Be rewarded for your loyalty with new Basingstoke shopping scheme!!

Shoppers in Basingstoke can now reap the benefits of supporting the Hampshire high street as a new loyalty card scheme has been launched to encourage residents to love local.

The Basingstoke Rewards scheme, which is available from today (Thursday 1 November) courtesy of Basingstoke Together, gives shoppers access to a wide range of offers and discounts. A wealth of Basingstoke businesses and national chains are supporting the scheme including shops, restaurants, solicitors, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, sports and leisure facilities.

The card boasts discounts including 10% off in Topshop, Monsoon, Accessorize and Yankee Candle as well as 20% off in Zizzi, a month’s free membership at Anytime Fitness, 40% off Taylor’s Hair & Beauty plus many more.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “The new Basingstoke Rewards card is packed with brilliant ways to save money from an impressive range of retailers throughout the town centre.

“There is huge pressure on high streets throughout the UK to combat the ever-popular trend of shopping online. So, we hope that people in Basingstoke will support local businesses by visiting the town for all of their shopping, leisure and business needs. They can also be happy in the knowledge that their money will be going further by doing so.”

Basingstoke Together is the public face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. The organisation hopes that the loyalty card will encourage more shoppers to visit Festival Place, The Malls and the Top of Town as value-for-money shopping destinations.

Shoppers can save every time they make a purchase at participating venues by showing the specially created loyalty cards. The card, which will be valid until 31 March 2021, costs £2 as a one-off purchase and it is available from the Basingstoke Together website from today (Thursday 1 November).

Fran Balogh from The Salt Lounge, in Feathers Yard, which is offering 20% off treatments to Basingstoke Rewards card holders, said: “We try to encourage people to use a more natural way to heal their respiratory and skin problems. This new loyalty card enables us to achieve this by making treatments more affordable. Being able to get involved in the project and offer customers discounts in businesses like ours really is a great opportunity for us and our valued clients.”

Shops and brands who are part of the Basingstoke Rewards scheme include:

National brands

  • Monsoon

  • Zizzi’s

  • Caffe Nero

  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen

  • Yankee Candle

  • Oasis

  • Mountain Warehouse

  • Moss Bros

  • Pizza Hut

  • A Plan Insurance

Independent businesses:

  • Wax Works

  • Exciting Escapes

  • The Tea Bar

  • Basingstoke Sports Centre

  • Basingstoke Service Centre

  • Taylors Hair and Beauty

  • Clarke and Son Solicitors

  • Lamb Brooks Solicitors

For more information or to purchase a Basingstoke Rewards card, visit

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Kids Kan Dance: Christmas Creative Dance Workshops & Kids Kan Dance with Mummy (Walkers to 18 months)

Kids Kan Dance – Christmas Creative Dance Workshops

We have now released the dates for our Christmas Creative Dance Workshops.

These workshops are suitable for:

  • Preschools
  • Nurseries
  • Year R
  • Playgroups
  • Brownies

And any other groups that children attend

Join us on a magical journey to help Father Christmas deliver presents to all the boys and girls.  Perfect for your Christmas party of an end of year treat!

Email – for more information!!

Kids Kan Dance with Mummy – Walkers to 18 months

Kids Kan Dance are thrilled to announce that we are opening a NEW class.

In November we will be launching a class for children who are confident walkers up to 18 months!  We will be holding taster sessions throughout November ready for the LAUNCH of this new class in January 2019!

This is a  class for children to dance with an adult. Classes are full of fun, dance routines, creative movement, singing, sensory play, exploration and imagination.

For more information please email or view the website:

Kids Kan Dance….. Where your child’s dance journey begins.

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Busy Bees Toddler Group in Hook

Collage created using TurboCollage software from

Busy Bees Toddler Group in Hook

I am a mum to a three-year-old toddler. Every week, we go to a toddler group called Busy Bees in Hook.

It’s brilliant and it provides a great range of activities for little ones including painting, play-doh, two crafts on a theme each week, a healthy snack, and songtime.

9.45am – 11.15am –
Children of all ages welcome up to 5 years
Elizabeth Hall, Raven Road, Hook, Hampshire RG27 9HH.
£4 for children over 18 months. £2 for those under 18 months who are unable to do the crafts. Includes snack for children and hot drinks for adults.
Drop in, pay-as-you-go, no joining fee.
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Fireworks 2018

Here is a list of firework displays both locally and further afield.   Check out a previous post for recommendations from NHM followers.  Keep checking back for updates including the rumoured return of an old favourite!

Thank you very much to Wendy for putting this post together!!

Fireworks 2018

Sat Oct 27th

Upton Grey Autumn Festival – Hoddington Arms Pub.  From 2pm.  See link for details

Thurs Nov 1st – Sat 3rd

Longleat – Click link for details

Fri Nov 2nd

Bramley School – From 5.30pm.  Tickets on sale now

St Johns School – Cranbourne.  From 6pm.  SOLD OUT!!!!

Sat Nov 3rd

Hatch Warren – From 5.30pm Ticket on sale now, advance purchase recommended as many were turned away last year.

St Thomas’ Church -Worting – From 6pm, SOLD OUT!!!!

Hook School – From 5pm.  Tickets on sale from school offices, Trees newsagent & Harltets Cafe SOON

Loddon Valley Lions – Barlows Park Tadley.  Tickets on sale now

Baughurst Scouts & Guides – Adams Field, Baughurst.  From 6pm.

Silchester Association – Silchester House.  From 6pm.  Tickets will be on sale in October from the Calleva Arms and Pamber Stores

Overton School – Date confirmed, further information to follow.

Kingsclere School – Fieldgate Centre, Kingsclere. Gates Open 5.30pm. Display at 6.30pm. Tickets on sale soon.

Mortimer – From 5pm.  Tickets on sale from Oct 22nd.  Click link for details

Winchester Round Table – City Centre.  Tickets on sale now

Preston Candover – From 6pm.  Click link for details

Royal Victoria Country Park – Southampton.  Fireworks by the Sea.  Advance tickets only, click link for details

Sun Nov 4th

Mill House – North Warnborough.  Meal & Firework display.  SOLD OUT!!!!!

Oakley & Deane –Gates open 5pm, display starts at 6pm.  Click link for details of ticket sales

Fri Nov 9th

Sherfield School – 6.30pm.  Tickets on sale now

Sat Nov 10th

Basingstoke Memorial Park – Rumours are it’s back!!!!  Details TBC.

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Halloween 2018 at Finkley Down Farm

Freaky Down Farm in Andover

This half term Finkley down farm, turns spooky….

During the half term week, 20th – 28th October 2018, will you be brave enough to enter the SPOOKY STABLES?

Be able to find all the Monsters around the farm in a monster hunt?

There will be prizes for everyone in Halloween Fancy Dress taking part in the Fancy Dress Parade after Sheep Racing. (2pm, everyday)

Meet and greet our special Halloween guests SALLY THE SCARECROW & MAVIS FLOSSWORT THE WITCH.

We will be holding a HALLOWEEN DISCO on the 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th October, enjoying shows from SILLY SCOTT’S HALLOWEEN SHOWS on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th October, NICKY TRIX will be here with his HALLOWEEN SHOW on the 25th October.


Meet the Snakes, Little Farmers Driving School, Sheep Race, Rabbit Handling, Meerkats and more.


Indoor Play, trampolines, go-carts and Farmyard Crazy Golf.

All this included in the admission price. Of £10.25 per an adult and £9.25 per a child. Please call the farm for further information on 01264 324141, or visit our website

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Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

Thank you very much to W for putting together today’s post on NHM! She’s done an awesome job!

Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

I know, I know it’s too soon but the kids are back at school, Strictly and the X Factor have started and several places are now taking bookings for Santa visits/experiences.  If you need a weekend slot or you want to take advantage of early bird discounts the next few weeks are the best time to book.

Below are some of the local places to visit Santa, plus several other Christmas experiences that you may wish to book or put in the diary now.  With school holidays starting late this year demand for weekend slots for Santa will be high so book early.

Experiences with a Santa Visit

More of the Good Stuff – Dummer.  Now taking bookings for Breakfast or Tea with Santa

Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon.  Tickets are now on sale for Santa’s Grotto.  They also normally do Breakfast or tea with Santa, keep an eye on their website for details.

Millers Ark – Nr Hook.  Lots of Christmas events including a Santa’s Grotto, Carols in the Barn and a Nativity with real animals.

4 Kingdoms – Headley.  Now taking bookings for their Christmas experience.

Finkley Down Farm – Andover.  Booking now open.

Basingstoke Canal – Mychett.  Booking opens 1st Oct.  Bookings by phone or in person.

Watercress Line – Alresford/Alton.  Book now for the Santa Special.

Marwell – Winchester.  Tickets on sale from September 17th.

Winchester Science Centre – Winchester.  Bookings now open for their Santa experience.

Paultons Park – Ower.  Tickets now on sale.

Lapland UK – Windsor.  Tickets now on sale

Legoland – Windsor.  Christmas tickets now on sale, discount for early booking.

Santa Grottos

Festival Place – Basingstoke.  Details TBC.  This is normally the cheapest Santa in the area.  No Booking required.

Henry Street Garden Centre –Arborfield.  Booking normally opens in October, weekends book up very fast.

Dobbies Garden Centre – Shinfield.  Book via website.

Redfields Garden Centre – Church Crookham.  Details yet to be released.  Normlly book instore or by phone 01252 624444.

Other Christmas Events

Festival Place Lights Switch On – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.

The Malls – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.  The Lights switch on is normally the start of a host of Christmas events in the Malls.  See their website for details.

Festival Place Santa Parade – Basingstoke.  TBC.

Milestones Christmas Market – Basingstoke.  8th – 9th Dec

Basingstoke Festive Fun Run – Memorial Park Basingtoke.  Dec 16th.  Please check website for times.

Lantern Procession – Newbury.  Dec 16th.  Join in or just admire and soak up the atmosphere as the candle-lit procession travels along Northbrook Street to the Market Place

Winchester Cathedral – Nov 17th – Jan 2nd.  Check out the cathedral website for all the events at Winchester Cathedral including the Christmas Market and the Ice Rink.


The Magical Christmas Toy Shop – Proteus Basingstoke.  Dec 14th – 24th.  Interactive Christmas performance, Santa normally makes an appearance.  Early bird discount until September 30th.  For pre-school children (although most infants love it too).

Reindeer on the Roof – Central Studio Basingstoke.  Dec 14th.  Suitable for the whole family.

A Christmas Carol  – More of the Good Stuff, Dummer.  Dec 16th A production for Children.

Santa’s Christmas Party – The Haymarket Basingstoke.  Dec 7th – 9th ages 2 -7

Santa’s Christmas Party – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 17th.  All ages


Snow White – The Anvil Basingstoke.  Dec 13th – Jan 6th.  All ages

Aladdin – The Hexagon Reading.  Dec 8th – Jan 6th.  All ages.  With Justin Fletcher.

Beauty & The Beast– Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 1st – Jan 6st.  All ages

Jack & The Beanstalk – Corn Exchange Newbury.  Nov 30st – Jan 6th.  All ages

Dick Whittington – Mayflower Southampton.  Dec 15th – Jan 6th.  All ages.

And one for the Grown Ups

The Scummy Mummies Christmas Show – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 13th  Ages 18+

Please let us know of any events you feel should be added to

For details of loads of other events follow Louise Nhm Smith on facebook and look up events.

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS)

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Reader who has shared some of her experience to benefit others.

NHM Reader’s Experience: Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS)

I am a mum of three kids and in the past few years have been really struggling to cope with their moods and the noise they make. I have now worked out why I have been feeling as I have and thought I’d share this with you because it might help others, too.

All three of my kids were very much wanted and planned and we were so happy when each of them was born. What I didn’t anticipate though was how much their noise and physical demands were going to challenge me. It got worse over the years and in the end I felt I was in a constant state of anger and that I never fully calmed down – I went from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds over very small things.

By now, even happy noises from children other than my own put me on edge immediately. I was very unhappy about this and shed many a tear in the evenings – and in the daytime because I had also got so very emotional – and complained to my poor husband. He tried to help but couldn’t really understand.

I researched many conditions that could explain just how I felt. Stress, depression, various phobias, even autism in female adults, but none of it really described how I felt. Until I came across “sensory-processing sensitivity” (SPS for short). People who are affected are called “highly sensitive persons”; their brains can’t filter out all the different stimuli that enter during a day and as a consequence they can feel greatly overwhelmed while the brain tries to deal with it all.

I have never been very good in noisy, crowded situations, I can’t stand the heat and I don’t like bright sunlight in my face. I also very much need my own personal space and I had started to make a connection between how these situations made me feel and how being with children made me feel.

And now it all makes perfect sense.

Before we had the children, I would either avoid situations that I found stressful (I have never been to a concert in my life and avoid going into busy town centres as much as possible) or I would have time to give my brain a break afterwards. When you have kids, that is often impossible and so the stimuli build up and up, leading to the feeling over overwhelm and even anger.

SPS is not an illness but rather a personality trait but just knowing why I feel that way has made my life much easier. I am still at the beginning of my own journey but I now try limit the amount of noise I subject myself to by, for example, wearing ear defenders at home even when it is not particularly noisy or taking five minutes in a quiet room when I have just sat in the car with the kids for half an hour, to give my brain that break it needs.

There is some useful information on the internet and, now that I know what to search for, I have found many blogs by affected parents. Not all have the same triggers as me, as all senses can be affected, but if any readers feel they are struggling with noises, lights, smells, crowds, etc or are otherwise very emotional I suggest they google SPS and highly sensitive persons.

If anyone feels the description of SPS fits them I would also be very happy to be contacted to exchange thoughts and ideas of how to cope with it. (please drop me an email at and I will forward it to the lovely lady who wrote this post).

My Experience: The end of Y2

You may have noticed that I’ve been going on and on and on about our experience of moving Miss NHM to a new school so I thought it was time to write something about my experience of Y2.

Four days into September 2017 term we removed Miss NHM from her old school.

The school pastoral team were arrogant enough to do completely the opposite of the comprehensive care plan that myself, Miss NHM’s paediatrician and Miss NHM’s GP put together over the summer and made Miss NHM sicker during her first week back at school. I have since found out that it was illegal for them to do this, based on the Department for Educations “Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions” comprehensive document.

Needless to say that was the icing on the cake after two years of despicable treatment of my daughter.

It was an incredibly stressful time. During that week that Miss NHM started her new school my car broke, the washing machine gave up the ghost, my Mother had what the professionals thought was a mini-stroke and it was the Sitting with Jane Bench auction at which the Teaching Assistant, who had been subjecting abuse at Miss NHM for months, was also at.

(When I reflect on that time, I still wonder how I didn’t end up in the nut house!)

We decided on the Friday evening that Miss NHM would never be going back to her old school.

On the Monday morning I rang round all of the local schools and was beyond delighted to find that one of my favourite schools had one space left for her (I’d already visited a few in June and July in anticipation of her old school still being beyond sh*t).

We were so, so, SO lucky and I thank our lucky stars every day that she’s now at the school she is at.

They have been….FANTASTIC!! I literally couldn’t ask for a better school. ALL of the staff are so lovely and compassionate. It’s such a brilliant school and Miss NHM has THRIVED  since she started in September 2017.

Seeing her get better over the past year as a result of just over a year of the Gluten free diet and seeing her in such a safe and happy environment has made my heart sing on a number of occasions.

She’s made some wonderful friends and she really has grown into a healthy and more confident child.

Her anxiety when she started at her new school was through the roof and I was extremely concerned about the impact of moving her to a new school but we realised we didn’t have any choice and despite her anxiety and Coeliac Disease she has completely flourished at her new school and I am eternally grateful to all of the staff at the new school who have helped with this.

Now that she isn’t in pain all of the time her reading has gone off the charts! I’m having to go to the library to borrow books for her as she’s read everything at home and for her year in school! (did you know that you can now borrow 30 books at a time on a children’s library card? Thanks Su for the heads-up!)

Her maths is still behind because she missed most of YR and a lot of Y1 as she was so poorly but she’s getting up to speed quickly.

She has lots of friends in her year and is WAY more chatty that she used to be (double edged sword) probably because she isn’t in pain now. It’s been wonderful to see that she’s been in a year where the children are all down to earth and, apart from one child, there has been no bitchiness or nastiness.

Even the school Mum’s are all lovely. Yes, there are a few cliquey’s but nowhere near as many nasty Mum’s (there were lots and lots of lovely Mum’s there too!! Just in case my friends from there are reading! <facepalm>) as there were at the old school.

With hindsight we probably should have moved Miss NHM to another school earlier but we were struggling with getting her well again and that was our focus. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and when it happens when the time is right.

I’m thankful that we moved her AFTER her diagnosis so that her “unexplained” sickness didn’t carry with her and I’m beyond grateful that the “new” school have been so fantastic.

Based on my experience, if your gut is telling you that your child isn’t happy in their current school have a look around at other local schools and go and visit them. Literally everyone I know who has moved their child to another school has found it a very positive experience for the child in question.

I’m really looking forward to Y3 and seeing how Miss NHM continues to bloom, to become more healthy and overcome her anxiety and thrive. Thank you to those of you who have supported us along this journey so far! I’m very, very thankful for all of you!!!

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Schools and PTAs in Basingstoke offered free jump sessions at Festival Place

FREE family fun at Festival Place as 10,000 complimentary Flip Out sessions are offered to schools, colleges and PTAs

Schools, colleges and PTAs are being offered free sessions at trampoline park Flip Out at Festival Place, Basingstoke, to help beat the Back to School blues.

Flip Out at Festival Place is giving away 10,000 free children’s jump passes, with each organisation able to claim 100 free tickets. The passes can be used for a one-hour session at any time Monday to Friday during term time, until the end of November.

The initiative from Flip Out underlines Festival Place’s offer as a family shopping and leisure destination.

Paul Murphy, Marketing Director at Flip Out Basingstoke, said: “We know it’s a bit of a struggle to get the kids enthusiastic about going back to school and also getting them to take part in regular exercise. So here at Flip Out we would like to make it a bit more fun and, in the process, give something back to the local school community.”

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “We pride ourselves on offering fun for families and young people and are delighted to support Flip Out as it donates these free passes.

“We hope schools and families will make the most of this offer and stay to enjoy the fantastic range of big brand stores, eateries and leisure facilities that Festival Place has to offer this autumn.”

One pass is permitted per user, who must be aged 18 or under and attending school or college. To take part in a session, a waiver must be completed and Flip Out socks must be purchased and used at £2 a pair. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

To claim the free passes and for full terms and conditions, schools can call Flip Out on 01256 830803.

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August 2018’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”: Aliceja Fisher

I stopped doing the “Inspirational Mum” programme because it felt like I was the one who was deciding who was inspirational and who wasn’t and that’s definitely not my decision to make.

But it looks like the universe is deciding for me on this one after my original “Inspirational Mum” post was automatically re-published on “NorthHantsMum FB Page” a few days ago and I realised that I’m just the “facilitator” for this.

YOU are the ones who nominate a Mum for this, I just have the AWESOME job of passing on the message :-D.

So, I think I’m going to try this one again. I will put out a request each month for nominations and whomever gets the most nominations will “win” for that month. Let’s see how this goes…

August 2018’s NorthHantsMum’s Inspirational Mum, with by far the most email nominations is: Aliceja Fisher!

Congratulations Aliceja! I know we’ve never met but it’s clear that you are an awesome Mum and person based on the number of emails that I received for your nomination!!

As Helen says below, make sure you print the comments out and use them to boost you on those wobbly days 😉 :-D.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 1

Helen: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher

Things changes a lot for her in the last 12 months and the game got a lot harder. She’s embraced it, fought the challenge, become stronger, more empowered and while she has wobbles of self doubt, which she really shouldn’t, she is a wonderful mum to her daughter.
She’s also a huge supporter of community projects, involved with social events for Mums to help their mental health and stop Mums feeling alone. She’s always seen to be pointing mums in the right direction of classes and support. My message to Aliceja would be, always believe in yourself and when this is published and you’re recognised as a Inspirational Mum, print it, keep it and use all the lovely comments to boost you on those wobbly days.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 2

Holly: I’ve seen your FB post and I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher as my local mum.

I’ve known Alice a number for years, we went to senior school together, she’s has always put others before herself, she has always be so kind and loved by all even through many trying times.

She truly is a wonderful person and now she’s a wonderful mother. She made my journey in to motherhood so much easier just by being there, our babies are a couple of months apart and they’ve brought her back in to my life and I’m so grateful to have her in it! I love you lots Aliceja!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 3

Lisa Marie: I would love to nominate my friend Aliceja Fisher.

Around a year ago her world was rocked and kind of crashed around her, she could have given up completely. However, she embraced the huge changes happening and became even stronger than she ever was.

As us mums do, she has days where she doubts everything she’s doing, but she’s the most amazing Mum and the best friend anyone could ask for! She helps everyone without any hesitation and she deserves to be recognised for everything she does!

She’s beautiful inside and out and such an inspiration! Aliceja, be proud of everything you’ve achieved!!! We love you loads!Xxx

Inspiration Mum Nomination 4

Jen: I would like to celebrate a local amazing Mum, Aliceja Fisher from Basingstoke. I met her at a Mummy social event which she organised, she has been through a lot this past year and becoming a new mum herself I think has bought out the best in her! She is an amazing inspiration to all Mums and personally has become a very close friend who supports me and everyone around her without even batting an eyelid.

She is an awesome person and one of the most hard working Mums I know always putting others before herself!

This would mean the world to her even though she would be completely overwhelmed and feel like she didn’t deserve it! She really does!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 5

Joanna: I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and nominate Aliceja Fisher as an inspirational Mum. I met her last summer when she set up regular coffee meet-ups using the Mummy Social App. I was a few months into maternity leave and these socials gave me the impetus and confidence to get out of the house with a young baby and meet new friends.

Aliceja has had a tough year but has remained a good friend as well as being active in community events.

Aliceja deserves recognition for her support to new mums and general awesomeness!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 6

Louisa: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher.

Aliceja and I have babies the same age, and without her creating social events when they were small I wouldn’t have a the great friend group I have now.

She always goes out of her way to help everyone and quite often forgets about herself in the process.

She is genuinely one of the most selfless people I have ever met and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this nomination.

A true awesome mummy!!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 7

Jenna: I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher!

I don’t even know where to begin with reasons as to why she’s awesome! She walked ( quite literally- at the HV walk) into my life last year as we were finding our feet as first time mums! She introduced me to other mums who now I call my closest friends! She keeps getting curve balls thrown at her but she gets back up and continues on! She is a credit to our mummy group and she needs to know that we are with her ever step of the way!!! She is the most kind person I know and deserves this!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 8

Gayle: Nominate Aliceja Fisher

Aliceja has been a great friend since we both became mums. She makes time to make sure we are ok regardless of what is going on in her own life. She keeps in contact with a large circle of friends and the list gets bigger and bigger as she picks up more and involves more as she goes.

She is truly an inspiration, being a single fantastic mum and now working full time, being open and honest to all she meets making sure no one feels alone, and sharing her feelings on Instagram/ Facebook – she says what we are all feeling.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 9

Odette: My nomination is for Aliceja Fisher, she is an amazing mum and friend! She is my sister in law and she is always willing to listen to everyone and try to help despite whatever happens in her life.

She is always willing to help, everyone specially new mums; giving them right advice or putting them in the right direction.

She also gets involved in social events to support new mums, helping them to meet new people. Always with a smile

She has a golden heart.

Thank you very much to everyone who nominated a Mum for this month’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”!

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