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 jobs.deancourtcc@gmail.com. If this isn’t you, do you have any friends who might be interested? Send them our way!

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#GiveMe5 – Today!

If you read this any time before midnight on Wednesday, and can find it in your heart (and your wallet!) to give £5 to DCCA, we would be massively grateful. There is the chance that your donation will be doubled to make it worth £10 to us at no extra cost to yourself!

Click here to donate £5 to DCCA

Only donations of £5 made on Wed 25th February will be counted, so if you want to give more, make more than one donation!

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If you have a Twitter account or a Facebook account, could you consider sharing this too to help spread the message?!

All your support is valuable to us – together we’re helping an awesome community to grow. Thank you very very much!

Anna

Could you spare us a fiver?

We are so grateful for all the support we get, whether it’s through turning up to events, helping to run a stall, spreading the word about our fantastic facilities or meeting together to decide the future of our Community Association. Now we’re asking whether you could consider supporting us in another way – with your cash!

give me 5

Our fundraising buddies, Localgiving.com, are running a match funding day called GiveMe5 tomorrow, Wed 25th February. Any donation of £5 through our LocalGiving page that day (https://localgiving.com/charity/deancourtcc) could be doubled to £10! We can also claim gift aid on donations, which means that your fiver could be worth over £11 to us, at no extra cost to yourself. Surely worth a moment of your time?

Click here to #GiveMe5!
Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Anna

Here’s the key info for the detail enthusiasts:

Start date & time: Wednesday 25th February at 00:00:00
End date & time: Wednesday 25th February at 23:59:59
Conditions of entry: Each £5 donation made to DCCA through Localgiving between the promotion start and end will be placed into a draw to be doubled with an extra £5 of match funding. Donations of other amounts will not be included in the draw. The promotion only applies to one-time donations.
Number of donations matched: 1000 x £5 donations will be matched as part of this promotion.
Charity & supporter limits: Donors may make as many £5 donations during the promotion as they wish and there is no limit to the amount of match funding any single group may receive.
Region: All UK
Any money we raise will go towards our aim of growing community in Dean Court. This could look like funds to start an older folks coffee morning, or new equipment for the centre, or money towards salaries for new posts like a families worker. Whatever it is, you can be assured it will benefit our community and you’re always welcome at our AGM to find out how we spent it all!

Volunteer Of The Year

This year at our AGM (5th October; put it in your diaries now!) we will be awarding the first ever Dean Court Volunteer Of The Year!

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We want to celebrate the great and amazing people that are found all over Dean Court, so if you know someone great and amazing who selflessly gives up their time to help others for free, then please nominate them! They might be someone who helps listen to readers in a school, or who visits folk who can’t easily leave their homes. It might be someone you know who’s involved with a voluntary organisation like the Scouts or Guides, or there might be someone who just goes out of their way to help others whenever they get a chance.

The only essential feature is that the person must live in Dean Court (as defined by this map). Feel free to nominate friends, neighbours, your child’s brownie leader, etc.. You don’t have to tell them you’re nominating them but we’ll let you know if they’re shortlisted so you can make sure they come along! Please write us a short blurb about what makes them the Dean Court Volunteer of the Year and send it to us at deancourtcc@gmail.com. If writing’s not your thing, then send us the name of the person you’d like to nominate and your phone number so that we can ring you up and talk to you about them instead. The entries will be judged by a panel from the Community Association Management Team and the closing date is Sunday 28th September.

In summary:

  • They must live in Dean Court
  • Any voluntary activity counts
  • Tell us why they’re great! at deancourtcc@gmail.com
  • Closing date 28th Sept.

 

We look forwards to being deluged with e-mails about all the great people in Dean Court!

Anna

Volunteer of the year banner

 

Aching muscles and some cool-looking moves!

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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 admin@oxfordshireuktkd.com.

 

Anna

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

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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.

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):

 

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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!

Anna

Day 152: I’m glad this makes sense to someone!

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On Monday, Naomi and myself (Neil) made a visit to the centre to tie up some loose ends with our environmental review for the Eco-Centres programme.

Energy was on the agenda today and we were particularly keen to understand where and how energy is used in our new building. For many years I have enjoyed programmes such as Grand Designs and the thing that never ceases to amaze is how anyone can make sense of the mass of wires that eventually accumulate near the fuse box. Well, today we found the Dean Court version of a Grand Design (see photo).

It is with great relief and respect that we have Jim, our electrician whom we met today, and he knows what they all do!

Neil Clark, Eco-Team 

Day 145 & 146: We’re back!

Well, you can stop restarting your computer and wondering if the internet broke last week, I can confirm that there were in fact, no updates posted on the DCCA website. This is because Priscilla is very poorly at the moment, so I am sure that you will join with me in sending her our very best wishes and hoping she feels much better soon! For now, I (Anna) have tentatively tried my hand at blogging and you will have to forgive the results.

In contrast to the web team’s lack of input last week, the site team have been hard at work and much has occurred since you last saw inside the Centre.

The floor is now fully screeded and beautifully smooth all over. The radiators are on full blast and the place is warm, bright and cosy – and this even before the colours have gone on the walls and floors! There is a lovely ramp up to the main entrance that will make our wonderful Centre accessible to anyone who wants to visit it, and duh duh daaaaaaaaaaaaa (as the Year 5s would say)…

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We have a glass frontage to the entrance! We hope that this will make our Centre bright and inviting to all. Who knew the G-team were so great at creating a friendly welcome?!

DSC_0200Today, Graham has been sanding down the concrete pillars in the main hall, which will soon be painted a dark colour in contrast to the pale walls, providing the hall with a beautiful feature akin to the ribs of a living, breathing creature.

The question now is: Who is going to bring life to this building? Could you be one of the first people to come and run an activity in this exciting new space? Do you know of a club in need of a new meeting place? Would you like to come and help the building run by keeping it clean or unlocking for our users?

There’s room for everyone… get in touch with us!