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OFFICE at Olympia, London 8-9th Oct Stand No. 3049

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We are delighted that we are once again exhibiting at OFFICE.Babyblooms is the preferred Maternity Gift supplier within many of the UK's leading Companies offering gifts for staff and clients alike to celebrate the birth of a baby. More and more PA's are choosing a Babyblooms Bouquet as an alternative to fresh flowers.The UK's leading event for PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers returns to Olympia, London on 8-9 October 2013. Not only does OFFICE play host to a world class training programme but...

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We are delighted that we are once again exhibiting at OFFICE.

Babyblooms is the preferred Maternity Gift supplier within many of the UK's leading Companies offering gifts for staff and clients alike to celebrate the birth of a baby. More and more PA's are choosing a Babyblooms Bouquet as an alternative to fresh flowers.

The UK's leading event for PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers returns to Olympia, London on 8-9 October 2013. Not only does OFFICE play host to a world class training programme but will also give delegates an unrivalled opportunity to source a range of new business suppliers and network with their professional peers.

Come and see us at Stand 3049.

Free visitor registration is now open - register here to be part of this essential event.

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Baby & Toddler Show, Bluewater 11-13th October 2014

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The Baby & Toddler Show supported by Emma’s Diary in partnership with Nurofen for Children returns to Glow, Bluewater on 11-13 October and we’re delighted to offer you some great ticket offers to come and visit us at the Show on stand  E37   Save £10! Book 2 tickets for £20 or 2 VIP tickets (for Very Important Parents!) for £40 by quoting BBW23 at www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk   Plus… Save money with unbeatable deals on top brands and baby essentials – 100s of...

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The Baby & Toddler Show supported by Emma’s Diary in partnership with Nurofen for Children returns to Glow, Bluewater on 11-13 October and we’re delighted to offer you some great ticket offers to come and visit us at the Show on stand  E37

 

Save £10!

Book 2 tickets for £20 or 2 VIP tickets (for Very Important Parents!) for £40 by quoting BBW23 at www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk

 

Plus…

 

Visiting is easy and stress-free – Bluewater is really easy to get to, there is unlimited FREE PARKING, easy access for bumps and babies and both feeding and changing areas.

Plus, exclusive restaurant offers for visitors mean you can make a day of it at Bluewater with the whole family!

 

Save £10!

Book 2 tickets for £20 or 2 VIP tickets (for Very Important Parents!) for £40 by quoting BBW23 at www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk

 

We look forward to seeing you there!P.S. Plus, all mums will receive a free goody bagworth £12 at the show, packed with a fantastic range of branded products including a full pack of wipes, nappy cream, baby wash, nappies, breast pads, skin therapy cream and much more!

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The Professional Mum - Applying to University

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If your child is about to enter Year 13, they may be considering making an application to university. The pros of a university education are well known: the achievement of intellectual satisfaction, the cut and thrust of academic debate and the chance to live independently, not to mention the potential enhanced earning power.

Universities in the UK offer more than 43,000 courses covering over 1,000 subjects so there is a course for almost everyone. The administration process of university application begins early in year 13, so by now, ideally, your child should have an emerging idea of the course that they wish to pursue and where they want to study. The UCAS website details universities and the courses that they offer. University websites outline course content in more detail, and often offer open days where prospective students and their families can meet academics and students, also viewing teaching facilities and accommodation.

Students can apply for up to five courses. If they choose fewer, they can add extra ones later. There is no order of preference and universities are not told which other institutions the student has applied to. Entry requirements for most courses hinge on applicants' exam results. Most take A-levels but 49 types of qualification are officially recognised by UCAS, including BTEC, Scottish highers and the International Baccalaureate. A good starting point is to check the entry requirements in terms of both qualifications and suitability for the course. If your child is in year 13 and therefore still studying for a qualification needed to win a place on a higher education course the course provider might make a conditional offer.

Some courses will require prospective students to attend an interview, audition or provide a portfolio. This gives the course providers the opportunity to meet students before making an offer.

www.ucas.com

 

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The Professional Mum - Applying to University

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If your child is about to enter Year 13, they may be considering making an application to university. The pros of a university education are well known: the achievement of intellectual satisfaction, the cut and thrust of academic debate and the chance to live independently, not to mention the potential enhanced earning power.

Universities in the UK offer more than 43,000 courses covering over 1,000 subjects so there is a course for almost everyone. The administration process of university application begins early in year 13, so by now, ideally, your child should have an emerging idea of the course that they wish to pursue and where they want to study. The UCAS website details universities and the courses that they offer. University websites outline course content in more detail, and often offer open days where prospective students and their families can meet academics and students, also viewing teaching facilities and accommodation.

Students can apply for up to five courses. If they choose fewer, they can add extra ones later. There is no order of preference and universities are not told which other institutions the student has applied to. Entry requirements for most courses hinge on applicants' exam results. Most take A-levels but 49 types of qualification are officially recognised by UCAS, including BTEC, Scottish highers and the International Baccalaureate. A good starting point is to check the entry requirements in terms of both qualifications and suitability for the course. If your child is in year 13 and therefore still studying for a qualification needed to win a place on a higher education course the course provider might make a conditional offer.

Some courses will require prospective students to attend an interview, audition or provide a portfolio. This gives the course providers the opportunity to meet students before making an offer.

www.ucas.com

 

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Bamboo Baby- UK's First Giant Panda Cub

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To celebrate the much anticipated pregnancy of Tian Tian the Panda and the potential birth of a baby panda at Edinburgh zoo, babyblooms have paired their bouquet of bamboo baby clothing with a delightful plush toy panda. Like all babyblooms new baby gifts these are available to buy online with next working day delivery throughout the uk. Edinburgh zoo is enjoying a burst of panda-mania. Within the next 10 days, the zoo could be home to the first giant panda...

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Bamboo Baby- UK's First Giant Panda Cub

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To celebrate the much anticipated pregnancy of Tian Tian the Panda and the potential birth of a baby panda at Edinburgh zoo, babyblooms have paired their bouquet of bamboo baby clothing with a delightful plush toy panda. Like all babyblooms new baby gifts these are available to buy online with next working day delivery throughout the uk.


Edinburgh zoo is enjoying a burst of panda-mania. Within the next 10 days, the zoo could be home to the first giant panda cub to be born in the UK. There may even be two.


According to the guardian, `Economists predict that one panda cub alone could earn Edinburgh and the Scottish economy an extra 48m over the next 10 years: of all 17 "panda cities" worldwide now hosting giant pandas, Edinburgh is one of the smallest, so the impact the birth is likely to have on its tourism is proportionally larger to read more follow the link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/30/panda-mania-edinburgh-zoo .


The Bamboo and cotton mix fabric which is used in Babyblooms garments is incredibly soft and luxurious and lends itself perfectly to the styling of the classic baby garments included in the Babyblooms bouquets of baby clothes.


Bamboo fabric is more absorbent than cotton, it quickly absorbs moisture and allows it to quickly evaporate. By quickly drawing moisture away from the skin it is especially suited for babies clothing and can assist with temperature regulation as the fabric is highly breathable.


Material made from Bamboo is naturally antibacterial , hypo-allergenic and anti-fungal. As a fabric it does not promote bacterial growth and as a result is perfect for sensitive or allergy prone skin. Bamboo is widely advocated as being beneficial to sufferers of eczema and other skin conditions.

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The Professional Mum - The First Day of School....

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For some Professional Mums their child's first day of school may be fast approaching! There are a few practical steps you can take in order to ensure a smooth transition to "big school" and lessen the likelihood of tears (theirs and yours!)

You are likely to have already started talking to your child about school and have probably also visited. Settling-in sessions are beneficial where your child has the opportunity to meet and get to know their class teacher, familiarise themselves with their classroom and be aware of where the toilets are.

If you know of any your child's prospective classmates, arranging play dates over the summer holidays is a good idea - familiar faces can be reassuring on the first day, for both you and your child.

So the big day arrives! Try and make starting school as exciting as possible. Get up early; always overestimate how long it will take to get ready, especially if your child is insistent on dressing themselves in their smart new uniform! Moving forward, establish a morning routine that gives both you and your child enough time to get ready, especially when you have to get to work yourself.

The photo of your child kitted out in their uniform on their first day is a must, but don't forget to label everything with name tapes. Sticky labels with their name on can be handy for lunch boxes and waterbottles, ensuring a swift return if they are mislaid.

At first the days will seem long and the constant stimulation of school will be tiring - try and make time for your child to relax at home. Show a genuine interest in the activities and events that your child describes at the end of their school day. If you have any worries or concerns at all, make a point of talking to your child's teacher.

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For some Professional Mums their child's first day of school may be fast approaching! There are a few practical steps you can take in order to ensure a smooth transition to "big school" and lessen the likelihood of tears (theirs and yours!)

You are likely to have already started talking to your child about school and have probably also visited. Settling-in sessions are beneficial where your child has the opportunity to meet and get to know their class teacher, familiarise themselves with their classroom and be aware of where the toilets are.

If you know of any your child's prospective classmates, arranging play dates over the summer holidays is a good idea - familiar faces can be reassuring on the first day, for both you and your child.

So the big day arrives! Try and make starting school as exciting as possible. Get up early; always overestimate how long it will take to get ready, especially if your child is insistent on dressing themselves in their smart new uniform! Moving forward, establish a morning routine that gives both you and your child enough time to get ready, especially when you have to get to work yourself.

The photo of your child kitted out in their uniform on their first day is a must, but don't forget to label everything with name tapes. Sticky labels with their name on can be handy for lunch boxes and waterbottles, ensuring a swift return if they are mislaid.

At first the days will seem long and the constant stimulation of school will be tiring - try and make time for your child to relax at home. Show a genuine interest in the activities and events that your child describes at the end of their school day. If you have any worries or concerns at all, make a point of talking to your child's teacher.

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Gatcombe Horse Trials - Information 2013

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The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park
2nd - 4th August 2013

We are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the show to be held at GatcombePark, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire - the home of the Princess Royal and her family.

Come and visit us in the Rural Crafts Marquee on Stand No: 13

For Opening Times, Admission Charges and Directions/Travel information please click on the link below:-

https://www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk

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The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park
2nd - 4th August 2013

We are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the show to be held at GatcombePark, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire - the home of the Princess Royal and her family.

Come and visit us in the Rural Crafts Marquee on Stand No: 13

For Opening Times, Admission Charges and Directions/Travel information please click on the link below:-

https://www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk

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Play Dough Recipes

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No-Cook PlaydoughIngredients: 250g plain flour 50g salt 140ml water 1 - 2 tablespoons of cooking oil Few drops of food colouring (optional) Method: Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil. Knead well until mixture is smooth about 10 mins. You might need to add a bit more flour or water until the consistency is smooth but not sticky. Add food colouring and knead until the colour is fully blended. Store in...

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Play Dough Recipes

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No-Cook Playdough

Ingredients:

    • 250g plain flour
    • 50g salt
    • 140ml water
    • 1 - 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

    • Few drops of food colouring (optional)


Method:

    1. Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil.

    2. Knead well until mixture is smooth about 10 mins. You might need to add a bit more flour or water until the consistency is smooth but not sticky.

    3. Add food colouring and knead until the colour is fully blended.

    4. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until chilled enough to use

Microwave Playdough

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of plain flour
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • half a cup of salt

    • food colouring (optional)


Method:


Place all the ingredients in a plastic container and cook for one and a half minutes in a microwave. Stir the mixture and microwave again for one minute.

Gluten Free Playdough

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup rice flour
    • 1 cup corn flour
    • 1 cup salt
    • 4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 2 cups hot water
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

    • Food colouring

Method:

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat until all is combined well and a dough consistency is reached.

Let it cool completely before giving it to your child to play with.

Storing Playdough

Store the dough in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or box, and keep it in the fridge. Like this the dough should keep for up to 2 weeks.

Children really enjoy play cooking, so provide rolling pins, plastic cutters and plates, items from the kitchen can be just as much fun as expensive cutter sets and tools.

Playdough is easier for young children to handle than plasticine or clay and these homemade playdough recipes provide fabulous cheap alternatives to the shop-bought varieties.

When a new baby arrives in a family older siblings can often feel left out, why not make a batch of playdough as a gift for the new big brother or big sister, or even offer to make it with them! As a sibling gift it is perfect alongside Babyblooms pyjama cupcakes and better still when both are accompanied by real edible ones!

These recipes are the tried and tested favourites of the Babyblooms team, but we would love to hear of any variations that you have used.

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The Professional Mum - Childcare for the Summer Holidays

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For many professional mums at this time of year, thoughts turn to their childcare arrangements during the school summer holidays.

Options to consider are drafting in willing relatives to help, or offering mutual support to friends in a similar position.

Another source of inspiration could be Bristol City Council's Family Information Service, offering free, impartial information and guidance on a full range of childcare and children's services and resources across the city. Information is available on finding childcare, with a list of childcare options in your area, along with contact details. Type 'holiday club' into the Childcare Search on their 1BigDatabase and you'll find a list of relevant providers. You can then contact them to check the hours they can provide childcare, the cost and availability.

In addition, the Family Information Service has achieved the Families First Accreditation, a quality assurance process developed by NAFIS (The National Association of Family Information Services) in conjunction with the Department for Education (DfE) as a tool to measure the effectiveness of delivery of its statutory obligation to meet the Information Duty in Section 12 of the 2006 Childcare Act.

Other professional mums' experiences of a childcare provider may also be useful. However, although personal recommendations can be helpful, you should always take up other references.

You may find details of local childcare providers on noticeboards at local schools, community centres, libraries, or shops. But again, always remember to check references.

Visiting your chosen childcare setting is a good idea. Some things to look for include trained and experienced staff, ready to respond to your child's individual needs and busy but relaxed children who seem happy and purposeful. Premises need to be safe and clean with outside play space, and fun activities should be planned each day with the childrens' interests and enthusiasms in mind. Also look out for a warm welcome for you and your child!

www.bristol.gov.uk/page/children-and-young-people/family-information-service

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For many professional mums at this time of year, thoughts turn to their childcare arrangements during the school summer holidays.

Options to consider are drafting in willing relatives to help, or offering mutual support to friends in a similar position.

Another source of inspiration could be Bristol City Council's Family Information Service, offering free, impartial information and guidance on a full range of childcare and children's services and resources across the city. Information is available on finding childcare, with a list of childcare options in your area, along with contact details. Type 'holiday club' into the Childcare Search on their 1BigDatabase and you'll find a list of relevant providers. You can then contact them to check the hours they can provide childcare, the cost and availability.

In addition, the Family Information Service has achieved the Families First Accreditation, a quality assurance process developed by NAFIS (The National Association of Family Information Services) in conjunction with the Department for Education (DfE) as a tool to measure the effectiveness of delivery of its statutory obligation to meet the Information Duty in Section 12 of the 2006 Childcare Act.

Other professional mums' experiences of a childcare provider may also be useful. However, although personal recommendations can be helpful, you should always take up other references.

You may find details of local childcare providers on noticeboards at local schools, community centres, libraries, or shops. But again, always remember to check references.

Visiting your chosen childcare setting is a good idea. Some things to look for include trained and experienced staff, ready to respond to your child's individual needs and busy but relaxed children who seem happy and purposeful. Premises need to be safe and clean with outside play space, and fun activities should be planned each day with the childrens' interests and enthusiasms in mind. Also look out for a warm welcome for you and your child!

www.bristol.gov.uk/page/children-and-young-people/family-information-service

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The Underwear Rule – Say Pants to Abuse

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PANTS is an acronym made up of five simple rules that we should all teach our children and discuss with them. The Underwear rule which has been devised by the NSPCC makes it easy for parents to discuss the issue of abuse with their children in a non-explicit manner whilst opening the door for communication and in so doing helps parents to tackle this difficult subject and to protect their children.

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse by teaching them that:

  • their body belongs to them
  • they have a right to say no
  • they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried
  • We know talking to your child about their private parts and staying safe can seem difficult, but doesn’t have to be scary or mention sex.
  • Simple conversations can help children understand that their body is their own and help protect them from abuse.

P= Privates are Private

A= Always remember your body belongs to you

N= No means no

T= Talk about secrets that upset you

S= Speak up – someone can help

Source: NSPCC Website

For more information visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents/keeping-your-child-safe/the-underwear-rule/the-underwear-rule_wda97016.html#downloads

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PANTS is an acronym made up of five simple rules that we should all teach our children and discuss with them. The Underwear rule which has been devised by the NSPCC makes it easy for parents to discuss the issue of abuse with their children in a non-explicit manner whilst opening the door for communication and in so doing helps parents to tackle this difficult subject and to protect their children.

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse by teaching them that:

  • their body belongs to them
  • they have a right to say no
  • they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried
  • We know talking to your child about their private parts and staying safe can seem difficult, but doesn’t have to be scary or mention sex.
  • Simple conversations can help children understand that their body is their own and help protect them from abuse.

P= Privates are Private

A= Always remember your body belongs to you

N= No means no

T= Talk about secrets that upset you

S= Speak up – someone can help

Source: NSPCC Website

For more information visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents/keeping-your-child-safe/the-underwear-rule/the-underwear-rule_wda97016.html#downloads

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What to pack in your hospital bag ?

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What should you pack in your hospital bag?

It is really important that you have your bag packed and ready to go and we recommend doing this at least a month in advance of your due date.

The Babyblooms mums suggest that you should have a bag packed even if you are planning a home birth - that way, should you end up needing to go in to hospital you can be sure of having what you need with you and won't have to rely on anyone else guessing at what you want or need (which in our experience can be the most inappropriate clothes imaginable!)

To help you prepare we have put together a quick hospital bag checklist:

What to pack for labour......

    • 2 x nighties/ oversized shirts or t-shirts
    • Lip balm, moisturizer & hairbands
    • Warm, loose fitting socks or slippers
    • Ipod/MP3 player
    • Phone & Charger
    • Camera
    • Antenatal notes / birth plan
    • Tens machine
    • Snacks & drinks
    • Water spray
    • Books and magazines
    • Your own pillow / breastfeeding pillow

What to pack for your baby......

    • 2/3 bodysuits
    • 2/3 sleepsuits
    • Hat
    • 3 x muslin squares
    • Gentle baby wipes
    • Cotton wool
    • 10 x nappies
    • Small blanket - knitted cotton or bamboo receiving blanket
    • Going home outfit
    • Car seat

 

What to pack for you......

    • Sanitary pads and large old / disposable knickers
    • 2 x nursing bras
    • Nursing pads and nipple cream
    • Nightie / PJ's with opening to allow for feeding
    • Going home clothes & comfy shoes (your feet may swell in hospital sue to heat and sitting around)
    • Toiletries, makeup, mirror and hairbrush - You'll be photographed a lot!
    • Towel

 

Extras......

    • Birth announcement cards
    • Notebook / diary & pen

If there is anything else that you found from experience to be really useful, that you will be packing, or you think isn't needed please feel free to let us know so that we can share your tips!

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What to pack in your hospital bag ?

Posted on

What should you pack in your hospital bag?

It is really important that you have your bag packed and ready to go and we recommend doing this at least a month in advance of your due date.

The Babyblooms mums suggest that you should have a bag packed even if you are planning a home birth - that way, should you end up needing to go in to hospital you can be sure of having what you need with you and won't have to rely on anyone else guessing at what you want or need (which in our experience can be the most inappropriate clothes imaginable!)

To help you prepare we have put together a quick hospital bag checklist:

What to pack for labour......

    • 2 x nighties/ oversized shirts or t-shirts
    • Lip balm, moisturizer & hairbands
    • Warm, loose fitting socks or slippers
    • Ipod/MP3 player
    • Phone & Charger
    • Camera
    • Antenatal notes / birth plan
    • Tens machine
    • Snacks & drinks
    • Water spray
    • Books and magazines
    • Your own pillow / breastfeeding pillow

What to pack for your baby......

    • 2/3 bodysuits
    • 2/3 sleepsuits
    • Hat
    • 3 x muslin squares
    • Gentle baby wipes
    • Cotton wool
    • 10 x nappies
    • Small blanket - knitted cotton or bamboo receiving blanket
    • Going home outfit
    • Car seat

 

What to pack for you......

    • Sanitary pads and large old / disposable knickers
    • 2 x nursing bras
    • Nursing pads and nipple cream
    • Nightie / PJ's with opening to allow for feeding
    • Going home clothes & comfy shoes (your feet may swell in hospital sue to heat and sitting around)
    • Toiletries, makeup, mirror and hairbrush - You'll be photographed a lot!
    • Towel

 

Extras......

    • Birth announcement cards
    • Notebook / diary & pen

If there is anything else that you found from experience to be really useful, that you will be packing, or you think isn't needed please feel free to let us know so that we can share your tips!

Read more



Baby and Child First Aid

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The British Red Cross have recently launched The Baby and Child First Aid app, this means that you’ll only ever be a few clicks away from essential first aid information and who wouldn’t want life saving information at their fingertips? Having downloaded the app ourselves, we at Babyblooms urge you to do the same. The app is full of useful videos, animations, tips and a self-test section, what’s more it only takes seconds to download and is completely free. First...

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Baby and Child First Aid

Posted on

The British Red Cross have recently launched The Baby and Child First Aid app, this means that you’ll only ever be a few clicks away from essential first aid information and who wouldn’t want life saving information at their fingertips?

Having downloaded the app ourselves, we at Babyblooms urge you to do the same. The app is full of useful videos, animations, tips and a self-test section, what’s more it only takes seconds to download and is completely free.

First Aid skills are presented in a simple, easy to learn way, making it perfect for learning on the go or at your own pace, where ever and whenever suits you.

First Aid skills are presented in a simple, easy to learn way, making it perfect for learning on the go or at your own pace, where ever and whenever suits you.

The British Red Cross First Aid app contains:


    • Useful Videos
    • Animations
    • Self-test section
    • A&E finder

To download the free Baby and Child First Aid app visit: www.redcross.org.uk/babyandchildapp

Other options for learning include taking a First Aid Course or learning online via the British Red Cross website www.redcross.org.uk/babyandchildfirstaid

The interactive website which is free and easy to use covers a wide range of children's first aid emergencies including choking, unconsciousness, resuscitation, high temperatures and burns.

British Red Cross First Aid courses can be booked either individually or in groups, they are designed to give parents the confidence to cope with a first aid emergency and includes hands-on and practical life-saving skills.

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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood...And How I Committed Them All In 7 Weeks

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From our lovely guest Blogger and New Mum Sparkles & Stretchmarks...


As a first time mum-to-be I promised myself that I would not fall into the ParentTrap that so many of my friends had been sucked in to over the years.

"You'll never find me walking around the house like a zombie still wearing my pjs at 4pm, while the kids are Tarzan-ing off the curtains" I promised myself.

"Co-sleeping?! Pffft! I don't think so!" I snorted to myself, pitying all these weak-minded mothers who had given up their right to enjoy a full nights sleep without little feet sticking in their backs just to pacify their little darlings....

I gave pitying glances to mothers in supermarket car parks, visibly at their wits end as they battled with toddlers who seemed to have super human strength as they fought against being put into their car seats...."MY child will never behave like that" I assured myself as I patted my baby bump.

Oh yes....I knew it all. I had it all figured it out and NONE of these dreadful fates would befall me in motherhood....

Its funny how easy it is to be so sure of your amazing mothering abilities before your little one has arrived....

Its funnier still how quickly all of those ideals go right out of the window once motherhood actually descends.....

I am only 7 weeks into life as a mother, and I am absolutely astounded at the number of self-imposed Golden Rules Of Motherhood I have already broken.

Here is my list of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood - and the spectacular ways in which I have gone against every single one of them in just 7 short weeks.

1. Thou Shalt Not Co-Sleep

Every piece of literature on safe sleeping that you ever read as a new mother warns against the dangers of co-sleeping. So why would anybody ever want to ever consider it?! This is what I wondered while I was pregnant.

Now I know exactly why people consider it - because after a few weeks of living with a newborn, all you want in the world is just a few short hours of precious sleep!!

Of course the safety of your baby is the most important thing in the world - and thats what makes co-sleeping all the more fun!!

Because not only do you find yourself in a strange kind of half-sleep because you're so concerned with ensuring that the duvet and pillows are nowhere near the baby (and consequently, nowhere near you either....), and making sure that you're sleeping in a position that Cirque Du Soleil would be in awe of to make sure that you cannot possibly end up laying on the baby....

But on top of this, you are so consumed with guilt and shame that your need for sleep has seen you succumb to the temptation of sharing your bed with your baby that your poor, sleep-deprived, terror-ridden brain cannot possibly allow you to drift off...

But while you have been trying to - that tiny little person you have now introduced to the comfort of your nice big bed has decided that he LIKES this arrangement, and he will no longer be settling down to sleep ANYWHERE else.... Oh the joy.

2. Thou Shalt Not Cuddle Too Much

"I'll never be one of these people who sits all night long cuddling their baby" I remember snorting to myself, after coming away from visiting my friend and her new baby daughter...."How can they not expect the baby to get used to it?! Why not just put it down?!"

I now know the answer to this. Not only is it very very difficult to be left in a room with what you consider to be the cutest living thing on the planet and NOT pick it up and cuddle it all night long....but once you have got up and down 45 times in the space of 30 minutes to keep checking that its breathing or popping its dummy back in after its spit it out and is crying for it yet again, you soon decide that actually - its just easier all round to bloody well keep hold of it.

3. Thou Shalt Not Spoil The Child With Gifts

"I'll only buy him things when he needs them - he's got loads of clothes, he won't need anything else until he's about 6 months old" I promised my partner before the birth...

Now, each time I return home from...well...pretty much anywhere really, as I greet my partner - bags bursting at the seams full of baby clothes, toys he can't even play with yet, etc etc - I can taste those words in my mouth.

But come on - does it really count if they're on a special offer?! And well...they're CUTE!!!
 

4. Thou Shalt Not Be An Over-Anxious Mother


Having spent some time in A & E departments over the course of my ever-dramatic pregnancy, I had seen countless over-anxious parents cradling their little ones and fretting endlessly over the tiny scratches on their fingers...and once again, I promised myself that would never be me.

So imagine my surprise when at just 6 weeks post-partum, I found myself sitting in the A & E department of my local hospital with Tyne....only to be sent home 4 hours later (!!) after being told that his "Monstrous allergic reaction to a baby cream" (as per my report to my partner via panicked text message) was in fact.....cradle cap.

 

5. Thou Shalt Not Seek Advice From Others On Every Single Issue


"I'm a qualified Nanny....I can make all of my own decisions about whats best for this baby, I won't be needing loads of advice anyway" I told my sister when she

warned me to expect endless interference from our Mother and Aunts....

Its funny how the ear-shattering screams of an infant can suddenly render your brain completely void of prior knowledge....

 

6. Thou Shalt Not Overshare Cutesy Baby Photos & Anecdotes On Social Networking Sites


Oh we've all got them on our Friends lists....those overly proud parents who insist on shoving endless photos of their offspring down our throats as if we've never

seen a baby before.

"I am NOT going to be one of those people who only ever talks about their kid - I've got other things in my life to talk about that are far more interesting!"

Well....I think each and every one of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers would be more than happy to verify how spectacularly I've obliterated this one.....them and my new Instagram friends....an account designed purely for the purpose of sharing photos quickly and easily which I acquired when my son was around 2 days old....Hey, those photos are just TOO cute not to shove in everybody's faces!!!

and the biggest one of all....


7. Thou Shalt Not Covet Other Peoples Perfect Babies


I always hated those parents who would look in disdain at their own children and talk wistfully about their friends child who sleeps straight through the night/always says please & thank you without being reminded/invented gravity.....

"They should just be proud of their own kids, how sad for the children"...I thought to myself....However upon hearing about my friends baby who slept through the night at just 5 weeks old.....after our most recent fun-filled weekend of no sleep whatsoever....I have to say, I did have a sudden onset of the green-eyed monster as I looked at my own child and wondered "Why are you deliberately trying to break me?!"

Of course now what I hate more than people wishing their own kids would behave like other peoples, is the people in possession of those perfectly behaved, sound sleeping, gravity-inventing children...

I'm pretty sure they're all liars, anyway......

If you have enjoyed this article, why not visit Sparkles and Stretchmarks at

https://sparklesandstretchmarks.blogspot.co.uk/

Read more


From our lovely guest Blogger and New Mum Sparkles & Stretchmarks...


As a first time mum-to-be I promised myself that I would not fall into the ParentTrap that so many of my friends had been sucked in to over the years.

"You'll never find me walking around the house like a zombie still wearing my pjs at 4pm, while the kids are Tarzan-ing off the curtains" I promised myself.

"Co-sleeping?! Pffft! I don't think so!" I snorted to myself, pitying all these weak-minded mothers who had given up their right to enjoy a full nights sleep without little feet sticking in their backs just to pacify their little darlings....

I gave pitying glances to mothers in supermarket car parks, visibly at their wits end as they battled with toddlers who seemed to have super human strength as they fought against being put into their car seats...."MY child will never behave like that" I assured myself as I patted my baby bump.

Oh yes....I knew it all. I had it all figured it out and NONE of these dreadful fates would befall me in motherhood....

Its funny how easy it is to be so sure of your amazing mothering abilities before your little one has arrived....

Its funnier still how quickly all of those ideals go right out of the window once motherhood actually descends.....

I am only 7 weeks into life as a mother, and I am absolutely astounded at the number of self-imposed Golden Rules Of Motherhood I have already broken.

Here is my list of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood - and the spectacular ways in which I have gone against every single one of them in just 7 short weeks.

1. Thou Shalt Not Co-Sleep

Every piece of literature on safe sleeping that you ever read as a new mother warns against the dangers of co-sleeping. So why would anybody ever want to ever consider it?! This is what I wondered while I was pregnant.

Now I know exactly why people consider it - because after a few weeks of living with a newborn, all you want in the world is just a few short hours of precious sleep!!

Of course the safety of your baby is the most important thing in the world - and thats what makes co-sleeping all the more fun!!

Because not only do you find yourself in a strange kind of half-sleep because you're so concerned with ensuring that the duvet and pillows are nowhere near the baby (and consequently, nowhere near you either....), and making sure that you're sleeping in a position that Cirque Du Soleil would be in awe of to make sure that you cannot possibly end up laying on the baby....

But on top of this, you are so consumed with guilt and shame that your need for sleep has seen you succumb to the temptation of sharing your bed with your baby that your poor, sleep-deprived, terror-ridden brain cannot possibly allow you to drift off...

But while you have been trying to - that tiny little person you have now introduced to the comfort of your nice big bed has decided that he LIKES this arrangement, and he will no longer be settling down to sleep ANYWHERE else.... Oh the joy.

2. Thou Shalt Not Cuddle Too Much

"I'll never be one of these people who sits all night long cuddling their baby" I remember snorting to myself, after coming away from visiting my friend and her new baby daughter...."How can they not expect the baby to get used to it?! Why not just put it down?!"

I now know the answer to this. Not only is it very very difficult to be left in a room with what you consider to be the cutest living thing on the planet and NOT pick it up and cuddle it all night long....but once you have got up and down 45 times in the space of 30 minutes to keep checking that its breathing or popping its dummy back in after its spit it out and is crying for it yet again, you soon decide that actually - its just easier all round to bloody well keep hold of it.

3. Thou Shalt Not Spoil The Child With Gifts

"I'll only buy him things when he needs them - he's got loads of clothes, he won't need anything else until he's about 6 months old" I promised my partner before the birth...

Now, each time I return home from...well...pretty much anywhere really, as I greet my partner - bags bursting at the seams full of baby clothes, toys he can't even play with yet, etc etc - I can taste those words in my mouth.

But come on - does it really count if they're on a special offer?! And well...they're CUTE!!!
 

4. Thou Shalt Not Be An Over-Anxious Mother


Having spent some time in A & E departments over the course of my ever-dramatic pregnancy, I had seen countless over-anxious parents cradling their little ones and fretting endlessly over the tiny scratches on their fingers...and once again, I promised myself that would never be me.

So imagine my surprise when at just 6 weeks post-partum, I found myself sitting in the A & E department of my local hospital with Tyne....only to be sent home 4 hours later (!!) after being told that his "Monstrous allergic reaction to a baby cream" (as per my report to my partner via panicked text message) was in fact.....cradle cap.

 

5. Thou Shalt Not Seek Advice From Others On Every Single Issue


"I'm a qualified Nanny....I can make all of my own decisions about whats best for this baby, I won't be needing loads of advice anyway" I told my sister when she

warned me to expect endless interference from our Mother and Aunts....

Its funny how the ear-shattering screams of an infant can suddenly render your brain completely void of prior knowledge....

 

6. Thou Shalt Not Overshare Cutesy Baby Photos & Anecdotes On Social Networking Sites


Oh we've all got them on our Friends lists....those overly proud parents who insist on shoving endless photos of their offspring down our throats as if we've never

seen a baby before.

"I am NOT going to be one of those people who only ever talks about their kid - I've got other things in my life to talk about that are far more interesting!"

Well....I think each and every one of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers would be more than happy to verify how spectacularly I've obliterated this one.....them and my new Instagram friends....an account designed purely for the purpose of sharing photos quickly and easily which I acquired when my son was around 2 days old....Hey, those photos are just TOO cute not to shove in everybody's faces!!!

and the biggest one of all....


7. Thou Shalt Not Covet Other Peoples Perfect Babies


I always hated those parents who would look in disdain at their own children and talk wistfully about their friends child who sleeps straight through the night/always says please & thank you without being reminded/invented gravity.....

"They should just be proud of their own kids, how sad for the children"...I thought to myself....However upon hearing about my friends baby who slept through the night at just 5 weeks old.....after our most recent fun-filled weekend of no sleep whatsoever....I have to say, I did have a sudden onset of the green-eyed monster as I looked at my own child and wondered "Why are you deliberately trying to break me?!"

Of course now what I hate more than people wishing their own kids would behave like other peoples, is the people in possession of those perfectly behaved, sound sleeping, gravity-inventing children...

I'm pretty sure they're all liars, anyway......

If you have enjoyed this article, why not visit Sparkles and Stretchmarks at

https://sparklesandstretchmarks.blogspot.co.uk/

Read more



The Professional Mum - Paternity Leave

Posted on

We’ve previously talked about maternity leave in this column, but how paternity leave works is also of interest to the Professional Mum, not least because the Additional Paternity Leave that your partner could be eligible for can be influenced by your own return to work.

Dads who take time off because their partner is having a baby or adopting a child could be eligible for paid Ordinary Paternity Leave. They may also be eligible for up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, but only if the mother/co-adopter returns to work.

Ordinary Paternity Leave is for either 1 or 2 weeks (even if the partner has a multiple birth). Leave can’t start before the baby is born and must end within 56 days of the birth (the employer must be given 28 days notice of change to the start date). Leave must be taken in one go, and a week consists of regular working days. For example, if the Dad only works on Mondays and Tuesdays then a week is 2 days. To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave he must be an employee, have worked for his employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the qualifying week) and must give the correct notice.

Additional Paternity Leave depends on how much unused maternity leave or adoption leave the partner has. The employer must confirm the Dad’s start and end dates when the leave is claimed. Leave can start 20 weeks after the birth, adoption, or in the case of overseas adoptions, the child’s arrival in the UK, if the partner has returned to work. It must stop on the child’s 1st birthday, or, if adopting, within 1 year of the date that the child started living with its adoptive parents.


For further details on paternity leave & pay, with full eligibility criteria visit https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave

Read more


We’ve previously talked about maternity leave in this column, but how paternity leave works is also of interest to the Professional Mum, not least because the Additional Paternity Leave that your partner could be eligible for can be influenced by your own return to work.

Dads who take time off because their partner is having a baby or adopting a child could be eligible for paid Ordinary Paternity Leave. They may also be eligible for up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, but only if the mother/co-adopter returns to work.

Ordinary Paternity Leave is for either 1 or 2 weeks (even if the partner has a multiple birth). Leave can’t start before the baby is born and must end within 56 days of the birth (the employer must be given 28 days notice of change to the start date). Leave must be taken in one go, and a week consists of regular working days. For example, if the Dad only works on Mondays and Tuesdays then a week is 2 days. To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave he must be an employee, have worked for his employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the qualifying week) and must give the correct notice.

Additional Paternity Leave depends on how much unused maternity leave or adoption leave the partner has. The employer must confirm the Dad’s start and end dates when the leave is claimed. Leave can start 20 weeks after the birth, adoption, or in the case of overseas adoptions, the child’s arrival in the UK, if the partner has returned to work. It must stop on the child’s 1st birthday, or, if adopting, within 1 year of the date that the child started living with its adoptive parents.


For further details on paternity leave & pay, with full eligibility criteria visit https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave

Read more



Weight Loss Journey

Posted on

One of my first blog posts was to announce that after two years of excuses that I was carrying baby weight I was about to embark on a 'new me' programme. I vowed to keep you informed about my weight loss journey...and I must admit I didn't do that once. I think the reason I didn't was because just by writing that down I felt I had magically lost a few pounds!! The truth is I hadn't lost an ounce in fact I probably put on a few pounds if I am honest.

So now I am actually losing weight. At least I think I am! One of the reasons I think I am losing weight is because I have promised myself I will not step on the scales for a few months. A few things have motivated me to finally get myself sorted. The first reason is that I have signed up to run the Manchester 10k for my friends charity, Reuben's Retreat (www.reubensretreat.org). The second reason is that my best friend has asked me to be her bridesmaid! Normally I would just hope that the bias cut would be forgiving, but she is getting married abroad in a spa resort which means not a bridesmaid dress but a bikini!! So I have a two pronged motivation which compliment each other and are having powerful results.

I am not a runner but I have coerced my fitter friends to come running (fast walking) with me. I admit that the first few times were hell. I returned purple and remained purple until bedtime! I could barely lift my toddler and walking to school was a struggle the pain. But 4 weeks in and I can actually run for 4.5 miles (and counting) and hold a conversation at the same time. I actually relish my runs now not for the exercise and weight loss - I love going out and having an hour out of the house, chatting and having a laugh while getting fit.

My Dad always said he would start running when he saw someone running who actually looked like they enjoyed it. If he saw me and my mummy friends he would be sprinting like Usain Bolt! I may not be fast, I don't have any ambitions to be a speed demon but I am loving running. I would just say to any other mum, grab a few like-minded friends and walk, jog, crawl for half an hour and then do it again and again. I promise you, you will develop a love/hate relationship with it.

Have a go...

https://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/your-first-run-starting-slowly-but-surely.html

Read more


Weight Loss Journey

Posted on

One of my first blog posts was to announce that after two years of excuses that I was carrying baby weight I was about to embark on a 'new me' programme. I vowed to keep you informed about my weight loss journey...and I must admit I didn't do that once. I think the reason I didn't was because just by writing that down I felt I had magically lost a few pounds!! The truth is I hadn't lost an ounce in fact I probably put on a few pounds if I am honest.

So now I am actually losing weight. At least I think I am! One of the reasons I think I am losing weight is because I have promised myself I will not step on the scales for a few months. A few things have motivated me to finally get myself sorted. The first reason is that I have signed up to run the Manchester 10k for my friends charity, Reuben's Retreat (www.reubensretreat.org). The second reason is that my best friend has asked me to be her bridesmaid! Normally I would just hope that the bias cut would be forgiving, but she is getting married abroad in a spa resort which means not a bridesmaid dress but a bikini!! So I have a two pronged motivation which compliment each other and are having powerful results.

I am not a runner but I have coerced my fitter friends to come running (fast walking) with me. I admit that the first few times were hell. I returned purple and remained purple until bedtime! I could barely lift my toddler and walking to school was a struggle the pain. But 4 weeks in and I can actually run for 4.5 miles (and counting) and hold a conversation at the same time. I actually relish my runs now not for the exercise and weight loss - I love going out and having an hour out of the house, chatting and having a laugh while getting fit.

My Dad always said he would start running when he saw someone running who actually looked like they enjoyed it. If he saw me and my mummy friends he would be sprinting like Usain Bolt! I may not be fast, I don't have any ambitions to be a speed demon but I am loving running. I would just say to any other mum, grab a few like-minded friends and walk, jog, crawl for half an hour and then do it again and again. I promise you, you will develop a love/hate relationship with it.

Have a go...

https://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/your-first-run-starting-slowly-but-surely.html

Read more



Theodora Children's Trust Newsletter Spring/Summer 2013

Posted on

Theodora Children's Trust


Newsletter Spring / Summer 2013


The difference we're making

"All the Giggle Doctors do a wonderful job. To be able to make someone so happy during a time when things are not as good as they should be for a child or their family is the best present ever. Thank you."

Mo H

"My son was on dialysis for 3 years at Evelina Children's Hospital and he looked forward to the Giggle Doctors coming round on a Monday afternoon. It really helped lift the spirits of not just the children but also us parents who are there with our children. I hope that you will continue these visits for years to come as this is a much needed service for all the children in hospital. Thank you for making us laugh through such difficult times."

Ijaz H.

"As a child I spent many months at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I understand how daunting hospital can be for a child. I think what the Giggle Doctors do is fantastic and it's great to see the impact they have on the children. The room really lights up when the Giggle Doctors are around."

Will B., Double Paralympic Medallist

Editorial

As we step into spring, our ten new Giggle Doctors are finishing their training modules and are about to put on their Giggle Doctor coats for the first time.This means music, magic and laughter for 18,000 more children in hospital and residential homes across the UK.

We love it when parents tell us how they felt when they saw their child smile for the first time in weeks. Read Ava's story on page 4 to hear how brave Ava found ways to laugh with Dr. Wonderpants despite dealing with the effects of chemo aka 'wiggly juice'. Check out pages 6 and 8 to find out about two easy and cost free ways to help bring smiles to children like Ava.

Thank you so much for all the giggles.

Ava's Story

We spoke to Kerry McCarthy, whose 2 year old daughter Ava has benefited from the joy that the Giggle Doctors bring:

When did Ava first become ill and what were her symptoms?

"Back in July I was getting Ava changed and ready for bed on a Wednesday night when I felt a hard lump on the left side of her tummy. My husband, Chris came and had a look and felt it as well and didn't think it felt right. The next day we took Ava to the Doctor. They thought it was constipation. On Friday morning Chris went out to work at 5am, and just after Ava woke up crying and huddled up in her bed.She had brought up some green vomit.I knew this wasn't right and got my mother and father-in-law round to look after Aston, who was 6 months old at the time, and took Ava to A&E. They did a few scans and by lunch time we were in an ambulance on our way to Great Ormond Street Hospital. More scans and tests followed and then on Monday they confirmed that the diagnosis was cancer."

How did you feel?

"It was a massive shock. I was in GOSH and Chris was round my parents house, as he had gone back to be with Aston. It was an awful feeling. It took a while to actually sink in and for us to realise how serious it could be. I don't think we ever let our minds wander to what could have been the worst outcome. We knew we had to stay positive for Ava's sake."

How did the illness affect Ava?

"She has remained positive and cheerful throughout.She does get lots of times when she is tired and feels sick with the chemo. She lost a lot of weight as the

tumour was squashing her tummy and she didn't feel like eating a lot. As a result of the chemo she started losing her hair, and she is convinced that when it comes back it will be pink. Being so young we have told Ava that she had a poorly tummy and the doctors are fixing her. She calls her chemo wiggly juice and she knows this is making sure no nasty lumps come back to her belly. She seems happy with this."

How did the Giggle Doctor visits help? "Ava loves seeing the Giggle Doctors when she is in hospital, especially when she is on the chemo drip for 5-6 hours as it can be difficult to entertain her ourselves. The Giggle Doctors make her laugh and she loves the balloon animals and bracelets they make (Daddy also loves their jokes!).

Ava has seen lots of different Giggle Doctors in Addenbrookes and GOSH. She always talks about them after they have gone.She loved the fact that Dr Wonderpants came to her Pink Party fundraiser!"

If you have a story about how Giggle Doctors helped your child. We'd love to hear from you.

 
Please email Clare:

clare.conroy@theodora.org

or call on 020 7713 0044


Chores for Chuckles

We're asking you to take on a simple everyday chore (or lots of chores!) in return for a donation. Whether it's making cups of tea for the family or sweeping the office floor, Chores for Chuckles is about rolling up our sleeves to help seriously ill children across the nation.

Even if you just do one chore it will make a huge difference.

All money raised will go towards supporting the fabulous work of our Giggle Doctors, who bring laughter to children and their families at such upsetting and difficult times.

To download your Chores for Chuckles pack visit:

www.theodora.org.uk/choresforchuckles

 
DONATE

Give a Giggle

If you would like to make a donation to Theodora Children's Trust, please go to www.theodora.org.uk/donate or write a cheque made payable to Theodora Children's Trust and post it to Theodora Children's Trust, 40 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. Thank you for your support.


Community Fundraiser

Would you like to volunteer for Theodora Children's Trust from the comfort of your own armchair? Whether you work full-time and just have a couple of hours a month to spare or whether you have lots of time on your hands, we need your help! We are
looking for Volunteer Community Fundraisers who will spread the word of Theodora among their friends, family and colleagues and fundraise to bring smiles to children in hospital. If you would like to hear more about becoming a Volunteer Community Fundraiser, please contact our Charlotte by emailing her at charlotte.wilson@theodora.org or by calling her on 020 7713 0044.


Hospital List

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Bradford Royal Infirmary

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London

Evelina Children's Hospital, London

Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

North Manchester General Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital

Young Epilepsy, Surrey

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Oldham Hospital, Manchester

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey


Sheffield Children's Hospital

The Children's Trust, Tadworth

If you would like to contact us, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 7713 0044 or email us at theodora.uk@theodora.org We'd love to hear from you!

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/giveagiggle

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/giveagiggle

Watch us on You Tube: youtube.com/giveagiggle

Newsletter Spring 2013 Web Quality

Read more


Theodora Children's Trust


Newsletter Spring / Summer 2013


The difference we're making

"All the Giggle Doctors do a wonderful job. To be able to make someone so happy during a time when things are not as good as they should be for a child or their family is the best present ever. Thank you."

Mo H

"My son was on dialysis for 3 years at Evelina Children's Hospital and he looked forward to the Giggle Doctors coming round on a Monday afternoon. It really helped lift the spirits of not just the children but also us parents who are there with our children. I hope that you will continue these visits for years to come as this is a much needed service for all the children in hospital. Thank you for making us laugh through such difficult times."

Ijaz H.

"As a child I spent many months at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I understand how daunting hospital can be for a child. I think what the Giggle Doctors do is fantastic and it's great to see the impact they have on the children. The room really lights up when the Giggle Doctors are around."

Will B., Double Paralympic Medallist

Editorial

As we step into spring, our ten new Giggle Doctors are finishing their training modules and are about to put on their Giggle Doctor coats for the first time.This means music, magic and laughter for 18,000 more children in hospital and residential homes across the UK.

We love it when parents tell us how they felt when they saw their child smile for the first time in weeks. Read Ava's story on page 4 to hear how brave Ava found ways to laugh with Dr. Wonderpants despite dealing with the effects of chemo aka 'wiggly juice'. Check out pages 6 and 8 to find out about two easy and cost free ways to help bring smiles to children like Ava.

Thank you so much for all the giggles.

Ava's Story

We spoke to Kerry McCarthy, whose 2 year old daughter Ava has benefited from the joy that the Giggle Doctors bring:

When did Ava first become ill and what were her symptoms?

"Back in July I was getting Ava changed and ready for bed on a Wednesday night when I felt a hard lump on the left side of her tummy. My husband, Chris came and had a look and felt it as well and didn't think it felt right. The next day we took Ava to the Doctor. They thought it was constipation. On Friday morning Chris went out to work at 5am, and just after Ava woke up crying and huddled up in her bed.She had brought up some green vomit.I knew this wasn't right and got my mother and father-in-law round to look after Aston, who was 6 months old at the time, and took Ava to A&E. They did a few scans and by lunch time we were in an ambulance on our way to Great Ormond Street Hospital. More scans and tests followed and then on Monday they confirmed that the diagnosis was cancer."

How did you feel?

"It was a massive shock. I was in GOSH and Chris was round my parents house, as he had gone back to be with Aston. It was an awful feeling. It took a while to actually sink in and for us to realise how serious it could be. I don't think we ever let our minds wander to what could have been the worst outcome. We knew we had to stay positive for Ava's sake."

How did the illness affect Ava?

"She has remained positive and cheerful throughout.She does get lots of times when she is tired and feels sick with the chemo. She lost a lot of weight as the

tumour was squashing her tummy and she didn't feel like eating a lot. As a result of the chemo she started losing her hair, and she is convinced that when it comes back it will be pink. Being so young we have told Ava that she had a poorly tummy and the doctors are fixing her. She calls her chemo wiggly juice and she knows this is making sure no nasty lumps come back to her belly. She seems happy with this."

How did the Giggle Doctor visits help? "Ava loves seeing the Giggle Doctors when she is in hospital, especially when she is on the chemo drip for 5-6 hours as it can be difficult to entertain her ourselves. The Giggle Doctors make her laugh and she loves the balloon animals and bracelets they make (Daddy also loves their jokes!).

Ava has seen lots of different Giggle Doctors in Addenbrookes and GOSH. She always talks about them after they have gone.She loved the fact that Dr Wonderpants came to her Pink Party fundraiser!"

If you have a story about how Giggle Doctors helped your child. We'd love to hear from you.

 
Please email Clare:

clare.conroy@theodora.org

or call on 020 7713 0044


Chores for Chuckles

We're asking you to take on a simple everyday chore (or lots of chores!) in return for a donation. Whether it's making cups of tea for the family or sweeping the office floor, Chores for Chuckles is about rolling up our sleeves to help seriously ill children across the nation.

Even if you just do one chore it will make a huge difference.

All money raised will go towards supporting the fabulous work of our Giggle Doctors, who bring laughter to children and their families at such upsetting and difficult times.

To download your Chores for Chuckles pack visit:

www.theodora.org.uk/choresforchuckles

 
DONATE

Give a Giggle

If you would like to make a donation to Theodora Children's Trust, please go to www.theodora.org.uk/donate or write a cheque made payable to Theodora Children's Trust and post it to Theodora Children's Trust, 40 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. Thank you for your support.


Community Fundraiser

Would you like to volunteer for Theodora Children's Trust from the comfort of your own armchair? Whether you work full-time and just have a couple of hours a month to spare or whether you have lots of time on your hands, we need your help! We are
looking for Volunteer Community Fundraisers who will spread the word of Theodora among their friends, family and colleagues and fundraise to bring smiles to children in hospital. If you would like to hear more about becoming a Volunteer Community Fundraiser, please contact our Charlotte by emailing her at charlotte.wilson@theodora.org or by calling her on 020 7713 0044.


Hospital List

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Bradford Royal Infirmary

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London

Evelina Children's Hospital, London

Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

North Manchester General Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital

Young Epilepsy, Surrey

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Oldham Hospital, Manchester

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey


Sheffield Children's Hospital

The Children's Trust, Tadworth

If you would like to contact us, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 7713 0044 or email us at theodora.uk@theodora.org We'd love to hear from you!

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/giveagiggle

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/giveagiggle

Watch us on You Tube: youtube.com/giveagiggle

Newsletter Spring 2013 Web Quality

Read more