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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NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help with a question I had been asked by an NHM Reader: “I’ve 3 duvets (2 singles and a king) all old but still usable. I wanted to donate them for the homeless or shelters but the Salvation Army bins don’t accept them, charity shops can’t take them due to hygiene, I contacted Camrose and they can’t take them as they can’t store them. Does anyone know where I can donate them? It seems a shame to throw them away when they could keep someone warm this winter.” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

Vicky said “Perhaps the Popley spotlight centre has a family in need?”

Sarah said “Pets at home will take them”

Rebecca said “You could try emailing the Night Shelter Coordinator?”

Louise said “Dog/cat charities will take them. Also old towels”

Jo said “Try Christ Church in Chineham. They took pillows which is kinda the same thing”

Sian said “Dogs kennels or animal charities”

Susan said “We have an organisation in Dorchester, Dorset Reclaim which helps destitute people set up in homes. They take clean quilts which other charities refused. Is there something similar in the Basingstoke area?”

Kerrie said “There is an organisation in Reading that has a homeless bus that may be in need of support.”

Naomi said “I know pro dogs direct take them”

Wendy said “The Dog Warden used to take them. The homeless shelters only wanted singles.”

Ruth said “I’m pretty sure AWE will take old bedding for their dog kennels, dont know about feather duvets though…what about community furniture?”

Rachael said “Why don’t you ask the homeless direct if they want them?”

Sian said “Julian House is a homelessness charity based in Basingstoke town centre. They may be interested”

Susan said “Try Julian House in Basingstoke, next to the Bridge Centre.”

Sammy said “There’s a lady involved with a night shelter bus, can’t think of her name. She was asking for some last week”

Sarah said “May Place have always taken ours”

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NHM Readers: 7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke with children

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “I’m currently putting a post together with the following subject and wondered if you had any suggestions?: “7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke with children”.”

Thank you for your replies, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend 7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke

1. Local Libraries

Vanessa said “Board games and Lego club at Basingstoke Discovery Centre on alternate Saturdays. Board games this week, Lego next. Lego construction club at South Ham library, weekly on a Tuesday afternoon. Ages 3-12. They also do free crafts on the first Saturday each month.”

Helen said “Go to the library. We have so many lovely libraries and events at them.”

Jo said “Borrowing books from the library…timeless!”

Karen said “Lego Club Saturdays 2pm Chineham library. They do crafts too, I think 1st Sat of the month at 10:30. Library’s, books rhyme time, use the computers.”

  1. Willis Museum

Louise said “The Willis Museum, they always have craft upstairs as well”

Karen said “ Crafts at the Willis museum (donation)”

  1. Basing Wood

Rebekah said “Basing Woods”

  1. Black Dam and Crabtree

Cesca said “Feeding the ducks at Black Dam and then walk over to Crabtree”

  1. Beggarwood Park

Gemma said “Beggarwood Park. Beggarwood is a fab place for using scooters and bikes”

  1. Wyevale Garden Centre

Karen said “Wyevale Garden Centre have turkeys and goats and a fish shop”

  1. Pets at Home

Gemma said “A visit to Pets at Home in Hatch Warren”

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BASINGSTONES: Top Tips

The Basics

All you need to do is paint a stone and write “Basingstones” on it. Then hide it somewhere safe for someone to find and hopefully brighten their day!

If you find a Basingstone, please post a photo of it on our Facebook Group page so we can see how far it travels. Either keep it and replace, or just hide it again somewhere new.

 

The Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/basingstones/ The magic of Basingstones is what happens off social media ie the spending time together, being creative, getting outdoors, sharing and the small acts of kindness concept.

Our facebook page allows the wonderful Basingstones community to come together online to share photos and smiles but it shouldn’t be the focus.  That said, here are a few tips on using the facebook group page:

  • Pinned Post

Please make sure you have a read of the Pinned Post – lots of important information in there!

  • Searching

There is a SEARCH bar which allows you to search out key words in posts – very helpful for when you are looking for a particular post by an individual or regarding a certain topic. Just type the person’s name for example and hit SEARCH.

  • Reporting posts

Please help us to keep the page free of sales posts, unrelated page links and spam. If you see anything inappropriate or disrespectful, please press the three dots in the right hand corner of the post, then select the option to “Report post”

  • Sharing photos

Note that this group is public and can be seen and accessed by anyone, so please be mindful when sharing details and posting pics. Do NOT post photos of other people’s children.

Did you know…?

…there are often competition basingstones for you to keep a lookout for!
Try searching “competition” to see what you could win

…there is a Basingstones Admin photo album for Basingstones news
hit Albums and select Basingstones Admin

…there is a thread to track international Basingstones so that we can see them pop up all over the world! (This can be found in the Basingstones Admin album)

…Basingstones has been on the radio, in the newspaper and even nominated for a community project award!  Check out the Basingstones Admin Album for details

FAQs

Where can I get stones from?

Lots of garden centres and large DIY stores sell big bags of stones/cobbles for about £5.  Locally, you can try The Range, Wickes, Conkers, Home Bargains, B&M, Bunnings and many more.

Taking rocks from beaches is discouraged and you could actually be fined.  Whilst taking the odd stone will do no damage, we don’t want to have a negative impact on the environment.

How should I decorate basingstones?

You can paint the stone however you wish, perhaps with a pretty pattern, a fun cartoon character, an inspirational quote or an artistic design.

Please avoid sticking things to the stones though which could potentially fall off and be harmful to wildlife. We want to be friendly towards our environment and our furry friends too.

What paint is best to use?

Sharpie pens, permanent markers, nail polish, acrylic paints and clear varnish or spray (to make it weather proof) all work really well.

Why haven’t I seen a photo of the basingstone I hid?

There are thousands of group members and hundreds of posts each day. You cannot keep track of them all.  Also, some people may choose not to share their photos or finds online.

Don’t worry that not all hidden basingstones get a finder post – each one makes someone smile and each one is special!

I hope this helps.

Have fun!

Rachel x
Basingstones Admin

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Review 2018: Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo

Thank you very much to K for today’s NHM review! She’s done a fab job! Thank you also to Bunnings Warehouse for the opportunity!

Review 2018: Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo

About

Bunnings Basingstoke

I attended (on the hottest early May Bank Holiday EVER I may add!) the Upcycling event at Bunnings on Saturday 12th May. This was on most of the day and appeared really popular/busy which was lovely to see for such a new store to Basingstoke. This review is not just based on the event but on Bunnings generally as a new store to Basingstoke that often has small events on usually at weekends.

Essentially this was all about thinking of how you can make-your-own DIY items for your house/garden and over the weekend Mac was demonstrating using different products to make different bits and bobs.

Sunday was a plant holder made of copper piping, some rope, few knots and hey presto all done!

To make this slightly more exciting this all took place on a renovated double decker bus!

I took my daughter (7) with me and everyone was so lovely and friendly and gave her the chance to make her own plant holder.

Isn’t she clever?!

They were so friendly and she had a great time. I sent lots of other little people (and lots of keen adults!) towards the bus during our wonder around the stores so I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. Apparently the day before it was all about pallets…

Other events in store

In store in true Bunnings style there was the usual for children, craft, face painting, grow your own workshops, popcorn and use of the café and play area. If you haven’t been into this store particularly during a weekend go and have a bimble. It has a good spaced layout with a small play area for children at the back (I would say for walkers-4 year olds) that is enclosed, clean and safe.

Really conveniently literally next to it is a very cute little café serving coffee (I’m fussy with my coffee and it passed!), a variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks, cake etc. All very clean, high chairs available and during weekends there is always a different craft activity for children. Also during special themed days i.e. Fathers Day I’m told they will put on themed activities for children so keep an eye out!

Food

Outside under (I’m sure they were grateful for it last weekend!) a gazebo sausages/burgers etc were being sold and supported by the Basingstoke Gymnastics Club.

Every weekend Bunnings support a local charity which is lovely – if you want to nominate a charity please contact the customer services department on Basingstoke@bunnings.co.uk

Facilities

So it’s a big DIY store but there always seems to be something happening to make it just tip over what is normally expected! Has the usual items that you would expect and some, plus a well sized outside area. I stupidly forgot to check the toilet facilities sorry!!!!

Parking

Huge parking outside, it was really busy and still spaces so you won’t struggle for parking. If you buy anything large and need a hand or even if it’s just a little tricky let the staff know and they will happily help you.

Prices

The event was free, everything we made was free, craft/face painting, popcorn, play area all FREE. Keep an eye on the updates for this store because it’s worth a visit. I went to the opening which was so good my children made me go back on both days!

Also went at Christmas, again it was brilliant children loved it and the lure of Santa and some popcorn was enough to give me a chance to look around first! The café is small but actually still manages to be spacious – during the week.

I would even imagine it was quite a handy little place for a coffee with a friend and baby or two when it’s less busy but even during the event there was plenty of space.

Hot drinks start at £1.80 and snacks/sandwiches are all within what I would expect.

Rating

I would happily give this a 4/5 based on what it was trying to achieve. I think to promote upcycling even more just some additional photos of what else people can create would I think have been handy/nice to see.

If Bunnings do a similar type of thing again I would just ask indoor staff near the entrance to promote everything when people walk in as surprisingly there were lots of families inside who hadn’t noticed the bus!!!

Well done Bunnings! We will be popping in before Fathers Day!

Bunnings Instagram

Bunnings Facebook 

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo. K and her daughters workshop place was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. K was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Bunnings Warehouse Basingstoke hosts FREE D.I.Y Workshop with upcycling expert Max McMurdo

Home improvement and garden retailer Bunnings Warehouse is hosting a series of D.I.Y Workshops with TV presenter and upcycling expert Max McMurdo on Sunday (6th May 2018).

Max, who has appeared on ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ and the latest series of ‘Shed of the Year’ on Channel 4, will be bringing his famous bus to the store on Winchester Way, Basingstoke between 12-2pm to demonstrate just how easy it is to build useful items out of simple household objects and upcycled materials, including a plant hanger made from copper pipes.

Max said: “Upcycling is all about breathing life into old products and creating something from unused or unusual items. Whether you’re a beginner or an upcycling pro, I’m looking forwarding to showing customers just how easy it is.”

The store is also hosting a number of family activities including the famous Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, face painting and ‘Grow Your Own’ gardening workshops for children plus demonstrations on how to achieve colour in your garden (see in store for details).

Event details

Sunday 6 May, 12pm – 2pm

Bunnings, Winchester Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 6HN

The workshop is free to attend and customers can register their interest in store

About Bunnings

Bunnings is the leading retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products in Australia and New Zealand and a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople and the housing industry. Operating from a network of large warehouse stores, smaller format stores, trade centres and frame and truss sites, Bunnings caters for consumer and commercial customers.

As at 31 December 2017, Bunnings Australia and New Zealand operated out of 363 trading locations (of which 253 are warehouses), employing over 40,000 team members.

In February 2016 Bunnings acquired Homebase, the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland. As at 31 December 2017, there were 15 Bunnings trading locations and 234 Homebase stores, employing over 12,000 team members in the UK and Ireland.

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How NorthHantsMum supports local Businesses

I’m a HUGE fan of local businesses and supporting the local economy. Especially when many NHM Readers are local business owners themselves.

It’s one of the things that I am proud of NHM for, being able to directly impact the local economy by publicising local businesses. Even more importantly, by directly impacting local families, either as the providers of goods and services or the purchasers of goods and services.

There are several ways that we support local Businesses on NorthHantsMum…

Guest Post

Guest Posts are FREE and are a great way to publicise your local business to local parents.

Any local business can have a Guest Post on NHM. You can find out more at the following post: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2016/12/20/a-guest-post-vs-a-review-on-northhantsmum/

You can find a link to all previous Guest Posts here: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/category/guest-post-2/

NHM Reviews

NorthHantsMum is quite famous for our reviews of local places to visit, things to do and places to eat. They are often very popular posts because people seem to prefer Reviews.

You can find all of the Reviews here: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2017/01/18/list-of-reviews-on-northhantsmum/ 

Sometimes we decide to write a Review about a place because we absolutely love it, (sometimes we DON’T write Reviews because friends have made us SWEAR not to tell the NHM Community about a secret/special location that they know of! lol), but more often than not we are asked to write a Review after sampling the local businesses offering.

If this is something that might be suitable for your business, please have a look at this post: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2016/12/20/a-guest-post-vs-a-review-on-northhantsmum/

I have several NHM Readers who help me to write these Reviews and I’m very proud of them all for all of their hard work in doing such a fab job writing these posts.

Business Directory

The Business Directory is coming into it’s own at the moment!

You can have a free or paid advert on the NorthHantsMum Business Directory.

Free listings have just the name of your business and either a website or facebook page listed. If you would like your business to be listed with a free listing, please just email me the name of your business and the website or facebook page you would like us to link too.

Free adverts never expire, but once a paid advert “runs” out on it’s time, it is converted to a free advert.

If you would like a paid listing, please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com for more details.

 

Small Business Support Groups

I have two Facebook groups that support local businesses:

NHM Publicity for Local Businesses – Support local Businesses!!!!!

This group is open to anyone to join and is a great way to support local businesses. As the pinned post states, please only post your offers once a month, so as not to cause lots of spam in the group.

NHM Mums running Small Businesses

This group is for local Mum’s who run their own businesses to share information and network. I often set up networking events and these are where those events are created and publicised.

Check In on Facebook

There are over 2361 people who are friends of my Louise nhm Smith” profile.

(Don’t worry, I never look at people’s profiles as I don’t have the time or energy. The NHM Community is very welcoming and there are loads of groups to join).

Whenever I click to say that I am “interested” in an event, these events pop up in my friends newsfeeds. If there is ever an event that you would like to pop up in my friends newsfeeds, please just add me to the event.

I also often visit local places and check in to say I’ve been there as it raises the profile of that business.

Other ways to support local Businesses

Are there any other ways that you think NorthHantsMum can support local businesses? Is there anything that is missing?

I’d love to hear your feedback at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

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

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Mums go free this Mother’s Day (2018)!

Looking for somewhere to go with the family on Mother’s Day? Below are a few places offering free entry to mums (when accompanied by a full paying adult or child) this Mother’s Day.

Please check individual websites for full terms and conditions.

Mums go Free:

Finkley Down Farm
Saturday 10th March – Sunday 11th. Offer available online only.

4 Kingdoms Adventure Park
Saturday 10th March – Sunday 11th, see Facebook post for details

Birdworld, Farnham
Sunday 11th March – voucher available on website

Beale Park
Sunday 11th March

Other offers and events

Hawk Conservancy
Mother’s Day Sunday Lunch – pre-booked only

Playdays
Sunday 11th – voucher for free hot drink and cupcake while stocks last

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SNOW!!! Things to do with little ones whilst it’s snowing…

Yay! It’s snowing! I know this is a complete nightmare for LOTS and lots of people but I LOVE the snow so I’m very excited about it, even if we did only last 10 minutes because my extremely strong willed 6 year old refused to wear her gloves and got very cold hands very quickly. Sigh!

I’ve also been up since 6am stressing about keeping everyone updated on which schools and pre-schools are opened or closed so I am exhausted! lol.

You can check on this post for more details about which schools are open still and the times that they close: HCC School Closure Website

Anyyyyywaayy, this is my impromptu list of suggestions of things you can do with your little ones today whilst it’s snowing.

Whatever you end up doing…HAVE FUN!!!!!

Outdoors

  • Make snowmen snowwomen, snowbabies, snowchildren
  • Build an igloo
  • Make coloured ice balls (balloons filled with water and a bit of food colouring and leave outside over night)
  • Snowball fight/gentle throw
  • Sledging
  • Snow angels

Indoors

Other Useful Posts

What would you add to this list?

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Review 2017: Farnham Park and Castle

We were recently on our travels to Richmond for a day out, pretending to be posh. Except we hadn’t realised that the M3 would be closed and would make our journey epically complicated, so once off the slip road we decided to head home and find somewhere else to go.

One of my friends had recommended Farnham Park to me and as it was on the way back I suggested we check it out. It’s about 20-25 minutes drive from Basingstoke. We had a brilliant time exploring just the park. We then went back a few months later with the same friends who took us to the Castle and Miss NHM and her playmate had a fantastic time!!!

Play

Farnham Park has an AWESOME wooden play park. It’s HUGE! We spent about 1.5 hours playing in the park, playing on all of the different wooden structures

We walked for miles and miles and still only did a fraction of the park. We completely missed one of the play parks which is a bit further round from the Wooden play park!

Mr NHM may or may not have played “I’m the king of the castle” on this structure! lol.

Castle

We then decided to go and look at the Castle. The Castle is free to enter but they ask for a donation.

We had a BRILLIANT time in the Castle! I couldn’t believe that it was free entry!

We spent about 5 minutes in the room which explained the history of the Castle. The children were too excited to stay any longer here as they wanted to explore the castle itself.


We did pick up a leaflet which explained “The Keep at Farnham Castle” and gave a short tour of what it all was.

I didn’t get many pictures of the Castle itself because I couldn’t get any without there being someone in it!!! But we spent ages in the Castle exploring and went down into the Central Tower and the Well. The children were fascinated with the Latrines, as children would be! lol.

We were incredibly lucky to visit on a day when the weather was absolutely glorious. As you can see, the views from the castle across Farnham were spectacular!

Tips

You can’t park at the Castle unless you have a disabled badge, so we parked in the car park which said it was for the Golf Course which was about a 5 minute walk away. There is lots of parking and it’s for users of the gold course and the park, but it can get VERY busy after lunch and people park in very haphazard ways, so be warned if you have toddlers who like to run of!!

The steps into the Castle itself are very steep so it’s not recommended to take a pushchair. If you can take a sling that would work although it is possible to park your pushchair down at the main entrance. It is a very steep set of steps into the castle though.

Definitely pick up one of the leaflets which explains where everything is. This helped us to ensure we’d explored everything.

Food

The Cafe is very independent to the point where dogs are allowed in the cafe! It’s like going back in time to 30 years ago when dogs were allowed everywhere! Which I love but I know lots of people won’t.

The price of food is really cheap and it’s very popular so you can sometimes queue for a bit. If you like golf, the golf shop is also attached. I can imagine the cafe being very busy in the summer with all of the requests for ice cream!

Facilities

There are toilets in the Cafe in the park and also really good toilets at the Castle.

Baby Facilities

There are baby facilities but the ones in the Castle are better.

Parking

As mentioned above, there is no parking at the Castle for the general public so you can either park in Farnham and walk up the hill or park in the golf course car park and walk round. You can either walk through the park and then along the castle ramparts to get to the castle or there is a path which is very close to the main road but has a flimsy fence. Keep a very close eye on little people as the cars go really fast.

Prices

It was free to park.

The Park is free to enter and so is Farnham Castle.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. Miss NHM and her friend absolutely loved the open space, the wooden playground and exploring the castle. Even better that the whole day out was free!!!

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