Kensington Mums’ upcoming events, including the Motherhood Exhibition and 2nd Birthday celebration!

Kensington Mums – the fantastic mums’ support network website for the local area – has a busy few months ahead with the unveiling of a number of fab events that will be of interest to all mums (and parents) in the neighbourhood. And they’ve also got some very exciting news of their own to share!

Today saw the first instalment of their Motherhood Exhibition, which is a monthly event celebrating and supporting mums from all backgrounds and cultures in Kensington. The exhibition will see mums sharing their own stories about and depictions of motherhood using their personal pictures, and will also prove to be a great opportunity to meet and network with other mums. Held in a different children’s centre location in the Borough each time, some sessions will also have creche facilities available, as well as playtime opportunities. For more details, see www.kensingtonmums.co.uk/kmblog/index.php/archives/5998 and contact Kensington Mums if you’d like to take part in one of the upcoming events.

kenmumslogo

On the 14th November, the website will be celebrating its second birthday – which means it’s great chance to glam up for an evening and join in with the fun! Dinner and drinks will be held at at surprise location in the area, and partners are welcome. Email info@kensingtonmums.co.uk with the subject “Happy Birthday” for more details.

For more Kensington Mums’ events – including plenty for you to enjoy with your little one(s) such as the Baby and Toddler Meetups – see their Events page, and do also subscribe to the the KM newsletter to be informed of other goings on in the area that are surely of interest to all parents.

Mumpreneur Parent Blogger

As we’ve mentioned, Kensington Mums also have some exciting news of their own to share. After having been nominated in the Best Parent Blogger category at the 2013 Mumpreneur Awards, Dina Maktabi, the lady behind the site, is now a finalist! This particular category celebrates businesses that physically work and interact closely with clients, and the Mumpreneur Awards as a whole reward parents who juggle the demands of running businesses with family life. About being one of the finalists, Dina says:

“I am delighted to have been recognised for all the hard work I put into running Kensington Mums. It would be such a privilege and honour to win the best parent blogger. What a great way to celebrate Kensington Mums second birthday!” 

Kensington Mums has also been nominated in the The Inspirational Business Mum Award, an award for the mum that’s judged to be an inspiration to all women in business. We wish Dina and Kensington Mums the best of luck at the awards and will be keeping our fingers crossed.

Check out more about Kensington Mums at their wonderful website at www.kensingtonmums.co.uk.

Science Museum Live presents The Energy Show this summer – win tickets!

Please note: The competition is now closed! Many thanks to all those that entered. The lucky winner has been contacted – if you weren’t chosen, you can still buy tickets to the show which runs from 22nd July until 31st August! Details below.

We’re sure all the parents amongst you have been very busy trying to think up suitable things to keep the youngsters occupied this half term week…and perhaps already wondering what to do during the long summer holiday! Here’s something that will surely fit the bill for summer, that’s both highly entertaining and educational – a live science show at the Science Museum!

The Energy Show, a new show for summer 2013 presented by Science Museum Live, will be hosted at the IMAX Theatre at the Science Museum from 22nd July to 31st August 2013. Suitable for both adults and children aged 7+, this is a fast and furious live show that follows on the back of a critically acclaimed, nationwide tour of Science Museum Live.

Science Museum Live Presents - The Energy Show
Credit: Science Museum London

In the show, two scientists do unpredictable experiments against the clock to prove their knowledge of energy. Find out whether they have the time to complete their challenge – assisted by their digital assistant ‘Einstein’ and equipped with a workshop full of volatile chemicals – and whether they will still be in one piece at the end?

Critics have said about Science Museum Live 2012:

A show that lights up the world…Go and see it.’ ★★★★★ – whatsonstage.com

Superb’ – Mail on Sunday

A great way to encourage a love of science’ – Western Mail

Performances of The Energy Show last 75 minutes and take place Tuesdays to Sundays at 11.30 and 13.30.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale (available until 30th June) and cost £13.50 for adults (normal price £14.50) and £8.50 for concessions (normal price £9.50).

Various family tickets are also available, priced at £26 for 1 Adult, 2 Children; £38 for 2 Adults, 2 Children; £34 for 1 adult, 3 children; and £31 for 2 adults, 1 child.

For more details about The Energy Show and to book tickets, please go to www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/SMLive.

Win tickets for The Energy Show at The Science Museum!

Please note: The competition is now closed, and many thanks to all those that entered.

We’re also very pleased to announce that we have a family ticket to give away! (A family ticket comprises four tickets, which must be made up by at least one adult and one child.) To enter, all you have to do is email your name and address to webmaster@kensington-chelsea.com, and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw.

The winner will win a family ticket for one of the following performances only: 11.30am on Wednesday, 24th July; 11.30am on Thursday 25th July; 11.30am on Friday, 26th July.

The competition will close on Sunday, 30th June 2013 and the winner will be notified by email soon after this date. They will then be able to pick which one of the performances listed above they would like to attend.

Good luck!

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

Join the SPID Theatre Company and take part in Kensal Voices!

Young local residents may be very interested to hear about an exciting local community project that’s calling for participants to take part in taster sessions next week! Kensal Voices will see 20 young participants based in and around Kensal House take part in an exciting multimedia project that will focus on the heritage of this historic, Grade II* listed council estate, designed by Modernist architect Maxwell Fry in 1937.

Whilst working on Kensal Voices, participants will take part in a number of interesting stages, each of which will help them learn and develop particular techniques and skills, as well as working in conjunction with a number of organisations. These include analysing source materials and learning about researching and archiving whilst they attend workshops on modernist architecture and design run by the Victoria & Albert Museum, then creating a booklet about the estate’s history; being trained to create oral history testimonies and learning about interview techniques with the Oral History Society before conducting their own interviews with the older residents of the estate; and developing and conducting architectural tours of Kensal House, after undertaking their own tour with The 20th Century Society.

The final stage of Kensal Voices will allow participants to decide which material they would like to explore further – which they will then develop into an estate-based performance, that will be free for the public to attend. This final stage will see the participants forming their own company  and working alongside professionals to create the performance – offering them a sense of ownership of both the project and the heritage of their estate.

Kensal Voices

Kensal Voices has been started by the S.P.I.D. (Specially Produced Innovatively Direct) Theatre Group who are themselves based in the community rooms of Kensal House. They create adventurous and immersive theatrical work in non-traditional spaces, and their promenade performances in neglected community spaces have won prizes nationally. Helena Thompson founded S.P.I.D. in 1999 and has been working with director Rachel Grunwald since 2003, aiming to attract audiences, especially young ones, that are otherwise alienated by traditionally-staged theatre. In 2005, they based their Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Open House’ in the neglected community rooms of Kensal House, and it was then that children and young people from the estate asked to get involved – prompting the start of their youth theatre group. Only recently SPID members aged 5-25 won an award for ‘Best Animation’ for their short film ‘High Above The Sky’ at the First Light Awards at the Odeon in Leicester Square.

In the last seven years, the S.P.I.D. Theatre Company has done much to renovate its home in Kensal House, cleaning and renovating the community rooms that now house a fully equipped lighting and tech rig with state-of-the-art operating equipment. The company now curates the space as a ‘Community Hub’ for residents.

Taster sessions for Kensal Voices will be taking place on Wednesday 3rd April (4.30pm – 6.30pm) and on Saturday 6th April (1pm – 3pm) – you can also sign-up at either session. Free workshops will also be held every Saturday (11am – 5pm) from the 13th April to 5th June – limited spaces are available.

For more details (and also to sign up!) check out www.spidtheatrecompany.com, or call Ann on 020 8968 2961/07903 861 674 or email youth@spidtheatrecompany.com.

It’s All About Piano! at the Institut français, 22nd to 24th March

From 22 to 24 March, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its very first piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come and discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black and white keys, from recitals to jazz, film screenings, kids activities, workshops, a ciné-concert and much more.

Whether you delight in Schubert or only sway to the jazz greats, whether you want to listen to the masters or watch fascinating films unveiling what goes on behind the scenes in the music world, It’s All About Piano! is sure to enchant and amaze you.

Full details on It’s All About Piano!, including the artists taking part, and all the concerts and other events that will make up this fine Festival, can be found online at www.itsallaboutpiano.co.uk.

Its All About Piano

A service sure to interest parents in the area – Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea!

With the number of families living in the Kensington & Chelsea area and nearby, here’s news of a service that will be very useful to them!

The Babysitters of Kensington and Chelsea (BOKAC) was set up in 2010 by West London resident Anna Cameron. Unlike many traditional babysitting or childminding services, this is the first (that we’re aware of!) that gives parents the opportunity to find, book and pay for a babysitter online – it couldn’t be simpler and quicker! The ease of this service will no doubt come as a welcome relief to all busy parents who will relish the chance to take some of the hassle out of finding a suitable babysitter.

Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea

BOKAC currently lists over 15 babysitters on their site, with a full profile for each that shows their childcare experiences, interests and testimonials from previous clients. It’s a great way of easily finding a babysitter – from a selection – that you think would be suitable for looking after your kids. Each babysitter has also been interviewed by BOKAC’s founder, Ms Cameron, before joining.

A simple timezone and pricing structure is also in place for those looking to book one of the babysitters. There are three timezones for which you can hire a babysitter – morning (7am to 12pm), afternoon (12pm to 7pm) and evening (7pm to 2am the next morning). It costs £10 per hour to hire one of the babysitters, and there are no membership charges, booking fees or even transport costs as all sitters live in the local area! There’s also a calendar displayed against each babysitter’s profile so you can see when they’re available or if they’ve already been booked up.

Before setting up BOKAC, Ms Cameron used to regularly babysit for local families as a means for earning some extra money to alongside her recruitment job, helping her manage London’s high living costs. Little by little, Ms Cameron found herself with more families to babysit than time and started recommending friends to clients as well. After attending a one-day “How to set up your own business course”, she realised that an online babysitting service could well prove to be a successful idea.

Anna CameronAnna Cameron

After investing her savings and launching BOKAC, Ms Cameron ran the business remotely from LA (where she had relocated to in September 2011), interviewing sitters on return trips to London. This set up had no adverse effect on the business – not only did the number of babysitters registered to BOKAC double, but so did the numbers of families using the service. Relocating back to London in December 2012, Ms Cameron is now concentrating on growing the company, and has found that working for herself is something that she’s incredibly passionate about and motivated by.

More information on the Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea can be found on their website. If you have any questions, please contact Ms Cameron via email or on 020 7193 2925.

Kensington Mums’ round up of events in the capital this Christmas

If you’re wondering what child-friendly events you can take the kids to in London this Christmas, fabulous local website Kensington Mums have provided a superb round-up. Titled “What’s on for you and your little ones this Christmas”, it really is an extensive listing of events both in Kensington and the nearby area, and across the capital – with something for all, be it film, ice skating, storytelling, museum events and more…including plenty of opportunities to meet Santa! See here to get the full listing of events.

Additionally, check out www.kensingtonmums.co.uk to subscribe to the free newsletter to be kept up to date with all the local Kensington Mums news and events.

Kensington Mums are also hosting their Christmas Drinks on 17th December – see www.kensingtonmums.co.uk/kmblog/event/kensington-mums-christmas-drinks/ for more details!

 

Kensington Mums events in November!

If you’re a local resident and a local mum (and especially if you’re very active on the web!) I’m sure you must have come across the excellent local blog Kensington Mums! The voluntary online support network provides invaluable advice on being a mum, parent or carer in the area, as well as providing plenty of news on events and other items of interest, and a great platform for discussion via their Twitter and Facebook pages. Best of all, Kensington Mums’ incredibly detailed weekly newsletter provides a great round-up of much of this information, so make sure you subscribe!

Kensington Mums

The site has also recently been nominated as “The Super Blogger” for the MumsClub Award 2012, placing in the top 100 winners, and is also a MumsClub London Ambassador.

Kensington Mums are hosting a couple of great events this month, that will certainly be of interest to mums and parents out there.

Kensington Mums 1st BirthdayFirst up,  Kensington Mums are celebrating their first birthday on Thursday 15th November! At a surprise location, the evening will include dinner, bubbly and a fun atmosphere – plus a great way of meeting local, like-minded mums. Tickets cost £30 – see www.kensingtonmums.co.uk/kmblog/event/kensington-mums-1st-birthday/ for more details.

On Friday 23rd November, the Kensington Mums Baby/Toddler Outing to the Saatchi Gallery returns by popular demand! The visit will include a tour of ‘Gaiety is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union: Art from Russia’, the first exhibition of contemporary Russian art at the Saatchi Gallery. More details at www.kensingtonmums.co.uk/kmblog/event/km-mother-and-baby-outing-to-the-saatchi-gallery/.

Kensington Mums would love to see at the above events!

KCWC Annual Nearly New Sale, Saturday 10th November

The annual Kensington & Chelsea Women’s Club Nearly New Sale returns to the area on 10th November this year, offering up a superb chance to snap up some great value items for babies and children aged up to 12 years old. Books, toys, games, puzzles, DVDs and baby equipment will be on sale, as will maternity wear – so this event will also definitely be of interest for any expectant mums out there! Designer and high street items will be on sale for a fraction of their original prices, which means the sale is also the perfect place to buy Christmas gifts for family and friends as well. All profits of the sale will be donated to the designated charities Independent Age and The Haven.

Entry to the sale costs £2 (free for KCWC members and children!). If you would like to volunteer to help at the sale, or would like to donate items to be sold, please email nearlynew@kcwc.org.uk. You can also register as a seller for the sale; please see www.kcwc.org.uk/CalendarEvent58365 for the registration form.

More on the Kensington & Chelsea Women’s Club can be found at www.kcwc.org.uk.

KCWC Annual Nearly New Sale
9.30am – 1pm, Saturday 10th November 2012
Notting Hill Community Church
Kensington Park Road
W11 2ES

New playgroup opens in South Kensington

Here’s something that will definitely be of interest to all parents out there! The new South Kensington Children Working Playgroup is an inclusive one that allows children to discover, create and work with everyday and natural materials – as based on the observations of Maria Montessori.

The playgroup is run by Wen Yong, a trained Montessori Directress and SEN teacher with seven years of experience. Wen started the Children Working Playgroup in the hope of encouraging family members to become more familiar and confident in working with their children, as well as giving them the opportunity to understand and appreciate the experiences of the classroom.

Childrenworking Playgroup

The parent-child playgroup takes part in Montessorian activities with Wen showing children how to use them, as she would in a Montessori Children’s House. In addition, there’s also plenty of stories, songs and book corners.

The playgroup  is run every Monday between 10am and 11am, and is suitable for children aged between 2 and a half and 5 years with free trial sessions for all new parents. A new parent-toddler group is also expected to start soon.

More details about the playgroup – as well as some very interesting Montessorian advice and information – can be found at www.childrenworking.com.

Jubilee Weekend celebrations and street parties!

There’s no way that it can have escaped your notice that next weekend (2nd – 5th June 2012) is Jubilee Weekend, which celebrates The Queen’s sixty year reign. Over the four-day weekend (thank you, your Majesty, for the extra bank holiday!) there will be all sorts of events taking place across London, both official and unofficial. Full details of official events can be found at www.thediamondjubilee.org/central-weekend – I personally can’t wait for The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, when up to 1,000 boats will take to the River Thames.

If you’re in the W8 area, you may like to know that there’s a Diamond Jubilee Street Party taking place on Abingdon Road on Friday, 1st June from 6pm to 9pm. The party will feature music, magic, face painting, a raffle and tombola, a children’s fancy dress competition, and a hog roast – fun for all ages!

Check out the Street Party’s Facebook group – www.facebook.com/AbingdonRoadDiamondJubileeStreetParty – for more details and information on how to purchase tickets.

Whatever you plan on doing during the Jubilee Weekend, I hope you have a great time celebrating!