West Notts, Newark and Southwell

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Children across Nottingham can experience a half-term adventure at Nottinghamshire YMCA Camp Williams. The camp will run through the holiday from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February 2019. 


 At Camp Williams, all children aged 4-15 get to take part in a variety of exciting groups activities over the course of a week, including sports, swimming, arts and crafts, and camp rallies. Plus, campers aged 8-15 take part in special sessions called skills clinics, designed to enhance their confidence and capability in a range of exciting skills. The full range of skills clinics on offer includes: football, crafts, archery, drama and theatre, climbing, skateboarding, basketball, and mountain biking.

Skills clinics are just one of the ways in which Camp Williams promotes positive, experience-led development for young people. Children from the age of four take part in swimming, camp rallies, group games, and Camp Fire Fridays, making friends and lasting memories along the way. Camp Williams helps to build self-esteem, giving young people the confidence that they need to seek exciting, fulfilling experiences in adult life.

YMCA day camps provide children and young people with opportunities to form positive values, and to learn through positive, engaging, and interactive experiences. Campers will receive awards and certificates for demonstrating the four core values of the charity – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Gavin Barker, Children and Families Services Manager with Nottinghamshire YMCA, said: “Our belief is that young people with access to Camp Williams and our role model team will make healthier choices as they grow into adults. The clubs are action packed, adventure driven and experience focused, and really engage with young people in a way they might not experience anywhere else.”

To book Camp Williams call01157117006 or email [email protected] You can visit the website to find out more: www.nottsymca.com/williams

Extra information

nottsymca.com– all about Nottinghamshire YMCA
– information about Camp Williams

” It’s showtime again for West Bridgford based Sandra Taylor School of Dance, with a cast of over 200 dancers ranging in age from 3 years to adult.
STSD’s 2019 production ” Legends” can be seen at Nottingham Playhouse on March 9th and 10th, ; a dazzling showcase of local talent inspired by iconic dance and music and featuring Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical .


Drawing inspiration from legends past and present in the worlds of music, dance and art, Sandra Taylor School of Dance presents its 2019 showcase using a vibrant range of dance genres, from classical to contemporary.
Book now ; Tickets from Nottingham Playhouse online or phone 01159419419

A nursery practitioner from Nottingham has been chosen to represent England in the 2019 Rugby Touch World Cup.

Sadi Meakin, aged 27, beat off stiff competition to secure her place in the Women’s Open Team, who will be heading to Malaysia in April.  Held once every four years, the Touch World Cup is the pinnacle of the international game and this year’s tournament will be the biggest yet, with 116 teams playing in 15 categories.  Touch Rugby started in Australia in the early 1960s and the World Cups now attract up to 20 nations, including Australia, USA and New Zealand.

Sadi began playing Touch Rugby in 2010 after being given the chance to take part in  a game during an Australian holiday. She has represented England at the European Championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018, when the team won Gold medals and has also competed in the 2015 World Cup.  She was one of 160 players selected for the 2019 England World Cup Squad, following arduous assessments at four High Performance Training Camps last year.

Sadi, who juggles Touch Rugby with her role as Deputy Leader of Hollies Day Nursery in West Bridgford, said “I feel very privileged to play for my country.  This year has been the toughest one, as the competition for places has grown massively because the sport is becoming more popular. I love playing Touch and playing alongside the girls in the team, so I’m super excited to get out to Malaysia and show everyone what we’ve got!”

Drew Pike, the owner of Hollies Day Nurseries, who are sponsoring Sadi’s away kit, said “we are incredibly proud. Sadi is a fantastic role model to our staff and the children at the nursery and proof of what can be achieved with tenacity and hard work.  We can’t wait to hear all about her adventures in Malaysia and will all be cheering her on from Nottingham”.

Sadi added “if you’re interested in getting involved, come down to Nottingham Touch Club in West Bridgford – it’s lots of fun, with a very friendly environment.  You never know what you can achieve until you try”.

The 2019 Touch World Cup will be held in Malaysia between 29th April and 4th May 2019.  The England team is trying to raise £500,000 to help fund flights and accommodation via Crowdfunding and sponsorship opportunities are available at https://www.gofundme.com/touch-world-cup.

What big eyes you have… all the better to see Lakeside’s fantastic Christmas show with!

Once upon a time there was a young girl who went to spend the night at Grandma’s house… and her little brother came too. She just wanted to go to sleep but he was excited and wouldn’t settle down. To help lull him to sleep, the young girl promised to tell her brother a story. But when you start acting out your favourite fairy tale, who knows what’s in store?!

From the Olivier Award-winning children’s writer Mike Kenny this adaptation of the classic children’s tale returns to Lakeside Arts this Christmas. With enchanting music and songs from Julian Butler (Charlie and Lola) Red Riding Hood promises to be a delightful, cheeky and suspenseful tale to brighten cold winter nights for children aged 5+ and families.

Lakeside’s associations with Engine House go back to 2010 when director Matt Aston delighted audiences with his production of Jeff Brown’s Flat Stanley (adapted by Mike Kenny). In 2011 we first co-presented Red Riding Hood and after being on tour nationally for 7 years, this enchanting show is back with its wonderful mix of imaginative storytelling and catchy songs.

Mike Kenny is one of Britain’s leading writers, specialising in young people’s theatre. He is the recipient of the Olivier Award for his The Railway Children, Time Out Critics Choice – Best Children’s Play for Diary of an Action Man and Arts Council England’s Children’s Award for Playwriting for Children. In 2013 the University of Nottingham honoured him with the title Doctor of Letters for his work.

Matt Aston’s directorial credits include Touched (featuring Vicky McClure) by Stephen Lowe for Nottingham Playhouse; Snow White by Mike Kenny in association with Lip Service Theatre Company and Seance on A Sunday Afternoon (Premiere) by Stephen Lowe for Nottingham Lakeside Arts.

The cast consists of two fantastic actors, Annie Kirkman and Adam Ryan, who will play the parts of the brother and sister. The creative team includes designer Laura McEwen, lighting designer Richard Statham, musical director / composer Julian Butler (Charlie and Lola, choreography by Claire Cunningham and graphic designer Ruth Disney.

Shona Powell, Director at Lakeside Arts says: „Red Riding Hood began its creative life at Lakeside in 2011 and I can’t wait to welcome Matt Aston and the team back with oodles of great songs and fantastic storytelling. We all appreciate a ridiculous baddie who is funny scary rather than terrifying and Julian Butler’s Big Bad Wolf song captures this perfectly when the cast sing ‘the big bad wolf licks his luscious lips… and imagines her (Red Riding Hood) with chips!’.”

To accompany the production, Lakeside is working in partnership with schools and artist Barrett Hodgson to transform its Wallner Gallery into Red Riding Hood’s wintery world. Be sure to explore the enchanting forest and the cosy log cabin where Red Riding Hood’s story takes place before or after the show. 

Red Riding Hood is at Lakeside’s Djanogly Theatre from 10 – 30 December 2018 (please see specific performance dates online). Tickets can be booked online atwww.lakesidearts.org.uk/redridinghood or via the Lakeside Box Office on 0115 846 7777.

COMPETITION time to win a family ticket for RedRidingHood at LakesideArts on 29th December at 11.30am this Christmas! Your favourite fairytale as a magical, musical Christmas treat for ages 5+ and families, Red Riding Hood runs until 30 December at Lakeside Arts. Our competition closes at midnight on 20th December…for your chance to win please visit our competition page and GOOD LUCK! 😊😊

Are you – or do you know – a talented young artist? The Big Issue’s annual competition to design one of our festive magazine covers is now open.

Since our first kids’ cover in 2013 we’ve seen thousands of bright, bold and cheery entries from our young readers pack postbags in The Big Issue office. The winning images have lifted spirits and boosted sales for our vendors at the most important time of year for them.

This year, as issues around homelessness and child migration – particularly into Britain – grip, we are asking for entries around the theme of WELCOME.

Designs can take any form, from drawings to paintings to digital art. So have pens, pencils, crayons, tablets – and glitter – at the ready.

Apart from the winning design being on the front of a magazine sold across Britain in its tens of thousands, we will also be offering a special prize for the best group entry – from a school or nursery class, or any other creative group of youngsters who send in a bundle of entries. So tell parents, teachers and youth workers.

“This is the best time of the year,” said Big Issue editor Paul McNamee. “The Kids Cover Competition has become a Big Issue tradition. Christmas is such a vital time for The Big Issue vendors, and a hard time on the street, that when we see the wonderful ideas everybody across the organisation feels spirits lift.

“All those who enter take so much time, all to help The Big Issue vendors, it’s humbling and hugely encouraging. I salute all those sending in their ideas. Settling on a winner is a very tough task. Don’t delay. Get the entry in today!”

Our deadline is November 28.

We’re delighted this year that our friends at The Week Junior are supporting the competition. The Week Junior editor Anna Bassi will join the judging panel.

Anyone aged 13 or under is eligible to enter. We print as many entries as we can squeeze into the magazine’s pages, and all entries will feature in our spectacular online gallery. Unfortunately, we can’t return artwork.

Post your entries to: Christmas Kids Cover Competition,The Big Issue, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW

Email high-resolution pictures to: [email protected]

Facebook: facebook.com/BigIssueUK

Instagram: tag us @bigissueuk with the hashtag #bigissuekidscover

Make sure you include a name, age, address and telephone or email contact on all entries.

RedKangaroo Trampoline Park in Nottingham has this week launched a brand-new loyalty scheme, designed to get the area’s under 5’s away from the TV, and active.

In the face of a rising childhood obesity and a trend of young people spending more and more playing on a tablet, computer games or watching TV, RedKangaroo hopes that its new scheme will encourage parents to exercise with their children, in a fun and relaxed environment.

The Kanga Tots Loyalty Card is designed to encourage children aged 1 to 5 years old and their responsible adult to bounce together, without bigger kids getting in the way. Taking place during both term time and the school holidays, it regularly brings Mums, Dads and their Little Roos in 2 or 3 times per week for the £5 sessions.

The new scheme, which has been modelled on popular coffee-chain cards, offers free drinks and even free entry depending on the number of visits made to Kanga Tots sessions. With free entry given on the 10th visit, the equivalent of more than a 10% discount.

Mark Lacey, Nottingham’s recently appointed General Manager, said “We have introduced this new loyalty scheme for our Kanga Tots sessions as part of a commitment to try and keep prices affordable for all, and look forward to welcoming people back week-after-week.”

Lewis Thompson, Operations Director for RedKangaroo added “As a Father of 2 I know how important exercise is for young children, which is why at RedKangaroo we have created a safe environment for families to exercise and have fun together.”

RedKangaroo Kanga Tots sessions give little ones the chance to explore the world of bouncing on wall-to-wall trampolines, jump into the soft landing of giant foam pits and enjoy exclusive Kanga Tots equipment such as rocking horses, ball ponds and Wendy house.

Kanga Tots Loyalty Cards launch this week and are available to pick up from the park. For times and prices, or to book your trampoline session, visit www.redkangaroo.co.uk.

The Manager of Nottingham’s RedKangaroo Trampoline Park is encouraging parents and young people to put on their trampoline socks and to get active during the half term holidays.

Accessible for all and lots of fun, RedKangaroo provides the chance to get fit all together in a relaxed, low pressure environment where every individual can exercise at their own pace, regardless of perceived fitness levels or abilities. Ten minutes of trampolining is believed to be a more efficient cardiovascular workout than 30-minutes of running. It is also lower impact on joints compared to other forms of exercise.

Mark Lacey, Nottingham’s General Manager said “Here at RedKangaroo, we feel like we’re an important part of the drive to get young people active and have created a vibrant, exciting environment that offers fitness for children, cleverly disguised as the best day out!”

“We’re all enjoying a busy half term programme of Kanga Bounce sessions, and can’t wait to have thousands of happy, smiling people having fun and most importantly, keeping fit with us.”

Lewis Thompson, Operations Director, added “There are so many health and wellbeing benefits to trampolining for all ages, from building muscle strength to increasing cardiovascular fitness, improving co-ordination and significantly reducing stress. As a father of 2 I know how important it is to keep your children entertained and active during the school holidays.”

RedKangaroo Nottingham is packed with wall-to-wall trampolines, with other features including gigantic foam pits, dodgeball courts, cardio reaction walls, a ninja course and epic wipeout game. Open seven days a week, RedKangaroo offers sessions for all ages and abilities including Kanga Tots for the little ones and a relaxed Kanga Calm session, designed for people with sensory needs, autism, anxiety, disabilities or any other access requirements.

Bookings for children’s parties and daily trampoline park sessions are available for online booking now at www.redkangaroo.co.uk with tickets starting at £7.95 per person.

Mansfield Palace Theatre and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice share similar aims. Both are
places filled with laughter and love, giving families the chance to relax, take a break and have
fun. They are extremely proud that working together in partnership has seen over £33,000
raised from bucket collections at panto performances during the past six years, with that amount
set to grow further this Christmas when volunteers will once again be taking donations from
customers after they have seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Community Fundraiser Melanie Rose told us: “At the hospice, staff make sure that every child in
their care feels happy, relaxed and stimulated. We surround everyone with love and laughter. It
costs more than four million pounds to run Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice each year,
providing support both at the hospice and in the community. We are so grateful to Mansfield
Palace Theatre for allowing us to do bucket collections during panto season as it helps towards
us making more memories for the 250 children we care for.”
Comedian, magician and all round funny man Adam Moss, who is returning to the Leeming
Street venue for the fourth time this Christmas due to overwhelming public demand, is full of
praise for the work of the local Bluebell Wood volunteers (pictured), telling us: “I have got to
know the volunteers from Bluebell Wood quite well since 2014 when I was first here for panto,
so it’s great to see their familiar faces and the amazing work they continue to do for children in
the local community and their families. For me, meeting people like them and the families the
hospice care for is why I get out of bed every morning and do the job I do – if I can make just
one person smile each day with my performances, then it’s been a good day!”
Tickets for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Mansfield Palace Theatre are already
over 56% sold. The show runs from Saturday 1 December 2018 – Sunday 6 January 2019.
To check seating availability and book tickets, please visit www.mansfieldpalace.co.uk or
call Box Office on 01623 633133.
To find out more about how you can get involved with fundraising for Bluebell Wood
Children’s Hospice, visit www.bluebellwood.org or call 01909 517365.


James McVey of The Vamps supports 30 Days Wild

Sign up for The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge!

James McVey, writer and guitarist in The Vamps has lent his personal support to The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge in June – 30 Days Wild.  30 Days Wild encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June.

In a short film which The Wildlife Trusts are releasing on social media today, James McVey says:

“I’m supporting The Wildlife Trusts’ national challenge of spending 30 Days Wild. Every day in June they are asking you guys to do something wild. Now – that could be going camping somewhere if you’ve never been camping, it could be doing an off-road trail, climbing a massive hill that you’ve always wanted to do but never done – but it could also be something as simple as recycling if you’ve never recycled before or buying a reusable water bottle.

He adds: “It doesn’t have to be absolutely crazy – but it’s just a great incentive to get you guys thinking a little bit differently and getting active so make sure you sign-up and get involved!”

Lucy McRobert, Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“It’s so kind of James to do a shout-out for 30 Days Wild – everyone in the team was so touched. 30 Days Wild is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Sit quietly and enjoy watching dragonflies dance over a pond or take a moment to sow a window-box of wildflowers to help bees. Get together with your neighbours to create hedgehog highways or sow front-garden meadows along the length of your street. No matter how small the action, it all counts!”

30 Days Wild pack

Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. There are special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans and giant Random Acts of Wildness cards. Business can join in too, with tailored download packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work.

30 Days Wild 2018 neighbourhood theme

This year’s theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood and our pack has inspiring ideas for sharing the challenge locally. See great ways to green-up your street – from carving hedgehog holes in fences to putting up bird and bat boxes and doing a local litter pick.

New: first ever Big Wild Weekend!

The first ever Big Wild Weekend takes place 16th – 17th June! It’s a new ingredient for 2018 to mark the middle of the 30 Days Wild challenge.  Wildlife Trusts across the UK will hold special events – there are over 100 events taking place – including night safaris, wild festivals, seashore safaris, bioblitzes, mammal tracking, bushcraft, family nature nights, big wild picnics, wild river dips and much more…


Sign-up to take part in 30 Days Wild here! www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild

* Free writing competition for children aged four to 14 with the theme of HEROES

* Winners awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 of books for their school

* Best-selling Author and Comedian David Walliams is this year’s incredible judge who will surprise the winner at their school!

* Deadline to enter: THIS Sunday, 29th April, 2018

Children have just one week left to enter one of the biggest writing competitions of the year – The National Young Writer’s Awards! Organised by, tuition provider Explore Learning and judged by best-selling author and comedian David Walliams, it is one of the most hotly anticipated writing competitions for children in the UK. The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Heroes’, and children are tasked with writing a 500-word story about their hero – whoever that may be – whether that’s a friend, a family member, a pet or a completely fictitious character – they want to hear from you!

This year’s judge, David Walliams has revolutionised reading for children and has become one of the most influential children’s writers today. Since the publication of his ground-breaking first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth. With the publication of ten novels, three short stories and six picture books, his global sales now exceed 23 million copies, and his books have been translated into fifty-three languages.

The winner will be surprised at a school assembly by David who will announce the National Young Writer of the Year and present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 of books for their school! Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from one of Explore Learning’s inspirational tutors.

David says: “It is a real privilege to be named judge for this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards and I am so looking forward to reading what the brilliant brains of our country’s children come up with. To write is such a wonderful, creative outlet for people of all ages and competitions just like this one are a brilliant way of encouraging kids across the UK to take the leap and release their inner authors!”

The competition, which closes this Sunday 29th April, is open to all children aged 4-14 in the UK. Explore Learning encourages children of all writing abilities and confidence levels to enter!

The top 10 entries will also receive £250 worth of books for their schools from Letts Revision, plus a large print of the opening line of their story by QuirkyLime. Each of the regional winners will also win £50 worth of books.

It’s very easy to enter. Children are invited to pick up an entry form from their local Explore Learning or via explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters. Simply hand the story back in, file online or send to Explore Learning’s head office at NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW. Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!