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Column 25th September 2019

How can we keep people up to date with local events

At a Health and Care needs event last week, one of the items under discussion was how people could find out about events and activities which could support a healthy lifestyle.

We talked about some of the triggers which might mean that you are looking for a new activity or interest and came up with some examples of life changing events including; moving home, having children, children leaving home, losing a partner, retiring or losing a job.

Most of these could create a feeling of isolation or a desire for something new as a network of friends, colleagues or neighbours change.

There are a number of sources where people can find out about new activities to try but no single source contains everything.

There is a website called Live Well Oxfordshire (www.livewell.oxfordshire.gov.uk) which contains contact details of many of the activities and support services around the county but it doesn’t include details of walking groups, choral groups or yoga classes in OX12 for example.

A booklet containing the information from the website is available from the Wantage Independent Advice Centre near the Post Office Sorting Office in the Market Place.

Another website Penny Post (www.pennypost.org.uk/local-courses-guide/ ) has a list of some classes, courses and workshops around OX12 and over the border to Berkshire and Wiltshire.

The Vale and Downland Museum also has some information as does www.wantage.com, the Town and Parish Council websites and notice boards, parish newsletters, libraries and the annual guide produced by Wantage Town Council.

The Herald has advertisements and “Round and About” – delivered to each home once a month also lists events in the area.

The GP practices on Mably way are planning to recruit a “Social Prescriber” who should be able have access to details of events and activities which could support a healthy lifestyle.

Wantage Town Council should receive money from the Crab Hill development for a Community Development Officer who should be able to share information about groups, classes, events and activities in the area with the new residents on the development

But there isn’t one place where you can find a comprehensive list and I find that really frustrating.

Surely it’s not rocket science?

I know that many of these events and activities are transient and change but surely it’s possible for some funding to be found to provide someone who could collate and share this information and keep it up to date?


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