Domestic Violence in North Hampshire

Louise recently asked the NHM Community on “Louise nhm Smith” for advice for a local lady suffering domestic violence and in need of support.

The responses were heart-warming, and the offers of individual help were amazing to read. In the hopes that this information can help others who find themselves in a similar situation, this post has been put together.

Please note that we are not experts in Domestic Violence and have only tried to put together the information that the NHM Community provided us with, in the hope of helping others in this awful situation.

Thank you to all those who provided input and for showing true community and thank you to J who put this post together on NHM.

Immediate Assistance

Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. They offer a Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge – 0808 2000 247. Their online services also include The Survivors Forum and The Hideout.

Refuge is a national charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence with a network of refuges across the country. They offer many services including child support workers and outreach services (for women who choose not to go into a refuge or leave their home). Their Freephone Helpline is in partnership with Women’s Aid above.

Domestic Abuse Support Hantsweb is a confidential help service for women, men, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse in Hampshire, available on the council website.

Victim Support, Hampshire and Isle of Wight is an independent charity funded by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police Commissioner.

Support and Information

The Survivor’s Handbook is an online guide on the Women’s Aid website providing practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse, with simple guidance on every aspect of seeking support.

Further Support

Taking Steps is a local charity based project, founded by a lady called Gerrie Jordan, offering support for men and women who have experienced domestic abuse.

The You Trust is a charity working in Hampshire and Dorset in a number of specialist areas, from Learning Disabilities to Mental Health and Domestic Violence and Abuse.

North Hants Domestic Violence project on Sarum Hill, 01256 816004.

Practical and Legal Advice

Basingstoke and Tadley Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, independent, impartial and confidential advice.

Assistance with Family Life

The Safe is a local charity offering practical, emotional and social support.

Home Start is a family support charity, with local offices helping families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them.

Counselling

There are many counselling services across North Hampshire, the above organisations should be able to put you in touch with those most relevant. There are also a few examples below:

Relate is a charity aimed at helping people make the most of their couple and family relationships, past, present or future. There is a fee involved, although there is also a free online Live Chat service.

Cedar Tree Counselling is a counselling service located in central Basingstoke, providing affordable, professional counselling for the whole community.

Top Tips

It’s worth considering clearing your browser history after researching your options.

If deciding to leave, do not be alone when breaking the news, or leave when they are out. Make sure there are people with you either way.

Reach out to your local community centre, there may be groups behind the scenes who may be able to offer support.

Are there any other comments you would add? 

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NorthHantsMum is my HOBBY!!!!

I feel I need to state this very clearly.

NorthHantsMum. Is. My. HOBBY!!!

I work on it in my “spare” time.

I don’t spend all day, every day working on NorthHantsMum. I have other things going on in my life. I work a full time job (40 hrs) in part time hours (30 hrs), I have a little part time job that I work 5-10 hours a week, I have a daughter with a serious illness, a husband who is the equivalent to my second child (his words, not mine!!) AND NorthHantsMum. Plus there are my loyal friends, my extended family, a house to run, school life to manage, finances to monitor etc. etc. etc. that factor into this equation.

My time to work on NorthHantsMum is limited and I will be ETERNALLY grateful to anyone who takes this into consideration.

I make absolutely no money on the website for what I do. Neither do the couple of lovely ladies who regularly help me out with posts and pages. We are all volunteers.

VOLUNTEERS.

Please, please, please keep this in mind when you are sending me messages or posts or are emailing me. I have a limited amount of energy. I’m very sorry if your post doesn’t get scheduled exactly when you want it too. That is because I’m being pulled in MANY different directions at the same time.

I love what I do on NHM. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. But I am finding that there has been a lot more pressure this year. People are demanding a lot more from me than they used too.

For example, so far on NHM this year I have:

  • Handled two domestic abuse cases
  • Dealt with a case of a child that was in extreme pain and what to do
  • Helped several vulnerable new Mum’s find the support systems that they desperately need
  • Put lots of parents new to the area in touch with each other
  • Helped with finding holiday childcare for several Mum’s
  • Put several single Mum’s in touch with each other so they can create a support system
  • Helped publicise the Christmas Food Box appeal and co-ordinated a Christmas present drive for a family who were in the local refuge over Christmas
  • Helped many Mum’s and Dad’s whose children are starting school in September this year AND next year.

And lots and lots more that I can’t even remember now.

This doesn’t include posting on the website every day about events, classes, important news for local parents, attending events that I’m invited too, co-ordinating the AWESOME volunteers who so fantastically help me out and save my sanity, organise the schedule and administration for NHM and a truck load of other stuff for the blog.

I LOVE that NHM can help people in the way that it does now. I definitely don’t resent any of it at all. I am privileged and very honoured that I, and the NHM Community, can help people in the way that we do.

I know that it’s my own fault for creating the “monster” that is NHM. However, I never, ever, ever expected it to be what it has become.

But I barely get any time to write personal posts anymore. I know some of you think this is a good thing, but the whole point of having a blog is to be able to actually blog! lol.

I LOVE what NorthHantsMum has become. I really do, but I need a break. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need a break.

I am exhausted.

Exhausted from three years of battling the medical profession. Exhausted from two years of battling school. Exhausted from the changes that are being enforced upon me at work which means I am being demoted in my job. Exhausted.com.

So, I am taking the summer off, like I normally do. Except this year I am REALLY taking the summer off.

For the sake of my sanity and my family and my daughter, I am planning on taking six weeks off NHM, from Mon 24th July until Mon 4th September. That may even be 7 weeks. I don’t care how long it is, all I know is, I NEED A BREAK!!!!

Miss NHM is getting older now and strangely she needs me more now than she ever did. I don’t know if it’s because of her illness but she is far more demanding than she was when she was little! lol.

So if you send me an email or a message and I don’t reply in two or three weeks, it’s not because I’m ignoring you. It’s because I’m out enjoying my life and my time with my family. Thank you for understanding.

As always, thank you for your fantastic and very much needed support of NorthHantsMum. And yes, this post makes me sound like a total martyr and normally I’m not, but maybe I’m feeling a bit like that at the moment or maybe I just need a rest?

Roll on the Summer Holidays!!!! WHOOP!!!!!

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Review 2017: Little Street – a unique play opportunity for little people

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post and to Little Street for inviting us along to their re-launch event!

https://www.little-street.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/littlestreet.co.uk/

About

Little Street in Frimley is a role play centre for young children. It is a miniature version of a town, giving little ones the perfect opportunity to try out lots of different experience and careers!

Open 7 days a week, Little Street offer four 90 minute play sessions a day for little people to explore their little world. Pre-booking is recommended as numbers are limited to ensure the best experience for everyone attending. Little Street is suitable for children up to 7 and even has a play pen for young babies as well as bumbo seats available for use.

My daughter (19 months) and I were lucky enough to attend the re-launch event after a recent refurbishment which has made way for a brand new vets and an air ambulance. As well as the new areas children can take a visit to Chicco’s cafe or Belle & Beau Beauty Salon. They can do their weekly shop at the (very well stocked!) supermarket.

There is also a construction site, complete with rocks, bricks and diggers and the Starlets Theatre, which has an Ice Cream stall, stage, musical instruments and many fancy dress costumes. In addition to this there are a variety of ride on toys which can be driven around the road. The attention to detail in each room is amazing, with appropriate wall stickers and fantastic props including animals in the vets, make up and hair products in the salon and many familiar items in the supermarket!

My daughter was a big fan of the new air ambulance and was fascinated by the rotors on top. She also loved the supermarket and kept taking any trolleys that she’d found outside the shop back to it!

The staff at Little Street were very welcoming and did a fantastic job of keeping the place tidy (and as much as possible items in the right rooms!) without disrupting the children’s play. It is very clean and everything is in great condition, you can tell it is very well looked after.

Food

The venue has a small café where you can purchase hot or cold drinks, cakes and healthy snacks.

Parking

There is some parking on site at the station for a small charge, or there is a car park a short walk away where you can park for free for 2 hours – ideal as the sessions you can book are 90 minutes.

Tips

Remember you and your little one will need to wear socks. Don’t worry if you forget as they do have some you can purchase when you get there!

It also has a handy buggy park – if you ask at reception they can give you a lock to secure your buggy in the shelter outside.

Rating out of 5

After wanting to visit Little Street for ages, we were so pleased that it lived up to and exceeded our expectations and we will certainly be going back in the future! It gets a fantastic 5 out of 5 from us!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Little Street. The NHM Secret Reviewers experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. She was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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NorthHantsMum is 6 years old today!

Yup, I started NorthHantsMum six years ago on this day, the day after midsummers.

SIX YEARS of my life. SIX WHOLE YEARS!!

I’ve put my heart and soul and a LOT of time into it during those years.

It’s grown WAY beyond what I ever expected when I started writing this blog, six years ago when Miss NHM was only three months old.

It’s given me a purpose and so much more. Something to focus on when times get tough and in the past six years I’ve had some really tough times.

Last year running the site raised my stress levels to dangerous heights but I’m still here, slogging working away on the site and community.

I’ve seen a LOT of changes in the past six years that have affected the NorthHantsMum Community. The children’s centres closing, the lack of funding for breastfeeding drop in’s, and the support for new Mum’s dramatically diminish, being just a few.

I LOVE what I do on NorthHantsMum and when I sit back and really think about it, I’m incredibly proud of it all. It’s not been easy at times, but it’s definitely been worthwhile.

It’s that little bit of positivity that I, and the team of volunteers who now work with me, put out that makes other parents lives that little bit easier.

The NorthHantsMum Community has become a village now. There are so many of you to thank, I’m bound to forget someone important, so instead of making a faux pas I just want to say THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Thank you to each and every one of you who is involved in NorthHantsMum.

My team (all volunteers) and I couldn’t do what we do without your support.

Thank you. x

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NHM Readers recommend Maternity Clothes

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best place you can buy maternity clothes in Basingstoke.

I suggested Mothercare and H&M but apparently H&M only have very small sizes in stock at the moment.

(Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Places in Basingstoke to buy maternity clothes

Debenhams

Flick said: Debenhams have some in their red herring maternity range.

Wendy said: Debenhams have a maternity department too.

Naomi said: Debenhams – some really nice bits.

Debenhams Maternity

New Look

Flick said: New Look have a small section downstairs.

Kimberley said: New look used to have a few bits.

Lucy said: New Look for top half,  it’s downstairs right corner.

Emma recommended New Look.

Charlotte recommended New Look.

Jane recommended New Look.

Hayley recommended New Look.

New Look Maternity

Next

Diana said: I found Next Directory were the best I ever found in any high street store. Really hit the bill.
Wendy said: I used to get most of mine in Next.
Jane recommended Next.
Next Maternity

Matalan

Kimberley said: Matalan have maternity online. You get free delivery to store.
Lucy said: Matalan for over the bump leggings. I did click and collect so could try on in store and return if it didn’t fit.

Matalan Maternity

Dorothy Perkins

Emma said: Dorothy Perkins online – free returns.
Hayley recommended Dorothy Perkins.

Dorothy Perkins Maternity

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Track Party: Epic playtime comes to Basingstoke! Sunday 28th May 2017

NorthHantsMum sponsors the Basingstoke Track Party!!!!!
An event for the whole family, where children can play with trains
cars and dinosaurs!
Come and play with trains, cars and dinosaurs!
BOOK HERE **http://bit.ly/2ni97fR** BOOK HERE

When: May 28th, 10am till 5pm

Where: Old Basing Village Hall,The Street, Basingstoke, RG24 7DA

How Much: £7 per play session, Adults are free (free tea and coffee for all adults)

Play Sessions available: 6 hourly sessions, starting from 10am (see below for sessions)

  • Session 1 (10am till 11am) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 2 (11.10am till 12.10pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 3 ( 12.20pm till 1.20pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 4 (1.30pm till 2.30pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 5 (2.40pm till 3.40pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session Hire (3.50pm till 4.50pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– Hire a whole session all for your party! More information HERE

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NHM Readers recommend pottery painting with children

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where can you do pottery painting with children in the local area. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Pottery Painting Venues to take children

The Ceramics Cafe  

Unit 2, Coronation Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4HA

Only open on Saturdays between 10am and 5.30pm

Pots2Paint

Units 9&10, Viables Craft Centre, The Harrow Way, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

Open Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5.30pm

Pots to Doodle Do

The Old Village Shop, Church Lane, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, RG25 2JQ

Open during term time Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. During school holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Just Ceramics

Unit 3, The Old Stables, Oakhanger Farm Business Park, Oakhanger, GU35 9JA

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 11am – 4pm.

Playdays

2 Stewart Road, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Playdays offer pottery parties and also regularly do pottery painting and play sessions for occasions such as Easter, Mother’s Day etc.

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NHM readers recommend places for a Sunday dinner

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where they like to go for Sunday Roasts within a 30 minute drive of Basingstoke. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you to Shona for putting this post together!!)

These were the responses I received.

NHM Readers Recommend Places for Sunday Roasts.

Natalie said: I enjoy the food at Longbridge Mill just after Sherfield Park

Sue said: Can’t beat a carvery, either Toby or the one just past Oakley (the Beach Arms)

Hayley said: Beach Arms

Wendy said: I like Lord Derby by junction 5. My friend’s favourite is the White Hart in Sherfield

Sarah said: The Hatch does an amazing roast. Service is always dreadful though

Holly said: The Clock and Thyme in Overton, Kids eat free!

Tracy said: Leather Bottle is great

Victoria said: Aingels Bistro in Winklebury! Amazing home cooked food and great menu that caters for vegan/gluten/dairy free

Stephany said: The Cavella Arms in Silchester

Jessica said: The Hogget is by far the best roast in my eyes

Lucy said: My meat eating hubster likes The Phoenix

Hayley said: Had a lovely roast at the Queens College Arms today

Ruth said: Just had xmas meal yesterday at The Elm Tree in Beech Hill – lovely food, owner’s and service. I suspect Sunday roast will be to similar standards

Helena said: The Rowbarge at Woolhampton. Second to none. Also good for a walk along the canal pre or post lunch

Hayley said: The Fox Inn in Newfound is lovely

Ruza said: Like the food over at The Fur and Feathers, also the Crown at Old Basing

Siobhan said: The Hoddington Arms. Dog and child friendly!

Colleen said: The Royal Oak. This place is amazing, and around the corner from Alice Holt so can be combined with an amble in the woods.

Rachel said: The Harvester in Reading is one of our favourite places to go (Mansion House).

Lindsay said: The Queen Inn at Dummer is fabulous for roasts and food in general really

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NHM Readers recommend what do do when your child doesn’t get the school of your choice

Last year I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for their positive comments about what they have learned and how to tackle the process when your child doesn’t get the school place that you wanted. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

These were the responses I received. Very apt, considering today is the day when the results come out for children starting this year in September…

NHM Readers Comments About Not Getting School Place

Tracey said:

So last year I didn’t get any of my 3 choices and stressed A LOT. But it did all work out and by end of May we had a place at our 2nd preference (which would now be our 1st preference). There will be a lot of movement between now and September and spaces do become available. Top tips are accept the place you’ve been given and speak to the schools you wanted directly to make sure you are put on their waiting list. You can also put in a late application for other schools.

Lorna said:

I haven’t been in this situation…yet! However through work I know it’s vital to get any appeals in as soon as possible with valid reasons for it. All are heard and the panel are generally very open to listening to reasons etc. Stay positive – there’s every chance it can be resolved.

Sue said:

We didn’t get our first choice school but in hindsight it has been the best thing. Our son has done amazingly well and has so much support.

Hayley said:

3 years ago we didn’t get our first choice and I was hugely disappointed. My little girl really needed stability as she was very anxious so I decided to go ahead and not fight the decision so we could start getting prepared and excited about her new school from the offset. Turns out that I was wrong in my original choices and we absolutely LOVE her school, couldn’t have been more perfect for her (apart from having to drive). Good luck to those who didn’t get 1st choices, whatever happens it will all work out in the end.

Rachel said:

When my son started school two years ago we didn’t get any of our choices, not one. Instead we were given a school that we hadn’t even heard of, was a drive away, that we hadn’t been to see or even looked at its website and we didn’t even know where it was at first! We went to see the school and met the headteacher and accepted that it was likely our son would go to that school (and a very nice school it was too). We also went on the waiting list for our school choices AND we made a late application to another school that we had liked but didn’t make our top three. 2 weeks before school started we were told that we had a place at the school we made a late application to and we took it! So it does show you that things can work out, even at the last minute.

Danielle said:

Two years ago, our daughter didn’t get any of our 3 choices. Offered another school. Applied for three others; late application. Got offered two of these at very good schools. Accepted one, visited it with her and then got a place at our original first choice (and only catchment) school at the end of May. I found the whole process stressful, but luckily for us it worked out.

Gina said:

My son 2 years ago didn’t get our first choice, I was disappointed. Now he’s in year 1 and doing so well. The school he did get are fab and he’s coming along great.

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