Friday, 2nd FEBRUARY 2018

TSB Abingdon Run for Us in Blenheim 7K Fun Run

We are delighted that a team from TSB Abingdon are supporting us by taking part in the Blenheim 7K Fun Run on Sunday, 29th April, 2018! We will be encouraging them every step of the way! You can sponsor them at :

and all funds raised will help us to support young families across our area. #TSBLocalPride #LocalCharityPartner

Thursday, 21st DECEMBER 2017

A very Merry Christmas One and All!

Our office closes today for the Christmas break and will re-open on Tuesday, 2nd January 2018! May we take this opportunity to wish all of our families; our staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year! We look forward to working together with you all again next year.

Monday, 20th NOVEMBER 2017

October Raffle in TSB Abingdon presents winner’s hamper!

As part of their commitment to support us as Local Charity of the Year, TSB Abingdon held a raffle during October.  The raffle £56 for us and the winner was presented with his hamper by Steve, the bank’s manager and Debbie, one of the branches cashiers.  Thank you to TSB Abingdon’s staff and customers for your support.

Wednesday, 8th NOVEMBER 2017

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is approaching!

We are taking part in The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge, a week long live online donation event. All funds raised will support our project, the “First Babies Group” in Didcot. The campaign goes live on #GivingTuesday, 28th November 2017, and runs for a week. Read on to find out more about what donations can achieve …

THE NEED – First-time parents often find themselves isolated at home. The challenges of parenting a new baby can be exhausting and unpredictable and can undermine confidence. The emotional impact of this situation can be detrimental to both the parents and the new baby, resulting in difficulties in forming the early bonds which offer stability in the child’s future. The mental health of the new parents may also suffer and this, in turn, may have an effect of family and friends, and the wider community.

OUR SOLUTION – Our established First Babies Group in Didcot supports babies from birth to 15 months and their parents. The group runs 2 hours per week, 48 weeks of the year and provides;
-a friendly, non-judgmental environment for new parents
-the chance to share experiences
-stimulating and age-appropriate activities to engage the babies and parents, planned by an experienced worker
-opportunities to join First Aid and Baby Massage courses
-monthly visits by a Staff Nurse

Please feel free to share this information to raise awareness of our project and the live campaign at the end of the month. Thank you.

Wednesday, 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 !

Wednesday, 1st NOVEMBER 2017

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire needs YOU!

Voting is well underway in the Aviva Community Fund.  We need your votes before 21st November to give us a chance of making the finals!  The sign up process is very simple and takes 5 minutes (if that!) and will reward you with 10 votes to award to your favourite project!  Here’s the link to our favourite !

********************************** VOTE NOW !! **********************************


Monday, 23rd OCTOBER 2017

#AvivaCommunityFund voting details released : VOTE FROM 9AM TOMORROW !

Here are the all important links you will need to lend us your support ….. you can register to vote, see how voting works, view our project and make your votes.  Your support will mean the world to us.

Monday, 23rd OCTOBER 2017

Voting opens in the Aviva Community Fund tomorrow! #Vote4Us #ClassOf2017Volunteers

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire needs you!  Our project “Class of 2017 Volunteers” is eligible to receive votes in the Aviva Community Fund from tomorrow.  We need as many votes as possible to qualify for the finals and to be in with a chance of securing funding for our new volunteers!  You will need to register, if you are not already, and then you can see details of our project and how to vote.  We will be keeping you updated here with all the links and information that you will need.  Please #Vote4Us. Thank you.

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.

Thursday, 21st SEPTEMBER 2017

New Volunteer Preparation Course gets underway!

Today, we welcome 18, yes 18, new trainee volunteers to our Preparation Course!  We are thrilled to have so many enthusiastic volunteers and excited about how many more families we can help when you all begin working with families.  Welcome aboard!

Thursday, 14th SEPTEMBER 2017

#TSBLocalPride! We are a TSB Local Charity Partner 2017/18.

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!

Monday, 4th SEPTEMBER 2017

Big Give Christmas Challenge Pledger Deadline Extended!

The deadline for pledging funds to the match funding pot for our Big Give Christmas Challenge has been extended by 1 week!  The deadline is now Friday, 8th September at 5pm!

We need to secure a minimum of £1000 of pledges by Friday to take part in the “live” campaign at Christmas!  Can you help?  Do you know someone who can?  Are you a grant-making trust or a local business who would like to support a project in your community?  Please browse the links below to find out more ….. we’d love it if you would support us!



Monday, 4th SEPTEMBER 2017

Waitrose Wantage Community Matters Scheme raises £337 for Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire!

Thank you so much to everyone who popped a green token in the voting box for us in Waitrose Wantage during August!  We are delighted to have been told that your votes raised us £337!  A huge thanks to Waitrose for the running of this initiative and for supporting us in store.

Monday, 21st AUGUST 2017

2 weeks left to be a Big Give Christmas Challenge Pledger!

Make your money work 4x as hard by becoming a pledger in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017. Your pledge will match funds donated at Christmas (2x).  Your pledge may secure a Big Give Champion matched funder too! (3x) Champion funds will match online donations so that’s 4x the worth of your original pledge! See how here ….

August 2017

Vote for us in Waitrose Wantage’s Community Matters Scheme!

We are delighted to receive the support of the Waitrose store in Wantage throughout August through their Community Matters Scheme.  You can support us too by dropping a green token into our box at the end of the checkouts.  Depending on the numbers of tokens we receive, we will get a share of the £1000 donation that Waitrose make to community causes every month!  Make a #tokengesture and help us support young families.  A huge thank you to Waitrose for your support.

Image result for waitrose green token

Tuesday, 25th JULY 2017

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire to take part in The Big Give’s on-line Christmas Challenge!

We are taking part in The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2017.  It’s a fabulous match funding opportunity to raise funds for First Babies support groups.  We are looking for pledgers to match online funds raised in the “live” campaign later this year … can you help?

Find out more about this wonderful opportunity and how it works at

You can read more about or “First Babies Group” project and who it helps by following this link :

And if you think you could be a “pledger”, please get in touch so that we can send you a bit more information or go online to make your pledge ….

Thank you !

Saturday, 17th JUNE 2017

“The Little Pop-Up and Play Shop” came to Wallingford Carnival!

This year’s carnival had a “Work and Play” theme so we took our “Little Pop-Up and Play” shop to Wallingford’s Market Place.  We sold second hand books and a selection of hand-made and donated gifts in a street stall with a twist!

Children were invited to don their “uniform” …. 

price the stock, serve the customers and operate the till!  They even received “wages” in the form of chocolate coins for their efforts!  And thanks to their efforts (and that of a few grown up helpers!) we made a magnificent £115.18 for the charity!

Calling all bookworms !!  The Home-Start Booksale is back !  Come and see us in Wallingford and stock up with some bargain books to see you through Autumn and Winter evenings!




Spring walk – Sunday 20th March at 10.30 am – Dorchester to Wittenham Clumps. Thank you to everyone who came and for your donations – more walks coming soon !

Walk 20_03_16

 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



Wallingford Parish Church Choir concert 6 December, St Mary’s Wallingford

A big thank you to Wallingford Parish Church Choir and Sue Ledger who held their traditional Christmas Concert on 6 December at 7.30 pm in St. Mary’s Church for Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire. What a beautiful concert, with all ages taking part and everyone really enjoying themselves. Thank you, we are very grateful for your support.

choir 2



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.


Home Start Bonhams Valuation Day: Thursday 28 November 2013

We were delighted with our Bonhams’ Valuation Day in Thame. We raised over £250.00 and we would like to thank everyone who came along, Toby and Louise from Bonhams who valued treasures and the lovely volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly.

We plan to hold more days in the future, so watch this space!

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


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!





Latest News

TSB Abingdon Run for Us in Blenheim 7K Fun Run

We are delighted that a team from TSB Abingdon are supporting us by taking part in the Blenheim 7K Fun Run on Sunday, 29th April, 2018! We will be encouraging them every step of the way! You can sponsor them … Continue reading