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Community Information Day 2022

Saturday 26 March

After two years of meeting on Zoom or outdoors at Bridge Store, DTRA and the 50+ Group hosted a free Spring Community Information Day at Donnington Community Centre OX4 4 BB, on Sat 26 March, 11am - 3pm.

The aim was to showcase the work of DTRA and the 50+ Group on behalf of tenants and residents, and celebrate what's been achieved in supporting local residents during the past two years.

It was a warm sunny day. Cecily made sure everyone had tea and cake, David was on hand to help answer digital technology questions as part the Digital Donnington project, and Dannah held a taster session for the 50+ Health & Wellbeing Project for older people and their carers.

Meadow Lane Nature Park

September 2020

We've noticed a surge in people visiting the nature park, including many who have never been there before and have been delighted to discover it.

During summer local volunteers cleared the brambles and nettles from the river bank to open it up, so that more people can enjoy it while socially distancing. Our Friends have been picking up litter in the park as usual. But even better, members of the public visiting the park have been seen doing the same! The Council's green team (credit to Steve and Carl) have also been doing a great job keeping the paths mown, while the fruit trees we planted have blossomed.

Volunteers needed!

Once life returns to normal, the 50+ Group have been thinking about the possibility of indoor events eventually and wish to expand to include a film club, craft sessions, poetry & book sharing, exercise sessions and a lunch club, working with the NHS and Donnington Doorstep. We are a diverse community with shared talents and a shared life. Let’s make things better after the enormous shock and upheaval we have all suffered. If you have any volunteer skills in IT or any of these areas please get in touch. Contact Cecily, 50+ Group manager

Weekly Outdoor 50+ group meetings

Wednesdays 11am to 12.30pm

The impact of the pandemic has been hard on our older members. We have worked, with help from Oxford Hub volunteers, to stay in touch via phone, Zoom, and – since August – started hosting outdoor meetings at Bridge Store by Donnington Bridge.

We meet in the open under a gazebo in the grassy area, sitting on benches and tables made from pallets. We have enjoyed meeting there with real contact and support for members and friends. The group is open to anyone and meets a social need in the open air for all ages.

Silver Surfer IT Zoom sessions

Every Tuesday at 11am

Many of our isolated members were disappointed at the sudden disappearance of their weekly lifeline for support and company when the lockdown started. So we began weekly Silver Surfer Zoom meetings on Tuesdays hosted by IT volunteers David and Ann. The IT group showed appreciation too, with a donation to the Oxford Association for the Blind for also helping out. Contact email dtra50plus@gmail.com

Reminiscence Project

September 2020

Helen Fountain from Oxford City Museum arranged a Reminiscence Art Project for the 50s+ Group, together with AgeUK, during one of our Zoom meetings. This was the outcome of the consultation she held with us last year into older people`s access to local cultural activities. The virtual session showcased people’s photographs and memories of Oxford as part of the Museum’s Reminiscence project. For more information please get in touch with Cecily, 50+ Group manager, or contact Helen at helenfountain@ageukoxfordshire.org.uk

Over 50s Group celebrates 10 years!

February 2020

Thank you for all your friendship and support these past 10 years, especially for your participation in the outings and activities over Christmas, the raffle, the sharing of festive food, and support for volunteers Julie and Bernie’s retirement gift (left). Our next event is our Community Information Day, details to be announced soon.

Donnington Community Music Festival

19 October 2019

We had an enjoyable and well attended event featuring Franklin's Tower, Mark Bosley Band, Delnavaz (shown top), The Jesters (bottom), Scott Gordon Band, Firegrazer, Phil and Sue, Matt Sewell and Uke-in Be Anything ya Wanna.

The day raised £317 from donations and merchandise. The proceeds will go towards Donnington Doorstep family centre and DTRA's projects.

Thanks to everybody who attended, took part or helped out. More photos and videos at www.facebook.com/donningtoncommunitymusic

Donnington Day!

29 June 2019, Recreation Ground & Sea Cadets Hall

This was our first outdoor festival event held on one of the hottest days of the year! The festival brought together all local groups in the area. Donnington FC held friendly children's games, Donnington Doorstep hosted children's arts & crafts and Donnington Community Music hosted the busking tent.

Stall included Rose Hill & Donnington Advice Centre, Thames Valley Police, Full Circle, Story Museum, Wild Oxford, Oxford City Farm, Friends of Aston Eyot, Friends of Meadow Lane Nature Park, Oxford Badger Group, Age UK and Donnington Over 50s group.

Our thanks to all the volunteer festival organisers, and everyone who came, for making the day a success. You can see all the photos here.

Over 50's Group manager Cecily Kirtland receives Certificate of Honour

7 May 2019

Cecily Kirtland, Over 50's Group’s manager, received a Certificate of Honour for her contribution to volunteering by Oxford’s Lord Mayor at this year's Town Hall awards ceremony. Cecily is a local resident who in 2010 initiated and founded the Over 50s Group. This is a popular community project that encourages Donnington’s most vulnerable older residents to get out of their homes to socialise weekly at ‘tea and chat’ sessions at Donnington Community Centre. The group has grown to 50 members, two of whom are over 100. Congratulations Cecily!

Goodgym helps Friends of Meadow Lane Nature Park

May 2019

A group of people from Goodgym Oxford ran (yes, RAN!) to Meadow Lane Nature Park and helped out doing loads of useful stuff like watering the trees and trimming back the brambles. Here's a report of their exploits: https://www.goodgym.org/…/goodgym-went-to-mow-went-to-mow-a

Thanks so much you wonderful people! Come back and see us again soon!

Picturing the past

April 2019

You may remember the photo exhibitions in 2013 put on to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Donnington Bridge. It got a lot of people telling stories of what it was like to live here before the road bridge. There are fascinating stories to learn when older people reminisce about times past.

We will be starting a project at the Donnington Over 50s group, bringing together the regular reminiscence sessions with our IT project, in which every Tuesday morning from 1130 to 1300 volunteers help older people make better use of the Internet.

Older people will take digital photographs of their old prints, share them online with other local old people, who can then comment, adding their own stories, so building up pictures of the past, the stories of people in this parish. This is part of a larger project on digital photo sharing being put together with Age UK, Oxford Brookes University the Oxford 50+ network and others.

Donnington IT project gets a grant

April 2019

The ASDA Community Foundation presented a cheque to the Bridging Donnington Over 50's Group to pay for equipment to be used to bring the IT project to people who cannot make it to the community centre.

Once we have recruited some more IT volunteers, we will be arranging sessions at other residences where older people live. We will bring along a laptop, projector and tablets for hands on sessions.

But first, we need some more volunteers. We don’t do formal training. You just need to be able to patiently answer questions on how to use phones or computers to do something. Can you help? Please contact David Newman at dtra50plus@gmail.com.

More trees for the nature reserve

16 February 2019

Thanks to everyone who came along to our tree-planting work party today. We planted new trees, worked hard and ate home-baked cake brought out to us on the reserve! A real community effort. Can't wait to see the apple blossom in the Spring.

Computer club on the move

February 2019

The Over 50s group are developing a community outreach project with volunteers reaching out to older, vulnerable residents in their own homes or in extra care homes such as those in Remy & Lucas Place, George Moore Close and Rosemary Court. This will be linked to our weekly Computer Club sessions in Donnington Community Centre every Tuesday 11.30am to 1pm, organised by David Newman and Ann Clark. More volunteers are will be needed to support this project.

For more information contact Cecily Kirtland 01865 242852.

The nature reserve that nobody knows about!

January 2019

I’ve lived in Donnington for 2 years now but it wasn’t till I was cycling around last winter that I discovered the little gem that is Meadow Lane Nature Park. It’s tiny, secluded and peaceful, with meandering paths and dens in the bushes going down to the river. A perfect place for a picnic watching the boats go by.

To spread the word we formed a Friends group. Find out what’s going on at the Nature Park by going to our Facebook page Friends of Meadow Lane Nature Park.

Sue Rowe