I started NorthHantsMum 7 years ago today!

Seven years on.

I’m still here.

So are you.

I wish I had something insightful and witty to write about 7 years of my life leading the NorthHantsMum Community but I’m too exhausted today! lol.

I STILL can’t get my head around how I’m considered to be NorthHantsMum. I think it’s because it’s not just me. There’s a whole team of us who work in the background.

Thank you especially to Juliet and Shona who have helped me so much in the past 3 years, putting posts together. Thank you also to Tina for her expert wordpress help. And the many others who have helped me during the past 7 years: Wendy, Andy, Jo, Abi, Sophie, Peta, Claire and many others (apologies if I’ve missed your name off!).

I also can’t believe it’s ONLY been 7 years. It feels like it’s been part of my life for much, much longer!!!! In a good way, of course :-D.

Anyway, Happy 7th Birthday to the NorthHantsMum Community!

Roll on summer, when I’m taking my annual 6 weeks off!!! 😀 😀 :-D.

As always, thank you for being part of the NorthHantsMum Community and for all of your support!

Louisex

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Fancy Being a Secret Artist?

Last week NHM let you in on our little secret, and now we’d like you to become part of that secret!

If you didn’t know already, Secret Art Basingstoke is an exhibition and sale taking place from 23rd July until 4th August 2018.

The collection will be made up of hundreds of postcard sized works of art, donated by artists, illustrators, celebrities, community members and graduates.

And the secret? All our artists will remain anonymous until their artwork is purchased, with all pieces being up for grabs for £20 each.

Our Secret Artists will be displayed in a two week exhibition trail around Basingstoke – THAT Gallery, Proteus Creation Space, Willis Museum and The Discovery Centre.

Alongside the exhibition we’ll be running a junior art competition, a scavenger hunt and art demonstrations and workshops, so it’s going to be busy! We’re also going to feature on Hampshire TV and in Hampshire Life, so potentially great exposure for local artists!

The submissions deadline of 13th July is fast approaching, so you need to be quick!

For information, including FAQs and registration form, head to www.secretartbasingstoke.com.

Questions? Message us at secretartbasingstoke@gmail.com.

All proceeds from the exhibition and sale will benefit the Brookvale breastfeeding counselling drop in service.

Lindsey Lawman
Fundraising Coordinator
Basingstoke NCT

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Caterpillar Music Expansion! Newbury and Winchester

Hi! I’m Jaz and I set up Caterpillar Music in Basingstoke in 2012. Our weekly music, movement and sensory classes got so popular that the 2 that I started with quickly grew to 6, then 10 and now we’re at a fabulous 24 weekly classes, many with waiting lists. I found I could no longer run sessions as just little old me, so now we are a team of 5!

Nicky was one of my class leaders that started with me back in 2016. I mentioned to her that I’d love to expand and go even further than where I was (Basingstoke, Bramley and Tadley). After her laughing and saying I do enough (she is actually right- doing this and taking care of my 3 little ones…! but I do love it!!) She said she’d love to come on board and wondered if we could do it together. We get on so well and also have a great working relationship. So we decided to go for it!! We are currently in the process of expanding.

We are setting up our superb classes to Winchester and Newbury and are launching this September.

For those of you that haven’t come to Caterpillar Music let me give you a little idea of what we do… each unique session will include a variety of amazing puppets, instruments, bubbles, parachutes, light shows, sensory equipment and much more. Each week is a new adventure. We could be diving under the sea one week and going to the circus the next.

We currently have over 300 Mums that come each 1/2 term and we often have families stay with us right from their little ones being tiny until they start preschool and even school.

One of the most precious things is to see a little one clap for the first time, or crawl to the puppet bag. We’ve had lots of “firsts” at class and it’s so lovely to be part of the journey that childhood is. We also work really hard on ensuring our classes are relaxed and comfortable for parents and carers and to help everyone feel welcome and “at home”.

We are SO excited for this new journey we are on to bring our sessions to new families. We will be launching in South Wonston, Winchester, Kingsclere and Thatcham to begin with. Once we’ve conquered those areas, no doubt we’ll be opening elsewhere too!

If you have friends or family or you’d like to come along to our new classes please do find us. We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CaterpillarMusicNewburyandWinchester 

Jaz & Nicky xx

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Proteus ‘Summer of Love’ – Chance to Win Tickets for NHM Readers

Hi I’m Mary and I work for Proteus – a professional theatre company who make and tour their own productions and also run the Proteus Creation Space – just beyond the top of town (situated in front of Fairfield’s school and on the corner opposite St Mary’s Church and the Bounty Inn).

Many NHM readers may have previously visited the Creation Space to attend one of our hugely popular winter family shows or the in-house Christmas Show (including last year’s A Christmas Carol and How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas), to visit the on-site café, or attend one of the many classes hosted in the building.

However, you may not immediately think of us when you have your ‘adult hat on’ as a destination for your next date night or night out with friends, and we want to change that!

This summer Proteus have brought together a series of performances from outstanding artists which we are calling the ‘Summer of Love’.

Each of the shows explore the theme of love in its many different guises – with shows that span comedy, circus, Shakespeare, dance, theatre and acrobatics!

We thought that each show would make a perfect date night for time-poor parents who are looking to do something a bit different, without straying too far from home. Instead of the usual trip to the local chain restaurant or cinema, why not come and experience a really exciting piece of performance with your partner, or best friends – literally on your doorstep?

We are so excited to be bringing award-winning and internationally acclaimed artists to Basingstoke – but without the West End price tag, and have deliberately kept ticket pricing really affordable. With tickets costing no more than £10 and many at just £5, we hope this will tempt people to try something new. Our beautiful café bar is also open before and after the performances, so you can make a night of it!

The Summer of Love season kicked off last Thursday with a hilarious one-woman show ‘It Started with Jason Donovan’ and here is some of the feedback:

“I wish it could have gone on!”
“I laughed so much I cried!”
“Good for the soul.”

You can see the trailer here: https://youtu.be/QyR5cCjbtw0

Win Tickets!

We would love to offer one lucky NHM reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to the performance of your choice.

All you have to do is like the North Hants Mum Facebook post and tag the person you would like to bring with you on your perfect #datenight by 4pm Thursday 21st June 2018.

Below are details of all the performances that make up the Summer of Love season and we really hope to welcome you and your ‘date’ to the Creation Space soon!

Details of Performances

Binaural Dinner Date – ZU:UK

The Tea Bar, London Street, Basingstoke, RG22 4NX
Thursday 21st June, 2.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm, 9pm

Part interactive performance, part dating agency, BINAURAL DINNER DATE invites you to get to know another person (and perhaps yourself) a little better. For both individuals looking for love, or existing couples who want to enjoy a very different dating experience together.
‘an earnest social experiment into attraction, making connections and what we expect of relationships in these high-stakes, swipe-addicted times.’  TIME OUT
Tickets: £10

Revolution – Basingstoke Youth Theatre in association with Little Soldier Productions

Central Studio, QMC, Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3HF
Saturday 30th June, 7pm

Little Soldier and Basingstoke Youth Theatre have created an original show about the one and only thing that makes the world go round: LOVE. Expect honey-coated candy-floss moments, bombastic musical numbers, intimate confessions and heartfelt performances. This brand-new performance is a first time collaboration between some of Basingstoke’s most gifted young performers and one of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies.
‘These clowns know exactly what they are doing.’ GUARDIAN on Little Soldier
Tickets: £5

THE BAND – Levantes Dance Theatre

Proteus Creation Space, Council Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3DH
Friday 7th July, 7.30pm

Sandy & Bruno met in the seventies. She was fame hungry, he was doomed to follow her. As one hit wonders, this is a story of their big come-back. With striking aesthetics and a rousing soundtrack, THE BAND is a quirky, humorous display of desperate ambition and blind affection told through awe-inspiring dance, theatre and circus.
‘…funny on the surface, but heart-wrenching underneath… The Band is a committed piece of story-telling that uses multiple forms, making it hard to bracket, and easy to love.’ THE CIRCUS DIARIES
Tickets: £5

Knot – Nikki & JD

Proteus Creation Space, Council Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3DH
Thursday 2nd August , 7.30pm

“What I said….it was the truth…it just wasn’t the whole truth…”
Two acrobats meet.  They fall in love and dream of the future.  But beneath the surface, there lies a truth that threatens to undermine their bond. Heart-breaking yet humorous, Knot is the story of a very modern affair told sensitively through breath-taking acrobatics and dance.
Knot has been created in collaboration with award-winning choreographer, Ben Duke of Lost Dog Dance Company.
‘‘a show of great complexity and breathtakingly-effortless acrobatic skill’REVIEWS HUB
Tickets: £5

Tickets are available at www.proteustheatre.com/summer for this wonderful and varied season of performances, which aims to invoke the nostalgia and absurdity of first love and to celebrate the many different kinds of love that make the world go round!

If you’d like more information, or to buy tickets, please go to our website www.proteustheatre.com/summer

If you’d like to keep up to date with our latest news and events, find us at the following:

Facebook – facebook.com/proteuscreation
Twitter – @proteuscreation
Instagram – @proteustheatre
Or sign up to our e-newsletter – www.proteustheatre.com/newsletter-sign-up

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

My recent Wardrobe Refresh session with Victoria was SOO AWESOME but not only that, she’s also very kindly offering a very generous discount to NHM Readers! See below.

If you are stuck for presents for anyone or feel you need a BOOST yourself, I HIGHLY recommend as you can read below.

Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

About

Victoria messaged me and asked me if I would like to have a Wardrobe ReFresh in exchange for a review and I thought I’d give it a go as I had nothing left to lose and could definitely use the help.

She used to run the store in Vintage Treasures, a boutique specialising in vintage and vintage inspired clothing, on Church Street, in Basingstoke so she knows what she is talking about!

I’ll be honest, I was NOT looking forward to Victoria coming round to help me de-clutter my wardrobe.  In my head I had visions of Trinny and Suannah (I’m showing my age now!) and GokWan DECIMATING my wardrobe.

My focus for the past few years has been on getting Miss NHM well again and as part of this I have completely neglected my body and my wardrobe reflects this.

I’ve written before about having a uniform as I don’t have time to think in the mornings or the night before as I prefer to spend my time and energy on other things. If you’ve been reading NHM for a while you’ll know that I am allergic to most man made materials, particularly polyester.

Trying to shop for clothes these days, that don’t have polyester or lycra in is very, very, VERY frustrating. There are certain shops that I know I can shop in that have 100% cotton and I tend to stick to those as I know that they aren’t going to cause me any issues.

Although this does mean that I’ve been in a bit of a clothing rut. I hate clothes shopping at the best of times and then having to double check every single label well… it’s depressing and I don’t have the motivation for it.

So the thought of Victoria coming round and telling me that I needed to go shopping for more clothes….I wasn’t looking forward to it….

Before we met

A couple of weeks before our appointment Victoria sent me a document with several questions asking me things like my hair and eye colour, what my current style is and what my dream look would be.

The document also asked me about my shopping habits and I think she could probably work out from there that I was going to be a total pain in the butt!!! (facepalm!)

Victoria also asked me to send some pictures of my face and my body, so she could see what she would be working with.

The Wardrobe Refresh Appointment

Victoria came round to my house one lunchtime, but just after I’d had a filling. So I was feeling a bit miserable, my face was all numb and I was really not in the mood for the appointment.

However, I haven’t laughed so much in AGES!!! Victoria spent about 15 minutes with me talking through my answers to the questions she’d sent me and I felt SOOOO at ease! You can immediately tell that Victoria’s main aim is to make you feel much better at the end of the appointment than you do at the beginning.

She asked me to write three words down describing how I was feeling right then about my clothes and those words were pretty depressing.

Victoria then talked through my colours and told me that I’m an “Autumn”. I had my colours done years ago and I already knew I was an Autumn and had told Victoria this in my answers but it was really, really good to go through which colours suit me again. Even though I have a colour wallet from when my colours were done when I was 18 years old, I wasn’t sure if they would still be the colours to suit me.

Victoria then briefly talked through which styles suit me best which was quite enlightening.

We then just got stuck in to my wardrobe.

I have quite a small wardrobe but it turns out that I have LOADS of clothes hidden away and even some in Miss NHM’s wardrobe that I had completely forgotten about.

We went through EVERY SINGLE ITEM of clothing in my cupboard and it was… AWESOME!!!

Victoria gave me permission (well, she didn’t actually give me permission but it felt like it!) to get rid of clothes that I’ve been hanging onto for years that I shouldn’t have been.

I read the Life Changing magic of Tidying three years ago (WOW, how time flies!) and even though there were clothes that I had purged then, there were some items that I still had an emotional attachment too that needed to be got rid of.

We went through everything and sorted them into three piles: keep, sell, recycle. It was SUCH an uplifting experience!!! Not at all what I expected.

Normally I’m quite self concious about my body, but I was just stripping off and getting stuck in and Victoria was brilliant. She echoed many things that I’d said in my head about some outfits, except she said it out loud. Hearing someone else say lots and lots of really positive things about my wardrobe was just amazing!

I realised that I do have lots and lots of beautiful dresses that I just don’t wear that I really ought too!

I felt absolutely AMAZING after the appointment. Victoria asked me to update my three words again, about how I was feeling, and it was like they were written by another person!

She advised me to start wearing more colours and notice the compliments that start rolling in and you know what, she was absolutely right! I’ve had LOADS of comments about what I’ve been wearing recently since my Wardrobe ReFresh.

Victoria also suggested making adjustments to certain items of my clothing and has recommended a local seamstress who can do this for me. I only actually need to buy ONE ITEM of clothing for my wardrobe! I expected that I would probably have to buy at least 4 or 5 new items but with modifications to my current clothes and that one item of clothing, it’s going to make such a difference!

Victoria is even going to find me the items that I need online and send the links over to me so I can just buy them directly. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!

Victoria says that that with her BOOST Style ethos:

“My mission is to have you with a wardrobe of clothes that are working for your body shape, not against you, in the correct seasonal colour palette and reflect your lifestyle and personality. Most of all I want you to feel empowered to be you! After all, you are the best person to do YOU!”

By the end of the appointment I was literally jumping with joy. I had freed up lots of space in my wardrobe, I’ve got a pile of clothes to sell on ebay so I can use that money to buy my extra item of clothing and it felt really good to “let go” of some clothes that I’d been hanging on to for years.

I couldn’t stop hugging the poor girl before she left as she’d made me feel so happy!!

After Care

A couple of days later, Victoria sent me a document which covered everything we had discussed. This was called “Louise style file” and it’s absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!

I cannot stop raving about this document! It’s absolutely bloody brilliant!

I love that the document has my body shape analysis and explains what body shape I am and also has a wonderful list of Do’s and Don’t’s for my body shape, which is going to make it sooooo much easier to shop with now! The document even includes pictures of styles that are mentioned, so if you don’t know what bootcut trousers look like, there is a picture to show you.

I also really liked that there is explanation of my colour analysis with suggestions of colours for me to wear.

There is also a section which highlights the key pieces that I should add to my wardrobe (very delighted it’s only 1 so I don’t have to spend much! lol).

Victoria also sent me a private style board on Pinterest. I love, love, LOVE the private style boardt. It’s absolutely brilliant and has lots and lots of suggestions of outfits that will suit me. My style for swim wear, formal wear and even some pictorial examples of which make up colours suit me best!

Absolutely perfect!!

Other Services

Victoria also offers a “Virtual Shopping Session”: “This is a digital file the she sends to you containing links to all of the items mentioned above, you can them order those that you feel suit and when they arrive you have a session via Skype for Victoria to check the fit and style, helping you decide which to keep and which, if any, to return. It’s a great way to update your wardrobe for a new season, holiday or special event without having to leave home!

I will soooo be taking her up on this “virtual shopping session” when I have a wedding to go too as she literally picks out the items for you and sends you the online links so all you have to do is order them. AMAZING!

Discount for NHM Readers

Victoria is very kindly offering NHM Readers a discount code -(NHM25) giving you a 25% discount on the “Wardrobe ReFresh” session.

Please quote this code when getting in touch with Victoria.

Rating out of 5

Twenty Five Hundred out of 5, as Miss NHM says. This was one of the best ways that I’ve spent two hours in a very long time. Victoria is absolutely lovely and a very positive person who made me feel sooooo much better about my wardrobe and also myself.

The appointment is very good value for money and having now had the appointment I would happily pay double for another one (don’t tell Victoria that, obviously! facepalm). I will actually be saving money in the long run, because instead of ordering clothes and finding out that they don’t fit me properly which means I don’t wear them often, I will know EXACTLY what to buy and won’t be wasting any money anymore.

Victoria really is a Fairy ClothesMother and I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend her services!!

You can find out more about The Fairy ClothesMother at: https://www.facebook.com/FairyClothesMother/

or at her website: https://givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

Disclaimer: This post is a review of the Wardrobe ReFresh by The Fairy Clothesmother. The Wardrobe Refresh service was supplied free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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Secret Art Basingstoke

Have you heard about Secret Art Basingstoke?

I’m not really one for inspirational Pinterest quotes. But I read one today that resonated;

Mothers who reach their breastfeeding goals are “lucky”, but not because they had no problems. They were lucky to be given accurate advice, practical support, and not just told to give up. Mothers don’t fail to breastfeed. Society fails to support them to do so.

Double negatives aside, I like this message because it doesn’t subscribe to;

a) Making people feel guilty for circumstance outside of their control.
b) Pitting mothers against mothers in the supposed breastmilk vs formula ‘war’.

I’m all for helping society support women to breastfeed, which is why I’m coordinating Secret Art Basingstoke, exclusively raising funds for NCT Basingstoke breastfeeding support.

Taking place between 23rd July and 3rd August 2018, Secret Art Basingstoke is an exhibition of hundreds of postcard-sized original works of art donated by artists, celebrities, dignitaries, graduates and illustrators. With no brief in medium or subject, the collection promises to be an eclectic mix of small but perfectly formed paintings, drawings and photographs.

The two week exhibition will be split across four spaces in Basingstoke town centre; THAT Gallery, Proteus Creation Space, The Discovery Centre and The Willis Museum (all hire costs have been generously waived by our venues – thank you all!). Our artist buddies from THAT Gallery will be holding art demos and workshops at the various locations to keep your little artists occupied, AND we’ll be running a scavenger hunt and junior postcard competition. Make sure you pop us on your list of ‘things to do during the summer holidays’ to be in with a chance of winning some beautiful prizes (kindly donated by Macmillan Publishers).

The entire collection will reunite at The Creation Space on Saturday 4th August, where every single postcard will be on sale for the affordable price of £20 each.

And the secret? The identity of the artist – you’ll only know who created your miniature masterpiece once you’ve bought it.

For a chance to get a sneak peek at the entire collection before everyone else, we’re holding a launch night on 19th July at Desklodge Basingstoke (venue kindly donated by Desklodge Ltd). The evening will include live music, art demonstrations and a charity auction with some AMAZING lots. Details and tickets will be available very soon – stay tuned!

If you have any questions regarding Secret Art Basingstoke, including how to becoming one of our sponsors, please head to www.secretartbasingstoke.com, or drop us a line at secretartbasingstoke@gmail.com.

About NCT B.A.B.I.E.S

B.A.B.I.E.S is Basingstoke’s dedicated weekly breastfeeding counselling drop-in, providing evidence-based, impartial information, help and support. Fully qualified (DipHE) Breastfeeding Counsellors hold face to face drop-in sessions fifty weeks of the year, as well as offering telephone and email support. This service is completely free, and available to all parents and their children in Basingstoke. Since its inception in 2011, B.A.B.I.E.S has supported over 1000 parents. For more information on breastfeeding support in Basingstoke, including directions and opening times for B.A.B.I.E.S, head to the Hampshire Breastfeeding Counselling Facebook page.

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Friends of Old Basing Schools Summer Fair, Sunday 1st July 2018

Summer Fair, Sunday 1st July 2018 12-3pm.

At the fair will be: a circus entertainer and workshops, arena performances, fun inflatables, assault course, water play, face painting, a variety of games and stalls for everyone, BBQ, Beer, Pimms, hot & cold drinks, cakes & ice-cream.

Entrance £1.50 per adult, accompanied children free.

At St Mary’s Junior School, Belle Vue Road, Old Basing.

Further information is available on the Facebook event page

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September 2018 Availability at Cuckoo Meadow Pre-School

Cuckoo Meadow pre-school currently has spaces available for September. If you have any friends, family or neighbours looking for pre-school places please share this leaflet.

Cuckoo Meadow is the most amazing, nurturing environment for your little ones – OFSTED agrees, we’re rated Outstanding!!

https://cuckoomeadow.org/

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Little Baby Bum at The Haymarket, 23-24 June 2018

Step into the magical and colourful world of Little Baby Bum at The Haymarket on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June.

Little Baby Bum, the online and digital TV sensation with over 13 million subscribers and 15 billion views, is the world’s largest educational YouTube channel.

So join Mia, Jacus, Twinkle and their nursery rhyme friends at the world premiere of this brand new live show.

Tickets for Little Baby Bum are priced £14 (includes £2 booking fee).  For more information or for tickets, call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244, or visit the website anvilarts.org.uk.

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Anna’s Challenges

Hi, my name is Rachel Marke and I founded the charity Anna’s Challenges just over 7 years ago. Our aim is to help support children with Cystic Fibrosis in Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

It started a bit by accident – 7 years ago my daughter Anna, who has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), was having one of her many 2 week admissions at the North Hampshire Hospital and she was asked to try out a vibrating vest which could really help shift the mucus clogged up in her lungs.

The problem was the vest was on loan to the physio team and they didn’t have the budget to purchase one. I put on my Facebook status that I’d like to try and raise some money to help buy it and the response was amazing!

We were soon thinking of a name to spearhead the fundraising and soon after Anna’s Challenges was born.  We soon became a registered charity and have a group of wonderful trustees.

We had no idea at the time that it would become as big as it has and this is purely down to the amazing support we receive from friends, family, local people and local businesses that have chosen to support us, whether it be through fundraising, offering their services, attending our events or simply helping to share our news/events on social media.

I have been overwhelmed over the years with the love and support we receive and it has enabled us to really branch out in the many ways we can support the children with CF and their families.

We also funded and arranged for the assessment room on G Floor to be totally redecorated (my cousin did it) and this is my favourite photo of part of it.

Anna takes over 35 tablets a day, she has to do 3 sets of physio a day, 3 nebulisers and two inhalers every single day – all whilst she’s well.

When she’s ill it increases significantly and also with 2 week admissions. Kids with CF have such intense daily regimes so it’s really great that we can help make their day to day lives a bit easier with improved physio and medical equipment and make it more comfortable for their 2 week admissions.

 

We are guided by the fantastic CF team at the hospital on how we can best help the children and their families.

We are able to support them through donating physio equipment, physio toys, medical equipment, donations that make the hospital rooms more comfortable – more home-from-home, we fund the CF sibling support group, we provide physical activity grants and travel grants to the families, family days out, and however else we can help to make their lives a bit easier and hopefully sometimes, a bit more fun too!

On the 6th October 2018 we are hosting our annual Black Tie Charity Ball at the beautiful Oakley Hall. It’s a great excuse to get glammed up with friends and have a wonderful evening full of music, dancing, laughter and lovely food all whilst helping support children with Cystic Fibrosis.

If you’d like more information, or to buy tickets, please go to our website www.annaschallenges.co.uk.  

If you’d like to keep up to date with our latest news and events, find us at the following:

Facebook – facebook.com/annaschallenges
Twitter – @annaschallenges
Web – www.annaschallenges.co.uk
email – contact@annaschallenges.co.uk

Please get in contact if you have any questions, would like to do a challenge for us or attend one of our events – we’d love to hear from you!

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!