Experts from Clitheroe share their advice on getting through the coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 May 2020

War Memorial  at Clitheroe Castle looking out towards Pendle Hill...

War Memorial at Clitheroe Castle looking out towards Pendle Hill...


Experts from around Clitheroe give their advice on staying fit and active during while you’re in isolation.

Colin Jones FitnessColin Jones Fitness


Colin Jones

Strong man, Judo and keep fit expert

You can keep fit at home, whatever your level of fitness and it’s important to do so as, when we’re on the other side, we’ll all be raring to go. On my website, there are a range of videos for beginners to advanced and I’m happy to take calls but here is an exercise you can do right now.

Take a one litre plastic bottle, put markers on it and fill with water to the first marker. Do ten bicep curls with one arm then the other. Sitting with a straight back, lift and hold the bottle to each side. When you can do that, fill the bottle to the next level and continue so, over the days you can track your progress.

If you want to try squats, it’s easier to give yourself a lift by standing on two equally sized books and keep your arms out at the front to stop you toppling. Finally, don’t forget to walk up and down the stairs purposefully several times a day – slowly, emphasising the movement in your leg and power walk – or dance, around the house and garden.

Mark GidlowMark Gidlow


Mark Gidlow

Dog walking and behaviourist expert

We’ll be helping vulnerable dog owners but there is a lot you can do at home. Try massaging your dog to keep muscles supple. There are videos on YouTube and dogs love it. Play games – hide toys in a separate room, give 20 seconds to find them or try using encouraging phrases then go out of room, give your dog a treat and repeat three times.

Short bursts of energy are good. Don’t overfeed with treats, make them part of a normal allowance: maybe fruit and vegetables - try carrot, orange or celery. Create a treat trail in the house or garden. Put some in a bowl, filled with balls so they can have messy fun finding them, or in a cereal box, close it and let them figure it out.

Take plastic cups, put a treat under one: your dog will love investigating and remember to play catch in the garden and cuddle your dog as they can be anxious too.

Dr Sue HinderDr Sue Hinder


Dr Sue Hinder

Mindfulness expert

Centre yourself in the present: unsettling thoughts about the future are just thoughts and thoughts are not facts. If you experience anxious moments, it helps to have a saying to repeat. I use, ‘I am safe and secure’ or ‘All is well’. Concentrate on small things until anxiety subsides.

For example, put all your energy into chewing something like a raisin properly, really thinking about savouring it, or even thinking about the chair you are sitting in, its colour and texture. Appreciate these things, keep your mind on them, don’t let negative thoughts intrude. If they do, just take a breath and bring your mind back to focusing.

I am offering telephone and skype consultations and there are helpful videos on my website for everyone. Remember, this period will pass.

John Rotherham at Bowland AtelierJohn Rotherham at Bowland Atelier


John Rotherham and Cassandra Batterby

Artists and tutors

We’re using Facetime to keep in touch but now is the time to discover your inner artist. You don’t need lots of equipment – a pencil and lots of patience will do. Sit in a good light with whatever you want to draw in front of you.

Start with big shapes rather than details and keep stepping back to compare it from a distance, this gives you a fresh eye.

Mistakes always happen – don’t worry – there is no such thing as a perfect painting but the trick is in learning what to correct and that comes with time. Keep going!

Harriet GoreHarriet Gore


Harriet Gore

Award-winning child movement expert

Part of the fun of my classes is mums and children coming together, so I’m streaming classes on my website and Facebook pages for everyone to join in with, while we wait for this time to pass. There is still lots you can do at home.

For babies, you could make up a sensory pack: take a piece of laminated paper – seal sharp edges with hair straighteners – and puts lots of different textures on it, such as cotton wool or baby oil. Music is always great for kids so why not make shakers by filling plastic bottles, each with a different ingredient, to give individual sounds. Sing loudly with your children and don’t forget to dance any way you like! Don’t be afraid to make noise with all that is in your pan cupboard – maybe in the garden, especially if you share the house with someone who’s working from home.

This could be a special time to spend precious uninterrupted moments with your children. Maybe keep a daily journal of all that passes between you: one day in the future. you will read it and smile.

Zoe ChanningZoe Channing


Zoe Channing

Book expert

Use this time to catch up on reading. Make it a family activity by reading aloud to each other or listening to an audio book. For older children, pick a sentence from a newspaper and ask them to create a story around it or read the book of a film, watch the film and compare. For younger ones, act out parts in a book, with actions, or make illustrations.

My shop is only one of two in the UK that specialise in crime, although I do stock other genres. Ring me or send me a message if you’d like personal recommendations but, in the meantime, here are pandemic novels to get you started.

Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel | The Stand, by Stephen King | Blindness, by Jose Saramago.

Mark Taft, Executive Chef Assheton ArmsMark Taft, Executive Chef Assheton Arms


Mark Taft

Executive chef, Assheton Arms

Store cupboard spices can elevate a meal but a chef’s trick is to first put them in a dry pan and heat, as this activates them and intensifies the flavours. Think about presentation too, put a candle on the table and separate the parts of a meal – carbs on the right and proteins on the left. Tempt your palate with whatever you have and try my comforting recipe.

Tomato, spinach and chickpea stew

Serves 4-5 people

Sauce base


50g Finely diced onion

20ml Virgin rapeseed oil

10g Washed baby leaf spinach

5ml Lemon juice

10g Garlic puree/8g of chopped wild garlic

3g Smoked paprika

5g Tomato puree

75ml White wine

320g Tinned chopped tomatoes


200ml Fish stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock, it depends what you want to add to the pan after.


To make the sauce, gently sweat off the onions and garlic in a thick-based pan using the rapeseed oil. Add paprika and cook out for about five minutes or until the paprika starts to give of a fragrant aroma.

Add white wine and deglaze the pan then add the stock and reduce by half.

Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Check for seasoning and then finish with the chickpeas, spinach, lemon juice and anything else from your cupboard.

Serving suggestions

The stew base suits fish, meat or vegetables. I would recommend chicken or pork for the meat, cod, haddock, salmon, prawns, monkfish or halibut as a good fish option. Then cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peppers and courgettes would all work with this base.

Whatever you choose to add to the stew base, I think it should be enjoyed with some crusty bread and possibly a little bit of garlic mayonnaise.

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