Southampton Chinese New Year celebration - Year of the Rat
Saturday 25 January / Southampton Guildhall Square and 02 Guildhall Southampton
10.30am – 1pm / FREE morning activities and parade at the Guildhall square
1.30pm – 3.30pm / Afternoon extravaganza at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton
The celebrations also mark the second year in which the city of Southampton has banded together to celebrate the Southampton community. Once again, Southampton City Council and many other Southampton based community groups, education bodies, and businesses, are coming together to bring these celebrations for the benefit, and enjoyment of the Southampton community. The UK Shaolin Temple returns once again to host the celebrations.
For more information call 023 8063 2601 or visit the website.
Sunday 26 January / 9am / Westquay Shopping Centre / Book here
2020 is the year of the rat and to celebrate, the Southampton Chinese Association will be here to entertain all with traditional performances including:
- Lion dance
- Dragon dance
- Kung Fu / martial arts display
- Tai chi display
- Chinese musical instruments: including flute and guzheng
- Chinese opera
- Chinese traditional dances
- Chinese and English songs
- Western dance
- Piano performance
- Chinese costume showcase
and a range of workshops, including calligraphy and lantern-making workshops.
These pages contain tips, advice, and resources to help young people and their families enjoy technology and the internet together in a safe and positive way. There are tailor-made top tips for:
These top tips are a great way of starting a conversation this Safer Internet Day. Take a look now to help you prepare for the 11th of February.
*Don't forget to tell us about your plans for the day by registering as an official supporter*
Safer Internet Day 2020 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 11th February 2020, and in the UK we are focussing on the theme of online identity.
For Safer Internet Day 2020, the UK Safer Internet Centre has created educational resources for young people aged 3-18 years old. In this blog, we will be taking a closer look at the resources which have been tailor-made for parents to engage with their child about online issues.
Looking for something fun, messy and engaging for the kids this February half-term? You'll find something for everyone at our museums and art gallery.
Wizard School is back at Tudor House, you can make your own clay animals at the Art Galley or discover some Titanic Science at SeaCity Museum. View all our activities here.
Unless it’s a drop in session, please book your activity on 023 8083 4536.
We also have a new regular club: ARTefacts (7-13yrs) where you can discover the hidden history's of the city using artifacts from the museum collection and then create your own. Starting Saturday: 22 Feb / 10.30am-12.30pm / Tudor House / £9 / Pre-book
Chinese New Year celebrations in Southampton - save the dates
Sat 25 Jan: Chinese New Year Celebration at Guildhall Square 10.30am - 1pm (free) and O2 Guildhall (Ticket Entry) 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Sun 26 Jan: Chinese New Year at Westquay from 11am
Sat 8 Feb: Southampton Lantern Festival Parade at Guildhall Square 3.30pm - 7pm
Click on the link - Christmas Trail
Please note this is a Women Only Course. If you would like to discuss it in more detail I am in the Community Room (old Junior School Office) every Monday morning 9-10am alternatively you can contact SCFT direct on the number provided.
15 December / 2-5pm / St Mary's Fire Station, Brinton's Road, SO14 0DB
Head along to St Mary's Fire Station and experience Santa's Grotto, a selection of food, live music and a nativity musical.
Southampton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team will be hosting in partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Also in collaboration with Unity 101 Community Radio and local community and faith groups. Tickets to visit Santa cost £2 and are available on the day.
Singing in the Square
Saturday 14 December / 5pm / Guildhall Square, Above Bar Street
Join the Rose Road Association and sing along to your all time favorite Christmas songs with two fabulous Southampton choirs, including the wonderful 'Sing Now' choir. Song sheets will be handed out on the night so everyone can join in!
So if you want to warm your heart for Christmas in the glow of a giant Christmas tree, head along and help make Christmas magical for disabled young people in the area.
For more information visit the Rose Road website.
Southampton Christmas Glow Ride
Free - 8 December / 4pm / Guildhall Square
Join My Journey and local bike groups from Breeze, British Cycling, Sustrans and Cycling UK for an evening of Christmas cheer! Bling up your bike in your best seasonal decor for a bike ride with a difference, lighting up the parks and city centre streets as you go. There will be a Cycle Savvy Pitstop on hand offering free bike safety checkups, free giveaways from My Journey Southampton and Love My Ride offering prizes with its Spin the Wheel Game! Even though this is a free event please book tickets so that participant numbers can be confirmed.
SHEEP IN SHIRLEY
Churches Together in Shirley and District (CTiS) invites you to join in the Sheep in Shirley Event
From 30th November– 21 December, up and down Shirley High Street, St James Park Café and St James by the Park Church Office knitted sheep will be hiding. They may be in the windows, or they could be hiding anywhere in the shops or cafes.
Children (and adults!) may locate 24 sheep and find out what each one is called. You can pick up the Sheep In Shirley entry from Shirley Library, Santo Lounge or St James Park Café. Completed sheep hunt forms can be returned to the same places.
However you and those you love choose to spend your Christmas, Churches Together in Shirley and District wish you peace, joy and hope both now and in 2020.
Monday 25 / Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 November / 10am-3pm / Seminar Room, Central Library, SO14 7LW
The course is free for anyone aged 19+ and living in or around Southampton.
The aim of this course is to improve your confidence around getting a job and develop your employability skills. This course acts as an introduction to employability, or to refresh existing knowledge.
Over the 3 days, the course will aim to:
- Improve learners’ confidence and motivation
- Support learners with CV writing
- Teach job application tips and tricks
- Develop interview techniques
- Help learners plan their move into paid work
To refer to this course, please email Daniel Stickland or call 078 1116 5534
A countdown to Christmas in Shirley
12noon-3.30pm / Lantern making and Christmas Fair in St James' Park
4-5.30pm / Christmas Light Switch on at Shirley Precinct - including music by Sing Now Choir and special guests
For more information visit their facebook page.
Southampton Story Spectacular
Thursday 21 November / 6pm / Bargate
Listen to tales of Southampton’s past, present and future at the Southampton Story Spectacular.
The iconic Bargate will be brought to life through a spectacular projection mapping visual experience. Using the latest technology watch as the Bargate moves with each story. Join the Christmas Giant and the legendary Sir Bevois as they regale tales of Southampton’s past, present and future.
Each event will start at 6pm, between the Flying Santa shows, across three days from the 21 - 23 November. For more information go to the Visit Southampton website.
Tudor House / Sat 7, Sun 8 Dec / 10am-5pm /
Get into the Christmas spirit at Tudor House and Garden with a weekend of family festivities. Book a visit to Father Christmas or one of the activities below and you’ll get to explore the house for free.
Saturday 7 Dec Activities
Gingerbread Men and More (grown-ups) / 10.30am-1pm / £20
Embossed Christmas Cards (All ages) / 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm / £4
Cellar Light Tours (All ages) / 11am, 2pm and 3pm / Adults £4.50 / Children £2.50
Christmas Lantern Tour (grown-ups) / 7pm-8.45pm / £8
Sunday 8 Dec Activities
Christmas Peg Fairy (Families, 5yrs+) / 1.30-3pm and 3.30-5pm / £7
Festive Wreath Workshop (grown-ups) / 10.30am-1pm / £25
Cellar Light Tours / 11am, 2pm and 3pm / Adults £4.50 / Children £2.50
Click on the link above
Homework help is back!
The University of Southampton volunteers that form SouthamptonHub are back and ready to help with all those homework troubles!
The free homework help clubs return to both Central and Portswood libraries on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Catering to children aged 5-18, places must be booked online in advance.
Central Library / Saturday 9 November / 11am - 1pm
Winter Watercolour Advent Calendars (7-13yrs)
Sat 23 Nov / 10.30am - 1pm / Southampton City Art Gallery / £12
Develop your drawing and painting skills working with inks and watercolours while creating an original and stunning calendar to take away with you.
Pre-book on 023 8083 4536
DIY Elf on a Shelf! (4yrs+)
Sat 30 Nov / 10.30-11.30am or 3.30-4.30pm / Southampton City Art Gallery / £6
Now in its third year, this workshop has become a Gallery tradition. Make your very own mischievous elf in time for December.
Pre-book on 023 8083 4536
Activites in October (click on activities)
Do you have a Baby, Toddler or Pre-school Child, see below a link to a New website providing lots of ideas on how to support your child's early learning
Jubilee Sailing Trust's Autumn Pumpkin Festival
Saturday 12 October, 12noon-5pm Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley
Adults £5, Children free - admission fee covers parking cost
Registered charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, is holding an Autumn Pumpkin festival and Scarecrow Avenue fund raising extravaganza!
With giant pumpkins, circus skill displays, puppet shows, children's activities - sports and games, craft and gift stalls, local food and produce, a live band and bar stocked with real ale and cider, there's something for adults and children alike!
Bring along your own scarecrow and join in the fun!
Find out more about the Trust on their website.
Libraries Week is a week-long celebration of the nation’s much-loved libraries, with a focus in 2019 on celebrating libraries in the digital world. This year highlights the different ways we can help people of all ages through digital support, services and activities.
Throughout the week we have lots of activities with a digital focus for adults and young people including family history help and support, computer help and training and creative activities for children and families.
All activities are completely free and drop in with no booking required.
Find your family history / Monday 14 October / 2pm to 4pm
Come along to the Local Studies and Maritime Library to get hands on help with your family history, from where to start for beginners to professional tips from our resident experts.
TEEM work club / Thursday 10 October / 3pm to 5pm
Council employment team helping you move towards work in a friendly environment.
Make the most of Borrowbox / Wednesday 9 October / 1pm to 3pm
Hands on help showing you to make the most out of our eBook and eAudiobook lending service.
Family history / Wednesday 9 October / 5pm to 7pm
Come along to our friendly family history club where we'll show you how to access the best online resources for free and help you with your research.
Make the most of Borrowbox / Wednesday 9 October / 10am to 12noon
Hands on help showing you to make the most out of our eBook and eAudiobook lending service.
Pixel picture making and Emoji hunting / Saturday 12 October / 10.30am to 3.30pm
Craft activity for children of all ages (under 8s must be accompanied by an adult) alongside a scavenger hunt around the library.
Throughout next week we will bring storytime to you in the form of our digital storytimes!
Every evening at 7.30pm, expect a new video of a familiar library face (or faces!) reading you and your little ones a bedtime story. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to ensure you don't miss out.
Storytimes are a fun and interactive storytelling activity designed for under 5s, they run across all of our libraries in the city and are always free with no need to book - just turn up! For details on when and where; check our activities calendar or with your local library.
Help Using Computers
Our digital champions are patient, experienced computer users that offer their free time to help you on a one-to-one basis. Teaming up with a digital champion is a great option for beginners that wish to learn more about how to use a computer within a relaxed and friendly environment. Sessions are drop in during the times detailed below unless otherwise stated.
Bitterne Library / Monday 7 October / 1pm to 3pm
Central Library / Tuesday 8 October / 10.30am to 12.30pm
MIllbrook Community Library / Wednesday 9 October / 10am to 12noon
YMCA Weston Community Library / Wednesday 9 October / 10am to 6pm
Burgess Road Library / Wednesday 9 October / 4.30pm to 7pm
Lordshill Library / Wednesday 9 October / 10am to 12noon
Central Library / Thursday 10 October / 10.30am to 12.30pm
Lordshill Library / Friday 11 October / 10am to 12noon
Shirley Library / Saturday 12 October / 11.30am to 1pm
The Avenue cycle scheme enters next phase
Work will commence this Sunday 6 October to build new cycleways on The Avenue from Lodge Road to Northlands Road.
Improvements will include segregated on and off-road cycle lanes and improved cycle and pedestrian crossings. The scheme is part of our plan to create the SCN5 Northern Cycle Freeway from Southampton city centre to Chandler’s Ford. Once complete, the route will play a crucial role in supporting more people to travel sustainably – a key commitment in our Green City Charter.
The project will commence with an overnight closure of The Avenue this Sunday and will then take place in multiple phases, lasting approximately 20 weeks with a two week break over Christmas. We will be doing what we can to minimise disruption throughout but would advise road users to expect delays and plan ahead using our My Journey website.
For full details of the works, please visit our transport website.
New autism e-learning course open to all
We are proud to announce a new, free Autism eLearning training, to help develop a better understanding of the condition.
The open access Autism eLearning training has been co-produced with Autism Hampshire, numerous people on the autistic spectrum across Hampshire and four local authorities (Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council, Isle of Wight Council and Portsmouth City Council).
The online training, in-line with the new Autism Core Capabilities Framework produced by Health Education England, is aimed at everyone coming into regular contact with people on the autistic spectrum and their families.
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said: “It is important that autism is better recognised and understood, to enable inclusion and independence for those with the condition. The online training course will provide information and practical suggestions to support friends, family members or anyone who comes into contact with someone on the spectrum.”
It takes approximately one hour to complete and consists of information slides and videos of experts sharing their real life experiences. A certificate will be provided upon successful completion of the course.
Access the eLearning module: www.southampton.gov.uk/elearning/autism
We've teamed up with the Go Jauntly walking app to help you get your steps up for this year's Walktober challenge.
Discover new walks on the Go Jauntly app and take on a series of waking challenges for your chance to win a family pack of return Red Jet tickets. The deadline for entries is Friday 8 November. Visit the Go Jauntly website to find out more and get started. Good luck and enjoy exploring more of your local area on foot!
As part of Walktober, we're running a series of fun, free walks from Bitterne every Wednesday throughout October. This is a great opportunity to get active, socialise and meet new people! Find out how to get involved here.
Today is the last day of Cycle September. If you've been busy cycling but still need to log some rides, well done! You have until 23:59 tomorrow to record your rides on your Love to Ride account and go into the prize draw. Good luck!
Music in the City
Saturday 28 September / 12noon/ Various venues in Southampton
Southampton’s biggest and best FREE music event is back for the 11th year, celebrating the wonderful diversity of musical talent from the Solent Area.
From Rock to Jazz, Classical to Americana, Folk to Blues in some of the best settings Southampton has to offer. From 800 year old historic buildings to the newest and the best coffee houses, restaurants and bars.
Our City will come alive with music in 22 venues with sounds and settings second to none. For more information visit the Music in the City website.
11 things you should know about loot boxes
POSTED ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2019
Parents and carers may have seen stories about loot boxes in the news in the last few weeks. The UK Safer Internet Centre have written this article to lay out all of the key information about loot boxes, what they mean for young people and their online safety, and what you can do to encourage safe and responsible usage.
What loot boxes are
‘Loot boxes’ are virtual items users can purchase in games with real money. In the box users will find a randomised selection of items that customise or alter the user’s experience of the game. The user will not receive any physical objects in the offline world as a result of these boxes.
The items in a loot box could be skins (that change the appearance of their character), new weapons or tools (that improve their characters ability), or access to new characters (e.g. a player for a FIFA team).
The kinds of games which feature loot boxes
Loot boxes are common in battle royale (last man standing) and first-person shooter games, such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Star Wars Battlefront II, and others.
They can also be found in sports games, such as FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, Madden, and others.
How they compare to other in-game purchases
Loot boxes are not the only way to spend real life money in games. You may have also heard of microtransactions – these are purchases a user can make in the in-game shop to buy one specific item or service. The key difference between microtransactions and loot boxes is the absence of randomness.
In other in-game purchases, players get to choose exactly what they are buying, knowing its value and usefulness before purchasing. With loot boxes, players don’t know what is within them until they are purchased and their content can vary from low value items to ones which majorly change gameplay.
Why young people like loot boxes
Loot boxes are exciting! The randomness, the possibility of winning big, and the opportunity to upgrade or alter their experience of the game all make loot boxes appealing to young people.
What it looks like when loot boxes go wrong
In the news there have been reports of children racking up thousands of pounds in purchases within games. The BBC asked readers to share their stories of their children making in-game purchases, with one spending over £3,000.
What it looks like when loot boxes go right
Loot boxes can enhance a user’s experience of a game. Having new skins or weapons can make a player feel that their avatar is unique, making the game more enjoyable.
They can also help a player progress in the game by giving them higher-quality items.
How to ensure your kids are using loot boxes safely and responsibly
The first step is to have a conversation. Approach it with openness and good faith – not finger-pointing and distrust. Ask you children about the games they play, if these have loot boxes and discuss whether they have bought these themselves.
Make sure your child clearly understands that:
- loot boxes cost real money, even if they are purchased with an in-game currency
- they may be designed to encourage repeat-purchases
- you expect them to respect any rules you set about money and responsibility
What you should do if your child gets in trouble with loot boxes
Support and contact details for some of the major game publishers can be found below:
- Blizzard – makers of Overwatch
- Activision – makers of Call of Duty
- Epic Games – makers of Fortnite
- EA – makers of Star Wars Battlefront II, Apex Legends, and FIFA
- Konami – makers of Pro Evolution Soccer
- Nintendo – makers of Animal Crossing
- Ubisoft – makers of Assassin’s Creed
What the research says
Research by the Gambling Commission revealed that 31% of 11-16-year olds had opened loot boxes in a computer game or in an app.
Research published by the Royal Society states that “it may be the case that loot box spending in adolescents causes problem gambling”.
A replication study found similar results, stating: “These results suggest either that loot boxes act as a gateway to problem gambling, or that individuals with gambling problems are drawn to spend more on loot boxes.”
However, research is limited, as loot boxes are a relatively new phenomenon.
What policy says
In September 2019, MPs called for loot boxes to be regulated under gambling law and ban their sale to children.
In April 2018, the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled that loot boxes are “in violation of gambling legislation” but, at the time of writing, loot boxes are not regulated or considered a form of gambling in the UK.
Where you can go for more information
Check out our compilation of gaming resources for parents and carers if you want to have a better understanding of gaming in general.
You may want to write up a Family Agreement about online safety.
If you are especially concerned about your child’s behaviour and how it might link to gambling, contact The National Gambling Helpline, operated by GamCare.
BBC Own It has a great resource on loot boxes that speaks clearly and effectively to young people.
Enjoy free outdoor activities - for all ages and abilities
Southampton residents can take advantage of hundreds of free and fun activity sessions in parks and green spaces across the region with ParkLives.
From jogging and cricket, to Family Fun sessions and paddle board yoga, ParkLives is designed to appeal to all ages and abilities, giving people the opportunity to get out and enjoy their parks and green spaces with a range of sports, games and activities on offer.
The programme offers 20 different activities, all completely free, and led by a trained activity leader from the local area.
For more information visit the ParkLives website.
Plenty to see and do in Southampton
From the Boat Show, to music festivals to heritage open days, throughout September there is many events taking place in Southampton that are suitable for the whole family:
Southampton Boat Show – 13-22 September, Mayflower Park and waterfront
Heritage Open Days – 13-22 September, Various locations *FREE event*
Southampton Port Tours – 14 September, Bugle Street *sold out*
Folk Dance Southampton - 14 September, City Centre *FREE event*
Neon Night Mission Run – 21 September, Southampton Common
Hampshire Food and Drink Emporium – 21-22 September, Hoglands Park *FREE event*
Dog Show & Family Fun Day - 22 September, St James' Park *FREE event*
Ride Live Theatre - 22 September, Holyrood Estate *FREE Event*
Summertime Live - Ibiza Classics – 27 September, Hoglands Park
Docklands Dance Music Festival – 28 September, Hoglands Park
Music in the City – 28 & 29 September, Various Locations *FREE Event*
The Visit Southampton website has plenty of information about these and future events taking place in Southampton.
Do you have a Southampton event you'd like to see on the Visit Southampton website? Read about how you can add your event.
The council's Employment Support Team offers advice and support to people who are disabled or disadvantaged to find work or training, or helping them to get back in to work.
Listen to Jay's story in our short animation.
Southampton Slamma Three
Sat 7 Sept / 10am - 6pm / Guildhall Square / Free
Entering its third year, Southampton Slamma celebrates everything about skateboarding. The event is set to combine art displays, live music and super-fun skateboarding mini challenges. #Slamma3
Sat 14 - Sun 15 Sept - Save the date
You won't want to miss the many free activities as part of the Southampton Heritage Open Days next week. There's the Heritage Fayre at Westquay, free entry to Tudor House & Garden, heritage buses, free entry to Bursledon Brickworks and more!
Look out for more information next week's update
Creepy Crawlies - pre - school wildlife group
Wednesdays - Autumn term - 18 September, 9 October, 13 November, 11 December - 10–11.30am
Explore the Common and its wildlife, with your child, at The Hawthorns’ pre-school wildlife group.
Creepy Crawlies is a pre-school group providing a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to enjoy and find out about the natural world on our doorstep.
For more information or to book your place visit our website:
Free weekly 5km timed run / Every Saturday /
9am - Southampton Common
What is Southampton parkrun? It's a 5km run - you against the clock.
It's free! but please registerbefore your first run. You only need to register with parkrun once.
Don't forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode. If you forget it, you won't get a time. For more information
Get spooky this Halloween at Southampton's annual Pumpkin Hunt, hosted at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre.
Join us for a day full of guaranteed fun for the entire family – including the option to come "Styled to Scare" in your most frightening fancy dress!
This four hour event will allow thousands of residents to hunt the pumpkins hidden within the 92 acres at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre! You will be given your first clue at the spooky stall before it’s time to get hunting!
There will be a tombola held at the end of the Pumpkin Hunt (with all proceeds going towards our Special Olympics Solent appeal).
What to expect:
1. Pumpkin Hunt - follow the clues, find all the pumpkins and win prizes!
2. Ghost Jar - guess how many spooky sweets are in the ghost jar. Guess correctly and you'll win the whole jar of sweets!
3. Best Fancy Dress wins prizes!
4. Tombola prizes in aid of Special Olympics Solent!
All ticket sales go to Special Olympics Solent who provide year round spots coaching and competition for those with learning disabilities. Pre-registering allows you to beat the queues and get hunting faster!
Walking to Wellbeing Southampton Schools