Category Archives: All Posts

Stars of Paradise

The New Book by Mary Obozua

Stars of Paradise is a story to inspire young girls and boys to think big, be creative, and understand that dreams can be achieved with teamwork and the application of skills including science, technology, coding, as well as singing, dancing and performing!

We have a copy of this wonderful book to give away, visit our Competitions Page for a chance to win!

This year’s Marshill carnival will be like no other. Daisy and her best friend Ewe decide they will create a winning jingle for the singing contest. But, they soon realise that they need the help of their friends and the rather miserable show-off Esmerelda. Then, more challenges arise for the Stars of Paradise. They need to find a way to perform in two places at the same time. And, can Ewe’s powers of drawing and designing ideas that come to life, magically help them solve their problems, and win the competition at the carnival? The adventure begins with the delivery of a golden letter…

Daisy and Ewe are the stars of new children’s book series, The WLDE, aimed at young readers aged six to nine. There is a massive need for more diversity in children’s book publishing. Only 1% of the children’s books published in the UK in 2017 had a BAME main character (CLPE, 2018). This new series brings together myriad cultural backgrounds: Daisy and Ewe are Nigerian, Danny is Irish, and Ayo is Ghanaian. Mary says: “It’s great to be able to write about my childhood and the way I grew up – accepting of all races and cultures. There’s a lot of ignorance on race going on around the world. However, there is also a wonderful truth that we do live in a multicultural society. I hope ‘The WLDE’ helps showcase the positive sides of various ethnicities – that we are all people and we can all get along. I hope it also helps to shine light where there’s ignorance, so children can grow up with that truth.”

About the author

As well as designing shoes, developing her brand ‘Mary Smith’, live singing, mentoring young women and telling stories to her nieces and nephews, Mary Obozua has now added ‘Author’ to her list. Mary grew up as part of a large family without a TV in sight. She credits this upbringing to stimulating her creative side, as she was encouraged to create stories to entertain her younger siblings whilst babysitting. Inspired by watching the humorous relationship between her younger sister and her best friends, ‘The Wonderful Life of Daisy and Ewe’ was born – ‘Stars of Paradise’ is the first book in the series. She promises the series to bring girl power, a multicultural cast, mystery and fun packed adventures.

Mary continues to passionately tell stories and write, whilst juggling the day to day running of business… plus everything else in-between. Mary works in Birmingham and recently made the move from London to the Midlands to be closer to her fashion business.

 

 

 

The Three Hares – The Jade Dragonball

By Scott Lauder and David Ross

We are delighted to have a copy of the Jade Dragonball to give away, head over to our Competitions Page for your chance to win!

An exciting, new, middle grade, historical, fantasy fiction series written collaboratively by two teachers and authors – one in the UAE and the other in NYC – The Three Hares series will educate as well as entertain. With both female and male protagonists, historical and cultural and a plot that promotes values such as grit, inner strength, resilience, empathy and confidence, this is sure to be a huge hit in and out of the classroom.

Sara Livingstone’s school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum takes a terrifying turn when an encounter with the ancient Qingming Scroll thrusts her one thousand years into China’s past.

With secrets in the shadows and danger around every corner, Sara relies on her wits (and her Granny Tang’s stories) to survive. As dark forces gather, she must take her place in a cosmic battle and find the courage to face an unworldly ancient magic.

About the Authors

Scott Lauder has always been fascinated by other cultures, which inspired his choice to live in myriad countries including Greece, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Japan, throughout his life. Born in Ayrshire, Scotland Scott now lives with his wife in Sharjah. History is another of Scott’s passions; both of his graded readers for Oxford University Press were set in the past, one in Ancient Egypt, the other in Ancient Rome. He cites researching the periods for those books and the Three Hares series as “great fun,” a passion that emanates throughout the novel.

David Ross has taught English since 1987, when he began working in Japan. There, he met his co-author, Scott Lauder, when they both taught at the same English school. While in Japan, David performed with a rock band for a couple of years and produced an album (Los Turbines). His decade of teaching in Japan provided with the opportunity to travel in Asia, Africa, and Europe. After returning to his home country of the United States of America, David taught at Loyola University in New Orleans, before moving to New York in 2004, where he taught elementary school – and where he still lives with his wife and two sons. In 2010, David received his doctorate in Educational Studies from McGill University in Montreal. He has spent four summers of the last decade, two in China and two in Indonesia, teaching at universities.

About the Publisher

Neem Tree Press is a traditional, independent publishing house that aims to broaden perspectives. They are global in scope, with books under contract from Germany, the Middle East, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom to date. Their 2019-2020 portfolio includes non-fiction unveiling the Modest Fashion industry to this middle-grade historical fantasy fiction based in China, written collaboratively by two authors – one in Dubai, the other in New York. The common theme for Neem Tree Press’ books is to provoke both thoughtful discussion on sensitive issues and a thirst in the reader to explore further the ideas or cultures they encounter in our books.

 

From September 2019 Baby Café Tunbridge Wells does not have the required funding needed to continue running this vital service for parents.  We are looking for donations to help us raise the £4,500 needed a year to provide the service to parents for free.

Every penny donated will go directly to funding this vital service for our community.  Help us support more parents throughout their feeding journey.

To help support please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-baby-cafe-tunbridge-wells

“I just wanted to e-mail to say that I made it to baby café a few weeks ago and that it was brilliant! I really felt that I was listened to properly and I received some really helpful and practical advice.  I’ve definitely not had either of those things from other places when I’ve sought breastfeeding support so I really just wanted to let you know how great it was”

Since opening in 2012 we have supported over 1,000 families throughout their feeding journey with our highly qualified and supportive NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors and volunteers.

“Baby Cafe was a life saver when I had my 2 children. Not only was I able to get great breastfeeding advice but I also made some amazing friends. Our weekly trip to the baby cafe gave me somewhere I felt comfortable to go and meet with other breastfeeding mums and babies. It really is a fantastic service”

From Christ Church in Tunbridge Wells, we offer a warm welcome, complimentary homemade refreshments and the chance for parents to be supported and heard, not just once but for as long as they need us.  Our in depth training in counselling skills allows us to offer something different; mother-centred active listening and ongoing support.  We know that women often have to stop feeding their babies before they want to and we are able to offer them the time and expert knowledge needed, alongside evidence-based information, to help them make the decisions that are right for them.  We work closely with other health professionals and often support women through post-natal depression and the challenges of early motherhood by providing them a safe space and a place to feel comfortable.  We also support complex issues like tongue tie, mastitis, vasospasm and problems associated with birth trauma for mothers and babies. Women also visit us on a social basis for ongoing peer to peer support.  Some mothers are now returning with their second and third babies as they found the support on offer so helpful.  It is a lovely environment and we have a dedicated team of volunteers. 

“Such a great place. I visited this group when my little one was less than a month old. They guided and supported me with my problems with a much needed cup of coffee.  I would recommend this group to anyone needed help and would return if I had any further problems”

Set up with a lottery grant and previously supported by the Tunbridge Wells NCT Branch before its closure this month, Baby Café relies on funding to keep its service free to parents who need us. We work closely with our NHS colleagues receiving referrals from Midwives, GPs and Health Visitors and we pride ourselves on offering continuity of care for parents.  Our leaflets are given out to every woman leaving The Tunbridge Wells Hospital Postnatal ward and we maintain links with the Infant Feeding Specialists there.

“100% always a very friendly welcoming atmosphere at baby cafe! The advice and help received from Jenny and Laura was amazing! Always making you feel very comfortable and relaxed! I feel I only managed to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months because of the fantastic help and advice received from baby cafe, I will always recommend this service to my friends and I hope to see you all again very soon!”

“A welcoming and supportive environment for mums and their babies whether breast- or bottle-fed, Baby Café was of vital importance to me and my son from the earliest days. Laura and Jenny are kind and encouraging.They have a wealth of advice to share and take care to answer every question, no matter how big or small. I cannot recommend Baby Café enough”.

“I cannot stress how invaluable the help of Jen and Laura has been. From my first visit when my daughter was just weeks old, to help with weaning many months later. They are a fountain of knowledge and so incredibly helpful and giving. Each week the open themselves up to stressed and tired and hormonal mothers and they calm and reassure them. Even when all that mother needs that day is for someone to make them a cup of tea and have a natter, these ladies are there.”

See more reviews and information on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/bcltwells

Kent libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books over the next few weeks as they take part in Space Chase, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Illustrations © Adam Stower for The Reading Agency

The Space Chase theme is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, and children aged 4-11 are invited to team up with futuristic family The Rockets for an exciting space mission as they track down books stolen by a mischievous band of aliens.

As children read library books for the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their collectable mission folders, young readers will help the Rockets solve clues, dodge asteroids and discover the missing books, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

To take part in Space Chase, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey.

Last year more than 17,000 Kent youngsters took part in the Mischief Makers challenge.

Space Chase launches in libraries across Kent on Saturday, 13 July, and runs until 14 September.

There is a whole programme of events and activities planned at Kent libraries for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, which is organised nationally by The Reading Agency. Just contact your local library or go to www.kent.gov.uk/libs to find out how to take part.

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a brilliant initiative which encourages children to get into the habit of reading regularly.

“Their reading can dip during the summer holidays if they do not have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. The Summer Reading Challenge helps to address this.

“Children have the whole summer to do it – the challenge does not finish until 14 September and we would like as many children as possible to take part.”

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “We know from our research that families and children love taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and we are proud to have been running the challenge for 20 years.

“Children have worked with illustrator Adam Stower to come up with ideas for the Space Chase adventure, and we hope the challenge will inspire all children to use their local library and to read lots of great books throughout the summer and beyond.”

BUSYLIZZY TUNBRIDGE WELLS

A Busylizzy membership is a ‘must have’ for mums looking to enjoy fun & friendly pregnancy, baby and postnatal fitness (no childcare required!) with like-minded new friends.

When you join Busylizzy, you are setting the stage for a fun and active pregnancy and maternity leave. It’s so much better than a typical gym and it’s really simple to get started. You can choose any combination of our mummy fitness sessions for yourself and enjoy a great selection of fun classes, events and talks with your little one. Use our handy app to book, cancel and reschedule on your terms.

♥  MUMS TO BEE CLASSES

Bee fit throughout your pregnancy with our antenatal fitness classes. Our expert instructors will help guide you through strengthening and toning. It’s a great chance to ease those aches and pains – whilst creating YOU time. The perfect environment to meet other expectant mums. All classes suitable from 14 weeks.

♥  MUMMY & ME CLASSES

Our postnatal fitness classes will have you back in pre-pregnancy shape in no time, making you feel more confident whilst having a great time socialising with other mums like you. The best part? You bring your little one along while you exercise, so no childcare required. Where else can a work out can feel like playtime?

♥  BABY CLASSES

Your maternity leave is an extra special time. It’s a chance to make new friends for you and your little one. Our baby classes for newborns, new mummies and active babies are designed to be nurturing, calming and supportive – whilst aiding physical development, co-ordination and balance. Share memorable experiences, enjoy special bonding time and achievements.

♥  TALKS & EVENTS

As well as fabulous classes, a busylizzy membership gives you access to amazing talks and events delivered by experts in their fields. Meet likeminded friends and fellow members in our coffee mornings, pick up some tips in our talks (current favourites include ‘baby weaning’ and ‘sleep’ talks) or have some fun in our seasonal parties. Visit our Facebook page ((https://www.facebook.com/busylizzymumtunbridgewells/)) to find out what’s on!

 ♥  BIG ONE PARTY

A first birthday is just as much about celebrating the first year of parenthood as it is about your baby’s first birthday party. It’s a special birthday… Probably THE most special birthday celebration you’ll plan. Create memories and enjoy a Busylizzy big ONE birthday! Visit our website (https://busylizzytunbridgewells.co.uk/parties/) to find out more.

WHEN?

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

10am-12.30, and evening for pregnancy classes (specific timings vary, visit our website to see the timetable [https://busylizzytunbridgewells.co.uk/timetable/]

 WHERE?

★ Mummy & Me and Baby Classes: Tunbridge Wells Football Club, 50 Culverden Down, TN4 9SG

★ Mums To Bee Classes: St. Barnabas’ Church Hall, Stanley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2RH

All our venues have free parking!

Find out more about Busylizzy HERE (www.busylizzytunbridgwells.co.uk). Alternatively follow Busylizzy on:

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/busylizzymumtunbridgewells/) and

Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/busylizzytunbridgewells/)

 

A Magical Medieval Weekend Experience!

(For a chance to WIN a Family Weekend Ticket for 2x adults and 2x children visit our Competitions Page T&Cs Apply)

27th Spectacular Year – 24th, 25th & 26th August 2019 – Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

England’s Medieval Festival is the most authentic, one-of-a-kind medieval themed festival in Great Britain, where you can immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells and spectacle of medieval times.

Located at the fairy tale castle of Herstmonceux in Sussex, England’s Medieval Festival is a very special blend of history and fun for the whole family.

Enjoy the thrill of Knights Jousting; Twice daily Battle and Siege of the Castle; magnificent Grand Parades; highly-skilled Falconry displays; Hundreds of Craftsmen and Traders; a Kid’s Kingdom; Crafts & Games areas; Workshops & Demonstrations; Minstrels, Magicians; Jesters; Hog Roasts and even a hilarious Mud Show!

There’s plenty of opportunity to join the fun with have-a-go jousting, archery and axe throwing; sword school; drum school; workshops for all ages, including chainmail, calligraphy, wood-weaving, blacksmith-forging and many other traditional arts and crafts.

Wizards, jesters, knights, dragons and princesses delight the kids; while the living history village offers the chance to see what it would really have been like to live in the Middle Ages.

Traditional musicians join a music line-up of foot-stomping folk bands who perform each day and evening on four outdoor and two indoor stage areas.

Real ale, traditional mead and medieval eats are available alongside delicious cuisine for all the family; and kids of all ages adore the moonlit cinema showing medieval themed classics.

The festival hosts weddings, blessings and traditional hand-fasting celebrations over the weekend.

Weekend Camping, Medieval Glamping and B&B room on the grounds.

Shuttle Bus from Polegate and Pevensey Westham Train Station to the Castle during the Festival.

By car – Wartling Road, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1RN

Dogs welcome on leads.

Day Visitors 10am – 6pm daily (Rain or Shine); Weekend Visitors from 7pm Friday 23rd August

Discount Tickets Now on Sale at www.EnglandsMedievalFestival.com

For information contact [email protected] or 020 8150 6767

EnglandsMedievalFestival.com

facebook.com/EnglandsMedievalFestival

twitter.com/EnglandsMedfest

instagram.com/englandsmedfest/

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‘What an incredible experience. We felt like we really had gone back in time!’

‘We had the best weekend. Excellent entertainment and shopping. And the evening entertainment

made our weekend!’

‘So much to see and do. Thanks for an incredible day’

‘The Jousting was simply AMAZING. A pure delight!’

‘What a brilliantly staged event. Really friendly people, loads to see. Only wish we had stayed for the weekend. Always next year.’

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Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th July               

                       We’re going to the theatre …. We’re going to see a Bear Hunt

                             What a beautiful play!    We’re not scared….

Illustrations © 1989 Helen Oxenbury from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

The smash-hit production of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the much-loved picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury with a 2019 UK Tour and will be coming to the EM Forster Theatre Tonbridge on 24th & 25th July. Sally Cookson’s hugely inventive production set to Benji Bower’s lively musical score is a mischievous celebration of play, utilising everyday objects and materials to capture the imagination and propel audiences into the world of the family favourite.

A fun filled frolic’ The Guardian

Join our intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog as they wade through the swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the oozy squelchy mud, in search of a bear. Expect plenty of interaction and a few surprises along the way. Music, laughter, rhythms, rhymes and repetitions together with puppetry, paint, water and mud… not to mention a bear – we’re not scared! – make this fun-filled adventure the perfect treat for families with children aged 3 and up.

Michael Rosen says of the live theatre show: ”This production of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt takes everyone on the journey – not under, not over, oh no – through it! – in a funny, exuberant and loving way. It’s a show full of laughter, music, silliness and thrills that I promise you will excite and delight all young children. This is a must-go show.”

Wednesday 24th July 4.00pm

Thursday 25th July 11.30am & 2.00pm

EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School

Tickets £12.50, £10 Group Rate 10+

www.emftheatre.com 01732 304241

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is presented by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment and is created by the critically acclaimed production team including director Sally Cookson, composer Benji Bower, designer Katie Sykes, lighting designer Tony Simpson, sound designer Jason Barnes, associate director and puppet designer Marc Parrett

 

 

 

 

‘babytodd’ returns with The Sussex Bump, Baby & Toddler Show

babytodd’s Bump, Baby & Toddler Show is returning to The South of England Showground on 9th March. We heard from the Show Organiser, Sarah O’Connell, who is super passionate about spreading word of the show and just how it all came about……

“We are a Sussex family who decided to take the bull by the horns after a reflective afternoon reminiscing about our parenthood journey. With 8-year-old twin girls, our experience had helped us realise and appreciate the need for offering a platform so that local families can meet their local and national suppliers and services. You don’t know what you don’t know, so by offering the show to Sussex and surrounding families they can become better informed about what is on offer to them and actually meet and connect with the people behind the businesses and websites. We now have some big names joining us too.

With so much on offer, the online options can be overwhelming. High Street store closures mean that families’ options for where they can see, touch and feel are limited when buying in Sussex. At such a special time in the family’s journey, we were keen to share everything under one roof and with a range to choose from. So, babytodd was born!

Life as parents can be really busy, we certainly didn’t come up for air, and we hadn’t appreciated just how much was available to us until much later into parenthood. We are super passionate about sharing an occasion where businesses, who are often otherwise based online, can engage with their customers and for everyone to understand the quality and passion that the exhibitors put into what they offer.”

What can people expect?

“A day, an occasion, an experience to enjoy with family and friends. 3 floors of everything for bump, baby, toddler and more. From prams to nappies, weaning to teethers, nursery & playroom furniture, slings to skincare, toys to classes and so much more. The show offers:

  • A unique blend of exhibitors sharing their products and services – Local & national suppliers
  • Show buggy park and sling library, so families can enjoy the show with their little ones
  • Informative workshops, including Paediatric First Aid and Sleep Support
  • Fun Taster Sessions for the little ones including Baby Yoga and Story Time
  • Fully stocked baby change facilities and quiet feeding area
  • Refreshment hub for a yummy lunch and treats
  • A Goodie Bag for the first 100 pre-registered families to check in on show day

A perfect excuse to hit the pause button, and enjoy a relaxing day where you can submerge yourself in your family and savour the special moment.”

What feedback have you had from previous shows?

“95%* of families attending would recommend the show and 100%* of the exhibitors taking part would do the same. Families loved the show’s blend and quality of local and national exhibitors. When asked at our Sept 18 show, families were very positive about what they saw and asked for ‘more’ of the same, so we are adding an extra floor and exhibitors are expanding their stand spaces.

The family friendly facilities are a big hit too! Workshops with insightful and important information sharing. Fully stocked baby changing areas throughout the venue are a great way to share exhibitor’s products. Families love sharing time in the Taster Sessions and activities for little ones.

As the Show Organiser, we live and learn with each show and develop the show every time to improve and cater for the needs of the families and exhibitors taking part. The show has grown each time and has therefore relocated with each show, but we are very pleased to have found a long-term home at The South of England Showground. We can’t wait to welcome the families back and meet new show visitors too.”

How can people book?

Simply visit our website to Pre-Register. www.babytodd.co.uk/shows

Pre-Reg Price: £5

On the Door Price: £7.50

Under 16’s free

Facebook @babytoddshows

Instagram @babytoddshows 

Twitter @babytoddshows

 

 

 

 

 

West Kent Mediation

FAMILY (PARENT/TEENAGER) MEDIATION

 

Some disagreement between parents and teenagers is often a normal part of growing up. Young people have to contend with huge changes to their identities, bodies, emotions and social life. Whilst they feel grown up, they are not always able to make appropriate decisions and are still dependent on their parents or carers for help and support. This may end in the breakdown of good relations between the young person and parents/carers.

Our family mediation service is offered free to all families living in West Kent.

Research has shown that restorative approaches to work with young people helps raise their self-esteem and empowers them to find ways of living within the family more constructively and with a better understanding of the needs of others. Our work with parents/carers enables them to understand their children better, to feel less isolated and be supported during a difficult and challenging time. The benefits are also shown in improving relationships between the young person and their siblings

Studies carried out show that when family relationships improve, teenagers spend less time away from the family home, thereby reducing levels of anti social activities, nuisance behaviour, crime and offending and the impact that these have on the local community. With the breakdown in family relationships becoming more commonplace, it is so often the teenagers that finds themselves isolated within the family; our work with families helping them to address the problems they face and look to a more positive future.

Our volunteers work with a restorative approach, and we build on existing strengths to encourage the start of new behaviour rather than the stopping of old behaviour. When harm has been caused by inconsiderate, negative actions restorative mediation can helps families to make decisions and solve problems together. Mediation also helps the rebuilding of relationships within the family.

Mediation outcomes:

  • help families with decision making and problem solving
  • Support the re-building of relationships within the family
  • Give families new life skills for the future
  • Develop resilience
  • Raise self-esteem and empower individuals
  • Reduce stress which can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health and emotional well-being

For further information regarding this service, please contact either Amanda or Gill

01732 46 96 96

[email protected]        www.wkm.org.uk

VegFest Brighton 2019 – 23-24th March

We are delighted to have a pair of tickets to give away for VegFest UK in Brighton on the 23rd – 24th March 2019.  Visit our Competitions Page for your chance to win!

The organisers of one of the UK’s biggest vegan events ‘Vegfest UK Brighton’ are elated to introduce a number of new features at the event on March 23rd 24th 2019 at the Brighton Centre.

If you are Vegan curious or wondering what to do after Veganuary here’s your opportnity to learn more!

With a host of information, programmes and talks, together with 230 stalls, a dazzling array of vegan products and special offers including:

18 global caterers – full of mouth watering cuisine from across the globe.

Cookery Demos – showcasing ways of getting the best out of our everyday vegan ingredients in the kitchen.

There’s no better forum to learn more about a healthy vegan approach to your life.  VegFest is entering it’s 11th year and tickets are on sale now at www.brighton.vegfest.co.uk/tickets.

Advance tickets are priced at £8 (adults) / £5 (concessions) for 1 day, and £13.20 (adults) / £8 (concessions) for the whole weekend – prices include booking fees.

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE offers will be running until the end of February 2019.  Tickets on the gate cost £10 (adults) / £5 (concessions). Kids under 16 get FREE entry as long as they are accompanied by adults.

Follow VegfestUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VegfestUK for the latest updates – and join the Facebook event for the show and invite your friends on our Facebook Page