Donning hats, gloves, scarves and warm coats and ready to meet Santa, the children of Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster with giggles of delight set off for a magical Christmas adventure on the Severn Valley Railway.

Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Christmas is a magical time for children, and trains are quite the favourite, so to be able to enjoy a train journey and meet Santa at the same time was a fantastic opportunity and one not to be missed!”

The children at Little Trinity, from 2-years and upwards, take regular learning walks with their outside experiences then used in creative play and craft activities back in the classroom. As the nursery is located so close to the Severn Valley Railway it was an ideal opportunity to use their trip as a learning walk to the train station before embarking on their festive return journey to Highley from Kidderminster.

Miss Carter added: “The children had a lovely time with their friends, with lots of happy chatter helping to encourage their developing communication skills as they talked about road safety and our need to be careful as we walked to and from the station, as well as what they saw through the window of the train as we went along.

“The train ride alone created lots of excitement and giggles amongst the children but then when they realised they were meeting Santa and getting a present too, well it was hard to contain their excitement and squeals of delight, it was simply wonderful and a fantastic and fun Christmas adventure.”

Reconditioning migrant affected loads for more than 15 years, multi temperature supply chain, distribution and logistics specialist Oakland International has seen a significant increase in requests to deal with contaminated loads in recent months.

Oakland Director, Robert Hardy, commented: “Whatever form of Brexit we end up with the safe movement of goods will still need to continue. All parties in the food supply chain from producers and manufacturers, hauliers, importers and retailers, they all have legal responsibilities under regulation EC178/2002 to ensure our food safety, with heavy penalties applied if these regulations are breached.”

Oakland’s HACCP accredited Distress Load Management (DLM) service minimises losses and food waste for customers, loss adjusters and hauliers on distressed loads due to movement during transit, theft or stowaway incursion. More than 5,000 trucks a day arrive in the UK from continental Europe and due to the sheer volume of traffic Border Force is only able to check around 10% of inbound trailers. During the last 12 months they have detected some 56,000 migrant attempts to gain illegal entry to the UK. Vehicles are regularly sent to Oakland when a risk to food safety has been detected, with load recovery and assessment undertaken same day or the following day in most cases.

Added Robert: “Oakland’s accredited DLM service has built a strong reputation trusted by both brands and insurers and consistently operates a recovery level of 85% of product, with nothing sent to landfill. Any residual food waste is redirected to nominated anaerobic digestion plant centres or recycling centres and used for renewable energy.

“A 5-point check includes, swab tests, thermal imaging and CO2 detection, and although we’re not particularly looking for stowaways, we will detect any contamination if this is the case. Our customers rely on us to protect their supply chain with clean cargo given a HACCP certificate of compliance to be presented on delivery, and contaminated cargo quarantined. Our thorough vehicle check and swift turnaround is making many of our customers consider making it a mandatory process for all inbound cargo.”

Free advice is available via www.contaminatedload.com or by calling their helpline on 0044 (0) 333 014 2850. A multi-award winner, Oakland is BRC double A accredited and EHO approved and as a multi temperature distribution business they specialise in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering and support retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Little Trinity Nursery children in support of Kidderminster Library’s festive Christmas Card Appeal have all been busy painting and colouring their Christmas cards ready for local people to enjoy.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “The children love to take part in creative activities and this seasonal pursuit enables them to use their artistic talents to make their own special Christmas card.”

Every year the nursery take part in the appeal with the children creating truly distinctive Christmas cards, which are then distributed by Kidderminster Library to the elderly and housebound in the local community at Christmastime, along with a selection of library books to read and enjoy throughout the festive season.

Using a whole host of design skills, the children now have numerous Christmas card creations.

Based within the grounds of Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre on the Birmingham Road, Little Trinity Nursery offers pre-school childcare from 2 years of age, with imaginative play at the core of nursery activities helping to assist in the children’s hand and eye co-ordination, literacy and numeracy skills, motor skills and communication development.

Miss Carter added: “This annual activity offers the children a opportunity to express themselves and it’s lots of fun, whilst also helping to support development of fine motor skills as they practice writing their name on the inside of their Christmas card.

“Supporting the Christmas Card Appeal is such as worthwhile cause. It helps spread a little joy within the local community for those who may not be able to share Christmas with family.”

The Blues Brothers stormed into Kidderminster with a full-scale family-friendly production of the well-known and much-loved stage show at Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre (22nd – 24th November).

With a cast of over 40 students, the show was produced and directed by the school’s Head of Music, Mrs Vikki Vincent and co-director and Head of Drama, Mrs Lynn Dawes.

Mrs Vincent commented: “With such a vast stage show we owe as always, our sincere thanks to everyone, both in front and behind the scenes, including our technical team and the school’s PTA, who all helped to make this production such a visual and musical success.

“With so much happening on stage at any one point, the choreography, costumes, lighting, stage props and cast were phenomenal, delivering a wholly professional and captivating show for everyone to enjoy.”

The culmination of months of planning and endless rehearsals, which began back in the summer term, the show played to packed audiences for both its evening and Saturday matinee performances, with the musical delivering a stunning stage-show worthy of any West End production and featured a live band.

Excitement is building for the annual PTA Christmas Fayre on Friday 30th November at Kidderminster’s Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre following the arrival of the Christmas tree kindly sponsored by local business, Bill White Nurseries in Far Forest.

PTA chair, Mrs Michelle Howles, said: “We are once again indebted to Bill White for his generosity in sponsoring our Christmas tree and for his continued support of the school and the PTA Christmas Fayre”

Organised by the school’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) the Christmas Fayre extravaganza is open to all and is a must-visit event with ‘pocket money presents’ face painting, cake-buying, external traders, tombolas and so much more!

Popular with local people due to the extensive range of seasonal handicrafts, toys, jewellery and Christmas goods available for purchase, and of course there is always the big PTA fundraiser raffle, with all monies raised ploughed back into the school for the benefit of its pupils.

Mrs Howles added: “It’s wonderful that our tree has been grown locally in the Far Forest and our sincere thanks to local tree surgeon, John Russell of Happy Banana Tree Services for helping fell this year’s tree, and as in previous years, the PTA will donate the tree to a local care home or charity in the area. Our sincere thanks also to Steven Brooke from Collision Repair Specialists who very generously transported it to the school for us.”

The Christmas Fayre is on Friday 30th November from 2pm to 4pm. More information is available from the PTA by emailing: [email protected]

Local charity the Oakland Foundation, which supports children in Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area, has relaunched its website to make it easier for people to find information.

The website’s new clean look means individuals, groups, youth organisations, community projects and schools can easily donate, become a Foundation partner and apply for funding, and since relaunching the uptake in funding applications has increased.

Foundation Trustee, Luke Attwell, commented: “The new website is easier to navigate and provides improved functionality, which put simply means it’s easier to find the information you need and to apply for funding. We are extremely thankful for all the support we receive from the local community, either through individual or group donations, or from businesses choosing the Oakland Foundation as their chosen charity, each and every donation makes a real difference to children’s lives.”

Over the next year the Foundation is planning to increase its match-funding partnerships and opportunities with the council, local businesses and community groups with a focus to support access for all, particularly for those who would not routinely be able to access such opportunities.

Initiatives and activities funded are based on educational, sports and health and nutrition for children under 16 and their families living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area.

The Foundation’s new website is the primary digital channel to apply for funding and will help to raise its profile locally and encourage more people to engage with the charity.

Added Luke: “Keeping it local and working with a fantastic web-design company, who the Foundation has known for many years, has made the whole process that much easier. We can’t thank Graham Biggs and his team at The Naked Creative enough, and we’re simply delighted with the result!”

To apply for Foundation funding or to donate or fundraise, please visit: www.oakland-foundation.com or call 01527 596222.

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster enjoyed a Halloween fancy dress party and disco with Halloween themed cakes and biscuits, carved pumpkins and lots and lots of spooky arts and crafts activities to scream about.

Around 40 children ranging in ages from 2-years of age and up took part in the seasonal fun, with staff getting in the mood and dressing up too.

Nursery Manager, Gaynor Carter, commented: “The children had a fabulous time decorating and eating their biscuits and playing pass the parcel. They even took part in the traditional game of apple bobbing before taking to the floor and dancing at our mini-Halloween disco!”

Nature Ninja pupils from Kidderminster’s Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre are delighted to have attracted funding from ‘The Pickup Artists’ to purchase anti-litter equipment.

Nature Ninja leader, Mrs Caroline Forsyth-Ball, explained; “Earlier this year we approached Wyre Forest District Council and the children and I met with council representatives as we wanted to try and set up a local community and school-litter pickup and collecting group at Holy Trinity, and they put me in touch with The Pickup Artists who work with local schools to establish and help secure funding for student ‘Junior Pickup Artists’ groups.

“Thanks to their help we were able to secure the funding we needed from the Big Local DY10 organisation, who then provided us with ten litter pickers, litter bag hoops and our wonderful t-shirts. We are now carrying out litter picking in Nature Ninja and Epic Eco Groups sessions in primary school, and I am hoping to extend this activity school-wide.”

The Nature Ninjas and Epic Eco Groups plan to record and create a wall-display of the items they find to show the types of litter and its impact on the local environment.

Kidderminster student Flora Middleton has been crowned the winner of the West Midlands Triathlon Series for her age group 9/10 year olds, in the Tristars1 category.

Flora, who attends Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre in Kidderminster collected her award at the Regional Awards Ceremony on Sunday 21 October. The series which runs from March through to September, consisted of eight events which include, Aquathlons, Duathlons and Triathlons. Out of the eight events, the scores from the best 5 events are added together, with 5000 points being the maximum total.

Flora achieved an amazing 4992 points, with her best results awarded from her three 1st Place positions and two, 2nd Place positions!

Now put forward to try and qualify for the Inter Regional Championships next year and representing the West Midlands, Flora is planning to compete at Millfield School in Somerset on the 18th November for the National Schools Biathlon Championships.

Joining a mass choir of over 2000 children and practising since May, thirty pupils from Year 4 through to Year 7 from Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster will perform at the National Children’s WW1 Centenary Concert on Saturday 3rd November at the Genting Arena, NEC, Birmingham.

Performing in the first ever National Children’s Remembrance Concert, children from across England and Wales will come together to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the first World War.

Supported by two youth orchestras, the concert will include a debut performance by the National Youth Pipe Band of England and the Sandwell Youth Brass Band, a Welsh Primary School Choir and the Leicester Show Choir, and featuring performers from Norfolk, Dorset, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, with a parade of 57 flags representing and paying tribute to the many nations and peoples involved in World War 1 (WW1).

Holy Trinity School music teacher, Mrs Sarah Roberts commented: “I have been amazed at how the children have embraced the old songs. I thought they might consider them a bit old-fashioned, but to the contrary, they love them – the good old favourites like ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag’ and ‘Keep the home fires burning’ – with parents and grandparents attending, many of whom I’m sure will remember them well.

“I’ve been teaching the children a little about the history of WW1, how the public were led to believe the war would only last 2 weeks and how the initial feeling of jubilation and pride in fighting for one’s country soon descended into desperation and misery as the true death toll became apparent.

“The children have been so receptive to this learning and absorbed it all like sponges, the songs of course making it all come alive for them. It is so important that they understand it is only by luck that they have been born in a time of comparative peace. If they had been born in earlier times it could have been them, their brothers or their fathers going to war.”

Sidney Lewis was the country’s youngest WW1 Soldier and a 12-year-old boy when he enlisted in the army and who at 13 years old fought at Battle of the Somme. Invited as special guests and attending the concert will be his son, 85-year-old Colin Lewis who will be joined by his two sons. It is hoped that an audience of up to ten thousand people will attend and show their support for this unique remembrance event.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, the Minister for Faith and Integration, commented: “I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than bringing together thousands of children from across the country to remember those who died in the First World War through music and song.

“I firmly believe that young children should play an active role in WW1 Centenary Commemorations. This is crucial both in enhancing their awareness of the tragedy of war and in carrying forward the collective memory and gratitude to future generations.”

For further details and ticket information please visit: www.lestweforgetconcert.org

The concert is supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Big Lottery, Services For Education, Arts Council England and the Associated Board of the

Royal School of Music.