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A musical celebration of sport

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2016 06 29 - Singathlon Concert

The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth had a stage full of probably the healthiest looking young singers ever seen in the theatre's long history.

On Friday 24 June, in front of proud parents, the public and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth primary-aged children from schools across the City were there to perform 'Singathlon', a concert celebrating healthy living, keeping fit, and working hard to achieve goals.

There was every possible costume on display, from footballers, to dancers to tennis players, and even the teachers got in on the act performing a song about weightlifting which included, to the delight of the children, a teacher 'struggling' under the weight of a set of plastic dumbbells.

The concert, produced by Portsmouth Music Hub, saw more than 200 hundred children perform a range of songs written by the Music Hub's team of composers, which included 'Triple Jump', 'Live a More Active Life', and a firm favourite with the audience 'Losers Like Me'; which made the point that without losers there are no winners.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said after the show: "In this Olympic Year it was the perfect time for a celebration of sport and keeping fit. The children gave some fantastic performances, and the Schools worked really hard to make the event such a success. Concerts like these are full of talent and enthusiasm and they are completely unforgettable, not only for the audience, but for the hundreds of children who took to the stage."

For further information please call Portsmouth Music Hub on 02392 375 655.

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Make a difference to their life... and yours

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If you've been considering fostering, the council's monthly drop-in sessions at the Civic Offices reception area restart this coming Tuesday, 5th July, from 7pm-8.30pm. There is no need to book, simply drop by for a chat with social workers and current foster carers, and see an informative presentation at 7.15pm.

The fostering service need people like you to provide a caring home, guidance and direction to children of all ages, and especially teenagers, where you could be just the role model and inspiration they need to help them turn their life around. There are numerous fostering opportunities available, from a stay at home full-time foster carer for a young child, to fostering a young person whilst continuing to work full or part-time.

Another option, if you do not feel full or part-time fostering is right for you, is simply providing a room and around 10 hours a week support to one Portsmouth's vulnerable 16-24 year olds through the "Lodgings Plus" scheme.

All Portsmouth carers are given excellent support, training, competitive allowances and fees for all fostering options available. You can foster regardless of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, whether single or part of a couple, or whether you own or rent your own home.

Cllr Ryan Brent, Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Social Care, said "We are looking for foster carers who can provide stability and care for some of our most vulnerable children and young people, especially teenagers, who need a range of periods of care from short to longer term placements, and an environment where they can grow, develop and achieve their goals. I would urge anyone considering fostering to come along to one of our monthly drop-in sessions."

For more information on fostering in general, please contact the Fostering Recruitment Team on 02392 834 071 for a chat to one of our friendly fostering social workers, visit www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk to enquire online, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Southsea Castle transforms gift shop

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Southsea castle web

Southsea Castle gift shop has been given a makeover to become the latest home of Waterfront Gifts.

Created by Portsmouth City Council, Waterfront Gifts offers a range of local and Portsmouth branded products as well as a wide range of waterfront themed gifts and decorative accessories.

The transformation follows the opening of Waterfront Gifts in Southsea Library and will help generate funds to support the services provided by museums and libraries at a time when the council is having to make savings.

Cllr Linda Symes, the council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, said: "This is the second Waterfront Gifts shop to open in the city, and another great example of how the council is becoming more commercially minded and generating money to support the valuable services we provide. There are some fantastic products on offer and a popular visitor attraction like Southsea Castle is the ideal place to showcase them."

Southsea castle is open Tuesday to Sunday free of charge and also includes the Courtyard Café offering a delicious range of food.

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Portsmouth Festivities: Another Great Year

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Ports Fest LogoAnother great year, another great variety of events, Portsmouth Festivities 2016 programme has ended and we have had some excellent feedback from audience members on the great variety of experiences we provide the city, and how enjoyable this year’s programme has been.

Their opening Gala Concert with the London Contemporary Orchestra was something new for Portsmouth audiences which left them pleasantly surprised with a taste of a genre of music some had never experienced. Portsmouth Festivities were delighted with LCO for their fantastic concert and involvement with young musicians from the Portsmouth Grammar School.

Portsmouth Festivities is nothing without the people of our great community, and the strength of our community and its love and participation with the arts was well and truly on display on the evenings of our Electric Lumiere displays at Portsmouth Cathedral and the Royal Garrison Church. Hundreds of people lined the banks of the sea wall to watch the illuminations provided by Luxmuralis, with media teams out in full force to catch the display.

The Spice Island Art Trail was once again filled with art lovers from around Old Portsmouth, Southsea and beyond, giving the High Street a buzz of activity between the Square Tower, Jack House Gallery and the Royal Naval Club.

The Cathedral was filled with the sublime sounds of Merton College, Oxford’s choir performing classics from the choral repertoire such as Bairstow, Sheppard and Duruflé; but also some outstanding contemporary pieces from Eriks Esenvalds, Jonathan Harvey, and Matthew Martin.

“Sometimes Folk, sometimes not” duo India Electric Co. displayed great showmanship at the Square Tower, entertaining in every sense, and with great musicianship.

The Festivities commemorative events were a great success this year with military historian Andy Robertshaw’s talks on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the Making of War Horse the Movie, and Dr Nick Walton from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, giving a fascinating insight into how Shakespeare’s legacy can be found wherever you look for the 400th anniversary of the bards death.

Physicist, author, and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili’s talk on Michael Faraday’s discoveries on electromagnetic induction and the way they have influenced the world around us fascinated the audience that filled the David Russell Theatre at The Portsmouth Grammar School.

Principal organist of Westminster Abbey Daniel Cook gave a powerful display of the instrument in Portsmouth Cathedral in his lunchtime live performance. Local a cappella choir the Nelson Consort presented a stylish programme at St Georges Church, Portsea that was equally stylish in execution.

Dr John Cooper Clarke and his supporting act, Simon Day were such a hit at the New Theatre Royal that audience member’s faces ached from laughter by the end. The New Theatre Royal also thundered with the inexorable energy of the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers with their captivating display of the different elements of Japanese performance art.

Portsmouth Festivities are very grateful to all who came to support our Festivities this year, and to their creative partner and community platform events that help to make up our huge variety of events and activities in our 10 days; unfortunately not all of whom could be mentioned.

The dates for next year’s Portsmouth Festivities are 16-25 June 2017.

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Disability Confident Event - 9th September 2016

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Disability Confident LogoPortsmouth Football Club, Warrior Room, 10 am to 1 pm

On Friday 9th September, Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South, is hosting Disability Confident, an event for local businesses and employers to learn more about the financial, operational and social benefits of being a Disability Confident Employer. To enable employers to make the most of the talent that exists amongst disabled people in this country, this event, supported by the Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson MP, is to encourage employers to understand the business benefits of employing disabled jobseekers.

Local employers, role models and employees are invited to this event which will showcase how people with a disability can make a major contribution to local business success and challenge negative attitudes to disability employment.

Disabled people make up almost 20% of the working age population, many being highly qualified individuals. Employers can sometimes be reluctant to employ them, missing out on a valuable pool of potential and skills. The event also aims to challenge the many myths about disabled people taking more days off sick, costing money to have workplace adjustments and creating a fear of discrimination claims.

If you wish to attend, please confirm your attendance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You can also contact her office on 02392 292 690 if you have any queries about any aspect of the event.

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