ISSUE 106 OUT NOW!
This issue includes:
- Fun and games at BLAP!
- Remembering Jake Spicer
- Housing benefit changes
- Community Market
- Go green on the Leys!
PLANS are hotting up for this year’s Community Open Day on the Leys.
On Saturday 18 May between 12 and 4 pm, community buildings across the estate will throw their doors open to visitors for a big community afternoon packed full of fun activities and great stalls to visit.
Twenty six community groups from the Clockhouse, Dovecote and Barn on Greater Leys will be setting up stalls to tempt visitors with all sorts of goodies such as home-made jams and preserves, handcrafts, plants, herbs, and cakes to take home.
You can try your luck with raffles and a tombola, browse for bric-a-brac, and visit the lively Leys Community Market.
There will be a giant slide, inflatable sumo wrestling, and a climbing activity to enjoy, plus a bouncy castle for younger children.
After all that bouncing, everyone may be ready for delicious savoury food in the Barn. Or perhaps tea and cakes at the Clockhouse café, where you can relax and visit the beautiful and peaceful courtyard garden.
Dance displays and harmony singing will be taking place, with opportunities to have a go yourself.
A host of other activities are also on offer, such as painting for children, cupcake decorating, and sewing demonstrations.
The Leys’ very own OBE, Jim Hewitt, will be opening the fete. Jim received his award in recognition of his outstanding work within the local community.
This is the second annual Greater Leys Community Buildings Open Day Fete.
Events will take place in and around the Clockhouse, Dovecote and Barn, and also at Kingfisher Green where you can visit the Leys News office and find out all about how the paper is produced.
The fete aims to celebrate and promote the many different activities and services happening in housing association buildings on Greater Leys. It is organised by the Greater Leys Community Building Events Group, made up of participating groups, and co-ordinated by Ines Kretzschmar, the community worker for Catalyst and Leys Housing Consortium.
Come and find out more, and help hardworking voluntary organisations to raise funds so that they can continue benefitting our community.
For more details, ring 01865 395908
A SPECIAL event to remember and celebrate the life of local teenager Jake Spicer will be held on 18 May.
Jake from Shepherd’s Hill died in 2009 aged 15 after being diagnosed five-a-half years earlier with a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. Before he died, Jake raised thousands of pounds for charities Clic Sargent, Cancer Research UK, the Thomas Ball Cancer Care Fund and SeeSaw.
Family friend Laura Bradley said: “Jake lost his battle in life a few years ago, he was a very inspirational person with a lot to give and his family has continued to support Helen and Douglas House Hospice who not only helped Jake in his final few days but helped his family during the hard times too.”
Jake’s family has organised a football fun day at Blackbird Leys playing field just off Cuddeson Way. Laura added: “There will be things to do on the day including beauty treatments, face painting, cake stalls, a raffle, football, Aunt Sally darts and three lads are also doing a sponsored waxathon and head shave to hopefully raise more money for the amazing charity.
“I feel work like this should be noticed and people should be aware of what we are trying to do.
“The more people we can get there that day the better, we will all be there between 10am and 4pm and would love to people to come along and see how the death of an inspirational young boy can turn one family into an inspiring and amazing one.”
PEOPLE from across the Leys enjoyed the estate’s first community market, and stall holders are already keen to book for the next event in February.
Christine McDermott said: “It was a well attended launch, with about 100 people from across the estate passing through the doors. There was a real buzz and friendly atmosphere as people bought, sold, mingled, chatted and perused the market produce. Children enjoyed some fun activities, Santa arrived, creative Christmas cards were made and the bacon baps flew through the cafe! The Singing for Fun Choir added a really quality festive atmosphere.”
Christine added: “We’re really encouraged by all the feedback, from stall holders and shoppers alike. There’s been a swell of interest to rebook stalls for future markets and the only problem we foresee is that we’ll out grow the Barn very rapidly!
“We’d really like to thank all those that made the day such a rip roaring success. We’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg for the potential in the Leys.”
The next market will be on Saturday 9 February.
To find out more about volunteering and to get involved with the market contact email@example.com
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.
A public community planning drop-in session is to be held on Thursday 13 September, 5-7pm, at the front reception of Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road.
All members of the local community are invited to share their views, thoughts and ideas on the future of Blackbird Leys.
It will be one of two such events organised by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, in partnership with Oxford City Council.
The Prince’s Foundation charity promotes sustainable development and community engagement in the planning and design process.
THE dream to put on the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the Leys is becoming a reality, following a financial boost from the community.The production has received a generous gift from a local resident and the support of Blackbird Leys Parish Council, Leys Housing Consortium, Communities First, and Westhill Endowment.
Trevor Davies the leader of the Blackbird Leys Choir and Mark Williams will be the musical and stage directors for the production that will take place in February 2013.
Organisers are still looking for adults and children over the age of 14 for the main character parts. There are large and small parts available, and there is no need to be an experienced actor or singer but you do need to enjoy acting, singing and having fun.
Sasha East who is part of the team organising the production, said: “The way to get involved is to come to the initial workshop where you will meet Trevor and take part in a creative programme he has devised for us. The production of the musical will be an event for the whole of Leys community. Come by yourself, with friends or family members. It should draw out the best from across the Leys and we’ll be aiming at excellence but we want the musical to be one that families can share in. If you are under 14 then you will need to come with a parent or carer to all the rehearsals. Later in the year adults and children can get involved making costumes and scenery.”
Rehearsals will take place on Thursdays between 6.30 to 8.30pm from 20 September at Church of the Holy Family (entrance on Blackbird Leys Rd).
The performances are taking place from Friday to Sunday nights on 8, 9, 10 February 2013, and tickets will be available soon.
All are welcome to take part in the workshop day, and there is no charge for the day.
Anyone interested in getting involved should be at The Barn in Nightingale Avenue from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Saturday 15 September. Drinks will be provided but please bring a packed lunch.
If you think you can help in any way or want to be part of the production contact Sasha on 07917704320
A SPECIAL open day to give independent living advice to older people on the Leys is planned for later this month.
The Extra Care Open Day on 21 September has been organised by The Greater Leys Care Service, which offers a new choice for older people looking to live independently for as long as they possibly can.
The service provides the security and privacy of an affordable home of your own, a range of local facilities and activities, as well as care staff available on site 24 hours a day if residents need them. This new type of service is a partnership between Catalyst Housing, GreenSquare, Oxfordshire County Council Social and Community Services and Oxford City Council.
The new Extra Care Scheme on Greater Leys starts with the open day celebrations in Potters Court and Frys Court from 11.30am–2.30pm. Andrew and Val Smith will open the new scheme with a ribbon cutting on the day.
There will also be a food taster session organised by the meal service, and there will be activities such as singing, gentle exercise and drumming provided by the Leys CDI Clockhouse and Leys CDI Youth project, as well as plenty of opportunities to talk to staff and have a tour of some of the flats in Potters and Frys Court.
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.
AN open day to celebrate the work of more than 20 community groups across the Leys will take place in May. Ines Kretzschmar, Leys Housing Consortium Worker, said that the idea behind the open day is to let people know what goes on in the community buildings on the estate, and to encourage them to take part in the activities that are on offer.
COMMUNITY groups across the Leys are celebrating after being awarded thousands of pounds worth of grants to help continue their vital work. The Credit Union, BLITZ IT Hub and the Leys Community Development Initiative were all winners following the announcement by Oxford City Council. Leys News is also celebrating and making its own headlines this month, following the news that your community paper has been awarded a grant of £10,000.
John Charlton, Business Development Manager for Leys News said: “We are over the moon about this news and feel extremely privileged to have been awarded the full grant that we applied for. We are very grateful to Oxford City Council for their tremendous support and for supporting our vision for community newspapers in Oxford.
“This funding will help the business to grow, offer more training and volunteering opportunities to local people and help us to make your community newspaper even better. This really is great news for everyone. At a time when many charities and groups are having their grants cut, it is positive to see some community projects are still being supported.”