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Issue No 6 November/December 2010

The Festive Issue including:Where’s Santa? What’s On Top 10 toys


Editor’s Letter

News & Views I would just like to thank everyone for supporting Families Hereford and Worcester over the past year especially my wonderful husband Gary who has always had faith in me and also to my family and friends who have believed in me. An especially big thank you goes to Natalie o is a lovely person and a fantastic Schmidt of Matobo Design, who designer and puts the whole magazine together. Also thanks to Rachel Adkins of Jumping in Puddles whose photos have graced most of the front covers and who really manages to capture the most beautiful images of children. I would also like to thank the Manson Group who do a great job printing the magazine.

Rugby Tykes After 3 years of running Rugby Rookies, Pete Healey has decided to set up his own business in conjunction with Pat Sanderson called Rugby Tykes. The Indoor Rugby activity sessions are aimed at children aged 2-6 years.

Karen Craven

Rugby Tykes believe in fun, active sports for children in a safe disciplined environment. Pete says “We have an opportunity to grow the business and allow more children to enjoy the concept. We are not just based in towns but go out to rural areas where there is demand. We are always looking for more Coaches/Class Leaders to be involved in this very rewarding venture so please get in touch if you are interested”.

Editor, Families Hereford and Worcester

Rugby Tykes themed birthday parties are also available.

Welcome to Issue 6 and our festive issue. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Contact details: Families Hereford and Worcester, PO Box 843, Inkberrow, Worcestershire, WR7 4WG Tel: 0844 504 7224 Fax: 0844 504 7201 email: editor@familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk

www.familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk

In this issue 02 02 04 07 09 12 13 14

Editor’s Letter News & Views Education Christmas Gift Guide Businesswomen in our area Focus on popular local class Where’s Santa? What’s On

Next issue: Jan/Feb 2011, Editorial and booking deadline: 10th December 2010

All content Copyright 2010 Families Hereford and Worcester Circulation: 17,000 copies of Families Hereford and Worcester are available through nurseries, schools, libraries, selected shops and other distribution points throughout the county. If you would like free copies for your organisation or if you would like to subscribe so you don’t miss an issue please contact us. Editorial: editor@familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk

For more details on classes in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire go to www.rugbytykes.co.uk or contact Pete on 01684 295796.

The RSPCA Needs You To Rabbit On! The animal welfare charity is launching its biggest ever rabbit survey and wants you to get involved. RSPCA Campaign Manager Eloise Shavelar said: “Rabbits are our third most popular pet with around one million rabbits currently being kept in the UK. Rabbit welfare is a top priority for the RSPCA so we’re asking rabbit lovers to join us and tell us what makes bunnies brilliant.” Sadly, thousands of rabbits end up in RSPCA rescue centres every year for a variety of reasons. The charity hopes that by increasing awareness and understanding of rabbits’ welfare needs, it will see a long-term reduction in this. It also wants to educate potential new owners so they are fully aware of the commitment they are making before bringing a new pet home. Since 2007 more than 7,300 rabbits have been reported abandoned to the RSPCA. The survey will be available to complete online at www.greatbigrabbitsurvey.org until the end of the year.

Advertising: advertising@familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk Events, diary dates, out and about: events@familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk

Credit: RSPCA

Families Hereford and Worcester is part of the Families Group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. We take every care in preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers nor for the accuracy of the content nor for any consequence. Design: Natalie Schmidt www.matobodesign.com, Tel: 020 8676 2857 Print: The Manson Group, St Albans www.manson-grp.co.uk, Tel: 01727 848440 Cover photograph: Gareth Craven

Don’t forget to mention when you telephone that you saw these companies featured in Families Hereford and Worcester magazine

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Everyone who takes part in the survey will be able to download an exclusive RSPCA screensaver and be entered into a competition to win rabbit goodies. November – December 2010


News & Views FFruittosuit A new business has been launched to enable pprimary school children to set uup and run a healthy tuck shop in their own school. Fruit to Suit, the healthier tuck shop company, has come up with the imaginative concept of a oneday Business and Enterprise Programme designed to train a young Tuck Shop Team to set up and run a healthier tuck shop. The training is divided into a series of workshops and fun activities: the Tuck Shop Challenge where the children set up their own company that will run the healthy tuck shop in their school, and Tuck Shop Manager Training, a half-day session for the children who will actually run the shop. The children are then taken through all the practicalities of running a tuck shop, from advertising to ordering stock, gaining invaluable business and enterprise skills. The benefits of a healthier tuck shop are innumerable – encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables and giving them the opportunity to try a wider variety of food, while being proactive in the prevention of excess weight and obesity. A fantastic, innovative idea. To find out more about how this can be run in your school email info@fruittosuit.co.uk. www.fruittosuit.co.uk

Scarecrow Challenges

Worcester Lions

Bright Kids Holiday Activity Club shared their imagination skills at the recent ‘Scarecrow Festival’ held at the Arrow Valley Lake.

Worcester Lions Community FC works hard to help children gain confidence and improve ability in basic football skills in a fun environment, before moving into competitive teams and clubs. This is optional and there is no pressure to do so.

The children had fun designing and building their own scarecrow and even the rain couldn’t dampen their spirits. They dressed it up in a Bright Kids uniform and called it Megan. Phoebe Phillips aged 7 said “the best bit was when we did the face of the scarecrow and eating my ice cream afterwards!” Rachel Hammond of Bright Kids at Crabbs Cross said “It’s always challenging to find new and unusual activities for the children during school holidays and this was a great experience laid on by Arrow Valley in Redditch. It was enjoyed by everyone and we plan to attend next year as well” Bright Kids provide a comprehensive range of services: baby care, toddler care, pre-school education and breakfast, after school and holiday clubs

They support children and give them the opportunity of playing in a football team and progressing to a local football league. Worcester Lions build a child’s confidence as well as teaching the Fundamentals of (ABC`s) Agility, Balance and Co-ordination through a FUN learning environment. Worcester Lions want to encourage children aged 3-7 to “come and have a go” and involve parents who wish to be part of their child’s development. They are offering new 40-45 min sessions to pre-school children from the age of 3; parents are welcome to stay.

NSPCC Number Day – Be a Record Breaker The NSPCC is aiming to set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest maths lesson ever. On Friday 3 December at 11am hundreds of schools and thousands of children across the UK will take part in a simultaneous maths lesson aiming to raise £210,000 and making maths count for children who need the NSPCC’s help. This marks the 10th anniversary of NSPCC Number Day, sponsored this year by Vosene Kids. NSPCC head of schools fundraising, Denise Derbyshire, says: “Number Day is a great opportunity for pupils to have fun celebrating sums and for schools to experience the feel-good factor of raising funds for children. This year, there is the added excitement of joining forces with schools across the UK in a world recordbreaking attempt. We are delighted to also have the support of Vosene Kids to help us make it an even bigger success.” The Number Day pack gives teachers an easy off-the-shelf solution to make learning maths fun and meaningful. It has a wealth of maths-based games and activities, all devised by professionals and tailored to meet the requirements of Key Stages 1 to 4. It is also packed with fundraising ideas that will make a real difference to children’s lives. Number Day packs will be available from October 2010. To register for your pack and to find more information on NSPCC Number Day and the Guinness World Record attempt go to www.nspcc.org.uk/numberday

The club has been awarded a funding grant from the Football Foundation to support teams and encourage a new under 8s team from Sept 2011. If your child is in Year 2 at school and will be under 8 in Sept 2011 why not help to form this team for 2011? They are always looking for new players and parents wishing to become coaches. Photograph from Left to right: Adam Wentworth 7, Harry Barnish 5, Madeleine Gregory 5, Phoebe Phillips 7 www.brightkids.co.uk November – December 2010

If you are interested please contact Sue Bentley on 07789 408180 or go to www.worcesterlionsfc.co.uk 3


Education Bowbrook House School is National Winner of ‘Excellence Award’ In an amazing David and Goliath act a local county school has shown that size is not everything. In fact the Headmaster of Bowbrook House School in Peopleton near Pershore would say that the strength of the school lies in its ‘smallness’!

Despite only having 198 pupils, Bowbrook House School has walked away from this year’s annual Independent School Association (ISA) Conference in Bournemouth with the National Award for Excellence. The citation on the award reads “In recognition of outstanding value added academic results; reaching the Artsmark Gold standard in Music, Drama and the Arts; for strong contributions to Midlands and National ISA Sport; substantial increase in pupil numbers; new teaching facilities and an ‘Outstanding’ Early years Ofsted Report.” Naturally the Headmaster, Mr Christopher Allen is delighted! Over 300 schools Nationally are members of the ISA which is the oldest of the independent school’s associations. Most of the schools are larger than Bowbrook House School but to achieve recognition on a National scale against such illustrious opposition is truly remarkable. Mr Allen went on to say: “It is refreshing that the achievements in so many areas have been recognised. We certainly ‘punch above our weight!’ It is of course a reward for all the staff and all the pupils because each of them, from the Early Years Ofsted report on the youngest pupils in our school, through

the Middle school and their contribution to the Arts, right up to the GCSE’s at Key Stage 4 of our 16 year olds. Everyone has been recognised.” Mr Allen, as Headmaster took over the Headship of the school in September of 2004. Since then the school has grown in size and in facilities and now in its reputation. Small class sizes and a strong pastoral base are at the heart of all they do. Fees are extremely competitive and unlike the other fee paying schools in the county Bowbrook House is non-selective. Each pupil is encouraged to play their part, each pupil is given time. “We will of course be delighted for the pupil who gains 8A*’s, they will have worked hard and deserved it, but we will be equally delighted with the pupil who achieves 4 D’s if that is his or her potential!” When asked to sum up the school’s ethos Mr Allen replied; “It would probably be considered to be old fashioned but… Respect, Pride and Effort”. Certainly through the efforts of the Headmaster and his staff and pupil body the school will gain respect for, and take pride in, their National Award for Excellence!

Inspirational packed lunches In search of fresh inspiration for packed lunches we asked some mums for their top tips to blow away the boring cheese sandwiches and create envious eyes at the lunch table.

1. A healthy option Spread a tortilla with soft cheese and grated carrot or cucumber then slice. Add a frozen smoothie in a container – it keeps everything cool and it’s one of your five a day.

2. Cheesy/egg tarts This is good for the making too – kids can join in making the pastry and do all egg and milk whisking. Find a recipe on the web or a good cookbook.

3. Another yummy wrap Mix boiled eggs, potatoes, any veg and cheese – place in a tortilla and cut into triangles.

4. Homemade pizza Split an English muffin and toast it, add tomato sauce, top with cheese and grill. You could add carrots or red pepper to the tomato sauce and then blitz it, so the vegetables are disguised.

5. A little extra Try cutting cheese into different shapes with a pastry cutter, draw a smiley face on a banana and for birthdays or grumpy days try a chocolate spread wrap – yummy!

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November – December 2010


Education

SCHOOLS’ OPEN DAYS KING’S ST ALBAN’S

Co-ed 4-11 Open Morning Saturday 6th November 10.00 am Taster Morning (Y3-6) Saturday 20th November 10.00 am – 12.00 pm Booking essential Reception Open Afternoon Tuesday 30th November 2.00 – 3.00 pm 01905 354906 or email ksa@ksw.org.uk www.ksw.org.uk

KING’S WORCESTER

Co-ed 11-18 Taster Morning Saturday 20th November Booking essential Taster Morning Saturday 4th December Booking essential 01905 721742 or email info@ksw.org.uk www.ksw.org.uk

MALVERN ST JAMES Girls 4-11, 11-16, 16-18 Saturday 6 November Open Morning 10.00 am – 1.30 pm 01684 892288 or email: registrar@malvernstjames.co.uk www.malvernstjames.co.uk

ST MARY’S WORCESTER Co-ed 3mths – 5yrs, Girls 5-11, Girls 11-18 Taster Morning Thursday 18th November 10.00 am – 12.30 pm 01905 357786 or email: head@stmarys.org.uk www.stmarys.org.uk IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE INCLUDED IN THE SCHOOLS’ OPEN DAYS, PLEASE EMAIL EVENTS@FAMILIESHEREFORDANDWORCS.CO.UK

Magazines

old Proud to be 20 years Today Families Hereford and Worcester is part of a thriving group of franchised magazines across the UK from the Solent to Fife, but twenty years ago it was a much smaller operation. The first issue in October 1990 was a cut and paste affair in black and white— meaning scissors and glue, not copy and paste!! The very first edition, Families® South West, had a mere 4,000 print run, and colour wasn’t to be seen until October 2000. How things have changed—it would be unthinkable nowadays to have a Families magazine in black and white.

Tonia Peters

BSc (Hons), PGCE, MEd (Ed Psych)

Educational Psychologist (Chartered by the BPS)

Independent assessment and advice for all special needs including dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention problems

But throughout it all, Families has remained true to the original thinking, a hands-on magazine for busy mums with useful information, centred around the local community.

Tel: 07853 248311

We think (well of course we would) that Families is, and always will be, the best source of local information, news, events and what’s on for parents. You are reading the right publication, well done.

Personal Tutors in the Malvern Area Key Stage 1, 2, 3, GCSE, A level, Common Entrance, Scholarship, IB. Most subjects covered, including English, Maths, Sciences, Languages, Music, IT. For information & enquiries call or email kate@helptuition.co.uk/ 01684 562439/ www.helptuition.co.uk November – December 2010

Even when the experts said that “it would never work in publishing,” Families started franchising the magazine in 1995. There are now 30 editions of Families in the UK and well over 500,000 copies are printed across the group.

Going on-line and interactive Our website www.familiesonline.co.uk was launched in 2000 and last December saw a massive re-launch of the website. Local editors look after their own section filled with local articles, listings, discussion forums and loads of great competitions (there is £250 from Hamleys to be won) for example. By logging in you allow ALL articles you read to automatically show the relevant local companies at the bottom. It also means Families Hereford and Worcester becomes your default Home Page when you visit us. Isn’t it clever!?

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Education Helptuition is a network of tutors started by Kate Bishop and Carol Pelusi in 2006. We had both been taking students for private tuition via an agency, Kate in English and Carol in Maths, for some years. Sadly, our lovely agent died, so we had to take it upon ourselves to find work. It seemed to make sense to advertise together and pool our resources. Parents would often ring and ask if we knew other tutors in other subjects, and sometimes we knew friends who were teachers, so would pass them on. Soon after our advertising began, we started to get calls and emails from other tutors who wanted to join us, and that number has grown. Tutors come and go, but there are now about ten of us at any given time, covering Maths, English, Sciences, languages and music. We do not run Helptuition as an agency or business: it is a co-operative network and we do insist on meeting all of our tutors (unlike most agencies), and seeing their CVs and references. Parents are entitled to ask to see CRB checks and ask any questions they want to, and tutors should be prepared to co-operate. Tutors make a donation to the advertising fund for each new student

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they take on, once a routine is settled; this is simpler and less costly than commission. Kate is first contact for both students and parents, and tries to match each student with the right tutor. At present we cover Malvern and the surrounding area, but if tutors from further afield in Worcester or Hereford choose to join us, we can then cater for more. We have a good track record in helping children achieve their grades, but more importantly, inspiring each child with confidence and giving them the opportunity to work at their own pace with their own, dedicated tutor. We generally take children from about 9 years up to A level students, although occasionally younger, and sometimes adult learners. We are able to work with any level of ability, from those with an SpLD, to those wanting to push for the highest grades. Tuition can take place at the tutor’s home or the child’s, according to what suits each individual. Tuition does not generally replace school, although we do take on children who are

home educated or travellers, but it can fill the gaps in learning and understanding that sometimes cannot be dealt with in a classroom situation. As tutors, we find the work extremely rewarding, however intense; there is always a buzz of excitement in August as we get messages from students with good news about their grades, which makes all the hard work worthwhile. If you are a parent or potential tutor and would like to know more, please ring or email Kate on 01684 562439, kate@helptuition.co.uk or visit our website.

November – December 2010


CGift Guid

s a m t s i hr e

by Holly Wadsworth-Hill

The nights have drawn in, there’s a magical feel to the chill in the air and there’s more than one kind of wrapping-up on everyone’s mind. It can only mean one thing... Christmas is on its way! Whether that fills you with ho, ho, ho’s or Scrooge-like groans, we hope this fun-filled guide to all things festive, will help make this year a Christmas to remember...

TTop 10 Toys for Christmas 2010!

A Hamleys tale... Stuck on the basics or searching for finishing touches? Take inspiration from the world’s d’s most famous toy store this year. Hamleys was established by Cornishman, William Hamley, amley in London, Londonn, in 1760. Today it remains the world’s most wonderful toy shop, synonymous with theatre, magic and entertainment; add a mince pie or two and you’ve got all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas!

Baby’s first Christmas

T is for trouble and toddlers!

Latest additions may be slightly oblivious to the seasonal chaos but you’ll remember their first Christmas forever and will be keen to make it extra special. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a keepsake or something they can cherish for years to come.

Busy little hands are into all things naughty as well as nice, so classic toys should be at the top of the list. The educational benefits and development of imagination and play skills from these toys are extensive but cleverly masked behind the colour, fun and excitement that toddlers crave.

663336 – My First Dolly £19 My First Dolly will be loved by all. She is so squeezably soft that little arms will adore snuggling up to her. Dressed beautifully, she has wild hair that little hands will love to touch and tug!

463497 – Alphabet Blocks £17 Painted with bright colours, clear letters and imaginative illustrations these wooden blocks can help little children when learning letters, colours and much more besides. November – December 2010

780114 – Teaching Clock £14 Hamleys colourful Fun to Learn Teaching Clock helps teach time, number and letter recognition, as well as developing motor and problem solving skills through play. (made from fsc wood)

778498 – Wooden London Bus £32.50 The wheels on the bus go round and round! The top of this traditional big red bus opens to reveal 24 little wooden passengers and one cheerful driver. Great for developing hand to eye co-ordination. (made from fsc wood)

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For him Boys of all ages need to be kept busy and love fun and games that they can really get stuck into. If he can burn off some energy, create mess and make some noise, he’ll be in his element!

157982 – Jet Plane Set £55 aymobil Jet Plane Set is great for developing thinking processes and encouraging The Playmobil creative play. This exciting Playmobil play set is a hit with boys and girls alike.

780585 – Wooden Garage £65 This brightly coloured garage has three levels, multi-storey graphics and realistic features throughout. There are loads of games and adventures to be had with this traditional role-play Garage.

For her Sugar and spice and all things nice, most of the time anyway! Creativity is a girl’s best friend; indulge her imagination with everything from dressing-up costumes, role-play sets and arts and crafts.

783969 – My Balleria Doll £12 My Little Ballerina Doll is so pretty, soft and cuddly, she’s perfect for hugs! From the Sweet Peas collection, this doll is great for encouraging imagination and nurturing role-play skills.

92429 – Dolly Tea Set £10 Time for tea anyone? This enchanting Hamleys tea set comes in a cute carry case, so it’s perfect for taking to friends houses and keeps everything safe and tidy when little ones aren’t busy entertaining.

It’s all about quality time... ‘Tis the season to spend with your loved ones: keep things merry with fun and games for the whole family. 681346 – Games Chest £60 Enjoy a gaming adventure with this classic wooden gaming chest. Open the sliding drawers to reveal a smorgasbord of fun with 10 of the world’s greatest games! Includes chess, mancala, backgammon, solitaire, tic-tac-toe and lots more to keep the very young and most experienced young-at-heart entertained!

We hope this guide has given you some ideas and eased you into the spirit of things. We wish you a fun-filled festive season and a very happy New Year! 8

November – December 2010


Business women in our area

Ring any Bells? ▲ • Got a young family? • Life’s a constant juggling act? • Looking for something different?

Want to earn up to £2,000pm for p/t hours? Are you looking for a rewarding opportunity that will enable you to have true work/life balance?

Find out how you can work part-time without compromising your current commitments. Call Sarah Norris today and discover how you too can have the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

Contact Sarah for more information on 079 5720 0142 or email sarah@norrissj.plus.com

Are you worried about your weight? If you are, then Cambridge Weight Plan could be the answer. Cambridge Weight Plan is about choices, made by you to benefit you. With one to one support, together, we will work out a plan that suits your lifestyle – helping you achieve the best results at the rate you want. If you would like to change your life and become the real you, give me a call to discuss your options with Cambridge Weight Plan, with no obligation.

Your Independent Cambridge Consultant Laura - 01905 458147 / 07894 330154 laura21028@yahoo.co.uk

Get your own copy of

Please send me the next 6 issues of Families Hereford and Worcester:

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Please send your completed form and cheque for £10 (made payable to K E Craven) to Families Hereford and Worcester, PO Box 843, Inkberrow, Worcestershire, WR7 4WG

November – December 2010

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Business women in our area By Karen Craven Some ladies in our local area tell us a little bit about their businesses. They are truly inspirational local women proving that it is possible to combine a successful business with family life. If you have the drive and determination you can “have it all”! If you would like to be featured in Families Hereford and Worcester please contact Karen on 0844 504 7224.

Say that you saw these companies featured in Families Hereford and Worcester magazine

Laura is a Worcester girl who has struggled with her weight since high school. “After my two sons were born I found it really hard to lose those extra lbs. I was approaching 30 and wanted to slim down once and for all after years of yo-yo dieting. I embarked on my Cambridge journey where I went from a dress size 18/20 to a size 10 which I was delighted with. After my success I decided that I wanted to show others how to do the same so I decided to become an Independent Consultant. I mainly work from home but I can also offer mobile visits to people who are unable to travel to me. Cambridge offers a range of weight loss plans from 415 cals – 1500 cals a day. There are a variety of flavours in soups, shakes, bars and porridge, so there is something for everyone”. If you want to be successful and lose weight like Laura, then she is happy to discuss your options with Cambridge Weight Plan. Please feel free to give her a call for an informal chat. Your Local Independent Cambridge Consultant Laura 01905 458147 / 07894 330154 www.cambridgeweightplan.co.uk/laurap

LittleOutdoorKids ds Nicola Davies and Sarah Cave are sisters from Barnt Green, Worcestershire, who have teamed up to launch their online business LittleOutdoorKids selling fabulous children’s waterproofs, wellies, winter clothing, beachwear and accessories. “We both have young boys who are two and three years old, so setting up an online business now fits in well with our families. We realised there was a gap in the market for colourful, fun, comfortable, high quality kids outdoor clothing and footwear at affordable prices. We began to source the products from all around the world to offer the very best in functionality and design to our customers. Although our website only launched in August of this year we have been selling our range since April to friends, family, at local fairs and other outdoor venues. We have had great success and excellent feedback from our customers”. LittleOutdoorKids also organises house parties for customers to see the range first hand and receive discounts off the products. The hostess receives a generous allowance of gift vouchers to spend on the products. For further information and to view a full range of products please visit – www.littleoutdoorkids.co.uk www.kidswaterproofsandwellies.co.uk 10

November – December 2010


Hi k Hickory Dickory Dock Hickory Dickory Dock Baby Signing classes are born out of the personal experience of Lynn Stewart who is Mum to four year old Ronan and lives with her husband and son in Pershore. Lynn learnt British Sign Language as a hobby some 14 years ago and found the subject so fascinating that, when she had her son (a hearing baby), she decided to teach him signs to communicate with him long before his speech development was due. It was a huge success and Ronan turned out to be Lynn’s first student! Now that Ronan has started school, Lynn decided to set up Hickory Dickory Dock to share the amazing experience that signing with your baby really can be. The classes are designed to be fun, each class includes music, rhymes, stories, puppets, toys and musical instruments followed by time for a cup of tea and a chat. Babies of any age will enjoy the classes because it is like “a fabulous musical extravaganza” as they enjoy the “show”. It is the Mums (or carers) who learn the signs and then through repetition at home, babies begin to recognise and repeat the signs. At approx 6-9 months babies have developed the ability to point and it is then that they will start to have the ability to sign. The main advantage of going to classes earlier than 6 months is that it gives the Mum (carer) a chance to learn the signs, while baby simply enjoys the music! The classes are located in Pershore, Bredon, Evesham and Bidford-onAvon. The first class is free, so why not come along and give it a try? For more information on baby sign and baby massage and a class timetable go to www.hickorydickorydock.org or call Lynn on 07825 212411

Bluebell Bakehouse Becky Hodgson is a local Mum to 2 young children and owns Bluebell Bakehouse which is a cupcake and children’s party business. “After training as a nursery nurse over 15 years ago, I then worked as “Af an early year’s trainer mentor and then assessor until recently. I had plenty of hands on experience working with children and have always enjoyed baking. I spent many happy hours baking with my Nan and Mum when I was younger and naturally passed this onto my daughters. The idea for Bluebell Bakehouse came after I attended a cupcake course and enjoyed myself so much I wanted it to continue! I have organised different parties for my own children and realised there was nothing like the baking parties as an alternative that allowed children to be creative get messy and have fun! The cupcakes are made to order in a variety of flavours and can be made to suit any occasion from birthdays and weddings to christenings and corporate functions. The baking parties cater for a minimum of 6 children from age 4 years. I arrive with all the sweets, icings and goodies to decorate the plain cupcakes. I entertain the children, box up their delights to take home and then clear up after!” For more information contact Becky Hodgson on 07882 937168 or visit www.bluebellbakehouse.co.uk November – December 2010

RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com The idea for RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com was first conceived whilst sipping a cool beer around a beautiful swimming pool in France whilst on holiday with my family in July 2009. I was permanently exhausted juggling a job in finance with two young children, my health was failing due to spinal problems and I had a husband who worked long hours in London. I needed a new challenge and setting up my own business in a completely different field has certainly been that! I knew a little about building a website after teaching myself but I had no knowledge of advertising and marketing – I hit lucky with finding the right outlet in Families magazines – and was on a shoestring budget. I did however have a financial background that helped, had massive motivation, was not afraid of hard work and had a complete drive to succeed. I also knew about holidays because I love them. I sought out parents in the school playground to ask their advice and opinions on family holidays which was completely invaluable. The aim of RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com is to provide suitable accommodation that welcomes families. I found that the best holidays we had experienced were those recommended by other mums and dads. I believe a “tried and tested” holiday has greater chance of being a successful holiday and therefore I captured this idea in RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com. Website users provide feedback on the properties that are advertised – the more recommendations a property has, the more prominent it appears on the site. I also have a “top 25” recommended properties page – these are by far the most popular properties on the website. I currently focus on self catering accommodation including catered ski chalets (like the luxury Chalet Chocolat in Chamonix pictured) but I also have a few family friendly hotels and Bed & Breakfast accommodation. modation. I am more than happy to offer any free advice or support to other parents who want to set up their own business – just email me – Lucilla@RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com For the extended version of Lucilla’s story go to our website www.familiesherefordandworcs.co.uk

Evesham Mums Business Club Worcestershire’s Mums Business Club meets in Evesham each month and provides the opportunity for local business mums within the area to network in a child-friendly, informal and supportive environment where children are warmly welcomed too. Each meeting features a guest speaker and the aim of the group is to inspire more Mums into business, encourage local business growth and develop a local business network. Everyone is very welcome (with or without children) and the group is ideal for those wishing to develop their existing business or are simply thinking about setting out on their own. Admission is only £4.70 which includes soft play for the children and refreshments for both grownups and little ones. The next meeting is on Tuesday 23rd November between 9.30-11.00am at the Wacky Warehouse in Evesham. For more information please contact Sarah Sallis on (01386) 764741. Email: evesham@mumsbusinessclub.com Web: www.evesham.mumsbusinessclub.com 11


Focus on Popular Local Class Claire Matheson Baby Signers Tell us a bit about yourself My name is Claire and I am 38 years old. I live in Warndon Villages, Worcester with my wonderful husband James, gorgeous daughter Katie (aged 7) and a very cute rescue dog called Smudge. I have been a primary school teacher for the last 16 years and have enjoyed teaching children from the age of four up to eleven. Ten years ago I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to learn sign language through the OCSL. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies and attained both level one and two qualifications in British Sign Language. I began to use a few signs in my teaching to help reinforce understanding and enhance the children’s awareness of the wider community around them. Over time signing became an important part of my classroom practice, helping to boost children’s confidence, communication and overall learning. Visual learners particularly found signing to be beneficial.

What is Baby Signers and how did you get started? Being passionate about sign language and having signed with Katie from birth, I began some further research into ‘baby signing’ and happened across several franchise companies specializing in ‘baby signing’. I was particularly impressed with a company called ‘Baby Signers’ and how they had worked with the leading baby signing expert, Dr Joseph Garcia, to develop a baby signing programme for British parents based on BSL (British Sign Language). I was hooked! After completing several months of training (baby signing theory and practice) with ‘Baby Signers’, I qualified as a ‘Baby Signers’ Teacher in July.

What does the future hold for the business? I have lots of clients on my books now and the demand for more baby/toddler signing courses is growing all the time! Parents and caregivers really appreciate the flexibility of being able to choose to join one of my local classes or home tuition groups. I am currently researching more venues in order to extend my Droitwich class base. I have just started to advertise the next set of Baby Signers’ Beginners and Advanced Courses to meet increasing demand. I am also developing a ‘Club’ for pre-school and school aged children as well as additional follow-on ‘Baby/Toddler Signers Club’ classes and special themed sessions to run throughout the year – for example, Christmas, Birthdays and Easter. Lots to do!

What is the best bit about what you do? I still remember that fantastic moment when Katie signed for the very first time when she was eight months old and how incredible it was to have such an insight into her world. Katie was soon able to use lots more signs to tell me her thoughts, feelings, ideas and needs. I love meeting and working with such wonderful babies, toddlers, Mums, Dads, Grandparents and caregivers. It really is a pleasure to be able to help parents, carers and children to begin their very own amazing signing journeys.

Any bad bits? None as yet!

How do you fit work around family life? I am able to teach the majority of my baby signing classes during the day while Katie is at school, which is great! Katie loves signing as well as meeting all the little ones and so is happy to participate in any holiday baby signing classes. The flexibility of my hours means lots more quality time to spend with my family at evenings, weekends and during the holidays. An ideal solution to achieving a healthy and happy life-work balance, which is something that I have desired for many years! I am glad that I made the leap!

What advice would you give other mums looking to work for themselves? There are many different options to choose from when considering working from home or for yourself. It is important to thoroughly research these options to find out the ‘big picture’. You will need to look into set-up costs, annual fees, available support, business bank accounts, marketing and public liability insurance costs to name but a few. I also found it useful to contact existing franchisees and discuss how they were getting on with their businesses. The ‘Business Link’ website offers a wealth of advice, information and support. They also work closely with Worcester College of Technology to provide business workshops and consultation appointments. I have found them to be very helpful and supportive. Claire Matheson – Baby Signers Worcester&Droitwich 07786778026 claire.matheson@babysigners.co.uk 12

November – December 2010


? a t n a S s ’ e r e Wh

Please contact venue for details and to book tickets and mention when telephoning that you saw their Christmas event in Families magazine

Umberslade Farm Park, Butts Lane, Tanworth in Arden, Warwickshire, B94 5AE 01564 742251 www.umberslade.com Christmas time down on the farm (Sat 27 Nov – Fri 24 Dec) Come and see a nativity play with real farm animals and meet Father Christmas. Every child receives a present. Christmas activities are available every day. The Severn Valley Railway, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster, DY10 1QX 01562 827232 www.svr.co.uk Santa Steam Special (Sat 4 Dec – Fri 24 Dec) Take an atmospheric steam train from Kidderminster along the Severn Valley to Arley to visit Santa in his grotto. Presents for fare paying children completes the experience. Trains call at Bewdley on the return journey where passengers may alight to visit this attractive riverside town. West Midland Safari Park, Spring Grove, Bewdley, DY12 1LF 01299 402114 www.wmsp.co.uk Santa Safari (Wed 1 Dec - Fri 24 Dec) Meet Santa, go on Safari, linger in Discovery Trail; meet Santa’s Reindeer; enjoy a Sealion Show and visit a variety of all weather exhibits. Bewdley Museum, Load Street, Bewdley, DY12 1AT 01299 403573 www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/museum Xmas Fair (Sat 27 Nov) 11.00 – 4.00 pm. A fun packed Christmas event for the Bewdley Lights Festival. Santa’s grotto, xmas craft activities, craft fair and seasonal refreshments. Santa’s Grotto and Xmas Craft Fun (Sat 4, 11 and 18 Dec) 12.00 – 3.00 pm. Visit Santa’s grotto, enjoy craft activities and soak up the magical atmosphere of the historic ‘Shambles’. Worcestershire County Museum, Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury, Nr Kidderminster, Worcs, DY11 7XZ 01299 250416 www.worcestershire.gov.uk/museum Christmas at the Castle (Sat 4 - Sun 5 Dec and Sat 11 - Sun 12 Dec) A traditional Christmas including Santa’s grotto, carriage rides, seasonal gifts, craft demonstrations, children’s activities and performances by local choirs. The Commandery, 109 Sidbury, Worcester, WR1 2HU 01905 361821, www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk Victorian Christmas (Sat 18 Dec) 10.00 am – 5.00 pm Create your own Victorian Christmas decorations, visit Father Christmas in the scullery and meet some of the characters from the Commandery’s past. Warwick Castle, Warwick, CV34 4QU 0870 4422371 www.warwick-castle.co.uk Christmas at The Castle (Sat 11 Dec - Jan 2nd 2011) This Christmas try the Winter Walk with a twist, with a fifty foot November – December 2010

helter-skelter and Victorian Side Show characters. Meet Santa and his Elves in the state rooms and marvel at the exquisite festive decorations in the Victorian House and Great Hall. Rays Farm Country Matters, Billingsley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 6PF 01299 841255, www.raysfarm.com An Old Fashioned Christmas (Sat 4th – Fri 24th Dec) Welcome to an old fashioned Christmas. See baby Jesus in the donkeys stable with Mary, Joseph, the Three Kings and the Wise Men. Then step from history into imagination. Chat to Father Christmas as he prepares the childrens toys for that magical night. See Rudolph and friends waiting to pull the sleigh full of presents. Smart Trees, Fields Farm House, Hill Furze Road, Bishampton, Pershore, WR10 2LZ 01386 462706 www.smarttrees.co.uk Santa’s Grotto (Every weekend in December) 11.00 am – 4.00 pm. Visit Santa’s Grotto in a magical setting and meet all the reindeer. Smart Trees is aimed specifically at Outdoor and Adventurous activities for schools with emphasis on fun, hence Santa’s Grotto. Webbs Garden Centre, Wychbold, Droitwich, WR9 0DG 01527 860000 www.webbsdirect.co.uk Breakfast, Brunch and Tea with Father Christmas (From Sat 20th Nov) Children can enjoy a meal with Father Christmas. There’s entertainment with Professor Pepperpot and Father Christmas meets every child during the meal. Christmas Grotto (Sat 13th Nov – Fri 24th Dec) Visit this winter wonderland grotto where you enter a magical secret night garden before meeting Father Christmas. Then enter the toy warehouse and choose a gift worth at least £5. Croome Park, High Green, Severn Stoke, Worcestershire, WR8 9DW 01905 371006 Christmas at Croome (Sat 4 – Sun 19 Dec) 11am – 3pm. Visit Father Christmas at Croome (£3.00) Hanbury Hall, Droitwich Spa, WR9 7EA 01527 821214 A Vernon Family Christmas (Sat 4 Sun 5 Dec and Sat 11 – Sun 12 Dec) 11am – 4pm. Visit Father Christmas at Hanbury Hall (£2.50) Arrow Valley Countryside Centre, Battens Drive, South Moons Moat, Redditch, Worcs, B98 0LJ 01527 464000 www.redditch.whub.org.uk Christmas Fayre and Santas Grotto (Sat 11 - Sun 12 Dec and Sun 18 Sun 19 Dec) 10.00 – 4.00 pm. Meet Santa in the Hollow tree, fun activities and craft stalls.

Win £250 of Vouchers To celebrate 250 years of The Finest Toys in the World, Hamleys have teamed up with Families Hereford and Worcester to give you the chance to win £250 of Hamleys vouchers. To enter log on to www.familiesOnline.co.uk/ competitions. Vouchers can be used online at www.hamleys.com or in one of their UK stores. Closing date for the competition is 8h December. See online for full Terms and Conditions. Cadbury World, Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham, B30 1JR 0844 880 7667 www.cadburyworld.co.uk Winter Wonderland with Father Christmas (20th Nov-19th Dec) Meet Father Christmas every weekend and all children will receive a free gift. On 27th 28th November and 4th - 5th December come and see Father Christmas’s reindeers. British Waterways Maintenance Yard, New Wharf, Alcester Road, Tardebigge, Nr Bromsgrove, B60 1NF 01384 562358 www.dreamcatchercanalcruises.co.uk Santa Special Canal Trip (Sat 11 Sun 12 Dec and Sat 18 – Sun 19 Dec) Board the Dream Catcher to search for Santa in Tardebigge canal tunnel. Following a short pantomime the search begins, taking you into the illuminated tunnel to the Christmas themed floating grotto. Santa will give each child a present and there is a hot drink and mince pie for adults. £8.50 each Lickey Hills Country Park, Warren Lane, Lickey, Birmingham, B45 8ER 0121 447 7106 Search for Santa (Sun 19 Dec) Come and meet Santa at the Lickey Hills. Follow the trail to find Santa’s grotto! Pre-booking essential. Small Breeds Farm Park & Owl Centre, Kingswood, Kington, Herefordshire, HR5 3HF 01544 231109 www.owlcentre.com Come and see Santa on the Farm (every weekend in Dec then from Mon 20-24 Dec) Visit Santa and his reindeer in their snug winter quarters. Booking is essential as Santa needs to know the name and age of each child to select a gift. Adults £7.00 Children £7.50

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What’s On…

Please check with the venue in case details have been changed and also please note that with some venues, it is cheaper to pay in advance on-line.

THEATRE Artrix, School Drive, Bromsgrove, B60 1AX 01527 577330, www.artrix.co.uk Live Events: Shakespeare Schools Festival 2010 The UKs largest youth drama festival. Local students perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Wed 3 and Thurs 4 Nov 7.00pm £7.50 (£5.50)

Christmas Concert (PHHS) Prince Henry’s School present their Christmas Concert. Thurs 16th Dec 7.30pm Tickets £5.00 School office 01386 765588 Malvern Theatres, Grange Road, Malvern, Worcs, WR14 3HB 01684 892277, www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Show me with Chris and Pui (from CBeebies) Sat 13 Nov 11.00 and 2.00pm £12.00 adults £10.00 children

The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain A comedy production based on the original characters. Suitable for ages 8+. Tues 2nd to Sat 6th Nov 6.30pm and wed and sat matinees 1.30pm, Tickets £8.00 Wed mat, Tues-Thurs eves £14.00, £12.00 (children £5.00 off) Fri eve and all Sat perfs £16.00, £14.00 (children £5.00 off)

Sleeping Beauty – Vienna Festival Ballet Fri 26th Nov, 7.30pm, £17.00 The Threepenny Opera presented by Bromsgrove School Tues 30th Nov, 2.00pm and 7.00pm, Wed 1st and Thurs 2nd Dec 7.00pm £10.00/£5.00 Jack & the Beanstalk – All and Sundry Wed 15 – Sun 19 Dec 7.00pm, Sat and Sun matinees 2.00pm. Weds & Thurs: £11 ( £10 ) & £36 Family ticket. Fri - Sun: £13 (£11) & £40 Family ticket (Family - 2 adults plus 2 children) Evesham Arts Centre Theatre, Victoria Avenue, Evesham, Worcs, WR11 4QH 01386 48883, www.eveshamartscentre.co.uk Mumbles Lifeboat Appeal Concert Kidderminster Male Choir, Prince Henry’s High School Jazz Orchestra and soprano Linda Tolchard present a festival of music in aid of the RNLI appeal for a new lifeboat. Sat 13th Nov 7.30pm £10.00 Tickets from RNLI 01386 853139/881307 Nursing Lives (EAA) A full-mask theatre production with music, song and dance about true stories of nurses at the Worcester Royal Infirmary in the second World War. Wed 24th Nov 7.30pm £10.00 doors, £9.00 advance, £8.00 concs Battle of the Bands (PHHS) The 4th annual student-organised competition to find the best student band. Fri 26th Nov 7.30pm. For information and tickets contact Mrs Tozer on 01386 765588 Grease (St Egwins School) Thurs 2 and Fri 3 Dec 12.00 noon. For information & tickets contact St Egwins Middle School on 01386 446924 Christmas Concert (Avonbank Brass Band) An evening of Christmas music and carols. Sun 5th Dec 7.30pm £7.00 (£6.00) Carole Smith on 01386 422778

Swan Theatre The, The Moors, Worcester, WR1 3ED 01905 611427, www.worcesterlive.co.uk The Magic Jellybeans Sat 6 Nov 10.30am and 11.45am £1.50 Cinderella A traditional family pantomime with fantastic fun for all the family. Thurs 2nd Dec – Sun 2nd Jan Check with theatre for times and prices range from £9.95 - £14.95

MUSEUMS

VISION Artrix Student Film Festival A variety of work from local schools and colleges. Fri 12th Nov 8.00pm £8.00 (£5.00)

Earthfall Dance present The Factory Groundbreaking dance, image, film and live music exploring New York’s underground arts scene in the 60’s. Thurs 25th Nov, 8.00pm £12.00, £10.00, £8.00 (students)

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Wizard of Oz (Vital Statistics Theatre Co) A pantomime version of the Wizard of Oz. Sat 11th Dec 7.30pm Tickets £10.00 (£8 senior/ child/student, £30 family 2a+2c, £6 groups 10+, £5 school youth groups) Arts Centre Box Office

Mother Goose A traditional family pantomime ‘Eggs-travaganza’ starring Don Maclean as Mother Goose. Mon 6th Dec – Mon 3rd Jan Check with theatre for times and prices range from £13.50 - £17.50. Eve All seats £14.00

Almonry Heritage Centre, Abbey Gate, Evesham, Worcs, WR11 4BG 01386 446944, www.almonryevesham.org Open Mon to Sat 10.00am – 5.00pm Tickets: £3.00 adults, under 11s Free, concessions £2.00 Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, Worcs, B60 4JR 01527 831363, www.avoncroft.org.uk

Journey of Turtle A puppet theatre production for children 5+. Sat 13th Nov 11.00am and 2.00pm £6.00

Sat and Sun 10.30am – 4.00pm. Tickets: £6.60 adults, £3.00 child (under 5s free), Family ticket £16.50

Katrina the smallest Christmas tree Join Katrina on her adventures through the enchanted forest. Fun for all the family with songs, comedy and puppetry. For children 3+. Sat 11th Dec 11.00 and 2.00pm £6.00

Toy Story Sun 28 Nov In partnership with the Artrix, Bromsgrove, take part in toy story themed drama and craft workshops 4-5pm then watch Toy Story the film at 5pm. Tickets: £9 Child, £8 Adults, Museum Members £6 Child £5. Please book your tickets at the Artrix: 01527 577330.

Peter Pan on Ice Featuring Russian Ice Stars. Tues 30th Nov – Sun 5th Dec 7.15pm, Wed & Sat mats 2.00pm, sun 2.00pm and 5.30pm Tickets Tues & Wed £22.00, £20.00, Thurs – Sun £27.50, £24.50 (under 16s £5.00 off) Sleeping Beauty A magical pantomime for all the family. Thurs 16th Dec – Sun 9th Jan Tickets £19.50, £16.50, £14.50 under 16s £5.00 off. Check theatre for times Number 8 Community Arts Centre, 8 High Street, Pershore, Worcs, WR10 1BG 01386 555488, www.number8.org.uk Aladdin A pantomime for all the family performed by PODS. Mon 6th to Sat 11th Dec 7.30pm, Sat mat 2.30pm Tickets £9.00 Mon, £11.00 Tues-Thurs, £12.50 Fri and Sat, £10.00 Sat mat Sleeping Beauty (Vienna Festival Ballet) Fri 17th Dec 7.30pm and Sat 18th Dec 2.30pm Swan Lake (Vienna Festival Ballet) Sat 18th Dec 7.30pm and Sun 19th Dec 2.30pm Tickets £17.00 (£14.00) (matinees u16 £10.00) Palace Theatre, Alcester Street, Redditch, Worcs, B98 8AE 01527 65203, www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk Peter Pan (Palace Youth Theatre) Thurs 4 – Sat 6 Nov 7.30pm, Sat 2.30pm £10.00 (£7.50), Family ticket £30.00 Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Redditch Operatic Society) The Worcestershire premiere of this musical production. Tues 16th – Sat 20th Nov 7.30pm and Sat mat 2.30pm Tickets Tues pm all seats £14.00, wed and thurs £15.00 Adults £14.00 (disc) £50.00 family ticket Fri and Sat pm all seats £15.00, sat mat £14.00

Christmas Carol Service Sun 28 Nov 2.30pm Join the Christmas Carol service Christmas past Sat 4 Dec & Sun 5 Dec, Sat 11 Dec & Sun 12 Dec, Sat 18 Dec & Sun 19 See the Museum’s period houses dressed for Christmas from Tudor greenery to a 1940s Christmas on rations. Children can enjoy a festive trail. Christmas Stories by the fireside Sun 5 Dec Sessions throughout the day, book on arrival. Children’s storytelling sessions by a roaring fire – in the atmospheric setting of the Merchant’s House bedecked with greenery and the Toll House decorated for a 19th century. Christmas. Suitable for ages approx 3-12 years. English Christmas Traditions Sun 12 Dec 1.30pm. Join our Director, Simon Carter, for an informal talk about Christmas customs and traditions and their origins in earlier celebrations. Christmas Sing-along-with-Carol Sun 12 Dec 2.30pm. Sing-a-long to a selection of Christmas songs and carols played on the Bringsty Mission Church Organ by Museum volunteer Carol Bache. Bewdley Museum, Load Street, Bewdley, DY12 1AT 01299 403573 www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/museum Open 11.00 – 4.00pm Xmas Fair Sat 27th Nov 11am - 4pm A fun packed Christmas event for the ‘Bewdley’s Light’s Festival’. Santa’s grotto, Xmas craft activities, craft fair and seasonal refreshments. Finish the day in the town enjoying the Santa’s parade and the Bewdley light’s switch on. November – December 2010


What’s On Craft Fair Sat 27th Nov - Sun 19th Dec 12 noon - 3pm. Get in the festive mood browsing for hand crafted gifts in the lovely museum Shambles. Affordable stocking fillers to bespoke items made by the museum’s resident craft professionals The Commandery, 109 Sidbury, Worcester, WR1 2HU 01905 361821, www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk Open Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm, Sun 1.30pm – 5pm, Cost: £5.40 adults, £2.30 5-16 yrs, under 5’s FREE, £4.10 concessions, Family ticket £12.50 Wicked Worcester Until Sun 12th Dec Take a walk on the dark side of Worcester with this fascinating exhibition exploring death, destruction and disease in Worcester through the ages. Find out all about Bad King John, one of the most disastrous and disliked monarchs in history from the 13th century who is buried in Worcester Cathedral. Explore the myths and superstitions surrounding Oliver Cromwell’s pact with the devil and how war torn Worcester recovered from the final bloody battle which left the city strewn with fallen soldiers, demolished buildings and disease ridden streets. Uncover some of cruel and unusual punishments used throughout Worcester’s history and discover how the plague affected the city in 1637. Victorian Christmas Sat 18th Dec 10am to 5pm Come and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas at The Commandery in Victorian times. Create your own Victorian Christmas decorations, visit Father Christmas in the scullery and meet some of the characters from the Commandery’s past. Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1DT 01905 25371, www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk Museum: Open Tues – Sat 10.30am – 4.30pm, Cost: FREE. Cafe, Shop and Art Gallery also open on Mondays. Exhibitions: ‘curiouser and curiouser.....’ Young children’s imaginative journeys 6th Nov – 15th Jan 2011 A unique exhibition that celebrates some of the exciting creative projects that our young children are engaged in across the County. Inspired by Museum collections, children and their families worked creatively with professional artists, their curiosity being stimulated by some wonderful objects from around the world.

The exhibition is a celebration of their collaborative achievements and will include a visual record of the creative process. Visitors of all ages will be encouraged to contribute and interact with this inspirational exhibition in a fun and creative way. Crafted for You 3rd Dec – 22nd Jan 2011 Wonderful crafts from some of the region’s best craftmakers in this special exhibition. The exhibition will include exquisite and sometimes unique jewellery, ceramics, textiles, woodwork, glass and much more. Fri 3rd Dec Special late night opening with a glass of wine where you will be able to get 10% off your purchases for one night only. Christmas Cracker Fun! Sat 4th Dec 11.00am – 4.00pm. In conjunction with the Worcester Christmas Fayre, this year we will be making Christmas Crackers with a dash of sparkle and festive hats... This is a FREE drop in event, suitable for all the family, no booking required. Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum will be running more workshops for children and families throughout the Christmas holidays, for more information contact the Gallery on 01905 25371

COUNTRY PARKS Arrow Valley Countryside Centre, Battens Drive, South Moons Moat, Redditch, Worcs, B98 0LJ 01527 464000, www.redditch.whub.org.uk go to Leisure and Culture and click on Arrow Valley Park Open Mon – Sun 10.00am – 4.30pm Broadway Tower, Broadway Tower, Fish Hill, Broadway, WR12 7LB 01386 852390, www.broadwaytower.co.uk Open weekends 10.30 am - 5.00 pm Cost: £4.50 adult, £2.50 child (4-14) and Family ticket £12.00, concession £4.00 Evesham Country Park, Norton and Lenchwick, Evesham, WR11 4TP Tel: 01386 761888 Garden Centre, Tel: 01386 443348 The Ark Animal Sanctuary, Tel: 01386 422282 Evesham Vale Light Railway. www.eveshamcountrypark.co.uk Open Mon - Sat 9.00am - 6.00pm, Sun 10.30am – 4.30pm. Cost: FREE entry to Garden Centre, charges for Animal Sanctuary and Railway

Worcestershire County Museum, Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury, Nr Kidderminster, Worcs, DY11 7XZ 01299 250416, www.worcestershire.gov.uk/museum Open Tues – Fri 10am – 5pm, Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am – 5pm Cost: £4.50 adults, £2.25 concessions, £12 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) Hartlebury Helpers Club meets every other Saturday morning in term time – Museum Saturday Club for 7-11 year olds. Contact Sue Pope on 01299 250416 for more information Christmas Shopping Evening Thurs 18 Nov 5-8pm. Enjoy seasonal entertainment and refreshments whilst browsing in our museum shop which stocks a wide range of cards, gifts and contemporary crafts. The Café will be open for warming meals and snacks and visitors will be able to explore the museum free of charge after dark.

Advertise in Families Hereford & Worcester magazine! Please call Karen on 0844 504 7224 for more information.

Don’t forget to mention when you telephone that you saw the event listed in Families Hereford and Worcester magazine – the really useful magazine for parents of children 0-12 years November – December 2010

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What’s On Kingsford Forest Park, Wolverley, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY11 5SL 01562 710025, www.worcestershire.gov.uk Open daily 8.00 am – 5.00 pm FREE Lickey Hills Country Park and Sculpture Trail, Warren Lane, Rednal, Birmingham, B45 8ER 0121 447 7106, www.birmingham.gov.uk/lickeyhills Open 10.00 am-4.20 pm FREE Worcester Woods Country Park and Orchard Cafe, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2LG 01905 766493, www.worcestershire.gov.uk Open 9.00 am – 5.00 pm FREE Wyre Forest Visitor and Discovery Centre, Callow Hill, Bewdley, Worcs, DY14 9XQ 01299 266929, www.wyreforest.co.uk Open 10 am – 5.00 pm FREE

ATTRACTIONS Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4JP 01993 823006, www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

EVENTS NCT – National Childbirth Trust 0300 3300770 www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com NEARLY NEW SALES Bromsgrove NCT Sat 6 Nov 10.30 at Bromsgrove Methodist Church Centre, 19 Stratford Road, Bromsgrove, B60 1AS Tel: Julie on 0844 243 6065 or email: Bromsgrove-nct@hotmail.co.uk Worcester NCT Sun 28 Nov 10.30am – 12.00pm at Tudor Grange Academy, off Bilford Road, Worcester, WR3 8HN Tel: Stacey on 0844 243 6334 (ext 2) or email nearlynewsale@yahoo.co.uk NEARLY NEW TOY SALE Kidderminster NCT Sat 20 Nov 1.00 pm at St Cecilia’s Church, Hoo Road, Kidderminster Tel: 0844 243 6178 or email kidderminsternct@hotmail.co.uk

National Trust 0844 800 1895 www.nationaltrust.org.uk Berrington Hall, nr Leominster, HR6 0DW Tel: 01568 615721

Open every day apart from Christmas Day from 10.00am. Cost: £11.50 adults, £8.00 children, under 3s free. Why not visit or check out the online shop for Christmas present ideas including unusual soft toys, animal adoptions and animal experiences which allow you to get closer to the animals and meet their keepers?

CHRISTMAS FAIR Returning to winter, mince pies, mulled wine, and Christmas Carols, Berrington hosts a variety of good food and interesting craft stalls. An opportunity to explore Berrington free of charge as part of the Heritage Open Day Sat 4 and Sun 5 Dec 11.00 – 4.00 pm

Dick Whittington Farm Park, Little London, Longhope, Glos, GL17 0PH 01452 831000, www.dickwhittington.org

Brockhampton Estate, Greenfields, Bringsty, Herefordshire, WR6 5TB Tel: 01885 488099

Weekends and school holidays 10.00am – 5.00pm, Cost: £6.00 children over 3 and adults, active under threes £5.00, babies free, family ticket £20.00. School term 10.30 – 2.30 closed tues(£4 concession price)

MERRIE MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS Step back in time to enjoy the music, decorations and atmosphere of a medieval Christmas at Lower Brockhampton Sat 11 and Sun 12 Dec 11.00 – 3.00 pm

Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey, Needle Mill Lane, Riverside, Redditch, B98 8HY 01527 62509 www.forgemill.org.uk Tues – Fri 11.00am – 4.00pm, Sat and Sun 1.00 – 4.00pm, Cost: £4.15 adults, £1.10 child, £8.50 family ticket A Victorian Christmas Fair Sun 5 Dec 11.00am – 4.00pm. A variety of craft stalls and entertainment, carol singing and Father Christmas. Adults £1 and Kids FREE A Traditional Christmas Evening Sun 5 Dec 6.30 – 8.00pm. Carol singing, readings and performance by Indigo Arts! Adults £5 and Kids £2 National Sea Life Centre,The Water’s Edge, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HL 0871 423 2110, www.sealife.co.uk Open every day mon – fri 10.00am – 4.00pm and weekends 10.00am – 5.00pm. Cost: Prices differ so the advice is book on-line before you go Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, Millenium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG 0121 202 2222, www.thinktank.ac Weekdays 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, weekends 10.00am – 5.00pm apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Cost: £11.75 adults, £7.95 children, £36.80 family ticket 16

SPECIAL EVENTS, DAYS OUT AND FESTIVALS

Croft Castle, Yarpole, nr Leominster, HR6 9PW Tel: 01568 780246 CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR Escape the madding crowd. Browse a select group of local producers and craftsmen inside the castle. Carol singing and bell ringing, mulled wine and mince pies. Sat 11 and Sun 12 Dec 11.00 – 4.30pm Hanbury Hall, School Road, Hanbury, Droitwich, WR9 7EA Tel: 01527 821214 NATURE DETECTIVES – FUNKY FUNGII Become a Nature Detective this weekend and hunt for funky fungii in the garden and park. Also take part in hands-on activities Sat 20 and Sun 21 Nov 11.00am – 4.00pm £3.00 per activity The Greyfriars, Friar Street, Worcester, WR1 2LZ Tel: 01905 23571 GREYFRIARS CHRISTMAS Come and see the Greyfriars decorated for Christmas Wed 8 – Sun 12 Dec 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre This is the leading themed street market in the West Midlands. Hundreds of stalls fill the atmospheric streets of Worcester’s historic heart with the colours, sounds and smells of Christmas. Thurs 2nd - Sun 5th Dec. FREE www.visitworcester.co.uk Happy Hoopers Disco A Hula Hooping Disco for all the family. Only 40 tickets available at £4.00 each at The Dome, Imperial Road, Malvern. For tickets phone: 07985 211 555. Book early to avoid disappointment. Hooptastic!!!! Mon 20 Dec 6 -7 pm Upton upon Severn Christmas Event Christmas event held in Upton town centre with Star Radio Stage, charity stalls, Santa Parade at 5.30,Choir and late night shopping till 8pm. Sat 18 Dec 4-9 pm FREE Evesham Christmas Gift Fair A Christmas gift fair with a variety of stalls in Evesham Town Hall selling a wide range of products. Sat 13th Nov 10–4 pm FREE Three Kings Parade, Stourport-on Severn Parade starts from Harold Davies Drive. The Christmas lights are switched on as the parade advances. The parade finishes at Stourport Civic Centre with a Carol Service where the Christmas Tree lights are switched on. Fri 19th Nov FREE www.stourporttown.co.uk Bewdley Christmas Lights Festival The Festival occurs in the centre of town with street entertainers and stalls. Fancy dress competition and parade assemble at Bridge House Sat 27th Nov 2.00 – 6.30 pm Worcester Symphony Orchestra Family Concert – Light Years Ahead An intergalactic afternoon of orchestral music that will be out of this world - ranging from Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra to the Star Wars Suite via Carnival of the Animals and the Light Cavalry Overture! Held at Bishop Perowne School, Merriman’s Hill Road, Worcester WR3 8LE Sat 20th Nov 2.30 pm £10 adult (includes one child free), £5 child. Tickets available from Worcester Tourist Information Office or on the door. www.worcestersymphony.co.uk . Christmas Market and Fayre at Ragley Hall Over 40 craft stalls plus hot food and drink served in a marquee. Father Christmas will be meeting children in the Great Hall plus Children’s Craft Activities, Storytelling and Carol Singers. Sat 27 Nov - Sun 28 Nov 10.00 – 4.00pm £6.00 adults, £5.00 children, 3 and under FREE. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market & Craft Fair This has become a huge favourite with over 180 stalls combining the city’s own Christmas Craft Fair of local traders with the largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria. 18 Nov – 23 Dec 10.00 – 9.00 daily FREE www.birmingham.gov.uk/frankfurtmarket

If you would like to feature in the What’s On Section, please email events@herefordandworcs.co.uk November – December 2010


Families Hereford and Worcester issue 6