If your New Years Resolution to get fit has taken something of a bashing already, how about finding some new ways of exercising and keeping active? Tomorrow, The Bunyan Centre hosts the second annual Women and Girls Sports Festival, aimed at encouraging more women and girls to take up sport, and demonstrating what activities are available locally. It runs from 11.00am until 4.00pm. It's a free event and you are welcome to drop in at any time and stay for as long as you wish to learn about and try a huge range of activities including:
What a brilliant opportunity for girls of all ages to try out some interesting sports and activities. Everyone is welcome, from budding Olympic stars to those of us who last played netball, badly, in 1998. For more infomation and the full programme, read more here
We do so love a fundraising campaign that involves eating...and the very special project we're starting this week at the Kiosk involves eating smarties. Did you know that eating smarties can help plant trees on mountains? No? Well, we did say it was a really special project, not to mention a brilliant idea. We're teaming up with the wonderful people who supply our coffee, Ethical Addictions, to raise money for their indigenous tree planting project. The trees are going to be planted on Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, helping to preserve the rainforest and protecting the local environment.
This is why Ethical Addictions is a special kind of coffee supplier:
The fundraising we're doing works like this:
Pick up a tube of Smarties from the Kiosk, or go and buy one (the hexagonal kind.)
Fill the empty tube with 20p coins.
Bring the stash of 20ps in the tube to the Kiosk over the Easter weekend, and we will donate the money to Ethical Addictions Coffee.
EA Coffee will use the money to plant trees on a mountain!
Excitingly, once the trees have been planted, you'll be sent a GPS reference for the tree that has been planted with the donations you made! That's definitely worth saving up those 20ps for. You can get 60 20ps into a smarties tube: which is £12. Just £10 will pay for your tree to be planted. Well worth the saving/hunting behind sofas/pestering Dad...
If one of your goals for the new year is to get fitter, or just to spend more time outside in the fresh air, then the Kiosk at the Park team are here to inspire you! We've got a weekly running group (Thursday mornings) and a new 'Bedford Buggy Bootcamp' class on a Monday after storytime for those parents who fancy a workout with their kids (no buggy required!) On the blog today, keen Kiosk runner, and storytime regular Bronwen shares her experience of fitting in a fitness regime when you are juggling toddlers, buggies and school runs. All in the fresh air, and without pricey gym membership!
I have been running with a pushchair on and off for about 7 years, since the birth of my number 1. Mostly off actually as I am naturally quite lazy and find it really hard to motivate myself. I actually love running though- there isn't any other exercise that I'd rather be doing. Once I get my rather-bigger-than-I'd-like bottom off the sofa I tend to binge on running for a while. I am mid-binge at the moment- running 5 times a week. I am loving it and really feeling the benefits. Don't tell anyone, but I am secretly more than a little competitive, and need a focus or a goal to keep me motivated. In the past I ran for various clubs, but this doesn't work so well with family life. Bedford Parkrun is a fab event- and it can be approached to suit and level of runner. I want to be up there, as near to the front as I can get, and I want to beat my personal best every time... and others are satisfied with making it round the 5km course- and that is great! Running frequently obviously helps me get closer to these goals.
The second thing that keeps me getting up and out is a plan of times that I can regularly run. I have a Monday buggy run round Russell Park with a friend- I can squeeze it in between school drop-off and Kisok story time. I run Wednesday mornings with another friend around Priory Park and Thursday is Kiosk Power Pramming. I get time without the pushchair on a Saturday which is Parkrun- or something longer, and on Sunday I do a hill or a speed session (with buggy) at Bedford Park. Another thing that motivates me is running with other people. Sometimes I want to run with someone who stretches me, and other times I am content to run with people new to running or who may not have my competitive drive. This is what Thursday mornings at the Kiosk is all about. Like many parents with small children, I find it difficult to make time for exercise and so buggy running is ideal. You get a workout and your child gets a ride in the fresh air with plenty for dog/duck/van and lorry spotting. And if you join us at the kiosk you get to make friends too- if you can manage to run and chat! So please come and join us- it is more fun with you, and Steve and I will promise to be gentle- at least at first!
Whether you have fitness or competition goals we can help you to achieve them, and if you don't we can set them. Steve's latest goal for me is a triathlon in April. It would be my first...but it is good to try something new!
We'll be catching up (perhaps not literally) with the lovely Jo from Buggy Bootcamp Bedford on the blog next week, but she will be back at the Kiosk on Monday to run her class straight after storytime (Storytime starts at 9.30).
Restorative drinks and snacks are obviously available afterwards at The Kiosk...
So on Christmas Eve afternoon, put down your wrapping paper, sellotape and those last Christmas cards, and head to Russell park for 4pm to join us with a mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pie and a bit of carol singing.
There will be an opportunity here for a bit of festive dressing up. Perhaps you never got to be an angel in the school nativity play, and have a pair of tinsel-trimmed wings you're itching to wear? Or a teatowel that you think might look particularly fetching over your head, shepherd-style? Or was your child disappointed not to be Mary, again? If you've got a blue dress, you know what to do ! We're actively encouraging dressing up for Christmas Eve - perhaps a impromptu nativity scene will appear in Russell Park! Snowflakes, stars, Christmas fairies, reindeer and donkeys are all suggested outfits too! There will be free glow sticks for the kids, and if grown ups could bring head torches, lanterns or candles, then we can celebrate Christmas Eve in style by candlelight/torchlight!
It's been a great year in the park, with hedgehogs, Halloween, Thanksgiving, cookies and coffee. We'd love to see you there to wish you a very happy Christmas! We'll leave you with a few costume ideas, in case you need some inspiration...
And from all the team at the Kiosk - a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The great thing about having lots of different people reading and sharing books for our regular Monday 9.30 Storytime at The Kiosk session is that they bring with them their own enthusiasms and favourite books. Our guest reader tomorrow: John Moule, Head Master of Bedford School, is a very busy man. Responsible for 1,200 or so students, he probably doesn't get very much time for reading. But when he does, he tells us, he likes to read 'biographies, theology, crime novels, sports writing...but the idea of reading my favourite stories is appealing; any excuse to get back to where it is really at is a delight. And Frog and Toad is really where it's at.'
The Frog and Toad stories, written by Arnold Lobel feature two characters who look like they would be very much at home here in the park:
John says 'one might think there was great educational theory behind my desire to encourage reading, and so there is. But fundamentally it is fun. And Toad of the Frog and Toad stories is one of the great heroes of modern literature and more people should know it.'
He's not alone in this great regard for Frog and Toad; JK Rowling talks to The Guardian here about her love for the characters and stories. She cites a section in "A Lost Button" where Toad throws a tantrum when he keeps finding the wrong buttons: he jumps up and down and screams, "The whole world is covered with buttons, and not one of them is mine!", and then feels contrite when he finds his own button on the floor of his house.'
I'm fairly sure that Toad is a character that all attendees of Storytime can relate to, one way or another.
John joins an illustrious and eclectic collection of Kiosk storytellers from the region - the likes of Richard Fuller MP, Alex Levene, Grandpa Le Brocq, Hayley Simpson, Julia Jarman, Rachael Rogan, Mark Nasir, Stella Good, Kristin Wilkinson Hughes, Cllr Kristy Adams, Bronwen Collacot and Katy Dynes to name but a few. We're really looking forward to welcoming him on Monday: please join us to hear all about the adventures of Frog and Toad, as well as milk and biscuits and coffee and cakes! 9.30am - hot water bottles and blankets available to make it toasty as well as Toady!
Tomorrow at 10am, we welcome Ian from Forest Owl Forest School to The Kiosk at The Park! To get you in the mood, he's sent us a few owl-facts (via owl-post, obviously). Did you know that there are over 200 different species of Owls? (Wow!)
These include the rather festive sounding Cinnamon Screech Owl,
The magnificent Snowy Owl:
And the teeny tiny Elf Owl!
There are loads more owls, which you can look up here. We'd love to know what your favourite owl is! (We love the sound of an elf owl, although presumably they are busy this time of year, what with all that wrapping and packing of presents for Father Chrsitmas!) Whichever one you like the sound of best, why not join us tomorrow at the Kiosk when we welcome Ian from Forest Owl Forest School - you can even make your very own toilet roll owl or even a festive toilet roll Robin.
Come along from 10am and bring some toilet roll inners (don't worry if you can't find any we will have some spares) and Ian from Forest Owl will show you how to make either an Owl or a festive Robin just like these handsome chaps:
Forest Owl, Forest School is a new Bedford based organisation that will be offering, alongside their work teaching curriculum based lessons at schools across Bedfordshire, some exciting birthday party ideas and curriculum based “subject booster” Saturday clubs from their new woodland base in Bromham starting in January 2014.
For more information and for some great fun forest based ideas follow Forest Owl on Facebook here.
See you there! Milk, biscuits, Christmas snacks and more will be on sale as usual for hungry crafters and their owls! We'll have special themed cupcakes and mulled wine as well as some very yummy gluten-free mince pies. Last but not least we are also launching the latest deliciousness from Malmesbury Syrups 'Bah Humbug' - deliciously minty in a hot chocolate or latte!
One of our lovely American Kiosk customers, Sarah, is coming to the Kiosk on Thursday to show us Brits how to celebrate Thanksgiving! Read all about it here, and have a nose-around her beautiful blog too.
From our favourtite foody/illustrations people They Draw & Cook - an illustrated Christmas Pudding recipie to celebrate Stir Up Sunday today !
That's right! It's time to dust-down the best mixing bowl and bulk-buy dried fruit. The last Sunday in November is traditionally the time to begin making the Christmas pudding.
We've got a few ideas here if you want to start mixing up your own Christmas Pudding:
1. Follow Mary 'Queen of the GBBO' Berry's recipe for a classic pudding "loaded with big pieces of fruit." You can't go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe!
2. Go traditional with a Mrs Beeton's regency Christmas Pudding, and read all about the history of the plum pudding on this fascinating blog. (Jane Austen fans - this one is for you!)
3. If you don't fancy a traditional Christmas pudding, why not give these festive cake pops a go? If you've not tried cake pops before, we can highly recommend them. A pudding on a stick may seem a little odd at first, but they look so good they double as a table decoration! And a bit of Christmas efficiency is never a bad thing.
The most important thing to remember with Christmas pudding-making though, is to make a wish whilst you are stirring. Don't forget! And if you'd like to be really traditional and add a sixpence, but don't have one to hand (it's been a while, after all!) you can even buy one here.
Happy stirring, wishing, and brandying everyone!
Later this week we're catching up with Jane Leech, official baker of the Kiosk at the Park Christmas Cake. She'll be offering her top tips for festive Christmas baking, and the all important decorating of the Christmas Cake.
Fantastic news for parents who want to encourage their children to get outside and explore: here's a chance to sign up for a trial of a brand new and brilliant nature app! Read The Bedford Clanger blog below for more information, and details of how you can sign up to the trial!
This show has been selling out in theaters all over the country - so we're very lucky that Bedford is one of the stops on this outer-space-bound tour! Kid Carpet (purveyor and international pioneer of catchy-low-fi-electro pop, who has toured with Arcade Fire, no less!) describes the show like this:
"BLAST OFF! involves some very lo-fi technological wizardry, turning ordinary everyday toys into magical superstars with the aid of a video camera, lots of laughs, silliness and live music. Bring your rock-out attitude and your astronaut costume (fancy dress optional!) because were going to space.... 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... BLAST OFF!"
And frankly it is just not a decent Friday night without a rock-out-attitude and an astronaut costume....
There are two performances: 3.30pm (commences at 3.45pm, so the after-schoolers can get there in time for launch) and 6.00pm. It's recommended for children aged four and above.
Tickets are £8, £5 concessions and available to buy online here.
Curious? Have a watch of this video by Will Bishop-Stephens to get a flavour of the magic on offer.
On Friday it's Children in Need day! And, as the song goes, (ish) 'if you go down to the PARK today, you're in for a big surprise!' That's because we're urging people to wear their onesies ALL DAY to help raise much needed money for children all over the UK and abroad. AND, if you do turn up in a onesie, not only will you get a FREE hot drink, we will donate ALL of the price of your hot drink to Children in Need! We're also holding a cake sale, for which we are asking for donations - both of the edible and the cash variety. If you are a baking whizz, bring down a cake: any kind of cake or biscuit welcome - and if you are a very good eater of cakes, come and purchase one! All of the money raised from the cake sale will go to Children in Need. It's basically a day long pyjama party with integrated cake sale...FOR CHARITY!
If you're in the fundraising mood and looking for some ideas for yourself or your children, have a look at the tips on the official Children in Need website here. We're more than happy to host sponsored dance-offs, sponsored silences, sponsored mini golf, sponsored scoot round the park...share the fundraising love and let's raise a LOT of money for a very deserving cause!
Last year we had some stunning PJ-flaunting visitors. Let's see if we can make it onesie better this year...
Well, they do say that good things come to those who wait... Summer seems a very, VERY long time ago now that it's getting colder, but we're going to take this opportunity to remind you of the very lovely summer of 2013 by (finally) announcing the winners of our 500 words of Summer story competition. Congratulations to:
Mia Collacott for her story 'The Tigers' Argument'.
Freddie Jordan for his story 'The Seal with No Home'
Martin Lindill for his story, which didn't have a title, but we'd like to call it 'The Treaty of the Apple.'
There is also a prize for the story Great Grandmother and the Magic Milkshake' - a joint effort by Charlotte Gorringe-Serrano and Scarlett Gavi-Gorringe.
The judges, chaired by Alex Levine, of The Place Theatre were really impressed with the standard of the entries, and had a hard time picking the eventual winners. The stories are all brilliant, and we'll be celebrating with a special afternoon tea, where the winners will receive their signed books by local author Julia Jarman, and goody bags.
We're going to compile a special book of stories to keep at the Kiosk - which all the entries we had will be included in. Anyone else who wants to contribute a 500-word(ish) story is welcome to - and you've got the rest of November to write one. So if all the fireworks have inspired your creativity, or of you fancy writing a Christmas story of your own - why not bring one down to The Kiosk at the Park? We'll put it in our book! Illustrations very welcome too!
And yes, it is getting colder. But one of these marshmallow hot chocolate mountains might be enough to lure you out to submit a work of literary genius...
If you are in the mood for some spooky fun on Halloween (and let's face it, Halloween is the perfect time for spooky fun,) then look no further than the Kiosk, where the Circus of Illustration are hosting a spooky spectacular! Do go and check out the Circus of illustration's website - they are a friendly and extremely talented bunch of Bedford illustrators. The only people ever - probably - to have designed and made an illustrated fold-out doll of the Mayor of Bedford. (With or without beard.)
Off trick or treating? The Kiosk is the perfect place to stop off at on the way! We've got a fancy dress competition, AND a prize for the best-in-show pumpkin. There's also a spooky puppet workshop and scary facepainting. And of course we do have our own rather marvellous range of treats: giant cookies, cupcakes, malteser squares, hot chocolate to warm your ghostly hands. What with that, plus The Circus of Illustration, who have plenty of tricks up their sleeves... we've got Halloween covered!
If you need a bit of home-made costume inspiration, why not try the suggestions here?
And if you are hosting a ghoulish party of your own - be sure to check out one of our favourite bloggers' guides to Halloween fun. Single Slummy Mummy's blog of ghostly wisdom can be read here.
Last year the Circus hosted a spooky Drink and Draw session at The Kiosk. Here are a few artistic highlights...
It is our delight to introduce the first, but definitely not last, guest post by Rachael Rogan. Storytime storyteller, book enthusiast and all-round cool cookie. In celebration of National Childrens' Book Week, (7th-11th October.) here Rachael talks about her long answer to the question 'what is your favourite childrens' book?'. If you have a favourite, or indeed a similarly hard time picking your favourite book (childrens' or otherwise) and you would like to contribute to this new Storytime category on our blog, please do get in touch. (firstname.lastname@example.org) My daughter is going through a ‘phase’. It’s quite frustrating. When faced with a decision-making challenge she will go from a wobbly “What do you think?” to “I don’t know what to do!!! WAIL”. In the time it takes for me to realize it was probably an error to give her a choice between pizza or sausages lentil lasagne or home-made shepherd’s pie, she has entered a full scale tailspin from which it is near-impossible to haul her. The paralysis by analysis is quite startling. This comes fairly close to my reaction when asked to talk about my favourite children’s book. For those of you who are unaware of my obsession healthy appreciation of books, they play a fairly important role in my life. I suspect the near-translucent quality of my delicate epidermis is due to the hours I spent ignoring my mother’s pleas to “put that book down, come outside and get some sunshine” during my formative years. There are so many books that could potentially seize that title – how to choose?
Do I choose ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’? The book I discovered as a small child in my local library, but secretly issued for many years, although I had ‘allegedly’ outgrown it? The book I made my nephew learn by rote to recite at his pre-school class when I had no children of my own? The book I bought ‘for my daughter’ a minute after she was born? The book I already read to my son because of the ‘rhyme and repetition (Plum pie in the sun, I spy everyone!) that is appealing to young children’?
How about ‘The Gnome from Nome?’
The book bought for me as a Christmas present by my aunt in America? At a time before the Internet, before email, when my contact with my (enormous) family in the States was limited to those tissue-thin airmail sheets that you licked to seal them, and a crackly phone call once a year late in the evening to try to find a suitable time that met the requirements of both time zones? A book that represented the physical reality of an almost mythical family?
Or do I go for ‘A Necklace of Raindrops’ (written by Joan Aitken, illustrated by Jan Pienkowski)? A book I still recall buying on a whim from a church fair at my Grandma’s place of worship? A book I cherished dearly, lost (perhaps, my bedroom at my mum’s house is kind of a monument to my inability to throw anything away, so it could be underneath one of the countess piles of, well, stuff), sought for many years in my adult life, found on ebay, and can sometimes be found stroking in a not at all creepy way? The book that prompted me to buy the Tiffany Elsa Peretti crystal teardrop necklace because it looked like a necklace with a raindrop on it?
Emotion is great. But Tiffany is sparkly. So I pick ‘A Necklace of Raindrops’. Because it wins on my ‘OhMyGodILoveBooks’ level and also my ‘IGetToBuyTiffanyStuff’ level. I think you’ll agree, that’s a damn fine way of avoiding a decision-making crisis. Maybe I need to find a way of incorporating expensive jewelry into mealtimes…
More exciting news on the 'interesting things to do at the weekend in Bedford' front! Did you know that Bedford now has its very own FILM FESTIVAL? And it is taking place from 27th-29th September - that's right - this weekend! This exciting proposition was dreamed up just a couple of months ago by a small group of friends who wanted a bit more variety in the range of films being shown in Bedford. Cineworld is great, and all, but national chain multiplexes don't always scream 'variety'. Film festival founding member Paul says: "The ethos behind Bedford Film Festival is variety. We didn’t want to focus on one genre or subject because variety is after all what makes Bedford great... Documentaries aboutHip Hop, Snow Boarding, Adam Ant’s battle with depression, and legendary recording studios, help give us a reality check with uplifting and inspiring true stories before we escape into feature films from Britain, Cuba and the US."
As well as the films themselves (full programme here) the team have also organised workshops and talks, including a visit from Martin Stellman, writer of Quadrophenia, talking about the classic film and its legacy. There are lots of opportunities for film students to learn skills such as lighting a set, or make up for films. These workshops will be run by industry experts and exclusive to Bedford Film Festival - an opportunity not to be missed!
Kiosk at the Park had a good nosey around the programme for the weekend, and we've decided that our must-see-three are:
Wayland's Song - a film shot in Bedford! This is exciting on many levels, but playing spot-the-location is going to be particulaly fun! There is also the fact that this is directed by one of the founding members of Bedford Film Festival, Richard Jobson.
For the kids: Turbo - the story of a speed-freak snail who likes to live life in the fast lane! This is being shown 3 weeks ahead of its general release - so you'll need to get in the fast lane yourself to see it - tickets are selling quickly! It's being shown at 1pm on Saturday 28th at The Higgins. Book tickets online here.
For the bigger kids, we love the look of Dead Cat, a film about childhood sweethearts reunited in their 30s and trying to figure out whether it is love, or merely nostalgia. Described as:
"Directed by Stefan Georgiou and starring Sebastian Armesto (both hotly tipped in Screen International’s Star of Tomorrow 2011), Dead Cat is a winsome, entertaining take on contemporary relationships, and a breezy shot in the arm for British comedy."
But to be honest, they all look good. And this is a rare opportunity to see a wonderful variety of films in great local locations. Hurrah for Bedford Fim Festival!
If you'd like to get into the spirit by purchasing some popcorn, don't forget we sell Portlebay Popcorn in a variety of delicious flavours here at the Kiosk! Pop down and get some ready for the weekend...
There must be something in the air. Hot on the heels of the most successful Bedfringe ever, not one but two of our storytime favourites are treading the boards in Bedford, so to speak. Stick Man, the heartwrenching tale of a stick man's intrepid journey trying to get back to the family tree by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler is a true modern childrens' classic, combining Julia Donaldson's irresistable rhyming verse with a wonderful story and brilliant illustrations.
'Stick Man lives in the family tree
With his Stick Lady Love
and their stick children three...'
But the world is a dangerous place for Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him. A swan builds a nest with him. He even ends up on a fire! Will he ever get back to the family tree?
The book has been adapted for stage and is coming to the University of Bedfordshire Theatre on Sunday, September 29th at 3pm. Described as: "Featuring a trio of actors, puppetry, catchy tunes and funky moves, Stick Man is more fun than you can shake a stick at!" Suitable for children aged 3+ their friends & families.
Tickets are £10 each and are available from the box office: 01234 793197, or email email@example.com
Directions to the theatre and other information can be found on their website here.
BUT: Stick Man is not the only classic to take to the stage! We're delighted to say that friend of the Kiosk and local author Julia Jarman's classic Big Red Bath is coming to the Bedford Theatre! (it must be a Julia thing.)
"Ben and Bella are having such a lovely, splashy time in the big red bath that soon everyone wants to join in the fun! But will there be room for all the animals . . . even Hippopotamus? A riotous story! "
This production is by Full House Theatre, in association with Half Moon productions. You can catch up with Ben, Bella and all their bathtime friends at Bedford Theatre on October 12th at 2.30pm. The production is aimed at the 2-6 years age bracket, and we can confirm that the book comes highly recommended by all our Storytime regulars. Tickets are £8, or £5 for concessions and are available online here, or from the box office, (01234 718112.)
We suggest you book up early for both of these - a chance to see such brilliantbooks brought to life on the stage is not one to be sniffed at! If you, or your children, would like to review either production for our blog - please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to publish some here!
And if you really can't wait and want to get in the Stick Man mood, why not try this craft activity? We've found, and subsequently totally fallen for, this amazing crafting blog, Red Ted's Art Blog. Perfect for ideas for things to do on the not-quite-as-sunny days we're having at the moment, as well as loads of ideas for presents that kids can make. Might come in handy in the next, er, few months. Give it a go! Small kids+sticks+gluing= heaven!
It's been a few weeks since our sunny day of hedgehog creation in the park. We thought that you might like to see the winning entries, chosen by illustrator Katy Dynes from a huge selection of inspired designs. Katy told us that it was 'really hard to choose - so many of the hedgehogs were amazing and showed so much imagination!'
As you can see we have a huge range of Russell designs, from the natural look - leaves and pinecones, to soft pink with a yellow nose; there are floral patterns and pom-pom accessories, plus the addition of a surfboard in one. All of the ones that we picked showed a great deal of personality - essential for a cheeky hedgehog living near the Kiosk. Katy took elements of all these winning designs for her final soft toy of the Kiosk mascot Russell - to be unveiled VERY SOON! Much excitement! We've got some fab interviews with some of the winning artists coming up on the blog, as well as, obviously, the first photos of our very own mascot Russell. Paparazzi moment!
If you would like to collect your work of Russell-Art - perhaps to hang above your mantelpiece, they are all available for collection from the Kiosk. Thank you all for your imaginative entries.
Did you know that we are starting an e-newsletter to keep you in the loop about all the activities we run, and what exciting events are coming up? If you'd like to receive it, please email email@example.com with your details.
Sunday is going to be really special this week, because this Sunday we host OXJAM at the Kiosk! YEAH! Live music, a photo competition and face painting, all going towards raising money for a fantastic cause. And sunshine is promised too, just to make it tip-top and extra special.
We chatted to Oxjam's lovely Clare Sullivan about all things Oxjammy:
So. What is Oxjam?
Oxjam is a programme of events nationally, throughout October, all raising money for Oxfam. Since the first event in 2006, Oxjam has raised over £1.5m for Oxfam’s life-saving emergency responses and life-changing development work. That’s enough money to buy 13,000 emergency shelters, 60,000 goats or 900 classrooms.
Who are Oxjam Bedford?
Oxjam Bedford are a team of unpaid volunteers, working hard to bring some fantastic events to Bedford, whilst raising money for Oxfam.
What’s going on at Oxjam At The Kiosk?
12pm - 12.30pm: Mat Roberts leads a live jam session 12.30pm - 1pm: The Frogs' Chorus (children’s music, songs and dancing) 1pm - 1.30pm: Oh My (close harmony acoustic duo) 1.30pm - 2pm: Sean Morris (Americana acoustic) 2pm - 2.30pm: Liam Burke (English anti-folk) 2.30pm - 3pm: Kam Singh (acoustic balladry and winner of 2013 Bedford Battle of the Bands) 3pm - 3.30pm: Andrew R Hubbard of The Shtooks (popular acoustic covers and originals) 3.30pm - 4pm: Cicero Buck (everyone’s favourite Acoustic Rock/Folk/Pop/Blues duo, one half of whom co-wrote the smash hit ‘No More I Love Yous’)
There'll also be a tip-top tombola, games, face painting, as well as all the usual Kiosk fun including table tennis and mini golf.
Everyone is welcome to join the live jam session but please note that the event is completely unamplified so if you play electric bass, please bring a small amp and we can provide the power!
Clare said "We're delighted to be coming back to the Kiosk - we had a great time last year and hope for an even better day this year!"
We'll be running a photo competition on the day, so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a delicious hamper of Kiosk goodies, bring your camera/phone down on Sunday and get snapping! The prize goes to the photo we think best sums up the day.
The event is free to attend but all donations will be very welcome and will support Oxfam's life-saving emergency responses and life-changing development work.
On the day there'll be a chance to enter the Oxjam raffle - the prize being £1,000 in cash! Well worth a ticket or two...
OK, I’m in, what about other Oxjam stuff….. What’s this ‘Oxjam Bedford Takeover’?
The highlight of the Oxjam Bedford events programme is the Oxjam Bedford Takeover, ‘taking over’ Bedford’s best live music venues on Saturday 19 October. The Takeover is a one-day multi-venue music festival, featuring the best of Bedford’s local music talent. One wristband will give you access to the Takeover venues, featuring over 60 great bands, performers, and DJs, all coming together to support one fantastic cause.
Who is playing the Oxjam Bedford Takeover?
You can catch The Scruff, The Jebs, The Bedford Arts Choir, Midnight Taxi, Danni Nicholls, Buzzard Lope, Sunsinger, Jonny Mudd, Tucky Tulloch, Sean Morris, Liam Burke, The Doghouse Roses, Near Moments, Healyum, The Metatrons, Kinkaid, Credit to the Nation, Kerry-Jo Hodgkin, Paul Hegley Band, Cicero Buck, Frogs Chorus, Electric Uke Orchestra, Robed In Desire, Council Tax Band and many more!
Sounds good – where can I get tickets?
Tickets are on sale now for the advance price of £8 at Danny’s Bar (Esquires), Luscious Juice Bar, The Cheese Kitchen, The Bear, The Bedford Arms, Kiosk At The Park and The Music Centre. You can also buy online – go to www.oxjambedfordtakeover.co.uk for more information.
How else could I get involved?
- Performers – we’ve been overwhelmed with performer requests this year and are currently at capacity for performers. However, things can and no doubt will change in terms of the line-up so if you’d like to be considered for a slot, please email Clare Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteers – we’d love to hear from brilliant bucket shakers, and magnificent marketers, as well as anyone with any sound or live music production.
- Sponsors – a range of great value sponsorship packages are available to local businesses who’d like to support a great event and a trusted charity brand. Email email@example.com for more information.
Thank you Clare! A combination of live music, Kiosk snacks, sunshine and tombola-ing is music to our ears!
Did you know that the collective noun for hedgehogs is 'a prickle of hedgehogs' ? Neither did we! If you want to look up more delightful collective nouns for animals, take a peek at this list. We especially love 'a sleuth of bears' and 'an ambush of tigers' . Anyway, last Wednesday, a rather large prickle of hedgehogs started to appear on the grass by The Kiosk - all designed by local Kiosk Kids. Part of our Hedgehog Mania event was the task we set children to design Russell the hedgehog, which could be made into a soft toy mascot for The Kiosk by local illustrator and designer Katy Dynes. Never ones to shirk from a good designing task, the kids unleashed their creative sides and this rather good-looking prickle of hedgehogs appeared:
Everyone did really well, and we were amazed to see the creativity of the Kiosk Kids - no two Russells were the same - we had multi-coloured ones, collage hedgehogs, Russells with acorns and leaves and pinecones, fluffy pom-pom noses, hedgehogs on surfboards, pink hedgehogs, green ones...
Katy and Jo, who organised the craft activities, are currently looking at a selection of the entries, which Katy will then use to create the final mascot. Well done to everyone who contributed - Russell will be a really special hedgehog, made up of your ideas!
As well as the craft, we also had a VIP guest - Honey the African Pygmy Hedgehog! She was visiting us with the team from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital. who talked to everybody about hedgehogs and how we can help them. Honey was a bit of a hit to be honest. We fully expect that diva-like behaviour may follow very soon.
We were then treated to a really special storytime with Jane Lambourne from Wassledine. Jane is a storyteller who creates tales that are based on the nature around us. She also carries and exciting trunk of fairytale objects - including the apple that poisoned Snow White; the children were completely spellbound, we have it on good authority that several of them are still speaking in hushed tones about the glass slipper they saw and the hedgehog adventures...
As well as all of this, we had (hedgehog) biscuit decoration, guess the weight of the (hedgehog) cake, and some really rather fabulous face-painting thanks to local students Sophie and Millie. We raised money for the Hedgehog Hospital, and had a brilliant time while we were at it. What a great morning. Watch this (hedgehog shaped) space for the first glimpse of new-look Russell, created by you, coming soon!
It was all summed up very nicely by a lovely customer who left this feedback on our facebook page:
"My girls had a fab time at the hedgehog activity today, my folks took them and raved about it. The lady who ran it -Katie- was fab and really great with the kids and Emma thought it was so cute the way Honey kept trying to hide in the ladies' cardigan! My girls came back very happy and with beautifully painted faces - thank you!"
This kind of event really emphasises how it is you - the local community - who make The Kiosk a really special place to come. Thank you for your support and your enthusiasm. Thank you for bringing your imaginative children along to take part in our events and to enjoy them! Massive thank-yous also go to Jane from Wassledine who generously gave us her time, to the team from Shepreth, to Karen Bland for her incredible hedgehog cake and to Jo Midgely and Katy Dynes for their work organsing the event and help with the craft.