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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Abingdon Station Summer Fair - Saturday 3rd June 2017

Big White Wall

A survivor from service? Take care of yours & #familymentalhealth with @BigWhiteWall1, the online wellbeing service http://bit.ly/2nbWtmG

Do You Have Some Spare Time? Can You Help - The Royal British Legion in Oxfordshire?

Abbey Meadows - Refurbishment Project update - The park is now officially OPEN!

Abbey Meadows Refurbishment PROJECT UPDATE – 23/05/2017
The park is now officially OPEN!

Work has progressed quicker than expected on the new playground at Abbey Meadows in Abingdon and it in May 2017 it officially opened. 
As part of a £320,000 overhaul of the Abbey Meadows recreation facility,  the majority of the new play equipment has been installed and new flooring has been laid around the equipment,  all the green areas and mounds within the play are are growing well, several of the meandering paths have had the surfaces completed.  
They have kept some of the key pieces of the old as well – from the rocking horse to the slide, even some of the old benches too! 
Great to see them recycling!

The new climbing area is based on the town’s old abbey, there will also be a small replica of Abingdon Lock to walk along, a river scene complete with a boat, a sensory area and play garden, a new wide slide, trampoline, roundabout, an area for ball games as well as some traditional play equipment like slides, swings, climbing net and a zip wire.

Later in 2017 new public toilets, changing facilities and an accessible pathway will also be installed.more information can be found here
If you would like to see the old Abbey Meadow park this can be viewed here 

Big White Wall

Balancing service & family commitments is tough. @BigWhiteWall1 is available 24/7 for support. #familymentalhealth http://bit.ly/2nbWtmG

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Big White Wall

#Deployment is tough on any #family. Make sure they get the support needed with @BigWhiteWall1. #familymentalhealth http://bit.ly/2nbWtmG

Dalton Barracks - WRVS New Opening times!

Thames Valley Alert - National terrorism threat raised to critical

Last night the Prime Minister confirmed that the national terrorist threat has been raised to critical.  This means that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent. At this time there is no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to the Thames Valley.

Our priority is to protect the communities of the Thames Valley and visitors to our area. Overnight we have put in place additional armed and unarmed officers at key locations. This is very much focused on crowded places, including transport hubs and shopping centres.

Do not be alarmed if you see more armed police officers both on foot and in vehicles.  For operational reasons we are not confirming details of locations, tactics and numbers of police officers on duty to ensure the effectiveness of our deployments.

We will continue to work with our partners and event organisers to assess the planned events where we may need to enhance our presence.

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said:
“I would like to reassure you that the move to critical is something that we prepare for. We will continually review our deployments and take all possible steps to keep people safe within Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

BFBS Radio App

BFBS offers three main radio services: BFBS Radio for upbeat music-based programming and news, BFBS Radio 2 for music, sport and speech including the best of the BBC, and BFBS Gurkha Radio for Nepali language programmes.
  • BFBS Radio can be heard across the UK on DAB radio, overseas on FM, and online. You can also find us on Sky and Freesat.
  • BFBS Radio 2 can be heard overseas on FM, and online.
  • BFBS Gurkha Radio can be heard across the UK on AM, overseas on FM, and online.

WelComE - Wefare Communication Everywhere

Welfare Communications Everywhere, or WelComE, provides all UK service personnel deployed on ‘welfare-entitled’ deployments and exercises with publically funded calls, voicemail and internet access.
For any questions regarding the WelComE service, please contact the WelComE Customer Contact Centre (WCCC) for more information (open from Monday - Friday 06:00 to 22:00 (UK)) by emailing customer.support@mywelcome.co.uk

To find out more please click on  this link

BFPO Indicator List

Please use this link to see the full list of BFPO numbers

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Oxfordshire Play Association - Abingdon Play & Activity Day - Saturday 15th July 2017

AWS re:Start

Overnight Closures on the A34 - Abingdon Area

Some overnight closures on the A34 coming up:
A34 Abingdon to Drayton – Resurfacing
Kier Highways, on behalf of Highways England, will be resurfacing a section of the A34 southbound carriageway from Abingdon to Drayton, to ensure the carriageway remains in a safe and serviceable condition.
Highways England undertakes the majority of resurfacing works on the Strategic Road Network using a lower noise material. 
This material is thinner than conventional Hot Rolled Asphalt and has qualities which reduces noise levels.
The resurfacing works are currently scheduled to take place on the following dates:
Thursday 2 June to Tuesday 13 June 2017 (nine weekday nights) .
Thursday 6 July to Saturday 8 July 2017 (three consecutive nights) .
Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 July 2017 (two nights)
All works will be carried out overnight between 9pm and 6am.

Please be aware that these works have been carefully programmed but are subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances

Traffic Management
In order to carry out the work as efficiently and safely as possible, we will need to fully close the A34 southbound carriageway from the Hinksey Hill junction to the A4185 Milton Interchange.

During these closures a clearly signed diversion will be in place from the Botley Interchange, along the A420, A338 to Wantage, then east along the A417 back to the A34.
Confirmed dates for the closures will be displayed in advance on signs along the A34.

Contact Us
We would like to apologise in advance for any disturbance or inconvenience caused during the works.
If you have any questions or if you’d like you know about the work please contact Highways
England’s customer control centre:
Phone 0300 123 5000
Post: Highways England, Bridge House, 1 Walnut
Tree Close, Guildford, GU1 4LZ
Email info@highwaysengland.co.uk

Friday, 12 May 2017

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Soldier Magazine - May 2017 edition available to read online now

To read a copy online please follow this link

Thames Valley Police - Neighbourhood Newsletter - May 2017

Here is the latest neighbourhood team newsletter from PCSO Rich Osborn.

‘You said we did’/ Priorities
Parking at the schools:  I am working with Sunningwell Primary School to try and resolve parking issues outside the school and along Dark Lane. Myself and the school will have a problem solving meeting and will be using the SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assess) model to look at the issues and how and what can be done to resolve it to the satisfaction of all parties.  

Anti-social behaviour (ASB): Reports of ASB in the area have decreased on the whole. However, there have been reports of criminal damage and vehicle interference to cars along Church Lane and North Street, Marcham. It appears to be happening at night. I have dropped letters off at most of the properties on both sides of the road to make people aware and to ask for witnesses. If anybody has any information please contact me by emailing richard.osborn@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or call 101. If you would like to remain anonymous you can post a note into the community shop (when it is closed) addressed to me, and they will pass it on.

Crime prevention advice
There have been two burglaries in our area, one at a home and one at the community hall. With the nicer weather upon us we will have our windows open and unlocked more. Please take a little more time to make sure that you have closed and locked your windows and doors. It is good practice to keep valuable items from view and to make a log of them. Making a note of any serial numbers, makes and models and taking photographs of your property will help us identify items if they are stolen and recovered, making it more likely to get them back.

What the neighbourhood team have been doing
I attended the Appleford fete with my crewmate PCSO Sue Haynes. We took a Police car which was very popular with the children who enjoyed sitting in it and having their pictures taken. The parents said this is the first and last time they would want to see their children in a Police car!

Abingdon Air Show
We will be at the Abingdon Air show on the 14th May with the rest of my team and the Police Cadets. If you are interested in joining the Police Cadets and are aged between 13 and 17, we will have our display trailer there with some interesting exhibits from the Thames Valley Police museum so please come and see us!

Contact us
If you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non-emergency number 101 or if it is an emergency then dial 999. You can also contact us via email AbingdonOuterNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk. Please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters. To view information on your neighbourhood team visit the Thames Valley Police website at: www.thamesvalley.police.uk. Receive free local crime alerts and crime prevention advice by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk today. This allows anyone who signs up to choose what updates they receive and how they would like to receive it. The Thames Valley Police Twitter account is kept up to date with what we are up to; please follow us @TVPSouthandVale 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Scottish Veterans Residences

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The following vacancies are currently available
Edinburgh – Whitefoord House – 4 Vacancies
Glasgow – Bellrock Close – 3 Vacancies

For more details please contact

Frank Clark

Allocations & Void Officer
Scottish Veterans Housing Association
Tel No: 0131 556 0091 ext 230
Mob No: 07469660019

A member of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Registered Charity No 12739
Registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 & with The Scottish Housing Regulator

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AWS re:Start - FREE training and job placement programme

Army Basing Programme - SPTA Housing Infomration Leaflet - Issue 1 March 2017

Cherwell District Council residents - Are you still using "blue boxes"? You can upgrade to a blue wheelie bin FREEof charge?

Residents still using blue recycling boxes can now upgrade to a wheelie bin free of charge.
All houses in the district were originally provided with blue boxes, but Cherwell District Council has decided to stop supplying them as they are a source of wind-blown rubbish and are less cost effective than the bins.
The first blue bin is FREE 
 The blue bins come in two sizes: the standard 240 litre and the smaller 140 litre for those who have limited storage space. 
  Residents can swap to a larger or smaller bin at any time and recycling sacks will still be offered as an alternative for properties that do not have space for the blue bin.
Additional blue and brown recycling bins can be purchased for £30 each. 

Each house can have up to five recycling bins, either brown or blue (all blue, all brown or a mixture of both).
Every bin comes with a lifetime guarantee, so they are replaced or repaired free of charge if stolen or damaged.

Bins can be ordered online at http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/binordering
In order to recycle in the right way and avoid fines, residents are invited to check Cherwell recycling guidelines at http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1773

Friday, 5 May 2017

Cherwell District Council - Win a Golden Bin during Green Campaign

Win golden bin during green campaign
A door-to-door recycling campaign will see two lucky residents win a prize worth up to £30 this summer.
Cherwell District Council's green drive gets underway on 8 May and runs until the beginning of July. A council team will deliver recycling education packs to 20,000 homes across the district. A golden bin inside two of the packs will give the winners a choice of prizes from a local businesses, worth up to £30.
Council staff will be putting stickers onto residents' green rubbish bins to remind them to use their blue bins to recycle. They will also be hosting a competition to name a new recycling mascot for the district.
Ed Potter, Cherwell's head of environmental services, said: "Cherwell residents already do a great job of using their recycling services, with 56 per cent of waste recycled during the financial year 2016 to 2017.
"The district's recycling rate is well above the national average, but we're determined to improve it still further. We hope residents will be pleased to greet our friendly campaign team, who will be introducing themselves and clearing up any lingering doubts about how to use the recycling services.
"The competitions we are running are all about raising awareness about the importance of recycling, which is one of the easiest ways for people to help the environment and keep their neighbourhoods tidy. By backing this up with the know-how offered in the education packs we're issuing, we hope to make Cherwell an even cleaner and greener district."
The pack includes 'Right Stuff Right Bin', a handy leaflet covering recycling FAQs. It helps people navigate topics such as which plastics can and can't be recycled, and lifts the lid on how different materials are separated and given a new lease of life.

The name the mascot competition will be followed by a selfie competition, taking place at district markets over summer, and a contest for schoolchildren to design a panel to adorn a recycling collection vehicle. The winners of the selfie competition will also receive a prize worth up to £30 from select local businesses. Further information about the competitions and how to participate in them will be confirmed in due course.
Staff conducting the door-knocking campaign will be wearing council-issued jackets, t-shirts and credentials.

Talking SEND (Special educational needs and disability) - Advice Sessions

Talking SEND (Special educational needs and disability) - Advice Sessions. Do you have concerns about your child's education or would like some help in approaching school or nursery? Would you like support at a meeting or to talk through what you want to say? Would you like help with understanding reports, writing letters or getting ready for a meeting?
If you would like to find out more about the SEN system, or are looking for a chance to talk things through, join us at one of our free Wednesday morning Talking Points drop-in sessions. 
These advice sessions run from 10-11.30am.

Upcoming events:- A parent's guide to Outcomes

 To find out more please follow this link

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Moving To Scotland? - Education Guide For Children & Young People

Education in Scotland – An Introductory Guide has been produced with the full backing of the Scottish Government, and provides personnel either in Scotland or moving to Scotland with a comprehensive guide to all phases of education, with handy information and advice.  

Click here for more information 

Are You a Soldier wanting to use your Standard Learning Credits? How about signing up for the ECDL at the E-Learning Centre, Dalton Barracks?

Maggies Cancer Centre Oxford

Here are some upcoming/new activities happening in the centre

NEW Managing Stress Drop-in sessions (starting May 2017)
Whether you have cancer yourself or are supporting someone with cancer, for many it can be a stressful and challenging time. On Tuesday mornings we're holding new Managing Stress drop-in sessions, where anyone affected by cancer can drop-in and take part. You will be given the opportunity to try out various methods of relaxation including: controlling anxious thoughts, meditation and visualisation. One of our Cancer Support Specialists will guide you through techniques that can then be tried at home, when you need to unwind and relax.

Eating for Health workshop
Eating well during and after cancer treatment can make a real difference to the way you feel. Our nutrition workshops introduce you to types of food that are particularly good for you - and tasty ways to enjoy them. The workshops also cover treatment-related eating challenges, and offer the chance to ask questions about your own diet. The workshops are open to people with cancer and their families and friends.

Kids @ Maggie's
Our Kids' morning is for children aged 8-13 years old who have a family member living with cancer.  Offering a relaxed and creative way to help children learn about cancer and its treatments, this morning gives time to meet others in a similar situation. During the day we have the chance to visit the Radiotherapy Department and Treatment Unit at the hospital. Then it's back to Maggie's for refreshments and games.

For anyone who is interested in these activities please drop-in to the centre to find out more. You can also phone us on 01865 751882 or email on oxford@maggiescentres.org. You can also drop-in anytime (without an appointment) 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Maggie's Oxford Culture Crawl
We're excited to announce that our Culture Crawl 2017 will take place on Friday 29 September. Maggie's Culture Crawl is part night-walk, part cultural adventure. Our walkers enjoy exclusive access to amazing buildings, fantastic cultural experiences and delicious food and drink along the way. To find out more, visit www.maggiescentres.org/culturecrawl/.

Are you seeking childcare, trying to find Ofsted registered childminders. Or are you looking into childminding as a career?

Are you seeking childcare, trying to find Ofsted registered childminders. Or are you looking into childminding as a career?

Ofsted registered childminders are properly insured, properly first aid trained, thoroughly DBS checked and properly safeguarding trained as it is a mandatory requirement these are done before they can take children on to care for them. 
This is usually done through your local council as it provides the correct procedures. Childminders are early years education providers who follow the curriculum just like nurseries.
All ofsted registered childminders are given an initial inspection by ofsted themselves, and a certificate is not awarded until they are happy that you as a childcare provider have met the requirements.
Authentic Ofsted registered childminders can accept childcare vouchers, and can offer funded hours provided they are level 3 qualified, if someone wont accept childcare vouchers it is possible they may not have their Ofsted number.

For those who are considering childminding it is vital you have your Ofsted number before taking children on as it is a criminal offence to operate claiming or advertising as a childminder without the Ofsted registration number. £2000 fine and 6 months imprisonment is really not worth the risk. neither is the risk of anything happening to the children in your care or any allegations made against you or your family. 
Ofsted are there to protect you and your children as well as keeping high standards of early years providers. 
If you are unsure about anything please contact Ofsted or your local council they will be able to guide you. even childminder support pages such as Pacey for example offer inital visits to go through all the paperwork with you there is really no excuse not to. 
If you are waiting for your Ofsted number there is no harm in chasing this up with Ofsted.
The Oxfordshire Family Information Services which has helpful information from How to become a childminder, to the Local Childminder Directory which has a list of Ofsted Registered Childminders.

Supporting The Unsung Hero - Do you want to start your own business?

Mariposa Trust - Saying Goodbye Service - Saturday 20th May 2017

St Albans Church, Shrivenham and Silhouette Theatre Company present - THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE BIBLE, Friday 19th May 2017

AFF celebrates 35 years of support for Army families

AFF celebrates 35 years of support for Army families
This year, military charity the Army Families Federation (AFF) is celebrating 35 years of support for Army families.

Since its inception as the Federation of Army Wives Clubs back in 1982, AFF has evolved into a worldwide charity, working on behalf of all Army families – Regular and Reserve, wherever they are based, whatever their family make-up.

Facing challenge together
The charity has supported numerous families both through times of peace and during times of conflict, including in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Kosovo and, more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over time, they’ve expanded into more locations across the globe including Germany since 1989, Cyprus since 1994 and now Canada, Kenya and EJSU too. With the addition of volunteer support, AFF’s footprint reaches even further. So many Army families have since passed through these locations on posting and, no matter where the Army sends them, AFF wants families to know that, with their team of dedicated overseas staff, they are never far from friendly, accessible support.

Becoming AFF
In May 1996, the charity became the Army Families Federation and continued their hard work to improve the lives of Army families, tackling the issues families face and ensuring the Army family voice is heard by the MOD, government and other decision makers.

Their work encompasses any area of a family’s life affected by the Army; this includes housing, employment, education, money, health, Foreign & Commonwealth and more.

In addition to their work on the ground, their quarterly magazine Army&You provides a great snapshot of the Army community and has developed over the years into a professional publication dedicated to the families they serve.

Making sense of Army life’s changes
Army family life is constantly changing and AFF strives to secure, and then make families aware of, positive developments, which they hope improve the Army family experience.

AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said: “At AFF, we are immensely proud of the work we do in support of Army families, but our work never stops. As Army life changes, so must our work evolve to make sure we remain a relevant and trusted source of information and guidance. We remain committed to putting families’ needs at the heart of all we do and, on your Army family journey, we’ll be with you every step of the way.”

With the development of the Armed Forces Covenant, AFF continues to make sure the nation’s promise is truly meaningful, and works in collaboration with other businesses, charities and local authorities to bring the promises of the Covenant to life.

Watch AFF’s anniversary film
In celebration of how far they have come, AFF invites you to take a step through history with their special, 35th anniversary film here: https://www.facebook.com/ArmyFamiliesFederation/videos/1513109558728626/

To find out more about the work AFF does in support of Army families, visit www.aff.org.uk

Sub-letting of Service Families Accommodation

Travis Perkins signs Armed Forces Covenant

Did you know the UK’s leading builder’s merchant, Travis Perkins, has become the 1,500th organisation to sign the Armed Forces Covenant?

The company recognises the valuable skills and attributes those with a Service background can bring by offering flexible working for Service spouses. 
As well as providing support to the military in gaining NVQ qualifications in construction skills, they employ a number of Reserve and ex-Service personnel across the business with their ex-military recruitment initiative.
Travis Perkins operates from over 2,000 sites across the UK and employs over 28,000 people. For more information, visit www.travisperkinsplc.co.uk

Boost your digital skills with a FREE Microsoft Applications Course through AFF

Boost your digital skills with a FREE Microsoft Applications Course through AFF thanks to funding from tech training company, QA. 

Courses available on a first-come-first-served basis, contact our Employment & Training Specialist before Friday 2nd June 2017 to register your interest at etam@aff.org.uk
More details at http://bit.ly/2oSIu1K

Abingdon Air Show - Sunday 14th May 2017 - Watch the Rehearsal on Saturday 13th May 2017 for FREE

Rehearsal for the Abingdon Air Show
SAT 13TH MAY 2017.

Soldiers and families can gain FREE access to watch the rehearsal for the event, via the Detention Centre gate then forward to the "old trg wing" with either a dependents pass or MOD 90
  The old trg wing gate will be open from 1500 - 1830. 

 If you wish to see the show on SUNDAY you will have to PAY like the general public. 
Entry via airfield.


Local Slimming World Groups - Abingdon

Childcare Vouchers (ESC) VS Tax Free Childcare - Key things parents need to know