Shrewsbury and Telford

Category Archives: General

New and exciting Nerf Wars parties launched for Shropshire children

Two Shropshire children’s attractions have joined forces to launch new and exciting Nerf Wars parties for youngsters.

The Little Rascals Indoor Play Centre and X-Strike Arena have teamed up for a new venture, which they believe will prove a big hit with county children keen to take aim.

The parties will be held at the Shrewsbury headquarters of Little Rascals, with X-Strike providing the nerf guns and inflatables.

Ben Wootton, the co-owner of Little Rascals with Wales international footballer Dave Edwards, said: “We are going to host parties and run other events together on a regular basis. A big space will be created for the X-Strike inflatables in the middle of what is usually our seating area for guests.

“Our play structure will also come into play to make it a really fun experience for children as they run around using their nerf guns.

“We’ve been open for a little over two years now and we’re always keen to introduce new ideas, so it makes sense to link up with X-Strike and offer something a little different. We think this is really going to take off and be popular with children.”

Ellen Eagles and Mark Williams, the X-Strike owners, are equally excited about the venture.

“We recently held a rehearsal and that was a big success,” said Ellen. “We had around 15 children taking part at Little Rascals and some adults were keen to join in as well!

“The children loved the fact they could incorporate the nerf games with going down slides at the same time. It gives another dimension.”

Mark added: “Little Rascals is a great location and it’s fantastic to have all the little hiding places for the children to enhance the fun they have with the nerf games. It works really well together. The Nerf Wars parties can start from the age of four and can cater for children up to the age of 11 or 12, so it’s something new and exciting for slightly older age groups as well.”

The Little Rascals Indoor Soft play Centre will be offered exclusively for Nerf Wars parties from 4.30pm onwards.

For more details, call (01743) 240258 or email

Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children returns this spring for nurseries and families

This Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. Last year saw 160,000 children across the UK take part, raising an incredible £243,000 for Save the Children’s vital work, and this year the charity hopes even more people will sign up, take part and donate.

Between 23 and 29 April 2018, nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Muddy Puddle Walk to raise money for the international children’s charity.

Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles, like Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig, for a worthy cause.  Whether you splash in puddles along a trail at the park or get creative and make your own puddles indoors from paper and foil – your Muddy Puddle Walk will be a fun day to spend together that little ones won’t forget. Raise funds in the way that suits you – help walkers get sponsored for their walk, ask for a donation to take part or even bake Muddy Puddle cupcakes to sell on the day! The money you raise will help Save the Children’s work to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.

Sophie Pirouet, Fundraising Campaigns Manager at Save the Children, says: “We hope everyone will get outside this Spring, come rain or shine, and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. It’s so easy to take part and it’s the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors with your little ones. By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children you can help give children a brighter future.”

By taking part in a Muddy Puddle Walk and raising money for Save the Children, you can help vulnerable children around the world have a safe place to play and learn.  Sign up now at  for your free Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising Pack full of fun Peppa Pig inspired activities to help you get started – with tips for great walks indoors and out, fundraising ideas, fun activities to get your walkers ready for the big day and at the end of the walk, there’s a free Peppa Pig sticker reward for every child. The fundraising pack will also explain what life is like for children in different countries, helping them see how they are making a difference through supporting Save the Children.



Family Grapevine and the Children’s Activity Association

The Family Grapevine is delighted to announce that it has recently joined the Children’s Activities Association as a Fellowship member and media partner. The Children’s Activities Association is an industry-led, not-for-profit community interest company founded and governed by experts to help parents, schools, nurseries and children’s activities providers to raise the standard of children’s activities. CAA members work through an accreditation system covering areas such as health and safety, child safeguarding and training which means that parents, schools and nurseries have peace of mind when choosing an accredited activity provider. Over 200,000 children attend a CAA member led activity every week and this is growing every day. CAA members include household names such as Tumble Tots as well as small, local providers.

The Family Grapevine will be promoting the CAA message of #ParentsPeaceOfMind through advertising, social media posts and by participating in Children’s Activities Week taking place from 30th April – 4th May 2018.





LEGO© to return to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with new exhibition

Walk through history in bricks as LEGO© enthusiast Warren Elsmore returns to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with his touring exhibition, Brick History, on Friday 9 February 2018.

Brick History takes you on a journey through pivotal moments in world history, modelled in LEGO© bricks. This is history brought to life at a relatable, human level, featuring key figures from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings.

An image of a banner promoting LEGO©: Brick History which is at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery from 9 February until 15 April 2018. The banner shows lego creations of ships, a volcano and representations of historic battles.

This exhibition has something for people of all ages. From tiny recreations of Concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both piece and war, there is something for all to be amazed by and to admire. Children and adults alike are sure to be inspired by this exhibition and eager to build their own LEGO® models.

For those who want to look deeper, the models are grouped into five themes, interpreted by large colourful graphic panels.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“LEGO was a hugely popular exhibition when it visited in 2015 with over 14,000 people visiting the Museum during its five week stay, so it’s fantastic that it is returning.

“Brick History has something that people of all ages can enjoy. Young and old will have an affinity with LEGO bricks, whether it be those who enjoy building with them now, or those who have fond memories of building the most epic of models back in the day. I can’t wait for this incredibly exciting exhibition to open.”

LEGO© bricks are unique in their appeal, having been a top-selling toy for over 50 years.

LEGO: Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from 9 February – 15 April 2018.



Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre launches charity walk

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms is set to launch a brand new mass participation challenge walk next year.  The “Shropshire Way 80K” will be taking in some of the finest parts of the Shropshire hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the route is 80km (50 miles) in length with the aim being to complete the circuit in less than 24 hours. The route follows almost exclusively the Shropshire way on either the Main Route or its subsidiary paths.

Starting and finishing at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, the home of Grow Cook Learn, this walk will take you through the very best of Shropshire’s amazing, undiscovered landscape and some of its hidden market towns. Along the way, as you pass through our check points, you will be able to sample some of the wonderful local produce that this area has to offer as you quite literally “eat the view”. Participants will be treated to a delicious breakfast upon their return to the Centre.

Bookings for the event, which be held over Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March 2018, will be open on Monday 20th November at 10am. Participants should contact the Centre to book, spaces are limited.

The Manager of the Centre, Grant Wilson, says:

“After many years of taking part in and marshalling on similar events to this all over Europe, I have long been formulating an idea about staging  a long distance event of my own in the Shropshire Hills.  Finally now, with the support of Grow Cook Learn, I am in a position to bring my idea to life.

My two passions are walking and running through the Shropshire Hills and eating the food that this amazing landscape produces. This event is my attempt to share my love for this special place and its food with like-minded people locally, nationally and internationally.

If you are thinking about taking part, but aren’t sure if you have what it takes to complete such a massive challenge, have a look at the training section on our website. You may think it impossible, but believe me, if you have the passion and determination to succeed, a walk like this is within your reach. Make it your goal to train this winter and test yourself in the spring”

Entry to the Discovery Centre and Onny Meadows is free but there is a charge for visitors to enjoy our Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition and visit our mammoth. The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre offers an extensive programme of family events, adult courses and a variety of activities for the whole family. The unique grass roofed building houses a replica of the famous mammoth skeleton found in Shropshire. The café serves delicious home-cooked food. Browse our extensive shop selling a range of quirky gifts. Every half term and school holiday we provide hands-on family activities. For further details call 01588 676060 or visit the website:



Children’s Charity Seeking Volunteer Mentors

Children’s charity Mentor Link is recruiting Volunteer Mentors from Wem and surrounding area to provide one to one support to children and young people in schools.  Mentor Link are keen to hear from people in business and the community,  who would be interested in becoming a Volunteer Mentor to support a young person  to achieve their full potential. The mentors are specially trained to listen to and support young people and aim to improve their self- esteem and engagement in learning. The charity has an excellent track record of success in achieving positive outcomes with children and young people.

If you like a challenge and want to give something back to help make a difference to the lives of vulnerable young people then we would like to hear from you. As one year 9 girl wrote to her mentor, “I am glad I met you as you have allowed me to be who I am today and without you who knows where I would be right now.”

No previous experience of mentoring is needed as we are looking for people with life experiences and enthusiasm who can give an hour a week. We have short films available on our website about our mentors who have supported young people, so for further information see

As part of our Induction programme Mentor Link requires 2 character references, enhanced DBS clearance, Induction and on-going training and travel expenses. We have a dedicated and experienced team of staff to support you in your role.

For further information please contact Karen Arnold on 07875 438659, email or Head Office on 01299 822336 email



CRUSE in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin


It’s the local Area organisation, supporting anyone needing our services living in Shropshire Telford and Wrekin, as part of the leading UK national bereavement charity.
Our services cover children of all ages in a number of differing ways. The most usual with younger children is for a parent to contact us. It is very important to understand that there is special training added to the already in-depth courses taken by all our bereavement volunteers, for those who work with children. Indeed many of these specially trained volunteers already spend time in their professional lives in some child-centred work.
Parents are often involved here too, but teenagers often make contact on their own and we can then tell them about a service especially for them, this is:
AN INTERACTIVE WEB SITE ( designed and developed in consultation with young people which includes a message board to read and reply to, sharing experiences, information and links to other websites, together with a gallery in which to put pictures and poems.
Of course we also offer them the opportunity of one-to-one interaction as we do to all those looking for help, either in one of a locally convenient pre-arranged venue or when necessary at home.
We have recently been given the opportunity to develop some new initiatives in our work with children and these include a further group of volunteers to be specifically trained in the New Year, a work book to assist staff working with bereavement in schools and senior members of our organisation talking to groups of staff in schools, all led by a small working party taking this forward.



Aunt Em’s Parties

Aunt Em (Emma Tilley) will come to your pre-school birthday to entertain your children, giving out stickers and balloons to each child, plus a small present for the birthday girl or boy.

Emma says, “We play games like Musical Statues and do action songs and musical activities.  I bring finger puppets to sing songs about, sing nursery rhymes and bring my stereo and percussion instruments for everyone to have a go with to make our own party orchestra – plenty of fun and noise for all!  The parties are age-specific so the activities are tailor-made to the age required (age 1, 2, 3 or 4) and can be themed if required, eg pirates and princesses.  And of course I come to you – so all you have to do is book me to come, add enthusiastic children and I will do the rest!

I work all year round and can do indoors or out (weather permitting).

Pre-school / nursery Christmas parties and/or music events for Early Years/OFSTED approval.

I have insurance and I am fully DBS checked through the local council.  Prices depend on the distance I have to travel and the number of children attending and there is 10% discount for quoting “Family Grapevine” when you book!”

To book or for more information please contact me via any of the following methods: 07963 520877 or 01952 274667.


Grandparents’ Rights

The breakdown of a marriage or long-term partnership can be upsetting for all concerned and when we think of the people involved, parents and children are always the ones who spring to mind. Little thought is given to Grandparents.

The law gives no automatic right for Grandparents to see their grandchildren. This is not to say that Grandparents cannot apply to the Court to see their grandchildren, but the process can be difficult and expensive with no guarantee of success and thereby limited to Grandparents who are lucky enough to have the financial means to pursue an application through the Courts.

We can all accept that sometimes it would be inappropriate and not in the best interests of the child to see their Grandparents, but there should be a presumption that, all things being equal, Grandparents should be able to see their Grandchildren. When the wellbeing of children is considered there is a good argument for saying that the role of Grandparents should be part of the process. At a time when parents may be struggling with the stress of a break-up and difficulties in their relationship, Grandparents can play an important stabilising role for the children; visits to their Grandparents’ home can feel normal and safe when the rest of the world seems to be turned upside-down.


It is important for a Grandparent to seek legal advice early on, when the problems arise. This will allow them to understand the options and act in an appropriate way so as not to unsettle what could be a very delicate situation.

For further advice then please contact our friendly and approachable family team on 01743 285 888 or 01952 297979.


Is this the tallest Christmas tree in Shropshire?

Great prizes when you guess its height

Apley installs the tallest Christmas tree in Shropshire

A farm shop near Bridgnorth has just installed possibly the tallest Christmas tree in Shropshire. Apley Farm Shop’s courtyard is now decorated with a huge Norway Spruce Christmas tree, ready for the two day Apley Christmas Market, 10-4pm on Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November.

Lady Hamilton, Marketing Manager explained “We’re running a competition to guess the height of the tree, with three great prizes: first prize is a year’s membership in Pigg’s Playbarn, second prize a Christmas hamper & third prize Afternoon Tea for two in the Creamery Café. To enter, just go to & click on the photo of the tree. Or complete an entry form whilst there.“

Apley Estate owner, Lord Gavin Hamilton explained “We were keen to set the tone of Christmas as the biggest & best yet at Apley, so we were delighted when our woodman found this beautifully proportioned & very tall tree in the Apley Estate woods.”

“It was quite a performance to install the tree”, commented Graeme Manton, Apley Estate Land Agent, “The tree was transported from the woods on a flatbed trailer & it was all hands to the task as we used the farm loader to put it up & hang the decorations.”

“We have a lot going on this festive season at Apley Farm Shop” enthused John Wesley, Apley Farm Shop General Manager, “All your senses will be awoken: You will SEE our lovely rustic Christmas decorations, SMELL delicious foods, TASTE the free samples offered by local Shropshire food & drinks producers, HEAR Christmas music & chat with the producers themselves & last of all, TOUCH the present ideas in all the Apley shops!”

“Tickets for all family Christmas events are available online. Just go to “Apley Ticket Office” on the Apley Farm Shop website. It was very busy last year, so we recommend booking early“ added Charlotte Payton, Pigg’s Playbarn Manager.

Customers have a choice of a wide range of hampers, pre-filled or tailor-made, for customers to fill themselves with their favourite products, creating unique & personalized presents. The Apley Bakery ovens have been working non-stop making handmade Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes & minced pies. Christmas orders are already open on the Butcher & Delicatessen counters whilst the Shop itself is full of ideal edible Christmas presents.

“We’re very proud that this year we won a Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Award for our handmade mince pies, so they now have that extra seal of approval!“ added Farm Shop supervisor Lora Rogers.

Apley’s website has full details or call 01952 581 002 or 07739 320 314.

Taste Discover Enjoy at Apley Farm Shop – so much more than a farm shop!