Category Archives: Young People

The Gift of Mother’s Day!

After the success of last year’s inaugural Mother’s Day gift wrap at The Guildhall Shopping Centre, the OOTHS team returned to the Guildhall yesterday on Saturday 25th March to run the complimentary gift wrapping bureau and children’s craft station.

Mothers Day at the Guildhall Shopping Centre OOTHS

With bows, ribbon and paper flying about, the team wrapped up presents bought in the Guildhall for the mums, grandmothers, aunts and special ladies of Stafford. This year we added a children’s craft station where children could make cards and bouquets for their mums and 100 chocolate roses were given away for the mums of those who attended the event.

Special thanks to Card Factory who helped us decorate our bureau, and to Kismet Rose who kept us busy during the day by promoting our service to all their shoppers – they win the award for the highest number of gift wrapped from one shop! It just remains for us to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Christmas Wishes for All!

Christmas beckoned in a busy season for OOTHS, as the team were running both Christmas campaigns for The Swan Centre in Kidderminster and The Guildhall Shopping Centre in Stafford. The themes for both centres were based on fairies and the magic of Christmas, with different interpretations for each centre with something for both the adults and children. 

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The Guildhall Shopping Centre ran with its normal three Saturdays schedule in the run-up to Christmas, with a fairy trail and craft for the children, entertainment provided by Musical Ruth and the Winter Fairy, and the popular gift wrap station just before Christmas. Over 100 children participated in the trail and the team wrapped 160 presents on the wrapping station. Here is a snapshot of the gift wrap action above.

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For The Swan Centre we devised a special wish spot trail with different wish spots placed around the centre with clues to a secret password ‘tinsel’. The children shared the password with us, then got the chance to pan for gold in the prizes. Activities for the day included writing letters to Santa, craft stations and gift wrapping and mince pies for the adults – lots of fun was had by all!

That’s all from OOTHS for this year, we will be back in 2017 for more, until then, we wish you all a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Goosebump Ready…

Do you dare to join the party? This was the question in Kidderminster this Saturday, when the OOTHS team brought their own special Halloween blend of shivers and chills to The Swan Centre. This was the first time that The Swan Centre had run a Halloween event, and at the suggestion from OOTHS to capitalise on the retail calendar, the event proved to be a great success! 

Goosebump Ready at The Swan Centre

The party was in full swing early in the day, with plenty of enthusiastic trail hunters out on the Hubble Bubble trail looking for the missing witches hats. With fake smoke, spooky tunes and even The Swan Centre staff getting dressed up for the occasion, the centre certainly looked the part. The Goosebump Games went down a treat too, with the popular enchanted eyeball challenge being a hit with the kids. Over 100 party bags were distributed at the event for the winners, and our talented face painter was in action transforming faces into pumpkins, spider webs and bats, all by one brush stroke at a time!

Back to School

Heading back to school after the summer holidays can be a pressured experience for both parents and children alike, especially in the area of school uniform. One of our founders, Laraine Robathan-Field shares her insights on the benefits of uniform. 

A phone call from a friend prompted me to write this post. She was upset after a tussle with her 11 year old daughter about having to wear school uniform. For many youngsters last week’s return to school no doubt brought excitement and fear in equal measure, especially for those about to start ‘big school’. Social media was plastered with proud parents showing pictures of uniformed youngsters. However, the school uniform can be one of the most stressful aspects for parents and children alike.

marksandspencer_982011411800037Wearing a daily uniform often coincides with the age at which we often feel self conscious and worry about body image. Fear of social rejection and concern that our appearance is in question may lead to avoiding situations and missing out on fun activities and making new friends. A poor body image often results in low self-esteem and negative thoughts can lead to eating disorders. Bullies often use appearance as a means to direct their jibes and torment, making school life a misery for some pupils.

Add to this the external influences such as magazines, advertising, film, television and the fashion industry, it’s no wonder that parents and children find it one of the most challenging aspects of school life.

So what can we do to help the transition go a little more smoothly? It’s important to explain to your child that wearing a uniform has many advantages as it:

  • removes the decision about what to wear saving time, effort, worry and energy
  • gives a sense of belonging to a team & community
  • provides a means of identification
  • saves money in the long run than having to buy a range of clothing
  • removes some of the peer pressure about following fashion & trends
  • means everyone is the same irrespective of individual budgets
  • provides practical and usually easy care
  • gets children used to a dress code and standard of dress which they may encounter in future careers
  • allows children to get more excited about ‘out of school’ clothes which gives them the opportunity to express their individuality.

Your school will be able to advise you about where and what to buy. High street stores and supermarkets have made school uniforms affordable for everyone and many schools and parent groups have pre loved items for sale. Involve your child in the process and make sure that all items are comfortable to wear. Get them excited about the idea of wearing a uniform, reiterating the advantages. Encourage them to take pride in their clothing and make sure they know the basics of good grooming.

If you have any concerns you should discuss them with your school who will have encountered most issues involving uniforms including bullying. If you would like further information about body image and self-esteem take a look at the Dove Self-Esteem Project that provides excellent resources for both schools and parents.

Image: Marks and Spencer
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This blog post was adapted from LRF Style and the original post can be found here.