Friday, 29 April 2016

What's on in Abingdon this Bank Holiday weekend?

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NHS - One You


Bicester Archers "Have a Go" afternoon - Sunday 8th May 2016

Bicester Archers are on a continued mission to get you to try archery and especially if your new to the area. 
With a zillion new houses in Bicester we have the perfect activity for all of the family to do together. 
Do you live in or near to Bicester and want to shoot a FREE go at archery??

 Our next monthly HAVE-A-GO afternoons at Chesterton is nearly upon us.

Sunday 8th May 2016 2pm - 3.30pm. 

Further dates in 2016 are:

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June 2016 "The Archery GB Big Weekend"
11am- 4pm both days

Sunday 10th July 2016 2pm - 3.30pm
Sunday 7th August 2016 2pm - 3 30pm
Sunday 4th September 2016 2pm - 3.30pm

Share this with all your friends and family and come down together and see in your group who can score the highest score with three arrows.

What to do with as a family this weekend - check out the "Day Out With The Kids" website

Ziggyfest II - Saturday 28th May 2016 - Bridgeman Studio Award 2016 Competition

Bridgeman Studio Award 2016 Competition

Salary / Fee: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, 30 June, 2016

Bridgeman Studio Award 2016 competition

We are proud to announce the launch of the Bridgeman Studio Award 2016. #BSA2016
Enter the international Bridgeman Studio Award competition and you could win a £1,000 commission to design the front cover of award-winning author Rosie Garland’s next title, published by The Borough Press, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Student entrants could also win a 4-week work placement at the HarperCollins office in London.
To be in with a chance of this incredible prize, submit up to 5 artworks on the theme of 'NIGHT' by 30th June 2016. The competition is open to artists all over the world and at all levels.
Visit for more information and to submit your entry.
Contact Details: 

Citizens Advice Healthcare Guide for People Injured in the Armed Forces and Veterans

 Citizens Advice now has an informative webpage regarding healthcare for people injured in the Armed Forces and Veterans.

Soldier On - Supporting Medically Discharged Service Leavers

Soldier On! is a national independent education charity which teaches members of the British armed forces who have been made redundant on medical grounds to plan and manage their careers. We work with both service leavers and veterans who have been wounded on operations, sustained injuries whilst serving or have been discharged through any other forms of ill health.

For more information click on the link below

"SEND" System for Special Educational Needs Support in Schools from 1 Sept

To download the Department of Education's SEND guide, 'Special educational needs and disability: A guide for parents and carers' please click HERE

Service families with queries about SEN can access support from the

Inter - Services Twenty20 Tournament - Thursday 19th May 2016 at Lord's Cricket Ground

Homeport: Naval Families Federation Magazine-Read online

Homeport Spring FC

The Spring 2016 edition of Homeport is now available.

To view the online version, please click here.
The magazine can also be read by clicking the link  here.

Monkey World Bank Holiday Bonanza

Fathers Day Competition with Little Troopers

To celebrate Father’s Day 2016 Little Troopers and have teamed up to offer three Little Troopers and their families (serving British Armed Forces regular or reserve) the chance to win a day out with Dad that they will never forget!
How to enter: Download and print the application form below. Get your Little Troopers to tell us their dream ‘Hang out with Dad Day’ in 150 words or less (or send us a drawn picture of it with a brief description)
Scan and email your entry to or post to: Little Troopers, 4B 80 High Street, Egham, Surrey TW20 9HE
CLOSING DATE: 6th June 2016
Download and print HERE > Application Form

RAF Polo Weekend - RAF Cranwell - Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th May 2016

RAF: Envoy Magazine-Spring Edition

Give Us Time: Matching donated holidays with service families

Give Us Time takes holidays donated by owners of holiday groups, hotels, holiday homes and timeshares, and matches them with military families in need of rest, rehabilitation and reconnection after tours of duty. The charity was founded in 2012 by Dr Liam Fox MP who, in his time as an Army medic and later as Secretary of State for Defence, became aware that homecomings were not always as easy as might be expected for service personnel or their families.

Often after months away from home, the family dynamic can change considerably and it can be stressful for both the service personnel and their families to readjust to a life together again, in a domestic situation that may be different to how it was before they left. Give Us Time helps service families reconnect to life after combat and provides them with the chance to spend time together and to reaffirm their family bond.
To Register and for further information click here

Not going to Twickenham on Saturday? Do not worry - watch The Babcock Trophy match on TV

Service Parents' Guide to Boarding Schools

Friday, 22 April 2016

Cherwell District Council - Free Dog Registration Scheme

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You may have noticed the recent change in law with regards to microchipping but did you know it's still a legal requirement to ensure your dog wears an identity tag in public?

On 6 April 2016 new laws came into effect which made it a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in an attempt to promote responsible ownership and reduce the number of stray dogs.

But despite the introduction of compulsory microchipping it is still a legal requirement for all dogs to wear an identity tag in public - or face a £25 statutory fine and expensive kenneling fees.
Currently Cherwell offers a free dog tag registration scheme to owners living within the district which has won two RSPCA Gold Footprint awards for animal welfare. By registering their pet online owners can include various contact details which are then cross-referenced against a unique reference number printed on the tag.

The new microchipping laws were introduced under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 and came into effect on 6 April. Owners who fail to microchip their dog or keep their details up to date will be served notice and could face a £500 fine and criminal conviction.

Microchipping ranges from £10 - £30 and can be carried out by veterinary practices, although some animal welfare charities will chip dogs for free.
 Even with the introduction of compulsory microchipping, it will still remain a legal requirement for dogs to continuing wearing an identity tag.

To register for a free dog tag with Cherwell District Council visit
For details on the new microchipping law visit and search ‘dog microchipping’.

cHERwell Active

The cHERwell Active initiative works with girls to provide new recreational opportunities and inspire them to have the confidence to achieve their full potential in all aspects of life.
By working with community partners, including the voluntary sector and statutory groups, it is intended to build strong communities and consult with groups to create bespoke recreation and physical activity programmes that they would like to participate in.
The project will also use a programme of taster sessions to gauge an idea of what type of activities are most popular with girls and offer informal exercise such as walks which are deemed less intimidating than more athletic or gym-based activities.
Aside from promoting fitness and exercise, the project will also provide information and knowledge on various life skills such as cooking and healthy eating to create an all-round healthier lifestyle.
It is hoped that the scheme will help to raise activity levels amongst girls, increase health and wellbeing and boost girls’ self-esteem to give them the confidence and knowledge to make positive and informed decisions.
A new Cherwell wide project helps increase the activity, health and wellbeing of girls aged between eight and 19.
For more information contact

Cherwell District Council - Bulky Waste Collection Service

If you need to get rid of some furniture or white goods but can't get to the tip, CDC's bulky waste collection service could help.
For a set price of just £16 we will collect and remove up to three large items including furniture, white goods and mattresses.

Just contact the office, arrange a collection date and payment and leave the items accessible. And our team will do the rest!
For more information visit

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

HIVE Closed on Thursday 21st April 2016

Kettlercise Fitness is back in Ambrosden

Craft & Gift Fair -at Bicester Football Club - Sunday 24th April 2016

Joint Service Housing Advise Office - Civilian Housing Brief - Services Cotswold Centre - Wednesday 8th June 2016

Thames Valley Alert - Get Safe Online Workshop - Friday 29th April 2016 - Milton Keynes

Spaces are available at free workshops for residents and businesses to get expert advice on cyber security and safety issues.

The workshops are being run by online safety organisation Get Safe Online as part of a ‘Keeping Safe in Thames Valley’ event co-ordinated by Thames Valley Police and will take place at Middleton Hall, Centre MK on Friday 29 April.

The workshops are targeted at three key groups:

  • For parents, carers and younger people: 10am
  • For small local businesses: 12pm
  • For over-50s: 2pm

Sessions will last for 45 minutes and will cover a wide range of online safety and security advice from experts.

Anyone who wishes to attend is asked to register their interest in advance by emailing:

Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ch Supt Andy Boyd, Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships, said: “Cyber crime is an emerging and growing crime and there are steps that everyone can take to protect themselves.

“I would encourage residents and businesses to take up this great opportunity to attend these free workshops and receive valuable, hands-on practical advice from experts in the field of online safety.”

The Keeping Safe in Thames Valley event is running on both April 29 and 30 from 9.30am to 4pm and will feature a wide range of stalls, activities and advice from Thames Valley Police and partner organisations. All are welcome

See the Get Safe Online website for more information about the organisation and what it does.



The cast of ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ meets members of HM Armed Forces through military charity Tickets For Troops
The producers of Mrs Henderson Presents showed their support for the British Armed Forces last Thursday [14 April] by offering them tickets, through the military charity Tickets For Troops, to their hilarious five star musical.
On Thursday 14th April, 10 troops and their guests took to their seats at the Noel Coward Theatre to enjoy the new musical production of Mrs Henderson Presents, based on the much-loved film starring Judi Dench. The show, which is directed by Tony Award Winner Terry Johnson, has been described as ‘a triumph’ and ‘a winner.’
After the show, the troops, along with their guests, were given the chance to meet the cast which includes Olivier-Award Winner Tracie Bennett (Les Misérables, End of the Rainbow, ITV’s Coronation Street), and Oliver-nominated stars Ian Bartholomew and Emma Williams.
Tickets For Troops member, Staff Sergeant Scott Mackie: “The show was brilliant and I now want to take my family to see it with me. Thank you so much to the team at the theatre, we were very well looked after and getting to meet the cast after the show made me feel very special. It is opportunities like this that make us feel appreciated and valued for the work we do.”
Producer Michael Harrison said: “We’re delighted to have been able to invite some of the Armed Forces to see Mrs Henderson Presents. Mrs Henderson herself was a passionate believer in entertaining the troops during the Second World War, refusing to close The Windmill Theatre even during the Blitz, and it’s an honour to be able to continue that tradition.”
Director of Operations at Tickets For Troops, Veronica Bamford said: ‘The ambition of Mrs Henderson to boost morale during the Second World War parallels with the purpose of Tickets For Troops as we continue to recognise members of our marvellous Armed Forces by offering them a small token of our appreciation through tickets for events to ensure that they can enjoy their precious time off with their family and friends.”
Tickets For Troops was set up in 2009 to provide free tickets to the Armed Forces for sports, music, theatre, cultural and entertainment events across the UK.

The charity has distributed over 850,000 free tickets in the last six years and is proud to offer tickets to troops which they can share with their loved ones, as a small acknowledgement and reward for the work they do for our country.

Army Welfare Service - HIVE Information Support For Military Personnel And Families

Don't Forget.......Your HIVE can help you by finding answers to questions about many aspects of living within a military community and has useful information to help with relocating including how to apply for Service Families Accommodation, Schools, Finding Doctors and Dentists and much more. In addition, your HIVE always has up to date information about your military community and the local area.

You can also let your HIVE Information Support Officer know of any concerns or issues you may experience and they can report relevant concerns on your behalf.

Abingdon HIVE: 01235 543588
HIVWE Outreach Office Bicester: 01869 256158

Defence Discount: Free Tastecard for 2 months just for our members!

Tastecard offer 50% off or 2 for 1 at over 6500 restaurants and Defence Discount Service members can get a free 60 tastecard trial!

Visit and claim yours now.

Running A Business In Service Families Accommodation....

Planning to run a business from your SFA?
Please contact Carillionamey first on 0800 707 6000.

How do you want to live as an Army family?

AFF is running a quick poll to discover how important patch life is to today's Army family, and what stability really means.
Please click here and take a few minutes to share your views.

CTP: New Employment Model - Changes to Enhanced Learning Credits and Further Education and Higher Education Schemes

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

New National Insurance Credits for Service spouses and civil partners to help protect your future State Pension

New National Insurance Credits for Service spouses and civil partners to help protect your future State Pension 

From 6 April 2016, spouses and civil partners of Service personnel will be able to apply for a new type of National Insurance (NI) credit to protect their State Pension.

The new Class 3 NI credits have been introduced  in recognition of the fact that accompanying on deployment overseas may have affected a Service spouse or civil partner’s ability to work and pay NI contributions. This could potentially result in a gap in their NI record and could affect the amount of State Pension they receive in retirement.

The new DWP credits have been taken forward under the Armed Forces Covenant, which states that members of the Armed Forces and their families should receive fair treatment from the nation which they serve. More information about the Armed Forces Covenant can be found at

It is estimated that this could benefit up to 20,000 individuals, ensuring that they do not miss out on their State Pension.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“We are making sure that military spouses and partners who spend time based overseas get the State Pension they deserve. This is the latest step under the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure that service personnel and their families are treated fairly.”
Am I eligible to apply for the new credits?
Service spouses and civil partners will be eligible to apply for the new Class 3 NI credits if they:
• Reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, that means they were born on or after 6 April 1953 (if a woman) or 6 April 1951 (if a man); and
• Are or have been married to /in a civil partnership with a member of the Armed Forces; and
• Have accompanied their spouse or civil partner on a deployment outside the UK at any time since 6 April 1975; and
• At the time of the posting their spouse or civil partner must have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with UK National Insurance
You can still apply if you are now widowed, divorced or have had your civil partnership dissolved, provided you were married or in a civil partnership at the time you accompanied your partner abroad.

Some Service spouses or civil partners who meet the above criteria will not have a gap in their NI records and so will not need to apply for the new credits. For example, you may not have a gap if you:

• were working in a job during the accompanied assignment where you paid UK NI contributions
• were self-employed and paying self-employed Class 2 NI contributions throughout the accompanied assignment
• received certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (previously called Incapacity Benefit or Invalidity Benefit) or Child Benefit for the whole of the accompanied assignment(s)outside the UK

To find out how much your State Pension is worth, and to check whether there are any gaps in your NI record for the periods you were overseas, you can use an online tool on called ‘Check your State Pension’(www). See related links.

How do I apply?
You can apply for the new Class 3 NI credits anytime from 6 April 2016. There is no time limit in applying for the credits, although if you apply after you reach State Pension age any increased State Pension might not be paid for periods before the date of your application.
For information about applying for the new Class 3 credit visit
The Class 1 NI Credit: A wider range of benefits for deployments since April 2010
The new Class 3 credits do not replace the existing Class 1 NI credit for those who have accompanied a partner on a posting since April 2010, and which contribute not only towards entitlement to new State Pension, but also towards Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Bereavement Benefits (to be replaced for new claimants by Bereavement Support Payments in April 2017).

More information
Further information about NI credits for Service spouses and civil partners is available online at
For more information about the New State Pension, visit

Cadbury World Discount - Error on the DDS website

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Cadbury World have confirmed the prices quoted on DDS are currently incorrect. 
The DDS have been made aware and will change in due course.

The correct prices are: Adults: £11.72 Children: £8.61