Oxford & South Oxon

Category Archives: General

Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco are challenging working families to get active outside after new statistics show they’re more likely to be found in front of the TV.


A survey commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, found that  just over three in ten (31 per cent) working parents say they hardly ever walk, cycle, run or play games as a family outside. Instead, nearly three in four (73 per cent) would rather stay indoors watching TV and films.


The National Charity Partnership is concerned that such sedentary lifestyles could be contributing to rising cases of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


With physical activity known to reduce people’s risk of these conditions, the National Charity Partnership is urging families to get active outdoors this summer and make the most of their local green spaces. It has also developed a free, online eight week challenge to help families improve their lifestyle and long-term health by moving more and eating healthily.


Alex Davis, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco, said: “When you’re trying to juggle work with a busy family, it’s easy to forego a walk in the park and instead kick off your shoes and settle in on the sofa, but encouraging children to be couch potatoes is a potential health time bomb.


“It’s behaviours like this which are linked to a number of health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. Both conditions are serious and affect millions of people in the UK, but are largely preventable through lifestyle changes.


“We know that being physically active can reduce the likelihood of people developing these conditions and even a ten minute stroll around the park with your children can help to make a big difference to your health and to the health of your family.”


The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents about their work-life balance, found that on the days that they work, one in five (20 per cent) spend less than one hour a day with their children.


Despite around three in four respondents (77 per cent) reporting they would like to spend more time with their children, less than two in five (38 per cent) working parents say they go to the park or visit an outdoor play area as a family.


Natalie Walker, 30, from Devon took part in a recent ‘Big Bike Ride’ event at her local velopark along with her husband and children.


“I love it when we’re all out together spending time as a family,” said Natalie. “It is a time when we’re not checking our mobile phones, but instead we talk to each other- and we’re getting exercise.


“It’s a kind of play time that we all get to join and enjoy together. We’ve built a lot of dens together and the kids love to explore, climb trees or whiz round on their bikes.”


The partnership is also funding a range of free activities across the UK. Activities currently underway include, small steps to 5k, cycling training and clubs in Castlederg and Derry. A six week Walk, Jog and Run Club in Thanet and the Beat the Street game is currently running in Nottingham until 26 July.


For more information about Let’s Do This and to sign up for physical activity programmes in your area, please visit lets-dothis.org.uk.

London foster mum Birdie McDonald has become the latest star of Tesco’s national Food Love Stories campaign, which aims to tell the stories behind the meals we all love. Birdie’s story focuses on her special meal, ‘Everybody Welcome’ Jerk Chicken, the dish she has cooked for the last 50 years, feeding the hungry mouths of over 800 foster children, as well as three of her own biological children, all of whom have lived with her at her Wembley home.


As a firm favourite in her household, the dish is cooked up to welcome new children into the family as well as feeding up to 15 people at a time, and made with a special Caribbean-inspired marinade with a tasty sweetcorn and pepper side salad.


The advert is the latest in Tesco’s ongoing Food Love Stories campaign, demonstrating the special role food plays in people’s lives, and the quality ingredients they use to cook their favourite dishes for the people around them.


Birdie comments, “In my household, food is at the centre of everything we do, and eating together is so important. When you’re sitting around the table you bond with each other and you can talk, laugh, sometimes even cry. My ‘Everybody Welcome’ Jerk Chicken is famous in our household; it brings everyone together so we can share our love of food and of each other.”


Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer at Tesco said: “Birdie is a very special woman and her unique story perfectly represents the message behind our Food Love Stories campaign; behind every dish we love is a story. We know delicious food made with quality ingredients brings people together, so we want to help share people’s unique stories and dishes.”


Birdie’s achievements and lifelong passion to help young people hasn’t gone unnoticed and she’s been awarded an MBE for her services to children, Woman of the Year and has been a Pride of Britain winner.


Birdie McDonald’s ‘Everybody Welcome’ Jerk Chicken is on TV screens from today until Tuesday 4th July 2017. Her Food Love Story will also be told on outdoor posters, radio and online.


To watch Birdie’s story and get her unique recipe, log onto https://www.tesco.com/food-love-stories/ or go in-store to pick up a recipe card.

Your Baby Skin to Skin is about to be published by well-known local midwife Rachel Fitz-Desorgher.

Launching on 28th April 2017 it offers a unique approach for new mums, giving them the confidence to enjoy their newborns – the antithesis of books that promote structured routines.

Your Baby Skin to Skin takes parents on a reassuring and practical journey through baby’s first year, grounded in the knowledge that your baby is a highly evolved being, pre-set to thrive and survive.

With over 30 years’ experience, Rachel helps you understand your baby and teaches you to stop fighting against their inbuilt reflexes and instinctive cues. Instead, she uncovers the reasons babies act the way they do, which produces many ‘lightbulb’ moments of recognition – even in the most sleep-deprived parent.

Your Baby Skin to Skin:

De-mystifies why babies act as they do – looking at the science behind their immature autonomic nervous system and their natural survival instincts.

Is the antithesis of books that promote structured routines for babies that do not work.

Encourages parents to trust their newborn, giving them the confidence to enjoy their baby.

Rachel says: “If you respond to your baby’s needs you can’t get parenting ‘wrong’. No-one taught us to sneeze, we can’t get better at sneezing through practice and we can’t sneeze ‘wrong’! Likewise, a newborn baby comes ready-primed to feed, sleep and learn and cannot get these things wrong, so turn down your anxiety and learn from your little instinctive expert.”

Rachel lives in Earley and is the co-creator of Henley Birthcare, a unique freelance midwifery and doula service offering bespoke care to clients in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, London and the Home Counties.

With 30 years as a midwife and mother to four boys, Rachel is a true expert in the field. The book is already receiving excellent reviews and we’re delighted to have testimonials from renowned pregnancy expert Zita West and actress Joanna Page who she supported with post-natal care.

Rachel is hosting a book launch on 28th April at The Bell Bookshop in Henley-on Thames.

Mum2mum market baby and children’s nearly new sales are now well-established in South Oxfordshire, with regular successful events being held in three venues over the past year. The franchise is now up for sale. This is a great opportunity to build your own profitable business, working flexibly from home.

You could be running your own busy nearly new sales within weeks, and no previous experience is necessary. Full training is provided by mum2mum market head office, and there is lots of ongoing support from a large network of franchisees across the country.

The added advantage of taking on the South Oxfordshire franchise is that the business is already up and running, and you can benefit from the advice and experience of the current franchise owner. The price is negotiable, and includes lots of useful resources to help you get started, such as clothes rails, banners, posters and lists of contacts. For more details about this exciting opportunity please email Claire: [email protected]

From the people who brought you Baby Sensory & Toddler Sense, these fantastic classes will introduce your child to the exciting world of science. Taught through hands-on experiments, be-spoke videos & story-telling, discovering a new science topic each week. Our fab 40 minute classes covering everything from polymers to dinosaurs, maths to tropical rainforests, evolution to gravity and much, much more.

Developing language & social skills, fine & motor skills, taking turns and so on, but most importantly, they learn that science is FUN!

At Mini Professors we explain science in simple ways with fun experiments, and our Mini Professors are encouraged to explore, ask questions and experiment as much as possible – which we know children love to do!

“Tell me I forgot, show me I learn, involve me I understand”.

Currently running in Abingdon and launching soon in Didcot & Wallingford. 
Come along and give it a try! 
Contact Leigh [email protected]


Ladybird First Aid offers 2 hour baby & child or child & adult First Aid classes, at local venues or in the comfort of your home, from £15.00 per person (minimum 4 people). Babies under 1 are welcome. The class covers CPR, choking, recovery position, febrile seizures, meningitis, burns, head injuries and more…

A recent review from a mummy, Laura who took the class: ‘The 2hr baby and child first aid course was fantastic and really gave us all confidence and reassurance. Rachel is a fantastic teacher and we can’t thank her enough for her time today and for the invaluable training. Brilliant course, we highly recommend it!’

Workplace certified courses are available including 12 hr Paediatric First Aid (Ofsted and EYFS recognised) and Emergency First Aid at work at your place of work, at home or in local venues, day and evening courses available.

Contact Rachel on [email protected] or 07812 164350



Twitter: @ladybfirstaid

Stagecoach Performing Arts is proud to be the largest network of part time performing arts schools, offering young people age 4 to 18 classes in singing, dance and drama. Through our expert tuition we aim to encourage all students to explore their creativity, use their imaginations and grow in skill, equipping them not only for performing on stage but also for performing in life.

Students are taught by skilled professionals who are fully DBS checked, ensuring your child is safe with us. We combine our training with frequent performance opportunities making Stagecoach perfect for those who wish to pursue a career in the arts or those who simply want to learn new skills whilst having fun.

We are now enrolling for our new term and have branches in Abingdon, High Wycombe, Henley & Marlow and Thame & Watlington! To find out more or to book your two week trial book your two week trial just contact your local Principal.

Abingdon – 01865 390970 [email protected]

Thame & Watlington – 01865 763767: [email protected]

High Wycombe, Henley and Marlow – 01494 533203: [email protected]

Monkey Music, the award-winning pre-school music group for children aged 3 months – 4 years across the UK, holds classes on five days each week in term time across Oxfordshire, with venues in Oxford, Abingdon, Thame and Wallingford.

Based on an exciting progressive curriculum, Monkey Music provides weekly classes that are entertaining and educational. Our specialist teachers encourage social and musical skills within a fun, stimulating and friendly environment. Classes are small and tailor-made, with the children grouped according to their age. Catchy music, percussion instruments and visual props captivate the children, and they are given the opportunity to experiment with the instruments and make their own music too.  Over 500 traditional and original songs, musical games and exciting movement ideas are used throughout our four age-appropriate curricula. We also offer birthday parties and holiday workshops.

To find out more, or to book your complimentary class, email Flick & Richard at [email protected] or call 01235 519806.  Or why not visit the interactive website at www.monkeymusic.co.uk/area/oxford to sample some of the delights of Monkey Music for yourself?

We look forward to welcoming you and your little one soon!

As seen on BBC Dragons’ Den, the award-winning mum2mum market nearly new sales have arrived in South Oxfordshire! If you are looking for great quality pre-loved baby and children’s clothes, toys and equipment at bargain prices, you’ll find a huge choice under one roof at these pop-up indoor markets.

If you have outgrown items to sell, simply book a stall online, sell direct to other parents and keep all your takings on the day. It’s a fun and hassle-free way to clear your clutter! www.mum2mummarket.co.uk/book-a-stall.html.

Entry to the sale is £2 on the door for adults – free for children and in the last half-hour when there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Bring a friend for free with a 2 for 1 voucher: www.mum2mummarket.co.uk/get-free-entry.html.

There are plenty of bargain-hunting opportunities with sales held regularly in Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage. Don’t miss these upcoming events:

Saturday 3 December 2-4pm at Fitzharrys School, ABINGDON

Saturday 4 February 2-4pm at DIDCOT Girls’ School

Saturday 18 March 2-4pm at Fitzharrys School, ABINGDON

The Quad Tea & Coffee Rooms was opened in August 2015 by Jason Davenport located within the Davenports Business Centre, previously better known as Barclays Bank in Faringdon.

My name is Sarah Hussey and I became owner of The Quad in mid-December.  I am proud to have developed it into four divisions, so in addition to the tea rooms, we have:

The Kid’s-Quad playroom which opened in January is a sanctuary for mums, dads, grandparents and carers where they can relax alongside the kids.  We are totally flexible and will make any combination off our menu that the kids want.  We also cater and host birthday parties of all ages, christenings and group meetings.

[email protected] was established early Spring offering handmade ice creams in unusual flavours and unique creations including Ice Cream Tea Stands, Brownie Bowls, Sundaes and a wide range of sweet toppings.

The fourth part of the business is Quad-Collectibles where we offer a variety of collectible items for sale both antique, curios and more modern film and comic collectibles. The Tea Rooms has become both a popular community venue for locals and attracts passing tourists and visitors who view our great reviews online at Trip Advisor and Facebook.

Please visit our website www.thequadfaringdon.co.uk