Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lavender Farm opening for the Summer 1st June


Celebrating all that is good about the glorious English countryside, Mayfield Lavender will reopen to the public on 1st June.

The natural beauty spot, on the North Surrey Downs, provides a picture postcard setting where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the 25 acre organic lavender fields and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Perfect to enjoy a picnic, bug hunt with the kids, or to simply enjoy nature’s beauty, this tourist spot is a hidden gem well worth a visit.

Owner Lorna Maye, who runs the site with her husband Brendan, said: “We set up the lavender field in 2006 to help revive the historic lavender industry in the area, which was booming in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“Unfortunately increased competition from overseas growers, combined with massive housing development to feed the rapidly expanding London population led to the total elimination of the south London lavender fields in the 1930s.

“We are lucky that our field was one of the original Victorian lavender fields and we have been able to restore it to its original beauty. We run our field totally organically and are proud to be certified by the Soil Association.”

Mayfield Lavender is free to enter and park. There is an alfresco tea shop with light refreshments available.

The attraction can be found on Croydon Lane, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 3BE. From June 1 it will be open every day from 10am to 6pm, and will be open until 2nd September.

For more information, visit, email or telephone 07503 877707.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


The new charity Sky Badger will guide families with disabled children to the help they need. The Sky Badger website links all existing disabled children’s charities, social services, special needs resources and support under one umbrella.  The site: launched this week.

78% of families in the UK with disabled children or children with terminal conditions are kept in the dark for a year or more about what support is available to them.

A survey by new disabled children’s charity Sky Badger shows that only 9% of families are told about disability support within four weeks of diagnosis and a shocking 34% are never told about the help available to them at all.

With cuts to benefits and services, many families of seriously ill and disabled children are struggling to cope, even though help is available, because they just don’t know it’s there.

Sky Badger will help parents get respite care, so they can have a night of unbroken sleep or just a couple of hours’ break; it will help them find out about ‘make a wish’ charities, funders who will help them pay for mobility equipment, specialist insurance and counselling services.

But Sky Badger will do even more than that. It will show families where they can take their disabled child ice-skating, or rock climbing or on safari. Sky Badger exists to show disabled kids that great adventures are possible.

Sky Badger patrons include Professor Stephen Hawking, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Gerald Scarfe.

Gerald Scarfe told us: "My childhood asthma meant I spent a lot of time in bed and in hospital, and not much time with friends. I felt isolated and afraid. Drawing was my way of coping. I drew constantly, putting my fears down on paper. This was the beginning of my creative life. I believe that personal difficulties can push you to do great things, that’s why I am a patron of Sky Badger."

Four mothers founded Sky Badger. Between their 11 children, three are disabled and two have life-limiting conditions. The trustees include Celia Patterson, who worked at So Television, an independent production company that makes the Graham Norton Show.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Monkey Music - Sing in Tune for Charity!

Across the country, tens of thousands of pre-school children are joining in, singing and bouncing along to a heart-warming charity song called
‘The Day is Here!’ which supports national specialist music charity, Nordoff Robbins.

Celebrating the amazing summer of sport the single, sung by children for children, has already won the support of some high profile fans, including actor and writer 
                                        Simon Pegg.

Simon Pegg said; “My family and I love Monkey Music classes and I’m really happy to support them as well as music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins which does such great work transforming lives through music. I hope everyone will get behind them and get online to download their new charity song ‘The Day is Here!’ It’ll get all kids young and old, active and ready for a fantastic summer of sport!”

The song was especially written by Fiona Pritchard. The single costs £2.99 and ALL proceeds go to charity. Buy from the Monkey Music online shop THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

About ‘The Day is Here!’

Monkey Music, the UK’s premium music group for pre-school children, originally recorded ‘The Day is Here!’ – which tells the story of a race – with children aged 7, 8 and 9 but, across the country, far younger children (including babies from as young as 3 months old) are now joining in, at Monkey Music classes, at school and at home.

Angie Coates, Founder of Monkey Music explains;

“We recorded ‘The Day is Here!’ as a single to support Nordoff Robbins so in the run up we asked all our Monkey Music classes to learn it. The response has been amazing, not only have our 10,000 Monkey Music children joined in, their parents, families, friends – and now even Simon Pegg! – are helping to promote the song and the great cause!”

By selling the ‘The Day is Here’ online and giving ALL proceeds to charity, Monkey Music aims to raise much needed funds for music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins.

Nordoff Robbins is a national specialist music charity, delivering 50,000 music therapy sessions a year to a broad range of people in schools, hospitals and care homes across the UK. Their qualified music therapists specifically help people with a range of challenges including autism, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury, learning difficulties, depression and in some cases clients have threatening or terminal illness, such as cancer.

Angie Coates, Founder of Monkey Music, continues;

“Both Monkey Music and Nordoff Robbins offer children fresh opportunities and life changing experiences through music. We believe that by working together we can raise awareness of the benefits of music for everyone. It’s lovely to use 2012 and the summer of sport to engage the very youngest of children in the excitement of sport and the joy of music.”

Jo Carter, Director of Fundraising & Communications Nordoff Robbins said:

“We are delighted to be working with Monkey Music, to be sharing our mutual belief in the power of music and to help raise funds to continue transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK. As a charity we rely entirely on voluntary donations, so the Monkey Music song released this summer is a great way to raise funds and awareness.”

Monkey Music would like to thank some special people who have made this project possible. Firstly, the very talented children who sing our song so beautifully;

Steffan Wayne (aged 9), Lily Ellis (aged 9), Melody Weston Shaw (aged 9), Zara Kourani (aged 9), Sophia Leete (aged 7) and Melody Higginbotham (aged 8)

And, a big thank you to the companies who’ve given so generously their expert support and services for the project :
Stevens and Bolton LLP.
Mundays LLP Solicitors.
Printwell ltd. 
Sweetapple Marketing.
Indos Computer Services.  
Sound Performance.

Thank you all. We couldn’t have sung it without you!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Meadowlands Festival – Children’s Area - Activities and Areas for the Bumbling Bambinos


Meadowlands Festival returns this summer from the 1st – 3rd June 2012 for the third year to East Sussex, for a weekend of cultural carnivalesque celebrations, jam-packed with great music, comedy, and family fun.

Set in the idyllic grounds of an Elizabethan manor house, near the beautiful village of Glynde, within three miles from Lewes and just 10 minutes outside of Brighton by train, Meadowlands Festival looks set to be the go-to boutique festival of the summer. 

This year, Meadowlands Festival will play host to a range of children’s areas from Workshops For The Imagination to Juggletastic circus classes, Stick It On DJ slots and storytelling for under 5’s, this dedicated area is the place where children can be entertained and safe.

The Purepotions Baby Changing Area
This year Meadowlands will have a superb baby changing area managed by Purepotions – a completely natural skin care range who will provide a safe and fresh environment in which to change your children.

Stick It On
For all of the budding DJ’s, Meadowlands is playing host to Stick it on- a club event with a twist which gives the younger festival goers a chance to play 4 of their favourite tunes to a small audience. There is no resident DJ’s and no super star DJ’s at this club night. Move over LTJ, this club night is for the next generation. Stick it on describe themselves as “A night that never takes itself too seriously Stick It On aims to give you something different”. They have been described by Time Out Magazine as “A national phenomenon, for 15 minutes, ordinary folk get to play their favourite tracks to titanic reactions from a party loving crowd”. To register your play list, please go to the meadowlands website.

Workshops for the imagination  
Meadowlands have a wide range of activities to keep the little ones entertained; one in particular has a philosophy to allow children’s creativity to thrive in an informal but structured environment. Workshops For The Imagination is a Brighton based organisation set up by Alex Sutton-Vane to bring a wider range of quality art to children aged from 2 years. At Meadowlands Festival Workshops For

The Imagination will be running a drop-in activity area where children aged 3 – 11 years can come and make art works, models and generally be creative in their own space.

Woodland Adventure
Enter through the replica Hogwarts tunnel and explore the mystical woodland where you and your family can make your very own natural art works inspired by the beautiful Sussex surroundings.

The Grateful Crane: The Fetch Theatre Company
This creative theatre company will be performing ‘a visual tale told without words’ through the art of puppetry based on the traditional Japanese story of ‘The Grateful Cane’.
As well as celebrating puppetry, the performance will demonstrate the visual and emotional pull that this art form has on audiences of all ages. This funny, moving and beautiful story will transform audiences as they interact with the puppets and journey with them to see amazing transformations take place. The show will be performed by one animator who will skilfully put in motion various spectacular puppets and props in order to create a simple but unforgettable story.  

After each performance, the puppet director will be providing workshops giving families a chance to interact with and explore the Banraku puppets. There will also be special guest puppets!

For the under 5’s - Traveller Space
This special place for the under 5’s will be managed by Traveller Space – a charity supporting Gypsies and Travellers in Cornwall and the South West. The area will provide beautiful wooden toys, a climbing frame, sand pit, water play, soft play, puzzles, books and a comfortable sofa to sit on while your loved ones play.
There will also be story telling to capture the imagination in this area running throughout the festival.  

Roll up Roll up! Test your circus skills in this exciting workshop where children will have a chance to play with a wide range of circus toys including hula hoops, juggling, ribbon twirling, stilt walking, unicycle and the Diablo. There will also be Juggletastic teachers helping you perfect your skills with the hope of participating in a performance to your parents on Sunday.

The Line-up
This year’s event will see over 80 bands including Lamb, Speech Debelle, LTJ Bukem, four stages of live music, six club nights, spoken word & comedy, a new woodland area and campfire, plus a charity casino.

It’s Affordable
£85.00 for an adult’s weekend ticket, which includes camping
£45.00 for teens
£20.00 for children
Free for under 5’s
To find out more about this year’s Meadowlands Festival and to book your place, go to;

Hundreds of Rainbows celebrate at Fishers! Saturday 19th May 2012

More than 700 Rainbows from around the county descended on Fishers Adventure Farm Park in Wisborough Green last weekend to celebrate their 25th Birthday within the Girlguiding UK movement.

Pressed up against the numerous coach windows were lots of excited little faces this weekend, as the rainbows from around the county rolled up to Fishers to celebrate the Rainbows 25th Birthday.

The 44 Rainbow units came from all 7 division of the Girlguiding Sussex West County, which include; Adur, Arun, Bognor, Chichester, Petworth, Worthing Cissbury and Worthing Highdown.

Kirstin Bosley (Sussex West County Rainbow Advisor) commented "It was fantastic to see so many happy faces enjoying the activities and animals at Fishers Farm Park. The Rainbows were genuinely sad to leave when it came to home time and most expressed a wish to return. I felt very privileged to have been able to share such a special day with so many County Rainbows. My thanks must go out to all those dedicated leaders and helpers who attended with their girls and the Division reps who did a fantastic job of coordinating all the necessary information to make the day go so well and of course everyone at Fishers Farm Park itself who really made us welcome and bent over backwards to accommodate so many of us" 
All visitors piled into the theatre throughout the morning to watch the ‘Animal Show’ followed by activities such as the pony rides, animal handling, the giant bouncy pillow and finally a great big ‘sing-song’ in their extravagantly decorated picnic barn.

The next big event for the Rainbows is the Girlguiding LaSER 25th Birthday event at London Zoo!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Book Nook voted Best Independent in the Country!

On Monday 14th May at the Bookseller Industry Awards,  The Book Nook, based in First Avenue Hove, was awarded “Children's Independent Bookseller of the Year” sponsored by Walker Books.
The calibre of entrants this year was exceptionally high with two previous winners being in the shortlist.  Vanessa Lewis, co-owner of The Book Nook, Brighton and Hove’s dedicated children’s bookshop said “this is a wonderful accolade and we are thrilled to be recognised as one of the best independent children’s bookshops in the country. “
Engraining itself in life in its local area of Brighton and Hove the judges said: “From its baby changing facilities and its in-door pirate ship to keep younger children happy, to its homemade cakes, the shop anticipates the needs of parents and children alike. Popular activities include daily story readings, weekly baby coffee mornings and monthly book clubs, while more than 100 author events were staged last year.”
Work with local schools, including the launch of Sussex’s Amazing Book Awards and selling adult as well as children’s books at Brighton’s various festivals has also helped to spread the word about the shop.
Lewis said “We are still relatively new to the industry having recently celebrated our third year in business but the judges recognised that we are a sustainable and profitable business. With the support from the local community, schools and universities and also local authors and illustrators we are very excited about the future.”
The judges not only admired the shop’s community engagement, but also its professional approaches to stock selection, buying and cost control. “The Book Nook is a great space where children and parents like spending time,” they said. “It’s doing everything an independent bookshop should, and doing it well. This is a business with plenty of growth left in it.”
The Book Nook
First Avenue
Tel: 01273 911988

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Pink Ribbon Foundation - Mobile Phone Recycling!

Help beat BREAST CANCER by
recycling your mobile phone

Simply put your old mobile phone in an envelope or Jiffy Bag
and send it to:

Medex Direct Ltd
3 Park Industrial Estate

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Feel free to call us if you have any questions on 0844 248 7968
The Pink Ribbon Foundation Charity Number 1080839 is a grant making trust with a mission to fund projects and provide financial support to UK charities which relieve the need of people who are suffering from, or who have been affected by breast cancer or who work to advance the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment. There are a large number of such charities in the UK, each as deserving as the next. Many of the these charities are the smaller ones, which exist on a shoestring.

Did you know:
  • 1 in 9 women in the UK will develop breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cause of death amongst women 35-45 years.
  • 5-10% of breast cancers are believed to involve a hereditary factor.
  • A lump or thickening in the breast or armpit tissue is the 1st symptom in 80-90% of breast cancers.
  • Other symptoms include dimpling or flaking skin, nipple discharge or bleeding, pain in the breast or a change in breast size or shape.