Category Archives: News

Can you help the NHS this winter?

Winter is traditionally the busiest time of year for the NHS, and so patients are being reminded to only use Emergency Departments in Oxford and Banbury in an emergency.

There are a range of alternative options available for non-emergency situations to ensure you get the appropriate care you need, and save an unnecessary trip to the Emergency Department.

What’s available?

  • Self-care is the best choice for minor illnesses and injuries – a range of common winter ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.  Having a winter plan – such as keeping stocked up on medicines, keeping your home warm, and looking out for neighbours – can also be beneficial.
  • Local pharmacies can give advice on several conditions, such as coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and skin conditions, as well as advise on stopping coughs and colds from getting worse.
  • NHS 111 has call handlers who can help you choose the right health services for your needs, as well as a website.  NHS 111 can put you in touch with a clinician, a GP, book you an appointment at your nearest minor injuries unit. You can also use NHS 111 online
  • Minor injuries units can treat deep cuts, small burns, sprains, sports injuries, and infected wounds. To find out your nearest MIU please visit the Oxford Health website
  • Your local GP may offer extended opening hours into the evening or at the weekend.

Most importantly, only attend Emergency Departments when there is a genuine emergency, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

For more information see here


If you’re unemployed, in a full-time or part-time job, or just looking to earn more money in a flexible way, then @popUPBusiness will help you make it happen!   

The free business course shows you a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business idea off the ground without spending any money.

The course is interactive and full of activities, and there’s no requirement to attend every day of the course. Simply attend the ones that will be relevant to you and your business ideas!   

Sign up for your free place at #Didcot event here:

Faringdon Pride

In celebration of LGBT,  Faringdon will host several events.

Faringdon Pride will start on the 8th of February with a a tea party in the Pump House, followed on the 21st of February by the showing of a film in the Regent Cinema.

On the 29th of February the Pride event will conclude with a music night at the Bell Hotel.

We are looking for volunteers to join our events and help managing our reception at the tea party and the film showing.

Also throughout February the Library of Faringdon will host a special exhibition.

For more information or if you would like to join as a volunteer , please contact :

Crisp Packet Recycling

Bring along your crisp packets to the Information Centre in the Pump House for recycling and together we can save crisps packets from going to the landfill.

Clothes Swap Shop

As a part of the Faringdon Town Council reuse and recycle campaign we will be holding a Clothes Swap Shop in the Old Town Hall on the 18th January 2020 from 10 am to 1 pm.

For more information please contact

Citizens Advice can help you through relationship breakdown

There is no storm quite like an emotional storm, and the trauma of a separation from a loved one can be devastating and overwhelming. Some people say it feels as if the ground is falling away beneath their feet. It helps if you know there’s somewhere you can go right away for help: Citizens Advice.

If you and your partner or spouse have decided that separation is inevitable, you should try to work out the practical details between yourselves. But bear in mind that you might eventually need to consult a solicitor as well to enshrine your agreement in law, especially if you have assets or children. Going to court should be regarded as a last resort.

Discuss with your ex-partner where you will live, where your children will live, and how to split any money or belongings. If you and your partner are too upset to talk to each other calmly, wait and talk later, or use a mediator.

If your partner makes you feel threatened, get help. Call Refuge or Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247. There is also a Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.  

If you have children with your partner, you are both responsible for the cost of looking after them when you separate, even if you are not married. The parent who moves out might have to pay maintenance to the parent who looks after the children.

Consider any outstanding debts or loans that you might have, and think about who needs to be informed about the separation. If you pay council tax, or receive benefits or tax credits, get in touch with the relevant people and tell them about your new status. 

Citizens Advice can help you find the ground beneath your feet so you can move on. Call Citizens Advice Adviceline on 0300 3309 042 or come and see us in person. For locations of offices and opening hours visit

Citizen Advice

Citizens Advice in South and Vale needs volunteers to help with:

  • Reception duties in Abingdon, Henley and Thame
  • Advisers in Abingdon and Didcot
  • Head office administration in Abingdon
  • IT support in Didcot and Thame
  • Fundraising (from any location)
  • Communications and website designers (from any location)

We are a local charity providing free, confidential advice. Last year, our 150 skilled advisers helped over 11,000 local people from advice centres in Abingdon, Didcot, Faringdon, Henley, Thame and Wallingford.  

Many people who come to us face difficult and sometimes frightening problems that threaten to overwhelm them. In 2019 we helped three quarters to resolve their problems.

For volunteers, we offer a welcoming office environment and an opportunity to gain new skills, meet new people and make a real and valued contribution to your local community,

It’s up to you when you volunteer. We normally ask for two half days a week but can be flexible. If you are interested, please follow this link:

Or, if you would like to discuss these volunteering roles, please email Jon Bright, Director:

Volunteers needed to help set councillors’ allowances

Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils are looking for volunteers to join a joint panel to help set councillors’ allowances.

The Independent Remuneration Panel for councillors’ allowances consists of up to five members of the public who help determine how much money councillors from both councils receive for their time, while also giving value for money.

Previous panellists have included members of the police, business community, also a theatre manager, pilot and vet.

Successful candidates need to attend two or three meetings early in 2020 and would expect to be part of the panel until September 2023, although after the initial review of allowances, there is very little extra work. The role is voluntary, however travelling expenses can be paid.

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Download an application pack here (301.0 KB)  

For more information, email or call 01235 422523.

Notes to editors

About councillors’ allowances – councillors do not receive a salary for their work however they get an allowance and can claim travel, childcare and dependents’ care costs. The allowances paid reflect the level of responsibility taken on by individual members. Being the chair of council, or a member of the cabinet is almost a full-time job, which makes it very difficult for councillors to take on these roles and hold down a job or run their own business. Even councillors with no extra responsibilities have to juggle council duties and outside life. The allowance offsets the costs and loss of earnings incurred over and above those that can reasonably expected of a volunteer.

We’re looking for volunteers to join a panel to help set district councillors’ allowances. We’re asking people to give up a few hours to help make sure councillors get recompensed for their time and also give value for money. 
Volunteers would need to attend two or three meetings early this year in our offices in Milton Park, near Didcot.  The role would last until September 2023, although after the initial review of allowances, there will be very little extra work. It is a voluntary post, however we can pay travelling expenses.

Priority Service: Thames Water and SSEN

Thames Water and Scottish and Southern Electricity want to encourage any vulnerable people to sign up for priority services with them.

We would like to share this article as Thames Water are very keen to get the message out into our community, particularly to the vulnerable.

Why sign up for priority services?

At Scottish Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Thames Water, we aim to provide a reliable service for every individual in our region, 365 days a year. But if something does go wrong, our priority services teams are on hand to help.

By signing up for our free priority services, you can benefit from extra help in electricity or water-related emergencies. Our goal is to provide extra peace of mind if you’re of pensionable age; living with a chronic medical condition or restricted mobility; experiencing a change in personal circumstances; or raising a family with young children under the age of five.

No matter your needs, you’ll have access to a dedicated telephone helpline, which you can call at any time of day. In the unlikely event your water stops flowing or your lights go out for a long period of time, we’ll give you a call to discuss what’s happened, what we’re doing to fix it, and any additional support you might need, including an alternative supply of water or power.

You can also rely on us for proactive support. When we’re planning maintenance to our power lines or pipes, we’ll give you plenty of notice so that you can make alternative arrangements. We’ll make sure to communicate in the format that best suits your needs and, if you want extra reassurance, help you set up a doorstep password so that you know it’s us if we ever pop by to speak to you.

We’ll keep any details you share with us safe and confidential.

To sign up today, visit or

Call 0800 0093652 option 3, or email

To request registration forms, email