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There are so many dynamics in a family, as several of the stories in this month’s issue testify. From the single mum who made her own destiny on p16, to the activities you and the whole family can get involved in when the weather is not on your side on p12. Be inspired and meet the mother who made a bold decision and dived into her own business on p10 and dads can meet new friends on p14 after learning about the exclusive club ‘Menspace’. On a fun note, turn to p4 where you can find out how to incorporate music into your child’s development with classes available in and around the city. A less pleasant time in family life is knowing what is right and wrong during pregnancy but on p9, nutrition do’s and don’ts are made easy with quick and easy tips for expectant mummies who want to do things the right way. Finally, don’t miss the Festive Family Funfair right next to the Christmas German Market on Cookridge Street until 22nd December. With rides to entertain the little ones and tasty food alongside it, the whole family will leave with smiles on their faces.

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COVER

Skip to the beat Feel the beat and learn how Leeds offers unique musical classes that develop your child’s life skills

6 Family Fun at

Leeds Arena

Get excited about the shows you can enjoy at Leeds’ brand new arena

7

Business under the spotlight: Mummy & Little Me

Cover photography by dinkel

Find out where you can buy unique products for mother and baby right in the centre of Leeds

10

COVER

Diet do’s and don’ts Everything you need to know about nutrition and health during pregnancy

12

COVER

Pure organic inspiration The story of the local mum who didn’t let the adventures stop after having her baby

16

COVER

Daddy’s secret escape A special dad’s club gets their story told and the men of the family are encouraged to join in on the fun

18 14

COVER

Activities to save for a rainy day Is the weather raining on your parade? Continue having fun with the whole family with these activities on hand in and around the city

Mum of the moment: Daniella Moncrieff

Meet the independent woman that didn’t let heartbreak destroy her family or her dreams

Family Life | Issue 1 | 3


I

n 2003, Elizabeth Hawkhead time education. musical classes available in the was a mother to two young city as each session utilises their children. When she discovered The courses are different voices and instruments provided how she could combine her and are all age appropriate. The instead of recorded , te passion of music and musical classes are divided into music. aby mula nd b i e t a quality time with her three distinct age groups; Baby, Every teacher h h s it o es rt Fo aim t sens elp w the involved in the children, Leeds Toddler and Pre-Schooler. h of s s , ’ s e y e t e gained a rare For the toddler, in particular, b g franchise aswell n ss iti cla he ba activ opme ngua t. as Elizabeth takes musical outlet for all the courses are in t a l all ist of deve ch, l pmen this approach in parents and their line with Early s , ee lo scho For the P con lance r, sp deve children to enjoy. order to help the oler, re- Learning ba er ea rain t learn he ch Foundation children find their inn and b Rhythm Time is a own voice and learn and mu pitch, rh ildren and Key t s

national franchise that provides quality music classes for children up to the age of five years old. Hawkhead brought the class to Leeds to provide families with an enjoyable experience that was not yet available in the city. “The franchise allowed me to start a new business that focused on the one thing I love; music.” With classes available in Alwoodley, Barwick, Horsforth, Pudsey, Roundhay and Scholes, it has been Hawkhead’s aim for the last ten years to ensure Rhythm Time is not a typical class for young children.

“Our classes are family orientated and they are a fantastic way for families to spend quality time with their little one having great fun whilst developing their child. We encourage families to interact and many find lifelong friends at Rhythm Time. They also bring routine into many families lives.” Rhythm Time classes have a different approach to other

Stage One about pitch and rhythm. hrough ic inter ythm preta out t the s he dura tion Goals such ti essio as personal An appreciation of music is ns. on of social and not the only thing being taught; emotional the mini musical maestros are development, developing their life skills. communication and language and expressive arts and design. The Rhythm Time courses were created by Kathy Doolan Although the classes’ agendas from Solihull, who trained at differ, “All classes are centered the Royal Scottish Academy of around having fun”, Doolan Music and Drama in Glasgow. explains. Doolan says:“I believe that early musical experiences help Choosing to attend Rhythm children emotionally, socially and Time classes could be the start is fundamental of a new way of communicating For in helping t h s e k with your child before they can their young l ang ills are toddle talk. Families are also offered brains to li sten uage i stren r, moto g s develop.” r a custom baby book and in th d skil g and evelo ened, different CD’s each term at p ls a c re e oncen ed an Research nha trat d no extra cost. nce ion by Youth d. If any families are unsure Music about committing to a full term has shown of classes, Rhythm Time offers a that music free trial session for anyone that making can help develop wants to give it a try. communication, maths, listening, sharing, and concentration and social skills in under 5’s. These abilities can give your child a head start when they begin full-

Skip to the beat By Ciamhne Boakye

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Image courtesy of Elizabeth Hawkhead

M

What’s Happening

elanie Macauley attended and the fact that they can last year in the national awards Sing and Sign classes communicate with you before from the UK’s biggest parenting seven years ago with they can speak is truly amazing.” site Netmums.com proving that both of her boys and it was communicating with your child there that the former With at least one class is a high priority for families and St lawyer fell in love with available all Sing and Sign can make fun are age o o bet for ne cl the concept. around conversations with your we bab ass e tw e for 5 g en e a i St s ar om 1 s. baby a reality. 6 es a s Leeds for r se fr The woman who owned 15 m mon ged families las ged 2 yea ont ths c a the franchise in Leeds Macauley believes the hs. to five days a ies up to b a was looking for a buyer week, Sing classes are very deserving s b nth and fate knocked on Mel’s and Sign caters of the accolade saying: mo door when she was approached to as many people’s “Out of all the baby activities to see if she wanted to take over need as it can. The former there are, and believe me, I have the classes. lawyer is also surrounded by a done them all, Sing and Sign is, supportive, singing and signing in my opinion, by far the Eric “I had given up work to be at team that share her passion most beneficial and 34, a , a a p home with the boys and my for the classes. enjoyable for both ge sa p enc ealed t ys the d youngest son you and your and ourage o her class was due to ‘Talk to Your Baby’ is baby.” b s co ena e ca a u b m t l s start prea campaign for hom es y Ca m e: says: “ ity, aged 21 e, s ou to unica “It Whether you school, so the National h t , It io and o p baby t is a place f gra w you ractic n are a dad, mum, it was the Literacy Trust o o r m e ndp r pa my ee age an perfect promoting early aren rtne it grandparent, d lear t children h n r is language skills by ts.” new s opportunity sibling or a kills a same t t he encouraging parents to time.” as it would childminder, anyone fit round talk more to their babies. is welcome to pop in to a school.” Liz Attenborough, manager class to see what your baby is of the Talk to your Baby learning. You also only pay for Macauley found the class campaign says:“Babies one child even if you have twins rewarding from the very are born to be sociable, and or triplets. beginning as she saw how the they want to communicate class helps parents and babies from day one. Finding a range What does Melanie have to say communicate better with each of ways to have that two-way to anyone thinking of joining a other and eases frustration communication with your baby class? on both sides. She says: “The will help every aspect of their feeling you get when your baby development.” “Definitely give it a go. Sing and signs to you letting you know Sign has been running for 12 what they want is unbelievable Parents around the country are years nationally, so it must work.” singing the same tune because Sing and Sign classes won top prize

If the sound of Rhythm Time appeals to you, visit rhthymtime.net to find your nearest class in the city

If Sing and Sign sounds like something you and your little one could enjoy, visit www.singandsign.com for more information Family Life | Issue 1 | 5


Image courtesy of lazygamer

Vist www.firstdirectarena.com for more information

Family Events Say goodbye to JLS on their farewell tour. Catch them at the arena on 20/12/2013. Tickets start at £29.50. Disney is coming to Leeds in March 2014. Take the family to see Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy at the arena for just £16.00 each. Celebrate Christmas all over again on Boxing Day as you watch Peter Pan: The Neverending Story. Tickets start at £24.00.

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Treat your family to a great night out at Leeds’ brand new arena or take a night off from parent duty and spend some quality time with your partner.

Parent’s Night Out Have a night of laughs watching funny man Russell Howard on his ‘Wonderbox’ tour. The comedian is coming to the arena in March 2014. Practice your dazzling moves whilst watching the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour. Buy tickets now for the show coming in January 2014. Relight the fire and go and see Gary Barlow playing at the first direct arena in April 2014.


By Alex Harter

Family Life | Issue 1 | 7


What’s Happening

Tucked away in Leeds’ Corn Exchange; nestled amongst restaurants, beauty salons and vintage boutiques is where you will find Mummy & Little Me. The unique shop provides expectant mothers with an array of maternity wear designed to flatter anyone’s shape as well as anything your new-born will ever need. Cofounder, Vicky Denby speaks on the business’s highs, lows and where it all began… When walking into the Corn Exchange, you’re blown away by how magnificent it all is. The archaic building, completed in 1864 by Cuthbert Brodrick, is one of the only three Corn Exchanges in the country and operates, traditionally, as a centre of trade. Situated next to The Gift Closet and the Little Pink Jewellery House, Mummy & Little Me fits in very well. Vicky Denby says: “The corn exchange was the most beautiful building I had

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ever seen. It only had two retailers in when we moved in three years ago but the rent reflected the risk so we went for it. Leeds is a lovely city and not too far from our base in Lincoln so it all made sense.” The idea to start the maternity and babywear shop all began when Denby, along with fellow Lincoln mother Tracy Tate, decided at the end of their maternity leave that they didn’t want to work for anyone else again. Spotting a gap in the market in 2006, the pair bravely opened their first branch in Lincoln and two months later the store went online. Setting up and establishing themselves as a business online wasn’t easy in the beginning. The progress started of slow; that was until, however, the duo saw the benefits of Google Adwords. “We suddenly realised there was a whole world out there to sell to, not just Lincoln

customers. We invested in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) back in 2007 and made it our mission to be on Google page 1 for our products.” With the Trinity Shopping Centre opening earlier this year, Denby predicted an influx of customers with the opening of the Trinity shopping centre earlier this year, but after Anthony’s Restaurant closed down, the Corn Exchange has seen fewer visitors in recent months. “I always thought it [Trinity] would have brought more people to Leeds for day visits. However, I’m sorry to say it has had a negative impact along with Anthony’s restaurant closing downstairs which was a disaster. The Corn Exchange needs some help; it needs someone exciting to open downstairs [in the restaurant] and some strong management to guide it through these hard times.” Vicky admits that times get tough juggling a business and


What’s Happening a young family but Mummy & Little Me has had its fair share of success as well. In 2011, the boutique received a nomination in Prima Baby’s Fashion Awards for best small independent baby retailer. “Getting shortlisted was exciting, surprising and fun, unfortunately prima was taken by a new company the next year and they dropped the awards so we couldn’t enter again which was a shame.” In terms of their website, Mummy & Little Me don’t just offer their extensive product range, which the co-founder describes as “everything a yummy mummy could want and need”, Mummy & Little Me also provide pregnancy advice from medical experts as well as entertaining stories from their customers in the company’s very own blog. “We are always looking for more writers to contribute, we want to eventually have every pregnancy topic covered so customers can come for advice as well as shopping.” The Leeds branch has an undeniable warm feel to it with the modern space filled with flourishes of feminine detail and it is clear to see that every aspect of the shop has been taken into consideration to ensure that customers feel special. The store isn’t planning on slowing down soon either with a quite a few new projects on the horizon. “We have just teamed up with a very experienced midwife and GP so from January onwards we will be offering pregnancy care weekends in conjunction

with Champneys. We are very excited about these weekends and we had a few celebrities come to a taster weekend last month so we could show them what it’s all about.” The business’s work with Champneys Springs in Leicestershire offers essential pregnancy care and wellbeing all in one weekend. The retreats are led by midwives and aim to be a relaxing and tranquil break for mums-tobe. For more information on these retreats, products, or for pregnancy advice on their blog please visit

www.mummyandlittleme.co.uk

Family Life | Issue 1 | 9


Health and Wellbeing

Diet Do’s and Don’ts By Andrew Briggs

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is necessary for the health and well-being of you and your baby when you are expecting. Every mother experiences those nine months of crammed information, opinions and televised debates. It can get hard on who to listen to and what advice to take for the sake of your child’s growth. From Katie Hopkins objecting to attached parenting saying it is “new age nonsense”, to a top toxicology professor from the Royal College Royal of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists declaring that women should not expose themselves to paint fumes and they should avoid buying new fabrics, furniture, and even non-stick frying pans as these could all be potentially dangerous to women when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Image courtesy of rifqi dahlgren

Different ideas of what is right and wrong for the development of your child are constantly being put forward for debate but each statement tends to contradict the other. There are a certain amount of tips and tricks that are proven to be beneficial and they are all here for you and your baby during this very important time in both your family’s life.

Don’t

Do

Consume alcohol. Any intake of alcohol during a pregnancy can seriously damage the development of the baby. Birth defects, premature births and mental health problems have all been linked to alcohol.

Vary your diet. Bread and grain, dairy, protein and fruit and vegetables are all important component in balanced diet making you a healthier person. According to the NHS, more than 20% of babies are born underweight due to them lacking nutrients that their mothers are not receiving enough of.

Eat any mould, ripened or soft cheeses. Cheese made with mould can cause listeriosis in your child. Women are more at risk of getting the bacterial infection when pregnant. This is due to the fact that whilst carrying a baby, the immune system changes so that its main purpose is to protect the child. Overdo it on the junk food. As well as increasing both you and your child’s cholesterol level, large amounts of fatty and sugar fuelled foods increase insulin and glucose levels which can lead to diabetes for the baby.

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Factor iron and calcium into your diet. Iron and calcium are highly important in helping prevent neural tube defects. These defects affect part of your child’s development in the brain and spinal cord. Take pre-natal supplements. Vitamins recommended by your midwife are helpful and support your daily intake of nutrients.


Embrace the family fun at Leeds City Museum. Exhibition displays, interactive areas and toddler town are sure to give everyone an entertaining and educative day. Take part in craft activities at Rory’s Saturday Club or book a Tiny Tigers Party for your little one.

Image courtesy of bevolee

Go on a journey you’ll never forget and explore the magic within the museum’s realms.


Pure Organic Inspiration Nicole Hallam, aged 36, has always lived a life of adventure but after having her baby boy, she was inspired to embark on a completely new journey and has not looked back since... By Ciamhne Boakye

Where it all began

After graduating from the University of Leeds in 1998 with a degree in Geography, Nicole was unsure of what she wanted to do as a career; “I’m sure many young people feel this way,” she says. It was then that she decided a little adventure was in order and so she applied for the European Integration Scheme, an EU funded work placement in Germany. To Nicole’s surprise, she was chosen for the program. “I could not believe it when I was accepted as hundreds of people had applied.”

Settling down

Having children makes you take stock of your life and realise what you are really searching for in order to feel complete and happy

Adventure continues A few months after enjoying Frankfurt to the fullest, Nicole returned to the UK and began working at a stockbrokers. Although she enjoyed the environment, she did not feel completely fulfilled and felt there was different challenge that she could tackle so she applied to Leeds University to begin a PGCE and has now been a teacher for over ten years.” But true to Nicole’s nature, adventure beckoned once

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again not long after completing her PGCE. Learning of the opportunities teaching could bring to her life, Nicole searched for work in Dubai and did not think twice. “I worked in Dubai for two years and it was such a fantastic experience along with some unforgettable memories. It turned out I met my husband, who worked at the same school, on my first flight there.”

When their contracts in Dubai were up, Nicole and her husband, Dave, called Kuwait home and whilst they were settled there, Nicole completed her first degree in Reiki, a spiritual practice that is a form of alternative medicine. Nicole says of this decision: “I have always had a very holistic approach to life; something I probably got from my mother.” After nine blissful months, the couple returned to the UK, bought a house and set up camp in Leeds. Still enjoying her role as a teacher, Nicole continued teaching primary school for three years whilst still grabbing every opportunity she could get her hands on like completing a second degree in Reiki and going on to attend courses in aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage and body massage.


Real Life

Family life

So far it seemed no adventure, test or obstacle could unnerve Nicole but In December 2012, she took on her biggest challenge yet. “My gorgeous baby boy was born and he became my inspiration to start my organic skincare product range: ‘Pure Organic Heaven Limited’.” Being someone who loved their job and had job security, a common necessity for every family with a newborn, Nicole’s decision may be shocking to some. But Nicole’s reasoning makes it clear that at the heart of her business is what is at the heart of every parent; her child. “When my little boy, Rhys, was born I did not want to use any chemical based products on his delicate skin. The hospital had also advised us not to use chemical, petroleum based products on our baby as these can cause skin rashes and eczema. I was certain that I would only use natural and organic products but the cost of them meant that I was unable to afford items such as organic nappy balm and organic moisturiser for my baby.”

The process

After feeling frustrated with the lack of products available, the new mum realised there was a gap in the market for premium organic products that don’t cost families the Earth. Past experiences had proved that Nicole is pretty much fearless but when it came to Pure Organic Heaven, she knew she was going to need more than guts in the risk she was about to take. “The first thing I did to start the process was attend a course in London where I learnt about how to make natural skincare products. The class was so motivational and gave me the

Don’t miss out

Nicole will be showing off her latest products at Briggate’s Christmas market on the 18th and 21st December.

to create, testing requirements and everything that comes with that. It has then taken months of experimenting with different oils to get the products perfect.”

Support system biggest push in regards to giving me the confidence and knowledge to begin to turn my dream into reality. The course leader was so knowledgeable and passionate about natural skincare products. He gave me advice about the benefits of different oils, which helped me to decide what I should include in my products, especially the eczema product. I created the Cherub Nappy Balm, a heavenly healing balm, and within a day Rhys’s eczema had disappeared. It has also helped to ease and heal skin complaints on other people who have sampled it. Other products Nicole has created include: Heaven Scent Hand Balm, an intensive hand moisturiser. Divine Radiance, a moisturiser which gives women a radiant glow. Get Fresh, a moisturiser ensuring a fresher complexion for men. Eye Zinger & Radiant Eye Revive for men and women , a cooling eye gel to make them feel and more refreshed. Although Pure Organic Heaven has been a thrilling ride, Nicole is not shy about revealing the hardships that come with starting up your own business. She admits: “The process has taken a lot longer than I anticipated. It started with me initially researching everything from the market, potential competition and suppliers for my ingredients. This information slowly but surely helped me decide which products

Luckily, Nicole’s biggest supporters are a constant presence in her life. “My husband and parents have been extremely supportive throughout this whole process. I try to snatch any time I can during the day whilst Rhys sleeps or when my parents are looking after him and I often find myself staying up until midnight doing work. It must be said though that it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy what I am doing. Pure Organic Heaven feels more like a hobby of mine.”

Pure organic life

In the future, Nicole hopes to expand her range of products and provide customers with high quality, organic skincare products that don’t pull too hard on your purse strings. When it comes to Pure Organic Heaven, Nicole has no regrets. “It is very difficult to get things done when you have a little one demanding your attention most of the time but if any parent has a dream and wants to make it a reality, I say go for it. In life I do think that you regret the things you don’t do and I’m a firm believer in following your heart. Having children makes you take stock of your life and realise what you are really searching for in order to feel complete and happy.”

For more information on the products, email http://pureorganicheaven@ folksy.com

Family Life | Issue 1 | 13


What’s Happening

Activities to save

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inding activities that will be enjoyable for the whole family is a difficult thing at the best of the times but when the weather decides to take a turn for the worst, the search quickly becomes a painful chore. Here are some fun outings around the city that your family can find unlimited fun with.

A day out to the Leeds City Museum will be a trip you and your little ones will not forget. You can come face-to-face with the Leeds Tiger, step into the Ancient World or dig for discoveries in the Life on Earth gallery. And with free entry for all the family, how could you resist? Visit: http://www.leedsmuseum.co.uk/ for more information.

With so much on offer from Junior Fitness Classes, Gymnastics Classes and Fencing Classes to a 25 metre pool, the whole family will be sure to have fun at the Kirkstall Leisure Centre without breaking the bank. The leisure centre is also a popular venue for children’s parties so it has everything to ensure you and your family get the most out of it.

Images courtesy of bevolee & EG focus

Find out more at: lsp.kirkstall.sport@leeds.gov.uk

You can take full advantage of My Munchkins as it is open from 9:00am to 3:00 pm all day every day. The staff are more than happy to cater to your needs providing a wide range of hot and cold foods to choose from, disabled access, private party services, baby changing facilities and an under-2’s specific play area. Make sure to keep a look out for special offers on the website: www.mymunchkins.co.uk


for a rainy day By Ciamhne Boakye

The Works Skatepark is the leading Skatepark in the UK, catering for skateboard, BMX and inline skating. The 25,000 square foot indoor park contains high quality ramps and obstacles and is split into several sections catering for both beginner and advanced riders and skaters. Do not worry if you are not a professional skater. Non-members of the skate park only have to pay £17.00 to have access to all of the activities all day. Don’t let the rain dampen your spirit and skate on at The Works Skatepark. Find more information on their website: www.theworksskatepark.co.uk

Voted ‘Best Soft Play’ in West Yorkshire by Mamas and Papas customers, Go Hyper offers a stimulating experience for children even when the sun isn’t shining. With two separate play zones, Go Hyper is designed to provide fun and activity in a safe environment for pre-walkers and children up to the age of 12 years old. The play area is packed full of exciting features including a fierce four lane slide, a spooky spiral slide and many more fun and challenging obstacles for the family to get stuck into. Adults can feel free to join in the fun or sit back and relax. Visit the website for more details: www.gohyper.co.uk In the Trinity Centre, the Everyman cinema offers a comfortable and affordable experience for the whole family. Baby club runs every Wednesday and Kids club runs every Saturday for children up to 12 years old. Tickets are just £2.50 per child and free entry for one accompanying adult. After the film, the family can enjoy the 100 seat pizzeria serving a range of pizzas, pastas, grills, salads and kids meals.


Dad’s Corner

Daddy’s Secret Escape By Andrew Briggs

Some of the dads don’t get to socialise with other families apart from when they come here

Whether it is baby yoga or aquanatal, there are plenty of classes to attend for mother and baby in the city of Leeds but when the mother is being provided with a varied range of innovative activities to share with her child, where is the dad to go? Enter Health for All. Health for all is a Leeds based charity whose aim is to “provide services to individuals, families and communities across the city”. The rare organisation runs an assortment of different projects in order to help the people of the city; one of which is ‘Menspace’.

NO MUMS ALLOWED Ssshhh! JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE CLUB

Menspace is an organisation that welcomes Fathers and their children to enjoy quality time together and socialise with others that are in their position. At the helm of Menspace is Richard Lancaster, 51, from Adel, Leeds, and the project’s aim is purely to help the men in the family. What started off in the

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two willows nursery in Beeston, with only two fathers and three children, Menspace is now seen today as a helpful sanctuary for many fathers and up to forty children. The organisation tries to constantly offer something for their audience. Throughout two spacious rooms, members of Menspace can be entertained by the sandpit, play mat, table football, a Wii, air hockey and an array of books as well as an outside play area. Martin Chadwick works alongside Lancaster in making sure all needs are catered for, for dads and their children. With bacon sandwiches on the go, a busty amount of biscuits and a constant stream of tea and coffee, the smiles never leave the family’s faces. Chadwick says: “When we started out we went through two packs of bacon; last week we needed fifteen. Richard used to make the food and the drinks by himself but now all the dads feel comfortable enough to


It gives me the chance to socialise with other dads and, most importantly, it allows me to spend quality time with my children

It is because of Lancaster’s determination and faith that Menspace has been given a chance to give something back to the family men in and around Leeds. He is not afraid to express how important he feels the organisation is. “Some of the dads don’t get to socialise with other families apart from when they come here,” the local founder said. “Kids and their fathers walk through the door shy initially but two or three weeks down the line, the children are bouncing around the place and the dads are discussing events of the week together. It really is wonderful to see.”

do it.”

Dad’s Corner

Menspace. Devereux is now a Menspace volunteer and the current Wii champion of the group, helping in any way he can and has been doing so for nearly three years. “It gives me the chance to socialise with other dads and, most importantly, it allows me to spend quality time with my children.”

Menspace is funded by the Henry Smith Charity and receives £30,000 annually. Chadwick is also a dad that enjoys Richard said that rather than him picking what the money the the benefits of Menspace. group get is spent on he just tells the children and the dads “Having just moved house, my and let them choose. son Robert wouldn’t have known anybody to play out with during “It isn’t me who the money his school holidays whilst he was is there for so why should I staying with me but because decide what the children want?” we attended Men’s Space, we It was apparent he would do go to know a fellow member anything to include them and who, Brendan, and his son who happened to live just behind me. It make them feel part of what they have helped to create. couldn’t have worked out better.” Brendan Devereux, 33, shared Chadwick’s hopes when first visiting the organisation. He was desperately searching for something he and his three children could enjoy together.

There was never a dull moment with children running around, playing and everything you would expect to see young children doing, enjoying themselves.

“I went along to some of the mother and baby classes as I didn’t want my son to miss out,” Devereux explains. “Although the classes aren’t strictly for mother and babies only, no men ever attended.”

Menspace’s door is always open for anyone that wishes to attend and the sessions are completely free.

After feeling isolated for quite a while in the sessions, the father of three eventually found out about

Five things you need to know about Health for All

1

Health for All has worked to support disadvantaged families since 1991.

2

The local charity provides a range of support groups for parents with young children in south Leeds as well as offering support for children affected by domestic violence and poor mental health.

3

Partnering with Health & Early Years professionals led to summer play schemes organised for children by the charity.

4

Health for All works to ensure that every department of the charity offers a seamless service to children around the city, in particular those experiencing isolation and deprivation.

5

The charity engages inactive children in enjoyable, sustainable physical activity.

Classes are available at the Two Willows Children’s Centre and Middleton Children’s Centre.

Family Life | Issue 1 | 17


After finding herself single in the early stages of her pregnancy late last year, Daniella Moncrieff, 27, felt vulnerable and alone. When trawling the web for information on being pregnant, Daniella could only find help that was tailored to a couple. This gave her the idea to start a blog to create a support network for single mums-to-be everywhere. The mother who manages the blog, the business and the baby, shares her story... By Alex Harter

W

When stumbling upon the ‘Bump and Me’ blog, it may look like your average pregnancy blog but it doesn’t take long for Daniella’s story to catch the eye. Daniella is so open and honest from the very beginning revealing her innermost secrets and fears.

very first birthday, Ms Moncrieff is carrying on with blogging and developing a Bump & Me iPhone app.

The single mum was happily engaged and barely two weeks pregnant when her partner left her abruptly leaving her to go it alone.

Blissfully besotted with her baby boy, it is hard to believe that this well put together woman has had a tough time juggling things.

It is not all doom and gloom though because Moncrieff’s blog hasn’t let that affect her outlook on family life. Loving, lively and light hearted pieces fill the spaces of the blog giving advice to women every step of the way during pregnancy from fashion, diet tips and so much more.

“It’s all about balance. It is hard but you just power through. I think when you become a mother you also develop these super human powers of being able to survive on very little sleep,” she laughs. “I suppose the loneliness I felt throughout my pregnancy was the hardest, not because I didn’t have the support from my friends and family, but because I felt no one could relate or understand. Hence the reason I started my blog.”

Moncrieff says: “I started Bump & Me as a support network but over time, my blog has become a great place to find tips and tricks for all mums-to-be that you won’t find in the books or from your midwife.” Now raising a healthy baby boy, Jasper, who is approaching his

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shy away from admitting that her journey hasn’t always been an easy one.

Support is definitely Daniella’s mantra and the number one top tip she recommends to any woman who finds herself in a similar situation. She doesn’t

“Don’t be under any illusions that it’s easy, because it’s not. Try to build a supportive network of people, whether it is with family, friends or through classes you attend. I have an amazing mum.” When it comes to the development of the Bump & Me iPhone app, Daniella remains very modest as she sees she has a long way to go before she can call herself successful. “The Bump & Me app is designed to make you feel reassured and look fantastic throughout your entire pregnancy. It prides itself on that the entire app is dedicated to just you and your bump.” The app includes features such as ultra-modern 3D fetal development images, daily development and progress information and the latest advice for all mums-to-be. After first researching into what else was out there in the iPhone


Be Inspired

app store relating to pregnancy, Daniella spied the gap in the market that gave her the light bulb moment for her very own app. “It was quite a risk, ploughing most of my savings into it as I was about to be a single mum, but I decided to go for it. I found a company to develop the app with my ideas and design; six months later Bump & Me was born.” Before Jasper arrived, Moncrieff blogged about all things fashion and beauty related and now that the new

Don’t be under any illusions that it’s easy, because it’s not

because she hasn’t let anything slow down her drive and still, with all her success she declares her biggest achievement to be Jasper.

addition is well and truly in her life, Bump & Me posts also consist of nutrition and products catered for all mums to be. The inspirational mum is not stopping there either and has big plans for the future. With the hope of launching her very own maternity brand, it is clear to see why Daniella Moncrieff is Mum of the Moment

www.bumpandme.co.uk Family Life | Issue 1 | 19


Family Life Magazine Leeds  

Local Leeds modern family lifestyle magazine developed by journalism students at Leeds Metropolitan University

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