Although the Covid-19 restrictions are still having an impact on our day-to-day life, some things are managing to regain a little normality. One of those is Community News and we are happy to bring you the Autumn 2020 edition.
On our front cover we share news that the Community Centre will be reopening, at least on a partial basis, from August 31. You can read about some of the things we have been doing during lockdown and some of the measures that we are undertaking to ensure your safety moving forward. Our front cover image is a new shot of the Centre which was taken by Geoff Sharman from the Winchester Photographic Society.
Community Centre News
- The Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 21 September at 7:30pm. Due to the pandemic, the location of the AGM will be finalised at a later date. Please contact the Community Centre to be notified of the details.
- We are looking for volunteer gardeners to spruce up the Community Centre’s entrance area (and beyond) to clear the encroaching overgrown bushes.
- We are also looking for a volunteer to distribute Community News in Oliver’s Battery.
- We celebrate caretaker, Merv, who has been looking after the Community Centre for 25 years. Thank you Merv, here is to the next 25 years!
- During lockdown, we were busy keeping the Covid-19 Information Hub up-to-date. One of the biggest changes we covered was the requirement for most of us to use face coverings, and we have some useful tips in this article.
- One group that uses the Community Centre that is missing its monthly meetings is the Chat-Tea Café, a drop-in afternoon once a month for those feeling the effects of loneliness or isolation. Whilst the Centre remains partially closed and the group largely vulnerable, it is not sure when the Café will re-open but they are keeping a close eye on everything that can be done to facilitate this. Our volunteers are missing their new friendships and the chat and seeing everyone but know that we will start up again.
News from our Local Schools
- Oliver’s Battery Preschool welcomed back the children at the end of June. While only a few of were able to return it was a joy to see them after so long. In September, the Preschool will be able to move into the Oliver’s Battery Primary School itself, enjoying the larger space of a dedicated classroom with access to the outside play area. With the School’s help they will broaden the Children’s outdoor learning to encompass some of the Forest School experience using the School’s extensive grounds.
- Oliver’s Battery Primary School wish their very talented year 6 the best of luck for their next stage education. During the school closure period, there were lots of opportunities to work outside in the beautiful school grounds. Their Early Years lead is training to be a forest school practitioner. This is going to give the school the opportunity to integrate the forest school ethos into the early year’s curriculum. They will be offering some forest school taster sessions for parents and children who are starting school in September 2021.
- Sharon Taylor, Headteacher of Stanmore Primary, is looking back on some of the school’s pre-lockdown activities with renewed appreciation.
- New in this edition, St Peter’s Primary share some of the projects that their pupils enjoyed during their home-schooling under lockdown.
Parish and Government News
- Oliver’s Battery Parish Council let us know that the Oliver’s Battery Community Group continues to be available to residents who need help. They plan to hold a Scarecrow Competition in the parish starting on Friday 18th September. Residents’ attention is drawn to the latest proposals for residential redevelopment behind the shops at 93-95 Oliver’s Battery Road South.
- Winchester City Council review their achievements over ten weeks of working remotely and share their ‘Recover, rebuild, reimagine’ plan for moving forward.
- Hampshire County Council‘s report focuses on Climate Change and our Community, sharing some of the aims of their Climate Change Strategy.
- Out MP, Steve Brine, shares his thoughts on Winchester’s revised Local Plan for housing. He discusses our local health Trust’s Hampshire Together programme which has a new hospital as its ‘centre-piece’ and asks us to look at hampshiretogether.nhs.uk and tell the Trust what matters to you.
News from Local Organisations and Clubs
- Winchester Local Group Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust has postponed all forthcoming events to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Please keep an eye on the Trust’s website at hiwwt.org.uk/events for further news about all the local group activities and when they will resume. They share the news that the Trust was delighted to finally announce the purchase of Deacon Hill, a 10-hectare site of chalk grassland and scrub, overlooking the Chilcomb valley below the Morestead Road, forming a vital link in the nature-network in the Winchester area. The hill is Winchester’s only remaining stronghold for the the stunning Duke of Burgundy butterfly.
- Winchester Horticultural Society had a good summer and their gardens are thriving. What will Autumn bring? More colour in the flower borders, a good harvest in the vegetable garden, plenty of fruit on the apple trees despite a massive June drop, and perhaps a fine display of Autumn tints if the weather continues to be good. After several months of cancelled Monthly Meetings they are cautiously optimistic that at at least some of the programme lined up for the remainder of the year will be able to go ahead. However, please check the website to see what’s happening before you decide to join them for one of their meetings.
- Winchester Good Neighbours share the changes that the Covid-19 lockdown brought to the work that they do supporting people need help.
- Community First launch a new volunteering website. They are looking to make Volunteer First the go-to volunteering platform and looking for more community groups in Winchester to register their volunteering roles with them. The more exciting and varied volunteering opportunities they advertise, the more interest they will get from the public, which will in turn, have a positive impact on the community.
- Neighbourhood Watch highlights the more sophisticated scams they’ve seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Assume every communication is a scam – do not reply, do not click on any links in emails, do not press any reply type buttons on phone, do not respond in any way to time pressure or the scare tactics.
- We highlight Winchester Green Week (27 September to 4 October) with news on their Summer Project Pack and a thought-provoking article from local resident, Clare Shorter, on Resetting to a new normal.
- On Tuesday 21st July, the Mayor of Winchester, Patrick Cunningham, formally opened the Woodland Walk Trail for Poppins Nursery at The Carroll Centre, Stanmore.
- Simon Lever is ‘greeted by unexpected tranquillity’ at Winnall Moors Wildlife Reserve in A walk on the bright side.
- Local nutritionist Amanda Turner thanks human health scientists who have been busy, researching not only emergency Covid-19 care but also reducing risk of infection. Her article offers you links to the latter.
- The sun is out, so hedgehogs are now up from hibernation. Hogs are nocturnal animals, so they mainly come out at night. However, as the days get longer, you can now spot them in the light evenings. Jo Martynka and Mike Davies, who care for hedgehogs that need help in Badger Farm, tell us how we can help these magical creatures.
- In Tech Talk, Ann shares how she used Windows Quick Assist to help her Mum with computer issues during lockdown and guides you through the process of setting it up in case it helps you help someone else.
- In Nature Notes, Norma explains that the pieces of felt on Whiteshute Ridge are refuges for small reptiles, including slow worms. In June, Norma and some friends went in search of glow worms on the Ridge and enjoyed
a magical evening with a crescent moon appearing hazily through a patchy thin cloud while a heron flapped its heavy slow flight in the direction of St Cross. Moths were flying around us as the sweet smell of the cooling earth tempted us to linger. The lights of homes in Badger Farm seemed like a fairyland as we wended our reluctant way home.