Help Spotlight UK!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spotlight Team

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Chalk Ridge Christmas Fayre – 1st December 2018

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Oliver’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma

Who is Oliver?

Oliver was only 2 years old when his family were delivered life shattering news. He was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma just weeks before his third birthday and what has since followed, has changed Oliver and his family’s lives forever.

To be told that your child is suffering from a life-threatening disease is an experience no parent should have to face. Heartbreakingly, after Oliver and his family had the relief of being told that he was in remission and cancer free in May 2017, he subsequently suffered a relapse in January 2018. Having already seen their brave little boy endure the horrors of cancer, the treatment it entails and all the dreadful side effects, this was a devastating blow.

Now 5 years old, Oliver’s parents are seeking to create a community to help follow their journey and support in any way they can to help see their beautiful little boy free from this terrible disease once and for all. His most recent rounds of chemotherapy have been going well and he is responding really well. Living in the Basingstoke area, Oliver’s parents, Jo and Matt, are aiming to raise the funds required to access treatments abroad that aren’t available on the NHS, which could be the key to him making a full recovery.

How can the NorthHantsMum community help?

The NorthHantsMum community have proven themselves to be caring, kind and supportive through all manner of different causes. We would really love to see as many of you as possible take a moment to like and follow Oliver’s Facebook page. If you have an extra moment, giving the page a share will also help to spread the message further.

Oliver’s parents will be posting regular updates on fundraisers and local events taking place to help them to reach the goal to get him to the States and any contribution that can be made will be gratefully received.

Perhaps you work for a local business who are looking for a charity to support? Maybe you know of businesses who could make a donation that could be used to raise funds for this very important cause. As the saying goes, every little helps!

https://www.facebook.com/OliversfightagainstNeuroblastoma/

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Secret Art Basingstoke is GO!

Something pretty amazing happened last Thursday in Basingstoke. Maybe you heard about it. Maybe you were there. Maybe you saw the Facebook Lives and thought “Man, I WISH I was there”. Well, yes, you should have been there. Because it was AWESOME!  

The Secret Art Basingstoke launch at Desklodge on Thursday night was epic, and you can check out all the gory details via the latest Secret Art Basingstoke blog. But in the meantime…

Today (Tuesday 24th) is the first opportunity for you to visit all four venues in our Secret Art Basingstoke trail. Grab the kids and head for Proteus Creation Space, The Discovery Centre, THAT Gallery and Willis Museum to see over 200 incredible pieces of artwork.

Each piece is the size of a postcard, and everything has been donated by artists, illustrators, tattooists and celebrities…even an MP! And if you grab one of our flyers (available at Proteus, Discovery Centre, Willis Museum and Festival Place Customer Lounge), you can also take part in The Junior Secret Art Basingstoke Scavenger Hunt; use the map to find the venues and tick off the eight hidden postcards as you find them.

Want more? Book onto one of our workshops being held over the next two weeks, designed to give your budding artists an introduction into a variety of art techniques.

Choose a 30 or 45 minute workshop in ceramics, illustration, collage, balloon manipulation or portraiture…or sign up for them all!

All workshops are Pay-What-You-Can, with a suggested donation of £3 per child. Head to the Secret Art Basingstoke website for details of all the workshops and how to book.

More? OK, how about our Junior Secret Art Basingstoke competition? Finding all our fantastic pieces of postcard sized art will hopefully get your little ones all fired up to create their own masterpieces, and we’d love to see them!

Let them loose on the blank space at the back of the Secret Art Basingstoke booklet, or use your own materials at home. There’s no brief in terms of subject or medium, so let their creativity go wild!

Upload to the Secret Art Basingstoke Facebook page with #secretartkids and they’ll be entered into the competition to win some beautiful books donated by Pan Macmillan Publishers.

Seriously? More? How about the culmination of all the canvassing, collating, fundraising, engaging, displaying, donating etc…Sale Day! If you’ve got your eye on one or more of our pictorial perfections, head to Proteus Creation Space on Saturday 4th August, when all postcards will be on sale for £20 each.

Not only will you be able to purchase a beautiful piece of original art, you’ll also finally find out who created it! The big secret behind Secret Art Basingstoke being, of course, the artists themselves.

All the artwork has been signed on the back, not the front, but when you purchase your piece you’ll be given the identity of your creator.

It could be a local artist (Hampshire is a goldmine of creativity), someone who hails from abroad (we’ve had submissions from as far away as Indonesia), a published illustrator, or perhaps a celebrity from TV and film. It really is anybody’s guess!

Doors will be opened at 10am at Proteus Creation Space by The Deputy Mayor, Cllr Diane Taylor. You might want to get there early, as it’s first come, first served; there’s even been talk of folks camping out the night before to grab a prime spot in the queue!

There will be no pre-selling of postcards, so if you’re unable to come on the day but still want a card, nominate yourself a proxy buyer (preferably one with sharp elbows).

Ok. I think that’s it. Phew.

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Bubbly, Bertie and Boob Cake… It’s the Secret Art Launch Party!

Tickets are now available for the launch party of the inaugural Secret Art Basingstoke on 19th July at 7pm at Desklodge in Belvedere House, Basingview – come join us!

Thanks to the kind people at Desklodge who have donated their space for the evening, we’ll be drinking bubbly and catching the first sneaky peak at the entire postcard collection before anyone else in this see-it-to-believe-it space; there’s a beach, a Zen room – there’s even a Narnia Wonderland hidden behind a wardrobe!

We’ve also got a few delicious extras (aside from the delicious canapes);

Special Guest Bertie Carvel

We’re very excited to have Bertie Carvel with us to kick off our charity auction! Bertie has twice won the Laurence Olivier Award: for his performances as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical and Rupert Murdoch in Ink. On television, he is known for playing Jonathan Strange in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and as Simon, the cheating husband, in Doctor Foster.

Charity Auction

We’ve got tons of fabulous lots, including top price Warhorse tickets, photo shoots with award winning Studio 1314 and Basingstoke’s very own Cristina Barton, miniature portraits by Jocelyn Lawman and a family pass to The New Forest Wildlife Park. Check the website for details of all the lots as they come in.

Art Demonstrations – Watch local artist Fatima Pantoja (from the ‘Sitting with Jane’ project) demonstrating her portraiture skills, and then sit for a quick portrait!

Live Music – Pianist Thomas Barfoot will keep us entertained all evening.

Boob cake – It wouldn’t be an NCT event without it! Cakes by Chris has created a boobilicious cake – each boob a different flavour!

Goodie bags – For the first 20 guests through the door.

Early Bird ticket £5 (prosecco and canapes on arrival)
General Admission £10 (prosecco and canapes on arrival)
Corporate ticket £100 (6 seats at dedicated table, canapes and bottle of prosecco)

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Party with Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense!

Spaces still available

Got a new baby and fancy giving Baby Sensory a try? Or perhaps you have a toddler and want to wear them out in a Toddler Sense session? Join us for a party session on Saturday 7th July in aid of B.A.B.I.E.S!

The incredibly busy and ridiculously talented Michelle Grzbiela is offering three fantastic 45 minute sessions to raise funds for Basingstoke breastfeeding support. There will be two classes aimed at babies from birth to 13 months (10am and 11am), and one mixed session (12 noon) aimed at children 13 months to five years (younger siblings welcome at a discounted rate).

The sessions will be at Hatch Warren Community Centre at 10am, 11am and 12 noon.

BABY SENSORY 10AM – BOOK NOW https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi…

BABY SENSORY 11AM – BOOK NOW https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi…

TODDLER SENSE (MIXED SESSION) BOOK NOW https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi…

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Fancy Being a Secret Artist?

Last week NHM let you in on our little secret, and now we’d like you to become part of that secret!

If you didn’t know already, Secret Art Basingstoke is an exhibition and sale taking place from 23rd July until 4th August 2018.

The collection will be made up of hundreds of postcard sized works of art, donated by artists, illustrators, celebrities, community members and graduates.

And the secret? All our artists will remain anonymous until their artwork is purchased, with all pieces being up for grabs for £20 each.

Our Secret Artists will be displayed in a two week exhibition trail around Basingstoke – THAT Gallery, Proteus Creation Space, Willis Museum and The Discovery Centre.

Alongside the exhibition we’ll be running a junior art competition, a scavenger hunt and art demonstrations and workshops, so it’s going to be busy! We’re also going to feature on Hampshire TV and in Hampshire Life, so potentially great exposure for local artists!

The submissions deadline of 13th July is fast approaching, so you need to be quick!

For information, including FAQs and registration form, head to www.secretartbasingstoke.com.

Questions? Message us at secretartbasingstoke@gmail.com.

All proceeds from the exhibition and sale will benefit the Brookvale breastfeeding counselling drop in service.

Lindsey Lawman
Fundraising Coordinator
Basingstoke NCT

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Secret Art Basingstoke

Have you heard about Secret Art Basingstoke?

I’m not really one for inspirational Pinterest quotes. But I read one today that resonated;

Mothers who reach their breastfeeding goals are “lucky”, but not because they had no problems. They were lucky to be given accurate advice, practical support, and not just told to give up. Mothers don’t fail to breastfeed. Society fails to support them to do so.

Double negatives aside, I like this message because it doesn’t subscribe to;

a) Making people feel guilty for circumstance outside of their control.
b) Pitting mothers against mothers in the supposed breastmilk vs formula ‘war’.

I’m all for helping society support women to breastfeed, which is why I’m coordinating Secret Art Basingstoke, exclusively raising funds for NCT Basingstoke breastfeeding support.

Taking place between 23rd July and 3rd August 2018, Secret Art Basingstoke is an exhibition of hundreds of postcard-sized original works of art donated by artists, celebrities, dignitaries, graduates and illustrators. With no brief in medium or subject, the collection promises to be an eclectic mix of small but perfectly formed paintings, drawings and photographs.

The two week exhibition will be split across four spaces in Basingstoke town centre; THAT Gallery, Proteus Creation Space, The Discovery Centre and The Willis Museum (all hire costs have been generously waived by our venues – thank you all!). Our artist buddies from THAT Gallery will be holding art demos and workshops at the various locations to keep your little artists occupied, AND we’ll be running a scavenger hunt and junior postcard competition. Make sure you pop us on your list of ‘things to do during the summer holidays’ to be in with a chance of winning some beautiful prizes (kindly donated by Macmillan Publishers).

The entire collection will reunite at The Creation Space on Saturday 4th August, where every single postcard will be on sale for the affordable price of £20 each.

And the secret? The identity of the artist – you’ll only know who created your miniature masterpiece once you’ve bought it.

For a chance to get a sneak peek at the entire collection before everyone else, we’re holding a launch night on 19th July at Desklodge Basingstoke (venue kindly donated by Desklodge Ltd). The evening will include live music, art demonstrations and a charity auction with some AMAZING lots. Details and tickets will be available very soon – stay tuned!

If you have any questions regarding Secret Art Basingstoke, including how to becoming one of our sponsors, please head to www.secretartbasingstoke.com, or drop us a line at secretartbasingstoke@gmail.com.

About NCT B.A.B.I.E.S

B.A.B.I.E.S is Basingstoke’s dedicated weekly breastfeeding counselling drop-in, providing evidence-based, impartial information, help and support. Fully qualified (DipHE) Breastfeeding Counsellors hold face to face drop-in sessions fifty weeks of the year, as well as offering telephone and email support. This service is completely free, and available to all parents and their children in Basingstoke. Since its inception in 2011, B.A.B.I.E.S has supported over 1000 parents. For more information on breastfeeding support in Basingstoke, including directions and opening times for B.A.B.I.E.S, head to the Hampshire Breastfeeding Counselling Facebook page.

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Anna’s Challenges

Hi, my name is Rachel Marke and I founded the charity Anna’s Challenges just over 7 years ago. Our aim is to help support children with Cystic Fibrosis in Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

It started a bit by accident – 7 years ago my daughter Anna, who has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), was having one of her many 2 week admissions at the North Hampshire Hospital and she was asked to try out a vibrating vest which could really help shift the mucus clogged up in her lungs.

The problem was the vest was on loan to the physio team and they didn’t have the budget to purchase one. I put on my Facebook status that I’d like to try and raise some money to help buy it and the response was amazing!

We were soon thinking of a name to spearhead the fundraising and soon after Anna’s Challenges was born.  We soon became a registered charity and have a group of wonderful trustees.

We had no idea at the time that it would become as big as it has and this is purely down to the amazing support we receive from friends, family, local people and local businesses that have chosen to support us, whether it be through fundraising, offering their services, attending our events or simply helping to share our news/events on social media.

I have been overwhelmed over the years with the love and support we receive and it has enabled us to really branch out in the many ways we can support the children with CF and their families.

We also funded and arranged for the assessment room on G Floor to be totally redecorated (my cousin did it) and this is my favourite photo of part of it.

Anna takes over 35 tablets a day, she has to do 3 sets of physio a day, 3 nebulisers and two inhalers every single day – all whilst she’s well.

When she’s ill it increases significantly and also with 2 week admissions. Kids with CF have such intense daily regimes so it’s really great that we can help make their day to day lives a bit easier with improved physio and medical equipment and make it more comfortable for their 2 week admissions.

We are guided by the fantastic CF team at the hospital on how we can best help the children and their families.

We are able to support them through donating physio equipment, physio toys, medical equipment, donations that make the hospital rooms more comfortable – more home-from-home, we fund the CF sibling support group, we provide physical activity grants and travel grants to the families, family days out, and however else we can help to make their lives a bit easier and hopefully sometimes, a bit more fun too!

On the 6th October 2018 we are hosting our annual Black Tie Charity Ball at the beautiful Oakley Hall. It’s a great excuse to get glammed up with friends and have a wonderful evening full of music, dancing, laughter and lovely food all whilst helping support children with Cystic Fibrosis.

If you’d like more information, or to buy tickets, please go to our website www.annaschallenges.co.uk.  

If you’d like to keep up to date with our latest news and events, find us at the following:

Facebook – facebook.com/annaschallenges
Twitter – @annaschallenges
Web – www.annaschallenges.co.uk
email – contact@annaschallenges.co.uk

Please get in contact if you have any questions, would like to do a challenge for us or attend one of our events – we’d love to hear from you!

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My Experience: Being Authentic – Coeliac Disease

One of my objectives for NorthHantsMum is to share some of my experience of being a Mum.

The past three years of Motherhood have been really tough for me.

I haven’t talked about it on NorthHantsMum because it’s been a very, very difficult turn of events that we’ve dealt with privately as a family. Not knowing what was “wrong” with Miss NHM for nearly 3 years was indescribably draining and stressful.

However, I’ve realised I can’t be authentic on NorthHantsMum without talking about my experience of Miss NHM’s Coeliac Disease.

We’ve had many discussions as a family about whether it’s the right or wrong thing to share this with NHM Readers as it’s a very private thing.

I’ve talked to Miss NHM (6 years old) about it and she was very wise and told me that it’s ok to tell other people about it because it might help them too. That, right there, is one of the reasons why my daughter is so awesome.

Coeliac Disease

Miss NHM was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in May 2017.

Coeliac Org say this about Coeliac Disease:

” Coeliac disease is a well defined, serious illness where the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease.” (Coeliac.org).

1 in 100 people have been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease but the belief is that it is actually 1 in 25 people who have it.

There are over 200 possible symptoms of Coeliac Disease and it takes the average sufferer 13 years to be diagnosed. Medical advances are moving forward so quickly that it’s easier to be diagnosed these days, but Miss NHM is still incredibly lucky that we established what the issue was in just 2.5 years, particularly as there is no history of Coeliac Disease in either of our families, that we know of. (Coeliac disease does run in families but not in a predictable way)

The journey

I’ve alluded to it on the blog before but the 2.5 years leading up to her diagnosis were harrowing. I’ve written a post which explains the impact that Coeliac Disease has had on our lives but I’m no where near ready to publish it. It’s still too raw.

When your child is sick and you don’t know why and it takes years to find out why…yeah, it’s been really tough.

I was a bit naive about coeliac disease. I’d heard of it and knew people with it but I thought it was just a case of someone avoiding gluten in their diet and then everything would be fine.

It isn’t.

It’s far more serious than that.

We have to monitor EVERYTHING that Miss NHM eats, to ensure that it doesn’t contain gluten. She has regular blood tests and we have to monitor her energy levels very carefully as gluten free (GF) carbs don’t have the same energy density as “normal” carbs.

However, I am so, so, SO very grateful that Miss NHM was diagnosed so early in her life.

The impact of Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease has had a huge impact on my role as a Mum.

Every time we do something or go somewhere I am continuously thinking ahead. Do we have enough food? Will there be any alternatives that she can eat if we don’t have enough? Can we take our own food? Do they have any understanding of Coeliac Disease? Will someone offer her something and I will have to leap in and whip it away from her before she eats it? Do we have a subsitute to hand? Have they even heard of cross contamination?

There are the things that you would expect to look out for, like anything containing wheat, e.g. bread and pasta.

But it’s the things that you wouldn’t expect like barley squash, chocolate, chips, marshmallows, soy sauce, most ketchups, some fromage frais, and even playdough which is made with gluten. There are many, many, many more products which contain gluten which we have had to remove from Miss NHM’s diet.

On the rare occasion that we eat out or at someone else’s house, I’m checking to see whether they understand about cross contamination which is really important for people with coeliac disease. For example, you cannot put a knife in butter that has been used on “normal” bread, because even one crumb can cause Miss NHM weeks of pain and discomfort which affects her wellbeing, her health and her education.

I feel like I spend a lot of my time educating our friends and family, who have in the most part been amazingly supportive, about what cross contamination is and what Miss NHM can and can’t eat.

Using the coeliac.org phone app is second nature now. It’s fantastic!! There are over 100,000 food items listed and you can search by product name or bar code. This little app has been a life saver on many occasions.

Attending events and going anywhere new is now a BIG thing. Birthday parties are a nightmare, with birthday cake and sandwiches. We have been incredibly lucky that parents who we don’t know who have hosted birthday parties, have gone out of their way to ensure that Miss NHM doesn’t get singled out and isn’t treated any differently. We are very, very thankful for that. I try to make it as easy for other parents and friends by offering to provide food as it’s already a part of our reality.

Holidays abroad just aren’t an option at the moment although Coeliac.org has lots and lots of awesome advice for this.

I frequently get invited to review restaurants on NHM but we have to be so careful these days that I just ask one of the NHM Writers to go instead as it’s not worth the drama of having that discussion about the food not just being gluten free but also being free from cross contamination.

It’s such a HUGE part of our lives that I can’t write about being a Mum without talking about it.

Coeliac Disease and NorthHantsMum

As a result of the experiences that we have had with the NHS (unfortunately pretty dreadful in this instance) and The Prison for two years, most of my energy has been spent dealing with all of this and more. I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog over the past few years because of this.

However, now that Miss NHM has been on a Gluten Free (GF) diet for nearly a year and we’ve moved her to a far more sympathetic and understanding school, and as my energy is returning because I’m no longer battling with the institutions in Miss NHM’s life, I’m finding the urge to write more about our lives and more about my experience of being a Mum.

I don’t want NorthHantsMum to turn into a blog which is all about our experience of Coeliac Disease. I don’t want to bang on and on about it (well, I will try not too!) but I do feel that one of the reasons that we’ve been through this experience is so that I can share what we have learnt and also use this as an opportunity to educate people a bit more about what Coeliac Disease is, what it’s like being the parent of a child with an autoimmune disease and how it impacts our lives.

I never, ever, EVER wanted to be that Mum who has to make a big deal about what their child eats ALL the chuffing time.

I never wanted to be the Mum who has to check every…single…item that passes my child’s lips.

But I am and I’m dealing with it.

We’ve been incredibly lucky so far with the support that we have received from our wonderful friends and family and I hope this post goes a little way to explain what it’s like being the Mum of a child with a serious autoimmune disease.

Coeliac.org

If you would like to help Miss NHM with managing her disease, one of the best ways you can do this is to help raise funds for Coeliac.org. They have been invaluable for us.

For example, last month Miss NHM presented to the whole of Y1 and Y2 about Coeliac Disease as part of “Inclusion week” and we used one of the “Young Champions” packs from Coeliac.org to help with this. I won’t dwell on the fact that she told the Y1’s that she got Coeliac Disease from when a tarantula bit her as a baby (facepalm!) but I’m so proud of her for doing this because less than 6 months before she wouldn’t have physically been able too.

One of the ways you can help to fundraise is to join Coeliac’org’s weekly lottery where you can win up to £10,000 every week. It costs just £1 a week to enter, or £2 to double your chances of winning.

https://www.coeliac.org.uk/get-involved/support-us/weekly-lottery/

The money raised will not just help Miss NHM but anyone impacted by Coeliac Disease.

As always, thank you for your support and thank you for reading NorthHantsMum!

Louisex

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