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Nursery praise STAFF at Brishing Barn Nurs- ery in Boughton Monchelsea provided children with excit- ing learning opportunities, ac- cording to Ofsted inspectors. They used observations and assessment to plan for chil- dren’s next steps in their learn- ing, helping them to make consistent progress. Communication and lan-


guage development was well supported through good use of questioning techniques and al- lowing children time to think their ideas through. There was a good relation-


ship with parents, providing continuity of care routines. Provision was rated as good,


but could become outstanding if children were encouraged to exploremathematical concepts, and if there wasmore provision for social interaction at meal- times for the youngest children.


Wine for sale LESLIE Balfour-Lynn has been given planning permission to sell wines from an existing wine tasting room at Hush Heath Winery, Five Oak Lane, Staplehurst. Maidstone Council restricted opening hours to 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday and at no time on Sundays. Another con- dition was that only wine pro- duced by the Hush Heath Estate should be sold on the premises.


Family support centre at risk


A CHARITY which has been of- fering support to Maidstone families for 25 years is facing closure. In spite of achieving “consis-


tently positive outcomes for families”, Home-Start Maid- stone’s manager, Sharon Man- ning, says the charity will be forced to shut in a matter of months, due to a lack of funding from the county council. “Without the necessary grant,


there is no way we can con- tinue. We need at least £80,000 to keep the scheme running for another 12 months,” says Sharon.


Home-Start Maidstone offers


help to parents and carers who are experiencing issues such as


A GYPSY has applied to live on a site in Frittenden Road, Staplehurst, with his family. Tom Kettle has applied to


site a mobile home, touring caravan and utility block at The Oaks, so that he can live there with his pregnant wife Amy and sons Tommy (four) and Billy (two). Asupporting statement said:


“Tom wants his family to be near his father who lives lo- cally, as do other relatives in the area, who live on sites


Monumental Stonemasons Est. 1973


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loneliness, relationship break- down, bereavement, post-natal depression, mental illness or multiple births. An appeal to find the money


to keep the scheme going has now been launched. Amy Van der


Weide (right) had eight- month-old twins when she turned to Home-Start Maidstone for help. She told Downs Mail: “I was struggling and petrified of leav- ing the house. My volunteer was amazing and got me out with the twins each time she


Gypsy family plans to settle


with planning permission. The family have been moving from site to site, doubling up in Kent and Essex, and want a permanent base now that their eldest child needs to start at school. “Tom works as a general labourer and buys and sells horses. He attends horse fairs around the country. He travels with friends and family.” Maidstone Council will de- termine the planning applica- tion.


came and slowly, my confi- dence started to build. There was no judgment and the sup- port made such a difference to me and my family.” Shewas so enthusiastic about Home-Start, she joined the board of trustees and is now its chairman. She added: “I am desperate to find a funding so- lution; the prospect of this serv- ice not being available to other struggling parents and carers is devastating.” Without outside funding, the centre in Marsham Street will close in the spring.  Donate by searching Home- Start Maidstone onwww.virgin- moneygiving.com, or call the office on 01622 675879.


Present appeal THE Salvation Army’s Christ- mas Present Appeal aims to en- sure that those in need in the local communities receive gifts. New unwrapped gifts or toys


can be taken to the community office at The Salvation Army, 74-80 Union Street, Maidstone (ME14 1ED) from Saturday, No- vember 23 to Sunday, Decem- ber 15. By giving a gift to the appeal,


you can make a real difference in someone’s life. For further information, call the commu- nity office on 01622 681808.


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