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We can hardly believe that it’s this time of year again, it seems like only yesterday we were wishing you all a wonderful summer and here we are, getting ready for Christmas! There’s lots of fun to be had in the lead up to Christmas and New Year and you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied over the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Make sure to check the What’s On for a whole host of festive treats and keep checking our website for any additional events that are going on in the local area. One tradition at this time of year is the Pantomime, so we’ve included a guide for you so you don’t miss out as well as a few fun recipes you can try! With everything from VE Day anniversary celebrations and the Mayflower 400 amongst other things being celebrated in 2020, we think it is going to be a very exciting year, so for now, enjoy this final edition of Family Matters for 2019, we’ll see you in 2020, have a great Christmas and a happy New Year – whatever your plans.

p8 fun things to do this Christmas




Published by Ignyte Media Ltd - email: info@ignyte-uk.co.uk call: 01761 410141 While every care has been taken to ensure the data contained in the publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Ignyte do not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system in any form without the prior permission of the publisher.

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Christmas doesn’t have to be an expensive time of year. By setting yourself an affordable budget and sticking to it you’ll be able to start the New Year without mountains of unplanned debt. Use our tips to help you make the most of your money.



Estimate the cost of each present and check that the total is within your budget. Stick to your list. Sounds simple, but it’s easy to get carried away when Christmas lights are twinkling and the displays entice you to buy everything.

See if you can find one or two areas where you can make savings, eg packed lunches for you or your children, or cancelling a gym or magazine membership which you’re not using.

If you’re buying online remember to budget for delivery costs and try and consolidate your shopping to get the best delivery prices.




Some things are best paid for early to get the best deals, for example travel, and others best to leave until the last minute, such as stocking fillers.

You can find vouchers in magazines and voucher codes online. If there is space to enter a discount code, always search for one.

Different retailers, as well as internet and shop prices, often differ. Price comparison websites can be useful but use more than one source to get a full range of price information.

DON’T BE TEMPTED Two-for-one, three-for-two, mixand-match or other enticing offers are there to tempt you. Check the original prices to make sure that they really are value for money. And only buy them if you really need them.


If you are getting benefits, did you know you may be entitled to a Christmas bonus? And if you don’t currently get benefits, find out if you should be. See the direct.gov website for more information. If you are planning to borrow to help pay for Christmas then make sure to research your options. You can find information for credit cards and loans from comparison websites.

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Everyone talks about looking out for hedgehogs over bonfire night and spotting newly born lambs in spring, but there are plenty of other creatures you can spot throughout the winter months while out and about. We thought we’d give you the lowdown on the British wildlife you can see at this time of year, so that when you’re out exploring and enjoying bracing winter walks, you know what to look out for.



If you’re lucky enough to live in the more marshy and open areas of Somerset you might manage to see the starling murmuration as dusk starts to creep in. These murmurations look like beautiful dance performances in the sky as the starlings start to return to their nests.

No doubt these guys will be hanging around your gardens, school grounds and in hedgerows as you make your way from place to place. They have a distinctive song and are cute, colourful birds, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Owls You don’t even need to stay up late to catch sight of one of Britain’s owl species, some of them hunt during the day! One such owl is the short eared owl that you’ll find near wetter ground. Otherwise keep a look out for barn owls and tawny owls, especially if you have a shed or barn nearby.

Foxes You might hear them rather than see them, but foxes like to scream around this time of year!

Grey squirrels

Woodpeckers You don’t even need to be somewhere particularly rural to spot a Green Woodpecker, they’re most commonly seen in January and February and feed off the ground so you might be lucky enough to spot them.

While you might think that they hibernate during winter, squirrels are actually pretty active during the colder months, you’ll find them in wooded areas particularly.

If you spot any of these while out and about this winter, we’d love to know, drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter! @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |

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FU N THING S TO D O WITH TH rate Whether or not you celeb tting the day itself or you’re cu an me ’t down this year, doesn of you have to endure a case is FOMO while everyone else h wit dia me bombarding social e y’r the photos of the great time having. We’ve put together a list of fun things you can s do with the whole family thi ’re winter season whether you ng on a budget or you’re avoidi Christmas entirely.

Build a snow man

Well… This one might be a bit weather dependent, but if it snows and it is safe for you to go out and enjoy yourself, building a little snow family is always fun!

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Snuggle up with a hot chocolate or other festive drink You can find plenty of spiced, festive drinks suitable for the kids and the parents at supermarkets throughout the winter months. As the nights draw in and it starts to get colder, why not make evenings a special time by cuddling up together with a warm drink and talking together? It’s a low cost way to spend time together and it isn’t overly Christmassy for those of you that don’t celebrate the holidays.

Go to the Panto It’s a British winter tradition and with moving around and joining in being encouraged, it’s the ideal thing to experience together as a family! In this issue, we’ve even put together a handy guide of what shows are on where for you!

Make treats

At this time of year, you can’t escape cinnamon, apples and raisins and baking is always a great way to spend time together – plus, making stuff is always better if you can eat it afterwards! Why not make Christmas themed sweet treats or just seasonal ones, you can even leave them out for Santa as a little thank you on Christmas Eve!

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Build blanket forts

It is a universally ackn are much better than w Why don’t you get the roles to make the best f cuddle up and watch a Plus, after the kids have can hide away in them

Go searching for th neighbourhood ligh

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Track Father Christmas


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Put together a care package

ugh to have nice While we might be lucky eno ty to do all the uni ort warm homes and the opp is. If you can, e yon things listed here, not ever kage for your pac e why not put together a car which you rity cha s local food bank or homeles ating? It is don ore bef can plan and fill together all. the season of goodwill after

Decorate the house

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, getting some winter themed décor going on is always fun, even if it’s just putting some throws on the sofas for when it starts to get chilly. You could make it fun by getting the kids involved with making the house look festive and if you do Christmas, you could get them to make their own decorations for the tree and then display them all.

Play party games

There is always a bit of a par ty atmosphere at this time of yea r, so join in by playing some party gam es. Either use a board game you have lying around or consult the internet for som e other fun suggestions, like a Christmas themed pin the tail on the donkey or a festive Who Do You Think You Are style gam e.

Do you have any other suggestions of fun things to do at this time of year? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, you can find us @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |

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TWEENAGER? TWEENAGER? It seems that children are growing up more quickly than they used to. These days it isn’t unusual to see eight year olds getting interested in make-up tutorials and toddlers knowing their way around an iPad better than you do. For parents, the transition from child to teenager isn’t as gradual as it used to be. If you have what is commonly known as a ‘tweenager’ you’ll already know this, but if you’re not sure or you think that your own child might be entering this phase, here are a few tips to make the whole thing a bit easier. It can be difficult for parents to not get frustrated when their formerly pleasant child suddenly becomes sarcastic and starts pushing the boundaries. You might worry that children are completely aware of how they’re behaving – but that’s not always the case. Science suggests that most kids aren’t aware of how they come across and this is all down to the changes in their brains as they start to mature and develop into teenagers – so don’t take it to heart, but do keep a check on it in case their change in behaviour is stemming from an issue such as bullying.

What can you do about it?

Classic tween symptoms:

Background photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com

Do you have a....

Not listening Answering back Refusing to do as they’re told Swearing Keeping secrets If you answer ed yes to thes e, then congratulatio ns, the tween stage has hit!

Firstly, don’t panic and don’t judge – you were like this once too! If you have a child who doesn’t listen to anything you say make sure to talk to them calmly and without raising your voice, if you nag them they’ll tune out and if you get angry they’ll get defensive. Maintain eye contact and show by your language and tone that you mean what you say. If they start answering you back or being cheeky make sure that you use the same technique when letting them know what is acceptable. Understand that they are becoming their own person and they want to figure themselves out, but at the same time, you are still the parents and what you say goes. Are they starting to use swear words or other language that you don’t like? Make sure to check they haven’t learned it from home and curb your own language if they are within hearing distance whilst making sure they know it won’t be tolerated while they’re at home.

Do you have any suggestions for parents experiencing this for the first time? Share them on Facebook and Twitter, @ukfamilymatters

HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME Not everyone wants to be that person who transforms the outside of their home into Blackpool Illuminations for two months every year. Especially with high energy costs and environmental issues, it is hardly the most sensible of ideas. Everyone does, however, need a boost, and each year Christmas provides the perfect excuse to be full of joy. Regardless of budget, there are plenty of ways to bring Christmas into your homes this year.


Bearing in mind what we have just mentioned about the environment and single use items, it is useful to find ways to decorate your home the ‘green’ way. Festive foliage is a great starting point for this. Pine cones, ivy and bits of fern can all easily be gathered at this time of year and they really create a great Christmas environment. You can also be a bit creative yourself and stray away from these age-old traditions with other plants and greenery.


Nothing beats sitting around a warm fire with the family at Christmas, watching the same films you watch every year. These movies have now simply become ingrained within our Christmas experience. What would Christmas be without Home Alone? To encourage this family time, it is imperative that you are able to create a great environment in your lounge. If you have a fireplace, then use some of these tips

Christmassy to make it nice and Christmassy. Put down a heavy rug and have blankets and pillows at the ready. Candles and mood lighting can also add to the ambience, with one option being fairy lights. Get lots of good snacks in and settle down for many evenings of relaxation.


Another great way to get the family together is at mealtimes. Many of us look forward to our Christmas dinner more than anything else, but meals throughout the whole holiday can be an event, too. In the same way that you made your living room nice and Christmassy, you can also brighten your dining room up with some choice lighting and tasteful decorations. Having a centrepiece is always a great place to start, so why not bring the candelabras out early. Crackers may be going a step too far, but taking some time to make mealtimes an event will truly help to create a great atmosphere. No-one will be expecting turkey every night, but designing a fun weekly menu may help to get the kids involved too.


Even if you don’t want to push the national grid to its limits, having a nice wreath and a few other decorations on your front and back doors can provide a nice welcome into the festive environment that awaits you. By following some of these simple steps, you can have your house primed and ready for the Christmas period.

Take 10 minutes on Christmas Eve to sit with the children and read this traditional, well loved poem together.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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Twas the Night before Christmas


Skate from only £5.99 on our real Ice Rink located at our Lacock site.


kate here at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock this Christmas. This activity is great for all ages. Join us for our disco nights every Friday & Saturday at 6:00pm and 7:00pm, or why not join us for our beginners nights every Monday at 5:00pm & 6:00pm. Skate with Olaf or Buzz Lightyear every Wednesday & Thursday at 5:00pm and 6:00pm. Once your skating session has finished why not visit our Ice Cafe for delicious hot food and drinks.


Bring your little ones along to enjoy a magical experience that will make their Christmas one to remember & meet our real life Nativity Animals! Adult: £2.99 / Child: £14.99 Tickets can be purchased online at: www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk

FESTIVE FOOD ESSENTIALS Entertain this Christmas with our delicious array of seasonal food and drink, or why not leave the cooking at home this festive season and dine with us in style in one of our restaurants.

Discover more in store and shop online at www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk

Mistletoe, ÂŁ5.99 each


House plants are a festive house decoration too! Bring the garden colour inside with these popular festive plants.

become the top interior trend of 2019. They are

and also add a touch of festive colour to your home at Christmas, as well as being a brilliant Christmas present!

HOUSE PLANTS! Here at Whitehall Garden Centres we have a large selection of houseplants for all. We have plants for small & large spaces, for hanging, windows & shelves or for decorative pots. Visit us in store to choose from a wide selection this Christmas.

Perfectly Potted Poinsettias!

5 OF THE BEST FESTIVE HOUSE PLANTS . Poinsettia: perfect for any window, from each . Succulents:

each . Orchid: A great all year round each . Cyclemen: Small yet attractive house plants each . Amaryllis: each

Shop online at: www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk

what’s on Until the 24th December Father Christmas at Whitehall The Father Christmas Grotto Experience includes a festive story read by Father Christmas. Guests also meet his Elves and real reindeer. In addition to this, each child ticket includes a present, which they can personally choose. As a reminder of your visit, they will also receive a mini Christmas tree and badge. This is an extremely popular attraction. We would strongly recommend booking in advance. Whitehall Garden Centres, Lacock and Whitchurch. Weekends during 7th – 22nd December Elves' Workshop Free family event at The Galleries shopping centre, Bristol. The Elves' Workshop will be taking place between 11am and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Each session will offer a different activity, giving little ones the chance to see what it really takes to be Santa’s assistant. Selected sessions will be pre-bookable via www.galleriesbristol.co.uk.

Until the 30th December Christmas at Stourhead For the very first time at Stourhead the tree-tops will glisten and the gardens will shimmer and sparkle. It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year to wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in seasonal colour and dripping with shards of light, frosty snowflakes, stars and baubles Stourhead, National Trust, Wiltshire.

Until the 5th January 2020 Ice Skating at Whitehall Skate at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock this Christmas. This activity is great for all ages, join in on the disco nights every Fri & Sat at 6:00pm and 7:00pm, or why not join in on the beginners' nights every Monday. Skate with Olaf or Buzz Lightyear every Wed & Thurs. Once your skating session has finished why not visit the Ice Cafè for delicious hot food and drinks.

8th December Meet the Ponies Come and enjoy Christmas mulled wine, mince pies and meet the ponies. Glenda Spooner Farm, Kingsdon.

8th, 14th,15th, 21st and 22nd December Meet Father and Mother Christmas Each child will get individual time with Father Christmas, and of course, a gift! Tickets for Father Christmas can be purchased online and always sell out in advance. The Bishop's Palace, Wells. 13th - 22nd December Jolly Midwinter Merriment The Court and formal garden will be sparkling and festive with music, dancing and activities for all. Enjoy the more relaxed ambiance on Fridays and Mondays, or family fun on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December. Barrington Court, Somerset.

For further information about each event

14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December Father Christmas at Barrington Court Meet Father Christmas in his atmospheric study; he'll have a quality gift for each child who books in to see him. Catch him while you can! He'll be in residence (weekends only) throughout December from 11am until 3pm. Barrington Court, Somerset.

19th - 22nd December Supper with Santa Would your little one love to have supper with Santa? This sell-out event includes a buffet tea, ice cream, a funky disco and a present from Santa! Puxton Park.

20th December Christmas Party at Hullabaloo Meet Santa, disco, Face painting, and much more. Christmas Tea included and a licensed bar. Hullabaloo Jungle Play, Shepton Mallet. 20th December - 1st January 2020 The Lord of Misrule returns to Montacute House (except 24th and 25th December), 3 - 6pm. No two days will be the same with the Lord of Misrule presiding over the celebrations, as he would have done in Christmases past. He will be popping up everywhere and anywhere, telling stories and spreading mischief. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacutehouse. 21st December A Christmas Carol Wells Theatre Company will be performing a costumed reading of Dickens' atmospheric tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the Entrance Hall of the Palace at 11am and 2pm. The shows will involve costumed actors, musicians and carol singers bringing this timeless tale to life in a wholly unique way around the medieval fireplace of the stunning Entrance Hall. The Bishops' Palace, Wells.

21st - 30th December Cinderella Don't miss this year's funfilled, family pantomime Cinderella brought to you by Moorlight Theatre Production. Book your tickets at www. moorlighttheatreproductions. co.uk. Meyer Theatre, Millfield School, Street.

23rd December Cale Park Christmas Party Christmas themed party with music, games and prizes suitable for all ages on Monday 23rd December. Cemetery Lane, Wincanton. 31st December Family New Year's Eve See in the big 2020 at Almondsbury Creative! All four rooms in action, with plenty of things to do for all the family, including a live performance by the amazing Soul Strutters. All tickets include a complementary meal with the delicious 'Taste of America' buffet serving you up a slice of the New World. www.almondsburycreative.com. Almondsbury.

31st December New Year's Eve Fireworks Make your New Year spectacular and welcome 2020 in style. Longleat, Wiltshire.

4th, 11th, 18th and 25th January 2020 Goat Walks Banish those January blues, and come have some fun at Hope Nature Centre! On Saturdays throughout January, where you can take the resident goats on a walk around our Animal Park. After you’ve taken them ‘out and about’, you can help feed them, alongside the sheep too. Hope Nature Centre, Trowbridge.

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Forget New Year New You, we say it every year and we feel motivated all the way up until maybe the second week in January, when we realise we’re far too tired to start trying to change our habits right now. Sound familiar? It’s the same for many of us, which is why New Year’s Resolutions tend to fall by the wayside, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers suggest that only one in every ten people who set themselves goals at the beginning of the year actually accomplish them by the following December, but as its also fact that you can change a habit in less than a month, settling on and achieving a goal is completely possible – as long as you choose something that is manageable. Will you be fluent in a new language by the end of next year? Unlikely, but will you be able to hold a conversation? Probably – if you are able to dedicate the time to study and practice. Will you have played your first gig? Of course, if you are able to do the leg work and get your name out there. Could you build muscle or make healthier life style choices? Absolutely. The point we’re making is that it is easier to achieve something if it is obtainable and manageable and the best way to do this is to start off by choosing your goal and then breaking it down into chunks with a deadline for each milestone. That way, there isn’t a huge pressure and you can actually take your time to make the changes that

you want. For instance, if you want to get healthier, why not start by promising you’ll go for a walk once a week, then twice a week, then you’ll go jogging, then running and by next year, you’ll be fit, healthy and signing up for a marathon! Or what about learning how to knit? Start off by figuring out how to hold the needles, then making a few stiches before moving onto patterns. There’s no point in deciding to just jump into making a jumper, you’ll just get disheartened. Don’t feel boxed in either, sometimes we fail at sticking to resolutions because we’re pressured into doing what everyone else does. It isn’t all about learning new skills or getting fit – it can just as easily be able having a more positive outlook, making time for yourself or even challenging yourself to watch films / T V outside your comfort zone. Choosing smaller steps to get to where you want to be will help make the journey much more enjoyable and easy to manage. It’s also important to celebrate when you reach those milestones, we all love rewards after all and by treating yourself when you get to each individual goal, it’ll help keep you motivated and positive about the end result. The important thing is to not beat yourself up. Failing is ok, stuff doesn’t always work out, it’s fine as long as you learn from it and do something different next time. And of course, there is nothing wrong with deciding to set yourself a goal at the start of a new season or on your birthday – it isn’t all about New Year New You after all!

Are you thinking about setting yourself some goals this New Year? We’d love to know how you get on and what you choose, don’t forget you can get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook! @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |

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CHILDREN'S WINTER ILLNESSES: THE LOW DOWN Winter has arrived, and along with it comes the dreaded cold and flu season. Runny noses and coughs abound, especially among children. Here are some pointers outlining some of the more common winter illnesses – and key tips on how to keep your family healthy this winter. 20 |

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COMMON COLD A cold is a viral infection marked by runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or headache. Children may also have low level fevers early in the illness. Colds are caused by hundreds of different types of virus and can occur year round, although they are most frequent in the winter months. Most colds worsen over 3-5 days and then begin to improve and run their course by around 7-10 days.

CROUP Croup often comes on suddenly in the middle of the night. You may wake up to your child coughing loudly. The croup cough often is described as 'barking' or 'like a seal'. Your child may also be making a high-pitched, or wheezing noise while breathing. Children with mild and moderate coughs can often be looked after at home. Severe croup will require a trip to the doctor for nebuliser treatments and steroids.

INFLUENZA Commonly known as the Flu, it usually comes on quickly with high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches and pains. The fever often lasts up to 5 days. There are some antiviral medications available to help fight the flu, but generally, these are only recommended for children at risk of more serious complications. Some children aged 6 and under are eligible for the NHS' nasal spray flu vaccine – check with your GP.

NOROVIRUS Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious (viral) stomach bug. It can strike all year round, but is more common in winter and in places such as hotels and schools. The illness is unpleasant, but it's usually over within a couple of days.

SORE THROAT Sore throats are common in winter and are almost always caused by viral infections. There's some evidence that changes in temperature, such as going from a warm, centrally heated room to the icy outdoors, can also affect the throat.

STREP THROAT Strep is most often seen in school-aged children. Children frequently present with sore throat, headache, and stomach ache. Some children will get high fevers or vomit. Strep throat does not cause cold symptoms or coughing. It can usually be easily treated with antibiotics (it's a bacterial infection rather than a virus), and children with strep throat should be treated to help prevent later complications from this infection.

CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES You can take some simple steps to help prevent the spread of a virus, though it's worth bearing in mind that people are often contagious before their symptoms materialise. For example: • wash your hands regularly, particularly before handling food • always sneeze and cough into tissues – this will help prevent any virus-containing droplets from entering the air where they can infect others; you should throw away used tissues immediately and wash your hands • clean kitchen and work surfaces regularly • use your own cup, plates and cutlery • don't share towels or toys with someone who has a cold.

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JOIN THE RAINBOW RESOURCE SCHEME! Do you have a child or young person with additional needs in your family? Did you know you can apply for a free card, offering discounted entry to a range of attractions across the area? Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Rainbow Resource Scheme gives children and young people (up to age 25) with a special educational need or disability (SEND) a free card that allows them to verify eligibility for concessions. The card also gives the cardholder and their family a way to discreetly alert staff at the venue that they have particular needs, in case they need support. Card holders can obtain concessions on entry to many attractions including Avon Valley Adventure Park in Keynsham, The Egg theatre in Bath, the Roman Baths and Farrington Farm Shop Play Barn, to name a few. The participant venues have agreed to accept the card as confirmation that a child or young person has an additional need and to give them any discounts that may be on offer.

Here’s what one of our Scheme members said: ‘Being a parent carer is tough enough at times but taking trips to attractions or places that cost a lot of money to get into and five minutes in, your child/children has a major melt down and you have to leave, you’re then out of pocket; with the Rainbow Resource card, you usually only have to pay for your child and you get in free as a carer, I wouldn’t be without it and I encourage every parent carer to get one!’ Your Rainbow Resource card can also be used to reserve a Bag Book from your local library. Bag Books provide multisensory and storytelling for people with learning disabilities. Most Bag Books can be delivered to your local library, so please ask them for more information. The card is free and it’s easy to apply – you can do it online in a few minutes via the Rainbow Resource website; see www.rainbowresource.org.uk.

Free family information resources for all! Are you a parent needing childcare or parenting information? 1Big Database bathnes has everything you need - a wide range of useful information and resources for families, including Ofsted registered childcare, parenting support, groups, clubs and a packed calendar of activities and events.

Do you have a child or young person (aged up to 25) with Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)? Rainbow Resource signposts you to organisations, services, support, activities and groups for children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs. You can also apply for your free Rainbow Resource scheme card, giving you concessions at a wide range of local attractions, including Avon Valley Adventure Park, Farrington Farm, The Egg theatre, Bristol Zoo and Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

Find out more: 1 Big Database bathnes: www.bathnes1bd.org.uk Rainbow Resource: www.rainbowresource.org.uk You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram! Family Information online - www.facebook.com/bathnesfis Youth Info: www.instagram.com/Youth_Info_BANES







Well done to Tianna, Madison, Alesha, Katie, Cianna, Charlotte and Lexi who made up the netball team that represented Castle Primary School at Wellsway in the H5 Netball Tournament recently. Thanks to their superb skills Team Castle came 2nd! There were nine teams in total, so to bring home silver medals was amazing! Thank you to all the parents who came to watch and thank you to Mrs Gould for all the training and time she has given. Well done to the whole team, even those that couldn’t take part in the tournament. Lexi and Maddie said: “It was incredibly fun and a great experience. We won every game and drew with the winning team. It is a great achievement and all thanks to Mrs Gould for helping us win these medals. We are very proud and can’t wait to take part in the B&NES final against the other teams.”

Elijah who is in Year 5 at Longwell Green Primary School took part in the South Gloucestershire Primary Cross Country Trial in October and came in First! He will not represent South Gloucestershire in the Inter Area event later in the year – well done Elijah!

UNDER 11S IN KEYNSHAM RAISE MONEY FOR CHSW Boys from Fry Club Junior Football Club recently presented a cheque for £862 to the Children’s Hospice South West after working on fundraising which included some of them taking part in an Ironman Challenge. The challenge saw team mates Josh, Bradley and James take on a one mile swim followed by a two mile run and 15 mile bike ride to raise money for the hospice. They joined the rest of the team in a sponsored bag pack at the Tesco in Keynsham to add to their funds. Well done everyone!

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CASTLE PRIMARY’S SCHOOL COUNCIL Manifestoes were published, speeches prepared and delivered, votes cast and counted and the successful candidates elected and all done within a few weeks! Congratulations to Robbie and Bety from Donaldson, Mia and Florence from Ahlberg, Lily and Toby from Adepitan, Chloe and Logan from CVowell, Amy Lee and Stirling from Dahl, EllaRose and Lucy from Morpurgo, George and Olivia from Blackman, Keisha and Jayden from Rowling and Kiera and Gracie from Walliams who have all been selected to serve on this year’s school council and were awarded their badges in assembly.

DOG TRUST VISIT CASTLE PRIMARY Castle Primary School were so excited to have a visit from the Dog’s Trust recently! Both Morpurgo and Cowell Class enjoyed their visit from Emily who talked to them about how to approach and care for them.

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Several play areas have been earmarked for major improvements in the South Gloucestershire area. The council set aside £200,000 fund to upgrade and replace play areas where equipment had come to the end of its working life. Supporting this investment is cash from developers as well as a one off payment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government bringing the total to £295,000. Springfield Play Area in Mangotsfield is one of the play areas that has been named after it was badly damaged earlier in the year. Warmley’s Champion Park and Chiltern Close play areas will each receive £50,000 funding to rejuvenate them while Burnel Close will be allocated £30,000. The play areas at Barrs Court will also receive £50,000 and Williams Close in Longwell Green will get £30,000. Woodstock play area in Kingswood has been allocated £25,000 for the replacement of the activity trail and at Heathfields in Downend will get £15,000 to spend on replacing the fences, gates and surfacing.

The Department for Education has submitted plans to South Gloucestershire Council to create a new Special Educational Needs School at the former City of Bristol College’s Soundwell Centre. The plans will involve knocking down around half of the existing buildings and renovating the remaining buildings. Once complete, the school will be run by Learn@ Multi Academy Trust and will cater for 136 pupils aged five to 18 who have a combination of social, emotional, health or speech, language and communication needs. The school will serve South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath and North East Somerset. There will be sleeping accommodation for short midweek respite stays and a new sports area will be provided.

SPECIAL NEEDS CENTRE SAVED! Thanks to campaigners in South Gloucestershire, the Resource Base at Emerson Green Primary School, which offers specialist support to local children who are disabled or visually impaired has been saved. South Gloucestershire Council had intended to phase out the facilities provided by Resource Base, but campaigners stepped in and organised a petition to urge the council to stop their plans. Currently, Resource Base is the only provision of its kind in South Gloucestershire for children in Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Employment, Erica Williams, spoke to press about the decision saying: “In order to develop our special provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs, we have been engaging with parents, carers, young people

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PUPILS FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRISTOL’S WAR YEARS Year 5 at Parkwall Primary School visited Blaise Museum in Henbry recently after studying World War Two, especially the impact it had on children and life in Bristol. Year 5 took part in a variety of workshops based around aspects of childhood in wartime Britain including a Make do and Mend session.

and schools to discuss options to make changes to Resources Bases and Access Centres. Our priority is to improve access and focus on broadening inclusion within all children’s local school. Although the feedback we received was supportive of changes to increase the number of places across the district, it is clear that we also need to give further consideration to the phasing out of the Resource Base at Emerson Green Primary School. “As a result, we will not be including this change in the proposals that will be taken forward to formal public consultation. We will be working in partnership with all schools to develop a sustainable approach to meeting children and young people’s needs in order to improve access and ensure equity in our arrangements to meeting needs across the local area.”

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EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS IN STEM RECOGNISED AT SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE AWARDS CEREMONY Outstanding pupils from primary, special and secondary schools in South Gloucestershire have been recognised at an event celebrating the achievements of students in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The South Gloucestershire Education Awards 2019 took place at Aerospace Bristol on Friday 11 October to celebrate the outstanding educational achievements and successes over the past year of more than 120 pupils from schools in our area. 2019’s awards were totally focused on achievement and contribution to STEM, an area of priority for us as a local authority, and this year we have extended the awards to include pupils from primary, as well as special and secondary schools. The winners and guests, including parents and carers, were invited to Aerospace Bristol for the awards, which were sponsored by YTL, UWE and Taylor Wimpey. The event offered an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of pupils across Key Stage 2 and 4 in STEM subjects. Those receiving awards were nominated directly by heads and teachers of their schools. The 120 award winners, covering over 60 different schools, included the following examples: The awards evening included two guest speakers – Tim Harrison, University of Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow and Outreach Director, and Rob Eastaway, an English author who is active in the popularisation of mathematics and was awarded the Zeeman medal in 2017. Also in attendance were representatives from the award sponsors which included: Dr Marc Griffiths – Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health & Applied Sciences at UWE; Amy Tout – Marketing Manager for YTL Developments and Ralph Hawkins – Managing Director of Taylor Wimpey Bristol. Certificates, a shopping voucher and a specially designed mug were presented to each award winner by the guest speakers and the sponsors, who were joined on stage by South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Employment Cllr Erica Williams. Cllr Williams said: “I was delighted to be part of this celebratory event and it was inspiring to hear of the academic successes of those attending. “Raising school standards is our highest priority and we want to recognise those who are performing well and driving improvements. ukfamilymatters |

These students, their teachers and school staff have clearly worked really hard and deserve this recognition for their positive efforts. “Well done to all of our winners, who are a testament to the fact that, whatever level of study you are in, having the right attitude and putting in hard work always pays off.” Dr Marc Griffiths, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at UWE Bristol, said: “We are delighted to once again be a sponsor of the South Gloucestershire Education Awards 2019. It’s always so inspiring to hear about all the academic achievements of the nominees and winners, and to see such positive role models being recognised for their successes. On behalf of UWE Bristol, I would like to congratulate them all on their hard work, commitment and passion for learning.” Amy Tout, Marketing Manager at YTL Developments, said: “It was a real privilege to support the next generation of pioneers and innovators of South Gloucestershire. Filton Airfield carries over 100 years of aviation heritage, and is a place where pioneers and innovators transformed British Aviation and Engineering. As work begins to transform Filton Airfield into a thriving new community for Bristol, we were delighted to support the community and celebrate the academic successes of this next generation.” Ralph Hawkins, Managing Director at Taylor Wimpey Bristol, said: “We are committed to working with young people and supporting future talent across the region, so it was wonderful to celebrate the pupil’s achievements on the night. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners on your success and on behalf of everyone at Taylor Wimpey Bristol; well done.”

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Name: Amirah Age: 9 Achievement: Amirah performed with her drama club friends at Cedar Hall in the Shakespeare Festival. Good work Amirah!

Name: Amy Age 8 Achievement: 6th Kup Green Belt in Taekwondo and Level 8 Swim England Award. Well done Amy!

Name: Evangeline Age: 8 Achievement: Passing level 4 swimming, good job Evangeline!

Name: Calla Age: 10, Achievement: Won the silver medal for aged 9-10s at the Southwest Tumbling championships well done!

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Name: Gabriel Achievement: Chosen to represent England in the European Rapid & Blitz Chess tournament (U10's). How exciting Gabriel!


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