Making history: Our first paid job!

Just in case you didn’t know you could make history by having a job, let me inform you: Thus far in its four and a half year history, Dean Court Community Association has been an entirely voluntary organisation. Not one of our amazing team have received a penny for their hard work. Currently, the centre is cleaned, the bookings are taken, the doors are unlocked, the cafe is run, the website is updated and much much more by a team of dedicated, hard-working volunteers, to whom the community owes many, many thanks, so THANK YOU if that’s you!

However, it’s time to add something new to the mix: a paid member of staff. This person will have no less love for Dean Court than all our volunteers, they too will be motivated by a passion for all things community and they will be more excited than we are about being our first staff member. I can’t wait to introduce them to you, but we don’t know who it is yet…

Could it be YOU?! Someone you know? A neighbour, a friend?


Here’s the official job advert:

The Trustees of the newly opened Dean Court Community Centre invite applications for a Part-time Receptionist/Administrator (10 hours per week) on a fixed term six month contract to deal with lettings and the general day to day running of the centre.

The Administrator is likely to live locally and be willing to work flexible hours to cope with the varying demands on the Centre. If you are friendly and motivated with good organisational skills and a keenness to help our community to grow, then please get in touch with us!

Deadline for return of application forms:  Monday 15 September 2014.

I really hope that if you click on the link below, you’ll be taken to our Job description and our Application form. To apply, send the Application form and your CV to  us at Even if you don’t meet every criterion on the job description, it’s worth applying because you might be exactly what we’re looking for and we just didn’t know it!

Job description Centre receptionist administrator

Application form Centre receptionist administrator



Aching muscles and some cool-looking moves!


You may have heard about the latest exciting class to start up at Dean Court Community Centre – a brand new Taekwondo club, led by Mark Dempster, black belt.

Fancying myself as the next Jade Jones (despite the fact I already have nearly 10 years on her), I trotted on down to meet Mark and his wife Marie, who also helps to run the class, and have a go for free last Monday evening. I won’t lie, I was initially daunted by the late influx of children just before the class started, all of whom I have babysat, all of whom can do the moves better than me, but fortunately I wasn’t alone in my old-enough-to-have-a-driving-licence status and my good friend Brian, who runs this website, was around too to provide a bit of height in the class. That’s right, Brian’s both tough and techno-brilliant… we have an all-star team at this centre!

The class was loads of fun, I learnt how to block, chop and punch the taekwondo way, and Mark threw in a good session on self-defence at the end, bringing me one step closer to my dream of being a Charlie’s angel, as well as providing me with some nifty moves for if I’m caught in the middle of a bar brawl. Not that I plan on being in a brawl, you understand… I was lucky to work throughout with Marie, who as a black belt in taekwondo herself, was totally unfazed by my malcordinated, flailing limbs and was able to walk me through the moves until I had them down pat and could make a satisfying doof! on the pad.

It goes without saying that of course I am aching a little today, but that’s just the sign of a good workout, right?! Mark and Marie generously offer the first month of their tuition for free, and I will certainly be back for the next class on Monday. I urge you to put it in your diary now and come down and get a taste of a popular sport in which Britain is emerging as a strong contender in the international field of play. There are few opportunities as good as this one to get taught at close range by experts in a beautiful hall with superbly sprung flooring!

6:00pm – 7:00pm, Mondays, Dean Court Community Centre.

Wear joggers and a t-shirt or similar, just bring yourself. All ages welcome. Pick up a flyer in the Community Centre for more info or get in touch with Mark and Marie: 07791669100 or



Oxford Mail coverage of the opening

In case you missed it in Tuesday’s paper and the many shares on Facebook, here’s a link to the Oxford Mail coverage of our opening…


Official photos to follow soon! Keep an eye on the Facebook page at for all the info first!


Thank you to everyone who came.


A New Lease of Life for Dean Court Community Centre!

The moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here… the lease was completed at midday today and Dean Court Community Centre is now ours for the next 25 years!

The Vale of White Horse District Council have issued us with a lease for Dean Court Community Centre 3 years to the day after the fire that burnt down the old building. How’s that for awesome timing?!

If you’d like to come and take a peek inside, we’ll be holding a press event at 5pm tomorrow (Friday) followed by an opportunity for anyone to drop in and have a look around the new centre until 6:30pm. We hope to organise a proper open day at some point in the future with a bit more notice, and there will also be our grand opening weekend on 5th and 6th April


Many, MANY thanks to all in DCCA who have been involved in getting us to this point, if I miss anyone off this list then I apologise and will add names later, but you all deserve some public recognition for being so great and for helping on the journey of the last 4 years. So, roughly in order of involvement, thanks Priscilla Waugh, Judy Roberts, Simon Shaw, Philip Hawtin, Maggie Wang, Jonny Kennedy, Sue Davis, Ruth Hettler, Paul Hettler, Annie Lewis, Rach Gallant, Stuart Larkin, Tim Hubbard, Dan Jones, Emma Bartlett, Eileen Elmitt, Phil Gallant, Liz Pestl, Mike Carter, Derek Rawson, Brian Sharland, Neil Clark, Brian Dent, Nasrin Dabri, Justin Andrewes, Naomi Sharland, Fiona Wheeler, Jane Harris, Bryan Goudman, David Wenham, Clare Wenham, Giorgio Bagordo, Jackie Cartwright… you are part of a legend ;).

I know there are many more who have popped up to help at crucial moments with fundraising events, minute taking, and advice giving – your help has been invaluable also, and you are much appreciated!

Thanks too, to those who ran the Social Club faithfully for so many years – I hope you will enjoy the new Centre and be at home here.

Here’s to the next 25 years!

Anna x

* with many thanks to Lizzie Hollow, previously of Pinnocks Way, for the awesome pun in the title.

Looking for a Dean Court Community VIP aged 5 to 18

Children's competition 1

Dean Court Community Centre will be opening its doors very soon, and this will be celebrated by a fantastic opening weekend on April 5th and 6th 2014.  We would like to find a very special Dean Court child who has made an amazing contribution to the community to be a VIP and take part in the opening ceremony.

We are looking for a child or young person who has demonstrated really good community spirit.  This could be by showing they care about their local environment, helping their neighbours, supporting a local charity or being a leader in their extracurricular activities and setting a really good example.


–          Aged 5 to 18

–          Living in Dean Court ward (see the map tab on the left)

–          Available during the day on April 5th 2014

Can you think of a child or young person who deserves some recognition for their hard work that you could nominate? Forms should be returned by post to Dean Court Community Centre team, 12 Denton Close, Oxford OX2 9BN or by email to  Deadline for submissions is March 14th 2014. Electronic copes are also available to download as a pdf here, or an editable entry form here. (Go to File and then Download after you’ve clicked on the link to download it into Word so you can fill it in.)

Thank you and good luck!


Have you got ideas as bright as these walls?

bright walls


We need to fill the fantastic space with groups of like minded Dean Court residents sharing interests and enjoying themselves.


Do you know home workers who miss the gossip of the office and would like to set up a weekly coffee break to catch up? How about new parents who want a space to meet up while their babies and toddlers play? What do people want to get together to play? Whether it’s darts or scrabble, we can accommodate.


One-off events are just as important to us too! Do you know someone looking to hold a table top sale or fun day? Are you a harassed parent who would really rather not have the whole school trampling around your house for a birthday party? It’s not just kids either, the main hall and fantastic kitchen will be an ideal space for a grown up party too.


If you or anyone you know would like to find out more about hiring the hall for just about any purpose then please get in touch.  My name is Fiona and I have the best job on the Dean Court team…talking to all the lovely people who want to hire the centre.  Drop me a line on and I’ll get right back to you.

Community Centre this way!

I was stopped dead in my tracks by an amazing sight as I came home last night. It wasn’t the beautiful night sky. It wasn’t the incredible collection of rubbish on the verges of Pinnocks Way (now no more, thanks to Naomi’s litter picking team!). It wasn’t even the safe green glow of the Community Centre security lights. It was this (you’ll have to squint):




I finally noticed that the County Council have changed the old sign on Eynsham Road pointing to the extinct Social Club and replaced it with a gleaming new sign proclaiming the presence of a brand new Community Centre! I have no idea how long this has been up; as I suspect many of us do, I drive or cycle past this signpost on a near-daily basis and it doesn’t even feature in my consciousness. Thanks and credit for its change must go to our diligent County Councilor Janet Godden, who has been unfailingly supportive of the Community Centre since its inception and generously provided for the cost of changing the sign (not a small amount) out of her Councillor budget.

So, come this way for a Community Centre! We are currently in a frenzy of trying to source everything we will need to open our doors for bookings at the beginning of March, not to mention getting ready for a grand opening on April 5th and 6th, all the while negotiating the final elements of paperwork to finalise the lease with the District Council. All offers of help are welcome – are you an Ikea enthusiast? Can you build flatpack furniture? Do you like shopping? Get in touch!


It’s a Community Centre!

Good news, Dean Court!

A Community Centre has been built… It is my great pleasure to announce that yesterday, at around 10am, after 9 months of growing and many, many hours of pain and huffing and puffing(!), practical completion of the building work was finalised and the keys were handed over to the Vale of White Horse District Council, who own the building and the land it is on. The building will spend a short time in their care while we gather lots of paperwork about it, and then, in due course, we (Dean Court Community Association) will sign a lease with them and take control ourselves in order to help it grow as a Community Centre.


Whilst I’m sure that the G-team and Cluttons will be overjoyed to be compared to a pregnant mother, we owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have achieved and the hope and possibilities that they have bought to our community. So thank you Gordon and Graham, thank you Sam and Ian, and thank you to all your many skilled friends who turned our paper dreams into concrete (and bricks and carpet and metal and wood) reality. We hope that you’ll come to visit – you will always be welcome!

In the meantime, the hard work starts here! (Well, obviously it actually started a long time ago but that doesn’t sound as catchy.) We have a community to grow – if you’re reading this, then you, in some way, are part of it! We are turning from a building project into a new business attempting to start up and make a success of a social entrepreneurial project. If you think that you might have skills that could be useful, come and join the fun!

This next paperwork phase could take up to a month. We hope to be open for our first bookings at the beginning of March, and there is still some space in the diary – e-mail us if you’re interested. We are still on track for our grand opening on 5th and 6th April – put the date in your diary!

For now, enjoy a few photos of the completed build…