, and ensuring staff have time to let residents enjoy an outdoor space to its full potential.

Despite its positive findings, the study’s authors were keen to point out that this area of research is currently understudied and undervalued by policy makers. Dr Ruth Garside, an expert in evidence synthesis and one of the paper’s authors, says: “There’s a lot we don’t know about how a garden’s design and setting influences its ability to affect wellbeing, yet it’s clear that these spaces need to offer a range of ways of interacting – to suit different people’s preferences and needs. We want to pursue these answers to ensure that care experiences can be maximised for sufferers of dementia, their carers and families.”

This research coincides with the development of a new garden at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Julie Vale, Acting Consultant Nurse for Older People, says: “We’ve long recognised the importance of therapeutic outside spaces for patients, particularly the frail elderly and those living with dementia. We’ve created the Trust’s very own Devon Garden to allow patients to come away from the clinical environment and experience nature. The garden design incorporates an innovative sound system, a telephone box with stories from Exeter and a safe, calming water feature.

"The Trust is delighted that the findings from the University of Exeter Medical School support the approach we’ve adopted in identifying new ways of improving care for patients with dementia.”

Fifth podium finish of the season for Jack Harvey

Lincolnshire racing driver Jack Harvey secured his fifth podium of the season, this time at Pocono, Pennsylvania. Of the eight rounds of the Championship contested so far, Jack has secured podium finishes in over half of them. As a result of this stretch of strong results, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver currently lies third in the standings.

Unusually, the race weekend for this round of the Championship fell on the Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, heavy rain meant that Friday’s practice sessions were cancelled so Jack’s first experience of the Oval was on Saturday morning where a practice session was immediately followed by the qualifying session. Despite the limited running, the Bassingham driver had a strong qualifying and posted the second fastest time. On Saturday afternoon, Jack lined up on the first row of the grid for start of the forty lap race.

Jack had a challenging start to the race and dropped back to fourth. However he was up to third by lap seven. A full course caution was brought out when Razia spun off. At the restart, race leader Chaves, and Veach in P2, began to pull away from the Brit. However, Jack was able to close the gap again and by lap 25 the top three were only separated by two seconds.

The three cars then ran nose to tail for the final three laps of the race, with the three drivers matching each other lap for lap. After forty laps of racing and with no way past the two drivers ahead, Jack was forced to settle for third place and a further 35 Championship points.

Jack says, “It’s a good feeing to be coming away from the weekend third in the Championship and with another podium finish. With just four rounds left it’s all to play for and our aim remains the same; to secure race wins and to ultimately score more points that the two guys currently at the top of the standings at each of the four remaining races.

“Although we’re pleased with another podium finish, it’s still disappointing not to have come away with a win. It’s proof of how close the Championship fight is that we are actually disappointed with a podium finish! The races are challenging as the new tyres for this year mean that you can’t run as close to the cars in the dirty air as in previous years so it’s tough to make up positions during the race. We head to Toronto next where we will be looking to get a strong qualifying result and covert it into a race win."

Wolds Trophy set to recall racing’s halcyon days

Cadwell Park's 80th anniversary season delivers a further treat with a chance to look back into motorsport’s rich heritage courtesy of the Historic Sports Car Club's Wolds Trophy. The annual event, held on 21st and 22nd June, features contests for retro single-seaters, sports cars, GTs and touring cars.

The Wolds Trophy has established itself in recent seasons as a celebration of Formula Three competition, recalling an era in which the world's finest young prospects frequently raced in the category at the Lincolnshire circuit. Two classes for this form of racing will appear on the bill, with the Historic F3 races featuring machines from the period between 1964 and 1970, in which Sir Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi competed on their way to F1 stardom. Contemporary F3 cars last competed at Cadwell Park in 1983, amidst a tumultuous title scrap between Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle, and machines from this generation will also race, in the HSCC Classic Formula 3 Championship.

Further single-seater entertainment will be provided by Historic Formula Junior, which dates back to 1958, when it was conceived as a popular first step in the world of single-seater racing. During the following half-decade Formula Junior boasted a number of high profile graduates, including Jim Clark. In recent seasons the category has enjoyed a historic revival, with grids often having to be split into two for front and rear-engine models, as will be the case this weekend.

Open-wheel entertainment will extend beyond the F3 contests, however, with races for Historic Formula Ford as well as its slicks-and-wings cousin, Formula Ford 2000. The single-seater line-up will be completed by the HSCC's Classic Racing Cars, which is open to a myriad of different machines from the sixties.

One of the mostly hotly anticipated battles of the weekend will be that for the Mini Coopers, Lotus Cortinas and Hillman Imps in the Historic Touring Cars - machines that typically tackle corners sideways or with a wheel or two off the ground.

The racing line-up will be completed by sports and GT action from the Historic Road Sports, 70s Road Sports and Classic Clubmans. Road Sports contests are only open to road-legal production sports and GT cars, with extra points awarded for driving the car to and from the circuit. Clubmans, on the other hand, are front-engined sports-prototypes, many of which are completely unique following years of tinkering and modification by their owners.

An open paddock format at this event enables spectators to get a close look at the beautiful machines in race preparation, before heading to one of the many vantage points at the country’s most picturesque sporting venue.

Tickets for the HSCC Wolds Trophy at Cadwell Park on 21st and 22nd June are available online at

Dementia therapy project kicks off

As the World Cup launches this week, an award-winning dementia therapy programme which uses sporting memories is looking for supporters to join its new project in North East Lincolnshire.

North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging community groups and businesses to join the Sporting Memories programme, which uses sports reminiscence to improve the wellbeing of older people, including those living with dementia.
A launch event is taking place on Thursday 26th June at Grimsby Town Football Club for volunteers, care homes, day centres, health and social care staff, sport and leisure organisations who want to help make a difference to older people. Up to thirty organisations or sixty individuals will receive free training and support to deliver the Sporting Memories programme locally, with a view to developing local support networks for people living with dementia.

Tony Jameson-Allen, Director of Sporting Memories, says, “Whether you’re a football fan or not, the Sporting Memories programme uses any sport reminiscence to improve the lives of older people. We initially piloted the project at Cranwell Court care home with North East Lincolnshire CCG; it proved so successful that the Health and Wellbeing Board has agreed to fund a full-time project. Now we’re looking for groups, organisations and businesses to join the network and help make a difference to people’s lives. Whether it’s hosting a Sporting Memories group, transcribing people’s memories or researching local sporting history – we need your help.

“Premier League football referee Howard Webb MBE, who is officiating in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, is a supporter of the programme and has shared his previous World Cup memories as part of the programme. If football isn’t your thing, we’re always looking for other memories from tennis to ice skating or running.”

Dr Karin Severin, Clinical Lead for Older People for North East Lincolnshire CCG, says, “The Sporting Memories programme helps people with dementia to open up and increases their self esteem, which is an important part of therapy. I’m delighted that the project is being rolled out across North East Lincolnshire and it’s a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to help create a dementia friendly community.”

To register your interest visit

You’re never too old!

To think of elderly people as helpless and frail is nothing more than an insult. These days older people lead active lives and are much healthier. What’s there to do in the county to keep you busy?

Far from the frail, weak and feeble stereotype, we’d argue that Lincolnshire’s elderly population is actually strides ahead when it comes to staying active. As proven time and time again, remaining active is the key to a happy and long-term old age. Shut yourself away and your body and mind will feel old, nurture your creative or social side and there’s plenty of fun to be had.

When old age slows you down, it’s a good sign to maybe calm down a bit, but it shouldn’t stop you getting out there and doing the things you love!

It’s never too late to get fitter for example and help is at hand to give people in Lincolnshire that extra bit of support.

Recent research, carried out by University College London on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, has shown even beginning exercising in your 40s or 50s will help bring benefits, including protecting your heart.

It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise either - just doing the gardening or taking a brisk walk can help.

City of Lincoln Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team offer advice and support on all aspects contributing to a healthy lifestyle to help improve quality of life for those living in the city.

Team leader Joanna Blackwell explains: “This study backs up what we’ve been trying to promote and achieve with residents through our various programmes. We want to encourage more people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Even a small change can make a massive difference.

“This research shows the positive impact of starting to exercise at any stage of your life. It’s really never too late to start.”

Robert Middleton, aged 58, from North Hykeham, was referred by his physiotherapist to the Physical Activity Referral Programme this year following an operation on his knee. He attended Birchwood Leisure Centre and after his twelve weeks on referral stayed and has now been there eight months.

He says: “During this time the staff have been friendly and approachable. Nothing has been too much trouble. My programme had to be adjusted on a regular basis due to my knee; again it was no problem for the staff to sort out. I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone.”

The team also run City Walks every week. These are guided, social walks suitable for all ages and abilities, starting from one mile up to five or more. Health Trainers also work with people to help them set goals and work towards positive lifestyle changes.

In addition, the council runs a Family Fitness Fun programme aimed at helping children aged eight or older get fit and stay healthy. The 12 week course covers physical activity, healthy eating and mental wellbeing.

For more information about Healthy Lifestyles services contact the team on 01522 873581, or visit

The University College London study followed 4,000 people over ten years. Those who did the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise each week had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. High levels have been linked to increased heart risk.

People who consistently stuck to the recommended amount of exercise for the whole ten year period had the lowest inflammatory levels overall. Those who only started doing the recommended amount in their late 40s also saw an improvement and lower levels of inflammation than those who said they didn’t do any exercise.

Indulge your creative side!

One sure way to make old age a joy is to embrace your artistic or creative side. Joining a club or society in particular can do wonders for your mind, after all it isn’t just your body you have to take care of. Being around people who can advise on projects or other ways to give you focus can be fantastic.

We were recently impressed with a visit to Lindsey Art Association at one of their meetings at New Waltham Village Hall. Having been around for more than five years, the whole hall was teeming with talent. Crafters and painters alike were busy getting on with individual projects.

Indeed Pamela Doore of the LAA explained: “We have around fifty people per session, but around 100 members. Even though most of the people here are older, we are open to everyone but not everyone can make our sessions in the day.

“It’s something a lot of people get into when they retire and coming here means that people can get inspiration from subjects we might cover and each other.”

The group holds regular demonstrations from visiting painters and artists and often organises days out to paint in a new location.

Talking to the artists dotted around there’s a whole range of expertise on show, but it’s the sense of community that impresses the most. The company, the support in the work you might be carrying out and the social side seem to be what draws people there. Art can be therapeutic as well as rewarding, so why not give it a go?

Worried? Fret not

Being worried about the future of course can be stressful, but there’s plenty of help out there. Allianz Global Assistance and Yecco recently investigated investigate attitudes towards caring for an aging population and found some interesting results. The survey found that people were most concerned about:

• Balancing work and home pressures the biggest concern for those who would have to provide care for an elderly relative (26%)

• Financial implications of caring for an elderly relative the second biggest concern (20%)

• 58% of people surveyed hadn’t talked to their immediate family members about what they would do in the event of an elderly relative needing care

• Only 15% of people would turn to extended family members for help in caring for a relative

• 48% of people expressed an interest in receiving an Elderly Emergency Care policy as an employee benefit

As a new report by think tank IPPR reveals that the number of older people needing care is expected to outstrip the number of family members able to provide that care by 2017, Allianz Global Assistance in the UK reports that 52% of people it surveyed are concerned about the future care needs of elderly parents or extended family, should they need home assistance.

The biggest single concern for people surveyed is the prospect of balancing work and home pressures whilst providing care for elderly parents (26%). This was followed closely by the financial implications of caring for an elderly relative (20%) and a fear of having little or no support from local authorities (16%). A higher percentage of men than women were worried about balancing work and home life and the cost of care.

Planning ahead is key to reducing the logistical and financial pressures of providing care. 58% of those surveyed hadn’t talked with their immediate family members about what they would do in the event of needing to provide care for an elderly relative. This is key in making sure any concerns are allayed far before the issue actually crops up.

Old age need not be a lonely and worrisome time. It’s all about a positive mental attitude. Remembering the phrase ‘you’re never too old to learn’ seems a wise thing to do, even if you feel like your body can’t keep up!

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