Thursday, 29 August 2013


Tesco are asking the public to nominate mums for their Mum of the Year Awards 2014.

The family-friendly supermarket is looking for mums who make a difference in their community and to other people by their work, their passion and by just being a great mum.

The public are asked to send in details of mums who raise money for charity, help in the local area, support their families in difficult times and generally give back to others.

Speaking in her role as Celebrity Ambassador, Denise van Outen said, ”Mums are so important and are our country’s true unsung heroes. There are so many mums across the UK who are inspirational, courageous and selfless and most have no idea how special they are.” 

Winners of the 2013 award included:

Margaret Aspinall from Liverpool was Campaigning Mum of the Year. Margaret lost her son in the Hillsborough tragedy and has spent the last twenty four years campaigning for the truth as part of the Hillsborough Families Support Group.

Anna Kennedy from Uxbridge was the Achieving Mum of the Year. She remortgaged her house to set up a school for autistic children after her two autistic sons were turned away from mainstream and specialist education.

Ann Maxwell from Midlothian was the Charitable Mum of the Year. Ann set up a children’s epilepsy charity after her middle son was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.  She has raised over £7 million despite suffering from cancer.

Mireille Williams from Bristol was the Community Mum of the Year. Mireille saved her son’s preschool from closure by rallying her local community and turning the school into a viable charitable business, saving seven jobs along the way.

Kate Hardcastle from Huddersfield was the Enterprising Mum of the Year. She created a community group to help lesser-known charities raise awareness and staff in her own company are paid to volunteer one day a week.

Claire Lomas from Melton Mowbray was the Courageous Mum of the Year.  Claire, despite being paralysed from the chest down after a riding accident, spent 16 days walking the London Marathon in a robotic suit and raised over £200,000 for spinal injury charities.

And Melanie C, the Celebrity Mum of the Year 2013, who has global fame and girl power but still finds time to support a host of charities, said "I was so honoured to be awarded Tesco Celebrity Mum of the Year this year, and so incredibly humbled to meet the other amazing mums. It's was a wonderful afternoon and so inspiring to hear everybody's stories. All of us winners have stayed in touch and continued to support each other and our causes. If you know a super special mum who needs to be recognised for the fantastic things she does then nominate her today."

The mums attended a glitzy, star-studded luncheon event at London’s iconic hotel, The Savoy, as part of a three-day trip that also involved quality time with David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

Nominations for the 2014 awards must be submitted by 11.55pm on Friday 13 September 2013. Winners will again be invited to attend a glamorous celebrity ceremony in London in March next year.  

To nominate someone for an award or for more information on the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2014, please visit 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Local Nature Reserve Needs Your Votes! Is WWT Arundel Wetland Centre Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve?

WWT Arundel Wetland Centre in West Sussex has been nominated as ‘Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve’ for the prestigious Countryfile Awards 2013. The nominees were selected by nature writer Mark Cocker and TV presenter Ellie Harrison who noted that that Arundel Wetland Centre is ‘famed for its water voles.’ Ellie Harrison filmed WWT Arundel’s water vole population for an episode of The Big Wildlife Revival that will air in August on BBC.

Dave Fairlamb, the new Centre Manager at WWT Arundel, said “I am delighted the reserve has been nominated. Our team works hard to provide the perfect habitat for wildlife and a great day out for our visitors. We hope visitors and members will show how much they enjoy the reserve by taking a moment to cast a vote for WWT Arundel.”

Arundel Wetland Centre opened in 1976 on land leased from the Norfolk estate. One-fifth of the 62 acre reserve is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) reedbed that visitors can cross on a wide wooden boardwalk that accommodates wheelchairs. 

Visitors can also glide through the reed beds in silent electric boats to view rare water voles from the colony re-established in 2005 and photograph wild birds from one of the many hides – including our new ‘Discovery Hide’ which is a comfortable new hide featuring ID panels, binoculars and telescopes to help beginner birdwatchers.

As well as attracting wild birds, the site is home to a collection of 250 birds of rare and endangered species from around the world. You can even hand feed some of them, including the friendly Hawaiian Nene -  the rarest goose in the world.

New developments on the reserve include the Arun Riverlife project and Discovery Hide, completed in July 2013. Work on the project involved re-landscaping a heavily silted lake into a vibrant river floodplain habitat with reed, fen and shingle areas providing safe breeding spots for the wild birds of the Arun Valley.

WWT Arundel Wetland Centre is also a haven for people, with many visitors calling this quiet reserve nestled in the South Downs National Park a hidden gem.

The ten nature reserves nominated were listed in the August issue of Countryfile Magazine. The final decision on a winner now rests with the public who can vote in three ways: by sending an email to, by visiting or by filling in a form in Countryfile Magazine.

Other categories in the Countryfile Awards include the nation’s favourite brand of outdoor gear, favourite market town, favourite TV/radio presenter and favourite heritage site. Voting closes on Sept 30 2013.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Films online disturb 1 in 5 children


-       One in five children and teens disturbed by content they have watched via illegal sites
-       Half spending an hour each day watching films via smartphones and tablets over the summer
-       Parents encouraged to take advantage of free digital tools to keep kids legal and safe online

Holby City actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley is urging parents to keep an eye on what their kids are watching online this summer, as new research released today reveals children and teens across the country are downloading or streaming films from illegal pirate websites, with many disturbed by what they are viewing. 
One in five young film fans (18%) admit they have been disturbed by the movies they have watched on pirate websites and two thirds (65%) wish they had checked the film’s official age rating first.
While almost half of children and teens (42%) admit to being aware of rules in place at home designed to restrict what they can and can’t look at on the internet, the research commissioned by The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), shows a quarter (25%) download or stream movies from unofficial sources, which offer no guidance on age ratings.
The online study asked 1,000 UK 11-15-year-olds about their online viewing habits:
·         A third (37%) of younger children aged 11-12 admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated 15 from a pirate website
·         One in five 11-15 year olds (21%) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what their friends and older siblings are watching
·         More than a quarter of 11-15 year olds (27%) say their parents don’t know what films they are watching online, and a third (32%) wouldn’t  feel comfortable with younger siblings copying their viewing habits

With nearly half (45%) of 11-15 year olds spending up to an hour each day watching movies-on-the-move via smartphones and tablets during the summer holidays, parents are being encouraged to take advantage of free tools and advice to help them take control of what their children are watching and to visit to find films safely and legally online.

Actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley, said:
“As a mum, I know how excited my kids get at the thought of watching the movies they love during the holidays, but I also know how tough it is to keep tabs on what they are downloading or streaming online.  This research shows peer pressure is tempting kids to visit illegal websites for their film fixes even though they know these websites are off limits, and many are clearly upset by the content they stumble upon.  Portable smartphones and tablet devices mean children and teens will often be watching films away from the safety of the front room this summer, which is why I’m urging parents to know how to access film and TV content online safely and legally, and check out the tools and help that are available.”

Responding to the research, Lucy Brett, Head of Education for the BBFC, said:

"There is a wealth of free digital tools and advice available for parents and children to take advantage of so they feel confident about their family accessing films safely and legally online., the easy-to-use gateway to legitimate film, now carries BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight, so families know what they are accessing is not only from above board and safe sources, but that they have at their fingertips information which allows parents to make informed decisions about the right film choices for them and their families.”

“BBFCinsight highlights the main issues found in a film then expands on this, giving examples of the sorts of things you will see or hear, which may include violence, bad language and sex references. Parents can use or the BBFC website and free BBFC App for smartphones for information about a film before they download or stream them. Having this information available all in one place and talking to your children about how films are rated can help them stay safe and legal online this summer.”

Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, added:
“Public concern around what children are watching online has never been higher, making age-appropriate guidance even more critical. The film and TV industry believes education has a role to play. We provide tools to educate families around legitimate and age-appropriate source of film and enable parents and guardians to talk to their children to help them navigate the online landscape safely and legally.”
For more information about watching films safely and legally and to find recognised ratings and BBFCinsight information, visit
Top tips for parents
There are five simple steps parents can take today to ensure their children are safe and legal when watching films online (deliver top 5 tips):

1)      Start by visiting  – a one-stop shop where you can find all films, all above board, all in one place.  The website has been developed by the film industry and contains information on BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight to help families make informed decisions about their film choices.

2)      Activate simple parental controls – it’s easy to set up access controls on laptops, tablets and smartphones, which allow you to decide if you want films with certain ratings to be password protected and it’s possible to block specific websites. If you’re not sure how, contact your Internet Service Provider for more information.

3)      Get to grips with the BBFC age ratings – visit the BBFC website for a simple guide to the age rating of films.  You know children better than anyone and are the best person to decide what they should be watching. 

4)      Do your homework. Some films are rated U or PG because they contain no material that is unsuitable for a particular age category, but they might not necessarily be suitable for children.  GONE WITH THE WIND (PG) is a good example. This classic Hollywood film is rated PG but it isn’t intended for children.

5)      Start them young! Kids have a great love and appreciation for films.  The younger they are when they understand why films have to be classified and why it’s important to access films via legal channels, the safer they will be when it comes to watching films online.