Happy Christmas

This month we have featured lots of great community and eco-friendly services available in and around Wellingborough on our Advent Calendar. It has been a real treat being able to talk to so many amazing people, and it’s been a pleasure sharing their groups, charities and businesses with you. For those that may have missed some of our Advent Calendar windows, here are all of them:

  1. Winter Warm Space at ECO HUB
  2. Christmas Tree Festival at High Street Church
  3. Christmas Market, Wellingborough Town Council
  4. Christmas Tabletop Sale at Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre
  5. Kwanzaa Greetings, Made with Many
  6. Christmas Festival at Glamis Hall
  7. Warm Wednesdays at St Mark’s Church
  8. Repair Café at ECO HUB
  9. Daily Bread Co-operative and Christmas Craft Fair
  10. Christmas Party at Victoria Centre
  11. Redeem Funds Christmas Winter Warmer
  12. Wellingborough Library
  13. Wellingborough Swap Shop at ECO HUB
  14. Our Special 24 Advent Days
  15. Bee Buffet, North Northamptonshire Council
  16. Teamwork Trust
  17. Toy Amnesty, We’re All In. Northants
  18. Co-op Christmas Winter Warmer
  19. L.I.V.E. Team
  20. Wellie Wombles
  21. Food for Thought
  22. Christmas Appeal, Animals in Need
  23. Iris-May Butterfly Kisses
  24. Full Circle, North Northamptonshire Sustainable Food Network

Many of the above and more are on Wellingborough Eco Map where you can discover more ‘eco-friendly’ services available locally. Local services are also on the Wellingborough Organisations website. Please do support them or use their services, and share our blog posts and videos to promote them. Our videos are also available on our YouTube channel, look out for all of this year’s videos on the Advent Calendar 2022 playlist:

Watch all of this year’s Advent Calendar videos!

We would like to thank you all for everything you have done for us and for our community this year. We wish everyone a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Full Circle

Today’s final Advent Calendar window of this year opens for North Northamptonshire Sustainable Food Network and their the ‘Full Circle’ project. The project has been made possible thanks to funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund, and is providing farmers, producers, suppliers and food retailers with a trio of online platforms to help them chart their journey to sustainability.

The project is also providing a matchmaking service that is linking hospitality businesses with producers and suppliers who have food produce that would otherwise go to waste. Here Sophie from the network tells us all about their three apps; Zellar, Food Loop and Too Good to Go:

Did you know that over a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, and in the UK, we throw away around 9.5 million tonnes every year? When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.

North Northamptonshire Food Network’s vision is to empower, promote and strengthen North Northamptonshire’s status as a ‘Sustainable Food Place’ – somewhere everyone can enjoy healthy, local, affordable food and where our communities can actively play a part in shaping their own food network.

The Network is committed to developing a sustainable food environment, one in which everyone can flourish. They are are striving to:

Eradicate food poverty and food inequality

Eradicate food poverty and food inequality

Increase the profile and importance of healthy eating

Increase the profile and importance of healthy eating

Support local farmers and producers

Support local farmers and producers

Educate young people about growing and cooking

Educate young people about growing and cooking

Encourage the buy local theme

Encourage the ‘buy local’

The Network’s Full Circle Apps saving food from landfill are:

  • Zellar – a sustainability audit app that that will enable food and drink organisations to create an online profile and document their sustainability journey. Find out more about Zellar here https://zellar.com
  • Food Loop – which matches businesses who may be seeking to receive or use food supplies with other businesses that have unwanted produce. Find out more about Food Loop here https://foodloop.app
  • Too Good to Go – which matches vulnerable people and food banks with local excess food. Find out more about Too Good to Go here: https://toogoodtogo.co.uk

The network have also produced a map to help you locate foodbanks, food larders, community cafes, community gardens, shops, hospitality outlets, food & drink manufacturers and growers within North Northamptonshire

Please note, the teardrop icons are a variety of different colours, each representing a different type of business. To find out more about an individual organisation either click on the teardrop on the map or click on the relevant organisation’s name on the left hand side menu.

Wellingborough Eco Group’s Food Sharers and Redeem Funds are on this map. Sophie from the Network brought some goats milk soap in, via the Food Loop app, for us to share at ECO HUB tonight at Food Sharers with overstocked food from two local supermarkets. It starts at 6pm and ends at 8:30pm, all food taken needs a donation to Redeem Funds. Swap Shop is also on for extremely late Christmas shopping too! See you there…

The North Northamptonshire Food Network and their Full Circle project is being managed by Northamptonshire ACRE and Made in Northamptonshire. If you are involved in the food chain please get in touch and get involved. To do this simply email: enquiries@nnsustainablefoodnetwork.co.uk

Iris-May Butterfly Kisses

Today’s Advent Calendar Window opens for anyone who has lost a baby and for Iris-May Butterfly Kisses, a Wellingborough Charity, set up to help and support families going through pregnancy and infant loss. Founder Stephane Mills said:

I founded Iris-May butterfly kisses in memory of my daughter Iris-May, she gained her wings at 8 days old after being born prematurely at 25 weeks 2 days. I love being able to support other families going through pregnancy and infant loss, as it does feel like you on your own. I want them to know that there are people out there for them.

Iris-May Butterfly Kisses was set up because of the pain of not having something to dress Iris-May in and because Stephanie could relate to the pain that other families will be feeling when they lose their baby. You can read their full story here.

Iris May Butterfly Kisses aim is to relieve the suffering and emotional distress amongst parents and families who have experienced the loss of a baby through ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or neo-natal death; in four ways by:

  1. Supporting newly bereaved parents by the provision of memory boxes and care packages. Memory boxes are filled with items to make memories such as blankets, handmade items, candles, inkless wipes with cards, sympathy cards, and memorial items.
  2. Supplying books to young people in resources bags to help explain the loss of their sibling to other children.
  3. Providing or assisting in the provision of bereavement suites in hospital units where such facilities are not provided by the NHS.
  4. Raising funds for other charities who provide training and support to healthcare professionals, and others, to assist them in improving their help and support to such bereaved parents.

The charity was registered on 12 July 2018 and since then has provided 40 memory boxes to Rosie Maternity Unit in Cambridgeshire, and are now working with hospitals in Northamptonshire to help people locally.  They are now going further afield with their memory boxes, making them available across the UK. 

What’s in a Memory Box?

Last Christmas time they did a collection for Northampton General and Kettering General hospitals to purchase presents for patients who are staying in hospital over the Christmas period.  At Easter they donated chocolate eggs to children whose families had gone through pregnancy loss, or if they had a sibling in the neo-natal unit.

They rely on donations and the support of their fundraisers. The funds raised ensure that they can continue to offer support and comfort to families going through pregnancy and infant loss across the country. There are many ways to get involved, whether you join in at their fundraising events or even host your own fundraising event.

Please do consider giving either your time or money to this worthy cause. You can find out how on their website, or on their Facebook page. Your kindness will help them to continue supporting families during their difficult time of losing their little one.

Christmas Appeal

Today our Advent Calendar window opens to support our wonderful friends at Animals In Need and their Christmas Appeal. Animals in Need are an organisation dedicated to rescuing sick, injured, trapped and distressed wild and domestic animals. They provide veterinary treatment where necessary, care for and rehabilitate animals until they can be released or re-homed. Animals In Need was set up in 1990, the aim of the organization is alleviate suffering in animals; and their Christmas Appeal is for gifts for the animals in their care this Christmas.

Every year they try to ensure every animal in their care at Christmas receives a gift. They are asking for a Christmas box or goodie bag containing food, treats, toys, a blanket or towel. All gifts can be dropped off at the shelter right up to Christmas Eve, 12-3 daily. They care for a wide variety of different animals & are truly grateful for all the support!


The animal Shelter is at Pine Tree Farm, London Road, Little Irchester, Northamptonshire, NN8 2EH and is open to the public between 12 midday and 3pm Tuesday to Sunday. It is run by 8 members of staff and a team of volunteers at Pine Tree Farm and out attending to both domestic and wild animals in the Northamptonshire area. They also work with Northamptonshire Police attending road traffic accidents and out of hours emergencies. Here founder of Animals in Need, Roy Marriott, tells us about the charity with a rescued pig, Ruby:

Feeding and caring for the injured animals they rescue is most important especially in cases of young orphaned birds, which need hand feeding every hour from dawn till dusk. Also young hedgehogs which haven’t reached the required weight to survive hibernation over the winter months, need to be kept warm and fed as do swans that have incurred injuries, many from fishing tackle that they have swallowed or become entangled in.

Volunteer Recruitment Day

SATURDAY, 14 JANUARY 2023 FROM 12:00-15:00

If your New Years resolution to make new friends, get more exercise & volunteer your time to a charity? This is the event for you! Animals in Need have lots of great opportunities, so why not come and meet their beautiful animals who can’t wait to meet you. Are you 16 or over, can do four or more hours, don’t mind getting your hands dirty and care for animals? If that’s you and you’re reliable they would love to see you at their Volunteer Day on Saturday 14th January 12-3.

Support Animals in Need

The shelter has a vegan cafe which will re-open on January 7th, 11:00 until 4:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Pop in for some wonderful vegan food, breakfasts, toasty, shepherds pie, mac n cheese, or beyond burger with chips. There are incredible cakes from Motley bakes plus sweets and chocolate. All funds raised support the animals in there care.

They also have charity shop is at 89 Lea Red, Abington, Northampton. It is open 9am until 5pm Monday to Saturday but closed on Sundays. Why not pop in and grab a Christmas bargain whilst raising vital funds for the animals at the shelter. But if you don’t like shopping, and even worse leave everything to the last minute, why not surprise your friends and family with an animal sponsorship, details can be found and more at http://animals-in-need.org

Food for Thought

With today’s Advent Calendar, we are opening a new window for a fabulous shop, Food for Thought! We featured them on last year’s Advent Calendar for their first birthday and on our first Advent Calendar on their opening day, and we’re really excited to show you around again this year…

Pop in for loads of last minute Christmas gifts under £20!

Food for Thought have food, cleaning, personal hygiene products and accessories for sale. Kerry, the shop’s owner, gave us a tour of her emporium, and we videoed it for you. Here is Kerry telling us all about the products available at Food for Thought, including lots of new ones:

Kerry has opened her ‘zero-waste emporium’ in Nene Court, Wellingborough, to reduce plastic pollution & celebrate locally made. Their motto is more joy with less waste!

At Food for Thought, you can buy loose and eco friendly goods, such as food stuffs, self-care and cleaning products. You simply fill, weigh and pay for what you need. So save your jars and bottles. Wash them out and refill at Food for Thought!

They will be open between Christmas and New Year. There won’t be veg or bread as they’re suppliers are closed for the whole period but there will be eggs & all their usual refill goodness, plus lots of eco-friendly gifts, hampers, snacks, drinks & if you’re looking for more of an experience to gift, consider their workshops & gift vouchers!

For other opening ours see below.

So if you’re looking for great food and cleaning products with zero waste, find Food for Thought at 21 Nene Court, Wellingborough, NN8 1LD

New product – Happy Mouse Vegan Cheese

Opening Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 8.30am-12.30pm
Wednesday: 10am – 3pm
Thursday: 10am – 4:30pm or 11am – 7.30pm (1st/month)
Friday: 10am – 4:30pm
Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

+44 (0) 7912 696097

Find out more at https://www.foodforthought.shop/

Wellie Wombles

Today’s Advent Calendar window opens to say thank you to Wellie Wombles, the litter picking group from Wellingborough Eco Group, started on Facebook by Freddie Harris in February 2021, as a Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire group of Northants Litter Wombles, who including our Wombles and group picks have picked 50,000 bags so far! Both groups have been set up to encourage people to litter pick. Here’s Freddie talking about Wellie Wombles:

Wellie Wombles are individual litter pickers who, like the TV Characters, go Wombling free tidying up after the everyday people. We do suggest that Wombles start near where you live but can litter pick whenever they want to, and pretty much wherever they want to. As a group we simply offer help, supplies and guidance, plus give litter pickers the chance to share photos with each other of what has been picked on the Wellie Wombles Facebook group.

Wellie Wombles regularly litter pick 100+ bags a month just in Wellingborough! Maybe you have seen a Wellie Womble or two tidying up your local area, or have seen one of those red bags at the side of the road? Wellie Wombles also join in the Wellingborough Eco Group ‘Two Hour Tidy Up’ every month, tidying up local parks and public spaces.

Plus Freddie is busy working behind the scenes and has had some great success stories, including engaging with local schools and young people on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, by setting up local neighbourhood hubs where people can borrow our litter pickers and hoops; and with local business, to get them to take up litter picking. He is currently engaging with supporters over the festive period to see if they would like to do some picking too.

To help you, we are at ECO HUB, Glamis Hall every Tuesday afternoon 2-6 for Tuesday Tidy Ups, plus we’ve teamed up with Wellingborough Library Monday to Saturday and with many other community partners; to loan litter pickers, hi-vis and hoops, and to give away bags. We call these partners Hubs, here is a map of where they are:

Equipment and bags are to be collected from one of the above locations, equipment is to be returned on the same day; and bags left for North Northants Council by a public highway or at Glamis Hall on Tuesdays for collection. To get bags collected, simply report them on our website. You can also purchase a variety of pickers and hoops from us at our Tuesday Tidy Ups.

Come to Tuesday Tidy Ups this afternoon at ECO HUB, Glamis Hall from 2:00 until 6:00pm to meet Freddie and other Wellie Wombles for a tidy up or just a cup of tea and a chat. Find out more about Wellie Wombles on our webpage or join the Wellie Wombles Facebook group.

L.I.V.E. Team

Today’s Advent Calendar window opens for L.I.V.E. Team and all the wonderful things that they do including their free ‘Coats for Kids’. Here is a video of Debs from the team telling us about them:

L.I.V.E. stands for Learning Independence Volunteering Employment and they are a specialist team that exists to provide bespoke support to individuals (with learning disabilities and related barriers to employment) in four key areas – Learning, Independence, Volunteering and Employment.

Their aim is to provide meaningful opportunities, raise aspirations and provide support with an empowering ethos to enable individuals to fulfil their potential and exceed expectations. They teamed up with Greatwell Places to help clean up our communities during the summer, and to tidy up neglected gardens for their residents.

Since L.I.V.E. Team in Wellingborough launched ‘Coats for Kids’ on 25 October, they have handed out and helped many families in need, gifting 68 coats from their rails.

Their volunteers are currently stock-checking and washing new coat donations, to make sure they are in the best condition to be gifted out. They have a Coat for Kids rail at Swap Shop in ECO HUB Glamis Hall (NN8 3RU) on Tuesdays, Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre (NN8 4TU) on Thursdays, and Irchester Library (NN29 7AA) six days a week.

They are still asking for donations for good condition kids coats. If you have any, please get in contact with them, and they could possibly arrange pick up or drop off. Call 07407800192 / 01604362197.


Today we open our Advent Calendar window for the Co-op and for Jonathan, their Member Pioneer in Wellingborough. He is there to connect with the community and help support local causes via Wellingborough’s Co-op stores at Olympic Way and Redhill; and today he is hosting the Co-op Christmas Winter Warmer in our ECO HUB at Glamis Hall!

Join in with the Co-op to celebrate Christmas a week early!

Join us for a hot food swap. Jonathan, invites you to share food with us this Sunday lunchtime, 12:00-3:00. The Co-op will be supplying loads of party food and we will also be cooking up some tasty treats, plus there’s festive fun and games too, all welcome!

The Co-op employs Jonathan and other local Member Pioneers to continue to build stronger and more resilient communities by supporting projects offering: Fair access to food, fair access to mental wellbeing support and fair access to education and employment for young people. New for this year, the Co-op is also supporting sustainability and climate change projects, and we are one of this year’s causes!

Support local good causes with Co-op, choose a local cause today…

When you buy selected Co-op products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes into your membership account, and they’ll split the same between like-minded organisations and local causes. The three causes in Wellingborough are Iris-May Butterfly Kisses, Teamwork Trust and Wellingborough Eco Group. You can select the local cause you would like to support on the Co-op App or at https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes

Working together to help everyone cope with the cost-of-living crisis…

Jonathan runs the Community Resilience Forum on the last Friday afternoon each month (except December) for local people, including businesses and community organisations, to work together to help everyone cope with the cost-of-living crisis. This forum also contributes and decides with Jonathan what is on the Wellingborough Organisations website and social media outlets, which also includes Wellingborough Forum on Facebook and Nextdoor.

We can all do our bit for our community. Together, we have raised £117m to support local communities across the UK sine 2016. Become a Co-op member and help support causes in your community. Download the app, join today and join in today to celebrate Christmas early or just to enjoy each others and Co-op food at this afternoon’s Co-op Christmas Winter Warmer. You will find us at ECO HUB Glamis Hall, Goldsmith Road, Wellingborough, NN8 3RU. See you there!

Toy Amnesty

We open today’s Advent Calendar for ‘We’re all in. Northants‘ and their Toy Amnesty, a toy and gift event that’s on this weekend. It takes place in the pavilion at Wilby playing fields, start time today is 12 and finishes at 3pm. Sunday start time is 11 and finishes at 2pm.

Not only will there be the gift event but there will be a tombola, refreshments, popcorn, cake, all sorts of items to buy and also an opportunity to pick up a free coat, hat and gloves. In this weather we all need these items and they are letting you choose one of each for free. (If you can afford to donate please do but not essential)

Here is a video tour of the Toy Amnesty uploaded as the event started!

We’re All In. Northants is a limited company and group run by Kat Neale, that promotes the local events going on in Northants and also sources items for members to purchase at cheaper prices than the shops. ALL money raised goes to her other groups Wilby Community Food Group, Wellingborough Baby Bank and their chosen monthly cause.

Kat decided to run a toy amnesty through December and January, so people could have a pre-Christmas clear out and give toys with life left in them to someone new. Any good/new/like new toys will be used for families struggling to afford presents at this time.

Toys in less than this condition but that could still make a child happy are being listed on her ‘Hand Me Downation‘ Facebook group for a small food or monetary donation, proceeds again going back into the food group, the causes and baby bank. Any unadoptable toys will be recycled or upcycled by being offered on a new craft/upcycling group Kat has just launched on Facebook called Procraftination.

Come and join Kat and all at Wilby playing fields pavilion, today 12-3pm or Sunday 11am-2pm, ask questions about We’re all in. Northants and her other groups, ask how you can support these or what projects are on the horizon! Wilby Community Food Group is also open at 124 Main Road, so do visit that too while you’re in the village.

Teamwork Trust

Today’s Advent Calendar window opens for Teamwork Trust who are a charity and social enterprise who are celebrating 40 years of supporting autistic adults, people with learning disabilities and individuals with mental health needs in North Northamptonshire.

The disabled community was particularly hard hit by the Covid lockdowns and Teamwork want to find a way to get this community to make new friends, stop people feeling lonely, but also to talk a lot, walk a lot or craft a lot. At Teamwork Trust, they want to learn and share ways to cope and to enjoy being together.

Here Kizzi, Mark and Michael tell you what they do in Wellingborough

Teamwork Trust helps vulnerable adults to achieve their goals. They care and are passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to the same chances, choices and opportunities. They embrace and celebrate individual needs and abilities. Service users help to steer and plan everything they do.

Their three centres, based in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough, are friendly, safe and supportive places in which service users make new friends, access education and employment experiences, and take part in on and off-site activities and classes. They have a packed programme of living and learning projects, and activities, as well as wellbeing and counselling programmes.

They run ‘factory floor’ facilities from their three centres providing a range of assembling, reworking, finishing, labelling, packing and fulfilment services, to offer reliable commercial outsourcing service offers a cost-effective and efficient option for businesses, while giving adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities valuable vocational experience at the same time.

In Wellingborough they do lots of assembly jobs, including making badges for companies, community groups and events. Customers include Wellie Wombles and events include the Waendel Walk! They are also making blankets for the homeless out of crisp packets, and you can donate your crisp packets either directly or at ECO HUB, Glamis Hall. The Wellingborough centre is based at:

Teamwork Trust
38A Oxford Street

Tel 01933 442066

Want to help? Or need to join them? They need volunteers and want to help you if you are feeling lonely. Do join them!