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jan/feb2013 issue

free The useful magazine for families with young children in York, Harrogate, Tadcaster, Wetherby and Selby

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call to book a free trial session DELIVERY!

York Area


07882 267971

07725 339257

for children ages 2-6

ASHVILLE ADVENTURE Ashville Pre-Prep School is a purpose built school for children aged 4-7

A fun interactive session for pre-school children and their parents. Children will be invited to engage in a range of activities, including story telling, arts and crafts and even feeding the guinea pigs! At the end of the session parents will be offered an informal tour of the school whilst children enjoy a snack. Come and see what makes Ashville different.

Stay and Play Wednesday 16th January Wednesday 13th February Wednesday 20th March 9.30am - 11.00am Ashville College, Green Lane, Harrogate HG2 9JP 01423 566358

The magic of childhood begins here... “The staff's excellent knowledge of each child's individual needs ensures that all aspects of children's welfare and learning are promoted with success.” Ofsted, November 2011

We look forward to welcoming you. Bankfield Pre-Prep, Harrogate Ladies’ College

01423 504543



An ‘outstanding’ education in a stunning rural location

Open Day

Thursday 17th January 9.30 - 11.45am Please contact the school office on 01423 771029 to arrange a visit Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, Harrogate HG3 2JG Tel: 01423 771029 email:

UPCOMING DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Pre-Schools Art Exhibition 28 January 2013 Pre-Schools Disney Dance Workshop 6 February 2013 Would your child like their work displayed in an Art Exhibition? Does your child like to dance to Disney tunes? For further information on these events, please see our website or ask your local Pre-School about taking part. Our Toddler Group is now open for girls and boys from 2 years of age. Our Pre-School, for girls and boys aged 3 - 4 years, offers provision from 7.30am to 6pm, 5 days a week, 51 weeks a year. THE MOUNT JUNIOR SCHOOL, PRE-SCHOOL, DALTON TERRACE, YORK YO24 4DD 01904-667500

2 Families

Vale of York

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g to unfold. ises will be startin om pr ’s 13 get snow! Yes, I’m 20 d cked away an ight side: we may br pa e all th be on cuse for ll k wi loo gs to trimmin d gives us all an ex t any snow t I always try an bu o l fu tw re or ca y t da no By now the festive a e r hool fo don’t ge onth if you’r gets the kids off sc mething stronger. Just in case we bit of a dull old m ff - especially if it so t our What’s On stu January can be a ou or g ite te kin wh ola ec e oc th ch ch e t by lov ho I ily th d wi fam an s t ur rd ar yo he r wa fo er at ing up aft a big kid g special not plan somethin t to mention warm playing out in it. No family treats up my sleeve too. Why eight years since . print Families! It’s now of ue iss though, I have a few dated online after we’ve gone to erful th 50 e lebrating th d deliverers, wond o up azine in signer, printers an nuary too as I’m ce pages - they’re als ag Ja de m is ely th ing t lov nt r ou re ou ab pa y most popular e eryone involved t lots to be happ th ev s go r e fo ilie I’v m ey lly Fa rn na jou ing a rso Pe quite you for mak ing and it’s been e readers! Thank we began publish of course YOU th d an s or ut rib nt t. advertisers and co sure 2013 will be our best year ye I’m VOY North Yorkshire Editor of Families


in this issue

Develop your child’s skills and confidence The Little Gym is a place where children develop their co-ordination, balance, confidence, listening and social skills whilst having heaps of FUN! The Little Gym provider of the world’s leading gymnastics based programme for children aged 4 months to 12 years is available in Harrogate! Contact us now for more information on 01423 701560. The Little Gym® Harrogate • 1 Cardale Park • Harrogate • HG3 1RY 01423 701560 • • parent/child classes

preschool/ kindergarten gymnastics

primary school gymnastics

holiday camps

birthday parties

A fun and educational tennis play and skills programme for children from 2 years E FREAL


Classes across Harrogate, Wetherby & York For information call Caroline Buncall on 07843 342 662 •

p4 news p8 what do you do at? p10 baby & pregnancy news p12 hypnobirthing p14 baby products p16 osteopathy for children p18 how to have your best family holiday p21 what’s on p23 beta mum

what’s online

• new year, new you • changes to child benefit -how does it affect you? • using a doula • divorce - how to be a good friend • beta mum

familiesmagazine Tel: 01405 860831 Circulation: 18,000 Deadline:

The deadline for the M ar/Apr 2013 edition is early Feb 2013

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Copyright Families in the Vale of York Jan/Feb 2013. Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at owners’ own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families in the Vale of York is part of a group established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. We take care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

Families Vale of York



Riggmoor Reindeer - now with Soft Play Hire! Riggmoor Reindeer who bring their miniature mobile farm to all kind of events are now hiring out soft play.

Returning to Work this year?

“Our Mobile Petting Farm is a real hit with children,” says Rebecca Burniston, “and is available for all types of events from parties, school fairs, educational visits - even wedding entertainment. So much so that we decided to introduce our new ‘Farmer Fun’ Soft play which is perfect for children aged 0-6.”

If you took a career break to raise children and are thinking about getting back into work, then Isobel Wormald can help. With over ten years of agency and internal corporate recruitment experience she knows how daunting the whole idea of getting back into the workplace can seem.

Great for little ones, the farm themed soft play offers an alternative to the mobile farm and caters for different budgets. “We can offer small and large packages, deliver and collect to the client’s required destination, and include free local delivery. We can even can incorporate it with the mobile petting farms,” adds Rebecca.

“The first step in a job search is getting your CV updated,” says Isobel. “I can produce your CV and tailor it to the type of industries or roles you would like to target. It takes time to draft a CV, so I’m the perfect person to take it off your to-do list!”

Soft play equipment includes tunnels, ball pools, slides, hoppers, rockers and towers whilst animals that make up the dinky farm include piglets, lambs, ponies, ducklings and much much more. To find out more about visiting the farm or hiring the mobile farm or farm-themed soft play visit 07921 267904 / 01765 607488

Isobel can also review and update your LinkedIn profile, practice interviews with you or produce an actionable career plan.

Club s Birthdayres Bir Treasure thday asu Tre gs the launch of

“I enjoy helping people reach the next level in their career search. I’m also very aware of the pressures that mums trying to return to work feel, having been one myself!” she adds.

The New Year brin join: n the club is very easy to ister Club. Open to all childre reg and te bsi we new ir to the parents just need to go ldren.  adding each of their chi 12.5% a gift from Treasures of h es a birthday card wit eiv cher rec vou ld e chi “Th h   ng. eac t stro tha “We’ll ensure res owner Zhara Arm asu Tre s say t or re,” trea y sto in hda d toward a special birt discount voucher to use birthday so it can be use ld’s chi r you ore bef ve will arri however you wish.” w wish lists on our adds. “You can now vie t got better too,” Zhara jus bring up their wish t to Lis e h Wis nam res ld’s asu chi y “Tre need is the birthda nds frie and ily the price including fam r and you ght website. All , whether it’s been bou sen cho e hav you at wh list.  They can see ).” the wish list discount (5% revamped website at ww res asu Tre the You can see

If you keep any new year’s resolution in 2013, why not make it one that benefits your future career? Contact Isobel and get your CV done. It’s the first step to the next chapter of your career! In January 2013, receive a one hour CV consultation, CV write-up and LinkedIn profile draft for £60. Contact Isobel, 07771 986 386 or

Get Crafty and support Disabled Children Leading children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation is calling on all crafters to support disabled and terminally ill children around the UK. Whatever your craft, getting involved is simple. Either make something and sell it at local sales and donate the proceeds to Newlife or donate your handcrafted goods and they’ll sell it for you. Alternatively you can spread the word or simply donate cash. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of funds received will directly support disabled children in your area. For further details contact Vicky Jones or Anna Szymczak on 01543 468888 or go to:

Ballet Classes Donya Keys ARAD CBTS RAD RTS tel 0755 735 5562 Classes from £3

4 Families

Vale of York

Girls & Boys

From Ages 1yr+

Venues in York

Losing Child Benefit? Ask Your Employer About Childcare Vouchers In January 2013, middle-income families will effectively lose their child benefit if one parent earns £60,000 or more, or see it reduced if the figure is over £50,000. The ‘squeezed middle’ are being squeezed yet again, which means parents will be desperate to make up the shortfall by taking on extra hours at work or by trying to pay less tax.

Hold a

Craft Party Paint! Stick! Make! All occasions, all ages All materials supplied Tuition & support given

If you’re working during the school holidays, you will need to pay for childcare and this can be achieved by opting to pay by childcare vouchers. It means you pay less tax and they can be redeemed against holiday playschemes right up until your child turns 15 years old. In addition, if signing up for childcare vouchers brings down your net income to below the £50,000 threshold, you will keep your child benefit. Guy Ker, Super Camps’ Managing Director, is keen to spread the word so that working parents aren’t missing out. “Surprisingly, only 30% of Super Camps’ bookings made during the summer of 2012 were paid for using Childcare Vouchers. We think parents are missing out and want to encourage them to pay for their children’s holiday activities using their company’s salary sacrifice scheme.” Guy goes on to say “A wrongly held belief is that childcare vouchers are only useful for paying for pre-school nursery places, when in fact they can be ‘banked’ and used in one go for older children during the holidays. With higher earning parents facing a cut in their family budget when child benefit is means-tested next year, we would urge parents to sign up to childcare voucher schemes and start saving their vouchers, ready for the long summer holidays.”

Fancy Working for Yourself in 2013? Fed up of juggling motherhood, work commitments and personal commitments? Why not go for it in 2013 and join the business mums! Kiddikicks is looking for franchisees in our area so you could start the New Year as you mean to go on with less work, less stress, more exercise, more support and more quality time with your children. You’d work for yourself and run your own successful franchise business with Kiddikicks toddler and child football-themed and football skills classes, sporty merchandise and cool clothing. If you have a sporty, supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background and would like to work from home, Kiddikicks could be the best New Year’s resolution you make and keep.

Quote “Families” in your enquiry for a 5% discount. 020 7937 7965 Email

Flutterbabies laun ches new Baby Swim Classes Flutterbabies Ba

by Swimming has a ne w swim venue for 20 Quality Hotel and Leisu 13 at the re Leeds/Selby Fork. These classes for childr aged 3 months - 2½ years are taught by full en y qualified instructor, Samantha Dalton, an d take place on a Tue sday morning . “I’m passionate abou t helping babies and parents to bond and experience a lifetime of love and enjoyment in the water together,” Samantha. says “Our carefully structur ed and gentle Baby Sw imming courses promo safe practices and wa ter confidence, but ab te ove all provide a positi and fun environment ve for your baby to devel op their natural affinit water.” y with Flutterbabies takes a flexible approach to les sons: “Learning happens at the baby’s pace when he is receptive, relaxed and ready, so it does take “There’s no need to rus patience, practice and time,” says Sama ntha. h or force your child to perform as all babie learn at different rates. s Within each lesson all teaching aim which we act make fun through a ser ivities have a specific activities appealing to ies of songs, games and a baby’s natural sense of curiosity and play. doesn’t even matter if you are not a good It swimmer yourself - an may even increase you d it r confidence!” Contact Samantha on 07768 538527 or Sama to book your ntha@flutterbabies. space or see www.f for information. more Families Vale of York



Art Competitio n and Disney Workshop In

Do You Know a Ballerina?

Professionally trained and experienced ballet teacher Donya Keys opens her new classical dance school En Pointe in York this month. “Our classes will focus on creative dance and music with funfilled sessions which will help children build their confidence and improve musicality, posture and expression,” she said. Classes are named after elegant birds and begin when your child can walk. “We start with our Baby Ballet Chicks who are aged 1-2, through Ducklings (2-4), Cygnets (4-6), Doves (6-9) and Swans (9-11) with boys only and adult classes too,” Donya tells me, “I also do RAD grade ballet classes for teenagers too.” Donya, who danced as an associate with the Northern Ballet Theatre for five years and as a soloist with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, began teaching in 2006 and has taken her classes into many private schools and nurseries. She’s now returned to her hometown of York to bring all her experience and knowledge to children here. “It’s so exciting to be back home doing the thing I love most,” said Donya. ”We’ll be offering lots of different classes, different music and props every week and optional RAD exams for those who want it. We can’t wait to get started!” Classes will take place in York at The Old School House, Wigginton, Holgate Methodist Church and The Meeting Room Heslington and run Monday to Saturday.

the early 2013, Th e Mount Junior Sc exciting events co hool has two ming up for pre-sc hoolers. Would your child like to see their wo an Art Exhibition? rk featured in On 28 January, the Mount Junior Scho first ever Art Exhib ol will open their itio school children. Th n of works by local nursery and pre e exhibition, with a ‘Winter’ theme, by local pre-scho will feature artwork ols and nurseries tak submitted ing part. York celeb Greg McGee, will join rity artist and galle ry owner, Haydn Lewis, Educ The Mount School’s Head of Art stu ati dies, Sian Gabraitis the three outstandin on Editor from the York Press to vie and w the exhibition an g entries. The winn d select Mount Junior Scho ing school will rec eive art supplies fro ol, and the top thr ee artworks will fea m “Members of the ture in The York Pre The public and especia ss. lly parents of child the exhibition are ren whose works invited to the open feature in ing on 28 January of The Mount Junio ,” said Rachel Ca r School. “The ev pper, Head ent begins at 1pm, during school hours and exhibition will until 4 February. We be open children to look at chose the theme their surroundings of ‘Winter’ to enco , what’s going on urage inspire their creati around them, and vity.” to let that The closing date for entries is 21 Ja nuary. Entries for 2-5 year olds and the exhibition are participation is fre open for e of charge. Fami the public are invite ly members and me d to view the Exhib mbers of School hours. ition from 28 Janu ary until 1 February during Does your child like On 6 February, the to dance to Disney tunes? Mount Junior Scho ol will hold their firs Workshop for 3-5 year olds. Run by t ever Disney Danc the School’s Danc e workshop encoura e instructor, Leigh ges children to ex Haines, the plore movement, Local nurseries an rhythm and – abov d preschools are e invited to take pa invited to come an rt from 10-11.30am all – fun! d wa . Parents are they will want to rem tch the final performance, which pro ember. “Children at that age love mu mises to be something and the workshop has positive mess sic, movement an d rhythm, ages which will bu them be comfortab ild le in their bodies through dance,” sa their confidence, and help of charge. ys Leigh. Participa tion is free Any parents intere sted in these wo rkshops are invite or nursery about d to ask their prethem, or they ma y wi school direct on 01904-6 67500 or via email sh to contact The Mount Junior School to registrar@mou .

Practice-a-thon is TEN!

This is the 10th year of Practice-a-thon; the music, song and dance fundraising campaign by CLIC Sargent, the children’s cancer charity. Over the last nine years schools and groups have raised over £900,000 for CLIC Sargent– and have had a For everything you need to know visit or great time doing it. call 0755 735 5562 The Harrogate Music centre took part in Practice-a-thon last year, raising over £1,750 for children and young people with cancer! This amazing total was raised by a ReeljigYou can also follow proceedings on Facebook at a-thon, where around 90 pupils from 8-18 years played Reels and Jigs non-stop for an hour! String players from Harrogate and Skipton Music Centres came together to perform at Harrogate High School.

If it snows...

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t: 01904 642666 & 01904 490339

6 Families

Vale of York

Every day 10 children and young people are told they have cancer, CLIC Sargent is there for them, providing practical, clinical and emotional support. The social care team at the Leeds General Infirmary provide support to families from across North Yorkshire. Find out more or sign up now at uk/practiceathon or call 0845 120 6340.

Belmont Grosvenor School PTA hands over £10,000 to Harrogate Charity Horticap Students and trustees from a Harrogate charity handed out some gardening tips to youngsters when they dropped into Belmont Grosvenor School to pick up a cheque for £10,000.

From left to right, Ro Trustees of Hortic wan LaBonte, 7, Joy Allan, Chair man of the ap, James McMa ste LaBonte, on the PTA committee an r, Horticap student, Kellie d Nina Brooksban colourful planters k, 8, planting at Belmont Gros venor School

A summer ball held at the independent prep school raised a record-breaking £20,000 – with the proceeds divided equally between the school’s PTA and Harrogate-based gardening charity Horticap.

Members of the school’s PTA have been raising money for Horticap, which provides adults with learning difficulties training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills. As the school’s adopted charity, pupils and Horticap students have worked closely on a number of projects, including making Christmas wreaths, planting Jubilee cherry trees and creating colourful planters. Joy Allan, Chairman of the Trustees of Horticap, said the charity was delighted with the £10,000 raised by the PTA at Belmont Grosvenor School. “This is a huge amount of money and we are very grateful, But it is not just about money, we have received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from all the members of the school community and it means a great deal to us. “Our students have thoroughly enjoyed their involvement with Belmont Grosvenor School and we are hoping our good relationship will continue,” she said.

Enjoy-A-Ball Harrogate & ay Knaresborough start Saturd Classes great year with over resborough have had another

Kna Enjoy-a-Ball Harrogate and on a regular basis. ses clas g ndin atte said dren 150 chil ch classes on a Saturday,” ses we have decided to laun clas our e ting eas exis incr of s to ces able suc be “Owing to the ice and we will give parents a greater cho The classes will take owner Lesley Reid. “This will g our fantastic programme. doin from efit ben can numbers so more children in the Harrogate area.” place on a Saturday morning ually develops sports-specific d 2½ to 9 years old and grad age s boy t. These are and girls for is Enjoy-a-Ball itively reinforced environmen ss eight ball sports in a pos As well as physical ket. cric and by skills and confidence acro rug is, , hockey, volleyball, tenn ial interaction, fidence, concentration, soc basketball, baseball, football elop life skills such as con dev fully care they t. ts men men iron improve fun env many more, in a caring and up to 30 sportsmanship values and ething fun and energetic for som t wan you y parties, “so if happy and every but tired e leav Enjoy-a-Ball also do birthda will dren ” said Lesley. “The chil in the Easter, children then look no further! also offer Holiday Camps astic medal at the end. We fant a get girl or boy y birthda days,” she added. Summer and Christmas holi ses or parties, then contact urday classes, any other clas om and fill an enquiry form Sat on tion rma info e mor If you would like www.enjoy-a-ball.c on 07789 861 108 or visit ent. Lesley for more information early to avoid disappointm k boo so s clas per dren chil 10 take only y The ne. in onli 89 861 108 077

Bankfield is ‘Outstanding’ Opened in 1997, Bankfield Pre-Prep has received an impressive five ‘Outstanding’ judgments by OFSTED who said “Excellent relationships have been developed with parents that are highly beneficial to the continuity of high quality care that the children receive.” The school has also received three ‘Outstanding’ ISI inspections. A team of experienced and highly qualified staff support children and their families through their early childhood year at Bankfield Pre-Prep. Play is planned around the Early Years Foundation Stage to extend every child’s learning and development and a large garden means children can experience and explore the natural environment first hand; children grow their own fruit and vegetables and watch ‘mini beasts’ in the garden. Inside, Bankfield Pre-Prep has a warm, homely atmosphere with three playrooms on each floor, a kitchen and recently refurbished bathrooms. Bankfield offers separate sessions for two, three and four year olds: two year old sessions are planned around children’s interests with an emphasis on sharing, caring and taking turns as well as learning to be part of a group. As part of Harrogate Ladies’ College, Bankfield Pre-Prep benefits from all the facilities and support that a senior school has to offer.

Families Vale of York



?? Whatdo you doat... Tennis Tykes

Braving a cold December evening, Families editor Belinda Maunsell visited a tennis class for school-aged children in Ripley, Harrogate. Many of the classes I visit are for preschoolers so it was refreshing to see what older children get up to when they enroll in an after school class. Caroline Buncall has been running Tennis Tykes for two and a half years now and her school age classes are proving a real hit. The class I visited has six children and runs from 5.30 - 6.15 at Ripley Village hall - a spacious venue with plenty of room for the budding tennis players to give it their all. “My maximum class size is eight,” says Caroline,”which means the children get plenty of individual attention and focused tuition.” I watched as the children warmed up to a line calling game. Different parts of the court were shouted out and the children had to run to the right spot - last one out became the caller. Impressively the children knew the names of the lines and court areas - and were keen to show exactly what they’d learned. Soon the nets were out and they were listening carefully as Caroline took them through the skills needed to practise their forehand and backhand. Each child took a turn to feed the balls and return them working carefully on movement, positioning and using the racket properly. What really impressed me about the class was the amount of individual tuition each child was receiving. Caroline’s helper Marione was also working with the children so the ratio of 1:4 was maintained throughout the session. Both teachers worked on each child’s specific weaknesses and when they began rallying Caroline and Marione played with each child in turn so they could achieve an impressive number or returns.

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Whilst they were rallying I took time to chat to mum Clare Gentle whose daughter Sophie has been playing tennis for a couple of years. When Caroline brought Tennis Tykes to Sophie’s nursery she’d really enjoyed it and so had wanted to continue when she started school.

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“Sophie has been here in this group for about a year after moving up

from the earlier stage class,” she tells me. “ She enjoys coming and I feel she’s made really good progress, not only with her tennis skills but with co-ordination and general ball skills. The tuition is very good and I think that if she chooses to play tennis when she’s older, she’ll have learned the right techniques without picking up bad habits - the way it’s taught is really clever.” “Also because Sophie goes to a very small primary school, this class gives her an opportunity to mix with other children of her age and take part in a healthy out of school activity. She particularly likes the games at the beginning and end of the sessions too.” And at that Caroline announces a final game of ‘Tidy the Bedroom’ which this week pits the boys against the girls. Fierce competition ensues with the girls victorious and everyone exhausted! Caroline re-capped what the children had learned and handed out the skills stickers explaining to whoops of joy that next week they would be starting competitions and scoring. As the children left I chatted to Caroline: “This class is aimed at children aged 4-6 she tells me. “The youngest who has been been coming since I began Tennis Tykes has just started in reception and he really has grown into a super little tennis player. We don’t follow strict age cut-offs - it depends on the individual which means children are always working at the right pace for them. Our pre-school classes are really popular too and we use nursery rhymes and integrate colour and number identification too, so it’s an all round education,” she adds. Caroline has also noticed through her work in schools that exercise helps children succeed in their academic studies too. “According to research,” she tells me,”how well children perform in the classroom could be linked to how physically active they are. And of course tennis is a great all-round sport.” It also teaches great manners too - I noticed how polite the children were and how taking turns, waiting and saying thank-you is central to how Caroline teaches. And you can see how much they enjoy it as they rush to give her big goodbye hugs as they leave!

s Classes mme About Tennis Tyke ’s Mini Tennis Progra y following the LTA pla . en urt co ildr ch all e sm Th a • d ll, small rackets an age using a sponge ba rting at around the sta en ildr ch for run es er ss oth cla l as ll oo we ch as e-s rby • Pr rrogate and Wethe of 2 two in York, Ha . es nu t age. Yorkshire ve cording to ability, no ced into classes ac • Children are pla www.tennistyk Find out more at ll@ ca un e.b lin ro 07843 342662 ca


Parents can be baffled by the number of different classes out there for pre-schoolers - so how do you choose what’s right for your little one? Families editor Belinda Maunsell went to find out what makes Diddi Dance different. Having visited lots of classes, I’ve always been impressed with the high quality of provision across our area - and Diddi Dance was no exception. What was different though was the way in which Diddi Dance is organised and how teacher Cath Hale works with the children in the session. Diddi Dance classes run across the region and I enjoyed a Monday morning class at Boston Spa in November. Before the session Cath explained that unlike most pre-school classes, Diddi Dance takes children from a mixed age range. ‘Children can begin at 18 months,’ she tells me, ‘and stay in the same class until they begin school.’ ‘We find that our children enjoy being in a mixed group very much and it makes life so much easier for parents as siblings can all be together. You’ll find no formal dance training here,’ she adds,‘ it’s a funky dance class aimed at exercise and fun.’ With that we’re off into the first half of the session with some free dancing, stopping and wiggling of body parts to warm up. Some of the smaller children are dancing away to themselves; the older ones are following Cath more closely to begin with. Soon though most of the children choose to copy the actions as they grow to be flowers, march, sway and twist. Diddi Dance encourages parents to join in if they wish - and Cath believes the children will get more out of classes if they do. Most of these parents are dancing away with their little ones - particularly those with younger children and the two newcomers who are enjoying a free trial session. The first part of the session continued as Cath took the children on a journey through dances which included counting, stretching and even French! What I particularly liked about this class was the completely relaxed approach of everyone involved. Cath never insisted on sitting in a circle or hands up; ‘you won’t find any turn taking here either,’ says Cath, ‘we don’t put children in the spotlight.’

You might think that this would be a recipe for chaos but far from it - I found the children most attentive, swept away by the exciting dances on offer rather than learning moves - perfect for kids who can’t sit still, who may be a little bit shy and especially boys! After some very energetic gallops, we start the second part of the session - the equipment! The children dance with pom poms and ribbons working on colour, counting and left and right. They play with hoops, rolling, skipping and wiggling and all the while Cath is helping them discover what they can do. Classes are based around different types of music and this week’s theme was Hip Hop with the Diddi Dance Crew complete with bottom spinning and ‘attitude’. The music is created by Diddi Dance for each class and includes themes such as Bollywood, Tap, Rock and Roll, Country and Pop. Soon it was time to finish but not . The price s a free trial class before Cath had performed her Diddi Dance offer ed in 4 or 8 week slots. ok famous ‘hoop trick’, a cool down and per class is £5 bo unt for 8 weeks. There is co of course stickers. There’s a 10% dis mbership g discount, no me lin sib % 10 a o break for als no th I’ve not been to a class that is as wi ar ye run all fee and classes . relaxed as this before. However the as tm n Chris holidays other tha children were completely engaged ugh on n Spa & Knaresboro esdays, sto Bo at run which is testament to the way the Tu Classes on rby the Fenton & We d class is structured as well as Cath’s Mondays, Church al on Thursdays an nn Pa ys, da es dn enthusiasm, skill and rapport with them. Harrogate on We ys. If you’re looking for a class for a lively or Starbeck on Frida visit venues and more quiet child, where there’s no issue with ss cla t ou d fin on To th Ca ll ca or .com them taking a quick snack on the dance www.diddidance floor and you can get up for a boogie 6 56 07917 757 too - try Diddi Dance.

Children’s Parties

at Ashville College, Harrogate

• • • • • • • • •

Hall hire & catering options Dedicated party co-ordinator Pool parties Football parties Roller Disco parties Face painting Bouncy Castle Enjoy-a-ball activities Peppa Pig lookalike appearances Contact our events team on 01423 724 827 or email Ashville College, Green Lane, Harrogate HG2 9JP

Families Vale of York


baby & pregnancy

Baby news Save up to £700 a year with Dotty Bots

Dotty Bots was created by mum of three Rebecca Wareing in 2011 after her youngest daughter had suffered a common skin reaction to disposable nappies. This, combined with the continuing high cost and smell of dirty disposable nappies lingering in the house, led Rebecca to look for an alternative. “I decided to research reusable nappies as I wanted to have a nappy that was kinder to both my children’s skin, easy to use, environmentally friendly and ultimately cheaper! After months spent trialling several products and samples. I eventually settled upon a solution that ticked all boxes and Dotty Bots was born.” This proved to be a life-changing moment as not only had Rebecca found the perfect nappy for her daughters, she was now saving up to £700 per year buying disposable nappies and in excess of £1400 from birth to potty training, per child! Many councils, mindful of the 8 million disposable nappies entering our landfill sites each year, now offer cashback schemes and free reusable nappies to encourage parents to switch. It’s never been easier! Dotty Bots have recently developed several different styles of nappies, from animal patterns to unique hand appliqued designs. They are also manufacturing a ‘home grown’ range of nappies at a factory in Huddersfield. Now entering their second year of trading, the business Rebecca started from her kitchen table is growing nicely. They have lately won contracts supplying councils and retail outlets across Europe and as far afield as Australia and Canada.

Create a daily Photo Journal

Like all parents, Karen Messenger enjoys taking pictures of her daughter, capturing the smallest moments in her child’s development and documenting her journey from baby through to little girl. But unlike most mums, though, Karen a single mum from Yorkshire decided to keep a journal of her daughter on Blipfoto, an online daily photo journal. She’s taken a picture of her daughter Katie every day since birth and this month Katie celebrates her third birthday. That’s three years of consecutive photos... “This journal is her journal,” says Karen. “It’s her story, our story together - from the start, through as long as she will let me carry it on. It’s for her to see the journey we go on together, the things she may not remember, things I hope she will. How she’s grown, changed, become the person she will be in the future, what life with her in it means to me. But most of all, I want her journal because I want her to see what a wonderful joy she is to raise and how precious she is.” Blipfoto is completely free to sign up and use. However, Blipfoto users are given the option of upgrading to a full membership for an annual fee (£25). This membership gives loads of extra functionality and benefits to the user, however it also allows Blipfoto to remain free of advertising.

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Charity tackles ignorance about fertility So you want to have a baby (or another one), but are you sure you know how? Sexual health charity FPA reports that a significant proportion of couples trying to conceive don’t understand enough about fertility and as a result may mistakenly believe they have a medical problem. There are many common myths about fertility and evidence from an FPA study reveals that 50% of adults don’t know basic facts about reproduction. As a result couples trying to get pregnant could suffer unnecessary stress as well as wasting money on expensive fertility tests and treatments. “Equally, couples with a genuine problem may be waiting for nature to take its course,” says Natika Halil from FPA, “when in fact there is a fertility issue and they need professional help without delay.” To reduce these potential problems, FPA has launched Fertility Awareness Kits to assist couples when starting or extending a family, available from The charity also runs a helpline 0845 122 8690.

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Vale of York

The Little Gym -

The earlier you start, the easier it is!

Once you’ve got yourself into some semblance of routine with a new baby, it’s time to look for some activities. Not only is a baby class great for baby but it’s good for parents too. Kate Henebury of The Little Gym in Harrogate explains why their baby classes offer just the right start. “One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is confidence, gained from a rich, exciting childhood,” says Kate. “Experiences gained during these formative years will mould them for the rest of their lives. At The Little Gym Harrogate we offer a tailored programme in a sociable, vibrant and colourful gym that can help you and your child get the most out of each stage of their development. “Our Bugs classes start from just four months. Right from the start, our programme is orientated towards stimulating the senses and developing motor, emotional and perceptual skills. As the children grow our programme grows with them. Our lesson plan is based on decades of hands on experience. The programme also provides parents with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rapid development in this early stage of life. “In the bugs classes you and your child will explore a variety of movements in our gym filled with soft equipment. The classes are colourful and lively, with lots of exploration, ball play, music, songs and bubbles. You will be taught how to practice exercises safely and learn more about the benefits they bring. Exploring new grounds together will increase trust and confidence in both you and your child.” For more information or to book a FREE introductory class call 01423 701560

Rhythm Time raise funds for BLISS

Children from pre-school music class Rhythm Time raised an impressive £149 for teh charity Bliss which cares for sick and premature babies. ‘Our raffle prizes were two Rhythm Time mascots otherwise known as Ratatat the Rabbit said class leader Lynne O’Malley. ‘We are delighted to announce the two lucky winners are Alexander Pringle of Saltaire and William Tilbrook of Wetherby, who get themselves a lovely cuddly Ratatat.’ Our picture shows Helen from Bliss receiving her cheque, with some help from Solomon, Tamsin and Ratatat!

New Bumps Club Arrives in York Pregnant women in York can now benefit from a new group set up just for them. Bumps Club meets weekly in Mothercare at Clifton Moor. Families editor Belinda Maunsell went to meet them. Whether you’re pregnant for the first time or fifth time pregnancy is quite an adventure. Entering (or re-visiting) the world of pregnancy, babies and motherhood can be a real eye-opener and at times baffling. You’re certain to have lots of questions but don’t want to bother your midwife or doctor and internet research is no substitute for a real person - an expert in their field. ‘Bumps Club’ is a group of pregnancy experts who will answer your questions and provide information and support for pregnancy, birth and beyond. You’ll get brilliant advice because the practitioners have a great deal of experience between them. There’s no hard sell - their advice is free and you’ll get it in comfy surroundings - with chance do do a bit of shopping as well!

Who’s Who?

Each week you’ll find an independent midwife, a doula & hypnobirthing practitioner, a reflexologist, a baby yoga teacher as well as guest baby experts. It may be that you have questions about pregnancy, want to know more about your options for giving birth, or help with breastfeeding. Whether you’re a first time mum who wants to research every option or someone who wants to have a different experience of pregnancy or birth than previously, Bumps Club can help.

Cathy is a birth doula which means she supports and guides pregnant couples through childbirth. ‘I meet with expectant parents well before their baby is due,’ she says, ‘sometimes as early as 12 weeks but often later, say at 6 or 7 months. ‘Couples want support for all kinds of reasons. It may be that partners can’t be at the birth or that they have some challenges to face. There doesn’t need to be a problem though. These days midwives are unable to attend to couples throughout their labour and there are times when partners need to rest or eat – or even go to the loo! There can be quite a lot of pressure on the partner to get everything right so I can take away those worries and help fathers participate with confidence. ‘Research has shown that the benefits of using a doula can shorten first time labour by up to two hours, decrease the need for pain medication and increase breastfeeding success. The whole process can make you feel so much more empowered as you’re with someone who has been there before and who can be there for you throughout.’ Cathy is also a hypnobirthing practitioner and often combines this with her work as a doula.

I chatted to Chris from Yorkshire Storks about the kind of women who choose to have an independent midwife. There’s a quite a range of reasons why women choose us,’ she told me. ’Some women want a really personal midwife service. They may have particular medical needs or perhaps they have some issues surrounding previous childbirth. Many women want to give birth at home and using an independent midwife can really help you get the experience you want.’

Save up to £700 per year by making the switch to modern cloth nappies Great nappy packs available for local mums just contact

Yorkshire Storks can also offer lots of practical advice on, for example, ultrasound scans, baby slings, birth plans, water births, feeding, nappies and much, much more. Reflexology is the concept that everything in the body is reflected in the feet. Fiona Harris has been practising for a number of years and I talked to her as she treated me to a complimentary session. ‘Reflexology can help with any pregnancy related issue,’ Fiona tells me. ‘From simply helping a woman to relax or de-stress to dealing with specific problems such as backache, morning sickness, constipation, heartburn or stomach problems. I’ve helped turn breech babies through reflexology and helped induce labour. ‘After babies are born, mums can benefit from continued treatment for issues such as fatigue, sleep problems and post natal depression. I’ve also helped couples with fertility problems and reflexology is fabulous for babies too.’

Samantha Dalton runs baby Yoga classes and told me how beneficial they have been for babies –and mums too! ‘Baby Yoga is a way of using touch to communicate with your baby and can really help with issues such as balance and co-ordination, digestion, strengthening reflexes and improving muscle tone. Babies’ sleep can improve and Yoga can be helped to calm babies down when they are feeling a bit fractious,’ she tells me. ‘It’s not just for baby though, mums get ation some time to do some gentle postnatal Moor, York urther Inform F rcare, Clifton free to attend. he ot M at ts exercise too - and it’s great for getting out is Mee Bumps Club ay from 10.30 - 12.30 and and meeting new mums just like you!’ sd every Wedne or follow them uk ps um .b w w psClubYork e at w Find out mor at ok on Facebo

• Nannies • Maternity Practitioners • Nursery Staff • Babysitting • Mobile Creches For all your childcare needs contact the agency with a helping hand Contact: Vickie Edwards on 01904 691698 or log on to: or email

Families Vale of York


baby & pregnancy

Hypno Birthing by Ashley Parker Arcurs

Pregnancy can be a pretty up and down experience for women and their partners. With all sorts of unexpected changes occurring and the anticipation of labour and birth, fear and anxiety is often evoked. Ideally women would be able to approach their labour and birth with excitement and optimism and the experience would not include the discomfort and pain that some experience, however this is often not quite the case. Images of women laying on their backs with feet in stirrups, screaming and panting and pushing until they have nothing left to give, is often what is portrayed through media and even through stories from family and friends. With increasing choices for where and how a woman chooses to give birth, this doesn’t have to be everyone’s experience. HypnoBirthing is an approach to antenatal education, based on logic which aims to give couples all of the information and tools to approach the birth of their baby with confidence and empowerment and the ability to achieve a calm, natural and comfortable birth experience. HypnoBirthing isn’t just for first time Mums, it works for women who have varying experiences in the past, such as trauma or simply wanting to be more in control of their experience. There is occasional scepticism and worries about what hypnosis is and the simple answer is it is simply a way of releasing some of the un-helpful and debilitating beliefs and assumptions that we acquire on our journey through life. It can actually control

“Images of women laying on their backs with feet in stirrups, screaming and panting and pushing until they have nothing left to give, is often what is portrayed through media...”

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Vale of York

pain and there is no magic to achieving success with self-hypnosis; almost anyone who chooses to, can reach deep relaxation and redirected focus. Hypnotherapy is simply words, used in a positive and focused way, to help release worries and concerns about giving birth which is useful for first time Mums and those who have maybe not enjoyed the experience in the past. Women’s bodies are designed to birth their babies naturally and statistics support this, as the majority of women can and do. In HypnoBirthing we talk about how the uterine muscles work and why when relaxed and free of tension, the birthing muscles work efficiently and in harmony. Dr Dick-Read, the author of Childbirth without Fear postulated that the fear experienced by women in childbirth caused the blood to be diverted away from her uterus, in order to be used by other muscles to enable her to escape from danger. The result of this was to starve the uterus of oxygen, therefore preventing it from carrying out its intended function without pain. This phenomenon he called “the fear-tensionpain syndrome of childbirth”. Dr Dick-Read believed that if a woman was able to eliminate the fear, her uterus would return to its normal function, thus eliminating the pain. He concluded that fear and tension was responsible for 95 percent of labour pain, which could be eliminated through relaxation techniques. By learning specific breathing techniques, visualisation and self hypnosis, it is possible to reach a deep state of relaxation, giving the body the best chance to do as nature intended. The NHS is currently running a trial about hypnobirthing (the SHIP trial), with the aim of demonstrating its effectiveness and

how the unnecessary medicalisation of normal births can be avoided. HypnoBirthing is regularly being offered now within maternity units and hospitals across the UK. Hypnosis is recognised in the UK by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and has been approved by the British Medical Association (BMA) for over 40 years.

‘Hypnotherapy is simply words, used in a positive and focused way, to help release worries and concerns about giving birth...” HypnoBirthing classes can be held in small groups or privately within your own home. You will learn all about the physiological side of childbirth, relaxation techniques, including breathing techniques, visualisation, self hypnosis and light touch massage which is used by your partner to deepen your relaxation. HypnoBirthing is not a magic solution, nor is it a guarantee for the ‘perfect birth’, but it is a collection of uncomplicated tools that with practice and dedication work and even when special medical circumstances may arise, hypnobirthing helps mothers feel more calm and in control over treatment options. Most importantly, if the birth is calm, gentle and drug free for you, it’s also calm, gentle and drug free for your baby, so this little person arrives in the world alert, and with a mother who is alert and ready to receive it lovingly and attentively. Hypnobabies are often described as calm and serene and adjust well to sleeping and eating patterns.

Hypnobirthing Choosing hypnobirthing doesn’t mean your labour will go as you planned - far from it. No-one can know what’s going to happen, as Hanora Habberjam found out. The difference is how you deal with it. “I decided to take a hypnobirthing course because I like to be in control of what’s happening,” explains Hanora, “in as far as you can with something like the birth of a baby! “I’d not had a great deal of time to think about being pregnant,” says Hanora,”I was teaching at the time and undertaking some other professional training too so the decision to take the course was a way of giving me permission to focus on the baby. “The five week course began when I was around 27 weeks pregnant and both myself and my husband attended the 2 hour sessions. We were given proper explanations of the process of childbirth - understanding what’s happening takes away a lot of the fear about the process. Another really important aspect of those first sessions was the way in which we talked about labour. Gone was the language of ‘pain relief’, ‘drugs’ and ‘pain management’ and we began using much more positive language and terminology. There was lots of positive affirmation, relaxation and visualisation and I was trained to breathe properly. I was given a file, book and a cd so that I could practice at home and it felt good to be able to stop occasionally and focus just on myself and the baby amidst the day to day stresses of my working life. “I remember working on distraction techniques and spending quite a lot of time learning about breastfeeding including the physiology of what happens. I’m sure one of the reasons I managed to breastfeed so successfully afterwards was because I understood what was actually happening during feeding.” As is often the case though, things didn’t go according to plan for Hanora and her baby was 14 days overdue.

“I was induced,” she tells me, “and I really hadn’t wanted that at all. Medical intervention would mean I wouldn’t be in complete control of my body. But all was not lost; this was where the hypnobirthing course really helped. I was able to use so many of the techniques I’d been taught to help me stay calm throughout the it: vis whole labour. I made good progression without pain out Ashley Parker ab on ati orm inf re For mo irth ob relief because my breathing was so effective.” ypn gh kin ma the www.miraclein obirthingyork pn /hy com ok. bo ace But then came another setback, Hanora was placed www.f on a monitor, her contractions slowed and ultimately www.miracleinthemakin she needed a Caesarean. Her baby hadn’t moved 07707 151 239 ing visit irth down as the cord had been around her neck. oB pn Hy t ou ab o For further general inf atio oci ass ing irth ob “I know that things didn’t go as I’d imagined they www.thehypn

Further Information:

case study

would but the training I had helped me approach each decision calmly. I learned there are no prizes for a ‘perfect delivery’ and that birth is just the start of life with your baby. “Eleanor was an impressive 10lb 2oz which is why she was perhaps a bit tricky to deliver! Looking back I can say I honestly enjoyed my labour. Other women may read this and think it must have been a ‘nightmare’ but it’s all a matter of perspective - hypnobirthing taught me that. Many women have experiences just like mine but it can be made easier by learning the coping techniques of hypnobirthing. “Of course everything was fine in the end. Eleanor’s now four and a half, has a baby brother and has just started school. I keep on learning from her every day.”

‘I learned there are no prizes for a ‘perfect delivery’ and that birth is just the start of life with your baby.’

Families Vale of York


baby & pregnancy


Products We take a look at what’s new on the market for little ones this year.

See your baby, see the road With most modern cars having passenger side airbags it is not always possible to place rear facing baby seats on the front passenger seat. The Easy-View from Diono is the first back seat mirror that rotates 360 degrees and pivots on a ball and socket to provide the perfect angle for viewing your baby in the rear of the car. Easy-View attaches to the centre of the rear headrest, which means that it maintains unobstructed rear visibility for the driver and is easily fitted in seconds. Price: £12.99. For more information visit

Rotating Car Seat ‘The Cybex Sirona car seat is a really exciting new product,’ says Kevin Clarkson of Paul Stride in York. ‘There’s been nothing like it on the market before as the seat rotates from rear-facing to frontfacing.’ Rear-facing child seats reduce the risk of injury in a head-on collision by more than 80 % when compared to a conventional forward-facing seat with harness system so it’s important that babies face backwards. When a child is older they may want to face forwards and what’s clever about this seat is that it does both. ‘It also provides easy entry and exit,’ says Kevin, ‘as with one click the seat can be turned to the side. It also makes it hassle-free to change between the rear-facing and forward-facing positions – without having to take the seat completely out.’

Rest, Play, Walk, Jump! This Rest & Play Walker/Jumper from East Coast Nursery is for use from approximately 6 months or when your baby can sit unaided and can be used in two modes as either a walker or a jumper with its sprung legs. The walker / jumper has 3 adjustable heights to suit your baby as he grows, a removable electronic play tray with lights and music to keep baby amused for hours and adjustable volume. It also has a padded, wipe clean seat and a supportive backrest. Price: from £80.00.

Cybex Cirona RRP approx £400 depending on fabric. Available from Paul Stride, 20 Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross, York 01904 674800

Straight from the Pouch KOKO Food Pouch Spoons are the perfect way to feed babies their favourite pouches of baby food without any of the associated mess and fuss and without the need to empty the contents into a bowl. Designed to fit most leading brands of food pouches the Food Pouch Spoons are suitable for use from 4 months with the soft silicone version and from 6 months with the durable polypropylene version. Both are supplied in a handy travel case for when you are out and about with 2 spoons in a pack. Price: £4.49 for a pack of 2 clear silicone. £3.99 for a pack of 2 orange polypropylene. Available online and in Tesco, Asda & Morrison’s.

The Toddler Sense Adventure Play Programme! For Young Adventurers aged 13 months to 3 years old Our classes run on a rolling basis so you can join at any time – no need to wait until the start of a new term. Come along for a FREE TRIAL SESSION and see for yourself what Toddler Sense is all about! Spaces available NOW in Poppleton and York

Climb Snow Mountains, Swim with Dolphins, Go on Safari Experience a magical, multi-sensory interactive experience Emphasis is on mobility, excitement and adventure Every week introduces a whole new adventure

For more details or to book a FREE TRIAL, contact Liz: Tel: 07565 551415 Email: The Next Step from the Award Winning Baby Sensory

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Vale of York

Little Me Hampers Little Me creates practical hampers for new parents - full of just what you need. Simply telephone or email your order and it will be made up to your exact specifications. Popular choices include baby bath time essentials such as shampoo, sponge, cotton wool and baby bath as well as cream, cotton buds and much more - all in a keepsake box. You can email Christine on tel: 07842 527 467






WWW.SUPERCAMPS.CO.UK • 01235 832222

All Change This innovative and practical Changing Mat by East Coast Nursery features an integral play arch is available in either Jungle or Twilight pattern. Softly padded with a waterproof wipe clean surface the changing mat can also be used as a play mat with the cute characters helping to amaze and amuse baby, making nappy change time a lot less stressful for babies and parents. The multi position play arch is easily removable making the foldable mat fully portable and easy to store. The Jungle mat has toys that rattle, squeak and crinkle while Twilight has bright soft toys. Price: £29.99

For a little ray of sunshine!

If you’re stuck for a gift for a new baby, this gorgeous Sunshine Bouquet is a perfect for a baby boy or girl.

The hand wrapped gift contains a Bee-Bo five piece gift set comprising sleep suit, vest, hat, bib and socks, all of which are 100% cotton. Also includes a cotton muslin square and a changing mat - all beautifully swaddled in a super soft cellular blanket. Brightly wrapped with a selection of silk flowers and foliage to replicate a floral arrangement, presented in a bouquet box for easy display. This gift is enhanced upon opening by a scented organza bag filled with dried lavender and rose petals. Price £35. Available in other sizes and colours.

Weekend Bag Made from durable and lightweight neoprene this Weekend Accessory Bag from Bebemon has enough space for trips out with baby but is very small and compact • Stimulating multi-sensory baby classes

The Velcro fastener will allow it to be easily attached to any stroller and it can also be attached to car seats - ensuring things stay put during journeys. The roomy internal pocket will hold nappies and wipes while the external pocket is great for soothers and personal items and two bottle holders take care of drinks for you and baby.

• Exciting toddler classes • Educational pre-school sessions • Classes in Harrogate, Wetherby, Skipton and Wharfedale.

Price: £22.99. For more information visit

Call for your FREE trial session

Call Lynne on 07789 895894

Cook ahead Clevamama™ ClevaPortions™ contain 8 individual storage pots for freezing single portions of home prepared food. Each pot sits neatly in their tray for easy storage and the transparent plastic allows you to easily see what is in each pot. The pots are is designed to make the preparation, cooking and freezing of baby’s meals simple and less time consuming. Suitable from freezer to microwave and dishwasher safe, each of the individual tubs has a snap on lid that helps to lock in the flavour of the food. Price: £4.49

Families Vale of York


baby & pregnancy

Osteopathy for Babies

by Steven Ojari

Why take my baby to an Osteopath?

An Osteopath can help

Many people may have been to see an Osteopath for a sore back or neck but never dreamt of taking their baby; why would you? They don’t get aches and pains and you certainly wouldn’t want them stretched and ‘clicked’ back into place if they did, right? What a lot of people don’t know is that there are a number of Osteopaths who specialise in treating children using extremely gentle methods.

Well, a newborn baby is soft and flexible and this includes the bones too. Many are in fact still cartilage like your nose or ear. This does help the baby absorb the forces placed upon it during pregnancy and birth, but distortions can remain afterwards and this is where an Osteopath can help.

What for you may ask, if they don’t get aches and pains? Well, when you consider what a baby has to go though to enter the world, arguably the most physically stressful event of their entire life - I’m sure some mums may share these sentiments; after all it has been referred to as squeezing a melon out of a lemon! Not a walk in the park really, but imagine what it’s like being that melon; your precious little baby! It’s easy to understand that a physical legacy may remain within the baby from the whole experience. Add to this the fact that the newly born baby now has to learn how to adjust and survive in the big wide world after being in a protected fluid environment – the womb; where everything you need is delivered directly to you.

But how, you may ask?

Osteopaths spend years honing their palpation; that is being able to feel how the components of the body move and knowing how they should. It is this ability that allows us to use our hands and gently guide things back to where they should be in order for them to keep working most efficiently. A baby’s head is made up of many bones all ‘floating’ on top of the brain rather than the tightly fitting ‘helmet’ of an adults skull, it’s also the largest part of a baby so undergoes the most force during birth. Further to this the control centre of the body (the brain) is housed within the skull and all its wires (nerves) must leave the skull to reach the rest of the body, which it controls to ensure it works optimally. Unsurprisingly Osteopaths are very interested in how the bones of the head move. It may sound awfully complicated, and it is, but there is a saving grace; the fact that each person has within them the ability to heal, grow and function healthily. All the Osteopath is doing is trying to remove any barriers to this occurring. This is what an Osteopath does - we ensure that nothing impedes the body’s own ability to work harmoniously.

Physical factors can remain from pregnancy and birth and these play a role in many common complaints that often affect babies such as colic, reflux, sleep problems and plagiocephaly (flattening on the back of the head), it is these physical factors that Paediatric Osteopaths work to resolve to allow your baby to grow, develop and flourish.

Further Information

Steven Ojari is an Osteopath who specialises in the treatment of children. Until recently he worked at the Osteopathic Centre for Children in London. He currently works in Selby every Wednesday, Sheffield on Tuesdays and on Fridays and teaches at Leeds Metropolitan University when not in clinic. Babies under 6 months of age are entitled to a free initial consultation with Steven. Selby Osteopaths, 30a Gowthorpe (above the Yorkshire Building Society), Selby, YO8 4ET. 01757 704152 http://selbyosteopaths.

Links to resources:

Bannerdale Osteopathic Practice, 280 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 1FL, 0114 2556255 Baby calm book really useful with lots of good advice.

16 Families

Vale of York Information from Great Osmond Street Hospital about plagiocephaly. Osteopathic Centre for Children.

case studies


William had become very unsettled and was crying incessantly into the evening and night, much to his parents exasperation. They really struggled to find any way of relieving his apparent discomfort, passing wind did seem to bring some relief but not always. The newly born baby has to learn how to process the milk it is ingesting, which can lead to excess gas being produced. Trapped wind can be very uncomfortable, as you may well know. During the case history it was discovered that the labour was quite slow to progress with a long 2nd stage of pushing. This was found to have caused compression at the base of the skull. The vagus nerve, which helps the body co-ordinate digestion, exits through a small hole in this region. By gently releasing the compression, allowing the nerve to have more space to function correctly and showing his parents a simple tummy massage to help move the gas through William’s gut he was much more content in the evenings, as were his parents!


Emily was brought in by her mum who was concerned that there was some flattening to one side of the back of her head Since the introduction of the ‘Back to Sleep’ initiative in 1994, all parents are advised to place children on their backs to sleep. This has seen a great reduction in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and is undoubtedly excellent advice. However as babies have soft malleable skulls it can cause a flattening to one side of the back of their head if they consistently lie on the same side Whilst the flattening is usually merely cosmetic it’s the underlying cause that is of greater interest. A baby may favour one side for a number of reasons including the side mum and dad are to them in the room and other stimuli, but it may be due to a sore neck or tight muscles in the neck. As the baby is born it has to rotate through the pelvis and this can cause an issue. Treatment involved aiding the child’s ability to comfortably move the neck fully in both directions using gentle techniques to release a tight muscle and giving advice to the parents about turning the cot around so she is encouraged to turn her head towards them during the night (her reluctant side).


Isla was a very sicky baby. It upset her greatly when she was sick, she didn’t like to lie flat on her back, which her parents had initially mistaken for her getting upset when she was put down. She was fine in her car seat and was having to sleep in it sometimes, as it seemed the only place she was comfortable. On discussing the birth history it was discovered that Isla was quiet and limp when born and took a little while to ‘come around’. Whilst examining Isla a poor feeling of movement was present in the diaphragm – the muscle that is primarily responsible for breathing and through which the oesphageous passes. Reflux is when the partially digested contents of the stomach go back up the food pipe and the diaphragm is largely responsible for forming the sphincter that prevents this. It was believed the birth had caused a delay in Isla’s first breath - something that can often be palpated by an Osteopath and may result in a poorly functioning diaphragm. Work directly over the diaphragm to stimulate its activity with advice about giving smaller, more frequent feeds saw a big improvement and soon the car seat was back in its rightful place, the car!

Our dance and movement classes are a great introduction to physical exercise for kids aged 6 months to 4 years Singing Dancing Skipping Hopping Music Instruments Colours Numbers Balance Confidence Coordination Interaction Fun Certificates Contact Katie to find out where your local classes are...

T: 0113 287 6252 M: 07834 266350

For gifts with a personal touch! WO


A fantastic range of hand-crafted gift sets and “alternative bouquets” for any occasion.

Babies, birthdays and beyond...

Call: (01482) 638355 Families Vale of York


family holid

How to have your best

Joanna Moorhead, who has been planning her family’s holidays for the last 20 years, shares her insider tips to help you plan for a summer to remember in 2013 Fantastic family holidays don’t just happen. They’re crafted, often by hours of work from one or both parents, who spend endless amounts of time planning, plotting, budgeting and making sure safety nets are in place to stop hiccups becoming disasters. Of course everyone loves spontaneity - but for spontaneous decision to be possible, especially where a family with children are concerned, a framework has to be in place...and getting that framework right is the backbone of every holiday.

So how do you do it? Here are our top ten secrets:

Don’t cut corners

To get the right holiday, you may have to spend a long time on research. Don’t begrudge this time, and don’t expect the perfect holiday to fall into your lap without it: after your mortgage, your car and (if you’re paying them) your child’s school or university costs, the money you spend on your holiday is your biggest outlay. So doing the homework matters. Start with a list of what sort of holiday you’re looking for – the location you’re after, what facilities you need close by, what sort of accommodation you need, how far it needs to be from the airport, and so on. Give yourself parameters, and then get googling. Keep a list of possible resorts/villas/hotels; whittle it down to a shortlist; and then make a decision.

Don’t expect a bargain

After two decades of planning holidays for my family (my children are aged between ten and 20), I’m sure of one thing: where school holidays are concerned, bargains are as rare as hen’s teeth. Far better to start from the premise that you’ll get what you pay for. Look for the best deal, the best quality that you can possibly afford: but if somewhere seems a lot cheaper than other places, scrutinise it very carefully indeed.

Space is crucial

You know those places that say ‘sleep 4/6’ and turn out, on closer inspection, to have a pull-down bed in the sitting room? Avoid them (at full capacity) like the plague. Squeezing as many people as possible in is fine for students, less good for grown-ups. You want a bit of luxury on holiday – and space is luxurious.

Location, location, location

Just as when you’re buying a house, this is your number one priority. Some of the villas I’ve looked at for my family’s holiday this year are twice the price of others, simply because of where they are. And guess what: I can understand why. On holiday I want a great view and shops and restaurants we can walk to. If you’ve got younger children, a beach within walking distance may be your number one location priority. Know what you need, and don’t settle for less.

Friends matter

So think very carefully about who to holiday with. However close you are, nothing scratches away at a friendship’s weakest points as much as sharing two weeks together. You think you know that couple, and you think you like their kids? Take it from me, you’re going to know a lot about them, and you may have totally reassessed their kids, by the flight home.

Be honest about the sort of experience you want

Holidays aren’t times to be aspirational, or eyeing up the Joneses, or following the in-crowd. They’re about being honest about how you’d really love to spend a fortnight with your family – and who cares what anyone else might think. You don’t need anyone else’s approval, or envy, for the holiday you choose: what this is about is working out what’s right for your family, and making it happen.

Once you’re there, alternate busy days with quiet ones

Even if you’re a busy, boisterous, action-packed family, everyone needs some downtime. The easiest, simplest way to make sure you get both busy days and more relaxed ones is simply to alternate them. If you went to a water park yesterday, relax by the pool today. If you went fell-walking yesterday, read a book and have a cream tea today. Overloading is the enemy of a good holiday.

Don’t over-plan

Have ideas, but leave space to be open to what you find when you get there. It’s well worth doing some research about the area you’ll be staying in – essential, in fact – but it’s a mistake to plan every jot and comma of your stay before you even touch down. You want to explore, to discover, to be surprised, to make friends – and all these things will only happen if you’ve left the space for them to unfold. So, for as much knowledge as you’ve learned beforehand, always be flexible about what you’re going to find out, and want to do, when you actually get there.

Embrace change

As your family grows up, be ready to move on to new destinations and new experiences. For three years running my family had wonderful holidays in a hilltop villa in inland, northern Mallorca. It was perfect for us: but by the third year it was obvious my older daughters needed something more: shops, places to hang out, a beach they could walk to. I was desperately unhappy about giving up the villa: but guess what? The following year I found somewhere even better.

Set boundaries

It might be a holiday, but rules ensure everyone – especially the parents – get a break. If your children are younger, those rules might be about bedtime (you need some time with your partner, so letting your kids stay up all evening might not be the best move), or about time for the children to go to the crèche; if your children are older, the rules might be about sharing the washing up, or about how much contact you need to have with them through the day. But put your rules in place, because then everyone can relax and have what they came to do: have a wonderful fortnight away.

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Stay on a Farm >

Farm Stay UK is a farmers cooperative that celebrates it’s 30th birthday next year. All its members are working farms, small holders or rural enterprises and they offer holiday accommodation ranging from B&B in a farmhouse to self-catering in converted barns and even a converted pig sty. Many also run traditional campsites. Chief Executive Andy Woodward says “in the last few years many of our members have begun to offer alternative accommodation such as pods, wigwams and shepherds huts. They are great because you have all the fun of camping, with a bit of glamour. Some pods sleep 2 but there are also family pods which sleep 4-6. Facilities at each site will differ with some being part of an established campsite, and others are part of a smaller venue”. For more details visit and if you are interested in staying in a pod, wigwam or shepherds hut search for “alternative & camping” in the “accommodation type” field. The National Youth Hostel Association also offer pods at two of their Youth Hostel sites - Hawkshead, Ambleside in the Lake District and Grinton Lodge in North Yorkshire, which have proved very popular with visitors. The pods come equipped with power, heat and light and are insulated with sheeps wool to ensure a warm night’s sleep for all the family. They also have a covered seating and cooking area. See for more details.

day < The


Enjoy the best of the beautiful British countryside from the comfort of a luxurious canvas lodge equipped with a wood burning stove, comfy beds, a nice warm shower and much more inside. They also have a self-catering farmhouse on their family-run, organic farm. With acres of grassland for kids to run wild, and lots of local attractions such as Stonehenge and Longleat there really is something for everyone! T:01380 828351


The Alps are much too good to save for your skiing holidays – in fact, those who’ve tried the area summer and winter often say summer is the best time to be there. For a wonderful family Alpine holiday, you’ll be hard-pressed to improve on the Chilly Powder formula – choose from a luxurious hotel or a villa, all set in a biscuit-tin picture-perfect location, complete with in-chalet childcare and – for the foodies – an in-chalet chef. Sports on offer include white water rafting, rock-climbing, trekking, tennis and summer tobogganing. Prices vary depending on what sort of package you’re after, but as a for-instance, Chalet des Amis (three bedrooms; sleeps up to eight) is £1,200 in the midsummer. More information at

North Devon >

Devon is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, and for good reason: wonderful beaches, plenty to do (even in the rain), beautiful scenery and a wide choice of where to stay. Libbear Barton, a country estate on the north side of the county, hits just the right note of luxury (beamed cottages that are beautifully laid out and furnished) and has everything on hand, from stairgates to babysitters, for the hard-pressed family. There’s an indoor pool, games room, play areas inside and out, fishing lake and woods – all on a rolling, 40-acre estate, and with the sea a half hour’s drive away. Perfect for big families or families holidaying together – the farmhouse sleeps up to 14. Prices vary, but for example Moley’s Place, sleeping eight in four bedrooms, costs around £1,700 a week in high summer. More information at

Skiing >

Ski with an independent tour operator Established 21 years ago, Ski Famille offers families a range of handpicked properties in France and Austria. All chalet holidays include 5 days of free childcare and all properties are ski in/ski out or very close to the piste. Chris Thompson, managing director says: “the business has a high rate of repeat business and the majority of new guests choose Ski Famille as the result of a personal recommendation.” The Ski Famille office team are all keen skiers or boarders with young children of their own so they know how to ensure families book the right holiday for their needs. Visit for more details.

Families Vale of York


20Families 20 Families Vale Vale ofof York York

what’s on in jan/feb‘12

Mount Grace Priory

Open weekends in Jan & Feb 10am - 4pm 01609 883494

We’ve ordered everything according to start date – be sure to look out for all the events which run for several weeks / weekends too. And be sure to check before you set off. These were correct as we went to print but may have changed.

things to do, places to go



CLIFFORD’S TOWER Tours are held at 10.00, 11.15, 12.00, 12.45, 13.30, 14.15, 15.00 and last approx 1 hour. No need to book. Last tour 3pm. 26 - 27 JAN


ANIMAL WORLD AT TOO HOOTS Lots of animals to see & feed, toys to play on, picnic area, tearoom & garden centre.

Hirst Road, Carlton, Near Goole, DN14 9PX 01405 862854 EVERY DAY


The Gardens, Park and Adventure Playground are open daily throughout Jan & Feb from 10 - 4pm 01653 648333 SAT & SUN JAN & FEB 11.30 & 1.30 PM


RIPLEY CASTLE The Castle’s experienced guides have tailor-made a tour specially for children.


HARLOW CARR The RHS is helping the RSPB with the world’s largest wildlife survey – the Big Garden Birdwatch! Why not get involved and help survey the birds at Harlow Carr? Wrap up warm and join family and friends on a guided bird walk. The RSPB will also be on hand to answer all your questions. 01423 565418 Gardens/Harlow-Carr

27 JAN 10AM & 1PM


YORK ENVIRONMENT CENTRE Free 1-hour guided tours of St Nicholas Fields Nature Reserve and York Environment Centre as part of the York Residents Festival. Between 11:30am12:30 you can also join the

reserve Wildwatch Group for lunch while watching and counting birds for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Light refreshments available. If possible book ahead. 31 JAN


HARLOW CARR Enjoy a story with a link to the garden or the creatures that live in it, followed by a short walk or song. Suitable for under 5s. 01423 565418 Harlow-Carr

16 FEB




BENINGBROUGH HALL & GARDENS Step back in time to a period of contrasts, the poor paupers to wondrously wealthy. Games, trails, tours, art, stories and more. Closed Monday. Beningbrough, York, YO30 1DD 01904 472027

16 - 24 FEB



16 - 24 FEB



16 - 24 FEB 11AM – 3PM


School Holiday Fun – Outdoors & Nature – Bird Brains Go wild about birds this February half term. Challenge yourself with Bird Brains trail and have feathery fun in Swanley Grange, where there’ll be craft activities. Near Ripon, North Yorkshire 01765 608888 16 - 24 FEB


STOCKELD PARK Young Skater sessions from 9.30-10.15 daily. Lessons follow and from midday the ice is open for a general skate. www.thechristmasadventure. com Families Vale of York


Simply Skate Stockeld Park

From Saturday 16th – Sunday 24th February

Santa may have left the building but there’s still fun to be had at Stockeld Park this February Half Term. The elves have decided to open up the Ice Rink so you can, well, Simply Skate. “We’re responding to the feedback we had over the festive season and running an early morning ‘Young Skaters’ session,” explains Holly Dannhauser from Stockeld Park. “It means our younger visitors can skate with their parents before it gets busy.” The Young Skater sessions run from 9.30-10.15 daily. That’s followed by weekday lessons. From midday the ice is open for a general skate. Don’t miss the Disco on Ice on Friday 22nd February from 7-9pm. Online booking is available and the Woodland Café will be open for light bites and hot drinks.

COPPERGATE CAMP COPPERGATE, NEAR THE JORVIK VIKING CENTRE The Vikings have invaded Coppergate and set up encampment like they did over 1,000 years ago. Meet the warriors, see a Viking longship and hear sagas & songs of their victorious battles and the Norse gods. Plus, see skirmishes between Coppergate Vikings and rival Anglo Saxons camped on the Eye of York on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th at 12noon & 2pm daily. 16 FEB FOR 12 MONTHS

YORKSHIRE MUSEUM CAPITAL OF THE NORTH Celebrating York’s rule of the north during medieval times. Featuring some of the most prestigious and significant medieval objects ever found in Britain and exploring some of the most powerful people of the period.

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FOUNTAINS ABBEY Roll up your sleeves and and make a wooden bird box for your garden in this hands-on family workshop. Booking essential: 01765 643197. £5 per box. Near Ripon, North Yorkshire 01765 608888 www. 21 FEB 2PM


MERCHANT ADVENTURER’S HALL Following the huge success of their Myths of the Vikings show at the last Viking Festival, Clydebuilt Puppets return with their adaptation of the popular tale in a superb production. 16 - 24 FEB


THE ART OF USEFUL THINGS February half term activities with hands-on fun including super-object drawing, talks and demonstrations. 0113 218 1000 16 - 24 FEB

16 - 24 FEB

20 - 22 FEB 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 3pm


JORVIK Coppergate, York. 01904 543403 www.jorvik-viking-centre.

lively and humorous romp through the history of combat with a special opportunity to meet the warriors and see their weapons after the show! 20 FEB 11AM – 3PM


FOUNTAINS ABBEY Join in with a digital treasure hunt. Find out how to hide and seek geocaches and borrow GPS units to have a go. Near Ripon, North Yorkshire 01765 608888 www.

22 FEB 7-9PM



23 FEB 1PM


BRIMHAM ROCKS Go along and shake, rattle and roll with your very own instruments created from natural and recycled materials found at Brimham. Suitable for accompanied children aged 5+. 01423 780688

18 - 22 FEB


WOODLAND CREATURES Let your imagination run wild and make pet or a puppet with some crafty ideas and mini logs. 01422 844518

18 - 22 FEB


YORK GUILDHALL Dramatic performances and displays of single combat from throughout history brought to you by fabulous professional acting group History’s Maid. From warring Romans to duelling Lords, every performance is a

Book Events For Children Harrogate Theatre 20-21st Feb 2013. Book now for ‘Spot’s Birthday Party’. David Wood, the UK’s leading children’s playwright has taken Eric Hill’s characters and created a bright, colourful and musical production – the perfect introduction to theatre for young children. 3rd April 2013. Book ahead for some ‘Really Wild Adventures’ with TV presenter Michaela Strachan, as she takes you on a journey of animal rhymes, adapted from her own book of children’s poetry. Suitable for 3-8 year olds.

Grand Opera House, York Tue 26th Feb-Sat 2nd Mar 2013. Adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian’s award-winning novel set in wartime England. This new production marks thirty years since the publication of the novel.

Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York 12th January. Oddsocks present ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’, a fun-filled romp with all your favourite characters from this legendary tale.

23 FEB

Until 2 Feb





HARLOW CARR Enjoy a story with a link to the garden or the creatures that live in it, followed by a short walk or song. Suitable for under 5s. 01423 565418 Gardens/Harlow-Carr

theatre 12 JAN


12 - 19 JAN




YORK THEATRE ROYAL Berwick Kaler is back for his 34th panto in York together with regulars Martin Barrass, Suzy Cooper, Sian Howard and A J Powell. A completely wonderful night’s entertainment. Don’t miss it!



19 FEB


19 FEB


20 & 21 FEB



20 & 21 FEB







20 - 24 FEB




22 - 23 FEB


29 & 30 JAN

BEN & HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM HULL NEW THEATRE Kingston square, Jarratt Street, Hull, HU1 3HF

29 - 31 JAN




26 FEB - 2 MARCH


26 FEB - 2 MAR


beta mum

If you’re reading this, I assume you survived it. Christmas I mean. The season of goodwill. Magical, was it? Amazing how you can weave enchantment for your little ones while simultaneously wearing yourself to a frazzled shell of humanity. If anything didn’t go according to plan, let me reassure you with this information about exactly how rubbish I am as a mother: I forgot to buy advent calendars. Yes, for the first time ever, stress and pressing deadlines meant I didn’t go shopping for advent calendars until the nagging at home got truly unbearable (12th December for your information). I cancelled something nonessential (probably eating or going to the loo) and myself and my partner scoured every shop in York, the Designer Outlet and surrounding villages in search of a suitable Christmas countdown. None was available and I can confirm that when you ask a shopkeeper, in mid December, if they have any advent calendars, they don’t go out of their way to make you feel any better about your maternal shortcomings. And its not just chocolatey celebrations that were missing from the Lamerton household. I’ve bothered you on these pages before about the creative hoops we parents have to jump through in order to provide an ever-changing array of kiddie costumes, from Victorian gent to fictional hero to Roman emperor, all of which we have to create armed only with a budget of tuppence ha’penny, rudimentary sewing skills, a pillowcase and a pair of plastic safety scissors. Of course the festive season brings fancy dress demands with bells on (if you’ll excuse the pun). My own children were asked to go to school in a ‘festive jumper’ and donate money to charity. They don’t own a ‘festive jumper’, so I found myself running around in search of something a) Christmassy enough to qualify, b) not too Christmassy that they refuse ever to wear it, and c) cheap, to minimise the financial impact of having to buy a jumper they didn’t need and then pay a (very deserving, I must admit) charity for the privilege of having them wear it to school. I’ll tell you now, if you’ve got 25

minutes, a tenner and access only to Tesco Askham Bar, such a garment doesn’t exist. It’s not just me. A friend encountered a similar problem. She was rushing to get her daughter out of the door for the school run, when the child turned round and gasped: ‘Mum! It’s ‘wear something red’ day! I have to find something red. NOW!’ With the type of ingenuity only a parent under duress can display, my friend whipped three red baubles off the Christmas tree, safety pinned them across her daughter’s chest and marched to school, barely breaking her stride. My eight-year-old is just at that … er… let’s call it ‘transition stage’, regarding Father Christmas. I heard him on the phone to his grandmother, relating how he’d been to see Santa at the village fair. Him: ‘Of course it wasn’t the real Father Christmas, Granny. But it was very strange - he seemed to know that I like Minecraft and asked me all about it.’ Granny: ‘Well that sounds like magic - maybe it was the real Father Christmas.’ Him: ‘Hmmm… I don’t think so, Granny.’ Granny: ‘Well you never know…’ Him: ‘I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I pulled his beard off.’ Scientific thinking - that’s my boy! I leave you with another delightful example of ‘out of the mouths of babes’. My friend’s six-year-old was in the car with her the other day and asked, ‘Mum, how many songs are there in the whole world?’. My friend, slightly baffled, replied, ‘I don’t know son millions?’ Pause. ‘Well then Mum, why does Heart FM always play the same ones over and over again?’ Good question. Families Vale of York


Pre-School and Pre-Prep

OPEN MORNING Saturday 2 March 9.30 - 11.30 am

The best possible start •

Superb modern facility, now with Ofsted certification to take children into the Pre-School class from age 2

Up to 15 hours government funding available up to age 5

• • •

Stimulating, safe, learning environment Warm and friendly atmosphere Well-qualified and committed staff

‘…children make good progress across all areas of learning and excellent progress in literacy and numeracy.’ (Independent Schools Inspectorate, January 2012) The Read School, Drax, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 8NL T: 01757 618248 : F: 01757 617432 E: 

Registered charity:1093411

WEAR A HAT DAY Thursday 28 th March


REGISTER NOW | Tel: 01296 733011 24 Families

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