Promoting Community Groups in Melksham

June 22, 2021

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Since May, Melksham Town Council has been working with the Melksham Independent News to promote the diverse range of groups and clubs that are providing activities in services in Melksham.

The Town Council has featured a group on facebook every day for the past six weeks, and the full list of groups and services is below.

60Plus Club

The 60 plus club has been going for over 70 years. The club meets every Tuesday afternoon 2pm - 4pm. The club is a social club for older people to meet and socialise, make new friends. We have a weekly bingo session, with free tea and biscuits. We also arrange several coach trips a year, such as in 2019 a coach trip to Weymouth was organised and a great day out was had by all. Contact details: Steve Chudley 01225 552794 or you can email: smiler3348@btinternet.com, Mobile: 07722464585

 

 

AbsopositivelyYou

AbsopositivelyYou Community Interest Company aims to promote daily positive habits, such as journaling, to increase emotional and mental resilience and wellbeing for all age groups. Some people will only need paper and a pen to journal whilst others may need a guided journal or planner. For the latter we want to work with suppliers to gain benefits for the local community - this may be discounts or the ability to donate to local organisations to get people started. For more information contact jo.hobbs@absopositively-you.org.uk and find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/absopositivelyyou

 

AFC Melksham Disabled Football club 

Long running AfcM hold weekly coaching sessions for under 16 and Adult Disabled footballers. Wednesday nights at Bowerhill playing fields 17:30 to 18:30 in the summer (thanks to Melksham Without Parish Council) and move indoors to Melksham Oak gym in the darkerwinter months.

AfcMis a FREE to participating players, open to male and female, and coaching is by DBS FA qualified coaches who give their time free, a massive commitment.

AfcM is a Standard Chartered Club and returns after the enforced break this Wednesday 21st April - all are warmly welcome.

AfcM wish to thank local councils for their continued financial support, Alms House, and local firms Knorre Bremse and Great Bear who at present despite COVID have stood by this long standing voluntary commitment to support Sport for all.

Hon Presidents Brian Taff Evans and his good lady Jean Evans are the foundation of this local long-standing club with AfcM Sunday Premier Club the original grassroots support that started this offshoot. 

Patrick Johnson is the manager and Mike Rogers Chairman (contact 07578335161) 

 

 Age Friendly Melksham

Age Friendly Melksham is part of the national Age Friendly Network of towns and cities and works to address the social, emotional and practical difficulties older people may have that make it difficult for them to stay connected to their communities and live healthy and active lives.

With the amazing help of our fabulous volunteers we have made sure Melksham Community Support - which is run by Age Friendly Melksham - will still be here for people who are isolated and lonely. In the last year we have helped 907 people with prescription deliveries, emergency shopping, walking dogs and friendly phone calls and had some great feedback.

94% of our users said they would recommend our Friendly Phone calls.  There were some heartfelt comments such as, “…it makes me feel there is someone out there listening, it’s good to know someone cares”, and “I'm so grateful to have someone to talk to.”  

Volunteers have delivered 1,721 prescriptions, done 1,100 shopping trips for people trapped in their homes and made 4,321 calls to people asking for help.  We are still here to help anyone who is vulnerable; disabled; struggling with mobility; shielding; self-isolating or anxious about going out.  

As soon as Covid-19 restriction are lifted we will be launching our Face 2 Face service.  Volunteers will support isolated and lonely people to make mobile video calls to family and friends for a special anniversary or just a regular catch-up. No need for any equipment, or internet access, we will bring an iPad, get you connected and leave you to enjoy your chat.  If you or someone you know would benefit from this service, give us a call on 01225 809265.

We are setting up a Melksham Community Area ‘Age Friendly Forum’ to hear what would help you  to age well.  If you are 50+ and want to make sure your voice is heard, get in touch with Phillipa, Age Friendly Co-ordinator by calling 01225 667971 or email hello@afmelksham.og.uk

If you would like to join our fabulous Volunteer Team go to www.melkshamcommunity.co.uk/offer-help  fill in the form and we’ll be touch.  

 

 

Age UK Wiltshire

Age UK Wiltshire hopes to be re-opening its popular Fitness & Friendship Clubs from June.  The Clubs provide provide a great opportunity for older adults to socialise andstay active.  Each meeting includes gentle exercise to help maintain strength,  balance and flexibility.  The Melksham Club ran from Bowerhill Village Hall on alternate Thursdays and its members would love to return but the Club needs a new Volunteer Leader to help run it.  If you’d like to help older adults stay active, healthy and less socially isolated we’dlove to hear from you – volunteering@ageukwiltshire.org.uk In the meantime, we’re offering the opportunity to join our online Zoom Fitness & Friendship Club which will run between 1.30pm – 3pm on Thurs 20th May, Thurs 3rd June & Thurs 17th June.  You can sign up for the club by contacting tracey.jones@ageukwiltshire.org.uk For more information please see https://www.ageuk.org.uk/wiltshire/activities-and-events/fitness-and-friendship/

 

Alzheimers Support

People living with dementia in Melksham are getting together once again for gentle exercise sessions at Bowerhill Village Hall.

Movement for the Mind, run by Alzheimer’s Support, has been meeting at Bowerhill Village Hall since 2011. The fortnightly Wednesday morning sessions combine exercise to music with reminiscences and social time over refreshments, and are a great way to meetnew friends. The group was recently granted £450 from Melksham Town Council.

Group organiser Kate Sharpe said: “We missed everyone dreadfully during lockdown. Some members joined our online sessions by zoom or attended the limited number offace-to-face meetings we have been able to run elsewhere since the autumn, but it’s been wonderfulto be back together as a group at Bowerhill. We are exempt from the rule of six and are following Covid protocols to keep everyone safe.

“People affected by dementia benefit so much from getting out and enjoying a social occasion, especially after lockdown, and there are so many health benefits to taking part. The exercises are suitable for older people and many are done from the chair so you don’t need to be superfit. Even people who are not very mobile can benefit from the breathing, gentle ankle exercises and stretching.”

The group is led by a qualified fitness instructor trained in dementia awareness and everyone takes part at their own pace. “There is a lot of laughter in the group,” said Kate.

Movement for the Mind meets at Bowerhill Village Hall, Halifax Road, SN12 6QN every other Wednesday from 10.30am to 12pm and family carers are welcomed as full members of the group. The charity asks for a £1.50 contribution on the door to help towards costs.

To join the group, or to come along as a volunteer, please call 01389 739055 or sign up at www.alzheimerwiltshire.org.uk.

(Our twitter handle is@AlzheimersSupp and on Facebook/Instagram we are AlzheimersSupportWiltshire)

 

Avon Bowls Club

Avon Bowls Club is now in full swing with competitions, league matches, social activities and much more. For the time being, strict Covid 19 rules are being observed. To this end, the committee have kept everyone up to date with thelatest guidelines aimed at keeping us all as safe as possible.

John Crowder continues in post for a second year as Wiltshire County Men's President. He is highly active in joining club Captains Colin and Marcia Eastonin organising and managing a raft of activities, aimed at getting everyone back on the green. As the season progresses, John will be the leading figure in Bowls Wiltshire Men's President's games. Sixteen games are scheduled, with the first game being played at Avon Bowls Club on the 3rd of July at 2.30pm. One important game deserves special mention, Holt Bowls Club, one ofthe Premier clubs in Wiltshire, is celebrating it's centenary. This game will be held at Holt on 11th July at 2pm.

Avon Bowls Club is always ready to welcome new members throughout the season. It is situated in the grounds of Melksham House, just off the Town Market Place. Access to the grounds is limited at the moment due to the construction of the Health and Well-being Centre. Entrance to the club can be gained on foot via apath, at the end of Place road.

For more information, please contact Club Secretary, Email: abc-secretary@hotmail.co.uk

 

Bowerhill Residents Action Group

"The Bowerhill Residents Action Group (BRAG) was formed in 2008 following a merger between the Bowerhill Action Group and the Bowerhill Residents Association. It is open to all residents of the Bowerhill area and exists to provide a means of discovering the needs of Bowerhill residents and representing them to official bodies. BRAG also tries to make local people aware of future developments within the community. BRAG is very active in the local community carrying out regular litter-picks, maintaining the path to the canal and managing the picnic area. For more information please contact Mark Harris on 01225 351444 or 07985 465824 or email mark.harris@blueyonder.co.uk"

Achievements

BRAG was instrumental in providing a continuous dry footpath from Bowerhill to thecanal.

BRAG have been instrumental in getting several new benches and litter-bins installed around Bowerhill. Further funding has recently been obtained for additional benchesand picnic tables around the estate and these are currently in the process ofbeing installed.

BRAG provided input into both the Melksham Neighbourhood Plan and the Seend Parish Plan. Because of this the bridle-path and picnic area have been noted in those plansas “green no-development land”.

BRAG worked closely with MWPC, local residents and Taylor Wimpey to address the concerns ofthose residents directly impacted by the new Pathfinder Place development.

BRAG worked with The Woodland Trust, Melksham ATC and local Scout groups to plant more trees around the Bowerhill sports field.

BRAG continues to work with MWPC to address the issue of dog-fouling around Bowerhill.

Future plans

To work with local councillors and MWPC to ensure that local residents are kept fully informed of any future housing developments and the impact any future Melksham bypass may have on Bowerhill.

To continue to work with local councillors and MWPC to ensure that the Pathfinder Place development delivers all that was promised, in particular a new infant school.

To continue to arrange regular litter-picks around the estate, maintain the path to the canal and manage the picnic area. In addition, plans are underway to"re-wild" the grassed areas at either end of Brabazon Way.

To listen to residents’ concerns and address issues as they arise.

BRAG is a completely independent body run by its members and, while it is supported byMelksham Without Parish Council, it is not controlled by them.

Mark Harris

Lead Member and Coordinator

Bowerhill Residents Action Group

April 2021

 

Cats Action Trust North and West Wiltshire

We rescue cats and kittens in need of care, give veterinary treatment if needed, and provide ‘foster’ homes until they can be rehomed.

Some of the animals have been abandoned, others come to us due to a change in the owner’s personal situation such as separation, relocation or unemployment, but we always try to find a new ‘forever home’ for as many as possible.

The charity has no paid staff and is run entirely by volunteers.

Our biggest single source of income is our Bath Road shop, where we would love to welcome more volunteers to help with sorting and pricing donations, steaming clothes, arranging displays and serving customers.

Safety measures include the provision of gloves, masks, visors and hand sanitisers, together with regular cleaning of the premises.

All donations are quarantined and cleaned prior to going on display. Customer numbers are being limited to help with social distancing, and hand sanitiser is available at the door.

Payment is taken from behind a protective screen at the till - but card payments are currently unavailable.

The team are particularly keen to receive spring and summer clothes, with guidance on donations available at www.catsactiontrust.org.uk/shop.

We regret we cannot accept any electrical or bulky items, but we do welcome donations of books, toys, games, jewellery, accessories and bric-a-brac. However, please do not leave donations on the doorstep.

In addition, local veterinary practices and shops can act as collection points for donations of cat food and litter. These can also be delivered directly to the Trust shop.

We would also be keen to hear from any local residents and businesses who are interested in arranging their own fundraising events to support the charity.

A list of animals available for adoption can be found on our website.

Email: catsactiontrust@gmail.com

Visit: www.catsactiontrust.org.uk

 

Citizens Advice Wiltshire

We are Citizens Advice Wiltshire and we’re here to help.

We offer free, confidential advice online, by email and over the phone.

Coronavirus has made life hard for many people. We're here for everyone.

We giveup-to-date advice on:

·         benefits

·         employment, including your rights at work

·         debt and money

·         housing

·         consumer rights

·         family and personal issues

·         immigration

·         law and courts

·         problems with healthcare

If you need help, please get in touch.

Over the next few months we will be working hard to reopen our face to face services, in the meantime you can continue to get advice from us online, by email and over the phone.

Ø  Call us on freephone 0800 144 8848 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)

Ø  Visit https://citizensadvicewiltshire.org.uk/contact-us toemail us

Ø  Find self-help information online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk, where you can also chat with an adviser online.

 

Community Action for Whitley & Shaw

CAWS (Community Action for Whitley & Shaw) will be looking forward to our AGM on 18th May, which willbe held on Shaw Playing Fields at 1900. We hope to see more of the community attending and getting involved as we restart our community initiatives alongside developing the plan for a Summer Fete in 2022. The villagers have always been supportive of our regular community litter picks, so we look forward to a time when we are allowed to restart those. We have been successful in driving the re-purposing of one of the village phone boxes to become a community library which provided a valuable resource during lockdown and are looking forward to dusting off our plans to turn the disused phone box opposite Shaw School into a local learning / information resource. We will be continuing with our responses to local planning applications in and around the villages to represent community views and concerns.   

 

We would like to develop our use of social media so we can connect with the parts of our community who are technically confident. The age demographic of the village has meant we have, historically, had to use more traditional methods but we want to ensure we can communicate with everyone to allow for a rounded consideration of views about what we should be doing to improve and enhance life for everyone. The development of a website is something we would like to consider and ask for help with from someone in our community.  

 

We are always looking for members of the community to join the group because new people bring a fresh perspective and will give us the opportunity to consider and plan for other activities as part of our annual plan. If anyone is interested in knowing more, please contact shaw_and_whitley@aol.co.uk  

 

Community Connector Service

We have two Community Connectors in Melksham (Amanda and Moira) who can support people to identify the changes they would like to make in their lives to improve their health and wellbeing.

It’s really exciting that groups and clubs are planning on reopening in Melksham.  However, we are all a bit outof practice at getting out and about and socialising in bigger groups, so if you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the choice, or you would welcome some support to make that first step, then Amanda and Moira are here to help you.  They can support you to choose the right group for you and also support you to take that first step to attend the group.

If you would like to talk to Amanda or Moira, please ask your GP practice to make a referral.

 

 

 

Conigre Mead Volunteers

Conigre Mead Nature Reserve is a 3 acre reserve in Melksham on thebank of the River Avon between Sainsbury’s car park and A350 by pass. The reserve used to be a field and was bought by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust about 40years ago. Trees were planted so  the reserve is mostly woodland with a few open spaces and three ponds of varying sizes.  There are a variety of wildflowers  and it is a haven for birds and insects including  dragonflies.  There are several seats for people to sit and relax.

 

The reserve is managed by Conigre Mead Volunteers, who meet on the third Saturday of the month to undertake conservation tasks, such as pruning, mowing, planting and litter-picking. Obviously this did not happen under Lockdown.

 

Once Lockdown ends, the volunteers at Conigre Mead are looking forward to getting back to business as usual. We had our first post-lockdown working party in April but we had to limit numbers due to current restrictions. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have updated their guidance so at the May working party we will be able to have 10 volunteers, an increase from the current 6, so hopefully we will have more hands on deck.

 

We are holding an AGM and committee meeting later in May where work for the next year will be planned. WWT are producing new signage for all its reserves and the volunteers will be installing the Conigre Mead signs once they are ready.

 

Conigre Mead Nature Reserve has entered the RHS  South West in Bloom competition for the last few years and in 2019 was awarded Level 5-Outstanding. We have entered again for 2021 so watch this space…..

 

Follow this link to our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/conigremead

Working party dates: 3rdSaturday of each month, 10am – 12:30pm.

 

 

Happy Circle Day Centre

happy circle day centre – for older people living independently in Melksham –

Our charity is presently in the planning stages of our return from lockdown, so that we can soon continue providing our weekly Day Centre to our members. We have a variety of activities and provide fun, laughter, and friendship to ease isolation in older age. We are currently looking for a special kind of person to join our team as a volunteer and assist us on our return. If you have a spare hour or two on Mondays, or require further information please contact Laurissa Sprules 07505 452575.  

 

Little Cherubs Toddler Groups

Little Cherubs toddler groups are run by the Anglican churches in Melksham, and usually meet on a Tuesday (Melksham Skills Centre, Church Lane) and Friday (St Michaels Church Room, Canon Square) during term-time. All pre-school aged children and parents/carers are welcome for free play, story time, snack, crafts, activities, music and singing!

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been keeping in touch online and we are excited to be launching ‘Little Cherubs Outside’ at the beginning of May. Little Cherubs Outside will run every Tuesday during term-time (weather permitting)and meet on the grass, round the back of St Michaels Church. We will have two session slots available each week; 10:15-10:45am and 11-11:30am. Booking will be available via our Little Cherubs Facebook Group and be first come, first served due to restricted numbers.

We can’t wait to gather together to explore stories, enjoy singing and dancing, nature and treasure hunts and play some games. In addition to our outside sessions, we will be continuing with a Facebook Live every week. Tune in to our Facebook Group at 10:30am every Friday for an online story and singing time. For information about Little Cherubs, take a look at our Facebook Group by searching for Little Cherubs Toddler Groups, Melksham on Facebook. Or, email Hannah at: hannahtarring.cfm@outlook.com.

 

 

 

Melksham and District Historical Association

The Association was founded in 1963 and opened with an exhibition in the Town Hall mostly displaying the private collection of the late Peter Brown. Membership quickly grew and meetings were set up to promote an interest in local history.

We meet on the third Thursday of the month with indoor meetings from Januaryto April and September to November at 7 30 pm in the Melksham Assembly Hall.  May and June meetings are afternoon or evening visits to places of local historical interest, and in July we have an outing to a stately home, open air museum or maybe a city of historical note.

We have kept in touch with our membership during lock-down by either emailing or posting a news letter outlining our hopes for the future and in addition sharing information about the history of an area of Melksham that has undergone numerous changes over the years, like RAF Melksham, Beanacre Corner (now part of the original by-pass)  and so on.  We  are able to illustrate the changes by using slides from our large collection.

We hope to resume our meetings in September but this will depend on whether the Covid situation continues toimprove.  We can only hope that this is so.  The following meetings will be held in Melksham Assembly Hall at 7 30 pm. Visitors are always welcome (£3)

Thursday 16th September – Bygone Melksham-Slide presentation by President Tony Fivash

Thursday 21st October – Members Memories presented by Gill Butler

Thursday 18th November – AGM & Social Evening (meeting Hall requirements)

These evenings will be “in house” in case last minute cancellation is necessary. However we will revert to our usual type of programme for 2022.

                     

 

 

Melksham and District Link Scheme

Melksham and District Link Scheme is a local charity, run by local volunteers for local people. We have worked throughout the pandemic, including all lockdowns and continue to do so.

Our volunteers are generally drivers or coordinators, though some do both. Others run our ‘Open Door’ coffee mornings every Tuesday, which will resume when Covid permits.

Who are the volunteers? They are just ordinary residents who have a bit of time on their hands and want to give back to their community.

Drivers use their own cars and receive 45p per mile to cover petrol and running costs when on Link duties. They choose the day(s) and times they are available and if they just wish to drive locally or are happy to go further afield.

Coordinators are the ones who maintain details of driver availability, receive client calls for assistance and organise the requested trips. The Link mobile phone is normally covered Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Outside these hours or if the phone is busy or the coordinator is not available clients are asked to leave their name, phone number and brief details of the reason for their call.

Subject to driver availability we transport residents to their medical appointments if they are unable to get themselves there and have no friends or family who can help them. Medical appointments include hospitals, doctors, dentists, and opticians. We always try to find a driver for clients, no matter what time their appointment is or what day.

We pick up clients at their homes, drive them to their appointment, wait and take them home.

Asa charity we rely on donations from our clients to enable us to continue to function.

For more information.

Call on 07979 129052. Email melkshamlink@gmail.com. Visit www.melkshamlink.com

 

 

 Melksham Ukulele Social Club

MELKSHAM UKULELE SOCIAL CLUB has been meeting at the GUIDE HUT, Bath Road for many years with members meeting from 7-30pm till 9-30pm – followed by a drink at Weatherspoon’s !

If you are keen on learning to play a ukulele OR love music and want to ‘make music’ OR are not sure but would like a taster evening -  JUST COME TO ONE OF OUR SESSIONS.

The group is a friendly bunch of all abilities. Many are very novice and shy – others more flamboyant andaccomplished musicians – but all enjoy helping others along the way.

DIARY DATE :          Thursday evenings from 7-30pm till9-30pm

VENUE :                  Guide Hut, Bath Road (Opposite the Riverside Club)

 

 

 

 

Melksham Community Meals

Melksham Community Meals users have been unable to meet since the end of March 2020 due to Covid 19. We have been keeping in contact with everyone with surprise deliveries, for which people have been pleased! We are working towards hopefully starting up again by the beginning of September 2021. We do still need to find new premises though. Venue required for Sundays is a large hall and catering size kitchen. We are prepared to and would like to work with other clubs and community groups to offer activities before or after the meal. If anyone has any ideas and thoughts on a venue please contact Sue Mortimer 07719 935 883. It would be so amazing if we could get this service up and running again.

 

 

Melksham Community Money Advice

MCMA - Formerly Hope Debt Advice - work independently under the umbrella of Community Money Advice, a national Christian charity committed to supporting churches and communities who have a passion for helping people overcome their money problems. The national body CMA provides all the resources, training and support needed to provide FREE face to face debt advice. The service can also arrange sessions on budgeting, ensuring that clients remain debt free. MCMA is sponsored by the Melksham Family of Churches and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The group is based at Melksham Baptist Church in Old Broughton Road. Each year thousands of people from all walks of life, often through no fault of their own, fall into debt. We are all vulnerable. It is easy to put bills, letters, final demands into a drawer and hope the problem will go away! Unfortunately it does not, but there are organisations like MCMA who can help. Anyone concerned about debt, or wants to talk about their problems can make an appointment. The help is free of charge and confidential. An advisor will contact creditors. Doing this will lift a burden that may have affected clients emotionally, causing depression and despair. As the process continues over time, people grow in confidence, regain a smile, and realise that they can have hope for the future. MCMA will maintain close links with the Foodbank and other services, will receive regular grants from local charities and will be supported by local churches. We expect to continue to have success helping people to become debt free. To make an appointment email melkshamcma21@gmail.com. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 946055

 

 

 

Melksham Community Transport

TheCommunity Bus has not been idle during the lockdown periods. School buses havecontinued running to and from Corsham School whenever the school has been open.We run three buses every day, picking up in Melksham, Holt, Broughton Gifford,Atworth and Purlpit in the morning and returning the students after school.This has had its challenges as we need to maintain social distance on the busesand have had periods when some year groups have been sent home to isolate.

Unfortunatelywe had to cancel our shopper bus services for all of the lockdown periods, buthave just recently been able to restart these with some of our regularcustomers. We have had to restrict the capacity of the bus to 8 people, againfor social distancing reasons. 

Ourservices for Lunch and Social clubs ceased operation as the clubs all shut downin March 2020. At present there are no plans to restart soon, although we arehopeful these will resume some time this year.

Weare also hoping to run day trips again soon, the first one is planned to be on6th June and will be going to Weymouth for the day. Anybody interested in thisplease contact the Tourist Information Office - 707424.

Meanwhilewe have been busy refurbishing and replacing some of the buses. Our shopper bushas been resprayed and tidied up and we have bought a replacement for thebigger bus. 

 Weare all hoping to get back to normal as soon as possible.

 

 

MELKSHAMCOUNTRY DANCERS

We meet every Monday evening from7:30pm to 9:30pm at The Riverside Club (except Bank Holidays). We enjoyall forms of country and folk dancing and have 3 resident callers who areextremely friendly and do all they can to help you enjoy your dancing.  Wealso have 8 or more visiting callers through the year. All ages arewelcome; why not come and join us on one of our Monday evening ClubNights  -  the first night is free and we will do all we can to makeyou feel welcome.  This is a great opportunity to meet people, make newfriends and have a great time enjoying country dancing. Or join ouroccasional walks.  Contact Geoff on 01225703650 or via our website https://melkshamcountrydancers.co.uk

 

 

THEMELKSHAM RIVERSIDE CLUB

 

Builtin 1969 and originally funded by Melksham and Corsham Round Table recentupdates make this CHARITY an ideal venue for regular events and occasionalprivate hires. Situated just off Bath Road near the river with its wellequipped kitchen facilities and disabled friendly access it can provide up to60 persons with a perfect enjoyable venue. Currently the venue hosts the 60+club, WI, Melksham Seniors, a Singing Group, several dance groups and others.Several time periods are available for your group or celebration. Contact 01225703650 for more details. We are always looking for volunteers to help provide awell run Melksham Facility. Give us a try.

 

 

Melksham Food and River Festival

Planning is well advanced to ensure that the popular Melksham Food andRiver Festival takes place in the King George V Park over the weekend of 4thand5thSeptember 2021.    

The free-to-attend event will again offera programme of food demonstrations, river-based activities, a fun-fair,  other activities for children,and musical entertainment from local groups and choirs.  

A wide range of nearly 50 foodcharity, craft community and trade stallsare already booked to promote local food and drink services plus artisan,crafts and related products.  Localcommunities and charities are promoting their facilities and services toMelksham and other residents. 

The aim of Festival is to highlight the benefits of the King George VPark and River Avon in Melksham; and to celebrate local food and drinkproducers and suppliers from Melksham and its hinterland. 

The Festival has been very popular over the past few years, with theestimated attendance at any one time at the 2019 Festival being around 1,200 –2,000, building to an estimated total over the two days of the Festival ofbetween10,000 – 12,000. 

Festival Chair, Adrienne Westbrook, says “ We are really delighted thatLeekes have again agreed to be the main sponsor of the Festival; and will beproviding the Festival Marquee for the food demonstrations.   We are also grateful to the Town andParish Councils, who both have agreed that we can carry forward the 2020 grantthey gave us.”  

The event is planned and delivered by a team of localvolunteers – and new members of the team arealways welcome to help out at the Festival.  If you can help, please contact uson www.melkshamfooodandriverfestival.co.uk

 

 

Melksham Gardeners’ Society

Melksham Gardeners’ Society is hopingto reopen with a meeting at the end of June, but this will be dependent on howthe virus plays out.  We meet at theRachel Fowler Centre on the last Tuesday of the month at 7.30 p.m. with a widevariety of speakers.  All you newgardeners that have emerged during the lockdowns, how about joining us andmeeting like-minded people.  As well asmonthly meetings; we usually have at least one coach trip a year going toplaces like Kew Gardens, RHS Wisley etc. Please visit our website for details; www.melkshamgardenerssociety.co.uk

 

 

                       

 

Melksham Lions

Like most charities we have beenunable to fundraise as we would have normally, but that hasn’t stopped us frommaking donations including the Christmas Lights, Melksham Foodbank, WiltshireMIND and Bloodbikes,  We collectedlaptops and tablets for school children and we continue to distribute our free“Message in a Bottle”.  Behind the sceneswe have been doing what we best, “We Serve”.

Coming out of lockdown (hopefully) in2021, we are looking forward to getting out and about again in our localcommunity and putting the fun back into fundraising.  Although we have yet to finalise our calendarof events, we hope to be at the Melksham River Festival, marshalling at events,we are planning an Easter Egg Hunt and of course Santa and his reindeer willcome out of lockdown too and will hopefully be at our local supermarkets again.

We do have our own fun too at oursocial events.  Our incoming PresidentJaki Stephen takes over the reins from Jim Whyborn in July this year and ishosting a Battle of Sexes Beach Party to mark the occasion and, the remarkablejob Jim has done as President, especially during the pandemic.  And of course when Santa heads back toLapland, we have our very own Christmas party.

If becoming a member of Melksham Lionsis something you would like to do, please get in touch with us either via ourFacebook page or our website www.melkshamlions.org.uk we would love tohear from you.

 

 

 

Melksham Messy Church

MessyChurch is a fun, creative and exciting alternative to traditional church. MessyChurches meet all over the world! Melksham Messy Church is run in partnershipwith Melksham Family of Churches and usually meets on the 4th Sundayof the month at Forest & Sandridge school. We love gathering forinteractive bible stories, games, messy activities, music, celebration andfood! Messy Church is a fantastic place to meet new people, explore faith andspend time playing together as a family. Messy Church is all-age and all arewelcome!

 

Duringthe pandemic, we have changed the way we do Messy Church to stay as safe aspossible, enjoying ‘Messy Church in a Bag’ each month! Our Messy activity bagsare available to collect on the 4th Sunday of the month from outsideForest & Sandridge school between 2:30 – 3pm. Once you have collected yourbag, you can enjoy the activities and join us for a Messy Church Zoom at 4pm.Our story, memory verse and ‘What’s in the bag’ video will be posted onlineearlier in the day. Messy Church is free, and activity resources are provided.Although we can’t gather in person at the moment, it’s great that we can cometogether online and enjoy Messy Church with a difference!

 

We’reexcited to be running another ‘Messy Church Summer Fun’ Holiday Club this year,from Monday 2nd – Friday 6th August. We have a fun packedweek planned with messy activities, stories, memory verses, games, songs andmore! More information about Holiday Club will be released soon, in line withgovernment guidelines.

Formore information about Melksham Messy Church, take a look at our Melksham MessyChurch Facebook group, YouTube channel, or email Hannah at: hannahtarring.cfm@outlook.com.

 

Melksham Shed

Melksham Shed works best when thereare projects on the go and the members get involved. Sadly the last year hasnot been a good one for those people who are regular Shedders, they have lostthe coffee chats and contacts that changes strangers to friends.  WE have however kept going through a weeklyZoom contact and, when allowed, a limited openings under Covid rules. By doingboth of these activities we have maintained the membership of, at least halfthe 2019 paid up members. As we come out of the restrictions, with ourvaccinations under our belt, we have opened the doors for  the three days a week – Monday, Wednesday andFriday – 0930hr to 1230hr. We are still restricted, under Covid rules, to 6members but we have a nice outside space, thanks to the generosity of theForest Community Centre, and a well ventilated Shed.

New members are always welcome so, docall in and put your name forward for when we are back in full swing.  

For further information tel01225-920400 OR just call in !!!

 

 

Melksham Transport User Group

MelkshamRail User Group becomes the Melksham TRANSPORT UserGroup on 19th May 2021 at our AGM - 19:30 on Zoom via http://www.passenger.chat/24714. We will remainthe official Community Rail Network group for Melksham Station, helping tokeep the station safe and welcoming, interacting with GWR and TransWilts forlittle things that make a big difference, and promoting use of our trains.

Bus Back Better, announced by The Government in March, gives the Community theopportunity to work to a Bus Service Improvement Plan. MRUG / MTUG are workingtogether for service and infrastructure updates - BSIP needs to be inplace by October with councils and operators and we have a busy summer ahead. See http://option247.uk . We plan to beas effective on buses as our Melksham Community has been on trains, with a25-fold increase in journeys made.

Public transport use has been decimated over the last year.  It needs tocome back, and come back strong as we recover from Coronavirus and move on tochanges needed for us to reach climate change targets.  MTUG will bemeeting often (online and in person), looking for volunteers to help survey,promote, inform and adopt bus stops as well as the station -opportunities to meet others interested in transport and take trips outwith us too.

It's going to be a busy summer. We are a free and friendly group and newmembers very welcome. Contact - Graham Ellis (Vice Chair) via info@mrug.org.uk or on 01225708225.

Image 0 - last summer - socially distanced market place promotion
Image 1 - pre-Covid / promotion is the Assembly Hall, 6 October 2019
Image 2 - Train at Melksham
Image 3 - Buses at Melksham

Images 2 and 3 are both during "essential travel only" periods ... wehave been limited on what we could do! 

 

Melksham Walking Football

Melksham WalkingFootball Club started in 2019 offering non-competitive walking football to Menover 50, with 8-14 players attending each week. This soon developed to includeWomen over 35, now with 24 members and weekly turnout of 10-20. The club now consistsof 85 members and the mixed sessions see a regular 24-28 players each week.

 

The games playedare small sided, typically 5 to 8 a-side (dependent on attendees) offering allplayers the opportunity to play up to 1 hour of recreational minimal contactfootball.

 

All levels ofability are catered for, for both Men over 50, Women over 35 & thosereturning from injury. No experience is necessary, so whether you are lookingfor something new, to get fit, or having played before and looking to take up aslower paced less physical version of the game, this rapidly growing sport is foryou. All equipment is supplied, and training is given.

 

If anyone isfeeling apprehensive about coming along, everyone is very welcoming &encouraging but if you would prefer not to take part the first time, pleasefeel free to book to come along and just watch.

 

The benefits gofar beyond just fitness, the social interaction & camaraderie that we seeat every event ensures that laughter is in abundance at every session.

 

For those lookingfor something a little more competitive, the club also have teams participatingin County Leagues, National tournaments & (once COVID restrictions arelifted) International tournaments.

 

Training takesplace outdoors at Melksham Oak School Astro

Two session areoffered weekly on Fridays:

 

6pm-7pm WomenSession                     7pm-8pm Men/Mixed Sessions

 

Fees are £3 per session. A full COVID policyis enforced for all sessions.

 

PLACES MUST BE BOOKED, THIS IS NOT A‘TURN UP & PLAY’ ACTIVITY

 

Contact - Russell Hillier - melkshamwf@gmail.com– 07881 620961

 

 

 

 

Probus

"MelkshamProbus Club meets once a month for a sociable lunch with a speakerafterwards.  We are a friendly, sociable and welcoming group.  Our members, generally retired, are from a broad background across the Melkshamarea.   Whilst PROBUS stands for Professional Business people, allare most welcome.  We expect to resume lunches in September."

 

 

Rainbow Day Centre

Hellomy name is Lisa and l run Rainbow day centre at the Riverside club Bath road,near Waitrose in melksham.  

Weare open to members on a Monday and a Friday from 9.30 until 2.30  . Weprovide a warm and friendly atmosphere. 

Wecater for senior citizens and younger people who have a disability. TheRiverside club is fully accessible with a wheelchair. 

Whatdo we do ? We commence our day with teas and coffee giving members time tosocialise and catch up on each other's news.

Wehave some light hearted activities to giving members the opportunity to stretchthere legs and practice their skills, and this is followed by other activitiesto stimulate the mind .

Weprovide a homecooked two course lunch followed by a fun game of bingo .

Wecan also provide transport to and from the day centre for people living in themelksham area,  including Shaw, Whitley, Berryfields and Bowerhill.

Wehave amazing special celebrations at Christmas and major festivals throughoutthe year  we also aim to have 3/4 outings a year . 

Ifyou would like any more information about Rainbow day centre and what we canprovide for you or am loved ones please don’t’ hesitate to contact me Lisa Reece on 07488328615

 

 

 

ReEngage

ReEngage,formally Contact the Elderly, is a national charity, but here in Melksham, Irun monthly Sunday tea parties, always in a volunteer’s home, for about 9elderly people who live alone and find it hard to getout in normal times. Volunteer drivers run them each way.  With anaverage age approaching 90, our “members” have grown to really enjoy eachother’s company. 

ReEngageexists to support elderly, lonely  people. The Covid-19 crisis isparticularly devastating for these people and many are feeling incrediblyvulnerable, especially those with few family members or friends to talkto.  In response to the crisis we’ve suspended our regular socialgatherings and, with the help of volunteers, have set up a UK-wide callcompanions service. Older people who are feeling alone can receive a regularfriendly phone call throughout the crisis and beyond, for as long as they wantit. Our vision is aworld where no one is ever too old to make friends and enjoy socialinteraction.  Here in Melksham, wehave delivered a “tea in a box” to each person but hopefully we can meettogether very soon. You might be very surprised at how noisy and jolly 8elderly friends can be over several cups of tea and cake!

 

As the ageing population continues to grow, so does theepidemic of loneliness among older people. We’re the only charity solelycommitted to tackling this problem by helping older people to re-engage withtheir communities through regular social contact, giving them a lifeline offriendship and, vitally, something to look forward to. We are always lookingfor more tea party hosts and volunteer drivers.  If you have a littlespare time, one Sunday afternoon a month, please phone Martin on 01225 707534.Or look at the Charity’s website : https://www.reengage.org.uk/

 

 

Shaw Hill Playing Field and Village Hall

“The photo of theAFC Corsham Leopards U11's, supplied by parents of the Leopards, shows youngstersare once again able to play on the Shaw hill playing field at The Beeches; nowthe Covid19 restrictions have been eased.

Many people inMelksham who, recalling happy times supporting the Shaw and Whitley  andthe Whitley youth football teams will not be surprised to learn that theLeopards and the visiting teams love playing at Shaw. It's a great pitch andprotected from the Northerly winds is a really great spot.

And very soon thevillage hall will also be open”.

 

 

 

Splitz

Splitz Support Serviceis a registered charity (10647640) delivering support services to individualsand families experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual violencewithin their intimate partner relationships. We offer 1-1 support, group support, information, advice, advocacy forthose at highest risk. As Survivors continue on their recovery journey we mayoffer the support of a volunteer “Buddy” and / or support with helping youovercome your barriers to education and employment as part of the BuildingBridges Project.

For support call;  

Splitz:              01225 775276 (9:00am – 5:00pmMon-Fri)

Out of hours:   0808 2000 247 (Available 24/7 run by Refuge)

 

 

Wilts and Berks Canal Trust

The charity’s aim is to restore thewaterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames &Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, connectingChippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

Aside from extending the canal networkfor narrowboats, it would also provide a new amenity for local runners,walkers, cyclists and others, and would create a new wildlife corridor and amajor boost to tourism and employment.

The former route through Melksham islost under modern development so the charity is working on ambitious plans fora new ‘Melksham Link’ which would utilise the River Avon instead. This wouldfeature a new weir and a series of locks.

This would then reconnect with theoriginal line upstream where volunteers have started clearance work as part ofthe ‘Destination Lacock’ project to continue onwards to The Bell Inn, a formercanalside property at Bowden Hill.

A little further north is thecharity’s longest stretch of restored waterway which reaches the edge ofPewsham and features a popular towpath together with a rebuilt wharf, bridgeand other structures, with ongoing work to restore the flight of locks and theadjacent dry-dock.

The Melksham, Chippenham & Calnebranch has hundreds of members, and offers many ways for people of all ages andbackgrounds to get involved.

There are lots of roles available,from digging, bricklaying and grasscutting to project management, engineering,fundraising and research. There are also opportunities to train as skippers forthe tripboats at local festivals and other events.

Members receive regular updates andnewsletters, and invitations to enjoy lots of social events.

The website includes links to furtherdetails for the Melksham Link, plus videos on the history of the canal and its ongoingrestoration, an interactive map and several local walks.

Email: dave.maloney@wbct.org.uk

Visit: www.wbct.org.uk

 

 

Wiltshire Air Ambulance

WiltshireAir Ambulance has been operating on the front line throughout the Coronaviruspandemic, attending a record number of missions during 2020.

However, fundraising has been affected by£500,000 due to the cancellation of numerous fundraising events.

Thankfully there is now light at the end ofthe tunnel and as restrictions unlock, the charity plan to hold a number offundraising events later this year.

For dare devils, you can help raise money forthe local air ambulance by challenging yourself with a Skydive above Salisburyand the south of Wiltshire on 18 July, with options to jump from 10,000ft or15,000ft.

Alternatively, why not experience the thrillof Wing Walking on a bi-plane (7 July) – something completely exhilarating.

The charity also has opportunities for peoplewho prefer to keep their feet on the ground.

There are spaces available for the VirtualLondon Marathon (3 October) or the Bath Half Marathon, now taking place inMarch 2022.

On 26 June Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason andhis wife Annette – both ambassadors for Wiltshire Air Ambulance – will beopening up their gardens to the public. With a host of activities and Nick’sarray of cars on show, it’s a fantastic family weekend event at Middlewick on26-27 June.

There’s also the return of the Minety MusicFestival to come on 2-4 July.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance needs to raise £3.75meach year to continue saving lives. It receives no regular direct funding fromthe Government or National Lottery grants.

The charity relies on generous donations fromthe public and local businesses to keep flying.

Find out more via www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk.

 

 

WiltshireBobby Van Trust

TheWiltshire Bobby Van Trust is an independent charity which works closely withWiltshire Police and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, toprovide an invaluable home security and stay safe online service.

TheTrust has been operating this scheme for the past 23 years helping tosecure homes of the elderly (over 60) & anyone registered disabled(over 18) who have become, or are at risk of becoming, victims of house crimeor domestic abuse.  A full home securityand fire risk assessment are carried out before fitting the appropriate securitydevices to ensure the home owner feels safe and secure.  This service is offered free of charge to alleligible clients.

TheTrust’s Stay Safe Online service raises awareness about computer fraud andwhat to do if you have concerns over your on line safety.  Computer fraud is the fastest growing crimein nationally and their team of online safety volunteers knows only too wellthat most of us rely on the internet to one degree or another to communicate,manage our finances, buy products and services. Therefore, the aim of ourdedicated team of Stay Safe Online volunteers is to provide the community withthe following:


- Improve Digital/Cyber security awareness

-Offer Cyber and Scam prevention advice
- Signpost you to future advice and resources

-Provide support and reassurance

-Offer basic practical skills to enable you to check and understand privacysettings

Bothteams are available to give talks to community groups so please get in touch ifyou would like a visit or to arrange a talk.

HomeSecurity Service; call 01225 256867, email bobbyvan@wiltshire.police.uk

StaySafe Online Service; call 01225 256867, email bv.onlinesafety@wiltshire.police.uk

Forfurther information please go to www.wiltshirebobbyvan.org.uk  01225 256867.

 

Wiltshire Mind

As we emerge from Lockdown, WiltshireMind is continuing our mission of promoting and supporting mental healthcountywide. Our services are available to all, via self or professionalreferral.

Adultcounselling is currently being delivered on Zoom. Children and young people’scounselling available for 11-18 year olds face-to-face, or via Zoom. We provideone-to-one counselling support for those who are suffering with stress,anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, low mood or emotional distress. We listenin a non-judgemental way, providing a safe, confidential place to talk. Byhelping you explore your emotions and feelings, counselling enables you tounderstand your own, and other peoples’ behaviour. Our counsellors help youwith coping skills to deal with life events, stresses and daily challenges.Contact counselling@wiltshiremind.co.uk

 

Ourweekly peer support groups are currently available to access via Zoom. Thesegroups provide a friendly space for anyone experiencing mental health problems.They bring together people with shared experiences to support each other andprovide a place where you can feel accepted and understood. Facilitated byskilled members of our team, everyone’s experiences are treated as equallyimportant. The groups can enable people to develop coping skills and feelaccepted and understood, improving self-esteem. We currently have daytimegroups covering Melksham, Chippenham, Devizes, Trowbridge, Malmesbury and Salisbury,an evening group, and a new group starting in Tidworth. Contact supportgroups@wiltshiremind.co.uk

 

We rely on the generous donations of our supporters and local fundraisingactivity to continue providing mental health support across Wiltshire, and thishas been especially important during the recent pandemic. To support our vitalwork, please visit www.justgiving.com/wiltshire-mindor email fundraising@wiltshiremind.co.uk

 

 

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council

The Wiltshire Parent CarerCouncil (WPCC) is an independent organisation that supports and representsparent carers of children and young people aged 0 to 25 with Special EducationNeeds and/or Disabilities (SEND), across the whole of Wiltshire (excludingSwindon). During lockdown, the WPCC has been running virtual opportunities forparent carers to get involved and have their say to help shape and improve someof the services they access.  To give parent carers an opportunity to meetvirtually, chat and support each other, the WPCC has been running monthlycoffee mornings for parent carers. The next WPCC virtual coffee morning isplanned for Wednesday 5th May at 10.30am to 11.30am.

 

The WPCC has lots ofinformation on its website about activities for children and young people, andinformation and opportunities for parent carers, such as virtual cafés, freecourses and training, Wills and Trusts, and autism workshops. WPCC’s onlineActivity Calendars are regularly updated.

 

Visit the WPCC website: www.wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk

 

Telephone: 01225 764647

 

Email: admin@wiltspcc.co.uk

 

 

Wiltshire Sight

Are you struggling with sight loss?

Ifyou or someone you know is losing their sight or living with sight loss,Wiltshire Sight can help.  We a localcharity providing practical, emotional and social support for people livingwith sight loss across Wiltshire and Swindon.

YourLocal Community Sight Loss Advisor can help you adjust to living with sightloss, and to give you the tools you need to live your life the way you want to.Support includes:

·     Information,advice and guidance on living with sight loss, remaining independent andgetting the most from life

·     Demonstrationand training on a range of useful resources to help with daily living,including making the best use of magnification and lighting aids to supportreading and writing

·     Advice andtraining in how to use smartphones, tablets and other devices to minimise theimpact of your sight loss

·      Social activities, sports clubs andopportunities to meet others living with sight loss

 

WiltshireSight has a resource centre in Devizes where you can visit us, alternately iftravelling is a barrier, we can offer you an appointment in a Melkshamcommunity hub where we will be on hand regularly to offer support.  We can also demonstrate dailyliving aids and resources that can help with everyday tasks such as magnifiers,task lighting, kitchen aides, talking watches and clocks.  Please give us a call to discuss the bestlocation for you.

Weare here to help anyone who is living with sight loss and their friends andfamily.

Call 01380 723682

email info@wiltshiresight.org

www.wiltshiresight.org