Once upon a Thriftmas (December 2022 event)

For those who celebrate it, Christmas can be a magical time of year, coming together to enjoy yearly traditions of food, music, decorations and presents. But this all comes at a cost, both to our purses and the planet and the work that goes into making Christmas special often falls disproportionately to women.

As we begin to understand the challenges posed by climate change and the gathering pace of the cost-of-living crisis, we wanted to get back to the true meaning of Christmas and show that it doesn’t have to be all about consumerism and pressure to create the perfect day.

And so, together with our brilliant partners from across Calderdale, we held the first Thriftmas event on Saturday 10th December at Forest Cottage. There was a wide variety of activities on offer as well as advice and free goodies that aimed to give a different perspective on Christmas whilst maintaining the traditions we all know and love.

 

Did you know that every year, we spend around £700 million on unwanted gifts and that of all gifts, only 1% will still be in use come June?

When it comes to gifts, it really is the thought that counts so we had NHP’s Tracy hosting a Swishing table where people could bring in something they no longer wanted or needed to swap for something they could use or gift. The table was empty at the end of the day.

Natalie from NHP was there to help people make their own bath salts and bath bombs with recycled packaging good enough to gift to emphasise that handmade gifts can be the most thoughtful, waste free and cost-effective gifts out there.

Dan from NHP showed people how to make unique planters from recycled bottles that also make lovely and unique handmade gifts.

Festive food is another area where we could do better to save money and be greener. With supermarkets employing tactics to get us to buy more than we need, its no wonder we collectively bin enough food to provide 42 million meals.

Rachel from NHP made a delicious turkey chilli from leftovers in the slow cooker with the recipe to take away and try at home. There was also a slow cooker to be won by one lucky attendee.

Every year, we send 165,000 tonnes of Christmas decorations to landfill including 68,488 miles of string lights so we wanted to find ways of decorating that would use natural and recycled materials that will also save money. Nicola from Staying Well hosted a table to make cardboard gingerbread decorations. Nicola from Todmorden Makery inspired people to make their own decorations from tech waste and Calderdale Green New Deal were promoting the use of natural and traditional decorating materials like leaves, twigs, and flowers.

Of the one billion Christmas cards sent each year, only 1/4 will be recycled creating 300,000 tonnes of waste. Sara Nursey from Elland Children’s Centre hosted a table where you could use paint and recycled materials to create handmade Christmas cards which are more likely to be kept and cherished than end up in landfill.

Paul Whiteley Photography was there to take beautiful and fun photos in the Christmas themed photo booth which will make lovely personalised and waste free gifts and e-cards.

Similarly, around 40,000 Christmas crackers are sent to landfill each as many are not recyclable with foil, glitter, and a useless piece of plastic. Sam and team from NewGround were on hand to show people how to make their own reusable crackers that are environmentally friendly and where you can choose your own gift that will be useful and reusable.

All One Collective’s Hillary was there to chat to people about how they’re managing with the cost-of-living crisis and how being a little greener can also help save money.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the big man himself – Santa took his place by the beautiful original fireplace to give gifts to all the children who came.

It was a wonderful event, that put a different vibe on Christmas festivities, and we had great feedback from the people who came along. Thanks so much to everyone who was involved organising and hosting and to everyone who came along and participated.

We look forward to doing it all again next year!

Christmas Films showings at Square Chapel Centre of the Arts

Throughout the festive season, Square Chapel centre of the Arts will be showing classic Christmas favourites, from The Muppet Christmas Carol to It’s a Wonderful life.

Watch out for Matilda the musical and performances from independent artists!

See what’s on at the Square Chapel

Get into the spirit of Christmas in your local independent venue.

Square Chapel centre for the Arts is fully accessible. Don’t forget to stop by the theatre’s cafe for some refreshments!

Free Christmas Party and Singing Workshop with Time Out December 22

There are still spaces available for the Time Out Christmas event of festive fun for children and young people at the Orangebox in central Halifax on Thursday 22nd December, from 10am – 3pm. Come and learn some alternative Christmas songs with singing teacher, Georgia, followed by card making and party games with Nikki. A free hot lunch is available on the day.
Most of the TimeOut Christmas activities are now fully booked. You can still make enquiries to see what is available!
Booking is essential. Visit: Events Timetable – TimeOut Calderdale

Christmas Light Trail from Kevin Pearce December 16th

Kevin Pearce Children’s Centre and North Halifax Partnership invite you to join us in our Christmas Light Trail!

This short walk is ideal for little feet! It will be a bright Christmas experience for children and young families!

Meeting at Kevin Pearce Children’s Centre, Ovenden Road (Ovenden, HX3 5RQ) for a 4pm start.

There will be hot chocolate and mince pies for adults and a chocolate selection box for the first 50 families that arrive!

We hope you will join us!

No need to book, you can turn up. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

 

 

Time Out free Christmas holiday workshops open for bookings!

Time Out’s free programme of Christmas holiday workshops for children and young people is now open for bookings. Join us for a week of chaotic Christmas creativity and fun, with workshops in creative writing and drawing, boxing, making explosive Christmas gifts, an acting masterclass and ending with a singalong Christmas party. A free hot lunch is available for activities at the Orangebox. 
 
Booking is essential so check out our flyer for all the information

How did we do for Pelloween?

[Article written by Natalie Ratner, Senior Community Organiser on the Place Based Social Action Project]

When I talk to people about their communities, one thing that is mentioned over and over is the lack of things for young people to do. Emma Nicholl, a long time Pellon resident, was one such person and being a big fan of Halloween, decided she would like to organise a Halloween party for the community. Not long after I met Emma, I was put in touch with Julie Jackson who had recently worked with Yorkshire Housing to start Pellon’s first community garden at the top of Rye Lane. After some successful events already, she also wanted to provide a Halloween event for the community.

Together we organised the Pelloween community event in just a month with the help and support from volunteers across Pellon and staff from Yorkshire Housing and North Halifax Partnership (NHP). We were keen to offer the event for free to be inclusive of everyone. We were able to do with this with a successful ward forum grant bid and funding from the Place Based Social Action Project.

This was an ideal opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic community venues in Pellon such as the Pellon Community Garden which is already proving its value in being an accessible outdoor space with huge potential for the future; and St. Columba’s Church Hall, a bright and welcoming space which is well equipped for events and meetings. I really enjoyed chatting with people about how Pellon used to be and how we can bring back some of the community spirit that used to be here.

Up at the community garden, there was a variety of stalls where you could get a glitter tattoo, balloon models, sweets and candy floss, Asian food, and much more. A face painter was there to paint children’s faces for free as well as the incredible birds of prey which you could hold for a donation.

Down at St. Columba’s Hall, everyone enjoyed the buffet kindly provided by Julie and family for the cost of ingredients – there was a queue for the burgers and hot dogs! The children enjoyed a fascinating bug show where they met all manner of bugs and beasties. There was also a craft table and prizes for the best dressed in three age ranges and the best dressed adults.

Julie J said ‘Without the volunteers who gave up their time to help, including our amazing young helpers (shout out to Louie who arrived at 09 30am to help!) this wouldn’t have happened. It was wonderful to see kids and adults alike enjoying themselves. Looking forward to hopefully coming together to hold many more events in the future. Thanks also for loaning us some wonderful decorations to help fill the garden area, Paul Tait.

The feedback we received made all the hard work worthwhile. Many people asked us to make this a regular event and to organise more events with children in mind, with lots of offers for help next time. Here is some of the feedback we received:

Thank you for today my kids have loved it

Absolutely amazing

Thank you for having us. My boys have had a great day It’s been lovely watching all the children get together playing & having fun!! The smiles on all the little ones faces today was priceless 😀

I’m pleased it went so well, I had a lovely time

Thank you for today! Was an amazing event and a much needed one in our area! The kids and adults loved it!! Hope to see more events upcoming!!

We are truly grateful for all you did and more. Our two were so so happy and loved it

‘I’m so pleased it went so well, I had a lovely time and hope the kiddies (and adults weren’t too grossed out at putting their hand in the Trick or Treat Scare box) I’m looking forward to our next event.

Pelloween! Was good to get out and about and the kids bloody loved it!!

Loved the bugs! Kids really enjoyed it all – thank you x

Enjoyed the birds and creatures

I was forced to go but it was good

The kids really enjoyed

Excellent for the community

Everything and everyone was amazing so much to do

Son really enjoyed the day. Thank you

Thank you again to everyone who helped or came along to make it such a great community event!

Emma Nicholl would also like to give thanks to all the volunteers for their help!

Ash Green Children’s Centre rated Outstanding by OFSTED !

Ash Green, a Sure Start Children’s Centre provided by North Halifax Partnership, is celebrating a “Outstanding” ofsted report. The centre is based across two sites which means they receive two separate Ofsted inspections– on this occasion it was the 2-3 room based on the site of Ash Green Community Primary school.

Ofsted visited the centre on 1st November 2022. The inspector spent time taking to staff, children, parents and observing the room.

The inspector stated “That children strive in this stimulating environment and clearly enjoy their time in the setting, they happily enter the setting and quickly become engrossed in a range of activities. Children make rapid progress from their original starting points on entry and teaching is of a high quality”

The report goes on to say “staff have high expectations of what the children can achieve and are extremely proactive in getting any professional support in place quickly.”

Nicola Earnshaw Children’s Centre Manager said “I am very proud of all the staff at Ash Green Children’s Centre, their passion and hard work has paid off –  we just need to wait for the other site at Ash Green to be inspected now!”

 


Ash Green Sure Start Children’s Centre
Mixenden Rd, Halifax HX2 8QD
t : 01422 244613