Brighton & Hove

Category Archives: General

Help Rockinghorse provide a very special gift for premature babies this Christmas

Celebrating 50 years of supporting sick children and babies in Sussex, Rockinghorse children’s charity has launched its Christmas appeal to raise funds for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU).

Based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, the TMBU provides intensive care for sick and premature babies. Over the years, Rockinghorse has received incredible support for its fundraising projects for the baby unit; from the very first incubator appeal in the 1960’s, through to the charity’s campaign to purchase a specialist Retcam eye scanner in 2014.

This December, Rockinghorse is once again asking supporters to help this outstanding unit. The charity is raising funds for an X-ray Imaging Machine that will provide staff at the TMBU with an instant X-ray image, allowing immediate modification of lines and tubes on a premature baby. Money raised from the appeal will significantly improve the overall experience of a preterm infant, who typically requires multiple X-rays to be taken during their admission.

Dr Ryan Watkins, Consultant Neonatologist at the TMBU, explains: “As one of the top neonatal centres in the UK, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the world-leading treatment we offer. One way we can achieve this is by providing a ‘real time’ X-ray facility on site.

“Currently, when an X-ray is needed for a patient, we request a radiographer to attend from the adult hospital. They use a traditional X-ray machine, and once an image is taken and processed, it can take some time – and an anxious wait for parents – before the medical team can examine the results and offer the appropriate treatment.

“A new digital imaging system is available which would completely change the way in which we can treat our tiny patients. This innovative equipment offers immediate processing of the X-ray image whilst the machine is at the bedside. We are keen to provide the new X-ray facility as soon as possible as it will immediately lead to quicker results and better treatment.”

Over 550 babies a year are admitted to the TMBU, and it is not uncommon for a baby to require up to 30 X-rays during their stay on the unit. The new equipment will significantly improve overall radiation exposure for preterm infants.

Louise Bartha, Appeals and Trusts Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, says: “It is estimated that one in nine babies born in the UK will spend time on a neonatal unit, so many families experience what it is like to have a poorly new born baby, and the anxiety and worry this can bring.

“Every day, the amazing neonatal team at the TMBU hold in their hands the most precious and fragile little lives. With the help of our supporters, we can continue to ensure the very best possible standard of care for many years to come.”

To support the appeal; text ROCK00 to 70070 to donate £2, £5 or £10, visit or call 01273 330044.


The clever people at Meze Publishing have 2 copies of their brand new ‘The Brighton & Sussex Cook Book’ to give away. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a copy for you and a friend is the following:

*LIKE the ‘Brighton & Hove Family Grapevine Facebook’ page
*LIKE the Meze Publishing page
*TAG a friend in the comments below who would like a copy

You can enter as many times as you like. One lucky pair will be drawn at noon on 10th December.

A one-of-a-kind cook book filled with stunning photos, delicious recipes and the stories behind Brighton & Sussex’s finest independent restaurants, cafes, producers, and suppliers. A perfect Christmas present!

Volunteers needed for the Library Home Delivery Service

There are many booklovers in Brighton and Hove who are unable to get to a library due to limited mobility or poor health.

The Home Delivery Service are looking for volunteers to visit them and deliver their books. You could be vital in helping someone continue a lifelong love of reading.

If you are interested, please get in touch to find out more about the Home Delivery Service and the role that you could play in improving lives:

01273 296953

Brighton Fringe announces its 2018 Family Guide cover competition

Children from across Brighton and Hove are being invited to design the cover of the 2018 Brighton Fringe Family Guide.

England’s largest arts festival is challenging children under 11 years of age to create a piece of original cover art inspired by the tagline for Brighton Fringe 2018: “Set Yourself Free”. They should use an A4 piece of paper to design what they think ‘setting yourself free’ looks like. The final cover image will be shrunk down to A5 – so they should make sure not to write or draw too small.

The winner will see their work on the front of 80,000 Brighton Fringe Family Guides and receive a gift voucher worth £200 to spend on tickets at Brighton Fringe 2018. They will also receive a Gold Friends membership entitling them to 2 for 1 offers on events and many more benefits. Three runners-up will win two tickets to a Brighton Fringe children’s show of their choice.

Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, said: “Life is full of people always telling you what to do, following rules and traditions. Imagine being free to be who or what you want to be. Brighton Fringe is all about the freedom to create, so have fun with it and you never know where it will lead you!”

This year’s judging panel includes Child Friendly Brighton, Door22 Creative and The Pebble Trust.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, 20 December. Include your name, age, school, and your parent or guardian’s email on the back of the picture and send your A4 artwork to:

‘Set Yourself Free’ Competition
Brighton Fringe Ltd
Brighton MET
Pelham Street
East Sussex BN14FA

If you have any questions please contact

Brighton Fringe 2018 runs between 4 May and 3 June.

Are you looking for a nanny? 10% Grapevine discount

Harmony at Home Nanny Agency are the premier childcare agency in Sussex offering many different forms of childcare to meet your wide and varied needs.  We specialise in providing permanent nannies in either live-in or live-out positions for full time or part time hours.  We can also supply household staff including mother’s helps, cleaners nanny PA’s.  Our service also includes temporary nannies, one off nannies for weddings and events and a personal babysitting service.  Our nannies can cover daily hours, evenings and weekends, holiday cover and we can also help with emergency needs.   All of our nannies are interviewed and registered with the agency first and also pass our strict vetting procedure including a detailed overview of work history, past references and DBS check before being presented to clients.

Harmony at Home are proud to offer all new clients a 10% discount on any agency service when quoting ‘Grapevine’ upon booking.  This can be used against any service including babysitting and events bookings.

Contact Clare today on 01444 212599 or email for more information or to discuss your needs.

EduGuru Maths – fun learning for toddlers

EduGuru Apps are designed and built to help children learn outside of the classroom, stimulate their imagination and make learning an open-ended fun activity. Cute and basic animations guide toddlers through the key UK national curriculum subjects of Maths, English, Science & Technology and Art & Music.

EduGuru Maths is the first in the series and has been designed for 3-5 year olds in close collaboration with UK teachers, nursery schools and parents. The app is packed with 128 fun to play games (wrapped in 8 core games) and priced at £1.99, with no subscription fee and all updates are provided free of charge.

EduGuru Maths covers key curriculum-based mathematical concepts and skills including:

  • Counting 1-10-20
  • Number recognition and ordering
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Matching, doubling, halving and sharing
  • UK/English coins, money and values
  • Telling the time
  • Patterns, shapes and sequences
  • Colours
  • Size, weight, distance and position

EduGuru Maths also features new and fun renditions of the classic nursery rhymes, Ba Ba Black Sheep and Hickory Dickory Dock, for toddlers to explore and sing along to.

EduGuru’s Apps contain no third party links or advertising, so allow children to learn and explore in a safe and secure environment, and importantly, as children progress through the games, they are rewarded, and motivated to continue learning, with trophies and medals.  This means that parents can be sure that children playing EduGuru Apps are experiencing, and practising, learning skills in accordance with the recommendations of early childhood experts.

The Game Creators, the UK-based development company that has  designed and developed the EduGuru apps, were instrumental in producing the highly successful Fun School, Art Attack and Klik n Play in the 90’s. Building on the legacy of these popular games, and whilst the technology now makes games much more readily accessible, they believe the fundamentals of learning while you play remain and are an important part of the mix in a child’s education.

Website: EduGuru Maths

YouTube EduGuru Maths gameplay video

YouTube EduGuru video

Twitter @EduGuru_Apps


EduGuru 3-5 Maths (available iOS, Android Google & Amazon)

iOS Store link:

Google Store link:


Rockinghorse at 50

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity has revealed its 50th year plans during a special launch event at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel in Brighton last week (Thursday 20 October).

Guests were greeted outside the seafront hotel with the newly launched Rockinghorse bus, in partnership with Brighton & Hove Buses, which marks the charity’s forthcoming Golden Jubilee anniversary in 2017. The bus pays homage to Dr Trevor Mann, founder of Rockinghorse, by bearing his name on the front.

During the evening, Ryan Heal, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse, launched the charity’s fundraising appeal in celebration of their anniversary year; Sussex Giving for Sussex Children.

The charity aims to provide £500,000 worth of funding which will be split between 10 children’s centres and paediatric services in Sussex to help them improve, refurbish, and develop their environment for the young people benefiting from their work.

They are; The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (‘The Alex’ in Brighton), the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (‘TMBU’, located within the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton), the Special Care Baby Unit (‘SCBU’, based within the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath), Bluefin Ward at Worthing Hospital, Chailey Heritage Foundation (in Lewes), Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (in Haywards Heath), Finches Short Breaks Centre (in Burgess Hill), The Bungalow (in Eastbourne), Tudor House (in Brighton) and The Connor Saunders Foundation (based in Brighton).

Mr Heal said: “2017 represents our Golden Jubilee – a time for celebration and continuing to make a real impact on the lives of local children. We are delighted to launch our fundraising appeal for our anniversary year; Sussex Giving for Sussex Children. By supporting services across Sussex, we can continue the legacy of the work of Rockinghorse, enabling us to support children and young people for the next 50 years.

“Time moves on, but for 50 years our message has remained the same. As the late great Dr Trevor Mann said – ‘We can’t always stop children getting sick, but with your help we can make them better’.”

Founded by Dr Trevor Mann in 1967, Rockinghorse has had a huge impact on thousands of local children during this time, having been created following the recognition of a shortfall and restrictions around paediatric care in Sussex.

 50 years on, Rockinghorse is best known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (The Alex) in Brighton, working tirelessly to improve, and save, the lives of sick children in Sussex. The charity has provided The Alex with the best, cutting-edge medical equipment, and are often cited as the difference between good care and great care for our children.

By supporting Rockinghorse, you can help continue to ensure children’s services across Sussex are the best they possibly can be for our children now, and in the future. To find out more about the charity’s 50th year projects, and how you can get involved, please visit

Play not Push!

That’s the motto of Little Kickers football coaching sessions in Sussex.

The Little Kickers programme went national in 2002 for children from 18 months to 7yrs old and works on the basis that children are much more likely to learn if their imaginations are engaged and skills are introduced through play. Originally developed and is regularly enhanced by FA qualified coaches and nursery school teachers, with ongoing input from child health specialists.  The programme uses football as a fun forum to instil a little extra confidence, co-ordination and control and is packed and full of non-stop fun, games and football.

Little Kickers is now the UK’s most popular pre-school football and activity programme, and is attended by over 15,000 children per week.

Local classes are now running in Brighton, Hove, Patcham, Shoreham-by-Sea and Rottingdean on Monday mornings and weekends. There are also  other venues across Sussex, Kent & Surrey.

Call to book a FREE TRIAL CLASS on weekdays and Saturday/Sunday mornings – free trials are subject to space being available in the class.

For further information about classes operating in your area, contact Phil on 01293 226201 or email


Birthday parties available too!  Ring for an information pack!!

Being a parent is the most fun when our children are five, new research reveals

Parents have the most fun with their children when they are five according to a new study.

A study of 2000 parents with children under 13, asked them to rate how much fun they have-or had- with their children throughout the different ages.

The study revealed that five is the optimum age for enjoying our children’s company with 39 per cent of parents claiming it to be the most fun age for both boys and girls.

The study, commissioned by Soreen to launch Active Families, Happy Families; a new partnership campaign with independent charity Youth Sport Trust also found that pre-teen years (10-12) were less enjoyable for parents.

The majority of reasons given for parents enjoying time with their five year olds were to do with developments by that age.

In Brighton & Hove parents enjoyed the 3-5yrs age group the most because they felt their children started to develop their own sense of humour (37%), they could communicate properly and follow rules (34%), they were becoming more independent (30%) and they could now teach them to swim, play football or play more games (19%).

The survey revealed that although 91% of Brighton & Hove parents feel that being active brings them closer together as a family, parents are only managing to spend 3.5 hours a week doing activities with their children.

Alex Danson, EuroHockey Championship Gold medal and Olympic Bronze medal winning England Hockey player is supporting the campaign, which aims to inspire thousands of families to spend more time being active and having fun together, whilst also promoting the links between activity and health.  There’s more information in the video

Phil Chamberlain, Director Policy & Communications for the Youth Sport Trust said; “We know that active children learn better and faster, and have an improved sense of belonging – the link between being active and good physical and emotional health is widely acknowledged.

“There is no question that regular activity produces healthy, happy, academically successful and socially adept young people, with confidence and high self-esteem. As a parent of two young children myself, I take every opportunity I can to be active with my family as I know it will help them create good habits for life.”

According to a report recently published by the Youth Sport Trust entitled ‘Class of 2035’ the number one reason for the popularity of sport and physical activity given by young people is that it’s ‘fun’. Children who describe themselves as ‘always happy’ are twice as likely to take part in two or more hours of physical activity per day.

Despite this, 40% of young people say they would like to do more exercise and sport than they do currently.

Beth Brown, Marketing Director at Soreen said:  “We wanted to see at what age we have the most fun with our children as our new campaign is about inspiring families to have fun, whatever their age, through active play.

“We’re hoping that the activity packs which families can download for free will help children reach the government guideline of being active for at least 60 minutes each day.

“The packs will provide families with a wide range of ideas for fun, low or no-cost, physical activities they can do together at home or on days out. Activities will be published continually over the next nine months, coinciding with national celebration days and major sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup”

The research revealed that girls tend to have more fun with their mums and boys with their dads and when asked to rate the percentage of parenting that was fun and hard work, the majority said that it was a 50/50 split.

Parents can download their free activity cards from

Step out in the South East for a fun family walk and help protect your paths

Families in the South East are being encouraged to step out for a stroll this summer and help protect the places they love to walk along the way as part of the Ramblers’ Big Pathwatch.

The Ramblers is asking families to head out and walk their favourite paths in the South East and report back on what they find using a smartphone app. To make this fun for children, the walking experts have created fun, free activity sheets that families can download and take out on their ramble. Not only is walking good exercise for all the family, it’s also a great way to tempt children away from the Xbox or TV and help them learn all about the great outdoors. The Big Pathwatch activity sheets are the perfect way to turn a normal walk around the local area into a fun family adventure. Ramblers’ chief executive

Benedict Southworth said: “The summer holidays are the perfect time to step out for a walk with your family and spend some quality time together, as well as a great way to help everyone stay healthy. “As part of the Big Pathwatch we’re helping families to turn their walk into an adventure. We’ve created fun, free downloadable activity sheets for youngsters to complete while they’re out walking. From a game of walking bingo to a creative rainbow ramble, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. “For older children we’ve even got an activity sheet with top tips on being a walk leader. Let them lead the way on your Big Pathwatch walk, draw a map and sketch anything interesting they see along the way. “We need as many people as possible in the South East to step up and help us protect our paths. The Big Pathwatch is the perfect way to help inspire our next generation of walkers, who will play a key role in protecting our paths for generations to come.”

Families can download the Big Pathwatch app and share their experiences as they walk every right of way within a specific grid square. They’ll be asked to share the positive features of the walk, the beautiful views, any wildlife and interesting landscapes they see, as well as noting any problems they encounter. The Big Pathwatch activity sheets will be available from

For more information call the Ramblers press office 0207 339 8531 or 07584 848083 (out of hours) Follow The Rambler: Facebook and Twitter