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The Sandford Link

Up-dates and News


Fellow Sandforders -  There has been a  burglary today in Henley Road while occupants in the garden. You might want to be extra careful with your security...


Citizens Advice needs volunteer advisers

We can all face problems that are too stressful or complicated to sort out alone. Last year our 150 volunteers advised over 11,000 people. We helped three quarters resolve their debt, benefits, employment and housing problems.

We now need more advisers to help us during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Our main offices are in Abingdon, Didcot, Henley and Thame. Since March, 90 volunteers and staff have been advising the public from home on our Adviceline service. Recently we partially re-opened our offices, in part to train new advisers.

What will you get out of it?  You will join a friendly team, meet new people, develop your skills and make a real difference to people’s lives. You’ll need to have good listening and interpersonal skills, a willingness to learn and be confident with computers. Full training will be provided. If you have eight hours a week to spare for the next two years or more and are looking for a satisfying and stimulating volunteer role in your local community, please contact us at:   www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/oxfordshire-south-vale/volunteer/ 

Job redundancy: check your rights and talk to Citizens Advice

One of the most serious outcomes of the current pandemic problem is that thousands of people in the UK are losing their jobs. If you are one of these people, and are made redundant or offered voluntary redundancy, it is important that you thoroughly understand your rights and options.   

The first thing to do if you are at risk of redundancy is to look at your contract of employment, which will spell out your basic rights. Make sure that your company abides by these conditions. Also, consider other sources of help such as your union if you belong to one. Bear in mind that if you have been in the job for less than two years you do not have as much job protection, but if for more than two years, your employer has to follow certain procedures, e.g. find you another job in the company if possible.

You can’t be made redundant in an unfair way or for discriminatory reasons. The reason must be a genuine one, i.e. the job you do or the skills you have are no longer needed, or the employer can’t afford you, or the business is failing. With technology advancing, sometimes fewer people are needed to do a given job.

You might be entitled to receive redundancy pay, which increases with length of service and has two elements – statutory and contractual. Statutory pay (not paid to those who have less than two years’ service) is the minimum that the law says you are entitled to, and is based on your age, weekly pay and the number of years you have worked in the job. Contractual redundancy pay is the additional amount to which your contract may entitle you. If you have been furloughed, the law says that your redundancy pay must be worked out according to your usual wages, not the 80% furlough figure. Bear in mind that if your employer offers you a suitable alternative job and you refuse to take it without good reasons, they can refuse to give you redundancy pay. You can check that your redundancy pay is fair by using the calculator at https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay.

You are also entitled to a paid notice period or pay in lieu of notice, and the employer should give you paid time off for attending job interviews.

All the implications of redundancy are helpfully described on the Citizens Advice website at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/leaving-a-job  The website also gives advice about claiming benefits or dealing with your debts if you need this. You can talk to an adviser on our Adviceline, 0300 330 9042. Visit www.caox.org.uk to find your local Citizens Advice office.

History of 'SANDFORD LINK'

‘The Link’ is over 30yrs old, so this is a brief look at the early days, when Sandford was a smaller village, while some of us can still remember!

It took some years and some growing pains before ‘The Link’ attained its present nature – an attractive and well-regarded quarterly village magazine, hand-delivered to every household.

Before 1981 there had been ‘Sandford Parish Council News’ which was distributed by volunteers to the whole village. It gave information on deliberations of the parish council and encouraged people to take an interest in village affairs. In 1978 it announced that “an application had been made for planning permission to build a new hall to replace the old Reading Room and all Sandford residents were invited to attend a meeting on 10th October to form a fund-raising committee.” And that was the start of a period of much good community action which will have to be the subject of another article.

Three years later in November 1981, issue no. 1 of the 'SANDFORD LINK' was published by the parish council and the first editor was Max Hobbs.

That first issue was published on one A4 double-sided sheet and was sub-titled ‘Sandford and Littlemore News’ because it was an experiment in collaboration between our parishes to celebrate one hundred editions of ‘Littlemore Local.’ (Edited by Geoffrey Hedge.) It was intended that the Sandford Link should be distributed only in Sandford unless there was news warranting a special edition.

There was plenty of news on that front page - perhaps the most interesting being the announcement that the new village hall had opened on Saturday 19th September. Also, there was a notice that “Sandford’s Youth Drama Group” would be presenting their 4th pantomime – Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves – in January in the new hall; all proceeds to the Village Hall Fund. There were reports from the Toddler Group and from the fund-raising committee who said that £400 had been raised for the hall at a 50-50 auction held in the old Reading Room.

The main article in the centre of the front page was a notice titled “Sandford’s Future; Land for housing, employment and recreation needs is required in the Oxford Area, states the Oxford City Council in a consultation document on possible development at Blackbird Leys and Littlemore. South Oxfordshire District Council in recognising this need have put forward suggestions for development at Sandford Paper Mill, The Brickworks Site and Land at the Temple Farm Country Club. To discuss the various proposals a Public Meeting will be held on Wednesday 18th November 1981 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall.”

On the reverse of the page was church news, various notices and a drawing of the church by Yvonne Winkfield. The early editions of the Sandford Link captured the many changes which were occurring in the village and had no struggle in finding copy once a month. Max Hobbs was editor for the first six issues of the Sandford Link and Don Edwards’ line drawings of notable village buildings added to the appearance. As Geoffrey Hedge wrote in ‘Farewell to Editor’ “Max will be remembered as the founder editor of the Link; a community newsletter, which has , in a short space of time, gone from strength to strength…he has set a high standard for his successor to follow.

Alfred Robinson was editor of twelve editions, when there was a notable change in tone and content until the parish council asked Laurence Boyd to take over as editor in July 1983. This was when the Sandford Link first adopted the A5 format and was issued quarterly. It was under Laurence Boyd that ‘Kingcup’ (aka Bob Crickmay) first made an appearance, with the first of a series of interesting and well-researched historical articles covering many aspects of Sandford life. Another noteworthy contributor of that period was Carl Reynolds, our splendid community policeman.

During the next four years there was an increasing disagreement between the parish council and the editor, who resigned, and the Sandford Link went underground, re-appearing briefly as an A4 size ‘New Link’ – the newsletter of a newly-formed ‘Sandford on Thames Community Association’.  Belinda Nicholls was the editor and Carl Reynolds the main inspiration behind getting it moving again and chasing around for funding. In August 1988, the Sandford Link finally turned into ‘The Link’ as it was known, which was A5 in size and with a coloured cover.  Richard Jackson took over in August 1989 and six monthly editions were produced until July/August 1990 when ‘The Link’ became bi-monthly.

The next editor, Prue Sykes, took over in November/December 1990 when she thanked Richard for ‘all the work he has put into the Link. In particular for his artistic talents, as under his editorship the standard of design and production have been exceptional.’ 

The magazine continued bi-monthly until 1994 when the present, quarterly, editions took over. Our village magazine seeks to represent and be a voice for all sections of Sandford. It is paid for jointly by the parochial church council and the parish council.

In 2018, the present editor, Hazel Douglas, took over the job and the name reverted to “Sandford Link” . Hazel can be contacted on: sandfordlink@gmail.com