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• Spring Stroll guided walk around estate followed by roast lunch
• Great Armarda invasion – Tudor living history experience
• ‘Mum’s the word’ secret Morse code Messages for Mother’s Day

There’s plenty happening at Penshurst Place & Gardens at weekends during March with a new event just for adults taking place on 16th March. Take a two hour Spring Stroll with the estate’s General Manager as he guides a group on an escorted walk around the beautiful parkland and grounds at Penshurst Place, and then enjoy a two-course roast lunch afterwards in the Garden Restaurant.

For families there’s the chance to experience Tudor life with the Great Armada invasion on 22nd and 23rd March when a cast of skilled, costumed actors will be at Penshurst Place to give a living history presentation on the preparations by the household ahead of imminent attack by the Spanish fleet.

‘Mum’s the word’ for young visitors with free war-themed family activities available in the Education Room for Mother’s Day on 30th March. As part of the ‘Sir and Soldier’ season, there will plenty of things to occupy children on Mother’s Day including the option to make a Morse-code necklace with hidden secret message for their Mum or to hand-make their own Mother’s Day poetry card in the Education Room. There’s an opportunity to further spoil mothers (and grandmothers, aunts or anyone who deserves a special thank you) to a lovely Mother’s Day lunch in the Garden Restaurant with a special menu. No booking necessary, visitors seated on a first come, first served basis.

MARCH EVENTS – MORE DETAILS

SPRING STROLL & LUNCH – ADULT EVENT: 16TH MARCH

Dust off your walking shoes for a leisurely two hour walk and then reap a tasty reward for your physical exertion.

A brand new walking event for adults to enjoy at Penshurst Place & Gardens on 16th March between 11am and 2pm. Journey across the beautiful estate and learn about its Tudor history on the way. This special Sunday walk is led by Penshurst Place’s General Manager and is followed by a delicious two-course roast lunch in the Garden Restaurant.

Tickets £22 (to include private parking, guided walk, two-course roast lunch and access to the Gardens) www.penshurstplace.com/etickets

THE GREAT ARMADA ADVENTURE: 22ND & 23RD MARCH (12 NOON TO 4PM)

Experience life at Penshurst Place as the militia prepares to ward off the Spanish Armada. Skilled costumed characters bring history alive as they invite visitors to join them in the Staterooms as the Penshurst Place household prepares for invasion.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

CELEBRATION OF MOTHER’S DAY: 30TH MARCH

With fun craft activities to suit all ages and a special menu in the Garden Restaurant, Penshurst Place will be ‘the place’ for families to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

Children will be able to treat their Mums to a handmade Mother’s Day poetry card or present her with a hidden Morse code message on a necklace in the Education Room.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

APRIL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

EASTER HOLIDAY FUN: 5TH – 21ST APRIL

Penshurst Place will have lots of fun craft and trail activities as part of its ‘Sir and Soldier’ themed season of WW1 commemoration events running in April.

Every day during the Easter school holidays, families can join an egg hunt with a twist! Rather than seeking Easter eggs, visitors to Penshurst Place are invited to help hunt down the carrier pigeons with their hidden secret messages, in a fun trail around the playground.

Pigeons played an important communication role during WWW1, and proved an extremely reliable way of sending messages across enemy lines. Using the story of carrier pigeons, children will learn more about the communication methods during the Great War and enjoy a fun trail that will take them on an inspiring educational journey of discovery.

The education room will continue the war-theme with craft activities available from 12 noon each day. Youngsters will be invited to create their very own carrier pigeon or soldier bonnet and enjoy Easter colouring activities.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

EASTER STORYTELLING: 20TH – 21ST APRIL

The story of Cher Ami, a WW1 carrier pigeon and her friends will be unveiled as part of Penshurst Place’s ‘Sir and Soldier’ themed season of WW1 commemoration events. Families are invited to gather in the medieval buttery at 2pm, 2.45pm and 3.30pm to hear skilled story tellers from Aardvark Productions bring the account of a Great War carrier pigeon to life and explain through tale, the critical communication role these homing birds had throughout World War 1.

Normal garden admission prices apply.
For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

Other things to see and do while visiting Penshurst Place and Gardens during March and April:-

• Toy Museum
• House (Sats & Suns only in March, daily from April)
• Woodland Trail
• Adventure Playground
• Garden Restaurant
• Porcupine Pantry
• Gift Shop
• The Gardens: spring flowering bulbs in the Orchard, Nut Garden, Lime Walk and Horse Pond and spring blossom in the Orchard, Nut Garden and Flag Garden

Most events are included in standard admission price unless otherwise stated. Full details of the event calendar for 2014 can be found at www.penshurstplace.com/whatson.

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adultstepandlearnWelcome to Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre. Our Adult Activity Centre meets at the following days / times:
Days From To
Tuesday 10am 4pm
Wednesday 10am 4pm
Thursday 10am 4pm

Our Aim
1) To enhance the students full potential, in a parent-involving, community-based charity group.
2) To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment.
3) To work within a framework, which ensures equality of opportunity.

We Offer
1) Long, medium and short term weekly planning.
2) Individual care and attention from our trained and experienced staff and volunteers.
3) Fun and friendship with other students.
4) The support of a team member who will observe the student and keep their files updated daily.
5) Promoting social interaction with their peers.
6) Opportunities for you to be directly involved, in the activities of the group: fundraising, raffles and cake making for coffee mornings and open days.

Starting at our Activity Centre

It is important for parents / guardians and the team to work together to help the student to feel confident and secure in the group. In order to feel free to explore & experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best that students wear clothes that are easily washable, or you may wish to provide a change of clothing.(Aprons are provided).
Please note that you may require a ‘one to one’ personal assistant, to help you achieve the best from our Activity Centre, especially if you have a manual wheelchair and need help with feeding. Funding for personal assistants may be obtained from Direct Payments via your Care Manager, Social Services.

Health

If a student has diarrhoea and/or vomiting they should not attend for 2 days after the last bout of illness. Also if a student has an infection i.e. upper respiratory tract infection (chest / throat) and are on antibiotics, they should not attend for 3 days after the start of antibiotics.

Management & Administration

Step & Learn is a registered charity and all major decision making is in the hands of the Chairperson & Trustees, who are also responsible for reviewing policy / practice and for the employment and appraisal of team members. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact: Rod Black, (Chairman) or Janice Maunick, who will be pleased to be of assistance.

Fees

Fees are: £25.00 per session and are payable monthly. This covers costs of materials / art / crafts / cookery / staffing and hire of the hall. There will be a daily charge of £2.00 for lunch and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits, etc.) Fees continue to be payable if a student is absent with or without notice or for a short period of time. Each student’s attendance at the group is conditional upon continued payment of any necessary fees. We hope that your son’s/daughter’s time in our ‘Activity Centre’ will be a happy & productive one. If you have any queries, or if you can be of any help, please contact the staff / trustees at any time.

Holidays

We close for holidays at Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays, for which there is no charge. You can also take a further 2 weeks unpaid leave for holidays, by completing a holiday form.

Policies

Our policy statements are available for you to examine. All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the students and their families in the group. Our policies are reviewed on a regular basis and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting you.
Many thanks
Rod, Janice & Marji
Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre

Picture1Kent Wildlife Trust, Half Term Fun – Rock and Fossil Day Leaders: Ray and Wendy Cooper and Diana Franks from Kent Geodiversity with assistance from Victoria Golding. An introduction to looking at rocks and fossils including a touch table, rock and fossil identification and a chance to work with microscopes to make up a collection of microfossils. Also put in your postcode to discover the rock type under your house.

Thursday 31st October 2013, 11.00am – 1.00pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Tyland Barn, Maidstone, ME14 3BD. Suitable for ages 4 – 14 year olds. Contact: Dot Hughes Cost: Suggested donation of £3.00, Booking essential by telephoning 01622 662012 or emailing dot.hughes@kentwildlife.org.uk

Contact us
Kent Wildlife Trust
Tyland Barn
Sandling
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 3BD

Phone 01622 662012 Fax 01622 671390 or info@kentwildlife.org.uk

batsbroomsThings get spooky this Autumn Half Term at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and ethereal through a range of exciting activities.

Running from 25 October through to 3 November, visitors can join in the Bats and Broomsticks activities, suitable for all the family. These include a brand new and very informative Bat Trail, the return of Megan the Witch with spell binding stories to enchant and – back by popular demand – families can challenge their creative skills by trying their hand at Pumpkin Carving or take the spooky mini Ghost Tours through the eerie Hearts of Oak gallery in the dark! Read More

healthy foodWould you like tips on making family meal times healthier? If you are a parent or carer with children aged 2-4 there are free advice sessions taking place near you from September.

The MEND 2-4 Programme, run by Medway Council’s Public Health Team offers a great chance for local families to learn about healthy lifestyle choices in a fun and creative way.

The course involves children and a parent or carer taking part in a 90-minute session, once a week for 10 weeks. Each session deals with issues that many parents face from fussy eating to temper tantrums.

There is also advice on reading food labels and encouraging children to try new fruit and vegetables, all of which builds a foundation for lifelong healthy living habits. Read More

edna – energise dance nourish art is a distinctive dance, arts, health and well being project especially designed for older adults aged 55+ years. It will pilot a creative dance/movement, arts and science research based activity that will happen in two community settings in Medway and Gravesham. More

sportactivExciting interactive play system SportACTIV was officially opened on 6 August in Ryetop Park, Rainham. The play equipment – the first to be installed in Kent – aims to help children and young people be more active. More than 25 children turned up at the park in Beacon Close, Rainham to try their hand at the games. More

An exciting programme of summer fun events is taking place at Strood Youth Centre throughout August. All the activities are free and aimed at eight to 19 year olds.

Climbing – Monday, 5 August 3pm – 6pm

Archery – Tuesday, 6 and Tuesday, 20 August 3pm – 6pm

Trampolining – Wednesday, 7 August 3pm – 6pm

Cake decorating – Tuesday, 6, Wednesday, 7 and Monday, 12 August 3– 6pm

Jewellery making – Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 August 3pm – 6pm

Wet and Wild (water fights, slides and play) – Wednesday, 14 August 3pm – 6pm

Inflatable activity fun (gladiator style challenge) – Monday, 19 and Wednesday, 21 August 3pm – 6pm

All the workshops listed above take place at Strood Youth Centre, Montfort Road, Strood, ME2 3ET

1 – 15 August, Charlton Football Club will be running a summer slam football activity week from 10am – 4pm each day in Northcote Rec, Northcote Road, Strood. For more details about any of the activities and workshops, phone 07789 988165 or email patricia.houssein@medway.gov.uk

Calling all families who want to get healthier and more active – healthy lifestyle course MEND starts again this September – sign up today.

As part of National Child Obesity Week (1-7 July), the Public Health Team is encouraging families to join the free MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do it) course. The 10-week course takes place at various venues around Medway and supports children aged between five and 13, who are above a healthy weight, and their families to become fitter and healthier. More

Overnight 22nd – 23rd June

Fort Amherst and the surrounding area has been inhabited for over 3000 years and the area in an around it includes a Saxon burial ground, a Roman mosaic and the original site of old Chatham which was demolished to make way for the fortifications of Fort Amherst. With so much history, the area has very high levels of paranormal activity. More

HeartsofOakTrailCommissionersGarden

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BuddingDockyardExplorerInspired by “Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton” – the stunning photographic exhibition in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery – an abundance of activities awaits budding explorers at The Historic Dockyard Chatham this spring. More

Get fit, de-stress and have fun at one of the Active Life classes with Medway Community Learning.

Exercise to music
All Saints Church, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham
Mondays 7-8pm

Tai Chi
Medway Community Learning, Eastgate, Rochester
Tuesdays Noon-1pm

Pilates
St Thomas Church Hall, Rainham
Tuesdays 2.30-3.30pm

Exercise to music
Woodlands Arts Centre, Gillingham
Wednesdays 7-8pm

Classes run term-time only and each class costs £2.50. Please phone 01634 338400 to book a place.

Beach parties, circus workshops, teddy bears’ picnics and sports days are just some of the highlights of what’s in store at Medway’s Sure Start Centres this summer.

With 19 centres across Medway, each offering activities for families with children up to five years old, there’s plenty of fun to be had, right on your doorstep.

A full timetable of activities can now be downloaded online, so families can check out what’s happening at their nearest centre. Most children’s centres are also offering activities for children up to eight years old throughout the summer break and older siblings are welcome.

Parents can visit http://www.medway.gov.uk/summeractivities2011 to download the summer timetable as well as contact details for all of Medway’s Sure Start Children’s Centres.

A full timetable of activities for children and young people during the school holidays can also be found on this webpage, along with Medway’s summer activities 2011 brochure.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Cllr Les Wicks, said: “Our Sure Start centres have once again gone that extra mile to give families a fun packed summer break full of affordable activities, many of which are free.

“This year, we’ve made it even easier for parents to look up fun, low cost activities for their under fives by putting a full timetable of what our Sure Start Centres have in store this summer online.

“I’d encourage families to find out about their nearest centre and get in touch to see what’s on offer to keep their children entertained through the holidays.”

You’re welcome to send a reporter/ photographer to any of the activities.

Here’s a small selection of what’s on offer:

Water play day on Friday, 12 August, 11am to 3pm at St James’ Children’s Centre, High Street, Isle of Grain 01634 270341. Cool down with a water fun, a picnic and a sandy beach set up at the centre.

Sports day for children up to ten years old on Tuesday, 16 August, 10 to 11am at Miers Court Children’s Centre, Silver Spot Close, Rainham, 01634 236974.

Beach themed messy play on Wednesday, 17 August, 1.30 to 3pm at Delce Children’s Centre, Fleet Road, Rochester 01634 844127. – Put your sun hat on and head to Delce Children’s Centre for a slice of sunshine and messy beach fun. Places must be booked by calling the centre in advance.

Circus fun on Tuesday, 23 August, 2 to 3.30pm at Temple Mill Children’s Centre, Cliffe Road Strood. 01634 338205. – A circus company will be visiting the Strood children’s centre to teach children the tricks of the trade and try their hand at circus skills. There will also be a bouncy castle and face painting. Families should book by calling the centre beforehand.

Teddy Bears Picnic at Brompton Children’s Centre on Wednesday, 24 August, 12 to 2pm at Brompton Westbrook, Primary School, Kings Bastion, Brompton, 01634 844152. – Get your glad rags on and head to Brompton Children’s Centre for a picnic and best dressed teddy competition. Families should bring their own picnic.

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