Local Dad is a record breaking beatboxer and is bringing his family theatre show to Basingstoke

Local dad Simon Shlomo Kahn, professionally known as SK Shlomo, grew up in Buckinghamshire and now lives in Hook with his wife and two young children.

His breathtaking vocal skills gained him early recognition as a world record breaking beatboxer and world looping champion, and he has worked with superstar fans like Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Rudimental and Bjork.

“Beatboxing is the art of creating unbelievably rich music using nothing but your voice” says Shlomo. “Beatboxers can create the sound of a full orchestra or electronic track – the drums, the keyboards, the basslines, all performed using nothing but a mouth and a mic.

“It’s an amazingly empowering way for people from all walks of life to express themselves and I love teaching people how simple it is to make vocal rhythms”

SK Shlomo is bringing his family theatre show “Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids” to Basingstoke Anvil this Easter on April 16th, where everyone young and old can become one of his superstar sidekicks in a world of funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music.

“Hook is a great place for families. We’ve made lots of lovely friends here on the school and nursery run who keep asking me to bring my kids show to a local theatre so we are finally doing it! The Anvil is a great venue and I’m really excited to share my love of music with the next generation of music makers. My own boys are excited they can finally come to a show too but I know the parents will have just as much fun!”

Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure For Kids is currently on tour and is at Basingstoke Anvil on April 16th 2019
Find out more: skshlomo.com/kids
Book tickets now: anvilarts.org.uk or Box Office: 01256 844244

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Organising a children’s party

Thank you very much to Shona who put this post together!!

Organising a children’s party

Parties can feel like a nightmare to organise, especially if you are on a budget. Here we will share all the information we have gathered about birthday parties, including cheap ideas, venues and entertainment.

So, first you need to decide where it is you want to do your party. Is your home suitable for the amount of guests you will have? If you have a younger child’s birthday, remember parents will stay with their children so there does need to be enough space. In the summer you will be able to use the garden, but in winter you need to ensure there is indoor space.

If your house isn’t big enough, here are some venues in North Hampshire that you can rent.

St Lawrence Church Hall

St Lawrence Parish Centre provides a venue for private hire. It is conveniently in the town centre and popular for parties, meetings and conferences.

Cost: £15 per hour on weekdays and £12.50 per hour on weekends.

Contact: 0142082442

28 Park Close Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2HA

Crookham War Memorial Hall

There are 2 halls for rent here, both have kitchens and large off street parking. Ideal for weddings, christenings, parties and dances.

Cost: upon enquiry

Contact: 07784830989

Sandy Lane, Fleet, Hampshire, GU52 8LD

Hatch Warren Community Centre

There are daytime and evening slots for parties and you can rent either the main hall or the lounge. Hire of the kitchen is included in hall hire cost.

Cost: £22 per hour for main hall and £18.10 per hour for the lounge (reductions available if you live locally and can join the Community Association).

Contact: 01256811262

Longcross Lane, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 4XF

Hiring Hatch Warren Community Centre

The Cross Barn, Odiham

An absolutely stunning building built in 1532 and converted in 1997. There are two rooms, a large hall and a small room available for meetings.

Cost: £26.50 per hour for the Great Hall during summer or £27.50 per hour during winter.

Contact: 01256701803

Palace Gate Farm, Hook, Hampshire, RG29 1JX

The Cross Barn

Hook Community Centre

Newly refurbished, Hook Community Centre offers a range of spaces for hire. There is parking for around 100 cars. There are 3 different rooms of different sizes.

Cost: Varies from room to room. Cheapest is £32.50 to Hook residents and £36.50 to non residents. This is for a 3 hours children’s party (based on 2 hr party and half hour either side to set up/clean up).

Contact: 012567604000

Ravenscroft, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9NN

Hook Community Centre

Alton Community Centre

Located behind the High Street there are rooms to hire at Alton Community Centre. The room recommended for children’s birthday parties is the Garden room which has a kitchen area too.

Cost: For the Garden room for a 3 hours slot (2 hour party and half an hour either side) the cost is £35.

Contact: 0142085057

Amery Street, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 1HN

Alton Community Centre

Oakley Village Hall

There are two halls available for hire: The Committee Room is suitable for up to 20 people and the Main Hall is suitable for up to 120 people. A kitchen is available on site.

Cost: available on request

Contact: 01256780918

Andover Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 7HA

Westside Community Centre

Westside Community Centre in South Ham has 3 different rooms available to hire.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 01256464571

Paddock Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6QB

Westside Community Centre

The Sycamore Centre

There is a hall available for hire at the Sycamore Centre for a variety of functions.

Cost: Available upon request

Contact: 01256330375

Sycamore Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 8AB

Westside Community Centre

Westside Community Centre in South Ham has 3 different rooms available to hire.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 01256464571

Paddock Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6QB

Westside Community Centre

Bramley Village Hall

There are three rooms available to hire at Bramley Village Hall.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 07464749997

The Street, Bramley, Tadley, RG26 5BP

Bramley Village Hall

Chineham Village Hall

Cost: from £8.20 per hour

Contact: 07935328172

Thornhill Way, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8YE

Chineham Village Hall

Next up you will need to decide on party games (if your child is old enough for these).

Here are some ideas of cheap/free games you could play:

  • Pass the parcel – You can buy many things to put in the middle of a pass the parcel with a sweet in each layer as you unwrap it.
  • Musical chairs – FREE
  • Musical bumps – FREE
  • Musical statues – FREE
  • Scavenger hunt – Use clues to help the children find what you want them to find. This could be done even more cheaply by hunting items found in nature i.e. pine cones, rocks. Then the winners get a prize.  
  • Fancy dress – If your children have lots of fancy dress items, you could put a fancy dress box in at the party for all the children to use.
  • Simon says – FREE
  • Pass the balloon – split into 2 equal teams and sit in lines. Each person has to hold the balloon under their chin, no hands and pass it along to their team. Whichever team gets it to the end of the line wins.
  • Dead ants – for older children. The children dance around the room until you shout a number from 0-4. When they hear the number they put that many body parts on the floor. If you shout 0 they have to lie on their backs with their limbs in the air like dead ants.
  • Pin the tail on the donkey – print out a donkey picture and make a tail out of paper/material. Here you have pin the tail on the donkey.
  • Sports day type activities – egg and spoon race, three legged race or a water balloon toss.
  • The chocolate game – a bar of chocolate, knife and fork and a dice. Sit in a circle and roll the dice. If someone rolls a 6 they have to try and cut up the bar of chocolate and eat some with the knife and fork. The other guests continue and when someone else gets a 6 they swap in.
  • Pinata

You can also have some activities set out around for children to do such as:

  • Bubbles – many parents have a bubble machine at home already.
  • Colouring books / printable colouring activities i.e. masks
  • Decorating cupcakes – you could have cupcakes and part of the party activity could be decorate your own cupcake to take home.
  • Decorate your own party hat – see below
  • Pasta necklace making – string and dried pasta tubes create great pasta necklaces.
  • Ball pit – many parents will have these knocking around, even if it’s a small paddling pool filled with plastic balls.
  • Disco – just use your own music on a stereo or smartphone with speaker. Much cheaper than hiring a disco.
  • Skittles – using empty drinks bottles, you could fill them with various things to make them a little heavier then use a ball to try and knock them over.

Decorations can also be made economically:

  • Decorate your own party hats – rather than buying party hats you could use paper for children to make a cone and decorate their own party hat with crayons, pens or even sticking sequins, buttons or feathers on.
  • Pre decorated party napkins – buy some napkins, a rubber stamp and an ink pad, then you can stamp anything onto your napkins!!
  • Make your own happy birthday banner – using things around the house i.e an old bedsheet and some pens/paint.
  • You don’t need helium balloons – children are happy with normal balloons so if you want a helium one, then just perhaps get one in the number of the child’s age.
  • Make your own party favours – in place of a party bag, each person could go home with a homemade sweet cone. Sweets can be bought in bulk and cellophane cones can be bought from eBay.

If you want entertainment, here are some options in the local area:

Routine Riots

Specialising in children’s entertainment for parties, events and shows, all the performers are trained and experienced in working with children. You can choose from Magic Shows, Princess Parties, Face Painting and many more!

Routine Riots Facebook Page

A Message From.

A Message From. is run by Jade who dresses up as your children’s favourite princess characters to provide entertainment for children’s parties and events. You may have seen her as Elsa from Frozen as she has attended many local events. She also provides personalised video messages for your little ones.

A Message From. Facebook Page

Website – A Message From.

Silly Scott

Silly Scott is a popular children’s entertainer in the south. He can provide a comedy magic show, games, competitions, balloon modelling, dancing and music. You can also book face painting through the website too. There are also party tips and suggested venues.

Silly Scott

All Puffed Out

All Puffed Out provide balloon twisting entertainment within the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and parts of Hampshire areas. They combine 1, 2 and 3 balloons to make models, wands, hats and swords if they are booked to attend. You can also just ask them to provide pre-made balloons for the day, perhaps as prizes for a game.

All Puffed Out

All Steps First Dance

All Steps First Dance provide children’s birthday dance parties within the chosen venue. All dance teachers are fully qualified and have a DBS check as well as insurance. You pick from a theme such as Street Dance, Bollywood, X Factor or Disney (these are just a few) and you can also pick your own. They do games and learn dance routines.

All Steps First Dance

Juggling John

Juggling John is a children’s birthday party entertainer, magician, party clown, juggler, jester and much more. He is fully police checked and insured as well as a member of the Magic Circle.

Juggling John

Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine has an enhanced CRB check and has previously entertained at previous pre-schools, in holiday parks as well as on P&O Cruises. Wearing bright colours she makes children laugh with her silliness. Popular for both boys and girls. She provides a magic show and can also do music and games.

Miss Sunshine

DNA Kids – Hampshire

DNA Kids is a nationwide provider of children’s parties from age 4 – 13 years. They host a variety of different things such as discos, Princess, Heroes and Pirates Parties, Magic Shows, Beach Parties, Monster Parties, Soccer Superstar Football Parties and Popstar Parties.

DNA Kids

Bouncy castle hire can also be good for little ones because they don’t need any entertainment. NHM recommends JV Bouncy Castle Hire.

If you are looking for face painting, NHM recommends Neon Fairy Face Painting

Top tips

  • You MUST decide on a budget and stick to it. Perhaps try and work out how much you want to spend on food, decorations, cake etc.
  • If you have a theme, not EVERYTHING has to go with the theme. Napkins, plates and decorations can be very expensive. Just use the theme for invitations and cake, the children won’t notice all of the extras as long as they are having a good time!
  • You can save money by having a birthday party for a time where you don’t need to provide food (e.g. 2-4pm).
  • Having a reasonable limit on the amount of guests can save money as then you don’t need to spend as much on favours and invitations
  • Can you find a template to print out party invitations online? Then you could print your own.
  • Keep it simple!
  • Can you host a party at home rather than rent a venue? If not, shop around for a cheaper venue but still local.
  • Search for pre-filled party bags – you can often get these cheap if buying a couple or you could go to the pound shop and get some cheap fillers for party bags.
  • Ensure there is easy cleaning floor if you are serving food!
  • Ensure there are tables and chairs for adults to sit on as well as refreshments such as tea/coffee
  • Don’t forget a knife to cut the cake!
  • Check if anyone has any allergies to food/latex balloons
  • Remember if you have a venue to take: Rubbish bags, balloons, sellotape, blu tack, napkins, tea towels, scissors
  • Ensure there is public liability and insurance if you hire a bouncy castle.
  • Double check with your venue if they can use their plates, cups etc.

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Children with Additional Needs, 5q14.3 deletion

Thank you very much to the NHM Reader who has written today’s post. It’s a very brave thing to write about and she’s done a brilliant job. 

NHM Reader’s Experience: Children with Additional Needs, 5q14.3 deletion

I have spoken to Louise a few times about how we can raise awareness about children with additional needs so I agreed to write a post.

I am keen for my daughter and children like her to be included, respected, accepted, encouraged, supported and loved. Hopefully raising awareness helps with this.

I have a beautiful daughter with a rare chromosome disorder. That rare it is only seen in 1 out of 120 million people !!!!

I believe there isn’t anyone in Basingstoke with the same condition, so thought it was worth explaining. I will start by describing my daughter’s story.

When she was born in April 2015 and as far as we knew she was “normal”, weighing a healthy 8lb 8oz, passing all tests & was absolutely gorgeous.

We joined the standard classes & groups making mummy+baby friends at each one. Everything was lovely for the first few months. Then between 4-6 mths a few things started playing on my mind, why is she not doing so well as the other babies ? I put most of it down to the fact she was the youngest and everyone kept telling me….

“all babies are different”

“she will get there in the end”

“all babies learn at different rates” etc

When she got to about 7 mths things became more difficult. Taking her to classes & groups started to become a struggle. Simple questions from other mums upset me, even like the standard opening question “how old is she?” I used to panic straight away thinking they were asking as they noticed how little she could do. But it’s the most common asked 1st question. The list was also getting long of all the things she couldn’t do which she should have really done much earlier e.g. roll, sit unaided or crawl. So I went to the GP who agreed a referral to a paediatrician was needed.

We had to wait till she was 9 months to get this appointment. So we enjoyed our 1st Christmas together as a family of 3 and carried on as usual. We also attended a lot of her friends 1st birthdays which was difficult as they were all walking or at least standing and walking with a parent. Whereas we were getting excited as she had just mastered a roll!

When we saw the paediatrician and we stated her short list of current milestones he referred us straight away for tests, bloods were taken that day and an MRI scan booked. The following month she had her MRI scan. Such a scary and long day at the hospital but she handled it so well. She is a placid and content person.

All her tests and MRI scan came back negative. The paediatrician just said they were waiting on the genetics team to get back to him. Everything sounded fine – Big sigh of relief. She then had her 1st birthday in April. She had 2 parties and we had a little holiday in Butlins. Our 1st family holiday. She couldn’t go on most of the rides or enjoy the parks but we had a nice time. She loves the water and the pool there is great.

At 13 months old we went back to the paediatrician and were given the devastating news that she had a rare chromosome disorder. 5q14.3 deletion. What even is that?!? Let’s ask the doctor, but even he couldn’t tell us much about it as he hadn’t come across it before. He downloaded a leaflet which explained the condition & sent us on our way.

Reading the leaflet I was in flood of tears…..

“May not walk till much older if at all”

“May never talk”

“prone to autism, epilepsy, hypotonia etc etc etc”

I was numb. Trying my hardest not to get too upset or stressed as I was 5 months pregnant. I knew I needed to be strong for my unborn child and also be there for my little girl who that same day had further blood tests along with Mummy and Daddy to see if we had passed her this. As if I didn’t feel guilty enough as it was.

We went to see the genetics team in Winchester. Finally, someone can answer our many questions. What did we get, the same leaflet that was given to us at the paediatrician appointment. However, we also found out that within her 5q14.3 deletion she was missing an entire gene – MEF2C. We later found out this is a commanding gene and explained many things.

At 17 months her baby brother was born. As I had to have a c-section the 1st 12 weeks we had visitors every day and a few people supported us so well and I will be eternally grateful. Then followed some of my loneliest & darkest days of my life. It was winter. I struggled to leave the house with both babies as I couldn’t carry them at the same time. The visitors became few and far between and the days were long and hard. Then the 2nd birthday invites started to roll in. I felt pleased that she was still being included but also extremely anxious about the fact that she was VERY different to her peers now. She was still a “baby” & they were all clearly “toddlers” running around, jumping, laughing etc whereas she could not even stand or crawl.

Now she was a little under 2 years old and her little brother started crawling at just 4 months old. I knew 1 day he would overtake her in milestones. But I had not yet prepared myself.  She had been trying all year to master crawling and he picked it up in a few days. I was honestly depressed. But also felt guilty that I couldn’t be happy for him as I was grieving for her. How bad a mother am I!!

However with each passing milestone he achieved, for instance walking at just 9 months I could then be happy for him. The 1st one was just hard. It seemed to come so easy to him with very little effort. Why is life so unfair? To make some children work so hard for what many people take for granted. I may never hear my daughter say she loves me and that is the hardest thing with all this. I can cope (well possibly my back can’t) with the physically side of this. But if she never talks, that will slowly break my heart.

At 2.5 years she got a place at an amazing special needs nursery. She also has lots of equipment now like a stander, a supportive chair and a walker. Within 3 months at the nursery she was doing well and started crawling!!! It’ss about 1 year since then and I still stop whatever I am doing to watch her crawl as I am still overwhelmed and emotional to see it.

She still continues to amaze me all the time. She can almost now stand unaided and is trying so hard to pull to stand up. She loves music and water so we are very grateful we get to do both at the amazing Bluebells facility in North Waltham which is funded by the charity Sebastian’s Action Trust.

If you are reading this and think or know your friend or family member has a child with additional needs, I would encourage you to reach out to them. They just want to feel supported and to be included and treated the same as anyone else. Empathise and listen if you can. But they certainly don’t want pity though, that is very different.

I often wish I had an easier life. But if that meant giving her up (or indeed giving up on her) I soon stop wishing that. I am blessed to be given my daughter. She is unique, loving & so special. She puts a smile of my face every day.

Some things I do that help. Some are much easier than others, some I don’t do all the time and some you may need help with

  1. I don’t compare her to others
  2. I don’t think about what she should be doing at her age
  3. Applied for financial help – Disability Living Allowance
  4. Contacted local help for support and advice hampshiresendiass@coreassets.com
  5. Tree tots. This is a coffee morning. Run every term time Wednesday 10-12. For parents of pre-schoolers
  6. I try to have separate time to concentrate on each child (when possible). My children couldn’t be more different and need/want very different things from me
  7. To not be afraid to ask for help. I need to get better at this myself.
  8. Me time. I don’t get this often, but I try to ring fence some pamper time or catch up with friends
  9. Seek support from charities (Like the above-mentioned Sebastian’s Action Trust)

Also Family Fund give grants (up to £500 per year) according to child’s needs

  1. Find Facebook groups with people who have the same or similar condition. I am on a few groups like this 1 in particular are like my extended family even if the group is only 300 people and are all over the world. This means if I am not sleeping and want to vent someone in Australia for instance will chat with me
  2. Find places that offer child free or carer free. 

If you are in a similar situation or would like me to explain any above points further please do get in contact with me via Louise ! If you don’t want to reach out to me, please reach out to someone. Thank you for reading to the end !!

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NHM Readers Recommend: Pregnancy Yoga Classes

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I’m just wondering if you know of any yoga classes in Basingstoke for pregnant individuals.”

As always, thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Pregnancy Yoga Classes

Yoga with Tory

Melrose Hall suggested, Yoga with Tory

Physical Balance

Becky said, “…Jolene at Physical Balance.”

Fiona Wells Yoga

Amy said, “ Fiona Wells Yoga…can highly recommend Fiona if she’s still running pregnancy classes.”

Wendy said, “I’d second Fiona”

Lisa said,”…Fiona too.”

Nickie said, “I went to Fiona to but that was 10 years ago. She was fab!”

NCT

Lottie said, “I did the NCT one in both my pregnancies and really enjoyed it.”

Elisa said, “I attended (NCT) these 5 years ago. Very good back then”

Anne-Marie said, “Nct at Brookvale on a Tuesday evening was lovely.”

Charlie said, “…I loved these classes and only just stopped going with my now 9 month old. Libby is fantastic.”

Taryn said, “NCT at brookvale is really great!”

Gemma said, ” I’d also recommend Fiona. Her classes were great and I came away with a great group of friends too.”

Hayley said, “Libby Ruth runs both pregnancy and postnatal yoga. You can take it at your own pace, which meant I actually went to class on my due date!!”

Libby Ruth replied, “Thank you so much for all the lovely comments for nct pregnancy yoga! We love running these classes. Do email me for more information yfp@basingstokenct.org.uk”

Helen said, “NCT at brookvale with Libby.”

Cerys said, “There’s a new NCT Yoga for Pregnancy class just started in Overton in Sunday evenings too, 6.00-7.30pm at Overton Community Centre.”

Yoga with Gloria

Helen also said, “… Yoga & Pilates with Gloria

Carly said, “Would recommend pregnancy yoga with Gloria.”

Kath said, “Gloria Jennings.”

Fitmama

Yvette said, “Also try FitMama.”

Amanda Wallace suggested, Marie Fitmama Behenna

Marie replied, “Www.fitmamastudio.comPregnancy courses run every Tuesday evening.”

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 PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers Recommend: Dance Classes for two-year-olds

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Hi, I am trying to find a dance class for my little girl who is 2, I’m struggling as most seem to start at 3, do you know of any?”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Dance classes for two-year-olds

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet

Jo said, ” I would highly recommend Lisa Beaumont ballet class on a Friday. My little girl started there and is 2 year 4 months. It’s a parent and baby class so parent does it alongside.”

Hayley said, “I second Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet too.”

Lottie said, “Another vote for Lisa Beaumont here too! Marnie has just turned 3 and started back in April and loves it!!!!”

Marion said, “A fourth vote for Lisa Beaumont. She’s very good. I danced professionally for a while in my youth (and still teach Zumba now) and I’m really flipping picky about who teaches my kids to dance. I recommend her highly.”

Tracey said, “I’ve just been to Lisa’ Beaumont’s class in Cliddesden painting pottery presents with everyone and they all have such a lovely time at the class and there were 2 year olds dancing too!”

The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics

Sarah said, “The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics take them from 2 and a half and have a parent and toddler class before this. They’ve been great for both my girls”

Debbie suggested, “Www.lyndendance.co.uk”

Moo Music

Ellie said, “I took my daughter to kids kan dance but she was a bit too young for it. I’m now taking her to moo music and she enjoyed it so much fun.”

Footsteps Dance School

Lindsey said, “Footsteps Dance School – my daughter and nieces have been there since they were 2 and half and Kelly who teaches the class is just fantastic. Would highly recommend.”

Kids Kan Dance

Kat said, “My daughter loved kids kan dance when she was younger.”

Lucy said, “Kids kan dance is great.”

Katie said, “Kids Kan Dance we have two classes for two year olds. Dance with Mummy and Twinkle 2’s…”

Leanne said, “Kids Kan Dance dance with Mummy classes are the best!!”

The M&M Academy of Arts

Lauren said,  “The M&M Academy of Arts in basingstoke take from 2 and a half and is on a Saturday.”

MG School of Dance

Jessica suggested, “MG School of Dance

Angela said, “MG school of dance at Popley fields community centre are a local dance school catering for all ages and abilities. We run classes in Modern, Tap, Ballet and Acro We have places on our Saturday classes offering the First lesson free.”

*Please note, in December 2018, MG School of Dance changed hands and became Poppies School of Dance*

Basingstoke Tappers

Kimberley said, ” Basingstoke Tappers is a good one.”

Basingstoke Tappers replied, “Performing Arts Tots from 18 months ….Also Classes for all aged children & Adults…

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NHM Readers Recommend: Swimming crash courses 2018

In July 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I was wondering if you know of any local crash swimming courses for children?” 

Thank you for all your responses, please be aware that listings may change over time but this should still be helpful as a basis for your own research. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Swimming crash courses 2018

Joanna said, “The sports centre do crash courses.”

Sarah said, “Bluefins at Cranbourne.”

Becky said, “My daughter has just done a crash course at the Sports Centre and she really enjoyed it.”

Karen said, “I recommend the Sports centre too.”

Andrea said, “We go to Bluefins at Cranbourne.”

Amanda said, “Aquadrome and tadley pool both do intensive courses, so five days a week for one week at a time. They learn faster as there’s no gap to forget things. Highly recommend.”

Ruth said, “We did it for our eldest, age 7? over a half term and he hasn’t looked back – Joanne is brilliant.” (Sports centre)

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!

NHM Readers Recommend: Where to seek advice for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

In December 2018, a NHM Reader asked for: “Recommendations or advice on a child who has a condition called oppositional defiant disorder. (O.D.D), and where I can go for an actual assessment/diagnosis. NHS or private! He’s on waiting list for screening at CAHMS but they don’t diagnose O. D. D. He is in Secondary Education.”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

Please be aware that listings may change in subsequent years.

NHM Readers Recommend: Where to seek advice for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Victoria said, “Try contact.org.uk. They may be able to help.”

Anne said, “I’ve been told my 2 year old has oppositional behaviour, I don’t know if that is the same thing but this was through patch. I was referred to them because of speech delay and the fact that the speech therapist couldn’t assess him properly. Has she tried calling solent child services? I’m sure that’s who I called initially and did a self referral. I was given the number from my health visitor.”

Carina said, “Can the school/ nursery help? Regardless of the diagnosis they should start putting some things in place.”

Marie said, “…as a senco at a nursery, speak to their nursery /school. We have lots of experience, but can also access support, information, and how /where to get more support, both at home and in the setting.”

Helen said, “Depending on the age of the child YPI maybe able to help, there’s usually a waiting list but they’re very good and while can’t always diagnose they can expedite matters where necessary.”

Katy said, “We would massively recommend Hemispheres in Camberley. They have been super with helping us get to grips with how to support our daughter’s sensory processing issues.”

Jo said, “It will depend on the child’s age. Please feel free to pass on my details to the parent, I work for Parent Voice and we can help this parent. jomaxwellheron@roseroad.org.uk 0300 303 8603″

Pixie said, “I’m a specialist dyslexia assessor etc. This isn’t in my remit to. Diagnosis but I can help. With assessment that relates to supporting referral ls etc Inc ruling other aspects out.”

Amanda said, “My (now 25 year old) was diagnosed at secondary school. It became less and less apparent after we removed him and is non existent now. Happy to advise…”

Rachael said, “My son was diagnosed by the paediatric team at the hospital. He was referred by GP practice and then assessed. We where told it was ODD and learning needs. We were not offered any support or how to deal with a child with these needs. I did my own research and by learning my child’s needs. We no longer engage in arguments we state what we would like re behaviour and walk away. He is now a lot older so easier to reason with.”

Louise NHM Smith said: It could be worth joining the following FB group, who provide support for parents of children with Additional Needs in Basingstoke and surrounding areas: HPCN Basingstoke Share Together

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NHM Readers Recommend: Support groups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy 2018

In August 2018, an NHM reader asked: “Are there support groups or meet ups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy in the area.”

Thank you for all your responses, please be aware that listings may change over time but this should still be helpful as a basis for your own research. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

Support groups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy 2018

Wendy said, “May be worth asking Spotlight UK if they know of any others.”

Debbie said,HPCN Basingstoke Share Together  is a Facebook group which may help.”

Colleen said, “There’s Barntots SEN at Viables too. I second Debbie’s suggestion to ask on HPCN Basingstoke Share Together .”

Shirley said, “Hazie Days run by Marti Hayes .”

Louise said,  “New epilepsy group starting 28th August please do come along for a coffee and chat”


Clare said, “Yes! Lovely bunch of people supported by amazing staff  Tree tots at the Firvale centre in Rooksdown.

Every Wednesday 10-12. Term time

It’s free. Sensory room can be accessed. 

Aimed at 0-5yrs but some mums come by selves whilst children at nursery etc. Happy to answer any questions or meet you outside on 1st time trying it.”

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Rectocele Surgery & Recovery

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Reader who is sharing some of her experience, especially with such a private subject. I really hope this post helps at least one Mum get the support that she needs.

Rectocele Surgery & Recovery

‘Some things are best kept private’ was something I truly believed. Until I faced major surgery, in an intimate area following seemingly a nice quick birth without complications some years ago.

When looking for stories about what it’s actually like to recover from pelvic floor surgery the web is polluted with tale of mesh, slings, multiple surgeries and failure.

Here’s my story, still ongoing, just one surgery, which involved lots of stitches and ‘designer vagina’ jokes but, how my life is changing as a result of this procedure.

This could have been kept private but given how it’s hard to talk about your lady bits openly, I decided to share my journey.

https://nakedtruthabout.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR0aOl2IkMZsdWMIeb2Odl18PSqbXmDFSmZrbGbw4r26c0WtmoN6OduA14A

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NHM Readers Recommend: Groups for Children with Hearing Loss

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I have recently had my 5 week old daughter diagnosed with moderate hearing loss and will be having hearing aids. I just wondered if there were any groups or organisations In the area for parents with children who have hearing loss!”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Groups for Children with Hearing Loss

Amanda said, “Chloe and Sophie’s special ears will be able to help – look them up, they are an amazing charity not far from Basingstoke.”

Luan said, “She could join the Basingstoke Voice group too as there may be advice for support on there.”

Rebecca said, “My son was diagnosed with a moderate hearing impairment at 6 weeks. He is 8 yrs old now and has had hearing aids since he was 6 months. My other son also has a hearing impairment and went through grommets and now has hearing aids. Happy to chat to this lady if she wants to message me.”

Sarah said, “There is a local group called the North Hampshire deaf children’s society. They have a Facebook page. There is also a toddler group run at park view infants by the specialist teachers for the deaf.”

Georgina said, “If she’s on instagram, Lucieandthebump has a son who is profoundly deaf and wears cochlear implants and their story may be of help.”  

Tina said, “I am a mum to an almost 5 year old daughter whom was born deaf and been wearing hearing aids since she was about 10/14 days old. There is a toddler group think it run monthly at Park View the teachers of the deaf run it.”

Samantha said, “My baby boy is 12 weeks and has been diagnosed with same condition he got his hearing aids last weekend so in the same boat as this reader, happy to be put in touch.”

Sarah said, “…the North Hampshire deaf children’s society and the toddler group at Park View were brilliant. Thankfully my sons hearing problems were due to glue ear and sorted by grommets but the year he wrote hearing aids I found both groups useful.”

Victoria said, “My daughter (almost three years) has one sided hearing. There is a wonderful group that is run by specialist teacher advisors for Hearing Impairment. It’s called- “Early years stay and play sessions” and they run once a month from Park View…”

Rebecca said, “Welcome to the emotional, scary but wonderful world of a child with a hearing loss. I second what Victoria said… The stay and play run at Park View is great. And North Hampshire Deaf children Society are a wonderful welcoming group. She’ll have a teacher of the deaf soon who will be able to give her lots of advice soon too.”

**Since this post was made, NHM has set up the Facebook group NHM Supporting those with hearing loss/Deafness**

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