TONIC MUMMYâ€™s GIN FUND #belikepip
THE LEGACY OF THE UNDERGROUND HERO
stress free HOW TO HAVE A
CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
A PENINSULA CHRISTMAS ECLECTIC FESTIVE WONDERS WRAPPED UP BY THE THAMES. FOR EVERYONE WHO HASN'T GROWN UP YET.
3–22 D ECE M B E R 2016 OPEN DAILY NOON TILL LATE
DESIGNER-MAKER CHRISTMAS MARKET TEPEE SNUG BAR SANTA’S GROTTO OF WONDERMENT ENCHANTED FOREST CALYPSO CHRISTMAS ARCOLA THEATRE STORYSTOCK ADAM BEATTIE 1920S DANCE THE IDLER DAY OF MERRIMENT ROUNDHOUSE YOUNG POETS THEATRE BUGS PANTO IDA BARR CRAFT LONDON TASTING MENU
NORTH GREENWICH PENINSULA SQUARE, SE10
WE WILL ACCEPT FOOD, TOYS AND TOILETERIES DONATIONS
G R E E N W I C H P E N I N S U L A .C O.U K /C H R I S T M A S
ON THE DAY !
AS HEARD ON harmony sinfonia
CONDUCTOR: LINDSAY RYAN TCHAIKOVSKY:
CAPRICCIO ITALIEN ELGAR:
Miss Kiddy and the Cads presents
IN THE SOUTH
A VERY VINTAGE CHRISTMAS
R. STRAUSS: AUS ITALIEN
Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec 140 Newington Butts, Kennington SE11 4RN Tickets £16.50 on the door, £15 in advance www.misskiddy.com
10TH DECEMBER 7.30PM St. Catherine's Church, Pepys Rd, SE14 5SG.
Swinging Beats, Toe-Tapping Finesse, a lot of laughter AND Mariah Carey? The Ultimate Christmas Night out!
SATURDAY 10TH DECEMBER 2016 9PM
IN THE SOUTH
“One of the most amazing shows of the year!” The Pheasantry Jazz Club, London
Vintage Costume highly encouraged
Editor's LETTER WITH THE SEASON OF LAST MINUTE COSTUMES, CLASHING CAROL CONCERTS (HOW DO I WATCH TWO CHILDREN IN TWO PLACES AT THE SAME TIME?) AND PANIC-BUYING-WHILST-BABY-WRESTLING FAST APPROACHING, IT’S EASY TO FORGET ABOUT THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS. OUR LOVELY, SNUGGLY ARTICLE ABOUT THE WONDER OF PIP (P2) SHOULD RESET YOUR FESTIVE MOOD. Once your cockles have been warmed, you can start to plan your outings and nothing says Christmas more than a good old panto. Our guide to what’s on locally (p6) is a great place to start (Oh, no it isn’t!). Now you’re really starting to get in the mood, you don’t want anything to burst your bubble. Luckily, our guide to reducing Christmas stress (p8) has some brilliant tips to keep your blood pressure under control. As for the Christmas shopping, why are you still traipsing the streets and spending a fortune? We’ve brought you a selection of some of our favourite products from our MGF Discount Card businesses (p10). You can save money and shop independently, knowing that you’re supporting other local parents. If you don’t have a card yet, it’s not too late – sign up here: www.mummysginfund.co.uk/mgf-card So, you’ve been to the school nativity (don’t forget
the tissues), dressed the tree (and built a toddlerrestricting-electric fence round it), booked the panto and wrapped the presents – what else can you do to really ensure your Christmas cup runneth over? We asked #teamMGF for their favourite traditions and they shared some corkers (p14). Finally, MGF isn’t all about Gin; we’ve done some amazing stuff this year which we’d love to share with you. Some of our best bits await you on page 16, along with some great ways for you to help us grow in the future. We wish you all a very happy, peaceful, stressfree, friendly and fun Christmas. May your Gin-gle bells jangle at full volume. HELEN, MUMMY’S GIN FUND firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen is MamaGin and runs the Mummy’s Gin Fund Facebook page and website. She loves nothing more than relaxing, eating posh chocolate and wearing her dressing gown. Sadly, with 3 small children, a full time job, MGF and being 8.5 months pregnant, this never happens. It would make her very happy if you could please follow her on twitter at @ginfund and read her lovely website www.mummysginfund.co.uk.
Mrs Sardines is Mummy to Mini Sardines and Managing Editor at Sardines Magazine, the UK’s only magazine for all non-professional and amateur theatre. When not chaperoning Mini Sardines to one of his many theatre shows, she organises her team of theatre reviewers all over the UK. Other times she can be found lurking on Gin Fund snaffling out bargains and selling everything that is not nailed down.
Ursula runs Mumbelievable.com, a blog and social media community to help mums regain their confidence so they can recognise how incredible they are. Tens of thousands of women follow the blog and benefit from Ursula’s honest and heartfelt account of modern parenting. She has now set herself the mission to help a million women feel the way they deserve to about themselves through the blog as well as a range of confidence-boosting products and events.
#belikepip: THE LEGACY
IN AUGUST, MUMMY’S GIN FUND WENT VIRAL WHEN LEE TURNER-CONN PUBLICLY PRAISED TUBE WORKER PIP LAWRENCE FOR HELPING PREGNANT WOMEN FIND A SEAT ON BUSY TRAINS. MONTHS LATER, THE HASHTAG IS STILL BEING USED. SO WHAT IS THE TRUE LEGACY OF #BELIKEPIP?
Pip Lawrence works at London Bridge tube station. Until this summer he’d been going about his days, not knowing that, just by being himself, he’d made quite an impact on the lives of a huge number of commuters.
and could never have predicted what was to come. She wrote: “Pip, if you’re reading this, we salute you. Thank you for making our lives easier. Thank you for your care and attention. Thank you for making a difference.”
The Underground is not the most pleasant place – let’s face it. But Pip makes it his business to inject his unique sense of caring and fun into commuters’ journeys.
The story went viral on social media and was featured by The Huffington Post, The Evening Standard, The Independent, The BBC, ITV and Mumsnet. It was viewed over 1million times.
Lee Turner-Conn, a Gin Fund mum, saw Pip help a pregnant woman find a seat on a train in the summer. This reminded her of how he had helped her in the same way when she was pregnant, so she decided to start a campaign to get him the recognition she – and, as it turned out – hundreds of others, felt he deserved. Lee posted on the MGF Facebook page 2 | MGF WINTER 2016
I was given the joyful task of speaking to Pip to find out what life has been like since.
Some days, something happens that changes how you do things, how you think about things and the choices you make. The day we had that brilliant post by Lee was one of those days. Pip is a ray of sunshine who helps people and makes their journeys so much more comfortable.
“It’s just been lovely,” he said many times.
Helen Hamston, founder of MGF
Pip has since been hailed as an example of someone who makes the world a better place. Since his time in the spotlight, he has become the personification of kindness and generosity of spirit.
“There’s been some light-hearted ribbing by the guys at Gillingham FC. They shout “Get us a seat!” when I go to football! People recognise me now and they’re so friendly. I was in the local newspaper, and I get asked for my autograph!
In the moments after our conversation, I can’t help but feel I’ve just experienced something quite special. Pip and Val are two of the warmest, most open-hearted people I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to.
“The local jeweller gave me a coin which is a union badge for the underground and it says ‘Help one another’ on it. I was really touched by that. Because it’s not just me that does my bit to help people at work, all my colleagues on the tube do the same thing.”
Pip’s attitude could teach so many so much.
Pip’s wife, Val, also joined our conversation and spoke with pride about her husband. “Pip’s always been a kind soul. When we’re out I’ll turn around and he’s gone off to help someone! He’s very special. A real gent. We’ve been married for 40 years now and we have such a good laugh together.”
At Christmas time especially, we’re bombarded by commercial messages half-heartedly bidding us ‘glad tidings’ and we’re so accustomed to seeing them that we’ve become immune to the sentiment. In these uncertain and unnerving times, Pip represents hope and true goodwill. The outpouring of love for him and all that he does to help others was astonishing and shows just how huge a small act of kindness can become and what a difference it can make.
Pip’s always been a kind soul. When we’re out I’ll turn around and he’s gone off to help someone! He’s very special. A real gent. Val, Pip’s wife
MGF WINTER 2016 | 3
As I’m typing I’m contemplating how I can be more like Pip. 2016 has been an extraordinary year for many reasons. It has left so many of us feeling uncertain and fearful about what may be to come for our society – whatever our political stance and beliefs might be. But since my brief conversation with this amazing human being, it has dawned on me that Pip – and others like him – represent a way for us to overcome this uncertainty and fear. To #belikepip means to think about how we can be kinder, more generous and more thoughtful. It means thinking about ways we could give or do things for others who might benefit from a little kindness or consideration. In a world that sometimes seems as though it is dominated by sadness, fear and greed, Pip is showing us the way. He is one of life’s greats. Let’s take his lead. The social media storm may have passed, but the legacy of #belikepip must live on.
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PIP’S ATTITUDE COULD TEACH SO MANY SO MUCH. At Christmas time especially, we’re bombarded by commercial messages half-heartedly bidding us ‘glad tidings’ and we’re so accustomed to seeing them that we’ve become immune to the sentiment. In these uncertain and unnerving times, Pip represents hope and true goodwill. The outpouring of love for him and all that he does to help others was astonishing and shows just how huge a small act of kindness can become and what a difference it can make.
Christmas Fair Craft and Gift Stalls from local artists Hot BBQ Food Mulled wine & Christmas cakes Santa Make your own Christmas Wreath Kids craft activities Interactive theatre experience Bouncy Castle Raffle and Tombola
th December noon - pm Goldsmiths Community Centre Castillon Road Catford SEE QD Generously supported by
CHRISTMAS SERVICES IN LEE
FRIENDS & USERS OF STAPLEHURST ROAD SHOPS @HITHERGREEN
Do join us at our upcoming events… Children’s Christmas Crafts Saturday 17th December 3pm at St. Peter’s Suitable for families with under 10s
All Age Carol Service
This will be a lively, informal Christmas service that’s especially suitable for families.
Food & craft stalls• Father Christmas • Face painting • Mulled wine Raffle • Local choirs • and much more...
Staplehurst Road, SE13 5NB By Hither Green Station (Fernbrook Rd side)
Lighting the Lamps Saturday 24th December 6pm at the Good Shepherd A short service of music and readings during which the church is taken from darkness to light - a perfect event for the night before Christmas.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @HGFUSS FUSSPOT100@GMAIL.CO.UK
St. Peter’s Weigall Rd SE12 8HQ
Sunday 18th December 9am at St. Peter’s & 10.30am at the Good Shepherd
Christmas Fair Saturday 3rd December 2016
Good Shepherd Handen Rd SE12 8NR
Midnight Service Saturday 24th December 11.30pm at the Good Shepherd Christmas Morning Sunday 25th December 10.30am Family Communion Service A joyful, family-friendly Communion Service. For more info see www.goodpeter.org.uk
MGF WINTER 2016 | 5
Pantomime WHAT’S ON COWBOYS AND INDIANS
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. “OH NO IT ISN’T” ECHOES ROUND AND SO ON. WITH STAR NAMES RAKING IN SIX-FIGURE SALARIES FOR 6 WEEKS WORK, PANTOMIME IS BIG BUSINESS. WHILST THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF SHOWS UP AND DOWN THE COUNTRY, HERE ARE THE LOCAL SOUTH LONDON OFFERINGS FOR 2016 IF YOU FANCY YOUR ANNUAL DOSE OF DAZZLING SPARKLE, CHEEKY INNUENDO AND HARMLESS FAMILY FUN.
Pauline Quirke’s Academy is hosting this year’s offering for Croydon - Aladdin whilst the Fairfield has a makeover. CBeebies Abe Jarman and Jane Deane star.
PETER PAN A NEW ADVENTURE
WADDON LEISURE CENTRE, CROYDON
Peter Pan - A New Adventure will be flying in over the festive season.
Sat 7 Dec – Sat 31 Dec
From £11.50 per person
Fri 18 Nov – Sun 8 Jan
SNOW WHITE AND THE 7 DWARFS Snow White and the Seven Dwarves with squeaky funny man Joe Pasquale. ORCHARD THEATRE, DARTFORD Sat 10 Dec – Sat 31 Dec £18–40 per person
NEW ELTHAM METHODIST CHURCH Sat 7, Fri 13 and Sat 14 Jan £8 per person
Adults £29, concessions £20. Children half price
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Jack and the Beanstalk will be taking up residency in Eltham this festive period.
Peter Pan starring Strictly’s Mr Nasty (but actually a massive softy) Craig Revel Horwood as Captain Hook and BGT’s Paul Burling as his longsuffering sidekick Smee. THE CHURCHILL THEATRE, BROMLEY Sat 9 Dec – Sat 7 Jan £18–40 per person
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The NECP are heading to the Wild West with Calamity Dame bringing Cowboys and Indians to Christmas.
BOB HOPE THEATRE, ELTHAM Fri 30 Dec – Sun 22 Jan £8–10 per person
New Eltham Methodist Church 435 Footscray Road SE9 3UL New Eltham Community Productions Present:
Calamity Dame Sat 7th Jan 2.30pm & 7.30pm Fri 13th Jan 7.30pm Sat 14th Jan 2.30pm & 7.30pm Box Office:
020 8851 9881 Tickets Â£8 Group Discounts Buy online at: www.necp.org.uk (booking fee applies)
MGF WINTER 2016 | 7
CHRISTMAS Christmas: advent calendars, school concerts, presents, baubles, turkey, relatives, house cleaning, shopping and indigestion. For many of us, it’s come a long way from poor old pregnant Mary looking for somewhere to give birth to the son of God. As parents, the joy of Christmas can be immeasurable, but the pressure to create a ‘perfect’ day can leave us reaching for the Gin for breakfast.
WE’VE GOT SOME GREAT TOP TIPS FOR RELIEVING THE STRESS AND ENSURING THAT THE KIDS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES HAVING A FESTIVE SEASON TO ENJOY.
4 NICOLE Put your Christmas tree inside a travel cot to stop your crawling baby pulling it over.
1 SARA I would pack my children off to their dads Christmas morning for brunch. While they were gone, I would get everything prepped for lunch then have a lovely long hot soak with a glass of fizz. By the time they got back, I was either a domestic goddess or too pissed to care - but I was pretty chilled either way!
3 KATHERINE We open any gifts that came early on Christmas Eve, so to spread the excitement, and eat party food using disposable plates, etc. so there are no dishes.
2 BETHANY Batteries! A shit ton of batteries! Also, I tend to cook my Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is then all about presents so I don’t feel like I miss out on anything because I have to turn the sodding potatoes. There are no tantrums because the kids have to wait for mummy and I can have wine without worrying about burning the food! 8 | MGF WINTER 2016
8 ANJA I have also finally become wise enough to have learnt to say “No” to things. Before Christmas, we all get inundated with invites to all sorts of things and, if you say yes to it all, you end up running out of time and getting stressed by things that are supposed to be nice. Set out an ideal outline and accept only what you genuinely want to do or have spare time for.
MGF-HQ Invest in some special baubles, guaranteed to ease the pain of decorating the tree…. www.pickeringsgin.com
7 KACEY Keep it simple. Santa brings 4 presents: Something you want (this is what the kids get to ask for), something you need, something to wear, and something to read.
RACHEL Use a different paper for each person’s presents - no need for labels/tags then.
6 9 KATHERINE Us adults do secret Santa - £50 to spend on just one other adult. OK, my mother in law then gets everyone something from the cat, but to her Xmas means heaps of gifts under the tree!
REBECCA Cooking the meat a couple of weeks beforehand, carving and then freezing it in gravy has worked as a timesaver for us in the past. MGF WINTER 2016 | 9
Teething necklace This isn’t just any teething necklace. This is a fundraising MGF Teething Necklace. If you’d like to support local families, look stylish and stop your baby screaming blue murder, this is the product for you! Made from safe, 100% food grade silicone, this necklace isn’t just a pretty face; it’s been designed in our funky MGF colours by the lovely Vicki at Bo&Bel to help us raise money. In fact, we’re donating 50% of the profits from the sale of these necklaces to projects to support local families. Look good, feel good. It’s win:win (or should that be gin:gin). Buy here
ND IN FU G S ’ MY MUM AGE POST + 5 9 . £18
Polka Frog bags Wayúu Mochilas are unique and very fashionable throughout the world. They are a perfect mix of practical, exotic and chic. Each bag is handmade, fabulous and unique, with so many colours it’s impossible not to love them all! For a hands free chic mum we recommend wearing it cross body! Buy here | Email | Facebook Available from:
POLKA FROG STUDIO From £44.99 (MGF Card Holder Discount: 10%)
Goo Greatest Capes Artisan Capes for everyday superheroes. Luxurious hand-made satin capes, lined in a contrasting colour and personalised with the initial of your choice. Contact Julia Baker for more information about colours available. Buy here | Email | Facebook
GOO’S GREATEST CAPES Super-Children’s Capes: £25, Super-Adults: £35 Matching Super-Mask: £12 (MGF Card Holder Discount: 10% off your first order) 10 | MGF WINTER 2016
om: Available fr
G LOOLA & s Accessorie C £45. (MGF
The world is full of lovely things gorgeous gifts are super special independent parents and they of Card holders. Save money, shop l It’s Gin:G
Full details of how to get a C here: www.mummysgi
Connoisseurs of sparkle Hand-made vintage-inspired clothing and accessories for little girls. We have an exquisite and beautifully made eclectic collection of tutus, dresses, tops, feathered tippets and hair accessories. (Accessories suitable for adults also). Please contact us via our email or facebook page. Buy here | Email | Facebook
Reindeer leggings Extraordinary gifts for little ones. We have found for the perfect gifts for your little ones this Christmas! From handmade knitted dinosaurs to reindeer leggings, snuggly blankets, and bamboo sleepwear, visit our website to see our full range. And don’t forget to use your MGF discount!
GOO start at Garments . 2 1 £ t a rt sta t: 10%) er Discoun Card Hold
s to buy at Christmas but these l. They are made or sold by local ffer a discount to our lovely MGF locally and support other parents. Gin:Gin.
Buy here | Email | Facebook
LITTLE EXTRAORDINARIES £10. (MGF Card Holder Discount: 10%)
Teething necklace Juniper wood and silicone baby safe necklace - built to survive the tugging and chewing that’s inevitable when you have small children! Made from baby safe materials that won’t harm baby if they give it a chew, and stylish for you to wear. The juniper wood is incredibly tactile and has a distinct juniper aroma perfect for gin lovers! Buy here | Email | Facebook
Card and where to use it are infund.co.uk/mgf-card.
from : CAR LY D OVE £19. BOU 99 (M TIQU GF C E ard H olde rD
SCOUT & FABLE £120 - £145
Scout & Fable Inspire your little chef or baker with their own little kitchen from Scout + Fable. Our retro handcrafted wooden play kitchen comes with oven, cupboard, hob and sink. It’s functional yet fun for hours of baking and making. Each kitchen is made to order. For further details and to place an order please visit our website Buy here | Email | Facebook MGF WINTER 2016 | 11
Christmas GIFT GUIDE
Christmas Penguins Lil’ Cubs limited edition Christmas Penguin zip up babygrow. 100% super soft premium jersey cotton. Sizes 0-3m - 12-18m. Buy here | Email | Facebook
Lovely elephant family with 3, 4 or 5 elephants. This original watercolour will make a lovely Christmas gift for any family member. It is commission based and colours can vary according to your taste. Please get in touch. A3 size.
LIL CUBS d Holder D £16. (MGF Car
Buy here | Email | Facebook 07470 219 416
Wee Clothing URES VENT D A I ed COL 5 Fram nt: 20%) 4 BROC £ d u e Disco nfram £30 U ard Holder C (MGF
If you are looking for something handmade this Christmas then this gorgeous ethically produced rompersuit by Wee Clothing is the perfect gift. Made using the softest fair trade cotton that is gently on babies skin. Buy here | Email | Facebook Call 07715 690 820 for more information Available from:
Alphadoodles Alphadoodles are bespoke illustrated children’s names Each name illustration is personalised with the child’s date of birth and you can also add a short message if you wish. Alphadoodles are the perfect gift or new babies, birthdays, christenings and naming ceremonies. The clear, bold illustrations appeal to babies and are easy for toddlers to identify, making them educational too. Buy here | Email | Facebook
ALPHADOODLES (MGF Card Holder Discount: 15%)
12 | MGF WINTER 2016
WEE CLOTHING £24. (MGF Card Holder Discount: 20%)
Confidence cards Want to tell a mum she’s doing an incredible job? These sets of confidence cards contain 25 messages to remind her she’s an amazing human. They’re a source of empowerment, encouragement and reassurance to help her feel more positive and happy. They also double up as postcards so she can keep them or send some to others to let them know they’re one hell of a mother too. Buy here | Email | Facebook Available from:
MUMBELIEVABLE £12.95 + P&P. (MGF Card Holder Discount: 10%)
Rock me Kids The colourful and playful Rock me Kids Liberty Print Star Charm Bracelet with semi precious stone accents is a definite must have for Christmas. These sweet bracelets can be ordered online in a variety of colours and have an adjustable cord, so one size fits all. Bracelets cost from £12.
Buy here | Email | Facebook
ROCK ME KIDS From £12. (MGF Card Holder Discount: 10%)
Heavens to Betsy Bespoke Illustrations Service. Give a gift of artwork that’ll last a lifetime! A favourite toy? A special moment? A new home? No job too big or small. All illustrations are drawn by hand in pencil from your chosen photographs. Drop us a line to find out more, we’d love to hear from you! Buy here | Email | Facebook
BETSY HEAVENS TO t: 20%) Holder Discoun d ar C F G (M From £50.
Illustrated book smal
SMALL PRINT ONLINE £17.99. (MGF Card Holder Discount: 15%)
Stuck for a family-friendly gift? Check out this ultimate interactive, beautifully illustrated book for all-ages, Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature, £17.99. Available from award-winning children’s booksellers Small Print Online Buy here | Email | Facebook MGF WINTER 2016 | 13
CLAIRE Every year since being together, my husband and I buy a new ‘special’ Christmas tree decoration. Last year it was one with our son’s name on as it was his first Christmas.
ONE OF THE JOYS OF HAVING LITTLE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE YOUR OWN SPECIAL FAMILY TRADITIONS, OR CARRY ON SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES FROM YOUR OWN CHILDHOOD. It’s the annual traipse to Aunty June’s house, or the 5 stirs to the right and 5 to the left of the Christmas pudding mix that get remembered long after the shiny wrapping paper has been recycled. Some traditions are more mainstream (Elf On The Shelf is a particular favourite in MGFHQ), whilst others are more unique. There are no rules to Christmas traditions, just do whatever makes you and your family happy and puts you in the Christmas spirit. Here are some suggestions from the MGF Collective to get you started: 14 | MGF WINTER 2016
ABIGAIL Christmas biscuit making for Father Christmas! It’s my birthday Christmas Eve so needed a tradition but not one that will make my whole birthday day and eve Christmas-ified!
CARLY My kids are adopted and we are huge Christmas fans so have quickly developed lots of traditions. We collect pine cones, conkers, etc. to decorate the tree with (which we bought & planted their first Christmas). We have a month of giving - we give old toys/clothes to foster carers and collect blankets and food for homeless people and a local animal shelter. We also give a special gift to the kids on Christmas Eve and let them stay up late to watch a Christmas film.
Belinda - When I was little my mum took me to the “Christingle” service at church on Xmas Eve about 5pm. The kiddies got an orange with a candle, we sang carols and it was just so Christmassy! With our son, who is 4, we took him to Leeds Castle and Xmas market last year a day or 2 before Xmas. It was so festive in the castle with all the decorations!
PHYLLIS We have two advent calendars; one is a normal chocolate one and the other is a box. Each day we add an item of non-perishable food like tinned beans or soup and then, at the end of advent, we donate 25 items to the foodbank.
AMY Ever since my girls were little I’ve done the door burst where we wrap over the front room door with Xmas wrapping paper and then on Xmas am they jump through the door and paper into the front room where their presents are.
TRACY We do an Xmas Eve box that has new pjs for all of us in and new slippers for my little girl, book or dvd or game and some sweet treats. We started last year taking her to choose her own Xmas tree bauble/decoration which she loved so we’ll do that again.
SALLY When you have really little ones, rather than a present, each member of the family writes them a letter, which you keep and give to them when they are 18/21 as an amazing keep sake.
EJ Every year I get my son to make something for the top of our tree in lieu of a fairy, last year it was a Lego robot (he’s eleven). If your child is still quite small, you could help them perhaps a “handprint” star. KATE We go out in the garden on Christmas Eve to watch Santa fly over (International Space Station) and look for a present he has ‘dropped’. Present is usually new pyjamas, chocolate and a book. MARILYN I always take my children to the cinema on Christmas Eve to watch the Christmas movie and make Christmas cakes or decorate biscuits. Before bedtime we leave milk, cookies & carrots out for Santa & his reindeer and read “The Night Before Christmas”. HELEN I’m going to help my little girl to decorate place mats for everyone who is coming to Christmas dinner - admittedly as she’ll only be 2 on Christmas Day this year so they’ll probably just be some stickers or scribbles - but thought it would be good to see how they evolve over the years! MGF WINTER 2016 | 15
Mummy’s Gin Fund 2016 WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR FOR MGF. WE’VE GONE FROM BEING A MASSIVELY LOVELY GROUP OF PARENTS, BUYING AND SELLING OUR OLD BABY THINGS TO FUND OUR GIN HABITS, TO AN ALL-SINGING-ALL-DANCING WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE AND HOST OF AN AWARD WINNING SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN. We’ve gone viral with #belikepip (see page 2), raised £1000 for Bliss with #parentinglikeitis, collected bag loads of gifts for destitute families with #meetandtreat and brought over 300 local parents face to face in 16 events in 30 days in #knowvember (all whilst developing a bit of a penchant for a hashtag!). The magnificent gang of generous, articulate, supportive, non-judgemental women and men of #teamginfund (another hashtag), has swelled to over 30,000 members and, Oh My Gin, how they’ve used their collective power for good. We have held the hands of women experiencing heart ache; furiously waved our pom-poms at strangers achieving amazing things; created virtual ticker tape parades for survivors of trauma;
1. We have club bed together to pay for ph oto memory books for child ren whose dad was dyin g of a brain tumour. Being MGF, the target was do ubled in less than 48 hours so we bought one for mum too.
16 | MGF WINTER 2016
furnished the houses of women leaving violence; cheered for people accomplishing huge feats – or just getting through the day; given time, money and things to strangers who needed them; provided advice, support and reassurance to parents in doubt. We have laughed together, cried together and partied together. Mummy’s Gin Fund has grown into the most incredible community I have ever been a part of. There is nothing that we cannot achieve together. Our mantra has never been more true: #noparentleftbehind. We have amazing things planned for the future and we want you to be a part of it. Please, come and join us.
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3. A young, vuln erable, single mum posted that she didn ’t have any real life support an d was estranged from her family . MGF was a co nstant village of cheerleaders who helped he r through a diffi cult pregnanc y and donated lots of baby ite ms. When her baby ’s movements slowed down, one of our members drov e for over an hour (with her own kids in the car) to collect her and take her to hospital. She then stayed w ith her whilst she was checked out.
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A Gin M um brok e down with two in the d small ch ark ildren in The bab the car. y was sc reaming so she p fo osted o n MGF a r milk help. W sking fo ithin 15 r minutes stranger, a total also on MGF, ha out of h d come er nearb y house bottle fo with a r the ba b y and a the elde toy for r child.
7. A Gin Mum had been assaulted by her husband and was literally standing on the street. She said she had no-one else to turn to but *KNEW* MGF would save her. I got to her in under half an hour.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
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DO SOMETH ING LOVELY FOR SOMEO NE ELSE!
F G M e Th s i d r a c ! e r he
Who says Christmas never comes early?! www.mummysginfund.co.uk/mgf-card
18 | MGF WINTER 2016
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You can save money on exciting days out for all the family this Xmas or treat yourself with offers for your hair, your face, your tummy, your back and your eyes. Not to forget the photography sessions, swimming lessons, kids’ classes, clothing and so much more. There’s even money off a Gin and tonic, naturally. Our online map will let you search for discounts in YOUR area or view them by category or type. Grab your discount card now for JUST £10 and help support MGF, local businesses and save money all at the same time.
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