“E.den launch new “MyPod Mini” – a treasure trove of learning and play under one roof”

MyPod Mini 1 MyPod Mini 2 MyPod Mini 3 MyPod Mini 4


“E.den launch new “MyPod Mini” – a treasure trove of learning and play under one roof”
Outdoor play specialists E.den have launched the MyPod Mini – a revolutionary new learning space, combining multiple outdoor play opportunities into a very compact footprint.
MyPod Mini was launched at the Childcare Expo Midlands event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry at the end of last month, and since then has been selling like hot cakes!
Dave Colville, owner of E.den, explained the product concept: “We wanted to create a play space that would enhance any outdoor play area or garden, with a broad range of learning opportunities included as standard, but taking up a minimal amount of floor space, as we appreciate that it’s often at a premium for many establishments.”
MyPod Mini sits at the entry point to the MyPod range, with two larger versions available – the Midi and the Maxi. All MyPod variants are dual height to give children different perspectives on their surroundings, and come as standard with a large upstairs communication space, sand play and role play areas downstairs, Perspex vision panels, mark making boards and a Bluetooth speaker. They can be further enhanced with a wide range of optional extras including various swings, a slide, climbing wall, tunnel, fireman’s pole, sensory garden, lighting and for those with more space even a bridge or a zip wire!
As with everything that E.den create, the focus is on learning through play. “MyPod is designed to be a fully transitional learning space. The flexibility of the different areas means that the space can be constantly redefined to fit in with curriculum themes or just the changing seasons – ensuring that the children remain interested and are continually learning about different ideas” explained Dave.

The design of MyPod is fully flexible, making it ideal not just for the education sector, but also for the leisure industry and private individuals. Dave added “Although we initially aimed the MyPod primarily at Day Nurseries and Primary Schools, we’re finding that a lot of interest is now coming from the leisure industry – country pubs, garden centres and the like. As the leisure industry becomes ever more competitive, these establishments are recognising the importance of having an outdoor play area that clearly demonstrates their commitment to being a quality, family-friendly establishment – and the MyPod provides them with the perfect tool to do just that.”
MyPod Mini is constructed using high-quality, tanalised slow grown redwood pine timber sections, and the roof is clad with cedar shingles. MyPod Mini measures 1800mm x 2600mm (3000mm high) and starts from £4,800+VAT.

Regulated food safety qualifications for catering businesses, food retailers and food manufacturers launched by the British Safety Council

13 October 2015

Regulated food safety qualifications for catering businesses, food retailers and food manufacturers launched by the British Safety Council 

New regulated food safety qualifications that enable workers, supervisors and managers in the catering, food retail and food manufacturing sectors to learn how they can ensure excellent food safety standards have been launched by the British Safety Council.

The Level 2 Awards in Food Safety in Catering, Retail and Manufacturing enable staff in workplaces such as restaurants, bars, takeaways, shops and food preparation and manufacturing sites to learn how to take responsibility for food safety and keep the workplace clean and hygienic, in order that customers do not become ill from the food they purchase and consume.

The Level 3 Awards in Supervising Food Safety in Catering, Retail and Manufacturing provide supervisors and managers in the same types of premises with an essential understanding of how to implement and monitor good food safety and hygiene practices and ensure the business complies with food safety law.

The six qualifications are designed to be delivered by both large and small employers in the catering, retail and manufacturing sectors, independent training providers, schools, colleges and prisons, using learning materials provided by the British Safety Council. The Level 2 qualifications are designed to be delivered in one day and the Level 3 qualifications in three days. The learners’ knowledge and understanding is then assessed by multiple choice examination.

Marianne Phillips, the British Safety Council’s Products and Services Director, said: “With an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK annually*, it is crucial that anyone producing, handling or selling food for consumption by the public understands how to maintain excellent hygiene standards to protect consumers’ health and ensure their business complies with food safety law.

“Delivering our qualifications is very straightforward. Our online qualifications system allows users to purchase examinations and register and manage their candidates online. The results of online examinations are available immediately and paper-based examination results are typically available online within two working days following the return of the completed papers. Certificates are typically issued by post within only two to five days – faster than many other awarding organisations offering these same qualifications.

“Examination fees for the Food Safety qualifications start at just £5.50 + VAT per candidate, depending on the number of examinations purchased and the method of examination.”

For further information on the British Safety Council’s food safety qualifications, go to: www.britsafe.org/qualifications or contact the British Safety Council on +44 (0)20 8741 1231 or email customer.service@britsafe.org


– The majority are not motivated to work harder by a bonus worth 10% of annual salary


BONUSES often involve sizeable investment by UK employers, but new research has found that the majority of workers in the education profession are not motivated by lump sums.


One4all Rewards’ Push the Button Report questioned 1,000 UK workers about what motivates them in the workplace.


The study found that, while rewards and incentives are often effective for maintaining morale and attracting staff, simply handing out lumps of cash is not an effective way of increasing staff efforts – indeed, 73% of education professionals would not work significantly harder in exchange for a bonus equivalent to 10% of their annual salary.

And even incentives equivalent to 25% of annual salaries would not motivate over half (56%) of educators.


Similarly, a 10% pay rise would only result in 27% of employees in this sector, working harder.


These findings suggest that incentivising staff to work harder is about much more than bumping up their bank balances – and suggests that those UK education employers who are currently awarding incentives and bonuses need to design and distribute them carefully, in order to achieve tangible increases in staff output and motivation across the entire workforce.


For those academic businesses and institutions looking at alternatives to financial incentives, the report findings identified several effective options.


19% of education professionals are motivated to work harder by regular rewards – such as weekly or monthly treats. In addition, benefits that make salaries go further by covering employees’ monthly costs – such as pension contributions, health insurance, savings on travel or food – would result in an increase in output for 19% of employees.


Declan Byrne, UK managing director at One4all Rewards, comments: “From this research, it’s clear to see that while bonus culture is impactful, it isn’t always an effective driver of increased output or motivation for many employees – and it seems this is especially true in the education sector. As it can be very expensive for businesses, this is an important learning for many UK employers to acknowledge.


“As one of the leading providers of reward schemes for UK small to medium-sized businesses, we would recommend employers clearly define their objectives for an incentive and benefit scheme, and find out which types of reward does and does not switch on the desired results in their employees, at the very initial stage. It is important to define the goals and the likely results from the outset.


“When used in this way, financial incentives can be really effectively utilised to ‘switch on’ employees to work harder – often with great results for the bottom line.”


John Byrne, performance coach at Mindcoach, said: “We know from research in this area that direct monetary incentives work more effectively with some people and some roles more than others. So I’m not surprised that money isn’t an equal motivator for all employees, because we’re human and it’s natural to want different things and value things differently.

“If you want to get the best return on your investment in rewards and incentives geared towards engaging and motivating employees, you are better to tailor your approaches. After all, no one wants to be just another employee.

“It’s very often quoted that businesses lose customers because their clients don’t feel valued, or they feel a perceived attitude of indifference to them. A singular approach to employee motivation has the same effect. Employees leave high paying jobs because their other human needs aren’t being met. It’s human to want to feel understood, valued, cared for, connected and relevant.”


To read the full Push the Button report and to find out more about One4all Rewards visit the website: http://www.one4allrewards.co.uk/.

Little steps to making a big difference: the Big Bett Walk

The team behind Bett 2016 is inviting every school in the UK to take part in the ‘Big Bett Walk’, a challenge that encourages children to get active whilst raising funds for one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.


Why’s it happening? The Bett team is taking on the Great Wall of China, and they want schools to be involved (without taking them all to China, which just isn’t possible, unfortunately!) All you need to do is pick a day and time between 18 and 22 October, which is when the trek takes place. Your school’s Big Bett Walk can be any distance, however far you think would make it a fun challenge for your pupils. Be as creative and inventive as you like – whether you use your school grounds or venture out to a local park, it’s completely up to you!


The money raised by the Bett team and the schools involved in the Big Bett Walk will go directly to help Great Ormond Street Hospital. Funds raised will go towards funding an isolation bedroom at the hospital within the Premier Inn Clinical Building, due to be finished in 2017. This specially designed room will mean that parents can be there 24/7 to support their child when it matters most.


Mark Shashoua, CEO of i2i Events Group comments, “We have admired the hard work and dedication of staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and with our collective efforts, we look forward to raising money to help the hospital transform the lives of sick children from all over the UK, with improved facilities. Each year Bett provides pupils with the knowledge and resources that their teachers bring back from the show. This year we want to help those children may not be well enough to go to school too, and that’s why we’ve chosen to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.”


Rachael Willis Fleming, head of account management at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity adds ‘We are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner of Bett 2016 and it’s great that the Bett team is encouraging schools to join them in their fundraising efforts. The money raised through this initiative will make a big difference to the lives of our young patients and their families – so a big thank you!’




To get involved, just visit http://www.bettshow.com/Content/Bett-2016-is-supporting-Great-Ormond-Street-Children-s-Hospital and complete the short form. You can also share details of your efforts on social media by using #BigBettWalk.


Bett 2016 is free to attend and will take place from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 January 2016 at ExCeL London. For more information or to register, please visit www.bettshow.com. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter @Bett_Show.  

New leadership team at NCT

Helen        Seana


NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, has selected a new Chair and President to create a new leadership team with its recently appointed Chief Executive.


Helen Stephenson CBE has been appointed Chair and Seána Talbot has been elected President. They will work closely with NCT’s new Chief Executive, Nick Wilkie, who joined in July, to drive the charity forward.


Helen’s strong background in early years education and Seána’s achievements in voluntary work, complement Nick’s 17 years’ experience developing pioneering strategies across the charity sector, including his recent role at Save the Children. The trio form a robust team and the appointments reinforce NCT’s commitment to supporting mothers and fathers through the First 1000 Days of life as a new parent.


Helen has held high-profile positions in Government, including the Cabinet Office and has been responsible for policy and strategy in a number of Government departments. She is currently the Director of Early Years, Child Poverty and Strategy – responsible for the Government’s early years education and childcare policy and leading the delivery of the programme to provide 30 hours of free childcare in the UK. She also heads up the cross-department Child Poverty Unit.


Helen Stephenson said: “I’m thrilled to join NCT. I feel very strongly the First 1000 Days are so important in a child’s life and it’s crucial that all parents should get all the help and support they need in the early stages. NCT is a wonderful source of information and support for parents and I’m looking forward to working with Nick and the Board on the strategic direction of the charity.”


Seána has a long history of volunteering with NCT and has been an NCT Board member, Trustee and non-executive Director since 2009. She has served as NCT Chair and Vice-Chair and has also represented NCT on Maternity Services Liaison Committees for 15 years. She has worked as an NHS manager and commissioner and for the Northern Ireland Department of Health rolling out the Sure Start programme across Northern Ireland. She currently manages a Sure Start project in Belfast.


Seána Talbot said: “I’m excited and delighted to take on the role of President. NCT supports millions of parents and I am passionate about our mission and about finding new ways to reach and support even more parents.”


Nick Wilkie said: “I am delighted to welcome Helen as Chair and Seána as President. They both bring with them a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge and I am really

looking forward to working closely with them to build upon the fantastic work that NCT does and to continue to move the organisation forward.”

British Teens Confidence Crisis is Headed Off by Confidence Expert

A new study carried out in collaboration with YouGov for Sky Academy, warns of confidence crisis amongst British teenagers.

Sky Academy launched nationwide ‘Confidence Month’ on September 23rd with the support of ambassadors Jessica Ennis-Hill, Davina McCall, Alfie Deyes, Sir Chris Hoy, Ella Eyre, Justine Roberts, Melvyn Bragg and Children’s confidence expert Annette Du Bois, who lives nr Chichester.


Sky Academy has published extensive new research examining the confidence issues faced by young people in the UK aged 11-24. The findings paint a stark picture of British adolescence as one in three young people surveyed (33%) claim they are not confident.

One in three (33%) young people surveyed are ‘not confident’

Confidence is lowest amongst 17 year olds – 45% say they are ‘not confident’

Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) social media users aged 14-17 surveyed online feel they can be more confident on social media than in person

66% of girls say their confidence is influenced by how attractive they feel compared to only 46% of boys

97% of parents and 90% of young people consider confidence as an important factor for achieving success opposed to being naturally clever (72% parents, 67% kids)

Child confidence expert Annette Du Bois has been brought in by Sky Academy to provide valuable input and confidence building tools and methods based on her CHAMPS Academy, which coaches kids and teens across the UK.


Annette comments: “Today more than ever before, young people across the UK are feeling emotional imbalance, general insecurity, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, creating anxiety and mild to excessive unhappiness. The modern and complex world has created the fertile ground upon which emotional and –psychological pressures are felt much earlier on. Trying to keep up, gain acceptance or fit in, both online and offline can lead to a decline in wellbeing, life-skills, and social interaction. By learning effective, easy to apply, purpose-designed tools and techniques to build confidence, young people develop lasting self-belief to reach their full potential in life.”

Annette is determined to give as many children and teens as possible the benefit of her confidence expertise with the CHAMPS applied confidence method by rolling out initiatives with Sky Academy, purpose created confidence Apps and personal coaching to help them gain more practical life-skills and tools to be confident in all areas of life.