Encouraging compassion on the journey to climate change in Stratford

Encouraging compassion on the journey to climate change in Stratford

Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Great Big Green Week, Stratford

A Cabinet of Compassion is at the ‘heart’ of a community project around action on climate change in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend.

On Saturday (October 1st) visitors to Bell Court will be encouraged to sit and reflect and take part in mini activities inside the large wooden framed structure, all designed to help explore the themes of kindness and compassion.

It is part of The Great Big Green Week’s Family Trail of free activities being offered throughout the town, in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Stratford Town Trust.

The family-friendly activities representing the five ways of wellbeing include learning something new together, getting active, taking time to notice the environment and thinking about how to give back to the world as a community.

Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Great Big Green Week, Stratford

Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Great Big Green Week, Stratford

(October 1st)

GIVE: Foundation House, Masons Road
10am-4.30pm

A chance to meet the Repair Café volunteers who use their skills to repair household items, extending the item’s life, saving the planet and saving money.

There is also chance to find out more about the groups based at Foundation House and take part in activities including woodturning demonstrations, games, crafts, planting, and more.

CONNECT: Cabinet of Compassion
10am – 4.30pm

Exploring the themes of kindness and compassion by taking notice and connecting, including how we can take action together and motivate each other to be kinder to our world.

TAKE NOTICE: Dell Forest Garden, Southern Lane
10am – 4.30pm

Take notice and be inspired by creativity and the landscape, being kind to ourselves to be kind to our environment. Join in for some bulb planting and create eco-friendly badges to remind us that kindness is a superpower.

KEEP LEARNING: Stratford Library, Henley Street

The Forest of Arden
10am – 4.30pm
Come and help create the Forest of Arden inside the library using a range of creative skills.

Miniature Fairy Gardens
10am – 4.30pm

Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, create your own miniature fairy garden to take home. Design a fairy door and craft a magical setting using a range of natural materials.

Shakespeare for All
10.15am – 2pm
Join in for a reading of Antony and Cleopatra. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to take part. Some copies of the Complete Works are available to use, or feel free to bring your own.

Environmental Shakespeare
3 – 4pm
Come and explore how Shakespeare and his contemporaries understood nature. In this practical workshop there will be colouring, quizzes and a chance to get to know your pottage from your porridge.

Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Great Big Green Week, Stratford

GET ACTIVE: Outside Stratford Library, Henley Street
10am – 4.30pm

Put your best foot forward for some Tudor music and dance sessions on Henley Street. Discover musical instruments from the time and learn to jig Tudor-style!

A spokesperson for the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “By working with Foundation House, Warwickshire Libraries and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust alongside many other organisations in the town, we hope to show the many ways we can all make small changes that can make a big difference to our environment.

“Through our activity at Bell Court and in the Dell Forest Garden we hope everyone taking part will also take a moment to consider how to look after their own well-being as well as taking care of the environment.”

Rich Jones, Centre Manager of Bell Court, said: “The Great Big Green Week is an important occasion, and we are proud to play a part. We look forward to welcoming the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Cabinet of Compassion’ to Bell Court on Saturday and hope that it starts a conversation around how we can come together as a community to take action on climate change.

“Coupled with the Stratford Food Festival and live music we are hosting down at Bell Court over the three days, we know that it will be an enjoyable weekend for all.”

This weekend Bell Court also plays host to a feast of local musicians ready to entertain shoppers at the rescheduled Stratford Food Festival between September 30th and October 2nd.

Berll Court, Stratford Food Festival

Bass Chatfield (Friday 11.45am-12.30pm and 1pm-1.45pm)

Using a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, beatboxing and looping, James Chatfield, from Worcester, is a new take on the one-man band, with occasional expansions to drum kits and glockenspiels and vocals.

Bell Court, Stratford Food Festival
Louise James

Louise James (Performing Friday 2.15pm-3pm)

Louise James is a professional singer and vocal coach from Stratford with years of experience singing soul classics through to chart music and is regularly booked for her Adele Tribute.

Stratford Vocal students (Performing Friday 3.15pm-4pm)

Stratford Vocals is made up of local women from all age groups who love to harmonise classic upbeat songs from all eras. A mixture of altos and sopranos, they have been together just over six months.

Bell Court, Stratford Food Festival
Wes Finch

Wes Finch (Performing Sunday 1.45pm- 2.30pm and 3pm-3.45pm)

A Coventry artist who writes and records original material under the names Wes Finch, The Silver Wye and with the poetry inspired, string-led group The Mechanicals Band. Expect to hear a selection of pop, rock, folk and country covers from the likes of Paul Simon, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison.

Bell Court, Stratford Food Festival
The Foregate Brothers Andy Dent and David Bristow

Foregate Brothers (Performing Sunday 12.15pm-1pm and 1.10pm-1.45pm)

The band, made up of Stratford’s David Bristow and Andy Dent from Worcester, has enjoyed regular appearances at blues and jazz clubs and festivals across the Midlands. With a unique mellow jazz and blues style, the Foregate Brothers will be playing songs from the 30’s and 40’s as well as originals with a vintage pre-war era style.

The free-to-attend Stratford Food Festival is open 10am-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Further information is available here

For further information on the Family Trail visit here

Fundraisers take on gruelling Lakes Triple Challenge for Molly Ollys

Fundraisers take on gruelling Lakes Triple Challenge for Molly Ollys

J S Wright, Molly Ollys, fundraising

Intrepid team members from Birmingham building services provider J S Wright have raised more than £4,200 for their adopted charity, Molly Ollys after completing an epic challenge in the Lake District.

Twenty-six staff and three suppliers tested their fitness, commitment and determination by taking part in the Lakes Triple Challenge in aid of the Warwick-based charity which cares for children with life-threatening illnesses.

They cycled through the trails of Grizedale forest, trekked to the summit of the 803-metre-high Old Man of Coniston and kayaked across Coniston Water, one of the UK’s largest lakes, covering more than 24 miles over an eight-hour period.

J S Wright Director and Team Leader David Cook said: “This was an incredible achievement after our staff and suppliers endured a day of testing and gruelling challenges. We were all proud of our efforts for such a great charity.”

David added: “Thanks go to all those who made donations – and it isn’t too late to donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jswrightmollyollyswishes.”

Molly Olly's Wishes, Rachel Ollerenshaw
Rachel Ollerenshaw

Molly Ollys provides emotional and financial support to children throughout the UK with life-threatening illnesses. The charity is in its tenth year and has helped more than 16,000 children – through delivering wishes and its therapeutic toy lion, Olly The Brave – over the time it has been going.

Rachel Ollerenshaw, Co-founder of Molly Ollys, commented: “The J S Wright team is made of tough stuff! Each wish we do for a child is around 3500 so from this particular fundraiser, they have raised enough for us to do eight wishes for eight children facing terrifying health challenges – we can’t thank them enough.”

Staff from J S Wright and its sister company Wright Maintenance have now raised more than £6,200 for their chosen charity this year from events including a sponsored football match, a one million steps marathon, a virtual walk to the company’s London office, and a dress down day before the Jubilee Weekend.

Established in Birmingham in 1890 and based on Portland Street in Aston, J S Wright designs, manufactures, and installs mechanical and electrical services for the hotel, residential, social housing, student accommodation, leisure, and commercial sectors. Wright Maintenance, its sister company, provides a facilities maintenance service.

The company was named as Construction Services Employer of the Year in the 2020 BAME Apprenticeship Awards and is signed up to the Chartered Institute of Building’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter.

Bonfire Night fun returns to Warwick Racecourse

Bonfire Night fun returns to Warwick Racecourse

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Town Bonfire on Saturday November 5th at Warwick racecourse and organisers Warwick Lions and Warwick Rotary Club are hoping that this year’s event goes with a bang!

Gates open at 5pm and a range of hot foods and refreshments will be available across the site with all bars open. You can reserve a table for a hot supper in the Kingmaker restaurant with a great view of the bonfire and fireworks show. Music will be provided by the popular Sambassadors of Groove and there’s a range of light swords and wands to buy for an exciting evening.

Warwick Bonfire, Warwick Rotary

The racecourse grandstands offer a great view of the Bonfire and Firework show across the track on the common. Award-winning Fantastic Fireworks will start off with a 10-minute show at 6pm to keep the little ones entertained, the Bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm and then the main show starts at 6.45pm with 20 minutes of top class fireworks.

Tickets are only available on-line at www.jockeyclub.co.uk/warwick or www.warwicktownbonfire.org.uk

Prices have been kept the same as 2021 to make sure families can afford to come.

£8 for adults and £2 for children between 3-15, infants under 3yrs old free.

Please buy early as last year we were completely sold out the day before.

Gates open at 5pm. Entry is at the main entrance off Bread & Meat Close, access also off Hampton Road.

Bovis Homes, Kia Cars, and Uniparts Logistics are supporting the event and organisers are hoping for a good turnout. Last year’s event raised over £28,000 for local charities and good causes.

Village’s first Cider Fest enough to get the juices flowing

Village’s first Cider Fest enough to get the juices flowing

Barford Apple Fest, steam engine

Those with a glut of apples from their garden or allotment are invited to come along to Barford’s first Apple Fest on Saturday 1 October from 11am – 3pm at Barford St. Peter’s Primary School field.

A 19th-century portable steam engine, made in 1870 by Barrows & Stewart, will be there to press windfalls and picked fruit into fresh bottled apple juice!

Those that don’t have apples, can come and see the wonders of steam-powered agriculture and enjoy the other attractions. Teas and coffees will be on sale along with apple cakes and bakes, mulled cider, hot pork & apple burgers, slow roast pork cooked in cider, plus a veggie option. There will be lots of fun and games for children, including face painting, apple lobbing, drawing competition, bottle tombola and more. The Campden Morris Dancers will also round off the afternoon.

Entrance is £1 per adult, with free entry for accompanied children. It will be a rural celebration of the orchard harvest, with all proceeds going to the new Barford Youth & Community Centre.

Julie Crawshaw, Project Manager said “We’re delighted to be hosting our first Apple Fest to raise funds for the much-needed community building. It’s an unusual and fun way to support the project, which we hope to have starting on site next year”.

There is free parking in the paddock off Church Lane.

It’s easy to get on ‘board’ with this supersized idea of fun

It’s easy to get on ‘board’ with this supersized idea of fun

Is it a case of bored rather than board when it comes to dice games in your house?

I would imagine every home has a Monopoly board lurking in a cupboard somewhere. For some households this may even be a family favourite, especially at Christmas.

But whether we play it or not, we’re certainly all familiar with the concept of Hasbro’s fast-dealing property board game first published in 1935.

We took on the Monopoly Lifesized City board

Today Monopoly has evolved into many themed versions – including regionalised street layouts – so it’s easy to find yourself owning more than one of the boards. But for those who aren’t interested in any form of competition that involves a dice, (including my older sons) this latest iteration is more likely to get their attention.

Monopoly Lifesized is an immersive on-your feet version of the game which is capable of keeping all members of the family both engaged and entertained.

Monopoly Lifesized review London

Located in the heart of London, small groups compete against each other as they vie for the chance to unravel a series of ‘escape room’-type puzzles to advance around the giant board with human game tokens as their guides. (These hyper characters are central to the success – and pace – of the game.)

Experience the thrill of trying to stage a heist in Mayfair or competing against the clock to solve a baffling murder mystery. From Maths and code-cracking challenges to dance steps and whack-a-mole, each successfully accomplished mini mission can unlock property purchases – and even those you have to build yourself!

If it all sounds a lot to take in, don’t worry, the guides are there to walk you through the whole thing as well as keep an eye on those all-important cash and asset stocks.

And yes, we did spend some time in the clink. But then it wouldn’t be Monopoly otherwise. We soon drew on our teamworking skills to negotiate our way back out from behind bars and carry on making our way around the board to make up for lost time. (Make no mistake – this is as fiercely competitive as the smaller version.)

I wasn’t sure what to make of the supersized concept of this family favourite before I arrived but, whether a game player or not, you can’t help but enjoy the 80 minutes of high-octane fun. Great for groups of family or friends, it struck me this is particularly good teambuilding activity for colleagues too. A word of warning though – it is not for the more shy and retiring among us as everyone’s expected to play their part. Unless you want to spend the entire game in prison, there really is nowhere to hide and you’d be better served dusting off your kitchen table game instead.

Monopoly Lifesized review London

Once we let our guard down and enter into the fun, we had a brilliant experience. While the fast pace of it all can leave your head spinning (80 minutes goes in a flash and none of us had a clue whether we were doing well or not – although we somehow managed to come second!) we were certainly left feeling as though we’d been part of something unique and keen to return to give one of the other boards a go. There are four available – Classic, City, Luxury and Classic Own It All boards.

If you have time check out the funky new Top Hat Bar & Restaurant located on site for a fun Monopoly themed menu.

Monopoly Lifesized review London

Unfortunately, Monopoly money is NOT accepted when it comes to forking out up to £69 each in real cash for the privilege of playing. But definitely fair value if this is affordable to you. A new fun group activity for hen and stag parties too.

For more information, visit www.monopolylifesized.com, and keep up to the date with all the latest news at Monopoly Lifesized on Facebook, @monopolyldn on Twitter and @monopolylifesized on Instagram.

The Path Entertainment Group (TPEG) is a London based production house dedicated to producing world class experiential and gameplay entertainment. TPEG brings together teams from theatre production, hospitality, and event management to bring some of the largest global brands and intellectual property to life in life-sized immersive experiences.