Saturday, 30 June 2012

Brighton parents! Free swimming extended to 12-16 year olds!

Free swimming is being made available to all 12-16 year olds in Brighton & Hove.

The initiative from Brighton & Hove City Council and NHS Brighton & Hove is set to start from this coming Saturday - June 23 2012.

The scheme will allow thousands of local children the chance to swim and keep fit every Saturday and Sunday after 2.00pm during public swimming times.

Councillor in charge of leisure Geoffrey Bowden said: “This all fits in with our keen wish to see more participation in sport and a healthy city.

“Kids love splashing about in water so it’s a great way to get them exercising.  With obesity rates among children soaring, that has to be a good thing.”

Free Swimming for 11s and under has been funded by the council and local NHS since September 2010 when the government stopped funding it. In the last financial year over 39,000 visits were made by local children to council swimming pools through the scheme.

Children can swim for free at the King Alfred Leisure Centre, Prince Regent Swimming Complex and St Luke’s Swimming Pool, all of which are operated by Freedom Leisure on behalf of the Council.

Any child 16 and under can register on the scheme by picking up an application form at their local swimming pool or by visiting  Once the form has been signed by a parent or guardian the child must take some identification as proof of age to one of the pools to receive their free swimming card.  A passport or birth certificate is suitable.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

10 Ways to Save during School Summer Holidays

10 Ways to Save during School Summer Holidays
mySupermarket’s money saving food tips

With the school summer holidays just a hop, skip and jump away, kids across the nation are counting down the days to fun, fun, fun! Meanwhile cash-strapped parents are counting down the days until their weekly food bills rocket.

Parents, before you head to the bank manager to negotiate a loan to cover your family’s summer food bill, check out these ten savvy saving tips from mySupermarket
 , the grocery shopping site that helps you make huge savings on your weekly shop.

James Foord, parent of two and money saving expert at shopping site mySupermarket believes the family can eat well without breaking the bank if mum and dad put in a little planning and preparation.

James’ ten tips for a thrifty summer holiday with your little cherubs are:   

1.      Preparation – a simple, yet effective tip. Put 20 minutes aside at the beginning of each week to prepare a shopping list and menu for the week ahead - this will help save you time mid-week and stick within budget.

2.      Ready meals – not the ones from the supermarket! Cook things like pasta sauces, stews and pies in bulk and defrost whilst you’re on a big day out with the kids, so all you have to do is reheat when you get in. Plus make savings on specially prepared products like grated cheese, do it yourself it’s cheaper.

3.      Shop Online – you can make huge savings by shopping online - it will also prevent you being coaxed into buying products strategically placed around the store to entice you. Sites like 
mySupermarket enable you to shop across all the major stores at once whilst being able to swap and save to the cheapest like- for-like products or baskets. Plus there are vouchers to help you make even more savings. You can save £15 - £20 at least on your average weekly shop.

4.      Avoid taking the kids to the supermarket or shopping on an empty stomach - if you do prefer visiting the supermarket, kids will always find extras to put in the basket, from treats to keep them quiet whilst you’re shopping or a present if they’re well behaved, both of which significantly increases the price of your shop – plus don’t shop whilst hungry, you'll spend more on treats and products you might not normally buy.

5.      Buy in bulk – buy in bulk store cupboard essentials like pasta, rice and squashes that go further for longer.  

6.      Own brand – supermarkets’ own brand products taste just as good and will save you money. As an extra tool, mySupermarket enables you to view the best like-for-like products online, or you can use the mySupermarket App
 instore to scan for the cheapest deals.

7.      Create healthy snacks – can save you a small fortune throughout the summer and the kids can help. Healthy snacks include homemade fresh fruit lollies, jelly in small pots to take on day trips, chopped up carrot, celery sticks and delicious smoothies.

8.      Expensive snacks – keep costly sweet treats out of reach in high cupboards for special occasions.

9.      Day trips – take a picnic with you to prevent buying unhealthy snacks and drinks. The kids will love opening the tubs and discovering what’s inside too.

10.   Boredom – make sure the kids have plenty to do. Like most of us, once you’re bored food comes to the forefront of your mind. 
For further information please contact Lisa Wlodyka at Cherish PR: or 0208 996 9541

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Gymboree UK wins at What's On 4 Little Ones Awards!

Gymboree UK wins ‘Best National Pre-Schooler Development Activity’ for the third time in the ‘What’s On 4 Little Ones’ Annual Junior Awards!

Gymboree UK are thrilled to have won the ‘Best National Pre-Schooler Development Activity (2-5yrs)’ Award for the third time in the ‘What’s on 4 Little Ones’ Annual Junior Awards. Having won this esteemed award in both 2011 and 2009, we are delighted to have achieved a win once again this year! What's more, we also won ‘Best Children's Party Entertainment’. A new win for us!

The 2012 WO4LO Junior Awards were held on Friday June 15th at Luxury Hilton Avisford Park hotel, Arundel with special host Lucy Piper who has hosted major parenting and fashion events in UK and the USA and has appeared on TV including Sky and The Baby Channel. These were the 6th National Annual Awards supported by Prima Baby and Pregnancy Magazine in association with Headline Sponsor Konfidence, rewarding and celebrating companies, organisations and individuals providing the very best activities for children across the UK.

The awards were a huge success this year following a record 45,467 votes and 5,000 nominations. Gymboree Director Susannah Alexander explains “To be a finalist in the What’s on awards is a great achievement given the competition but to win is a real accolade, and we are absolutely delighted. I’d like to say a personal thank you to all of the parents that voted for Gymboree”.

Gymboree offer award winning classes from newborn to 5yrs as well as fun and fabulous birthday parties across the UK. To book your FREE trial class, visit today.

For more details please contact:
Ann Wyn Gill, Marketing and Communications Manager, 0208 288 9727,

Susannah Alexander, Gymboree UK Director

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The generation of mothers that simply can’t afford to exercise

Lack of childcare facilities at gyms is one of the prime reasons for 21 per cent of UK women aged between 20-85 not exercising, according to a new study. 

The findings come amidst growing concerns that many new mothers feel pressured to get back into shape quickly, inspired by celebrities who regain fabulous bodies just weeks after giving birth.

Yet according to the recent think tank Centreforum report by Elizabeth Truss, childcare costs are escalating with families spending more than a quarter (27 per cent) of their income on childminding.

The new research, conducted by Concept2, the UK and Ireland distributor of the world’s leading indoor rowing machine, found that 24 per cent of women said they would exercise if they had access to a gym at work.   However, the time pressures of looking after a newborn and adjusting to life as a new mother coupled with money constraints played a significant role in preventing them from leaving the house for the gym or to exercise outdoors.

Alex Skelton of Concept2 says :
“The news is worrying for both stay at home mums as well as working mothers who have to shell out extra money to find a child care centre near the gym should they wish to exercise.  Indoor rowing is an ideal way for everyone, whatever their age and ability, to shed weight and tone, and more and more people, particularly women, are finding out that it’s an excellent all round work out.  It’s a low impact sport which exercises all of the major muscle groups to get people fit. Most importantly it can be done in the comfort of your own home.” 

Dolphin makes a splash at Oathall Community College Summer Festival

The Dolphin Leisure Centre will make a splash at the Oathall Community College with its free taster sessions of Zumba, karate and netball at the College’s Summer Festival on Saturday July 7.  

There will be a host of activities for all the family.

  •  Shoppers will enjoy the car boot sale, craft and farmers’ markets and the chance to pick up a bargain at the bicycle sale
  • The young and young at heart will enjoy battling the giant inflatables, trying to beat the rodeo bull and taking a quick lesson at the driving school
  • Everyone can be refreshed at the food stalls
  • Arty types can join the graffiti masterclass
  • Dog lovers can show their pet pooch
  • And lucky people will win at the raffle – first prize is an iPad donated by The Dolphin Leisure Centre and other prizes include a balloon flight for two and a wheelbarrow packed with bottles of wine.

The Festival will be opened by SA Academy, one of the region's premier street dance companies.  Local drama group, Act Too, will perform songs from their forthcoming show, Cats, and Oathall students will showcase their own singing talents.

“Our Summer Festival is a celebration for the community as much as the school and everyone is welcome to join us,” says Verity Brown of the Oathall Community College PTA.  “There really is something for everyone to do here and we look forward to welcoming people to enjoy all the fun of the fair,” she says.

“We are delighted to support the Oathall Community College Summer Festival once again and are looking forward to taking people through our taster sessions,” says Andy Jones, Freedom Leisure Centre Manager at The Dolphin.

The Summer Festival begins at (what time) at Oathall Community College, Appledore Gardens, Lindfield, RH16 2AQ.  Entrance fee is £1 per adult and 50p per child.

Freedom Leisure Uckfield Launches After School Activities for Disabled Youngsters

Freedom Leisure Uckfield has started after school activities for young people aged eight to 18 with learning or physical disabilities.  The multi-sport club comprises games and creative activities and runs each Tuesday evening from 4.30pm-6.00pm. 

The activities include aerobic/movement sessions, play, sports and Wii competitions. Parents and carers are welcome to stay and watch – or they can enjoy some downtime at the Costa Coffee cafĂ© in the Centre and take advantage of free re-fills there.

“We welcome disabled youngsters every day but feel that this dedicated session will enable our staff to really focus on each individual’s particular needs and interests,” says Nyssa Jackson, centre manager of Freedom Leisure Uckfield.  “The varied sessions will stimulate both creative and physical responses and we anticipate many of the youngsters will also enjoy making new friends as they take part in team work,” she says.  “Our expert staff will supervise all the activities and we hope that this will give parents and carers a little time to themselves – either to enjoy our facilities themselves or simply to sit back and chat in our cafe.”

The first eight sessions are funded by Sportivate, Active Sussex and Freedom Leisure Uckfield is confident this will help establish the programme in the community.  Thereafter, Freedom Leisure Uckfield will continue the Tuesday evening sessions every week during term time.

It costs just £3 per session for each youngster and this includes access to all the activities from 4.30pm to 6.00pm.  Booking is not necessary, but advisable.  To find out more, contact Freedom Leisure Uckfield on 01825 761160 or ask at Reception.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Glynde, Beddingham & Firle Village Fete - 4th August 2012

Take part in our traditional and historic yet modern rural fete set in the East Sussex Downlands village of Glynde in the South Downs National Park, accessible by train from London, Brighton & Eastbourne with car parking amongst our beautiful surroundings.

Games, locally sourced food refreshments at our 144th year old Glynde, Beddingham & Firle Village Fete on 4th August from 1pm on Glynde Recreation Ground, BN8 6RS.


According to “A Pleasant Day at Glynde Park” featured in the Sussex Express in 1868, this year marks the 144th anniversary of our village fete and family fun day!

As well as taking part in our Youth Talent Competition, Children's Fancy Dress Parade and traditional games and fun; you and your loved ones can watch young performers from Empire Dance of Ringmer perform some of their best moves, sing along to some good ol’ rock ’n’ blues with The Swamp Donkeys, enjoy some French folk music, cheer on Morris dancers and even learn how to dance around a Maypole!

Throughout the afternoon you’ll have the chance to compete in our traditional English summer games, including such fun competitions as knobbly knees, gurning faces, coconut shy, horse shoes and even the historic East Sussex pub game Toad in the Hole.

In addition to the Children’s Talent Competition and Fancy Dress Parade, your children will have a blast with even more opportunities to take part, as well as make new friends, have their face painted, play some fun games, cool off in the oldest village summer pool and we may even have a bouncy castle as well!

Keep your loved ones content with a variety of food and drink available from delicious locally sourced free range Hog Roast and vegetarian savoury treats (courtesy of West Sussex Hog Roast). Or for those with a sweet tooth or desire for just a little slice of loveliness, we shall have our traditional Tea & Cake Tent serving homemade goodies and soft drinks again this year. Or why not relax a little and sample some of the finest brewed Harveys ales and Middle Farm ciders that Sussex has to offer, as well as a fine wine tasting opportunity from Ringmer Wine Stores.

Feast your eyes on the delights of local produce and floral displays tended with care by local residents from Lewes, Glynde, Firle and other local parishes, which will be formally judged according to the Royal Horticultural Society rules & regulations and at the end of the day you'll be able to bid for these fantastic creations in our live auction! You will also be able to win Glyndebourne tickets in our raffle and lots of fabulous prizes in our children’s and grown-ups tombola’s which are all donated by the local community & businesses.

All money raised on the day will be donated to our chosen beneficiaries Firle CE Primary School, Glynde, Beddingham & Firle Memorial Parade, Glynde and Beddingham Swimming Pool, Glynde, West Firle and Beddingham Parish Churches.

Local organisations are welcome to take part on the day and we already have Sussex Wildlife Trust, Candy Queens, and Melissa’s Hot Chocolate & Doughnuts confirmed too!
Find out more from our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for regular updates and announcements!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Snugglebundl win another award!

Sussex based dadpreneurs David Solomons and Mike Edwards and their baby product company Snugglebundl have just received a gold award for the”Best Innovative Gift” in the prestigious Loved By Parents 2012 baby product awards. The baby product review website is renowned amongst the baby industry for testing and rewarding products that are genuinely loved by parents, the awards highlight the very best products that are available for today’s parents.

Each submission is tried and tested by a panel of parents. The best are shortlisted and then open to the public, who can vote for their favourite products and brands. Mike said “This award means a lot to us because it is chosen by parents.

Snugglebundl launched in November 2011 after winning the Barclays Bank Take One small Step competition for new business with their amazing new concept in baby blankets called the Snugglebundl- The world’s first baby lifting blanket.  A unique design which allows parents to lift, lay down and move their babies whilst they keep good posture and without waking the baby. A simple idea that is really taking off and looks set to become one of those must have products for new parents.

David said “ We are so delighted with the attention that we are getting. We have had enquiries from all over the world from people that love our Snugglebundl blanket!, we are very excited about where it goes from here!”

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Kidspace - NEW Laser Tag Parties!

LOOKING for a fresh new way to celebrate your child’s birthday? Then how about trying the new Laser Tag parties at Kidspace Croydon?

The award-winning adventure play centre has spent nearly £25,000 on installing the latest Laser Tag equipment so your young ones can enjoy an all-adventure, action packed birthday at their favourite venue.

As part of the party package, guests will have 45 minutes of free play on all of Kidspace’s activities such as the Go-Karts, climbing wall and sky trail.
They will then get 15 minutes of Laser practice, before having 30 minutes EXCLUSIVE use of Kidspace for Laser action!

Suitable for ages seven and above, youngsters will spend a total of two hours at the venue including a feast in their own Party Zone. They will also get their own party host, free gift for the birthday child and party bag for every child.

There is also a fully licensed restaurant for the accompanying adults to sit back and relax in.
·         Laser Tag parties take place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. They cost £20 per child Monday to Thursday and £22 per child on Sundays. Friday and Saturday N/A. Minimum of 12 children per party required.

Kidspace offers a range of birthday parties to suit all ages and budgets. For more information visit

Kidspace can be found at 619 Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 4RQ. Telephone 0208 686 0040.