WHEN you are trying to lose weight the holiday season can be a particularly challenging time - especially when its Christmas, and there are so many delicious things to eat. But help is at hand, in the shape of Slimming World and its Skipton group.

Sarah Rishworth, who runs the four times a week group at High Corn Mill, says she does everything in her power to help people achieve the commitment they make when they first join up, and promises to be with them, every step of the way, all year round.

“At Slimming World we know that in the run up to Christmas, on the day itself and during the end of year period it can be even harder than usual to make healthy choices and stay on track towards your weight-loss goals. Busy schedules can leave little time to prepare and cook healthy meals and make it hard to find the space to fit in your regular activity, and there are lots of parties and temptations around, too. So I wouldn’t be doing my job if I disappeared at the very time my members need me the most,” she says.

To help people, at this particularly tricky time, healthy recipe ideas are swapped in meetings, and strategies for tackling festive challenges are shared.

“By being there no matter what the season or what the weather we’re keeping our promise to help members achieve their dreams. I’m confident that thanks to the support my members have been giving and receiving throughout December, they’ll all be reaching the New Year feeling lighter and brighter than ever,” she says.

HELEN Reid, from Settle, sent in this picture of a first birthday cake she recently made in response to a ‘Craven Curiosity’. The curiosity, which appeared in the Craven Herald of November 22 was of pie dish frills, although one of my colleagues suggested it looked more like an ‘expandable party hat’. Helen said the item, which is part of the collection of The Folly Museum, in Settle, would have been used to decorate a cake, or a pie. The cake, she made, has one of the frills, which she rightly says, can still be bought in homeware shops.

While on the subject of Craven Curiosities, we received an email from Australia, from a Geoff Towler. Geoff, a principal technical consultant for Consultas, correctly identified the curiosity of November 22 as a guinea scale. Who’d have thought we had such an international audience.

SKIPTON Soroptimists joined with members of Soroptimist International to wear something orange on November 24 at the start of the United Nations 16 days of action for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Soroptimists mission is to ‘orange the world’.

Meanwhile, newly elected Yorkshire president, Pat Kilbane has ‘power of the second chance’ as her theme for her year in office. Skipton and Yorkshire clubs will be raising awareness and supporting women and girls affected by violence in the coming months. Soroptimist International is a worldwide women’s voluntary organisation working to educate, enable and empower women and girls locally and globally.

FOR anyone still sending Christmas cards, by post to friends and relatives in the UK, the last day to send by Royal Mail, for second class is Tuesday, December 18. For first class, it is Thursday, December 20, and special delivery cards can be left until Saturday, December 22. Of course, dates for international posting of cards, is much earlier, and vary from country to country.

Interestingly, the first scheduled service for transporting mail by air took place in the UK on September 9, 1911. It was called ‘aerial post’ and celebrated the coronation of King George V. The first post to be transported in this way was between Hendon, North London, and Windsor, Berkshire, and the airplane was flown by British aviation pioneer, Gustav Hamel

A Christmas carol workshop will take place on Saturday, December 15 at The Folly, Settle. Led by Rebecca Denniff, it promises to be a joyful day for anyone who just wants to sing - whether they are experienced, or just a beginner. There will be both tingling harmonies, and hearty choruses to warm the spirits. It will take place from 10am to 4pm. Tickets £10 from the Folly Coffee House, or by telephone on 01729 822854 .

IN less than 300 days, the prestigious UCI Road World Championships, featuring the best cyclists from all over the world, will be coming to our area. The nine days of racing, from September 21 to September 29, will be based in Harrogate, but with races taking place all over - including Craven. In order to make the event go smoothly, organisers are appealing for volunteer ‘Yorkshire Champions’. The volunteers will work alongside official event staff during the nine days of racing, on a wide variety of roles, spread right across the county. Every position will grant people a unique opportunity to be part of the action.Every year people travel from all over the world to take up these voluntary posts and Yorkshire 2019 are looking to recruit more than 2,000 local people to join them. The championships are one of cycling’s pinnacle events but they haven’t been held on British shores since 1982, making this a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get involved.

Volunteers can sign up for between one to nine days and will receive full training in the run up the event.

Yorkshire 2019 chief executive, Andy Hindley, pictured, with champions, Danielle Ramsey, Hannah Buck and Jess Barrans, said: “Volunteering will play a vital role in both the delivery and the legacy of Yorkshire 2019. We want to involve as many local people as possible in the World Championships and there is no better way to do that than by becoming a Yorkshire Champion.” If you are interested in becoming a Yorkshire Champion (you must be 18 years old or over) visit: yorkshirechampions.com.

PHOTOGRAPHER Simon Hill has published a limited edition book to commemorate this year’s 160th Great Yorkshire Show. The 160th Great Yorkshire Show: A Photographer’s View (pictured) includes a foreword by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who visited the show, which took place in July, and a preface by His Grace The Duke of Devonshire who launched the Craven Heifer sculpture at Bolton Abbey. The sculpture, created by Emma Stothard, went on a journey across Yorkshire to spread the word about the show. Simon was given special access to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society as the staff worked to organise the annual three-day event, which attracts more than 130,000 visitors every year. From magical moments as dawn breaks on the Showground to the excitement in the judging rings, Simon captures a flavour of the three-day event that is all brought together in this limited edition book. The glossy soft cover book is on sale in Fodder, the Showground’s farm shop and café priced at £7.50. Simon said: “The Great Yorkshire Show is a highlight of the agricultural calendar, not just in Yorkshire but nationwide. It has been a privilege to be the first professional photographer in the 180 years of the show, to be given unrestricted access to photograph what is probably the foremost event of its kind in Britain. I hope my photographs, in this limited edition book, will be a lasting tribute to the work of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.” The 160th Great Yorkshire Show: A Photographer’s View is on sale for £7.50 in Fodder at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate while stocks last.

It is also available online at: shop.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk