We’ve been going like the clappers this month and broke our record for attending events and networking with five in total. Well, okay…it was four events as we made a bit of a boo-boo on the first one.

We thought that there was a police meeting at Sainsbury’s Locksbottom on 3rd April and went down there to find out about the latest news, only to be met with blank faces. We realised that there was in fact, no meeting at all and we were both a bit flummoxed as to how we got hold of the information.

To this day, we still don’t know, but we have since discovered that Farnborough and Crofton police do occasionally hold meetings there. We’ve just got to get the right date next time!

Help for businesses

We also attended a speed networking business event held at The Glades in Bromley. It was interesting meeting different businesses, finding out what they do and also putting faces to names. Something that we do ourselves (which not a lot of people know) is that we promote businesses who work with the community.

This could be teaming up and raising money for a local charity, hosting a free community event for residents or even launching a new eco-friendly product or service. Our aim at Life In Orpington is to report on positive community topics that have a positive effect on the community as a whole. So if you know someone – anyone from a small sole trader up to a large national branch – who is helping the community in some way – please do email us to let us know.

One of our first supporters (in fact, they were the very first business that we met to talk to about our new magazine!), the Orpington Café and Record Store in Orpington High Street invited us to their launch party to celebrate its new evening opening hours and a new supper menu. They are now open from Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm-9pm, with Happy Hour (or rather, happy hours!) from Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm-7pm.

April Blog

Scott and his team put on a great selection of canapés and there was plenty of mingling and free-flowing drinks – it was a great night. It’s wonderful to see the Orpington go from strength to strength in delivering great customer service coupled with tantalizing dishes. Plus we love the décor – if you haven’t visited, you really need to try out the food – the poached eggs and avocado on toast is one of our faves, plus the gluten-free white chocolate and ginger cheesecake.

Meeting Jo Johnson MP (again)

Next in line was The DenCare Clinic in Locksbottom who held an opening event, attended by Jo Johnson MP who officially cut the ribbon. Whilst we were chatting with Jo, we cheekily suggested that he should have a go in the dentist seat – and he did – even managing to answer questions about local business issues.

We’ve met Jo before at the monthly FSB meeting in Orpington and he came across as down to earth, answering all questions put to him.

We felt a little sorry for him as he didn’t have time to enjoy the wonderful selection of sandwiches and cakes put out at The DenCare Clinic as he had to dash off somewhere for another opening.

But we stayed for a while after Jo had left and met some of The DenCare Clinic’s lovely customers who were all very complimentary about the service they received while under Dr Chandni’s care. And did you know that they also have a vaccination clinic? Great for getting the inoculations in if you’re travelling abroad and need them.

April Blog

Last but not least we attended the Cray Valley Business Hub Meeting held at the Nugent. It was really interesting to see some of the issues raised by local businesses – and no doubt some of these issues, such as queuing to get out of the parking area in peak shopping times, are shared by the public.

It’s great to see the Nugent take positive steps in combating issues like this, alongside issues such as communication and policing. We’re looking forward to attending the next one!

A challenging month

Aside from the numerous events, it proved challenging juggling the distribution this month as one of us was ill. But friends and family rallied together to help us out and we have managed to get all copies of our May issue out before the end of April which is amazing.

We’re now working on our June issue. It seems so strange working on an issue that is two months away and we always have to be mindful of what it should include. We’ve remembered it’s Father’s Day in June so we’re planning on focusing more on men for this issue, with some great prizes to give away.

Meanwhile, the May issue introduces the new feature of Technology and as usual is packed with things to do and see, community events and news plus a whole range of lifestyle articles for you to dip in and dip out of – and keep on your coffee table. If you’re wondering who the handsome guy is on the front – it’s the head chef at Thara Thai restaurant in Locksbottom.

We popped in this month to try out the food and we weren’t disappointed – it was delicious. In fact, we were speaking with one of DenCare’s clients and they said they couldn’t even get a table there one night it was so popular – and that speaks volumes.

We’re back next month reporting on what we’ve been up to. Please feel free to contact us if you want to nominate a local hero, offer feedback on the magazine or just have a chat with us about anything local or community-focused.