We’re looking better!


You can’t have missed the rather scruffy approach to the Centre down the side of the shop, and the uneven car parking spaces on the other side of the fence.

All this is changing!  The concrete is being removed and the little road to the Centre improved.  It won’t be long before our surroundings look a lot better.


Carols on the Green 2016


Hopefully it’s not too early to mention Christmas….our annual Carols on the Green will take place on Friday 16 December at 6.00 pm. We’ll belt out a few classics on Pinnocks Way Green then retire to the Centre for mulled wine, mince pies and fruit juice. Christmas jumpers optional but actively encouraged!



New faces in the office!

We are thrilled to announce that we have not one, but two new administrators working at the Community Centre. Sarah Woodward and Kate Randell are learning the ropes and will be flying solo from the beginning of November.  

Sarah: I will be working in the Community Centre 13 hours a week, taking bookings, handling communications, marketing the centre, organising the volunteers and dealing with pretty much anything that comes through our doors!  zsarahI moved to Botley with my fiance, Simon, two and a half years ago from the Donnington Bridge area. Before working for the Dean Court Community Centre, I worked in the Travel Industry as a Reservation/ Administration Consultant and a Travel Agent Manager. I loved that every day was different with lots of new and exciting enquiries to keep me busy. I understand that no two days at the centre are ever the same and I look forward to this.


Kate: I have joined Dean Court Community Centre as a part-time administrator. My hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10,00-13,00. My role mostly focuses on the financial aspects of running the centre, but I will also be avaikatelable to help answer general queries and welcome visitors to the centre. I have been involved with the centre throughout its journey, helping with fundraising during the building work and becoming a regular user of the centre on completion, through private hire, participating in children’s dance classes, and attending the monthly Court Crafting meetings. I also set up and ran a mothers and babies group here.



We need a hero…

It’s time to celebrate the heroes of Dean Court again in our annual cake-eating tradition also known as the AGM! We would love the pleasure of your company for an hour on the afternoon of Sunday 16th October, at 3pm. We’ll all eat cake together, some of us will give a brief run down of what’s been going on this year, everyone will vote on some things that let DCCA carry on doing what we’re doing, and we’ll big up someone from our community who shows us all what community spirit looks like.

Can you think of anyone that we should be celebrating? We’re keen to find people in our community who selflessly give up their time and energy for others, or to generally make the world a better place to live! They don’t have to be connected to the Community Centre or to DCCA, this is just about celebrating the marvellous people around us. Please send us an e-mail ( by Tuesday 4th October with the name of your person and a sentence or two about why they’re so brilliant, and we’ll try to make sure they get a mention at our meeting. We’ll also be selecting one person as our Volunteer of the Year.

Please do come and join the party! We need a certain number of people there to make it a proper meeting, and you’re guaranteed a free slice of cake and some tea, as well as lovely local friendly types. We look forward to seeing you.


Guiding at Dean Court

The Community Centre is home to two thriving Girl Guiding groups, 1 st Botley Brownies and 3rd West Oxford Guides. Both groups were amongst the earliest of the regular hirers and you might have seen (or heard…sorry about that) us out and about on a walk or treasure hunt, or manning a stall at a Community Centre event.

These are both busy groups with very enthusiastic girls aged 7 to 10 (Brownies) and 10-14 (Guides). Girls join the groups to make friends and have adventures (including sleepovers and camps), and along the way we hope they build their confidence, learn team work and leadership skills, challenge themselves and learn to give back to their communities. Activities can be putting on a show, outdoor cooking (or indoor cooking), crafts, games, trips, outdoor activities like abseiling or climbing, geocaching, dance sessions or anything else the girls can come up with.

Things are about to get even louder and more fun as we’re planning to add a Rainbow unit to start after October half term. Rainbows is for girls aged 5-7 and we’re really excited to be able to offer this at Dean Court. Rainbows Look, Laugh, Learn and Love, and they have just as much fun as their older sisters.

These groups rely entirely on volunteers and are in desperate need of more help for all three groups. Volunteers come forward for all sorts of reasons and can be any age from 14 up. Do you know

someone who’s looking to get more involved in the community, wants to meet similar people, wants to gain more experience with children, wants to complete their Duke of Edinburgh service component or wants to earn a free polo shirt and unlimited s’mores? We would love to hear from them.

For information about volunteering, or about any of the other 9 units in the district, email Catriona Allen on

To enquire about a space at Guides (ages 10-14) email or for Brownies (ages 7-10) or for the brand new Rainbow group (ages 5 -7) deancourtrainbows@gmail.comJess UVIMG_9177

Work for us!

We’re recruiting! 9 to 19 hours to suit the right applicant. We know we need positivity, friendliness and amazing organisation skills. You tell us what else you can bring to the role. Pay is £8.25 per hour and hours are flexible.

Please share with friends and family. 

Email for job description and application form. Deadline for applications is 5pm on September 16th.

The Queen’s Birthday…you’re invited!

This time next week (Saturday 11th June) we will be partying to celebrate the Queen turning 90.  We’d love you to join us.

12.30 to 1.30 Bring and Share Lunch

Like all the best street parties, we’ll be asking people to bring and share food.  Please bring your favourite savoury dishes and be ready to swap and share.  We’ll arrange sweet things and we’ll also be selling hot and cold drinks.  Please label your food containers.

1.30 to 3ish Fun and Celebrations

Bouncy castle – who doesn’t love a bouncy castle

Make do and mend swap shop – we think the Queen would approve! Bring anything you don’t use (you can drop off before lunch if that’s easier) and rummage for treasures amongst other people’s donations

Crafts – craft fun for kids, including a crown making competition with a mystery prize

Owls – real life owls to meet and have a picture with

Face painting – go glam or scary

Other stuff – tbc!

3 to 5 Cream Teas from St Andrews

The lovely people at St Andrews will be serving free cream teas from the Orange room.  How very, very kind is that?

No tickets needed, but bring change for bouncy castle, drinks or donations towards running costs.

If you’d like to lend a hand for any part of the day we’d love to hear from you.

Please tell your friends, family and neighbours.  Everyone is welcome to drop in at any time.  Oh, and like and share us on Facebook!


Queen's Birthday pic



The power of the people!

One of the things we have been doing from day one at the Centre is to carefully watch our energy use. You might have noticed stickers and signs encouraging doors to be closed, and lights turned off, but what you can’t see is the care that Rachael our Centre Administrator gives to setting the heating timers for our hirers’ sessions.

By doing this we can save both money and reduce our impact on the environment. Saving money also means being able to direct our limited resources to other more beneficial activities as well as helping to keep our hiring charges as low as we can.

Now that we have reached the end of year two at the Centre we are delighted that our energy use in the year to March 2016 was up 11%. On the face of it you might think why are we delighted? The answer is that at the same time our letting income was up a massive 79%! *

This means that for every pound of letting income, our energy use was down a massive 38%!

Neil blog 2

I would like to say a big thank you to Rachael, the Trustees, and you our hirers and visitors for your support in managing our energy use. Also, when you are next at the centre have a look at our annual update on energy, waste and water. Finally, I hope you can be inspired to see what you can do in your own home. You have the power!

Best wishes


Eco-Team Lead

* Please note these figures are to be confirmed at the AGM.

We’re hiring!

Are you a friendly, community-minded human being with good organisational skills and the ability to use (or learn to use) Twitter, Facebook and WordPress? Are you available for 9 hours to be spread over Friday-Tuesday and to include some hours at the weekend? Would you like £8.25 an hour? Do you dream of working closely with our lovely existing administrator Rachael?

We’re looking for a second administrator who can take responsibility for our publicity and general communication with the world – you might have noticed we’re a bit sporadic with updating the website! They will also be able to increase the time that we can staff the centre for by working some of the weekend. Job description as follows:

Job description

  1. To market the Community Centre and DCCA events to local groups and individuals using all available channels including the website and social media, with appropriate direction and support from the Trustees and Volunteer Team.
  2. To co-ordinate the upkeep of our website (currently WordPress), mainly through blog posts and simple site admin (training provided).
  3. To take bookings, confirm that they comply with the Bookings Policy and confirm the booking with the hirer using the standard confirmation form.
  4. To deal with emails and other correspondence as necessary.
  5. To greet hirers for sessions taking place during working hours and ensure the centre is clean and tidy.
  6. To book cleaners and other contactors as necessary and occasionally undertake light cleaning duties if needed.

For more information and an application form, please e-mail If this isn’t you, do you have any friends who might be interested? Send them our way!