Coronavirus: West Berkshire business resources to keep families informed and upbeat.
Updated: Mar 27
A round up of information, resources and activities from businesses in West Berkshire to keep us informed and as positive as we can be over the coming months.
How are you all holding up with the Coronavirus outbreak?
If I'm honest, last week I went into panic mode and the news was consuming my thoughts. This week however, I feel a little (tiny bit) more relaxed and realise all we can do is be aware, be flexible and #StayAtHome!
As I'm sure many of us have, I've been keeping up to date with news, opinions and resources online and through social media. Some of the resources I've come across are from businesses based in Berkshire and West Berkshire, so I thought they'd be worth sharing.
If you have or know of something else you feel should be added here, email me and I'll add it in.
EVENT CANCELLATIONS IN WEST BERKSHIRE
Newbury Weekly News has a 'cancelled events' page on its website
Last week I stumbled across a page on Newbury Weekly News' website that's updating locals on cancelled events. It's a good resource for keeping up to date with what's going on. If you want to spread the word about an event no longer going ahead, you can email them to add it to the page. Find the page here.
ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO WASH THEIR HANDS
Explaining how soap gets rid of germs
You might have seen this video doing the rounds on Facebook. I know many of my friends and networks have shared it. Ok, so it's not from a Berkshire business but local parents have agreed it's BRILLIANT for explaining the importance of using soap when washing hands. Many children will no doubt enjoy the experiment, which means it'll entertain them for a few minutes too!
Song to make hand washing fun
Lizzie, who runs Boogie Mites in Newbury and Hungerford, recently shared this video on her Facebook page. It explains the importance of washing germs off our hands and flushing them down the plug. You could learn the song and actions at home with small ones to help them understand and make hand washing fun. I know my Erin needs a lot of encouragement!
RESOURCES TO KEEP PARENTS SANE
FREE guide for coping with self-isolating and school closures
First Playtime (based in Thatcham, Berkshire) has released a free downloadable guide for coping with self-isolating and school closures.
Rachel Tapping, who founded First Playtime, gives helpful tips on how to manage self-isolating situations at home while keeping everyone happy with limited parent guilt. You can download it here.
Exercise you can do at home, instead of the gym
If you've decided to stay clear of the gym for a while, Sara-Jane Ladums, founder of Wellness and Wellies Walkers, is offering FREE workouts on her online platform. You get to try a variety of workouts, all from the comfort of your home. You can sign up for the free workouts here.
FOOD DELIVERY AND TAKEAWAYS
Fruit, veg and essentials boxes from Woodland Stores, Highclere
Woodland stores in Highclere is working with Fisher of Newbury to provide locals with access to fruit, vegetables and store cupboard essentials. You go into the store to order what you need or there's the option to choose from their ready-made boxes. Find out more on the store's Facebook page here.
Yew Tree Garden Centre FREE local delivery and takeaway service
Yew Tree in Ball Hill, Newbury, is now offering a FREE local delivery service for all its products and cafe. Food delivery is between 10am and 3pm. You just need to make sure you get your order in by 12pm. The cafe offers many things from breakfast baps to soups and jacket potatoes. You can view the menu below or on its Facebook page here.
Essentials boxes from The Pheasant in Highclere
The Pheasant (taken over by Ryan and Billy last year) is offering Takeaway Essentials Boxes for anyone who can't get hold of what they need. As a small business who will need our support over the coming months, it makes a great alternative to your usual supermarket shop. You can view more details on its Facebook page here.
Takeaway from Carpenters at Burghclere with a free drink while you wait
Carpenters at Burghclere used to offer a takeaway menu on Tuesdays. You could get a free soft drink, small wine or draught beer while you wait. The pub has now extended this offer from Monday to Saturday to make the next few weeks feel a bit more manageable. As soon as I read 'free wine' I was in! Find out more details here.
IDEAS TO KEEP CHILDREN ENTERTAINED AT HOME
Virtual Boogie Mites classes every Monday and Thursday at 9.30am
I mentioned Lizzie earlier on in this post. She runs Boogie Mites for Newbury and Hungerford. Lizzie will be still be holding her Boogie Mites classes, but will be running them virtually instead. The classes will be held on a secure network via Zoom. To book your slot email firstname.lastname@example.org , pop a DM on Instagram to @BoogieMitesNewbury or follow BM Live with Lizzie on Facebook.
Swings & Smiles 30 Day Challenge
Swings and Smiles is a charity based in Thatcham, Berkshire, that provides a place for children with special needs to play with their families. The charity does such phenomenal work! As it can't sadly open its doors at the moment, Swings and Smiles has come up with a 30 day challenge for us all to get involved in. It includes an activity to take part in every day for one month. The charity will also be posting videos on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages to help bring the activities to life. What a lovely idea! We'll certainly be taking part.
Local Usborne Books representative holding 50% off sale
Elise Patrick is an Usborne Book representative for the Berkshire area. She has an Instagram page to inspire new book and story ideas for your children. Usborne representatives are great for helping you find the right books for your child. You simply let them know your child's age and interests and they'll point you in the right direction. Saves endless scrolling through the website! Elise currently has a 50% sale on now too. A delivery of books in the post is sure to provide some form of entertainment over the coming weeks. You can contact Elise here.
Corn Exchange Newbury Book Swap
As we're talking books, I wanted to tell you about the Corn Exchange's Book Swap. The theatre is going to continue its popular book swap but from an exchange point outside the front of the building instead. Locals can go down to the exchange point and choose a new book in return for leaving one of their own books behind. What a lovely idea to keep the community spirit going!
Playdough delivered to your door
I've spoken about the wonderful Roly Poly Play's playdough many times before. Jack and Erin love it! The playdough comes in a variety of colours stacked in a tub, and some have glitter added too. It's made from natural ingredients and the pots are made from plants - not plastic! If you can't head out over the new few days, why not get some fancy playdough delivered to your door to amuse the kids. You can purchase it here.
Corn Exchange FREE Rhyme and Shine session for under 2's
Erin and I used to attend this class most weeks, so when I heard it was going virtual - and for free - I had to include it here! Rhyme and Shine is a very relaxed singing class for under 2's. Every week, Becci who leads the group sings familiar songs and entertains the little people with her actions and expressions. The class will now be done virtually and for free, with the option to pay a donation towards the theatre if you want to. You can book online here.
Thoughtful activity ideas and online baby massage classes
Caz Campbell, who runs Baby Massage Newbury, shared this 'thoughtful' Things To Do With The Kids planner this week. Each activity is split into Happy, Kind or Calm. The idea is your child gets to pick an activity from each category. Caz also posts videos on her Facebook page with activities to do with your babies and children. Her massage classes are going ahead via Zoom now too. What a great idea! Visit Caz's Facebook page here.
Draw with Rob Biddulph #DrawWithRob Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am
Now I know this is definitely not from a Berkshire business, but Jack has fallen in love with these sessions so I had to include them. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am Rob Biddulph, famous children's author and illustrator, is holding live online drawing sessions. He's teaching children across the country (and potentially world) how to draw some of his much-loved story characters. You can follow the online drawing sessions here.
Hobby Craft at Newbury's Retail Park
I know many of you will know about Hobby Craft, however I wanted to mention it as I bought some lovely Easter crafts there recently. I always find the staff in the Newbury Retail Park branch extremely kind and helpful so I'd like to support them. The Easter crafts at the moment start from £2. Hobby Craft normally launches discounts every school holidays too. You can access Hobby Craft's website for delivery to your door here.
Finally, online resources with print outs, educational games and activity ideas
Now, none of these are from West Berkshire, but they're really helpful resources and I'm sure will be useful over the next few weeks. Click on the links below to access them.
Paw Print badges - FREE downloadable activity challenge packs
The Imagination Tree - provides ideas and activities for children to try at home
Toy Theatre - educational computer games for children
Nature Detectives - activities you can do in the garden
Share Your Play With Me - an Instagram profile that shares activity ideas for young children
This is What I've done Today - an amazing Facebook group full of ideas to keep children entertained
I hope you all stay well and safe.
Take lots of care,
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