Would you like free support and advice about your benefits?

On Wednesday, 16th October, Disability Support Calderdale will be at Pennine Magpie to provide FREE advice and support regarding benefits.

If you would like to book a free appointment, please email admin@penninemagpie.co.uk or phone us on 01422 383550.

Disability Support Calderdale is a local service that is run by disabled people for disabled people and Pennine Magpie are delighted to be working in partnership with them.

They can help you with issues such as:

  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit
  • Other benefit issues
  • Housing issues
  • Accessing services to support individual needs
  • Information and signposting

Feel free to contact us if you would like more information.

New activities rota

We are pleased to introduce our new activities rota. This includes some new and exciting sessions such as:

· Budget cooking

· Art graphics

· Media studies

· Drama

· Sing and sign

· History

· Healthy eating

Download the new rota.

Getting to know our Marketing and Communications Officer

What made you apply to Pennine Magpie?

As a journalism graduate, I was keen to find somewhere I could combine my skills with a job I really enjoy whist making a difference and helping people in some way.  Everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life and Pennine Magpie does a great job helping that happen. After researching Pennine Magpie and seeing all the wonderful things the students get up to, I knew it was the right place for me.

Describe your job in three words?

Creative, varied and engaging

Are you enjoying it at Pennine Magpie?

I really enjoy working here as the job is so varied. Getting the students involved with my work through a person-centred approach is what I enjoy most. 

What has been your favourite moment at Pennine Magpie so far?

It has to be Halifax Gala, both the run up to the event and the day itself! It was amazing to see how much hard work the students put into making it a success, creating all their own props and art work. It was amazing to see how it all came together on the day, both students and staff dancing along on the float was a real highlight!

What do you do in your free time?

I love music so enjoy attending concerts as much as I can.  Another big passion is traveling, so I am always daydreaming about where I would like to visit next! I also love food so often spend my weekends eating out and cooking.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

To work for the RSPCA, I have always loved animals.

Who would you most like to swap places with for the day?

A day in the life of David Attenborough would be good…

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Compassionate, spontaneous and caring

What would your one superpower be?

To fly

What is your guilty pleasure?

Cheesy 80s music!

Do you prefer tea or coffee?

A Yorkshire tea!

What is your favourite TV show or movie of all time?

Game of Thrones

Getting to know our Enablement Team Manager

What made you want to work at Pennine Magpie?

I had been looking for some time for a new challenge and came across Pennine Magpies website, I was blown away with the variety of sessions and the student involvement  and decided to apply for the position of Enablement team manager.  

How long have you been at Pennine Magpie?

I have worked for Pennine Magpie since the 18th of June 2018, so I am quite new to the staff team.

How would you describe your role?

Where do I start? Rewarding, fun, challenging at times, no day is the same!

Favorite part of your job?

Working with the students and having the autonomy to make changes to the service delivery.

Two Pennine Magpie students win a Care Award!

A huge congratulations to two of our students who were shortlisted in the Care Awards! Tom Galvin and Richard Nellis were nominated for their determination, persistence and courage no matter what life throws at them – superstars!

Getting to know our new Dance and Drama Enabler

We are pleased to welcome Emily to the Pennine Magpie team, who has joined as our new Dance and Drama Enabler. Emily will spend her time teaching students new dance routines while taking a lead role in supporting our infamous Magpie Movers group! She has also introduced drama classes to Pennine Magpie, teaching students yet more amazing skills while having lots of fun!

What made you apply to Pennine Magpie?

After hearing about the organisation online and reading about what opportunities Pennine Magpie offered to students with learning difficulties, I decided I wanted to offer my background in dance and drama as a unique way for students to learn new things and obtain creative skills.

Also, I wanted the challenge of keeping the Magpie Movers running smoothly but to also add something new and refreshing to the dance group. I am currently choreographing two new routines for the Disney Salvation in August. I’m really happy with how well it’s going so far… The students are really friendly and I have already started to develop some amazing relationships with them. The staff are so helpful and dedicated which helps students feel reassured whilst being at Pennine. 

Pennine Magpie is a creative and passionate place to work and through the elements of drama and dance I feel I can deliver a vibrant, creative and friendly place to both work and study in.

Describe your job in three words?

Dynamic, innovative and creative

Tell us about something exciting you’re working on with students?

Currently in the drama sessions, the students are helping me organise an Alice in Wonderland theme event. This event is to showcase Pennine Magpie’s skills and talents and what better way to show this through a mysterious and magical forest, where lots of different and unique creatures live.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

When I’m not teaching at Pennine Magpie, I also teach at Pauline Quirke Academy and I like to go to the gym and train. My other hobbies include spending time with family and friends, holidays, watching performances and eating out (yummy!)

Who would you most like to swap places with for the day?

Hmm not sure… Beyoncé maybe?!

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid? 

Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in being an actor. 

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that might surprise us?

I was Brooke Vincent’s (Sophie Webster) body double on Coronation Street.

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Conscious, dramatic and ambitious.

If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?

To be lucky without consequences.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Caramel Latte’s!

New Activities Rota

A new rota has started which will run for 16 weeks.

Students in the radio room, one of our many activities

All sessions are fun, exciting and creative. From arts and crafts, to gardening and cooking. Drop by and take a look at what we offer or email us to request the rota. We hope to see you soon!

Garden Project 2019

Its that time of year again when the suns out the days are warm and the garden is looking like it needs a spruce up.

Pennine Magpie have got Bedding plants available for anybody to buy to spruce up the garden.

These are £2 for a tray of six or 3 trays for £5.

The best thing about these plants is they are grown with care and nurtured from being little baby plants. They aren’t stuck out and not watered like you find with most supermarket flowers. Also the money you pay goes back into growing more flowers. so its a win win.

If you would like some please see a member of our team and we will be happy to help 🙂

Easter Bank Holiday 2019

Pennine Magpie would just like to remind everyone that the centre will be closed to all students from 15:30 on Thursday the 18th April until Tuesday 23rd April at 8:30. This is due to Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Pennine Magpie would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter

Access Hospitality Course Starts in January

Pennine Magpie offers a skills for work course, in partnership with Access Hospitality. It is designed to train people with learning disabilities to work in the hospitality sector. The next course will start in January 2020.

Learn realistic and transferable skills in hospitality; and increase your chances of gaining paid work.

You can choose from either a short course or long course, by completing either 1 or 2 sessions a week. This means you could fit it in around your weekly schedule and college days.

The course will be held here at Pennine Magpie as part of our service and is available to both current and new service users.

To register your interest, please email admin@penninemagpie.co.uk or telephone 01422 383550.

Happy Valentines Day


Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines day from all at Pennine Magpie

Especially these two love birds Jamie and Shorty

Magpie Movers Light Up Christmas

Once again the Magpie Movers delivered a fantastic show at the local Christmas Lights Switch On 2018.

The group performed their 2018 Christmas routine for the Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Halifax events.

Each performance was welcomed by large crowds, who showed their appreciation to our dancers skills.

The group are now enjoying a well deserved break, before starting rehearsals a bunch of new and exciting routines to bring you in 2019.

Watch this space!


Fabric Workshops with Mind The Gap

Pennine Magpie have been working alongside Mind the Gap for an exciting theatre project, which will take place in 2019.

The project will be held at the Piece Hall, Halifax for a spectacular show.

Polly is an independent artist, who ran two workshops at our centre. She assisted the students with fabric printing.

The fabric prints are contributing towards a giant baby blanket, which will be featured in the public display.

More information about this exciting project will be announced soon.

Stay updated with the latest information, by following Mind The Gap Theatre on Facebook: @MtGStudios

Students Put Candidates To The Test

Once again, students were asked to interview candidates for a job opportunity at Pennine Magpie.

Our recruitment process involves 2 panels of judges; a Management Panel and a Student Panel.
Both panels develop a number of interview questions and use a simple scoring process for each response.
Results from the student panel are fed back to the management panel. Scores from both panel are added together to find the right candidate.

We believe it is important for students to have a say in the recruitment process, as our students are at the heart of everything we do.

The successful candidate is someone who appeals to both management and students.


Our annual BBQ goes Western

Our annual BBQ gives us a chance to meet and greet family, friends and carers of our students; and a good excuse to dress up!

Our students come first; and so we also use this event to collect feedback, which is valuable for how we shape the future of our service.

A huge thank you to all who joined us in this fun day and to Bubba’s Smokin’ Hog Roast for delivering an amazing BBQ once again!


Pennine Cruisers

We have been enjoying ourselves on leisurely cruises along the canal.

The boat trips are a relaxing way to get out in the fresh air and enjoy lunch in a different environment.

We learn about the canal boats and the local wildlife.

Our students even had a go at driving the boats.

A big thank you to the Safe Anchor Trust at Mirfield who provide the service.

The trust is run by a group of volunteers who take small or large groups on trips up and down the canal.

Flower Market

Pennine Magpie are holding a weekly stall throughout May, down at the Woolshops in Halifax town centre.

We are selling the lovely flowers, that have been grown and nurtured for, in our very own garden and poly tunnel.

Plants for sale include Antirrhinum, Dianthus, Mimulus and Marigold.

We also have our exclusive logo Tote Bags on sale too!

The stall is running every Tuesday between 9.00am-3pm right outside Marks and Spencers.

Come along and get your hands on these lovely flowers before they sell out.

Staff Team Building Weekend

A strong team is what enables Pennine Magpie to bring the very best to our Students.
We feel it is important to share knowledge, opinions and expertise in all aspects of how our centre is run.

Our CEO, Amanda, planned an Away Weekend in Buxton for staff to discuss the important details of how to shape the future of Pennine. And because we love to have fun here, there were lots of fun team building challenges to keep us laughing.

Duke of Edinburgh Licensed Organisation

We are excited to announce that Pennine Magpie has received their Duke Of Edinburgh License.

This means we are now registered as a licensed organisation to provide Duke Of Edinburgh Awards for Bronze, Silver and Gold.

“To complete a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, young people volunteer in their communities, learn a skill, get fit and plan and undertake an expedition, fulfilling six to 18 months of challenging activity. Through this sustained, meaningful activity, young people develop key life and employability skills, such as self-management, problem solving, team working, communication and confidence.”

For more information or to show your interest, please email admin@penninemagpie.co.uk

‘Princes Trust Calderdale’ Volunteer at Pennine Magpie

The team from Prince’s Trust Calderdale spent 2 days volunteering with us last week.

They came along to support our students and get involved with our activities to learn more about what we do here.

Our students and staff really enjoyed their company and appreciated their support.


The group joined us over a couple of days to help support our students in the many activities that we provide here.

Not only did they support our students and staff, but they also got a chance to see the amazing talents that are students have.


Volunteering with Pennine is a great way to learn more about what we do and to give a little back to your community.

If you are an individual or organisation who would like to volunteer with us, then please contact us on 01422 383550.


To learn more about the Calderdale Princes Trust programme, then please click on the link http://www.calderdale.ac.uk/courses/view/princes-trust-team-programme