How the magazine came about…

At the beginning of 2012, with a view to making a bit of difference in Charnwood, Steve and Mary Johns started a community magazine. They’d never done anything like it before. They felt a part of this area and saw a real need for a good quality, affordable way to promote local life and businesses.

Learning as they went they listened to feedback from friends, advertisers, supporters, antagonists, nit pickers and all… After only a year and a half, in 2013, Soar Valley Life won an award for the best new magazine at The Independent Magazine Publishers Conference being Highly Commended. At the following two conferences, 2014 & 2015 they were shortlisted in 6 categories including best overall community magazine and best editorial.

Mary is Leicestershire born and bred and grew up in Ravenstone near Coalville. she took early retirement a few years ago having spent the last two decades of her working life as a production manager for Walkers Crisps.

Steve grew up in South Nottinghamshire and spent his career in sales and marketing and in his final twenty years, with Canon and Océ.

At the age of 55, Steve went back to school and took an MA in Creative Writing at Loughborough University.

Steve is responsible for the advertising sales and feature writing, whist Mary runs the administration. As joint editors they both bring their ideas and experience to the magazine. Graphic design is handled by Alison Poole Design.