Keeping school holiday costs down
We know the long school holidays can bring extra money worries with added childcare costs plus extra activities and food.
We've got some tips on keeping costs down during the holidays. Plus find out how the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) can help if you do have concerns about cash.
Free and Low-Cost Activities
Take a look at free and low-cost summer holiday activities in Buckinghamshire.
As a Family Information Service, we provide Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA) to parents and carers relating to services and facilities available.
Having hundreds of holiday activities on our directory is just one of the ways we do this, however, we know that holiday activities can be expensive, so that’s why we lookout for free and low-cost activities, and why our search result can be filtered by this important factor.
Early Bird Bookings and Sibling Discounts
Start thinking about the holidays early, or at least the times during the holidays that you know you’ll need something lined up. Many attractions and places running activities offer Early Bird discounts if you register before a particular date. Some may also reduce prices for any siblings that attend too. If it’s too late to get early bird discounts for summer, you will find October half term activities being added to the BFIS website already so plan head.
One of the ways you can find early bird bookings and offers is to check out the Offers Tab on the @BucksFamilyInfo Facebook page. We strive to bring the very best information to families in Buckinghamshire and though our adaptive approach, we continue to deliver our information in new and more useful ways. Surely worth a thumbs up?
Childcare, Funded Childcare and Holiday Schemes
Find Ofsted-registered childcare including funded childcare, holiday clubs and those who are inclusive for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Search by town, postcode, funding type and more.
Read about Tax-Free and 30 Hours Childcare to see if you could benefit from these government schemes.
Max Cards for children with SEND
If you have a child who is aged 0 to 19, has a Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND) and lives in Buckinghamshire, you can sign up to Pinpoint and receive a free Max Card which provides discounts at local and national attractions.
Pinpoint is the Disabled Children's Register for Buckinghamshire. This secure, voluntary database captures information about children and young people aged 0 to 19 years with SEND and helps the council to plan, monitor and develop appropriate facilities and services.
> Find out more about Pinpoint and Max Card
Check for discount codes and vouchers
Have you bought something online, clicked your way to the checkout and seen a box below the pay button saying Voucher or Discount code? That’s a sign. A sign you should pause and do a quick search for the item, the company, followed by “discount code”. There are dedicated websites that pull together such money-saving marvels and many newspaper websites have dedicated sections for this too. It’s the 21st century way of cutting out coupons. Often there will be coupons for activities, products and training courses. You could be surprised how much just a couple of minutes searching could save you. Websites such as Groupon and Wowcher are also good places to find discounted experiences and days out. Supermarket activity vouchers are also a common way parents and carers can save on activities and things to do for their children. If you have friends or family, why not ask them to send any surplus vouchers your way?
Know where to find information
Finding trusted sources of information can also help you save money. On the BFIS website, you will find Money, Benefits and allowances information and related services, however, here are a couple more sources with useful information that could save you money.
The Money Advice Service
Same stuff, cheaper price
Free printed guides
Including budget planning, how to help teenagers manage their money and lots more.
School Holiday Deals
Days out, free activities, restaurant offers and more.
Note: This article contains some ideas and considerations that could help to save money. It does not promote, encourage or validate any particular company, product or service.
About The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS)
Find Childcare, Childminders, Children's Centres, and Family Activities in Buckinghamshire and access free, impartial information covering a range of topics relating to family life including the Local Offer for SEND.
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to add your activity or event
LinkedIn: Buckinghamshire Family Information Service
Phone: 01296 383 065 or text: 07786 202 920 (Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm)
Eat Well and Move More This Summer
Modern life unfortunately makes it easy to be less active - and easy to eat too much food that isn't good for us!
But it's also really easy to make small changes that can actually make a big difference. Summer is the ideal time to give it a try. The warmer weather and longer days mean it's easier to get out and get a bit more active and there are loads of yummy food options that are great for health too.
Change 4 Life is a great website that can help your family to be healthier and happier, by providing healthy eating tips, quick and easy family recipes, fun activities for kids, offers and lots more!
So why not join Change 4 Life now, in time for the summer holidays, to receive regular information and join the four million families who have already signed up.
A great way to get more active is to try one of our free guided walks - all part of our 'Simply Walk' programme. There are more than 80 walks each week - it's free to come along, we cater for all levels and it's a great way to meet people and to put a spring in your step.
Check out which walks you might like at www.buckscc.gov.uk/simplywalk
Free NHS Health Checks
Think of an NHS Health Check as an early warning system. Early intervention and lifestyle changes lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and dementia developing unchecked.
You can find out more here
Obviously, we want everyone with an NHS Health Check invite from their GP to attend. However, the latest data shows fewer men than women go to their NHS Health Check and we want to change that trend in Bucks.
To be eligible for a Health Check, you must:
Be aged between 40 and 74
- Be a Bucks resident or have a Bucks GP
- Not been diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or had a stroke
- Not had an NHS Health Check in the last 5 year
Contact your GP to find out more and book an appointment.
Are you a carer?
With over 49,500 carers in Buckinghamshire and this figure set to rise, we really value what carers do.
Carers are a wide and varied group with differing needs: Young carers coping with school and college pressures, working people trying to balance job requirements and older carers needing to plan for the future.
It’s important all carers know where to find support and advice. This autumn we will be engaging with carers, and those who work with carers, about their priorities. Finding out about what kinds of things we can do to really make a difference.
There are other things that carers could also consider doing to help themselves:
- Tell your GP you are a carer– they can help by giving you longer appointments and signposting to suitable assistance.
- Tell your school or workplace you are a carer – once they know about your extra care responsibilities are they should support you bette
There's more information here
Health staff to be recognised for 'Kindness in Care'
Healthwatch Bucks is one of 148 local healthwatch organisations that were set up by the government back in 2012. Healthwatch exists to ensure that local people's feedback about their healthcare is directly used to shape how health services are provided.
Next week Healthwatch Bucks will be announcing the winner of their Kindness in Care competition - based on people's nominations for doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers and so on, who they have received great care from.
You can join Healthwatch Bucks as they celebrate great care across the county and hear the moving entries to the competition. There will be guest speakers talking about the importance of 'Kindness in Care' plus Healthwatch Bucks will also be launching their Annual Report which shows their achievements from the past year. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The event takes place on Tuesday 23 July at 6:30pm at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
For more information, visit www.healthwatchbucks.co.uk/annual-report-launch, or call 01844 34 88 39.
Take control of the healthcare you receive
We've already read about Healthwatch and how it works - and there's another way you can get directly involved in shaping healthcare services.
You can join your local Patient Participation Group - run through your local GP practice.
Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) work hand in hand with the GP practice to support and advise their local doctor’s surgery on patients’ needs.
GP surgeries across Buckinghamshire rely on the support from PPGs as they give a voice to all and help the surgery keep an ear to the ground. Groups are made up of patients from the surgery itself – no other qualifications are needed.
If you are interested in becoming part of a PPG then please contact your local doctor’s surgery for more information.
Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards
Winners and nominations were celebrated at the Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards 2019 held at the Waterside Theatre as part of the national Festival of Learning in June. The annual event, which was attended by over 130 people, recognises learners, trainees, assessors, tutors, learning support assistants, volunteers and staff.
This year’s ceremony marked the first time that the celebrations were extended to include learners from Buckinghamshire Adult Learning’s new Traineeship scheme. The scheme offers high quality work experience placements and employability workshops to young people aged 16 to 24.
Also included in the awards were nominations from the Supported Internship programme which provides work opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
The awards event was attended by the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Anita Cranmer who presented the certificates and awards to nominees and winners; and Sarah Callaghan, Service Director for Education.
Sandra Bacon – Adult Learner of the Year 2019
Alicia Stocke – Trainee of the Year 2019
Tim Wright – Tutor of the Year 2019
Gay Hutchings-Hay – Learning Support Assistant of the Year 2019
Richard Vincent – Volunteer of the Year 2019