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Latest News August 2017


At the beginning of this year I was surprised by Kathryn, our coordinator asking me to visit her to discuss some things. This turned out to be Kathryn deciding she was going to retire. I was equally surprised when she asked if I would be interested in her vacant position. After just a little bit of thought I decided that I would like to try to fill the gap, or should I say big void that Kathryn’s leaving would cause. I started to shadow Kathryn with many of the day to day running of our scheme and sat in on interviews with potential volunteers. Then I interviewed and accepted several volunteers myself. I also started to visit clients and join Kathryn at external meetings. The Didcot Good Neighbours Scheme owes Kathryn a great deal. She has been the coordinator for 6 years and has done an amazing job of getting the scheme off the ground and keeping interest going. She has recruited many volunteers and helped many clients over the years, bringing them together with many happy results. It seems inadequate but many thanks for all of your hard work.

My new roll started officially at the AGM on 6th April with me being voted on unanimously as the new coordinator. Although I had a bit of a rocky start with health problems, I did manage to get quite a bit done and have interviewed lots of potential new volunteers and clients. I have successfully matched up 8 so far. I also completed my ‘webinar training’ that enables me to do the DBS checks. Our meeting in July was well attended and very lively, my first as coordinator. This week has been very busy with interest from 4 potential volunteers really hope they will be suitable to join us. At this moment we have only one client waiting but that changes by the day. Many of our referrals’ still come from Age U.K.

We have organised a table at the Fete being held at ‘The Close’ nursing home in Burcot on 19th August. We will raise funds with the sale of plants, sweets and cakes. From 11am -4pm if the weather is good we should have a lovely day with many activities going on throughout the day. See posters around town. Lastly but not least I would like to thank our wonderful Volunteers for their many visits and all the help you give to our clients!

Sandy Sparrowhawk

Soha donate £100 to DGNS


The Didcot First and Community Awards were held on 13 November at the Cornerstone and Soha were declared the winner of the Best Apprentice Scheme and shortlisted for the Community Award.

All BACAs winners received £100 to donate to a local good cause. Soha staff chose Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme to benefit from their win. Kathryn Francis, DGNS Coordinator, said, “All our volunteers give their time for free and this very generous donation will go towards our running costs which, although small, have to be funded. DGNS have many Soha clients and we are pleased to be able to work together for the benefit of the local community."

The cheque was handed over by Maureen Adams, Director of Customer Services and Operations.

Full story can be found at:

Didcot Good Neighbours recognised at BACAS 2013


DGNS were thrilled to be the winner in the Community Class of the Community Involvement Category at the recent BACA Awards 2013 held at the Cornerstone Arts Centre. The event is organised by Didcot First and supported by many local businesses.

We received a framed certificate for our wall and a cheque for £100 which is going towards a digital camera. Our treasurer Vikki Fielden was performing at the event in the local gospel choir but managed to join us for a group photo. We were also entertained by Didcot Irish Dancers and Harwell Young Singers plus a slapstick act by two pantomime dames.

Grant from Didcot Chamber of Commerce


A big thank you to Didcot Chamber of Commerce for awarding us £250 from their community fund. Di Chesterman, Chairman of the Chamber handed over the cheque to our new Chairperson Maggie Turner. We are hoping to use the money for producing fridge magnets for our clients. This will help them to keep our contact details handy for when they need them. We will keep you up to date on the progress of this project.

Open Evening and AGM 2013


DGNS held a successful Open Evening at the Northbourne Centre in Didcot on 17 September. The event was well attended, not only by our own volunteers but by members of other local voluntary groups and town councillors, including the current Mayor of Didcot, Axel McDonald.

As well as updating the group on what our volunteers have been doing over the last year with some interesting and personal stories, we were able to let people know about recent fundraising for a lightweight wheelchair which we hope to purchase later in the year.

We also incorporated our AGM business during the evening. The current committee were all re-elected and Margaret Turner was elected as Chairperson. Vikki Fielden, our Treasurer, gave us the headlines of our current financial situation and Margaret presented Glyn Hall, our previous Chairman, with some fine wines and thanked him for all his hard work over the last 3 years.

DGNS AGM 2013 DGNS AGM 2013 width=
ASDA Foundation supports DGNS
dgns cheque presentation 001 As part of their 'Chosen by You, given by Us' scheme which supports local charities and voluntary groups ASDA has awarded £100 to the Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme. Glyn Hall, DGNS Chairman went along to the Sutton Courtenay office to receive the cheque from Richard Fielding of ASDA.
Co-operative Community Fund Award

DGNS were very pleased to be awarded £450.00 in June 2012 towards the production of new brochures. The Co-operative Group regards the Fund as a long-term investment and hope they are assisting in bringing about a real and sustainable difference in the community.

Annual General Meeting 2012

DGNS held their first AGM at the Didcot Civic Hall on 19 April 2012. A good turnout of volunteers and members of the public heard from the Chairman, Glyn Hall about the schemes progress and fundraising successes as well as a presentation of the accounts for the previous 18 months. All of the incumbent committee members were re-elected and two guest speakers, Claire Soper from Oxfordshire Social & Community Services and Liz Roberts from Soha Housing gave interesting presentations.

Asda Childrens Mothers Day Competition

DGNS Chairman Glyn Hall was asked to judge the ASDA Children's Mothers Day Competition. Entries were for the best poem, best colouring and best diploma.

Successful Grant from Soha Housing

In November 2011 Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme was awarded a grant of £500 for the purchase of computer equipment from the Tenents' Forum Community Fund of Soha housing. Soha and DGNS hope to be working together in the future.

New Website Released

Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme are pleased to announced the launch of their new website. Created by Kathryn Francis and Didcot based Concept Filming, it is designed to offer easy advice to both those wishing to use the service and any potential volunteers.

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Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme
Didcot Day Centre
Britwell Road
OX11 7JN
Tel.07592 326777
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