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Pure Initiative

Last year I made a concerted effort to become more involved in supporting local arts and theatre.

If we all pick at least one named local concern to support, I reckon we’ve all got a good chance of thriving and surviving. And that’s what we are all about at Time & Leisure - loving local life, celebrating our area and supporting it wherever we can. Shop and live locally and we will all succeed: shops, businesses, restaurants, Time & Leisure, all of us.

That’s why I love all the initiatives in Thames Ditton that make it such a successful, inclusive collaborative village with a real spirit of place. Even the young plan to live here when they are ‘older’. It is truly a place that you live to enjoy and plan to return to rather than from which you wish to leave. There’s the Queens Road flower competition, and the summer and Christmas fairs, all serving to pull the community together, and underpinned by the highly active Retailers’ Association which is keeping the focus local and encouraging everyone to shop locally and to protect and preserve our independent traders. As I write this on Independence Day it seems to be appropriate to support Independents everywhere.

I am supporting a new campaign and share my interest with you. My Theatre Matters! encourages UK theatre audiences (that’s you and me) to voice their support for their local theatre, particularly to local government members and officers. We all invest strong emotional capital in our fabulous local venues, and we have to help keep them open. The campaign is organized by Equity, The Stage and Theatrical Management Association as well as a growing number of actors and members of their profession. There are lots of good things about my job – and a huge part of that is the joy I get from going to all our local theatres – so please look at the website and lend your voice (

See you at the theatre – enjoy August.

Sarah Hodgson is Editor-in-Chief at Time & Leisure Media Group