Hello and welcome to the very first Local Women Magazine of 2024!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! The celebration season was a bit of a blur for the LW team as we worked hard to put together a bumper edition for January!

First up is our New Year, New Career special which shines a spotlight on women smashing stereotypes in male-dominated industries.

As someone who really struggled with science and maths at school (but inexplicably studied – and struggled massively with biology at A-level), I am so impressed at the ladies who are so at home in the worlds of engineering, construction and energy supply.

We also have an interview with a pensioner who loves her job so much, she is still caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society at the tender age of 73! 

Moving on – how many of you are now brides-to-be after the festive season? We know how many engagements happen over Christmas – is it the twinkling lights or abundance of bubbles that prompts all the love?!

Whatever it is, we know that many of our readers are now planning their big day, so we have an engagement and wedding special packed with ideas and inspiration from our columnists to help you create your perfect wedding.

It’s also brimming with real-life features, including the heartwarming experience of Dorothy Cairns, who renewed her vows last summer after 17 years of marriage.

If you have a wedding coming up, we also have an indispensable guide from the very fashion forward Deirdre Chestnutt, who provides expert advice on finding the balance between looking good and not stealing the spotlight from the bride.

And don’t miss our brand-new monthly feature – She Said Yes! After all, who doesn’t love a love story?!

If all of this isn’t enough, we also have our usual real-life stories of fabulous women doing fabulous things where you live!

Now might be a good time to mention my editor’s pick for this month! If you’re a regular reader, you will know I’m not the biggest fan of the winter months. I frequently endure bad hair days and the wind and rain at this time of year doesn’t do me any favours.

However, I managed to pick up a gorgeous crystal and pearl embellished beret for only £6 in the Iconic Accessories sale which will help me keep warm and less like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards! I struggled to pick a colour as there was cream, tan, grey, pink and burgundy, but I eventually settled on the safe option of black, as I think it will go with so much more of my existing wardrobe.

Well, that’s enough from me – I won’t keep you back from the magazine any longer. I hope you enjoy it.

Until February, take care!