Where there's a Will...
In 2015, Will Gardiner, aged 11 (pictured above), was awarded Young Park Runner of the Year by Corby Parkrun. No mean feat for a boy with high functioning autism who has often opted out of group activities because he felt alienated. Will joined Corby Parkrun when he was eight, through his mother Kate, a core member of the team there. Corby is part of a nationwide network of free community runs in local parks staffed by volunteers (www.parkrun.org.uk). ‘Will came along with the family and enjoyed volunteering,’ says Kate. After watching the runners, he decided he wanted to take part. ‘Running the whole 5km circuit was a bit much but the support he got from the community was amazing.’
Over the years, Will has become comfortable with being part of the Corby Parkrun and regularly volunteers or runs. He signed up to the local athletics club, too. ‘He loves taking part in track and field events but doesn’t compete because it would cause him too much anxiety,’ explains Kate.
Like most people with autism, Will was generally unable to show empathy. But Kate says that now, through copying other volunteers’ actions such as cheering on runners, Will has developed the ability to respond to other people. ‘I like to cheer people on,’ says Will enthusiastically, ‘because that helps you when you’re running.’
Parkrun has helped Will develop social skills. ‘Now he can share a conversation with his family and other people. The volunteers and runners always encourage him and understand if he gets things a bit wrong,’ says Kate.
Will is clear about the benefits. ‘I didn’t want to help out at first but now I know that without volunteers there would be no Parkrun, which would make me sad. It’s a friendly community that I love being part of.’
Parkrun is supported by Join In (www.joininuk.org), a charity that connects volunteers with sport.
As a self-confessed technophobe, I am unlikely to rave about a gizmo. But I am addicted to the Foreo Luna sonic facial cleansing and anti-ageing device with its soft silicone filaments that pulse across your skin at a prodigiously fast rate.
Firstly, it is truly simple to use. Secondly, my dry, sensitive, mature skin now gleams and looks rosy. I use it for about a minute at night with cleanser to gently exfoliate and remove every atom of make-up and grime. I also use it in the morning when I look a bit dull and droopy; 60 seconds later I look positively perky. It not only improves circulation but also tickles the muscles in your face (which improves the saggy look). After about six weeks of using it, my lower face definitely looks a little plumper.
Now for something I didn’t expect: my Beauty Bible co-author Jo Fairley pointed out that it also reduces facial tension, so I tried it down the right side of my face where I had fractured the temporomandibular joint in front of my ear, which led to the muscles contracting uncomfortably, and my face looking lopsided. Daily massaging with the Foreo Luna has been so beneficial that my chiropractor is recommending it to patients with facial tension of any kind – I use it up and down my jawline, where we tend to store tension too.
The new Foreo Luna 2, £149, has a ridged reverse, using lower frequency pulsations to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and leave skin looking more lifted.
A reader who asked me to recommend a natural deodorant after trying several unsuccessful products tells me that roll-on Fresh Cream Deodorant from Australian brand MooGoo is working very well for her. Ingredients include milk of magnesia, Aussie lemon myrtle, witch hazel and the preservative hops extract. £5.90, www.moogooskincare.co.uk.