Creative schoolchildren from across Bury will see their unique colouring competition designs brought to life at The Rock Shopping Centre this October half term.
The shopping and leisure destination has been working with local schools as part of its Autumn Sheds campaign.
Earlier in the year, youngsters from: Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School, Millwood Primary Special School, Tottington Primary School and Sunny Bank Primary School took part in an in school competition to design a ‘Spring Shed’ and come up with a colourful, creative design.
Due to lockdown the activity was put on hold but now, a few months later than planned, each school’s winning design is being brought to life and painted directly on to the sheds in front of shoppers.
Artists will be ‘live’ painting the designs onto the sheds in the shopping centre from Saturday 24th October and will continue daily throughout the school half term.
A public vote will also take place where visitors can vote for their favourite Autumn Shed.
The school children’s designs include creations from:
Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School Pupils: Sadie Cohen (Year 5) Harry Jamil (Year 5) and Amelia Joseph (Year 4)
A full school submission from Millwood Primary Special School
Tottington Primary School pupils: Sophia Hogg (Year 4) and Brooke Spindler (Year 4)
Sunny Bank Primary School pupils: Ayla Rashid (Year 4), Zaynab Ali (Year 5) and Thomas Hughes (Year 6)
As well as the four colourful Autumn Sheds, a larger shed will be painted by artists and later donated to Bury-based Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary.
The winner of the public vote will be announced in November. Once the sheds are removed they will be donated back to the four schools for their own use.
The Rock’s Centre Director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, said: “We are very excited to be running this special legacy project with four of the town’s primary schools.
“This activity was just due to run during the Easter break but was put on hold. At the time of postponement so much of the work had already been done and we already had all the competition entries so we have been working hard to fulfil our promise of bringing these designs to life and are pleased to have been able to turn our Spring Sheds into Autumn Sheds
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working all of the schools on this project. We hope the completed sheds will add some colour to our malls and our customers enjoy seeing the artists at work. We’re sure they finished sheds be put to great use back at the schools.”
It can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise at home, especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and want nothing more than to relax in front of the TV.
With a little help from retailer Next, who has recently partnered with Nike to create a home workouts series led by trainer Naomi Heffernan, we’ve put together some tips for working out at home, including suggestions for appropriate and comfortable workout gear, available to shop in-store at The Rock Shopping Centre.
1. Shop the right gear
Having the right clothing to exercise in is super important. Comfort and breathability are an absolute priority – you don’t want anything that’s going to make you too hot or self-conscious.
Nike trainer and Barry’s instructor Naomi Heffernan stresses the importance of having a well-fitting sports bra.
“A sports bra is probably the most important item if you’re working out. You want to make sure you are nice and secure, you are protected when you’re jumping around – you want to make sure you’re held in properly.”
Ideally, you should also own at least three tops, leggings and shorts to exercise in, of differing lengths so that you’re suited for all weather. If your workout wardrobe is in need of a revamp, Next has a great selection of sportswear available in store at The Rock Bury.
The correct footwear is also a must when it comes to exercising, as unsuitable shoes can lead to injury. Nike have recently released their latest Metcon 6 Trainers, available to order online and collect in store.
“They’re a really stable shoe to train in, so if you are doing things like squats or working with weights, they’re amazing because they’ve got such a solid base. They’re also really grippy on the sole [and] because they’re mesh-fronted as well, they’re going to keep you really nice and cool.”
2. Make sure you’re eating right
Staying fit and healthy isn’t all about exercise. For a lot of us working from home, the temptation to make regular trips to the fridge has become a habit. While there’s no shame in that, it’s important to eat healthily and stay hydrated, especially when you’re working out.
The best thing to eat pre-workout are foods which release a lot of slow burning energy, and are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. These include oatmeal or porridge, bananas, peanut butter and granola bars. Any of these are a great way to start your morning and invigorate you for the day ahead.
3. Set realistic goals
These days it can seem more difficult than ever to plan from one day to the next, especially with the demands of a busy work schedule. With this in mind, set yourself easy and measurable targets that you know you can commit to. Write your goals down and schedule them into your calendar to help you keep on track.
Trial working out in the morning and then in the evening to see which works best for you. According to Naomi, both have their benefits and it ultimately comes down to personal preference:
“If you decide to work out in the evening, you’re probably going to lift heavier and maybe run faster than you would in the morning purely because your body is so warmed up, you’ve been up for 12 hours already and you’re raring to go.”
Social media can also really help you meet your targets. Apps like Strava help you monitor your progress, and let you see how your friends are doing. Take it to the next level by creating an Instagram fitness account, and update it regularly.
4. Mark out a home workout space
Marking out your own space to work out in is a must. It doesn’t need to be huge, so long as you’ve got enough room to move around in. Try not to exercise in the same place you work, eat or sleep – this will help keep you focused, and separate your workout time from your other responsibilities.
There are plenty of workouts that can be done without equipment.
If you’re in need of inspiration, the Nike x Next home workouts videos are available online until the 29th October, offering equipment-free exercises designed to be carried out at home, along with info on the latest Nike product releases, available to shop online and collect in-store at The Rock Bury.
This season, the TV star’s designs are sophisticated and chic, with heritage-style prints and a classic feel – the perfect addition to your 2020 autumn wardrobe.
Emma Willis’s newest collection with Next features outerwear, loungewear, lingerie and denim from sizes 6 to 22.
Read on to find out about the design inspiration behind the latest collection, which is currently available online and in-store at The Rock Bury
Stylish Autumn Staples
While the previous collection consisted of bold colours and paisley prints, the colour palette for the latest collection is more neutral, striking the perfect balance between autumnal tones.
As well as neutral block colours (very à la mode for autumn 2020), Emma has designed a checked blazer, a staple for colder weather.
The checked blazer comes in two different colours that are easy to pair with most autumnal colours, ‘Port Check’ and ‘Brown Check’. If you love checked styles, you will be happy to know that the collection not only includes a checked blazer but two checked coats – perfect variations for your autumn wardrobe!
“Two things I love are blazers and checks…so we’ve done a checked blazer!! And we’ve done it in two different types of checks!” – Emma Willis
Clothes to Keep You Feeling Cosy
The designer and presenter’s latest collection includes staple autumn colours such as navy, brown and tan with pieces that will keep you feeling cosy and toasty from autumn to winter.
The range also features roll necks that come in red, orange-brown and camel as well as long sleeved tops and padded jackets for ultimate warmth.
After the success of last year’s puffer coat, this year’s collection brings a revamped puffer, designed to keep you feeling cosier than ever and with darker colour options available.
“Last year’s puffer coat was really popular so we’ve decided to do it again but we’ve given it a little makeover! It’s slightly darker khaki, it’s got a bigger neck, bigger hood and we’ve also added in a black colourway!”
Working from Home Style
Emma’s latest collection also consists of chunky knitwear and wide leg trousers – easy to wear when working from home because of their relaxed fit and added manoeuvrability.
Chunky knitwear is back for this collection, available in several colour variations to keep you toasty when pottering around the house.
“We’ve revisited the chunky knit again this year in a lovely cream and a dark navy but we’ve made it shorter so it’s tuckable!”
If you want to get extra comfy, the presenter’s latest loungewear sets are also great, loose-fitted additions to your WFH wardrobe.
The sets vary from a knitted black to a pink two-piece to suit different tastes.
The latest Emma Willis Collection is now available in-store at The Rock Bury and online on the Next website.
A giant thank you card to celebrate Bury’s lockdown heroes has been installed at The Rock.
The 8ft tall card has been installed at the shopping and leisure destination and customers are encouraged to write a message to recognise and thank those in the community for their efforts in 2020.
The campaign focuses on ‘Who has been your Rock of 2020?’ and shoppers can write a brief message on the card. There is also a photo frame where people can pose for a photo and share it with The Rock on social media using the #MyRock2020
The card will be manned daily and visitors can grab a pen and write their message.
The Rock’s Centre Director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood said: “This card is an opportunity to recognise the people in our community who have made a difference to people’s lives during the tough months of 2020. This could be anyone from our NHS and emergency service heroes, key workers, retail staff and volunteers, as well as mums, dads, friends and family members.
“We hope that our visitors will be able to enjoy this installation and we look forward to seeing their photos on our digital channels.” The centre will have enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures in place at the card installation.
When the card isn’t manned, no pens will be available but visitors can still use the frame for a photo.
It’s finally February and the month of love is upon us.
The countdown to Valentine’s Day is on and we’ve picked out some of our favourite gift ideas available from retailers at The Rock to help you find the perfect gift in time for February 14th.
Does the special one in your life deserve a pamper?
Lush here at The Rock has lots of special treats for an evening of relaxation and indulgence.
There’s a host of gift choices in store, including this peachy new set. Featuring a crumbly bubbleroon and bath bomb, their bathtime will be filled with fresh peach juice and tagetes oil.
Fancy getting your hands on an exclusive bubble bar? This is the gift for you or a loved one!
Want to say it with flowers?
You absolutely can’t go wrong with roses for Valentine’s Day and M&S have an excellent selection. Pick up 12 red roses for £5 or go all out and choose the Collection True Love Bouquet for £25. Roses launch in store on 12th February.
Or what about saying it with food?
They say the way to a man’s heart is his stomach – these Love Sausages from M&S will make the perfect tasty Valentine’s Day breakfast. Launching in store on 7th February, the original is priced at £6 and the ‘Give a Little Love Sausage’ is a purse-friendly £5.
The Love Sausage is heart-shaped, lightly truffled and wrapped in bacon. M&S suggest you serve the sausage with two fried eggs in the middle – what a start to a very special day.
What about giving them a something different?
Why not treat your other half to breakfast in bed using this fun gift set from The Card Factory.
It contains a fun mug, plate and bowl perfect for their morning meal, and will make them smile long after Valentine’s Day is over. Help them have the lie-in they deserve and serve up tea, toast and cereal in style.
This fun, flirty game from The Card Factory contains two after-dinner crackers filled with cheeky dares and questions. If you didn’t know each other that well before, you certainly will now! It’s perfect for new couples.
Looking for a tasty treat?
Tuck into Millie’s Cookies LIMITED EDITION Valentine’s Stuffed & Loaded Cookie Pie.
It is the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day – two 28cm/11″ Giant Cookies stuffed full of marshmallows & extra chocolate chunks and topped with Jammy Dodger biscuits, this cookie pie is the ultimate indulgent sharing treat.
Prices start at £19.99 – head in store to find out more.
Looking for a cheeky sweet treat? The Jelly Love Letters from M&S will make the perfect little gift and cost just £2 or if it’s something a little bigger you fancy, get your hands on a Giant Love Button for £5.
Say it with a special scent
Light up someone’s Valentine’s Day with a gorgeous fragrance from The Perfume Shop. On offer in-store until 14 February is Ralph Lauren Romance EDP 100ml Spray for £39.99 reduced from £76.50, a saving of £36.50 and Boss The Scent EDT 100ml Spray for the reduced price of £49.99 down from £69.00, a saving of £19.00.
Thinking of dining out?
90% of a relationship is deciding where to eat. On February 14th and 15th Pizza Express’s mouth-watering sharing set menu (£28.95) means you don’t have to worry about the details. Enjoy their famous Dough Balls Doppio, a main each – such as our Padana, with creamy goat’s cheese and sweet caramelised onion and finish with a trio of delicious desserts. This Valentine’s Day, the only thing you need to worry about is who will get the last Dough Ball?
Emma Willis releases a sportswear range with Next to make your 2020 workouts a stylish affair
After designing four clothing ranges for Next, Emma Willis is continuing this collaboration with a 2020 sportswear collection, inspired by a desire to develop “sportswear that looked really good but was functional, and didn’t cost the earth.”
The design process
For her latest collection, Emma adds another string to her bow. As a passionate advocate of healthy living, moving into sportswear design was a natural segue for her.
“Sportswear was something I really wanted to do…January just seems perfect because you have that month of indulgence for Christmas”.
Thinking back on her own experiences with sportswear, Emma’s aim was to design pieces that were all about functionality, style and affordability.
Emma has released a collection that has everything you need for an active lifestyle.
“With a hectic work schedule and busy family life, exercising is important to me; it really helps me to stay focused and feel strong. Adding sportswear to the collection felt like a natural fit, there’s pieces suitable for any workout and we’ve also included some super comfy hoodies and joggers too”. –Emma Willis
The leggings are the perfect example of functionality and style combined. A deep waistband, sweat-wicking fabric and four way stretch technology means the leggings stay comfortable for every twist, lunge, jump and squat. They come in two styles, one with a graphic print and one in neon trimmed plain grey.
There are also two swimsuits for those who are more into swimming lengths than sweating at HIIT classes. One is a textured square neck black piece with white piping detail and the other is a high neck racer with crossover back detail. They’ve both been designed for function and support and feature discreet built-in cups.
How Emma stays healthy
Emma takes a holistic approach to health, making sure to pay attention to both her physical and mental wellbeing. Working out is about looking after body instead of looking a certain way. “I’m doing it to stay strong and stay able as I get older”, Emma explains.
She also doesn’t put pressure on herself in terms of setting a strict routine.
“I start with being realistic, looking at fitness week by week and judging how much time I have available to train…so I don’t get stressed out by not doing as much every week as I’d like to.”
Variety is key, although Emma does have a few preferences. Morning workouts are better than evening sessions and boxing and reformer pilates are her favourite classes.
When it comes to looking after her mental wellbeing, the mum-of-three makes sure she sets time aside for herself and for self-care.
“Finding time for yourself every week is so important. Normally, other things that take up my week are for my family with household chores etc. so I do recommend having some time during your week which is just something for yourself.”
Emma’s approach to diet
A healthy diet is essential to Emma. After the indulgent holiday period, she makes sure she restores the balance by going sugar-free in January.
Her daily diet will usually consist of an omelette for breakfast, salad or soup for lunch, and a nutrient rich dinner, like homemade stews or roasted vegetables.
Her husband, singer Matt Willis, even created a foolproof recipe for avoiding chocolate cravings.
“I’m not sure if Matt actually invented or discovered this, but he came up with this dessert for me at night so I don’t eat chocolate: coconut yoghurt, almond butter and some cacao powder (just the tip of the teaspoon).”
Set your 2020 goals in motion with Emma Willis’ sportswear capsule range. The collection will be available in store from Tuesday 31st December.
If you’ve ever looked online to find your local shop’s opening times on Christmas Day or where to find a Christmas pudding outfit – you’re not alone.
With Christmas fast approaching, retailer Next has looked into some of the funniest things people are searching for on Google during the festive period. From rotating Christmas tree stands to gifts for a picky mother-in-law, they’ve uncovered some real crackers (excuse the pun) to do with gifting, décor and parties – three areas that we often turn to Google for when we’re stuck for ideas.
To that end, we thought we’d share a few of these with you – as well as give you some practical tips to get you through the festive period.
The Internet often becomes our own personal stylist when we’re deciding what to wear to the work Christmas party. It is, after all, one of the most important events of the year – so it’s natural to turn to Google for ideas.
In Next’s quest to uncover our funniest search queries, they found that a few of us are certainly optimistic about December weather, Googling the phrase “open toe shoes for Christmas party”.
Meanwhile, others are keen to keep their festive season style cosy and casual, looking for advice on “how to wear a Christmas jumper on a night out”.
Our tips for Christmas party outfits:
Find out if there’s a theme or dress code. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party and realising you’re too casual or too formal. Ask around and get some ideas from your colleagues in the weeks leading up to the event, if you’re unsure.
Don’t be afraid to go bold. Christmas only comes around once a year, so it’s a great excuse to get dolled up to the nines and dig out all things twinkly and sparkly from the depths of your wardrobe.
Dress comfortably. For many of us, it’ll be a lively night with lots of dancing, so you’ll want to go for an outfit that’s comfortable but chic all the same.
Many of us turn to the powers of the Internet for gifting inspiration around Christmas time, particularly when dealing with fussy family members or a tricky Secret Santa recipient.
But aside from the typical “what to get my girlfriend” or “what to get my dad” questions, a few of us are more specific with our search queries.
It seems we look to the internet when dealing with pernickety family members, asking “what to get a picky mother in law for Christmas” and “what to get a fussy friend for Christmas”.
Our tips for gifting:
Consider getting some of your friends and family to fill out a wish-list online. There are a fair few sites (including Amazon) that offer this and it’ll save you time and the potential embarrassment of buying something your recipient doesn’t like.
Don’t leave present-buying to the last minute, especially if you’re ordering online as your gifts may not arrive in time for Christmas. Have a look at the Next Gift Guide online for some ideas or stop off at The Rock’s Next store.
Set a budget so you don’t end up spending more than you’d hoped. You might even benefit from using a budgeting tool or app to keep track of your expenses over the festive period.
For festive décor
The presence of cinnamon-scented candles, Nativity-style ornaments and fairy lights all make Christmas one of the cosiest times of the year. To that end, we put plenty of thought into our Christmas decorations to make sure our surroundings have the ultimate snuggle factor.
However, cosy can mean different things to different people and there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to Christmas décor. In fact, according to Next’s study, some of us are searching for very niche decorations such as “roman Christmas décor” and even “toilet paper decorations for Christmas”!
Our tips for decorating:
Stick to a specific colour scheme (this will help narrow down your choices and also look better). Think about the furniture you’ve got and try to find a theme that matches (Next have got some lovely décor if you’re stuck for inspiration).
Decide whether you’ll have a real or artificial tree. Real ones require more maintenance and can also be hazardous to curious pets and tots, so be sure to factor this into your decision.
Figure out a budget for your décor and try to stick to it. Second hand sites and platforms like eBay are great for finding hidden festive gems without spending too much (plus, purchasing second hand is a lot better for the environment than buying brand new!).
Christmas is just around the corner – so we hope we’ve given you some ideas for party outfits, gifts and décor. Thursday is late night shopping at The Rock (we’re open till 9pm) so make sure you stop by to get your Christmas shopping done!
We also heard from presenter Emma Willis on what Christmas is like in her household. You can view the video here and maybe come away with some tips on Christmas dinner prep too!
The parade, led by the The Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire), also featured festive stilt walkers, children from The Carol Godby Theatre Workshop, representatives from the centre’s charity of the year, Bury Hospice, and local families.
The parade led Santa, who was in a sleigh ridden by an elf, into St John’s Square, where people could then queue to see him and share their Christmas wish lists.
This year the centre has a brand new grotto to give children an extra special Christmas experience. Plus, this year for the first time, on Thursdays Bury Library Service will be running story time sessions from 12-2pm.
Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “It’s always so wonderful to see smiling, happy faces at our Santa’s Arrival Parade. We had a wonderful morning and we’re thrilled so many customers turned out to watch. As always The Lancashire Fusiliers did a marvellous job. We hope our visitors enjoy our brand new grotto.”
On Saturday 30th November The Rock Express Christmas land train returns and will run throughout December with donations accepted for Bury Hospice.
Santa’s Grotto is free to enter and open between now and Christmas Eve. Full details and opening days and hours can be found here: www.therockbury.com/christmas
Bury is officially in the Christmas spirit after hundreds of people turned out for the Christmas Lights Switch On at The Rock.
The Rock held its big ‘Be A Rock Star’ Christmas Lights Switch On in conjunction with Hits Radio on Thursday night, featuring a star line up including children’s favourite Sid Sloane from CBeebies and singer Max George.
Singers and dancers from The Carol Godby Theatre Workshop and Bolton-singer Emilia also featured in the show, while Santa and his elves mingled with the crowds.
Plus, Steven Taylor from Bury read a poem he’d penned especially for the night called ‘Bury Christmas Lights’.
This year the centre revealed its brand new ‘Starry Night’ themed decorations which includes a 8 metre tall walk through star and a stunning Christmas tree in front of Racconto Lounge.
It was an extra special night for Amy Taylor, 29, from Bury, who won a £500 spending spree in the centre’s ‘Be A Rock Star’ competition. Throughout the evening visitors were encouraged to text the word Rockstar to a dedicated number and had to answer the phone with ‘I’m a rockstar’ if they were called by Hits Radio presenter Greg Burns.
Just before the lights were turned on, mum of three Amy found out she had scooped the prize and was invited on stage to claim it.Amy, who took to the stage with son Leo, 8, said: “Me and my daughter had been there since 3pm, we got here early to make sure we could see. We come to the Christmas lights switch on every year and every year we enter the competition but this is the first time we have a won. I was so shocked when my phone started ringing. This spending spree will make such a huge difference to our Christmas.”
Three lucky winners also won a pair of tickets each to see Hits Radio Live in Manchester later this month.
Prior to the show starting a group of lucky competition winners were given the star treatment at Debenhams restaurant for a special pre-show party with Sid Sloane.
The event marked the beginning of the Christmas season for The Rock. The centre’s Santa’s Grotto will officially open on Saturday 23rd November following the Santa’s Arrival parade in the morning and The Rock Express will return on Saturday 30th November to transport festive shoppers around the town until the end of the month.
The Rock’s centre director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, said: “Our Christmas Lights Switch On is always a wonderful night and this year was no exception. Despite the very wet and cold weather, we were thrilled to see so many happy families enjoying our event and our new star-themed decorations and we’re delighted to have been able to give away a £500 Christmas spending spree to Amy.”
The countdown to Christmas is officially on – as The Rock shopping centre announces the date and line-up for this year’s big switch on event.
The shopping and leisure destination is promising a star line-up and star prizes to mark the first year of its brand new ‘Starry Night’ themed decorations.
The ‘Be a Rock Star’ Christmas Lights Switch On will take place on Thursday 7th November where Sid Sloane from CBeebies’ and Manchester musician Max George will take to the stage for the event.
This year will see a brand new decorations installation at the centre, all following a star theme with a stunning display of light promising to get us all in the Christmas spirit.
The event, hosted by The Rock and Hits Radio, will run from 5:00pm until 7:00pm and will also feature groups from the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop and of course an appearance from Santa himself.
Sid Sloane is best known for presenting to pre-schoolers and parents nationwide on the CBeebies channel. He has been with CBeebies since its inception in 2002 and is the channel’s only original presenter. Sid loves to perform live and is well known for his show ‘Let’s Play’.
Max George was part of the boyband The Wanted, whose hits include ‘All Time Low’. Last year Max released his first solo single ‘Barcelona’. The song has more than seven million streams. On May 24, 2019 he released his second single ‘Better On Me’.
On the night there’s some star prizes up for grabs, in the centre’s Be a Rock Star competition.
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early for the event and find the Hits Radio street team to find out how to enter the competition.
They need to bring their mobile phone – it’s key to being able to enter AND must stick around the duration of the event.
There’ll be tickets up for grabs for Hits Radio Live which takes place on 17th November and features some of the biggest names in pop – plus there’ll be a star studded £500 spending spree prize for the main winner, the perfect way to kick off the festive season.
The switch on event is free to attend and marks the beginning of the Christmas season for The Rock. The centre’s Santa’s Grotto will officially open on Saturday 23rd November following the Santa’s Arrival parade in the morning and The Rock Express will return in December to transport festive shoppers around the town until the end of the month.
The Rock’s centre director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, said: “The Rock’s Christmas Lights Switch On is one of the centre’s and the town’s biggest events of the year and this year will be no exception. We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure this event gets everyone in the festive spirit. With new Christmas decorations, a star line up and star prizes, we’re all looking forward to a great night and we can’t wait to welcome you all.”