Equifax research highlights that a third of parents feel pressured to buy the latest technology for their children

In support of the tenth annual My Money Week[1] (11-17 June 2018) Equifax has partnered with Young Enterprise in order to equip young people to grow-up with the life skills, knowledge and confidence they need to successfully earn and manage money. This year, Equifax will be the sole sponsor of its national competition, the theme of which is young peoples’ ‘needs and wants’. The aim is to explain the financial decision making process in a fun and interactive way to engage pupils.

Underlining the need for broader awareness amongst young people of the cost of the things they want – and how they might be financed - the credit information provider has released research which reveals that a third of parents admitted feeling pressured by their child to buy them the latest technology, and 35% felt pressured to buy fashionable clothing for their children.

My Money Week is a national activity week for primary and secondary schools that provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters to thrive in society.

“Our findings suggest that some parents are feeling under pressure to spend on their children when they may already be financially stretched,” explains David Stiffler, Vice President of Global Corporate Social Responsibility at Equifax. “As well as spending money on technology, nearly a quarter of parents said they have been put under pressure to keep up with the latest gaming devices and online apps, and a further 29% said their child pressured them to buy the latest toy craze.

“More than ever before, Equifax is committed to making a difference to the communities in which we live and work and My Money Week is a fantastic opportunity to encourage both parents and schools to help the younger generation appreciate financial values. The right attitude about money management starts at home so it is very encouraging to see a campaign that will teach children more about managing money in a way that is practical and relevant to them.”

The Equifax research also highlights how 11% of parents will spend between £51-£100 just on technology such as tablets, laptops and smart phones, for their child every school year. A further 10% admit to spending between £151- £200.

Russell Winnard, Head of Educator Facing Programme and Services at Young Enterprise, said, “It is important to have the right foundations from an early age to ensure that young people continue to manage their money well throughout their life. The aim of My Money Week is to improve financial capability for young people in primary and secondary schools. It’s all about teachers and parents inspiring young people to be financially literate, and the statistics from Equifax demonstrate just how important it is to learn about finances from an early age.”

To help parents keep control of their budget, Equifax has added an interactive Equifax Budget Planner to the tools on its website.

Game On! Joe Swash visits Surrey family at home for gaming session

Joe Swash takes on Surrey family at video gaming – but who comes out on top?

Half of parents describe gaming as a bonding activity that has brought them closer to their children

The Lane family won the #LetsPlayMay competition to win a bundle of top video games, delivered by Joe Swash 

The competition winners, mum Kim Lane (35), dad Will (35), daughter Mia (15) and son Seth (9) spent the evening with Joe, playing a number of console games including LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 and Rocket League and dad took Joe on for some rounds of WWE 2K18.

Research commissioned for the #LetsPlayMay campaign has found that over half (53%) of British parents describe video gaming as a bonding activity that has brought them closer to their children, with 44% saying that secret gaming practice has led their kids to think of them as ‘cool’.

“This month I’ve been encouraging people of all ages to give gaming a go together. For me, it’s gone from a personal hobby to a great way to bond with my son, Harry. He’s ten and loves gaming, so it provides a chance for us to hang out and chat while his guard is down… and I get to show off some of the skills I’ve picked up from years of playing.”

“It’s not just for kids though. I also game with Stacey [Solomon], she’s really good and there’s a bit of rivalry there. It was a pleasure to hang out with the Lanes and great to meet another family who spends time together doing this activity that everyone loves. There was definitely some friendly competition on the night, I’ve got to admit Seth and Mia taught me a couple of new tricks and Will may have beaten me once or twice…!”

Mum, Kim Lane, commented “We were thrilled to invite Joe into our home for the evening, it was such a laugh to see him take on our whole family, and then battle it out against my husband. For us, gaming is one of the activities we enjoy as a whole family and something I’ve learned to do, really to gain some cool points with my kids! Joe’s welcome back anytime for round two, we’ll be practising with the games he kindly brought us.”

#LetsPlayMay is a UK-wide campaign encouraging people of all ages to give gaming a go. A number of console games are available on promotion at selected retailers across the country this month.

The UK's first open-air cinema specifically for children launches this summer

The Luna Cinema launches BRAND NEW outdoor cinema for kids running from July to September in six venues across the country.  The programme includes screenings of family-friendly classics such as The Lion King and Aladdin, alongside this year’s blockbusters including Paddington 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as musical phenomenon The Greatest Showman. Newly added to the Luna Kids schedule, the first ever outdoor screenings of The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man. Luna Kids will utilise the highest definition outdoor screen in the country, meaning a crystal-clear picture even in full daylight.

Going to the cinema with young children can be stressful; getting little people to sit still for over an hour, negotiating constant snack and toilet breaks whilst also trying to stay quiet can be tough. That is why this year the UK’s leading open air cinema company The Luna Cinema is launching Luna Kids Cinema, the UK’s first and only open-air cinema experience designed specifically for families and children of all ages.

Over the summer holidays from 21st July through to 4th September, parents and kids can enjoy a fun cinema experience together in the fresh air and summer sunshine. Families can take their pick from nearly 100 screenings across the UK, including new blockbusters and award-winners, such as The Greatest Showman Sing-along and Early Man to classics such as Toy Story and Harry Potter. Other highlights and family-favourites include Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Despicable Me 3.

For the first time on an open-air screen, Luna Kids Cinema will be presenting multi-award winning ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Room on the Broom’ and ‘Stick Man’ – the phenomenally popular animated films based on the classic picture books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. At a running time of half an hour for each of the three titles, it means cinema revellers with younger children can enjoy shorter bursts of entertainment together at a single screening in the sun.

With tickets starting at £12.50 for adults and £7.50 for kids, films will be screened during the day on a giant 10 metre, high-definition screen that allows for a perfect picture even in direct sunlight.  Luna Kids locations include some of the country’s most beautiful and historic sites, such as Hampton Court Palace, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, Dulwich Park in London, Tatton Park in Cheshire, Heaton Park in Manchester and Priory Park in Surrey.

George Wood, founder of The Luna Cinema, said: “We’re so excited to be launching Luna Kids Cinema. This year marks The Luna Cinema’s 10th anniversary, and over that decade we’ve learnt that the key to fantastic outdoor cinema is the unique experience of watching your favourite films in the company of other film fans.  It’s that shared experience that makes it so memorable, and that is true whether you’re aged 5 or 85.  Luna Kids will celebrate all that is great about cinema for kids of all ages – this last year has been so fantastic for kids’ films, with pictures like Paddington 2, Coco and Despicable Me 3 topping box office charts and delighting adults and children alike.  To experience these films, alongside timeless classics such as Aladdin, Up and The Incredibles, on a giant high definition screen will make for a truly unique summer family outing.  Traditionally outdoor cinema has to take place after-dark to allow for projectors to achieve suitable picture quality, but this has made it a less practical option for families with young children, but with the advancement in LED technology we now feel that the solution is here.  No one wants to be cooped up in a darkened room during the summer holidays – Luna Kids encourages us all to get out in the open air and enjoy some of the most stunning parks and historic sites in the country.”

Daryl Shute, Brand Director, from Magic Light Pictures, the Oscar-nominated, and BAFTA winning producers of family entertainment and brands, including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man, said: “We can’t wait to see the Gruffalo’s terrible tusks, terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws come to life on the big screen at Luna Kids Cinema! Children and families love these characters and stories and it will be the first time our films have featured at an open-air cinema festival.”

Luna Kids Cinema audiences are welcome to bring along picnics to the screenings. However, all events will have a fantastic selection of healthy food and drink options tailored to all tastes – as well as a Big Kids Bar serving refreshments for older film fans, including wine, beer and prosecco. 

To book tickets, and for more information, please visit www.lunakidscinema.com

A guide to the summer holidays at The Lightbox

School’s out and the holidays are in – but there’s no reason those creative juices can’t keep flowing. There’s a whole host of fun and inventive workshops at The Lightbox this year, many of which are free. With a jam-packed schedule of arts and crafts coinciding with the exhibitions Centrepiece (18 July – 19 August) and Young Contemporary Talent from The Ingram Collection (7 July – 16 September), you can guarantee there’s enough to keep the whole family entertained all summer long.

For families, The Lightbox offers a range of free drop-in workshops: on Friday 27 July from 1.30pm, create your own bubble makers in our Bubble Fun workshop. Then on Wednesday 15 August from 1.30pm, climb aboard the Paper Trains workshop and make your very own choo choo trains out of paper and recycled materials. There’s loads more to get involved in this year – just come along to any of our free workshops for some family fun.

And that’s not all – have you ever drawn a picture using plastic, directly into the air in front of you? At the 3D Printing Pens workshop for 8-11 and 12-16 year olds with Grace Du Prez on Tuesday 14 August, you can give it a go. Make sure you book your place to combine all the excitement and innovation of new technology with these magical pens.

Back by popular demand, best-selling cartoonist and comic art teacher James Parsons is back for a masterclass combining cartooning skills and flip-book animations at the Flip Book Animations bookable workshop for 8-11 and 12-16 year olds on Tuesday 28 August. Bring your characters to life as you learn how to make them move and jump from page to page in this exciting and stimulating workshop.

And there’s plenty more to occupy 4-8 year olds’ hands and minds, including the opportunity to create a puppet theatre in the bookable Shadow Puppet Theatre workshop on Thursday 26 July at 1.30pm. Experiment with colour and texture whilst making colourful Kaleidoscopes to keep on Thursday 30 August.

Round off your visit with a trip to the family-friendly Seasons Café & Kitchen, which serves tasty children’s meals like Big Fish Fingers or the Kids Box with sandwich, snacks and fruit. For full details of the Summer Holidays programme and to plan your visit go to www.thelightbox.org.uk.

Britain's biggest theatre-circus spectacular comes to GLive

Showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre.

Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. Featuring the world’s most hair-raising circus act - the legendary motorcycle ‘Globe of Death’. Don’t miss it!

★★★★★ Great for kids and even better for adults! The Sun

★★★★ A NutriBullet of contemporary circus!’ The Times

★★★★ A spectacle that will delight any age at any time, and whether you are a fan of circus or not, there will be something in there that will leave you speechless.’ Edinburgh Guide

★★★★ Heart-stoppingly good fun’ Time Out

Find out more here.