Extras – June 2019

How much could you raise with £50 in 3 months for your local Hospice?

St. Michael’s Hospice are inviting local organisations to put their money-making skills to the test with their first ever Accumulator Challenge. Each participating team will be given a £50 loan and three months to find interesting and innovative ways of accumulating their pounds to make as much profit as possible, all of which will be donated back to St. Michael’s Hospice.

The three-month challenge kicks off with a launch night on 2nd September where teams will collect their £50 cash loan, as well as receiving lots of fundraising ideas to help generate their money. They will also be taken on a tour of the Hospice to learn how their money will make a difference to local people suffering from a life-limiting illness. The challenge will culminate with an awards evening in December, where the top teams will be awarded for their fundraising efforts. 

Laura Holmes, Events Manager at St. Michael’s Hospice said, “We are very excited to launch our brand-new challenge for 2019! This is the perfect team building activity for companies, groups and societies, schools, colleges, family and friends who’d like to do something fun to raise vital funds to support our Hospice. We can’t wait to meet the teams at our launch event and see all the innovative ways they choose to raise money for our Hospice. We’re expecting competition to be fierce amongst our local supporters so don’t miss out, sign up today!”

To register for St. Michael’s Hospice Accumulator Challenge, please visit: www.stmichaelshospice.org.uk/events

To discuss taking part in the Accumulator Challenge or if you have any queries, please get in touch with Laura Holmes:

Tel: 01256 848846

Email: events@stmichaelshospice.org.uk

News From the Basingstoke & District Disability Forum (BDDF)

“Dear Reader

Good news

I’m pleased to report that after a challenging 6 months Basingstoke & District Disability Forum (BDDF) are still operating and are embarking on lots of exciting projects for local people who are affected by disability.
We welcome Tony Capon (CEO of Basingstoke Voluntary Action) as our new Interim Chairperson, and would like to take this opportunity to thank Jane Brydges for her leadership during the last 5 months, she will return to her role of Treasurer.

We also wish to thank Pamela Heyfron, Rob Heyfron, John Jessup and Brian Catchpoole for their hard work and dedication as trustees of BDDF and wish them well for the future as they have stepped down from the Board.

Upcoming events

We are very busy organising lots of events and services, I have the following to share with you:

  • Disability ConneXions Talk meetings will be again taking place on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 12.30-2.30pm at Church Cottage (behind St Michaels’ Church). These are informal coffee afternoons for people to drop in and make new friends, enjoy a free cuppa and learn about what services are available to them in Basingstoke.
  • Coffee & chat will be running on 3rd Wednesday of the month at The Orchard 10am-12noon, all welcome please pop in and join us.
  • FREE learning courses from anxiety management to IT are being offered throughout the year, get in touch for more information.
  • Time For You, mental well-being workshop starting 3 June, weekly Monday morning sessions with option of a one to one session with the practitioner.
  • Members’ Event in October, if you would like to become a free member of BDDF please contact me info@bddf.org.uk
  • Public disability information and awareness day in Basingstoke town centre in August – look out for more info.

Reaching out

Would you like to meet people in your own community? Have a regular date in your diary to meet up and enjoy coffee and a chat?

If you can spare a couple of hours to organise and run a regular coffee morning, afternoon or even evening in your local community, I’d love to hear from you.

Amanda Knowles, ConneXions Coordinator”

Basingstoke & District Disability Forum

The Orchard, White Hart Lane

Basingstoke RG21 4AF

Tel: 01256 423869

Mob: 07960 532895

Web: www.bddf.org.uk

Please note my usual working days are 9-3 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only.

Ramblers Association

The North Hampshire Downs Ramblers group is part of the Ramblers Association. We walk mostly in Hampshire and the surrounding countryside. In the last few months our group has enjoyed both walks and social activities, including a Ramble and Roast and Christmas Lunches.

The group walk on Tuesday, Saturday and occasional Thursday walks which are sometimes a bit shorter for those who do not want to walk the longer distances. The walks cover areas in and around Basingstoke as well as sometimes going further afield. We have had some lovely Winter and Spring walks, enjoying the changing landscapes and of course trying to avoid the worst of the cold weather.   

On our Tuesday morning walks, which are typically 6- 7 miles, we continue to attract many walkers. We have recently walked around Hinton Ampner, Windsor Great Park, Ellisfield and Old Basing.  The bluebells around Ellisfiled were stunning this year. We usually end up with an end of walk pub stop, to give people time for a catch up.

Our Saturday walks tend to be longer, with fewer walkers, and can sometimes take most of the day. This last quarter our walks have included walking around Hayling Island, it was a clear day and we had  spectacular views of Portsmouth. We also walked around Woolhampton, Hannington and Odiham and Greywell.

Our Thursday walks have included walks around Ibworth and Old Basing.

As well as the walks, the group also enjoys social activities, this includes an Annual Summer Picnic, Boys lunches, and Ladies walks and lunches, and the group occasionally organise weekends and days away.

The group have an active path patrol group, who report problems to the local council and also do some work on the paths, which can be as varied as checking waymarking and replacing waymarking discs, minor clearing or even repairing stiles and gates. To date this group has replaced 20 plus gates in conjunction with the local council.

If you are interested in finding out more about the North Hampshire Downs group, there is more information on our Website. www.northhampshiredownsramblers.org.uk.

If you are new to walking and want to give us a try, or already walk, you would be given a very warm welcome by the Group. We hope to see you soon!

If you are interested in joining the Ramblers we suggest you come along for a couple of walks with the group first to get a taster. Membership details are available from the Ramblers’ national website: www.ramblers.org.uk

Ramblers Charity England & Wales No: 1093577 Scotland No: SC039799

Linguatastic Language Academy

At Linguatastic, we love the month of June, it’s when our creative juices really get to flow…

Of course, like many readers, we’ll be joining in with the Old Basing Carnival on Saturday 15th.  Please do look out for us, parading through the village from 1.30pm. As usual, we’ll be following the overall theme (Comic/Cartoon Characters), but with an international twist. Have a guess at what we might be dressed up as!  Later, at around 3.20pm, we’ll be in the arena, encouraging anyone and everyone to join us for some international dancing and singing (no prior knowledge required).  It’s always a lot of fun, so we do hope that whether you join us in the parade or not, whether you attend Linguatastic or not, you do come into the arena when invited to do so.

Two weeks after the carnival, on Saturday 29th June, we’ll be performing at World Party in Eastrop Park.  Again, we’ll be bringing some energetic and internationally-flavoured partying to the stage and would love to see some familiar faces supporting us either from the sidelines or actually joining in with the action on stage!  This event is free to attend and offers a wide variety of entertainment, food and drink.

Oh and lest we sign off without wishing all the wonderful dads out there “Alles Gute zum Vatertag!”, “Sul y tadau hapus” and “zhù nǐ fù qīn jié kuài lè” for Sunday 16th June!  Or maybe if you are of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Croatian heritage, you already celebrated in March.

Basingstoke Lions Club 

This month we celebrated the Club’s 52nd birthday at the Basingstoke Golf Club. It was attended by His Worshipful the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Counsellor Sean Keating who is a joy to have at any event – the epitome of warmth, wit and wisdom. We were particularly delighted to hear that the Children’s Hospice, Naomi House, is one of his favoured charities this year as Lions Clubs International and local Clubs contributed £150000 when it was originally being set up.

We spent a total of £1185 last month. The majority of this was spent on white goods and furniture to assist families in need and in one case to alleviate the effects of a ceiling collapse. We also made a contribution to the moving expenses of Spotlight Basingstoke, a charity which aims to improve the life experience and prospects of children.

Annual expenditure £20, annual expenditure £19-19-6d = happiness. Annual expenditure £20, annual expenditure £20-0-6d = misery. Thus spoke Mr Micawber in David Copperfield. We, I regret to say, are miserable!

Although our April Quiz raised £430 our subsequent event at QMC, ABBA Sensation, did not perform as well financially. This was no fault of the group who gave a superb rendering of all the originals’ hits and kept the dancefloor busy all the time. But, as Robert Burns once wrote “facts are chiels that winna ding” (facts are indisputable) – we did not do nearly as well as expected.

So now we are relying on a group of true originals “The Moscow Drug Club” to redress the balance. The allure of the smoky voiced siren and her virtuoso group of musicians can set anyone’s blood racing. So come and get in the mood with some gypsy jazz at QMC on 20th July. Tickets are available from Maurice Hockley email: mauricehockley@hotmail.com or telephone 01256 421867, Toucan Travel at Chineham or direct from our website www.basingstokelions.org.uk This will also allow you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. But, don’t just “follow” us – JOIN US!

Our programme for the rest of the year is currently:-

21st September: Ali Mak Rhythm and Blues band at the Royal British Legion

9th November: Quiz Night at the Millenium Hall (note changed date)

16th November: Basingstoke’s very own Heritage Light Orchestra who are in the throes of putting together a special performance for us. More anon!

Probus Spring Ladies’ Lunch

The annual Spring Ladies’ lunch was the latest formal gathering of the Probus Club of Basingstoke, the social club for retired professional and business managers. Organised once again by Alan and Liliane May they came up with the goods when they arranged this occasion for members and their spouses. It was held at the Test Valley Golf Club.  By working closely with the chef they ensured that all forty one attendees received their pre-ordered food – there were four selections available from three courses – and they produced all the printed menus and table name cards as well as the information sheets after they devised two separate quizzes. And if that wasn’t enough that also ran  the raffle.

Alan has been the Honorary Treasurer of the Probus Club of Basingstoke for over a decade. In that time he and Liliane have become experts at successfully arranging not only this lunch but also the club’s Christmas dinner. While these are the two formal events to which wives/lady friends are invited there are many other social occasions during the year when the distaff side of the family are involved.

Guest of honour was Janet Fagg, the President of Basingstoke Ladies’ Probus Club, who was welcomed by Vice President Richard Wood. She was equally at home on this occasion as the wives of some members of the men’s club belong to the Ladies’ Probus Club.

For more information about the Probus Club of Basingstoke see their web site www,probusbasingstoke.wordpress.com or for an informal chat contact their Secretary, Paul Flint, on 07770 886521. For enquiries about Basingstoke Ladies’ Probus Club contact Janet Fagg on 07986 133382.

Basingstoke Discovery Centre June Events 

Tickets should be booked in advance, available from the Discovery Centre, booking line 01256 478670 or online https://shop.hants.gov.uk/

Adult events

Tuesday 4 June: 2pm/ £10 

Antique Valuation Talk with Thomas Forrester 

A wonderful talk about Antiques with British TV personality Thomas Forrester from BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Flog it!  

Join Thomas as he talks about the magic of the auction, valuating items, and his career. Ticket holders may bring an item they would like to learn more about. You may have treasures hiding in your home, gathering dust that you knew nothing about. 

Saturday 22 June: 12.30pm/£3


Facing transphobia and providing solidarity – a guide to better allyship in 2019.

A workshop and Q&A session focused on debunking myths and common misconceptions about the transgender experience, as well as how to provide support for transgender people in general. Hosted by trans activist and director of a local Hampshire community arts venue, Devin Valentine, alongside Georgie Williams who is a gender researcher currently working at the University of Southampton.

Saturday 22 June: 2pm/ £5 

Diary of a Drag Queen  

This is an adult only event with Author Crystal Rassmussen.  Crystal takes you through a year in the life of a Northern, working-class drag queen.  Her book covers topics such as gender pronouns, ownership of words, and the impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race on perceptions of drag and trans issues.  

This is where the unspeakable turns into the estimable – a one of a kind depiction of the queer experience.  The Author pulls no punches with her use of language in a very frank and honest session.  

Tuesday 25 June: 10.30am/ £5

Hidden Basingstoke Walk: Basingstoke Churches

Back by popular demand and following a sell-out walk in April, Phil Howe and John Hopkins from Hidden Britain Tours are back to do an additional date for their Basingstoke Churches walk, leading you through the town to explore parts that are often overlooked. Basingstoke has a wealth of church architecture, ranging from battle scarred ancient churches with mysterious medieval graffiti, to the peculiar Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, to tin tabernacles. This gentle town walk examines the town’s places of worship and explains at least some of the stories behind the stones.

Meet at the Information Desk in Basingstoke Discovery Centre and please dress for the weather.

Children’s events

Tuesday 25 June: 1.30pm & 3.75pm/ £3.75 

Elmer Interactive Storytime 

Come dressed in your brightest colours & join in the celebrations. 
Lots of fun with this rainbow coloured elephant and his friends. Amanda from Merry-go-Round Storytelling leads an interactive session based on this well-loved story. 

For ages 2-6 yrs. 

Learning in Libraries

Fridays 7 June – Friday 12 July (a 6 week course): 10am – 12 noon/ £60

Drawing for All and teacher

This course, with local artist and teacher Russell Bignold, will introduce you to a range of drawing techniques and a structured method to achieve a high standard artwork. Working through still life, pet portraits and animal drawings, through to the figure and finishing on portraits.

For all abilities

Saturday 15 June: 10am – 4pm/ £30

Drawing in Charcoal – a one day workshop

A 6 hour workshop. Learn how to draw in charcoal and develop techniques to create a piece of artwork to take home. Suitable for beginners or those with some experience.


Tuesday 11 June – Tuesday 16 July (a 6 week course): 4pm – 6pm/ £60 (+ £2 per session payable to the tutor)

Just Watercolours!

This course will introduce learners to creating unique and innovative art based on watercolours. Learn in a creative and friendly environment, supported by local artist and tutor Jacky Purtill.

Saturday 29 June: 10am – 4pm/ £30

Creative Sewing for All

An opportunity to have fun learning and improving your sewing skills. Whether you want to upcycle or create a new garment, this workshop will give you lots of ideas and support. For all abilities. With local artist and designer, Sarah Pinnell.

Hampshire County Council

Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Festival Place Shopping Centre


RG21 7LS

01256 478670

Southern Co-op Supports a Host of Nature Projects

More than £34,000 has been donated by a regional co-operative to wildlife projects in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight helping communities discover nature in their neighbourhoods.

The funding from Southern Co-op supported a variety of local schemes run by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust working with schools, children, families and members of the public to benefit the local wildlife.

Among the beneficiaries was St Mark’s School in Basingstoke. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has worked with the school to run sessions with The Bridge project at St Mark’s, which aims to help children who have special educational needs, and an after school club which engages pupils with the wildlife on their school grounds.

The Wildlife Trust has also worked with Hatch Warren Nature Group who have restored St Mark’s Meadow, from amenity mown grass to a herb rich wildflower meadow next to the school, offering pupils the opportunity to benefit from this revitalised green space through a series of events.

Other schemes included:

Resources for eight Wildlife Watch groups across Hampshire and the Island. These monthly nature clubs give children aged 5-15 years the chance to explore local wild places and wildlife with activities ranging from nature hunts to woodwork. These groups were a finalist in the CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards for the year.

Hosting outdoor exploration sessions for nearly 1,000 children and over 250 adults.

The Big Wild Picnic in the New Forest in June, offering families a free fun day out with activities, events and goodies.

Becky O’Melia, Education & Engagement Manager at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “Southern Co-op’s support has been invaluable to our work connecting people with their local green spaces. We look forward to building on the success of these projects and continuing to help people get in touch with nature.”

Gemma Lacey, Southern Co-op’s Director of Sustainability and Communications, said: “It is vital that local businesses support our communities and the environment, giving our society and planet the chance to sustain itself and hopefully thrive.

“Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, through its incredible work, gives people the opportunity to connect with our natural world. Through that connection they learn more about our environment and our wildlife and its value. We hope the projects we have helped to support will bring a variety of positive impacts for now and the future.”

Volunteers Needed for the Citizens Advice Bureau


Have your circumstances changed recently (children started school? Recently retired? A student requiring work experience?).  If you now find you have got some time for you and would like to fill it with something stimulating and interesting then why not consider volunteering at Citizens Advice? Many people don’t realise that Citizens Advice is a charity giving information and advice on a variety of subjects. Furthermore it is very much dependant on volunteers like us!

I decided to go for it because I wanted something that was not only flexible around the school run but also would give me the school holidays to spend with the children..  Being able to choose my own hours was hugely beneficial to me and one of the major draws of this charity.   I also hadn’t been in the workplace for a number of years, so didn’t feel I had the confidence for a ‘proper job’.  Volunteering for a couple of half days per week has increased my knowledge and re-built my confidence

I also wanted to do something to help in the local community, but I know I’m not a committee person.  For me,  Citizens Advice offered a role that was much more ‘hands on’.   Every day you find yourself face to face with clients with real issues who need us. By helping them solve their problems, a volunteer can experience real satisfaction with the knowledge you have actually made a difference to a client’s life.

Don’t worry if you feel you need to be very intelligent or know lots of stuff.  You get plenty of training and the information is at your fingertips, as long as you feel comfortable in accessing the organisation’s website. 

So what does a typical day entail? There are many roles that you can volunteer for; whether it be as a Receptionist, Administrator, Assessor or Advisor.  As an Advisor, I see clients with a whole range of issues, some major and some relatively minor.  All are problems that our community experience.   One day I may have a client who is homeless and needs help getting somewhere to stay, another who has got bailiffs knocking at their door, one may just want to know how to apply for a Blue Badge pass.  Whether big or small, the problems people experience are real to them and they are always grateful to have the help.  Sometimes so much so that cake and/or flowers appear! 

Despite joining because of the flexibility it offered, I have found volunteering at Citizens Advice extremely rewarding. I’m using my brain, I’ve learnt so much and am continually learning.  No two situations are the same and just when you think you’ve seen it all, another situation walks through the door! 

So, if you want to do something that is mentally stimulating with flexible hours, paid expenses and the feeling of doing something worthwhile that is outside of the home then please consider volunteering for Citizens Advice.  Or if it’s not something that interests you, do you know anybody who might want to give it a try?


If interested you can apply by emailing trainingadmin@basingstokecab.org.uk or if anyone has any questions and would like to have a chat please call 01256 845871 and speak to Di


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