Churchgoers donate hundreds of Easter eggs to needy families

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Easter eggs appeal web

More than 800 disadvantaged children and young people in Portsmouth will get a chocolate Easter egg this week – thanks to the amazing generosity of city churchgoers.

Church of England churches across Portsmouth have been collecting Easter eggs during Lent, so they can be donated to children and young people supported by the Roberts Centre and Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS). More than 800 Easter eggs have now been handed over to those two charities.

The Roberts Centre in Landport supports families facing homelessness, family breakdown or difficult times. SDAS supports women and children affected by domestic violence through its refuge and outreach services.

The appeal was spearheaded by St Mary’s Church in Fratton Road.

Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary’s, said: “It has been an amazing response to the appeal for eggs. Each week I have watched with wonder as more and more people of every age donate Easter eggs.

“We have been overwhelmed to see the generosity expressed and delighted to share them with others as a reminder of the overwhelming and generous love of God shown to us in Jesus.”

Churchgoer Sarah Merrick, whose three foster children donated Easter eggs, said: “The children wanted to do something to help and they chose to save up their pocket money to buy eggs for the appeal. They have been through what a lot of the children who are going to receive these eggs have been through, and they know the joy of someone else caring about them.

“These children might be in really difficult circumstances through no fault of their own. The love people have shown through giving an Easter egg means that these children get something that lots of people and most children accept as the norm. We are sharing God’s love with other people who potentially might not have anything.”

Nadine and her three-year-old daughter receive support from the Roberts Centre. The family are on a low income and without the appeal, Nadine would have struggled to afford a chocolate egg for her daughter this year.

Nadine said: “I think it is a brilliant idea. There are so many families on such a low income base and they can’t afford to buy Easter eggs and this appeal means that each child has got one egg and one smile on Easter morning when they open them.

“It warms my heart. It gives me hope. I can put that money on electric or contribute it to another bill rather than have to worry about my daughter and Easter egg hunts and things.

“When she sees this egg she will probably pick it up kiss it, throw it on the floor and then run around with such a big smile on her face. She will love it.”

Jo Eamey, SDAS’s business support and development manager, said: “A lot of our families are very short of money and receiving an egg in this way means that they have one less thing to worry about when they are struggling to support their children.

“They are always really appreciative of collections like these. When they are at their lowest ebb it helps them to know that there is a whole community of people who care about them.”


Portsmouth Music Hub concert season

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Soundsational Image 1 web

More than a thousand children and young people from Schools, Academies and Colleges from across Portsmouth have been performing a series of concerts as part of Portsmouth Music Hub's end of term season of events.

It started with more than 250 singers, dancers and musicians, aged from 11 to 18, taking to Portsmouth's Guildhall stage on Wednesday 9 March for the concert Soundsational. There was a wide range of acts on offer for the hundreds of families and members of public who filled the Guildhall. Portsmouth Music Hub's own Rock Band performed tracks from Coldplay and The Beatles, and in a tribute to David Bowie they played his legendary hit Starman. The concert came to an end with more than 150 students filling the stage for a Massed Choir performance of Bob Marley's One Love and Take That's Rule the World.

A few days later, on Thursday 17 March, more than 500 children, aged from 4 to 6, were at the Kings Theatre in Southsea for the Infant Voices concert. Singing songs about well-known fairytales, the stage was packed with colourful costumes from every character imaginable, including the Mad Hatter, Puss in Boots, the Big Bad Wolf and of course his arch rival, Little Red Riding Hood.

Portsmouth Music Hub returned to the Guildhall on Monday 21 March for the final concert of the term, Songscape. The concert was performed by more than 400 children, aged 6 to 11, and the songs were taken from the Music Hub's award-winning series of songbooks. Shark With a Heart, Moon Rock Boogie and Portsmouth By the Sea were just some of the songs performed by the children.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub said: "The past few weeks have been exciting, with lots of hard work, but fulfilling for all those involved. The teachers, the parents and the team at the Music Hub have worked exceptionally hard to give so many children and young people the opportunity to perform at the best venues in Portsmouth. The children have done an amazing job, and Portsmouth should be proud to know that we have such dedicated and enthusiastic young singers, dancers and musicians."


Lord Mayor revs up charity appeal

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The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, a keen motorcyclist, is joining fellow riders for a charity ride next month.

The annual event, on Sunday 3 April, will see him ride with other motorbike and scooter enthusiasts from Lakeside, North Harbour to Castle Field in Southsea.

Their machines will go on show at a free event at Castle Field, from 10am­ to 4pm, which will include a best bike contest, displays, stalls, a live Express FM broadcast and refreshments.

It is being organised by the Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal, in aid of local good causes, and the Royal British Legion. There will be a chance to donate to the appeal during the event.

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Frank Jonas, is a keen motorbike rider and a regular spectator at the TT races on the Isle of Man.

He said: "This year's Lord Mayor's Motorcycle and Scooter Charity Ride is building on the success of previous events. It's a fun way of raising money.

"Although my charity appeal is well on the way to hitting its target, we still have more small local charities I'd like to support with a £1,000 donation each. I'm calling on everyone to help make this support a reality for the organisations on our fundraising list."

For more information about the event, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07702 286 392.

To donate to the Lord Mayor's appeal, residents can go to


New online destination springs up for Portsmouth International Port

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PiP Site

With the fresh new shoots of spring comes a whole new look for the Portsmouth International Port website - a complete redesign and reworking of the Port’s online presence.

The new website arrives as the Port prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in June, looking back to first ferry operations in 1976 and forward to an exciting future.

The website is now fully responsive, and works on smart phones, tablet computers and, of course, PCs and laptops. That means people on the move can get all the important information they need, whatever device they are using at the time.

Uncluttered, with a clean and fresh new look, the website is now even easier to navigate. All areas of the business have been colour coded to make it easier to move around.

The website certainly packs a punch when it comes to pictures - the whole design is much more visual, with a reduction in the amount of text on each page. There are also plenty of images to help tell important stories about what makes Portsmouth International Port special.

A decision to redesign the website came after extensive customer research. Experts at the Hampshire based Purple Agency consulted with management, operators and passengers before creating the new online portal. They were keen to maintain the all-important information required by passengers, whilst giving the site a modern new look.

Martin Putman, Port Manager, said “I’m delighted with the new look All the important information passengers and business customers require is there, but with a striking new look that can be viewed on any type of internet connected device.”

The new website went live on Monday 21st of March, ahead of the all-important Easter Weekend - one of the busiest periods of the year at Portsmouth International Port.

For further information please contact Emma Gaisford or Julie Blackwell on +44 (0)1256 631 696 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Easter activities at Gunwharf Quays

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Gunwharf Quays web

Easter dining treats
Take a family trip to Frankie and Benny’s where kids eat free this Easter Sunday! Feast on Mamma’s classic F&B meatballs or a build-a-burger. Family-favourite, Giraffe, offers a kid’s meal deal including a main and a drink for just £5.65. For that chocolate fix head to Carluccio’s deli and shop from their wide selection of Easter goodies, including a chocolate bunny, white chocolate goose with a golden egg and a spring-themed Easter basket.

Family fun at Bowlplex
Hop along to Bowlplex at Gunwharf Quays this Easter, for a family bowling session with fun-packed activities including face painting, an Easter treasure trail, competitions and an appearance from mascots Bumper and Squeak. A ‘Bowl over the Bunny’ game will be running from 4-6pm throughout the Easter holidays, giving families the chance to win Easter treats. Why not round off an afternoon of bowling with a trip to the vintage carousel. Back by popular demand, the carousel will be positioned in Central Square throughout the Easter weekend.

Air Max Day
Visit the Nike store on 26th March to be in with a chance of winning a pair of Air Max trainers. With competitions running throughout the day and up to 50% off children’s and adults Air Max, everyone is a winner!

Be artistic at Aspex gallery
Turn your little ones into artists this Easter with Aspex Gallery’s Easter holiday workshops at Gunwharf Quays. Workshops include a special mini makers workshop for preschool children, with story telling and children’s entertainment, a young artist’s workshop for 11-15 year olds and a holiday art club for 8-11 year olds. Visit for information on how to book.

Easter on the water
For a fun, alternative family activity, Miniport at Gunwharf Quays is a great opportunity for your children to express their sense of adventure sailing mini ships. A trained team ensure a relaxed and enjoyable time is had in a sheltered location alongside the marina. Head down to the Miniport from 11am – 5pm throughout the Easter holidays. Or head down to the Gunwharf marina for a 20 minute, family fast blast rib ride, an adrenaline filled ride for all the family.

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