Our Top Tips for Caravanning with Kids

swift challenger touring caravan against a blue sky

With half term just around the corner and the summer holidays looming on the horizon, there's no better time to book a last minute family getaway! It doesn't have to be somewhere expensive, exotic or even very far from home, which is something we quickly learnt when we bought our first caravan.

We picked up the keys to our little holiday home on wheels two years ago. It was a very spontaneous decision but not completely out of the blue as my other half has worked in the caravan industry for years - he's an expert at fixing other peoples' caravans but we'd never really considered owning one ourselves until the boys came along.

Of course they absolutely love it - having the freedom to explore outside, going on a different adventure every day and still being surrounded by home comforts has made them both big fans of caravan holidays.

But where do you start if you've never done it before? It took us a while to really get the hang of caravanning with kids so let me save you some stress by sharing what we've learnt...

Try before you buy
Hire a caravan first to find out if it's right for you. One of the most important things to consider (whether you're hiring or buying) is the layout as not all of them are suited to family life. You'll need to make sure it has enough beds for everyone, easy access to the toilet and plenty of storage space. Ours has fixed bunk beds at the back so the boys have their own little bedroom which can be closed off with a sliding door. 

Stay local
Start off by travelling shorter distances - it'll give you the chance to practice getting everything set up at your own pace, rather than rushing around after a long drive. We really enjoy staying at local sites because they open up the possibility of long weekends away (and to be honest, the boys are just happy to be on holiday no matter where we are!)

young boy wearing sunglasses and riding a red balance bike across a caravan site

Pick the right site
Do plenty of research in advance to find out how child-friendly your chosen site is. Think about which facilities are important to you and what will suit the age of your kids - some have arcades, soft play areas, swimming pools and evening entertainment but that can bump up the price of your stay (which is a bit pointless if you're not going to use them!) The boys are starting to need a wider range of activities to keep them entertained as they get older but, up until recently, they've been content with anywhere that has a good play area and plenty of space to run around.

Choose your pitch carefully
If you're able to choose your pitch then it's worth asking for one that's as safe as possible - think about how much shade it has, its proximity to roads, whether there are any surrounding hedges and how far it is from the play area. Of course it's all about personal preference but, given the choice, I'd rather be pitched slightly further away from other vans so I don't feel too guilty if the boys are being noisy!

father and young son winding down the legs of a caravan together

Little helpers
If your little ones are old enough to help with setting up then let them! It will probably make the whole process take a lot longer but it'll keep them occupied and they'll be learning along the way. Finley's favourite job is winding the caravan's legs down and Jacob loves to help with filling up the water!

Safety first
Childproof your caravan in the same way that you would your home. Obviously each child (and caravan!) is different so I can't cover every single safety aspect but a good starting point would be to fit bed guards to your children's beds, socket covers over any plug sockets within their reach and safety catches on the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen area. Check that your caravan has a fire blanket, a fire extinguisher, a working smoke alarm, etc. and keep a well stocked first aid kit to hand (don't forget to top it up with lots of plasters and a big bottle of Calpol before you set off!) 

Don't let the weather get you down
The idea of a wholesome, outdoorsy holiday is all well and good in theory but the reality is that it will probably rain at some point (sorry!) As well as packing books, games and iPads, it's also handy to have a small TV/ DVD player to keep everyone entertained while you're sheltering in the caravan. You probably won't want to spend the whole day inside though, so take wellies and raincoats for everyone too. If you've got some room to spare, I'd also recommend packing onesies for the kids so that they can play in the awning on chilly mornings or go for an evening bike ride around the site.

two young boys wearing onesies and eating pastries in a blue caravan awning

Invest in an awning - the bigger, the better! 
This is a must if you're caravanning with kids! Being in a confined space can be full on for even the closest of families, so adding an awning to your setup will give you all a bit of breathing space. It also creates extra storage space and makes for a nice place to eat meals together (or chill out with a drink once the kids are in bed!) The added bonus of an awning is that you can turn it into a safe little play area, too. Ours usually ends up full of train tracks but we've seen other people with ride on toys, a folding tunnel and even a small slide in theirs!

Pack and prepare
You're bound to forget something when you're trying to pack at the same time as chasing around after little ones, but that's exactly why I've made myself a packing spreadsheet (sad, I know!) You don't have to go to that extent, but it's worth making a list of essentials that you can refer back to each time you go away. As well as all the obvious things, I'd recommend packing a travel high chair for smaller children, a baby bath or flexi-bucket for washing kids down after beach days (some sites have family bathrooms but if not then this is the next best thing!) and a large laundry bag to bundle all your washing into the boot at the end of your holiday.

Make a toy box for your caravan
Consider making up a small box of toys, games and DVDs that lives in the caravan. Not only will it make them seem like a novelty, but it'll give you one less thing to pack when the time comes (just don't include anything with lots of little pieces or you'll end up spending half your holiday tidying them up!) 

two young boys wearing colourful pyjamas, cuddling and smiling together on a caravan bed

Embrace the chaos!
Caravanning with kids can be messy, noisy and occasionally a little bit stressful, but I promise it's all worth it! The boys are only 5 and 2 but they've already had so many great holidays in our little caravan and it's all because we've learnt to go with the flow when we're away. There's no magic formula to making it work but if you're prepared to be flexible with routine (especially at bedtime when the evenings are lighter and it's noisy outside) and take each day as it comes then you'll have a van full of very happy campers! 

Have you taken your kids on a caravan holiday before? How did you get on? If you've got any tips to add to the list then let us know! 

How to Make Money at a Nearly New Sale

assorted boys clothes in a labelled box to be sold at a table top sale

As much as I hate to admit it, it's pretty likely that we won't be having any more babies. I think I'll always be a little bit broody but these days I find myself spending less time reminiscing about the boys being tiny and more time embracing all the milestones and watching them grow.

So what will we do with all the baby things that won't be needed any more? The boys' first outfits and other little keepsakes are tucked safely away in memory boxes but with everything else taking up valuable space in cupboards and the loft, I decided it was time for a clear out.

The answer was to sell as much of it as possible at a nearly new sale. Not only are they the perfect place for new and expectant parents to buy pre-loved goodies but they also provide a great opportunity to make money from all your old baby paraphernalia in one place - basically, everyone's a winner!

So far this year I've done two sales and made around £100 at each one. They both went really well but required a little bit of planning, so thought I'd share what I've learnt in case you're thinking of selling at a nearly new sale too.

Before you book a table:
  • Do your research by having a look at which nearly new sales take place in your area, when they are and how easy they are to get to. If you're in Bristol then the most popular ones locally are Mum2Mum Markets, Cheeki Monkeys and Little Pickles Markets.
  • Go along as a buyer to get a better idea of what to expect. You'll be able to see how sellers lay out their stalls, how they price their items and how much space you're likely to be allocated. 
  • Find out how much it costs to book a stall - this may vary from one sale to the next and can depend on the size of your table. You'll also need to take into account some of the other costs of running a stall, such as a clothes rail, hangers, boxes, tags and labels. Add it all up and make sure that you've got enough to sell to offset that initial cost, otherwise it's not worth the hassle! 
  • Start getting all your items ready well in advance (this took a LOT longer than I was expecting it to!) It can take a while to wash, clean, label and organise everything so give yourself a head start by pulling things together as soon as you've booked your table. 
  • Not sure where to start? Big ticket items such as buggies, cots, jumperoos and playmats are the most sought after so get those ready first! 
second hand maternity clothes for sale on labelled hangers

Preparing to sell:
  • Be picky! Only sell things that you'd want to buy yourself - the rest can go to the charity shop!
  • Try to group similar items together. At both sales, I found that bundles of clothing sold really well as people wanted to get more for their money (especially those who were on the lookout for certain sizes). 
  • Make it easy for buyers to see what they're getting. I did this by neatly folding my bundles of clothes and sealing them in medium sized sandwich bags, but you could create a smarter (and less wasteful) version of this by using string or ribbon to tie everything together.  
  • Consider creating a bargain box! If you find yourself with lots of leftover items after making up your bundles then it's worth labelling up a box of things for a set price, such as 'everything for £1'. This was something else that proved to be really popular, not just at my stall but on several others as well. 
  • Label everything in advance - it will save SO much time on the day! Knowing that your items are already labelled will also help to keep your stress levels down when you're rushing around trying to get your stall ready. I used sticky labels for the smaller items but found these to be a bit hit and miss as they stuck to some items better than others. For the larger items and boxes I used brightly coloured card to make signs and, judging by the feedback from buyers, these worked much better. 
  • Price things to sell. This might sound obvious but it really does pay to be realistic about how much you're likely to make from each item. I spent a fair bit of time looking on eBay and Facebook Marketplace to get an idea of what similar items were selling for and used those figures as a starting point. It's worth baring in mind that people will want to haggle too, so label things at your highest price but prepare to be flexible.
assorted second hand baby and toddler clothes in boxes at a table top sale

On the day:
  • Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to get set up. At each of the sales I did, I had an hour to get sorted (which sounds like ages, but trust me when I say that it flies by!) so chances are that you won't have long. Things can get hectic with lots of people moving around so try not to let yourself get flustered and just focus on your own stall. 
  • Take someone with you - even if it's just so you can pop to the loo or grab a drink! Not only will you need an extra pair of hands to set up, but it can also be useful to have two people on your stall so that you can talk to even more buyers. I say this as someone who had help with the setup but spent the sale itself flying solo! 
  • Presentation is key - the easier it is for buyers to find what they want, the more likely they are to part with their cash! If you lay things out neatly and keep your stall clutter free, people are guaranteed to stop for a look. In fact, without wanting to sound too big-headed, I had a lot of comments on how organised my stall was so I can vouch for that!  
  • Keep things up high if you can. I used the space underneath my table to display toys and books but found that people were less likely to crouch down and have a proper look in these boxes (and don't forget that a lot of your buyers will be pregnant, so bending down is out of the question!) Instead, use upturned boxes to add levels to your table and make everything more accessible. 
  • Take something to store your cash in - either a tin or a bum bag will do. It's worth filling it up with around £50-100 of change before the sale as you can guarantee that people will want to pay with notes (especially at the start!) It also helps to have carrier bags on hand in case your buyers have forgotten them and a marker pen so that you can alter your prices if needs be. 
  • Prepare for the first hour to be the busiest. Speaking from experience as a buyer, I know that most people will turn up early to try and nab the best bargains so expect a big flurry of buyers once the doors open! 
  • Enjoy your profits! Not all nearly new sales operate in the same way, but the ones that I've done allow you to keep all of the money you make on the day. I found it helped to have clear idea of what I was going to do with the money so that it didn't end up being spent on day to day stuff (in my case, I took out a small amount to reimburse myself for the cost of the stall and split the rest between my boys' savings accounts). 
If you're gearing up for your first nearly new sale then good luck! Have fun and don't be too disheartened if you don't manage to sell everything at once - with everything already labelled and packed up, it's easy enough to just book a stall at the next one and try again!

Have you ever been to a nearly new sale before? How did you find it? I'd love to hear all about your best bargains!

(Disclaimer: This post contains my own thoughts and is in no way endorsed by or sponsored by any of the brands/ companies mentioned.)

Getting Started with Cloth Nappies

toddler wearing a bumgenius cloth nappy and standing on a bed

I've been blown away by the reaction to this year's Real Nappy Week (Fortnight) and it seems that more people are showing an interest in switching to cloth than ever before!

There have been so many positive conversations around cloth nappies on social media over the last couple of weeks, which has led to quite a few questions landing in my inbox. Since so many people have been asking similar things, I thought I'd answer them here by putting together some tips on how to get started with cloth nappies:

Choose your nappies
First thing's first, you'll need to decide which nappies will work best for you and your baby. That might sound a bit daunting as there's a lot of jargon surrounding reusable nappies, but what it all boils down to is that there are different types. Your best bet is to go along to your local nappy library, where you'll be able to see every type of nappy close up and have a go at using them yourself. You'll also be able to get expert advice and hire trial kits to see how you get on. You can find your nearest one here.

If you don't have a nappy library nearby then the next best thing is to fill in The Nappy Lady's advice questionnaire. This is an online form that you can send off to determine which nappies will suit your needs. There's a lot of questions to answer but it's worth doing as the results will give you a really good starting point.

Another option is to just pick up an all-in-one style nappy and go for it! The design of these nappies means they're very similar to the disposables that you're familiar with and don't require any explanation to get started. You can find Bambino Mio's 'Miosolo' nappies in Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, so it's easy enough to just grab one off the shelf when you're doing your weekly shop and see how you get on.

Check the fit
Right, now it's time to put that nappy on! Most all-in-one nappies are designed to fit babies from birth right up until they're potty trained which means that they're fully adjustable in length and width. You'll need to have a play around with the fastenings until you find the right fit for your baby but the good news is that once you're happy with the length, you can leave those poppers done up ready for the next nappy change. Cloth nappies tend to fit quite snugly so if you're used to disposables you might find yourself worrying that it's too tight, but unless you're getting bright red marks then it's probably ok (elastic marks are fine though - a bit like the ones you get when you take your socks off!) This handy little guide explains things a bit better and acts as a great point of reference:

Photo via Boho Babes Cloth Nappies

Extra bits and bobs
Once you're ready to change the nappy, you'll need somewhere to put the used one. We use a bucket lined with a mesh bag when we're at home and a wet bag for when we're out and about (although some people prefer to use wet bags at home as well as on the go - it's all about personal preference!)
When you're putting the fresh nappy on, you might want to consider adding a booster (a super absorbent piece of material) to make the nappy last longer between changes. You could also add a liner (either disposable or fleece) to catch any poo and make it easier to dispose of.

Night time
It's worth mentioning that you're likely to need different nappies for night time use. Now, I say this because to begin with, I naively thought that adding extra boosters to our normal nappies would do the trick - it turns out I was very, very wrong! Since most all-in-ones need to be changed every 3 hours or so, they're just not absorbent enough to last all night. It turns out that the best combination for overnight is a fitted bamboo nappy with a waterproof wrap over the top (we use a Tots Bots Bamboozle with a Motherease Airflow wrap and I'm yet to find a more leak-proof combo!)

If you're stocking up on new nappies then you'll need to give them a quick pre-wash before they go on to make them more absorbent (a bit like towels, really). Once you've started using them and have enough for a washload then just pop them all in the machine - first on a cold rinse cycle, then on a long, hot wash (either at 40 or 60 degrees, depending on your nappy's instructions) and hang up to dry. It's as simple as that! The only thing to keep in mind is that washing powder works better on nappies than liquid and you should never use fabric softener on them as it affects the absorbency.

Anything else?
That's it, you're good to go! Just remember that switching to cloth nappies isn't an all or nothing process - you don't have to change all of your habits at once and you don't have to use cloth full time if you're not able to for whatever reason (for example, we still use disposables when we're on holiday - partly because there's not always access to washing facilities, and partly because I feel that holidays should be a break from doing chores!)

My number one top tip is just to stick at it - it's so easy to feel disheartened if you get leaks but getting the fit right can take some practice (this was exactly what happened when we tried cloth first time round and I wish someone had told me that then!) so just keep going and I promise you'll be glad that you did.

If you've been inspired to give cloth a go then good luck! I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have about using cloth nappies but if you're after some expert advice then I've made a list of some useful links below:

Nappy Libraries:
UK Nappy Network
Bristol Cloth Nappy Library
Bath Cloth Nappy Library
Cloth Connections (South Glos)
North Somerset Nappies
Somerset & West Somerset Cloth Nappy Library

Fill Your Pants
Go Real
Nappy Ever After
The Nappy Gurus
The Nappy Lady

Facebook Groups:
BriSGlos Nappy Users
Cloth Bum Mums - Fluffy Advice & Chat
Go Real UK Cloth Nappy Chat and Information
The Nappy Guru Place
The Nappy Lady Pregnancy, Baby & Parenting Group

Real Nappy Week 2019: Discounts, Offers and Freebies

shelf full of colourful patterned cloth nappies

As well as being a great excuse to shout about the benefits of cloth nappies, Real Nappy Week is also the perfect opportunity to bag yourself a bargain!

Many eco-friendly retailers celebrate Real Nappy Week by offering discounts or free gifts so if you're new to the world of cloth nappies then there's no better time to start building your stash as you can pick up all the essentials for a fraction of the cost. There are also tonnes of giveaways, competitions and prize draws across social media so it's worth keeping an eye on the #realnappyweek hashtag if you're feeling lucky.

Of course it's not just about those who are new to reusables - if you've already got enough cloth nappies (is that even possible?!) then you'll be pleased to know that a lot of deals also include nappy accessories too (I've currently got wet bags, boosters and cloth wipes on my shopping list!)

I've trawled the web for this year's best deals but, as always, if you spot something I've missed then please send me your links so I can add them to the list:

Babi Pur
Receive a free gift when you order anything from the reusable nappy section and checkout with a basket total of £25 or more (29th April - 5th May)

Bambino Mio
20% off everything (29th April - 5th May)

Cheeky Wipes
25% off everything (22nd April - 2nd May)

Ecopipo Cloth Nappies
15% off all products using code 'RNW19' at the checkout (22nd April - 3rd May)

Fill Your Pants
Discounts on selected products plus a free gift with orders over £20 using code 'FREEBIE' at the checkout (29th April - 3rd May)

Fresh Baby
10% off your order with code 'FRESHBABYGO' plus free gifts with orders over £40 (including fleece liners and nappy keyrings)

Grow Up Green
20% off kits and starter packs plus 15% off nappies and accessories with code 'RNW2019'.

The Little Green Bee Co.
Discounts on selected products.

Little Lamb Nappies
Refer a friend and you'll both get 30% off site-wide (29th April 2019 - 29th May 2019)

Lizzie's Real Nappies
Discounts on real nappy trial kits, washable baby wipes, reusable swim nappies, washable breast pads and more, as well as discounts on the following brands: BumGenius, Tots Bots, Peenut, Baba and Boo, Flip, Charlie Banana, Pop-In, Little Lamb and Bambinex.

The Nappy Lady
20% off site-wide (29th April - 3rd May)

Natural Baby Shower
20% off selected reusable nappies.

Tickle Tots
Up to 20% off selected products.

Tots Bots
20% off reusable nappies (excluding the new 'Songtime' range) and wipes (29th April - 5th May)

Yes Bébé
Up to 20% off across many popular nappy brands, up to 20% off wet bags, change mats and reusable wipes, giveaways, competitions and a 'digital scratchcard' with all qualifying orders.

Best Clothes for Cloth Bums

close up of a miosolo cloth nappy being worn by a toddler playing outdoors

One of my favourite things about this time of year is that the weather is finally getting warm enough for Jacob to wander around the house in just a t-shirt and a nappy! I realise that probably doesn't make me sound like the greatest parent ever, but hear me out - not only does it give me less washing to do but it also means that everyone gets a little glimpse of his colourful cloth nappy collection!

Given that we live in the UK where the sun is never on our side, I should probably point out that he does spend most of his time fully clothed! But what do kids in cloth nappies wear? Well, in short, the answer is normal clothes.

One of the things that puts people off of trying reusable nappies is the idea that they'll have to buy special trousers to fit over them but that's simply not the case. Reusable nappies do tend to be bulkier than single use nappies so there are certain things that won't work (super skinny jeans, for example!) but generally speaking it's pretty easy to find stylish, comfy and affordable clothes for kids in cloth.

The only thing to keep in mind if you're shopping for cloth-friendly clothes is that they'll need to be a bit roomier around the bum - anything that's too tight will compress the nappy and cause it to leak. Some people work around this by just buying the next size up but, depending on your child's proportions, this isn't always an option (Jacob is tall and slim so although bigger sizes would fit over his nappies, they'd hang off him everywhere else!)

If you're still not sure where to start then take a look at our round-up of the best places to find clothes for cloth bums:

A firm favourite amongst most cloth users, H&M is great for trousers, jeans, joggers, rompers and shorts, which all seem to be quite roomy around the bum. There's no special range to look out for, although a lot of people swear by their 'Conscious' brand which has the added bonus of being more sustainable. It's also worth mentioning that their vests are a great fit over cloth too!

Although they seem to get mixed reviews from other parents, we've found that Next's jogging bottoms (especially the harem style and drop crotch ones) are a great fit over Jacob's nappies. Their jeans are a little less roomy but it's possible to find ones that fit well if you choose the right styles. We've found that the trick is to go for drawstring waistbands (which a lot of their trousers seem to have) as they allow room for bulky bums but stop them from falling down around slimmer waists.

If you're after something a bit brighter and more colourful than your average high street staples then Frugi have the answer! All of their clothes are specifically cut for cloth (in fact, the brand started life as 'Cut4Cloth'!) meaning that they're a guaranteed to give a perfect fit over reusable nappies. They are slightly pricier than other brands but with such beautiful designs and high quality, organic materials, you really do get what you pay for here.

Another great choice for organic children's clothing is Swedish brand, Maxomorra. As well as trousers, they make a huge selection of other cloth-friendly clothes including rompers, onesies, dungarees, leggings, vests and even pyjamas. Their clothes are available in both plain colours and a range of bold, colourful patterns so you can mix and match to suit your child's personality.

Fred & Noah
It's no secret that this is one of my favourite children's clothing brands! Fred & Noah's gorgeous leggings are handmade here in the UK and are all cut for cloth - if you look closely you'll notice that the seams are stitched up the sides of the legs rather than though the crotch, meaning that they don't press on the nappy. Their leggings are soft, stretchy and come in an ever-changing range of stylish patterns (which is terrible news for my bank balance!)

Of course there are loads of other amazing brands out there who aren't as well known as the ones I've listed, so if you've got a small business that makes or sells cloth-friendly clothes then feel free to shout about it in the comments!

(Disclaimer: This post contains my own choice of products and is in no way endorsed by or sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.)

6 Reasons Why We Love Cloth Nappies

hand and arm with star tattoo holding a pile of three colourful cloth nappies

Today is the first day of Real Nappy Week (although it's actually being stretched out to a fortnight of celebrations, information, advice and discounts this year because of when Easter falls) so you can expect lots of posts from us over the next few days!

If you've followed our blog for a while then you'll already know that we're passionate about using cloth nappies. We first gave them a try when Finley was 16 months old, then started again when Jacob was 10 weeks old and have been using them ever since.

Making the switch to reusable nappies ended up being one of the best decisions we ever made (quite a grand claim, I know!) but why do we love them so much?

1. No more nappy rash
Since Jacob has been in cloth, I can count on one hand how many times he's had nappy rash (and all of those have been a result of his poo rather than the harsh dyes and chemicals that are found in disposable nappies). The materials that his cloth nappies are made from also make them more comfortable for him to wear and feel really soft against his skin.

2. Reliability
I'm sure most parents would agree that an explosive poo is one of the worst things you can end up dealing with during the baby stage, but the great news is that with cloth nappies, poosplosions simply don't happen! Because they're designed to fit more snugly than disposables, there's no room for any poo to escape so it all stays contained within the nappy and gives us real peace of mind (especially when we're out and about).

3. Running out of nappies is a thing of the past
Having a constant supply of nappies at home means that it's been ages since we last had to do a late night dash to the supermarket to pick up a new pack (or worse, run out of nappies when the shops were shut!) Every so often I fall behind on the washing and don't have as many nappies to hand as I'd like but it's reassuring to know that there's no danger of running out completely!

4. Kinder to my bank balance 
Obviously the initial cost of cloth nappies can add up (ours cost just under £400 in total) but they've definitely saved us money in the long run. Having a stash of cloth nappies has saved us from spending £10-15 per week on disposables for the last 2 years, which would have totalled approx. £1000-1500! Not only have we managed to keep costs down while Jacob is in nappies, but we'll also be able to sell them on to make some money back once he's potty trained.

5. Better for the planet
Whether it's an episode of Blue Planet, the shocking images in National Geographic or just a post that someone has shared on Facebook, I'm sure you've seen something that's opened your eyes to how much our rubbish is damaging the world around us. Given that around 6,000 tonnes of nappies are thrown away every day, it feels good to know that we're doing our bit to bring those numbers down. In fact, if you switch to just ONE reusable a day you can save over 900 nappies from landfill!

6. Cloth nappies look super cute! 
Modern cloth nappies are available in so many bright colours and cute patterns that it's impossible not to like the look of them. I just love showing off Jacob's nappies at any opportunity and I've got to confess that, more often that not, I try and match them to his outfits too! Of course now that he's a bit older, Jacob likes being able to choose which nappy he wants to wear which makes changing him a lot easier (and if that's not a good enough reason to use cloth nappies then I don't know what is!)

Alder Hey Children's Charity: Daniel's Story

It might be nearly 200 miles away from us here in Bristol, but word of the amazing care at Alder Hey Children's Hospital spreads far and wide.

Over the years, several of our friends and their families have received vital treatment and support at Alder Hey so we're always keen to help raise awareness.

There are so many ways that you can get involved too and since the launch of Alder Hey's new Running Hub, it's now easier than ever to do your bit for charity!

But why do they need your help? Find out what Alder Hey Children's Charity have to say:

"Childhood should be filled with happiness, laughter and fun but when a child becomes ill, they often have to be brave and grow up quickly. At Alder Hey Children’s Charity we want to support all of the children who come through our doors. Everything we do is with our amazing Alder Hey patients and their families in mind.

Just ask Daniel Bell, and his mum Rosalind.

When three year old Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour he was rushed to Alder Hey, a centre for excellence on brain conditions. The tumour was the size of an adult fist and there was a possibility that the surgery which would save his life could also rob him of key motor and mobility skills.

Thankfully, his surgeries were aided by Alder Hey’s state of the art 3-T MRI scanner. The device, which was paid for by the charity, allows surgeons to scan the brain during surgery and assess the success of the operation in the operating theatre and shortly after recovery. The equipment was featured recently in an episode of Hospital on BBC2 (again, in a lifesaving situation).

Daniel is now a healthy and active six year old boy, and a budding actor besides, who was recently seen in a production of Little Shop of Horrors with his local Performing Arts Club.

He also raises money for Alder Hey and was proud to be named a Young Ambassador for the charity. So far, Daniel and his family have raised more than £22,000 for Alder Hey by collecting people’s Christmas trees. But this is just one example - there are many other fun and exciting ways that our fundraisers can help out, from bake sales and charity car washes to exhilarating park runs.

All of our Alder Hey Children’s Charity ambassadors help to raise money for the charity so that we can continue to provide vital funding for life-saving medical equipment and facilities that make a real difference to families every day.

Recently we have installed distraction technology within our wards to help focus the attention away from the treatment or examinations that need to be carried out by our medical professionals and entertain young patients with colourful, bright and positive images projected on the walls of the room. This immersive technology helps to transform a white walled ward into a magical world where children can escape from reality and be free from fear and anxiety.

To be able to continue to provide innovative solutions such as the distraction technology and provide vital funds for Alder Hey, we rely on the support and kindness from the public - and that's where you come in! Alder Hey Children’s Charity has recently launched a brand new Running Hub to inspire and motivate people to run for charity. There are delicious recipe ideas, running tips and even detailed running training plans.

If you think you're up to the challenge of running a 5k, 10k or even a marathon then make sure you check out the Alder Hey Running Hub and get involved!

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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by, affiliated with or endorsed by Alder Hey Children's Charity and have not been paid to share this post.