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Issue 37 I November/ December 2013



Christmas Issue Activities for all the family to enjoy

WIN a £100 Lands' End gift voucher and tickets to this seasons best Pantomimes!

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Free Drama Class Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with Perform’s unique drama, dance and singing classes. Our weekly workshops will do wonders for their social, linguistic and physical development as well as being the best fun they’ll have all week.

Classes for 4 –12 year o lds

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November/ December 2013



15% Exclusive discount for Families readers on all orders placed during November and December 2013 when you spend £30 or more Quote Families

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Photography by Erica Mulford Photography. Baby Bonnet Emily & Evelyn

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Families Solent West Magazine Editor: Rebecca Carr 023 8040 3247 Next issue: January/ February 2014 Booking deadline: 1 December 2013 Copy deadline: 6 December 2013 To book an advert call: 02380 403247 email: 40,000 readers per issue Printed by Bishops Copyright: Families Solent West, November/ December 2013 Data Protection: if you send us your name and address in order to win a prize in a competition, we may supply your details to the company offering the prize. If you would prefer us not to do this please state this on your entry. Disclaimer: Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at the owners risk and whilst every care is taken, neither Families Solent West not its agents accept liability for loss or damage. We take care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for consequence. Families Solent West is part of a group established in 1990 headed by Families South West London. All magazines are independently owned and operated under licence.




What's on and events to enjoy this winter


Christmas 2013 What's going on in Hampshire




How to help your child cope with bullying


Overcoming stress, anxiety and depression


What's on your plate in the school dining hall?


Family health

Call us now if you would like to included your business in our January/ February 2014 Issue. The booking deadline is 1 December. 02380 403247

Winter range now available Etikett is a unique boutique specialising in classic, traditional and designer wear for babies and children 0 - 8 years.

* accredited christening retailer * shoes & accessories * toys & gifts * baby & premature babywear * girls & boys wear * free gift wrapping service & loyalty card * baby gift hampers - ideal for baby showers, birth congratulations, in stock and made to order 22 High Street, Botley, SO30 2EA Tel: 01489 785829 I

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top quality baby and children’s clothes, toys, books & equipment at bargain prices.

Saturday 16th November 2013 Oasis Academy Lordshill

Romsey Road, Lordshill, Southampton SO16 0XN Admission £1.50 per person (in aid of NCT Charity) Doors open 10am for NCT Members – bring your membership card, 10.15am-12 general public. Card and cash payments only. For more details, selling or volunteering contact our NNS team on 0844 243 6271 or © 2013 NCT, Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace, London, W3 6NH. Registered charity numbers: England and Wales 801395, Scotland SC041592. limited as a company: England and Wales 2370573

November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine


News NCT supporting new parents in Southampton Southampton NCT is a parenting charity that runs social and support groups across the city. We have a thriving Facebook group (Southampton NCT) with over 1,000 members. We are excited to announce the return of our weekly breastfeeding support groups, in new locations in Shirley and Hedge End, and our Nearly New Sale on the 16th of November in Lordshill. See the what's on section for more details, or join our Facebook group. We will be happy to welcome you!

Max went to the New Forest

Local mums, Lynsey Davis and Bobby Sephton have been working hard over the past 12 months on a touchyfeely children's book about the New Forest and are delighted to announce that it’s now available to everyone! Available in hardback, Max went to the New Forest takes you on a tactile adventure through the Forest, learning about its animals and the seasons. The illustrations are hand drawn and painted and the touchy-feely elements include a sticky mud effect. Aimed at preschool age, the book is available at Waterstones, online and many New Forest outlets and is priced at £4.99. For more details visit the website

National Trust in Hampshire hosts a Christmas Spectacular

Christmas is a time of traditions, from sending cards and making Christmas puddings, to new discoveries that become part of your festive plans. The National Trust revel in the traditions and history attached their houses and gardens, and gain much inspiration at Christmas from the way previous owners and guests would have celebrated the season. This winter, make the National Trust part of your Christmas tradition. Houses in Hampshire are hosting a sparkling programme of delights that mix old traditions with new, to bring warmth, enjoyment and inspiration to visitors of all ages. Visit: The Swan Queen’s Ball at Mottisfont, Festive baking heaven at Winchester City Mill plus visit Hinton Ampner is famous for its richly decorated festive interiors, filled with fresh winter foliage and sparkle.

Christmas gift idea from Tickled Frog Why not surprise the grandparents this Christmas with some framed photographs of you and the children? For £80 (worth £130) you can enjoy a one hour family photo-shoot at a location of your choice in Hampshire and receive 5 of your chosen images on CD to enable you to print and frame as many copies as you wish – perfect for friends and relatives! Christmas photo-shoots must take place before the 8th December. To place an order or for further information contact Rob on 07545 234155 or email

Rhyme with your tot

An exciting new initiative launches this November with Nursery Rhyme Week. Nursery rhymes play an important role in early childhood development by helping children to master key skills such as language and communication as well as social, physical and emotional skills. Taking place 11-15 November, this is a national event aimed at promoting and celebrating the importance of nursery rhymes. It is free for anyone who has a child under the age of 5 or who works with the under 5s – all you have to do is register online and you can download a free resource pack containing nursery rhyme themed activities, free songs, activity sheets and participation certificates for everyone who completes the 'rhyme a day' challenge. This initiative is sponsored by Music Bugs.

Fight for Every Heartbeat
 As part of their new campaign Fight for Every Heartbeat, the British Heart Foundation are launching a DVD and a series of booklets to support parents coming to terms with their child being born with a heart defect. Finding out that your child has a heart defect can be an extremely distressing and traumatic time, and it is often difficult to know where to turn. 12 babies are born every day with a congenital heart condition, making it the most common defect at birth. While the number of children dying from these defects has fallen more than 80 per cent in the last three decades, heart problems account for more anomalies than combined figures for limb defects, facial problems such as cleft palate and respiratory problems. Through these booklets entitled ‘Understanding Your Child’s Heart’, the nation’s heart charity wants to raise awareness of the UK’s 70,000 children living with heart defects. Support is available for parents and children affected by congenital heart conditions at

Home-School Tutoring UK (est. 1984) Tutors (with full references/CRB checked) available for: • • • • •

All ages, levels and subjects Special Needs Support Exam Preparation Support with Home Schooling Holiday and/or Term time work

Initial consultation is free and without obligation

Please contact the Area Advisor for Hampshire (West & Central) Mrs Alex Murray-Twinn, BA (Hons) PGCE, NPQH e: t: 02380 275573 4

November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine

Lands' End winter layers

Keeping out the winter chills is easier with snuggly layers, and Lands' End is a much-loved, high quality clothing brand. Colourful, practical and packed with innovative details, Lands' End outerwear is scientifically tested in all weather conditions to ensure warmth, comfort and enjoyment - whatever the weather. Children will love playing out in outerwear designed for adventure. Mothers will appreciate the long-lasting value of the 'Grow-A-Long' sleeves range, designed to adjust to little ones' growth spurts. Grownups will find an extensive collection, from luxury tailored wool cashmere blend coats, to hi-tech performance outerwear including a range of downinsulated, super-light jackets and full-on weatherproof coats. Lands' End truly has something for everyone and what's more - for your first order, Lands’ End are offering £10 off on orders over £40. Simple enter FAMILY10 at the checkout for your exclusive discount. To view the collection, head to the website:

St Mary's College year 6 taster day on Monday 11 November book your place today! St Mary’s College in Bitterne Park, Southampton enjoys a long tradition of excellent academic success, and extra-curricular achievement. This year, students averaged a pass rate of 95% A*-C grade including Maths and English, with 100% pass rates in 5 A*-C without the core subjects. We continue to excel in sport, with students enrolled at Southampton, Bournemouth and Eastleigh Football academies. Football, cricket and rugby clubs are also popular within the College, as well as Dance and Netball. An active orchestra perform regularly at events inside and outside of the College, and our annual Drama Productions are always popular. Parents are welcome to tour the school during a normal school day, to appreciate the atmosphere associated with St Mary’s College; small class sizes, a strong Christian community spirit, committed staff, and the ever present ethos that not only does every child matter, but that every child is known. St Mary’s College is busy preparing for a Year 6 taster day on Monday 11th November, from 9am - 3pm. Places are limited, so if you would like to attend the day, please contact the College by Wednesday 6th November to reserve a place. Call: 02380 670150, email:,

Hands-free Handbags and Gorgeous Gloves

Now available at Exclusive 10% discount for Families Readers Enter code: FAM at the checkout - expires 30/11/13 Exhibiting at various events across Hampshire including The All Woman Show on 1st December 2013 at Norton Park Hotel


went to the

NEW FOREST and met some new friends...

Who did

Max meet?

A touchy-feely preschool board book, taking you on a journey through the New Forest learning about its animals and the seasons Written and hand-illustrated by two Brockenhurst mums – Lynsey Davis and Bobby Sephton

Available for £4.99 online at:

National Adoption Week

Making a space for a child in your life is an amazing thing to do. It is also a big decision and there is a lot to think about and learn. Find out more during National Adoption Week which takes place 4-11 November this year. Since its launch in 1997, National Adoption Week has gone from strength to strength, reaching people across the UK who want to know more about adoption. It is important in reminding people about the backgrounds of the children waiting for adoption and the difference adoption can make to a child’s life. It also attracts people wanting to find out about their own adoption or about a child they put up for adoption. The National Adoption Week website is packed with advice and support for people thinking of adopting a child, as well as help for adopted children, birth parents and adoptive parents. Discover some fascinating real life stories and find out more about the steps you should take if you are thinking seriously about adoption. Check out the myths and facts of adoption, how to go about it and all the support you will need at

November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine


What's on

Out and about Festivities weekend at Manor Farm Country Park

Bonfire Night at Royal Victoria Country Park

Throughout November

6 November

Horrible Science of Submarines by Nick Arnold & Tony De Saulles Royal Navy Submarine Museum 10am - 3.30pm A funny family exhibition looking at the Horrible side of life as a submariner written by the bestselling author of the Horrible Science books, Nick Arnold and illustrated by Tony De Saulles. Free with a valid museum ticket

Shirley NCT Bumps and Babes 10am - 12 noon Suggested donation £1 St James Road Methodist Church, Shirley, Southampton SO15 5HE. Stay and play session for the under ones (older siblings welcome). Friendship, support and information for parents and parents-to-be.

2 November Fireworks Night Royal Victoria Country Park Gates open at 6pm. Fireworks at 7.30pm, Adults £7, children £5, family ticket (2+2) £20 Another spectacular display to music in a beautiful setting. Refreshments available on the field. Plus, have a go on the miniature train and mini fun fair (before and after the display).

4 November NCT Wessex Wobblers St Mary's Church Hall, Swaythling, Southampton, SO18 2ST 1.30pm - 3.30pm This is a soft play session for babies, toddlers and their parents in a lovely big hall full of very good quality equipment and toys.

5 November Breastfeeding Support Group NCT - Hedge End 10am - 12 noon The Nest Childrens Centre Wildern Lane, SO30 4EJ No booking required. Come along for breastfeeding support and advice. 6

November/ December 2013

7, 21 & 28 November NCT Hedge End and Botley Bumps and Babes 1.30pm - 3pm All Saints Church, High Street, Botley, SO30 2EA A great place to meet new friends, socialise and get support from other mums. Suggested donation £1. NCT Breastfeeding Support Group 1pm - 2.30pm Parklife Cafe, St James' Park, Shirley, SO15 5SD No booking required. Come along for breastfeeding support and advice with a qualified breastfeeding counsellor

9 November Southampton NCT Book Club - The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani 2.30pm - 4pm The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DW Open to members and non members. Come along for a relaxed chat (partly about our book of the month), enjoy a drink and a yummy cake!

Please always check with the venue before attending the event listed in case details have changed since we went to press.

Snowy Mottisfont

11 November Year 6 Taster Day St Mary's College 9am - 3pm Booking is requried 02380

670150 as places are limited. Please call the school by 6 Nov to book your place NCT Wessex Wobblers St Mary's Church Hall, Swaythling, Southampton, SO18 2ST 1.30pm - 3.30pm Soft play session for babies, toddlers and their parents.

11 - 24 November Hampshire Heroes exhibition Spinnaker Tower 10am to 5pm daily. Adults: £8.55, Children: £6.75, Concessions: £7.55 An exhibition celebrating the cream of the Hampshire crop, spanning the literary, sporting, community, on-screen and emergency services sectors. Explore the histories of past Hampshire luminaries, including Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and discover the inspiring stories from modern day heroes. Hampshire Fire Service will also be making an appearance on Thursday 14 and Thursday 21 November to showcase their life-saving work.

12 November Breastfeeding Support Group NCT - Hedge End 10am - 12 noon The Nest Childrens Centre Wildern Lane, SO30 4EJ No booking required. Come along for breastfeeding support and advice with a qualified breastfeeding counsellor

13 November Shirley Bumps and Babes 10am - 12 noon St James Road Methodist church Shirley, Southampton SO15 5HE. Stay and play session for the under ones. Friendship, support and information for parents and parents-to-be.

14 November NCT Hedge End and Botley Bumps and Babes 1.30pm - 3pm All Saints Church, High Street, Botley, SO30 2EA A great place to meet new friends, socialise and get support from other mums. NCT Breastfeeding Support Group 1pm - 2.30pm Parklife Cafe, St James' Park, Shirley, SO15 5SD No booking required. Come along for breastfeeding support and advice with a qualified breastfeeding counsellor NCT Walking Zombies Club 10am - 11am Little Coppice Sure Start Centre, Botley Road, Fair Oak, SO50 7AN. A support group for sleepdeprived parents. Come and meet other parents for support and advice over a cup of tea and biscuits. Marlands Shopping Centre Spectacular Christmas lights switch-on. 4-6pm, switch on 6pm Entertainment for all the family, including music, fun performers, and prize competitions, the event also marks the launch of late night Christmas shopping at the Centre.

Families Solent West Magazine

14 November

20 & 27 November

30 November

Throughout December

Christmas Lights Switch on Winchester, The Guildhall 3pm - 7pm, switch on is at 6pm There will be food, drink, market stalls, live music and more.

NCT Shirley Bumps and Babes 10am - 12 noon St James Road Methodist church, St James Road, Shirley, Southampton SO15 5HE.

16 November

20 November

NCT Breastfeeding Support Group 1pm - 3.30pm Parklife Cafe, St James' Park Shirley, SO15 5SD No booking required. Come along for breastfeeding support and advice with a qualified breastfeeding counsellor

A Spinnaker Tower Christmas Spinnaker Tower Open 10am to 6pm daily. Adults: £8.55, Children: £6.75, Concessions: £7.55 Visit the Spinnaker Tower this winter when families will be challenged to explore the tower and follow the reindeer trail for a chance to win a fabulous prize. Plus, festive foodie treats will be awaiting visitors in the tower’s two cafes, the Waterfront Café and Café in the Clouds.

NCT Nearly New Sale Southampton 10am - 12 noon Oasis Academy Lordshill, Romsey Road, Southampton SO16 0XN. Doors open at 10am for NCT members (bring your card for early entry) and 10.15am for the general public. We will be selling children's equipment, maternity, baby and young children’s clothing and toys. Intriguing Egyptians SeaCity Museum Learning Deck 1 1.30 - 3.30pm £6. 4–11 yrs Venue entrance charges do not apply, entry for duration of activity only. Pre-booking required Come and find out about Egyptian gods by handling genuine Egyptian artefacts and creating headdresses fit for pharaohs. Try out the heart weighing scales and costumes, and practice mummification with an orange!

Percy the Park Keeper Royal Victoria Country Park 11am – 12noon or 1.30pm – 2.30pm, £2.50 per child (adult must attend) Come and join in the adventures of Percy and the Park animals. Price includes a walk, drink, biscuit and craft activity. Suitable for children of all ages and abilities. Spaces are limited so please book in advance.

21 November Christmas Market and Ice Rink Opening Ceremony Winchester Cathedral 6.30pm The launch of Christmas activities with a spectacular opening ceremony. Starting at 6.30pm around the Ice Rink in The Inner Close, there will be ice skating displays, musical entertainment and fireworks. Refreshments will be available and the Christmas Market will be open to browse.

16 November

21 November

Santa’s Christmas Wonderland at Paultons Park Pre-book only. Please see the website for opening dates.Entry is at a set time. Prices from £20.75 each. call 02380 814442. Tickets include entry to Santa’s Christmas Wonderland, as well as access to some of the park’s other rides.

Ice Rink Winchester Cathedral Open daily 10am - 7.30pm The open-air real ice rink can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Ice skating sessions last for 1 hour and includes time to fit your skates so expect to have approximately 50 minutes on the ice. Free skate hire is included. This event runs to 5th January

18 & 25 November NCT Wessex Wobblers 1.30pm - 3.30pm St Mary's Church Hall, Off Wessex Lane, Swaythling, Southampton, SO18 2ST. Soft play session for babies and toddlers.

19 November NCT Breastfeeding Support Group - Hedge End 10am - 12 noon The Nest Childrens Centre Wildern Lane, SO30 4EJ

November/ December 2013

21 November Winter Birds Walk and Lunch Lepe Country Park 10am – 12.00 noon, £9.50 per person, booking essential Enjoy a gentle stroll along the shore and learn about the winter wildfowl and waders that visit the Solent. Part of the time will also be spent in the hide overlooking the Dark Water estuary. Warm up in the café afterwards with a delicious hot lunch.

Christmas Crafts Workshop Lepe Country Park Morning session 10am –12.00 noon, Afternoon session 1pm – 3pm, £20 per session per person, £35 for the whole day, booking essential. Come and join us for a morning, afternoon or the whole day for a fun Christmas craft making bonanza. We’ll be decorating candles, making cards, exploding boxes, table settings, alternative wreaths and Christmas crackers. Bring your own lunch or book a delicious hot meal at the Lepe café. Children over 13 are welcome. Santa's Grotto & Procession The Marlands Shopping Centre From 10am

Join Santa, his jolly elves and the Heart Angels for a funpacked procession through the Centre, to welcome Santa for the opening of his magical grotto. Entertainment will start at 10am and the procession starts at 11.30. 30 November & Throughout December Santa Specials Watercress Line Join Santa as you steam on a magical one hour round trip through the scenic Hampshire countryside as he visits you in your seat! Departs from either Alresford or Alton. Dates event is available: 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 20th - 24th December. Visit the website for more information and booking. Space Mission for Santa Winchester Science Centre 11:30am, 1:30pm & 4:20pm A live planetarium show with a Christmas twist, especially designed with families in mind. Blast off into space and help save Christmas! Runs to 22 December

Sunday Lunch with Santa The Holiday Inn Winchester £15.95 per adult for a three course meal and children under 12 eat for half price with a gift from Santa. Perfect for catching up with friends and family to exchange gifts before Christmas Day. Available on Sunday's throughout December. The Swan Queen’s Ball Mottisfont National Trust 11am – 5pm, The Swan Queen invites you on a magical journey in preparation for her Christmas Ball, through a winter wonderland of trees, decorated rooms, and fantasy evening gowns. Join the Swan Queen at her Ball in a beautiful room filled with sparkling lights, dancing silhouette shadows, and at the centre, an 18th century-style swan ball gown. Christmas at Marwell Marwell Zoo

Contact the venue for cost and available times Make your family’s Christmas magical this winter and join in the festivities at Marwell Zoo. Join the elves in their toy factory at Marwell Hall and warm yourself with a glass of mulled wine, or blackcurrant, and a festive treat. Follow Mrs Claus as she welcomes you through to her parlour for the classic festive tale of The Night Before Christmas. Step into the elf workshop to decorate your own festive stocking before meeting Santa in his sparkling grotto and receive a special gift. Meet our costume character reindeer and enjoy time with Santa’s elves in what promises to be an enchanting Christmas experience.

Families Solent West Magazine


What's on 1 December The All Woman Show Norton Park Hotel, Sutton Scotney, Winchester 10.30am - 4pm, Avoid the push and shove of the city centre stores, shop in comfort and enjoy all the trimmings of The All Woman Show, with a festive twist plus the added bonus of free parking. ickets are available. See page 12 for event details.

7 December Stay Brave Brian Gravy presented by The Point Youth Theatre, The Point, Eastleigh. Performances at 7pm and 2pm Tickets are £7 and £5.50 for concessions. It’s Brian Gravy’s birthday and all he wants is for his Mum and Dad to stop fighting, oh and maybe some shoes. With the sudden arrival of the mysterious Penny Splutter will he finally get his birthday wish?

7 December Candlelit Carol Concert Royal Victoria Country Park 7pm, Adults £5, children £3.50 Enjoy a traditional Christmas Concert performed by local artists and sing along to your favourites. Followed by mince pies and sherry.

7 - 8 December Santa Visits Hinton Ampner 11am - 2pm Father Christmas is in weekend residence to younger visitors, with treats for everyone he meets.* There’s free face painting too!

7 - 8 December Christmas Market and Festivities Weekend Manor Farm and Country Park 10am - 5pm, Normal Farm admission charge. Additional charge for some activities Browse a selection of local craft and produce stalls while enjoying a host of music and festive entertainment at this fabulous family weekend.

7 - 24 December Christmas Barn Longdown Activity Farm Open daily 10.30am - 5pm See page 11 for full details. 8

November/ December 2013

8 December Victorian Christmas Tudor House 10am-5pm free entry to the venue Travel back in time this Christmas; meet Father Christmas, be inspired by gifts at our craft fair and make a festive gift box. Small charges apply for some activities. 1, 2, 3 Little Pigs Winchester Discovery Centre 11.30am and 2pm £6 or four for £20 Come and join our two rather bemused actors in this imaginative and inventive twoperson retelling of our favourite fable. You’ll find there’s more than one twist to this version of the curly tail. With a brilliant array of silly effects and tricks, Krazy Kat Theatre Company continue on their mission to delight and amuse with super puppets and lively music, and as always feature fully integrated sign language. Best for ages 3+

10 & 12 December Traditional Wreath Workshops Lepe Country Park 10am – 11.30am, £7.50 per person, booking essential Come and make a beautiful oasis based wreath for your front door using materials collected from around the park. The Rangers will guide you through the process. Mince pie and hot drinks included.

11 December - 5 January Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Theatre Royal Winchester Booking line: 01962 840440 Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the greatest of them all! See page 10 for details.

14 December Christmas traditions old and new at Foxbury Common Half Moon Common, Blackhill Road, East Wellow SO51 6AQ 10am – 3pm, Free but booking is essential. 01794 344020 A day of festive treats outdoors. Be part of our heathland conservation project and help continue our broadleaf woodland planting by planting your very own oak tree! Purchase holly for hearth and home, maybe a Christmas tree too, then sit around our cosy camp fire for marshmallow toasting, popcorn-popping, hot drinks and mince pies.

14 & 21 December Christmas Tree Festival Royal Victoria Country Park 11am – 4pm, Adults £2, children £1 (under 3s free) See our magnificent chapel filled with wondrous Christmas trees, decorated by local schools, businesses and charities. Look out for snowmen hidden amongst the trees (all made by local school children).

14 - 21 December Festive Baking Heaven Winchester City Mill 11am – 4pm This atmospheric Medieval mill, with its sparkling Christmas tree, is a great place to soak up some festive spirit. There’s nothing more Christmassy than the aroma of warm spices and baking, so come along to the Mill’s Stir Up weekend, and find out how its freshly milled flour can be combined with locally sourced Hampshire produce to make delicious treats. Take home a few recipe cards, together with a bag of wholemeal flour, and bake your very own seasonal goodies.

12 - 24 December

14 December - 5 January

Pinocchio The Berry Theatre Booking line: 01489 799499 This story of a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy is packed with magical characters, cartwheels, circus antics and plenty of fun for all the family. Suitable for ages 4+. See page 10 for more details.

Victorian Christmas Celebrations Beaulieu Open daily 10am-5pm except for Christmas Day. Visit Beaulieu this Festive Season for a glimpse of Christmas Past in a Victorian country house. See page 12 for full details.

18 December Woven Hedgerow Wreath Workshop Lepe Country Park 10am – 12.30pm, £10.50 per person, booking essential Join the Rangers for a short walk around the park to collect foliage then return to the classroom to create a beautiful wreath. The Rangers will guide you through making a woven willow ring which you decorate with the collected materials.

18 - 21 December The Very Snowy Christmas Winchester Discover Centre

11am & 4pm, £6 each With live music, beautiful puppets and a stunning snowy set which comes to life before your very eyes, this charming festive tale will warm even the coldest of hearts. Suitable for ages 3+ but younger ones are welcome. 19 - 24 December The Little Match Girl The Point Youth Theatre, The Point, Eastleigh. 19th & 20th 7.30pm, 21st, 22nd & 23rd at 2pm and 7.30pm, 24th at 11am. Tickets £9 This Christmas, deep in the frozen forests of Denmark, in the midst of the swirling snowflakes, comes a story rich with the power of imagination. High in the trees, those with no home to call their own, listen to a tale of magic – a tale so powerful as to make two worlds collide. This adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen’s bittersweet tale delicately twists a story of innocence and hope and wraps it into a festive musical treat.

The Swan Queen's Ball at Mottisfont

Families Solent West Magazine

Manor Farm

Country Park

Manor Farm

Manor Farm

Country Park

Country Park

Mano Farm

Country Park

Manor Farm

Manor Farm

Country Park

Country Park

Mano Farm

Country Park

Manor Farm

Manor Farm

A new discovery every day

Country Park

Christmas Market and Festivities Weekend

Christmas Tree Festival

Sat 14 to Tues 24 Dec See our magnificent chapel filled with wondrous Christmas Trees, decorated by local schools, businesses and charities. Look out for snowmen hidden amongst the trees (all made by local children).

Manor Farm

Sat 7 and Sun 8 Dec, 10am – 5pm Browse a selection of local craft and produce stalls while enjoying music and festive entertainment. Children can visit Father Christmas and have a go on a carousel ride (for a small extra charge).

Also get your skates on and take a turn on our covered ice rink.

Lots of festive fun down at Lepe this Christmas Christmas Crafts Workshop Sat 30 Nov

Traditional Wreath Workshops Tues 10 Dec and Thurs 12 Dec

Santa visits Lepe cafĂŠ Sat 14 Dec

Sat 14 to Sun 22 Dec

Voucher entitles free parking at Lepe for the month of December. FREE Exchange voucher for parking car parkin g permit in Visitor Centre (vehicle registration to be provided). Only valid on day exchanged. Offer ends 31 December.

LW 1/12/13

Kids go


MW 7/12/13

One child FREE with a full paying adult (up to 2 adults and 2 children per voucher). Children must be accompanied by an adult.To be used only on either 7 or 8 December. Hand in this voucher at our Visitor Centre.

November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine


The history of the panto

Picture credit: Matalan

We LOVE Christmas The lights, tinsel, shopping, pantos and of course the chocolate! There is so much to see and do this Christmas in Hampshire and to get you in the spirit - here is our guide to all things Christmas for 2013.

Family shows & Pantomimes The Nutcracker

5th December - 12th Jan 2014 Nuffield Theatre It’s Christmas Eve and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeier gives Clara an enchanted nutcracker as her present. A magical world unfolds where toys come to life, gingerbread soldiers do battle with armies of mice, and Clara journeys far and wide in search of her elusive Prince. £9.00 - £16.50.


12th - 24th December The Berry Theatre A new adaptation of Carlo Collodi's much loved tale. The story of a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy is packed with magical characters, cartwheels, circus antics and lots of fun for the whole family. Suitable for ages 4+

Sleeping Beauty

9th December 2013 - 5th Jan 2014 The Kings Theatre Everyone likes a lie-in, but Sleeping Beauty takes it to a whole new level. Cursed by an evil Queen she is doomed to slumber forever until she is awoken by true love’s kiss! But a song in your heart, a joke on your lips and a big sprinkle of fairy dust will help to awaken the magic and bring this classic tale to life. Starring Daniella Westbrook as Fairy Sparkle, Lynne McGranger (from Home & Away) as Carabosse, Christopher Maloney (X Factor Finalist 2012) as the Prince and Tony Adams (from Crossroads) as King Egbert the Oval.


November/ December 2013

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

11th December - 5th Jan 2014 Theatre Royal Winchester Mirror, mirror, on the wall, here’s the greatest panto of them all! One of the best loved fairy tales of all time is given the Theatre Royal pantomime treatment to create a show that’s full of magic. Music, jokes and loads of audience participation make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a Christmas treat for all the family.

Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates

14th December - 12th Jan 2014 Mayflower Theatre Featuring fabulous sets, outrageous costumes and stunning special effects… along with a few surprises to shiver your timbers! Will Blackheart the Pirate manage to steal the treasure map from our hero Robinson Crusoe? Will Robinson Crusoe manage to defeat the mighty sea monster?

Jack and the Beanstalk

13th December – 5th Jan 2014 Ferneham Hall EastEnders’ bad boy Nasty Nick Cotton (John Altman) will be starring in this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which will be packed with all the essential ingredients that make Fareham’s Ferneham Hall panto so special. Live music, a fabulous cast, dazzling sets and one or two surprises!

Magical adventures, intelligent animals, boys who are really girls and women who are really men. Rebecca James takes a look at some of the weird and wonderful traditions behind the Christmas panto. Where did it all start? The British Christmas Panto can be traced back to the old 16th-century Italian commedia dell’ arte tradition, a populist kind of travelling theatre performed by wandering actors. Because of language and communication problems, these shows focused on physical acting, slapstick, comedy and funny costumes.
Comic theatrical presentations featuring characters like Harlequin, Clown and Pulcinella became popular across Europe. The first use of the word ‘pantomime’ was in the Harlequin-inspired ‘ballet-pantomime’, The Loves of Mars and Venus, staged in London in 1717. The first ‘modern’ pantomime dates back to 1773, when the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane presented Jack the Giant Killers, followed by Robinson Crusoe, Aladdin, Babes in the Wood and Cinderella. Cross-dressing - 19th-century clown, Joseph Grimaldi, pioneered the tradition of the Pantomime Dame.
The Ugly Sisters were first played by men in 1860. The Ugly Sisters differ from the Dame in that they have to be funny and the villains at the same time. Animal magic 
- As the 19th century progressed, the subjects of pantomime shifted to fairy tales, with interludes of juggling and acrobatics, providing wholesome entertainment for children, while panto performances also became particularly associated with the Christmas season. Famous panto animals include: Aladdin’s camel and Dick Whittington’s cat, Priscilla the Goose and Puss in Boots! Top of the bill - 
No modern Christmas panto would be complete without its ‘celebrity’ guest star, usually a soap star, comedian or TV presenter to top the bill – a tradition which dates back to the great 19th-century impressario Augustus Harris, who would regularly hire stellar contemporary artistes for his Drury Lane panto performances. Modern pantomime - 
There’s no such thing really as ‘traditional’ pantomime. The whole point is that it’s constantly evolved and adapted throughout its history to keep up with changing public tastes. Panto provides an important source of income for many theatres and is also often the first – and potentially formative – experience young children have of the theatre.

Families Solent West Magazine

Christmas 2013

Where is Santa? Here are just a few places you can find him. They include; trains,

farms, parks, shopping centres as well as the traditional grotto! You can meet Santa at...... Paultons Park

Santa's Christmas Wonderland 16th Nov - 23th Dec Join Reindeer Blitzen and Elf Bobo in the amazing 4D adventure film at the Show Street Cinema, as they help Santa and save Christmas! Plus experience the magic of Peppa Pig World at Christmas featuring 7 fun rides and large indoor soft play area. Please check website for opening dates. Tickets to Santa’s Christmas Wonderland must be prebooked and entry to the attraction is allocated at a set time. Prices start from £20.75 each and include entry to the event as well as access to some of the parks other rides. Visit the website for details and to book. Santa Specials on the Watercress Line

Watercress Line Santa Specials 30th November - 24th December Join Santa as you steam on a magical one hour round trip through the scenic Hampshire countryside. Santa gives every child a gift in a special souvenir sack. Departing from either Alresford or Alton. Advance booking only.

The Marlands

Longdown Activity Farm Christmas Barn

Time Travel for Christmas Shoppers

Longdown Activity Farm Christmas Barn 7th - 24th December Farmer Bryan and Father Christmas will be opening the Longdown Activity Farm barn for an ‘animal magical’ Christmas experience for children. Set among the twinkling lights and Christmas trees, excited chicks will be waiting to meet the children so that they can share their Christmas wishes. Farm favourites such as kid goats, kune kune pigs and calves will be making an appearance, as well as other animals. See the peaceful Nativity scene, which will be watched over by our donkeys, and look out for Father Christmas’s tractor sleigh parked outside the Farmhouse Grotto. Father Christmas himself will be waiting inside the Farmhouse Grotto to greet the children and give them a gift. Admission: Under 3's/ child season ticket holders/Special Needs (all ages): £4.00, Children 3 – 14: £6.50, Adults: £1.50. Open daily 10.30am – 5pm. Please note: The rest of Longdown Activity Farm will be closed. 30th November - 24th December Take a step back in time and experience an authentic Dickensian Christmas at The Marlands Shopping Centre’s spectacular Christmas lights switch-on event on Thursday 14th November. Full of free entertainment for all the family, including music, fun performers, and prize competitions, the event also marks the launch of late night Christmas shopping at the Centre. On Saturday 30th November, join Santa, his jolly elves and the Heart Angels for a funpacked procession through the Centre, to welcome Santa for the opening of his magical grotto. The procession starts at 11.30, with fun and facepainting from 10 am – and the first lucky 100 children to sign up for the special procession will receive a free ticket to visit Santa's grotto, which will be open right through to Christmas Eve. To find out more details or to book your Santa’s Grotto visit in advance go to

Marwell Zoo

Christmas at Marwell 23th November - 24th December Magical fun for all the family, meet Mrs Claus, the elves and Santa in the classic setting of Marwell Hall. Various dates available, please view the website for exact dates and times.


12th - 24th December 2013 Tickets: £11 / £9 concessions

Suitable for ages 4 years + and their families 01489 799 499 November/ December 2013

Illustration credit: Jez Long,

Adapted by Toby Hulse Directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons


Meet the anima ls , see the beaut iful nativ ity scene and VISIT Father Christmas in His Grotto.

Children (3-14): £6.50 each* Children under 3, Season Ticket Holder Children & Special Needs: £4.00 each* Adults: £1.50 *Includes entrance to barn, grotto and present



Off the A35, Ashurst. Tel. 023 8029 2837.


Families Solent West Magazine


Christmas 2013 Santa's Sunday Lunches

Santa Claus is coming to Broadstreet. Visit Santa with friends and family this December in the AA Rosette Award Winning Broadstreet Restaurant at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel. Enjoy a delicious meal with all the trimmings, the best way to get the festive season started! Santa will be visiting Sunday Lunch on 1st, 8th,15th and 22nd December. Two courses available from £17.95, 5-12 year olds eat for half price and children under 5 eat for free. To book your Sunday Lunch with Santa please call the Events Team on 01329 836 829

A Victorian Christmas at Beaulieu

14 December – 5 January 2014 Open daily 10am - 5pm Palace House, a Victorian country house and home of the Montagu family since 1538, is a place of enchantment at this special time of year. Children can delve into a ‘box of delights’ and dress up in period costumes while in the Lower Drawing Room there will be carol singing and musical entertainment to enjoy. Talk to characters from Victorian times to discover what life was really like ‘upstairs and downstairs’ at Christmas time and warm themselves in front of the yule log in the hearth of the great fireplace enjoying a glass of hot fruit punch. The splendid Victorian-style decorations around the house and the magnificent Christmas tree in the Upper Drawing Room add to the flavour and charm of the season. visit: Families Mag 130x80.pdf 1 04/10/2013 12:41

The All Woman Christmas shopping and indulgence show

1 December I 10.30am - 4pm The Norton Park Hotel, Sutton Scotney Avoid the push and shove of the city centre stores, shop in comfort and enjoy all the trimmings of The All Woman Show, with a festive twist, plus the added bonus of free parking. The event provides visitors with an opportunity to find services and products that they are unable to find on the high street. There will be demonstrations and music throughout the day plus, the show is supporting local children’s and young adults hospices, Naomi House and Jacksplace. Advance tickets are just £3 and are available from the website: or can be purchased on the day. To win tickets to the All Woman Show enter on our website by 5pm on 25 November.

The All Woman Christmas Shopping and Indulgence Show The Norton Park Hotel, Sutton Scotney, Winchester



ultimate festive day

out! Sunday 1 December 2013 10.30 am until 4.00 pm

Tickets On The Door / plus two course lunch* Adults £4.00 / £21.00* Over 60s £3.50 / £20.50* Under 13s £1.00 / £9.50* Under 5s FREE Tickets In Advance / plus two course lunch* Adults £3.00 / £18.00* Over 60s £2.50 / £17.50* Under 13s £0.50 / £8.00* Under 5s FREE

(available from

For full details visit 12 November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine

Christmas 2013

The Ice Rink at Winchester

Christmas day lunch at the Holiday Inn Winchester The lead up to Christmas Day can be very stressful. Struggling to fit the whole family around the dining table and fighting through the supermarket for turkey and sprouts. This year, why not leave all the planning and preparation to the Holiday Inn Winchester. Arrive at the hotel to be greeted with a glass of Winter Pimms, followed by a delicious three course meal. Children under 12 years will receive a present from Santa. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the lounge, unwrapping presents with your family and friends. Located just five minutes from Winchester City Centre and with free parking, the Holiday Inn Winchester is a modern, spacious family friendly hotel. Christmas day lunch is just £50 per adult and £25 per child 12 years and under. Have you already made plans for Christmas day? Then why not join us in December for Sunday lunch with Santa. Only £15.95 per adult for a three course meal and children under 12 eat for half price with a gift from Santa. Perfect for catching up with friends and family to exchange gifts before Christmas Day. To book visit: or call 0871 942 9188.


Winchester Cathedral

a family ticket.Se e page 14 fo r details

21 Nov - 5 January 2014 10am - 7.30pm daily Adults £9.50, Children £5, Family £30 Enjoy an exhilarating ice skate under the stars with Winchester Cathedral as a stunning backdrop. Winchester Cathedral’s Ice Rink has been running for seven years and is one of the atmospheric places to don some hats and gloves. Surrounded by one of Eurpoe's best Christmas Markets, decorative chalets brim with treats and Christmassy foods to whet your appetite, all beautifully situated at the foot of the Cathedral in its historic close. Add into the mix England’s Christmas Capital as a location and what more could you want in the run up to the festive season. For more details about the Ice Rink and the Market please visit the website:

Christmas market

Winchester Cathedral 21 November - 22 December I Open 10am - 6pm Sun-Wed, 7.30pm Thur-Sat Recognised as one of the best in Europe and renowned for its spectacular location, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market brings high quality exhibitors, wonderful Christmas gifts and an abundance of festive foods. Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, the pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink. All exhibitors have been hand-picked for their interesting, high quality and unique products many of which can’t be bought on the high street. 64770_lunch with santa v2_Layout 1 17/10/2013 14:03 Page 1

Sunday Lunch with Santa 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd December Treat yourself and your loved ones to a traditional festive Sunday Lunch. Includes a three course lunch with Santa Claus making a special appearance with gifts for children under 12 years old.

For more information on the above event and to book please call 0871 942 9188 or email


November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine


Competitions and Reader Offers Solent West Magazine

To enter of our competitions below, go to You will need to register with us. Only one entry per household per competition will be accepted. For full terms and conditions please see out website. Good Luck!


WIN a family skating ticket at Winchester Cathedral To win a family skating ticket to enjoy at Winchester Cathedral simply enter online at: Entries must be received by 30 November. Winners will be notified by email. We have 2 family tickets to giveaway (2 adults and 2 children worth £30 each).


£100 Lands' End Gift Voucher To enter the competition simply visit our website to register your entry by 30 November PLUS, exclusive Offer on your firsst order! £10 off on orders over £40. Simple enter FAMILY10 at the checkout.

WIN family tickets to see some of the regions best pantomimes this holiday season

WIN a family ticket to see Pinocchio

To book tickets call 01489 799499

WIN a family ticket to Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

WIN a family ticket to see Sleeping Beauty

We have a family tickts for 2 adults and 2 children (worth £62) to the performance on Saturday 4 January at 2.30pm

We have 2 x family tickts to giveaway for this performance.

To book tickets call 01962 840440

To book tickets call 02392 828282

To enter our competitions to win family pantomime tickets, please go to our website to enter. The closing date for all pantomime competitions is 5pm on 8 December.

WIN a super maxi 850 piece box of Bizzy Bitz as seen on Dragons Den! Cool, addictive, educational and fun, Bizzy Bitz is a must have this Christmas! With a simple ball and socket system, Bizzy Bitz is the only toy in the world which can help kids create accurate models of absolutely anything and everything.

To enter, go to Terms and Conditions apply. Closing date is 2nd December 2013.

14 November/ December 2013

Families Solent West Magazine

JOIN US FOR SANTA’S SUNDAY LUNCH THROUGHOUT DECEMBER 2 courses available from just £17.95, 5-12 year olds half price and children under 5 complimentary.

Festive season at spinnaker tower 29 november – 3 January enJoy Fresh crisp winter views search For santa’s reindeer hidden around the tower


onlok sav e i ne 1 5%

venture across the icy glass sky walk write your letter to santa tuck into seasonal treats at the waterFront caFé and caFé in the clouds

To reserve your table please call the events team on 01329 836 829

plus santa himselF will be making an appearance on 7 & 8 dec, 14 & 15 dec and 18–22 dec! Open Daily, 10am – 6pm

Meon Valley, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Sandy Lane, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ t: 01329 833 455

16504 SPIN Festive Season Ad 87x130.indd 1

Christmas Lights Switch On Thurs 14th Nov, 4-7pm

Enjoy the Dickensian Lights Switch On with Punch & Judy Shows, the Salvation Army Choir, free mince pies and face painting.


‘Like’ us on Facebook

November/ December 2013

Don’t hang around, get down to The Marlands this Christmas!

08/10/2013 16:01

Santa’s Arrival

Sat 30th Nov, 12 noon

Join Santa, his special ponies and the Heart Angels for a fun-packed procession through the Centre, for the opening of Santa’s Grotto.

Visit Santa

Santa’s Grotto will be open 30th November to Christmas Eve. See website for details. Families Solent West Magazine




How to help your child cope Sadly, in spite of lots of publicity and much greater awareness of the problem, (especially in schools), bullying is on the increase. Wendy Bollen has worked as a counselling psychologist in schools with many hundreds of children and young people and by far the most common problem is being bullied. She has written an e-book with advice on how deal with the problem in a different way. This November anti-bullying week is being held from 18- 22 November and whilst it is great to raise awareness about the problem, what children really need is practical help and advice on how to deal with bullies better without bullying! Wendy has done a lot of research into the causes and effects of bullying and delivers training to schools on the most effective ways to tackle this problem. She realised that the advice usually given by teachers didn’t work. Pupils are often told to ignore unkind comments, but that often leads to increased attempts by bullies to upset their victim. Based on her own experiences and those of the young people she works with, Wendy has come up with a rather different approach which empowers pupils by teaching them how to stand up to a bully. “Most children don’t want to involve a teacher, but they do want to do something. I teach kids strategies to help them stand up for themselves by using assertive body language and practicing smart replies. If you can show a bully that you really don’t care that they’ve said something horrid and even better, say something funny back to them it takes the wind out of their sails.”, explains Wendy. Here are Wendy’s top five tips on how to deal with bullies: Look confident-stand up straight and look them in the eye if they say something to you. If you look scared a bully is much more likely to pick on you. Stay calm and practice slow breathing. If you feel less anxious you’ll look more confident. Even if you feel upset, don’t show it until you are out of sight. Bullies enjoy seeing their victims upset, so by letting them see you upset you are rewarding them and they are likely to continue. Likewise don’t let them see you’re angrythe aim is to show bullies that you’re really not bothered by what they say. Use humour- a witty retort is unexpected and shows bullies that you are confident and don’t care what they say to you. In 16

November/ December 2013

fact, you think it’s funny. Standing up to bullies is important says Wendy, especially with a smart retort. “An example would be to say, “ I’m flattered that you spend so much of your time thinking about me!” or “I’m sorry, I’m busy right now, can I ignore you later?” Wendy stresses that how you say it is just as important as what you say. “ Stand straight, look them straight in the eye, say it clearly with a smile and then quickly walk away. Don’t hang around waiting for them to say something else.” She also emphasises that there are some things to avoid saying. “Never say anything about someone’s Mum! This is likely to escalate the situation.” Based on her work with pupils, Wendy has written a self-help book for youngsters on how to beat the bullies. The Little Book Of Retorts is set out in sections which include information on the reasons behind bullying, why people become victims and techniques for dealing with fear and anxiety. Importantly Wendy emphasises that children don’t have to have experienced bullying in order to benefit from the book. “Prevention is far better than cure and if children appear confident and untroubled by insults they are unlikely to become a victim.” The book is suitable for kids aged from ten up to sixteen and is ideal for children starting secondary school this autumn. It is available as an ebook from Amazon Kindle, ibookstores, Sony and Apple but can also be purchased in PDF format from the website.

Against Bullying National Anti-Bullying Week takes place 18-22 November this year, with the theme ‘The Future is Ours: Safe, Fun and Connected.’ The Anti-Bullying Week website is packed with resources for schools, parents and children, plus online workshops, practical resources and short films on how to survive bullying. You can also join the Anti-Bullying Roadshow which tours schools, youth clubs and parents groups throughout the UK during November. Powerful, fun and exciting, the Roadshow includes music, science, strategies and up-to-date research and information on bullying. Check out the website too for their Anti-Bullying Village for Kids and Teens – a virtual space created by young people for young people where you can interact with others, as well as find out about events on school bullying, violence, racism and xenophobia through workshops, young people’s conferences and exhibitions.

Is your child being bullied? Bullying can happen to anyone at any age and at any time. ChildLine is an excellent resource packed with advice and information on how to spot bullying, possible reasons of why bullying occurs and suggestions for how to stop it. If your child is being bullied ChildLine has some important tips for them: • • • • • •

Other useful websites:

Follow Wendy on Twitter: @WendyBollen

tell a friend, parent or teacher immediately always walk home with someone or make sure you get a lift ask your friends to look out for you during school never fight back never reply to any abusive messages never go along with what the bullies want keep a complete record of the bullying, including texts and messages find out about your school’s antibullying policy

Contact ChildLine for free support 0800 1111 - Families Solent West Magazine

Turn it around: How to help your child overcome stress, anxiety and depression Although stress is not the same as depression, prolonged periods of stress can lead to depression, and about half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The earlier we can reach the children showing signs of stress the better we can help them. Although stress is not the same as depression, prolonged periods of stress can lead to depression, and about half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The earlier we can reach the children showing signs of stress the better we can help them.

Stressful lives?

Considering our own increasingly stressful lives, it is no surprise to learn that our children are suffering from rising stress. Parents under pressure and overwhelmed with their jobs, affects the way they parent. Rising unemployment and financial problems associated with the economic downturn increases tension that children pick up on. Heavily orchestrated schedules of extra activities can also leave little free time for children to be children, and to relax. School and social life also create pressures that can feel overwhelming for children. NSPCC research recently found that academic worries were the biggest cause of stress for nearly 50% of children. With an increase in the number of tests, and the pressure on schools to perform in league tables, is it any surprise that studying comes top of the stress list? Other common sources of childhood stress such as bullying, sibling rivalry, peer pressure are all fairly normal parts of growing up, but because children now have less free time to relax these ordinary problems can become magnified and less easy for them to deal with.

Spotting the signs

Stress or anxiety in children can be difficult to spot. Signs to look out for would include a low mood, unhappiness, tearfulness or irritability not related to anything specific. Sleeping problems, clingy behaviour, stomach aches and headaches are also signals. The main thing to look for is a change in behaviour. Trust your instinct. Erika Brodnock, one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject of raising happy, successful children says, “Don’t mistake your child’s behaviour for being naughty, when they may be feeling stressed and anxious.” As a parent you can't protect your kids from the stresses of our modern world, November/ December 2013

but you can help them develop healthy ways to cope. Notice out loud. Tell your child when you notice that something's bothering them and name it, “Do you feel angry with what happened?” or “You must have felt worried about that.” Erika Brodnock explains this as “Notice, it, own it, tame it,” she continues, “once you can identify the emotion you can then manage it. Without this, things are significantly more difficult.” Explore and empower. Once they understand the feeling they have, explore together what to do. Simple techniques can make a world of difference and have a profound effect on the way they feel. When they start to feel stressed, encourage them to ask for help for example. Be you! Look at your own moods, behaviours and energy levels. “We can all put a smile on our face at the end of a bad day but when the energy isn’t there your child will notice” says Erika Brodnock, “parents need to learn to manage their moods too!” This is backed up by statistics that show 60-90% of what we learn is through non-verbal communication. If we want our children to manage their emotions effectively, we must model the behaviour we want them to embrace.

Building stress-free kids

Exercise, a nature walk, dancing to music will all naturally release those ‘feel-good’ endorphins that help reduce stress. Eating well, drinking lots of water, a bedtime routine and set schedules so your child can rely on daily patterns, are all ways in which you can help. Erika Brodnock recommends a 15 minute ‘Golden Moment’ every day with your child, “this is an opportunity for the child to speak privately and confidentially with their parent, knowing they can say anything without criticism or complaint, which builds trust and strengthens bonds.” This goes a long way towards protecting a young person against developing depression.

As a parent, it hurts to see your child unhappy or stressed, but resist the urge to fix every problem for them and instead, focus on helping your child grow into a problem-solver — who knows how to roll with life's ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again. By teaching healthy coping strategies, you'll prepare your kids to manage the stresses that come in the future. Help reduce stress and anxiety for children with special needs • • • •

• • •

Schedule exercise to get rid of some of the stress Get to know your child’s likes and dislikes - cater to them, not what the book says Encourage friendships, then ensure a good night’s sleep Lever their independence - give them the chance to do more themselves, let them participate and make decisions Prepare for gatherings, then plan in some downtime Don’t rush, and use relaxation techniques Last, but certainly not least, take care of yourself!

Many thanks go to Erika Brodnock who offered many insights and information in compiling this article. Erika Brodnock is one of the UK's leading experts on the subject of raising happy, confident children. She offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice and has even produced an eBook which she is happy to offer free of charge for parents looking for useful and practical information and techniques. Erika will also be launching some highly innovative new toys later in the year, which can help children develop their self-esteem and confidence through play. For more information go to

Some useful websites:

Families Solent West Magazine


School matters

What’s on the plate in your school dining hall? By Joanna Moorhead

The campaign for better food in Britain’s schools is getting yet another boost – but what else needs to be done, and how can parents help? Joanna Moorhead investigates. It’s almost a decade since Jamie Oliver began his indefatigable campaign to revolutionise school lunches, taking TV cameras into schools and drafting in army cooks to teach the nation’s dinner ladies how to make good food on a large scale and to a tight budget. There’s no doubt that Oliver shone a torch into a dark corner of the school larder and found it wanting, and there’s no doubt at all that he had all the right instincts about educating children about good food and healthy eating, and educating teachers and support staff about why good food and understanding its production and preparation should be part of every child’s education.

What has the campaign achieved? Where has it left school food today – and what are the outstanding issues that still need to be tackled? Summer 2013 saw a government-commissioned school food review by the founders of the Leon restaurant chain – it called for a ban on packed lunches, which it says are almost always less nutritious than a cooked meal, and it called on heads to lower the prices of lunches to boost take-up. Hot on the heels of that report came an announcement that all children in Key Stage One (reception, Year One and Year Two) will get free school dinners from September 2014, whatever the family’s income level. It’s a major step towards the really big task on the menu: getting more children to actually eat school food. Only around 38% of secondary school pupils, and 44% of primary pupils, currently take 18

November/ December 2013

the option of school lunches, while the rest bring in their own: and that matters because a study carried out at Leeds University in 2010 found that only a paltry 1% of packed lunches meet basic dietary standards. In other words, it’s extremely challenging for parents to put together a lunchbox that’s anywhere near as healthy as the food the school provides; and though many parents believe it’s cheaper to provide their own, another study found that in fact it probably costs around £2 a lunch, a sum very similar to the cost of a school-provided lunch. But if school food wins out against packed lunches, what’s on the dining room menu still has a way to go. Only around 25% of schools provide at least one portion of fruit and veg per pupil per day, and – despite all those years of the Oliver campaign – a shocking 50% of all secondary schools continue to offer pizzas and starchy food cooked in oil on most days – although revised food-based standards are going to also be rolled out next year. Beyond all this, though, there’s the even trickier subject of how you actually get children to make healthy choices. Even when healthy food is offered, around a third of pupils don’t choose it. One huge advance the Oliver campaign has brought about is the realisation among parents that they have a voice in the school dining room, and that policies on how food is sourced, how it’s prepared and what’s on offer can be shaped by their intervention. Here are some of the more imaginative and successful changes already in operation at some schools in the UK – if you like the sound of them, why not talk to staff and governors at your child’s school to see if a similar project is possible there?

School farms are in the middle of a huge revival. In 2006, there were only 60 of them in Britain; today, there are more than 100, and at least 100 more schools have plans in operation to open one. And the big boom isn’t in rural settings, it’s in urban ones; schools in the very middle of cities now have patches of land where vegetables are grown and where chickens and other animals can be housed.

Children learn at close quarters about how food is produced; they then go on to learn how it’s prepared and cooked, and then they find out how it tastes.

If you’re interested in trying to get the ball rolling on a farm at your school, start by visiting farms at similar-sized and similarly-located schools; see, the website of the School Farms Network, for more ideas.

At some schools, parents and carers are invited to eat alongside children one day each term . It’s easier to talk to your child about the food they had at school if you’ve got a sense of where they eat, what the place smells like, and what the system is for them to choose their meal.

More schools than in the past now have cooking classes and cookery clubs, and at secondary schools cooking is on the curriculum. If a school farm is too ambitious, growing some or all the ingredients for the cookery classes is usually possible – even using home-grown herbs help children make the connection between growing and eating.

Pupil visits to farms are a regular part of the school year in many areas. If your school isn’t organising trips to a farm, ask why not. Make sure the farm trip includes informative input on how animals are reared, and how crops are grown – and what happens to the meat and vegetables once they leave the farm.

In some schools, the dining hall is now known by a more exciting name (‘Le Bistro’) and children eat from china plates and have virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dribble on their salad. To make food more attractive, you have to boost the quality of the whole eating experience. If your child’s school is still providing plastic lunch trays or grubby melamine plates, ask them to think about an overhaul.

Families Solent West Magazine

Family health

Gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease - is your child affected? By Christine Bailey, Nutritionist The prevalence of coeliac disease has increased five-fold overall since 1974. Yet testing for the condition has been plagued with difficulties and inaccuracies, especially in children. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten, which is found in certain foods (wheat, barley and rye). It is a life long condition and requires the complete avoidance of all foods and drinks containing gluten. If your child has coeliac disease, eating gluten will cause a reaction in their bodies that damages or destroys the villi (small projections in the intestines that help us absorb nutrients). When this occurs, the surface of the small intestine is flattened and a child’s body can’t absorb vitamins and nutrients from food. You’re not necessarily born with coeliac disease; although the condition is linked to certain genetic markers there is normally an environmental trigger that causes the immune system to lose tolerance to gluten.

Signs and symptoms

Because symptoms in children are often subtle and mimic other intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, the disease is often difficult to diagnose. Some children experience symptoms the first time they are exposed to

free diet, ensuring they are optimally nourished and also to ensure their gut heals. In many cases nutritional supplements will be recommended. While there are obvious sources of gluten such as breads, pastas, flours, cereals, cakes and biscuits, it is often used as an ingredient in many favourite foods such as fish fingers, sausages, gravies, sauces and soy sauce. Working with a qualified nutritionist can help you plan a healthy gluten free diet. However in some cases simply removing gluten may not be sufficient as many children with coeliac disease also react to other foods such as dairy, so additional testing and support may be needed.

gluten, while others develop symptoms later in life. Typical symptoms include: • diarrhoea, constipation • abdominal pain • poor appetite • a bloated or painful belly, gas, flatulence • weight loss or difficulty gaining weight These symptoms can begin during infancy (between 6 and 24 months), after the child begins to eat gluten-containing foods. Additional symptoms, which may develop later include slowed growth, failure to thrive; iron deficiency anaemia; skin rash; tooth enamel changes; bone thinning; joint aches and pains; headaches; mouth ulcers; mood changes and a delay in menstruation.


Even if your child does not appear to be showing any symptoms, if you have a family history of the coeliac disease it is recommended you get your children tested for the genetic markers. There are blood tests, and new private laboratory tests involving saliva collection. Ask your practitioner or qualified nutritionist for the most appropriate tests for your family. If your child is diagnosed with coeliac disease it is important they receive nutritional advice to help with planning a gluten

More information

For further information about testing, nutritional support, cookery days and recipes, contact Christine Bailey Coeliac UK is a national charity providing support, advice, a recipe database and links to local voluntary support groups helpline 0845 305 2060 I




is changing

Solent West Magazine FREE

July/ August 2013

Issue 33 March/ April 2013

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Your local guide to





family days out


and events this summer

Easter activities Health Fostering FREE




Free Drama Class Cover image Mothercare

Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with Perform’s unique drama, dance and singing classes. Our weekly workshops will do wonders for their social, linguistic and physical development as well as being the best fun they’ll have all week. To advertise your business with us with call: 023 8040 3247 July/ August Solent 2013 West Families West Magazine - information and events for parents of 0 - 12 year Families olds inSolent Hampshire

July-aug2013.indd 1

March/ Aprilreally 2013 The

Classes for 4–12 year olds

0845 400 1304 Solent West useful magazine for parents with children 0 - 12 yearsFamilies in Hampshire

19/06/2013 22:20

Your LOCAL guide for information and events for parents with children 0 - 12 years in Hampshire


Call now to find out more and book onto one of our information sessions.


0845 6035620


County Council

November/ December 2013

Let our 40,000 + readers know about your business or service. Why not advertise with us in 2014, prices start from as little as £78 Features for our January 2014 Issue Childcare I Nurseries I Family breaks Groups & Classes I February Half Term Activities

02380 403247 I

Families Solent West Magazine


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The world’s largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles at the National Motor Museum E X H I B I T I O N E N D S 5 .1 .1 4


Advance booking only!

21st December 2013 - 5th January 2014

Open 10am - 5pm ~ Festive activities 11 am - 4 pm Christmas carols in Palace House ~ Children’s festive games Giant Christmas tree ~ Gift ideas for Christmas National Motor Museum BOND IN MOTION World of Top Gear Palace House & Gardens Beaulieu Abbey Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire SO42 7ZN Tel 01590 612345

November/ December 2013

Enjoy the magic of a one hour steam train ride as Santa visits you at your seat with a gift for every child.


Families Solent West Magazine

Fsolw issue 37 nov dec13  
Fsolw issue 37 nov dec13  

Families Solent West Magazine November - December 2013 issue.