Wonderful WASH Weekend
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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)
|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.
TAG 97 - The Awakening
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.
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
Doncaster 18 Plus
TAG Competition Results
1st Solihull; 2nd Redbridge
Men 1st Bryn Merideth, Rugby; 2nd Dave Ellis,
Women 1st Celia Millwall, Northwich; 2nd Linda
Men 1st Rob Pavitt, Chelmsford; 2nd Simon Frith,
Women 1st Julia Faulkner, Redbridge; 2nd Helen
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
National Executive Officer
5 Things You Never Knew ...
|... about Lawrence Huxley, NGOOT 98 Co-ordinator
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.
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.
He's hopeless at spelling.
His job involves sucking and blowing!
Yum yum! (Apparently you should ask his ex-lodger if you need an explanation
of this one.)
|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.
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
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.
North West Area Chairman
Now Get Out Of That 98
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).
Marlow 18 Plus
Now Get Out Of That
|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
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
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
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.
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.
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
|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.
Lichfield 18 Plus
Chairman MWA Publicity Working Party
|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.
|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
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.