Happy New Year, 2021!

From all of us here at Oakley Vale, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year! With the dawn of an eagerly awaited new year upon us, we wanted to look back and reflect on what has been a very difficult 2020. Festive cheer was hard to come by but there is still so much to be proud and hopeful of – and we want to prove it to you with this blog!

A Community to be Proud of

As mentioned above, there has been a lot to be proud of this year and we have been moved by the way the Oakley Vale community has come together. We want to now share some of our favourite, feel good stories from 2020 so let’s get right down to it!

First up, the Food4Heroes scheme was a real success for NHS staff during the pandemic and provided thousands of warm, well needed meals. From its launch on 6 April, the scheme for Kettering General Hospital has delivered over 17,000 meals – that’s 30,000 potatoes, 6,000 onions, 4,000 tomatoes and 500 pints of gravy!

We are pleased to announce that as a result of the campaign’s success, Food4Heroes will be developed in the coming months to support food banks. A huge thank you to everyone for coming together and making a positive change to people’s lives!

Earlier this year, we sought the views and opinions of local residents and wanted to know what you’d like to see included in the new local centre that’s being designed as part of the final development phase of Oakley Vale. We were delighted to receive almost 900 responses and we couldn’t be happier! Included in your responses was a real insight into requested facilities, thoughts on office space and what you love about Oakley Vale. The future of Oakley Vale really does look bright and full of promise thanks to you!

This year also saw our local students readying themselves for the new world of virtual learning. The students showed their resilience and did exceptionally well on results days yet again, for both GCSE and A-Level. Three sixth form students, Dominik Cusk, Joel Camara and Emily Brown achieved a staggering 11 A*s between them and will leave the Academy for the prestigious Cambridge University! For those pupils heading back to school in the coming weeks, keep up the great work!

As we are sure you have also heard this year, England and Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford was on target once again and made it his mission to provide meals for children in need. Marcus inspired The Spread Eagle in Corby who made packed lunches for those who need them the most. They offered, at a minimum, a sandwich, crisps, piece of fruit and a drink. How incredible!

Last but by no means least, we wanted to share the incredible story of Stacey Price, a Community First Responder (CFR) volunteer who was recognised for her work responding to 999 calls across the Corby and Kettering areas. She has helped provide life-saving training for hundreds of people and supported with fundraising campaigns for vital defibrillators. You can read more about her amazing story here.

These stories help remind us how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place with a shining community – thank you to everyone who was involved and continues to help others every day!

Latest Government Guidance 

In light of the Government’s recent announcement that a new national lockdown is in force, we wanted to share the latest guidance on what you are able to do, to help guide you through this difficult time.

The new measures mean you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Moving forward, there are things we can all do to stop the spread and transmission of Covid-19!

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between other people
  • Wear a face covering when in shared spaces
  • Stay home if you feel unwell or are showing any symptoms

Hopefully, this will all be over soon and we can get back to doing the things we love in Oakley Vale!

Get Involved in our Photo Competition

In our last blog we announced the winner of our latest photo competition! Once again, a big congratulations to Agnieszka Kuras for this wonderful photo that perfectly captures our Autumn in Okaley Vale theme. The winding roads and changing colours really do look amazing!

As always, following the announcement of our latest winner, we now give you our next theme and this time round it is… Hope. There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year, but we can all be optimistic about what 2021 may bring. We want to see your most innovative, inspirational pictures that symbolise Hope – it could be an image of a peaceful place, a beautiful sunrise, a freshly bloomed flower or anything in between, be as creative as you like!

For those of you who don’t know, we run the competition every quarter and £50 is up for grabs for the winning entry! Simply submit your photo through the website and fill in your information so we can get in touch with you if you win. Remember, we need to approve each picture before it goes live on our website so if your image doesn’t appear right away, don’t worry. If you fill in your details correctly it should appear online shortly after we have had a chance to approve it. This time round, we will be taking submissions until the end of February, good luck!

All that’s left to say is we hope you all continue to stay safe and well as we head into 2021. See you next month for our February blog!

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