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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Family Social Night is a Hit with Locals

Trades ClubA new family-friendly event at Hebden Bridge Trades Club brings food and good company to those dark winter nights

The Family Social is a drop-in event, run every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3.30pm. Parents can bring their children to meet and play with others, while mums and dads have time to relax and chat. And from 4pm, the Trades Club’s resident chef, Lhamo, serves up delicious homemade Tibetan food costing just £2 to £3 per dish.Local mum-of-two, Lucy Tatam, decided to trial the idea before Christmas and she was thrilled by the positive response from the community. “I had been informally calling in at the Trades Club for curry with another mum for a while. Our kids loved letting off steam after school and we got a night off cooking!”

So, with encouragement from a friend, Lucy began discussions with the Trades Club, with a view to establishing a regular family-friendly club. She was pleased to discover that bar manager, Philip Clark, was very supportive of the idea. He has ensured that everyone feels very welcome and the space is child-friendly, as well as providing space to store the group’s “bits box” of toys and craft materials. `He is even planning to set up a Wii zone where kids can play games on the giant projector screen.

The feedback from local families has been overwhelmingly positive. Many parents admit to finding themselves at a loose end in the early evening, after collecting their children from school. The problem is especially acute during the short, dark winter days. “My friends and I have found that our kids need to unwind after school. They want to play together before heading back home. And, as parents, we are not necessarily ready to lock ourselves up at home for the entire evening. The Family Social bridges that gap really nicely,” explains Lucy.

For those with hungry tummies, chef Lhamo prepares her dishes without the use of chilli on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and her food has proved very popular with children and parents alike. Toddlers have been devouring dahl and rice, and teenagers have been tucking into delicious noodle soups. And for those parents of really fussy eaters, there’s always the option of bringing sandwiches or grabbing a bag of the time-tested favourite, chips!

The most fundamental principle of the group is that this is relaxing time and space for both parent and child. No membership or subscription is required, and the group is free to attend on a no-obligation, drop-in basis.

As well as new faces, the group welcomes new ideas on how they might expand and develop to better serve the needs of local families. Future plans for the group include hiring children’s entertainers, showing family films and running craft projects.

Anyone with talents, time and enthusiasm to share is invited to contact Lucy on lucy@netmindz.co.uk. Or simply call in to the Trades for a chat with the other parents.

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