This website has been created for the residents of Abbotts Barton and surrounding areas so that you can keep up to-date with what's going on.

Apart from news you can find information about events, campaigns, and how to contact councillors.

Abbotts Barton Community Group is a community association which serves the people of Abbotts Barton and aims to act as a community anchor organisation. The main areas of work for the Group are:
  • ☐ To enable residents to find out how we can make where we live even better and do something about it.
  • ☐ To run events and activities for the benefit of inhabitants of Abbotts Barton.
  • ☐ To strengthen community participation.

Big Lunch 2014
We always welcome people to join us, it's easy and free and there is no obligation to do anything! Please see our Membership page for more info!

If you should be interested in helping out at events, as a street champion, or as a Councillor's Surgery visitor, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Also let us know if you have some ideas for events or skills that could be useful (e.g. face painting at the picnics)! Read more about how you can help on our Get Involved page!

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Saturday 18 April 2015

Abbotts Barton gets active: Fitness With Friends

Free fitness sessions are coming back by the end of April!

We will start on Sunday 26 April, from 11 am to 12 noon, with Lucy and Sylke as facilitators in the park. Update: from 7 June onwards we will meet from 4 pm to 5 pm! (For the latest updates please always refer to our Events page!)

Things will be a bit different to what we did last year: for a start there will only be one session per week and not two. Sadly we cannot afford the lovely Charlie this time, so we have decided to make this Fitness With Friends! The main goal is to have some fun while doing something good for your body, and who likes to exercise on their own?!

Lucy and Sylke have been continuing together with the weekly sessions ever since October, and have found that this little bit of exercise helps tremendously with personal well-being, and if it's only to keep back pain at bay and have a little natter while doing exercises!

The sessions will run along the same pattern as they did with Charlie, first a warm-up, then a range of exercises of different kinds, and finally stretching to cool down. 

Please keep in mind that neither Lucy nor Sylke are personal trainers. If you decide to come along, this will be on your own risk and on the basis that you will know how much exercise you can do and when to stop or do a lighter exercise. Update: we have a form about fitness readiness that we require you to fill in before the first session with us, you can either download it and do that beforehand or on the day.

This particular set of sessions will be ending after five weeks on Sunday 24 May after which we have half-term. If there is enough interest we can restart after the break and keep going until Sunday 19 July (seven weeks).

All you need to bring along is yourself in some exercise friendly clothing (think about layering in case you are getting warm), a bottle of water, and if you have one, an exercise mat (a blanket will do too if you don't want to lie on the grass but neither blanket nor mat are essential).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

News Roundup - April 2015 (2)

Haven't we had some lovely weather recently! Spring has definitely arrived and it's getting closer to the end of April which means that we are starting with some of our outdoor activities again:
  • Do you fancy a kick-about? A bunch of people will be playing football on the main Abbotts Barton green, and they would love for anyone to come along and join in! Starting this Monday 20 April, meet at the goalposts from 8pm. This will happen every week - all abilities welcome! 
  • Would you like to warm up and stretch your body a bit now that the weather is getting warmer again? Sunday 26 April we are starting with free exercise sessions, Fitness With Friends, in the park. Please see our separate blog post about this.
  • Sunday 3 May we will have our first Picnic in the Park for the year! Meet from 12 noon to 3pm around the picnic benches near the playground, come along any time. Bringing food or children is not a requirement, these meet-ups are open to anybody of any age who would like to have a friendly chat with neighbours in our beautiful park! For this particular picnic Lynne will be bringing along bubbletastic entertainment for the little ones!

One of our neighbours, Elaine Barrett, has this message for you (as posted on our Facebook forum): "I am trying to set up an initial Neighbourhood Watch Group to cover the Southern End of Abbotts Barton: Oglander Road, Knight Close and the part of Coney Green south of Russell Road. In addition to improving the security of the area by deterring crime, having a Neighbourhood Watch Group would enable Abbotts Barton to make use of Winchester Speedwatch. A few households have offered to help and we will be holding a short meeting soon to decide the best way to set up the Group. If anyone would like to join us, please get in touch with me."
If you would like to get a message through to Elaine, you can contact her either by email (ebarrett6767@btinternet.com) or phone (01962 843356).

Please remember, elections are coming up on 7 May and the deadline to register to vote is Monday 20 April! It should take about five minutes of your time, and you will need your National Insurance number (if you have one). If you are not around on 7 May, read about the deadlines and requirements for making applications for postal and proxy votes in time.

Jane went to this month's Councillor's Surgery but there wasn't enough to report back on to warrant a separate post. Two items are worth mentioning:
  • The next Councillor's Surgery will be on the second Thursday of the month, on 14 May, due to the elections in the week earlier.
  • Several people have mentioned to us that they are unhappy with the litter left around the picnic bench near the football area - so are we. Jane is going to contact a council officer to request for one being installed there, and also for some of the low branches on the chestnut trees to be trimmed to allow for better view lines for parents.

All the best,
Secretary of Abbotts Barton Community Group

Monday 6 April 2015

News Roundup - April 2015

Today we had our first ever Easter community group event - but not a hunt as originally advertised. We changed it to a trail to avoid egg envy! We had 'hidden' 11 letters around the park that our participants needed to find and then they had to make a phrase out of them, it was of course HAPPY EASTER! It looked like everybody who was there enjoyed it and it was certainly great to meet some new people as well! We had a nice turn-out but still so many eggs that everybody got some extra ones. And didn't we just have the perfect weather! Thank you to everybody who helped out in some way, be it in hiding the letters, contributing some eggs or other items!



Hunting for letters all around the park

Save the date: as our group was formalised about a year ago, we have our first ever AGM coming up! It will be held on Saturday 9 May, 3 to 4 pm, at 10 Francis Gardens. Details are on our poster which you can download as PDF.

Over the last two months, Jane, Lynne and I have been very busy with planning our 2015 programme and creating a new newsletter (download as PDF) which includes again a Big Lunch, Picnics in the Park, Get Active fitness sessions, but also a Treasure Trail and football! Soon the Events section on the website will be updated with this and paper newsletters are going to be distributed (you might even have one already). We are still in need of volunteers to take on small jobs related to these events during the year: please take a look on our Get Involved page if there is something you could incorporate into your busy life! We had some people come forward based on this list (thank you!!!) but we need more helpers! Preparation adds up and takes up quite a big chunk of our time.

Talking about volunteers, they are needed everywhere: parents with children age six and up, our local 6th Winchester Scout Group is looking for more volunteers to run their Beavers and Cubs groups! There are currently 260 children on the waiting list for Winchester in total but without more parents helping out the Scout groups won't be able to take them on. Find out more about the Winchester District Scouts.

I am very happy to announce that we are getting a new logo for the group based on original artwork by local artist Lucy McLoughlin. We asked her to create an image of one of our chestnut trees in the park, the one we have used as a logo so far. We will be able to use this fantastic image in different colours (we'll stick mostly to blue and orange) but here is a preview in black and white next to the photo that you all familiar with by now:


Thank you so much, Lucy!

The website now has a map in the About section to show the extent of Abbotts Barton. In addition to that the Links section has been updated to include more useful local information for you. The next project will be a new membership page!

Finally, have you heard about Fruits of Fulflood? They have been busy planting fruit hedges in Fulflood according to this article in the Hampshire Chronicle. Wouldn't it be nice to get something like that for Abbotts Barton too?

All the best,
Secretary of Abbotts Barton Community Group