Dorset business mums take national awards by storm.

Not even a week after Sky News announced that companies run by mothers contribute around £7bn a year to the economy we find not 1 but 5 Dorset Businesses run by mums are amongst the nominees for the prestigious WO4LO Awards in association with Konfidence. Now in its 7th year WO4LO celebrates the best activities, classes, volunteers and venues from throughout the UK as nominated and voted for by the experts – parents and parents-to-be.

Joanne Dewberry, Dorset Business Mum 2010 and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business is no stranger when it comes to the WO4LO Awards “Charlie Moo’s has been nominated 3 years running. I’m proud that we are held in such high esteem in the Party Suppliers industry – I really hope this year we can make it into the final 3!”

Award-winning ‘Musical Steps’ has also been nominated in Best National Baby & Toddler Development Activity (newborn to 2 years) & Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity (2 to 5 years) Bournemouth Teacher,Heather Smith said Parents tell me Musical Steps classes are the highlight of their child’s week, so it’s exciting to be recognised in this way. My priority is always to deliver an inspiring music class so I’d love for us to win the award and show we really are something special.

Lisa Hagg, mum of 2 & owner of the UK’s leading children’s activity franchise, The Creation Station in Bournemouth, has been nominated for no less than 3 awards! The Best National Baby & Toddler Development Activity, The Best National Preschooler Development Activity & The Best Children’s Party Entertainment Awards. Lisa said I am delighted that our Baby Discover and Little Explorer art classes have been recognised and nominated by parents. We are passionate about providing unique classes that gives parents and their children a shared, creative and educational experience. Our classes develop friendships, social confidence, problem solving skills & imagination in young children as well as providing ideas and activities for parents to help them develop their baby and toddler at home”

Most Outstanding Activity Leader for the Under 5s (South) sees Lisa Hagg, Caroline Kelly and Heather Smith up for this accolade. Joanne said “between my 3 children they have all been to Musical Steps, Turtle Tots and The Creation Station at some point and I think it shows the wealth of baby & pre-school activities available in Dorset and how highly recommended they are.”

Caroline Kelly, Turtle Tots Dorset, teaches aqua natal and baby swimming classes. “To be nominated for any award after less than 12 months in business is something I couldn’t have imagined. Each week parents tell me little things that their babies/toddlers have done at home related to our lessons which is fantastic. Turtle Tots teach babies to swim both above and below the surface teaching water confidence and life saving skills. Our classes also promote a special bonding experience between parent and baby in the water and many new friendships are formed. It would be great to win but to be nominated really is something special.Turtle Tots UK has been nominated inBest National Baby & Toddler Development Activity (newborn to 2 years) & Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity (2 to 5 years) as well.

Best Day Out in Dorset? Look know further than Little Pickles Market 2013 really has been an amazing year so far already collecting a couple of awards and it’s only March. I’m so humbled by the hard work and dedication of the team and all our buyers and sellers over the past 2 years.” owner Jessamine Hislop Newton beamed. The Dorset branch is currently putting the finishing touches to their Inaugural Little Pickles South Coast Baby & Toddler Show in May – with special guests including cbeebies favourite Chris Jarvis. Averaging 200+ people in a normal 2 hour market the baby show is set to be the place to be.

These business mums now need your help from now until the 28th May 2013, parents can log onto to vote for their favourite. The winners will be announced celebrity host Lucy Piper at Brighton Racecourse on Sunday 30th June. Everyone who votes or nominates will also be in with a chance to win 2 VIP tickets to the awards ceremony, meet the finalists, sponsors and VIP guests.

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Rewarding your Loyalty

As Little Pickles Markets have grown we regularly see the same faces attending our markets as buyers. So as a Thank You for supporting us and our sellers, we have launched our Little Pickles Markets loyalty Card.

You can pick up one of our new loyalty cards at your regular market and get it stamped for the first time. Each time you visit one of our markets please remember to bring along your card so that your local organiser can stamp it. Once you have paid for entry into 4 different markets and received stamps, you will get your fifth entry completely free. Cards can be used at all of our markets run by each organiser.

For your local market venues and dates checkout our events page.


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Katy Wise – Holistic Therapist

2 years ago, I set up my own business, I had always worked with children and wanted to combine the passions and qualifications I had, so Free Spirit Holistic Therapies was born. I had already been teaching Baby Massage for 1 ½ years and wanted to expand on the services I was able to offer, so back to College I went.


Now, I offer: Baby Massage, Baby Yoga, Toddler Yoga, Children’s Yoga and Indian Head Massage catering for the needs of babies from 6 weeks to children of all ages. I love my job, not many of us are fortunate enough to be able to say that!

My week involves driving from venue to venue, from School, to Yoga studio, to Play Café and Children’s Centres. Every day is different, but one thing remains the same, my endeavour to teach my families about the benefits of what I offer.

During a Baby Massage session, I teach the parents a developmental routine and give them a copy, so they can practise it at home, and after they have completed their course. I also teach them about the benefits of Baby Massage, which is not only relaxing, it helps to regulate sleep patterns,  improves the immune system, stimulate good circulation and most importantly…..eases fractiousness, anxiety, constipation and colic. Parents also benefit as Baby Massage assists with post natal depression, decreases our stress hormones and helps us to gain self-confidence.

Whilst Baby Yoga offers our babies a stimulating alternative to Massage, it also gives them the opportunity to strengthen, balance and develop their body systems, it induces a happy, care-free and lively parent-infant interaction which develops as the babies grow and it will help our babies to sleep more deeply and their behaviour will become more settled too.

All this working with babies makes me incredibly broody!!!

I’m now in my 3rd year of business and loving every second of it. I have so many exciting opportunities for the coming year and the next on my list is to start my first ‘Baby Massage for Dads’ course. I feel that when Dads work full-time, they often miss out on most of the fun activities our children enjoy with their Mums and it is just as important for Dads to bond with the children.

For more information please visit:

Blog written by Katie Wise

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The nearly new way to save this Christmas

With Asda reporting that the average spend for each child this Christmas is reaching £312, the sound of parents bank accounts groaning can be heard across the county.  Parents need not fear though as the army of Little Pickles Market in the area offer a great solution to the strain on the family finances. 

With parents returning to buying timeless traditional toys such as dolls houses, kitchens and wooden train sets the markets offer an ideal way to get the toys you’re looking for without the huge price tag.

Christchurch Mum of 2, Frances Hearn said “We love our mornings out at Little Pickles, my son always finds toys what he wants and I can relax because I know he can get an armful of toys for less than what we end up paying for one thing in the toy shops. Neither of us are worried if they’re second hand as the toys have always been good quality and he’s happy he doesn’t have to take off all the packaging!

Joanne Dewberry, Dorset Business Mum of the Year 2010 and mum of 3 said “I was so impressed with the previous Little Pickles Market I attended, I left laden down with bargains both stocking fillers and clothing with out breaking the bank.  The atmosphere was really friendly and the event so well organised that I jumped at the chance to showcase Charlie Moo’s there at Christmas.

Join us on Sunday December 2nd  between 10am-12 noon for Little Pickles Christmas Market at the Littledown Centre, Bournemouth which will not only have all the money saving pre-loved stalls,  but will also have Christmas gifts available from local business’. To make it extra special for the children there will be a visit from Father and Mother Christmas, a soft play area, festive craft activities and free face painting!


For more information on markets taking places across the country click HERE

By Chelle Langlands-Davey – Volunteer Little Pickles Markets Dorset Organiser
For more information about our Dorset Markets follow us on 
Facebook: Little Pickles Markets Dorset or tweet with us on Twitter: @LPMDorset

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What to do this October Half-Term?

The nights are drawing in, the heating’s coming on it must mean that October half term is round the corner and it certainly is!

As my Little Shrimp is only 2 years old I don’t have the shock of having to coming up with a weeks’ worth of entertainment for him like you may do if your child is at school or even pre-school.  We do however go to lots of activities during the week and I always think it’s a shame that most classes go on stop during the school holidays, but I guess everyone deserves a holiday and we’ll appreciate the things we enjoy more if we take break!

So I’ve been busy trying to rustle up some ideas of what you can get up during Half Term, and with the help of mums from the Southampton NCT, Netmums and tips from my dear friends here’s how I got on.

To kick off your half term with a swing there is plenty going on this Saturday, 27th October.  Pop along to Southampton Central Library between 11am-3pm for some free Spooky Crafts and why not pick up some spooky books while you’re there to get you in the Halloween spirit.

The Play Shack, Hedge End will be hosting a Fangtastic Halloween Fancy Dress Disco from 6-8pm for all your late night little pickles.  There will be party bags for every child plus entertainment from Scotty the Clown and much more.

Now, looking into the half term week (I feel like I’m writing a weather forecast) my next suggestion is hugely exciting and I actually heard about this when listening to BBC Radio SolentThe Discovery Centre, Winchester is hosting the Wessex Children’s Book Festival and boy do they have so much planned!  Does your little pickle like Thomas the Tank Engine, The Gruffalo, are they a want to be palaeontologist and would love to learn about Dinosaurs, are they a fan of Jacqueline Wilson stories and would like to meet the Dame herself?  Well the festival will be right up their street with 4 or 5 different workshops running from Tuesday to Friday!

If you’re looking for something which is completely free then Helen from Baby Sensory will be running free taster session at Mothercare Southampton on Wednesday 31st. I took Little Shrimp to Baby Sensory for nearly a year and can’t recommend trying out her classes enough.  Spaces are limited so check out Helen’s Facebook page for more info!


And if you’re looking to get very Spooky on Halloween itself then the Tudor House and Gardens in Southampton could be the place for you.  Take their family friendly ghost tour, enjoy craft activities and have fun in the vampire photo booth.

If going out every day seems a bit over the top then don’t feel guilty about staying in an enjoying the simple things in life.   Maybe have movie afternoon and enjoy some homemade popcorn while you all snuggle up on the sofa, arrange some playdates or even pop along to a Little Pickles Market and pick up a few bargains for the kids to play with.

We love Netmums so for more information on what’s on in your area make sure you check out their website.  As with all our suggestions please do check in advance that the activities are still running.

If you’re running any Halloween activities yourself or know of any great ones coming up feel free to share them in the comments below!

By Selina Shrimpton – Little Pickles Markets Dorset Organiser
For more information about our Dorset Markets follow us on 
Facebook: Little Pickles Markets Dorset or tweet with us on Twitter: @LPMDorset

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