News Archive

0Wednesday, 1st NOVEMBER 2017

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire meets TSB Abingdon!

Today, we were delighted to meet with Charlotte, our Charity Champion, at TSB in Abingdon!  We have been selected as their Local Charity of the Year and they have hit the ground running with enthusiasm and fundraising!  Since the start of the collaboration at the beginning of September, they have held a cake sale, run a half marathon and run a raffle.  We were honoured to be asked to draw the winning name in the raffle today – we will let them deliver the good news!  Huge thanks to Bank Manager, Steve, for running the Oxford Half Marathon and to Jamie for all his support and ideas.  We feel more excited than ever to be selected and look forward to collaborating on some fun fundraising as the year goes on !

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Thursday, 28th SEPTEMBER 2017

MOD Covenant funded Under Fives Drop-in Group making a difference!

Thanks to funding secured from the Ministry of Defence Covenant fund we have been able to set up a drop-in group at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon.  The group is open to military and civilian families and their pre-schoolers and is successfully delivering opportunities for families to play and socialise.   Find us at The Community Centre, Cholswell Road, Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, OX13 6HW every Thursday from 10 – 11.30am.

#TSBLocalPride! We are a TSB Local Charity Partner 2018/19

We are delighted and excited to have been selected as a TSB Local Charity partner for the coming year.  Looking forward very much to collaborating with TSB in our local community and sharing our experiences with them!  Keep watching on the website for news and updates about what we are getting up to!  Thank you to everyone who voted for us!



 Donate Online!

We now have our own BT MyDonate page. If you would like to make a donation to Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire, please click on the MyDonate link here. Thank you.


Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire Recipe Book!

It’s in – Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire’s recipe book! Thirty excellent recipes from our lovely volunteers. To receive one, please contact our office on 01235 511152.  ALL proceeds to Home-Start to go to our postnatal depression group and volunteer home-visiting.

Recipe cover second proofs FB


We didn’t Dilly or Dallie ….. we just walked 50,000m for Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire !!

We at Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire would like to thank the lovely Dawn and Sallie for taking part in the Thames Path Challenge for us in September. They did very well and you can read about their day here.


dawn and sallie 2

Saturday 13th September 2014 ……. It’s a chilly misty morning in a marquee in Runnymede, full of people feeling a little bit sick with anticipation of the challenge ahead!  The hours of training are about to be put into action as Sallie and I await the start of our 50Km challenge to walk from Runnymede to Henley along the Thames Path.  Sallie gets a cup of tea and I bind most of my feet in Compeed plasters.  We take part in a Zumba warm up class before we are scanned in for a 9am start.  We are called into a holding pen (yes, they really called it that and it really was a pen!!) and we chatter nervously with other 9am starters.  Then we countdown from five ….. four …..three …..two……… and we are off !!

Firstly, relief – we are on our way, quickly followed by the reality of the distance we are about to walk!!  But it is turning into a beautiful morning and the Thames is looking lovely.

We set off a quite a pace and the field is quite spread out so we have to be careful not to stride it out too quickly – we have a long way to go.  It seems no time at all until we reach the first rest stop at 12.5km.  Time to grab some snacks, more water and we are on our way again.  The mood amongst the competitors is happy and positive.

By the half way stop, we have actually walked about 28km so we are feeling quite positive that we have walked over half the distance but it is starting to hurt.  I know my feet are already blistered in several places but I dare not take my shoes off for fear that I will never get them on again!!  We take a few minutes to eat some more snacks and do a bit of stretching, sharing a few words with other challengers who are doing the same and starting to feel the same way we do.  We don’t want to stop for long.   Every stop allows the muscles to stiffen and every start hurts just that little bit more.

The weather is now glorious, almost perfect for the event – sunny, dry and warm.  We set off on stint three encouraged by the huge number of texts and Facebook messages we are receiving from those following our progress.

At about 18 miles we are greeted on route by my husband, children, Mum and Uncle who have dutifully waited by the river at Bourne End with water bottles, bananas and Snickers bars !!  Quick hugs all round and a snatched conversation tells us Mum and Uncle will move along to Marlow and will have cappuccinos ready for us as we pass the church where I was married !!!  Hubby and kids are heading to Hurley Lock to spur us on – that will be about 26 miles so we will be needing the encouragement by then !!

The cappuccinos really pick us up for a little while and we continue at a good pace, now feeling like we just want to get to the end.  We are starting to hurt from the waist down and compare which bits of our legs ache the most !!  When we reach the 3rd rest stop we know we cannot stop for very long at all – just time to stretch a little and top up the water supplies but if we sit down we will never get up again !!  We set off knowing that next time we stop we will be in Mill Meadows at Henley and we will have done it ….. it’s now mind over matter!!

We see supporters at Hurley and receive lots of words of encouragement – they are now moving onto Henley to see us finish ……. If we do!?!  The doubts are creeping in ……… can we do it?

Finally we emerge onto the straight path along the Thames and we can see Henley in the distance.  We are both walking in silence now – Sallie is feeling quite unwell and my feet just don’t feel like they fit in my shoes anymore and it hurts a lot.  My legs are leaden and it is only the bridge at Henley that will take us into the town that keeps me going.  Hubby is tracking us on his iPad and he knows we are nearly there.  A lady cycles past me and says sympathetically, “You look in pain?”.  I answer, “I am!”  She wishes us luck as she rides away.

Then, one of blisters gives way and I have to stop.  We apply more plasters but my foot is raw and walking normally is almost impossible.  We are 3km from the finish ….. there is NO WAY I am going to be beaten now !!  We cross the bridge into Henley at a significantly reduced pace and, to our utter astonishment and dismay, the route takes us through the town, up the hill, along and down again before turning towards Mill Meadows!  That seems SOOOOOO cruel!!

But as we turn back onto the waterfront, we can hear cheering.  I ask Sallie if that’s the finish line we can hear …… I thought it was a little further along?  But then, the pink arrows that have been guiding us for 50 long kilometres turn us away from the river bank and onto the green where we see the finish line and excited children running to greet us!  “We’re going in, Sal, we are going in!”

At that point, I could have run!  Nothing hurt anymore and I couldn’t believe we had actually done it!!  I punched the air as I crossed the line and Sallie just laughed hysterically!!  We had done it! Medals, finishers T-shirts, a glass of fizz and lots of official photos!!  We did it!

All Antiques Hoarders out there!

Roysse Room, the Guildhall, Abingdon

Climb up to your attic or have a look in your garage or shed, you never know what you might find! Local children’s charity, Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire, is holding an antiques charity valuation event where people can come along with their treasures to be valued, with all proceeds going to the charity. The cost is £5.00 for two items and then £1.50 for each subsequent item. The event will take place in the Roysse Room, the Guildhall, Abingdon, on Thursday 11 September between 10.30am and 1.00 pm.

For more information, contact Home-Start on 01235 511152.


Don’t Dilly Dallie, Dawn and Sallie !!

Our lovely volunteer Dawn and her friend Sallie are undertaking an extraordinary challenge in September – walking the 50km Thames Path Challenge. No mean feat… We wish them ALL the very best for the walk and if you would like to find out more about our intrepid walkers, the walk, and sponsor them, please take a look at the link here. You can also like their Facebook page here.


A Walk in the Country

Thank you to everyone who took part in our second Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire walk between Dorchester and Wittenham Clumps. The weather was glorious and the company genial. Watch out for our next walk and in the meantime, if you would like to make a donation, please visit our  online giving site .

sponsored walk 22_06_14


Thank you Friends of Home-Start Volunteers

Thank you to our wonderful Friends of Home-Start fundraising committee, who have raised over £1,000 in less than a year. We are so grateful for your support!

Local Support

As with all charities, fundraising is a major part of the work we carry out. We are very lucky that we are supported by local parish and town councils, trusts, individuals and of course, our wonderful volunteers and families.

Donate Online!

We now have our own BT MyDonate page. If you would like to make a donation to Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire, please click on the MyDonate link here. Thank you.

If you would like to fundraise for us, or simply share some ideas, please do get in touch. We also have a small and friendly group of volunteers called “Friends of Home-Start” who meet up regularly to talk about plans, often over a cup of tea. In fact, one of our latest projects is to organise fundraising tea parties!

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