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It’s Children’s Mental Health Week in Leicester

We show our support for a vitally important project which comes with Royal approval.

Children’s Mental Health Week (CMHW) is running from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 February.

The project’s patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, launched the event with a special video message.

The Duchess is a passionate supporter of children’s mental health and spoke about the importance of young people expressing their feelings safely and creatively.

It’s in keeping with the theme of this year’s week, which is Express Yourself.

The Duchess also spoke about the importance of parents and carers looking after their mental health and making time for themselves.

The CMHW website is filled with activities and resources for children and parents to do exactly that.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we recognise how challenging the lockdowns have been for children (and adults) and that’s why we’re putting our full support behind this initiative.

Lookout on Thursday for our 10 top tips to help children and young adults with their mental health.

For more info and to access all the free resources visit: www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk

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How Leicester is Affected by Yesterday’s Stamp Duty Debate

They rarely agree about anything, but MPs from different parties were singing from the same hymn sheet during yesterday’s virtual House of Commons debate around extending the Stamp Duty holiday.

The debate was triggered by an online public petition that wants to see a six-month extension to the existing deadline of 31 March.

And nearly every MP who spoke during the 70-minute discussion favoured adding at least a further six months or staggering the deadline so that more people can benefit from the tax break.

How has today’s debate impacted sellers and buyers in Leicester?

To be honest, nothing has changed, but the pressure is building on the treasury to act, mainly because the property market generates enormous tax income and millions of pounds worth of home sales are in the balance.

We’re now all playing a game of wait and see until Wednesday 3 March when the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will reveal the Government’s decision.

If you have any questions about the Stamp Duty holiday and what it means to your moving plans, contact us on 0116 274 5544.

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NEWSFLASH – Lockdown Update for home movers in Leicester

The Prime Minister announced at 8pm this last night that people in England will be going back into lockdown tomorrow following a surge in Coronavirus cases.

The tighter restrictions include schools shutting until the February half-term for most pupils. People must now work from home if they can, and only essential shops can remain open.

Which leads us to how these new measures will affect people wanting and needing to move home.

According to the Government’s latest advice issued on its website, people CAN still move home as long as they follow the guidelines in place.

At the end of this article, there is a link to the information the Government issued this evening.

The section which addresses the property market states.

Moving home

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.

We’re Here for Our Community

We will be available to take calls and respond to any property related questions you may have about this latest twist in what’s been a traumatic time for many of us.

But unlike the first lockdown hope is now on the horizon.

We will get through this together. Remember ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn.’

All of us at Knightsbridge Estate Agents are committed to ensuring our clients, colleagues and communities remain safe. We will do everything in our power to play our part in the fight against this awful disease.

Here is the link to the Government’s latest Coronavirus guidelines. Page 17 features the Moving Home advice.

https://tinyurl.com/yynh94ug

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10 Resolutions People in Leicester are Making in 2021

We look to share some resolution ideas to bring some hope in 2021.

99.9 per cent of us cannot wait to see the back of 2020.

And what better time to draw a line under this ‘unprecedented’ year than the opportunity to welcome in a new year. And one which brings new hope.

Below are 10 of the most common resolutions people have made over the past five years, according to polling website You.Gov.

  • Exercise more.
  • Eat more healthily.
  • Lose weight.
  • Budget finances better.
  • Learn something new.
  • Spend more time with friends and family. (Fingers crossed).
  • Get more sleep.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Travel more (here’s hoping).
  • Focus on spiritual growth.

And here are five of the most common resolutions we hear home seekers in Leicester make.

  • A home with more room.
  • A home nearer loved ones and/or good schools.
  • A home with a room or space enabling working from home. (A new one for 2021).
  • A home with a bigger garden or easy access to open space.
  • A home with friendly neighbours.

At the heart of people’s resolutions is always a sense of hope.

And hope is something we’ll all be holding onto as we enter 2021.

And at Knightsbridge Estate Agents we’re hopeful the next 12 months will be much better than what we’ve endured in 2020.

Finally, we’d like to thank all our clients, colleagues, and our community for your support this year.

Here’s to hope, happiness and to happier times ahead.

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Five Fun Festive Activities You Can Do with the Kids

We look at five Christmassy things to do with the kids that won’t break the bank.

Covid-19 has put the kibosh on big family gatherings and trips to the panto this Christmas, but there are still plenty of ways you can get into the festive spirit with your little ones. 

Here are five low-cost activities that will bring comfort and joy to your children during the holiday season.

  1. Go on a Christmas lights walk/drive

Kids love a bit of razzle-dazzle so take them on a night-time tour – either by foot or car – of the most bling light displays in your area. Make an event out of it by taking along a flask of hot chocolate, and a few Christmas treats to nibble on as you marvel at the inflatable Santas, luminous reindeers, and flashing penguins on show.

  1. Get crafty

Turn pine cones into mini Christmas trees with this easy-peasy craft project. The first step is to source your pine cones (from either the floor of your local woods or a craft shop). Give each pine cone a coat of green paint. Let them dry and then paint the edge of each pine cone scale white to represent snow. Add splodges of red and gold paint for lights, and glue on pom poms for baubles.

  1. Make a festive video

If your children are more tech-savvy than you, let them take the lead on this project. They’ll relish the chance to show you how clever they are. For your video, you could dress in Santa hats and mime to a popular Christmas tune, or write your own mini script. Most mobile phones come with an app (such as iMovie or FilmoraGo) that will allow you to create a professional number in no time. Share your video with grandparents and family friends and then bask in the rave reviews.

  1. Create a grotto at home

If you can’t go to Santa’s grotto this year, bring it to you by turning a spare room, loft, shed or cubby house into a cosy Christmas cave. Block out any light by pulling the curtains or taping black cardboard to the windows. Drape red, green, and gold fabric and hang fairy lights, paper chains, snowflakes, and candy canes. Go OTT; the kids will love it.

  1. Bake

Christmas tree meringues make great festive sweet treats. Mix up a standard meringue mix and add green food colouring and a dash of peppermint extract. Then pipe (you’ll need a piping bag, star-shaped piping nozzle, and a steady hand) the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper. Start with a circle about 8cm in diameter and continue upwards in ever-decreasing circles. Add sprinkles as baubles and then bake in the oven. Delicious.

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Making a Difference to Kids in Leicester

We are delighted to announce our free giveaway of a sold-out children’s book and the difference it is making to young lives.

Breaking news ……We’ve teamed up with a children’s author and are giving away digital versions of his fast-selling book, Spot the Different.

Jerry Lyons originally wrote the book for his then seven-year-old daughter as a bedtime story to show that being different is something to be proud of and to embrace.

It tells the story of a young girl called Lucy, who is being bullied at school. She meets a magical ladybird called Spot, and he takes her on an adventure where they meet an array of unique animals.

These include Freddie the Flea who doesn’t jump, Charlie the Camel with no hump and Cassie the Crow that doesn’t like flying.

Andy Willard, a talented artist, wonderfully illustrates the book. It is currently sold out in print format, but we’ve gained permission to share digital versions of it with families across Leicester as a Christmas gift to younger members of our community.

Jerry Lyons said: “I want to get Spot’s message of inclusivity, diversity and being proud of yourself into as many young hands and minds as possible. And thanks to the generous support of Knightsbridge Estate Agents, we are doing exactly that by offering the digital version for free.”

We are delighted to be playing a small part in spreading the book’s message, and if you would like to get your free E-book, please click the link below

Remember folks sharing is caring, so if you know a young person who would enjoy reading a digital copy of Spot the Different, please share this article on social media and tag a friend or forward it to them.

Thanks for reading.

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Kids Christmas Colour Book

Thinking of ways to keep the kids entertained over the Christmas break?

Why not give our free colouring books a go? You can print them off, get the colouring pens and pencils out and have a couple of hours away from screens and gadgets.

And we haven’t forgotten adults as we have created a colouring book for you too.

If you’d like one, or both of the books please message us with your email / address and we will send them across.

ClarendonPark@knightsbridge-estates.co.uk

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How to Rent Guide – December 2020 Update Released

The Government has recently changed its ‘How to Rent’ Guide.

Landlords should be aware of the change in this document and should be issuing this as part of the required documentation to provide to a tenant the outset of a tenancy ensuring they have documented and have evidence that this has been done should be required to be called upon later on.

We would also recommend re-issuing the ‘How to Rent’ Guide as and when it changes to your tenant(s) and keeping a record of how this was done.

You can click to the image below to download the December 2020 Release.

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From Mulled Wine to Mistletoe – Four Festive Customs Explained

In this quick read, we trace the origins of some of the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas.

Christmas is a time of mistletoe and mulled wine, twinkly trees, and messages from the monarch.  

And in Leicester it seems like many people can’t wait for the festive break.

So, let’s explore the history behind the enduring Christmas customs many of us enjoy.

Why do we decorate Christmas trees?

In Pagan times, evergreens were placed in the home to ward off evil spirits and to remind people during the depths of winter that spring would return.

By the 16th century, devout Christians in Germany, who believed evergreen trees symbolised everlasting life, had taken things a step further. They decorated evergreen conifers with apples, paper roses, and candles (which they then lit) creating an incredible spectacle – and a terrible fire hazard.

King George III and his German wife Charlotte were among the first to adopt the Christmas tree tradition in England, and it was later popularised by Queen Victoria and her German-born husband, Albert.

Mulled wine

The Romans get the credit for introducing this tipple to Europe in the 2nd century. They heated their wine to ward off the cold and added spices (to promote good health) and natural sweeteners (because the wine tasted awful).  

Later, other countries devised their own variations. The Germans guzzled glühwein, the Swedes glugged glögg, and the Brits got through the Great Plague by knocking back “mulled sack”, which was safer to drink than the water.

It wasn’t until the 1800s that mulled wine became synonymous with Christmas. Charles Dickens mentions it his novel A Christmas Carol. The Victorian author namechecks Smoking Bishop, a mix of red wine, port, oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. We’ll drink to that, Tiny Tim!

Mistletoe mystery 

Historians are still not sure exactly how this tradition got started. What they do know is that the Greeks, Romans, and Druids all prized mistletoe as a source of healing, vitality, and fertility.

The plant is also associated with Frigg, the Norse goddess of motherhood and fertility, whose son was killed by an arrow made from mistletoe (doesn’t sound very Christmassy to us).

While this is all rather interesting, it doesn’t explain why servants in Britain began to “kiss under the mistletoe” sometime between 1720 and 1784. Perhaps someone below stairs got a bit lairy after one too many pints of mulled sack.

Royal message

We all know the Royal Christmas Broadcast as the Queen’s Speech, but originally it was the King’s Speech. George V delivered the first Royal Broadcast on Christmas Day in 1932.

Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather gave his radio address from a small office in Sandringham at 3pm, as this was the best time for reaching most of the countries in the Empire by shortwave.

The Queen delivered her first Christmas message in 1952 and her first televised message in 1957. She’ll deliver her 68th Christmas message this year.