In 1991 a group of prominent Southampton businessmen urged a group of scientists working for the University of Southampton to launch a charity to support some of the excellent work in the field of asthma and allergy that was being produced by the research group who were located at Southampton General Hospital. This group led by Professor Stephen Holgate (CBE) have since then become arguably one of the world’s leading centres of excellence in the field of asthma, allergy and all related conditions of the respiratory system. This has recently resulted in recognition as The World Centre of Excellence in Allergic Disease. The award will run for 3 years. The group now have considered experts in all aspects of respiratory medicine and with both national and international recognition, the Southampton Group have become the group for young scientist from most countries in the world, to work with. We currently have at any time some 20 nationalities working as students or research personnel. The current chairperson is Professor Donna Davies who co-ordinates the decision making of a group of some 12 Trustees. This group is made up of scientists and external professional lay persons with a mix of sex and ethnicity. Funding for this activity comes from every source imaginable from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council (MRC), to the League of Friends at Southampton General Hospital and of course AAIR. The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Trust (AAIR) works with these scientists allowing them to purchase pieces of vital equipment, to fund studentships and to support programmes of work with consumable cost. In the past 23 years AAIR has contributed some £6M to assist with developing new drugs, to improve treatment and to further understand the mechanisms that present patients with the debilitating effects of asthma and allergic disease. The success of the Southampton Research group has resulted in a state of the art rebuild of a Bio-medical Research Unit (BRU) which combined with the Welcome Clinical Research Facility provides Southampton arguably with the largest most successful clinical research unit of its type in the UK.

via The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Trust (AAIR).


Simon Stanley was a 37-year-old teacher from Southampton, Hampshire, when he died from cancer. His wife, Sally, found there was no bereavement support locally for their two sons, Andrew (5) and Tom (2). Research indicated that The Stanley’s experience was not unique and there was a wider need to provide resources and information to children, parents, teachers, health professionals and emergency services in Hampshire.

Simon Says became a registered charity in 2001, and was formally launched in 2002 with Sally Taylor MBE as its patron, with the aim of supporting children and young people within Hampshire, who have a close relative/friend who has died or is dying. The death of someone important can have a devastating effect on a young person, but we know that given appropriate support and information, children and young people can be helped to understand what has happened and can be helped to rebuild their lives.

From our office in West Wellow Simon Says supports children, young people and their parents living in Hampshire, through workshops, support groups, and written information and documentation. Simon Says runs a telephone help line and offers befriending and counselling services. Support groups currently run in the New Forest (New Milton), Central Hampshire (Eastleigh), East Hampshire (Hilsea), North Hampshire (Basingstoke) and Gosport. The Groups offer the opportunity for families to learn from one another and share their experiences of bereavement with the realisation that other people have felt the same way which can be very reassuring in helping them through their bereavement journey. Simon Says also works very closely with schools and professionals working with children offering advice, support and training on coping with child bereavement.

Facts & Figures

It is estimated that every 22 minutes a child or young person in the UK is bereaved of a parent. It is estimated that 1 in 25 of school aged children (between 5yrs and 16yrs) will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. This does not account for those who have lost another significant person eg grandparent, uncle, cousin or a close friend. Covering just Hampshire, the Simon Says Helpline receives over 2500 calls per year requesting support and/or information for helping bereaved children. An average of 900 bereaved children and young people attend the Simon Says support groups per annum. Almost 50% of the deaths Simon Says has supported, have been sudden deaths eg heart attack, road traffic accidents suicide, or murder.

via Simon Says.


The Society of St James manages a range of hostels, supported shared houses and independent flats for homeless people across Southampton (and increasingly, across the wider county), offering a total of 338 bedspaces across our services. We give our residents much more than just a roof over their heads. We give them a chance at a new future.

Our staff help residents to take steps towards a more fulfilling future. This might involve getting in touch with any specialist support that they need (like drugs centres or mental health support groups), developing their budgeting or cooking skills, facilitating their enrolment at a local college or university, encouraging them to take part in art,  music, or sports classes, or assisting them in starting some paid or voluntary work.

via Homeless Charity Hampshire | Society of St James.


The Rowans Hospice has been bowled over by money raised from a cricket match.

The annual Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems charity cricket match and raffle raised £2,200 for The Rowans Hospice.

Now in its eighth year, the fixture has raised more than £16,000 for the Purbrook hospice.

The Steve Rowling Memorial Trophy cricket match was started in 2005 after Mr Rowling died from cancer.

In his final days he was looked after by The Rowans.

Mr Rowling was an employee of BAE Systems in Waterlooville.

He played cricket for the company’s cricket team for 15 years before he died in 2003.

via Fundraiser nets thousands for The Rowans Hospice – Portsmouth News.



Romsey Abbey will provide a stunning backdrop to the music provided by Aurum Vocale. Led by David Clegg and conducted by Nicholas Wilks, the evening will be introduced by the Reverend Tim Sledge, Vicar of Romsey. Festive readings will be given by the author Lord Fellowes and cricketer David Gower. Professor Andrew Lotery will, of course, speak at the Concert.
Booking will open on the 1 October and tickets are priced at £35, £30 and £25 from Romsey Tourist Information Centre, 13 Church Street, Romsey SO51 8BT. Telephone 01794 512987 or on line through www.musicinromsey.ticketsource.co.uk
THE CONCERT IS SOLD OUT EXCEPT FOR SOME £25 tickets. Please apply quickly if you wish to join us for this fantastic event.

via News and Events :: Gift of Sight.

Property prices in Chandlers Ford during the first quarter of 2014 leapt by 10% and property here is at a premium due its location. Many of its houses are in the catchment area for the top state school in Hampshire, Thornden.

Thornden secondary school takes children from the age of 11-16 and consistently outperforms its rivals in Winchester such as Kings School and Westgate School in its GCSE results year after year. The school takes children depending on the school catchment location so it is not unusual for a house nearby to Thornden, to go onto the market, to have one day of pre booked house viewings, closed bids the next day before being sold within 48 hours. On top of this local estate agents in Chandlers Ford will vet buyers to ensure that they have no property to sell and are in a position to buy quickly. This is the current situation in 2014 where it is a sellers market, not a buyers market and this may begin to change if interest rates rise and as the winter approaches. However, whilst Thornden School continues to do well academically, Chandlers Ford property prices will remain higher than houses outside of this area heading towards Eastleigh, where school results are not so consistently good.
As well as having superb educational facilities Chandlers Ford is low on crime, has good health facilities, with plenty of doctor’s surgeries in the local area and has a good neighbourhood feel about it.
Fryern Way in Chandlers Ford is a small shopping precinct, rather old fashioned but recently Costa Coffee moved in and most of the shops are open for business with only the odd one available for let. It has a library and two supermarkets, Waitrose and the Co-Op, along with a post office, pharmacy, stationery shop, estate agents, dry cleaners, gift shop, flower shop and quite a few more. Basically most of the shops that you would need locally to you if you moved to Chandlers Ford.
There are other areas locally that have a few shops too in Chandlers Ford, smaller than Fryern Way but near Chandlers Ford station there is a sweet shop and a butchers shop along with a small supermarket and take away restaurants. There is also a bridal shop and a furniture shop.
The closer you move to Thornden School the higher amount you will pay for a property. Large detached houses fetch from £750,000 upwards. Smaller detached four bedroom houses that are from the 1960’s fetch between £550,000 upwards. For better value you can head to a pleasant housing development in Valley Park/Knightwood, still located in Chandlers Ford but outside of the catchment for Thornden School. Here a modern four bedroom house can be bought for under £500,000.
The road that goes past Thornden School is well serviced by the Bluestar 1 bus route that travels from Southampton to Winchester, with buses running approximately every 20 minutes. Houses near this bus route therefore are at a premium.
Areas further away from Thornden school may not be on the Bluestar 1 route. From Valley Park/Knightwood there is the Xelebus which is able to transport children into Thornden but they only run twice a day.
If you have children that need to travel into Winchester for example to the excellent sixth form college Peter Symonds the Stagecoach goes past many houses in Chandlers Ford and will take you into Winchester, with buses running a few times each day, but not as regularly as the Bluestar 1. They are on the plus side a lot less crowded than the Bluestar 1 buses.
Chandlers Ford is an expensive place to live in Hampshire. The houses on the whole are from the 1960’s and 1970’s and whilst wooded and green it isn’t the prettiest town to live in the UK. However it has excellent educational facilities, good bus connections into Southampton and Winchester, its own train line and a community who are supportive of each other as seen by the large amount of churches and charities that are supported locally. It is a good choice for families and elderly people.

With education high on the list when choosing where to live it’s not only quantity that’s important but quality. Winchester schools deliver on both

School location has always been top of the hitlist for family homebuyers and in Winchester homebuyers are literally spoilt for choice by the number of Winchester schools. Both the sheer scale and quality of schooling in the area is becoming a major reason for London commuters with families to move out of town and choose Winchester as their new base.


The Hampshire city is served by 36 Winchester schools in all. These include 29 primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 6 schools for pupils aged 16 to 18. Of these 14 are community schools, 12 are voluntary controlled or aided (ie affiliated with a foundation or trust) and seven are independent schools with three further education colleges completing the mix.

..and quality

But it’s not just the quantity that wins buyers over but quality too. The concentration of schooling in the city has led to intense competition and as a result standards that exceed the average. Last year alone the top Winchester schools continued to outperform the national average of 59.2% for pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GSCE according to school performance tables produced by the Department for Education.

How individual schools rank

St Swithun’s

For independent girls day and boarding school St Swithun’s 100% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C GCSEs or equivalent, including English and Maths in 2013 – and have done so since 2010 at least. 100% also achieved at least 2 A levels at grades A* to E last year whilst more than three quarters (78%) achieved 3 A levels at grades AAB or higher in at least two facilitating subjects.

Winchester College

Although figures are not available through Department for Education’s school performance tables for 2013 for Winchester College the independent boys school has also performed strongly over recent years – with 98% of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades in 2010, 99% in 2011 and 94% in 2012. For older pupils 79% achieved D3 or above – the equivalent of grade A at A level in 2013 and 45 leavers went to Oxbridge in the same year.

The Westgate School

The Westgate school, a mixed comprehensive community school in Winchester which is also Hampshire’s first 4 to 16 all through school, achieved 84% of pupils getting five or more A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent level in 2013, up 10% on the year before. The 2013 results put it in the top three of similar schools in England with an average grade of B+.

King’s School

The school is followed closely behind by Kings’ School – another state funded mixed comprehensive school in Winchester where 83% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level or equivalent. The school, which serves 11 to 16 year olds and has more than 1600 pupils, has also been judged as outstanding by OFSTED on four consecutive occasions.

Percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level in 2013

Source: The Department of Education School Performance Tables


School Name Type % 5+ A*-C GCSE (inc Eng & Maths)
St Swithun’s School Independent School 100%
The Westgate School Community School 84%
Kings’ School Community School 83%


What will a budget of £895,000 buy you in Southampton compared to London – three times the space –that’s what.

£895,000 is a sizeable budget for anyone buying a property and with the average London house price hitting a record peak of £401,072 in September a budget twice that will still buy you a decent pad. But with London house prices rising 21% in London alone last year alone getting a good deal is tough. It’s obvious that leaving the capital you will get far more bang for your buck.

Head to Southampton and exactly how much more space you will get for your money becomes evident. Southampton house prices currently sits at an average of £220,000 but massive growth is expected with property values predicted to rise by 43% by 2019 – taking the average price up by £100,000. In a market where many are saying house price growth has peaked Southampton offers huge opportunities so how does what’s on for sale in Southampton compare to London?
A budget of £850,000 to £895,000 in Southampton will buy you a five bedroom detached house with an abundance of space inside and out

The proof: What’s on offer in Southampton

Holly Lodge – One of the properties currently on our books at Local Property Index in Southampton is a detached family home that boasts four bedrooms, five reception rooms and three bathrooms across 2,860 sq ft of living space. This is supplemented with far reaching views across farmland and woodland in the Meon Valley village location of Corhampton. With a price tag of £895,000 that’s a price of £312 per sq ft for the living accommodation alone without mentioning the perfectly manicured gardens that surround it.

1538675_1Swanwick House – Head to Swanwick and a budget of £850,000 buys you a five bedroomed detached family home with four reception areas and 3,600 sq ft of accommodation as well as a detached double garage with home office above. This is further complemented by car parking and gated driveway and gardens – all next to open farmland close to Swanwick Lakes at a cost £236 per sq ft of space. What’s not to like?

Head to London and you literally get a fraction of the space for your money

A budget of £895,000 in London will buy you a three bedroom terraced house less than half the size and a garden if you are lucky

The proof: What’s on offer in London (using Richmond upon Thames as an example)

chpk2474894-1Albany Passage – Remember the rolling gardens and mass of rooms in the Southampton properties? Whilst Richmond boasts a river and park giving the home owner plenty of open space to explore outside getting space inside is a tougher challenge. This property in Richmond comprises three bedrooms and one bathroom in an end of terrace property with a courtyard garden and a single reception room spread over 1,024 sq ft of space all for the same £895,00 price tag.

4_fitzwilliam_house_external_iFitzwilliam House – Within a few minutes of Richmond town centre a first floor apartment is also available for the same budget as the Southampton detached family homes. This property includes three bedrooms and two reception rooms spread over 874 sq ft of space. At £1,024 per sq ft of space the cost is more than three times the price of the living space of the Southampton properties and doesn’t boast a garden either.

Find out more about properties available for sale in Southampton on Local Property Index by clicking here.


Children, young people and staff from Naomi House & Jacksplace were lucky enough to meet first team players from London Irish Rugby Club this week.
They were given a guided tour of their new state-of-the-art training complex in Hazelwood, before taking part in a rugby masterclass with Jamie Hagan, Topsy Ojo and Tom Smallbone.
The day was made possible thanks to their sponsors, Upham Brewery, who also donated its shirt branding rights to Naomi House and Jacksplace at last Friday’s (24th October) European Challenge Cup game against Grenoble in France.
David Butcher, Director of Upham Brewery, said: “We were delighted to donate the space on the players’ shirts for last week’s game to Naomi House and Jacksplace. The brewery is community-focused and a keen supporter of the charity and their commitment to helping both sick children and their families who have to contend with severe illness.”
Activities Co-coordinator for Naomi House, Katy Robinson, said “The children, young people and staff had a wonderful time, and it was great to be able to offer them such a special opportunity! Our thanks go to everyone at London Irish for accommodating us and to Upham Brewery for making it possible. The players were brilliant with the children and made it a day to remember.”

via Children & young people meet London Irish Rugby Club.


Winchester rental rates remain high and properties to rent are in short supply. House prices over the last 12 months have continued to rise and it is not unusual for a house to be on the market and to be under offer within a couple of days.

Here we consider some of the reasons for Winchester being such a popular place for families to move to.

People have moved into Winchester from London and whilst Winchester is considerable more expensive than the nearby areas of Eastleigh and Southampton a house in Winchester will cost considerably less than an equal sized property in London. Winchester also has an abundance of period Victorian terraced houses which Londoners are particularly drawn too, pushing property prices up.

The secondary schools in Winchester are excellent. The two most popular schools in Winchester are Kings and Westgate and both have consistently received good results in GCSEs over a number of years. The latest Ofsted reports rate Kings as Outstanding and Westgate as good. Families move to Winchester to ensure that they are in the catchment area for these two schools and can therefore be assured that their children will receive a good and free education. Whilst both schools finish a child’s education at the age of sixteen most of these children will then move to the equally praised sixth form college Peter Symonds which is also located in Winchester. Peter Symonds was rated by Ofsted during its last inspection in 2008 as Outstanding and it has a pass rate at A level of 99%. The education facilities in Winchester play a large part in its popularity as a place to move into.

Winchester has an equally impressive transport system. Its small train station is in the city centre and links Winchester directly to London in just over an hour as well as having good links to the South Coast and the North of England as well as Scotland. Houses that are located close to the train station sell and rent quickly for obvious reasons. The bus network is also good. The Bluestar 1 links Winchester to many of the surrounding villages and towns and Stagecoach provides a good transport link for students.

As well as superb education facilities Winchester has good medical facilities with a hospital just a short distance from the centre. The hospital saw in September 91% of its patients being seen by a consultant in under 18 week with attendances being 8.2% higher than they were in 2013.

For those that are interested in history, Winchester cathedral draws in visitors from all over the UK and abroad and the shopping is outstanding. Winchester has moved away from busy internal shopping centres and large cinema complexes and instead retains a market town feel. There are regular farmer’s markets held, antique markets, as well as local produce and craft markets. Boutiques and privately owned cafes sit side by side the chain stores such as Boots, Debenhams and Costa Coffee. With its cobbled streets, pedestrian centre and historical buildings it is no wonder that people are clambering to get on the property ladder in this wonderful town and become full blown Wintonians.


People searching for Spanish bargain properties can still find them in places such as Gran Canaria where a two-bedroom village house can be bought...