Category Archives: family

Comedian Adrian Edmondson goes back to school at Thackley Primary

Young bookworms at Thackley Primary School will now be able to curl up with a book in their new state-of-the-art library.

Bradford-born comedian Adrian Edmondson went back to school last week to officially open their new state-of-the-art library which is set of encourage a love of reading. 

Adrian lived on Highfield Road as a child before achieving fame as a comedy actor, winner of BBC’s MasterChef and is currently playing the role of Malvolio in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Twelfth Night.  He has recently written a very well received children’s book called ‘Tilly and the Time Machine’ which children in KS2 have been reading.

The library, which has the capacity for 3000 books, is three times bigger than the previous library and is now fully accessible to all as it is situated on the ground floor.

Head of School, Annette Patterson said:  “We hope our new school library will become the heart of Thackley Primary School.  It will absolutely improve the children’s learning experiences and we really can’t wait for it to be finally open!

“A well-stocked, well-designed and well-used library will have a lasting affect on generations of children at the school. It will help us to foster a love of reading in all of our children which we know is so vital.”

The new school library will be open during and after school and will be appointing new junior librarians to look after the library and their all-new, broad selection of books.

During his visit to Thackley Primary School he read the children excerpts from his book, Tilly and the Time Machine – released earlier this year, posed for photos, answered questions from pupils and signed books for children, staff and parents.  

He had also brought a number of his favourite children’s books to present to the library.  

Thanks to questions from the school’s inquisitive reading club, the group found out that Mr Edmondson would travel back to the days of Lord Nelson if had a time machine, that he is a fan of TV comedy The Windsors and that he has a pet Whippet.  

His next book will be released in January and it is about a boy who becomes friends with a talking Shetland Pony.

Bradford Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills, Coun Imran Khan said:

“Congratulations to the staff, pupils, parents and carers at Thackley Primary School who have worked together to make the new library possible and encourage a love for reading.  I am sure all the children will embrace the new area and it will become the heart of the school and full of bookworms.”

Follow Thackley Primary School: @ThackleyPrimary and Ade Edmondson: @AdrianEdmondson

Come to Bradford for Christmas

With so many activities across the district, Bradford is the place to be for Christmas.

There will be Christmas lights switch on events across the district as well as lots of music and entertainment, pantomimes, a fun fair and lots of Christmas fairs and markets, traditional Christmas Services including Nine Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral, there’s even a Christmas Tree Festival and the annual Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede will see antler clad runners tackle the 5k route round Lister Park.

A funfair will light up in City Park and Tyrrel Street from Thursday November 30 until Sunday December 3 with children’s rides and dodgems. Christmas street theatre will entertain shoppers on the pedestrian areas in the city centres between 12pm and 5pm on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. With 20 colourful acts including Santa and his sleigh, snowmen, fairies, elves, dancing turkeys, penguins, Rudolph, snow globes and stilt walkers all providing festive frolics and music. There may even be added snow.

The Alhambra Theatre’s outstanding pantomime will once again star the fantastic Billy Pearce who this year is taking on the role as Buttons with singer and Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, with performances from 16 December to 28 January.

Other Christmas shows and concerts include a Christmas Night With The Stars with tribute act performances from Cher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble, Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span, famous for their 1973 Christmas hit Gaudete at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, an evening of dance, songs and festive cheer comes to the Alhambra theatre with the Christmas Words show on 7 December and The Chicago Blues Brothers bring their brand new festive show to the Alhambra on December 8.

An array of Christmas markets and craft fairs are being held across the district including the fantastic Victorian Christmas event at the Industrial Museum on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, Ilkley King’s Hall and Winter Gardens will be the venue for a Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre on Sunday 26 November, a Christmas Market will take place in Central Park in Haworth on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December and the Made Bradford Market will be held in Darley Street on Saturday 2 and Saturday 16 December.

There will be lots of festive fun at Bradford Council-run markets over the Christmas period with a Christmas Trade Fair hosted by Young Enterprise on Saturday 9 December inside the Oastler Shopping Centre, children’s interactive workshops, traditional Christmas entertainment from the Salvation Army Band, Pennine Chimes and school choir in the Oastler Shopping Centre and Kirkgate Market in the city centre and a Santa’s grotto along with festive entertainment at Keighley Market.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain has just launched the annual Lord Mayor’s Appeal Christmas Star’s Appeal, where people dedicate a star to a loved one for the Christmas tree in City Hall.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal annual Christmas Lunch takes place on Friday December 15 in City Hall and raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

For those wanting to get active there is the Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede with a 5k run and a mini stampede for children, Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way team has also organised two Christmas walks, a 5.5 mile Candlemass Eve walk on December 9 and a 4 mile Christmas Cheer walk on December 13.

Switch-on events with markets and fairs will be taking place across the district throughout November and December.

This year’s city centre Christmas lights will have a special light raising awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, the global campaign to end male violence against women. Incidences of domestic violence rise significantly during the festive period. The light will be turned on as part of the Christmas lights switch-on and will remain illuminated during the Christmas period including on White Ribbon day, 25 November.

The annual City Carol Service takes place at the Cathedral on Monday 18 December. The service is open to anyone and is attended by the Lord Mayor and civic leaders.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Christmas is such a special time of year and these events in the city centre and across the district give people plenty of opportunities to celebrate.”

For more information about Christmas events in the district visit www.visitbradford.com

Education Covenant to be topic of next public forum

Bradford’s Education Covenant will be the topic at the district’s next Public Forum for Education.

The Education Covenant is a district wide initiative focused on engaging the whole community to play a part in helping young people to succeed in life.  The Covenant is about keeping education a top priority to:
•           Help schools and teachers raise standards.
•           Support parents to get children ready for school, work and life.
•           Work with businesses and colleges to boost career options.
•           Champion the district’s unique art and culture.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in the Hockney Room, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN.

Speakers will include Leigh Taylor, Regional Director North East & Yorkshire Commercial Banking – Lloyds Bank. Leigh will explore how businesses can better support children and young people to help improve their educational outcomes and make successful transitions into work, and the business rationale for doing this work.

Staff and children from a local primary school will talk about their involvement in the launch of the Inspiring Bradford event.

Local magistrate, Gill Arnold, will talk about the work of the Bradford Community Champions.

There will also be an update on how the Education Covenant is being put into practice and how businesses and parents can make a difference.

The presentations will be followed by round table discussions and an opportunity to share your ideas with the panel and ask questions.

The Public Forum for Education (PFE) is an open and free forum where everyone with an interest in education is welcome to come along and contribute.

Coun Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The idea behind the Education Covenant is to focus the efforts of everyone on how we can raise education standards. We want to bring together the whole community to support Bradford’s children: businesses, public services, parents, and communities, all have a role to play.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s service, said:  “We know just how hard schools work to improve the outcomes for our children and education attainment is improving in our district. But we have more to do and we believe the whole community needs to be involved in young people’s education. That is why the Education Covenant is so important, so I’d urge parents, young people, teachers and businesses to come along and find out how they can be involved.”

To book your place, please email Public.Forum.for.Education@bradford.gov.uk or contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335.

Bingley Music Live set to return in 2018

Following on from the massive success of the Bingley Music Live festival this year, the event will be back for 2018.

The Bradford Council-run festival will once again return to the beautiful setting of Bingley’s Myrtle Park.

A record number of revellers flocked to the festival at the beginning of September for a weekend of fantastic fun, music and entertainment.

The festival was at full capacity of 15,000 each day creating a great atmosphere and giving a real boost to the Bingley economy.

The event which has been going in its current format for the past 11 years is organised by Bradford Council and is set to take place on the weekend of Friday 31 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2018.

Organisers are working hard behind the scenes to bring a stellar line-up for next year.

This year fans were treated to an outstanding set by the Manic Street Preachers on Friday. The Kaiser Chiefs rocked the main stage on Saturday and the festival was brought to a close by The Wombats who played an amazing greatest hits set, despite having some of their instruments stuck at Heathrow airport. Fellow rockers Feeder came to the rescue lending them their equipment. A spectacular fireworks display followed to round off what was an amazing weekend.

The smaller Discovery Stage showcased the best of the latest up and coming bands and this stage is set to return for 2018.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture said: “Bingley Music Live was truly amazing this year in terms of ticket sales and the calibre of performers. Our officers are now working hard to put together another stunning festival for 2018.”

Get in early and snap up the best Christmas cards!

Get in early and choose your favourite charity Christmas cards from the excellent range on sale at the visitor information centres (VICs) in Bradford, Haworth, Ilkley and Saltaire.

Every year the Council supports cards for good causes which pays the charities at least 70p in every pound from their card sales.

Charities to benefit include the British Heart Foundation, Epilepsy Action, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Macmillan and NSPCC.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Start shopping now and take advantage of the wonderful selection on offer. The popular designs do sell out quickly so get down to the VICs as soon as you can.”

The Visitor Information Centres are open 10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday with Haworth and Saltaire also open on Sundays from 10am – 4pm.

To keep up to to date with what’s new from the Visitor Information Centre and what is happening around the district follow them on Twitter @VisitBradford, Facebook/visit bradford and Instagram VisitBradford.

To see more details about the Christmas events planned around the district, log on to www.visitbradford.com/christmas.

Lord Mayor launches Children’s Safety Initiative

A ground-breaking children’s safety initiative was launched at the weekend.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain, unveiled the scheme which involves three schools taking part in the Children’s Year of Safety, which has the support of a wide range of organisations and agencies.

The schools involved are Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary, Merlin Top Primary Academy and Laycock Primary.  Each term during the academic year they will cover different topics around safeguarding and safety.

It is hoped that if the scheme is a success, it will be rolled out to other parts of Keighley and the wider Bradford district.

Coun Abid Hussain said:  “When we work together we can give our children every chance to thrive and fulfil their potential – which is what every one of them deserves,” he said.

“The Children’s Year of Safety is a new idea and I am delighted that we in Keighley are leading the way on such an important piece of work.

“There’s an old saying, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’. It may be an old saying, but it’s as true now as it ever was and it means we are all responsible for keeping our children safe.

“The Children’s Year of Safety will make it clear what that actually means for everyone.”

The gala – staged by the Braithwaite and Guard House Partnership, which brings together a host of organisations and agencies – has been hailed a success and was attended by hundreds of people.

There was a lot going on, on the day and attractions included a fancy dress contest, cave bus, bouncy castle, games, team sports, face painting, under-fives messy play, crafts, food and stalls.

The police and fire service were there, Keighley Healthy Living was represented and White Rose Energy distributed information.

Children's Year of Safety
Mae Wilkinson, five, and Tia-Rose Curry, six, help the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Abid Hussain, brush-up on road safety at Braithwaite and Guard House Gala

Tim Peake’s spacecraft to land in Bradford

The spacecraft which transported Tim Peake, the UK’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, to and from the International Space Station, will be landing at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford for public viewing from Wednesday, 27 September 2017.

The Soyuz TMA-19M capsule, complete with equipped interior and char marks on its outer body from its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, will displayed along with its 25m diameter parachute.

The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by an inspiring and immersive range of activities, including the Space Descent VR experience, narrated by Tim Peake himself.  Space Descent VR uses Samsung Gear VR headsets to recreate the experience of travelling over the International Space Station (ISS) and the incredible 250-mile journey back down to earth inside the Soyuz TMA-19M.

The VR imagery has been created by the award-winning Alchemy VR studio for the Science Museum Group, and is experienced with the latest Samsung Gear VR headsets in a bespoke VR lounge inside the museum.

The museum’s October half-term activities (21 – 29 October) will also be dedicated to Tim Peake’s Principia mission, featuring out-of-this-world experiences such as astronaut-training, taking the helm at mission control and launching self-designed rockets. And the museum’s popular series of Lates events for adults returns on 28 September with an evening of interactive space-themed entertainment.

Museum director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, said: “The Science Museum Group acquired the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule last year, and we’re the first venue to display it outside the capital. It’s hard to express how excited we are to be bringing it to Bradford. The Soyuz capsule represents one of history’s most incredible technological feats, and this is an unmissable opportunity for visitors young and old to see the craft that took Tim Peake all the way to the Space Station and back.”

Soyuz TMA-19M carried Peake and crewmates Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra in ESA Expedition 46/47 to the ISS on 15 December 2015, returning on 18 June 2016. It was acquired last year by the Science Museum Group.

Commenting on the acquisition, ESA astronaut Tim Peake said: “You do become very attached to your spacecraft because it definitely does save your life. I’m absolutely delighted that my Soyuz spacecraft, the TMA-19M, is going to be returning here to the UK and may serve, hopefully, as inspiration for our next generation of scientists and engineers.

Details of visiting arrangements and special events, including the Space Descent VR experience and half-term activities at the National Science and Media Museum will be announced at a later date.

Space Descent VR with Tim Peake and the presentation of Tim Peake’s spacecraft have been made possible with support from Samsung and the generous co-operation of Tim Peake and the European Space Agency.

Soyuz_TMA-19M_in_space

Heritage Day at Keighley Library

Visitors to Keighley can discover more about the town’s heritage at Keighley Library this coming weekend.

The annual Heritage Day at Keighley Library will take place on Saturday, 9 September.

There will be local, family, schools and military stands and this year the event will take on a musical theme reflecting Keighley’s musical heritage.

People can meet local and family history groups including Keighley Local History Society, Keighley Family History Society, Men of Worth, Keighley Schools Heritage and Airedale and Haworth writers.

At 11am there will be a special Rhymetime for children of all ages with guest presenters ‘Little Notes’.  The sing-along will feature woodwind instruments and fun and games.

From 11am until 4pm there will be music from local musicians Foxes Faux, Dayner Sim and Niamh Mirfield and Keighley group The Presidents.

There will be displays of Keighley’s musical heritage since the 1950s from the local studies library collections.

At 1pm musician and historian Gary Cavanagh author of ‘Noise of the Valleys’ will give a talk with musical clips from the CD that accompanies the book.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said:  “People can drop in throughout the day and discover more about the heritage of the local area.”

Admission to the event is free and everyone is welcome.

30 hours update – Parents who have applied for a code but not received one

The DfE has informed the LA that a small number of parents who have applied before 31 August may receive their 30 hours code between 1 and 14 September, because HMRC required additional information before determining their eligibility (‘amber’ cases).

In these circumstances, providers should be satisfied that a parent applied for a 30 hour code by 31 August before offering a 30 hours place. For example, a parent might demonstrate that they applied before 31 August through sharing the information contained within their childcare account mailbox and secure message that will state when they were identified as an amber case, and the date they received the message.

Bradford LA will fund a 30 hours place for these parents for the autumn term where they have received a code from HMRC with a validity start date after 31 August and up to 14 September.

As previously advised, a parent can reserve a place for their child the term after their third birthday with their chosen provider prior to their code being checked, but the code must be checked via the Funded Hours Checker before the child can take up their funded place. If providers choose to allow parents to start the place prior to validating the code, it will be at the provider’s own risk should the parent prove to be ineligible.

The DfE has also stated that the childcare service helpline is now able to provide a temporary code to eligible parents experiencing on-going technical issues. Please encourage parents to contact the helpline on 0300 123 4097, who will check eligibility and provide them with a code if they qualify for 30 hours in the event that they cannot resolve their issue with their on-line application.

Malaika’s Story…

 

When you first meet seven-year-old Malaika Azeem from Bradford, she appears to be a healthy little girl. But at only a few weeks old, Malaika was diagnosed with life-limiting Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that causes increased heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain and mobility problems. Malaika is in need of round the clock care that often leaves mum Sanam struggling to cope.

Malaika also suffers from frequent cyanosis, which causes poor oxygenation of the blood, otherwise known as ‘blue episodes’, for which she requires immediate hospitalisation. For mum Sanam, the past six years have been a constant battle to find support for the family.

She explains:

“The last 12 months have been really stressful for us all. In January last year, Malaika underwent open-heart surgery and doctors were unsure as to whether she’d pull through. After the operation, I cared for Malaika myself, changing her tracheotomy at home, as well as managing her physiotherapy. Since then, she has had several severe blue episodes and endured repeated hospital stays.

“I’m lucky to have the support of my parents and sister, who live close by, but there are very few people I would trust with Malaika’s care. Although I’ve previously tried to access different services in Bradford, there are few who really understand Malaika’s condition. Because she looks normal, people don’t understand.”

The challenge of caring for Malaika 24 hours a day, seven days a week is made more difficult as Sanam must juggle Malaika’s needs with those of her three sisters. Nimrah 13, Romesa 10, and Saira 3. For them, family life revolves around Malaika’s medical care, meaning that weekend activities and time out together are almost impossible.

Sanam explains further.

“Planning outings is a huge struggle. In the past, when we’ve been out and about, Malaika has fallen or become ill, so when I’m looking at places to go I have to consider where is suitable for her, and what might happen if she is ill away from home.

“I often feel guilty not being able to spend time with the other children. They sometimes get upset at the amount of attention I give Malaika, but when she falls ill, they understand why she needs me so much. My eldest, Nimrah, acts as a mother, sister and friend. She will help to wash and change Malaika and is a huge support to me. I’ve always tried to be honest with them all about the reality of Malaika’s condition and we take each day as it comes.”

Sanam self-referred Malaika to Martin House in the summer of 2015, and was overjoyed when the family were invited to a special tour prior to their first stay: After their first stay at Martin House in November last year, the Bradford family are hopeful that, with the right support, life can become a little more manageable.

“Malaika loved her first visit to the hospice. When we got there she didn’t know where to look first, and was so excited saying, “look at this, look at that”. She didn’t want to come home at all! Before our first proper stay in November, Malaika had been very ill and I was barely sleeping. The stay came at just the right time for both of us.”

“The time we spent at Martin House was an extraordinary experience. It was so good to get away from everything. Going to the hospice gives me the chance to talk to other parents and realise I’m not alone – their children might have different needs but we are all in the same boat. I don’t need sympathy; it’s so wonderful to be able to speak to people who understand.”

“When I talk to people about the hospice, they assume it’s all about end of life care. But Martin House do everything. Malaika loves to sing, and when she last stayed, she made a CD of her singing nursery rhymes and other songs. When I listened to it, I was in tears! It’s building up these memories that’s so special, all the little things that we do together that mean so much.”

Malaika2