ISSUE 112 OUT NOW!
This issue includes:
- Leys Children’s Centre
- Go active at Gillians Park
- fuel and food poverty campaign
- Autumnal half term adventures
- Oxford Wheels of Gory
WITH energy prices rising and food banks in more demand than ever, it is no surprise that many people will be faced with making the decision between eating regular meals or heating their homes this winter. In fact many food banks are already reporting that many people are asking not to receive food that needs to be cooked because they simply cannot afford the cost of cooking hot food, let alone buying it.
So how are you going to cope this winter and how are you going to make sure that you and your family stay healthy, well and warm during the colder months of the year?
There is no simple or easy answer to this extremely worrying situation, but this is a time when communities have to pull together and help each other to live as well as possible, for less.
There are plenty of resources available online that provide simple, cheap recipes that are still healthy and well balanced, and there are also plenty of tips for keeping warm and still saving on your fuel bills.
However, we would like to know what readers of Leys News will be doing this winter to ensure they stay warm and well. We are hoping that through the pages of your community newspaper, readers will contact us with information, tips, help and advice that will provide some realistic and practical solutions to anyone who is facing food or fuel poverty this winter.
We will then publish this advice in an attempt to support anyone who needs help to save money while staying well.
Our Save Money and Stay Well campaign has been launched to provide practical help to anyone who needs it. We want to hear from residents, community groups and organisations, schools, youth groups and anyone else who would like to share their ideas for keeping warm and well this winter.
Perhaps you have discovered a brilliant and easy to navigate website that offers loads of tips and advice, or perhaps you have encountered a blogger who regularly writes about these problems and is already sharing ideas.
Maybe you are a thrifty cook who can feed their family for £10 a week, or have you been slaving away on your allotment all summer to grow your own produce to save on food bills?
Have you used a foodbank and how has it helped you and your family? Do you make your own clothes, or bulk buy your oil and gas to save cash?
Whatever tips you have, no matter how simple and obvious they may be, we want to hear from you! We are planning to publish as many as we can in each issue of Leys News throughout the winter months to help everyone Save Money and Stay Well this Winter.
There will also be some great reader offers and competition prizes up for grabs so watch this space!
Please send your contributions to
A moment of laughter among some of the 25 residents who took part in a workshop for the musical, 'Rock Nativity'. It is scheduled for mid-December at the Church of the Holy Family.
The success of last year's community production of 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' has prompted the Blackbird Leys Choir and others to take up a new challenge.
At the time of going to press the production company still needs a young female singer, about 15 years old, to take the part of Mary. All residents are welcome to the next rehearsal which is at 6.30pm on Wednesday 2 October at the Church of the Holy Family in Blackbird Leys Road. Each weeks two-hour rehearsals will be at the same time and place. Child-care will be provided if children of budding thespians are too young to take part.
For more details contact Sasha on 07917704320
By Cait Sweeney
IT IS BACK! After a two year absence, hundreds of families flocked to Blackbird Leys Park to enjoy the return of Leys Fair.
The event was organised by the Oxfordshire Play Association, who are passionate about play, and say: “Playing is magic for all ages, it excites, inspires, develops, challenges, raises confidence and, above all, it makes us feel happy.”
And a happy day it was! Packed full of free fun and entertainment for all the family; Go Karting, Body Zorbing, climbing walls, bouncy castles and D.I.Y face painting were just a few of the 80 activities on offer and most were available free of charge.
OPA are known for running play events and training throughout Oxfordshire, including one in Blackbird Leys Park last year, which was enjoyed by all those who attended, subsequently they were asked by the local parish council to organise the return of the fair, which they have been happy to do.
Organiser Jane Gallagher said: “It’s wonderful to see so many families having fun together in the park, it’s like an extended play day, with food stalls, local produce, arts and crafts, live music and entertainment too!”
The fair was funded with £10,000 of donations from Blackbird Leys Parish council and Oxford City Council; Northfield Brook councillors Steven Curran and Scott Seamons, and County Councillors Rae Humberstone and Val Smith donating £2,000 between them from their community pot. Funding also came through the housing association GreenSquare and a Community First Grant. The majority of the money raised at this year’s fair will go towards financing the fair next year.
So after a two year break, a tradition returns and after this year’s success it looks set to return again and again!
The Leys Community Market has just had its ninth month in action. It's still early days, exciting and challenging as things are getting established. But the organisers have noticed the market needs a logo. So your market is looking for inspired local talent.
How would you like to sharpen up your pencils, dust off your graphic package, or use a camera to come up with a winning design.
There's lots of scope to be creative in representing the flavour and identity of the market but the design should be no more than three colours.
For an entry form come to the Market on 21 September, 11am–2pm at the Barn.
All entries will form a fantastic exhibition on the 'Logo Wall' in the Barn.
For more details call Christine on 07804190409 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A VITAL community hub on Blackbird Leys is threatened with closure and people are being urged to come forward to support it.
Knights Road tattoo studio in Blackbird Leys is owned by Ian Austin who is facing really tough times following the recent death of his partner Susan Kellaway.
Ian has also been suffering from health problems and has struggled to keep the business afloat over the last few months. He is now calling on the community to rally and help him to save the business.
A campaign to raise £3,000 to save the business has been launched.
On the 19 May the ‘Archeox: Archaeology of East Oxford’ project will be at the Leys Community Buildings Open Day Celebration, digging a test pit at the Old Barn and members of the public can come and get involved, ask the team questions or have a go at finds washing.
The project runs events throughout east Oxford which are open to volunteers. Events include: walks, talks, excavation, post excavation such as finds washing, drawing workshops, GIS training, geophysical surveying and more. No experience is necessary; someone will always be available to give training and guidance. Anyone who would like to get involved can sign up through their website
, follow them on Facebook: Archaeology of East Oxford (archeox) and on twitter: @archeoxnet, or call a member of the team on 01865 270 319.
The Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground needs your help. The group is refurbishing the grounds and premises of the adventure playground and hopes to be open by the beginning of the summer term.
Volunteers are needed to help run the sessions on Monday to Fridays from 3-5pm during term time and during the summer holidays for a four week play scheme.
Sue Price from BLAP said: “We will train all volunteers. We hope to offer training in February and March and all volunteers will be CRB checked so we know all are safe to work with children.
“No qualifications are necessary only a willingness to help children aged from eight to 13 as they play and learn new skills. BLAP will have a gardening and cooking area, an arts and craft centre, outdoor play and organised games. We could even offer music sessions as we have steel drums and guitars. Grandparents might also like to help the young people build dens, mend bikes, garden or cook, and we hope that parents might like to spend one session a week with us.”
Sue added: “People currently looking for employment might also find the training helpful as an addition to their CV, and we aim to work on Olympic and Jubilee themes during the summer.”
Find out more by phoning Sue Price as soon as possible on 01865 429036 or 07773848998