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March/April 2012 Issue No. 008


Competitions! Book Reviews Easter Holidays Listings The Cotswold Chef What’s On

Give your child a head start at school! The online reading program for children!



Register your child at and use this code: UKM23GLO Hurry, this great trial offer ends on 30th April 2012

For families with young children aged 0-12 in Gloucestershire




15,000 copies distributed through nurseries, schools, libraries, activity classes and other selected distribution points throughout Gloucestershire. If you would like free copies for your organisation please contact us.


2012 March/April Issue No. 008

CONTACT US Wendy Hamm, Families Gloucestershire email: web: tel: 01453 544658 Facebook: Twitter: COVER PHOTOGRAPH By Christy Blanch Photography 01453 750311 gloucestershire



Competitions! ws Book Revie ays Listings Easter Holid Chef The Cotswold What’s On

child Give your a head start at school! reading The online children! program for



child at Register your uk www.readi code: UKM23GLO and use this

Hurry, this

great trial

offer ends

on 30th April


0-12 in Glou g children aged


For families with


ADVERTISING Please contact us to discuss how we can help to promote your business within Gloucestershire. Advertising rates start from £30. Families Gloucestershire 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 advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence. Paper used to print Families Gloucestershire is from fully managed sustainable sources - meaning trees which are felled are continuously replaced. Inks are soya based, which can be recycled.

For more articles, listings and competitions visit our website

2 March /April 2012







PRINTED BY The Manson Group,



NEXT ISSUE May/ June 2012 Advertising and Editorial deadline 16th April 2012




SMALL STEPS AND BIG YOU DON’T SAY... mothers won’t be surprised to hear it, but CHANGES Experienced researchers were...babies understand what their mothers


troud-based charity the Meningitis Trust is holding a major Toddle Waddle fundraising event at Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, on Saturday 5th May – and everybody’s invited to join in. A Toddle Waddle is a fun way for the under 5s to do their bit to promote awareness of meningitis and raise money to help those whose lives have been affected by the disease with their very own sponsored walk, or waddle. Parents, toddlers, other family members and friends can join the Trust’s mascot Monty on a short ramble round the historic tree and shrub garden. Becky Jones, who is organising the event for the Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be holding a Toddle Waddle at Westonbirt – it’s such a beautiful location. Joining in a Toddle Waddle is a great way to help children and families whose lives have been affected by meningitis and we hope lots of you will be able to join us for this fun event.” But don’t worry if you can’t make this date. Toddle Waddles can be held at any time and you can organise your own – it’s a doddle. Visit the Meningitis Trust’s website at to find out how and register for a free event pack and to discover other Trust activities to get involved in. For more information on the Westonbirt event, which starts at 10.30am, contact Becky on 01453 769023 or email: beckyj@

are saying even though they don’t know which language she is speaking, according to a study by academics at Cardiff University. Their discovery makes clear what mums have always known – that babies pick up on the tone of a mother’s voice, and don’t have to understand precisely what is being said to have a very strong sense of what is being conveyed.



ainswick Playgroup invites you to a day of Easter fun on Good Friday, 6th April 2012. Enjoy a fantastic day out in the beautiful Rococo Gardens with a host of Easter activities for the whole family. The theme for the day is Alice in Wonderland and children – and adults! – are welcome to come in fancy dress. There will be Easter Egg hunts for both pre-school and older children with an Easter treat at the end. As well as Easter egg trails, there will be fun activities to enjoy such as face painting, knock the hat off the Mad Hatter, a chocolate tombola and many more. Time: 1pm - 4pm (last entrance at 3:30pm) Alice in Tickets: Child / Adult Wonderland Advance £2.50 / £5 On Day £3 Easter Egg Hunt At Painswick Rococo Garden / £6.50 Tickets available from Painswick Playgroup, Painswick Post Office and The Falcon Presents oup wick P laygr Pains

PLUS games, face painting, refreshments and much more

Good Friday 6th April 2012 1- 4 pm



s optio nal

Tickets: Child / Adult Advance £2.50 / £5 On Day £3 / £6.50

Registered Charity No 900465

Tickets available from Painswick Playgroup, Painswick Post Ofce and The Falcon - Cash or Cheque only



oin in the fun at Parabola Arts Centre on Saturday 14 April when Scamp Theatre bring TIDDLER AND OTHER TERRIFIC TALES to Cheltenham. Adapted from the bestselling books by Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), this is a perfect treat for kids 3+ and their families and friends! Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters. Featuring their best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A


CLIC Sargent, the children’s cancer charity is calling on all Gloucestershire mums to lend their support by getting behind Yummy Mummy Week 2012, which runs from 10th – 18th March (Mother’s Day). The week is all about mums doing something yummy by hosting their own fundraising events and spending quality time with their children, family and friends. All the money raised will help CLIC Sargent continue to provide clinical, practical and emotional support for children and young people with cancer. Last year Gloucestershire mums pulled out all the stops as part of Yummy Mummy Week. Fundraising events ranged from coffee mornings and pamper evenings, to nursery PJ days and dress pink days at work, all helping to raise £8,000. That money, could for example, be enough to pay for a CLIC Sargent

Squash and a Squeeze. Funky moves, toe tapping tunes and giggles are guaranteed! Is Tiddler telling the truth? Will Monkey find his Mummy? Will George The Giant make lots of friends? Can the old lady really squash and squeeze all those animals in? Welcome to the magical world of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler! Tickets (£10 adults/£5 children / £25 family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) available from www. (01242 707338). Julia Donaldson, author and Children’s Laureate: “Scamp Theatre send shivers down my spine. They are so lively and innovative.” Social Worker, like Anne at the Gloucestershire Royal, to support families for 2 months. Our social workers help the whole family, including siblings and grandparents, to understand and cope with the emotional, practical and financial effects of cancer, from the very moment their child is diagnosed. What could be better than spending some quality time with friends and family while raising money for families affected by childhood cancer at the same time? Getting involved is easy, just visit www. or call 08451 206 658 to register for your fundraising pack.



hildren at Cam Hopton Primary School in Cam enjoyed a fantastic dance/fitness session of ZumbAtomic last Friday as a new project backed by the local NHS trust got off to a flying start. The Year 6 group of 30 children took part in the workshop lead by World Jungle’s Ben Ward which mixed learning new dances and games, with opportunities to create their own dance moves and then lead the group. Head teacher Catherine Leahy said: “The children enjoyed a fantastic session on Friday. Feedback from them was very positive. They loved it!” The project backed by the Berkeley Vale Health cluster is all about creating healthy behaviour in children and so improving health and fitness in the long-term. Cam Hopton Primary School is the first of eighteen local schools Photo by Dave Dunning


A DIAMOND OF A HOLIDAY... by Joanna Moorhead


amilies who take their main break at the extended Diamond Jubilee half-term could save hundreds of pounds – and some holiday companies are wooing them with free child places, making for even better deals. To mark the fact that the Queen has been on the throne for 60 years, the government has announced a special bank holiday on Tuesday June 5, and moved the late May bank holiday to Monday June 4. In areas where half term falls the previous week, this means families can legitimately take an 11-day June holiday, taking advantage of cooler temperatures and better price deals, especially in European resorts.



he single parents’ campaigning group Gingerbread is urging Chancellor George Osborne to use his March budget to reverse some of the cuts they say are most damaging to family finances. Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir said families in some areas were facing real hardship, in part because of recent cuts, and called on Mr Osborne to ease off families and set out what she called “a credible plan” to reduce child poverty rates across Britain.



ore parents are likely to be recruited to work as volunteers in early years settings such as Sure Start centres after a study showed it saved money and reached more families in need. Under a pilot project in Reading, 17 volunteers trained as peer mentors to support new parents – and an evaluation found that 120% more families could be reached while at the same time making savings of between 13% and 38%. There have been worries that the project and others like it are driven by the need to sack staff working with families and slash costs – but at a time when more has to be done with less funding, this sounds like it’s a winner. which will be visited by World Jungle and get to experience ZumbAtomic, a new dance fitness craze. Ben Ward from World Jungle explains: “ZumbAtomic combines dance, games and above all lots of fun! It is a fantastic way to engage kids in exercise and has proven itself to be extremely popular amongst youngsters, including those who have not previously been interested in sports or traditional forms of dance or exercise.” The workshops in schools will be followed by a new programme of subsidised classes for children in the community with the aim of getting children fit and enjoying exercise. Dr Simon Opher from the May Lane Surgery in Dursley, said: “It is great to see this project get off to such a positive start. It is so important to support children and young people to engage in physical activity. This project has got the full support of all the local GPs who all recognise the serious challenges presented by the rise in childhood obesity and the urgent need to take steps to address this.” For more information on the classes for children in the community, please contact Ben Ward at World Jungle on 01453 545202 or 07789 012571. Email: Website:

March /April 2012 3




eading Eggs is a highly interactive online program that makes learning to read a fun and enjoyable experience for all involved.

Learn to read with Reading Eggs Reading Eggs was created as a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate. And it really works! Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning. Over 1 million children across the world have already had the Reading Eggs experience and the program is already being used by many teachers who incorporated the program into their daily lesson. Children love working and playing on the computer and the Reading Eggs program is all about bringing out the best in each child. Educationally sound The program has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and

developers. The Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help to improve your child’s progress. Children love it! With interactive animations, fun games, great songs and lots of rewards, Reading Eggs is a great place to learn to read. Children are highly motivated to return again and again. And it’s growing! Reading Eggs now has 120 big lessons which have been developed for 3 to 7 year olds and a placement test at the start of the program will ensure children start at the correct level for them. The next stage of the program, Reading Eggspress, is also now available for 8-13 year olds and includes lessons, games and activities covering comprehension and grammar. You too can be one of the 90% of parents who reported a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills after using the program Using promotional code UKM23GLO you can trial the site for free for an extended period of 5 weeks to see for yourself what the program entails and why it has been so successful. Simply visit www., register your email address and once your account has been set up you can enter the code on your parent dashboard. Happy Eggsploring!



n the 30th of March 2012 Brain Tumour Research and its member charities will be encouraging nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, public sector bodies and office workers to make a donation in order to nominate their ‘head’ to wear a silly hat for the day in aid of the charity’s annual ‘Wear a Hat Day’. The campaign aims to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of brain tumours and the need for vital research. ‘Wear a Hat Day’ is an annual awareness day which encourages people to make donations to wear a hat to school or in the office. This year Brain Tumour Research is also encouraging students and workers nationwide to challenge their ‘head’ to wear a hat for the day. From sponsored silences to charity runs and office bake-offs, organisations around the country are being encouraged to raise money in any which way they see fit in order to sponsor their ‘head’ to wear a silly hat.

Brain Tumour Research has recruited the help of Kate Langrish-Smith, crowned ‘Young Hat Maker of the Year 2010’, to develop the official range of campaign hats. Instructions to make your own bespoke hat will be available to download from the website alongside another downloadable PDF which will allow you to create your own hat simply out of paper. These interactive features allow everyone to access and support the campaign and both DIY hats will be accompanied by an online instructions video. Philip Treacy, celebrity hat designer and patron to the charity, comments: “Fashion is a feeling and a mood and therefore how better to express your passion and commitment to a subject such as brain tumour research than by wearing a fantastic hat? It immediately creates a statement and it doesn't matter what the hat is or how much it costs; everybody who gets involved will feel a million dollars on the day, whilst also raising much needed research funds and awareness." Philip has also contributed to the campaign by providing an image of a hat that he has designed for an exclusive badge that will be available as a limited edition. This badge will be available for purchase through the website, alongside this year’s wear a hat badges which will be launched for sale during March – brain tumour awareness month. Brain Tumour Research represents the united campaign voice of the Brain Tumour Research group of 18 charities. Launched in 2009, the charity was established specifically to raise funds for brain tumour research. To get involved, request your fundraising packs or for further background into Brain Tumour Research go to

4 March /April 2012


diagnosed with a

T A H A R 12 A E 20 W AY S D HELP UTHE brain tumour each year




“Brain Tumour Research receives less than 1% of national cancer research spending in the UK yet the deadly disease kills more children and people under the age of 40 than any other cancer. ‘Wear a Hat Day’ is a fun way of increasing awareness and getting people raising money for an often overlooked form of cancer”.

Reg charity no: 1093411


Sue Farrington-Smith, Director of Brain Tumour Research, comments:


£7 MILLION every year to fight brain tumours

GET INVOLVED – CALL: 01296 733011

THE CUTENESS OF TANTRUMS! By Helena Foss Relentless: That is the word I tend to mutter when I’m stomping around in a grumpy haze, steadying myself on walls and furniture, hand clamped onto forehead, begging the powers that be for strength as I surrender to the teeth-clenching exasperation that sometimes constitutes motherhood. ‘It’s just relentless.’ I hiss to myself. ‘Relentless! Why did noone tell me just how damn hard this parenting thing was going to be?’


ctually, mothering is only really relentless when I am not quite rising to the challenges it is chucking at me. And the last few months, dear readers, I have mostly been struggling with: boundaries. Ah yes, that old brick wall that children just love kicking against, for as long as they possibly can, until their little metaphorical feet hurt too much to keep going. What is it with little ones? Why do they give us such a hard time? I mean, where is their respect? LOSING IT Not long ago I found myself in that awful position of being the kind of mother I thought I would never be, losing my rag as I attempted to manage an all-guns-blazing tantrum, smack bang in the middle of town, at rush hour. Reasoning was not getting anywhere. Neither was shouting. In the end, I had to grab my boy by the scruff of the neck and yank him onto a bus, holding him at arms length to avoid his attempts to scratch me. Determinedly ignoring the bus full of tut-tutting commuters, I pulled him and his flailing limbs upstairs and mercifully found a place right at the back for him to howl himself into exhaustion. Not my finest hour. I really thought I knew about boundaries. Not only do I have a background in therapy, hey, I watched almost every episode of BBC3’s ‘The House of Tiny Tearaways’ with child psychology expert Professor Tanya Byron at the helm. The theory is great; but practically speaking, I had no idea how tough it would be to draw that all important line without resorting to threats, bribery or a big stick. With the jigging motion of sitting on the back seat of that bus starting to calm us both down and normalise my blood pressure, I noticed that my internal dialogue was sounding horribly judgemental: ‘After all I have done for you,’ my inner embittered doormat moaned, ‘you ungrateful little...’ Cue the scratchy sound of a needle veering off an old vinyl record. ‘Noooooo!’ I yelled inwardly, sitting up with a jolt as if waking up out of a nightmare. This was not the person I ever wanted to be. THE BLAME GAME See, I know that blame is the easy option. The popular American family therapist Dr Phil insists that you have to teach people how to treat you. In fact, it is your job to point out when people are taking you for granted. But this takes courage, tenacity and, importantly, respect for oneself. It means giving up the niceness and need-to-be-needed so prevalent in the female conditioning. Lying in bed that night, still stunned at just how hellish my afternoon had been, it dawned on me that I had been giving into everyone’s wants apart from my own – and lost my sense of self in the process. It was indeed mortifying to mentally assess just how resentful towards my family I had become; how relentless everyone’s needs felt upon me. My son had given me the gift of reflecting back just how secretly angry I was at myself, for relentlessly ignoring my own needs. The art of good taking good care of oneself, as well as our children, I have found, is being able to set ground rules as a matter of fact. ‘This is Mummy time’ has to be said in the same straightforward manner as ‘the grass is green’. It is just how it is; no need to defend it with barbed wire and machine guns. As a friend of mine likes to say, ‘once everyone in the family knows their place, even the dog and the cat, we can all relax.’ CUTE TANTRUMS ‘You know, when I think back to those days of tantrums,’ a mother of several teenagers reminisced to me recently, ‘I actually think it was really cute.’ Cute?! It took me a while to get my head round that one. Children’s little brains, I have to remind myself, are not wired for considered, rational behaviour. If they want something they want it. Now. Not having it can bring on a full-blown grief reaction. As overt as they are with their sadness, they are with their happiness and love too. There is nothing quite like my son running up to fling his arms around me when I walk through the door, after nipping to the corner shop. The other week, my son’s school nursery teacher told me she had asked the class if anyone knew what a tantrum was. My boy’s hand, apparently, shot up. ‘A tantrum,’ he said solemnly as he stood in front of the class, ‘is when you just pry and pry and pry.’ (He hasn’t got the hard ‘c’ sound nailed in that particular word just yet). The discussion opened up and, one by one, the faces of his nursery chums lit up. ‘Oh yes,’ they chimed, ‘I do that sometimes too!’ And: ‘So do I!’

A four-year-olds tantrum support group! Awwwww. Now that really is cute. Helena is a hypnotherapist and writer about all things holistic and spiritual. See:

March /April 2012 5



By Joanna Parry



rom Autumn 2012 schools will face inspections without being given notice, Ofsted chief announces. Sir Michael Wilshaw, HM chief inspector, said the move was a “logical” progression, adding that it was vital the public had confidence in inspections and that inspectors must see schools “as they really are in the corridors, classrooms and staffroom”. Interviewed by the Press Association, Sir Michael said the introduction of new guidelines offered a “good opportunity” to cut the notice period given to all schools, not just those causing concern. This comes after new worries that some schools were using tactics such as sending less successful teachers and unruly pupils home when inspectors were visiting. The “great majority of schools conduct themselves properly”, Sir Michael said, but added that if there is any thought that a school is not, Ofsted must address it. However, school leaders revealed they had “real doubts” that the move would improve inspections, raising concern that the change had been announced without consulting headteachers. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “We welcome moves to improve the effectiveness of inspection, but I have real doubts that no-notice

School Open Days

(please confirm details direct with the school as information may have changed)

Beaudesert School, Minchinhampton Friday 16th March 09.30am - 12 noon 01453 832072 Berkhampstead School Cheltenham Saturday 10th March 09.30am - 12 noon 01242 523263 Cheltenham College Junior School Saturday 10th March from 09.30am 01242 522697 Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham 3rd March; 24th March; 01242 520691

inspection will accomplish this. An effective inspection system is based on mutual trust and respect, not the premise that schools are trying to ‘cheat’ and need to be caught out.”

RAISE LIMIT OF CLASS SIZES? he government has been told to raise the limit on infant class sizes in primary schools after a report showing that Sefton council on Merseyside paid £274,00 to hire extra teachers to keep classes below the legal threshold. In 1998 the then Labour government legislated to limit infant classes for five- to seven- year olds to a maximum of 30 pupils, but some councils in London are now calling for this to be raised to 32 when it was revealed that Sefton council spent the cash on extra teachers for just 8 extra pupils during the past 2 years. “The problem is that the ‘30’ class size limit for infant classes is completely rigid,” said Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Shaw in a report. “Surely, a bit of flexibility could be introduced? A common-sense solution is to change the law so that schools have the flexibility to go up to 32 children in an infant class, if they wish, but only so long as they have a qualified, full-time teaching assistant as well as a teacher.” Liberal Democrat-controlled Sutton Council is asking for support from other London councils to urge Education Secretary Michael Gove to change the legislation, while a Department for Education spokesperson said the government’s All-round Award – a newUPaward position was unchanged: “The law remains clear that TO % it is illegal for infant classes to exceed 30 pupils – no for pupils joining Year 3 in September 2012 OFF FEES parent would want their child taught in a huge class.” Government figures show that nearly half a million All-round Award offers significant financial support towards school extra primary pupils in England will need places fees based on parents’ circumstances and on assessment of the by 2015. child’s ability whether academic, sporting, artistic or musical.



SAFETY FIRST s more and more children are going online, the UK National Centre for Child Protection (CEOP) is calling on parents in a new campaign to help keep their children safe. Four reports are received each day by CEOP of instances of a child finding themselves in immediate danger, with many


Dean Close Prep School, Cheltenham Saturday 10th March 09.30am - 11.30am 01242 258001 Rendcomb College, Cirencester Friday 2nd March - Junior School; Friday 4th May - Junior & Senior School 01285 832306 Rosehill Westonbirt Prep School, Tetbury Saturday 12th May 09.30am - 12.30pm 01666 881400 The Kings School, Gloucester Saturday 17th March 10.00am - 12pm 01452 337337 Westonbirt School, Tetbury Saturday 12th May 09.30am - 12.30pm 01666 880333 Wycliffe College, Stonehouse Saturday 3rd March 10.30am - 12.30pm 01453 820471

6 March /April 2012

linked to internet abuse. “Have fun online and enjoy the benefits the internet can bring,” says Peter Davies, CEO of CEOP, “but we ask parents to talk to their child and make sure their online safety is built into everything they do. Every day we see the effects on children’s lives when things do go wrong, so please work with us to help keep your children safe and empower them to know what to do if things go wrong”. Giving out personal information, posting inappropriate photos and befriending people they don’t know can put children at risk of bullying or even contact from people who may cause them harm.

Wycliffe Nursery & Preparatory School Co-educational day & boarding from 2-13 years. Daily minibus service available. For more information please call Wendy Robertson on 01453 820471. Wycliffe, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 2LD An Ofsted Outstanding school



March/April 2012 Issue No. 008


Competitions! Book Reviews Easter Holidays Listings The Cotswold Chef What’s On

Give your child a head start at school! The online reading program for children!



Register your child at and use this code: UKM23GLO Hurry, this great trial offer ends on 30th April 2012

For families with young children aged 0-12 in Gloucestershire

Could you be the new Balancing work and family life isn’t always easy as external factors can easily tip the scales, however flexible working is helping families to spend more time together. Flexible working could mean you reduce or condense your hours or even set up your own business putting you in total control of when you work.


conomummy is about creating a community where families can find support and inspiration to realise their work / family balance. Developments in technology are making it easier to set up and run your own business from home and there are many ways families can change work patterns or provide an additional income: • Apply for flexible working with your existing employer • Gain new part time employment • Set up your own business • Take on a franchise APPLY FOR FLEXIBLE WORKING WITH YOUR EXISTING EMPLOYER If you care for children you are able to apply for flexible working which could enable you to change your work pattern to fit around them. Although becoming more popular, your employer is not obligated to grant any changes you would like. Full details can be sought at

Editor/Owner of Families Gloucestershire? If you are interested in owning your own business and want the flexibility to work part-time hours that fit around your family then this could be your perfect opportunity! As the next editor/owner of Families Gloucestershire you will join a friendly group of fellow mums or dads from around the UK running your own franchise of Families Magazines Limited. You would be takinwg over a well established magazine but one which still has huge potential to be developed further. (The current owner is only, reluctantly, considering selling due to personal circumstances).

GAIN NEW PART TIME EMPLOYMENT Economummy is striving to bring a range of part time work opportunities from across the county together on the website to save families time when searching for flexible work. However if you don’t find anything of interest Economummy member Belinda, owns Glosjobs and also promotes numerous employment vacancies.

No previous experience necessary, just a passion for all things of interest to parents in Gloucestershire!

If you have taken a career break to have your children and are now thinking of going back to work but feel daunted or would appreciate some support help is at hand. HRbusiness set up by Mum in business Fiona provides career coaching and CV advice to help you back onto the career ladder.

Wendy on 01453 544658

SET UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS Economummy provides businesses set up by Mums since the birth of their children with a directory listing and access to a range of supportive events. Many of the businesses listed also have knowledge and skills to help your business succeed. There are currently 107 businesses listed covering a wide range of services where Mums have gone freelance or set up a business around a passion. If you are thinking of taking the plunge hopefully Economummy will provide the inspiration and support to help you go for it. Vicky from Glos Directories: “I started my business in 2009 when my daughter was 9 months old. Like many other mums I had an idea but took me a while to jump in the deep end and go for it. It has been and is hard work but I wouldn't have it any other way. I now have twin babies too and have expanded my business to include more areas to where the magazines are distributed to.” Claire Mum of 3 and Grandma of 1 launched Peggylicious! “Whilst working as a Freelance Marketing & PR Consultant I wrote a children's book about a crime fighting cocker spaniel called Coming Home - Peggylicious & The Do Good Dog Clan which is now for sale at Waterstones and other book stores. I am now developing the Peggylicious brand to include children's hair & fashion accessories, pet accessories & gifts for the home.” TAKE ON A FRANCHISE If you would like to work for yourself but are struggling for an idea or would like the support from others a franchise maybe the way forward. There is a vast choice and it doesn’t have to cost you lots of money. A franchise enables you to take on someone else’s idea and they usually have training and support to help you succeed. Economummy provides the same level of support to these businesses. Debbie has just started a franchise with My Little Wrapper. “My cousin gifted me the franchise when my daughter was born in June 2011. I want to be able to be home with her as much as possible in these early years but need an income.” Economummy members have many more inspiring stories and the diversity of businesses go to show that no one type of business is more successful than another. Hopefully the supportive community that is growing will help us all overcome the economic downturn and thrive. Information about all the businesses and support on offer can be found on Hayley Pain, Founder of Economummy

If you would like to discuss this unique opportunity, please contact


Puddle Ducks Gloucestershire are looking for a weekend swimming teacher to join our team Take the Plunge.. Become a Baby Swimming Teacher

It takes someone very special to become a baby swimming teacher: Someone with a love of water and a love of children. Someone who cares enough about giving babies a gift of complete freedom and pleasure in the water. Someone who wants to give them something that is both a skill for life and a life-saving skill. It doesn’t take years of swimming training. It doesn’t take years of childcare experience or training. It takes passion and commitment, and a willingness to spend several hours in a swimming pool! And the rewards are amazing. It is no surprise that baby swimming teachers are constantly smiling. Their lives are full of happy parents, small babies, giggles and smiles. How amazing to watch a tiny baby and their mother blissfully floating around the pool; or to see a one year old take her first few strokes on her own to her mother; to see a two year old jump in and swim back to the side unaided; and to see a three year old’s huge grin after they have swum their first width. Baby swimming teachers come in all shapes and sizes and are bound together with a complete love of their job and shared experiences. It’s a fabulous job that still gives you plenty of valuable time to spend with your family. Good swim schools provide excellent training, which usually consists of an intensive course followed by on-the-job training.

Why not take the plunge and join a growing number of dedicated, happy people. For more information contact us on 01452 473073 or email us at

March /April 2012 7


8 March /April 2012



uch more than just a music festival, Wychwood leads the way for family celebration in the UK with innovative programming designed to entertain children and parents alike.

Since launching in 2003, it has become one of the most successful independent arts events in the UK and has been nominated in the ‘Best Family Festival’ category every year at the UK Festival Awards.


heltenham based author Claire Harrison launched the first in a series of beautifully illustrated children’s books about a crime fighting Cocker Spaniel just 5 months ago. Since then the book has sold more than 1,000 copies and is now available at some Waterstone’s stores, on Amazon and through the Peggylicious website www.

Interactive workshops such as Roald Dahl’s story centre, art exhibitions, The Cheltenham Poetry Festival, and E-Festival’s comedy club, are just some of the entertainment that will ensure revellers have a wonderfully memorable festival encounter. This year sees acts such as legendary British rockers James, Bellowhead, The Cuban Brothers and 80’s sensation Doctor’s & The Medics are set to headline and ‘wow’ audiences with performances of their classic hits. Additionally the BBC Introducing Stage is a highly anticipated element of Wychwood, and this 2012 will place local talents from surrounding counties into the spotlight undoubtedly making the Wychwood experience even more enticing. For your chance to win a family ticket to this year’s festival which includes two adult tickets and two children under 5 including weekend camping, please answer this question:-

The book is based on her black Cocker Spaniel, Peggy, who meets up with Tibetan Terrier, Archie to form the Do Good Dog Clan. Together the dogs solve mysterious crimes and help children in trouble.

In what year did Wychwood Festival launch? Answers to be sent to The winner will be drawn from all correct entries received by 30th April. Wychwood Festival takes place on Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucester, GL50 4SH from Friday 8th till Sunday 10th June 2012. Weekend Festival Ticket for Adults/Concessions are £90-£115, Children 5-15 are £15-£55 and Under 5 go free but must register for a ticket. Day Tickets are available from £24 for Adult/Concession, Children 5-15 from £10 and Under 5 Free. Visit for further information and to pick up tickets. See you on the field!

This first book, Coming Home, sees Peggy coming home to her new family and meeting Archie for the first time and has been illustrated by pet illustrator, Elinor Geller whose work appeared on the Paul O’



loucester Quays is launching a new, FREE three-day festival for 2012 which celebrates outdoor living and is inviting everyone to come to the Gloucester Quays Garden Party. The event will take place over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 7th - Easter Monday 9th April 2012,) and is delighted to announce that TV's favourite expert gardener David Domoney is going to be opening the Festival and offering tips and advice on the Festival's unique 'Potting Shed' stage! Other well known gardening experts attending include Diarmuid Gavin (Sunday 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm) and Carol Klein (Monday 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm) To celebrate Gloucester Quays has teamed up with Families Gloucestershire offering a Special VIP competition package! For one lucky winner and friend, we will whisk you off to the Gloucester Quays Garden Party for two of the days - you get to choose which two! - to meet with TV gardener David Domoney and pose your gardening questions directly to him as well as get his autograph, signed memorabilia and have your picture taken with him.


Plus we'll give you £50 Gloucester Quays gift card to spend in the Outlet centre which offers up to 70% off normal retail prices at stores like Next Clearance, M&S Outlet and Gap Clearance and newly opened White Stuff as well as designer shops LK Bennett and Osprey.

Grady show. The Peggylicious brand has also been run out across a range of cute children’s jewellery and will soon be available on children’s lunch boxes, backpacks, notebooks, purses and other accessories. We’re giving away 5 copies of the book all signed by the author. To win the opportunity of taking this book home with you for free, simply answer the following question: What is the name of the black cocker spaniel that features in Coming Home – Peggylicious and The Do Good Dog Clan? email answers to enquiries@ or put on a postcard and post to: Peggylicious, Vision MPR, Cheltenham Film Studios, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham GL51 6PN



n our November/December issue of Families Gloucestershre COMPETITION Win a New we anounced details of a Year treat for your family! national competition run by Families magazines to have a weekend away in London , see And there's plenty to see and do at the Festival too with some SHREK The Musical and have 80 market stalls selling vintage clothing, dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. You jewellery and accessories; garden specialists can imagine how delighted we were to hear that the winner (from with bespoke furniture, garden ornaments, several thousand entries) was one of our very own readers from equipment as well as seeds, plants and Gloucestershire! flowers; and finally food and drink to buy and 'to go' with local producers and farmers We've just had the most amazing weekend in London. Shrek was absolutely brilliant. We had an incredible view of the stage and the showcasing their specialities. show was amazing. David will be joining our other expert demonstrations in a specially created 'Potting We had a lovely meal at the Rainforest Cafe surrounded by the sights Shed' on stage plus there are two fashion and sounds of the jungle. We felt so lucky to be able to stay in the shows each day. hotel, and then to have the London The Garden Party is FREE and more passes was great. We went on information and directions can be found at a river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London and then For general information call: 01452 338 933. went into the Tower itself and had a really good day there. I feel so To be in with a chance to win, email editor@ with the answer to the following overwhelmed at how much we've packed into one weekend, we've question Q: Where is the Garden Party being held? Entries must be received by 23rd March and the winner will be come home exhausted but really happy! - Liz Halliwell, Stroud selected by prize draw from all the correct entries. One lucky family will win a fairy tale weekend in London worth over £1,000! Your weekend will include four fantastic tickets to see Shrek The Musical, an overnight stay in the 4* Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, four London Passes - giving you access to over 50 London attractions, so you can take in the sights. Then finish it all off with a meal at the world famous Rainforest Cafe.

To enter, go to and use the code: TRIP-SHREK

Full terms and conditions:

March /April 2012 9



Sue Porter, 35, is Learning Manager at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. She heads a team of three people plus several volunteers at the worldrenowned wildlife reserve on the banks of the River Severn. The centre includes a huge range of migratory birds, mammals and family activities such as the outdoor wet playground, Welly Boot Land, the pond zone and the canoe safari. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE AT SLIMBRIDGE There are two parts to my role. The ‘formal’ learning part is where we arrange activities for school visits and other groups. Schools come from as far as Swansea, Taunton and along the M4 corridor. The ‘informal’ learning part looks at creating the annual events program – walks, talks and other activities. We try to encourage families who are just looking for a day out…to take the next step and learn more about the animals. Activities such as pond dipping and events in Toad Hall give them the opportunity to get closer. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS ROLE? I trained as a teacher then decided that the classroom wasn’t for me. I never really knew about the world of environmental education but a friend persuaded me to volunteer and I knew it was the job for me. I was very lucky to get a summer job at Slimbridge and I’ve stayed here ever since! HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT SLIMBRIDGE? Nearly 12 years, of which 9 years have been in this role as Learning Manager. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB HERE? I love the buzz we get from introducing children from inner city areas to a new experience. Children have asked me, “Is this what the outside looks like?” and ‘Is that a duck?”They tiptoe out of the building quite nervously but then we get the chance to show the children how to feed the ducks for example. Their confidence just grows throughout the trip and in some areas their faces just light up.

WHAT SHOULD FAMILIES BE LOOKING OUT FOR IN THE COMING YEAR? The whole of April will have activities linked to the Nenes or Hawaiian Geese…the world’s rarest goose. They’re also the friendliest to feed! April is a great time to visit because you have a chance to see the goslings. Families can also help make the wigwams that the Nenes need to protect their nests. In the summer there will be our new flamingo exhibit with up to 400 Greater and Lesser flamingos on view from the new flamingo lounge. We’re also developing a family friendly hide near South Lake with sofas, telescopes and bird books. WHAT THREE KEY THINGS WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO FAMILIES WHEN VISITING SLIMBRIDGE? • Bring a spare set of clothes for Welly Boot Land! • Bring a picnic so you can settle in some of the quieter areas or hides. You can also buy a coffee or ice-cream from one of our kiosks to go with it. • Have an open mind to try something new – every season is different. WHERE WOULD YOU GO IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE FOR A FAMILY DAY OUT? Well, I also run the nature club where most of our member are between eight and 12 years old. We’ve really enjoyed our visits to Robinswood Hill which is home to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and part of the Gloucester City Farm. WHICH OTHER PLACE OR ORGANISATION IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO LOCAL FAMILIES? I’d recommend St Augustines working farm in Framilode. Our nature club bottle-fed the lambs and enjoyed the rabbit room where the rabbits run around your feet! As it’s a working farm you can watch the milking of the cows or go on a tractor ride. There’s also an adventure playground. The Families Gloucestershire Interview is the first in a new series of interviews with people in Gloucestershire who work with and inspire children and families. If you have any ideas of who you would like to read about in our next interview, please drop editor, Wendy Hamm, a line!

DON’T DREAM IT, BE IT! Learn to act in comedy and drama. Have a go at mime, stage combat and much more. Devise your own musical or perform in one of your favourites. Make and star in your own TV show movie or even music DVD! We are enrolling now in the Cheltenham area. Places are limited so visit us at or call us now on 084567 32022


WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES? Well, we’re very weather dependent. Sometimes you can put a lot of effort into something and the weather puts people off. We never know how many people we’re going to get through the door. We do know how long it can take for a family to get up and out so we start family activities at an appropriate time – usually 11.00am. WHAT DO YOU THINK PARENTS AND FAMILIES APPRECIATE ABOUT THE WWT CENTRE AT SLIMBRIDGE? Families seem to appreciate the layout of the centre. The activities are quite close together but not on top of each other. Families can spend quality time together in an outside environment. The play areas have also been really positive for the centre. Also the membership scheme does encourage families to come back several times so they can see things evolve through the seasons

10 March /April 2012


The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do For Your Children By Roni Jay Published by Prentice Hall Life ISBN 0273720279 RRP £10.99 RRP £9.99 This is not a 6-inch manual on everything you need to know about parenting! Instead, it sets out the vital principles to help you get your children safely from toddlerhood to the end of their teens. The author writes from a position of commonsense. She knows that life is busy and you are often strapped for time, therefore she covers what really matters when it comes to raising happy, healthy, well-balanced children. The book covers questions like: “What can I teach my children that will have the most positive impact on their lives?” and “What little things will make the biggest difference to their happiness now and success in the future?” Families Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviewed by Louise Turner

Simply Wonderwoman By Joanna Gosling Published by Kyle Books ISBN 978-0-85783-058-6 RRP £17.99 Hardback This is a stylish reference book that’s perfect for dipping into for inspiration on ways to make life run more smoothly—and isn’t that something we all dream of? Divided into two, the first part deals with the practicalities of family life and has helpful and timesaving hints on essential matters such as speed cleaning the oven or restoring a bobbly jumper. The second part is called ‘The Nice Stuff’ and the author has some fun suggestions for things to make and do using all that precious time you’ve saved. This would make a great gift for a new mother. Families Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviewed by Sally Harris

Autism: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Child’s Quality of Life


By Jonathan & Polly Tommey Published by Piatkus ISBN 978-0-7499-4238-0 RRP £12.99 Including numerous examples of the authors’ own experiences of bringing up their son with autism, this book helps the reader realise that they are not alone. With topics ranging from understanding the first signs of autism and the diagnosis, finding a support network and gaining the most appropriate education for your child, to exploring the various types of therapies available and planning for the future, this book provides parents a valuable insight into a somewhat daunting world. Of particular interest to me was the section on diet and nutrition, and how changing this can be highly beneficial to a child with autism. This will be an important resource for both new and experienced parents of children with autism. Families Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviewed by Emilie Amos

Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality By Rebecca Asher Published by Harvill Secker ISBN 9781-846-553974 RRP £12.99 Why are British women still primarily responsible for young children despite changed career expectations? Rebecca Asher lifts the lid on the current situation and finds that men are excluded through the Mum-focus of the health service combined with the lack of flexible working rights. Women, steamrollered into the main caring role, become disillusioned by reality yet entrenched as gatekeepers. International comparisons demonstrate that government policy promotes change, which Asher includes in a proposal to facilitate more equal participation in the responsibilities and pleasures of raising children. Thought provoking, perceptive and challenging – for existing and expectant parents! Families Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviewed by Jan Deykin

Bullying: A Parent’s Guide By Jennifer Thompson Published by Need2Know Books ISBN: 978-1-86144-216-1 RRP £9.99 As a former bulling victim herself, Thomson has channeled her own bitterness and rage into a determination to help others. Whilst the book can make for heart breaking reading at times, it’s packed with practical advice and useful contacts. Invaluable tips include recording every incident, photographing injuries and printing web pages in the case of cyber bullying, to make sure you approach the school or police with all the facts, and a clear knowledge of your rights and their obligations. This empowering book will arm parents with all they need to fight for their children’s right to a happy childhood. Families Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviewed by Sarah Naughton


ick Tocks offers flexible, ofsted registered childcare for children aged 12 wks to 12 years for up to 4 hours, 7 days a week. We offer a tailor made service with no contracts & parents don't pay when the children go on holiday or if they get sick. Children can attend regularly or on an ad-hoc basis. We have an after school club, Holiday Clubs & a collection service where we can pick up or drop off. Tick Tocks can provide qualified & experienced childcare in an emergency, for evening child minding & for over night care too. A new Drama Club starts soon on Saturday mornings 10am to 12 pm offering children from 4 years an introduction to drama, musical theatre, movement &interpretation of music. It’s lots of fun with no long term commitment & only £9 per child. There will be regular shows for the parents to see what their children have been learning FROM BABIES TO BIG KIDS EVERYONE HAS FUN AT TICK TOCKS...A GREAT TIME FOR KIDS & TIME OFF FOR YOU

March /April 2012 11

not always popular with children, or many adults come to that, is the humble beetroot. This root vegetable is packed full of valuable antioxidants, as well as B vitamins, iron and potassium. If you want to “disguise” it somewhat for fussy eaters, then try making some delicious chocolate and beetroot muffins. Simply puree the beetroot in a food processor with eggs and melted butter and then mix with flour, sugar and cocoa and place in muffin cases to bake. This produces lovely light, moist muffins, and very few people will be able to identify the mystery vegetable. Mother’s Day falls on 18th March this year (the fourth Sunday in Lent) and traditionally this was the only day of the year when young British girls and boys ‘in service’ (maids and servants) were allowed to visit their family. For some this could be a significant journey home from the Manor where they were put in to service. Often the housekeeper or cook would allow the maids to bake a cake to take home for their mother. Sometimes a gift of eggs or flowers from the garden, or hothouse, was also allowed. Traditionally made to mark Mother’s day the “Simnel Cake” is now firmly associated with Easter. Simnel cake is a delicious Easter treat, made by placing a layering of marzipan between two layers of fruit cake mixture and then baking. Use some lovely local ingredients for your fruit cake mix - free-range eggs like Legbars and Burford Browns and butter from Netherend Farm as well as locally milled flour . Once baked, the traditional finish is to apply another layer of marzipan to the top of the cake and then decorate with eleven small balls of marzipan around the top edge (to represent the twelve disciples- minus Judas who betrayed Jesus). This is then toasted to give a lovely golden brown finish. Alternatively, these could be made as individual cakes in muffin cases. Either way, it’s an activity the children will love helping with and they could even give the cakes as Easter gifts, packed in cellophane with some ribbon attached.

THE COTSWOLD CHEF TALKS TO FAMILIES! Hopefully the worst of the winter weather is behind us now, and we can look forward to getting out and about a bit more in the evenings and at the weekends.


ou should also be seeing in the farm shops and supermarkets now some lovely rhubarb, new potatoes and spring greens – try some curly kale, purple sprouting broccoli or the delicious cavelo nero, as a change from your usual vegetables. Simply pan fry quickly, in a little melted butter, so that they still have a slightly crunchy texture (and retain lots of their lovely vitamins). Serve with a grating of nutmeg over the top and you have a lovely first taste of Spring. Check out Primrose Vale, Over Farm Market and Abbey Farm as some of the best places for seasonal vegetables in Gloucestershire. If you have some space to grow vegetables then now is the time to be in the garden getting things prepared for sowing and planting. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been planning what to grow this year, based on what worked and did not work last year! So this year I’m going with things like spicy salad leaves, baby carrotts, breakfast radishes, sweet corns, sugar snaps and lots of soft fruits. There are loads of low-maintenance, rewarding veggies you can easily grow, with help from the children and I particularly find rocket, salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes are ones which produce good results for a minimal amount of effort. Even if you don’t have a “patch” of land then consider “growbags” or large pots on a balcony, patio or suitable space. Establishing the eating of 5 portions a day of fruit and vegetables early on in life is so important and growing your own vegetables can help to encourage children with this. Do visit eatbetterstartbetter for the hot of the press guidance for food in Early Years settings. Garden Re-Leaf Day on Tuesday 13th March welcomes the start of the gardening year and aims to engage with gardeners young, old, experienced or enthusiastic beginners. There will be gardening activities taking place to launch the Spring season and it also aims to raise money for Greenfingers, the charity which creates magical gardens for children’s hospices. To find out about the events near you, visit their website I know that Rococo Garden in Painswick is a fantastic place to learn about the great outdoors as is Westonbirt who are already selling tickets for Treefest 2012. One vegetable (available all year but best sown in March and harvested in early June)which is

12 March /April 2012

Another food traditionally associated with Easter is the eating of fish on Good Friday. Why not try cooking some fresh fish for your children and even getting them involved in the shopping and preparation of it. Checkout your local wet fish shop or counter. Cirencester has the amazing Fish shop run by New Wave. Children always love to see the great displays. A popular dish for children is “goujons” which are little strips of fish coated in eggs and breadcrumbs and then baked until crispy. If you’re feeling adventurous why not buy a whole plaice and have a go at filleting it. The children can then help with the egg and breadcrumbing – or alternatively just buy fresh fillets and cut them across the fillet into small strips. White fish (cod, haddock, plaice, coley, hake etc) provides a great low fat, high protein meal for children. Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herrings, sardines etc), in addition to protein, also provide Vitamins A & D as well as more healthy fats, including Omega 3 essential fatty acids – these fatty acids are important to help prevent heart disease and some research also shows evidence of even making the brain brighter!. Add in Faretrade Fortnight and National Bread Week and the next couple of months are warming up nicely for foodies! Enjoy the Spring and the wonderful opportunity it brings to get your children re-engaged with the great outdoors and The Cotswold Chef Courses thinking about where their food comes from.

Feed My Mind Course – April 13th 930am – 12pm for 7-10year olds With a foucs on Cereals – with Soda Bread and Hot Cross Buns a take home. £40 per child


Rob Rees, MBE


The holidays are coming and the endless weeks of the Easter break loom ahead, long and empty! You’re bored of the park but don’t want your kids stuck in front of the TV, so what are the options? GETTING OUT & ABOUT loucestershire has so many fantatastic places to visit from soft play centres, to historic castles, farm parks to museums. Become a ‘tourist’ in your local area and discover the wonderful attractions on your doorstep!


Tetbury Police Museum Tetbury 01666 504670

FGHeritage Attractions

Tewkesbury Museum Tewkesbury 01684 29 29 01

Berkeley Castle. Berkeley Tel: 01453 810332 Chedworth Roman Villa. Nr Cheltenham 01242 890256 Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester 01452 528095

Go Ape! High Wire Adventure Forest of Dean 0845 6439215 The Warehouse Climbing Centre. Location: Gloucester. Tel: 01452 302351

FGCookery The Cotswold Chef Food Centre Cirencester Tel: 01285 656813 Foodworks Cookery School Nr Cheltenham Tel: 01242 870538 Sophie’s Baked Delights Bourton on the Water Tel: 01451 829992 SuperCamps Cheltenham A Passion For Food 10-13 April 01235 832222

FGCycling Dean Forest Cycles Forest of Dean 01594 368009 Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre Forest of Dean 01594 860065

FGDrama The Roses Theatre 01684 295 074

The B.F.G. Drama Workshop Tuesday 3 April 10.30am – 4.30pm Age: 7 – 11 (Venue: Tewkesbury Primary School)

Welllington Aviation Museum Moreton in Marsh 01608 650323 World of Mechanical Music Museum Northleach 01451 860181

Sudeley Castle. Winchcombe 01242 604244

FGRailway Attractions

National Trust


The Museum in the Park Stroud 01453 763394

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Cheltenham Tel: 01242 621405

FGHorse Riding

Dean Forest Railway Forest of Dean Tel: 01594 845840

Durham’s Farm Riding School Moreton in Marsh Tel: 01608 629408 Playmate Riding School Nr Cheltenham

Perrygrove Railway and Treetop Adventure Forest of Dean 01594 834991

FGSoft Play

Tel: 01242 680888 The Camp Riding Centre Stroud Tel: 01285 821219 Tumpy Green Equestiran Centre Nr Dursley Tel: 01453 899002

Cattle Country Adventure Park Berkeley 01453 810510 Dick Whittington Farm Park Longhope 01452 831000 Go Bananas Stroud 01453 769120

FGMuseums Corinium Museum Cirencester 01285 655 611 Cotswold Museum & Toy Collection Bourton on the Water 01451 821255 Dean Heritage Museum Trust Soudley 01594 822170 Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery Gloucester 01452 396 131 Gloucester Folk Museum Gloucester 01452 396868 Jenner Museum Berkeley 01453 810 631 John Moore Countryside Museum Tewkesbury 01684 297174 National Waterways Museum Gloucester 01452 318200

Hi Jinx Gloucester 01452 543186 Jungle Chums Thornbury 01454 501016 Magicland Cirencester 01285 885570 The Playfarm Cheltenham 01242 257955

FGSports /Outdoor Activities BattleSports Glos – Forest of Dean Outdoor Laser Combat played on our Multi-acre battlefield in the Forest of Dean. Suitable for all ages 7 and above, just like paintball but without the bruises! School Holiday Army Boot Camp sessions from just £18 per person includes gun hire, camo overalls, face paint and refreshments. 01452 830620

March /April 2012 13

Bugsboarding Maisemore, Gloucester Bugsboarding is well-known for being one of the most progressive mountain board centres in the UK.You can bring your bike or try a Grass Sledge.From a extreme-sports enthusiast to a basic novice, there will be something to challenge you at Bugsboarding. The centre has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere making it the perfect place to spend a day or even a weekend. 07749 897330 Cheltenham Play Rangers Cheltenham (education & learning) Croft Leisure Tewkesbury 01684 772321 Forest Bushcraft Forest of Dean 01594 835 116 Just Camps Cheltenham Holiday camps/day workshops for 4-12 year olds 07716 926 147 Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre Offer activities for the whole family. Tuition is available for all ages from age 3 upwards. Children and adults can learn as part of a group or as a family. Our Holiday Ski Schools are great to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays. 01452 501438 E-mail: Play Gloucestershire Play Rangers Gloucestershire 01452 505548

The Sports Club Cotswold District Council (leisure &culture) SuperCamps Cheltenham Dean Close Multi Activity Camp running 2-5 & 10-13 April and A Passion For Dance 2-5 April & A Passion For Food 10-13 April 01235 832222 Way2Go Adventures Forest of Dean 01594 832248

FGWildlife Attractions Birdland Park and Gardens Bourton on the Water 01451 820480 Bristol Zoo and Gardens Bristol 0117 974 7399 Cotswold Falconry Centre Moreton in Marsh 01386 701043

FGWalking, Exploring

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens Burford 01993 823006

Batsford Arboreturm and Wild Garden Moreton in Marsh 01386 701441

RSPB Nagshead Nature Reserve Lydney 01594 562852

Beechenhurst Forest of Dean

Severnwye Llama and Camel Trek Tewkesbury 07929 372933

Clearwell Caves Coleford, Forest of Dean 01594 832535

WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre Slimbridge 01453 891900

Cotswold Country Park & Beach Cirencester

Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo Symonds Yat 01600 890360

01285 868096 Cotswold Water Park Cirencester 01793 752413 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust 01452 38 33 33 Puzzlewood Coleford, Forest of Dean 01594 833187

We have done everything we can to ensure these details are correct but please do check direct with each organisation for further information, including prices and opening times.

Treasure Trails 26 trails throughout Gloucestershire 07825 868889 Westonbirt Arboretum Tetbury 01666 880220

Mountainboarding, mountainbiking & grass sledges in Gloucester There doesn't have to be snow to go skiing....... Come give it a try at

Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre Call 01452 501438

There doesn't have to be snow to go skiing....... Come give it a try at

Take your little ones to see our little ones at Slimbridge this spring • See the first fluffy ducklings of the year in our beautiful grounds • Hand feed our friendly ducks and geese • Watch our cute family of otters and come face-to-face with the amphibians at Toad Hall • Make a splash in our outdoor playground Welly Boot Land • And have fun in our Discovery Centre making arts and crafts and colouring in. • Admission is free for under fours!

Slimbridge Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre Call 01452 501438

14 March /April 2012

Wetland Centre

Gloucestershire GL2 7BT T 01453 891900

WWT registered charity in England & Wales, no. 1030884 and Scotland, no. SC039410

Visit for more details.

D Heard, N Cottrell, Joel & Kate Photography, M Pearce


WHAT’S ON 1 What’s On March - April 2012

Please always check with the venue to confirm details, including dates, prices and opening times.

AT-BRISTOL At-Bristol 0845 345 1235

Thursday 5th April, 10.30am-12pm With Easter in mind, make your own Origami Hare just like the one on our famous Hare mosaic.

Toddler Takeover – Super Senses!

Fabergé Egg Cosy Thursday 12th April, 10.30am-12pm Continuing on our Easter theme, make your own Fabergé egg cosy, inspired by beautiful Fabergé eggs. You can take this home and keep your egg warm with it for an Easter treat!

23 March Times: 10am – 4pm Brilliant Brains week- come and meet your brain! 13 – 18th March Spring Unearthed 31 March – 15 April Check the website for more information. Step into Spring with a host of Easter activities exploring the wonders of growth and new life. The Glow show Times: weekends and holidays. Spring night sky From 6 March Daily shows. Little Stars Times: 2pm weekends. Storytelling Times: 11.30 weekends and holidays

BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS 0117 974 7399 31st March – 22nd April Golden Egg Hunt at Bristol Zoo Gardens Visitors can take part in Bristol Zoo’s free golden egg hunt. There will be 10 golden eggs hidden around the Zoo for visitors to find. Over the Easter weekend (April 6th – 9th) visitors can also meet Bristol Zoo’s mascot, Larry the Lemur, who will be wandering around the Zoo. CATTLE COUNTRY 01453 810 510 Join in the feeding of our Easter lambs, goats and chicks or just enjoy watching them play. From Saturday 31st March to Sunday 15th April 2012, 10am - 5pm. CORINIUM MUSEUM Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2BX Tel: 01285 655611 Website: Family Drop-Ins Family drop-ins are suitable for children aged 3 and above. Cost £1 for activity only, or included in the price of admission. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Bold as Brass Tuesday 3rd & Tuesday 10th April, 10.30am-12pm Find out a bit more about some of the brasses which can be seen locally and try your hand at brass rubbing. Mad Monks and Medieval Maidens Wednesday 4th & Wednesday 11th April, 10.30am12pm Come over to the Museum and explore life in the medieval abbey and create your own clay tile with the head of a medieval figure to take home. Origami Hare

DEAN FOREST RAILWAY 01594 845840 Day Out With Thomas 14th &15th April Meet ‘Thomas’, ‘Diesel’ , ‘Duck’, ‘Oliver’ and Troublesome Trucks. (See the advert on this page). DICK WHITTINGTON FARM PARK 01452 831000 GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL Catherdral Junior Vioces Project Wednesday 14 March 6.00pm The Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Junior Choir are joined by two local School Choirs to perform a short concert of choral music. Admission free with a retiring collection for the Junior Voices Project Rock the Cathedral Friday 16 March 7.30pm ‘Engaging young people with social justice’ Up to 1,000 teenagers will be gathering at Gloucester Cathedral for a dynamic event with top name Christian performers to promote faith and social justice. Tickets are available from or 01452 835582. to find out more. “Treasury Hunt” - Free Children’s Trail Saturday 31 March – Sunday 15 April 10.00am – 4.00pm Admission Free. This is your chance to explore the wonders of Gloucester Cathedral’s Treasury. Collect a trail from the Treasury Desk then go in search of the Easter Chick hidden amongst the magnificent treasures.

ZumbAtomic -for ages 4 - 12 Designed exclusively for kids, Zumbatomic® classes are high-energy dance-parties packed with specially choreographed, kid-friendly routines. Every Saturday 1.30 - 2pm for ages 4 to 7 - £2 2.15 - 3pm for ages 8 to 12 - £3 THE MUSEUM IN THE PARK 01453 763394. Drop in Family Fun: For families with children aged 5+ Mothers Day Gifts 18/03/2012 11am - 3.30pm £1 per child, pay on the door Be inspired by Nora Fok’s incredible creations and make an unusual piece of jewellery for your Mum. For families with children aged 5+. A special family learning in workshop for parents or grandparents and children to enjoy together. FREE Museum Trails These are always on offer for families with children of all ages. A fun way to explore the Museum together! Ask at reception when you visit. NATIONAL TRUST GLOUCESTERSHIRE Dyrham Park Contact: Property Office, 0117 9372501 Assistance Dogs only are welcome. Mother’s day at Dyrham Park Sun 18 Mar, 2-3.15pm Join our conservation assistant on a special mothers-only tour in the house. Finishes at 3.15pm, when you can rejoin your family and tell them what they’ve missed. Tickets available on the morning of the tour from visitor reception, not pre-bookable. 15 places available. Spot the oddity trail Sun 1 Apr, 11am-4pm See if you can uncover the oddities around the house as part of our April fools’ day fun. The house is full of all sorts of strange and wonderful objects and stories. But on April fools’ day, not everything will be quite as it come along and filter out the fiction from the facts.

GLOUCESTER GUILDHALL Tel: 01452 503050 LaLa Lounge - for parents and their under 5s Escape for an hour or three in our comfy cinema. Meet your friends or simply treat yourself to tea and cake while the little ones watch CBeebies on our big screen and play with toys. Every Monday (excluding bank holidays) / 10am - 1pm / FREE Music-Tots - for parents and their under 5s A new class designed to stimulate your child’s interest in music. Using games, songs and stories they’ll discover rhythm, dynamics and pitch in a fun environment.

Easter trails Sun 8 - Mon 9 Apr, 10am-4pm Explore the parkland with our ‘eggciting’ Easter trail. Chocolate egg and face-painting provided by Cadbury. Please wear appropriate shoes for walking in parkland. £2 per trail Family park discovery trails Tue 3, Tue 10 Apr, 2-3pm Explore the park through exciting activities on one of our popular guided discovery trails. From barkrubbing or bug-hunting to spotting the deer, head outdoors and discover the wild side of the parkland. Meet at visitor reception at 2pm. Trails may be cancelled in adverse weather. Love food festival Sun 29 Apr, 10.30am-4pm The Love food festival returns to Dyrham with plenty of mouth-watering local produce to try and buy. Learn how to grow and cook your own food using various methods, and have a go at activities including hands-on experience, tasting, art, movement and storytelling. Entry to the food festival is free as it takes place in the visitor car park. Normal admission applies to the house, park and garden. Tuesday toddler trails Tue 17, Tue 24 Apr, 10.45am-11.30am For some fresh air and family fun, join one of our garden trails designed for toddlers; learn about shape, colour and numbers while exploring nature. Meet outside the Orangery down by the house at 10.45am. You will need to arrive in the car park by 10.30 in order to catch the first shuttle bus down to the house. Designed for pre-school children. Children must be accompagnied by an adult. Trails lasts approx. 30-45mins, and may be cancelled in adverse weather. Hidcote Contact: Pamela Johnston, 01386-438333 Assistance dogs only are welcome Pottery painting Sun 18 Mar, Sun 29 Apr, 10am-4pm, 11am-3pm, 10am-4pm Get creative and paint your very own ceramic masterpiece. Children welcome Small additonal charge also applies.


April 14th & 15th Meet ‘Thomas’, ‘Diesel’, ‘Duck’, ‘Oliver’ and Troublesome Trucks. Listen to a story with ‘Daisy’ deep in the forest AND chase the steam train!

RAILWAY The Friendly Forest Line

Entrance price includes all additional attractions and rides.

Save pounds by booking on line at or just turn up. You can also book in advance online at

Day Out With Thomas ™ Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends ™ Based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W. Awdry © 2012 Gullane (Thomas) Limited.

March /April 2012 15

WHAT’S ON 2 What’s On March - April 2012

Please always check with the venue to confirm details, including dates, prices and opening times.

Price depends on size of pot chosen Seasonal snippets Wed 14 Mar, Wed 18 Apr, 2-3pm Discover more about Hidcote by joining one of our gardeners for an introductory talk and seasonal short tour of the garden. Children welcome Easter trail Sun 8 - Mon 9 Apr, 10am-4pm Hop along to Hidcote and take part in our special Easter trail. Follow the clues, solve the puzzle and win a tasty Easter egg. Please note there are uneven pathways and steps in the garden. Children welcome Newark Park Contact: Newark Park, 01453 842644 Dogs on leads welcome Mother’s day at Newark Park Sun 18 Mar, 11am-4.30pm Enjoy the special day with your mum at Newark Park. . This is the perfect opportunity to bring the whole family and get out and about to enjoy the countryside with someone you love.

Songwriting from Scratch With Kid Carpet Tuesday 10 April 11.30am £12 (ages 5 – 8) Kid Carpet challenges children to make up songs in a very short time and to perform them to a group. Songs and ideas are made; refined and new ones are discovered, discussed and worked on by individuals and in groups. Pop bands are formed and names decided upon.We will discover that writing and performing simple songs is easy and fun.

Spring Safari Saturday 2nd to 13th April 2012 Enjoy the opportunity to go out into the reserve in the company of an expert warden – all from the comfort of a seat in the covered trailer. Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. Time: 08:00 a.m. Adult: £7.50, Child: £5.00, excluding admission Must be pre-booked on 01453 891223 or email

SENSATIONAL CLAY OPENING FAMILY EVENT WITH ARTIST JON WILLIAMS Saturday 17 March 10am – 4pm £5 pay on the day Celebrate the first day of our family friendly exhibition by letting your percussive imagination run riot as you learn how to make a rattling, shaking, clay sculpture! .Take you masterpiece home to dry, cherish and play!

Animal Antics Monday 9th April 2012 An opportunity to meet millipedes, come face-toface with cockroaches and hold snakes and reptiles. This interactive animal workshop will bring you closer to nature than you have ever been – beware!

EASTER HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS Celebrate the Easter period with a visit to our SENSATIONAL CLAY exhibition especially aimed at young people and join in with one of our exciting explorative workshops…

Children’s Easter trail Fri 6 - Mon 9 Apr, 11am-4.30pm Fun Easter trail for children - explore Newark Park and hunt the Easter clues before collecting your chocolatey prize. Big games available for use on the lawn. £2pp

MAKE ‘N’ TAKE FUNKY FRUIT Jon Williams Tues 10 April £14 10am-12pm- 4-8yrs ; 1-3pm 9-12 yrs Delight your senses making a bowl full of funky fruit with visiting artist Jon ‘the potter’Williams. No previous experience of working with clay necessary at these fun sessions.

Woodchester Park Contact: Nathalie Bradley, 01452 813597 Den building at Woodchester Park Wed 11 Apr, 1.30-3.30pm A fun afternoon for all the family to learn how to build a den. Booking essential 01452 813597 Maximum of 30 children All children very welcome (must be accompanied by an adult ) Child £3 must be accompanied by an adult

IMPRESS CLAY TILES Becky Kimberley Thurs 5 April £13 10am-12pm ages 5-8; 1-3pm ages 9+ Use exciting clay techniques and materials to create your own multi-layered, tactile panel. Experiment with adding colour-tints to make a really `impressive` result! No experience needed.

NEW BREWERY ARTS, CIRENCESTER 01285 657 181 Engage Youth Circus Present Forgotten Attic Saturday 10 March 7.30pm £7 An old man moves home; toys, left in the attic of a house empty since the 60’s, come to life as the story unravels through a treat of circus skills and aerial antics. Devised by Engage, from the Forest of Dean, the show stars a cast of over 20 circus performers aged 10 – 19. Kid Carpet & The Noisy Animals Tuesday 10 April 2.30pm £7 An exciting new rock/theatre show for children and families. A lively and enchanting performance with a unique mix of theatre, comedy, animation and original live music. Suitable for children aged 3-8 years and their families

16 March /April 2012

CLAY PIZZA Bridget Williams Fri 13 April 10.30am-12.30pm £13 for ages 6-11 years Make your own stuffed crust seafood clay pizza (or topping of your choice). ! EASTER CLAY DAY Russell Paige Sat 14 April 10am-1pm Drop in – pay £5 on the day Bring the family to work together this Easter – come with an idea or just to experience clay as a group. Let your imagination lead the way and make whatever you like! SLIMBRIDGE WETLAND CENTRE Slimbridge Wetland Centre , 01453 891900 www. Easter Holidays themed on the Nene There will be a programme of activities to entertain the children during the holidays Focused weekend Friday 6th and Saturday 7th April: •11am Nene walk with Phoebe Young • 2.15pm Talk and Nene feed

THEATRE THE BACON THEATRE, DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL, CHELTENHAM Box Office: 01242 258002 The Snail and the Whale March 21, 2012 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Cost: £7.00 (£6.00) Family £24.00 Tall Stories, the creators of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom stage shows, are proud to present their latest stage adventure aimed at children aged 4 and up. Created in Tall Stories’ unique style, The Snail and the Whale combines physical storytelling, live music and lots of laughs. Easter Family Film: Hup (U) April 2, 2012 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Cost: £6.00 to include an Easter treat Activities from 1.00pm, Film at 2.00pm Blending state-of-the-art animation with live action, Hop is an hilarious family comedy. Come along from 1.00pm in fancy dress for Easter activities, costumed characters and a chance to meet real-life bunnies from Pets at Home. Then settle down in front of our cinema screen at 2.00pm

EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM 01242 572573 Chris & Pui Sat 24/03/2012 To Sat 24/03/2012 CBeebie’s favourite double-act Chris and Pui are bringing their road show to town. Join in with the ‘Show Me Show Me’ duo as they perform sketches, rhymes and songs for pre-schoolers and their families. RUNNING TIMES: approximate total duration 1 hr 15mins Travels with Grandad Wed 11/04/2012 To Sat 14/04/2012 Meet Granddad, eccentric traveller and storyteller extraordinaire. Evocative sound, light, objects and exquisite puppets create a classic performance, enthralling and delighting the whole family.

PARABOLA ARTS CENTRE, CHELTENHAM 01242 707338 The Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales .. Saturday 14th April THE ROSES THEATRE 01684 295 074 The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark .. 3rd March 2.30pm Based on the classic children’s book by Jill Tomlinson, this funny, gentle and reassuring tale is written especially for small people aged three to seven (and grown-ups who sleep with the light on). Suitable for ages 3–7 The Secret Garden 24th March 2.30pm Angel Exit unearths the dark heart of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic tale for all the family and retell it in their rich visual style, blending ensemble storytelling with striking physicality, beautiful puppets, live singing and an original soundtrack. Suitable for ages 6+ Bob the Builder 5th April The Fixham Theatre is set for a grand re-opening and needs Bob’s help to fix the stage for a brand new musical.. Filled with well known and exclusive songs, join Bob and help him fix it in this big theatre build. Don’t forget to take part in the Bob The Builder workshop in the morning The BFG 14th & 15th April Presented by The Roses Youth Theatre and The Roses Youth Dance, this much loved Roald Dahl classic is brought to life through contemporary dance, large scale puppetry, live theatre and animation. A colourful and exciting show for all the family.

WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM 01666 880220 Easter Challenge Tuesday 3 - Friday 6 April 10:30am - 3:30pm Can you complete Westonbirt’s Easter challenge? Follow a trail of clues around the arboretum, explore the early signs of spring and solve our spring riddle for a sweet reward. Create a spring mask, magic wool flowers and make an Easter or spring card for someone special. Free after admission. Jurassic plants and other ancients Tuesday 10 - Thursday 12 April 10:30am - 3:30pm Meet trees once nibbled by dinosaurs, some of the very first flowers and an ancient tree that inspired the samurai! Make your own leaf fossil and help us to create a giant picture of ancient plants with prehistoric paints. Free after admission.

Families Gloucestershire March April 2012  

Families Gloucestershire magazine for March and April 2012

Families Gloucestershire March April 2012  

Families Gloucestershire magazine for March and April 2012