Monthly Archives: October 2014

Big Lottery funding helps Wiltshire young people go green

Disadvantaged young people in Wiltshire are to benefit from £9,948 in funding from the Big Lottery Awards for All scheme for a project that will help develop their social and practical skills as well as their environmental awareness.

Youth Action Wiltshire has won the award to run an Environmental Credits project for 50 young people for a year. Continue reading

Support young carers in their spectacular show

Young carers from throughout Wiltshire will take to the stage with students and musicians from the Bath Philharmonia orchestra next week for an emotional and inspiring final 2014 performance of their own original words and music.

The performance, Listen 2 Us 2: the 2014 Finale, will take place on Wednesday 29th October at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, at 6pm. Tickets are free, but seats can be reserved by telephoning the Wiltshire Music Centre Box Office on 01225 860100. The office is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

The young carers have been working with the Bath Phil musicians and with music students from Bath Spa University and Wiltshire College as part of the Listen 2 Us project, which was funded for two years by a £75,580 award from the charity Youth Music.

“The last two years of Listen to Us 2 has included some of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career,” said Bath Philharmonia Director of Music Jason Thornton.

“Working alongside the young carers has been absolutely wonderful and we shall all take away with us lifelong memories. The finale concert of Listen to Us 2 is going to be nothing short of stunning, with young carers from all the previous phases, our trainee students from Bath Spa University and Wiltshire College and members of Bath Philharmonia. I can’t wait.”

The young carers have taken part in creative music making workshops and live performances all over the county, exploring their caring experiences through the expression of music and song.

Each performance is unique, using voices, violin, keyboards, drums, saxophone, guitars, triangles, bells, cymbals and other musical sounds to evoke the experiences of young carers and their feelings about their daily lives.

The final 2014 performance will feature words, song, film and music reflecting the various phases of the project.

Sharon Worby, Young Carers Support Worker, said it will be an “amazing” night.

“The grand final performance marks the end of over two years of fruitful collaboration between young carers, Youth Action Wiltshire’s Wiltshire Young Carers team and musicians from Bath’s professional orchestra, which has had a profound impact on all their lives,” she said.

“It will be an inspiring, uplifting, emotional and artistic performance that will shine a spotlight on young carers’ experiences of supporting family members with a disability, illness or health condition. We hope as many people as possible will come along to support young carers from Wiltshire at this wonderful event.”

Around 80 young carers, aged between 7-18 years, many with no previous musical experience, have been involved in the workshops, which were led by Jason Thornton.

Over the course of the collaboration the young carers have performed at festivals and venues such as the Salisbury International Festival, The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Calne Festival, Wiltshire Music Centre, the Bath International Music Festival, Bath Abbey and The Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham.

About young carers and Youth Action Wiltshire

Youth Action Wiltshire’s Young Carers service, part of Community First Wiltshire, provides respite activities, one-to-one support, training sessions and regular group meetings with young carers in different parts of Wiltshire to help them cope with their challenging role within the family.

Young carers can be aged from 5 years to 24 years and have significant responsibilities for caring for a seriously ill or disabled family member. They may have difficulties at school because of their caring responsibilities and can also experience bullying.

Youth Action Wiltshire is a service provided by Community First in Wiltshire. YAW is an award-winning service that has been supporting young people and volunteers in Wiltshire and Swindon for more than 60 years. It supports over 750 young carers, works with over 70 youth clubs and runs training and activities for hundreds of young people.



Meerkats on the bus and wallabies on the beach – arty antics with Beatrice

meerkat face


Children will have the chance to let their imaginations blossom with some arty antics during the Big Draw at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo in October.

 Artist-in-residence Beatrice Von Preussen will be available to give children a helping hand in a big communal drawing extravaganza on Saturday 25th October.

The imaginative themes will get their creative ideas flowing and include a cityscape where meerkats are waiting for a bus, a beach scene where wallabies are eating ice creams, sitting on deck chairs and building sandcastles, and a countryside scene where otters are driving convertibles on their way to visit their rabbit friends.

The drop-in sessions are free (normal entry fees to the park apply) and take place at the zoo from 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“October is Big Draw month in over 20 counties and over 280,000 people are expected to take part,” said Events, Parties and Education Officer Fiona Vella. “Our Big Draw event on October 25th is for children and grown-ups who love to draw and even for those who think they can’t!

“Beatrice is very talented and has some wonderful ideas so come along and help us create our big communal drawings – it should be great fun.”

Other highlights at the zoo during October half term week include a Pumpkin Trail from Saturday 25th October to Sunday 2nd November, a Slippery Snake Day on Tuesday 28th October, a Hedgehog Day on Thursday 30th October and a Halloween Fun Day on Friday 31st October.

 As part of the Pumpkin Trail children can complete a quiz sheet costing only £1, find out which animals are hiding their pumpkins around the zoo, and win a prize for their efforts.

The Halloween Fun day includes a Slightly Scary Story Time, making a Trick or Treat Bag and Spooky Face Painting.

Details and costs of the special events are outlined below.

Slithery Snake Day – Tuesday 28th October

Meet a real snake and watch it slither & stick out its tongue!

@ 12.15 & 2pm.

Create a spooky snake picture, lots of sticking and colouring fun.

Drop in sessions. 11am -12.30pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Activity is free. Usual entrance fee applies


Hedgehog Day  Thursday 30th  October

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is coming to the zoo to bring us this fun filled event with Hedgehog-themed activities:

Hedgehog arts and crafts, Hedgehog story time, a chance to chat with a hedgehog rescuer and meet a real hedgehog!

Sessions: 11am*, 12pm, 1.30pm* & 2.30pm

* The 11am and 1.30pm sessions are pre-bookable through the PTES website at

For the 12pm and 2.30pm sessions you can sign up upon entry to the zoo – arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Sessions last approx 45mins. Suitable for children 3-11yrs.Usual entrance fees apply.


 Halloween Fun Day Friday 31st October

(Slightly) Scary Story Time @ 12pm & 2pm

For those brave enough to come and listen!

(Not too scary!)


Make a Trick or Treat Bag    

Come and create your very own terrifying design.

Cost £1

Drop in sessions:  11am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm.

Spooky face-painting

Become a scary ghost or Dracula with fangs.

Cost £2.50    11am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.   Usual entrance fees apply.

About Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

Family-friendly Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is located in Battersea Park in the heart of London, next to the River Thames.

The zoo offers a perfect blend of animal adventures and playground fun, where children can get up close to an amazing range of animals, including emu, chipmunks, bearded dragon lizards, capuchin monkeys, lemur, tamarins, ferrets, parrots, snakes, mice, coati and ring tailed lemur.

They can meet resident wallabies Boomer and Juno, laugh at the antics of emus Ant and Dec, and spy on the meerkats in the secret lookout tunnel.  The donkeys chasing each other around their field are always a big hit while Kune Kune pigs Piggle and Wiggle just love to get attention.

At certain times of the year, children can help the keepers feed the farm animals in the Barley Mow Farm, including pigs, chickens and rabbits. There’s also a fun-packed adventure playground, with tractors, diggers, water play, sand pit, rides and life-sized fire engine. Birthday parties and school groups are welcome and animal adoptions are also available. See the website for further details.

About the Big Draw

The 2014 Big Draw runs from 1 October to 2 November across the UK and in twenty other countries, with 280,000 people expected to join in over 1000+ events. The Big Draw offers thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities which connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators – and each other. The Campaign for Drawing, which organises the Big Draw, wants to get everyone drawing. It believes drawing helps us to understand the world, think, feel, shape and communicate ideas and is fun, accessible and invaluable for education and everyday life.

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, London SW11 4NJ, tel 020 7924 5826