Monday, 16 January 2017

Getting closer to World War One in Birmingham

Lance Corporal William Leslie Arnold,
Died of war wounds on 16/08/1916
Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 9th Battlion
Lance Corporal William Leslie Arnold was wounded in action during the Somme on the 22 July 1916. He suffered a gunshot wound to the right ankle and thigh.  On the 14th August he was transferred to Birmingham and died two days later.  He is buried at the Lodge Hill Cemetery Birmingham, along with 53 other Australians who died in the military hospitals around Birmingham.  His younger brother Francis Benjamin Arnold, aged 20, was shot in the face near the same village of Pozieres the day after William died.  He reached a major hospital in Etaples within a few days, but died from his wounds in France on the 25 August 1916.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Woodcraft at Billesley Lane Allotments

A brook runs right through the allotments
Today I was shown around Woodcraft Folk's new plot at Billesley Lane Allotments by Carron and Kerry.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Young firestarters

Learning to strike a match
On Thursday night we had a Woodcraft campfire in Highbury Park in Birmingham.  There will be many bonfires being lit across the UK and youth groups getting involved, but for woodcraft, the campfire holds a special place, and the involvement of all its members.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Surviving war

George Rice in 2003
Strange in a world of uncertainty, war and conflict, to look back 100 years to the Battle of the Somme, halfway through 'the war to end all wars'. Since 1914 British soldiers have never not been involved in a conflict or war.

Personally I have only met one World War One Veteran, and was lucky to be involved in interviewing him 12 years ago.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Making play inclusive

Parks for Play half term playscheme starts today
With the total number of places for holiday childcare continuing to fall, prices for childcare continuing to rise, what has become of the government's attempts to make childcare more available and affordable?  And what of our most vulnerable children facing social exclusion because of their individual needs, often disability, or their families in desperate need of support, particularly during holidays?

In Birmingham at least, Parks for Play continues to address some of this need, running fully inclusive after-school playcare and playschemes during holidays.  However this appears to be the only only service of it's kind across the UK, despite the government recognising that families without good access to childcare are less able to remain in work.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Internationalism pre & post-Brexit

It took me a while to work out what the Woodcraft Folk movement was all about - it's really one of those things you've got to try and maybe, like me, you'll want to find out more.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Playwell, play for all

Playing in York Road, summer 2014
When 'playing out' was first talked about in Birmingham it was no surprise pioneers in inclusive play 'Parks for play' supported the initiative.  They sent teams of playworkers to streets to ensure inclusive play for all.

Through groups like Playwell, they continue their commitment to inclusive play, offering summer holiday play sessions running from 1st to 12th August at Uffculme school. These play sessions prioritize access for new children with any additional needs/ disabilities that live locally ( kings Heath/ Moseley) to ensure that ALL children can enjoy play opportunities on the doorstep in their community.