Happy New Year from In Didcot! Have you made a New Year resolution? If you’re still deciding, how about helping Didcot and its community? Read on for 10 ideas:
1. Become a volunteer driver
If you’ve got a car and some spare time, consider offering your services to the local Volunteer Driver Service. Volunteers are urgently needed to help transport residents to hospital and doctor appointments. You will receive 45p per mile to cover your transport costs. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
2. Support charity shops
Donate and buy items at the charity shops in Didcot. They support a wide range of charities, including Helen & Douglas House, Cancer Research, Sobell House and Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary. If you have a spare morning or afternoon each week you could also volunteer to sort donations or help on the tills.
3. Be a parkrun volunteer
Didcot parkrun takes place on Ladygrove, 9am every Saturday, and helps hundreds of participants to keep fit and enjoy a social event. Parkrun is free but depends on volunteers to help marshall the runners, hand out finish tokens, scan barcodes and act as timekeeper. If you’re interested in volunteering please email email@example.com.
4. Donate to Didcot Foodbank
Didcot Emergency Foodbank provides short term relief by giving food to people in crisis. In 2021 the Foodbank helped over 4300 people in Didcot and the local villages. You can help by donating tinned goods, pasta, cereals, nappies, toiletries at the drop-off points in Sainsbury’s (both Orchard Centre and Wantage Road stores). Alternatively drop your donation at the Foodbank itself (Didcot Baptist Church, Wantage Road) from 11am-1pm on Tuesday and Friday.
5. Volunteer in the Scouts, Air Cadets or Guides
The local uniformed organisations are always looking for volunteer adult helpers. Your background and experience don’t matter as volunteers are required in all types of roles, from finance and admin to helping with special events and camps. Check out Didcot Air Cadets, Thames Ridge Scouts, Girlguiding Didcot and Didcot Army Cadets on Facebook to find out more.
6. Do a litter pick
I’ve previously written about this in an earlier blog post. Suffice to say, there are still plenty of opportunities for litter picking in Didcot. South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) loan out litter pickers, hi-viz clothing and bags to both individuals and groups who want to go litter picking. There are local groups too, who organise litter picks including Ladygrove and GWP Residents Associations and Planet Patrol Oxfordshire.
7. Be a good neighbour
Didcot Good Neighbour Scheme (DGNS) is a community service that offers support to elderly and vulnerable people in the Didcot area. This ranges from popping round for a cup of tea to helping with practicalities such as shopping, collecting prescriptions or garden maintenance. To find our more about volunteering check out the DGNS website.
8. Join Sustainable Didcot
Sustainable Didcot is a community action group for local residents who want to live sustainably and raise awareness of climate change. They run multiple projects, from repair cafes, to clothes exchanges, community allotment gardening to solar initiatives. Pop over to their website for more information.
9. Support local businesses
If you buy locally you’re supporting your own community as more of the money you spend remains in the local economy. Locally owned shops in Didcot include Broadway Butchers, Didcot Pet Store, Trutex Didcot and Emma’s Vintage Style. It’s not just shops though, employ local tradespersons and service providers too, whether it’s for fence repairs, will writing or drain clearance.
10. Walk, don’t drive
Make a commitment to walk anywhere that’s less than a mile away. It’s free, good for the environment and great for your health!