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Six financial tips when planning to have a baby

Motherhood is an exciting and daunting time, so putting measures in place for financial security before the baby arrives can provide essential peace of mind.

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Maternity and paternity pay

To claim statutory maternity or paternity pay, employees need to have been in work for at least 26 weeks by the time the baby arrives and earn over £95 a week. Companies are only required to pay 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, then 33 weeks at £123 a week or 90% of weekly wages. Those who are self-employed are entitled to a government allowance. Maternity policies vary between companies, so it is always advisable to check employment contracts or speak to the HR department.

2. Making a will

Making a will is a very important consideration, particularly for those who are not married. Having a will ensures a person’s life insurance, death in service benefit and share of the house will go to their partner if they die. It is easy to do, costs around £150 and provides important financial security.

3. Life and critical illness cover

The value of a stay-at-home parent is often overlooked, but should something happen to them, alternative care would be needed. Childcare is estimated to cost around £25,000 per year per child. Nowadays, back office systems for IFAs mean they are well positioned to identify the appropriate products.

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4. Keeping track of your pension

It is not unusual for people to have more than one pension and desire consolidation. High-earning individuals nearing their annual allowance can also pay into a pension on their partner’s behalf. Many IFAs contact Intelliflo for back office systems in order to ensure they adhere to regulatory requirements when providing financial advice.

5. Planning to live on one salary

Things change after having a baby, and many people don’t want to return to work after parental leave. Childcare costs are often too high or an employer makes returning to work difficult. It is always advisable to understand employment rights, but it is also worth making arrangements, where possible, to live on one salary for at least a short period of time.

6. Savings

Conserving money is sensible in the long-term; children cost money and earning potential is likely to decrease for a period of time. It’s worth considering spending less on high-end items and saving the difference for the future.

Six of the best gifts from Ireland

Ireland is a popular travel destination for people wanting to explore history and culture. If you wish to buy yourself something memorable from the Emerald Isle or give a gift, there are so many ideas that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

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Whisky for friends and family

Ireland is synonymous with whisky, and a gift of one of the country’s famous brands is ideal for a friend. If they have impeccable taste, they will appreciate the grandeur of Ireland’s finest beverages such as Jameson, Tullamore, Wild Geese or Bushmills.

Gifts brought to book for loved ones

Ireland is associated with classic literature, and figures such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett are known by many scholars around the world. Books such as Ulysses bought from a traditional Irish bookshop make good gifts for the well-read. You can also buy bookmarks illustrated with quotations from many of the great Irish books.

Crystal makes a sparkling gift idea

A piece of quality crystal from either of the popular crystal companies, Galway and Waterford, will be appreciated. Crystal glasses and giftware can be found in various outlets, and they make excellent presents for those who like to display crystal in their home.

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Aran sweaters keep out the chill

Aran sweaters are a great gift idea and they’re versatile and comfortable, especially during the winter months. Quality sweaters can be obtained from suppliers such as https://www.shamrockgift.com/aran-sweaters. Chunky, warm and long-lasting, they have recently been modelled by celebrities, which certainly adds to the appeal.

Making music with instrument gifts

Perhaps someone in your family loves music? If so, consider buying a traditional Irish instrument. Musical instruments are perfect souvenirs for children and adults. The bodhrán and whistle are perhaps two of the best-known on the island of Ireland. The Irish bodhrán is created using goatskin and can be heard in action at ceilís, which are traditional Irish get-togethers during which people dance to Irish folk music.

Lovely linen comes in the form of tea towels and aprons

One of the most famous textiles companies is Ulster Weavers which can be found in Northern Ireland. A range of high q-uality linen and textile items are produced by the company, which is well established and respected. From aprons to tea towels and other home wares, Ulster Weavers gifts can be found in most souvenir shops around Ireland.

Keeping your teenagers up to speed with life skills post covid

When it comes to helping your teenager to navigate through life there are a number of things that as parents and carers that we want to ensure we share with them. Having these discussions are not always easy but they are incredibly important in creating a safe space for your teenager, developing a strong bond with them and enabling them to discuss their feelings in an open and honest manner. This has always been the case but is much more important today with the influences of social media and the number of teenagers and young adults that are suffering with anxiety and mental health issues. Here are some of the things that you may want to talk about with your teen: Read more

Creating a Playroom for your Kids

If you have been struggling to work from home whilst you have children running around under your feet, maybe bow is the time to create a playroom for them. Playrooms are a great way to keep large toys and games, as well as providing your children with an ideal environment to play in, whatever the weather – where they can make as much noise as they like!

The first thing to do is to find the room to add a playroom. The chances are, you don’t have any spare rooms not in use just hanging around, so you are going to have to create a room. Whether you choose to extend or maybe to add a conservatory for use as a playroom, you want to make sure that the room is large enough for kids to play in.

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Converting your garage to a playroom is the perfect solution – if your garage is just a junk storage room at the moment, then this is a great way to add a useful room to your home without having to build a whole new extension – a good clear out and new doors such as these from this garage door Swindon based company https://www.upandoverdoorsltd.co.uk/garage-doors/garage-doors-swindon/ are a good start.

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Decorate the playroom according to your child’s interests and ages, as well as considering practicality – a wipe clean floor is a much better idea than a carpet for example, but you could add kids playmats which you can easily put in the wash if they get dirty.

Remember the main aim of the room s to create a room where your kids can play and let their imaginations run wild, whilst also being practical and safe.

Getting your children to help with chores

Teaching your children the responsibility of helping with household chores is an important life skill, even if it can feel like an uphill struggle at times. There are a number of things that you can do to encourage your children to help.

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Chore jar – these jars work incredibly well. The idea is that you place all the household chores that need to be done on  individual pieces of paper that you then place inside a jar. Once you decide you are all going to clean your home, each family member, including the adults, takes out a piece of paper and that is their first chore. This way everyone ends up getting a chore they don’t like at some point.

Storage – make sure that you have enough storage in your home and invest in some Plastic Storage Boxes from https://www.rackzone.ie/containers-boxes to make your tidying job much easier. That way you can task each child with the responsibility of placing their own items back into the storage boxes.

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Make it fun – put on some music and dance around the living room whilst you are all cleaning. If children can find a way to enjoy themselves whilst undertaking household chores they are  more likely to willingly help you out next time.

The total joy of Trees.

Where would we be without trees? We would be in a very unpleasant world indeed. Trees are vital to not just humans but also the entire planet’s species. Simply put, without trees to convert the Carbon Dioxide we breathe out and turn it back into Oxygen then life cannot exist on earth or at least it will be very difficult to do so. Trees are not just carbon converters. They provide warmth, housing, paper and just as importantly they are aesthetically extremely pleasing on the eye.

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We have to maintain trees and this is why there are such professionals as a Poole Tree Surgeon who work to ensure they are healthy. It is of no real surprise that in the past we have worshipped trees and even now they are held in great reverence by many cultures in some capacity or other.

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So, the next time you are out on a walk take the time to observe the trees, see the shape of the trunk and ponder the decades it took to form. Listen to the wind in it’s leaves as it rustles. They are a great comfort and solace and we should give them the respect they are due.

The fun in a day of paintballing

A game of paintball is not only great fun but has a whole host of health benefits as well. Although considered an extreme sport, paintball is a game suitable for friends and family to play together. Here are some of the many benefits of engaging in a spot of paintballing:

Make your exercise regime more exciting

Whether you don’t have time for the gym or get bored easily, paintball offers an exciting alternative to working out. For those who regularly exercise paintball adds extra variety, keeping the workout fresh and fun. From a physical point of view, it’s good to change up your workout from time to time as doing the same workout becomes less effective over time. Paintball incorporates a full range of movement too, including climbing, running, crawling, ducking and diving. So why not contact a Coach Hire Dorset company such as https://turnerscoaches.co.uk/ and grab your family and friends and head off for a fun day of paintballing.

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Lose weight and boost your own immunity

Running around having fun is, of course, great for weight loss. A session of paintballing can be quite intense and the benefits of this include improved sleep and a boosted metabolism. Working out in a moderate to intense fashion is also great for releasing endorphins, lifting the mood and helping to combat stress. Burning calories on a regular basis is also beneficial for lowering the risks of heart disease, depression and blood pressure. Weight loss and immunity

Lower stress

The fast-paced nature of modern life means most of us build up stress without even realising. Stress can have a highly detrimental effect on both mental and physical health. Playing paintball is the perfect way to release vent up anger, stress and negative energy. The endorphins that get released during the game help to eliminate those anxious feelings and bring a greater sense of calm.

Focus on teamwork and leadership

Paintball is essentially a team game where teams compete against each other to fulfil an objective. The team ideally needs a strategy and all players working together. This is the part of paintballing that encourages team spirit. However, paintball can also be used to home leadership skills. A tense stand-off or a team in need of a morale boost will benefit from that one person who can bring the team together and find a way forward. It is a great self-confidence booster for many players.

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Totally entertaining

Last but not least, paintball is always growing in popularity because it’s a ton of fun. Not only does it help people maintain their weight and improves team building but it’s entertaining and gives players an adrenaline rush like nothing else. Running around shooting other players with dye pellets is the perfect stress-busting therapy for adults and big kids alike. There’s laughter, adrenaline, excitement and the perfect group activity to play with family, friends or colleagues.

 

 

How to Keep the Kids Happy and Busy at Home

With the kids being off school for the foreseeable future, and with nowhere to go with them many parents are probably tearing their hair out by now! These difficult times call for drastic measures and getting the kids to run off some steam is an important thing to do whilst we are all cooped up indoors. Here are a few ways you can keep them busy…

Back Garden Sports – If you have a garden you don’t need a huge amount of room – set up a basketball hoop and have a shootout (if you do get a ball to the window, contact https://www.nanduglass.co.uk/)  set up outdoor PE – a skipping rope for example, is good for this, and if you have a patio draw some chalk games like traditional hopscotch.

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Arts and Crafts – Arts and crafts are a great way for kids to spend time enjoying their creative side and you can even use it as a way to help out people who may be feeling a little lonely. Get your kids to make cards for elderly neighbours to brighten their day, or cheerful signs to stick in the window to raise a smile from passers-by.

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Reading – This is a great time to enjoy books – in our usual busy lives it is a sad truth that books often lay forgotten, but in these troubled times, engaging children with books can help transport them to another world and raise their spirits at what is a difficult period of adjustment.

School safety, know who is around!

Working in a School or College is exciting, rewarding and provides a different challenge every day. The children and young adults that attend your Educational place of work are vulnerable, bright, intelligent and relying on you and your colleagues to educate them and keep them safe. All Schools and Colleges must have a policy in place regarding Health, Safety and Security so that they can respond quickly to any incident.  Alongside a Safeguarding policy any security plan must compliment and run coherently so that all students are fully protected from threats, abuse and danger. Recording all visitors to your School or College can be a time consuming, arduous and tedious role.  There is however an easy way to keep these details safe and secure apart from manually writing them down into a visitor log book.  There are several different companies that can provide a Visitor Management System such as https://www.ofec.co.uk/web-and-software-development-services/digital-visitors-and-staff-signing-in-book.aspx

From the Queen, to famous footballers, the Prime minister, the Pope, pantomime troupes and science shows everybody has to be recorded and signed in securely.

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From Infants to Juniors, to Secondary and on to College young people love to have visitors to their place of education.  The change from the normal daily school routine is anticipated and enjoyed.  The buzz of excitement that visitors bring creates a new sense of anticipation to a lesson and the class are eager to learn from their new “teachers”.

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