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November 1997

Wonderful Wash Weekend

Editor's Column

TAG '97 - The Awakening

TAG Competition Results

A Local's View

5 Things You Never Knew About... Lawrence Huxley

Kickstart '97

Now Get Out Of That '98

Free Publicity

St. John Ambulance Bursary

Wiggle Those Hips

Thank You

Nicholson House

National News


Wonderful WASH Weekend

Madhouse at WASH '97WASH has always been my favourite 18 Plus weekend. Hunstanton for me typifies the British seaside and I enjoy my annual pilgrimage to West Norfolk. If you're particularly unlucky I will tell you that Hunstanton is the only English east coast resort where you can watch the sun set over the sea. But down to business. 

We got to our caravan early on Friday evening. We were the last of our group to arrive and hence got the smallest bedroom. Fortunately we had been winners in the caravan lottery and had a luxury caravan so even the smallest bedroom was perfectly adequate. The quality features of our caravan, particularly the bas-relief of a dolphin in the shower and the toaster, aroused great jealousy in visitors to our caravan. 

Bon Jordi at WASH '97For some in our caravan the first priority was to go down to the chip shop to renew acquaintance with the Pukka Pies. We decided that the attractions of the Chinese takeaway in town were even greater and headed down to the bustling (?) centre of Hunstanton. After the very reasonably priced takeaway it was a quick wash and brush up and off to the disco. 

We made it just in time to see the first band "Pseudo" and marvel at the DJ's pronunciation of their name. The other thing that surprised me was that a band made up of teenagers played mostly the same songs as bands did when I was a teenager (some years ago!) They did a very creditable job and set the tone for the weekend. 

wash '97I particularly liked the name of Friday's second band, "Bon Jordi". Tribute bands have been some of the best bands I have seen at numerous 18 Plus weekends over the years and this band was no exception. They ran through Bon Jovi's greatest hits and whilst the lead singer didn't quite do for the girls what Jon Bon Jovi would have done I enjoyed the performance. 

I seemed to spend the evening working my way round the bottled drinks with funny names and colours at the bar and before I knew it the lights had come on and we were ushered out into the cold. 

wash '97On Saturday morning I woke brighter than perhaps I deserved and after feeding the ducks it was down to the shops to buy up Hunstanton. We even went into the joke shop and stocked up on a few essentials, including the bargain inflatables. 

We managed to entertain ourselves for the rest of the day without going to the karaoke but we were all wrapped up and ready for the fireworks coach when it arrived. A bit of standing around in the cold and a few big bangs later it was back in the coach (sadly without having won a large Winnie the Pooh or Teletubbie at the sideshows) and off to the caravan to microwave our dinner. 

China Black at WASH '97Sadly in some ways there didn't seem to be a fancy dress competition this year although this didn't stop some people dressing up and one young lady largely undressing, much to people's general entertainment. Saturday evening started with "Colin Barber's Madhouse" who obligingly got their chests out to partially compensate for the lack of "Foxx" this year. They managed to sing a few good covers as well. Next up was "China Black" who did what name acts usually do. He sung his slightly limited repertoire to a backing track, then sung one of them again as an encore. It's a bit of a shame we didn't get to hear what is obviously a reasonable singing talent do a few more songs. 

In my view the last act of the evening were the best. "Charley" were a well-practised and highly technological act. They sang some very good cover versions and their plastic outfits kept the men wondering what would happen if you undid one of the zips! 

Sadly we had to go home on Sunday but I'm told that Sunday night's acts were excellent, particularly Lorraine Crosby, but that one of the afternoon comedy acts was a bit near the knuckle. 

I've noted the dates for WASH 98 (6th to 8th November) in my diary. See you there! 

Staff reporter (and photographer) 


Editor's Column

Thank you for all the articles and photos received for this issue. The deadline for the next issue is 2nd January 1998 and the issue will be out in February.
Katie Hawkins 

TAG 97 - The Awakening

TAG '97Three Doncaster Plussers had their first taste of a National weekend. They were "Sporty Spice" Steve Wilson, "Make mine a double" Craig Dumville and the once shy Colette Liversidge. 

On arrival it was all hands on deck to erect the tents before cracking open the booze and sitting in the sun. The pace quickened at the welcome disco. From now on it was party, party, party. 

We found everyone so friendly. Our friends from Essex and Kent turned out to have a lot in common with Colette. "Cucumber" (she will know who I mean) took an instant shine to Craig. 

Spice Blokes (Solihull 18 Plus) at TAG '97Saturday was for active bodies. Steve joined a group for a spot of white water rafting. Doing their best to avoid the blue/green algae, raft 3 was the only raft not to lose a crewmember overboard. We were tossed from side to side in cold and wet conditions. However the lads didn't mind being thrown over Sarah, the only female on board. 

Then the rain came down! The barbie we had planned for Saturday evening turned into a trip to MacDonalds. Who says camping has to be primitive? Nighttime saw the first of the live acts. "Kane" didn't prove to be our cup of tea, or Craig's double vodka, so we supported the bar instead. 

The Real Ale Trip certainly proved to be an eye opener. Colette acquired a liking for the alcoholic beverage and after that there was no holding her back. The drinking game ended in a wet T-shirt for our team. 

The second band of the weekend "Reality" were fantastic - a group to look out for in the future. By this time the tents had started to leak so it was up to the gentlemen to share their tent with the damsels in distress. The night was cold and wet so in the early hours two of our group made a dash for the car. Comfort on the last night! 

We would do it all again - rain or shine. TAG is an event not to be missed! 

Steve Wilson 

Doncaster 18 Plus 


TAG Competition Results

1st Solihull; 2nd Redbridge 

Golf Chipping 
Men 1st Bryn Merideth, Rugby; 2nd Dave Ellis, Rugby 

Golf Chipping 
Women 1st Celia Millwall, Northwich; 2nd Linda Street, Romiley 

Men 1st Rob Pavitt, Chelmsford; 2nd Simon Frith, Romiley 

Women 1st Julia Faulkner, Redbridge; 2nd Helen Knowles, Chelmsford

A Local's View

I was asked some time last year if I could think of any suitable venues for TAG 97. It was thought at the time that the most suitable area of the country would be Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire and as I was local I came up with a couple of suggestions. 

When I heard that one of the venues I had suggested had been approached and then booked I was very surprised. It was to be at Holme Pierrepont Water Sports Centre in West Bridgford, Nottingham - less than 5 miles away from my house! 

At the time that the venue was booked I did actually live at my house but by the time the August Bank Holiday arrived I had let it to someone else and moved in with my fiancée in Leicester! Going to TAG 97 was like "going home" - a real busman's holiday. 

On the Saturday I went shopping with a list of things for everyone on the site. I visited all the places that I used to go to when I lived locally. I bumped into my boss as she lives near Holme Pierrepont. As I was on holiday it seemed really strange. 

The Real Ale Trip went to Derby city and I was amazed at the route taken by the bus driver. Driving through Nottingham and on to Derby I pointed out some local landmarks - where I went to school, where I used to live, where my Mum lives and my work place. I also told various stories about pubs and restaurants we passed. No one really seemed interested in my "guided tour" and after being told to shut up several times I did just that. 

I really enjoyed the weekend and all credit must go to the organising committee for arranging an excellent holiday. The bit I enjoyed most was right at the end of the weekend - when driving home we knew it would only take us half an hour and everyone else a lot longer! It's about time as it's hours to AMMO and WASH for us. 

Who knows, if TAG is held in the same place next year I may have sold my house and be working somewhere else. Then it'll be a real trip down memory lane! 

Jo Shaw 

National Executive Officer

5 Things You Never Knew ...

... about Lawrence Huxley, NGOOT 98 Co-ordinator
  1. He is fanatical about pigs due to his surname (ie Huxley the Pig Farmer) - hence the name of his house is Dunpiggin. He has a pig light cord pull in his toilet, numerous pig ties, a pig teapot, pig oven gloves and three stone pigs in his back garden.
  2. He has a thing about Terri Hatcher but he preferred her hair in a bob. If she's not available then Demi Moore would do.
  3. He's hopeless at spelling.
  4. His job involves sucking and blowing!
  5. Yum yum! (Apparently you should ask his ex-lodger if you need an explanation of this one.)

Kickstart 97

The Kickstart weekend had arrived and as we all arrived we went over to the Red Lion pub and had a general session of getting to know the other course attendees. During the evening in the pub we found out that there was a "stag party" going on. The lads singing entertained us until our National Chairman, Sandra Bradshaw, started howling. That shut the lads up and has probably got us banned from the Red Lion for life. 

Sandra BradshawWhen we arrived back at Nicholson House some of the attendees went to bed (a very bad move). As the Surrey/Sussex members came to bed the giggling began. One member by the name of Tracy hid Sandra Bradshaw's quilt, which resulted in Sandra then moving Tracy's bed and bedding. The other member Sarah, dressed only in a very comely nightshirt, was sent to get the booze and biscuits from her car. She was confronted by Andy White as she sneaked back into Nicholson House. We then had a midnight party in the 7 bedded room which lasted until approximately 2.15am (even Andy's son, Benedict attended). 

The Saturday session was split into two groups for either development or publicity, which were excellent. The afternoon activity was to either plan a new group or new members evening and from this there were lots of new ideas put forward. On Saturday evening we had a game of skittles in the Red Lion. Even Andy Bond took part but Rebecca cheated and won. 

On Sunday we had group hosting/programme planning plus the National Recruitment Campaign and a session on National development. Lots of new ideas came out of this and at least two of these ideas were going back to the October NEC meeting. 

The attendees would like to thank Rebecca and Andy White for all their hard work and for making the course so enjoyable. Also of course the cook, Sandra Bradshaw who had to depart on Saturday evening otherwise Anthony would have been going on holiday without her. 

Elaine Padley 

North West Area Chairman 

Now Get Out Of That 98

NGOOT '97Now Get Out Of That, or as it is affectionately called NGOOT, is a Plus weekend away not always well attended. What is it that doesn't make it appeal to most members - is it the thought of a long and arduous walk, sleeping under canvas or that your group can't make up a team? What do we like about NGOOT and what haven't we liked? 

These are the questions that the NGOOT 1998 co-ordinator and his team of helpers asked themselves in order to make it more appealing and here are the answers. 

- The thought of the long and arduous walk - not so long and not too arduous, with lots of pubs on the way. 

- Sleeping under canvas - well there is nothing we can change about that but we can assure you that the campsite does not flood. It has been tried and tested on one of the wettest weekends of the year as you can see by the photo. 

- Your group cannot make up a team - don't worry, contact us and we can join you up with others who also can't make up a team. 

The organisation of NGOOT is started very early and all aspects tried out, including the weather. Our last organisation weekend turned out very wet with only a couple of us realising our tents were still waterproof. 

NGOOT 1998 over the weekend of 2nd - 3rd May is not to be missed! Come exercise your mind and your body (just a little bit). 

Gill Quinn 

Marlow 18 Plus 

Now Get Out Of That

Free Publicity

In my capacity as External Public Relations Officer the NEC asked me to investigate various forms of publicity and recommend those which I felt were most effective. 

Over the last few months I have tried different forms of publicity which has been worded to suit the relevant media and targeted at 18-29 year olds. I have monitored the response through enquiries via Nicholson House to establish which has been the most effective. Although paid advertisements have produced some interest the majority of enquiries have come through sources which were free. After I reported this back to the NEC I have had a couple of requests from groups for ideas on how to get free publicity. Below is a list of just some avenues of free publicity which groups could investigate. 

Free ads - Most areas have local classified papers which groups can advertise in for free. 

Local newspapers - There are various ways local newspapers can prove useful. They often print press releases of local events (provided you send them some!). You could reply to relevant letters on the letter page or write yourself introducing the topic of youth activities. Most papers also have an agony aunt/uncle who may not know that 18 Plus exists - a short letter introducing yourself and 18 Plus could produce numerous enquiries. 

Local radio - Most local radio stations have a "What's On" programme so let them know that 18 Plus is What's On! Send faxes and letters to the DJ's that appeal to 18-29 year olds - eventually you will get a mention. Enter the competitions as "Joe Bloggs from Anytown 18 Plus Group" and phone into the chat shows mentioning 18 Plus. 

Leaflet drops - These do not have to be done road by road where you do not know if the right people are getting to know about your group. Get permission from your local shopping centre, bus station, night club, etc to hand out leaflets on their premises or by their main door and 'target' those within the right age range. 

Business cards - Produce a small brightly coloured card with the minimum of information on it, such as your group's name and venue and a catchphrase such as "Max your life with 18 Plus". These can be taken on group events and left for other people to pick up who will have the same interests as the group. 

These are just a few ideas, which can be used in conjunction with the usual publicity posters, library displays and your group publicity plan. If any one has any other suggestions why not write to Plus News and share your ideas. 

Judy Horsburgh 

National External Public Relations Officer

St John Ambulance Bursary

A St John Ambulance Nursing Bursary was presented to Michelle Oldman of Sale, Cheshire by The Rt. Hon. Baroness Emerton DBE DL of Tunbridge Wells and Clerkenwell at a ceremony held at St John's Gate, Clerkenwell, London on Tuesday 30 September. 

Applicants for the bursary, which was sponsored by the Federation of 18 Plus Groups, were required to write a research proposal on the prevention of the formation of pressure sores and the preservation of skin condition in the first aid and community care. 

St. John Ambulance BursaryMiss Oldman will receive a cheque for £750. Her proposal concerned ways to reinforce the awareness of St John Ambulance personnel in the importance of the assessment and correct treatment of wounds to enhance healing by preventing further skin damage and the formation of pressure sores. 

Michelle Oldman began her nursing career as a cadet nurse at Altrincham General Hospital in 1968. After qualifying as a SRN in 1973 she became a Theatre Staff Nurse and later a Theatre Sister. She completed the District Nurse course in 1981 and is currently a District Nursing Sister with Trafford Health Authority. She joined St John Ambulance in Greater Manchester in 1984 and has held various positions since. She is at present County Care in the Community Officer, Greater Manchester. 

Roger Newstead 

St John Ambulance 

Footnote - In 1978 St John Ambulance was one of our National Charities. The money we raised for them was invested by them and the interest from it funds the annual bursary. 

St. John Ambulance

Wiggle Those Hips

Whitefield 18 Plus recently attended a Greek Night held at a local hotel. The evening began with a meal and disco. During the night we had Greek dancing which some members of the Group took part in. We were also entertained by a belly dancer who got members of the audience up to join her. Neil from Whitefield was chosen by the belly dancer and gave us great entertainment. If any other Area wants a demonstration of belly dancing then Neil can be loaned at a reasonable rate. 

Whitefield 18 Plus Committee

Thank You

An update on the Mid West Area Assault Course Challenge. We raised a grand total of £1,350. Many thanks once again to all those who either took part or sponsored people. 

Melanie Greaves 

Lichfield 18 Plus 

Chairman MWA Publicity Working Party

Nicholson House

For the last few years the National Federation of 18 Plus has not received any grant funding from the DFE. This has meant that our only income has come from memberships. It has become increasingly difficult for the National Executive Council (NEC) to produce a break even budget. This has only been achieved by carrying out some stringent cost saving measures such as cutting National Officers' budgets, cutting staff hours, etc. This has obviously affected the service that can be provided to ensure the long-term future of the Federation. The NEC are aware of this and obviously want to change this, as do many 18 Plus members. 

Nicholson House has been an asset to the Federation for many years. However there is major work that will need to be completed on the house within the next five years which includes re-roofing part of the building, replacement window frames, re-pointing brickwork and replacing wooden soffits. This is going to cost many thousands of pounds, which the Federation will be unable to pay if the present climate continues. Five years ago groups were queuing up to stay at Nicholson House, providing valuable income to help with its upkeep. However, for at least the last two years, Nicholson House has only been booked for a third of the available time. This has reduced the income radically and does not cover its basic running costs. This brings into question the viability of having residential headquarters. 

With all the above in mind, the NEC have decided unanimously to put Nicholson House up for sale. The house has been valued at approximately £130,000 - £150,000. Some DFE grant money which was given when the house was purchased will probably have to be paid back. From the information received this is not anticipated to be above £30,000. The proceeds from the sale will open up a new future for the Federation, allowing investment on some big projects. Any project proposals would be carefully explored once a buyer has been found. It is intended that offices will be rented within Newent to house the administrative headquarters, which will cost approximately £5,000 per annum. This is because the Federation has valuable, experienced office staff who could not be replaced. 

Estate agents have informed us that it will probably take up to two years before a buyer is found, so there will not be any big changes overnight. This means that bookings for Nicholson House can still be placed - phone the office for availability. 

It is important to stress that this does not mean the closure of the Federation. It is, in fact, the opposite - 18 Plus is entering a phase which ensures it long term prospects and the chance to establish some exciting projects for the future without stringent monetary constraints. As more information is available, your Group will be informed. The full version of this letter has been sent to all Groups. 

Sandra Bradshaw 

National Chairman 

Nicholson House

National News 

There seems to be a National epidemic - of engagements! 

First Jo Shaw, National Executive Officer, got engaged to Keven Woodhead at AMMO in July. 

This was followed by Tracey Horne, Thames Valley Area Chairman, and Lawrence Huxley, NGOOT Co-ordinator, who became engaged in August. 

Not wanting to be left out, Tom Seddon, Chiltern Area Chairman, and Suzy Sampson of Welwyn Garden City 18 Plus got engaged in September whilst on holiday in Tunisia. 

David Thomas Grey was born on 21st October weighing 6lb 13oz. His parents are Karen and Ian. Karen is one of our Vice-Presidents and former Honorary General Secretary and Ian is former ANC Chairman. 

Congratulations to you all. 

June Addis who is our cleaner at Nicholson House is unwell at the moment. We hope she will be on the mend soon. 

Katie Hawkins was re-elected as Plus News Editor at the October NEC meeting. 

Also elected were the TAG committee who are starting to work towards next year's event. For any information contact the TAG Chairman, Jon Black on 01705 504656. 



 Last updated 22 February 2007 by