Author Archives: gabimaddocks

Movers and Shakers moves into Wanstead

I am very excited to announce the launch of our first Movers and Shakers class in Wanstead!

It takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10–10.30am at:

Wanstead United Reformed Church
Nightingale Lane
London E11 2HD

The class will be taught by the marvellous Holly Elmes.

For now, Erica will be administering the class from her Barnet and Southgate office. However, demand in the area is high, and we plan to start classes in Woodford, Walthamstow and the surrounding area. When several classes are up and running, we will open a separate branch.

Booking for Movers and Shakers is essential. Classes fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate to reserve your child a place using our online booking system. For more information about this class or anything related to Movers and Shakers, please contact me.

Christmas Dates

We will be Moving and Shaking as usual at all venues right up until Tuesday 22nd December. Then we’ll take a break until Monday 4th January.

If you’d like to book us for a special Movers and Shakers gathering then please get in touch! We’d love to keep your little ones entertained with lots of Snowy and Festive songs…

New Thursday Morning Venue: Hello Woodman!

From this week we will be changing our Thursday morning Highgate venue from Queen’s Wood Cafe to The Woodman Pub. Although we’ve had many happy years at Queen’s Wood Cafe we wanted to find a venue that would be cosier in the winter months.

We were delighted when The Woodman Pub offered to set aside a special area for a weekly Movers and Shakers class (and even more delighted to hear that they are open for breakfast from 10am!)

Please come and find us there. You can book your place by clicking here.

Move and Shake for FREE at Highgate Newtown Community Centre

When I first set up Movers and Shakers 7 years ago, all our classes were provided free of charge to parents and carers, and funded by local Sure Start Children’s Centres! The subsequent recession put an end to that and now it is very rare for us to run any ‘funded’ sessions at all.

We do have an ‘inclusivity’ policy that means we do our best to make sure our sessions are affordable for everyone – we manage this without skimping on quality by choosing venues that charge low or no rent so we can pass on the saving to parents, and also by not making parents pay for a full term of classes. This means that parents on a budget can opt to go to one Movers and Shakers class a month, for example, rather than miss out.

I was really delighted when I received a call from Highgate Newtown Community Centre during the summer hols asking if we would run a weekly session at their lovely venue, which would be funded by the centre and offered completely free to parents and carers! Isn’t that fantastic?

The classes are going really well and there is room for more – so please come along and find us there – and let anyone you know who lives near that venue. We are there every Thursday 1 – 1.30 for babies up to 18 months old. Families are then welcome to stay for their relaxed drop in with advice from 1.30 – 3pm.

We hope to see you there soon!

Summer Holidays: Nothing stops us Moving and Shaking!

We will be running all of our classes during August! We may have to cancel the occasional class if we don’t get enough bookings, but we will inform anyone affected by email…

We have two brilliant new facilitators trained up and raring to go: welcome to the team, Amy and Rose! They will be covering while Rebekah, Holly and Abi run holiday drama clubs.

Remember there is a bank holiday on Monday 31st August so there won’t be any classes running on this day.

Lots of other groups stop running during the summer, so our classes sometimes get busier than ever – remember to book in to be sure of getting a place 🙂

Wood Green Library session cancelled…

I’m afraid we won’t be running our Wood Green Library class this term. Numbers at this LOVELY venue were too low to keep it going I’m afraid. However we’d love to return there in the Spring so if you’d like to come to this class (Tuesdays 2pm) then please email me to register your interest. If I get enough people on the list then I’ll restart the class! Yippee!

In the meantime I really hope you’ll come along to one of our other venues – Karamel Restaurant (Thursday mornings) is close by so maybe give that one a try?

Half Term Classes

During the upcoming Half Term (27-31st October 2014) all our classes will be running as usual EXCEPT:

Wood Green Library
The Children’s Hub
Karamel Restaurant
Stroud Green Library

I hope our regulars at these venues will come and find us somewhere else next week!

Parents sometimes bring older children to these classes, which is wonderful – often children as old as 5 or 6 enjoy revisiting their old nursery songs for a one off treat. Please make sure your older children understand that the younger ones need to enjoy the class just as much as usual.

Our policy on older siblings is:
If they want to join in then please book them a place and pay a sibling fee of £3 (so the class doesn’t feel overcrowded)
If they don’t want to join in then of course there’s no need to pay. They can sit with you and watch, or read a book during the class.

Any questions please get in touch!

Fee Increase

Those of you who have been coming to Movers and Shakers for a while will know that this is the first time we have put up prices for nearly 4 years. Unfortunately with all our costs increasing we can’t delay it any more. We pride ourselves on being cheaper than our competitors and maintaining the high quality of our classes. I hope you will agree that this is still the case!

New prices as follows:

Single session: £4.50
Pre-pay card: £22.50 (6 sessions, don’t need to be consecutive)

No change to sibling prices:

Sibling: £3 for a single session; £15 for a pre-pay card

Still free for siblings under 6 months!

Movers and Shakers Shortlisted for Award

We are delighted to announce that Movers and Shakers has been shortlisted for a Loved by Parents Award. We have a chance of being named Best Baby/Toddler Group 2014!

Winning this award would mean a great deal to us at Movers and Shakers. Could we possibly ask you to take a few minutes to show your appreciation for us by visiting the Loved by Parents website and voting for Movers and Shakers? We will be grateful for every vote we receive. As we are one of only five groups on the shortlist, we have a real chance of scooping the top prize.

The voting form is at this page on the Loved by Parents website.

There are only five steps to placing your vote:

  1. Enter your full name
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Choose “Special Awards” from the drop-down list of categories
  4. Type “Best Baby/Toddler Group” in the category name box
  5. Type “Movers and Shakers” in the company name box.

Finally (unless you want to vote in other categories) scroll down to the bottom of the form to submit your vote.

Voting closes at midnight on the 29th of June. It would be simply lovely if we could start July by announcing that Movers and Shakers had won a Loved by Parents Gold Award!

Movers and Shakers really is loved by parents. We keep our prices low and offer flexible class-by-class booking. Our discounted six-session loyalty cards can be used at any class at any time within your home area. Our online booking system is easy to use and guarantees your child a place at the class of your choice.

We know that babies and young children instinctively like to play and explore; at Movers and Shakers we give every child the opportunity to sing along, play a musical instrument, explore the parachute and get lost in a world of bubbles. Sessions take place at libraries, social clubs, cafés and other family-friendly venues.

Loved by Parents is a family-focused online parenting magazine offering features, reviews, recipes and advice on all things loved by parents. Here’s where you can find the full list of nominees for the awards.

Joining a waiting list...

Some of our classes are fully booked weeks ahead. It can be frustrating when you really want to come to a group and you can’t get a place for another month. So we wanted to let you all know that it is possible to join a WAITING LIST for any group that is fully booked – we often get cancellations on the morning of the class, if babies have a bad night or wake up poorly. And then we send messages round to anyone who has expressed an interest in coming to that class.
Please don’t join a waiting list unless there is a really good chance you’ll be able to attend, and keep us up to date if you make other plans. Also – keep your phone handy on the morning of the class as usually we’ll send a text message to let you know you have a space. So, if you’d like to join a waiting list for any of our fully booked sessions here is how to get in touch with us.