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Children’s charity the NSPCC is calling on companies to take part in the ultimate team building exercise and sign up to Tough Mudder and help raise funds for the charity’s services.

The event takes place over two weekends in September, at Holmbush Farm near Crawley, West Sussex, and it’s not a race.  More of an epic teamwork challenge.

With 10 Miles and 20+ obstacles (full version) or 5 miles, 13 obstacles (half version) the challenge will be stacked with old classics and brand-new obstacles. Featuring a range of mind-bending challenges to test your mental grit, you’re definitely going to need to rally a team to get you through this one.

This is often a sell-out event, but the NSPCC has places available for just £20, general entry price is normally £99+. We just ask that you each raise £350 to support our services for children.

Kate Hershkowitz, Community Fundraising Manager for Sussex, explained “This is the original mud race and an incredibly messy, but exhilarating, experience. With so many obstacles to overcome, teamwork here is essential!”

“Every penny raised will help go towards vital NSPCC services such as the Speak out Stay safe school service in Sussex and beyond. This free service teaches children about different types of abuse and what they can do if they are worried about anything, including speaking to a trusted adult or phoning Childline for support.”

Dates for the challenges are 22 September, and 29 and 30 September – both offer half and full distances.

For more information go to https://toughmudder.co.uk/events/what-is-tough-mudder

To sign up for an NSPCC place at £20, please visit www.nspcc.org.uk/tough-mudder or contact [email protected] for further information.

Thousands of visitors are in for an unforgettable experience, combining spine tingling entertainment with the best in countryside living, as the gates burst open for three fun-packed days at the 2018 South of England Show in Ardingly, West Sussex on Thursday 7 June until Saturday 9 June.

As one of the longest running agricultural country shows in the UK and the largest in the South East, the South of England Show is billed as one of the best family days out this summer. Boasting an irresistible range of entertainment alongside impressive British agriculture, horticulture, forestry, equestrianism, rural crafts, delicious food and drink, plus an abundance of shopping, there really is something for everyone at this unique event.

The centre-piece of the highly anticipated NEW Entertainment Zone will feature the Long Man Brewery music stage which boasts a three-day programme of top musical talent from across the region. The stage, curated by Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft and designed by contemporary designer Morag Myerscough, promises to be a visual explosion of colour.

Young fans of TV’s PAW Patrol will have the chance to meet characters, Chase and Marshall on the Saturday of the Show in the Entertainment Zone which will also feature a double decker bus, funfair, flight simulator, face-painting, axe-throwing, BMX stunt demos, Haywards Heath Rugby Club activity sessions, Laser Qube experience and a fabulous food court.

The stunning South of England Showground, a 150 acre countryside estate in the heart of Mid Sussex, is the perfect venue to host in excess of 65,000 people across the three days, around 2,000 livestock animals and a huge variety of equestrian breeds, over 400 quality retail stands, hundreds of competitions, crafts and activities, mouth-watering food and drink options and a massive floral marquee offering a horticultural feast for the eyes.

This year’s must see Ardingly Ring attraction is the famously talented Atkinson Action Horses, the stunt riding team from TV’s Victoria, Peaky Blinders and Poldark. This is in addition to family favourites including the high-energy Shetland Pony Grand National; the quintessentially British Hound Parades and Inter Hunt Relay, world-class Showjumping from riders across the UK, impressive Heavy Horse turnouts, and not forgetting the amazing livestock display, expertly commentated for crowds to enjoy the best of breed in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.

Thousands of school students have already booked their place to experience a close up of the countryside, while dozens of schools and colleges from across the region are involved in competitions, exhibits and interactive displays, which can be seen in the superb Discover the Countryside Zone, Hadlow Agricultural Machinery Area and the prestigious Young Craftsman of the Year competition and awards ceremony.

Said Kelly Grant, Development Director of the South of England Agricultural Society, “We have worked really hard to deliver a fresh and upbeat Show programme this year to appeal to all people of interests and ages. Our Shows are vital to help fund the charitable work the Society does throughout the year to support countryside education and we warmly invite and encourage new members, audiences and families to join us for an unforgettable experience and enjoy a feast for the senses at the greatest countryside Show in the South East.”

Family and friends can take full advantage of the ticket prices again this year with under 16s going FREE (accompanied by a paying adult £21) and senior citizens (aged 65+) and students £19.  There is also FREE parking and a regular bus shuttle service from Haywards Heath train station to the Showground. Gates open on 7, 8 & 9 June from 9am-6.30pm.  Advance tickets are available online at www.seas.org.uk

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The children have taken part in a number of nature trails over the past few years, with varying degrees of interest, and I think this is the best one so far (and there isn’t even a chocolate egg at the end of it as an incentive). Borde Hill Gardens aren’t so big that the children lose interest between activities and the settings are really beautiful, so grown-ups can enjoy having a sit down to admire the view, whilst the children hunt for the next ribbon along the trail, or try to find a designated tree or plant, or make a decorative item out of natural materials. There is something to take home and grow from seed in the Nature Themed Goodie Bag and also a competition to enter to win a 2018 Family Day Ticket to Borde Hill.

If your children are too young to take part in the themed Nature Trail event, the gardens still offer plenty to keep little ones interested, and the paths, slopes and steps take you through lots of very different areas where you can hide, explore and make up your own stories. There’s a spooky derelict potting shed (which is only spooky if you are six), a huge snake on the sloping sides of the Round Dell (it’s a fixed hose) and there must definitely be giant pandas living somewhere in the bamboo forests (big clumps) near the giant rhubarb.

The newly opened Gardeners’ Retreat Café has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating close to the South Lawn and offers a good selection of snacks and lunches, including children’s sandwiches, juice boxes, homemade cakes and mini ice cream tubs (including Jude’s gin and tonic flavour ice cream if it’s been a long day).

To round off the visit to Borde Hill there is also a children’s playground with a view over the woods and Robertsmere Lake, and a separate zip wire. If your children are not yet old enough to use the zip wire without you having to haul them back every time, leave the zip wire until you are almost ready to go home, so that the children are already worn out from walking around the gardens…otherwise you will never be able to get them to leave.

 

Having never been to a re-enactment before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be loads of fun and we would all definitely go again. Arundel Castle is a glorious setting for a family day out and we started off by exploring the Castle’s gardens and grounds. The formal gardens are full of big surprises, and exciting concepts and the kids could have happily spent twice as long as we did just exploring and making up their own stories about the garden (they decided it was Narnia). On the practical side, the wide range of produce grown in the extensive Organic Kitchen Garden and the tropical glasshouses are then used in the castle eateries.

The Castle Siege took place twice during the day and was an unscripted battle in full armour (in that sun!) with booming cannons, skilled archers and menacing knights shouting, kicking, hacking and generally having a big old scrap. It was quite a lot like a summer pantomime with cheering, booing and loud bangs and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. There was also a chance to watch a weaponry display, listen to storytelling and music and walk through the English encampment to see the knights and attendants cleaning swords, eating gammon, tending the fires and preparing to do battle again.

The visit to the stately home within the castle felt like walking onto a very expensive film set, or arranging to view a house for sale that is phenomenally way above your budget. The library alone has made me want a room decorated all in mahogany stain and dark red. The great hall is just like something out of Hogwarts and there are items on display which you can get really close to like Queen Victoria’s blue velvet throne and the ceremonial cushion that was used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The private rooms go on and on (obviously, it’s a big place) and the Fitzalan Chapel is huge and fantastically ornate and it was never even intended to be seen by the public.

The children wanted to go straight back again the next day to find out who was going to win the next battle and to go back into the Castle gardens, and to be honest, I would be very happy to go straight back too.

Sussex charity, the South of England Agricultural Society, is delighted to announce that contemporary designer Morag Myerscough will be bringing her first-ever mobile installation, a bright, bold, touring bandstand, to this year’s South of England Show taking place in Ardingly, West Sussex on the 7, 8 & 9 June 2018.

This eye-catching stage installation was commissioned by the Brighton Festival and Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft and arrives at the South of England Show as part of Myerscough’s ‘Belonging’ tour of Sussex. Forming a unique addition to the Long Man Brewery Music Stage located in the Show’s brand NEW Entertainment Zone, this creative bandstand will feature a range of talent from across the South East.  These musical artists will entertain the crowds, as they deliver a mixture of original tunes and well-known covers, combining folk, acoustic, pop and bluegrass that will bring everyone to their feet.

Said Kelly Grant, Development Director of the South of England Agricultural Society, “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the Morag Myerscough bandstand at the South of

England Show this year.  Her work with community building and the theme of

‘belonging’ reflects our work as a charity, bringing town and country folk together at the show for three fun-packed days offering visitors an unforgettable experience of exciting family entertainment combined with a unique close up of the countryside.

“We have worked really hard to deliver a fresh and exciting entertainment programme this year where young fans of TV’s PAW Patrol will also have the chance to meet characters, Chase and Marshall on the Saturday of the Show in the Entertainment Zone which will also feature a double decker bus, funfair, flight simulator, face-painting, axe-throwing, BMX stunt demos and workshops, Haywards Heath Rugby Club activity sessions, Laser Qube experience and a fabulous food court.”

This year’s must see Ardingly Ring attraction is the famously talented Atkinson Action Horses and stunt riding team.  Best known for their appearances in the hit television series’ Poldark, Peaky Blinders and Victoria, the Atkinson Action team will be an unforgettable addition to this year’s Show, with visitors also having the unique opportunity to meet and greet horses and riders in between performances taking place twice a day.

Located at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex, the South of England Show is one of the longest running agricultural shows in the UK and will welcome in excess of 65,000 people, over 2,000 animals including; cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry and horses, over 400 quality retail stands. Visitors will be able to enjoy a jam-packed programme of activities, as they discover the variety of attractions available inside the many zones located throughout the beautiful 150-acre countryside estate.

Other family favourites include the high-energy Shetland Pony Grand National, where young riders come together to battle it out across the race course; the quintessentially British and ever popular Hound Parades and Inter Hunt Relay, world-class Showjumping from riders across the UK, impressive Heavy Horse turnouts, and not forgetting the amazing livestock display, expertly commentated for crowds to enjoy the best of breed in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.

As well as offering a unique close up of the countryside combined with great family entertainment, music, crafts and shopping galore, the South of England Show boasts one of the most impressive food halls in the South East featuring an abundance of mouth-watering local and regional foods.

Visitors are also in for a treat as the Society’s food service partner, Five Star Catering, who provided all the public catering in Windsor at the recent Royal Wedding, will be offering a range of delectable food available in the various food court areas located throughout the Showground.  A range of tasty menus will also be available from the Society’s in-house catering partner, Grayson’s, which can be enjoyed in the Turners Hill Bistro, Norfolk Place Brasserie and Norfolk Pavilion Café.

By attending the Show, visitors will be helping to support the good work that the Society does within countryside education, which is demonstrated through the hundreds of students from across the region involved in competitions, exhibits and interactive displays; ranging from the Hadlow College Tractor Challenge to the prestigious Young Craftsman of the Year exhibition.  It’s the Society’s continued aim to raise awareness of British farming and educate the next generation on the importance of agriculture and horticulture and its future in this country.

People of all ages can take full advantage of the ticket prices again this year with under 16s going FREE (accompanied by a paying adult £21); senior citizens and students over 16 £19.  There is also FREE parking and a regular bus shuttle service from Haywards Heath train station to the showground.  Buy online at www.seas.org.uk and save 15% off the gate entry price; offer ends midnight 6 June.

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With spring flowers in full bloom, warmer weather on the way and half-term school holidays to look forward to, May is the ideal time to explore the outdoors and try new things.

 

Spend half-term with us exploring some unforgettable places. What’s more, every single visit helps the National Trust to look after special places for ever, for everyone.

 

 

Nymans, West Sussex

Come and have some fun this half-term with our seasonal trail about faces and portraits. The garden and woods are perfect for some exploring. With an abundance of colourful plants, carpets of woodland flowers and beautiful views, you’ll find something to keep everyone entertained.

Price: £1 per trail plus usual admission

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans

 

We’re having our 1st Birthday and are celebrating with a big offer!

Yellow Brick Lab, the locally based business offering primary school children weekly LEGO® Robotics & Computer Coding in Hurstpierpoint, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath and Lindfield, marked a year of operation and is offering a 25% discount on the annual workshop fees for the School Year 2018-2019*.

It was on Tuesday 25th of April 2017 in Hurstpierpoint that Yellow Brick Lab opened its doors for its first ever workshop, after several weeks of hard preparation. Six passionate little LEGO® builders walked through the door, after a long day at school, and embarked on a fantastic trip of fun and creativity starting their discovery of the world of LEGO® Robotics & Computer Coding. After a 90-minute-long session the days tiredness was forgotten and they wanted more!

It was not long before word spread. One year on, the Hurstpierpoint based Yellow Brick Lab has grown from a single small workshop with 6 children to a buzzing hub of creativity, attended weekly by more than 50 children in four locations around West Sussex. As demand is growing, we dont want to keep people on our waiting list for long. There are already plans to expand our activity in more locations making our workshops available to even more children. There isnt a greater reward for me than seeing childrens faces full of satisfaction and pride after having built a model and having brought it to life by computer programming it all by themselves says George Gotsinas, owner of Yellow Brick Lab and manager of the workshops. I wish we could offer more spaces right now to all passionate little builders that want to join”.

In a world where STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has become the buzz word in primary school planning, Yellow Brick Lab opened the door wide to all children interested in discovering Robotics & Coding by playing with their favourite toy, LEGO® bricks. Using high tech kits, designed and developed by LEGO® Education based on the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum, the workshops introduce children from as early as the age of 5 to the magnificent world of science. Making those resources available to local children we aspire to build today the skills of tomorrow, for the new generation of young engineers, programmers and architects that may already be living under your very own roof.

We would like to say a big THANK YOUto both parents and children in the local communities that embraced our workshops so warmly and supported this effort.

In order to celebrate our first year of operation, and to thank all those who supported our effort, we’re offering a 25% discount to our annual fees to anyone who would like to book in advance (subject to availability) a place for their child/ren for all three terms across the 2018-2019 School Year, offer valid until the end of Summer Term 2018*. For details please get in touch at [email protected].

We promise to continue investing in and providing innovative resources through our workshops so that we continue to offer children high quality, original LEGO® educational material. We are keen to ensure that STEM is accessible to all children, regardless of age or gender. Girls are thriving and growing in number within our groups and, especially given the lack of female engineers in the United Kingdom, we are committed to attract and offer more girls the opportunity to explore science through our workshops and, in doing so, significantly increase the girl-boy ratio in our groups.

* Discount not valid in conjunction with other promotions, discounts or vouchers on offer

About Yellow Brick Lab

Yellow Brick Lab is a small local family business, based in Hurstpierpoint village introducing primary school age children to Robotics & Computer Coding through building with high end LEGO® robotics equipment. It operates currently in four locations (Hurstpierpoint, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, Lindfield) on a weekly basis and also offers workshops for home educated children based in their own homes.

The ‘Lab’, as most people call it, is the creation of a dad, George, to help him answer the boundless enthusiasm of a 6-year-old boy, Leon, and his 4-year-old sister Faye. Their questions were endless! Always thought-provoking, often delightful and even sometimes Google-inducing. But new concepts can be really hard to explain. Especially to younger kids who have limited vocabularies and who definitely have had limited experiences of the world to explain them through. So he turned to LEGO® bricks as a tool to bring it all to life for them. He created their own lab and there it started!

Yellow Brick Lab is so much more than just a LEGO® club. Using LEGO® We Do 2.0, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® kits we aim at enhancing childrens collaborative spirit, communication skills and creativity and allow every child to explore its potential and talents. Building on the school learnings (as the LEGO® Education resources were developed around the school curriculum) all children are given the opportunity to explore science concepts through fun projects. In other words, learning in disguise! Children are offered a variety of STEM related projects of increasing difficulty and are building something different every week so they never get bored!

By transforming parentsheadache for after school childcare into a prime opportunity for creativity and fun learning, Yellow Brick Lab quickly gained popularity in the wider area, creating 4 weekly workshops in just a year of operation. Very soon groups for home educated children have also been created and home-based sessions for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have been offered.

Running family themed events (Christmas, Fathers Day) and special holiday projects (such as the Summer Robotics Challenge) we further spread our passion for what we do and demonstrate first hand to parents the benefits of engaging with robotics and science from a young age. Special LEGO Robotics birthday party workshops have also become very popular as well.

Through Yellow Brick Lab we hope to spark many more imaginations to know more about the big wide world that we live in. 

For more information

If you wish to find more about us and what exactly we do please visit our website  www.yellowbricklab.co.uk send us a message at [email protected] or give us a call on 07716 504730. We’ll be happy to have a chat!

You can also find us on:

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It’s going to be a late May Bank Holiday to remember at Arundel Castle, as a French raiding party will seize the Castle in an action-packed three-day event (26-28 May).

Visitors will be transported back to 1474, the time of Edward IV – The Earl of Arundel is away with the king and the French have taken the opportunity to wrest the Castle from the grasp of the English.

The Siege will showcase authentic 15th century combat techniques, combining hand-to-hand combat with awe-inspiring cannon displays, with a series of plot twists throughout the weekend. The outcome isn’t set in stone either, with even the participants unsure who will emerge victorious until the final battle.

Away from the smoke and noise of the battlefield, a tented encampment will be set up across the Castle’s Upper Lawns, with all the sights and sounds of 15th century life.

Guests will be able to meet craftsmen, leather workers, armourers, cooks and even apothecaries within the encampment, with opportunities to learn how their work contributed to success in the field of combat.

A professional storyteller will also be on hand, telling medieval stories of times gone by. These tales, which span many centuries, are the perfect way to complement the key stage 1-3 curriculum, whilst also engaging and entertaining younger visitors.

The siege is one of the largest events of the year, bringing together not just the Raven Tor Living History Group, but also The Wessex Medieval Alliance and The Company of St Barbara, making for a truly unforgettable Bank Holiday weekend.

Castle Manager Stephen Manion commented: “The Castle Siege is always a highlight of our open season, and this year won’t be any different.”

“Having so many talented historical interpreters in the grounds at once really brings history to life and gives a real sense of what the Castle may have been like in the 15th century. The Siege itself is a truly thrilling event – I’m usually just as excited as the visitors to find out who will win!”

For more information on Arundel Castle and its events calendar, please visit: www.arundelcastle.org.  

Photo: Cumnor House Sussex Charity Pick ‘n’ Mix

The Year 6 children at Cumnor House Sussex raised a phenomenal £1,028 in a fundraising extravaganza that was organised independently by the 56-strong year group, in aid of their nominated Charity, Cancer Research UK.

The 10 and 11 year-olds arranged themselves into small groups and came up with some innovative ideas for raising money including selling homemade biscuits and cupcakes, finding the treasure, guessing the name of the rabbit, basketball shoot-out, apple bobbing, hockey ‘keepy-uppies’, pie face, cup shuffle, guess the cake or sweetie jar weight, beat the goalkeeper, slippery shoot-out, doughnut-on-a-string, hair braiding, pick & mix, face painting, as well as a coconut & can shy.

They took over the school’s Sports Hall and tennis courts, organised their own props, stands and prizes and, by 3.30pm, were ready to welcome the rest of the school, including pupils and staff, who poured into the Sports Hall and onto the tennis courts ready to buy cakes, sweets and drinks, participate in various sporting challenges or have their hair braided and faces painted.

“This is a much anticipated annual event for our Year 6 children,” commented Maureen Boyland, Fundraiser Co-ordinator at Cumnor House Sussex.  “The year group takes responsibility for organising the entire event and, having also voted for the charity that they most wish to support, they are given a real incentive to raise as much money as they possibly can.  It is great fun for them and for everyone involved.  To raise such a phenomenal sum at this single event is a real credit to their hard work and meticulous planning.”

To find out more about Cumnor House Sussex and its community and fundraising initiatives, visit : https://cumnor.co.uk/.

New NSPCC and O2 research has revealed that one in four young people have been contacted over social media by an adult they don’t know, with a third of these children aged under 13.

 

2,059 children and 2,049 parents were surveyed for Net Aware, the essential guide to 40 of the most popular social media sites, apps and games that young people use, produced by NSPCC in partnership with O2.

 

Children and parents were asked if they’d seen violent, bullying or adult content on the social networking sites and games that children use – with Facebook and YouTube receiving high risk ratings across the board.

 

Other sites found to be risky included Twitter and Reddit, with both rated high for inappropriate content. Other sites in the top 15 most risky platforms included lesser known names that parents may not be aware of such as Sarahah, Episode: Choose Your Story, Omegle, ROBLOX and Yubo (formerly called Yellow).

 

A 16-year-old girl who reviewed YouTube said: “When you’re watching a video of something like a makeup artist, a video can be at the side of something completely different that could be sexual/hurtful or anything else. It’s easy to get yourself into a bad video.”

 

A 13-year-old girl who reviewed Facebook said: “I don’t like that just random people can send you a friend request.”

 

Parents from the South East who also took part in the research are concerned about the inappropriate content their children can access online.

 

A dad who reviewed Twitter said: “There is lots of far-right and xenophobic messages.

 

“There is also a lot of bullying by people who disagree with each other, and women are particularly targeted and abused.”

 

Another dad said about computer game Steam: “My son received some abusive messages in chat and I referred them to the game’s Community Support.”

 

Positively, Net Aware highlighted that two-thirds of young people know how to perform safety functions including reporting inappropriate content, blocking someone online and changing privacy and location settings.

 

The NSPCC and O2 encourages parents to use Net Aware to build their confidence in having regular and informed conversations about what their child is doing online – just as they would about their day at school.

 

Parents can also get free online safety advice from O2 Gurus at stores across the East of England by booking an appointment on the O2 website.

 

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless said: “Worryingly we are hearing from children as young as 13 who have been contacted by adults they don’t know on social media, which can be extremely upsetting.

 

“In addition our research shows children are being exposed to inappropriate and harmful content across a range of social networking sites and games, from the big names to those perhaps lesser known to parents.

 

“That’s why it’s so important for parents to download the Net Aware app so they can keep up to speed with new sites, apps and games as they appear and the risks they present. Net Aware does all the work, updating parents with the latest reviews, news and risks about sites their children are using and providing tips and advice to keep them safe online.”

 

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2 says: “Net Aware is a great way for parents to stay up to date with their children’s digital world. Our latest update now covers 40 of the most popular sites, apps or games – helping parents to support their kids to explore and enjoy the online world safely. While it’s encouraging to see that children increasingly know about social media safety settings, the constantly evolving digital world means that it’s more important than ever for organisations like O2 and the NSPCC to work together to keep kids safe online.”

 

The Net Aware app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or Google Play. It can also be accessed online at www.net-aware.org.uk.