0800 hrs Saturday 11th January 2020…..a year in the planning and we were ready to go! Ambassadors arrived excited and prepared for the day ahead, all they had to do was squeeze into their Jigsaw ‘Can I help you?’ polo-shirts and get the plan for the day, oh yeah and calm Emma down who was in danger of actually stalking Denita Dinger, her idol and possible girl-crush!!!

Tunes picked and playing in the background, Wi-fi connected, candles lit on the Moments stand, workshops set up and team raring to go, Vanessa furiously spraying Oriental Poppy, Orange Blossom and Patchouli spray around the room whilst doing a FB live.

Exploring the Power of Play Hampshire2020 we were ready!

The day flew by, registration completed on time, even with a few hiccups and some delegates assuming different names for the day and Vanessa Dooley, true to form started the show rolling with an expletive that drew laughter and applause. Who else would get away with it?

Sipping Prosecco through a straw at 0930 in the morning and well deserved, Vanessa handed over to Denita Dinger who did not disappoint with her keynote speech on The Power of Play. The feedback has been incredible and it is clear that Denita struck a chord with all those that attended. Even if you knew some of what was being said, people were inspired, motivated to go back to their settings to implement changes and make plans and for those of us not in a setting anymore, we wanted to be back amongst it, practising what we had just listened to. A truly inspirational and inspiring lady. Thank you Denita for honouring us and coming over from Dakota USA, to spend the day with us. Our children and family’s lives will benefit from everything you said.

Our wonderful workshops were also received with so much love and positive and fabulous feedback and at this point, I want to say that if you don’t have a ticket for our Manchester EPOP, get one now! Sally Wright – Boys Play Tuff, Kate Moxley – Adult Health and Well-Being, Topanga Smith –  The Magic of Loose Parts,  Carly Craig- Sensory Stories.

All these incredible women inspired and motivated dozens of people this weekend, giving them ideas, a new purpose, reflection on their own settings and staff and they will be doing it all again on Saturday 29th February 2020 in Manchester. And who could forget ABC, Alistair Bryce-Clegg as our keynote speaker? You should not miss out. If you do any training this year…make it this one!

It’s a new year, it’s time to re-think what you think you already know. Let’s give our children and families the learning and experiences they deserve. Let inspectors see that we are adding impact through play, reflecting on our practice and inspiring the potential in our youngest in society. We must and owe it to our children to keep on learning ourselves and upskilling our teams.

Start with a conference, with like-minded people in a fun and happy environment where everyone wants the best and to give you the perfect training day.

Thank you again to everyone involved in EPOP South and to the 160 delegates who left with a passion to take forward everything they heard and learnt on Saturday. You are all amazing and do a wonderful job every single day and to Vanessa Dooley, thank you, we wouldn’t be here without you.

Liz