On the fifth day of Christmas:Have you ended this year with money in your pocket? (You wish!). Make that money do good and try out Positive Investing! If you are fortunate enough to have some spare resources, then why not put them to work where you know they will be doing good. Oxford based social enterprise Low Carbon Hub is one of the most important community energy organisations in the UK. It’s poised to start a revolution in the way we develop and use our energy. LCH schemes provide loads of opportunities for investment in local energy-based projects where your money can do positive things and, like as not, give you a return at the same time.Opportunities for ethical investment in a wealth of projects further afield can be found at Oxford-based Ethex. This not for profit organisation aims to make positive investing easy to understand and do, so creating a marketplace for positive investments.
On the sixth day of Christmas:Bridge Street Garden is our very own canal-side community garden, set right in the heart of the town just down from the station. Wonderful volunteers have been keeping it tidy and loved through this year when group sessions have been impossible.It’s a green refuge, a place for grow-your-own, and a valued community space.Thank you to all those who have supported the events held there over this – so sad that they’ve been far and few between – and past – busier – years. We look forward to welcoming everyone back whensoever we can for plenty of fun and educational entertainments, marking the seasons of the coming year. Keep checking up on our Facebook page.
On the seventh day of Christmas:Plenty of surveys are showing that there is strong public support for schemes that create safe space for cyclists and walkers. Measures such as school streets where the streets around schools are closed to motorists at key times; low-traffic neighbourhoods where residential streets are closed to through traffic; and segregated cycle lanes, all encourage journeys on foot or by bike. Promoting ‘active transport’ doesn’t just address transport issues – communities that prioritise cyclists and pedestrians enjoy other major benefits: cleaner air, less congestion, improved health, and the streets are cleaner, safer, happier.BCAG is determined to improve provision for cyclists within Banbury. We are keen to work with all those that share this ambition and to consult widely with residents to ensure any improvements are relevant and successful. We have already had a wonderful response to our preliminary soundings: please join us in this journey as we take things forward in the coming year!Arguably more limited as a means of active transport (!) but fantastic for general health and well-being, is swimming. Surely far and away the best opportunity for swimming in Banbury is the magnificent outdoor Woodgreen Leisure Pool. Currently, it’s opening times are limited to the summer months, so why not sign the petition to get it to open for longer each year, and in so doing help increase the opportunities for health and enjoyment in our town? The petition closes 5th January.
On the eighth day of Christmas: Many organisations provide food locally to those who could do with a helping hand, and their response to the complexities of supplying food during the pandemic lockdowns was amazing. Here are a few of the organisations involved in this area: thank you for the valuable work you have done during 2020, and will continue to do this coming year!Banbury Food Bank based at the People’s Church provides food and benefit advice to those who have obtained vouchers to use it. It also operates from the Hardwick Centre, St Francis Church, Highlands; Grimsbury Centre, West Street; and St Joseph Church, Edmunds Road.Banbury Food for Charities collects surplus fresh food from local supermarkets and delivers this to various charities – up to sixteen different ones – within the town. It’s good and good: reducing waste – feeding people. (They have coordinated the information used in this section of our seasonal news – thank you.)Banbury Young Homeless Project supports young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who are homeless and provides food parcels/free food to its clients.The Salvation Army has been providing food parcels throughout lockdown while its normal in-house meals are suspended.The Sunshine Centre, Edmunds Road made up food parcels through lockdown and now operates a community larder and fridge.Madni Mosque, Merton Street was busy through lockdown distributing food parcels; the community fridge has reopened. It also operates on Fridays from the former Methodist Chapel, Boxhedge Road, NeithropPark Road Mosque also operates a community fridge.The following places provide food to take away to those using the service:Turning Point which supports those with addiction issues;The Hardwick & Arden Pre-School, and Chasewell Playgroup which support young families and promote healthy eating;The Community Mental Health Team at the Elms Day Hospital, Oxford Road.