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Thursday, 30 March 2017

The New e-Bluey Service - InTouch Launches Saturday 1st April 2017


The new contract with Neopost will mean Britain’s Armed Forces will continue to receive hard copy, secure mail, including photos, from their loved ones, for free and with no break in service as the new imail INtouch system takes over from the e-bluey on 1 April 2017.

The new imail INtouch system will allow users to send up to eight pages, including high definition photographs and official documents. The old e-bluey system that is being replaced only allowed single pages to be sent and did not support high definition photographs.
The MOD is committed to the welfare of its people and enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law, a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. Replacing the ageing e-bluey service is recognition of the fact that, to provide the best possible communication system for service personnel overseas, we must take advantage of the latest technology. This is why the funding for e-bluey is being redirected to imail INtouch and development of cutting-edge communications solution.
Full information - click link InTouch

SSAFA - Need to Talk?

Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) forty-sixth report 2017

Recommendations from the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) on Armed Forces remuneration and charges. 


30% Armed Forces Discount - Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

Purchase a Longleat All In One Day Ticket online and receive over a 30% discount on standard prices.
Available for members of the Army, Navy and RAF.
Employees must present a valid company ID card on arrival to validate this offer.

K2 Fitness Circuits - Mondays, Ambrosden Village Hall

Pilates For Children - Carterton

Monday, 20 March 2017

Drayton Manor Theme Parks - Armed Forces Discount

Drayton Manor Park is proud to support our British Armed Forces so throughout our 2017 season we are offering free entry to all those serving and ex serving personnel of the British Armed Forces.  

Our main 2017 season runs from Thursday 30th March – Friday 27th October* and any serving or ex serving member of the British Armed Forces will receive free entry to Drayton Manor Park.
Armed Forces discount is also available for Park Entry throughout Magical Christmas. 
Opens on 18th November for selected dates until 31st December.** 

Booking in advance is not necessary so please show your ID on arrival at any ticket kiosk before approaching the gate and free entry will be granted for the individual.

Accepted forms of ID include:
For serving personnel: A Valid Military personal card/MOD card, Band of Brothers Card or Defence Privilege Card (only for serving or ex-serving member of the armed forces).

For Veterans: A leaving certificate, proof of War Pension or Armed Forces Compensation, Band of Brothers Card or Defence Privilege Card (only for serving or ex-serving members of the armed forces)

To find out more please follow this link

*Not available on park buy out days, please check the website before travelling for opening times and dates. No family or friend’s discounts offered at this time.    
**Park entry only, does not include a meeting with Father Christmas. This can be booked seperately at an extra price, https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/magical-christmas.

Oxfordshire Jerk Festival - CHANGE OF DATE - Saturday 10th June 2017

Fairytale Farm - - Every Mum Half Price Entry on Mother's Day - Sunday 26th March 2017

Treat your mum this Mother’s Day Weekend to a fun day at the farm.

To make it extra special we will be giving every mum HALF PRICE entry into the farm throughout the weekend when accompanied by one full paying person.

And that's not all. Get creative decorating a special ‘heart and flower’ cookie - to show your mum that she is special. Also, because mums love flowers on Mother’s Day, get crafty in our workshop and make her a special flower. All completely free!

If you want to do something different this Mother’s Day Weekend then come along to Fairytale Farm. Offer Valid 25th - 26th March 2017.

Tickets for Troops - Racecourse Tickets available

SIXTY racecourses have invited members of the Armed Forces to join them at the races this season through the military charity Tickets For Troops.
There are 60 racecourses across Britain from Perth in Scotland to Newton Abbot in Devon.
These and all other racecourses including Bangor-on-Dee, Doncaster, Fontwell Park and Sandown Park have all signed up to support the Armed Forces community with a donation of FREE tickets to their prestigious race days.

Jockeys (L-R) Jimmy Quinn, Jack Mitchell, Luke Morris, Tom Marquand, Stevie Donohoe, Pat Cosgrave and Richard Kingscote at Newmarket racecourse in 2016. Photo Credit - John Hoy
Many troops who benefit from Tickets For Troops (www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk) endure long periods of separation from their families due to operational tours and training exercises or living apart from their families during the week.

In partnership with the British Horseracing Authority, Tickets For Troops have distributed over 65,000 free tickets from the horse racing community.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Alcoholics Anonymous And The Armed Forces (Serving & Veteran)

Soldier On - Supporting Medically Discharged Service Leavers

Soldier On! is a national independent education charity which teaches members of the British armed forces who have been made redundant on medical grounds to plan and manage their careers. We work with both service leavers and veterans who have been wounded on operations, sustained injuries whilst serving or have been discharged through any other forms of ill health.

For more information click on the link
soldier on

Citizens Advice Bureau - Abingdon details

Monday, 13 March 2017

Abingdon Library's - Code Club

Come along to Abingdon Library's Code Club and learn how to make cool games, animations and websites!

The club is suitable for 9-11 year olds and aimed at complete beginners to have fun while coding. The projects  start with Scratch, an enjoyable, visual programming langauge designed for children.
Terms run on Saturdays 10-11am
Tickets are for the term. As places are limited if your child is not able to attend a particular session or on a regular basis please let us know in advance.
If your child is interested please ask for their name to be added to our waiting list.

Defence Academy Bikers

Fostering & Adoption Drop In - Brize Norton - Tuesday 14th March 2017

Abingdon Air Show - Sunday 14th May 2017

Ride On Time - Mikes of Smiles - activity mornings

St Helen's Baby and Toddler Group

St Helen's Baby and Toddler Group
The Baby and Toddler Group meet in the Church Centre on Monday mornings in term time. There are two sessions; 9.30 -10.45 and 11.00 - 12.15. 

In each session we have toys for the children and coffee for the adults and we finish with twenty minutes of music and singing. 

The cost is £1.00 per session, but we aim to give half our income to charity and have donated over £2000 in the last few years.  

We may have a waiting list but please come and join a session, and decide if you would like to join or wait for a space.

We meet in term time only.

We often hold weekend events which are free and open to everyone. Recently we have been holding Storytelling and craft sessions for primary and pre-school children at various points in the church calendar. 
The Baby and Toddler group also host their Christmas Nativity with everybody joining in, including the donkey.

Term dates, more details and photos at www.facebook.com/StHelensToddlers  Come along or contact Rachel for details.  rachel.shearer@tesco.net  01235 521039

Abingdon Library - Rhymetime


Wednesday mornings 0930 -1000 
Fun, free and interactive sessions for the under 5s and their families!  
 Join in with singing or rattle a shaker to well-known songs and rhymes.

Come along even if you don’t know the words or tunes - it’s a great way to learn new songs and meet new people.

Abingdon Library,  The Charter, OX14 3LY 

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Snakes and Ladders in Abingdon is jam packed with fun!
Whatever your child's age there is always something to enjoy. 
Older children will adore the electric motorbikes, huge 3-tiered play frame (complete with slides, tunnels, ball ponds and rope climbs) and outdoor adventure assault course. 

Whilst those up to 5 years can run wild in their own enormous dedicated play zone overlooked by comfy leather sofas.

There is even a home corner full of mini sized kitchen equipment to fire young imaginations, a water play area for splashy fun and a construction zone full of vintage Tonka toys are oversize Lego bricks.

Of course parents are not forgotten either and can relax with a tasty coffee and catch up with the latest magazines.

 To Find out more - please follow this link
For schools and other registered groups of over 8 children please email us.

Abingdon Twins & Multiple Birth Club

Abingdon Twins & Multiple Birth Club provides support and a meeting place for the parents, carers and expectant parents of twins, triplets and more living in and around Abingdon and the surrounding towns and villages.

At the club we cater for all, from newborns, to babies, to toddlers and older, with a wide selection of toys .

We also often have a craft activity taking place during the session.

The children usually eat their snacks and have drinks together during the session and tea/coffee is provided for the adults.

We also usually finish the session with singing.

2nd & 4th Monday of the month 10am - 11.30am (open during school holidays).
Runs on: Mondays

Monday, 6 March 2017

Thames Valley Police - ACT - Action Counter Terrorism

Reporting something suspicious to Police could save lives. Just ACT.



RAF Brize Norton - Jurassic Gateway Caravan

RAF Brize Norton Community Support Team

Community Support
RAF Brize Norton
 OX18 3LX
 (Civ) 01993 897072/5973/7464

Bridging the Gap 2017 - Surrey Heath Veterans & Families - Listening Project

Vale of White Horse GO Active & Active Women - March newsletter

To find out more from the Go Acitve and Active Women Teams please follow this link

Didcot Volunteer Centre

DVC is a local transport scheme run by volunteers using their own cars.
Could you spare a little time to drive for us?

Car owner/drivers who are able to spare some time during the week and occasional weekends to transport our clients to and from their destinations.

A clean driving license, a roadworthy and fully insured vehicle plus a little patience and a sense of humour

This varies week by week depending on driver availability.  You are not committed to specific days unless you wish.

  • Driving for DVC offers the chance to combine a very rewarding and much appreciated service to the local community with other commitments.
  • Drivers are able to accept or decline each request when contacted by the DVC office staff,
  • As a volunteer there is no monetary reward but there is a donation based on the mileage travelled from and to the driver’s home.  This is given by the client to the driver at the end of each journey.
  • DVC uses the HMRC rate per mile to calculate the cost of each trip. This covers fuel and the extra running costs whilst volunteering.  
To find out more please visit our website:

Friday, 3 March 2017

HomeStart Southern Oxfordshire

Are You Registered To Vote?

or pop into your local HIVE and collect a copy of the Register to Vote form

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Do you live in Bicester? Cherwell District council would like your feedback

We'd like your feedback on a new signage project aimed at encouraging walking and cycling in Bicester.
Anyone who's interested in supporting this project is invited to attend a feedback event that we're running tomorrow, Friday, 3 March and on Saturday, 4 March. 

It takes place between 10am and 2pm on Sheep Street next to Bicester Methodist Church. People will be able to talk to the staff who are working on the project and give their views on the appearance and content of the monolith and finger post signs before they are rolled out across the town. 

The wayfinding project is being run by Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Bicester Town Council. 
For more information please email: wayfinding@cherwell-dc.gov.uk.

Families' Activity Breaks (FAB)

Families’ Activity Breaks (FAB) is a non-public funded, tri Service charitable initiative, providing fun and challenging activity camps around the UK for bereaved Military families.

If your child is aged up to 19 years old and has suffered the loss of a loved one who was serving in the Armed Forces, then you may be eligible for a FAB camp. 
The holidays offer an adventure for all the family and a welcome break to meet and socialise with others who have experienced a similar loss. 
A loved one can mean a parent, a step parent, or a child’s legal guardian, carer or sibling.

Full details of 2017 FAB dates are at

Webinar - Free Interview Coaching for Military Spouses

Webinar - Free Interview Coaching for Military Spouses
Date: Wedmesday 8th March 2017

Time: 8pm

Venue: Your Sofa

Real Time Bus Information across Oxfordshire

Do you regularly use the bus service want to know when the next one is due, you can use the map on the website to find your bus stop.  
Click on the bus stop flag to see live real-time departures based on the latest GPS positions of our buses.


OxonTime also offers the following

SMS Service

Oxontime offers an SMS 'text' service for when you are out-and-about and want to know when your bus should arrive. Before you start you will need to know the Stop Code number of your bus stop. On many bus stops we publish the Stop Code on a dedicated plaque; they are in general the number beginning with 693...  For stops that are out of the county you may or may not find the Stop Code you need posted on the bus stop itself but failing that you can get these codes form the website or by emailing contact@oxontime.com.

Disney on Ice Tickets - through Tickets For Troops

Book your tickets through Ticket For Troops by following this link

SSAFA - Additional Needs & Disability

Please follow this link to find out more information

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Mobile Phones and Driving - Change to Penalties


THE PENALTY for using a mobile phone at the wheel has doubled, 
and rules have been especially tightened in Oxfordshire.
From today, anyone across the UK caught using a 'handheld device' while driving will face six points on their licence and a £200 fine.
And during an operation on one road in Abingdon this morning, police stopped 11 people who were slapped with the new law.
Drivers were shocked to hear of the new leglislation as officers pulled offenders over in Ock Street, Abingdon during a two-hour window. 
"Our enforcement  shows that we have a strong stance against it and yes the £200 and six points is quite a sting, but you know the dangers of what you're doing and that fixed penalty simply reflects the dangers of driving while using your mobile phone.
"It doesn't matter whether it's social media, phone call, sat nav, whatever other apps you may have on it. If you have it in your hand, you are driving, you are using it, you commit the offence.
"I hope one day we will get to the point where nobody will use their mobile phone while driving, sadly we are, as you have seen this morning, a long way off that." 
Previously the offence incurred three points and a £100 fine.
Any drivers under 21 who have held a licence for two years or less will automatically lose it.

In addition to that, Thames Valley Police has instigated its own new rule for the offence: drivers will not automatically be offered a driving awareness course as an alternative to a fixed penalty notice.
The decision whether to offer the course or slap an offending driver with the fine and points will be left up to individual police officers.
What's more, for the next week, as part of a national crackdown on offenders, no one at all will be offered the drive awareness course in Oxfordshire.
If you are caught using your mobile phone at the wheel in Oxfordshire during the next week, you will automatically get six points and a £200 fine at least.
That is if you are over 21, have been driving for more than two years, and if you don't cause an accident.

Do you use Oxford Bus Company Buses?

Planned Strike Action (2nd & 6th March 2017)
We are sorry to inform you that our services are likely to be disrupted on Thursday 2nd March and Monday 6th March due to strike action being taken by Unite. 
We sincerely apologise to you, our customers, for this inconvenience. 
We aim to run as many services as possible but are unlikely to be able to run a full service.
For details or to see our special timetables, please visit www.oxfordbus.co.uk/strike/