Forest Kids – a new project in Ash!

Forest Kids is a new project in Ash that gives children and young people a chance to take part in bush-craft and nature activities in a woodland whilst learning about the Christian faith. Taking part in activities outside is proven to improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing and is also likely to cultivate an interest in and care for the natural environment.

The project comes from a long held dream to combine our love of the outdoors and Jesus. We really want to give other people, especially children a chance to explore both. So last summer we found a woodland near Ash and bought a house nearby and we’ve been working hard getting the woodland ready for people to enjoy.

Just before Easter, we were delighted to welcome some families from the Chapel and St Mary’s to come and join us for a picnic, Easter egg hunt, to hear the Easter story and build dens, not forgetting toasting marsh mallows and making s’mores around the fire.

At the end of April some of our lovely friends and family came and got really stuck in to clear some of the large amount of rhododendrons and tree stumps and to create the beginnings of an amazing natural play area.

Our aim is to have small groups of children from the local area coming to weekly sessions, including their families in some of the activities too, so we’re now looking for interested children and adults to come and get involved.

There’s all sorts of ways of being involved, from sending your children along to the regular weekly sessions when they start, to praying for us, supporting us financially, doing practical stuff in the woods to make it super great fun for the children on our Woodland Activity Days, to helping with the weekly sessions or transport.

If you’d like to find out more, come and have a look at our site or get involved in some way, please do get in touch – we’d love to meet you!

Sarah, Anne & Peter – The Forest Kids team.

To book on or for more details contact us on
07731 681963 or at facebook.com/forestkidsash/

Volunteers clearing an area for play
#ChapelKids and friends enjoying the den they just built

Why not join us on 21 May for our Woodland Activity day 2-4pm?

Contact us to book: 07731 681 963

Family Friendly Fun

Baby Plus and Toddler Plus at St. Paul’s church, Tongham

Here at St. Paul’s we run multiple groups for families with children of all ages, from babies right through to young adults. Our aim is not only to provide experiences for the children but also to support their parents in every way we can.

As the community worker for St Paul’s church in Tongham, my key role is to support families with children below school age and particularly new parents with babies. I have over 20 years of experience in this area as I worked for the NCT for 12 years, then the local Children’s Centre for another three before moving to work at St. Paul’s church. I also have three adult children of my own but no grand children yet!

We currently run two groups that are totally FREE for mums/dads/grandparents and their children to attend. We are meeting outside, to allow us to accommodate more families and this is likely to remain the case until the end of the summer. We haven’t had to cancel a session yet due to the weather! We are embracing the outside ‘forest school’ nature of the sessions, with messy play an easier option outside and a chance for the little ones to really explore the outside world as well as the parents gaining fresh air and sense of space.

Toddler plus

This group is for those just walking to about 2/2.5ish and is on a Wednesday, 10.30-12. The toddlers can explore and do some messy play, whilst parents chat and support one another. We also do some actions songs and have bubbles to chase.

Baby Plus

Is for the little ones from just days old to once they are toddling around. This is on a Thursday 10.30-12 Again parents can chat and make new friends, whilst the little ones are also learning with some baby sensory experiences, action songs and bubbles.

We meet throughout the year, including the school holidays. We meet in the vicarage garden which is the house right next door to the community centre carpark, so please park there and walk round. The garden is huge, with plenty of lawn for rugs and woodland area to explore.

It is a bit of a DIY experience at the moment, as you need to bring your own picnic rugs and toys (which you are happy to share). Also unfortunately you also need to bring your own and your children’s drinks and snacks. 

Both groups are incredibly friendly, supportive and welcoming, so we look forward to seeing you soon. I also run a WhatsApp group for each group which allows you to share questions and organise meet ups throughout the week.

Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2574450836214712/

Although we do not charge for our sessions, donations can be made on our website. www.stpaulstongam.org.uk

Contact Claire B for further details on: communityworker@stpaulstongham.org.uk

or you can call the Parish Office on 01252 783081

Children & Families at St Mary’s & The Chapel

At St Mary’s and The Chapel we are fortunate to have some lovely young families who come to church, and some wonderful friends, of all faiths and none, who join us for the various groups, online chats and live zooms.

For those at home we have a Messenger Chat and a weekly coffee zoom for parents and carers Mondays 11am Zoom ID: 520 880 119 Password: Grownups

For the Summer term 2021 We have opened up carefully and slowly, with an indoor Babies Support Group at St Mary’s on Vale Road on Tuesdays 10am-11am for little ones under 12 months, and an outdoor Chapel Kids “Garden Praise” session for all ages 0-4yrs at The Chapel on Wharf Rd on Wednesdays 11:30am—12:30. Our favourite this term has been planting lots of scrummy edibles for here and  home!

Monthly Messy Church is back (book early!) with one family / bubble per table in church at St Mary’s, and we are offering doorstep kits for anyone who prefers to stay at home or isn’t able to book due to the restrictions on numbers. Sundays 4pm:

 27th Jun, 18th Jul, 26th Sept, 31st Oct

Picnic & Play—we have exciting plans to open up The Chapel again this summer, every Wednesday in August Keep an eye on Facebook! @AshValeChapel

Come and join the fun!

Phone or text Alex on 07730 609446

Projectmanager@ash-vale.org.uk 

What’s on in Ash Vale? Feb/March 2021

Weekly Events:

Sundays 10am –Join St Mary’s for our weekly Church Service. All are welcome. During lockdown we will be on Zoom only, and once the doors open again we will be both in zoom and in person. Contact us to go on the weekly email list for links and news. Parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk Wednesday night Evensong is back too, contact the office for the latest timings.

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