Help Spotlight UK!!

Hello, we are in need of help. As a charity Spotlight has been running from the old Chineham Park Primary for 9 years but sadly for us Hampshire need the building back to be able to use it to turn it into a Special Needs School which is so needed in our area.

We are very grateful to Hampshire for all of the support they have given us over 9 years however this means in April this year we need to move and find another venue for our charity work.

We currently run a food bank, clothes bank, charity shop, 1-2-1 youth mentoring, performing arts classes, holiday clubs, youth club, family support service.

We work with families on child protection or children in plans, children affected by domestic abuse, or neglect/emotional abuse, young carers, children in care, young people with mental health issues, young people who have experienced loss or separation, young people caught up with anti social behaviour and children who need help with confidence and self esteem or friendships and those who want to have fun.

We receive referrals from schools, social workers, the Early Help and Family Support Service, Health Visitors and other professionals. Currently we provide 355 spaces in performing arts a week, over 200 spaces in our after school club, 60 cases of youth mentoring and family support work and provide around 15-25 food parcels a week.

We are now needing to raise funds to be able to relocate our services so we can keep supporting those we work with. We have a potential venue to relocate to but need to secure a deposit and need to raise around £10000.

If anyone can help with fundraising or knows of premises then please contact us on 01256 325420 or Any help would be gratefully received.

The Spotlight Team

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New Year Resolutions: My word for 2019…

I honestly didn’t think I was going to write this post for 2019. Miss NHM and I were sick over Christmas with a nasty cold/virus that completely wiped us out and meant that most of Christmas was spent in PJ’s, coughing lots! 

Mr NHM also decided this was the Christmas he would teach Miss NHM how to play “StarDew Valley” on the computer so they have both been hidden away in the study for most of the week. Which annoyingly means I can’t get to my PC to write anything as it’s in the same room. I have GOT to invest in a laptop during 2019!  

Today I’ve “advised” them I need the study so they need to amuse themselves somewhere else. Miss NHM keeps popping in and saying that Mr NHM has done something or other to annoy her, but I’m hoping they will leave me alone for at least another hour so I can also finish my 2019 MindMap which I’m sort of working on at the same time. 

Annyyyywaaayyy, even though I didn’t think I would get to write this post for 2019 I chose my word for the year about 3 months ago. Or rather it felt like it chose me as I didn’t think about it too much or fret about the choice of word like I have done in the past few years. 

2018 was very tough for many people

Many people have said to me that 2018 was the worst year of their lives. Not even “one” of the worst years, but the worst. 

I’m very lucky to say that although 2018 was tough in places it definitely wasn’t the worst year of my life. We had some amazing family times including our first trip abroad since Miss NHM’s diagnosis which was a phenomenal holiday.  

Miss NHM is getting better and better which has been a huge blessing and relief. Both Mr NHM and I are very happy in our jobs and life feels like it’s calming down, so we can actually enjoy it after the last several years of constant stress!

So I am a bit perplexed with the word that I have chosen for 2019. Or did it choose me? lol. 

My words for the last few years have been:

  • 2010 – contradiction
  • 2011 – motherhood
  • 2012 – adjustment
  • 2013 – exceptional (not always positive!!)
  • 2014 – Me
  • 2015 – Inspiring the year really lived up to this!
  • 2016: health Oh the irony of choosing this word. I have learnt my lesson and try to choose VEEERRRYYY carefully now!!!!
  • 2017: joy and it was filled with much joy but also incredibly tough at the same time.
  • 2018: breathe there was a LOT of that going on throughout the year! lol. 

My word for 2019

I know from past experience that you need to be VERY careful with choosing a word. As I said above it feels like my word for this year has already been chosen for me. Looking at this word now, 3 months after I decided what it would be, I feel excited by it. I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring. 

My word for 2019 is going to be “free”. 


Part of me was very apprehensive when I realised that this was the word that I would choose for 2019. But looking at it now I’m actually really keen to see how this pans out in 2019. 

I’m wondering if this means that I’m going to be free of the past and free of the limitations that I have previously put on myself. Free of those limiting mindsets that we all have. Free to have some more adventures. Free to choose what I want to happen in my life. Free to have fun and explore the world again, post diagnosis. 

Starting 2019

For the first time in a LONG time I feel calm and peaceful about the following year. I feel like I’ve learnt many, many lessons in the past few years and now it’s all coming together.

As I’ve said before on the blog, I don’t believe in all that “new year/new you” crap, but I do believe that the beginning of a new year is a chance to re-assess and decide what’s working and what’s not. I’ve already made several decisions about what I will continue doing in 2019 and what I will stop doing. 

NorthHantsMum in 2019

NorthHantsMum now reaches far beyond me. There is a whole team of us working in the background. It’s been exciting to see how the blog has impacted these lovely volunteers and also to see how NHM has developed further in 2018. 

I don’t know what 2019 is going to bring for me, NorthHantsMum and the NorthHantsMum Community but I am excited to see how 2019 pans out for all of us. 

As always, thank you for all of your support. I know that we are very, very, very lucky to have such an amazing community of readers supporting myself and the team on NorthHantsMum. Thank you especially to the AWESOME team of volunteers who now help out on NHM.

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2019 where you have lots and lots of FREE moments :-D. 

Happy New Year!


Review 2018: Oh no you didn’t!!!! A Review of “Snow White & the Seven Dwarves” at The Anvil

Written by Victoria Kennedy, (thank you VERY much Victoria for the awesome review!!! 


Snow white:

When offered the chance to attend the Christmas Panto at The Anvil, Basingstoke, I jumped at the chance. Many of my fond childhood memories are of attending the local panto! Panto’s are guaranteed family fun! And this one didn’t disappoint! There was plenty of audience participation- from song and dances, sweetie-chucking and water pistols to the traditional panto villain ‘boo’s’ and comedy slapstick of ‘He’s behind you’.

The Anvil Arts centre is an award winning concert hall, with amazing acoustics and an international reputation. The beautiful set design had the children captured from the beginning. With special effects such as indoor pyro- there were plenty of mesmerised faces!

A special mention has to be given to ‘Nurse Dolly’s’ wardrobe (I am a stylist after all! ). She had some absolutely stunning dresses, each unique and I would have loved the opportunity to study each in great detail! Take a look for yourself:

Snow White was played by Dani Harmer, of CBBC fame. She played the character well and her gentle, ‘girl next-door’ manner soon had the audience on side.

The Wicked Queen, played by Kirsty Sparks, was both terrifying and utterly lovable at the same time! The stars of the show, form y 5 year old son, was Muddles, played by Chris Pizzey (Basil Brush’s Mr Stephens). His jokey character got the children on side meaning audience participation was full on! The jokes had the kids roaring with laughter, creating a fantastic atmosphere. There was even a subtle ‘dad joke’ or two!

Personally, I loved the dwarves. Each played to their name sake well, with names carefully adapted so not to gain the wrath of Disney! They were both cheeky and lovable!

The show runs until 6th January with both matinee and evening performances- get your tickets here:


Take ear defenders for children who are bothered by loud noises, as there are a few loud bangs. Also there is (without ruining the surprise) a brief moment involving water & the audience, if this is something that could bother your child ask at the info desk for the timing of the ‘stunt’ so you can be ready!

‘Flashy’ wands and the like are for sale but we took our own from previous events. This was allowed and certainly saved a small fortune as well as reducing our plastic consumption.

Dressing up was encouraged- there were many mini snow whites in the audience!


There is a selection of treats –  sweeties, ice cream, crisps on sale at the venue. However, as a huge cost saver I’d recommend taking your own! The show is 2 hrs 35 min long so a drink will most definitely be needed. There is also a bar available.


The Anvil is fully accessible to wheelchair users, and pushchairs. There are facilities for baby changing. The audience was a real mix of ages, so babes-in-arms are certainly welcomed. There is a bar onsite for refreshments.


The Anvil is easily accessed from any of the town centre car parks and just a 2 min walk from the train & bus station.


This is my only point of contention. The cost of a family visiting the theatre is becoming massively out of reach for many families. Unfortunately this is something that is happening with the panto too. At £28 per adult and £25 per child – a cost of over £100 for a family of 4 it means a big majority miss out. The Anvil does offer group rates, and discounted tickets to local schools.

Ratingout of 5

4 a great afternoon of family fun, with laughter, cheers, boo’s and song! Plus the most wonderful panto dame costume!!!

All images courtesy of Anvil Arts

Disclaimer: This post is a review of “Snow White Seven Dwarves and the  in conjunction with The Anvil. Victoria’s tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

Review 2018: Basingstoke Canal Santa Cruise

Thank you very much to W for today’s NHM Secret Review!! She’s done a brilliant job! 

If you would like to be a NHM Secret Reviewer, please get in touch. Thanks! 

Review 2018: BasingstokeCanal Santa Cruise

Helping out with NHM articles that past couple of years I have gained quite a lot of knowledge about local Santa and Christmas experiences and this year I finally got to experience the stuff of local Christmas legend, the Basingstoke Canal Santa Cruise.


Each year, in late September/early October the Basingstoke Canal visitor centre opens up early to take bookings for their Santa Cruises. 

Tickets go fast and bookings can only be made in person or by phone so be prepared to spend a lot of time pressing redial. 

One friend did decide to drive there one year to guarantee her spot by booking it in person, but I persevered with the phone and finally got through at around 11am on the first day of booking. 

Their advice is to have a few dates in mind, especially if you want an evening or weekend, and also have the names and ages of children attending ready. 

In 2018 the evening experiences cost £15.50 per person, weekend day times were £15 and weekday day time were £12.  In December 2018 they ran six cruises a day and all but two cruises were sold out. 

Fast forward to a very cold night in mid-December when I arrived at the centre in Mychett, with my four year old and almost eight year old and waited outside for our boat. 

The area outside the centre had been dressed with Christmas lights and we were greeted by a giant inflatable Santa.  

Facilities whilst waiting were basic, access to toilets and a bench to sit on inside an area normally used for changing, so dress for the weather and don’t leave your car too early. 

We boarded the last boat of the day at 7pm.  There are twelve people per cruise, including adults, our cruise had five children on board.  After boarding the boat our guide asked the children to look out for Christmas lights and let her know when they saw them. 

We cruised up the canal for about 10 mins, when we arrived at our jetty and got off the boat everyone was given a torch. 

The guide then asked the children to look out for the red tinsel which would guide them to Santa, we followed the red tinsel through the dark woods until we found Santa’s grotto. 

Santa’s grotto was a yurt, beautifully decorated for Christmas. 

Inside we all sat on hay bales as we waited for Santa to wake up, once he did he chatted with us all as a group first before looking up names in his book and chatting individually to each child for a few minutes. 

He adjusted his chat accordingly to the age and personality of the child and afterwards we sang a few songs, he then gave out gifts to each child, which already had their names on. 

We were in the yurt for about 20 minutes.  After we said goodbye to Santa we used our torches to find the silver tinsel that would guide us back out of the woods and back on to our boat where we opened our gifts, good quality, age appropriate books. 

We then cruised back to the centre where we did some colouring whilst enjoying mince pies or chocolate bars and hot drinks, all included in the price.  We left the centre at around 8.20pm.

Rating out of 5

We do a few Santa and Christmas experiences each year and this was a really lovely event, unlike anything we had done before and perfect for restoring the magic for my doubting older son. 

The boat and the canal centre are practical rather than luxury but the uniqueness of the occasion and the enthusiasm of the guides and Santa, really made this feel special.  None of the children became bored, with each activity taking the right amount of time. 

All the food was branded with allergy information easily available but it would be fine to take your own if you needed to. 

The experience was really good value for money and suitable for all ages, although I think older children would really prefer the after dark cruises. 

Highly recommended. 

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

NEW!! Historical NorthHantsMum Posts: An Index

You know those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night, sit bolt up right and say “TaDa!!! Why didn’t I think of that before!!!”?

I had one of those moments last night. 

I need to make it easier and quicker for people to find things that they are looking for on NHM and realised in the early hours of this morning that I need some kind of index. 

So I’ve started working on an index for NHM on the website, so you can see all of the posts that have been published. The index will be ordered by year because this is the simplest way. 

I was told a few years ago that this was a rubbish thing to do, but I’ve realised that it’s actually very much needed as there are SOOO many posts on NHM now it’s become really unwieldy.

Hopefully the index will help you find things quickly. 

If you search on the Menu for “About NorthHantsMum” and then look for “Historical Posts” they will be listed here. You can see the picture of what it looks like on a tablet, ipad, laptop or PC below. 

You can also find the list of historical posts here: Historical Posts 

(If you subscribe to the website and you get this post as an email, don’t forget to KEEP this email so you can find the information easily again ;-))

I only started working on the index today so I’m going to be working on updating this over Christmas. I will let you know when I have finished it. 

It’s REALLY enlightening to see the kinds of things that have been covered on NHM since I started in June 2011. A couple of years ago I deleted about 400 posts which were mainly timely events or small businesses which no longer exist, but it’s really interesting to see how NorthHantsMum has developed. 

Hopefully the index will make it a bit easier for you to find things quickly!!

I’d love to hear your feedback! Thanks! 

My Experience: Coeliac Disease, 18 months after diagnosis

I know several of you have commented that my personal posts have been quite negative for the past few years. This isn’t exactly a positive post either, so please stop reading if that’s not your bag.

Coeliac Disease – 18 months after diagnosis

I’ve already blogged before about how I find the run up to Christmas to be really tough.

This year it’s feeling tougher than ever before.

Miss NHM was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease at the end of May 2017 when she was 6 years old, and whilst she’s doing really well I am struggling with it.

At this time of year EVERYTHING involves food.

There is the school disco with hot dogs, crisps, drinks and sweets. The Brownie end of year party with pizzas, cake and sweets, the class Christmas party with party food, making biscuits to tie in with this terms subject, the fundraising cake sale, the Christmas lunch, Christmas play dates at other peoples houses, the end of term party…

It ALL involves food. Oh and squash of course because she can’t have Robinson’s squash as it has barley in it so we have to double check what she drinks too.

Miss NHM is actually really good at checking things herself but she’s only 7 years old and she can’t be expected to check everything, although she is getting really good at asking if something is gluten free or not.

I have to check Every. Single. Thing. that she eats or drinks.

At this time of year it is utterly draining and relentless.

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong auto-immune disease for which there is currently no cure, that is triggered by eating gluten. I’ve mentioned before about how cross contamination is a really big issue when you are a Coeliac. It’s awesome that gluten free food is becoming more widely available but having to explain to people, and remembering to explain to people, the risk of contamination, that one single crumb will mean that Miss NHM is sick for a month, is exhausting.

It takes Miss NHM about a month to get over being poisoned. It affects her health, her emotional well being, her studies, her sleep. It affects everything.

It’s getting to the point where I have to say to some people in our lives that every time they poison (gluten) her they increase her risk of stomach cancer in later life. Which is so frustrating when Mr NHM and I work so very hard to ensure that she isn’t poisoned.

Recently Miss NHM was poisoned (glutoned) by a member of our extended family, even though I provided all of her food for the visit. As a result of Miss NHM’s immune system being compromised by being poisoned, she then caught a stomach bug which has taken her much longer than a “normal” child to get over. She’s very pale and very exhausted, not least because gluten free carbs don’t have the same amount of energy in as “normal” carbs. We are hoping that she recovers in time for Christmas.

We now literally have no one we can trust to look after Miss NHM that can look after her properly. I have some wonderful close friends who have offered so that Mr NHM and I can have a break but Miss NHM suffers from anxiety at being left with others because of everything that has happened too her and my lovely friends already have enough to deal with in their own families.

When I went public about Miss NHM’s Coeliac Disease earlier this year, another Coeliac parent commented that this disease really shows you who your real friends are. This is so very true for us. We’ve noticed that we don’t get invited to as many things as we used to. This might be because we are getting old and miserable (facepalm) but I also think it’s because people are just too scared in case they poison Miss NHM. Which I totally understand it’s just hard to cope with sometimes.

Having said that we have often been overwhelmed by how understanding and supportive people can be. Many of our friends have been wonderful about it. Other parents, who we have never met before, have gone out of their way to organise food and birthday cakes and birthday parties, to ensure Miss NHM doesn’t feel different or miss out. This has restored my faith in humanity on a number of recent occasions.

There are more good things. Miss NHM doesn’t know any different because this is really all that she’s known. She also suffered with “brain fog” pre-diagnosis so there are huge gaps in her memory from when she was younger. She is so good when she’s offered things that have gluten in, particularly by children at school who hand out home made goodies on their birthday, and will always give them to her teacher.

Her school have been absolutely amazing, soooooo much better than The Prison. Her class recently went on a school outing and the teacher went to the same place a week before, to scope it out and ensure that Miss NHM wouldn’t be poisoned. Her teacher has also ensured that all of the ingredients for their recent class baking were gluten free. The Brownie Ladies have also been absolutely fantastic. There are lots of activities which involve food at the Brownies but they always review every item with me in advance and I’m not expected to go and get alternatives for them.

It’s just tough at this time of year. Christmas seems to be ALL about food. It’s great that we can get more gluten free alternatives than we could even at Christmas last year but it’s making people aware of the risk of cross contamination which is the real challenge and explaining just how serious it is.

At the moment, the beginning of December, I am literally living for the 21st December, when Miss NHM breaks up for the Christmas holidays and Mr NHM and I have two weeks off work. We get to relax and know that we don’t have to constantly check all food and drink. We are hoping to brave it to the two local restaurants that we feel safe that Miss NHM won’t be poisoned at (both are accredited restaurants with Coeliac UK). We won’t be seeing any family this year because it’s just not worth the drama or stress of Miss NHM being sick for ANOTHER month.

So yeah, this isn’t a positive post but this is my life at the moment. NHM is a blog that’s supposed to be a bit about my experience of being a Mum and this is my current reality.

I know that come January we can heave a sigh of relief that we got through it and we won’t  have to really worry about food until July when the end of the academic year starts. And we have much to be thankful for, not least that it normally takes 12-13 years to be diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and Miss NHM was diagnosed in under 3 years.

If you are struggling at the moment, for whatever reason, just know you are not alone.

Thanks for reading to the end ;-).

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil, Basingstoke – 13 Dec 2018 – 6 Jan 2019

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil

Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Basingstoke you go for this year’s traditional family pantomime at The Anvil: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When the Wicked Queen’s magic mirror declares that Snow White is the fairest in all the land, the evil Queen wants her out of the way.  Snow White escapes to the forest where she meets seven little friends.  But the Wicked Queen doesn’t give up, and with a poisoned apple in her possession she tracks down Snow White …

Taking the title role of Snow White is Dani Harmer, best known as CBBC’s Tracy Beaker, and playing Muddles is Chris Pizzey, who was such a hit in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Anvil in 2015.  And once again Chris will also be directing the panto, and is planning lots of fun, magic, mayhem, and laughs.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.

Dani Harmer was born in Berkshire and is one of the biggest stars of children’s television having played the lead role of Tracy Beaker since she was 12 years old.  She also had her own hit shows Dani’s House and Dani’s Castle.  She joined the line-up for Let’s Dance for Sports Relief in 2012; the following year she appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, reaching the final with her partner Vincent Simone.  She took part in the national Strictly tour partnering Pasha.  Dani is much in demand as a panto performer and is delighted to be coming to Basingstoke to play Snow White for the very first time.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.

Chris Pizzey is best known to youngsters as Mr Stephen in the hit television show The Basil Brush Show, and Gerald Smedley in The Sooty Show, and for roles in CBBC’s Planet Ajay and The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Theatre includes most recently playing Randall Shuck in the Olivier nominated The Comedy About A Bank Robbery in London’s West End.  He has performed in and directed many pantomimes over the last 20 years and Anvil Arts is delighted that he is returning to The Anvil stage.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.

The Wicked Queen is played by Kirsty Sparks, who has appeared in Me and My Girl, CATS, Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever.  She also works as a choreographer and most recently worked for ITV’s Girlfriends.

Chris Warner Drake is the handsome Prince.  Chris is currently appearing in Chicago and has appeared in many musicals including Hairspray and Starlight Express.  Films include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Jack the Giant Slayer.

The dame is played by seasoned panto performer Jamie Steen who has a wealth of experience in theatre, musicals and cabaret.  As Nursie, Jamie is looking forward to sharing his/her medical and fashion advice with the people of Basingstoke!

Join the Wicked Queen, handsome Prince, and seven mischievous dwarfs for a huge portion of festive fun.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will have lavish sets and sumptuous costumes, a mix of up-to-the-minute pop songs along with old favourites, great gags and plenty of audience participation – perfect for keeping the whole family entertained during their Christmas treat.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run from Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019.

There is a relaxed performance for those on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities on Wednesday 2 January at 2pm.  There is also a BSL signer at the 6pm performance on Tuesday 18 December.

For more information or for tickets, call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244, or visit the Anvil Arts website

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Let it snow in Basingstoke town centre

Christmas is coming to the Top of Town in Basingstoke as it will be the only high street in the UK to be adorned with a vast array of specially commissioned window displays of snowy scenes.

Several of the independent businesses throughout the Hampshire town will be displaying bespoke vinyl decals of festive fun from today. There will be six designs in total yet each business will have its name incorporated into their one-of-a-kind Christmas creation by the artistic team from Snow Windows.

It is just one of the many festive events which will be bringing the spirit of Christmas to Basingstoke this year. It is being run by Basingstoke Together, the 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.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re really proud that Basingstoke has so much to offer residents and visitors who want to enjoy a truly festive feeling this year.

“Alongside picking up a bargain or two in the busy shopping period, we hope that everyone who spends some time in the town centre makes the most of the various opportunities to experience the spirit of the occasion on our doorstep.”

25 businesses in the Top of Town will be supporting the initiative to create a snowy spectacle along Winchester Street and the surrounds. The Snow Windows will be on display in time for a wide variety of festivities happening in Basingstoke.

Surya’s International Food and Newsagent on Church Street is one of the businesses who will be dressing their windows ready for Christmas.

Owner Kishor Patel said:  “We’re really looking forward to Surya’s wonderful snow window display being installed. It will give our store a welcoming feel and also hopefully encourage people to take the time to visit the top of town and admire the festive decorations.”

The array of festive events in Basingstoke this year include:

  • Nutcracker Trail – 16 November – 31 December: Take your children on a magical trail around Basingstoke to discover all ten of our Christmas Nutcrackers. Collect a Trail Book from various pick-up points around the town centre to be in with a chance of winning festive prizes.
  • Christmas Cracker Making Station – 24th and 25 November: Get crafty and join the elves at the Christmas Cracker Making Station in Festival Place. Fill your crackers with giggles, jokes and wishes to set your Christmas off with a bang.
  • Christmas street theatre – every Saturday from 24 November – 22 December: Head to The Malls to take in a wide variety of festive fun shows including Funky Santas and Giant Christmas presents.

  • The Night Before Christmas projection – throughout December: A special Night Before Christmas show will be projected onto The Willis Museum. Shows will be on the hour every day from 4pm.

Keri Ackling, of Snow Windows, said: “We have loved the challenge of creating bespoke and reusable decals on a much larger scale for the first time in Basingstoke. We feel that they will really create the ‘wow factor’ for the festive season – they are the perfect backdrop for your Christmas selfie!”

Find out more about Basingstoke Together by visiting

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in North Hampshire

Thank you to Shona for putting together this post!!!!

Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in North Hampshire

Tea Bar

9 – 13 London Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7NT

The Tea Bar

Dome Cafe Project

Brighton Hill Parade, Basingstoke, RG22 4EH

The Cafe Project

Little Roses – Tadley Garden Centre

Elm Park Garden Centre, Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QW

Little Roses


Wildmoor Lane, Basingstoke, RG27 0HL


More of the Good Stuff

1 Dummer Down Lane, Dummer, Basingstoke, RG25 2AR

More of the Good Stuff

Redfields Garden Centre

Redfields Lane, Church Crookham, Fleet, GU52 0AB

Redfields Garden Centre

Wellington Farm Shop Cafe

Welsh Lane, Heckfield, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 0LT

Wellington Farm Shop Cafe

Jolly Olly’s – Oakley

32 Oakley Lane, Oakley, Basingstoke, RG23 7JY

Jolly Olly’s

The Departure Lounge

Basingstoke Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4BH

The Departure Lounge

Milestones Museum Cafe

Leisure Park, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke, RG22 6PG

Milestones Cafe

Marks and Spencers Cafe

Chineham Shopping Centre, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8BG

M&S Cafe

Newlyns Farm Cafe

Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA

Newlyns Farm Cafe

The Parlour Tearoom

Unit 14, Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

The Parlour Tearoom


Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8BJ

Morrisons Cafe


3 Wallop Drive, Basingstoke, RG22 4TW

Sainsbury’s Cafe

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Little Play Town – Making our voices heard!

Following on from my post on Monday about Little Play Town’s imminent closure, I’ve been overwhelmed with feedback on what to do to try to stop this from happening.

At this stage, I’ve been advised that the best thing to do is to email the Odiham MP and express your concerns to him. The more people who do this, the more likely he will actually take notice and hopefully do something to stop Little Play Town from closing or help with finding a different, far more suitable, location.

Ranil Jayawardena is the Odiham MP and:

If you would also like to email Maria Miller at the same time then you can:

The twitter hashtag is #DontCloseLPT and this is the twitter account for

I’ve also been advised that it might also be worth mentioning that this may affect your vote at the next local election…

You can also email the local Hart councillors because local councillors need to put this as an agenda item at the next Hart full council meeting. They will then have to give us time to ask questions, discuss and get the community’s concerns across. As the whole of the Hart districts will be represented if a new venue is needed then hopefully lots of opportunities will arise.

If you feel as passionate about this as I know lots and lots of you do, please take a couple of minutes of your time to email to make your views known.

Thank you very much to everyone who has reached out with feedback. It’s been an amazing response and I really, really, REALLY hope that the people who can influence this decision sit up and pay attention. I also had NO idea how many local solicitors, lawyers and people from Hart and Basingstoke councils followed NorthHantsMum! lol.

It’s awesome to know that a group of people who are normally defined as “just Mum’s” are actually some pretty powerful people in the area!!! 😀 😀 :-D.

Oh and Mr NHM has given me a long lecture this evening for being too political because NorthHantsMum is supposed to be impartial <facepalm>.

It is, but when it comes to something that is going to directly affect local families, especially children and Mum’s who are my target audience, and when I received so much feedback from my readers, then I need to use my influence to share what I have learnt and do what I can to help. Which is what NorthHantsMum has always been about.

So, please, please, please take a couple of minutes to email our local MP’s and if you get a chance, let me know when you’ve done it so I can let everyone know how many people have taken up the cause and we can see if we can have some influence on this debacle!!!

Thank 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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!