The “Sitting with Jane” bench winner is…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Congratulations to all of the winners!!!!

But I think ALL of the children are winners!!!!

EVERYONE will be invited to the “opening ceremony” whenever I get that organised, and the 1st prize winner will be the “face” of the campaign.

Thank you VERY much to everyone who entered the competition!!!!!!!!

We ARE keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in Basingstoke! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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We ARE keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in Basingstoke! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the first 12 Lot’s (benches) started bidding at £3000 my first thought was “ah well, at least we’ve raised £1000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity“.

My second thought was “PHEW!! I don’t need to work out what happens next if we win one!!!” Hahaha.

Then, Lot 13, “Girl Power” came on the screen and they started playing the Spice Girls in the background.

And I started to get a tingly feeling in my tummy…

The bidding started at £3K. Then it dropped to £2K. And then it dropped to £1K and I felt my hand shoot up into the air, with the bidding paddle.

Now, it’s a huge responsibility to bid with other people’s money and there was a LOT of expectation. Running a campaign like this is a huge honour and privilege, one which I don’t take lightly.

I was shaking ALL night.

Several of the benches raised £7K and I felt a teeeennny tiny bit out of my league.

Had it not been for Sue, Rachel and Cathy who came with me, I would have been a dribbling mess on the floor.

And then the Auctioneer said, “anymore bids?”…”Anymore?”…

Sue and Rachel were sat next to me and were clutching my arms and I LITERALLY didn’t breathe for about 5 minutes. At least that’s what it felt like.

“Going once”….

“Going twice”…..

And somebody put in a bid at £1250.

GUTTED!!!!!

And that was it.

I thought it was all over.

I think I literally sagged in my chair.

I heard someone behind me bid for £1500. Then the bidding closed.

And then I got a text.

From Laura at The Topiary, who was sat at the back of the auction.

We had a conversation in the week that we would collaborate if things got a bit hairy in the auction and it didn’t look like either of us would get a chance of getting one.

And in her text it said “I’ll give you the £500”. “You can have it xxx”.

So, we got it!

“Girl Power”.

(Not the best pictures as I was STILL shaking at this point. However, I expect to see far better pictures of this bench in the future! lol).

Thank you!!!!

I need to say a HUGE thank you to the following people, without whom we never would have stood a chance.

My beloved husband, Mr NHM, whose encouragement and belief in my “crazy” ideas is never ending.

Sue – who took Miss NHM and I to see our first bench at the Walled Garden and got me caught up in this whole thing!! Your friendship and unfailing support means so much to me.

Rebecca at The Typeface Group who has been so supportive along this whole journey and who kept me going when I got back from holiday at the end of August and I thought I’d lost momentum.

Mark at The Ark for his brilliant support, enthusiasm and encouragement and Michelle for her wonderful support!!

Steve and Charlotte at Festival Place for their support and encouragement.

All of the NHM Ladies who believed we could do it and donated:  Wendy, CathyW, Lilian, LauraE, Zoe, Cathy, Karen, Lisa, Helen, Gisella, LauraW, Juliet, Emma, Sue, Sally, Mary, Sarah, Allison, Ceri, Katie, SueS, Victoria, Julie, Rebecca, Jules, Eleanor, Pauline, Michele, Jaz, Rachel, Natasha, Stephany, Kath, Sharon, Sarah, Claire, BeckyT, Lisa, Emily, Pam, Cat, Lyndsey, Rebecca H, Stephanie, Gillian. Thank you!!! You are ALL AWESOME!!!!!

Everyone who entered the competition and helped to raised the profile of the campaign. All of the children looked FANTASTIC!!!!

Mike O’Neil at Action Trophies for his very generous donation.

Nicky from Ma Humbugs Old Fashioned Sweet Shop for her generous donation.

John from Tidal Bay Crazy Adventure Golf for his VERY generous donation (£250!!!) about 30 minutes before the event started. STREEEESSSFFULLLL!!!!! Hahaha

Laura from The Topiary for her INCREDIBLE donation and without whom we never would have stood a chance of getting the bench.

Apologies if there is anyone whom I’ve missed off. I’ve barely slept a wink! lol.

What happens next?

Although I had a very strong feeling that we would get a bench, I hadn’t quite sorted out any of the details about what happens if we actually did!! lol.

I am looking to donate the bench to somewhere that people can still access the bench and where it will be indoors so that it lasts for a very long time. If you have any sensible suggestions please do let me know at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

Otherwise it’s going on my Mum’s front drive! 😀 😀 :-D.

Also, if you know of anyone who might be able to help me move the bench as it needs to be removed by Monday (18th September), please do get in touch!!!!

Finally

I would really love to get a little plaque for the bench which will say:

“I dedicate this bench to all of the Mums, and their children, in North Hampshire”.

We did it.

Thank you!

You are all AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

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Keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in BASINGSTOKE!!!

Have you seen the “Sitting with Jane” benches that have been dotted all over Basingstoke and local areas in the past month?

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could crowd fund one of them to stay in Basingstoke? So we could show our children that we all did something AMAZING together?

The NorthHantsMum Community and anyone else who would like to be involved, are working hard to raise money for one of the “Sitting with Jane” benches to stay in one of the local parks, maybe War Memorial or Eastrop Park, depending on whether Basingstoke and Deane council agree.

I am hoping the bench will be used by lots of people but also as a safe place where Mum’s can meet other Mum’s and children can meet other children. How cool would that be!!!!

(Crowd funding means that the money is only taken at the end of the 30 days, IF the project goes ahead. However, I’ve made the executive decision that ALL donations that are made will still go to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, even if we aren’t successful in our bid.)

Donate

You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-northhantsmum

All money raised will go towards the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, regardless of whether we are successful with our bid.

Even if you can only donate £1, this will go towards the bid for a chair at the auction will be taking place on Friday 15th September.

Every time someone makes a donation towards the campaign, I will post up a picture to NorthHantsMum FB Page of a local child sitting on one of the benches with the amount of the donation.

If you would like your child to be featured as part of the campaign, please email me their picture to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com, with some words that say you are their parent and are happy for their picture to be used.

Everyone who donates towards the bench will also have their name listed in this post and hopefully somewhere on the bench, although I don’t quite know how that will work yet! (If you would like your last name to be included, just to let me know).

If you are sponsoring as a business, a link to your business will also be included in this post.

This is going to be an AWESOME way for the community to come together to raise funds to keep a little bit of heritage right here in our town.

Everyone who has donated towards the bench…

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Wendy D

Cathy W

Lilian K

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Stripey Stork Wish list

I wish we had something similar to this but closer to home!

Stripey Stork wish-list (March 2017)

  • Cots and cot beds (with all fittings and assembly instructions)
  • High chairs (especially IKEA Antilop type)
  • Baby baths (free standing rather than over-the-bath style)
  • Girls clothes 4-10 years
  • Moses baskets (and folding stands)

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FREE National Play Day – Wed 2nd August 2017

I’ve been a massive supporter of National Play Day since we attended our first one in 2011, a few months after Miss NHM was born.

It runs from 11am to 4pm at Eastrop Park.

It’s always a fab day out with LOADS of free things to do for children of all ages.

However, be warned that it gets really busy. I think they had 4000 people in Eastrop Park last year, so get there early to avoid the queue.

There is free parking at the Old Common on London Road with a free bus down to Eastrop Park for those who can’t walk up and down the hill.

I am SOOOO excited that I’ve been asked back again to host the “Splay the Rat” stall again. I LITERALLY didn’t stop from 11am to 4pm last year and although I know it’s going to be full on, I am really looking forward to it. Come and say Hello if you make it there!

Oh and amusingly, I’m not allowed to use pretend rats in case anyone goes out and tries to splat a live rat, so I’m hoping I get some more of these beautiful sea turtles who thoroughly enjoyed getting splat last year! lol.

These were my “rats/sea turtles” from last year.

Previous Posts about National Play days on NorthHantsMum

FREE National Playday on 3rd August 2016!

Date for your Diary: National PlayDay 2016!!

National Playdays 2015 and Basingstoke and Deane “Love Parks Week”!

It’s National Play Day 2014 today! Yay!

National Play Day 2014 Posters

National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

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Muffin Mile – Sat 29th July 2017

Muffin’s Dream Foundation is a registered charity which supports children with a life long disability or life limiting condition.

Our services include hospital visits, boredom buster bags, home visits, messy play sessions and adapted sporting activities.  We put the ability back into disability!

Last year we launched our annual event, the Muffin Mile.  This year it will be held on Saturday 29th July 12-4pm at Chineham Village Hall and park, Basingstoke. This is an event for all the family.  There will a bouncy castle, magic mirror, BBQ, ice cream van, refreshments  fete games and stalls.   Entry is free.

The main event will be the ‘Muffin Mile’ where some of the children we support will be walking two laps around the race track. Each child has their own personal challenge, some will be doing it in their wheelchairs, some in their splints or walking frames and some will be attempting it independently for the first time in their lives.

Basingstoke’s very own Mayor will be in attendance to help support this wonderful local charity.

For any further information about the work we do please visit www.muffinsdreamfoundation.org or visit our facebook page Muffin’s Dream Foundation.  For enquiries please email hello@muffinsdreamfoundation.org.

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Winklebury School Summer Fayre – Sat 17th June 2017

The fayre is Saturday 17th June 11am – 2pm and is to raise funds for the school.

We fund the exciting things like easter egg hunts, Christmas and leavers parties and this year we were able to donate towards technology as well!

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The Island of Lost Children

We invite you to our performance of The Island of Lost Children at Everest Academy, Popley on 25th March at 3pm.

Tickets are only £5 and are available by either ringing 01256 325420 or or email admin@spotlightuk.org

Synopsis:

The world is a bleak and all too quiet place for young Patience and her faithful dog, Barkley…

Her father – a workaholic doctor obsessed with curing his patients – does not allow her outside, for fear she might fall ill and pass away as her mother did…

With her mother long since lost, and her father oblivious to her loneliness, Patience falls foul of her wicked governess – Miss Treat – who believes that all children should be “not seen and not heard.”  Every time Patience and Barkley are caught making the tiniest bit of noise, they are forced to clean their massive house from top to bottom!

And what a creepy old house it is too…  Formerly a school, it is rumoured that all the children just up and vanished as if by magic!  But of course Patience knows better than to believe in things like magic

One day, after accidentally breaking Miss Treat’s favourite vase, Patience and Barkley are thrown into the scary old attic!  It is there that they happen across a peculiar painting of a beautiful island…  Little do they know that this is the moment that will change their lives forever – in ways they could never have imagined…

Findings themselves somehow magically transported to the very same island from the painting, Patience and Barkley rejoice!  At last, they are free to live as they please… Or so they thought!

A legion of children lead by a powerful King, a spooky ghost who is not as he seems, and a magical paintbrush-wielding super-villain; all this and more await Patience and Barkley on The Island of lost Children

Will Patience find the courage to speak her truth, even when all the world is telling her to be silent?  Can she face her fears and ‘stand tall’ even when all seems lost?  And will she and Barkley ever find their way back home?

Well we can’t actually tell you, that’d be cheating! You’ll just have to see for yourselves…

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NHM Readers: Companies to sponsor a child

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help as I have been thinking about sponsoring a disadvantaged child for a while and wondered if anyone already did it and if they do, which companies they recommend.

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you to Shona for putting this post together! 

NHM Readers recommend charities to sponsor children

Tarran said: I used to sponsor a little boy in Kenya, called Michael. this was with Plan UK.

Liz said: I use Plan UK, you get updates from the child and family. We choose a child the same age as our daughter, we recently received a picture from her which was lovely 🙂

Christa said: I sponsor a little girl in Ethiopia through world vision and get regular updates and photos. X

Gillian said: We sponsor a little boy in Haiti with compassion uk also a little girl in Uganda with amigos ????

Murshida said:  I sponsored 2 kids World vision and Plan UK are both very good!

Samantha said: Hi, I have just started sponsoring a little boy in Kenya through ‘Compassion’. X

Jessica said: I sponsor a little girl in Kenya through a charity called Awaken Love

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